Category Archives: AR Receivers

Last month we helped introduce you guys to the brand new James Madison Tactical 80% carbon/composite lower receiver. There were a few things that really set this 80% lower apart from other non-aluminum 80% lowers such as the fact that all of the JMT lowers come with a FREE machining jig, the JMT lower has a threaded metal insert for the grip screw, the quality materials and reinforced areas on the lower, etc. Up until now, the JMT lower and Jig retailed for about $150 but the guys at James Madison Tactical weren’t satisfied with that. They want to make sure anyone can afford this lower and wouldn’t have any reason to not choose JMT. They’ve spent the last week or so working out a deal to purchase a massive amount of material thus giving them a lower cost that they can then pass on to their customers. Effective immediately, the James Madison Tactical 80% carbon/composite lower receiver including the Jig will be just $99.95. These lowers are seriously awesome. Check out the pictures below, then head on over to JamesMadisonTactical.com to purchase yours.

620 James Madison Tactical 80 poly lower

 

620 James Madison Tactical 80 poly lower

 

620 James Madison Tactical 80 poly lower

Here’s the announcement from JMT:

Breaking News! James Madison tactical LLC has just secured a manufacturing contract that enables us to manufacture in higher volume at an extreme savings to you our valued customer starting Monday October 28th 12:00 AM PST you’ll be able to purchase at www.jamesmadisontactical.com the same high quality JMT 80 carbon/composite lower receiver and machining fixture which is included with every sale for the AR15 all for only $99.95. Hurry while supplies last.

The Mega Arms AR-15 MKM (Mega Key Mod) Uppers are finally shipping to dealers. I know at least one retailer has already received them and sold out within a few minutes, maybe an hour so we missed out on telling you about that. The first shipment was for the 14″ Extended Rifle Length with additional lengths to be made available very soon. This is one of the most anticipated products to come out this year so if you are looking to pick one up you better jump on these. Check out the pictures of the Mega Arms AR-15 MKM Upper below. I will be updating the links below as other retailers get their shipments of Mega Arms AR-15 MKM Uppers in.  

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

 

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 5

Rainier Arms currently has the regular Rifle Length AR-15 MKM Uppers in-stock HERE.

RifleGear.com still has a few of the Extended Rifle Length AR-15 MKM Uppers in-stock.

As many of you already know, I have been building an SPR (Special Purpose Rifle). There are many forms of an SPR upper but the main components in my mind are an 18″ Rifle Length match grade barrel and a long handguard or rail system. I personally chose a billet receiver set from CMT Tactical, a Black Hole Weaponry 18″ SPR barrel and my friends over at Geissele sent me an SMR MK3 Mod1 15″ rail along with some armorer’s tools to help with the upper assembly process. The main goal of this article is to give you a behind the scenes look at the actual assembly of this upper and to show how these tools are used. The rest of the details will be outlined in a second article coming soon. These pictures are not my usual studio style photos as they were taken at my work bench while I assembled each part. 

GEISSELE AUTOMATICS – GAS BLOCK ROLL PIN TOOL

I used to hate installing the gas tube roll pin. It always seemed like you needed four hands to do it. One to keep the gas block and gas tube in the right place, one to hold the punch, one holding the roll pin with needle nose pliers and one to hammer it in. For this upper build I was really excited to have a chance to use the Gas Block Roll Pin Tool from Geissele which is basically a steel punch with a hole drilled in the end that is sized for the roll pin to fit into.

620 1 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool

620 1 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool

With the roll pin inside of the Roll Pin Tool I could now put it to use. I inserted the gas tube into the Geissele SGB (Super Gas Block) and put a piece of wood under the edge of the gas block to hold it at the right angle. I then tapped the roll pin in as far as it would go with the Roll Pin Tool. The roll pin remains about half way out and you just finish it off with a regular punch.

620 3 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool

620 3 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool

620 5 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool

620 5 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool620 5 Geissele Super Gas Block - Roll Pin Tool

Using the Roll Pin Tool seriously made the installation a much easier than it used to be. No more having the gas tube roll pin fall over when you touch it with the punch or move to the side as you hit the punch with your hammer leaving nice marks on the gas block. You still have the issue of holding the gas block still while you hammer the roll pin in place but I’ve found its pretty easy to hold the gas block down with the same hand you are holding the Roll Pin Tool in. If you build a lot of uppers like i do this is a great tool to have. The Roll Pin Tool can be purchased at Geissele.com.

GEISSELE AUTOMATICS – REACTION ROD

The Reaction Rod is a tool that I’ve had my eye on ever since they first introduced it one year ago this month but have just never gotten around to picking one up. Its made from a single piece of 4140 Steel and is built to last. On one end the Reaction Rod features flats that allow it to be held securely in most quality vices. The opposite end has grooves machined in that fit firmly into the inside lugs of an AR-15 barrel. With the typical action block that attaches with pins to the upper you are putting all of the stress of installing the barrel nut, etc on the upper receiver itself. By using the Reaction Rod you are taking all of the stress away from the receiver and putting it on the barrel extension which is more than capable of handling it. 

620 7 Geissele Reaction Rod SMR MK3 Mod1

The first step is to join the upper and barrel together. You then slide the upper and barrel onto the Reaction Rod and guide the grooves of the Reaction Rod into the lugs of the barrel. There is no specific angle that the upper has to be at with the Reaction Rod as it is engaged with the lugs. 

620 9 Geissele Reaction Rod SMR MK3 Mod1

620 9 Geissele Reaction Rod SMR MK3 Mod1

Once you verify that the Reaction Rod is seated completely inside the barrel extension you can now start building the upper. One thing you’ll notice is that there is absolutely no play. The upper doesn’t wobble or twist at all and is very firmly held in place. However, it does not lock in place so you will need to be sure not to do anything that would pull the upper off of the Reaction Rod. It would take a lot to do that though as the Reaction Rod fits snug inside the receiver from front to back not just at the lugs. 

620 12 Geissele Reaction Rod SMR MK3 Mod1

The Reaction Rod does not just stop at allowing you to install the barrel nut though. I found it very useful during the installation and assembly of the entire upper. I mounted the gas block and gas tube, rail system and the muzzle brake all while the upper was mounted to the Reaction Rod. 

620 13 Geissele Reaction Rod SMR MK3 Mod1

620 17 Geissele Reaction Rod SMR MK3 Mod1

I know how AR owners are. We’re always buying new rails, flash hiders, barrels, etc. not to mention building complete uppers from scratch every now and then. The Reaction Rod is one of those tools that you’ll find yourself using all the time. Plus it would make a great alternate weapon in a pinch. You can purchase the Geissel Reaction Rod at Geissele.com.

For those of us who enjoy playing with our adult Legos (aka building AR’s) the Geissele Automatics armorer’s tools are awesome and well worth the purchase. I plan on using these tools for many years to come and would recommend them to anyone looking for some great armorer’s tools. Don’t forget to also check out all of the amazing Geissele Automatic Triggers as well while you’re over there. Don’t forget to check out the Geissele Automatics Facebook page too.

This is the first of 3 articles regarding the AR15NEWS SPR Build. Next will be an article outlining all of the parts we used and where to get them accompanied by some nicer shots of the complete rifle. After that will be a full range report article. These articles will be happening soon so keep an eye out.

Quentin Defense just introduced their new Gen 2 Billet Upper Receiver yesterday and are offering an introductory price of just $179.99 on this awesome looking piece. At that price you might expect to get a stripped upper but this one actually comes with the Dust Cover and Forward Assist already installed. If you’re having a hard time finding a billet upper for your build like the rest of us are this should be a sweet option. I personally have not owned any QD products but I know quite a few people who have and they’ve all love their stuff. While you head on over to the Quentin Defense website, be sure to check out their billet lowers as well. 

Quentin Defense Gen 2 Billet AR15 Upper Receiver

Quentin Defense Gen 2 billet flat top upper receiver.

-Forward assist installed.
-Ejection port dust cover installed.
-M4 feed ramps.
-Mil-spec Type III hard anodize.
-Flat top design with picatinny rail.
-Laser engraved T marks.
-Compatible with any AR-15 style lower receiver.

Please allow 5 business days to process your order.

www.Quentin-Laser.com

A few months ago we introduced you guys to a new ambi lower from AERO Precision. The Gen1 ambi lower added what is called the PDQ Lever which is a built in Bolt Hold/Release. The new Gen2 ambi lower keeps the PDQ lever but takes it a step further and adds the functionality of a Battle Arms Development BAD-CASS-SA-ST (Combat Ambi Safety Selector – 45 Degree Short Throw) and Norgon Ambi Catch ambidextrous mag release. This is actually a really rock solid setup. I have personal experience with the Gen1 ambi lower and really like the PDQ lever. I also have a lower with a Norgon Ambi Catch which I really feel is the best ambi mag release around. All of my lowers have a Battle Arms Development ambi safety of some sort (I won’t build a lower without one). Put all of these together and you truly have a 100% ambi forged lower. This lower also features the new 45 degree compatible selector markings.

620 AERO Precision Gen2 Ambi Forged Lower

This picture below shows the PDQ Lever. Its basically a standard bolt catch/release paddle that has and extended arm that comes out the right side of the receiver. AERO Precision machines the channel for the PDQ and anodizes the lower after machining so this is a quality and time saver plus for you. The PDQ Lever operates the Bolt Hold and Bolt Release function with your trigger finger without having anything in the trigger opening.

620 AERO Precision Gen2 Ambi Forged Lower

620 AERO Precision Gen2 Ambi Forged Lower

At first glance the $325 price might surprise you but when you actually add up the price of the components you quickly realize that is a $40 savings off of the normal retail price. I realize not everyone is concerned about ambi controls but the point is of you already plan on using these components its not a bad deal. No ordering from multiple sites. Only one shipping charge. They all show up at the same time, etc. Most other “ambi” lowers only come with a bolt drop. No bolt hold, no ambi selector and no ambi mag release but the AERO Gen2 ambi lower comes with all of them. For more information on these or to order one for yourself, head on over to AEROPrecisionUSA.com.

Salient Arms International is very well known for their extremely high end custom handguns and rifles. Right now they have some of their Matched Billet AR-15 Receivers sets in-stock. SAI doesn’t just simply pump out some uppers and lowers and say have at it. They decided if they were going to offer these as a stand alone item they would have to be the same quality matched sets that they use for their production rifles. These are machined from one single piece of aluminum to ensure the absolute best possible fit between the upper and lower receiver. Just looking at the lines in the pictures below, you can see how precise they fit. If you are looking to build a very high quality AR, these SAI matched sets are where its at. 

620 Salient Arms International Matched Billet Receiver Set 1

620 Salient Arms International Matched Billet Receiver Set 7

620 Salient Arms International Matched Billet Receiver Set 4

Salient Arms International AR15 Matched, (from one solid piece of billet aluminum) stripped upper and stripped lower receiver. The whole purpose of offering the “set” as opposed to just the lower, as most companies do, is to ensure proper fit between the lower and upper. As many of you know when building an AR or simply changing out a complete upper for another, there are fitting issue (gaps, rattles, etc.) We felt it necessary if we were going to offer our lower, it would be with a different approach… an “performance/quality” approach that would fall in line with everything we do because ultimately your built weapon will have the Salient name. Hope that helps explain why this is a set.

As I mentioned above, Salient Arms International is extremely well known for their high end hand guns and AR’s. To give you an example, their AR15 is featured in a four page article in Guns and Ammo’s “The Book of the AR15” Magazine which is out on newsstands now. Additionally, their AR Pistol & Rifle, along with their G34 T1, & 1911 in 9mm will be featured prominently in the upcoming Transformers 4 movie due out summer 2014.

Salient Arms International is currently having some major website work done so the only way to purchase one of these matched receiver sets is by calling them. Each set runs $450 including shipping to your FFL. Call (805) 983-1200 to place your order.

For those unfamiliar with SAI or if you just didn’t know they were on Facebook, check out the Salient Arms International Facebook Page. They have a lot of good information over there about what makes their firearms special.

The other day my buddy Jody contacted me with an offer that I couldn’t refuse. He knows the owner of Double D Armory and was able to swing us a special deal on their sweet billet lower. I’ve been impressed with the looks of these things for a while and now I get to help hook you guys up with one for yourself.

The Double D Armory billet lower is already on sale but for a limited time you can use the code “ar15news” at checkout to save an additional 15% which brings the price all the way down to $169.99 which is a steal for a quality billet lower. The 15% discount also applies to the rest of the products on the website such as their camo receiver sets, etc. Check out the pictures below. These things are seriously sweet looking and I’ve only heard good things about them quality wise.  

Double D Armory Billet Lower 1

Double D Armory Billet Lower 1

–  Machined from aircraft aluminum solid billet 6061-T6 stock
–  Precision threaded and reamed holes for the most accurate fit
–  Wire EDM cut magazine well for precise fit
–  Designed and machined to meet or exceed Mil Spec tolerances
–  Mil Spec hard coat anodize
–  RDIAS ready
–  Low shelf
–  Caliber – marked “Multi” caliber so the end user can build out in the caliber of their choosing

Purchase yours at Double-D-Armory.com.  Don’t forget to use the code “ar15news” at checkout to save an additional 15% off your order.

I’ve been a huge fan of CORE15 for a long time now. They make some very high quality guns and parts that I have personally owned and loved. I really like this new Super Combo Sale they have going on now. They are coupling together some of their most popular items and offering them at a very good discount. What makes it different is that they aren’t pairing the usual little items, they are pairing stuff like their CORE15 M4 5.56 Rifle with their CORE15 22LR M4 Upper or their CORE15  TAC II V 5.56 Rifle with a CORE15 TAC II V 300BLK Upper giving you some real bang for your buck. Check out the details below then click on the link or image for more information.

CORE15® M4 Rifle + .22LR M4 Upper Combo
List price: $1,388.99 / Combo Price: $999.99

620 Core15 M4 Rifle and 22lr Upper Combo

CORE30® MOE & CORE15® MOE RIFLE COMBO
List price: $2,979.98 / Combo Price: $2,399.99

620 Core15 MOE M4 Rifle and Core15 MOE 308 Rifle Combo

CORE15® TAC II.V Rifle & TAC II.V 300BLK Upper Combo
List price: $2,049.98 / Combo Price: $1,599.99

620 Core15 TAC II V Rifle and 300BLK Upper Combo

I just figured I would throw together a quick article giving you guys some links to build an affordable yet good quality AR-15. I’ve seen quite a few people lately buying off the shelf, commercial grade AR’s for $700-800. Quite a few other people have asked me for details on what I would build if I were wanting a great bang for the buck AR. With the links I have listed below, you’ll be able to put together a milspec AR-15 with quality parts for $630 plus shipping (price at time of posting). Obviously these parts are just suggestions from me and you can feel comfortable swapping out one product for another from any of these manufacturers. 

PSA 14.7″ CHF M4A1 Premium Upper w/ M16 BCG & CH – Unpinned  –  $450

**Special note on this one.  PSA is not pinning the flash hider on this upper so unless you have either a Pistol Lower or SBR Lower you will need to immediately take it to a gun smith to have it pinned per NFA rules.**

PSA Cheap AR Upper

AERO Precision Stripped Blem Lower  –  $75

AERO Precision AR15 Lower 620

PSA Classic LPK  –  $60

PSA Cheap AR LPK

Damage Industries Complete Milspec M4 Stock Kit  –  $45

620 Damage Industried Complete M4 buttstock kit

Last night I was doing my thing, looking around for stuff to share with you guys. I decided to check out the CIV Tactical website as I do quite often. He must have just received a shipment of parts because I was surprised to see that Dustin actually had stuff in-stock right now. His custom uppers have become very popular as he personally takes the time and care to fine tune the gas systems of each one to ensure they run flawlessly. He’s like an AR Doctor!

Pistol / SBR Uppers

CIV Tactical 7.5 Pistol Upper Troy 620

Rifle Uppers

CIV Tactial Standard YHM 2 620

Another feature that all of the CIV Tactical uppers have is a Blueprinted Upper Receiver.  Dustin actually puts the receiver into a lathe and makes sure the receiver face is perfectly square which ensures the barrel extension lines up perfectly. As his website says, this is typically only done on precision rifles but has been shown to increase accuracy and reliability in an AR-15 as well. I personally have one of these upper receivers on a rifle and there is a noticeable difference in accuracy between it and some of my other rifles. Right now these are also available for purchase separately and include the forward assist and dust cover.

Blueprinted Upper Receiver

CIV Tactical Blueprinted and Lapped Upper 3

Also, the awesome CIV Tactical Flatline Muzzle Brakes are in-stock as well.

Flatline Muzzle Brake

civtac-flatline-muzzlebrake collage

620 CIV Tac Flatline Muzzle Brake 2

NorthTech Defense and Defense Marketing Group today released a few pictures of the much anticipated NTD billet AR-15 upper receiver. I have an NTD rev3 billet lower and am looking forward to finishing it off with the matching upper. The photos below show it in the raw aluminum state but as far as I know they will only be offered with a black anodized coating. From talking with Dustin, the owner of NTD, I can tell you these will include the Dust Cover and a Titanium Forward Assist Assembly. Its nice to not have to also order an upper receiver parts kit and install it. At just $208 retail (you might find them cheaper) these will move very fast. I like how they put the logo and text on the opposite side from the lower as a nice touch. Just making an educated guess, I would watch RainierArms.com for the initial release of uppers which shouldn’t be that far out. 😉 You can also check out the NorthTech Defense Facebook Page. Check out the pics below. We’ll be sure to let you all know as soon as they are available for purchase.

620 NorthTech Defense Billet Upper Receiver AR15 1

620 NorthTech Defense Billet Upper Receiver AR15 1

620 NorthTech Defense Billet Upper Receiver AR15 1

 

Special thanks to my good friends over at Crossfire and Defense Marketing Group for the awesome photos.

 

We’ve been hearing about the possibility of an AR-15 version of the Mega Arms MKM MATEN which is an awesome 2-piece .308 KeyMod upper and we now know those rumors are true. I was extremely excited to catch a glimpse of it about a week ago but couldn’t say anything. Now that Mega Arms has officially announced it I get to share it with you and this thing is absolutely amazing. 

The Mega Arms AR-15 MKM looks almost identical to its .308 counterpart with exception to a few differences in the receiver. Most AR-15 rail systems mount to some sort of barrel nut, be it the standard AR-15 barrel nut or a proprietary barrel nut. The MKM platform uses a modified billet upper receiver that the rail system attaches directly to creating one solid piece.

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

Some of the benefits of this system include a much stronger attachment interface between the rail and the upper, a very quick and easy way to change rail lengths and easy maintenance. Another benefit that is not so obvious is that there is no more need to time the barrel nut and no need for anti rotation tabs. The rail simply slides onto the upper itself and screws hold it in place.  Because the rail doesn’t just fit onto a round barrel nut there are no worries about the rail rotating during use and the 12 o’clock rails line up perfectly on their own.

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

The Mega Arms AR-15 MKM KeyMod upper will come in 7″, 9″, 12″ and 14″ KeyMod rail system lengths and range from $400 to $485 MSRP. The photo below shows a 14″ rail and just how awesome this setup looks. Unlike the MKM MATEN .308 version, the AR-15 MKM will work with any Milspec lower, not just a Mega Arms lower. This is awesome if you already have a lower that you want to build into a complete rifle. However, I highly recommend buying a Mega billet lower to go with it as it looks awesome. 

Mega Arms 5.56 MKM AR-15 Upper 1

From what I was told, the new Mega Arms AR-15 MKM KeyMod upper is coming very soon. As soon as it is officially released for purchase I will be sure to make an announcement here on AR15NEWS.com. Until then, if you want to check out additional pictures of the AR-15 MKM upper, be sure to “LIKE” the Mega Arms Facebook page. You can also keep an eye on MegaArms.com.

Special thanks to my good friends over at Crossfire and Defense Marketing Group for the awesome photos.

The other day I received a call from the guys over at James Madison Tactical. At the time I really had no idea what products they offered or had even heard of them. That makes perfect sense as they’ve spent most of their career building amazing $1,000,000 kit Jet planes called the ViperJet that you can build at home. Recently they realized their expertise in AERO Space polymers that are strong enough to be used in airplanes could also be used to build a high quality, reinforced AR15 80% lower that actually looks and performs like a lower you might want to own. And FYI, the jig comes FREE with the purchase of a lower.

Basically what they’ve designed is a lightweight polymer AR15 80% lower that is more of a hybrid as it is made from a blend of polymer and fibers. Its been reinforced in multiple areas including around the buffer tube assembly area to address issues seen in other polymer lowers. This lower actually looks more like a nice billet lower. It has a flared magwell with grip serrations on the front and an integrated winter trigger guard. From what I’ve been told they have put thousands of rounds through these lowers with zero issues. Each lower also comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty too.

620 JMT 80 percent lower 1

620 JMT 80 percent lower 1

One of the things that keep most people from doing 80% lowers is the combination of the cost and that you need to buy a machining jig separately. Obviously some of us realize it has nothing to do with money but is all about creating your own unregistered lower. Well JMT understood that people didn’t want to purchase a lower and then have to buy a jig too and decided to include a reusable jig with each 80% lower. You can check out pictures of the jig below.

JMT 80 percent lower and jig 1

JMT 80 percent lower and jig 1

JMT 80 percent lower and jig 1

In short, this is the first Polymer AR15 lower that has had interested me even one bit. Most of the ones I’ve seen in the past look like something my neighbor could have made in his garage with a waffle maker. I don’t own any Polymer lowers yet but if I do this will most likely be the one I would go with. Another cool thing is that James Madison Tactical is in the process of securing their FFL so they can produce 100% machined lowers but for now you’ll just have to finish them yourselves. Check out the short video below and then head on over to JamesMadisonTactical.com to check out what they have to offer.  

One of the most popular AR15’s that Rainier Arms sells is their Rainier Arms Urban Carbine, also known as the RUC. Its no secret that what makes it so popular is the carefully selected quality components that work together very well to give you a high end feel and performance without the high price tag. Recently they started offering the same complete RUC AR15 Lowers letting you pick your upper of choice. The RUC Complete Lower features the Rainier Arms forged lower, a Battle Arms Development 45 degree Short Throw BAD-ASS selector, ALG Defense QMS trigger, Magpul MOE+ grip and Trigger Guard, complete milspec 6-position receiver extension and a Fortis Mfg QD End Plate. You can choose between Black or FDE. This would be a great start to any AR15 build. Check these out at the links below.

Rainier Arms RUC Complete Lower – BLACK

Rainier Arms RUC Complete Lower Black 1

Rainier Arms RUC Complete Lower Black 1

Rainier Arms RUC Complete Lower – FDE

Rainier Arms RUC Complete Lower FDE 1

Rainier Arms RUC Complete Lower FDE 1

AERO Precision is giving away one of their brand new Ambi Forged Lowers to one of their lucky fans on Facebook. Its pretty easy to enter.  Just click on the link below, enter your email address and let the app share the giveaway with your friends. You also need to be a fan of AERO Precision on FB. The winner will be selected on Labor Day, 9/2/2013. They also have some receivers in-stock including blem uppers and lowers that are a great deal. Links are listed below.

Enter the AERO Precision Labor Day Giveaway HERE

Labor Day AERO Precision Ambi Forged Lower

AERO Precision Uppers In-Stock HERE

AERO Precision Lowers In-Stock HERE