For $464.99 at Brownell’s


New from Brownells, a receiver set that features the Brownell’s complete AR-15 upper receiver, an anodized 80% lower receiver, a mil-spec collapsible buttstock assembly, and a lower parts kit to finish out the project.

This Brownells’ exclusive Complete AR Upper Receiver is Made in the USA. Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO and featuring a 16” barrel with a 1:8 twist. The standard A3 13-slot aluminum flat top receiver comes with a 10” handguard utilizing the KeyMod rail system. A low profile gas block, bolt carrier group, charging handle, forward assist, ejection port cover and phosphate finish help to complete this outstanding package. This complete A3 upper receiver will attach to almost any standard AR-15 lower receiver.

Anderson Manufacturing 80% Lower Receiver is forged from 7075-T6 aluminum, for a superior custom build. 80% receiver black anodized, and requires completion by the user. Operations left to be completed include fire control/trigger group milling, trigger pin, hammer pin, trigger slot, and the safety selector hole. This is not an FFL item and requires machining to complete.

This entry was posted in Guns. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to For $464.99 at Brownell’s

  1. WiscoDave says:

    Nice but does it have a “III” machined on it?

  2. Odgreen says:

    Gee, I think Scammy has a better deal…….BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  3. millerized says:

    And legally….you can engrave a III in the side without having to worry about trademark violations. It’s not considered a firearm. Once you mill it out though….
    (already done commercially, without trademark issues…although the company that did them at the time is no longer in business. Ares Arms, their original owner and 80% guy (Dimitrius) is now doing business as American Weapons Components.

  4. But isn’t IIITard selling them for approx $950?

    • Wirecutter says:

      $905, but you have the option to have a III stamped on the receiver. That alone is worth….. I’m sorry, I can’t keep from laughing here…..

  5. Elmo says:

    Screaming deal.
    Hopefully they’ll sell and ship about 250,000 of these to California addresses.

  6. Okie says:

    Concerning the Anderson lower, can someone explain the term “forged” is it similar to a billet cut ? I know what “cast”
    or “investment cast” means..

    • Boots says:

      The full term is “drop forged”. A receiver is forged when a chuck of aluminum is heated to orange/red hot and placed in a cavity, or “form”, that approximates the lower receiver outer dimensions. This is called a receiver “blank”. The blank is then machined into 80% or 100% configuration.

      Forgings are tougher and stronger than castings, and you really want to have a forged lower rather than cast, although nobody sells cast receivers any more, some early AR’s did use cast lowers.

      Some very early Olympic Arms uppers and lowers were cast and are reputed to have had cracking issues. This was IIRC before they were called Olympic Arms, and went by SGW (Schutzen Gun Works). The big question in Class III circles where an OlyArms lower was converted from semi-to full auto is “Is it cast or forged?” OlyArms has (had?) a database of serial numbers indicating cast or forged lowers.

  7. Tractordude says:

    Sweet deal,Thanks Ken, now really need a bigger gun safe.

  8. Alan says:

    Everything now on the AR platform is officially a commodity. I used a ‘real’ lower on my last one, since I’m too lazy now to mill one out. But my sub-$500 M4 copy works 100%. Heckuva world, ain’t it?

  9. Boots says:

    Beware BATF Ruling 2015-1.

    It says if a machine shop lets an unlicensed person (meaning someone without a mfg or gunsmithing FFL) use the shop’s machines, tooling, etc to turn an 80% receiver into a 100% receiver, the machine shop has ‘manufactured of a firearm’ and ‘distributed a firearm’ when they ‘return’ the receiver to you (translation in legaleze: when you walk out the door with your own receiver’) process. Thus, the ruling says, a machine shop must be licensed by BATF and keep all the relevant manufacturing records, including a SERIAL NUMBER of the receiver, if they intend to let someone use their machines to finish 80% lowers.

    BATF Ruling 2015-1 in .pdf format:

    In layman’s terms.

    The Ammoland article was authored by Johanna Reeves of Reeves and Dola, who call themselves “a D.C. law firm that “specializes in helping clients navigate the highly regulated and complex world of manufacturing, sales and international trade of defense and commercial products. We have a deep understanding of the Federal regulatory process, and use our expertise in working with a variety of Federal agencies to assist our clients with their transactional and regulatory needs.”

    At 1152 EST today I called Johanna Reeves 202-715-9941 and asked if Ruling 2015-1 was still in effect. She said yes. I asked if the ruling prevented me, an unlicensed person, from using my buddy’s privately owned, home use only milling machine to complete an 80% lower. I specifically stated the buddy wasn’t a machine shop. Ms. Reeves said the answer to my question constituted legal advice, which absent a client relationship she couldn’t give me. I then asked “Well, I understand that, and I’m not asking you for legal advice, per se. I’m asking for your opinion.” She wouldn’t give me her opinion.

    Now, I have my own milling machine, lathe, and tooling. I don’t need to borrow so much as a .060 spot drill if I wanted to finish a lower. But I wanted to find out what a lawyer would say about a private individual using a buddy’s machine to complete their 80% lower. That Ms. Reeves wouldn’t answer my question – in any form – tells me either she’s not sure of the answer or she’s a straight up lawyer who won’t even offer an opinion out of an ethical duty to avoid misrepresentation of the law.

    I have over 20 years as an FFL of one type or another, 01 Dealer, 03 Dealer, 07 Manufacturer, SOT Class II Manufacturer. That’s over 20 years experience dealing with BATF. There is NO BATF ruling or regulation that BATF won’t twist, distort, or misapply if it means they can charge and try you. In 20 plus years I met exactly one (1) BATF agent who was a decent, honorable individual. The rest were deadly snakes waiting to strike at any moment.

    Here’s what I think about 2015-1.

    If your buddy who owns a machine shop lets you use the shop to complete your 80% receiver and somehow it gets back to state BATF – either because your buddy talked to his buddy about letting you complete the receiver, and that guy talked to another guy…or one of your buddy’s employees or a customer sees you milling the talks about it, etc – you can be sure as the sun rises in the east that BATF will show up at the shop soon enough, scare the living crap out of your buddy, and if BATF is in their in their regular “we’re gonna charge this SOB with everything in the book”, then your buddy will face felony charges of mfg and distribution of firearms without a license.

    If they’re in a very generous mood they’ll tell your buddy they won’t charge him with felony violations if he gets a mfg FFL and tells them your name and address. If your buddy agrees to get the license they might keep their word or they might not. Without a written promise to not charge, they can do whatever they want. Now, if they have your name they’ll come to your house and demand the lower. You don’t have to give it to them and they can’t take it. They need a warrant to take it. Because in their eyes you’re in possession of an illegally manufactured “firearm” and won’t surrender it, their application for a warrant will be approved and they’ll be back in force to collect the receiver and WHATEVER ELSE THEY TOLD THE JUDGE THEY WANTED TO TAKE FROM YOU. TRUST ME on that one.

    So in this case, because of 2015-1, it’s best for the average Joe to just give them the receiver. Remember, 2015-1 mentions no penalties against you, the home builder, for using a shop’s machine or your buddy’s machine. All the penalties are against the shop or your poor buddy. Unless you want to hire a good gun lawyer – and believe me there aren’t that many around and the good ones start around $500/hour – the average guy’s better off playing stupid “Oh my gosh I didn’t know that!” and giving up their $50 lower. Then hoping they never hear from BATF again.

    Bottom Line
    From what I see, and I’m just a nobody who had some FFL’s for awhile and that doesn’t make me a know it all, the only 110% safe way to complete your receiver and NOT have it SERIALIZED or bring BATF on your back is to (1) use your own milling machine and tools, or (2) buy a Ghost machine.

    Would like to hear others chime in on this.

    BTW, the statute for felony violations of ATF R&R (rules & regs) is 5 years. If you messed up less than 5 years ago then don’t post. If you messed up more than 5 years ago….don’t post.

  10. pigpen51 says:

    I see no reason for me to build on an 80% lower. But say for the sake of argument that I did. Would you think that the machine shop, i.e., your buddy with the lathe you borrow, not protect themselves, if, instead of merely letting you use their shop tools, they RENT them to you? That way, the machine shop is not connected with the manner in which the equipment is used, only the person who rents the tools is. I know, if they want you, they will get you. This just seems like a possible solution to the problem. I don’t know a damn thing about the AR platform. I do, however, know a tiny bit about supply and demand. I found this link for two different, obviously low end AR’s, at 400$. The supply is higher than demand, and I think that you will see prices come down on a lot of guns. I wonder if the idea and the romance of owning a non serialized firearm is actually a lot more of a driver of the sales of the 80% lowers than any real need for them. Just my two cents, don’t take it as gospel.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I own an un-numbered AR and the main thrill I got out of it was the fact that I actually milled out that lower myself and turned it into a functioning piece of machinery.

      • Elmo says:

        Satisfying, isn’t it? The pride of building something yourself is tough to beat. Not to mention it makes you smarter.
        Reloading is the same way. It’s a beautiful thing.

  11. Boots says:

    April 2016. CNC shop owner pleads guilty to violating BATF Ruling 2015-1. Faces 10 years and $250,000 fine.


    According to federal prosecutors, Daniel Crowninshield, known online as “Dr. Death,” would sell AR-15 blanks, which customers would then pay for him to transform into fully machined lower receivers using a computer numerically controlled (CNC) mill.

    “In order to create the pretext that the individual in such a scenario was building his or her own firearm, the skilled machinist would often have the individual press a button or put his or her hands on a piece of machinery so that the individual could claim that the individual, rather than the machinist, made the firearm,” the government claimed in its April 14 plea agreement.

  12. SAM says:

    The BATFE now say it has to be done at your home not a shop or workshop – unless they are part of your home.
    There are a lot of small milling machines about which are not to hard to move, mount them on a thick board and park your car on the end of the board in your garage. Take some pics. of this set up so if you need to you can prove it was at your home..

      • SAM says:

        Sorry it’s been a bad day I was right the first time.

        • Boots says:

          We all have bad days.

          I haven’t read the entire ruling with a fine tooth comb, but offhand, in certain instances 2015-1 seems to say that if a machine shop receives some kind of compensation for letting someone use their machines/tooling, then that shop would be subject to licensing.

          I didn’t see where the ruling addressed a shop owner letting their buddy, nephew, brother, etc use the machines/tooling free of charge to bring a lower to 100%.

          The best thing to do is ask ATF Tech Branch for written clarification about whether or not a shop that lets someone use their machines/tooling free of charge requires a mfg FFL.

          Writing to ATF Tech Branch is a very fine art. You need to be very, very specific in your questions. Like chess, you have to think ahead by carefully reviewing your questions to see if the way you asked it will somehow allow ATF wiggle room to either not provide a specific answer, provide misdirection, or to outright deny what you’re asking if you can do.

          A letter like that may be best written by a top, top shelf firearms attorney. From my short research today (less than 1 hr) it seems no attorney has done so or plans to do so.

          Neither have NRA, GOA, 2nd Amd Foundation, or any other firearms association asked ATF for a ruling In this case you want them to say Ruling 2015-1 doesn’t apply when a buddy who owns a shop lets you use his machines/tooling to complete your lower.

          And the firearms mfg companies sure won’t ask ATF if you can build your own AR using your brother’s machine shop. And I don’t think we can count on more than, maybe half dozen members of Congress (out of all 535 of them) to ask ATF to reverse their ruling.

          Watch your six.

  13. Joe Mc says:

    If you dont mind having to go through a FFL, Brownells in selling stripped lowers for $45. free shipping on $99 orders

  14. receiver says:

    None of my firearms are AR pattern, so I have a few questions to ask those with more experience.
    1. What would you expect the exact same $465 kit to cost, if I bought it as a finished and assembled AR?
    2. I’ve heard that you can finish an 80% lower without a mill, it just takes a lot longer. Is this a realistic option?
    3. The kit looks pretty complete, what else would I need to buy besides a kit and a mill? (And mags and ammo.)

    • Wirecutter says:

      1) I haven’t priced ARs in quite a while but in today’s market I’d say between 500 and 600 bucks.

      2) I’ve seen a functional (or so he claimed) AR receiver done with a drill press, but it was a mess. To assure complete reliability, a CNC milling machine with the proper program should be used. A regular milling machine can be used, but it takes a skill that a machinist has.

      3) That kit offered by Brownell’s is complete, just complete the lower and assemble the parts.

      Hopes this helps.

      • receiver says:

        Yes, that’s helpful. Thanks Ken!

        Just noticed that they dropped the sale price to $450! However, since I don’t have a mill (or access to a mill, per Boots’ warnings), I’m going to have to think this over carefully. As much as I’d love to build it myself, seems like it might be cheaper to buy a finished AR than to buy a mill.

        • Wirecutter says:

          For that price you can buy it plus a finished receiver. Do your build on the finished receiver and take your time looking for someplace to mill out your 80%.

          • Larry says:

            I just finished building this kit, using the 80% Arms easy jig. Came out pretty good for my first ar build

            • Wirecutter says:

              Glad it worked out for you. What was the total cost, including the jig?

              • Larry says:

                650……but they say the jig will do 20-25 lowers. Now if the wife lets me build that many I’d be surprised.

                • Wirecutter says:

                  Well shit, right there’s your justification for building more rifles! The more you build, the better value that jig was.

                  I’d be willing to bet you could ebay that jig for $550-600 when you’re done with it.

If your comment 'disappears', don't trip - it went to my trash folder and I will restore it when I moderate.