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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone has or have used a polymer lower ?? I was wondering how durable they are and how uppers fit ?? I was looking at a Frontier Polymer Lower.....Thank you !
 

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Handled a few of them recently in the shop but do not have a range report yet. Not my cup of tea but seem like they would make a light platform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Handled a few of them recently in the shop but do not have a range report yet. Not my cup of tea but seem like they would make a light platform.
Do they seem fairly durable to you ?
 

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Avoid like the plague unless the intent is to put a .22 upper on it or treat as a static training rifle that doesn't get fired more than 10-20 rounds at a time and then only a couple times a year. They just can't take the sress, and in many instances tolerances are way out of whack even if ther were aluminum.
They just aren't made well in general,

There's been very little to no evolution in polymer lowers in many, many years.
This means the ones that were **** 20 years ago are stiill **** today, because they are still the same thing.

Nom-metal reinforced wads of plastic that aren't thick enough where they need to be to compensate for that lack of metal reinforcement.

Most common fail point is where receiver extension screws on followed by pivot pin followed by FCG pins going wgg shaped.

Again, decent as a dedicated 22LR (several uppers are polymer) but by no stretch of the imagination should it be considered for a grown up gun shooting real centerfire bullets.
 

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Yeah......I am beginning to think unless you can get a really smoking deal on components you might as well just buy new,factory rifles....I paid $895.00 for my Stag Model 6 Super Varminter.....That is hard to beat...!
 

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Yeah......I am beginning to think unless you can get a really smoking deal on components you might as well just buy new,factory rifles....I paid $895.00 for my Stag Model 6 Super Varminter.....That is hard to beat...!
I have a model 2 stag and I love it, never had any I issues with it. Paid close to 875 for it. But it was def a good buy.
 

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i researched the hell out of them and the only people praising them seem to be the ones making and selling them.
 

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Plastic receivers work for a Glock, they don't on an AR. Too much chance of failure. I've seen the pricing for them out there and my opinion is cheap price equals cheap construction. I'd stay away from them.
 

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Avoid like the plague unless the intent is to put a .22 upper on it or treat as a static training rifle that doesn't get fired more than 10-20 rounds at a time and then only a couple times a year. They just can't take the sress, and in many instances tolerances are way out of whack even if ther were aluminum.
They just aren't made well in general,

There's been very little to no evolution in polymer lowers in many, many years.
This means the ones that were **** 20 years ago are stiill **** today, because they are still the same thing.

Nom-metal reinforced wads of plastic that aren't thick enough where they need to be to compensate for that lack of metal reinforcement.

Most common fail point is where receiver extension screws on followed by pivot pin followed by FCG pins going wgg shaped.

Again, decent as a dedicated 22LR (several uppers are polymer) but by no stretch of the imagination should it be considered for a grown up gun shooting real centerfire bullets.
I assume you are basing this off Internet heresy and not ownership. Handling one still doesn't prove anything more than visually looking at a car vs test driving it.
ive got two and I've shot them on 14.5 and a few 20 inch uppers. Zero issues.

Cant handle the stress? Where or how are AR lowers stressed? They simply hold the FCG and stock in place, if anything is stressed its the upper reciever. Sure the rear can crack..... If you crank the hell out of the castle nut to where you hear polymer cracking and breaking the bond. Or if you start wacking the M4 style stock extended against the ground. Abuse anything and it can be killed.

That said, it's a great, affordable/ economical alternative to aluminum lowers and they are great for a 22LR build, a woman's build or a lightweight build. Just don't go throwing it down your driveway or smashing it with a hammer in failure areas to prove a moot point.
 

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I ran one at the range a few weekends ago and have to tell ya its not to bad. Ran it on my Armalite 20" Hbar A2 and on a Colt A1 pencil barrel and both ran well. It was nice on the pencil barrel as it made a great light setup.
 

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They're cheap until you have to replace them, and you will have to replace them, then you might as well have just bought a high quality forged aluminum lower.
 

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I assume you are basing this off Internet heresy and not ownership.
ive got two and I've shot them on 14.5 and a few 20 inch uppers. Zero issues.
You're the one who pissed away thier money and I'm not here to help you reconclie it with yourself in your efforts to try and make yourself feel better aboui it.
I don't need to take a bite of a crap sandwich to know it tastes like crap.

Bushmaster polymer, crap
Plum crazy polymer, crap
Cav-arms polymer, crap

Cant handle the stress? Where or how are AR lowers stressed? They simply hold the FCG and stock in place, if anything is stressed its the upper reciever.
If you don't know how or where a lower is stressed while in use I'm not going to waste the time explaining it.

BTW 'mortaring' (what you call 'banging against the ground') is a method for clearing a certain type of malfunction.
If a lower breaks while having that done, its just failed twice anyway: once in the receiver and once in the malfunction that couldn't be cleared.

Not everyone has the time or incilnation to take thier delicate toy back home simply because it jammed and could break while attempting to clear using a commonly employed method, so requires stripping down and special treatment in a controlled environment to clear that malfunction.

Hint: if it won't break a carbine stock system/receiver extension, it shouldn't break the receiver.
If it does, then its ****. :shrug:

Just don't go throwing it down your driveway or smashing it with a hammer in failure areas to prove a moot point
Nor should you ever fall over with it strapped to your back, inadvertantly get it caught in a door, drop it from a stand, accidentally let it fall off a tailgate or biff against a tree while carrying if the impact or stress there-of will not occur at an approved angle, and in some instances depending on age and/or manufactuer, fire the rifle when its cold out.
 

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So I pissed away $80ea on two complete polymer lowers, when the buttstock assemblies themselves are worth $60, and they come with lifetime manufacturers warranties? Too bad they both work, and havnt shattered into a billion pieces, or you would be right.

I think out of all my ARs, in all my years of shooting, I "mortared" one AR. It was a preban EA that I got from a out of state dealer whose bolt was stuck and bound up on the buffer detent. Isnt that tough to clear a gun properly without banging it around.. Isnt that commonly employed, as you shouldnt be having malfunctions that often, and especially not of that kind. If you are, then maybe you should buy a better quality upper, as that is what really matters.
Im not Chris Costa, and I dont get shot at on a daily basis. Thats not the intent of these two lowers when I bought them. I just dont abuse my guns/gear if I dont need to, I have nothing to prove by doing so.

FN2000s, PS90s, Steyr Augs, etc....polymer style rifles. Using your logic, they are...well.. crap crap crap. Oh well, I dont feel taken at $80 a pop vs $200 for an aluminum traditional lower. I can have two New Frontier lowers and cash left over for the price of one normal one. Even if the $80 lower explodes into a billion pieces, i still have the $60 stock assembly. So I am out a whopping $20. I think I can deal with the $20 potential loss when I am saving $120 per lower.

I guess we can agree to disagree, not a huge deal.

Now for a sidetrack, I want at least one of my future builds to be a billet lower.... they just look cool.
 

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FN2000s, PS90s, Steyr Augs, etc....polymer style rifles. Using your logic, they are...well.. crap crap crap
You forgot a bunch of handguns, though we are talking long gun, so not overly relevant.

But, I never said all polymers firearms were crap.
Those weapons were designed around and intended to be constructed of the materials they are and as such are suited for it.

AR polymer receivers are knocked up by taking the dimensional specs for aluminum receivers and applying it to plastic.
If really lucky, there might even be a sliver of sheet tin around the FCG and takedown pin holes.
(nothing on the pivot pin or receiver extension area though, to complex and not cost effective)
For the most part they forgo tin and offer 'carbon reingforced' instead.

'Carbon reinforced' actually means 'random length fiberglass~like carbon strands mixed in with the poloymer in no particular order, density or alignment'
Simular to taking a wad of tiger hair body fill and squeezing it into a receiver mold IOW.
(closest one can get to the look without actually holding one is some types of automotive snow brushes are made that way)
No deliberate strand orientation, counter angling, layering or density requirement like in the manufacture of carbon fibre items.
(which also would make **** receivers, but there are starting to be good things coming along in regard to free float tubes, at least there are seemingly more 3~gun or competition against the clock folk looking at it favorably)

This results in a junk receiver that has nowhere near the integrity of the receiver its copying because the materials are too radically different in properties.

Speaking of, you'd think there'd be more polymer receivers in competitions, but there aren't because they already know the potential for failure isn't anywhere near worth the time and the weight savings they would offer. Even if they had practice guns to use and leave the poly strictly for events.
This from some folks who will drill a bucket load of pockets or outright holes in aluminum receivers, ball dimple barrels and use skeletonized various bits to save even the tiniest amount of weight.
(someone has even been recently making noise about titanium FCG parts to get infinitesimal edge)
You'd think they'd ahve been into plastics years aog if they were actually worth anything

Saying a plastic AR receiver is even remotely close to on par with an aluminum version (even a $25 throw away cast one) is like saying a rubber bullet is almost the equal of an armor piercing incendiary tracer round on hard targets because they are dimensionally almost identical and just weigh different.

People can dream about it, but that doesn't make it so. :shrug:

Honest query: would you actually have bought the ones you have if you'd never delt with one before and they weren't a silly cheap price?
(I can't seem to locate a $80 complete poly lower out there, so must presume they are actually much more expensive)

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agree to disagree
I can certainly accept that.
After all, how/why one makes their choices then spends thier money based on those choices is certainly thier perogative.

I just think poly AR lowers are a poor choice and will always attempt to dissuade thier use until something exceedingly superior comes along.
Folks are still obviously going to do what folks want regardless of either of our thoughts about it. (I would hope they'd make thier own decision anyway, even if you are blindingly wrong and I stand on the side of correctitudeness)
:D

*****
billet lower
I'm actually thinking monolythic upper at some point myself.
Starting to gravitate toward midlength gas too (with the exception of my vintage A1a clone) and will likely be fully converted to that before going monolythic.
 

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Like Tifosi said, you would need a full redesign of the lower to make polymer feasible, it isn't as easy as just throwing it into a mold that's the same shape as the aluminum lowers. They are sub par parts, plain and simple.
 

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I got the discounted price because at the time the retail msrp was $99. Dealer cost on a quantity was lower. I bought I think 12 to get that price.
As for the honest query question , I would try one if around, give or take a few bucks, the same price as an aluminum lower. If I didn't like it, I'd just dump it. Budget builds or attempting to shave a few ounces off, it's worth a shot.

As for the billet rifle ive got in mind. I'd like to make a 20 inch or longer rifle out of it. I've got time to decide as there's more than a handful of other builds in progress at the moment. Middys are interesting. Perhaps I'll dabble and build one in time, but it's low on my list. I've been sticking to 14.5 and 20 inch ARs in an attempt to standardize them to an extent .
 

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Depends on the lowers.

I have a couple CavArms A1 lowers that are pretty neat (1 blue, one yellow), though CavArms is out of the receiver-making business and I don't know if Armalite still makes the CarArms style receivers anymore.

I am not a fan of the Plum Crazy type receivers (there's another outfit that uses the same mold, but supposedly different plastic composition). I have seen them snap at the ring that holds the receiver extension/buffer tube. Just knowing that's possible is unsettling enough.

But with Palmetto State Armory and others running periodic sales for forged receivers at $45-55 each, I don't really see a reason to buy a polymer lower. Just have to be patient and buy either in volume or on a sale.
 

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Depends on the lowers.

I have a couple CavArms A1 lowers that are pretty neat (1 blue, one yellow), though CavArms is out of the receiver-making business and I don't know if Armalite still makes the CarArms style receivers anymore.

I am not a fan of the Plum Crazy type receivers (there's another outfit that uses the same mold, but supposedly different plastic composition). I have seen them snap at the ring that holds the receiver extension/buffer tube. Just knowing that's possible is unsettling enough.

But with Palmetto State Armory and others running periodic sales for forged receivers at $45-55 each, I don't really see a reason to buy a polymer lower. Just have to be patient and buy either in volume or on a sale.
PSA lowers when on sale are $65 I thought. ... Never seen any for $45-55?
$65s e cheapest standard forged aluminum lower price for any I've seen.
 

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They were down to $45 a few times last year. 3 I think.
I picked up several individually and in group buys.


5 on a transfer form, $25 per form FFL fee = $50 per unit

These would be the ones forged by Aero Precision w/pictograms and the other ones with words from whatever source they came.
 
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