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Basic
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Basic
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Posted: 10/19/2012 5:06:19 PM EST
I know there are a lot of people flaming the polymer lowers. I'm not going sell them to you but I understand there are some people interested either for lower budget or low weight builds - say for a 22lr rifle or one for the wife who shoots on occasion. I bought a New Frontier complete lower for $100 and an ATI Omni for $39 stripped. I'm making this post not to weight benefits of purchasing a polymer, but ONLY for those whom already want to purchase one, to make a comparison. There IS definitely a difference in build quality between the two:

ATI Omni Fit/Finnish is close to a "satin" paint in finish. Unfortunately it is not uniform in sheen. Some parts look like smudges but don't go away. Also annoying, the Serial number stamp is crooked and even the letters are crooked and overlapping - and do they really have to leave holes around the serial numbers?
New Frontier is a flat finish. It seems more attention to detail is given to their lower, although they must have hired the same 12 year old to do the serial number as ATI...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/bothfinish.jpg
:Just to give another example of overall attention to detail, compare here the threads for the buffer tube. On the ATI OMNI the thread cuts are frayed and leaves pointy ends sticking out. Certainly not a utilitarian problem, but for aesthetics, its a no go. On the other hand, the New Frontier threads are ended inside the lower and looks very professional and maybe even a little more sturdy.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/boththreads.jpg

And finality the DEAL BREAKER: The ATI OMNI has a fatal flaw - the magazine release spring hole is CUT THROUGH the magwell. The most obvious problem here is getting dirty and eventually sticking closed or open, neither of which is good. That's not the worst part: the whole is cut so big, with so much play, that the magazine release ALREADY sticks open sometimes if pushed in too much. The New Frontier actually has some discoloring and scratches in the same spot but it doesn't feel weak so hopefully it is discolored from reinforcement. My only beef with the mag release is aesthetic in that I think the level looks cheesy which makes it obviously plastic looking.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/bothmagwell.jpg

That's it really it. Here is a look at the cheesy mag release
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/NFmagrelease.jpg

All said an done, if its a budget build, I'd get a New Frontier complete lower, but If it was a weight thing, I'd get a New Frontier stripped lower and use a lower build kit because the only other thing I didn't like was the pivot and take down pins were not smooth on the complete lower, as they were polymer and I'd prefer metal as much as possible in the little parts.

That being said, go ahead and get your flame over with and share your opinions. These are just my observations and opinions of the two lowers. BTW, I have never had a plum crazy lower, but my best friend had one for his primary rifle for a few months and had no complaints - he sold the whole gun to get a pistol. I guess his fever broke. I personally can't wait got get my uppers on them. Too bad palmetto takes so long...

PS - I'm gonna return (hopefully) the lower - what a pain with the FFL and all. I'll never get an ATI part again - a first and a last for me.
Basic
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Posted: 10/19/2012 9:18:51 PM EST
great review. thanks
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Posted: 10/19/2012 10:49:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/19/2012 10:49:19 PM EST by SC-Texas]
How do the triggers feel?
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Basic
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Posted: 10/20/2012 1:19:34 AM EST
I have a bunch of the complete NFA polymer lowers and the trigger on them is very nice with a clean break and very little creep. I actually like the polymer fcg over my PSA one. One of the lowers has over 4k on it and still feels just like new.
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Posted: 10/20/2012 2:15:13 AM EST
I will never own one, not even if I was paid the cost of it.

It's a solution for nothing.
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Basic
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Posted: 10/20/2012 8:59:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By OlCrow:
I will never own one, not even if I was paid the cost of it.

It's a solution for nothing.


Like I said, I wasn't posting to sell you on the benefits of it, just so people who are interested can know there is a difference. That being said, it is a solution for a few things:
1) Low Budget - for some people even $15 is a difference - especially if it will be a "once and a while" shooter or a first timer not sure if they want to jump in
2) Light Weight - I know aluminum isn't the heaviest metal, the more important weight is, the more you would weigh polymer as an option
3) "Toy" Gun - why go all out for a 22lr pea-shooter or for a rifle your idiot friends will treat like crap?

personally, I'm gonna buy metal next time. It was curiosity which got me this time. But what's $40 on a polymer lower when you have black rifle fever? You know you're gonna spend in the $1000's anyways
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Posted: 10/21/2012 9:14:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2012 9:16:12 AM EST by gee223]
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 9:35:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Wow getting burned eh? Nfa complete lower shipped 105 to ffl.Transfer fee $10.Thats comes out to 115.You could probably shop around and get better deals than that
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Posted: 10/21/2012 9:38:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2012 9:44:04 AM EST by gee223]
Originally Posted By jfagan601:
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Wow getting burned eh? Nfa complete lower shipped 105 to ffl.Transfer fee $10.Thats comes out to 115.You could probably shop around and get better deals than that




LOL, no. Getting burned is buying a plastic lower and thinking you got a deal, then realizing it's a disposable turd.

Save your money for quality components. Buy cheap, you'll weep.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 9:45:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Stripped NFA lowers are $45. I think a lot of people buy them for the weight savings though. As far as track record, I have seen no issues reported so far with the NFA lowers and they have been selling like hot cakes apparently. The AR has been using plastic successfully now for a long time. I am sure when they started using plastic and aluminum instead of wood and steel there were guys that said the same thing you are saying now. I am not saying that these particular lowers are perfect, or that they are stronger than an aluminum one, but I think they are a step in the right direction. Lighter is better. Look at the new rifles coming out. Plastic receivers galore, including uppers. I would like to see a polymer lower for an AR with a better design, and we probably will see that at some point. I'm not arguing they are better, just trying to give you some perspective.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 10:57:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2012 10:59:00 AM EST by gee223]
oops.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 10:58:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By cole_bie:
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Stripped NFA lowers are $45. I think a lot of people buy them for the weight savings though. As far as track record, I have seen no issues reported so far with the NFA lowers and they have been selling like hot cakes apparently. The AR has been using plastic successfully now for a long time. I am sure when they started using plastic and aluminum instead of wood and steel there were guys that said the same thing you are saying now. I am not saying that these particular lowers are perfect, or that they are stronger than an aluminum one, but I think they are a step in the right direction. Lighter is better. Look at the new rifles coming out. Plastic receivers galore, including uppers. I would like to see a polymer lower for an AR with a better design, and we probably will see that at some point. I'm not arguing they are better, just trying to give you some perspective.


I've got perspective, one is 4 the other is 8. I want weapons I can give to them someday after I get to use and abuse the hell out of them. Tupperware doesn't usually get passed down, it breaks or warps and sometimes melts. Metal pots and pans last for generations and take one hell of a beating along the way. Plastic definitely has its uses, but it will never be as strong or as durable as metal. It's an item that the government could very well ban from purchase by the public some day, would you really want to be stuck with interior lowers knowing you can't get a new one for $45 anymore?

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Posted: 10/21/2012 12:19:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By gee223:
Originally Posted By cole_bie:
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Stripped NFA lowers are $45. I think a lot of people buy them for the weight savings though. As far as track record, I have seen no issues reported so far with the NFA lowers and they have been selling like hot cakes apparently. The AR has been using plastic successfully now for a long time. I am sure when they started using plastic and aluminum instead of wood and steel there were guys that said the same thing you are saying now. I am not saying that these particular lowers are perfect, or that they are stronger than an aluminum one, but I think they are a step in the right direction. Lighter is better. Look at the new rifles coming out. Plastic receivers galore, including uppers. I would like to see a polymer lower for an AR with a better design, and we probably will see that at some point. I'm not arguing they are better, just trying to give you some perspective.


I've got perspective, one is 4 the other is 8. I want weapons I can give to them someday after I get to use and abuse the hell out of them. Tupperware doesn't usually get passed down, it breaks or warps and sometimes melts. Metal pots and pans last for generations and take one hell of a beating along the way. Plastic definitely has its uses, but it will never be as strong or as durable as metal. It's an item that the government could very well ban from purchase by the public some day, would you really want to be stuck with interior lowers knowing you can't get a new one for $45 anymore?



A polymer lower isn't going to warp, and isn't going to melt. It might break, but a properly designed polymer gun is no more likely to break than an aluminum one. You could put an aug through war and an m16 through war and they will both survive, including the plastic on the m16/m4. Plastic has properties that can be useful as well. Strength can be defined in different ways. Metal is very strong which makes it brittle. If it fails it will crack. Plastic has the ability to flex and return to its original shape. This allows it to absorb shock and maintain it usability where an aluminum product may not. Look at the NFA torture tests of their polymer lower. They crush the magwell and the polymer drops free because it snapped back into shape, where the aluminum one was permanently bent (biased test of course, but an example of the point I was trying to make). Again I am making an argument for polymer in general because you seem to be attacking polymer parts in general. I think all guns produced should be polymer. I think its usability and ruggedness has been proven in firearms, and you will see Augs/Tavors/FS2000s/G36s/RFBs/Polymer pistols/Polymer traditional rifle stocks/ and ARs with plastic, just to name a few, will all be passed down for generations just as other firearms have. With all the polymer on AR15s I really don't see why there is such a strong backlash towards the polymer trend moving into lowers. They aren't a high stress part. They may need some design changes, but jeez guys not everyone is planning on taking their ar15 to war, and you guys act like these lowers break if you blow on them too hard.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 2:20:08 PM EST
Just curious how many of those flaming the polymer lowers carry a Glock, XD, H&K ect. as a sidearm?

Personally I prefer the aluminum lowers, but I built the wife's gun on a polymer lower and cannot find any issues with it. It is her only ar and she shoots it about as much as I shoot all of mine together, no problems have surfaced from it in the approximately 4 years she has owned it. I am planning on trying a few of the NFAs to see how they do.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 2:29:54 PM EST
Considering the ATI receiver comes with metal lower parts installed, and hasn't been out long enough for pics if it breaking at the pivot pins to surface, I would go with the ATI if it came down to these two at the same price. Of course I should probably support an american made injection molder but all the electronics and gasoline i buy is foreign so what the hey.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 2:43:32 PM EST
I really have no desire for a poly AR lower but that was a good side by side comparison. When they first came out I handled one at a local gunstore, I was interested by the price but after getting my hands on one, its not for me. I couldnt tell the difference in weight comparing a complete poly and aluminum lower, but the flex in the plastic one told me what I wanted to know.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 5:47:11 PM EST
Love the review I myself have been looking at both companies for a build for my wife and now I`m sure to go with New Frontier. Both for weight and on quality. Thanks for the info.
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Posted: 10/21/2012 6:40:29 PM EST
I have read that the ATI has more reinforcing around the receiver extension and the pivot pins. I can see the receiver extension, can you take a picture of this area on both? These seem to be the most troubling spots on these lowers. Thanks in advance.
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Posted: 10/22/2012 7:33:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By Espos1111:
I have read that the ATI has more reinforcing around the receiver extension and the pivot pins. I can see the receiver extension, can you take a picture of this area on both? These seem to be the most troubling spots on these lowers. Thanks in advance.


My wife took off to work (night nurse) with the camera in her purse, so sorry in advance for lower quality shots - I used as much lighting as possible to make up for the cell-phone cam. Hope this was what you wanted - I would have taken off the buffer tube on the NF and taken shots of the backs but I think my wrench was in my gun case I just sold.

Here is the extension. I'll let you make your own judgement on which would be reinforced, but with crude measurements, the NF appears thicker although it looks thinner because it has a outer ring that is set back a mm or two. And by crude measurement, I mean I don't have calipers and I laid them on a level surface, put them next to each other, and put a level on top of them. NF by a little. If you meant extra support on the sides, see picture 3.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/bothtube.jpg

The pivot pins look about the same as well, although the ATI does have the mag-well come all the way up flush with the top of the receiver, whereas the NF is cut off short of the top (see picture). That *could* make the ATI more strong on the pivot pin. The NF appears to have a thicker wall on the front of the mag well, but it does not - it was shaved off above where the mold begun to curve out. The side mag-well walls themselves look thicker on the ATI from above, but it is in fact only thicker-looking from the larger support "bar" that runs horizontal on the side (see third picture). The NF does have a thicker wall where the pivot pin actually goes though, but by a small margin. I'll have to buy calipers to be able to tell, but it's a mm or under - probably under, but it is noticeable with the eye if lined up right against each other.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/bothtopview.jpg

Here is the side view. The ATI does continue the bar for the detente/spring across the whole lower mag-well. ATI would have had NF beat here, but WHY do they have a hole in it? so it gets dirty and the pivot pin becomes impossible to move? Good idea (larger support); poor execution (put holes in it?). The ATI receiver extension's thickness continues down lower on the receiver than the NF but the NF's is continued forward more, so they are different more than one being better than the other.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/bothsideview.jpg

The only other thing I'm worried about is ATI's new composite trigger design. Its a completely new AR15 trigger design. Not sure how it works but it's like a wierd trigger and hammer in one..
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/triggerjoke.jpg









Okay, that was from my weed-whacker. I couldn't help myself.


In short, the only two possible advantages ATI has over the NF would be the non-chopped mag-well by the pivot pin and the larger horizontal support on the top of the mag well (vs just a piece big enough to hold the spring/detente on the NF) In truth, I like the quality of the NF better but I was able to bend the mag-well on it with my thumb but was unable to on the ATI because of the large horizontal support. (hows that for flamer's fuel - yeah, I moved it with my thumb - OoOoOoOoHh - guess what, it didn't break or stay bent though. Commence flaming)
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Posted: 10/23/2012 7:51:31 AM EST
Nice write-up, I first started seeing the ATI Omni poly lowers at our last gun show, but hadn't read much about them. I've had a Plum Crazy lower for about a year with no issues, bought a New Frontier poly lower for a new dedicated .22 build and I was surprised how closely the Plum Crazy resembled the New Frontier, even down to the texturing of the plastic. Only noticeable difference is the PCM has FIRE/SAFE marked only on the left side of the receiver while the New Frontier has the graphics on both sides. And the buffer that came with my PC lower was painted black and had a lot of rattle to it, so I replaced it with a spare RRA buffer I had lying around, while the NF had a buffer identical to my old RRA. Cost-wise I did better, I purchased both lowers from the same dealer, paid $119 for the PC last year and $109 for the NF, same price as the ATIs. IMHO the New Frontiers are the better poly lower.
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Posted: 10/23/2012 10:00:38 AM EST
Got an email back from ATI. They want to "inspect" my lower. We'll see how long it takes for some customer service.
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Posted: 10/23/2012 1:04:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By boytoreckonwith:
Got an email back from ATI. They want to "inspect" my lower. We'll see how long it takes for some customer service.


I must have missed something. I didn't see that you contacted them about a problem. What is the issue?
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Posted: 10/23/2012 3:28:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By boytoreckonwith:

The only other thing I'm worried about is ATI's new composite trigger design. Its a completely new AR15 trigger design. Not sure how it works but it's like a wierd trigger and hammer in one..
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4993071/AR15/triggerjoke.jpg

Okay, that was from my weed-whacker. I couldn't help myself.


Haha! You definitely confused the shit out of me for a second.
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Posted: 10/23/2012 6:30:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/23/2012 6:33:55 PM EST by boytoreckonwith]
Originally Posted By Espos1111:
Originally Posted By boytoreckonwith:
Got an email back from ATI. They want to "inspect" my lower. We'll see how long it takes for some customer service.


I must have missed something. I didn't see that you contacted them about a problem. What is the issue?


Yeah, I assumed all along that the spring showing through the mag-well was a defect. It was a deal breaker still, not because I thought it was part of a bad design, but because of the poor quality of workmanship/quality-assurance. I had bought two but my FFL buddy sold it at a gun show for me the day after I got it so I never had a chance to smoke over the other model.
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Posted: 10/23/2012 7:25:36 PM EST
The same low post count shills that infected ar15.com for months concerning Plum Crazy are back at it again. I got the feeling most of the posters in this thread are the ops troll accounts.

As for the comparison, its clear the ATI receiver is meatier around the front take down pin.
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Posted: 10/24/2012 2:34:26 AM EST
It is also thicker around the rear detent/spring area. That is the only place I had a real problem with my two NFA lowers. I drilled and tapped, rather tapped, the rear take down spring/detent hole for a set screw to capture the detent and spring and you could see the impression of the threads on the outside of the lower. The polymer is paper thin around the NFA rear takedown spring/detent area. Also, on both of my lowers I replaced the plastic pivot pin and rear take down pin with steel units. On the rear take down pins one went in fine but the other was tight. Instead of getting some paper out and buffing the hole a little to enlarge it for the take down pin, I just pressed it through the hole. Bad idea. The polymer on the off side popped an eraser sized chunk out of the lower. This particular lower was on a .22 LR dedicated build so I super glued the chunk that delaminated back in and put the polymer pin back in. It has not given me any more trouble but has pointed out to me that the polymer lowers are not quite there yet. Close, but not yet. I had hopes the ATI would be all the way to the finish line but having the spring show through an opening in the mag release area is a pretty good indication that ATI is not quite there yet either. Personally, I hope they do get the polymer lowers perfected. I like the lighter weight and I just like polymers in general. I am old enough to remember what they said about AR-15 when they first came out and how they were chided about being toy guns when compared to the Garrand or the M1, but look at us now? I also remember when Glocks were first introduced and all the steel-o-philes went crazy, and again, look where we are now. First it is steel and wood only, then it is aluminum only, and who knows, there may be something after polymers, but polymers in the AR-15 are coming and when they do, don't be in the old foggy crowd whining that if it ain't steel and wood it ain't crap.
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Posted: 10/24/2012 6:55:33 AM EST
Thanks for this review. Once again I have confirmed my belief that the AR15 is better suited to the use of an aluminum reciever.
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Posted: 10/25/2012 11:09:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/25/2012 11:23:16 AM EST by boytoreckonwith]
Originally Posted By RobertV77:
The same low post count shills that infected ar15.com for months concerning Plum Crazy are back at it again. I got the feeling most of the posters in this thread are the ops troll accounts.


Did you get up your post count by making comments like this? Yeah, your presence in this topic now validness it, and for that I thank you. My Post count, FYI, is low because I like to learn for awhile before I post a bunch of stuff, and I actually look up stuff when I have questions instead of posting a question which has been answered 100 times already. So, people complain when others post too much (instead of looking it up) and now they also complain when you don't (and question you because you don't have a high post count). Nice.

Originally Posted By albatrossarmament:
Thanks for this review. Once again I have confirmed my belief that the AR15 is better suited to the use of an aluminum reciever.


I'd hoped to be helpful for someone who cares. PERSONALLY, I will be getting aluminum next time too (from now on?). That doesn't mean I can't be helpful to people who prefer something I do not. I'm actually surprised how little flaming has happened. I was expecting a little more abuse.
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Posted: 10/25/2012 12:36:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By boytoreckonwith:
Originally Posted By RobertV77:

Originally Posted By albatrossarmament:
Thanks for this review. Once again I have confirmed my belief that the AR15 is better suited to the use of an aluminum reciever.


I'd hoped to be helpful for someone who cares. PERSONALLY, I will be getting aluminum next time too (from now on?). That doesn't mean I can't be helpful to people who prefer something I do not. I'm actually surprised how little flaming has happened. I was expecting a little more abuse.


Well when you put forth such a great side by side comparison with a well thought out structure, good pictures, and fact-based observations it is pretty hard to flame.
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Posted: 10/25/2012 1:25:47 PM EST
Been using a NF lower for 5 months now on a 7" pistol with no problems after 1000's of rounds and 1000's of .22 too.

Got some crazy glue as backup
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Posted: 10/25/2012 2:00:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By boytoreckonwith:
Originally Posted By RobertV77:
The same low post count shills that infected ar15.com for months concerning Plum Crazy are back at it again. I got the feeling most of the posters in this thread are the ops troll accounts.


Did you get up your post count by making comments like this? Yeah, your presence in this topic now validness it, and for that I thank you. My Post count, FYI, is low because I like to learn for awhile before I post a bunch of stuff, and I actually look up stuff when I have questions instead of posting a question which has been answered 100 times already. So, people complain when others post too much (instead of looking it up) and now they also complain when you don't (and question you because you don't have a high post count). Nice.

Originally Posted By albatrossarmament:
Thanks for this review. Once again I have confirmed my belief that the AR15 is better suited to the use of an aluminum reciever.


I'd hoped to be helpful for someone who cares. PERSONALLY, I will be getting aluminum next time too (from now on?). That doesn't mean I can't be helpful to people who prefer something I do not. I'm actually surprised how little flaming has happened. I was expecting a little more abuse.

Say it's better or as good as a forged aluminum receiver if abuse is something you desire.
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Posted: 10/26/2012 5:04:18 AM EST
Thanks for this info. I have two NFA lowers for puttering extra projects. I'll keep this in mind and when I replace the detent pins - So far, I have a 9mm and a 223 on NFA lowers and they work well for the range. But I don't really beat on them either - Firing merely hundreds of rounds, not thousands without any problems. I have many aluminum ARs, so I don't feel guilty buying polymer. I have hopes to see these succeed. For what they are and the price, So far - I don't think they are too bad. But truly only time will tell. But I admit toying with them at this price has been fun. I think Palmetto State has some of the Polymer lowers for Like $39 on sale, might want to buy one or 2 as a back-up.


Originally Posted By Big-Bore:
It is also thicker around the rear detent/spring area. That is the only place I had a real problem with my two NFA lowers. I drilled and tapped, rather tapped, the rear take down spring/detent hole for a set screw to capture the detent and spring and you could see the impression of the threads on the outside of the lower. The polymer is paper thin around the NFA rear takedown spring/detent area. Also, on both of my lowers I replaced the plastic pivot pin and rear take down pin with steel units. On the rear take down pins one went in fine but the other was tight. Instead of getting some paper out and buffing the hole a little to enlarge it for the take down pin, I just pressed it through the hole. Bad idea. The polymer on the off side popped an eraser sized chunk out of the lower. This particular lower was on a .22 LR dedicated build so I super glued the chunk that delaminated back in and put the polymer pin back in. It has not given me any more trouble but has pointed out to me that the polymer lowers are not quite there yet. Close, but not yet. I had hopes the ATI would be all the way to the finish line but having the spring show through an opening in the mag release area is a pretty good indication that ATI is not quite there yet either. Personally, I hope they do get the polymer lowers perfected. I like the lighter weight and I just like polymers in general. I am old enough to remember what they said about AR-15 when they first came out and how they were chided about being toy guns when compared to the Garrand or the M1, but look at us now? I also remember when Glocks were first introduced and all the steel-o-philes went crazy, and again, look where we are now. First it is steel and wood only, then it is aluminum only, and who knows, there may be something after polymers, but polymers in the AR-15 are coming and when they do, don't be in the old foggy crowd whining that if it ain't steel and wood it ain't crap.


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Posted: 10/27/2012 5:52:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By boytoreckonwith:
Originally Posted By RobertV77:
The same low post count shills that infected ar15.com for months concerning Plum Crazy are back at it again. I got the feeling most of the posters in this thread are the ops troll accounts.


Did you get up your post count by making comments like this? Yeah, your presence in this topic now validness it, and for that I thank you. My Post count, FYI, is low because I like to learn for awhile before I post a bunch of stuff, and I actually look up stuff when I have questions instead of posting a question which has been answered 100 times already. So, people complain when others post too much (instead of looking it up) and now they also complain when you don't (and question you because you don't have a high post count). Nice.

Originally Posted By albatrossarmament:
Thanks for this review. Once again I have confirmed my belief that the AR15 is better suited to the use of an aluminum reciever.


I'd hoped to be helpful for someone who cares. PERSONALLY, I will be getting aluminum next time too (from now on?). That doesn't mean I can't be helpful to people who prefer something I do not. I'm actually surprised how little flaming has happened. I was expecting a little more abuse.


I'm not out to start a philosophical debate on the efficacy of internet forums for technical communication. I can say with 100% certainty that Plum Crazy had trolls starting a thread every two or three days pushing their products and it gets old arguing with salespeople hiding behind a keyboard who are basically giving everyone the middle finger by lying about their intentions. There are alot of fishy NFA polymer lower threads as well. After spending $100 most people are not so invested in a product to get creepy in its promotion. I actually like plum crazy/nfa lowers. They are an interesting toy but have some serious limitations and border on being over priced for what your getting. Of course everyone has the right to do the math for themselves.
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Posted: 11/6/2012 6:09:09 AM EST
I feel I have to add my .02
Midwest Industries sells a SA&A lower for $73 OTD. I live 20 minutes from the store
Palmeto State sells a lower parts kit with Magpul MOE grip for $59

The plastic lowers are not a big enough savings if you shop around.
HOWEVER...

If they were SMART , they would offer a Glock lower for $39.00.
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[Last Edit: 11/6/2012 6:26:04 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
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Posted: 11/12/2012 3:32:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/12/2012 3:34:57 AM EST by BrewerJA]
I personally do NOT own a polymer lower, im a metal gun guy, however i went out shooting with my wife on saturday and met up with some buddies who DO have a polymer lower build. I had only seen pictures and comparisons of them from here and saw them under the glass at turners and walked right past them. Inhad no interest whatso ever. Anyway, back to the story; were at the range slinging some lead with our AR's and my buddy says here; check out the poly lower i just built. So we swapped guns for a little bit. First thing i noticed was the rough plastic texture of the lower. I gave it a once over and said not bad, lets see how these plastic triggers feel. And suprisingly enough, very little creep and almost as smooth as my PSA LPK with a polished hammer and trigger and set screw mod. After half the day went by, i was watching him ring some steel with his gun and i noticed the trigger and hammer pins both walking out of their holes. Not good! So i cleared his gun and pushed the rear take down pin and wrestled the hammer to get the hammer pin back in and recentered the trigger pin. I dont know if thats attributed to the LPK in the lower, or the lower its self but, i was turned off of plastic, i mean polymer,... From that moment forward. I agree, for a .22lr plinker go for it, or for the gun your wife will shoot 7 times in her entire life, GO FOR IT! But if you want something you can depend on for obamagedon doomsday shtf type situations, id probably steer clear of these. One of my worrys is, i could see snappjng off one of the ears on the bolt catch or,...stripping the threads while tightening the grip screw, or if you knock somebody in the head with a vertical/horizontal buttstroke, busting the stock off at the plastic threads on the buffer area. Are these poly things durable enough to take the kind of abuse a marine or foot soldier might throw at his weapon? We just dont know yet, but so far,...having a trigger pin walk out on me mid firefight os enough to scare me away from those things. Eventhough its not a catastrophic failure, it takes gou out of the fight, and the bad guys dont stop shooting when your gun is down. Thats just my humble opinion. So take it for what its worth. Listen to the other guys,... I cant reccomend a poly lower for anythjng other than recreational use.
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Posted: 11/12/2012 7:30:48 AM EST
I'll probably never own one, but~ I'm not gonna flame you on the plastic vs metal issue. This shouldn't even be a concern in the days of the Glock, XD and all the other plastic pistols. I can also tell you I've never had a single complaint about my PLASTIC Pmags, but tons of trouble out of various aftermarket metal mags. Now understand I'm not saying plastics better, it comes down to the quality of the product and the workmanship in either case, no matter the material. Now that someones taken the step of bringing a plastic lower to the market someone else will see the need to bring a High Quality plastic product to bear that none of the other companies are providing. Give it time, this may become the preferred piece once quality catches up. Just ask Glock Ind.

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PS- Were you aware the 87.62% of all percentage claims are made up on the spot? True story.
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Posted: 11/12/2012 7:37:11 AM EST
To be fair, have your friend try a slightly larger sized pair of trigger /hammer pins. They use them in aluminum receivers, too. If those walk out because of the elasticity of the polymer, I'd heed your warning.
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Posted: 11/14/2012 6:10:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By BrewerJA:
I personally do NOT own a polymer lower, im a metal gun guy, however i went out shooting with my wife on saturday and met up with some buddies who DO have a polymer lower build. I had only seen pictures and comparisons of them from here and saw them under the glass at turners and walked right past them. Inhad no interest whatso ever. Anyway, back to the story; were at the range slinging some lead with our AR's and my buddy says here; check out the poly lower i just built. So we swapped guns for a little bit. First thing i noticed was the rough plastic texture of the lower. I gave it a once over and said not bad, lets see how these plastic triggers feel. And suprisingly enough, very little creep and almost as smooth as my PSA LPK with a polished hammer and trigger and set screw mod. After half the day went by, i was watching him ring some steel with his gun and i noticed the trigger and hammer pins both walking out of their holes. Not good! So i cleared his gun and pushed the rear take down pin and wrestled the hammer to get the hammer pin back in and recentered the trigger pin. I dont know if thats attributed to the LPK in the lower, or the lower its self but, i was turned off of plastic, i mean polymer,... From that moment forward. I agree, for a .22lr plinker go for it, or for the gun your wife will shoot 7 times in her entire life, GO FOR IT! But if you want something you can depend on for obamagedon doomsday shtf type situations, id probably steer clear of these. One of my worrys is, i could see snappjng off one of the ears on the bolt catch or,...stripping the threads while tightening the grip screw, or if you knock somebody in the head with a vertical/horizontal buttstroke, busting the stock off at the plastic threads on the buffer area. Are these poly things durable enough to take the kind of abuse a marine or foot soldier might throw at his weapon? We just dont know yet, but so far,...having a trigger pin walk out on me mid firefight os enough to scare me away from those things. Eventhough its not a catastrophic failure, it takes gou out of the fight, and the bad guys dont stop shooting when your gun is down. Thats just my humble opinion. So take it for what its worth. Listen to the other guys,... I cant reccomend a poly lower for anythjng other than recreational use.


Was it the fault of the lower or was it installation error? My first lower I ever assembled did that until I realized I had the pins in backwards and the "feet" of the hammer spring weren't holding it in place. Very common error and easy to have happen. Wouldn't be the fault of the lower in that case.
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Posted: 11/16/2012 3:58:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.



I have to say "ditto" There are several aluminum lowers around in the $60ish range, and PSA regularly has a complete LPK for $80-90. A savings of less than $50 is just not worth it in the long run. I suppose I could see "light weight" as a good reason, but (seriously) it isn't that much lighter. Even for a .22LR upper , It doesn't make sense to me. A polymer lower is $100-120 when a complete 10/22 is $200. In fact, for the price you can build up a AR in .22LR, you could have built out a fantasticly accurate and sweet shooting 10/22. I just can't see paying twice as much for .22LR on the AR15 platform.

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Posted: 11/16/2012 6:56:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By Tanner101:
I'll probably never own one, but~ I'm not gonna flame you on the plastic vs metal issue. This shouldn't even be a concern in the days of the Glock, XD and all the other plastic pistols. I can also tell you I've never had a single complaint about my PLASTIC Pmags, but tons of trouble out of various aftermarket metal mags. Now understand I'm not saying plastics better, it comes down to the quality of the product and the workmanship in either case, no matter the material. Now that someones taken the step of bringing a plastic lower to the market someone else will see the need to bring a High Quality plastic product to bear that none of the other companies are providing. Give it time, this may become the preferred piece once quality catches up. Just ask Glock Ind.

-Tanner

PS- Were you aware the 87.62% of all percentage claims are made up on the spot? True story.


Again, you don't get it.

All those things you mentioned being made out of plastic are designed using plastic in mind. Utilizing its pluses and mitigating its cons. To make a plastic piece dimensionally very close to one designed for aluminum is a recipe for disaster. Take a look at your pmags, they are alot thicker then any metal mag I've ever held.

You hear the phrase "plastic as strong as (insert metal) for a given weight" and its true. But the "for a given weight" is the rub. Plastic is lets say 40 percent less dense then aluminum. that means for the same strength the plastic version would have to be 40 percent thicker to equal the strength. And the new plastic lowers Arn't any thicker, and as some smart members pointed out, actually thinner in some places.

To point out examples of products designed from the get go to be plastic just paints a picture of ignorance
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Posted: 11/17/2012 4:44:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dannofree:
Originally Posted By Tanner101:
I'll probably never own one, but~ I'm not gonna flame you on the plastic vs metal issue. This shouldn't even be a concern in the days of the Glock, XD and all the other plastic pistols. I can also tell you I've never had a single complaint about my PLASTIC Pmags, but tons of trouble out of various aftermarket metal mags. Now understand I'm not saying plastics better, it comes down to the quality of the product and the workmanship in either case, no matter the material. Now that someones taken the step of bringing a plastic lower to the market someone else will see the need to bring a High Quality plastic product to bear that none of the other companies are providing. Give it time, this may become the preferred piece once quality catches up. Just ask Glock Ind.

-Tanner

PS- Were you aware the 87.62% of all percentage claims are made up on the spot? True story.


Again, you don't get it.

All those things you mentioned being made out of plastic are designed using plastic in mind. Utilizing its pluses and mitigating its cons. To make a plastic piece dimensionally very close to one designed for aluminum is a recipe for disaster. Take a look at your pmags, they are alot thicker then any metal mag I've ever held.

You hear the phrase "plastic as strong as (insert metal) for a given weight" and its true. But the "for a given weight" is the rub. Plastic is lets say 40 percent less dense then aluminum. that means for the same strength the plastic version would have to be 40 percent thicker to equal the strength. And the new plastic lowers Arn't any thicker, and as some smart members pointed out, actually thinner in some places.

To point out examples of products designed from the get go to be plastic just paints a picture of ignorance

Well said Dannofree.
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Posted: 11/17/2012 5:58:31 AM EST
And we all know the relatively soft aluminum AR-15 lower will never stand up to the punishing abuse of .50 BMG uppers because of all the huge stresses that are put upon the lower, right? Oh wait...
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Posted: 11/17/2012 6:30:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By rdhood:
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.



I have to say "ditto" There are several aluminum lowers around in the $60ish range, and PSA regularly has a complete LPK for $80-90. A savings of less than $50 is just not worth it in the long run. I suppose I could see "light weight" as a good reason, but (seriously) it isn't that much lighter. Even for a .22LR upper , It doesn't make sense to me. A polymer lower is $100-120 when a complete 10/22 is $200. In fact, for the price you can build up a AR in .22LR, you could have built out a fantasticly accurate and sweet shooting 10/22. I just can't see paying twice as much for .22LR on the AR15 platform.



Where are the other $60 "range" aluminum lowers? I only know of the PSA blem lowers when they are on sale. Spikes sometimes has them for that price range as well but even then they sell out instantly. Who sells the others?
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Posted: 11/17/2012 8:06:50 AM EST
I just bought a complete NFA lower for $109 at my FFL. I have plenty of other Aluminum lowers. I wanted to try something different. Time will tell
maybe build a lw .22lr for my son, we'll see.
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Posted: 11/18/2012 6:48:37 PM EST
While definitely not a replacement for a proper Al receiver, these plastic thing'a'ma'jiggys should make for interesting experiments. That ATI one looks like a nice cheap option for my 16a1 clone with liberty taken for being left handed. ATI looks close enough for Rock'n'Roll for an A2 build too. Both would probably never see more than 500 rnds through 'em in my lifetime. I'll let my grandkids worry about pieces flyin'. It'll give 'em somethin' to remember me by.

For anyone who uses these things think about full length stocks or at least something with a gusset ie some ace offerings. That should reinforce the buffer tube area better than the rear plate and locknut –– maybe.

Where are all the pics of busted poly lowers In hours of searching all I could find was a busted Vulcan or similar Speshul Farce lower.

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Posted: 11/19/2012 6:38:42 AM EST
Where are the other $60 "range" aluminum lowers?


I bought one from (Surplus Arms & Ammo, made by Aero Precision) AIM about a month ago. They currently have the Gen2 for $69. Whatever they have, you can request notification when they come back into stock. You have to act quickly when they are available, but they come back in stock every few weeks.
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Posted: 11/20/2012 6:37:58 AM EST
. I'm actually surprised how little flaming has happened. I was expecting a little more abuse.


I think that everyone is aware that today's plastic is not the same as 1960's Japanese plastic. It is hard to say if a plastic part is a reasonable replacement for a metal part. It might take many years before we know the truth. If I had to bet which (metal lower or plastic lower) AR would still be plugging away 50-100 years from now, I'd bet on the metal receiver. It doesn't mean I'd be right, it just means that plastic has no proven track record in AR15 platform rifles for periods that long. Or, if I had to bet my life on one or the other in a war zone, I'd bet on the metal receiver.

I think in the short run... less than 5 or 10 years... one of these plastic receivers is a reasonable replacement.

There is no sense arguing over things that cannot be proven. Many folks had problems when Ruger 10/22 trigger groups went plastic. Now , several years later, it turns out that the plastic receivers have closer tolerances and allow for better triggers. What people really want is a similarly close-tolerance metal receiver at the same price as plastic. But, if you can have only one or the other ( close tolerance plastic or loose tolerance metal), many folks are perfectly willing to fore go metal for a better trigger. So, maybe things will turn out similarly for the AR15. I doubt it, but I would not argue the point.
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Posted: 11/20/2012 7:08:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By rdhood:
. I'm actually surprised how little flaming has happened. I was expecting a little more abuse.


I think that everyone is aware that today's plastic is not the same as 1960's Japanese plastic. It is hard to say if a plastic part is a reasonable replacement for a metal part. It might take many years before we know the truth. If I had to bet which (metal lower or plastic lower) AR would still be plugging away 50-100 years from now, I'd bet on the metal receiver. It doesn't mean I'd be right, it just means that plastic has no proven track record in AR15 platform rifles for periods that long. Or, if I had to bet my life on one or the other in a war zone, I'd bet on the metal receiver.

I think in the short run... less than 5 or 10 years... one of these plastic receivers is a reasonable replacement.

There is no sense arguing over things that cannot be proven. Many folks had problems when Ruger 10/22 trigger groups went plastic. Now , several years later, it turns out that the plastic receivers have closer tolerances and allow for better triggers. What people really want is a similarly close-tolerance metal receiver at the same price as plastic. But, if you can have only one or the other ( close tolerance plastic or loose tolerance metal), many folks are perfectly willing to fore go metal for a better trigger. So, maybe things will turn out similarly for the AR15. I doubt it, but I would not argue the point.


The durability requirements of a 10/22 compared to an AR are too different, IMHO, to make that comparison.

One of the issues with polymer lowers, IMHO, is the type that says: "well I'll go with this polymer lower despite the advice that I requested then rejected to save a couple bucks," is also the type that will say "well, I'll go ahead and get this cheap barrel and save a couple of bucks," and "I'll save a couple of bucks on ammo and get the cheapest lacquered steel I can find."

Fires a couple boxes of ammo once in a while - until lady luck catches up with them, and the combination of an improperly reamed chamber on their cheap barrel and the cheap lacquered steel results in a failure to extract and a stuck case.

No problem, "mortar" clear - then, pop! goes the weasel. Bye bye polymer lower. Go on internet forums, start talking about how crappy the AR15 is.

I like shooting cheap steel cased ammo - but I don't skimp on weapon components "just to save a couple bucks," shop smart, don't succumb to the "must have now!" syndrome, and look for deals and do your research, and you don't have to overpay or be a rich man to own a quality AR.

Also, I hear a lot of people saying things like "well, maybe for a .22lr build," yet, there's good evidence to support the fact that .22lr conversion kits may be harder, not easier on a lower than 5.56MM, with reports of FCG pins snapping, due to the direct blowback operation of the lightweight .22lr bolt, compared to the delayed unlocking of the much heavier 5.56MM BCG.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:35:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By gee223:
Originally Posted By jfagan601:
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Wow getting burned eh? Nfa complete lower shipped 105 to ffl.Transfer fee $10.Thats comes out to 115.You could probably shop around and get better deals than that




LOL, no. Getting burned is buying a plastic lower and thinking you got a deal, then realizing it's a disposable turd.

Save your money for quality components. Buy cheap, you'll weep.


You are missing his point. You shouldn't buy a polymer lower, it's not the correct choice for you.
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Posted: 12/11/2012 8:33:35 PM EST
exactly; no such thing as a free lunch

Originally Posted By gee223:
Originally Posted By jfagan601:
Originally Posted By gee223:
So it's $110 plus shipping and a $20-30 transfer fee, we'll call it $150 total plus wait time to take possession. I can locally buy a complete DPMS lower with my choice of stock for $214 including tax, and it's actually a 7075 forged aluminum receiver. On top that, lots of guys are swapping out their plastic fire control groups which adds another $40-50 plus shipping, or $70-80 to just grab a LPK locally. Why on God's green earth would anyone want the plastic crap? Cheaper, not really. More durable, hell no. Better track record, LOL, not even close. They are a little lighter, but at the expense of quality material.


Wow getting burned eh? Nfa complete lower shipped 105 to ffl.Transfer fee $10.Thats comes out to 115.You could probably shop around and get better deals than that




LOL, no. Getting burned is buying a plastic lower and thinking you got a deal, then realizing it's a disposable turd.

Save your money for quality components. Buy cheap, you'll weep.


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