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Thread: Musings- Homemade Sheetmetal AR Lower?

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    GuncoHolic 2ndAmendican's Avatar
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    Default Musings- Homemade Sheetmetal AR Lower?

    May sound stupid, but I've been sitting here this morning trying to come up with a way in my mind that the average homebuilder could make a bent sheetmetal lower receiver that utilized standard AR components, and would mate up with a standard AR complete upper? Doesn't necessarily need to look like your standard milled lower mind you. Maybe like an AK style grip and trigger guard, weld on buffer tube mount, steel blocks welded or riveted in as structural members to hold the width, and to support the upper pivot pins, sheet metal magwell utilizing standard AR mag release. Seems doable in my mind, if not necessarily practical. One of those "do it because you can, not because you have to" kinda things. I think it would be an interesting experimental build. Kinda cool to make your own lower, and it not be like an 80% lower that you finished, but actually built completely.

    Am I totally out in left field? Is there some critical piece of the engineering puzzle that I'm not thinking about, that's a show stopper? Not necessarily saying that I'm gonna build it, just trying to figure out if it's possible.

    What say you, O great AR gurus?
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

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    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    Am I totally out in left field?
    Nope, look at the Armalite AR18 or AR180 design, completely sheet metal receiver. Well at least the earlier one were, so yes it can be done.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coils View Post
    Nope, look at the Armalite AR18 or AR180 design, completely sheet metal receiver. Well at least the earlier one were, so yes it can be done.
    Well that's good to know. Thanks Coils. I feel like less of an idiot now. LOL. Just seems like a fun sheetmetal build-it-yourself project. The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to try it. Just because. I can't see it costing much more than $100.00 in materials, including a standard AR LPK. I very well may put this on the schedule for the summer, when it's too dang hot/humid to be out where I am.
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

    "If they’re going to come here illegally, apply for & receive assistance through a corrupted Government agency encouraging this lawless behavior, work under the table & send billions of dollars each year back to their families in Mexico, while bleeding local economies dry, protest in our streets waving their Mexican flags DEMANDING rights, while I have to press ’1′ for English, then they need to be shipped back to where they came from!" -Chad Miller

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    Gunco Member kzracer's Avatar
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    Default yes its possible

    Matter of fact it was done some years ago on home gunsmith forums, guy built blocks for the critical stuff(pivots and threaded tube for stock), welded it together and was functional, only thing he didnt do was the BHO, but thats a high precision area anyway

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    Citizen, Patriot, Ranger bellson's Avatar
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    Did that a few years ago. It is a lot of work to be honest with you. Here is how I went about it....

    1. I mocked the whole thing up using stiff cardboard. I should have used Kydex, but I really did not know it existed then. Once I had it the way I wanted it, I flattened out the cardboard and started cutting and drilling away. BIG MISTAKE, only cut, do not drill....Restart.

    2. I made the lower in two parts: Trigger housing, and magwell, and used a steel bar to mate them, and house the BHO.

    3. I used standard pins and cut a slot into each end to accept a c-clip, since the pins are longer than needed (because the trigger housing is only .064 thick) it worked out really well.

    4. I made a Frankenstein looking buffer tube / rear trunnion / ugly spud that was spot welded to the trigger housing. This is what the rear pivot pin goes through. Now, think about those stupid little pins and springs that keep the pivot pins from falling out...Yup, the rear trunnion has those, along with the selector - keeper. This rear trunnion was the hardest bit of the whole project. It extended into the trigger housing all the way to the trigger group. It was good though because when I spot welded it into the trigger housing, I can guarantee that it was going NOWHERE....

    5. The BHO / mating bar was spot welded to the front of the trigger housing, and then the mag well was spot welded to it as well. The mag well overlapped the trigger housing, and was cut out to allow me to mount the BHO pivot. In hindsight, I would simply have added a tab to the front of the trigger housing that would be bent out as the rear of the BHO pivot, and did the same to the mag well to form the front of the BHO pivot. It would have been simpler...

    6. Now for the fun parts.....The front pivot pin went through another block that was spot welded to the front of the mag well, and the stupid little pin that holds it in was drilled from the top....Looked really funny, but it worked. A pressed steel flat was made for the BHO pivot. I used a modified L1A1 pistol grip and a loose nut to attach it. I also used an L1A1 trigger guard as an afterthought.

    That was phase 1 of my infamous "Freedom Rifle" concept. It was heavy, and it was ugly. I truly shed tears when I destroyed it.

    The good news is that it worked, flawlessly, which was a miracle in itself.

    I revisited the concept again a couple of years later, this time I was out to make my own version of the AR-180 that would use as many AR-15 parts as possible. That worked too.

    Both projects were fun. Both were successful. I never did anything with either idea because it costs more in tools and time than just buying an 80% completed lower.

    However, for someone like yourself who already has the ability to press a receiver from a flat, has access to a spot welder, has the ability to install rivets, this is a really fun and rewarding project. All of the measurements that you need are available if you have an AR lower.

    Let me know how this goes...

    Regards,
    Imagine whirled peas

    Peace, Love, And Superior Firepower






    Bellson

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    Gunco Regular Rocster's Avatar
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    Nice.
    This guy made one out of cutting boards..yep HDPE!
    Weaponeer Forums: AR Lower--from wood!

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    Bellson, you don't have any pics to go with your description do you? That sounds like it was a fun project, and I'm inspired knowing that it workd once all was said and done. That is too cool. I think I AM gonna try this. It won't be until later this year after I finish up a few other projects. I think it will be an interesting build, that truly shouldn't cost much in materials. Just lots of labor, which is perfect for me. (Gotta keep busy when I get home from work, or else I'd just sit in front of the TV and turn into a zombie.) I really appreciate you posting that. Very inspirational. Thanks!!!!

    Rocster, that is some crazy sh*t!!!!!!! Lower made from a kitchen cutting board!!!! Hell, I thought I was nuts thinking about bent sheetmetal.

    Thanks for the input KZ, and all of you guys. It's definitely going on the "must build" list.

    BTW, I do have an M4 that I can get all of my dimensions from, as well as most of the raw material. Might even have a few AR parts left over to help. This is gonna be fun!!!!
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

    "If they’re going to come here illegally, apply for & receive assistance through a corrupted Government agency encouraging this lawless behavior, work under the table & send billions of dollars each year back to their families in Mexico, while bleeding local economies dry, protest in our streets waving their Mexican flags DEMANDING rights, while I have to press ’1′ for English, then they need to be shipped back to where they came from!" -Chad Miller

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    Gunco Member jimmy_stikx's Avatar
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    Seen over at homegunsmith.com I'll see if I can dig it up.
    Semper Fortis, Paratus Et Potens, Non Sibi, Sed Patriae.

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    Cool, thanks Jimmy.
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

    "If they’re going to come here illegally, apply for & receive assistance through a corrupted Government agency encouraging this lawless behavior, work under the table & send billions of dollars each year back to their families in Mexico, while bleeding local economies dry, protest in our streets waving their Mexican flags DEMANDING rights, while I have to press ’1′ for English, then they need to be shipped back to where they came from!" -Chad Miller

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    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    yea i saw one not all that long ago.

    i have considered the wooden lower --might work if it had some steel here and there.

    the alternate AR might be a bit less problematical if it was designed with non-standard lower and FCG parts.

    when i was thinking of doing a sheet metal --i was planning on going with AK style FCG parts-- it can certainly be done and made to work--

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