If you are thinking about getting into gun machining for a hobby or career, you have undoubtedly seen the term 80% lowers bouncing around websites and literature. You may be wondering exactly what that means, where they fall on the scale of legality, and what exactly you can do with them. Lucky for you, we are here to answer all of those questions for you.
An 80% lower usually refers to the lower receiver of a firearm. This is the section of the gun that houses the bolt, firing mechanism, and the entire action of the firearm. By all aspects of the law, this is the section of a firearm that contains all of the parts that fall under most gun and firearm laws. The term 80% simply refers to the fact that the lower receiver is only 80% finished or less.
80% lower receivers do not and cannot have certain holes drilled or cuts made. As long as there are no fire control group pockets cut or any fire control group holes drilled, your lower receiver is not considered a firearm. This means you can purchase 80% lowers without the need for any extra licensing, fees, or red tape.
In the United States, it is legal to build your own firearm for personal use or as a hobby. Purchasing 80% lowers is the easiest way to start building your own rifles like the AR-15 or AR-10 for your own collection. This gives you the freedom to create the firearm you truly want with specific pieces, textured grips, and all of the bells and whistles you look for when firing powerful weapons.
Welcome to the world of 80% lowers. The road ahead of you is fun, exciting, and completely legal within the United States.