Enthusiasts of the AR-15 know that there are a lot of options for lower receivers. Do you want to go for a budget option, or do you want to splurge on a high-end model? Do you want something lightweight, or do you want something durable? With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. We’ve done the research and testing so you don’t have to, keep reading to see the results.
The Best AR-15 Lower Receivers
Aero Precision M5: Best High-End Lower Receiver
If you’re willing to spend a little extra for a high-quality lower receiver, then take a look at the Aero Precision M5. It’s made from forged 7075 T6 aluminum and is designed to Mil-Spec standards.
It has an integral trigger guard and comes with an improved M4 stock assembly kit. It also has a coated surface that makes it resistant to corrosion and wear.
Brownells – BRN-601 Lower Receiver
The BRN-601 Lower Receiver from Brownells is made from forged aluminum and features a black anodized finish. It’s compatible with all mil-spec upper receivers and has a rear takedown lug pocket that’s machined in.
It also has extended mag release buttons and an integral trigger guard. This lower receiver is a great option for those who are looking for something that’s durable and fits all mil-spec parts.
Daniel Defense DDM4v7: Best Durable Lower Receiver
If durability is your main concern, then take a look at the Daniel Defense DDM4v7. It’s made from forged 7075 T6 aluminum and is designed to Mil-Spec standards.
In addition, it has an integral trigger guard and reinforced buffer tube housing. Finally, it has electroless nickel plating that makes it highly resistant to corrosion.
Anderson – AM-15 Forged Lower Receiver
The AM-15 Forged Lower Receiver from Anderson is made from 7075 T6 aluminum and features a black anodized finish. It has an integral trigger guard and is compatible with all mil-spec upper receivers.
This lower receiver also has an extended mag release button and comes with Anderson’s logo engraved on the side.
Palmetto State Armory PA10: Best Mid-Range Lower Receiver
The Palmetto State Armory PA10 is a great option if you’re looking for something that’s a step up from a budget model but not as expensive as a top-of-the-line model.
It’s made from forged 7075 T6 aluminum, which is extremely durable. It also has a flared magazine well and an integral trigger guard.
Bravo Company Manufacturing BCM Gunfighter: Best Lightweight Lower Receiver
If you’re looking for a lightweight lower receiver, then take a look at the Bravo Company Manufacturing BCM Gunfighter. It’s made from forged 7075 T6 aluminum and is designed to Mil-Spec standards.
It also has an integral trigger guard and comes with an improved M4 stock assembly kit. Finally, it has an anodized coating that makes it resistant to corrosion.
Mega Arms – MATEN Forged Lower Receiver Set
The MATEN Forged Lower Receiver Set from Mega Arms is made from billet 7075 T6 aluminum and features a black anodized finish. It includes both upper and lower receivers, as well as a bolt carrier group and charging handle.
This set is perfect for those who are looking for everything they need to get started with their AR-15 build.
CMMG MK9: Best Budget Lower Receiver
If you’re looking for a quality lower receiver but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then take a look at the CMMG MK9. It’s made from 7075 T6 aluminum, which is strong and lightweight.
It has a Mil-Spec design and is compatible with most AR-15 parts and accessories. It also has an integral trigger guard and comes with an installation kit.
Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II: Best Entry Level Lower Receiver
The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II is another great option if you’re looking for an entry-level lower receiver.
Like the Colt LE6920MPB, it’s made from forged 7075 T6 aluminum. However, it doesn’t come with an improved M4 stock assembly kit. Instead, it has a basic A2 style stock.
Finally, it has decent corrosion resistance thanks to its manganese phosphate coating.
Windham Weaponry R16FTT-BF2C: Best Competition Lower Receiver
If you’re looking for a competition-grade lower receiver, then take a look at the Windham Weaponry R16FTT -BF2C. Its diverse feature set includes compatibility with multiple types of magazines, ambidextrous controls, and good ergonomics.
In addition, it comes with several extras such as backup iron sights, a sling, and three rail covers. Its only downside is its relatively high price tag.
Colt LE6920MPB: Most Popular Lower Receiver
The Colt LE6920MPB is one of the most popular lower receivers on the market. This isn’t surprising given that it’s made from forged 7075 T6 aluminum, which is strong and lightweight.
In addition, it has an integral trigger guard and comes with an improved M4 stock assembly kit.
Finally, it has superior corrosion resistance thanks to its phosphate coating.
What is a Lower Receiver?
In simple terms, a lower receiver is the portion of an AR-15 that houses the firearm’s trigger group and magazine well. The lower receiver also provides a mounting point for the stock, pistol grip, and other components. For this reason, the lower receiver is often referred to as the “fire control group” or “action.”
It’s also the part that’s considered the “firearm” by the ATF, so it’s the part that requires a background check and serial number when you buy it.
Types of Lower Receivers
Stripped Lower Receiver
A stripped lower receiver is just that—stripped. This means that there are no internals or fire control group components included.
You will need to purchase these parts separately and install them yourself. While this may sound like more work, it does have its advantages.
For one thing, it gives you more control over the quality of the internals you’re using in your rifle. It also allows you to customize the trigger pull to your liking.
If you’re someone who likes to tinker with your firearms or build them from scratch, then a stripped lower receiver is probably the way to go.
Complete Lower Receiver
A complete lower receiver includes all of the internal components needed for your rifle to function properly. This means that the fire control group, trigger, trigger guard, and magazine release are all included.
If you don’t want to bother with installing these parts yourself or don’t feel comfortable doing so, then a complete lower receiver is probably a better option for you.
Keep in mind that since you’re buying everything in one package, you might not have as much control over the quality of the parts as you would if you were buying them separately.
80% Lower Receiver
An 80% lower receiver is exactly what it sounds like—it’s 80% finished. The rest of the work will need to be completed by you before it’s considered a functional firearm.
Completion can be done with simple hand tools, though some people prefer to use power tools to speed up the process.
One of the benefits of an 80% lower receiver is that no paperwork is required since it’s not considered a firearm until it’s finished.
This can be attractive to people who live in states with strict gun laws or who don’t want their name associated with a firearm for privacy reasons.
There are also different “standards” for AR-15 lower receivers. The most common standard is the Mil-Spec standard, which is what most military rifles are designed to do. But there are also commercial variants that are designed for civilians.
Commercial variants often have nicer finishes and tighter tolerances than Mil-Spec variants, but they’re usually more expensive as well.
Aluminum, Polymer, or Forge? Comparing the Three Most Popular Types of AR-15 Lower Receivers by Material
There are three main types of lower receivers based on material – aluminum, polymer, and forged steel. In this blog post, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each type of receiver to help you make an informed decision when shopping for your next AR-15.
Aluminum Lower Receivers
Aluminum is by far the most popular material used for AR-15 lower receivers. Aluminum receivers are strong but lightweight, which makes them ideal for people who plan to use their AR-15s for hunting or other outdoor activities.
Aluminum receivers are also less expensive than other types of receivers, which makes them a good option for people who are on a budget. However, aluminum receivers are not as durable as other types of receivers and can be damaged more easily.
Polymer Lower Receivers
Polymer lower receivers are made from a composite material that is lightweight and shatter-resistant. Polymer receivers are a good choice for people who want a durable receiver without sacrificing weight.
However, polymer receivers are not as strong as aluminum or forged steel receivers, so they may not be ideal for people who plan to use their AR-15s for competition shooting or other high-stress activities.
Forged Steel Lower Receivers
Forged steel lower receivers are the strongest and most durable type of receiver available. Forged steel receivers will stand up to any type of use, whether it’s competition shooting, hunting, or just plinking at the range.
However, forged steel receivers are also the heaviest type of receiver, making your AR-15 more difficult to carry if you’re planning to use it for hunting or other outdoor activities. In addition, forged steel receivers are usually more expensive than other types of receivers.
Key Things to Look for in AR-15 Lower Receivers
If you’re in the market for an AR-15 lower receiver, then you know there are a lot of options out there. With so many different manufacturers and different features, it can be tough to know what to look for. Here are five things that you should keep in mind when shopping for an AR-15 lower receiver.
One of the most important things to look for in an AR-15 lower receiver is the quality of the materials that it’s made from. The receiver is one of the most important parts of your gun, so you want to make sure that it’s made from high-quality materials that will withstand years of use and abuse.
Another thing to look for in an AR-15 lower receiver is the features that it offers. There are a lot of different receivers on the market, and each one offers its own unique set of features.
Some receivers come with built-in triggers, while others come with magazine releases or bolt catches. And some receivers even come with Picatinny rails or M-LOK attachment points so that you can add accessories like sights, flashlights, or grips.
When shopping for a receiver, take some time to think about which features are most important to you and find a receiver that has them all.
You also want to make sure that the lower receiver you choose is compatible with all of your other AR-15 parts. If you have a mil-spec upper receiver, then you’ll need a mil-spec lower receiver. And if you have an LR308 upper receiver, then you’ll need an LR308 lower receiver.
So before you purchase a lower receiver, double-check to make sure that it’s compatible with everything else that you have.
One feature that’s becoming increasingly popular in AR-15 lower receivers is a ‘flared’ magwell.
A flared magwell is simply a magwell (the opening where magazines are inserted) that’s been widened and flared outwards. This type of magwell provides several advantages over traditional magwells.
First, it makes magazine insertion much easier, especially when inserted under duress. Second, it provides a larger surface area for gripping the magazine, which can be helpful when removing stuck or jammed magazines. Finally, flared magwells tend to funnel magazines into place, helping ensure proper seating.
If you’re looking for a new lower receiver, then definitely consider one with a flared magwell.
If you’re left-handed or simply prefer having controls on both sides of your lower receiver, then look for one with ‘ambidextrous’ controls.
Ambidextrous controls simply mean that there are identical controls on both sides of the lower receiver. This includes controls like mag release buttons, safety selector levers, and charging handles.
Having ambidextrous control can be extremely helpful for left-handed shooters who prefer having controls in multiple locations. It can also be helpful for those who shoot with both hands and want to be able to manipulate all of their gun controls without moving their firing hand.
And finally, having ambidextrous controls on your lower receiver can also make it easier to use your AR – 15 with optics or other accessories mounted on top since you won’t have to worry about canting the gun to benefit your weak side.
There are dozens of companies that manufacture AR-15 lower receivers. Some are better than others. Do your research and read reviews before settling on a manufacturer. You want to make sure you’re getting a quality product that will last for years to come.
The manufacturing process used to create a particular lower receiver can also play a role in its overall quality and performance.
Forged lowers are generally considered to be stronger and more durable than those that are milled or machined from a solid block of aluminum. However, forged lowers can also be more expensive.
Milled and machined lowers are typically less expensive but may not be as strong or durable as forged lowers.
Most lower receivers will have some sort of markings on them. These can be manufacturer’s logos, caliber markings, or even serial numbers.
While there’s no right or wrong when it comes to markings, some people prefer a clean receiver with no markings at all.
Lower receivers can range in price from around $50 to $200+. You’ll get what you pay for when it comes to quality. However, don’t feel like you need to break the bank to get a good quality lower receiver – there are plenty of great options available at reasonable prices.
Another important factor to consider is the weight of the receiver. If you plan on using your rifle for competition shooting, you’ll want a lighter receiver so that your gun is easier to handle.
The finish on a lower receiver protects it from the elements and wear and tear. A good finish will also make the lower receiver look great.
There are a few different finishes to choose from, including anodized, Cerakoted, and blued.
Anodized finishes are durable and resist corrosion well. Cerakoted finishes offer a bit more protection than anodized finishes and come in a wide variety of colors. Blued finishes offer good protection against corrosion but can be more susceptible to scratches and scuffs.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which finish is right for you.
When shopping for an AR-15 lower receiver, you’ll also want to consider which features are important to you.
For instance, some lower receivers come with an integrated trigger guard while others do not. Some have flared magwells to make reloading faster and easier while others do not. And some come with bolt catch release levers while others do not.
Decide which features are must-haves and which ones you can live without.
How to Maintain your AR-15 Lower Receiver And Keep it Functioning
Clean the Lower Receiver After Every Shooting Session
It is important to clean the lower receiver after every shooting session, even if you don’t fire that many rounds. All it takes is a few minutes to wipe down the receiver with a clean cloth and some gun oil.
You can clean Your AR-15 Lower Receiver in A Few Simple Steps
- Remove the Lower Receiver from the Upper Receiver
The first step in cleaning your AR-15 lower receiver is to remove it from the upper receiver. To do this, simply push down on the takedown pin and pivot the upper receiver open.
Once the upper receiver is open, you will be able to see the bolt carrier group and charging handle. Pull these out of the upper receiver and set them aside. Next, pull the buffer tube and spring out of the lower receiver.
Be careful not to lose any of the small parts that may fall out when you do this.
- Disassemble the Lower Receiver
Once the lower receiver is free from the upper receiver, you can begin disassembling it. Start by removing the pistol grip by unscrewing the screw that holds it in place.
Next, remove the trigger guard by pushing out the two pins that hold it in place. With the trigger guard removed, you should now be able to access the fire control group.
The fire control group is composed of the trigger, hammer, and disconnector.
To remove it, simply push out the two pins that hold it in place and lift it out of the lower receiver.
- Clean all of the Parts
With all of the parts removed from the lower receiver, you can now begin cleaning them. Start by wiping down all of the pieces with a clean rag to remove any dirt or debris.
Once you have done this, you can begin scrubbing all of the parts with a brush and soapy water to remove any stubborn dirt or grime.
Be sure to rinse all of the features off thoroughly when you are finished scrubbing them.
- Dry all of the Parts
Once all of the parts are clean, you will need to dry them off completely before reassembling your AR-15 lower receiver. The best way to do this is to use a clean rag or paper towel to wipe down each part until it is dry.
You can also use a compressed air duster to blow any remaining water off of each part.
- Reassemble your Lower Receiver
Once all of your parts are dry, you can begin reassembling your AR-15 lower receiver.
Start by inserting your fire control group back into place and pushing in the two retaining pins until they are flush with the surface of the lower receiver.
Next, replace your trigger guard and push in its two retaining pins until they are flush with the surface of
Use the Right Tools and Products
When cleaning the lower receiver, it is important to use the right tools and products. A toothbrush can be used to scrub away any dirt or debris, and gun solvent can be used to break down any stubborn grime.
You should also use a clean rag to apply gun oil to all of the moving parts.
Be Careful With Solvents
While solvents can be effective at cleaning the lower receiver, you need to be careful when using them. Some solvents can be corrosive, so it is important to read the labels carefully and only use solvents that are safe for use on firearms.
Additionally, you should always wear gloves and eye protection when using solvents.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
Once you have cleaned the lower receiver, it is important to lubricate all of the moving parts. This will help to prevent corrosion and ensure that the receiver operates smoothly.
You should apply a small amount of gun oil to all of the moving parts, including the trigger assembly, bolt catch, and magazine release button.
Reassemble the Lower Receiver
Once you have cleaned and lubricated the lower receiver, you can reassemble it. Start by inserting the bolt carrier group into the receiver, followed by the charging handle.
Next, insert the buffer tube assembly into the rear of the receiver and screw on the castle nut. Finally, insert the stock into place and tighten down all of the screws.
Test Fire The Rifle
After you have cleaned and maintained your lower receiver, it is important to test fire your rifle to make sure everything is working properly. Take your rifle to a shooting range or an area where it is safe to discharge firearms
Final Thoughts: AR-15 Lower Receivers
There are a lot of different lower Receivers on the market, but these eight are some of the best. Whether you’re looking for something budget-friendly or top-of-the-line, there’s an option on this list for you.