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Posted: 9/22/2003 2:00:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2003 2:08:41 AM EDT by Pdog317]
Hey guys,

I saw this 80% forged lower receiver on E-bay last week.

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=36258&item=3627860253

It says it has an EDM wire cut magwell, CNC machined fire control, top deck cut to height, fire/safe engraving, bolt catch hole drilled, and front and back cut flat perpendicular. I am assuming all of this is down to spec and would save a lot of time trying to fit the upper to lower and get the magwell fitted correctly. Not to mention making the centering of holes a lot easier and precise.

So I thought, what the hell, if this was all true, it would be worth the little extra money to not have to worry about leveling the top plane and make it all square. I'm guessing that an upper should just fit w/o any extra fitting and mags should drop free. And the fact that it is forged was a real bonus. Last time I checked, NOC was still waiting on forged 80% lowers and it was around the $130 range.

The only things different that I can see is that the buffer tube hole is 0.50" instead of the 1.0" of the NOC casting and the detent side of the front pivot pin needs to trimmed. All in all, not a big deal given all the extra time saved by other things.

I was wondering if anyone has already bought this lower receiver. Any feedback on the quality, specs, or if the claims in the ad are true? All of his feedback reviews from people who have bought this say that it is an excellent product and that everything the listing stated was true.

I should be getting mine this week and plan to measure everything to the .001". If nobody has tried this lower out yet, I will be glad to report my findings, just let me know if there is any interest. Hopefully I didn't just pay for a $150 POS and this will be a good alternative to the cast lowers.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 6:06:18 AM EDT
I'd love to have one of these, but $150 is pretty steep for a lower that still is requiring quite alot of work. The forging looks real nice... the price does not.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 7:58:33 AM EDT
I'm seelling one of theese(exact brand)with the alluminum fixtures from E-Bay.$225- for the pair.(buyer pays shipping)
Link Posted: 9/25/2003 12:18:42 PM EDT
I got my 80% forged lower reciever in and it was of excellent quality. Everything was as advertised. I was especially pleased with the fire control area that was CNC'd out. And there is a world of difference between the forged and cast lowers. I immediately put down my cast one that I was working on and started on the forged one. The extra money spent on it is well worth the time saved in many areas. Highly recommended if you want to make your own lower that you are going to be proud of.
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 5:01:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/22/2003 2:50:39 PM EDT by postino]
Originally Posted By Pdog317: The only things different that I can see is that the buffer tube hole is 0.50" ... I was wondering if anyone has already bought this lower receiver...
View Quote
Yep. It's the same as a Shade Tree lower; all machining is exact (no fitting); there is *no* warpage (like in castings); and for the 1/2" hole, that makes it extremely easy to mount the lower to bore & tap the hole (use a piece of 1/2" drill rod, clamp your upper & lower together and mount to angle plate, stick AR-15 cleaning rid guide in upper, slip over drill rod clamped in lathe chuck, then clamp down lower & angle guide, and remove upper. Buffer tube hole is dead-nuts centered on upper receiver hole). I have one of these excellent lowers sitting 3 feet from me, along with two NOC castings which are taking forever to "fit". Everything on the Shade Tree fits out of the box. Mag well included. Naturally, there is some *machining* which needs to be done. But that is minor. BTW: The Shade Tree forging fits in Snellings drill jig without any work (the NOC casting needs lots of filing, or a litte mill cut). I plan on buying a 2nd Shade Tree forging as soon as a member of this Forum (coff *Bud_Burma* coff) sends me the money he owes me...
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 5:09:49 AM EDT
Postino, Did you have to do any fitting on the top plane of the Shade Tree lower? According to the Shade Tree website, some finishing of the top plane and 0.750" radius is required to fit to the upper. The couple of NOC castings I have done are quite pourous. I've sanded them and filled in the pours with JB Weld. The anodizing did not eat the JB weld out. The Shade Tree lowers look 100% better than any casting. ST knows this and charges a premium for their stuff.
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 5:28:34 AM EDT
illigb, take a close look at the top plane just in front of the buffer tube tower. See that step? -> [img]www.shadetreearmory.com/Pictures/stage38.jpg[/img] From what I've read, I think that the top plane is done, just the radius part is left so that it can be fitted to the upper and archive a tight fit. I think my next 80% will be one of these unless Justin ever makes an 80%. That would be THE best on the market if it ever happens, I have no doubt. --LS
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 5:51:46 AM EDT
Thanks longshot... I didn't see that step on any of the lowers pictured on their website... That is a lot of stock to remove!
Link Posted: 9/26/2003 11:32:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2003 11:38:43 AM EDT by postino]
Originally Posted By illigb: Thanks longshot... I didn't see that step on any of the lowers pictured on their website... That is a lot of stock to remove!
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I did say it required some machining... On my forged lower, it works out to .060" off the horizontal plane, and .100" off the vertical plane (but only in the rear curved area; the horizontal top plane is already finished). I bought a 1 1/2" end mill to do the curve all at once, and plunge milled it. Kept fitting and milling until it was a tight fit (I know it will loosen up). If you think about this a second, you'll realize that the mfg has to leave material somewhere. Until the takedown holes are drilled, there is no way to locate the rear curvature of the receiver. But the top plane is a known distance from the mag release hole. Reverse-engineering at its finest. The drilling jig that Snelling rents out locates the blank by the mag release hole, and two pins that fit against the upper plane. On the NOC castings, the upper plane has to be brought down (by filing or milling) before the casting will even fit in the jig. The Shade Tree forging is already milled and has the mag release hole drilled. It's a drop-in to the jig. The surface finish is excellent. Not blasted; looks like it may have been tumbled. The tang where the grip fits is way oversize, too. Needs to be taken down from ~.500" to ~.375". Not hard to do, but not a filing job for sure. BTW: you can see the forging mark on the grip tang before machining. It's a truncated "H" with a triangle over it, followed by "57". I don't recall what mfg this is; somewhere here will recognize it, I'm sure.
Link Posted: 9/27/2003 7:47:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By postino: BTW: you can see the forging mark on the grip tang before machining. It's a truncated "H" with a triangle over it, followed by "57". I don't recall what mfg this is; somewhere here will recognize it, I'm sure.
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I believe that mark is from the Anchor-Harvey forge.
Link Posted: 9/28/2003 5:49:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 2manytoys: I believe that mark is from the Anchor-Harvey forge.
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At least one of my uppers has that mark also. I think I've read somewhere that there are only two or three forges that produce the blanks. They then sell to the machiners...(or so I've read)...
Link Posted: 10/22/2003 6:52:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/23/2003 2:59:32 AM EDT by postino]
Originally Posted By 2manytoys: I believe that mark is from the Anchor-Harvey forge.
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Update - Since Shade Tree is not responding to emails, and the site is no longer active, I decided to try out one of these forgings (incidentally, I was able to buy one from the seller off-eBay). It is indeed a forged lower, exactly as advertised in the eBay ad; comes with D. Snider 2'x3' blueprint; and on visual comparison with my Shade Tree forged lower, appears to be identical. The "Anchor-Harvey" forge mark appears in the same place, this time with a "74". Tool marks are identical, and I would say it came from the same machine shop. There is one difference (besides the one drilled hole and Fire/Safe markings): it has been lightly bead or sand blasted. Very fine media. Should make a good finish for anodizing or baked-on finish. I'd say this forging is 2nd only to original Shade Tree forgings as far as quality and accuracy of machining, of the 5 or so I have examined. Whether it is worth the money or not is up to the buyer (I was able to buy a forged 100% machined & anodized DPMS lower from a dealer for $110). Edit #1: I got am email from the guy distributing these, he says the eBay 80% forged lowers are "made by the same gentleman that makes the shade tree product". Edit #2: The distributor says the lowers are available unblasted, if requested.
Link Posted: 10/22/2003 1:57:48 PM EDT
I bought my 80% cast from Tanneryshop.com A lot of maching was required along the top rail and especially at the rear near the 1-1/8 buffer spring thread area. I did it with a hand file using a woodscrew through the pistol grip hole into my workbench. The upper fits tight and its great I just need a better way to radius the rounded rear edge where the upper and lower meet. I have since bought a mill to do my work rather than a hand file. I would like to host a pic of the completed lower but I dont know how to use HTML on this type of forum. HELP!!!
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 12:27:55 PM EDT
The shade tree site went dead. All products are available on ebay from mr3dman or direct at tengmi@aol.com. There was a conflict with the web hosting so we let it go.
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