Wood AR-15 Build: The Lower
The Lower: 80% Lower Fire/Safe Marked & Heavy Duty Jig with Tooling
From the outset, we knew we wanted this rifle to be a project into which we poured our blood, sweat and tears. The wood components will obviously require personal crafting, but we wanted to start with an 80% lower so that we could have a hand in actually shaping the metal components (albeit quite minimally). The whole, not having to go through an FFL to buy the lower is pretty cool too.
80% lowers are available in a variety of different options. They are made from aluminum and polymer. We chose aluminum for the extra strength, traditional feel and better aesthetics. Aluminum 80% lowers are available forged or billet and raw or anodized (usually black). We chose a black-anodized, forged lower because 1. we like the look 2. they are typically considered a little tougher than billet lowers and 3. they have open trigger guards (we are going to attempt create and insert a wood trigger guard). 80% lowers also come as a part of a kit to mill them or on their own. Since this is our first 80% lower we wanted to buy the kit to ensure we had the right jig and bits.
A few holes are missing...
Manufacturer: 80% Lowers
Price: $324.95 (MSRP)
Lower Style: Anodized with Fire/Safe Markings
Material: Forged 7075-T6 Aluminum
Jig Included: Yes
Drill Bits Included: Yes
Tools Required: Router
Made in the USA
That's why it's called "80%"
$300+ is a lot of money to spend on an 80% lower. Especially when you can buy finished lowers for less than $100. Yes, at the end of the day we are paying $200 to do extra work, but this project has never been about building a quick/cheap AR-15. The project is about taking the time to build a unique AR-15 with the tools and experience of the average Joe. Milling the lower is one of the parts of this project we are most excited about. The lower is the foundation of the rifle and it is great to be able to take part in shaping such and integral component.