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View Full Version : Anyone else have a Polymer lower?


darestie
October 17, 2012, 05:30 PM
I have a 20" Olympic upper with a New Frontier Polymer lower. The gun was a cheap build that i'm really starting to like. Took it to the range and put about 200 hard rds through it. I was able to pull off some sub 1" groups at 100yds with sand bags and a cheap leapers scope.

My issue isn't with the upper which has proven itself to be accurate and reliable. It's with the lower.

Does anyone else have a polymer lower?

I really should love this lower too. It was $100 OTD complete including buffer and stock. So far its been 100% reliable. Besides shooting some match 45gr. I shoot a bunch of the cheap Russian steel case. I was curious if the plastic lower could deal with the harder Russian stuff. The trigger actually feels pretty good Stripped it, so far no signs of fatigue anywhere.

I figure since I like this upper, a decent aluminum lower will be in plans. Just wondering if anyone thinks i'm going to need to look sooner than later.

djcantr
October 17, 2012, 06:23 PM
I don't suspect you'll have any problems with it. If you do, they have a lifetime warranty. If the polymer parts inside eventually fail, put a mil spec LPK in it and keep going. I bought my New Frontier Armory stripped and put in a mil spec LPK from the start.

I bought one of their stripped lowers for an ultra lightweight .22 LR AR. When I installed the butt stock the top of the threaded portion that it screws into cracked. I figured I over tightened it. I was about to order a new lower when I decided to email New Frontier. I told them what happened and that I thought I might have over tightened it but wasn't sure. Asked if they thought it was due to being over tightened or if there was a warranty. They emailed back within a couple hours and didn't ask me any questions about the crack or anything else. Just said they stand behind their product 100% and to send it back for a replacement. I mailed it to them and they turned around and mailed me a new one the very same day. Pretty dang good service for something that might have been my fault, and I even told them that!

UtopiaTexasG19
October 17, 2012, 06:44 PM
Two of my AR's that I keep in pick up trucks and know will eventually get pretty beat up have the polymer Plum Crazy lowers. They both have worked flawlessly through many thousands of rounds and I like them for my "lightest" builds.

Technosavant
October 17, 2012, 09:02 PM
I'm still skeptical about the NFA poly lowers, but I have really not seen anybody having issues with them. I still don't know I'd use one for a defensive rifle but they appear to work fine.

wilson133
October 18, 2012, 09:07 AM
Didn't Glock settle all of the polymer durability questions some time ago?

Belve
October 18, 2012, 09:11 AM
i have 3 as well as a forged and billet lower. only difference i can tell between them is weight. The polymers function fine and the fit is no different the the metal ones

Technosavant
October 18, 2012, 09:47 AM
Didn't Glock settle all of the polymer durability questions some time ago?

When it's with a design intended for polymer, sure. The AR-15 was designed around forged aluminum receivers. That can lead to issues in certain areas if they are not beefed up. Some makers (New Frontier does not seem to have this problem) didn't strengthen the area around the takedown pin detent hole, leading to breakages because the receiver just wasn't strong enough there. If it's reinforced it isn't a problem, but you can't just go from material A to material B without considering potential issues. A decent poly lower receiver should work fine though.

Newer rifle designs do make more extensive use of polymer and seem to be just fine... because they took into account the material's properties in the design stage.

My real skepticism with the New Frontier lowers are the polymer fire control group... they've not been out long enough to really prove themselves. They may get to that point, but even Glock uses metal for their internals.

So far the NFA stuff seems to be holding up; I'll give them that. But I'm enough of a curmudgeon that I want to see more history behind the things before I consider it every bit as good as a complete lower made out of traditional aluminum and steel.

darestie
October 18, 2012, 11:36 AM
Thanks everyone for the advice.

It's good to hear that a few of you have a poly lower and like it. I'll stick with it. Besides my own issues with the polymer it hasn't given me any hint that it will fail. I'll run it until it gives me an issue and then decide if I want to deal with the warranty (I've also heard NF is great to deal with).

Fishbed77
October 18, 2012, 04:33 PM
I'm really tempted to pick up one of the ATI OMNI polymer lowers PSA is selling. They use standard AR (steel) fire control groups, unlike the polymer ones used by New Frontier.

Justice06RR
October 19, 2012, 05:42 AM
I'm really rempted to pick up one of the ATI OMNI polymer lowers PSA is selling. They use standard AR (steel) fire control groups, unlike the polymer ones used by New Frontier.

Give it a try Fishbed.

Funny you posted that, because I own an ATI polymer lower mated to a PSA 300Blackout upper. Quality of the ATI is decent for the most part, although I haven't shot it much due to ammo availability (only had it for a short month or so). The fit is very tight between the receivers and there is no play/wobble at all.

The only downside so far with the poly lower is that the mags don't drop free; I have to manually grab the mag to remove it. Not a big deal for me since this is not my main rifle, but it is something to consider.

What I love about it is that its so lightweight. I'm keeping this particular AR pretty basic with minimal accesories so the polymer lower works well for that purpose.

Ben Towe
October 19, 2012, 05:54 AM
I have a Bushmaster Carbon 15 SuperLight Carbine and I love it. Can't speak for the aftermarket lowers but so far this poly lower seems great.

Fishbed77
October 19, 2012, 09:10 AM
The only downside so far with the poly lower is that the mags don't drop free; I have to manually grab the mag to remove it. Not a big deal for me since this is not my main rifle, but it is something to consider.

I don't think that would be a deal-breaker for me. I'm considering one for a light-weight hunting rifle in 6.8 SPC or .300 Blackout. If is was a problem, I'm sure the magwell could easily be opened up slightly where it's binding.

Technosavant
October 19, 2012, 10:40 AM
The only downside so far with the poly lower is that the mags don't drop free; I have to manually grab the mag to remove it. Not a big deal for me since this is not my main rifle, but it is something to consider.

What kind of mags? Is it doing it with Pmags (known to have this issue with many lowers, even forged aluminum) or even the GI ones?

darestie
October 19, 2012, 12:43 PM
With my NFA, Pmags drop fine and don't have any play. Metal mil-spec mags seem to cause issues and don't drop free. Its a minor issue as I prefer Pmags anyways.