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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend and I are interested in going the 80% lower route for our latest AR projects. Obviously these are bare aluminum and will need to be anodized, so I would like to know who I can go to in the Buffalo/WNY area to get our lowers anodized? Any recommendations for companies that do this? The lower would obviously have to match the color of the uppers, so it would have to be someone or some company that is really good at matching it up.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
 

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RJ Metal Finishing in Depew. I've seen the work they do (not on firearms) and it's top notch. Another is Seneca Platers in East Aurora. As far as matching color, it all depends on the base metal finish and type of material. 6061 Alum will anodize differently than 7075 or 2024. It would be best to contact someone and talk to them. There are other anodize houses in Erie County I just listed 2 I had worked with before since I've been in the machining business for over 35 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of my friends knows someone at Seneca Platers and recommended them, so based on that second recommendation from you I am going to give them a call monday. I'm not sure which company we are going to be getting our 80%'ers from yet, but I have a Bushmaster A2 upper and would like to have this match up as close as possible. Only problem I could see is if these anodize houses will have a problem working on a firearm part. Hopefully not. Now what about price... what are we going to be looking at for that?

Thanks for the heads up!
 

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For a stripped lower, black anodize should be less that $20. If you would need certain areas masked so no anodize appears on these surfaces then this would drive up the price. Dennis would be the person to call at Seneca. He's the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't want to bend or break any of the forum rules, but considering it's on topic and there's knowledgeable people in here that I think can help me, I want to ask some other questions.

For one, we want to keep the cost down as much as possible. The prices I've seen are: 80% lower for $85, jig for around $100, drill bits for $10, parts kit for $50-100, and now anodized coating for around $20. Throw in the cutting oil and we're looking at $260 for everything. In order to cut down on some of the cost, someone recommended online that we should try to buy a used jig/template. I am finding tons of AR parts and accessories on eBay, ArmsList and even Craigslist... but no jigs. Any ideas where we can find a used one for sale? Also, we are interested in finding someone who has finished their own 80% lower, for advice, etc.

Thanks for the help guys.
 

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If cost is the primary concern, why not go for a finished stripped lower? $100 - $150 depending on brand still puts you below prices quoted above, unless I missing something? Why pay $100 for a jig unless you're going to finish multiple 80% lowers with it (i.e., not two)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well for one, when you purchase a stripped or complete lower receiver for an AR15, you have your 2nd Amendment (and others) rights violated. I won't stand for it, so it's out of the question.

Second, since there are two of us, we are splitting the cost on the jig and misc tools, so it's actually cheaper than getting a stripped or complete lower, AND you don't get put on big brother's suspects list. Also, we will probably build more AR projects (I am starting to like some of the "burnt bronze" AR's I've seen), so this will wind up paying for itself in the long run.
 

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All cool with me bro, just commenting on cost, which you brought up as a primary consideration. Don't you still need to register an 80% lower once it becomes functional i.e., you still need to give it a serial number and register it right? Not sure I'm following the whole having you're second amendment right violated thing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well that's a whole 'nother discussion, and one that often gets heated so I usually stay out of those threads haha. As far as I know, the ATF allows you to build your own lower receiver from an 80%'er and keep it as long as you never sell it. That's the one downside... if you ever want to sell your AR you will have to part it out or sell it incomplete without your lower, and you won't get the money/time invested into it back. But, I am making a really nice classic A2 that I don't ever plan on selling, even when I finally go to purchase my all-time favorite rifle: the M1 Garand. I'll always keep this A2, especially because of the cheap and available ammo.
 

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BTW, I recently bought 10 completed stripped lowers for $90 each, so I'm not seeing how its cheaper to build your own if an 80% blank is going for $85 before anodization and other milling, but have at it man. Whatever floats your boat. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gotcha. Well if you got a stripped lower for $90 (which I haven't seen any priced at, even before tax), our receivers will cost us around $100 to get to 100% each ($80/85 for 80%'er, $20 for anodizing). So what is the extra 10 bucks for? Not having the government invade my privacy. I'll gladly pay $10 for that.

Keep and Bear Arms - Gun Owners Home Page - 2nd Amendment Supporters
 

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I guess they're not advertised any longer but I bought them from the owners of this site earlier this year, lol. I'm not trying to belabor the point, but you also mentioned jigs for $100, bits $10, etc, which is in addition to your $100 per. My only point was if you're only building 2, you may be better off buying completed lowers notwithstanding your 2A issues. This is not to say you shouldn't build your own if you have other concerns Just offering an alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well the jigs etc would be a one time only expense, not to mention that expense would be slashed in half because we are splitting the cost. And we definitely plan on building more AR's in the future if these turn out alright.
 

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Actually, you can sell it as long as you built it for personal use and not purely to resell. You're not required to transfer rifles, the ATF has no issue with you selling it.

I've got a pile of 80% lowers under my belt at this point. If you check out Ares Armor, for $100 shipped you can get one already anodized.

I've only used full CNC equipment and my own fixturing so I can't comment on using the jigs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hmmm, I didn't know you could actually sell them. Thanks for bringing me up to speed.

As far as the already anodized 80%'ers go, I've seen them and I just don't get it. You're going to be milling out the rest of the lower, exposing bare aluminum... so now you have to either somehow mask off the rest of the lower and anodize the 20% area (which I have never seen anyone successfully do, seamlessly), or you are going to have to strip the whole thing back down to aluminum and start over with a fresh anodize. Or... leave the 20% area bare and watch as the pitting gets worse and worse over time.
 
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