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Differences Between the AR-9, .308, and AR-15 80% Lowers

80% lowers! There are so many of them available in new calibers and configurations, it can be difficult figuring out what 80 percent lower is what – and more importantly, what you might want to build. Whether it’s your first or tenth build, we’ll break down the differences between the AR-9, .308, and AR-15 80% lowers you can more easily decide what your next black rifle (or pistol) build will be!


The AR-9 Lower

Our 80% AR-9 Lowers are, unsurprisingly, chambered in 9mm. The AR-9 lower generally shares the same exterior dimensions of a 5.56- or .223-chambered AR-15 80% lower, but that’s where the similarities end. On the inside, a smaller fire control group and redesigned mag well are designed to work with the 9mm Parabellum cartridge and standard 9mm Glock magazines.


Our AR-9 lowers are a cut above the rest, featuring an integrated trigger guard and skeletonized components and machining points to reduce weight and make the assembly process simpler. Our AR-9 lowers are 100% made in the USA and each lower is built from 6061 T6 billet aluminum, making them easy to machine.


Competition shooters and those interested in home defense prefer the AR-9 because of its high capacity, compact profile, and low weight. The AR-9 makes an excellent shooter in any three-gun competition and the plethora of available 9mm cartridges makes it suitable for a number of applications, especially close-quarters shooting.


The .308 80% Lower

The military originally developed the AR-10 using the AR-15 platform. It shares many characteristics with the AR-15 and it was meant to function as an intermediate weapon that falls somewhere between the standard-issue M4 assault rifle, and the M24, M107, and other sniper platforms the military currently employs.


Today, the .308 80% lower is a hugely popular lower for shooters who want to build hyper-accurate bench guns or hunting rifles that pack a punch, while still remaining relatively lightweight and portable. Featuring physically larger dimensions compared to the AR-15 and AR-9 lower, the .308 80% lower is still compatible with our standard 80% lower jigs, so you don’t need to invest in new hardware to build your first one!


Many shooters who invest in the .308 80% lower have reported building AR-10-type rifles that are capable of making consistent shot groups as far as 800 meters, making it an excellent rifle build for the guy or gal who wants a long-range challenge in a familiar platform. Shooters can choose between a lighter billet lower made from 6061 T6, or a heavier and more rugged forged lower, made from mil-spec 7075 T6.


The AR-15 80% Lower

The gold standard of the AR-15 world is an all-time favorite. The AR-15 80% lower is what we recommend all first-time gunsmiths invest in if they want to build their own AR-15 at home. Our AR-15 80% lowers are built from 6061 T6 billet aluminum and mil-spec 7075 T6 forged aluminum.


Our AR-15 80% Lowers are built using standard dimensions and specifications, ensuring any other AR-15 part will work perfectly with your build.


Universal Similarities of Our 80% Lowers

All our AR-15, AR-9, and .308 80% lowers are available with a mil-spec Type III Hardcoat Anodized finish, ensuring they’ll pair up and match perfectly with any AR upper, handguard, muzzle device, and parts kits on the market. All our 80% lowers are compatible with standard pistol grips, buffer tubes, buttstocks, retaining pins, and other lower parts kit components – the only primary differences between the three will be found in the fire control group.


What’s more, all our 80% lowers are 100% legal to buy, own, and build in your own home! No FFL paperwork or transfer is necessary for purchase, and each lower ships directly to your front door – as do any of our 80% lower jigs, uppers, and parts kits!



DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY AR-15 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. 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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