The Complete Guide to 80 Percent Lower Receivers for Firearms

When it comes to building your own firearms, 80 percent lower receivers have gained significant popularity among gun enthusiasts and hobbyists. These unfinished lower receivers provide a unique opportunity for customization and self-reliance. In this article, we’ll delve into what 80 percent lower receivers are, their advantages, legal considerations, and how to complete one safely and legally.

What is an 80 Percent Lower Receiver?

An 80 ar lower receiver is a partially completed firearm component. The name “80 percent” stems from the fact that these receivers are not fully machined, leaving the final 20 percent of work to be completed by the end user. This crucial step allows individuals to build their firearms while staying within the bounds of the law in many jurisdictions.

Advantages of Using 80 Percent Lower Receivers

Customization: 80 percent lower receivers provide a blank canvas for customization. You can choose the finish, engraving, and features to suit your preferences.

Legal Flexibility: In many parts of the United States, unfinished lower receivers are not classified as firearms. This means they can be shipped directly to your door without the need for an FFL (Federal Firearms License) transfer.

Privacy: Building your firearm from an 80 percent lower can provide a level of privacy and autonomy that purchasing a complete firearm may not offer.

Learning Experience: Assembling an 80 percent lower receiver can be an educational and rewarding experience, helping you understand the mechanics of firearms better.

Legal Considerations

Before starting an 80 percent lower receiver project, it is crucial to understand the legal aspects involved. Laws regarding these receivers vary by location, so always check your local, state, and federal regulations. Here are some key points to consider:

Federal Law: Federal regulations in the United States do not consider unfinished lower receivers as firearms. However, once you complete the receiver and assemble it into a functional firearm, it is subject to all relevant federal firearm laws.

State Laws: State laws vary, so research your state’s specific regulations regarding 80 percent lower receivers. Some states may have stricter rules or may even prohibit them.

Serial Numbers: Some states may require you to serialize the firearm you build from an 80 percent lower receiver.

Background Checks: Depending on your location, you may be required to pass a background check before purchasing other firearm components or ammunition.

Completing an 80 Percent Lower Receiver

Completing an 80 percent lower receiver involves several steps, including:

Tool Preparation: Gather the necessary tools, including drill presses, milling machines, and jigs designed for 80 percent lowers.

Safety Precautions: Always follow safety guidelines, wear appropriate protective gear, and work in a well-ventilated area.

Machining: Carefully remove the excess material from the receiver following the manufacturer’s instructions. Take your time to ensure precision.

Quality Control: Thoroughly inspect your work, ensuring it meets all specifications and tolerances.

Assembly: Assemble the remaining firearm components according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

80 percent lower receivers offer firearm enthusiasts an exciting and legal way to customize and build their firearms. However, it is essential to stay informed about the laws and regulations in your area before starting such a project. Building firearms should always be done responsibly and safely. Whether you’re looking for a unique firearm or want to gain a deeper understanding of how firearms work, completing an 80 percent lower receiver can be a rewarding endeavor when approached with care and respect for the law.

Erin Crawley