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Thread: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

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    Senior Member BigDanS's Avatar
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    80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    I have been interested in 80% lowers for some time, but I am a low end machinist, if I can even rate myself that high. I have had some interest in the Ghost Gunner mill as well. Right now I am purely investigating and put my odds of actually moving forward very low.

    First, I see forged vs. billet lowers frequently, and I was taught that forging made a stronger part that milling. When I read forged I understand it to mean "pressed" from a forge not cast metal. Is this wrong when reading about AR 15 lowers? I base my knowledge of forging parts from my tours of automobile plants in Detroit where I watched a high pressure press forge auto parts prior to going to the assembly line. If cast, I get the issues of weak spots, uneven cooling, etc.

    Second, where to buy them? I see 80% lowers from $50 to $150, and that just does not make sense to me. Beyond the novelty and allure of making your own gun that is unregistered / unserialized, shouldn't they be less expensive that completed lowers? Infrequently I see forged aluminum lowers for $40 - $50, completed. In my mind unfinished 80% lowers should be $30. I would buy a few just as paper weights.

    Thanks in advance for edumacatin' me.

    D
    Last edited by BigDanS; 11-13-2017 at 03:11 PM.
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    "Shouldn't they be less expensive...?"

    Yes, they should be. However the market is willing to bear the higher price, so sellers are more than happy to collect it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seven habits of highly effective pirates
    Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.

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    Senior Member BigDanS's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    "Shouldn't they be less expensive...?"

    Yes, they should be. However the market is willing to bear the higher price, so sellers are more than happy to collect it.
    Brownells has forged 80% black 5.56 lowers for $35 today... hmmmmm. https://www.brownells.com/rifle-part...33-209340.aspx

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings?

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    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    "Shouldn't they be less expensive...?"

    Yes, they should be. However the market is willing to bear the higher price, so sellers are more than happy to collect it.
    AND a lot of folks are willing to pay a premium for not having a 4473 on file for an EBR...
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    AND a lot of folks are willing to pay a premium for not having a 4473 on file for an EBR...
    Quote Originally Posted by Seven habits of highly effective pirates
    Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.

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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    AND a lot of folks are willing to pay a premium for not having a 4473 on file for an EBR...
    Yup. Same reason some folks will pay a premium for a private sale.
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    Senior Member Cheetoh734's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Not to be a stick in the mud but this is the kind of discussion that doesn't make us look all that great. I totally agree with the sentiment but our lifestyle, hobby, whatever can't really afford too many more hits.

    80% lowers seem to me like a loophole. We all use loopholes as much as we can but public discussion of them and the use of them as an intent to circumvent the rules is risky IMHO.

    No offense intended so please don't jump all over me here...

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    Senior Member BigDanS's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetoh734 View Post
    Not to be a stick in the mud but this is the kind of discussion that doesn't make us look all that great. I totally agree with the sentiment but our lifestyle, hobby, whatever can't really afford too many more hits.

    80% lowers seem to me like a loophole. We all use loopholes as much as we can but public discussion of them and the use of them as an intent to circumvent the rules is risky IMHO.

    No offense intended so please don't jump all over me here...
    No offense taken.

    Florida requires no registration, as many States do not. Perfectly legal to make your own gun for your own use, and for me it is about learning and hobby.

    Meanwhile most gun crimes are committed with stolen arms, serial number or not.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings?

  9. #9

    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetoh734 View Post
    Not to be a stick in the mud but this is the kind of discussion that doesn't make us look all that great. I totally agree with the sentiment but our lifestyle, hobby, whatever can't really afford too many more hits.

    80% lowers seem to me like following the law as written. We all follow the law as written as much as we can but public discussion of them and the use of them as an intent to circumvent the rules is risky IMHO.

    No offense intended so please don't jump all over me here...
    Not jumping on you, but using the word "loophole" is accepting the lefts argument that we are somehow skirting the law. There is no such thing a s a 'loophole': there is either following the law, or there is not following the law.

    Not talking about it is the way that gun owners and our legal activities are pushed underground. Where people think that building a gun in your garage is somehow nefarious, or that building a suppressor in your basement is illegal. They aren't, they just have specific laws you need to follow- and it takes frank and reasoned discussions to make sure we don't accidentally step over the line from legal to "The ATF will burn down your church"
    Last edited by bullsi1911; 11-14-2017 at 06:05 PM. Reason: typo
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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by bullsi1911 View Post
    Not jumping on you, but using the word "loophole" is accepting the lefts argument that we are somehow skirting the law. There is no such thing a s a 'loophole': there is either following the law, or there is not following the law.

    Not talking about it is the way that gun owners and our legal activities are pushed underground. Where people think that building a gun in your garage is somehow nefarious, or that building a suppressor in your basement is illegal. They aren't, they just have specific laws you need to follow- and it takes frank and reasoned discussions to make sure we don't accidentally step over the line from legal to "The ATF will burn down your church"


    I have built an 80% AR and am waiting on my "mother may I" tax stamp to finish my first suppressor (6" 22CF)

    Already started filling out the form 1 for a 9" 30cal can that will probably be sent in after the holidays. Figure I'll acquire the parts & pieces for the build while I'm waiting on BATFeieio to approve it
    Quote Originally Posted by Seven habits of highly effective pirates
    Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.

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    Senior Member Cheetoh734's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by bullsi1911 View Post
    Not jumping on you, but using the word "loophole" is accepting the lefts argument that we are somehow skirting the law. There is no such thing a s a 'loophole': there is either following the law, or there is not following the law.

    Not talking about it is the way that gun owners and our legal activities are pushed underground. Where people think that building a gun in your garage is somehow nefarious, or that building a suppressor in your basement is illegal. They aren't, they just have specific laws you need to follow- and it takes frank and reasoned discussions to make sure we don't accidentally step over the line from legal to "The ATF will burn down your church"
    When we say that not having a 4473 on file is worth the extra cost that is the very definition of circumventing the law. If you want to learn milling, machining, etc. like BigDanS that is a reason most citizens can get behind. Intent matters, and the message matters. We need to remember that in this republic they can take our rights, they can amend the constitution and people under the age of 35 have been indoctrinated for years that the NRA is evil and guns are inherently bad and scary. We have a lot of ground to make up if we don't want to lose our rights in the next 10-20 years. Celebrating the positives of our lifestyle is a good way to bring new people into the fold. Looking like that Dragon firearms guy did on national television is just about the worst thing we can do as a group. We need to self regulate if we want to grow and prosper in my opinion. Control the message and be careful what we say.

    ETA: I didn't post to start an argument. I respect you guys, and I'll leave it up to you.
    Last edited by Cheetoh734; 11-14-2017 at 06:30 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetoh734 View Post
    When we say that not having a 4473 on file is worth the extra cost that is the very definition of circumventing the law.
    No, it's not

    A 4473 is required, by law, when purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed dealer. There is NO, none, nada FEDERAL requirement for filling one out for a private sale. and, as long as I do the work myself, and do not sell it, building one myself, either from an 80% receiver, or from scratch. (As long as it's not an NFA item)

    NFA of '34 DOES require I fill out and file paperwork for my suppressor build (and pay a $200 tax)


    edited to add the word "federal" since I do not know the state and local laws of all 50 states
    Last edited by knitepoet; 11-14-2017 at 07:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seven habits of highly effective pirates
    Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cheetoh734's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    No, it's not

    A 4473 is required, by law, when purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed dealer. There is NO, none, nada requirement for filling one out for a private sale. and, as long as I do the work myself, and do not sell it, building one myself, either from an 80% receiver, or from scratch. (As long as it's not an NFA item)

    NFA of '34 DOES require I fill out and file paperwork for my suppressor build (and pay a $200 tax)
    You don't have to convince me...I would like a few 80% lowers for myself.

  14. #14
    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetoh734 View Post
    When we say that not having a 4473 on file is worth the extra cost that is the very definition of circumventing the law. If you want to learn milling, machining, etc. like BigDanS that is a reason most citizens can get behind. Intent matters, and the message matters. We need to remember that in this republic they can take our rights, they can amend the constitution and people under the age of 35 have been indoctrinated for years that the NRA is evil and guns are inherently bad and scary. We have a lot of ground to make up if we don't want to lose our rights in the next 10-20 years. Celebrating the positives of our lifestyle is a good way to bring new people into the fold. Looking like that Dragon firearms guy did on national television is just about the worst thing we can do as a group. We need to self regulate if we want to grow and prosper in my opinion. Control the message and be careful what we say.

    ETA: I didn't post to start an argument. I respect you guys, and I'll leave it up to you.
    No argument at all, we just want to make sure statements are taken exactly as posted.

    Not having a 4473 on file is perfectly legal under MANY scenarios such as 80% lowers/frames or even private sales in most states. This is desirable by some folks that believe such forms and the Federal "background checks" required for their approval are being illegally monitored and the information is being illegally stored by government agencies (these digressions from the law HAVE been proven in the past and history is on their side), and that in one version of the future they will be used against legal gun owners by either a tyrannical government or an invading entity (watch the original Red Dawn?). So it is worth a premium to some buyers to LEGALLY obtain a firearm in such a manner, that is just a statement of fact.

    In any case, as stated, illegal it is absolutely not. Now, I do not have any home built firearms but not because I think the legitimacy is dubious, but because I lack the skills and tools to make them. Something I'll be looking to remedy in the future. And when I acquire the skills and tools, I will build guns because of the immense satisfaction of rolling your own EXACTLY the way you want it configured.
    Last edited by Wambli Ska; 11-14-2017 at 07:10 PM.
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

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    Senior Member Cheetoh734's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    To be clear, I was not debating the legality of it. I was suggesting that we be somewhat careful in how we discuss issues like this, especially in an open forum. Thanks guys.

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    Senior Member Diver43's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    I have fired one from https://daytonatactical.com/ a few times and the machinist did a fine job. It works flawlessly'
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5

  17. #17
    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: 80% Lowers... best sourcing? Make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetoh734 View Post
    To be clear, I was not debating the legality of it. I was suggesting that we be somewhat careful in how we discuss issues like this, especially in an open forum. Thanks guys.
    It pays to be overly careful when discussing certain subjects. Do not want to give anyone the wrong impression.
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton

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