The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 17, 2012, 05:30 PM   #1
darestie
Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
Posts: 57
Anyone else have a Polymer lower?

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.
darestie is offline  
Old October 17, 2012, 06:23 PM   #2
djcantr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 28, 2012
Posts: 215
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!
djcantr is offline  
Old October 17, 2012, 06:44 PM   #3
UtopiaTexasG19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Location: S.E. Texas Gulf Coast
Posts: 743
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.
UtopiaTexasG19 is offline  
Old October 17, 2012, 09:02 PM   #4
Technosavant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 3,909
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.
Technosavant is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 09:07 AM   #5
wilson133
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Posts: 194
Didn't Glock settle all of the polymer durability questions some time ago?
wilson133 is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 09:11 AM   #6
Belve
Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2012
Posts: 58
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
Belve is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 09:47 AM   #7
Technosavant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 3,909
Quote:
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.
Technosavant is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 11:36 AM   #8
darestie
Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
Posts: 57
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).
darestie is offline  
Old October 18, 2012, 04:33 PM   #9
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 2,801
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.

Last edited by Fishbed77; October 19, 2012 at 09:07 AM.
Fishbed77 is online now  
Old October 19, 2012, 05:42 AM   #10
Justice06RR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,279
Quote:
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.
Justice06RR is offline  
Old October 19, 2012, 05:54 AM   #11
Ben Towe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 1,120
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.
__________________
'Merica: Back to back World War Champs
Ben Towe is offline  
Old October 19, 2012, 09:10 AM   #12
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 2,801
Quote:
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.
Fishbed77 is online now  
Old October 19, 2012, 10:40 AM   #13
Technosavant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 3,909
Quote:
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?
Technosavant is offline  
Old October 19, 2012, 12:43 PM   #14
darestie
Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Sugar Land, Texas
Posts: 57
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.
darestie is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09672 seconds with 9 queries