Would you buy a polymer AR lower receiver?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Albtraum, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Local gun store having a deal this weekend on New Frontier AR15 complete lowers with polymer receiver for $95.

    Pro's: Lightweight @ 1.6 lbs. $100.
    Con's: It's plastic.

  2. JTofGPD

    JTofGPD New Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    I just placed an order for one... Will have it next week. I hear a lot of good things about them... Btw- glocks and many other reliable weapons are made of high quality polymer. Why not an ar lower?

  3. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2012
    Moore, Idaho
    An AR Lower of polymer can be extremely good quality with strength. However, I would not expect it to keep that strength during a 50 year period whether it's fired or not. A glass reinforced polymer will quite likely be good for about 50 years or more.

    Carbon fiber base polymers - well, plan on your lifetime and your grandchildren's lifetime.

    So, the only questions are: 1) how long do you plan on having the carbine 'in service' and reliable? 2) How many test rounds and practice rounds will you expect to place through it 3) how much are you willing to have it weigh, and lastly, 4) how much money are you willing to spend on it with ammo?

    The military uses a combination of these questions and the reality is that AR's in the military are pretty much destroyed after two-five years of service and some are sold off (i.e. Fast and Furious). For the military - weight is everything.

    High quality, glass reinforced polymers are the only way to go for light weight. Best long term combination is the best polymers for the light duty areas and quality steel for the working parts. With a really nice lower, you can mate any upper and your barrel and feed in the upper need to be of very high quality steel.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
  5. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    nc mountains
    never Just not enough pro's to invest in one.
  6. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    SW PA

    You can't take a part designed to made of aluminum and make it from plastic and expect it to work well. It would need to be about 40 percent thicker and beefed up even more in high stress areas which they are not.

    A Glock works because it was designed for the materials used.

    You could not make a 1911 frame and slide from plastic and expect it to work and hold up the same as steel (or aluminum), same with the AR receiver.

    And for what? To save a few ounces and a few dollars? If you are that hard up to save maybe AR's aren't really for you.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Beautiful reply GH. I agree totally!
  8. Maine04657

    Maine04657 New Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    I think the question shoudl have been asked who has personal EXPERIENCE with polymer lowers and there quality.

    I know a few folks who own them. The one that I will note here is a 07/02 friend who converted a bushmaster to FA 8 or more years ago and uses it for demos. He has fired countless thousands of rounds and it is still fine.

    What most people fail to understand is the LOWER does not take much in the way of stress or wear.
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia

    I bought a New Frontier lower about three weeks ago to put on an AR57 upper that I traded for. I have only fired about 200 rounds since I bought it so I cant really say how it will hold up. You can't really tell it is plastic with a quick look but when you pick it up and feel the weight, it is obvious.

    With me putting it on the 5.7, I figured that it would not take a beating. I might change it out with a couple of AR's. every now and then. to test how it functions with a little more powerful caliber.

    I know a lot of people talk bad about plastic and I have for years, but I am happy with the performance, as of right now, anyway. It still will now make be buy a Glock, though.
  10. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    SW. Florida
    Of course the lower only receives and retains the magazine, receives and retains the buttstock/grip & buffer and receives & retains the trigger/safety & fire control parts. None of those items listed are high stress items requiring high strength steel or aluminum to perform their functions. If the polymer lowers are made of a similar material as say glock pistols, I see no reason to poo-poo the idea.

    A typical stripped AR lower made of cast aluminum: (Costs approx. $100 - $130)


    A typical AR lower with all the parts installed.


    Completely outfitted as shown with good metal parts the typical cost would be around $250. The complete polymer lowers at $100 seem almost too good to be true, and you know what they say about that.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  11. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    SW PA
  12. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Thanks everyone for the input. I had no desire for getting an AR15 because of the $, but when I saw this ad, I figured I could start with the lower, and slowly build it up. Also, the shop is having DROS for free.

  13. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    A big resounding NO from me.

    What GunHugger said....
  14. crystalphoto

    crystalphoto Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Gilbert, SC
    nope... I am a metal kind of guy.
  15. Maine04657

    Maine04657 New Member

    Sep 13, 2012

    Nice pics. However unless we know exactly what caused each failure they are pointless. I have pics of many KB's from bad ammo to folks leaving their fancy laser bore sighters in the barrel.
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