View Full Version : 80%

December 26, 2012, 08:44 PM
Will 80% lowers be the new norm? I've been considering giving it a try. The jigs seem to make it much easier than I thought. I already have a drill press.

Does anyone have any experience machining one? Tip Tricks or Headaches...


December 27, 2012, 02:01 AM
Been looking at them myself.

Looks as though they cost more to put together. The lowers are the same prices and you need some other things. Also seems like a lot of people destroy drill presses trying to mill with them. I have the more expensive Delta drill press sold at lowes and I think milling a lower would be hard on it.

Companies leave out different actions to get down to 80%. SOme leave out very easy to do things that must be done precisely and some leave out more grunt like work of removing lots of material.

I think I will go for a couple flats and a bending jig first. Seems much simpler and the from what I read the AKs are much more forgiving for small mistakes.

December 29, 2012, 10:19 PM
I know that they are possible to do with a drill press, but they are dead simple with even the cheapest of mills and a jig. I have read great things about Tactical Machining in Florida ...

One thing to keep in mind is that you will want to finish the lower with something ... hard anodize is the norm and that usually runs $75-$100 per batch ... so it really pays to do a bunch of them with friends. Another thing is that you will need a couple of long end mills ... again, good to split with friends.


December 31, 2012, 11:42 AM
Never seen the single shot lowers (http://www.tacticalmachining.com/receivers/lower-receivers/single-shot-ar-15-lower.html) like they have. That would be a good option for some builds. Available complete and 80%.

Looks like they have good products and the prices seem fair, but they are all out of stock, of course.

December 31, 2012, 04:02 PM
Can you have someone put a finish on or is that part of building? There is a hard chromer local to me that I might be able to convince to do it if legal.

January 1, 2013, 09:37 AM
Assuming you are referring to AR15 lowers and an impending AWB......

Wouldn't finish manufacturing still require you to serialized and register the lower? ....or do they already come serialized and require registering prior to completing the manufacturing? The registration would seem like the real hurdle? Wouldn't anything less be illegal?

Just curious.... I do not know the answers.

January 1, 2013, 02:55 PM
If it comes down to a registration scheme, homebuilt firearms will follow the exact same rules as any other. One of the biggest benefits that I can see in building your own is the smile it puts on your face every time you shoot it ... in spite of the fact that the POTUS seems to think that none of us make anything, you can sit back after a good shooting string and honestly say to yourself "Damned straight ... I made that!"

Machining is where the "manufacturing" takes place. Once you have finished the machining, it is definitely a firearm. After that (or before that, if for some reason you wanted to), you can have someone anodize or otherwise finish it for you. As a side note, aluminum may be difficult to hard chrome, but the plater will know for sure.


January 1, 2013, 03:58 PM
ORYX- to the best of my knowledge you do not have to put a serial number on a firearm that you manufactured for yourself.

January 1, 2013, 04:02 PM
AFAIK, RamItOne is correct per current law. If there was an AW registration requirement, however, it would likely change the requirement for the serial number as well ... I just can't see them limiting registration to those firearms that have serial numbers.


January 1, 2013, 06:25 PM
After that (or before that, if for some reason you wanted to), you can have someone anodize or otherwise finish it for you.
Anodizing is easy to do at home. All you need is a reliable power source and some acid. I have friends that have done it with a car battery charger. I do mine with old computer power supply units wired in parallel.