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What is an 80% lower?

If you’re here, you’ve stumbled upon the greatest thing to happen to the world of AR-15 lower receivers, and that’s the 80 percent lower. But what is it, exactly? In short, an 80 percent lower is a hunk of aluminum that looks like an AR-15 lower receiver, but it’s not quite one – yet. Turning an 80 percent lower into a functional AR-15 lower receiver falls on you. When you buy an 80 percent lower, you do so with the intent of becoming a true at-home gunsmith. Trust us, it’s easy and only takes an afternoon!


An 80 Percent Lower Just Needs You!

Well, it needs you and some basic hand tools. Most importantly, you’ll need an 80 lower jig. A jig is a small, tabletop metal device that secures the 80 percent lower in place while measuring and guiding your hand tools as you finish machining the lower into a functional AR-15 receiver.


How the 80 Percent Lower Got Its Name

Well, not surprisingly, the 80 percent lower is named as such because it’s 80% finished! All you need to do is “Dremel” out the fire control group area and punch a few holes in the 80 lower with a drill bit or two. All you need is a handheld router!


Is it Legal to Build an 80 Percent Lower?

Yes! If you can legally own a firearm in your state, it is 100% legal to build an 80 percent lower into a functional AR-15 lower receiver – a real firearm by the definition of the ATF. Yes, that includes California and New York! Be sure to check your state’s laws first, though. Some states require that you get your lower serialized or otherwise marked and registered.


How Easy is Machining an 80 Percent Lower?

It’s easy enough that anyone, even somebody who’s never touched a power tool, can safely do it in about an hour or two – even just 45 minutes once you’re comfortable. Of course, our 80 percent jigs and lowers come with tons of easy-to-follow video tutorials and written instructions. Think of it this way, all you’re doing is removing a bit of aluminum and making a few holes. Yes, you really can do this – no experience necessary. Trust us, we’ve all done it here and our first times were smooth and simple!


What’s an 80 Percent Lower Made of?

All our 80 percent lowers are forged from weapons-grade, mil-spec 7075 T6 aluminum or 6061 T6 aluminum. Both alloys are the same exact stuff that every off-the-shelf AR-15 is made from. If you’ve been looking around for 80 percent lowers, avoid any cast lowers – they’re unsafe and could explode upon firing. We don’t sell those here.


What Do I Need to do to Buy an 80 Percent Lower?

Add the lower of your choice to your shopping cart, check out, pay, and wait (im)patiently by the front door until that priority shipment arrives. Yes, that’s really all there is to it. Know why? Because until you machine that lower, it’s not considered a firearm! It’s nothing more than a hunk of aluminum alloy. It’d be the same as buying a heavy roll of aluminum foil off Amazon for that casserole on the stove.

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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