So I ordered the $300 PTAC upper from PSA when they were having a sale and was really torn between grabbing a stripped lower or doing an 80%er. As most of us know, the price difference between those two really no longer exists minus the FFL transfer fee on a stripped lower. Being the glutton for punishment I am, I decided to go with the cheapest(most labor intensive) option: Jack Squats AR-15 flat.
So for those of you who are unfamiliar with the flat, this is what you get for around $27.
It is all steel, and some may not like the added weight but it really didnt phase me. I wanted to do a project and also keep the cost down. I will say for anyone considering doing one of these that the pieces come together very straight forward and the cuts on the pieces are fantastic for the price. They still need some smoothing out but its damn nice.
Trigger guard and FCG pocket put together:
Magwell and back of receiver/pistol grip mount:
Buffer tube mount(which I may as well have not used!):
The biggest dilemma with doing one of these is the fact that the tap for the buffer tube is roughly $60(the price of a stripped lower??), and knowing how precise the tube must line up with the bolt in order to function properly. Thannks to weaponsguild, I saw a few members opted to weld on a castle nut as an alternative to tapping the threads.
My first attempt failed miserably.
Luckily I ordered an additional one along with the one supplied in my LPK. I havent decided if I'm going to keep it *flat side* or not but I was really itching to go test it out today after getting everything lined up and basically finished. Not sure if Im going to make provisions for the takedown pins or if I'm simply going to use some screws for simplicity(which is what I used to test it as you see in the next picture). I still need to get an additional castle nut to snug up the tube but the lock ring/key worked fine for my range trip today. Put 40 rounds through it and had 2 misfeed and get smooshed. The two rounds that got caught were fed out of a cheapie mag, luckily my friend let me borrow his bushmaster mag and a Pmag, both which ran the other 30 something rounds perfectly. So not sure if its 100% a mag issue or something with my lower yet with such a low round count but I'm very satisfied.
Felt awesome to build another firearm! I had little to no experience with the AR before taking this on and I must say the engineering, as simple as it is, was simply mind-blowing. Such a complicated yet simple basic firearm that works extremely well.
The lower doesnt look 100% pristine, but it does everything it is supposed to do and I managed to cobble it together with my small equipment set. Worse comes to worse I will buy an 80%er and fire up the old drill press.
Once again I thank everyone on this site, and also a shout-out to www.weaponsguild.com . Without the knowledge you guys provide these things could never become a reality for many of us!