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What is an AR 15 Lower Receiver?

In the simplest terms, an AR 15 lower receiver is the portion of the AR 15 that houses the fire control group, magazine well, pistol grip, and attaches the buffer assembly and stock to an AR 15. That’s the simple answer, but there is a bit more to it than that. There are legal definitions of what an AR 15 lower receiver actually is. 


Since the AR 15 lower receiver is the serialized portion of the firearm, it is considered the firearm. A lower receiver without a barrel, stock, fire control group, or anything is considered a firearm. This means a stripped AR 15 cannot be shipped directly to your home. Purchasing one through an FFL requires a background check, sales tax, and any unnecessary waiting periods. You are also bound by all laws in your state regarding the possession of an AR 15 lower receiver.

There are also 80% AR 15 lower receivers that exist. An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished receiver with the area that houses the fire control group unmilled. An 80% AR 15 lower receiver is not actually considered a firearm in the eyes of the United States Federal Government. Since it is only 80% complete, it cannot accept a fire control group. This means an AR 15 lower receiver that is 80% complete can be shipped directly to your home without having to deal with an FFL, waiting periods or states tacked on fees like the DROS in California.

Of course an 80% AR 15lower receiver is not a complete rifle and can’t actually bang until you invest a little sweat equity into it. The good news is that finishing an AR 15 lower receiver isn’t difficult. It’s a challenge to be sure, can be nerve racking, but it’s not the hardest thing one can do. The benefits include the ability to build a truly custom rifle.

Finishing an AR 15 lower receiver also allows you to get to know your rifle inside and out. It gives you a look at how the weapon works, and gives you a deep understanding of how the weapon functions. This allows you to have the knowledge to fix any issues that may arise in the future.

Buying an AR 15 is always an option, but you may be purchasing a configuration you don’t really want. You’ll have to spend extra money to swap out the parts you don’t want for the ones you do. When you build an AR 15 you can choose every part you desire. From the furniture to the trigger. This allows the end user of an AR 15 build to get exactly what they want.

Once you begin working on an 80% AR 15 lower receiver you should know that the lower receiver will become a firearm. In the United States you can build firearms for personal use without any kind of license. However, once you begin milling your 80% lower it does become a firearm and is bound by firearm laws.

Building an AR 15 lower receiver is an enjoyable experience that results in something useful, and fun to use. Building an AR 15 lower receiver is a superbly simple task, one that is enjoyable, easy to do, and leaves you with something that goes bang.

Browse our selection of AR-15 Lower Receiver and start your AR-15 build today! https://www.ar-15lowerreceivers.com/collections/80-lower

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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