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Posted: 3/25/2006 9:39:16 PM EDT
I’m looking for a good inexpensive lower for an upcoming build. A quick look at the EE shows me that there are about 20 different new manufacturers of lowers... Most of which seem to be remarked CMTs.

What's the best bang for the buck right now?

Any thoughts welcomed. Thanks in advance
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 11:34:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2006 11:53:04 PM EDT by gunz4me]
Essential Arms is your best bet in a low cost forged lower, assuming your FFL can get you one!

ETA: I also have managed to find Double Star lowers at decent prices.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 12:08:07 AM EDT
I've recently built a Mega and a Stag and both were equal to or better in machine marks and fitting than my bushmaster.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:57:37 AM EDT
I have built two RRA's recently, they were the cheapest I was able to find locally. Real nice fit and finish. I also have a Stag on order.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:31:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gunz4me:
Essential Arms is your best bet in a low cost forged lower,


YIKES! For another ten BUCKS I would go STAG!
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:56:18 AM EDT
Ameetec Arms, I have eight of their lowers and each one is excellent in fit and finish.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:10:30 AM EDT
ameetec
mega
stag
double star
rra
high standard
gts (dennysguns)


Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:49:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By demusn1979:
Originally Posted By gunz4me:
Essential Arms is your best bet in a low cost forged lower,


YIKES! For another ten BUCKS I would go STAG!



I met Mr. Vaughn of Essential Arms at the Lafayette Gun Show a couple of weeks ago, and I even saw a few rifles built up by another dealer on the EA lowers. Although I did not care for the finish on some of the EA lowers, I spoke with the dealer who built some rifles and he said that they were just as good as RRA, Double Star, Stag, etc. because he had no problems assembling the EA lower.

Would I use an EA lower for a low-cost build? You betcha. I would save $10 and wouldn't have to put up with the deer head on a Stag. Sadly, I don't do low cost builds since I currently have a POF stripped lower and a POF complete upper on backorder.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:14:03 PM EDT
Good to see somebody is manufacturing stoner lowers in my home-state!
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 2:54:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2006 3:57:41 PM EDT by Sub-MOA]
Ok, so far we have a list of lower manufacturers with no prices or any info. I’m going to try and flesh out my decision making process a bit more than that… Here goes

First we have EA suggested. EA while probably being the least expensive option… still sucks. Over the years, I’ve seen several broken lowers posted here (of the cast variety) and the finish on them looks like it was done by a spastic meth-head using a black crayon. (bleh)

Don’t think I’ll be getting an EA.

Second, we have Stag… Now stag is one of the remarked CMT lowers I mentioned earlier. I’ve never seen anyone have fit issues with them but they do sometimes show quite a few handling marks. “That’ll buff right out” seems to be a phrase that goes hand in hand with a stag lower.

Price: $95 delivered. (From Jkiser when he has them in stock)

Third we have Double Star, High Standard and Superior Arms: These builds seem to go smoothly and the finish looks quite good. The problem is… I can't find a dealer that has them in stock. I had pretty much decided to build on a High Standard lower but the damned things disappeared from the market.

(Price: Can’t be had. Never in stock. Gotta preorder (bleh))

OK so I can’t buy a “Texas made” receiver. I’ll buy one from a forum sponsor. I love this place. Might as well do business here with people I know.

Than means Ameetec, Stag, CMMG, Global Tactical and others.
Of that bunch, I like Ameetec, Global and CMMG. The rollmarks are clean on all of them. Fit and finish is great and the receivers never seem to be dinged up even though the Global lowers are pretty much just stag remarks.

Ameetec = $110 + shipping
Global = $105 (shipped) or it may be $115 shipped (website still says $105)
CMMG=120 + shipping

I think I’m going to wind up buying the global lower.

Anyone see any errors in that logic?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:02:38 PM EDT
see what you can find locally... I was all set to order a Stag lower from aimsurplus for $99 bucks, but I found a Rock River in a local gunshop for $129... avoiding shipping and a transfer fee, I came out happier with the Rock River
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:10:33 PM EDT
locally its been RRA
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:48:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:

Third we have Double Star, High Standard and Superior Arms: These builds seem to go smoothly and the finish looks quite good. The problem is… I can find a dealer that has them in stock. I had pretty much decided to build on a High Standard lower but the damned things disappeared from the market.

(Price: Can’t be had. Never in stock. Gotta preorder (bleh))




Damn, I was able to pick up a Double Star in January for $130 out the door. I did not realize they were that hard to find:



I would post a picture of the complete rifle, but the upper is being repaired under warranty due to an out of spec gas tube.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:14:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
First we have EA suggested. EA while probably being the least expensive option… still sucks. Over the years, I’ve seen several broken lowers posted here (of the cast variety) and the finish on them looks like it was done by a spastic meth-head using a black crayon. (bleh)



UH... I thought EA's where forged?
www.essentialarms.com/forged lower receivers!
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:29:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GlockandRoll:

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
First we have EA suggested. EA while probably being the least expensive option… still sucks. Over the years, I’ve seen several broken lowers posted here (of the cast variety) and the finish on them looks like it was done by a spastic meth-head using a black crayon. (bleh)



UH... I thought EA's where forged?
www.essentialarms.com/forged lower receivers!



The old EA was investment cast, whereas the new EA is forged.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:51:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gunz4me:

Originally Posted By demusn1979:
Originally Posted By gunz4me:
Essential Arms is your best bet in a low cost forged lower,

YIKES! For another ten BUCKS I would go STAG!



I met Mr. Vaughn of Essential Arms at the Lafayette Gun Show a couple of weeks ago, and I even saw a few rifles built up by another dealer on the EA lowers. Although I did not care for the finish on some of the EA lowers, I spoke with the dealer who built some rifles and he said that they were just as good as RRA, Double Star, Stag, etc. because he had no problems assembling the EA lower.
Would I use an EA lower for a low-cost build? You betcha. I would save $10 and wouldn't have to put up with the deer head on a Stag. Sadly, I don't do low cost builds since I currently have a POF stripped lower and a POF complete upper on backorder.



+1 on Essential Arms lowers. You stated best bang for the buck; this is it. I believe all that E.A. is selling now are the forged lowers.
There was nothing bad about the cast lowers from them either. I used to have 2, and have a bunch of co-workers that have them now; along with the forged lowers also. No complaints from any of them; course they use their rifles. I have only seen one picture of an E.A. lower that was off, and it looked like it suffered a kaboom from a magazine; the mag well was poofed out a bit, but it held together; and it was a cast lower. I don't think you could blame that on the lower though. That's the only E.A. lower that I've seen messed up. btw, I'll be putting another E.A. lower together by the end of the week for another co-worker.
There are better finished lowers out there, but don't knock the E.A. lower; it is a good lower.
+1 for the Global Tactical lower also. I'm trying to put Denny's kids through college one piece at a time .
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 12:43:08 PM EDT
I have a real OLD EA Lower that I bought in Houston back in the early 80's. It's Cast, and when I bought it, I paid $55.00, New. That CAST EA receiver has over 15k rounds fired. It's had many different uppers on it. And it's always done what it's supposed to when the trigger is pulled. I believe that I have got my $$$ out of it, and it still works just fine. And of all the AR's that I've owned, it's the one that's never left. As I recall, that first AR cost me around $300.00 total to build, and it even had a Colt M16 Model 01, slab-sided upper, with a 1-in-14 barrel with the 3-pronged flash-hider. Damn, I wish I still had that upper!!!
I talked to the owner of EA, late last year, and he said that all the lowers are now Forged and he changed from Cast to Forged late last year. It seems that $77.00 for a New FORGED Lower is a good price. I also remember when I was in Portland Maine, (my ship was in Post Shakedown Availability), Bushmaster, was in Portland, right behind the Post Office, and Tom Barr (sp) was running the place. They were carrying EA Cast receiver's as a standard lower's at that time. I know this to be correct, because he showed me how easy it was to instaall the front pivot pin, on a EA lower I bought, from Bushmaster, when I was there. That was in very early 1985.


Chief
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 1:12:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 1:14:14 PM EDT by Sub-MOA]
For those of you debating EA… A few thoughts.

The older cast EAs used to break right at the rear takedown pin. The crack would go from the safety selector down to the start of the grip area. The whole buffer assembly and the rear of the receiver would just fall off the gun.

The newer EAs are milled forgings just like every one else (probably done by anchor). I have no doubt that they have solved their previous breakage issues by switching to the forging. However, I believe that they are still using a “spray on” type finish instead of the more typical anodizing. The finish that they use is not your typical “gun coat” or Norrel’s, it is more like oven paint or something of that nature.

It just looks crappy. The “Spastic meth-head with a crayon" analogy was only partly facetious Add that to their previous problem with quality control and you wind up with a company that I have no desire to do business with. EA, Hesse/Viking… If you’ve been building for more than a decade, you begin to realize that some people could genuinely screw up a wet dream.


-As to RRA-

I’m going to check my local dealers and see if I can get a better deal that way. I never buy anything from a shop anymore… The thought never even occurred to me.
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