The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > NFA Guns and Gear

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 20, 2014, 08:36 PM   #1
Machineguntony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Posts: 1,227
What is a Billet lower?

I am in the process of negotiating the purchase of an AR15 machine gun billet lower. A search does not reveal any info.

I am told that it is a "billet" machine gun lower, which is rarer than your typical DPMS or SWG cast lower. I am told that billet machine gun lowers are very rare.

It is an aluminum billet lower, not steel billet.

1. What does it mean that the lower is a billet?

2. Is it worth more than a regular AR machine gun lower?

3. What advantages or disadvantages does it have over a RDIAS?

4. Anything else I should know?
__________________
Have a good day!
Machineguntony is offline  
Old May 20, 2014, 08:44 PM   #2
dogtown tom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,454
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_118/4...s__Billet.html
__________________
Need a FFL in Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me. $20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)

Plano, Texas...........the Gun Nut Capitol of Gun Culture, USA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE
dogtown tom is offline  
Old May 20, 2014, 09:34 PM   #3
Quentin2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Location: NorthWest USA
Posts: 1,996
Billet or forged, if you're thinking of buying a stripped lower that can be set up for select fire, well ... you're playing with fire! Know exactly what you're doing, I certainly can't give any firsthand advice!

Now as for billet vs. standard milspec forged stripped semiauto lowers, well that's up to you. Functionally they're pretty much the same but billets can look very nice and they often have extra features like screws instead of roll pins, integrated trigger guards and screws to remove slop between the receivers. You mentioned cast lowers but I'm sure today they're much more rare than billet or forged.

I've heard billet described as a block of aluminum where everything that doesn't look like an AR stripped lower is cut away. Forged, of course is where the raw aluminum is hammer forged in a monster press and comes out shaped as a rough lower, often called a 0% lower, which must be fine machined further before it is a viable AR lower.

Forged lowers are done in huge quantities and pretty much look the same though final machining and etching can add beauty and unique features to them. There are very few forges that do AR receivers, you hear of Anchor Harvey, Cardinal, Brass Aluminum Forge, Cerro Forge and not many more. They tend to be cheaper than billet. Everybody and their brother are doing billet lowers and there is a lot of variety. You really can't go wrong either way as long as the machining was done right, and it usually is.

Last edited by Quentin2; May 20, 2014 at 09:58 PM.
Quentin2 is offline  
Old May 21, 2014, 09:24 AM   #4
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,871
There are no registered (available for transfer to regular folks) billet lower receivers for the AR15. It's impossible, since no one was making billet lower machinegun receivers anywhere near 1986. I think the first ones came out within the last 10 years or so.

So any Billet Lower receiver that is capable of accepting the M16 autosear is an illegal machinegun and is contraband.

Billet lower receivers are simply milled out of a billet of aluminum. As opposed to cast or forged. But, all a billet is is a block of aluminum (or other metal). It says nothing about the quality of the aluminum.

Last edited by Skans; May 21, 2014 at 10:14 AM.
Skans is offline  
Old May 21, 2014, 11:25 AM   #5
Machineguntony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Posts: 1,227
http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/nf...gi?read=166449

Here is the billet MG receiver for sale. Are you saying that it isn't a billet receiver? Also, how do I know it is a billet receiver? I assume it isn't going to say "billet" on it.
__________________
Have a good day!
Machineguntony is offline  
Old May 21, 2014, 12:38 PM   #6
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,871
You know what, I may be wrong. Here's something I found out about Palmetto Armory (which is not Palmetto State Armory)::

Palmetto Armory is not Pallmetto Arms. Palmetto Armory is not or was not Olympic Arms. Olympic Arms used to manufacture the lowers for Palmetto Armory. If you buy a Palmetto Armory lower and it is marked with SGW Olympic Arms and it falls into the serial range as listed by Olympic Arms then Olympic Arms will remanufacture it for the cost of a new forged lower. olyarms.com/serialnumbers.html SN Range: 1000 - 8845 1st Date - End Date: 03/14/79 06/04/82 Special Notes: Cut from Aluminum Bar Stock Most made for other manufacturers such as Palmetto Armory It is worth about $800 at the most. Preban Oly lowers are in the $700-800 range on the equipment exchange. Anything more than $1000 is a rip-off. [quote]Originally Posted By cas: Hmmm.... Palmetto Arms is in Italy and makes reproduction cartridge and black powders guns. Wonder if there's any connection?

That's the first I've ever heard of a registered billet M16 lower. But after seeing the picture and reading the above, I think it is just that!

Regarding your questions:

1. What does it mean that the lower is a billet?
It means that it was not made from a forging like the Colt receivers are. Today's billet receivers made from 7075; I think the older ones were made from 6061. Billet to billet, 7075 is substantially stronger. However, there seems to be a debate about billet 7075 to forged 6061 as to which is stronger, and basically it's going to depend on how thick the receiver material is in the billet receiver. I'm pretty sure that the older receivers were all 6061, but I could be wrong.

2. Is it worth more than a regular AR machine gun lower?
I highly doubt that its worth as much as a Colt M16 forged lower receiver. I don't know how it would compare to a Bushmaster M16 receiver. However if it's a well made receiver, I doubt that it would go for a lot less than a Colt M16 lower either. I saw that someone installed antiwalk pins in it - you need to take that into consideration, but I don't know if it really would impact value.

3. What advantages or disadvantages does it have over a RDIAS?
Advantages - If I recall correctly, the RDIAS is never really turned off, even when using int in semi-auto - the RDIAS is still activated. With a true M16, the autosear is not engaged during semi-auto fire. Also, if the RDIAS is aluminum as opposed to stainless, they are not as sturdy as a true M16 lower receiver.

Disadvantages - with a stainless RDIAS, they will basically last forever and you can simply replace the lower receiver if it ever wears out. Also, you can turn just about any AR platform (not 308) into full auto using the RDIAS. It used to be that the registered lower receivers were more valuable but now most people would rather have a stainless steel RDIAS. Aluminum RDIAS's go for less than the stainless ones, but prices fluctuate and I can't keep up.

Last edited by Skans; May 21, 2014 at 03:32 PM.
Skans is offline  
Old May 21, 2014, 09:07 PM   #7
Machineguntony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Posts: 1,227
Thanks for the info Skans.

That's very thorough. I still don't know. Do you think this is a good deal? I have no idea. He has given me some time to think.
__________________
Have a good day!
Machineguntony is offline  
Old May 22, 2014, 07:49 AM   #8
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,871
It's an unusual lower receiver, that's for sure. Not your typical Colt or Bushmaster conversion. IIRC, non-colt non-bushmaster AR's back in the early 80's weren't very highly thought of - whether there was any validity due to genuine quality differences, I really do not know. I think most of the issues were due to really low quality cast (not forged and not milled from billet) AR receivers coming onto the market, but this may not have been until the late '80's. The one in the picture doesn't remind me of one of those cheap cast receivers, and it does appear to have additional metal in some of the critical areas. Most of what you are paying for is simply the right to own an M16. M16's do tend to fetch a premium because they can be configured into a host of fairly modern weapons just by swapping out barreled uppers.

Still, the price seems high to me. While I think the price being asked is about the going rate for Colt receivers, this isn't a Colt. Heck, with transferable machinegun receivers, prices are volatile and it's very tough to keep up with what's market.

I only own one machinegun - an AC556. I'm glad I bought it when I did - it was by far the most expensive gun I ever purchased at the time at $2,400. Then I blinked and suddenly the same gun sells for between $6,500 and $7,500.....and that may be old data at the time I'm posting this.

Does anyone know the range that Colt M16 transferable lower receivers are selling for right now? My thought is that they are selling in the 15K-16K range, last I checked.

Last edited by Skans; May 22, 2014 at 08:03 AM.
Skans is offline  
Old May 22, 2014, 08:48 AM   #9
Machineguntony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Posts: 1,227
A complete colt M16A1 sells for between $18-23k, not NIB.

A complete M16A2 sells for $25-32k, not NIB.

NIB add $5000-$10,000 to above.

If it is an incomplete Colt M16 lower with a non Colt upper, subtract $5000.

If it is an incomplete Colt M16 with a Colt upper, but not the original M16 upper, subtract $1,000 - $3,000.

A complete nonColt sells for $14-17k.

I'm thinking this billet receiver falls in the nonColt category. The upper is really irrevelevant. I'm starting to believe/guess that the fact it is a 'billet' makes no difference. I could be wrong.
__________________
Have a good day!
Machineguntony is offline  
Old May 22, 2014, 11:28 AM   #10
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,871
I think you sized it up pretty well. It may be a wonderfully made lower receiver. But, most folks will look at it as "not a Colt", which is probably how you should evaluate it.
Skans is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 11:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.05933 seconds with 8 queries