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Old 08-14-2011, 07:50 PM
allmightyoz allmightyoz is offline
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Default Polymer Lowers for ARs - Good? Bad?



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So I am looking at getting a cheap AR, don't make much money, just turning 21, starting to get into this stuff.

My budget is as cheap as possible, but without sacrificing too much quality. My local FFL has a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 in 223 with a polymer lower receiver for $600. I've heard good things about the M&Ps but haven't been able to find any info or reviews on one with a polymer lower after doing some googling.

600 seems pretty cheap, but the polymer worries me a little bit. Wondering how it fares after a couple of years, after 1000 rounds, and how break resistant it really is. I guess a review or a link to a review by someone who has one, or has used one would be really helpful.

Would you recommend it? Would you stay away from it? Will it be okay as a starter rifle to upgrade to a machined lower at a later date? Just want your honest opinions on it.

Thanks - Oz
Old 08-15-2011, 02:41 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
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dont sweat it. the m&p has been used for a while now with no issues. and 600 is pretty good price. about what it would cost to build a basic one. just do me a favor and dont tacticool it. spend the money on mags and rounds
Old 08-15-2011, 03:57 AM
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I am not a huge fan of the polymer lowers, I've seen one that was cracked.

It may be a great rifle, but I have been skeptical of the plastic receivers ever since.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:19 AM
Uncle Bob Uncle Bob is offline
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It's not worth the investment. Your spending real money on junk.
http://palmettostatearmory.com/
Find someone to help you build your own. Buy the lower first with a lower build kit. Get that done and find someone with a AR to test it.
Then order a upper. (If you order it all at one time you pay a federal tax. 11%)
May not cost any more than the plastic POS or it may depends on what you build.
16" SS $499 http://palmettostatearmory.com/2276.php
Lower with Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me" $89.99 http://palmettostatearmory.com/2072.php


If you talk nice to them they may be able to split it with the assembled upper as one order and a assembled lower as one.
Old 08-15-2011, 05:55 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
It's not worth the investment. Your spending real money on junk.
http://palmettostatearmory.com/
Find someone to help you build your own. Buy the lower first with a lower build kit. Get that done and find someone with a AR to test it.
Then order a upper. (If you order it all at one time you pay a federal tax. 11%)
May not cost any more than the plastic POS or it may depends on what you build.
16" SS $499 http://palmettostatearmory.com/2276.php
Lower with Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me" $89.99 http://palmettostatearmory.com/2072.php
same lower with different roll mark at aim surplus for 59.
think surplus arms also has them for 59
Old 08-15-2011, 06:20 AM
CaptainFuzzy CaptainFuzzy is offline
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Oz,

I think that if you will do the math you will see that buying something twice is not cheaper then buying one good thing once.

Oh . . and . . just yesterday a guy posted on the local AR forum that his "polymer" lower was found to be the problem with light primer strikes he was having. Seems the plastic hammer didn't have enough mass to reliably ignite the primers.

FWIW - buy once, cry once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allmightyoz View Post
So I am looking at getting a cheap AR, don't make much money, just turning 21, starting to get into this stuff.

My budget is as cheap as possible, but without sacrificing too much quality. My local FFL has a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 in 223 with a polymer lower receiver for $600. I've heard good things about the M&Ps but haven't been able to find any info or reviews on one with a polymer lower after doing some googling.

600 seems pretty cheap, but the polymer worries me a little bit. Wondering how it fares after a couple of years, after 1000 rounds, and how break resistant it really is. I guess a review or a link to a review by someone who has one, or has used one would be really helpful.

Would you recommend it? Would you stay away from it? Will it be okay as a starter rifle to upgrade to a machined lower at a later date? Just want your honest opinions on it.

Thanks - Oz
Old 08-15-2011, 06:35 AM
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TOTAL CRAP!Run like hell from any plastic AR lower...Do some research,you'll find pleanty of broken ones!
Old 08-15-2011, 06:35 AM
Uncle Bob Uncle Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooner_Will_Survive View Post
same lower with different roll mark at aim surplus for 59.
think surplus arms also has them for 59
They have a cheaper one I didn't list it.
I was just pointing out the Gadston lower.
Their standard lowers were on sale for $49.99 in March.

One thing he needs to consider is that if the upper and lower match the gun retains more of it's value.
Old 08-15-2011, 02:02 PM
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I build them, take them out and beat them to hell so matching upper/lower shouldn't be a concern. Someone will always buy it even if it's just for parts.
Old 08-15-2011, 05:08 PM
MarksInnerDemon MarksInnerDemon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_Shane View Post
I am not a huge fan of the polymer lowers, I've seen one that was cracked.

It may be a great rifle, but I have been skeptical of the plastic receivers ever since.
I have seen cracked aluminum receivers. It isn't about the polymer but who makes it, and how they make it.
Old 08-15-2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarksInnerDemon View Post
I have seen cracked aluminum receivers. It isn't about the polymer but who makes it, and how they make it.
Show us a quality polymer lower with a good track record...Most cracked aluminum lowers are cast,and rare at that.
Vulcan Arms

Cav Arms

Plum Crazy
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:00 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
They have a cheaper one I didn't list it.
I was just pointing out the Gadston lower.
Their standard lowers were on sale for $49.99 in March.

One thing he needs to consider is that if the upper and lower match the gun retains more of it's value.
but noone cares about the upper. and for me i dont sell my fire arms so it doesnt matter. and i didnt know that. looked like 2 more lowers for me coming up.
Old 08-16-2011, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTPATRIOT View Post
Show us a quality polymer lower with a good track record...Most cracked aluminum lowers are cast,and rare at that.
Vulcan Arms

Cav Arms

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and it has already been explained why those failed right? ;-)
Old 08-16-2011, 07:12 AM
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Im not sure where you live but here in michigan we have gun shows, its like a flea market for weapons and the sort. Well I went in when I was 18 and bought my DPMS AR-15 A2 for 700. I have since changed it up quite a bit. But if you have such "shows" around you I would definatley recomend checking them out as they can have some good stuff for decent prices. I also am a big fan of the website gunbroker.com, its pretty much like ebay for anything that has to do with this site basically. I have bought many things from there and never had a problem. I really am not too fond of the polymer receiver. I have seen a few, never fired one but given that its a rifle and does get banged around and takes some abuse and receives some abuse I dont think I would want to spend on plastic.
Old 08-16-2011, 07:26 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
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the receiver has little stress. the reasons for the above breakage was not a faulty design. each one was due to something not installed right or improper loads. granted these have not been battle tested. but just like the polymer handguns. remember the debate of glocks? i do.
Old 08-16-2011, 10:31 AM
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I do agree that glocks are made from polymer and they continue to work famously, I own a glock myself. However, theres something about slamming a mag in to magwell and slamming the side of the receiver to send the bolt home that I would rather put my faith in a metal receiver. If SHTF and you have to move quickly that weapon will be getting beaten up pretty good and I just am not ready to put my faith in polymer quite yet.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:46 AM
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+1 on the palmetto mid-legnth kit and the aim surplus lower. It should cost between 600-700 after tax and ffl and will be a great shooter that will last you for many years to come. There are you tube videos on assembling lower receivers and the only tools really needed are brass punches. No way will I trust my bang switch to polymer on a rifle.
Old 08-16-2011, 01:04 PM
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Plastic furniture is ok, but I want the firing mechanisms contained in metal. I have seen metal uppers crack though in extreme cold weather shooting. It was operator error though, was using CLP, they should have known better.
Old 08-16-2011, 02:06 PM
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Which model S&W MP15 has a polymer lower?
Old 08-16-2011, 02:21 PM
kens852 kens852 is offline
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I forget the model, they sell it at cabelas though for 699 I believe.
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