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Posted: 10/5/2004 12:35:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 12:41:06 AM EST by Not_A_Llama]
Like a lot of people, I spend a lot of time and money researching and purchasing the best components I can. A lot of them are what I consider nearly perfectly machined. CMT uppers come to mind as an example. The lowers on the market are sadly not quite to par on quality.

Most manufacturers now have basic dimensions worked out, for the most part. Fine and dandy, but for a civilian shooter, dimensions aren't the only factor. The degree of metalwork, the quality of finish, and the markings all contribute to the feel of quality that's nice to have when Uncle Sugar isn't paying for the rifle. Whether we admit it or not, for the majority of us, our rifles are more than just a tool.

I don't think I'm alone in thinking that specification dimensions are supposed to be a GIVEN, not a feature. I've noticed there are a lot of manufacturers that aren't keeping this in mind. Mostly picking on LMT with this one; I've been very disappointed with the examples I've seen. Given the price premium, you'd expect perfect finish and excellent metalwork, but all the examples I've seen have been just mediocre. Oddly, PWA receivers I've seen have been of higher quality, despite being made by LMT.


So, what I'm looking for:

-Thick, spec magwell walls. We hada topic recently, and a large number of lowers have wall thicknesses well-below the spec. Functionally, there may not be a problem. Offhand, I seem to have the worst impression from MEGA; they have a bit of a flimsy feel to them. Totally functional mind you, but there isn't the solid feel to them like you have on other receivers. Mega would be nearly ideal if it weren't for that issue.

-No forge seam lines. Anywhere. This means none on the back radius, none on the front of the magwell, and none in the triggerguard. I haven't seen many manufacturers taking time to finish up the triggerguard.

-Smooth machining. There shouldn't be chattermarks anywhere on the lower.

-Outside top edge interfacing with the upper should be perfectly squared off. My old RRA receiver was ever-so-slightly radiused, probably as a manufacturing defect. Still, I've seen it on others. Parallel walls all the way up.

-Black. No purple crap, a dark black.

-(not as important) Discreet logo. I don't want a f*cking picasso engraved on the side, simple text is professional.


Does anyone have a suggestion? Most larger manufacturers are decidedly more dedicated to function than appearances. I'll probably be looking for a smaller manufacturer, then. From the limited data I've seen, it looks like Ameetec may be an answer; can any owners chime in?

I'm also told SOCOM makes mil-type lowers, but all I can find is their weird billet lower.


Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:10:30 AM EST
I gotta say I agree 100% with you. That being said, I'll just take the tried and tested path and go for Bushmaster.

Best.

Petri
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:59:02 AM EST
i too have not ran into any problems with bushmaster.

i also own other manu. lowers too and feel that they all do the job as intended and look good doing it too

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 6:35:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Not_A_Llama:
-Thick, spec magwell walls. We hada topic recently, and a large number of lowers have wall thicknesses well-below the spec. Functionally, there may not be a problem. Offhand, I seem to have the worst impression from MEGA; they have a bit of a flimsy feel to them. Totally functional mind you, but there isn't the solid feel to them like you have on other receivers. Mega would be nearly ideal if it weren't for that issue.



I'm not sure what you're talking about here. I justed opened up my gun cabinet and I've got a RRA, Bushmaster, and MEGA lower pointing at me side by side. I don't have any fancy measuring tools, but they look/feel the same to me.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 6:41:14 AM EST
Given the lack of impotance of the lower in the overall operation of the gun, as long as the upper fits on straight, it should be fine...

I just can't see paying the prices Bushmaster-et-al charge for a simple lower reciever!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:36:57 AM EST
Paying for Bushmaster's name would be fine, except that they're exactly like any other on the market. Every Bushmaster I've seen has significant forging seams, including along the interior of the triggerguard.

Has this changed with their switching to CMT as the maker of their lowers?


Practically any lower receiver will do its job as a lower. Heck, even cast lowers do a decent enough job. I'm talking about issues that are nearly cosmetic now.
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