You don’t buy an AR-15 because you want to keep it exactly as it is. As the owner of this magnificent rifle, half the fun is deciding how to customize it. A lower parts kit can make your gun look, feel and fire differently, and the combinations of what you can do with the parts are infinite. The only problem is that sometimes people don’t fully understand all of the choices and options. It doesn’t help that each manufacturer has different conceptions about them too. We’ll take you through three commonly misunderstood facts about AR-15 lower parts kits, so you’re prepared with solid advice before you spend more of your cash.
FACT: Lower Parts Kit Are Not The Same
We’ve mentioned it before but it’s worth mentioning again – all lower parts kits are not the same. Lower parts kits come in practically every type of quality and material imaginable. You may choose aluminum for your receiver because of its hefty durability, or you can go for a hybrid or polymer solution if you want your gun to be more lightweight. You might hear that a cast receiver is cheap while a forged one is the way to go, but the truth is that it depends on your budget and what you want. There’s no denying that a forged one will be stronger, but a well-cast receiver is perfectly acceptable for most circumstances. A billet one is generally used when you’re going for a certain look of your gun. You need to identify what you care about the most. You can change your AR-15’s build every hour if you want, as long as you have all the right components. One pro tip is that if you’re starting to look for parts individually, say the perfect grip to get the best angle, try looking at the kits first. You may get a discount on your desired part, and pick up more options for later rebuilds. You don’t want spare parts lying around that you’ll never use, but as you grow in your confidence, you may just find that the one trigger you thought useless actually would be perfect for a new challenge.
FACT: AR-15 Lower Parts Need to Be Replaced and Maintained
It would be nice if this particular myth was true, but unfortunately it’s not. This isn’t to say that quality materials and a good initial fit on your gun won’t last you for quite some time, but all parts get worn out at some point. Inspections need to be done on a regular basis, preferably after every time you take it out. You might miss an event that damaged or shifted a part when you were shooting that needs to be addressed. Many owners find this a good time to start making use of the parts that came with their AR-15 lower parts kit, and start experimenting to make the gun more their own.
FACT: Replacing the Fire Control Group Can Improve Accuracy
Your skill is dependent upon a variety of factors, but buying the right parts can help you shoot better. Tiny movements in your hands and body can be minimized by using a fire control group that has a faster lock time and shorter trigger pull. If you’re going to spend more than a grand on a rifle, then you might as take advantage of an AR-15 lower parts kit to get your perfect shot. Test different levels of pull weight and spring tension to see what’s right for you. Stay away from triggers that seem to move on their own (or what’s known as ‘creep’.)
Hopefully these three commonly misunderstood facts about lower parts kits have been cleared up for you, and you’re ready to make a purchasing decision. The biggest takeaway here is that you have plenty of options, and you’ll need to answer some key questions about your style before you buy.