Buying Guide to 80% Lowers

80 Percent Arms   |   Oct 1st 2018

If you've landed here, I'm willing to bet you've already made the decision to build your own AR15 rifle or Glock® style pistol, you're just looking for help on the how. And you aren't alone. If you're new to firearms, the prospect of building your own seems like an incredible challenge. Even if you're just new to these platforms specifically, it seems like a lot of information, a lot of different tool, and a lot of places to screw up. Thankfully, it really is easier than it looks, and we're here to walk you through the entire process.

Build an AR15

By far the most popular rifle in America today, we have been selling AR15 Jigs and lowers since 2013. This also seems like the most complicated build, because it seems to be the most work intensive. However, we've made the process so simple we actually had to patent the words "Easy Jig®". 

Buy A Jig

While we offer a few different models, for the purpose of this walkthrough, we're going to stick to the latest, greatest, and easiest jig on the market,  the  Easy Jig® Gen 3. If you're looking for the easiest jig on the market, that's the one to get. You don't need any specialized tools, just a handheld router and a drill. Things you either likely have at home already, or if not, you can easily pick up at any hardware store.

Pick the Tool Kit

Of course, any special tool needs special tooling, so you're going to want to pick up an  Easy Jig® Gen 3 Tool Kit also. All you need to do is check which size your router is compatible with. Don't see your size? Measure the thread and pitch of the spindle to figure out which size you need. Don't have a router? Buy the DeWalt DWP611, and get a Size C/3 toolkit. Easy.

Buy an 80% Lower

If you've got the jig, the bulk of your shopping is over. What you need now is an  80 lower, and there's plenty of options to choose from. You're basic decision is going to be choosing between an AR15, and AR9, or an AR10/308. Let's take a look at your options.

AR15 80% Lower

By FAR the most popular, this is what most people build. Dubbed "America's Rifle", the venerable AR15 has become a staple in most gun-owning households. Not just the ideal defense weapon, it is also great for hunting, precision shooting, 3-Gun competitions, you name it. Our most popular lower is the Black Anodized AR-15 80% Lower. Common calibers include .223/5.56mm, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39mm, and 5.45x39mm. More exotic calibers are the .458 SOCOM, and the .50 Beowulf. We also have other color AR15 80 lowers available.

AR9 80% Lower

The AR9 has been gaining in popularity the past few years, from a competition gun for Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) class shooters, to people who just like to plink and shoot for cheap. 9mm ammunition typically runs about half the cost of 5.56mm rifle ammunition, so you can shoot more, for less. We have several AR9 80% Lowers to choose from. You can even mill these on the same setting as the AR15 on your Jig, to make it as simple as possible.

AR10 80% Lower

Looking for something with a bit more knockdown power? The AR10 is capable of handling .308/7.62x51mm, 6.5 Creedmoor, and other full-power rifle rounds. We offer a selection of AR10 80% Lowers

Building The Rifle

Now that you have everything you need to take an 80% lower into a 100% lower (and a legal firearm), we're going to need some additional parts to make that firearm functional as well! Luckily for you, most of our components come pre-assembled, and the AR-15 is jokingly referred to as a"lego set for adults" for a reason. The parts are all very easily interchanged, and the possibilities are endless.

Choose Your Upper Receiver

First, you'll need an upper receiver. This is the other half of the AR platform, and you don't have to do any work here. We offer pre-built configurations that drop in with two quick push-pins, making it simple to choose what you want, and start shooting. View our Complete Upper Receivers.

Get a Lower Parts Kit

This is even easier. Just Buy This. You can upgrade your trigger later if you like, but this will get you shooting.

Don't Forget your Stock Assembly

Also simple, just Buy This here. Later on you can change out your stock to one of the hundreds on the market, but you'll keep all the other parts, and the new stock will just slide right on.