View Full Version : Which is better?

June 12, 2002, 12:42 PM
I have been considering building an AR and I was wondering what is the difference in a cast or milled receiver. Which one is better and why?

June 14, 2002, 09:51 AM
A cast receiver is just that, it is a casting made in a pre-made form. Milled receivers are made by CNC machining of a solid block of aluminum. Supposedly there is no difference as far as strength, but most shooters prefer the milled receivers. Some of the cast receivers can show discolorations in the finish, but I have yet to see this. DPMS offers a cast receiver, which is about $25 cheaper than the milled one.

A good example of a cast receiver is the Ruger M77 line of bolt action rifles, which are all cast. This proves that casting can be successful.

June 14, 2002, 11:35 AM
The milled receiver started life as a universal shaped casting. Cut and machined to become a receiver.
The cast receiver started life as a dedicated casting, machined to final dimensions and finish.

Differences only in the skill of the maker, not the method.


Badger Arms
June 14, 2002, 10:31 PM
Semantics... The standard terms are, I believe, "Casting" and "Forging." True, forging is a tried and true method of making receivers. Those who say there's any strength or accuracy differences in the two are trying to sell you something though. It's mostly a cost issue. Investment Cast (also called 'lost wax') receivers are as strong as forged receivers assuming the heat treatment is done right. I've heat-treated 7075 alloy to T-6 and it's not that difficult.

Here's the catch, BOTH RECEIVERS ARE MILLED to final dimensions. Me, I'd buy the forged one. They look better.

June 17, 2002, 11:12 PM
Thanks for the info.