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Posted: 6/3/2003 4:14:59 PM EDT
I've heard a lot of different "facts" surrounding cast lowers vs. forged lowers, and am wondering what the real story is behind the advantages or disadvantages of each. A gunsmith told me some of Ruger's most toughest guns are cast, but a lot of people say forged is stronger and better. What's the difference in the realm of AR-15 lowers?
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 4:19:53 PM EDT
Do a search on the word "kaboom" on this site. I'm pretty sure every AR you will find that blew up HAD a cast lower.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 4:34:37 PM EDT
The famous "Kaboom" at http://www.quarterbore.com/ar15m16/ar15kaboom.html is the only one I could find...and that was attributed to "sloppy reloading practices". Didn't see anything about cast. I'm not saying cast isn't weaker (I honestly don't konw). Obviously forged is "prettier" but I was under the impression cast had a few advantages.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 4:52:39 PM EDT
One big disadvantage of cast is that your resale value will be non existent should you ever decide to sell or trade. The loss in that area will more than offset the higher price of the forged receiver.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 4:53:28 PM EDT
The metallurgical properties of a forged item are far superior to cast pieces because of uniform crystallization in the metal after being hammered into shape. The metal is denser, stronger and less likely to warp or crack from misuse if it is forged.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 4:16:07 AM EDT
EXACTLY what he said!!
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 6:27:00 AM EDT
But aren't the Colt SP1's all cast (or most of them)? And they seem to be one of the more popular models on the market.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 2:41:35 PM EDT
Just because something is popular, it doesn't mean it is good, or better than something else. In all odds, your lower will never blow up, but some like the added safety of forged recievers due to the better quality of the finished steel.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 2:58:43 PM EDT
As was said, cast lowers can crack. However, unless you seriously abuse your rifle, you will probably never have trouble with one. I always go forged, but I have heard that cast isn't as bad as some make it out to be.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 5:59:09 PM EDT
I have no personal experience with cast, but I have never heard anything good about cast parts. So I feel like, for my money I want forged.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 6:02:22 PM EDT
The main reason I'm asking if it's such as big deal is that A. some of the more desirable colt models are cast, and B. asked 2 friends who are x-military and neither has ever seen a forged lower in combat.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 6:20:02 PM EDT
I think your "x-military friends" have badly misinformed you. I dont think colt makes anything with cast parts. There are only a few companies that make cast ARs, and they are considered kind of entry level. Would you spend your hard earned money on a car that the salesman said might explode on the testdrive? I dont know, you might be the kind of guy that likes to maybe, jump on a pogo stick naked. But I like safety.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 6:24:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:28:25 PM EDT
"Do a search on the word "kaboom" on this site. I'm pretty sure every AR you will find that blew up HAD a cast lower." Cast lowers will not cause a "kaboom", nor will forged lowers still be usable after one. "Kabooms" are caused by either a case rupture or firing out of battery (high primer). A "kaboom" that would damage a cast lower would also damage the rest of the rifle, and a forged lower, too, to the point that it is not repairable. A few cast lowers have had internal defects that caused problem. Some of the Olympic Arms cast lowers had problems due to machining defects. That was later corrected, and they will replace defective ones. I have seen a lot of Essential Arms cast lowers, and talked to guys that had them, and not once have I heard of any problems due to these cast lowers.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:56:38 PM EDT
It is difficult to believe that a cast aluminum alloy reciver would be less strong or less reliable than the plastic receivers in use. Plastic and cast alumium both seem strong enough for the stresses of the AR. Let's see some proof: tensile strength, load strength, ie. actual numbers instead of all the anecdotal "evidence" based on old wives tales.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 4:55:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Fuego: It is difficult to believe that a cast aluminum alloy reciver would be less strong or less reliable than the plastic receivers in use. Plastic and cast alumium both seem strong enough for the stresses of the AR. Let's see some proof: tensile strength, load strength, ie. actual numbers instead of all the anecdotal "evidence" based on old wives tales.
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I cannot tell if you are pro-cast or pro-forged. All I know is that you should have an opinion of your own and espouse it. If you do not have an opinion, FAKE IT.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 3:05:46 PM EDT
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