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Old September 2, 2013, 11:33 AM   #1
savage1r
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Gunsmith's out of the box review of the E3 Arms Omega 15 Poly Lower

I have been looking forward to starting a lightweight build for a long time. I had decided a while ago to go with a poly lower and got really interested when I saw the offering from E3 Arms. When I went to go pick mine up from my local FFL, I asked the shop gunsmith if he'd be willing to do a once over on video and tell me if I got a lemon or not. He seemed to be pretty pleased with the product, and after my own inspection, I am as well. Give it a watch and let me know what you think.

Video Link
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Old September 3, 2013, 10:20 AM   #2
g.willikers
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Well done and very informative.
They sell for $180, according to a web search.
Very affordable, too.
Thanks for the info.
It's hard to keep up with all this stuff.
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Old September 3, 2013, 04:13 PM   #3
Quentin2
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It was a fair visual-only review but as he said "the proof is in the pudding" after real world use. I don't like the plastic receiver and receiver extension, commercial diameter to boot. Sharp edges too, that was horrible.

Bottom line, unless you just have to shave off a few ounces (not that noticeable so close to your shoulder anyway) why pay $180 for this lower when you can build a milspec 7075 T6 lower for close to the same! Last year I bought a $100 stripped lower locally and a PSA $80 LBK so came in for $180. I'm sure glad I have mine not the polymer E3.
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Old September 3, 2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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Savage, I'm not trying to knock your LW build, it's just polymer receivers are not for me. The build I described is LW using a pencil barrel. It comes in a a few ounces over 6 lb while a buddy's Carbon-15 comes in about 7 oz lighter IIRC. Out front where it matters most, mine is quite maneuverable.
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Old September 23, 2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quentin, those are very valid points, the only response I can say is to compare the introduction of polymer pistols like the glocks, kahrs, walthers, rugers, etc. Is polymer as durable as steel or aluminum? Probably not in all scenarios, but it does have a place. It is durable enough, does not corrode, and saves on weight (IF that's what you want). Are polymer pistols going to replace all steel or alloy pistols? Not likely, but there's a time, place, and market for them. This is the beginning stages of polymer lowers for AR's and some are probably going to suck. This one might as well, but that's how you get better products. You figure out what doesn't work, improve on it till you have something that does. So let's see where this goes.

Speaking of my more in depth review, here it is. Again, this is before actual testing, just close ups, comparisons, and thoughts on this poly lower.

VIDEO LINK
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Old September 23, 2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Quentin, those are very valid points, the only response I can say is to compare the introduction of polymer pistols like the glocks, kahrs, walthers, rugers, etc.
My response to that comment would be that all those pistols were designed to use polymer as the primary frame material. The AR was not designed with polymer in mind as the receiver material.

Personally, considering that a 7075 forged aluminum receiver is so light and inexpensive to begin with, I just don't see the point of going with a less-proven material to save just a few bucks and a few ounces.
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Old September 23, 2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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Nice video, Savage! But I'll stay with 7075-T6 receivers.
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Old September 23, 2013, 11:00 PM   #8
semi_problomatic
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Couple thoughts...

When you put an upper on that lower it's going to act like a lever against the pins... I wonder how well the plastic is going to hold up to that.

Same with the flat the hammer rest against. I've seen the GI ones begin to deform with guys releasing the hammer on an empty lower.

And then there's that polymer buffer tube with a steel spring sliding back and forth through it...

Polymer pistols have a couple differences, besides the 5lbs of metal sitting on top and way forward, my glock has steel tabs reinforcing the slide area. My ruger doesn't and after 10 years it has a bit of wear. But on both there are much thicker tabs holding the slide on, and the side to side torque is very low.

And last, as far as any weight loss..

Take a cz shadow and a cz phantom. The shadow weighs in at 2.6#'s the phantom 1.8#'s. Thats a huge chunk of weight. Which makes it completly worth it to some. To put that in perspective: the AR lower would have to drop the weight of a 6.5# gun by 2 #'s to equal the weight savings of 8 oz in a pistol.

2.6-1.8=.8
.8/2.6 = .307
.307*6.5 = 2#

So, I dunno. Seems about as worth while as a carbon fiber lower.
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Old October 3, 2013, 05:07 PM   #9
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Well, it'll be a learning experience either way. I talked to the owner and he said that he's put 1000's of rounds through one that he turned into an FA belt fed rifle. We'll see if that holds up, once I get the full rifle built and put it to task, I'll report on whatever happens, good or bad.
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Old October 4, 2013, 10:45 PM   #10
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I would be interested if its a significant monetary savings.

If I built an AR, it would be used for animal control and predator hunting... So hi volume wouldn't be an issue

As far as polymer goes... I really don't have an issue because for about four years I've owned a polymer 3/8 drive ratchet. Been quite durable lol...

But if you can get a metal lower for the same price, I don't see a benefit....

I've not bought a lower... So I don't know
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Old October 10, 2013, 10:23 PM   #11
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i have just recently been using the 2nd gen ATI poly lower. so far, so good, but only 500 through it so far. i will post a long term use thread soon. my buddy has the same lower as me, been using for six months w/o issue, but i can't personally confirm that. i thought about just changing it out for a metal one, but now i'm curious to as how long this thing will last. the only point of weakness that is apparent would be, between the grip and the buffer tube, i could see dropping it very hard on the butt sock being a problem, but i don't see where simply shooting it would put stress on the lower. but i don't know alot about ar's; do the lower reciever's take any pressure? only time will tell i guess, but for less than 100$ i would like to see the end result of what several thousand rounds and mag drops do to it. i do feel i should go ahead and buy a metal one just in case though, while they still cheap.
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