4 Common Questions about 80 Percent Lowers

4 Common Questions about 80 Percent Lowers

May 23, 2019 Uncategorized 0

Despite what some “expert” tells you on some internet chat board, it is absolutely impossible to know everything about every single gun or piece of gear in the pew universe.

One can even spend years in the military as an infantryman and walk away only handling a handful of weapons systems. The author of this article is himself a Marine grunt and he can testify to the fact that being a veteran doesn’t automatically make you an expert on all firearms.

So there is no shame if you are just now hearing or are only vaguely familiar with the concept of the 80 percent lower, 80 lower jig or even the 300 blackout. If that’s you, then let’s break it down Barney style and cover some basic questions.

What the Heck is an 80 Percent Lower?

An 80 percent lower is the lower receiver of an AR-15 that is, wait for it, 80% complete. Genius branding isn’t it?

The purpose of having an incomplete lower receiver is that for all practical purposes it is a functionless hunk of metal meaning that it is not yet a firearm. So you can purchase as many of them as you want and have them shipped right to your door with no FFL needed.

Simply put, it is exactly what you see below and nothing more.


What Do I Need to Finish the Lower Receiver?

While a big hunk of metal might find a purpose in a fight, it’s a pretty bad tool to bring to a gunfight. So to complete the 80% lower you will need a few tools. First, you will need a quality 80 lower jig from a quality American made manufacturer. Might I be so bold as to suggest these?


This is what allows you to finish the milling process and turn the big useless hunk of metal into an actual firearm. Keep in mind that once you do so it does become a firearm and applicable firearm laws apply. However, most are surprised at just how easy is it is to complete this process with minimal tools.

Are You Sure This is Legal?

Yes, absolutely. Granted, some gun grabbing states have all sorts of variants on the law so you should research your specific state. Sorry my Californian brethren, but you will have it the hardest.

Yet, the ATF is very specific in their ruling that an 80% lower only becomes a weapon after the milling process is completed. You can read more details and specs about the 80% lower here.

As far as they are concerned it might as well be an oddly shaped paperweight. The benefit to purchasing an 80 lower is that you can complete the process only when ready.

Stockpile a truckload of them in your basement if you want as its never been illegal to horde hunks of metal.

Why Build with an 80 Lower?

Finally, let’s talk about why you should want to build your AR with an 80 lower. By starting from scratch with quality American made parts, you are able to control the quality of the process from beginning to end.

Moreover, understanding how to build a weapon is almost a moral duty in this day and age of continually restricting gun rights.


When you can take every part you see above and put it together then there is no authority under heaven that can take that knowledge from you. The inalienable truly becomes so as they can one day stop businesses from selling this weapon, but they can’t stop what is in your head.

If you are new to the concept of the 80 percent lower then take a look around at the rest of what we have to offer and you just might have your very first custom built AR before you know it.


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