Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Poly lower saves a pound

    A few years ago I bought a New Frontier complete lower. It was for a Bushmaster dedicated .22LR upper that turned out to be a bad design that was a pia to operate which I gave up on. The New Frontier lower has been stashed in a parts box. Yesterday I got it out thinking about maybe eventually putting something together.

    I removed a DPMS lower from a Frankencarbine and noted the New Frontier latched up nice and snug. Out of curiosity I weighed the DPMS lower and then the New Frontier. The New Frontier weighed 17 ounces lighter than the aluminum DPMS. Thought I'd post in case anyone has been thinking about a poly lower for weight savings.
    Last edited by Bang; October 31st, 2019 at 12:31 PM.
    Legislating to prevent people's acts is fantasy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    I remember trying to search for that info and it's not easy to find.
    The results I did find showed a larger weight savings than you did, but still not enough to claim "weigh savings" in my opinion.

    The single, most notable part that shaves weight is the barrel. A pencil barrel alone will give you a noticeably lighter carbine.
    The stock/buffer and hand guard are the other items that will shave weight by choosing wisely.

    Not all pencil barrels are the same either.
    When I built the lightweight carbine for my wife, I used a Faxon pencil barrel. I also have a PSA pencil barrel upper an the Faxon barrel is visually thinner than the PSA pencil barrel.

    Polymer lowers - I can find no redeeming qualities in them vs aluminum unless those very few ounces shaved are what you are truly fixated on.
    GROUP SHOOT was last SAT. You missed it. Watch for the NEXT one! (link)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    Darn it, I posted bad info. I re-weighed the two and the poly is about a pound lighter. Sorry folks. Well, anyway, the info is corrected and useful.

    Even so, it includes a CAA butt that could be heavier than the one on the poly. The better test would be to remove the butts, but that probably is a difference of few ounces.
    Last edited by Bang; October 31st, 2019 at 12:35 PM.
    Legislating to prevent people's acts is fantasy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    I thought you were comparing stripped lowers until I read what you posted again.

    That's the only valid comparison unless your other attached parts are 100% identical on both lowers.
    GROUP SHOOT was last SAT. You missed it. Watch for the NEXT one! (link)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    Quote Originally Posted by Emptymag View Post
    I thought you were comparing stripped lowers until I read what you posted again.

    That's the only valid comparison unless your other attached parts are 100% identical on both lowers.
    I thought the same thing based on the wording. I was wondering how there can be a one pound difference when a standard forged stripped lower receiver weighs about 8.5 ounces

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    Here is an interesting Excel spreadsheet for anyone interested, I stumbled on it doing a search for weights for a recent Colt 653 clone build, its pretty thorough

    AR15 Parts Weights Database:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=102399689

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtRecon View Post
    Here is an interesting Excel spreadsheet for anyone interested, I stumbled on it doing a search for weights for a recent Colt 653 clone build, its pretty thorough

    AR15 Parts Weights Database:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=102399689

    Does "M" indicate a stripped lower on that chart and "U" stand for upper?

    It's a little confusing
    GROUP SHOOT was last SAT. You missed it. Watch for the NEXT one! (link)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    Since the polymer lower came with a FCG installed, and I bought it thinking weight savings (among other reasons), I think weighing the two with FCGs installed makes sense. The steel or MIM parts in the aluminum lower are expected to be a little heavier than Polymer FCG parts in the polymer lower. Comparing the two in usable complete configurations is also reasonable to me.
    Legislating to prevent people's acts is fantasy

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    I've looked into poly lowers but long-term durability is my concern with an AR.
    Psalms 73:26

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Poly lower not much weight savings

    Just some ruminations...

    As far as the molded lower, I don't think fracturing it is a concern. Enlarging or elongating of holes from FCG pin rotation, a long leap maybe.
    Heat resistance in an extended fire fight, hopefully it will never be something to consider or experience. Wearing of parts such as magazine latch and hammer/sear surfaces, don't know, but the latest NFA polymer lower will accept all mil-spec metal parts. If changing to a metal FCG, just have to change the safety to a "real one".

    I believe the early NFA lower wouldn't accept drop-in triggers. Don't know about the LW-4.

    It looks like the original New Frontier Armory polymer lower which sold for $109 is no longer available. NFA now markets a later gen (LW-4) for $129. And clling it polymer may be incorrect. NFA is describing it as carbon fiber.

    Complete with mil-spec butt, it weighs 28.4 ounces. One writer mentions a heavy barrel combined with a polymer lower and butt can make for a weird-handling front-heavy gun.

    https://www.newfrontierarmory.com/pr...milspec-stock/
    Last edited by Bang; November 1st, 2019 at 01:52 PM.
    Legislating to prevent people's acts is fantasy

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