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Lower receiver manufacturing methods

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Does anyone know of a definitive on-line source for AR clone receiver manufacturing methods?

I'm not sure of how accurate my info is, but my understanding is that all the quality lowers are forged, but there are a few (from DPMS, for instance) which are cast.  I've even seen a couple lowers which appeared to have been milled.

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Hey There,

Forging manufacturing methods are the use of compression (with or without heat) to imbue or alter mechanical properties like shape, ductility, rigidity, elasticity... the list goes on. Simple understanding is the idea of the blacksmith, heating the hot iron and shaping with a hammer, then tempering and annealing it with oil and water. AR lowers are not exactly low carbon steel (actually a 7000 series Aluminum variant) however the base idea applies.

It is my understanding that most lowers are made one of to ways. The most expensive route being milled from a solid block of material. DSARMS FAL receivers are an excellent example of this in the steel. Milling we will define is the use of mechanical means to physically shape material by the removal of excess (bores, drills, planing, etc.) ALL AR RECEIVERS ARE MILLED. The question is from what state of material was the base receiver made from.

I grew up outside of Hartford, Connecticut. The popular 6th grade field trip for the local schools was a tour of the Colt Factory. My memory from this experience made be a bit faded over time, however 15 years in the steel and aluminum manufacturing business allows me to fill in the gaps. The Lowers were hot forged and tempered. Essentially pre semi cast shapes were "forged" by a rotary hammer when the heat made the eutectitic properties of the aluminum most readily shaped and then sent to a series of ovens to temper and artifically "age harden" them. These lowers were then milled, drilled , and threaded. Did this method change since I was there? Probably. The factory as since shut down. I will easily welcome anyone who has other experience to set "the record straight" and welcome there postings.

Hope this helped....


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