Building your own AR-platform rifle or pistol is fun! Getting into your first build can be intimidating and even a seasoned builder can run into challenges. At AR-15 Lower Receivers, we want to equip you with all the parts and information you need to complete your build confidently. However, we by no means are providing legal advice or counsel and you should always contact your local ATF officials or consult with legal counsel in your state if there are any questions. We often get a lot of questions about the legalities of the 80% lower and AR-15 pistol specifically, so we wanted to take a few moments to provide you with some guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an 80% lower receiver?
An 80% lower receiver is considered a firearm blank. In other words, it is not a functional firearm and is not considered a firearm under federal law. This in-depth beginner's guide provides more answers to your likely questions: What is an 80% Lower?
Do I need an FFL to complete my order?
Under federal law, no. Nothing we sell on this website is considered a firearm under federal law, including our complete build kits and 80% units. They ship directly to your front door without the need to conduct an FFL transfer. You do not need to submit to a NICS background check nor fill out a Form 4473 Questionnaire, as would be required with a typical firearm purchase. Some states do require background checks, or have restricted the sale and transfer of our products, which is detailed immediately below.
What is a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?
An FFL, or Federal Firearms License, is a license provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to individuals and businesses. An FFL license authorizes an individual or business to manufacture, transfer, and sell firearms in the U.S. Such entities are referred as Federal Firearms Licensees. This guide details the available types of FFLs.
Why do stripped lowers have to be shipped to an FFL dealer?
Unlike to 80% lowers, stripped lower receivers meet the requirements to be considered a firearm by the ATF. As such, they must be serialized and regulated under the Gun Control Act of 1968. A Federal Firearms Licensee is legally required to receive and transfer the lower receiver. Once the dealer receives your stripped lower, they will be able to do the necessary paperwork.
Are 80% lowers legal in my state?
Some states have banned 80% lowers, and certain firearm parts which are not considered firearms under federal law. Currently, California, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.D., Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island either restrict or ban the practice of building an un-serialized firearm at home. "What You Need to Know About 80 Percent Lower Laws" covers some of the state laws which may restrict your ability to legally buy, own, or build a firearm using an 80% lower and other parts. Our shipping and return policy covers which states we cannot ship our products to.
How do I complete a lower for my first AR build?
You'll need to invest in a tool called an 80% jig. These tools provide templates that show you where and how to fabricate your AR-type receiver into a functional firearm. Here's a more in-depth guide which covers this part of the project: What is an 80% Lower Jig? There are three generally accepted methods for completing your lower, based on the tools you own or will purchase.
Does AR-15LowerReceiver.com offer any sort of warranty?
All of our products come with a Lifetime Warranty (read the full policy here). If your product is defective or inoperable by no fault of your own, please contact us immediately. For any additional info, read our complete refund and return policy.
Can my AR-15 lower receiver chambered in 5.56 NATO shoot .223 ammo?
Yes, but the reverse is not true. If your AR-15's barrel is chambered for .223 Remington, we strongly recommend against chambering and firing 5.56 NATO rounds. Slight differences between both cartridges may cause a catastrophic failure in your firearm. This may result in serious injury or death.
I need more help with building my AR. Where do I begin?
We've written in-depth guides that cover virtually every component of the AR platform, from muzzle to buttstock. We recommend starting here: How to Build an AR-15 (The Complete Parts Guide). Within this guide are additional links to guides that cover barrels, receivers, gas systems, buffers, twist rates, bolt carriers, and all other parts you must know in order to build a reliable, accurate rifle.
What type of firearm can I build using an 80% lower?
The lower receiver blank was originally made for the AR-15 platform chambered in 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington. New types of lowers and 80% frames now exist for the AR9, LR-308, and various handguns like GLOCK, Sig Sauer's P320, and the 1911. Kits can be purchased which include just the receiver blank or frame blank, or complete build kits can be purchased which include all firearm components required to assemble a function rifle or pistol once the accompanying blank is fabricated.
How can I contact AR-15 Lower Receivers or find more information regarding my order?
How do I cancel my order?
Please fill out our Contact Request form found here and make sure to include your order # and the reason you would like to cancel your order, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be advised that we charge a 5% order cancellation fee to cover the bank fees we incur for cancelling your order.