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Greetings, I’m building my first AR-15. I have all the parts except... a jig and a vice. I have an aluminum lower. I have two different home drills with all the bits except 5/16 I believe and maybe another. I found a deal online for a jig that includes a polymer lower and the necessary drill bits. This got me thinking about getting the polymer lower as it would be easier and it’s a different color that would make it unique. My question is could I use that jig to also construct another AR with my remaining metal lower? I’m asking if all jigs work for both plastic and metal? Or does it depend on the individual one? Does the gen 2 easy jig work for both metal and plastic? Thank You and apologies, this is my first one so I’m learning as I go.
 

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Yes indeed that’s what I was thinking unless it’s a one and done jig that comes with the polymer lower. I did email them but they have yet to respond. But if I can use that particular jig multiple times and for both metal and plastic then I’m ready to go and get this done. @gdmoody
 

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I personally do not like the polymer lowers regardless if it is 80% or fully finished. They are in my opinion inherently weak and can be stressed by the torque applied by the castle nut if one instals a CAR butt stock buffer tube or crack and break even with a standard A2 butt stock.
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Another problem is that I have heard is the hammer and trigger pins can walk out of the respective holes in the receiver requiring anti walk pins. Now anti walk pins are not that expensive, $20.00 or so. Some people will install a modular trigger instead, but those modular triggers are $150.00 or more, usually costing more, which negates a low cost build if that is the objective.

Another problem with a potential failure with polymer lowers is if the gun is over gassing or too light a buffer is used which can stress the lower.

This is just my own personal opinion and I know there are thousands of polymer lowers out there being shoot every day, but to me, I do not trust them.

Just a few thoughts by me for you or any one else who reads this to mull over.
 

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I have a "plastic" lower and I don't trust it either. I took it off of a .223 upper and put it on a dedicated .22LR upper. I figured it might be able to take it much better than with the pounding that a .223 might give it. As it is, the holes for the takedown pins have already started warbling out a little, just from the occasional separation of lower from upper!
 

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Since the job performed by the jig is only to guide a drill bit being used improperly, it will certainly work regardless of the material being cut. That said, I wouldn't waste 30 minutes of my time on a polymer lower - they don't hold up.

The finished product will not be considered illegal - the ATF has been very clear on that. But you cannot ever transfer it - not even through inheritance - unless you contact ATF. There is a form you can send in to assign a serial number to your homemade product (which must be stamped or etched on the lower) before you transfer it. Contact ATF for information; I've found them to be very helpful.

By the way, some folks are buying large lots of 80% lowers. According to the agents I've spoken with, ATF is watching these sales, probably to capture people making ARs for sale; that requires a FFL, and it's a federal crime to make one for anyone but yourself. Our shop will not sell a 80% lower, nor will we help anyone finish one. It's not worth the risk.
 

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The "best jig"is a 5D-all jigs are NOT the same.
Polymer lowers are stupid and a waste of time-why bother with an inferior product to save 10-20$
 

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That is not how the law works, bad information at best.
Oh pooh. Your right. I just looked at the NFA laws regarding 80% gun receivers. This law must had been amended without me knowing. This was not always the case. Back in the 1990s I was going to machine my own design of a bolt action and was told by what was a trusted friend with an FFL that I would have create a serial number and register it with the ATF.

I will edit that part from my post. Although I did become aware that there is legislation being put forth to change that.
 

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Since the job performed by the jig is only to guide a drill bit being used improperly, it will certainly work regardless of the material being cut. That said, I wouldn't waste 30 minutes of my time on a polymer lower - they don't hold up.

The finished product will not be considered illegal - the ATF has been very clear on that. But you cannot ever transfer it - not even through inheritance - unless you contact ATF. There is a form you can send in to assign a serial number to your homemade product (which must be stamped or etched on the lower) before you transfer it. Contact ATF for information; I've found them to be very helpful.

By the way, some folks are buying large lots of 80% lowers. According to the agents I've spoken with, ATF is watching these sales, probably to capture people making ARs for sale; that requires a FFL, and it's a federal crime to make one for anyone but yourself. Our shop will not sell a 80% lower, nor will we help anyone finish one. It's not worth the risk.
Not only a FFL but a manufactures lic. too. With the proper insurance.
Or you get shut down REAL quick. And maybe more money then you made AND possible jail time.
Mike
 

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I have heard stories of people ruining 2 or 3 80% lowers in the learning process of the milling. If I were to try an 80% lower build using a jig, I do believe my first attempt would be on a polymer and if it does not come out right it is not that big of a loss compared to an aluminum lower.
It is possible to make a vise block using wood (2x4) to hold the receivers for the build. Thats what I did to install the barrel on my Aero M5 upper when I could not get what I needed. Some may gasp at that but it worked and the rifle functions very well.
 

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Most Jig manufs will tell you it takes 20-30min.......a local guy here does them in 1-1.5hr-instead of 2 plunges,he does in 4...after he cleans up and paints,the average person can't tell it's an 80%...take time,it's well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Since the job performed by the jig is only to guide a drill bit being used improperly, it will certainly work regardless of the material being cut. That said, I wouldn't waste 30 minutes of my time on a polymer lower - they don't hold up.

The finished product will not be considered illegal - the ATF has been very clear on that. But you cannot ever transfer it - not even through inheritance - unless you contact ATF. There is a form you can send in to assign a serial number to your homemade product (which must be stamped or etched on the lower) before you transfer it. Contact ATF for information; I've found them to be very helpful.

By the way, some folks are buying large lots of 80% lowers. According to the agents I've spoken with, ATF is watching these sales, probably to capture people making ARs for sale; that requires a FFL, and it's a federal crime to make one for anyone but yourself. Our shop will not sell a 80% lower, nor will we help anyone finish one. It's not worth the risk.
Ok Great that’s what I thought just had to make sure. Thank you for all the info, really appreciate it. Yes I was reading all the laws when I was purchasing To make sure and your right, not worth the risk at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have heard stories of people ruining 2 or 3 80% lowers in the learning process of the milling. If I were to try an 80% lower build using a jig, I do believe my first attempt would be on a polymer and if it does not come out right it is not that big of a loss compared to an aluminum lower.
It is possible to make a vise block using wood (2x4) to hold the receivers for the build. Thats what I did to install the barrel on my Aero M5 upper when I could not get what I needed. Some may gasp at that but it worked and the rifle functions very well.
A wealth of knowledge in this thread. That’s what I was thinking also. Better to get that extra lower for a practice trial just in case and Learn the process and then do the aluminum afterward so Ill be more familiar. Also yes I might try that with the wood because I have these vice grips just not a base. Loving the input. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Since the job performed by the jig is only to guide a drill bit being used improperly, it will certainly work regardless of the material being cut. That said, I wouldn't waste 30 minutes of my time on a polymer lower - they don't hold up.

The finished product will not be considered illegal - the ATF has been very clear on that. But you cannot ever transfer it - not even through inheritance - unless you contact ATF. There is a form you can send in to assign a serial number to your homemade product (which must be stamped or etched on the lower) before you transfer it. Contact ATF for information; I've found them to be very helpful.

By the way, some folks are buying large lots of 80% lowers. According to the agents I've spoken with, ATF is watching these sales, probably to capture people making ARs for sale; that requires a FFL, and it's a federal crime to make one for anyone but yourself. Our shop will not sell a 80% lower, nor will we help anyone finish one. It's not worth the risk.
Do you need a router to complete the lower? Or will a handheld drill work okay to get it done?
 

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No, you don't have to have a router. Never seen it done with a hand drill, usually a drill pres, but I guess it could be done if you're careful and take your time.
 
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Yes you need a mini router, I have a Dewalt. IMO, don't waste your time with the ones that use a drill press entirely. I've seen some examples of those and wasn't impressed. Looked like they were done with a chisel & a rock. The ones that are done on the 5D tactical jig look just like factory finished lower when you compare them lying side by side. Buy once, cry once certainly applies here.
 

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YES-you NEED a quality router-125-150$ Dewalt-the drill bits/side cutters that come with jigs are manufacturer specific...Do it right or don't do it---I've seen drill press/hand drill abortions that earned the doer a big laugh.
 

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No, you don't have to have a router. Never seen it done with a hand drill, usually a drill pres, but I guess it could be done if you're careful and take your time.
It appears that I need to make adjustments to my statement. If you are talking about using the 5-D jig, yes you need a router.
For $300 for the jig, I hope you plan on doing a lot of lowers.
 
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