80% Lowers

80% Lowers

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We offer a few types of 80% Lower receivers here at Tactical Machining. By far, the most popular are our AR15 80% Lower receivers. We started selling the AR15 80% Lower receivers in 2009, well in advance of most of our competitors. We were the first company to commercially produce AR15 80% Lowers and lead the way in increasing knowledge in the firearms community that you can make your own firearms. We also sell 80% 1911 frames, we also lead the way on offering these as well, we started with our Recon Frame which was discontinued as most of our customers requested a more traditional frame. If you're interested in a .308 80% Lower we have those as well, made from forgings. Historically we have offered 80% TM-22 Receivers which were a direct replacement to a ruger 10/22 receiver, with our own flair on top.

What is an 80% Lower or 80 Percent Lower?

An 80% Lower is a partially completed piece of material that requires special tooling and skills to be completed and considered a firearm. Unlike a firearm receiver it is not required to be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensed holder (FFL).


A lot of questions have been raised about how our 80% lowers, or 80 Percent Lowers can be considered non-firearms. We've received a determination letter from the ATF stating that the ATF does not view this as a firearm because to complete the receiver it requires specialized skills and tooling.

Do I need an FFL to make a firearm?

In a short answer, no. As long as you can legally own the firearm in the state, county and city you reside in you are allowed to manufacture a firearm for your own personal use. No serial number is required however it is suggested to engrave a serial number, model and manufacturer on your receiver in case it is lost or stolen.

All National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations apply to your firearm. You may create a short-barreled rifle out of your firearm via a BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive) Form 1 after BATFE approval.

Recommended Tools

Completing an 80% Lower can be accomplished using a variety of tooling and methods, the most common methods require using a manual mill or a drill press. Both manual mills and drill presses can be purchased off web sites like craigslist or ebay as well as from local tooling suppliers. Once you have the machine of your choice, end mills and drills will be required to complete the remaining operations.


There are many resources on the internet you can use to acquire help and information from the home build gunsmith community. Some of our recommended communities are the following: Our resource center includes information and advice to commonly asked questions as well as direct answers from us on any question you may have. Reddits AR-15 Subreddit & Home Gunsmith - Reddit and Home Gunsmith are two great communities of home builders who would be more than happy to help you in your 80% completion project.

Overview of AR-15 and AR-10 80% Lowers

80% AR-15 Lower Receiver

The 80% Lowers are the most commonly purchased 80% lower receiver in our inventory. The amount of parts available on the commercial market allow for an unlimited number of combinations and configurations for any gun enthusiast. Any military specification based commercial product for the AR-15 will work with our 80% AR-15 Lower Receiver.

The AR15 80% Lower Receiver is a great starting point for many calibers including, but are not limited to: .223-5.56mm, 6.8 SPC, 7.62x39mm, 5.45x39mm, 6.5 Grendel. .50 Beowulf, 9mm, .45 ACP.

.308 80% Lower Receiver

The 308 80% Lower is our newest addition to our 80% product family. The .308 80% lower is similar to the AR-15, AR-10 and LR-308 platforms. The .308 uses the same fire control group and operations required by the TM-15.

The 308 80% lower receiver is compatible with DPMS upper receivers and DPMS .308 products. The stocks are the same for the .308 and the .223 as well as custom pistol grips.

Custom Engraving

We do offer custom engraving on our 80% lowers. Please check out our Custom Engraved 80% Lowers to order a custom engraved 80% Lower. This makes the project much more personal and adds your own flair or personal touch to the project.

Does the 80% Lower Receiver include instructions?

We do not currently offer instructions or directions on how to complete our 80% Lower receiver. However, our jig top plates include the necessary depths for each of the operations enabling you to finish the 80% Lower Receiver without explicit instructions. You are free to use our forum to ask questions and view other peoples tips and suggestions. There is currently a thread by VaderSpade that explains several parts of the 80% Lower Receiver finishing process.