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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!

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