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Posted: 9/28/2011 11:19:10 AM EST
I am going to start getting parts for my first AR-15 build up. I've never put one together before so I may be missing some obvious things. I am planning on buying a stripped lower receiver, a lower parts kits (including stock) and putting them together from the guides in the build it yourself forum. Then I am going to buy a complete upper and hopefully have a rifle. I know I will need sights and magazines also. I have seen Palmetto State Armory mentioned a few places in the build forum and plan on using their lower part kit. My question is, would I be better off buying their lower for 79.95 and 7 dollars shipping, then using a FFL to transfer it? I have never undergone the process. Or would I be better off buying a different (they are all the same right?) lower receiver at a local gun show? If the gun show is cheaper, can anyone recommend a vendor?

I am not in a rush to buy, I just want to get some info on gun shows here since I rarely go to them.

Thanks,

Bill
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 11:53:38 AM EST
If it's purely cost, ordering the lower from PSA and paying for the transfer will save you ~$20-30. I picked up a Spikes stripped lower from Boom to Zoom at the Bob & Rocco show for ~$130 and they wave the FFL fee at the show, so all you pay over the advertised cost is sales tax.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:00:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By MrNate:
If it's purely cost, ordering the lower from PSA and paying for the transfer will save you ~$20-30. I picked up a Spikes stripped lower from Boom to Zoom at the Bob & Rocco show for ~$130 and they wave the FFL fee at the show, so all you pay over the advertised cost is sales tax.


I guess it is not purely cost, I just don't understand what makes one receiver better than the other, aside from the metal composition. If I buy at a show, do I need a case for the stripped lower or is it not considered a firearm until it is assembled?
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:07:17 PM EST
Most of the lowers are made by the same 2-3 manufacturers and are just marked for the company that wants to put their name on them. Chances are, that PSA lower is the same as a CMMG, Spike, RRA, etc...

I walked out of the show with mine in a cardboard box. I suppose you could interpret the law to say you need a case, but it's no more "dangerous" than a rock, so I doubt and LEO would even look twice.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 1:57:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By MrNate:
Most of the lowers are made by the same 2-3 manufacturers and are just marked for the company that wants to put their name on them. Chances are, that PSA lower is the same as a CMMG, Spike, RRA, etc...

I walked out of the show with mine in a cardboard box. I suppose you could interpret the law to say you need a case, but it's no more "dangerous" than a rock, so I doubt and LEO would even look twice.


Legally, even if in a disassembled state, a firearm currently needs to be incased. In WI, currently, it must be designed specifically for firearms.

That's about to change soon. However, the argument could be made that the box was specifically designed for that firearm receiver, and therefore meets the legal requirement.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:17:18 PM EST
Depending on the FFL transfer fee, you will ~ $100 total for an online lower. In your example $20 transfer + $79 lower + $7 shipping = $106. I have seen YHM, CMMG and Superior Arms lowers at recent shows for ~ $100. Bring $110 cash and make an offer. I bet you can find someone willing to sell at that price.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 9:21:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By MrNate:
Most of the lowers are made by the same 2-3 manufacturers and are just marked for the company that wants to put their name on them. Chances are, that PSA lower is the same as a CMMG, Spike, RRA, etc...

I walked out of the show with mine in a cardboard box. I suppose you could interpret the law to say you need a case, but it's no more "dangerous" than a rock, so I doubt and LEO would even look twice.


Correction, most of the lowers are forged by the same 2-3 manufacturers. There is a lot more to a lower than just forging it, with many critical dimensions to meet during machining, and the finish. The finish & machining are done by many manufacturers, not 2-3.

Link Posted: 9/29/2011 4:50:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By NAM:
Originally Posted By MrNate:
Most of the lowers are made by the same 2-3 manufacturers and are just marked for the company that wants to put their name on them. Chances are, that PSA lower is the same as a CMMG, Spike, RRA, etc...

I walked out of the show with mine in a cardboard box. I suppose you could interpret the law to say you need a case, but it's no more "dangerous" than a rock, so I doubt and LEO would even look twice.


Legally, even if in a disassembled state, a firearm currently needs to be incased. In WI, currently, it must be designed specifically for firearms.

That's about to change soon. However, the argument could be made that the box was specifically designed for that firearm receiver, and therefore meets the legal requirement.


The factory box that any firearm comes in, should be a legal "case", per WI law. It meets all the criteria in the statute.
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 5:37:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By rfb45colt:
The factory box that any firearm comes in, should be a legal "case", per WI law. It meets all the criteria in the statute.



until 11-1-11...

(b) "Encased" means enclosed in a case that is expressly made for the purpose of containing a firearm and that is completely zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no part of the firearm exposed.

Most cardboard firearm boxes I've seen normally have cutouts of some sort. Most lowers i've seen just come in a plain box. Either way, clearly the manufacturer created/procured the box with the intention of containing a firearm. I agree that it SHOULD be legal.

However, I wouldn't put it past someone with a chip on their shoulder trying to press that a plain cardboard box does not meet the definition. Until 11-1-11, personally, I'd play it safe.
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 6:57:26 AM EST
Get a lower from Fox Valley Firearms in Appleton. Nate is the owner and a friend and great guy. He has stripped lowers for I think $80 or $90... seriously, worth checking out!
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 6:58:46 AM EST
In the long distant past, both before and after the federal ban, I've purchased stripped lowers before and simply walked out with it in my hand, throwing it on the passenger seat for the drive home. It's not like it's noticable, unless you get pulled over for something.

I'd say the odds are against getting "caught" with a uncased stripped lower, and not really worried about it.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 1:05:50 PM EST
Thanks everyone for the replies. I am not terribly concerned about casing the lower after reading this thread. I think I will buy at a gun show. Can anyone recommend a solid vendor at the shows? (I will most likely buy at the Dec show in Franklin.)


Thanks again everyone,
Bill
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 5:05:39 AM EST
Friend Palmetto on Facebook. They occasionally have lowers on sale for $49.99. I bought 3 last time they went on sale. They also have their MOE lower parts kits on sale for $54.99 right now.
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 8:54:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By WIDeerHunter:
Friend Palmetto on Facebook. They occasionally have lowers on sale for $49.99. I bought 3 last time they went on sale. They also have their MOE lower parts kits on sale for $54.99 right now.


Great tip. thanks!
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