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The AR-15 is the ultimate modular firearm: It can be legally and easily built as a rifle or pistol chambered in 5.56 NATO, .223, or 300 Blackout with the simple swap of a barrel. The market is flooded with thousands of build kits, optics, BCGs, pistol grips, buttstocks, handguards, barrels, and accessories. Most black rifle owners pride themselves on their custom creations. After all, buying a "retail rifle" at the gun store usually means paying an unnecessary premium and you're going to swap out parts either way.

Why not build your AR truly from scratch? With an AR-15 80% lower, that's exactly what you can do.

What is an 80% Lower Receiver?

Not known to all firearm owners or builders, the ATF and Gun Control Act of 1968 both say it's legal to privately gunsmith a rifle or handgun from scratch in the comfort of your own home. No FFL license or paperwork is required. As long as you can legally own a gun, you can build one. That's where the AR-15's 80% lower comes in: Like the rest of the rifle/pistol, this unfinished lower receiver makes it easy to fabricate your own stripped lower using some hand tools and a jig. 

Since the 80% receiver (officially classified as a "receiver blank" by the ATF) isn't fabricated or functional, it's not considered a firearm. That means it ships directly to you without any special paperwork, background check, FFL transfer, or other requirements. 

Want more detail? This in-depth guide explains what an 80% lower receiver is, and how it works.

How Hard is it to Fabricate?

Fabricating your receiver blank and making it a functional stripped lower is easy. The AR-15 jig you'll use to cut and drill the receiver includes easy-to-follow instructions and the required drill bits and end mill bits. Most first-timers can get the job done in around two hours. Fabrication is complete and your receiver's ready for a lower parts kit, buffer, and upper once you've completed four steps:

  1. Drill the hammer pin hole
  2. Drill the trigger pin hole
  3. Drill the safety pin hole
  4. Cut the main cavity for the safety, trigger, and hammer

All you need to complete these four steps is a basic drill press, a stable work bench, a vise, and some lubricating oil. The provided end mills are center-cut, allowing you to make vertical plunge cuts with a drill press. This negates the need for a more expensive router or milling machine.

Want to see how it's done? This in-depth picture guide shows how to cut and drill.

Benefits of an 80% Lower vs. a "Retail" AR-15 Receiver

With the extra tools and time, you'd think a store-bought receiver might be the better choice. But consider this: With an 80% lower, you don't need to pay an FFL transfer fee, a background check fee, any state fees, and no extra taxes. You don't need to fill out bureaucratic paperwork, you don't need to wait 10 days to pick up your receiver, and once you own a jig and the tools, you can machine lower after lower for any AR build!

State Laws May Vary

Contrary to federal law, some states have either restricted or banned the sale, transfer, and ownership of 80% lowers, firearm blanks, and other gun parts. Because of these restrictions, we cannot ship our products to certain states. Please confirm whether your state is restricted on our Shipping & Return Policy before placing an order. We cannot fulfill orders to restricted states if placed.

Other benefits and features:

  • Not legally considered a firearm
  • Ships directly to your front door
  • No FFL required to buy, ship, own, & build
  • U.S.-made from billet or forged aluminum
  • completely mil-spec, compatible with retail AR-15 parts
  • Available raw for custom coatings or mil-spec anodized


DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun 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. At, 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.

We are a national retailer of individual components and not all products depicted on this website are legal in every state. Shipping of various products found on this website are prohibited to some states (such as California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington). The information, pictures, text or products presented on this website are not a representation by us, and should not be understood by you, that any product or completed firearm is legal to assemble or own in your state of residence. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research about the state and federal laws that apply to them. It is your responsibility to understand the law and we encourage you to consult with an attorney or your local ATF representative.