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shootertim
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:18:21 PM EST
I am about to start my 3rd build, and was thinking about going the polymer 80% route. Are there brands to steer clear of? I was planning on going with the polymer 80 brand.
22caliberKIDD
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:25:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/17/2014 6:28:21 PM EST by 22caliberKIDD]
I personally would never buy a poly lower...ok, maybe for a .22lr build but even that's a big maybe. There are SO many good strong aluminum lowers out there for pretty much any budget so I don't see any upside to getting a poly lower. It's just not my thing I guess.

EDIT- Somehow I skipped over the 80% part when I first read your post. I don't know much at all about 80% lowers so maybe there is some reason to go poly with one of those. Still at the end of the day once you finish up that 80% receiver project you will have a poly lower which is not something I'd personally want.
Bruins
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:27:22 PM EST
I would never even give one a second look.
Molon Labe
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:27:37 PM EST
I see no advantage, therefore no reason to change.
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macphisto
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:29:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/18/2014 3:01:51 AM EST by Aimless]
I've seen too much of this to wanna mess with one.









shootertim
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:30:28 PM EST
I know that some feel that aluminum is better, and I used to believe that also. But if the right polymer is used, it would be much stronger, and lighter then forged aluminum. I know first hand, that it isn't really as hard to break a forged lower then you think. And after owning a glock for years, I can tell you first hand that certain polymers are much stronger then you may think.
shootertim
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:32:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/17/2014 6:34:12 PM EST by shootertim]



WOW....Thats gotta suck. Well, Thats what cheap looks like, I guess. I wonder if there are any that are superior to the cheap ones.
spyk3
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:43:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/17/2014 6:45:43 PM EST by spyk3]
Hand guns and rifle are two different weapons.

Every brand known to man that has made polymer receivers for ar15 are junk. They usually break at the take down pins.

Your first hand experience on polymer because you've used glocks is useless when it comes to ar receivers.

I've owned a Bush master before and broke after 500 rounds. There was a thread about a guys polymer breaking after 2 rounds.

You asked for a consensus and 90% of people will tell you the same thing...There worthless.

But if you want to question the answer people give you go for it...maybe yours won't break under the 1k count like countless others have
spYke
shootertim
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:45:24 PM EST
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By 22caliberKIDD:
I personally would never buy a poly lower...ok, maybe for a .22lr build but even that's a big maybe. There are SO many good strong aluminum lowers out there for pretty much any budget so I don't see any upside to getting a poly lower. It's just not my thing I guess.

EDIT- Somehow I skipped over the 80% part when I first read your post. I don't know much at all about 80% lowers so maybe there is some reason to go poly with one of those. Still at the end of the day once you finish up that 80% receiver project you will have a poly lower which is not something I'd personally want.




The only real reason I was thinking polymer, is because polymer would be easier to machine on my drill press, but I needed some real input from people experienced. I am seriously re considering, trying aluminum 80% instead. I just figured there was a quality product, and maybe there is, but I really don't want to take the chance.
Rangemaster556
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Posted: 3/17/2014 6:58:31 PM EST
IMHO I would stick to aluminum. Sure you can use polymer or you can print one with a 3d printer, but I don't think the few oz you save is worth the loss of quality in your build. If the poly 80% lowers are cheaper it might be worth practicing on them. You can always throw your failures in the fire and never speak of them again.
GoRebels
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Posted: 3/17/2014 7:08:10 PM EST
Maybe one day but not today.........
wine4life
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Posted: 3/17/2014 7:11:12 PM EST
80% Lower build = headache

1. you have to machine it and try not to mess it up (right tools needed with moderate skill)

2. you have to anodize or cerakote or paint it, or find a place to do it for you (If the place is not local = much more hassle to ship it and back)

3. it will cost more and take more time and effort than just buying a decent lower, such as Aero Precision, Spike's Tactical, MEGA, PSA, and so on.
Soulscour
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Posted: 3/17/2014 7:16:13 PM EST
Before you buy a 80% polymer lower, make sure that the brand that you buy has a letter of approval by the ATF. EP lowers 80% and Ares Armor was raided last week when the ATF determined that they considered them to be firearms. Customer lists and the polymer lowers were confiscated. That is probably also why Polymer80 is not currently taking orders for thier 80% lowers. If you do not want the ATF to knock down your door, tear up your house, and shoot your dog, or just the legal hassle, be informed about what you buy.
Hunter8793
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Posted: 3/17/2014 7:34:58 PM EST
Crap. At least until Daniel Defense makes them..
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Mad_Dragon
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Posted: 3/17/2014 8:08:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/17/2014 8:21:11 PM EST by Mad_Dragon]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjhvi8c0MF4

eta: While the CAV15 isn't an 80% lower, it's the only poly lower I'd recommend.
nophun
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Posted: 3/17/2014 8:12:17 PM EST
I recently completed a poly 80%, only have a couple hundred rounds on it, but so far it's good.

The EP vs ATF issues are covered in the general section and worth reading; I think their tussle with the ATF is due to their MFG method and unique to that method; I ruled them out as crap early on thanks to these forums anyway.

What I chose was the JMT lower from Rainier Arms (link above). I felt that they put a bit more research into strength issues and cast reinforcements in critical areas rather than just copying a metal receiver. There were some issues with the early jigs, but these have been fixed now by 3rd gen jig (see thread in new AR-15 products); the guys at JMT were right on this and even called me direct about how to drill with the older jig that I had. Never a question about the lower, only the jig.

While researching poly lowers, I came to the determination that failures seem to be related to pre-stressing ill-fitting parts then putting into service, and even though mine fit great, I still found a couple areas to finesse the part. I personally saw no reports or threads where the user test-fitted anywhere near as much as I did.

I did not follow exactly the milling instructions, instead I milled the hole(s) to match the rifle which left me with a wall between the rear take-down slot and the FCG pocket and some extra material in the floor and front of the FCG pocket. I figured any extra material can only help strength and durability. If you use a drill press, it is most important that the work be squared to the bit and not just level, can't stress this enough.

The only real concern I have with the poly is the holes for the trigger and hammer pins; this seems like not a lot of bearing surface for a metal to plastic interface if the pins rotate, but then some plastics hold up better than metal in such areas. If I should see wear here, I'll either look into those anti-rotation pins, or I've already located bronze bushings and micro ball bearing to cure wear problems, should they arise.

Midyew5959
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Posted: 3/17/2014 8:29:15 PM EST
General consensus: Absolute crap.

Personal consensus: Crap and forged/billet is way better, but if one could be had for say $20 then it would work in a pinch. My NFA poly lower was just past the 1K mark before it got replaced with a YHM lower. Going to turn it into a dedicated .22lr, put girly colored furniture on it, and give it to my daughter when she is older

of course by the time she gets it who knows what she will want it to look like...
shootertim
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Posted: 3/17/2014 8:35:17 PM EST
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By wine4life:
80% Lower build = headache

1. you have to machine it and try not to mess it up (right tools needed with moderate skill)

2. you have to anodize or cerakote or paint it, or find a place to do it for you (If the place is not local = much more hassle to ship it and back)

3. it will cost more and take more time and effort than just buying a decent lower, such as Aero Precision, Spike's Tactical, MEGA, PSA, and so on.


I am one of those people that enjoy building things, I always have. The headache you speak of, sounds like a challenge to me. You are right, it will cost me more effort $$ etc. then just buying an already completed lower. I think the experience to me will make the extra effort worth it....unless I screw up that is.
backbencher
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Posted: 3/17/2014 8:41:49 PM EST
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By shootertim:
I am about to start my 3rd build, and was thinking about going the polymer 80% route. Are there brands to steer clear of? I was planning on going with the polymer 80 brand.


EP Armory. The general consensus is that polymer lowers are crap. My thought is that they should be used w/ a thumbhole stock, to reinforce the weak spot of the lower.
Volunteer for the Feinstein project - help build a functional AR lower out of plastic building blocks! www.FeinsteinProject.org
powder007
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Posted: 3/17/2014 10:49:53 PM EST
80% are kind of a pain but are a challenge as well. I did one my first build. I'm a 13 year machinist but couldn't use a machine as i don't have one at home, and the company i work for doesn't allow g jobs. I used a drill press to hog out as much material as possible, then used a 1/4" endmill in a trim router. The reason i didn't use my drill press with say a 2 axis vise, is because of the problems a drill chuck presents in holding an endmill. They are not designed for side loads so it's not wise to use an endmill in one. If you can get a drill press or better yet a small mill that can swap a rigid collet in place of the drill chuck, then i would recommend that, but you're likely to get hurt if you try with just a drill chuck.

Trim routers are about $100 though. If you decide to go this route, get a 2 or 3 flute endmill long enough to reach through the jig. Step it down .05 to .1 at a time on depth cuts. Measure your depth frequently. Get a roughing specific endmill for hogging it out, then get a longer flute endmill for a pretty finishing pass. I would get a steel jig as well, instead of aluminum. Far better wear when the shank of the endmill is rubbing up against steel than on aluminum. Get a good cutting oil as well.

I've actually thought that for next time, i will definitely either have a mill, or i will rig up an arm with a z adjustment for the router, plus the router's adjustment, and then mount it on a 2 axis vise. To most that sounds like a lot of work, and a lot of trouble just for an 80% lower, but there's a lot of other things you can do with it also.

Have fun and feel free to pm me if you have other questions. I would do quite a few things differently next time.
LunchPail_McSnack
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Posted: 3/18/2014 1:10:32 AM EST
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By Soulscour:
Before you buy a 80% polymer lower, make sure that the brand that you buy has a letter of approval by the ATF. EP lowers 80% and Ares Armor was raided last week when the ATF determined that they considered them to be firearms. Customer lists and the polymer lowers were confiscated. That is probably also why Polymer80 is not currently taking orders for thier 80% lowers. If you do not want the ATF to knock down your door, tear up your house, and shoot your dog, or just the legal hassle, be informed about what you buy.


I believe you're missing a huge chunk of that story.
Soulscour
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Posted: 3/18/2014 1:39:12 AM EST
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By LunchPail_McSnack:
Originally Posted By Soulscour:
Before you buy a 80% polymer lower, make sure that the brand that you buy has a letter of approval by the ATF. EP lowers 80% and Ares Armor was raided last week when the ATF determined that they considered them to be firearms. Customer lists and the polymer lowers were confiscated. That is probably also why Polymer80 is not currently taking orders for thier 80% lowers. If you do not want the ATF to knock down your door, tear up your house, and shoot your dog, or just the legal hassle, be informed about what you buy.


I believe you're missing a huge chunk of that story.


I read the whole story and came to the correct conclusion.
BladedRonin
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Posted: 3/18/2014 1:45:05 AM EST
For the garabage cans
Good.....?
Bad..............?

I'M THE GUY WITH THE GUN!
powder007
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Posted: 3/18/2014 2:17:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/18/2014 2:17:40 AM EST by powder007]
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By Soulscour:
Originally Posted By LunchPail_McSnack:
Originally Posted By Soulscour:
Before you buy a 80% polymer lower, make sure that the brand that you buy has a letter of approval by the ATF. EP lowers 80% and Ares Armor was raided last week when the ATF determined that they considered them to be firearms. Customer lists and the polymer lowers were confiscated. That is probably also why Polymer80 is not currently taking orders for thier 80% lowers. If you do not want the ATF to knock down your door, tear up your house, and shoot your dog, or just the legal hassle, be informed about what you buy.


I believe you're missing a huge chunk of that story.


I read the whole story and came to the correct conclusion.


No offense, but i really doubt you come to that conclusion if you have all the facts. At no point in EP's manufacturing process can the lower be considered a firearm by any stretch of the imagination. Since 2012, the ATF has been trying to gain access to Ares Armor's customer lists and have threatened him with jail time and a lot of other stuff, and they are just now raiding his shop to get that list. There is something else going on, another overstep of their bounds. They have too much power and they exercise it frequently.
Aare
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Posted: 3/18/2014 2:40:21 AM EST
i was thinking about trying one, but i just dont think there are enough pros to justify it. really, there's just one pro, it's lighter. well i'm 30, cutting 5 ounces off the weight of a lower isnt going to be a big deal right now. i'm sure by the time i'm older, there will be all sorts of new tech out there that make them stronger.
Soulscour
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Posted: 3/18/2014 3:08:53 AM EST
[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By powder007:
Originally Posted By Soulscour:
Originally Posted By LunchPail_McSnack:
Originally Posted By Soulscour:
Before you buy a 80% polymer lower, make sure that the brand that you buy has a letter of approval by the ATF. EP lowers 80% and Ares Armor was raided last week when the ATF determined that they considered them to be firearms. Customer lists and the polymer lowers were confiscated. That is probably also why Polymer80 is not currently taking orders for thier 80% lowers. If you do not want the ATF to knock down your door, tear up your house, and shoot your dog, or just the legal hassle, be informed about what you buy.


I believe you're missing a huge chunk of that story.


I read the whole story and came to the correct conclusion.


No offense, but i really doubt you come to that conclusion if you have all the facts. At no point in EP's manufacturing process can the lower be considered a firearm by any stretch of the imagination. Since 2012, the ATF has been trying to gain access to Ares Armor's customer lists and have threatened him with jail time and a lot of other stuff, and they are just now raiding his shop to get that list. There is something else going on, another overstep of their bounds. They have too much power and they exercise it frequently.


I already know this. EP does not determine what is considered a firearm. You do not determine what a firearm is. The ATF does. At no point in time did they approve of the EP's polymer lower. To argue in court that their information that they use to make their determination invalidated their determination is a legal battle. This post was about what 80% polymer lower to get. As stated before I recommend the one that doesn't conclude in the last sentence of my original post.
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