We were given the chance recently to take a look at a couple of lowers from AREA 53. AREA 53 is a company that I’ve heard of and seen pictures of their products but really wasn’t that familiar with. They primarily focus on billet uppers and lowers including many different models and customization options for their billet lowers. Below I’ve included some pictures of the AREA 53 billet lowers I have that will eventually get built up into complete lowers.
The packaging for the AREA 53 lowers is very cool. The boxes have the AREA 53 logo on the outside and cutouts for the lowers on the inside. The cutout hugs the lowers very tight to keep them from getting damaged in shipping. The two lowers I have are the AR-15 “El Jefe” and AR-10 “El Capitan – Challenge Coin”.
The AR-15 model has a large AREA 53 logo on the right side mag well as well as an ambi bolt release. The finish is very clean and consistent with no sharp edges. It also features different selector markings where instead of machining in the markings they recessed the area around them so the “Auto – Fire – Safe” are raised.
The AR-10 model is very similar to the AR-15 model with exception of the larger mag well. The AR-10 model we received is also a different model that gives you a place to install a challenge coin on the right side of the mag well. These can be pretty cool if you have a neat Challenge Coin to put in them. They offer the Challenge Coin model in both AR-15 and AR-10 models. The AR-10 model also features an ambi bolt release as well. The finish on the AR-10 model is equally as nice and the anodizing is nice and consistent.
As mentioned before, both the AR-15 and AR-10 billet lowers from AREA 53 feature an ambi bolt release. The ambi bolt releases come pre-installed and function very smooth.
Both lowers also feature a threaded bolt catch pin. The bolt catch pin is notoriously the most annoying roll pin to install on an AR so any time its replaced with a threaded bolt catch pin is a great thing. Another feature not shown is the upper tensioning screw that is present on both models.
The front of the AREA 53 mag wells have been contoured to give you the ability to use it as a grip for your support hand. It also gives the lowers a nice look as well.
Our initial impressions parallel all of the very positive things we’ve heard from others who have used the AREA 53 billet receivers for their builds. AREA 53 appears to take great care in making sure their lowers look and feel great. Pretty soon we’ll get these lowers built up and make sure they function as well as they look which I’m quite sure they will. If you’re interested in using the AREA 53 lowers in your next build, head on over to www.AREA53.com.
Radical Firearms has once again put together an amazing sale. Their 4th of July Sale has a 50 cal. rifle and 458 SOCOM rifle complete with rail system for just $600. They’re also offering a complete AR Pistol chambered in 7.62×39 for just $400. If you need any parts such as a complete upper, 16″ Barrel or Fire Control Group they have some smoking deals for you as well. Check out the deals on the sale flyer below then head on over to www.RadicalFirearms.com to get in on the savings.
The very popular Reversible Hand Stop or RHS from Zero Bravo is now available in an M-LOK compatible model. I have quite a few KeyMod RHS’s and they are one of the most comfortable hand stops out there. The RHS can be positioned in either direction giving you a lot of freedom with how you use the hand stop. With M-LOK being pushed heavily by Magpul and many other big name companies in the industry it is definitely here to stay. Now you can get the same comfortable RHS for your M-LOK rails. Check out the pics below then order one for yourself over at www.ZeroBravo.com
So many people have been anxiously waiting for the new EraThr3 M-LOK rails to come out and that day is finally here. The first run of EraThr3 M-LOK rails are available through Rainier Arms. Take your pick between 10″, 12″ and 14″ lengths. If you’re looking for a new rail, especially one that nobody else has, this is what you’ve been looking for. Check them out at www.RainierArms.com.
The EraThr3 Low-Pro M-LOK Handguard is a sleek, free-floating alternative for the AR-15 weapon system. Designed with versatility in mind, M-LOK slots are positioned at 3, 6, & 9 o’clock positions, leaving the door wide open for hanging everything under the sun off of your rifle. Direct-mount M-LOK accessories and/or M-LOK 1913 Picatinny rail sections are easily installed for the mounting of tactical lights, slings, grips, and/or any other items one may deem necessary.
Lewiston, ID – Seekins Precision, announced the addition of M-Lok compatible SP3R handguards.
The Seekins Precision M-Lok SP3R handguards are now in stock and available for immediate shipment. Featuring the same innovative flat bottom design as the current Keymod versions. Seekins Precision SP3R handguards have a semi-triangular shape and flat bottom, offering a more stable platform when shooting from a barricade or other objects. All Seekins Precision SP3R handguards offer an integral top picatinny rail, designed for a seamless transition from the Mil-Spec upper receiver, as well as several anti-rotation QD sling mounts. The Seekins Precision SP3R is the perfect fit for tactical, sporting or competition shooters.
“The addition of the M-Lok compatible handguards will allow our customers more options for customization” said Kevin Weyrauch, Seekins Precision Business Development Coordinator. “There is definitely a base of customers that prefer the M-Lok cam system. So instead of choosing one system over the other, we now offer both.”
**Edit** If you’re wondering what the SP3R looks like installed on an AR, here’s a picture taken by my buddy CrossFire showing the KeyMod version.
I recently had the opportunity to have a candid conversation with Cerakote master finisher Boyd Lemons of HillBilly223. Boyd has been applying finishes to firearms since 2009, which is right around the time it started to gain ground.
Boyd is truly a pioneer and innovator of creating truly unique one-of-a-kind masterpiece firearms. In talking with him, he is a humble guy who really has accomplished a lot to boast about. For the past 5-years, he has been the custom Cerakoter for Nighthawk Custom as well as doing custom projects for Battle Arms Development, Midwest Industries and many more.
Here is a quick excerpt from my conversation with Boyd where I asked him a few questions that I often hear.
JL: Boyd, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. First, which do you prefer better, Cerakote or Duracoat?
BL: You are very welcome Jody! I have spent considerable time with both, and I like them both for different reasons. Cerakote has a much more diverse availability of colors than Duracoat, so I use it primarily. In addition, I can spray Cerakote using certain spray techniques to create different tolerances in areas that need more or less tolerance like on the Nighthawk pistols.
JL: Which finish is stronger and longer lasting?
BL: When Cerakote is applied correctly, it’s much stronger but Duracoat. Although Duracoat is touted as a no-bake application, it helps to be baked and prepped in the same way as Cerakote. When those steps are followed, Duracoat holds up well and is a good product.
JL: Why has Cerakote taken over the market?
BL: Cerakote came on strong with training in the beginning and their mass marketing has aided in success. In addition, their availability of colors has been far superior. Cerakote offers a 3-day certification program for those that need training, however it is my experience that certification does not make you a good finisher, years of experience and consistency do.
JL: How do you create such works of art?
BL: I often pick a theme from a movie or something that motivates me. I approach it like a blank canvas and let the theme guide me.
JL: Do you remove anodizing before spraying or spray over.
BL: We never remove all the finish only as much as needed to get the finish to stick. We remove all oils using a multi-step process of blasting, degreasing and baking before we spray anything.
JL: What are some of your favorite designs?
BL: The series we did for Battle Arms Development in the Star Wars theme comes to mind. That was a fun project we did in collaboration with Battle Arms, they make some killer stuff.
JL: What is the average turn-around time for your work and do have any upcoming sales for Father’s Day?
BL: Depending on the scope of the project, we average anywhere between 10 days to 2 weeks. We are running a 10%-off sale through the end of July and our prices are very fair to begin with.
JL: Awesome! I truly love what you did to my Kimber 1911, as it needed facelift bad. You took it from ugly to wild.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me about Cerakote. What is the best way for people to see more of your work and get in touch with you?
BL: That is what we do brother… you are very welcome. We are pretty active on Instagram under the name @hillbilly223urban and our website is hillbilly223.com
JL: Thanks again Boyd, we will post some photos here for people to see some of your work. Have a great summer and best wishes to you in 2015. Cheers!
About the Author: Jody Lewis is a professional photographer based in the PNW who has articles published on many of the popular websites including RECOIL-WEB and Guns & Tactics Magazine. He is also the Director of Operations and Business Development for Defense Marketing Group. You can follow him on his page XFIREPIX on Facebook.
Nick Atkinson’s 2015 Season is off to a great start with Gorilla Ammunition
Gorilla Ammunition’s sponsored shooter, Nick Atkinson, has placed well in each of his first three events of the 2015 season, finishing in 2nd place twice.
Vero Beach, FL, – June 24, 2015 – Nick Atkinson’s 2015 professional shooting season is off to a great start with two 2nd place finishes. His most recent performance was this past weekend where he placed 2nd place at a Chris Kyle charity event, the Wild West Multi-Gun.
“Gorilla Ammunition is proud of Nick’s performance to start this season. Nick has done a great job representing the Gorilla Ammunition brand. His accomplishments have demonstrated the precision of our high quality ammunition and the competitive edge it gives amateur and professional shooters” said Gorilla Ammunition’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Jay Duncan
Nick Atkinson has been a competitive shooter for 10 years and a 3 Gun Nation Pro Shooter for 2 years. In the 2014 season Nick ranked 11th out of the top 60 shooters in the Nation. Nick’s 2015 season is off to a great start with several great rankings at high profile events.
- 2015 Southeast Regional - 15th place
- 2015 3-Gun Nation Pro Event #3 - 2nd place
- 2015 Wild West Multi-Gun - 2nd Place
“It feels really good to get a solid start to the season. With two second place finishes out of the first three matches I have shot, I feel like this could be my best year yet. Gorilla Ammunition is running great in my rifle, making it easy to hit those long shots, and shooting soft on the close in targets. The guys at Gorilla Ammunition really have produced a great round that does everything I need to succeed.” said Nick Atkinson.
Gorilla Ammunition is a manufacturer of high quality modern sporting rifle ammunition and dominates the 300 Blackout ammunition category. All of Gorilla Ammunition modern sporting rifle ammunition offerings are capable of Sub-MOA accuracy and have standard deviations in muzzle velocity of less that 15 feet per second. Gorilla Ammunition’s industry leading quality and performance is helping this young manufacturing company grow very rapidly.
Chase Tactical is now offering a FREE Tough Hook with the purchase of every Warrior Assault Systems DCS Plate Carrier. The Warrior Assault Systems DCS Plate Carrier is available in Black, MultiCam, Coyote, Ranger Green, OD Green, A-TACS-FG, and A-TACS-AU. Tough Hook colors of Black, Tan, and OD Green will ship with the respective color of the Warrior DCS Plate Carrier.
Hey guys. Wanted to give you a heads up on some new Plates that are available now at an introductory price from our friends at Katylist.com. The product is the OSS Officer Survival Solutions Level IIIA 10X12 Special Threat Plates. They weigh only (0.85LB) and are .03 inches thick. These are great plates for low profile/Low Vis operations where someone wants to be able to throw on soft armor in carrier and doesn’t wear concealed, or worn in a carrier as daily soft armor.
They are listed at a special limited time into price of $134.99 each, a link is below and pics attached. These are awesome plates for the price.
**Note: As always, AR15NEWS does not charge or accept payment or commission for writing articles of any kind. If you find value in what we write about and can get in on a good deal, that makes it worth while to us.
TacStrike never intended to be every shooters target company. Only to serve those who needed our products at the highest level.
Roanoke, VA – June 19th 2015 – TacStrike Systems, a leading target manufacturer and retailer, is pleased to announce a return to the core principles that made TacStrike the trainer’s choice. This move is the culmination of many influences and a desire to serve shooters more efficiently and with lower pricing. A previous move to expand the target line to be all things to all shooters dilutes our goal and makes us appear to be just another target maker. However, by redirecting focus back to the foundation of the company, streamlining and eliminating the clutter TacStrike will be serving you faster, more affordably and with proven items for your training.
As of today TacStrike’s target lineup consists of a dozen items. Targets proven by the industry’s leading instructors to be the best for the job of training fighters. This streamlined approach allows a significant reduction in prices, by more than a third in some cases, speed up delivery times and handle your needs both before and after a sale with more care.
When your rifle costs a months salary and a case of ammo is equal to a romantic weekend getaway getting quality targets at a price that doesn’t break the bank makes everyone a more motivated shooter. So here is an sample of the new prices
– 1/4 Scale Steel Target Systems are now $175. Down from $220
– 1/4 Scale Ultra Lites Steel Targets are now $155. Down from $199
– Full Size Steel Target Systems are now $299.95. Down from $399
– 4 Packs of Arch Frame Target Carriers are now $99.95. Down from $150
See More Now…
With the movement to this pricing structure there are now two pricing structures. The manufacturing cost and retail. Low costs and streamlined like this makes the everyday ordering procedures simple for everyone. When a quantity of item(s) is needed shipping shifts from individual boxes to pallets and freight shipping which can save even more when outfitting a range or reseller.
TacStrike’s superb quality and craftsmanship hasn’t changed and the NO BS Warranty is still in place. If you ever experience a problem with a product TacStrike will work with you to make it right as fast and painless as possible.
So join an industry leader as quality, price and customer service take a front seat to low cost, low quality alternatives.
TacStrike was opened on July 4th, 2011 by Rob Tackett, with the help of his wife, close friends and some of the finest professionals in the industry. TacStrike has continued to provide exception targets for the training of shooters in both civilian and government services. Recently providing targets for the ranges at the Ohio Tactical Officers Conference and having the Body Mass Index awarded one of the Top 10 targets of the year by the American Shooting Journal.