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Posted: 1/6/2003 11:52:10 PM EDT
I have read that a cast lower is not as strong as a forged one. Have there been alot of cast lowers that become cracked or broken? How likely is this to occur?
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 1:04:04 AM EDT
a poor casting possibly has microscopic pockets of air in the metal hence reducing its stength. Some castings are fine, others are not. I have seen some pics of upper reciever castings that  have simply broke off at the barrel during firing, literaly the barrel fell off because the force was too great or the barrel nut was too tight.

I just opt for all forged for the extra 10 bucks, and not have too worry about it.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 3:33:48 AM EDT
I've had a pair of pre-1994 cast Essential Arms receiveers and the cost savings is much more than $10!

There are no reliable cast receivers currently being made, however, so if you're considering new production get Bushmaster, Colt's, or ArmaLite/Eagle forged.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 4:54:26 AM EDT
I have a cast upper and lower Oly rifle. I've had no issues but have heard of others with cast upper issues.  Mainly cracking!  The lower does not see as much stress as the lower. I haven't heard of any lower issues other than appearance and fit. My cast lower doesn't have the mag groove in the mag well as most forged ones do.

Plastic lowers are now on the market claiming more strength but plastic though looking cool, has a whole new set of concerns from temp, moisture content, ultraviolet, and certain solvents. Even though they should work fine as well for a lower.  If you drive a newer car the intake is most likely high temp plastic.

Forged really appears to be the way to go if you want a combination of appearance and strength that will last generations of use. The few dollars you will save on cast is not worth the worry.  Besides, I like a pretty gun.

Link Posted: 1/7/2003 7:08:02 AM EDT
I have a EA J-15 cast lower made in 1988 that has been in storage for the last decade+, if I go back to using it again do I need to be worried that it's a piece of crap that is going to break?

Chuck, you have two. Any concerns with yours? Should I pass on the opportunity to get another like it and hold out for a forged lower?
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 7:18:03 AM EDT
I've got an AR15 but I dont know if its cast or forged. How can I tell? I bought it for 500.00 (CAN) New so I'm assuming its cast.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 7:47:57 AM EDT
captain_canuck, I'm sure some of the more knowledgable members will have a more definitive method to determine this but if you know the manufacturer you can check it on Troy's [URL=http://www.ar15.com/forums/announcement.html?b=3&f=118&id=172]chart[/URL]
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 8:19:56 AM EDT
Thanks BH1 but my ar15 is a norinco and not on the chart. Is there any way of determining its metalurgy by appearance?
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 1:33:40 PM EDT
BH1, My oly bbl. I told you about is on a rifle with a J-15 reciever. It is rumored that the Essential arms co. had their castings made by RUGER. I forget which, but either Oly or Dpms bought the molds. They work fine, the lower is a very low stress part. Mine's been well used for 15 years now, and no sign of trouble or weakness, trust it and build one with it if you want.
P.S. Some of the police entry rifles by Oly have cast lowers as well.
_______________________________________________ When in doubt, empty the magazine!
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 2:05:32 PM EDT
Captain_Canuck, here's a few ways to tell if it is cast

1. There are RAISED letters on it.

2. The opening of the mag well isn't broached, and edges appear smoother
3. selector tabs are either non-existant, or look cast, not machined like on other ars'.
4. my cast one looks a tad rougher than my forged ones.
Biggie though, if there is raised lettering on it, it is definitely cast.

When in doubt, empty your magazine! [X]
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 5:51:15 AM EDT
BH1 --

Offered the choice of [b]pre-ban[/b] forged Bushmaster, Eagle Arms, standard pin Colt's, or cast Essential Arms receivers [b]at the same price[/b] I'd buy them in that order.  But I'd not pay a $400 premium for a forged receiver.  New production there's no justification in not buying forged, the difference in price is minimal.

I'm not concerned about the J-15 lower receiver at all.  I liked the first one so much I bought another one.  Both are in active use.  My original has been reconfigured into a faux M4 and is in the Troop B 16th Cavalry arms room at Fort Knox where my wife's son is stationed.  He shoots it several weekends a month on the post ranges.

I shoot mine at least monthly.  Sometimes configured as a M16A2 and sometimes as an XM16E1 (using genuing USGI uppers).  The lower receiver is M16 grey in color.

I've heard of one guy breaking a J-15 lower receiver when he used a ball peen hammer to try to set the trigger guard roll pin and didn't support the receiver.

I've seen one Olympic cracked lower receiver from the same abuse and seen photos (maybe here) of one Olympic upper which cracked at the barrel threads.  Whole rifle fell apart.

I'd not hesitate to buy a pre-ban cast Olympic rifle as they'll repair it into a forging.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 8:59:25 PM EDT
Thanks RABID and Chuck. That's about what I had figured. Given the option of forged or cast at similar cost take the forged, but the cast is good enough that there's no cause to get rid of one I already have. Damage is possible but not probable, correct?

Yes, that offer from Olympic seems impressive. Hard to go wrong with a warranty like that since they keep the same serial number. Thanks again for the helpful info.
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