EP Armory AR Lowers

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  • PaknSiG

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    Oct 21, 2009
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    Friend of mine told me about these. They are a polymer 80% AR lower that you can complete on your own. Looks like an interesting concept, I might try one just for grins. Anyone try one of these and how did it turn out?

    Lower Receivers

    TM
     

    XinTX

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    Aug 29, 2010
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    Several people have successfully built using them. Not the best out there, but it does work. I've read the JMT poly lower is a bit better but costs about twice as much. It comes with a one time use jig. The EP lower does not. I did order an EP to try it out. If I gak it up I'm not out a helluva lot. And it could be a fun Saturday project. I am a bit of a klutz, so we'll see what happens. I have read that there are some issues with the EP's. Biggest gripe is the holes for the release pins aren't concentric with the reliefs for the pin heads.
     
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    PaknSiG

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    Thanks for the information. Like you, my buddy and I ordered one each just to see what we could do with it and how it will work. We shall see, no big loss if it doesn't.
     

    PaknSiG

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    Yep, lots of those. I don't have a milling machine for that so thought I would try one of these. I do have a drill press and a rabid Dremel tool.

    TM
     

    XinTX

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    I have seen it where some people drill a LOT of holes in an aluminum 80%, then use the Dremel to smooth things out. But you REALLY need a jig to do those. Jigs are available, but cost more than an 80% lower. The jigs for the aluminum units are reusable. The jigs for the poly units (like the Polymer 80) are a one-time use unit. EP doesn't use a jig.

    I have talked to a couple folks who have built using EP lowers. Said they would drill the side holes first if they were to do it over again. The sides can flex a little if the cavity is hollowed out first.
     

    XinTX

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    They're not much of a 'deal' anyway. You can find stripped New Frontier lowers at gun shows for about the same price. Heck, sometimes PSA puts their lowers on sale for $49.99. I just did one on a "what the heck" moment. Mostly because I like tinkering. I think it would be a fun Saturday to knock one out. Heck, there's a YouTube video of a guy getting one 'milled' out in less than an hour.
     

    PaknSiG

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    That's what my buddy and I are doing, just for the fun of it. I have three ARs now and don't need another but I have a spare Sun Devil upper and lower anyway. No one said there had to be a need....!!!!!

    TM
     

    XinTX

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    "Finished" (so to speak) one over the weekend. Took me a lot longer than an hour. Took pretty much all day. But I tend to work slow. And I take breaks. I drilled the pin holes first, then hogged out the pocket. A couple people that have done so have told me this is what they would have done in hindsight. Had I wanted it finished better, I would have drilled all the holes, but to a drill size under what was needed, then finished the holes to the final size as the last step. The other thing you need to do is to run a drill bit of the proper size through every hole on there that gets a spring or pin. All of them were either undersized or had some mold flash in them. One I didn't do, the bolt release plunger hole, was gakked up. The plunger seized in the hole. Had to be inventive to get it out. After that, I ran a 5/32 bit in there by hand and it pulled out a lot of shavings. I used a 3/32 bit on all the take down pin detent holes and they worked fine after that. A bit sticky when I tried to test the detent pins in the holes (which I did AFTER I stuck the bolt catch plunger). One common complaint I've heard is that the safety holes don't get drilled right. I'm thinking they may have yet another issue with their mold. Most reviews I've read (or watched on YouTube) seem to have this issue. Had I been able to get a good grip and align and level the piece, I would have just through drilled all the holes. Since the side holes use pins that go through, it makes sense to me to drill them straight through. But that's just me. They do suggest the pistol grip screw just be threaded in manually. I used a tap to start the hole, then drove it in to finish. It gets REALLY tight and I stopped before the PG got tight. I'm going to get a better grip for this one, so I'll likely use a slightly shorter screw and a washer when I replace it.

    The trigger hole is one area I didn't get done too well. It's functional, just not too pretty. But it's not a show piece anyway. It is functional and passes all the safety and function checks. Haven't had a chance to fire it yet as I'm waiting on a buffer that I'd ordered.
     
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