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Posted: 8/15/2013 8:52:33 PM EDT
I have been doing lowers since 2000. I never intended to do billet. That all changed this last big crunch. Now I won't go back.All dimensions being equal, a forging is a little stronger, no doubt about it. That can be easily overcome. I contacted  the 3 forging company's that I knew of. Only one got back to me. Reply was, no forgings,6 months to a year delivery, price doubled. If I wanted to do any rifles, I had to  tool up to do billet. The thing with a forging is when you buy 500 at a time(that is a minimum small amount) their all over the place in dimension. The forging company told me there is a +- .020 tolerance on the closing gap on the forging dies, when they set them up. I had forgings that varied more than that. I always batched them in .005 increments. I measured them in the trigger hammer section. That is where variations in wall thickness shows up like a sore thumb, if you don't adjust the centerline for the various thickness. I had them range from .840 to .900. About half were in the .860 -.875 range, the rest were all over the place. When doing the trigger pocket area, and the receiver extension area, if you do not re-set the centerline to account for different thicknesses, you will have one thick wall and one thin wall. It looks like hell. Another issue is the markings on the receiver. A lot of manufacturers (me included) engrave the info , rather than stamp. ATF requires a minimum depth of .003. If you set up for a .004-.005 depth, you are having to adjust your offset so that the engraving is either not too shallow, or not too deep. I always assumed that being a small timer, I got a lot of forgings that they threw in the sucker bin. Ones that they wouldn't dare send to the big names. They would throw in enough good ones to keep me quiet. I purchased 5500 forgings, (11 separate transactions) and every time it was pretty much the same. With billet, you control all the dimensions. Engraving is nice. You can beef up any area you think needs a little more strength. Now, I call up my supplier, tell them I need a couple hundred feet of material. I get it in a week or less. Over 500 lbs and freight is free. Had I been able to get forgings, I probably would not have gone billet. Now that I have, I doubt that I will go back. I would be interested to know from other manufacturers if they had similar experiences with forgings, or was I just the chump to dump off the culls. Craig
Link Posted: 8/15/2013 9:19:45 PM EDT
I'm not a manufacturer but it would seem to me that billet is the way to go for a small shop.  I imagine a lot of the multi-million dollar machines the big guys use are able to compensate for the variations you mentioned.  Although I'm not entirely sure just how much they care.  Hence tolerance stacking sometimes cropping up in builds.  They also have the manpower to QC incoming and outgoing parts, so a lot of those duds you received probably get culled and sent back to the forge.  The scale of the business probably determines how profitable each method is.  Smaller shops spend less time on set up and QC with billet, which is probably one of the biggest time drains.  While forged builders spend less time in the machine cutting all the dimensions and invest that in QC of the incoming forgings.  I think there's probably a little "that's the way we've always done it" mentality still going on too.    





And you may just be right on the "sucker pile" parts.  Larger companies might throw enough money around to be able to demand certain specs on their parts.



Over the years there have been quite a few runs from the big names that had offset trigger pockets, mating lines between the uppers and lowers (either an over or under hang), off center buffer tube holes, canted upper rails, and other visually noticeable defects.  It would seem that you put a lot more care into machining your lowers than a mass producer, leading you to billet.

Link Posted: 8/16/2013 4:15:01 AM EDT

Quoted:


<snip non paragraph ramblings)

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You just got caught with your pants down, and that does not justify going billet.



Your argument about the forgings is misplaced, you only get a shit product if you do a shit job. If you cannot account for the forging being out a little, then your billet will suffer as well.



Seems most companies do just fine with forging.  If you have made 5K+ lowers you would think you would have figured it out.

Sound like you need better equipment/jigs.



Billet looks pretty, and to tell you the truth most people care about that.



 
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 5:39:32 AM EDT
When I buy billet I want it to look good, hence why I buy it. When I buy a forged I could care less what it looks like.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 5:47:41 AM EDT
Good points.

You also bring more control over your supply chain.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 2:00:03 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
You just got caught with your pants down, and that does not justify going billet.

Your argument about the forgings is misplaced, you only get a shit product if you do a shit job. If you cannot account for the forging being out a little, then your billet will suffer as well.

Seems most companies do just fine with forging.  If you have made 5K+ lowers you would think you would have figured it out.
Sound like you need better equipment/jigs.

Billet looks pretty, and to tell you the truth most people care about that.
 
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Quoted:
Quoted:
<snip non paragraph ramblings)
You just got caught with your pants down, and that does not justify going billet.

Your argument about the forgings is misplaced, you only get a shit product if you do a shit job. If you cannot account for the forging being out a little, then your billet will suffer as well.

Seems most companies do just fine with forging.  If you have made 5K+ lowers you would think you would have figured it out.
Sound like you need better equipment/jigs.

Billet looks pretty, and to tell you the truth most people care about that.
 



Umm no...

You can't "Account" for 20 thou missing out of the middle of the rail section. You can't add material in a CNC machine. you can't account for different stress relief movement on each die process. Die 42, might open like a taco when you cut the port door out, and die 43 might shorten up by .003 after doing the same operation. The forgings are very hard to work with, and be fast, and repeatable. Holding die 42 and cutting it will result in a different outcome when you fixture a die 43 in the same fixture.  They are a pain in the ass to work with. Most of this is caused by the forge houses doing single strike operations in order to increase output.

I to have seen forgings have variations as much as .025-.030 on one side of the rail to the other. the next one will have it on the other side, one after that will be perfect, some of them have huge dips in them..

They suck! haha

Link Posted: 8/16/2013 3:12:05 PM EDT
Interesting info Craig. I'm not a manufacturer but I can can see the logic in your decision. As was mentioned, we all have seen examples here that seem to prove your point. Even some of the big name manufacturers have put out examples that seem to indicate the occasional extreme end on the variance in QC you speak of. For you and your circumstances, I can't disagree with your decision.

I buy far more forged receivers than billet simply because of the frequency of good deals that are offered. That said, I do see these variations in tolerances when buying multiple forged receivers. I realize it's unrealistic to expect exact cookie cutter duplicates. So far I've been lucky and they haven't been enough to adversely affect the outcome of any rifle I've assembled but tolerance variations are there and I can see where it could be a pain for a smaller manufacturer to deal with on a regular basis. As someone that simply enjoys putting my own rifles together, thanks for the peek at what manufacturers have to contend with.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 3:14:16 PM EDT
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Quoted:
You just got caught with your pants down, and that does not justify going billet.

Your argument about the forgings is misplaced, you only get a shit product if you do a shit job. If you cannot account for the forging being out a little, then your billet will suffer as well.

Seems most companies do just fine with forging.  If you have made 5K+ lowers you would think you would have figured it out.
Sound like you need better equipment/jigs.

Billet looks pretty, and to tell you the truth most people care about that.
 
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
<snip non paragraph ramblings)
You just got caught with your pants down, and that does not justify going billet.

Your argument about the forgings is misplaced, you only get a shit product if you do a shit job. If you cannot account for the forging being out a little, then your billet will suffer as well.

Seems most companies do just fine with forging.  If you have made 5K+ lowers you would think you would have figured it out.
Sound like you need better equipment/jigs.

Billet looks pretty, and to tell you the truth most people care about that.
 

Pretty ironic post - a guy that notoriously razzes people here to only buy "spec" rifles is telling the OP to buy out-of-spec source materials and magically turn them into "spec" with better jigs/equipment.  If that reasoning is correct, then a Hess/Blackthorne rifle can be turned into a Colt with some tooling reworks, right?

I thought the OP explained it pretty well that when you buy 500 pieces and you have to toss a large number of those because they will not make a quality or useable end-product, it makes sense to instead purchase a raw material that any culls are solely from your error or "bad equipment/jigs".

If your suppliers are selling you their 2nd quality materials and the demand is so high that you can't obtain any alternative sources, I think the OP did a great job overcoming a bad situation.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 3:20:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 4:00:13 PM EDT
Has the quality of the forgings gotten worse recently?

What's the cause?
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 4:27:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 4:51:33 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Unfortunately they have gotten terribly worse, they simply can not keep up with the demand and they are putting out everything that they can produce. They sell seconds for $1.50 more than they use to sell first rate parts for about a year ago. First rate parts are now even more $$ and I would consider them seconds at best. I gave up on all of the company's currently producing firearm Forgings and went to a company who specializes in Forging high end race pistons, crank shafts, and aerospace components. Just to give you an idea of how bad things have gotten in the industry, I've rejected almost 2 million dollars in parts within the last two weeks alone. I get samples daily and throw them right into the trash can. This has to be the worst time ever to buy an AR15 or AR15 parts! Inspect your parts and don't settle for inferior shit, I know I'm not.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Has the quality of the forgings gotten worse recently?

What's the cause?


Unfortunately they have gotten terribly worse, they simply can not keep up with the demand and they are putting out everything that they can produce. They sell seconds for $1.50 more than they use to sell first rate parts for about a year ago. First rate parts are now even more $$ and I would consider them seconds at best. I gave up on all of the company's currently producing firearm Forgings and went to a company who specializes in Forging high end race pistons, crank shafts, and aerospace components. Just to give you an idea of how bad things have gotten in the industry, I've rejected almost 2 million dollars in parts within the last two weeks alone. I get samples daily and throw them right into the trash can. This has to be the worst time ever to buy an AR15 or AR15 parts! Inspect your parts and don't settle for inferior shit, I know I'm not.


Oh my! Are you saying that the relatively few manufacturers that produce 90% of the forgings for lower and upper receivers are letting quality slip to the point that you've had to outsource these forging from someone else? That sucks! And all in the name of taking advantage of the demand... I'm not buying shit for the foreseeable future. When did this start to happen?
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 5:44:14 PM EDT
This is a really good thread. Thanks guys for the industry insight. Hopefully something good comes out of all of this, and I really like how both companies are handling the situation. I know what its like dealing with vendors who think they have your unmentionables in a vise.

What they don't realize, they are shooting themselves in the foot for the short term. Panic buys happen every few years, but you have to set yourself up for non-panic-buy years.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 6:29:04 PM EDT
In regards to getting caught with my pants down, that was not the case. When the frenzy started, I had around 250 forgings. For me,  at the rate lowers were in demand before the shootings, that would last me 8 months or more. At around $7500.00 a batch delivered, you don't have 3 years worth just hanging around. At least I don't. I made the calls within weeks of that frenzy, and it was already too late. As far as figuring out how to deal with lousy forgings, I did that a along time ago. My lower is as good as anyones, spec wise.  The point I was making is you have to constantly make allowances for the variations in the forging. Now and then one slips thru, and it doesn't look so nice. It still works, but from a machinist standpoint, you cringe. I have a 55 gal barrel half full of them from over the years.There are a lot of really well machined lowers today. I just laugh every time I read someone claiming to be the best. With billet, it is all in what someone likes, no different than buying a car. Some like the ray gun look. I stay more to the traditional lines. It works for me in my area. I haven't purchased any forgings for over a year, and from what I am hearing, I am glad I didn't. It was good to hear from those of you who are CNC drivers. I am sure you are more proficient at it than I am. I am primarily an engine machinist which is entirely different. Thanks a lot for your input. Glad to see I am not alone.  Craig
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 6:32:20 PM EDT
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 6:38:08 PM EDT
Great info.  I am actually looking into purchasing a few uppers and lowers.  I guess I should just stick to certain brands.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 6:45:07 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Oh my! Are you saying that the relatively few manufacturers that produce 90% of the forgings for lower and upper receivers are letting quality slip to the point that you've had to outsource these forging from someone else? That sucks! And all in the name of taking advantage of the demand... I'm not buying shit for the foreseeable future. When did this start to happen?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Has the quality of the forgings gotten worse recently?

What's the cause?


Unfortunately they have gotten terribly worse, they simply can not keep up with the demand and they are putting out everything that they can produce. They sell seconds for $1.50 more than they use to sell first rate parts for about a year ago. First rate parts are now even more $$ and I would consider them seconds at best. I gave up on all of the company's currently producing firearm Forgings and went to a company who specializes in Forging high end race pistons, crank shafts, and aerospace components. Just to give you an idea of how bad things have gotten in the industry, I've rejected almost 2 million dollars in parts within the last two weeks alone. I get samples daily and throw them right into the trash can. This has to be the worst time ever to buy an AR15 or AR15 parts! Inspect your parts and don't settle for inferior shit, I know I'm not.


Oh my! Are you saying that the relatively few manufacturers that produce 90% of the forgings for lower and upper receivers are letting quality slip to the point that you've had to outsource these forging from someone else? That sucks! And all in the name of taking advantage of the demand... I'm not buying shit for the foreseeable future. When did this start to happen?


I can't speak for spikes, but I can tell you that quality starts... well from the start, haha!! As we get to the bottom of our forging boxes, they are getting worse and worse. We reject about 5 out of each batch of 100 we fixture. Some that hit the fixture points, we go ahead and cut. These are perfectly functional parts, however they would never pass muster in the cosmetics department. Most often you get a shift in the blend on the rail cut. It will fade in and out with the waves in the forgings, or just flat out be gone from side to side. (core shift) Will it work? sure... Would a person bitch if it was on a gun?? Hell yeah they would, so it gets set aside.

Then you get die variation... this is by far the frickin hardest part about forgings. they MOVE. When I say they move, what I mean is as you cut them, they close up, shrink, egg out, taco, expand, wave. and it changes from die to die. I keep mentioning die 43, because that one has been the biggest nightmare for us. All things in spec, and those 43's close like a taco shell.. the charging handle slot closes up, and it's no longer usable. A spring pass in that cut opens the front of the slot and back of the slot out of spec. None of the other die's do it.

What a great time.     The "billets" we cut are just that... Billet, and controllable 100% I like doing them, and with the way pricing is now on the forgings, it's getting close to being the same cost for a precision cut blank of 7075.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 6:50:27 PM EDT
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Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.
View Quote



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 7:15:42 PM EDT
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Quoted:



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Quoted:
Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.


Super thread guys and yes, we'd love to see the exact issues you are speaking of.

Also, can someone give us a link or other documentation of the failure-in-service rate of forged vs. billet lowers??
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 7:35:11 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Super thread guys and yes, we'd love to see the exact issues you are speaking of.

Also, can someone give us a link or other documentation of the failure-in-service rate of forged vs. billet lowers??
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.


Super thread guys and yes, we'd love to see the exact issues you are speaking of.

Also, can someone give us a link or other documentation of the failure-in-service rate of forged vs. billet lowers??



Not possible.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 9:20:54 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.


I'm very interested. Good thread. Interesting to hear of the challenges faced by the guys making our parts.
Link Posted: 8/16/2013 10:41:16 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



I will post pictures Tuesday or Wednesday (out of town till Monday) of next week of what we are dealing with, so people can see what we see... It will explain what you see on your guns, if people are interested in it... What I can't post is our fixture process on some operations.  

I cut about 70 uppers and lowers in a 48 hour period depending on how the cell is configured for lights out operations and other work load... we are far from the big guys, but it's an example.



COOL!
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 1:20:56 AM EDT
All those ugly 2nds that go in your trash bin - couldn't they be sold on as factory seconds?  Blem lowers are sold all the time.

Another question:  Redi Mag says their product will only fit forged lowers, not billet.  If billet are the same dimension, why wouldn't a Redi-Mag fit a billet lower?
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 3:13:04 AM EDT
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Quoted:
All those ugly 2nds that go in your trash bin - couldn't they be sold on as factory seconds?  Blem lowers are sold all the time.

Another question:  Redi Mag says their product will only fit forged lowers, not billet.  If billet are the same dimension, why wouldn't a Redi-Mag fit a billet lower?
View Quote


It (the Redi Mag) is designed to attach to the external demesions of a forged lower, which is different externally than a billett. Both will accept the same mags inside their magwells which do have the same "internal " dimensions.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 3:15:41 AM EDT
How do the Big Boys fight this - just like a .gov program - Throw lots more money and time at it.

Actually running receivers on tombstone pallets in horizontal machining centers with lots of inprocess gaging with macros which shift offsets for each part solves much of these problems - but you need sharp slide rule CNC programmers who can hand code for any problem and not rely on whatever MasterCAM pukes out to get all the macro processes streamlined and working in sync for other operations. This takes time and will make some scrap as the processes are refined. But the end result is you would be able to make a functional receiver from floor sweepings and almost any other reject.

All that said - I too went to billet, but because I wanted a beefier receiver than what a forging provides.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 4:24:31 AM EDT
What advice would you give to a man who is in the market for a couple of lower receivers? I'm starting to see lowers in stock through several distributors and I'm thinking about buying 1-3 for future use. Would it be better to buy older forgings from the EE? Is there some sort of list of acceptable brands (not likely, I know)?

A huge thank-you to the manufacturers who have posted in this thread. I hope you will continue to give us some insight.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 4:34:54 AM EDT
Super Genius: based on limited experience of 1 manufacturer, I bought some SI Defense billet lowers on sale a few years ago (early ones) and found them quite nice. Il also recently bought some Midwest billet uppers to mate with them uppers - these are also very nice.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 4:56:12 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.
View Quote



This begs the question;

How can a maker {or type or process of manufacture} be considered even remotely acceptable if the resulting product varies so much?

For example, fitting parts to a wide range of manufacture years of Browning High Powers we expect...and get...no troubles.

So why should BHP's or many, many other pistols and rifles show no problems whereas AR forgings do.  Many rifles were manufactured with forged receivers during far-less-technologically advance times and they are for all intents and purposes interchangeable.

There is something very wrong there.

There is no need for all the voodoo you guys are describing.

If there is something in the forging process of AR receivers that necessitates this problem doesn't THAT in and of itself indicate that machining from billet is superior?
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 6:05:32 AM EDT
IMO, the future of the AR-15 is in billet. You gain some really good benefits going with billet without really giving up much to forgings. So a forging may be slightly stronger, has anyone really broken any billets where a forging would have survived? Billet does tend to cost more but a couple hundred dollars isn't really an issue to me. YMMV. The ATXS AX556 is a solid example of what can be achieved by going billet. I do like the simplicity and looks of a forgered set but if they don't fit correctly and are out of spec, they have no use to me.

If the US military started issuing billet M4's with a horsey logo on it, everyone here would be all over it.

I definitely see the benefit for a small company going all billet, being a slave to the forging industry would suck ass.

Billet on OP! Fuck the naysayers!!!
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 6:29:22 AM EDT
Actually I see the future in polymer, sure we aren't there now, that is why "future" is the key word.

I also want to say thanks for a interesting  thread like this. I am not a machinist and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but I have a couple questions. How many companies are making the forgings now? I see where you mentioned die 43 being a problem, this has to be from the same company, obviously, but how can you id one die from another?

I think I am going to build a billet SPR for my next rifle, just because it's different and I don't have one already. Also looking forward to the photos.
NCH
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 7:03:26 AM EDT
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Quoted:



This begs the question;

How can a maker {or type or process of manufacture} be considered even remotely acceptable if the resulting product varies so much?

For example, fitting parts to a wide range of manufacture years of Browning High Powers we expect...and get...no troubles.

So why should BHP's or many, many other pistols and rifles show no problems whereas AR forgings do.  Many rifles were manufactured with forged receivers during far-less-technologically advance times and they are for all intents and purposes interchangeable.

There is something very wrong there.

There is no need for all the voodoo you guys are describing.

If there is something in the forging process of AR receivers that necessitates this problem doesn't THAT in and of itself indicate that machining from billet is superior?
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I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



This begs the question;

How can a maker {or type or process of manufacture} be considered even remotely acceptable if the resulting product varies so much?

For example, fitting parts to a wide range of manufacture years of Browning High Powers we expect...and get...no troubles.

So why should BHP's or many, many other pistols and rifles show no problems whereas AR forgings do.  Many rifles were manufactured with forged receivers during far-less-technologically advance times and they are for all intents and purposes interchangeable.

There is something very wrong there.

There is no need for all the voodoo you guys are describing.

If there is something in the forging process of AR receivers that necessitates this problem doesn't THAT in and of itself indicate that machining from billet is superior?


No.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 7:27:23 AM EDT
Next time you see a pile of forged lowers somewhere bust out your calipers and measure them externally where the FCG pins are. I found a surprising amount of variation from sampling 20 lowers all from the same manufacture with consecutive serial numbers.
This all started for me when I was assembling a lower using K&S anti rotational pins and noticed that they were too "long". Meaning that after tightening them they could move side to side still. I called K&S and they told me this happens quite often and that it is ok to file a little off the pins until they fit properly. It should be noted that on all of those lowers that I measured the internal measurements were all the same and that is the measument that is the "spec" measurement not the the outside of the lower.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 7:39:56 AM EDT
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No.
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I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



This begs the question;

How can a maker {or type or process of manufacture} be considered even remotely acceptable if the resulting product varies so much?

For example, fitting parts to a wide range of manufacture years of Browning High Powers we expect...and get...no troubles.

So why should BHP's or many, many other pistols and rifles show no problems whereas AR forgings do.  Many rifles were manufactured with forged receivers during far-less-technologically advance times and they are for all intents and purposes interchangeable.

There is something very wrong there.

There is no need for all the voodoo you guys are describing.

If there is something in the forging process of AR receivers that necessitates this problem doesn't THAT in and of itself indicate that machining from billet is superior?


No.


How about giving us some specifics.

I know ArmaLite uses forged receivers also, so there must be reasons.

If what the OP and others are saying is the case, it appears the forging process currently used results in excessive scrap.  

Please expound on the situation.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 8:45:45 AM EDT
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Quoted:


How about giving us some specifics.

I know ArmaLite uses forged receivers also, so there must be reasons.

If what the OP and others are saying is the case, it appears the forging process currently used results in excessive scrap.  

Please expound on the situation.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I have not seen any Fubar forgings lately. What kind of issues and how bad are they? Picks for reference is always nice in a thread like this. I am surprised. The supply should be catching up. As I am seeing Colts in Wal-Marts that seem well within spec at a look over. I recently acquired a 2013 config 6920 that is impeccable. Heads and shoulders above the 2004 year 6920 I had.

Lets see some examples with explanations.



This begs the question;

How can a maker {or type or process of manufacture} be considered even remotely acceptable if the resulting product varies so much?

For example, fitting parts to a wide range of manufacture years of Browning High Powers we expect...and get...no troubles.

So why should BHP's or many, many other pistols and rifles show no problems whereas AR forgings do.  Many rifles were manufactured with forged receivers during far-less-technologically advance times and they are for all intents and purposes interchangeable.

There is something very wrong there.

There is no need for all the voodoo you guys are describing.

If there is something in the forging process of AR receivers that necessitates this problem doesn't THAT in and of itself indicate that machining from billet is superior?


No.


How about giving us some specifics.

I know ArmaLite uses forged receivers also, so there must be reasons.

If what the OP and others are saying is the case, it appears the forging process currently used results in excessive scrap.  

Please expound on the situation.



When I was ArmaLite we had our own forging tools and the forgings were made to our specifications.  We never had issues with our forgings.

However, from what you describe  is sounds like the commodity forgings are being pumped out without regards to  stress reduction.  

All things being equal a forging designed to take advantage of the mechanical properties of the forging will be superior than a billet part for the given design.  
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 8:54:14 AM EDT
I've talked to one or two manufacturers about having some lowers done in my company name, though they don't want to mess with orders as small as mine, I've been given the feeling that they'd rather do billet.  Forged lowers are a dime a dozen.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 10:33:00 AM EDT
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IMO, the future of the AR-15 is in billet. You gain some really good benefits going with billet without really giving up much to forgings. So a forging may be slightly stronger, has anyone really broken any billets where a forging would have survived? Billet does tend to cost more but a couple hundred dollars isn't really an issue to me. YMMV. The ATXS AX556 is a solid example of what can be achieved by going billet. I do like the simplicity and looks of a forgered set but if they don't fit correctly and are out of spec, they have no use to me.

If the US military started issuing billet M4's with a horsey logo on it, everyone here would be all over it.

I definitely see the benefit for a small company going all billet, being a slave to the forging industry would suck ass.

Billet on OP! Fuck the naysayers!!!
View Quote



Billet has nothing on Noveske forged lowers and you don't have to worry about it being weaker or stronger. Seems to me the future is in making a lower with the strength of being forged and the looks of a billet lower. These companies will need to be creative in I am sure what is going to be tough times ahead for the AR market.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 10:52:59 AM EDT
Craig

Did you stay with 7075 or did you move to 6061 with the billet change?

Mark
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 11:32:55 AM EDT
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Billet has nothing on Noveske forged lowers and you don't have to worry about it being weaker or stronger. Seems to me the future is in making a lower with the strength of being forged and the looks of a billet lower. These companies will need to be creative in I am sure what is going to be tough times ahead for the AR market.
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Quoted:
IMO, the future of the AR-15 is in billet. You gain some really good benefits going with billet without really giving up much to forgings. So a forging may be slightly stronger, has anyone really broken any billets where a forging would have survived? Billet does tend to cost more but a couple hundred dollars isn't really an issue to me. YMMV. The ATXS AX556 is a solid example of what can be achieved by going billet. I do like the simplicity and looks of a forgered set but if they don't fit correctly and are out of spec, they have no use to me.

If the US military started issuing billet M4's with a horsey logo on it, everyone here would be all over it.

I definitely see the benefit for a small company going all billet, being a slave to the forging industry would suck ass.

Billet on OP! Fuck the naysayers!!!



Billet has nothing on Noveske forged lowers and you don't have to worry about it being weaker or stronger. Seems to me the future is in making a lower with the strength of being forged and the looks of a billet lower. These companies will need to be creative in I am sure what is going to be tough times ahead for the AR market.


What's so great about a Noveske lower other then a flared mag well and trigger guard? I have a couple Noveske barrels which are awesome but what does a Noveske lower do that a quality billet won't? Like I asked earlier- have there been any billet failures that a forging would have survived?

What would be cool is billet lowers and using explosive bonding to add steel inserts to critical areas like pin holes and threads.

I really don't understand the strength issue between forged and billet. If I used 2x6's to build my garden shed, is it really going to be that much stronger then using 2x4's? I mean if my big oak tree falls on it both would be toast.

I'd really like to see some numbers comparing various strengths such as compressive, tensile, flexural, etc. between forged and billet using the same grade aluminum.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 12:03:18 PM EDT
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Quoted:


What's so great about a Noveske lower other then a flared mag well and trigger guard? I have a couple Noveske barrels which are awesome but what does a Noveske lower do that a quality billet won't? Like I asked earlier- have there been any billet failures that a forging would have survived?

What would be cool is billet lowers and using explosive bonding to add steel inserts to critical areas like pin holes and threads.

I really don't understand the strength issue between forged and billet. If I used 2x6's to build my garden shed, is it really going to be that much stronger then using 2x4's? I mean if my big oak tree falls on it both would be toast.

I'd really like to see some numbers comparing various strengths such as compressive, tensile, flexural, etc. between forged and billet using the same grade aluminum.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
IMO, the future of the AR-15 is in billet. You gain some really good benefits going with billet without really giving up much to forgings. So a forging may be slightly stronger, has anyone really broken any billets where a forging would have survived? Billet does tend to cost more but a couple hundred dollars isn't really an issue to me. YMMV. The ATXS AX556 is a solid example of what can be achieved by going billet. I do like the simplicity and looks of a forgered set but if they don't fit correctly and are out of spec, they have no use to me.

If the US military started issuing billet M4's with a horsey logo on it, everyone here would be all over it.

I definitely see the benefit for a small company going all billet, being a slave to the forging industry would suck ass.

Billet on OP! Fuck the naysayers!!!



Billet has nothing on Noveske forged lowers and you don't have to worry about it being weaker or stronger. Seems to me the future is in making a lower with the strength of being forged and the looks of a billet lower. These companies will need to be creative in I am sure what is going to be tough times ahead for the AR market.


What's so great about a Noveske lower other then a flared mag well and trigger guard? I have a couple Noveske barrels which are awesome but what does a Noveske lower do that a quality billet won't? Like I asked earlier- have there been any billet failures that a forging would have survived?

What would be cool is billet lowers and using explosive bonding to add steel inserts to critical areas like pin holes and threads.

I really don't understand the strength issue between forged and billet. If I used 2x6's to build my garden shed, is it really going to be that much stronger then using 2x4's? I mean if my big oak tree falls on it both would be toast.

I'd really like to see some numbers comparing various strengths such as compressive, tensile, flexural, etc. between forged and billet using the same grade aluminum.



And What's so great about a ATXS AX556? The point is if Noveske can have forged lowers made that look like billet there is no reason to buy a lower made of lesser quality material.

Sure you can use a plastic lower and it will be strong enough to sit in your safe. But I like most people buy our gear for self protection and we like our gear to be made from the best material available.  

Link Posted: 8/17/2013 12:10:18 PM EDT
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Unfortunately they have gotten terribly worse, they simply can not keep up with the demand and they are putting out everything that they can produce. They sell seconds for $1.50 more than they use to sell first rate parts for about a year ago. First rate parts are now even more $$ and I would consider them seconds at best. I gave up on all of the company's currently producing firearm Forgings and went to a company who specializes in Forging high end race pistons, crank shafts, and aerospace components. Just to give you an idea of how bad things have gotten in the industry, I've rejected almost 2 million dollars in parts within the last two weeks alone. I get samples daily and throw them right into the trash can. This has to be the worst time ever to buy an AR15 or AR15 parts! Inspect your parts and don't settle for inferior shit, I know I'm not.
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Has the quality of the forgings gotten worse recently?

What's the cause?


Unfortunately they have gotten terribly worse, they simply can not keep up with the demand and they are putting out everything that they can produce. They sell seconds for $1.50 more than they use to sell first rate parts for about a year ago. First rate parts are now even more $$ and I would consider them seconds at best. I gave up on all of the company's currently producing firearm Forgings and went to a company who specializes in Forging high end race pistons, crank shafts, and aerospace components. Just to give you an idea of how bad things have gotten in the industry, I've rejected almost 2 million dollars in parts within the last two weeks alone. I get samples daily and throw them right into the trash can. This has to be the worst time ever to buy an AR15 or AR15 parts! Inspect your parts and don't settle for inferior shit, I know I'm not.

I know what you mean.

I had purchased this Spikes thingie lower at a gun show nearly 3 months ago and just this month I acquired all the parts to build it.


The lower is, well, um ............















just fine

Thought I'd razz you for a moment


It's interesting you mention aerospace machine shops.  We use an aerospace machine shop for our satellite parts and they were first ones I thought of when I designed some AR parts and wanted a quote.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 12:30:55 PM EDT
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Quoted:



And What's so great about a ATXS AX556? The point is if Noveske can have forged lowers made that look like billet there is no reason to buy a lower made of lesser quality material.

Sure you can use a plastic lower and it will be strong enough to sit in your safe. But I like most people buy our gear for self protection and we like our gear to be made from the best material available.  

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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
IMO, the future of the AR-15 is in billet. You gain some really good benefits going with billet without really giving up much to forgings. So a forging may be slightly stronger, has anyone really broken any billets where a forging would have survived? Billet does tend to cost more but a couple hundred dollars isn't really an issue to me. YMMV. The ATXS AX556 is a solid example of what can be achieved by going billet. I do like the simplicity and looks of a forgered set but if they don't fit correctly and are out of spec, they have no use to me.

If the US military started issuing billet M4's with a horsey logo on it, everyone here would be all over it.

I definitely see the benefit for a small company going all billet, being a slave to the forging industry would suck ass.

Billet on OP! Fuck the naysayers!!!



Billet has nothing on Noveske forged lowers and you don't have to worry about it being weaker or stronger. Seems to me the future is in making a lower with the strength of being forged and the looks of a billet lower. These companies will need to be creative in I am sure what is going to be tough times ahead for the AR market.


What's so great about a Noveske lower other then a flared mag well and trigger guard? I have a couple Noveske barrels which are awesome but what does a Noveske lower do that a quality billet won't? Like I asked earlier- have there been any billet failures that a forging would have survived?

What would be cool is billet lowers and using explosive bonding to add steel inserts to critical areas like pin holes and threads.

I really don't understand the strength issue between forged and billet. If I used 2x6's to build my garden shed, is it really going to be that much stronger then using 2x4's? I mean if my big oak tree falls on it both would be toast.

I'd really like to see some numbers comparing various strengths such as compressive, tensile, flexural, etc. between forged and billet using the same grade aluminum.



And What's so great about a ATXS AX556? The point is if Noveske can have forged lowers made that look like billet there is no reason to buy a lower made of lesser quality material.

Sure you can use a plastic lower and it will be strong enough to sit in your safe. But I like most people buy our gear for self protection and we like our gear to be made from the best material available.  



I think his point is that no one has referred to any clear superiority in forged receivers over billet, so the argument that going to billet as a step down is a red herring.

I'd be very interested in seeing destructive testing of both.  I have no idea other than simply curiosity and the memory of how assumtions in gunmanufacture can be wrong, ala Rem 700's fabricated bar stock action being "inferior" and Ruger's cast actions being "inferior".  both are superb as history has demonstrated.

Will history be just as kind to billet ARs?
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 1:02:06 PM EDT
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I think his point is that no one has referred to any clear superiority in forged receivers over billet, so the argument that going to billet as a step down is a red herring.

I'd be very interested in seeing destructive testing of both.  I have no idea other than simply curiosity and the memory of how assumtions in gunmanufacture can be wrong, ala Rem 700's fabricated bar stock action being "inferior" and Ruger's cast actions being "inferior".  both are superb as history has demonstrated.

Will history be just as kind to billet ARs?
View Quote



I always assumed that the difference is all things being equal it comes down to which is stronger. You got 2 lowers in front of you both in spec both black both made from different materials the natural question would be which is stronger. I don't think anyone believes a billet will just break under normal use.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 1:06:28 PM EDT
Mark. I actually do both. I started with 6061 to get my design where I wanted it. I then purchased 7075. Believe it or not,there were so many others switching to billet, it became short also. I ordered 6061. All my buyers know it. Now I offer both. I prefer to machine 7075, it is less gummy. I was curious about the strength of a 6061 versus a forging. I sacraficed a couple receiver extension tubes . I made a receiver mount, put it in a vise, and put my weight on the end of the tube, until something gave. In both cases, the tube failed in the thread area. I add a little more material in the extension area, to make up for material strength. I know this is not very scientific, but I wanted to see what would fail first. It was a mil spec tube. If the receiver is stronger than the tube, I am not sure that the strength issue is anything to be concerned about. Back in 1987, I purchased a 55 gal drum of demilled , bandsaw cut  early M16 lowers. They were cut between hammer and trigger holes.I made some really great display's out of them. I wish I had kept some of them, I have one back section left. Almost all were Colts, a few Hydromatics. All were early with the non reinforced extension area. Only a few were cracked or broken there. I could tell these had seen rough service. Those were pretty thin there. When I started this thread, I really didn't think very many would be interested. I did not know that the quality of forgings had fallen off so much. I always assumed That I was just a good place to get rid of some less than good ones. The reason I never sold them as seconds is because my name is on them. How would someone know whether it was sold as a second, or that you just turned out crap like that. I will say this. I have been building AR's since 1984. I am no guru or expert. Back then. I remember that there was only about 4 brands of lowers. SGW,PacWest, Sendra and a company, I can't remember the name that was a cast piece of shit. Suppliers for all the other parts were short as well. Quality then, well there was no quality. You had to work on almost every rifle to get things to fit an function. There was no AR15.com forum for help. Everyone was an expert, but they knew no more than you. We were all learning as we went. We didn't know any better, we just thought that is the way it is.Today, you have some really excellent Manufacturers like Spikes, Larue, Stag ,DD,BCM and too many others to mention. I would love to have seen an AR15.com back then. There probably would have been lynchings. Craig
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 1:07:21 PM EDT
I really hope that the future of the AR is NOT billet. Perhaps I'm a Luddite (I like to think traditionalist), but I just can't stand the look of a billet lower (or upper for that matter). I suppose that if the next gee-whiz-look-at-my-new-gadget fad is billet, then I should be able to stock up on tons of used old-fart forged components for a good price. No offense to anyone who likes billet, it's just not something I'm going to buy.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 1:19:06 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Mark. I actually do both. I started with 6061 to get my design where I wanted it. I then purchased 7075. Believe it or not,there were so many others switching to billet, it became short also. I ordered 6061. All my buyers know it. Now I offer both. I prefer to machine 7075, it is less gummy. I was curious about the strength of a 6061 versus a forging. I sacraficed a couple receiver extension tubes . I made a receiver mount, put it in a vise, and put my weight on the end of the tube, until something gave. In both cases, the tube failed in the thread area. I add a little more material in the extension area, to make up for material strength. I know this is not very scientific, but I wanted to see what would fail first. It was a mil spec tube. If the receiver is stronger than the tube, I am not sure that the strength issue is anything to be concerned about. Back in 1987, I purchased a 55 gal drum of demilled , bandsaw cut  early M16 lowers. They were cut between hammer and trigger holes.I made some really great display's out of them. I wish I had kept some of them, I have one back section left. Almost all were Colts, a few Hydromatics. All were early with the non reinforced extension area. Only a few were cracked or broken there. I could tell these had seen rough service. Those were pretty thin there. When I started this thread, I really didn't think very many would be interested. I did not know that the quality of forgings had fallen off so much. I always assumed That I was just a good place to get rid of some less than good ones. The reason I never sold them as seconds is because my name is on them. How would someone know whether it was sold as a second, or that you just turned out crap like that. I will say this. I have been building AR's since 1984. I am no guru or expert. Back then. I remember that there was only about 4 brands of lowers. SGW,PacWest, Sendra and a company, I can't remember the name that was a cast piece of shit. Suppliers for all the other parts were short as well. Quality then, well there was no quality. You had to work on almost every rifle to get things to fit an function. There was no AR15.com forum for help. Everyone was an expert, but they knew no more than you. We were all learning as we went. We didn't know any better, we just thought that is the way it is.Today, you have some really excellent Manufacturers like Spikes, Larue, Stag ,DD,BCM and too many others to mention. I would love to have seen an AR15.com back then. There probably would have been lynchings. Craig
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The cast receivers were EA Essential Arms model J-15.
Link Posted: 8/17/2013 2:06:08 PM EDT
I don't want to get too far off track in a lecture about manufacturing technologies... but I prolly will.

Stoner, back when he designed the AR on paper used the best methods and latest technology of his time.

He chose forging because of the small percentage of added strength and cost of production to yield a "near net shape" blank that would become the upper an lower receivers. Today he might have chosen Die Casting.

Ruger uses high speed die casting type equipment to turn out wax patterns for the investment casting line - again the goal is to have a blank the is "near net shape". Investment casting was an option back when Stoner did his design, but it was not a mature process like it is today, back then failure rates were high and production rates were low. Stoner needed something that could be cranked up for war time production if needed.

Remember on an AR-15 type receiver almost all exposed areas are "as forged" with only shot peen or bead blast to hide grain structure.

Now someone brought up BHP's - ALL parts of a BHP are FAO Finished all over.  No part has any surface which has not been machined so yes, you will not see any variation on a part of that type if there QA/QC is up to speed. But you also PAY for that level of manufacture. If AR's were made from 304SS you would not hear the word billet mentioned. Those blanks would be investment cast - a project that Sendra did many years ago...

It would not surprise me if Colt and Armalite take all the forgings the get and after doing a visual inspection for dents/dings/scratches rack them up on a programmable CMM which then checks each blank and grades it into a class.  There might be 3 classes that they will actually use for there own production, the rest can be sold off at full forging blank prices to other manufacturers who would be grateful just to get there hands on material.  I used to buy some of these 2nds from Armalite back in the day. Now many companies won't do the CMM check because it can add up to maybe $10 to the cost of the blank.  Keep in mind Colt is not in the business of selling receivers, they sell Rifles so the cost is more distributed.

The demand for receivers has been virtually non stop since before 0bummer won his first primary. There are more MFG making receivers than ever before. Alcoa and the other "commodity" receiver forging suppliers have been running the presses as fast and hard as the can - with the flow of 7075 being the only limiting factor.  Dies wear, die shoes wear, presses wear and need adjustment, re-alignment, gib strips replaced - but with a constant backlog management won't allow down time on there cash cow production equipment and this required maintenance gets put off - and now its causing a blatantly apparent degradation in quality.

[/soap box] [/rant]
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 7:22:15 AM EDT
Some pics as promised to add to the thread here....

So when you order forgings, they come in large boxes, stacked in layers. Typically you see 400 pieces per large box.



Each forging has a "Die Mark" "Strike Mark" whatever you want to call it on the part itself, typically this is on the port door area of the forging. This is why you don't see it after process as that area is removed in machining.



Here are examples of what we see as far as blems, or quality issues with the forgings. In this first example, the forging has what I would describe as ripples along with a decent indentation half way down the rail area of the forging. This would be a perfectly functional part, however I would expect someone to question quality based on this. This could also affect fixtureing depending on how a company is holding the forging. In the end, it's a scrap part from a QC standpoint.




Another MAJOR problem is "Shift" this has been a huge issue in some cases, as we have seen it as far out as .030 in some cases. The two halves that come together to make the strike do not line up, and you end up with one side of the part, higher or lower than the other side. In this example, you can see the center line, and the two halves on both sides shifted top to bottom. One being higher than the other.





In this example we have a massive indentation in the forging. I am almost wanting to run this forging just to see how thin the wall will be after cutting! Either way, this is a junk forging.



Another view of same forging:




All of this is compounded by the fact that these also move during the cutting operation. It can be predicted yes, but each die has it's own characteristic. Probing can line you up on the forging, however compensating for movement in the part itself is a trial and error process, and it changes with each die. If done correctly you end up with a nice part!! But if you start with crap, you end up with crap. right now the forgings are crap. Those steps that you see just below the rail on your upper receiver????  I have examples here that have so much taper in the forging that the step actually fades to a perfect flat on both sides. Sometimes the step is more prominent on one side than the other.  Again, this can be tracked right down to the die.


Good part.  










Link Posted: 8/20/2013 7:31:24 AM EDT
very interesting look into the manufacturing process and trouble you guys encounter. Thanks for the pics and information!
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 8:27:51 AM EDT
Those are awesome paperweights.  Sure you won't sell 'em?
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 9:47:02 AM EDT
Very interesting stuff guys.

Really frustrating, I can only imagine.

I guess we'll see some of that scrap resurface the next time we buy a case of Keystone or Bud Light...
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 6:40:57 PM EDT
Exactly what I was talking about. I could not have said it better. Thanks for the great pictures. I never put 2 and 2 together that those were the die numbers.  I have changed my fixturing 3 times to try and zero in on an area that seems to stay most consistent.  Some of the shifts and defects you just can't work around. I have noticed a lot of these blems end up on tables at gun shows for the less informed. Craig
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