Why You Should Choose an 80 Lower Receiver for Your AR-15

Posted by 80-Lower on May 6th 2019

Why You Should Choose an 80 Lower Receiver for Your AR-15

The 80 lower receiver has taken the AR-15 build market by storm! It provides new and seasoned AR-15 enthusiasts with the opportunity to build a black rifle or pistol for less cash. But really, why is it so great? What's the difference between an 80 lower receiver and a store-bought stripped lower? Here's why you should choose an 80 lower receiver for your AR-15 project!

Building with an 80 lower receiver costs less

You probably decided to build your AR-15 instead because you weren't happy with the high prices and mediocrity at the gun store counter. And for all that cash, most store-bought AR-15s adhere to a relatively simple (and boring) configuration. That does no justice for the versatile and capable AR platform.

Building your AR-15 with an 80 lower costs less than what you'll find at the gun store. Whereas most AR-15 stripped lowers start at $150 and up, the 80 lower receiver starts at just around $60 for a quality mil-spec, forged option! Looking for a top-tier build? Check out our Premium Billet 80 Lower, which incorporates a heavy-duty trigger guard, re-designed mag well, and new threaded fittings in place of those annoying roll pins!

An 80 lower receiver isn't a firearm (until you fabricate it)

The 80 lower is so cool because it's not legally considered a firearm at the time of purchase. The 80 lower gets its name because, well, it's only 80% complete. You're responsible for completing the last 20% of the receiver using an 80 lower jig. The big benefit to this is savings and convenience! You don't need to wait around at the gun shop for an hour while a costly background check or FFL transfer goes through. You're also avoiding all those taxes, fees, and shipping insurance if purchasing online. Not sure what an 80 lower jig is? Keep reading and check 'em out here.

The 80 lower innovated the AR-15's design

Polymer80 Lower Receiver and Jig Kit (AR-15, Black) - Blog Photo 1

The original AR-15 design is decades old, and it was far from perfect. Developers of the 80 lower have improved upon this design with new receiver features and ultralight options. Just recently, ultralight polymer 80 lowers have taken the market by storm. Often weighing a little over 4.8 ounces (that's about 0.3 pounds!), polymer 80 lowers cut the weight of the receiver dramatically. If you want to build the lightest possible AR-15, then something like the G150 Phoenix will get you there. It's even available in .308!

You can build tons of AR-15s with your 80 lower jig!

Premium 80% Lowers Fire/Safe Marked Billet (5-pack) and Easy Jig Gen 2 (80% Lower Jig) with Tooling – 5.56/AR-9 - Blog Photo 2

The 80 lower jig is the second half of the 80 lower receiver's equation. This convenient little unit functions like a personal CNC machine and drill press in one. Don't worry, 80 lower jigs were designed for the at-home gunsmith like you! No experience is necessary to operate one. Completing your 80 lower receiver with a jig only takes about an hour or two, at most. Seasoned builders can complete a lower in less than 30 minutes! Already thinking about the fastest jig available? That'll be the Easy Jig Gen 2 Multi-Platform, a crowd favorite among our customers.

This is the real beauty of the 80 lower receiver: Once you've got a jig, you can keep pumping out lowers for new builds! We offer plenty of bulk 80 lower receiver packs for just this reason. Build a bench rifle, an AR pistol, a suppressed 300 BLK, or all three! You get to decide.

The 80 lower is a 2A insurance policy

It's no secret the AR-15 lives in a volatile market. Political pressure and legislative battles mean the black rifle is always under scrutiny - and perhaps threat of being banned. Because it'd be incredibly difficult to specifically ban them, 80 lowers provides a nice insurance policy against this. You've seen it before: Talks of banning the AR-15 or one of its variants start up. Panic buying ensues, prices go up, supply goes down, and you're left without many options. The 80 lower lets you decide when and what you want to build. Until you do, you have no legal liabilities. You simply own some aluminum!

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 80-lower.com, 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.