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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to try an 80% ar 15 lower, any recommendations. I only have a drill press and hand tools.
thanks
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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Have a friend made a couple from kits, same thing only have tools.
Biggest problem with hand drills is not drilling squarely.
Go slow, measure twice, cut once. Should be fine.
Be prepared to do lots of final hand work to final finish parts. It isn't a fast and dirty prospect of you want proper fitting.
 

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You will need a tap for the buffer tube and a jig-either a really good drill press or a mill. After spending 3-4X more to make your lower you will have to finish it. It is still traceable if you buy it online, unless you are doing it because its a neat project there is no advantage to building verses buying a complete one.
 

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You will need a tap for the buffer tube and a jig-either a really good drill press or a mill. After spending 3-4X more to make your lower you will have to finish it. It is still traceable if you buy it online, unless you are doing it because its a neat project there is no advantage to building verses buying a complete one.
Everything is traceable.

OP:

You should be fine using what you got with a good jig as pointed out.

I haven’t done an AR 80% but I’ve got some flats for AK’s sitting around right now. The AK can be fun to put together as well but requires the use of a press for riveting, some spot welding, and some heat treat work.

You can just spray paint an AK with BBQ paint or some other kind of high temp/durability epoxy type paint. :)

You can do the AR15 lower that way as well if you’d like. You can try some of the popular spray on firearm finishes duh as Duracoat or any of Brownell’s stuff such as alumahyde.
 

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metal or plastic 80%? I'd suggest buying a couple of polymer lowers to practice on first. Get a jig to follow and buy a mini router with the endmill set you can find on the lower sites.
 

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You will need a tap for the buffer tube and a jig-either a really good drill press or a mill. After spending 3-4X more to make your lower you will have to finish it. It is still traceable if you buy it online, unless you are doing it because its a neat project there is no advantage to building verses buying a complete one.
This.

I have a Bridgeport mill with a X-Y axis .0005" DRO and a whole tool chest FULL of tooling at work, I cant figure out why a guy would pay $20+ more for a block of aluminum rather than a finished receiver that can be put right together?
A cash in person purchase is the only way it won't be traceable, I don't see the fascination with them??:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finally got the jig last week, rush of orders overwhelmed the manufacturer and to satisfy outstanding orders upgraded me to better jig. Seems very well made. Now waiting on the router which is backordered as well. So far can only drill one pilot hole for the end mill using the drill press and will have to wait to start really removing metal.
 

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Router showed up out of the blue, so today was the day for 80% # 1 to get done. I think it went well, took abut 90 min and looks as good as my factory one. We will see how it works when put together. This one is to be a 6.8spc. Only real issues were enormous amount of al shavings and all the noise of router and vacuum.
As for the "you know you can buy one of those" arguments, well where's the fun in that.
 

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Router showed up out of the blue, so today was the day for 80% # 1 to get done. I think it went well, took abut 90 min and looks as good as my factory one. We will see how it works when put together. This one is to be a 6.8spc. Only real issues were enormous amount of al shavings and all the noise of router and vacuum.
As for the "you know you can buy one of those" arguments, well where's the fun in that.
That's why I built a couple like that..and started casting my own bullets...and making my own black powder...some just have a need to do it themselves just because.
 

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metal or plastic 80%? I'd suggest buying a couple of polymer lowers to practice on first. Get a jig to follow and buy a mini router with the endmill set you can find on the lower sites.
The drill approach has a fairly high failure rate. I know several guys that started with a drill jig, success rate is at about 50%. Even with a router, and a good jig, you need to take your time and work slowly. Looking at a few drill only attempts, I've yet to see a single one I'd have much faith in.
If you go the 80% route, be sure to test your work with no more than two rounds in the magazine, (several times). If the rifle doubles, or fires when the trigger is released on the second shot, scrap the lower and start over. Or you will have an out of battery event sooner than later.

BTW, most gun shows in my area have someone(s) selling 80% lowers. For cash.
They are getting harder to find. They are not getting cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
80 % arms for both lower and gen 2 jig, be prepared to wait

curious as to what causes the problems mentioned by tman?
 

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The location of the holes for the trigger group need to be done properly, and precisely.

Few with a hand drill can get them perfectly straight. Even with a jig.
I found that getting the selector holes accurate was the hardest. In retrospect I think getting a 3/8-1/8 bushing would have been wise so I could drill pilot holes first.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got the 5.56/9mm rig. will never do a 308 again to much variation in parts for me. I agree the side holes were technically more difficult but only because the jig did not sit well in my drill press vice. next time I will devise a better method to secure jig prior to drilling. in spite of that problem I think the holes are accurate/precise enough to do the job. still don't have a components yet so time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well all assembly completed only cosmetics left. Finishing lower was not hard just tedious. Drilling holes for selector/fire control were difficult only because jig did not fit well in drill press vice, that can be fixed. Take your time read the directions twice and practice once. Have not test fired yet as I have no ammo, 6.8spc is not a common commodity here and the head space gauges are not here yet. This gun is a hodge podge mostly made from left over parts. Did buy new Magpul stock and pistol grip. Got rid of holes for sling swivels don't need that deer hunting. Probably putting on low power fixed scope for optics. Real dilemma is how to finish coat the gun. Have plastic and metal, and 2 kinds of metal both finished and raw. So not sure what to do. Thinking of a spray paint for this one, but sure would like some help deciding. Overall it was rewarding project so far, but time will tell if it was a success.
thanks
 

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