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Forged vs. Billet 80 Lower Receivers

5D Tactical

Shooters that end up creating their own rifles by completing an 80% lower receiver and then piecing the rest of the firearm together like to perform their own research, especially on fine points of differentiation. One of them revolves around the difference between forged and billet 80 lowers – so what is the difference, and does it matter?

Forged 80 Lowers: Pros and Cons
Most forged 80 lower receivers are made from an aluminum alloy known as 7075-T6 aluminum. This alloy contains aluminum and magnesium, but it also contains trace amounts of other elements, including copper, iron, chromium, manganese, silicon, titanium, and zinc. These other elements alter the melting temperature and add strength, hardness, corrosion resistance, and more.

In case you’ve never seen “Forged in Fire,” forging refers to the metallurgical process of heating an alloy until it can be shaped by tools. In the case of a forged 80% lower, the alloy stock is heated up and then hammered into a mold. After it cools, it is CNC-machined (in a process similar to a cast receiver blank) in order to finish it.

Forging is a proven metalworking process that ensures the uniformity of the alloy when performed properly and can help eliminate inclusions. Forged 80 percent lowers are considered by some to be the strongest due to the reliability of the technique and are often more affordable than alternatives. In addition, all mil-spec lower receivers are forged, allowing for greater parts compatibility.

There really aren’t many cons to forged lower receivers, except the fact that some may prefer the aesthetics of precision CNC machined billet 80 lowers.

Billet 80 Lowers: Pros and Cons
Billet 80 lower receivers are typically made from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, which contains all of the same elements as 7075 but in different proportions. The chief difference between the chemistry of 6061 and 7075 is that 6061 contains more aluminum; between 95.8% and 98.6%

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Billet 80 lower receivers are created from a billet aluminum, an extruded piece of 6061 aluminum bar stock. These types of AR-15 lower receivers are extremely strong; all of their final dimensions are completed via CNC machining, giving them an even, finished look.

The 6061 stock from which billet 80 lowers are produced is extensively heat treated, giving them particularly high tensile and yield strength, enabling these receivers to resist great stress without a high risk of damage. This aluminum alloy is also highly heat-resistant, and many billet receivers come with custom features.

There are two potential disadvantages to billet 80 lowers. One is the cost, as they are fairly expensive to produce. The other is that there is a chance that a billet 80 lower will not be compatible with some mil-spec components.

Looking for Either? Visit 5D Tactical
Realistically, forged and billet 80 lowers are both high-quality products for creating your own build. If you’re looking for a range of different AR-15 80 lowers or want to learn more about them before starting your own project, visit 5D Tactical at 5DTactical.com. They carry a wide range of 80 lowers, upper receivers, parts kits, and 80 lower jig kits that you’ll need to finish the project. Visit their website and if you have any questions contact them at 508-834-4223 or at sales@5DTactical.com.

For more information about Ar 15 Lower and Lower Receiver Please visit: 5D Tactical.


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