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Old September 22, 2017, 01:53 PM   #1
SC4006
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AR15 lower made from aluminum cans

Just thought I'd share this fascinating video I came across on youtube. In the video the guy melts down various aluminum cans, then uses sand casting to cast a rough lower. He then mills it out to spec.

Here is the Video

As a metal caster myself the only potential issue I see is the fact that the aluminum from cans is not the best for casting things that could benefit from better strength or wear resistance. It is very pure and lacks properties of an aluminum alloy. As just a fun build, and proof of concept though it should be okay.
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Old September 22, 2017, 02:19 PM   #2
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Very interesting video.

Thank you for posting it.
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Old September 22, 2017, 04:21 PM   #3
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Awesome home project.
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Old September 22, 2017, 04:50 PM   #4
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I saw this a while ago and started to price the project. I quickly stopped. If you already have all the casting equipment, ok, but it is an expensive venture for a novelty. I believe the crucible alone was more than five times the cost of a raw lower blank.

Still enjoy the video. Maybe when I retire...
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Old September 22, 2017, 08:23 PM   #5
Mobuck
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While it might be possible to sand cast a lower from pop cans, I have serious doubts of the strength/longevity of the finished product.
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Old September 22, 2017, 09:45 PM   #6
444
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That is why he used Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.
Pop cans arnt up to the task.
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How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old September 23, 2017, 07:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
That is why he used Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.

LOL 444.

Very cool, gotta love DIYers. Wouldn't mind being his friend when the SHTF.
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Old September 23, 2017, 10:13 AM   #8
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I was going to ask, if he has the tooling to mill a reciever, then why not just get a chunk of aluminum of known quality.
Still gonna be a ghost gun. Wouldn't think it'd be very strong where the extension screws in.

Cool video anyway.
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Old September 23, 2017, 11:36 AM   #9
T. O'Heir
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Al cans aren't a good enough alloy for a receiver. They're made out of 3004 alloy. Receivers are made of 7075 alloy.
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Old September 23, 2017, 11:40 AM   #10
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I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there are some lower receivers on the market that aren't even up to the pop-can quality!...LOL
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Old September 23, 2017, 01:30 PM   #11
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Someone that has the tools and skills to melt down beverage cans and mill a receiver from the resulting block of aluminum....if I had to guess...has already milled a receiver or 2 out of other materials. For those that ask why, I say why not. A time may come when proper materials are not available and humankind will have to improvise and use what is available.
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Old September 23, 2017, 05:11 PM   #12
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You'd have your choice of structural type aluminum if we were in a post apocalyptic world.
I can't see the point of doing it this way because the challenge for most is the tooling and skill. If you can carve out a reciever now, you can probably do it with limited power.
Just hacksaw off a piece of good aluminum and take it home and work on it.
But then, there'd be no need for a ghost gun in a post apocalyptic world either... just scrounge up an AR15 and have at it, probably will be plenty of M4/M16 rifles laying around too.
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Old September 23, 2017, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
That is why he used Pabst Blue Ribbon cans.
Pop cans arnt up to the task.
I would have to agree. I’ve heard that PBR aluminum is superior to 7075-T6 even. Before long it will be the new industry standard.
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Old September 24, 2017, 01:02 PM   #14
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Would it be weaker than the current crop of polymer lowers?

I used 7075-T6 to make a practice sword for fencing class, and was really impressed with how much beating it can withstand. It's at least equal to mild steel.
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Old September 24, 2017, 01:14 PM   #15
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Pop can aluminum does not have much silica in it witch is very important in aluminum it helps full in the spaces in the casting with out silica parts are brital and air vods like pig iron
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Old September 24, 2017, 10:49 PM   #16
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The aluminum used for cans is pretty soft, made to draw easily (the same reason cartridge case brass is soft until shaped and hardened). Gun parts, like and AR receiver, are made of an aluminum alloy that is hardened and/or coated to resist wear and add strength. If the idea is just to show that guns can be made from scrap metal and illustrate the futility of gun bans, the product will do that; but it is not a practical way to make a durable firearm.

Jim
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Old September 25, 2017, 12:54 AM   #17
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I'm sure it would be more durable than the plastic AR lowers.
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Old September 25, 2017, 01:56 AM   #18
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If you really wanted to get some good aluminum for free, it would be far better to recycle a few old car pistons. Even better would be 2 stroke cycle motorcycle pistons. Those are made from some PDG aluminum...

Tony
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Old September 25, 2017, 11:40 AM   #19
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He should have used Warsteiner cans. Then he could justify HK prices when he goes to sell it.

You know... because German craftsmanship.
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Old September 25, 2017, 09:27 PM   #20
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Where do I send the cans?? Here in MI we have a deposit of 10 cents/each. I would have to redeem the deposit before casting.
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Old September 26, 2017, 07:34 AM   #21
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Dang! Seems like one could make a living off of cans in MI. All I get is local scrap prices in PA and that isn't much.
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