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AR15Lower Receiver Terms Explained: Stripped, Complete, or 80% Lower

AR15lower receivers come in a variety of different shapes, styles, and material. Plenty of terms can be applied to separating AR15lowers into different classes. However, the three most important terms are stripped, complete and 80% lower. These are important terms because they deal with both functionality and legality. 

Completed Lower
A completed or complete AR15lower is a broad term that covers a variety of components and receivers. A complete lower is considered an actual firearm and regulated by Federal and state law. This term is applied in the following connotations.

1. A completed lower is often a term applied when someone purchases a lower receiver that is pre built. Meaning it has the lower parts kit and buffer assembly installed. These are considered firearms and fall under state and federal law. 

2. An 80% AR15lower receiver can become a completed lower by milling out the fire control pocket. By law, an 80% lower becomes a completed lower as soon as the first hole is drilled into the fire control pocket. At this point it is illegal to give or sell the gun to anyone without the proper licenses. 

Complete AR15lowers are the simplest way to build a rifle. You simply attach it to a complete upper and call it a day. You do not have control of the specific components used though.

Stripped Lower

A stripped lower is similar to a completed lower in several ways. A stripped lower is a lower receiver without a lower parts kit. It is a 100% lower and is considered a firearm and subject to all laws. In a sense, a stripped lower is no different than a complete lower in that both are 100% lower receivers and are classified as firearms.

A stripped AR15lower does allow you to pick and choose each component that goes inside of it. Stripped lowers are also often cheaper than complete lowers, as it does not contain the lower parts kit to fully function.

80% Lower
80% AR15lower receivers are not considered firearms. They can be shipped through the mail without an FFL, and can be shipped from door to door. An 80% lower still has its firing control pocket milled into it, and this requires some machining to do. 

Two 80% AR15Lower Receivers

An 80% receiver allows shoppers and builders to build their rifle from the ground up. Building an AR-15 with an 80% lower is more challenging, but also more rewarding. The process isn’t complicated, but requires some patience and time. It is also the more affordable route to take when it comes to building with a billet AR15lower receiver. These can be ordered and shipped to any state, without a waiting period, or the obnoxious DROS fee California requires. has a great selection of forged and billeted lowers, as well as jigs, tooling, and the parts to make a rifle go bang.

Browse our selection of Ar15Lower Receivers and start your AR15 build today!


DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At AR-15LowerReceivers, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.


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