AR15.Com Archives
 Homemade Ar-15 Receiver from Fiberglass?
cerberus212  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:28:49 AM EST
Has anyone ever tried to make a homemade receiver from Fiberglass or some other common substance? Something like a cav arms style receiver.
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agentile  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:32:59 AM EST
You first
MSC182  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:33:39 AM EST
Post vid of ensuing explosion, please.
Roland3  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:34:32 AM EST
I was thinking maybe play-dough would be better
DarkCharisma  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:34:33 AM EST
Fiberglass cracked when I had a sub enclosure.

No way would I trust it to contain the force of small explosions in rapid succession.
pukindog  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:35:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By cerberus212:
Has anyone ever tried to make a homemade receiver from Fiberglass or some other common substance? Something like a cav arms style receiver.



Yes, and I used to have a link to th thread here about it, but it was lost on another hard drive.

There's no reason why a lower receiver would explode due to the material used.

eta: If no one else comes up with it I might still have it on my hard drive at work, and post it later.
Kalahnikid  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:35:59 AM EST
I saw a thread here once about a guy machining his own lowers out of fiberglass and using them. It was pretty cool!
JamesP81  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:36:11 AM EST
It'd probably be heavier than aluminum or polymer. Contrary to popular belief, fiberglass is not a lightweight material.
California_Kid  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:39:06 AM EST
There was a thread about making a lower from pieces of plastic cutting board.
tojan19  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:39:12 AM EST
The lower isn't normally under much stress but do you want to find out how strong a fiberglass one is if you have a OOB or a KB?
ftwm  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:39:56 AM EST
Maybe carbon fiber, fiberglass wouldn't be the best choice.

The force of the action spring would probably cause the entire threaded section of the receiver to break off during cycling.

ETA: like this -


cerberus212  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:41:38 AM EST
I'd very much like to see the original thread. I still need to renew my account so if it is in the archieves I wouldn't be able to see replies.

It's by no means better than the real deal, but not a bad insurance policy if you don't have a boat to have an accident in.


ftwm  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:42:10 AM EST
If that's what you're worried about, why not just buy an 80% lower?
cerberus212  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:43:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By ftwm:
Maybe carbon fiber, fiberglass wouldn't be the best choice.

The force of the action spring would probably cause the entire threaded section of the receiver to break off during cycling.

ETA: like this -

http://i34.tinypic.com/23hkb2g.jpg

I was thinking the stock would be a part of the whole and thus reinforced in those areas. No need for threaded buffer tube. Longer takedown pins would be used so those areas could be wider.
valheru21  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:44:57 AM EST
tag
cerberus212  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:45:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By ftwm:
If that's what you're worried about, why not just buy an 80% lower?

Not everyone has the expensive machines are the skills to finish one. Fiberglass is much easier to work with with hand tools.
RyJones  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:45:37 AM EST
I've thought about making one out of plywood - I have access to a laser cutter.
ftwm  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:45:45 AM EST
Integrating the stock would definitely be better, but I'd still rather stick with either forged or billet aluminum.

If you want to build something and keep it off the radar, buy an 80% receiver and finish it yourself.

It's very easy to do.
CS223  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:46:33 AM EST
http://230grain.com/showthread.php?t=31611
kjensen_co  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:49:56 AM EST
Need to know the loading conditions.

I would bet with the proper loads information you could create a laminated part with a proper mixture of glass, carbon, kevlar and other matrix components to handle the shock.
Mikegigabyte  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 7:49:57 AM EST
i have a carbon plastic something upper and lower
jungp  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:53:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By DarkCharisma:
Fiberglass cracked when I had a sub enclosure.

No way would I trust it to contain the force of small explosions in rapid succession.


The small explosion is inside of the chamber fully locked by bolt and barrel extension.

The upper receiver merely hold the barrel/extension. There isn't much stress on it.

Same thing with AK's rivet vs. screw discussion.

Mal_means_bad  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:58:58 AM EST
There was a guy here a few years ago trying to make his own lower from melted beer cans. IIRC he got pretty close to having something useable, for a .22 at least.
cerberus212  [Member]
11/10/2009 7:59:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By CS223:
http://230grain.com/showthread.php?t=31611

Does this guy have a website? Somewhere I can look at his other creations. I want to see the wood one lol.
FunYun1983  [Member]
11/10/2009 8:18:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By DarkCharisma:
Fiberglass cracked when I had a sub enclosure.

No way would I trust it to contain the force of small explosions in rapid succession.


You do know that at no point in time is the receiver containing any explosion, right?
streetfighter  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:21:35 AM EST
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=8&f=5&t=381686
cosmo05  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:25:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By RyJones:
I've thought about making one out of plywood - I have access to a laser cutter.


Better off using a large cleat off a tractor tire, they absorb the recoil better.

GonzoAR15-1  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:26:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By ftwm:
Maybe carbon fiber, fiberglass wouldn't be the best choice.

The force of the action spring would probably cause the entire threaded section of the receiver to break off during cycling.

ETA: like this -

http://i34.tinypic.com/23hkb2g.jpg


That picture gets posted a lot. WHat isn't posted is the 2nd pic from the series that shows an impact mark from the bolt carrier key right slab in the middle. See, what happened was that someone used a CAR length shorty buffer with a A2 stock length buffer tube. That let the full speed of the recoiling bolt carrier strike the rear of the lower receiver at a single point and with angular advantage in favor of a break. The picture does not fairly demonstrate the force normally applicable to a receiver.
kjensen_co  [Member]
11/10/2009 8:30:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By RyJones:
I've thought about making one out of plywood - I have access to a laser cutter.


I think this could be very interesting. I don't have access to laser but do have access to a 2.5-axis cnc router.
ragedracer1977  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:37:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
There was a guy here a few years ago trying to make his own lower from melted beer cans. IIRC he got pretty close to having something useable, for a .22 at least.


That was me.

I still plan on going back to it. I have a proper forge now, I just haven't had the motivation to get it done.
RyJones  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:37:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By cosmo05:
Originally Posted By RyJones:
I've thought about making one out of plywood - I have access to a laser cutter.


Better off using a large cleat off a tractor tire, they absorb the recoil better.



You laugh! wait until I have my plywood ar15!
arowneragain  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:39:31 AM EST
There's this new space-age stuff called 'aluminum' that seems to work pretty well for lowers. Try it!

nmmi9100  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:40:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By MSC182:
Post vid of ensuing explosion, please.


You do realize that the AR15 recever, both upper and lower contain absolutely no pressure from the cartridge?

Kinda sounded like you don't know how an AR15 works. Only the barrel, barrel extension, and bolt hold pressure.

Making a composite AR lower and upper is totally feasible...Bushmaster has had one for years.

-David
Edgewood, NM
gee223  [Member]
11/10/2009 8:47:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By ragedracer1977:
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
There was a guy here a few years ago trying to make his own lower from melted beer cans. IIRC he got pretty close to having something useable, for a .22 at least.


That was me.

I still plan on going back to it. I have a proper forge now, I just haven't had the motivation to get it done.

You need to use the tabs only, its the purest aluminum, and you have more fun drinking that much beer!
Kuraki  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:50:51 AM EST
I remember a thread on Roderus where a chinese member made a silicone mold of an airsoft lower and then used it to lay a fiberglass and resin casting in. I don't see why it wouldn't work.
Mikegigabyte  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 8:55:09 AM EST
theres also that asian kid who makes operating guns, rifles, ak's, shotguns with paper mache.
colklink  [Member]
11/10/2009 9:11:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By MSC182:
Post vid of ensuing explosion, please.


I do not believe you know how an AR works.

macman37  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 9:13:30 AM EST
I'd never do it but I have wondered if it would be possible using steel inserts combined with an injection moulded polymer, like what MagPul uses for Pmags.
mcnielsen  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 9:14:59 AM EST
Anyone else find irony in the fact the OP is Cerberus, the same parent company that makes DPMS rifles?
DriftPunch  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 9:21:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By DarkCharisma:
Fiberglass cracked when I had a sub enclosure.

No way would I trust it to contain the force of small explosions in rapid succession.


Um, you understand that in all cases, the forces of the burning powder are held in place by steel (barrel, bolt & extension) right? The AR receiver is aluminum BECAUSE it doesn't have to deal with those forces...
RDTCU  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 9:45:42 AM EST
Saw where some guy had built one from nylon and also one from wood...

neither lasted more than a few rounds before the takedown pin areas split...
Beltfedleadhead  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:05:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By RDTCU:
Saw where some guy had built one from nylon and also one from wood...

neither lasted more than a few rounds before the takedown pin areas split...

Speaking of odd builds, what's the story on the AR in your avatar?
Skibane  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:09:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By California_Kid:
There was a thread about making a lower from pieces of plastic cutting board.


Laminating pieces of sheet fiberglass (i.e., bare printed circuit board material) sounds like it might work. The pieces could be held together with epoxy or fasteners (screws, rivets, etc.). If you wanted to get fancy, you could draw up each sheet in a CAD program and order pre-cut, pre-drilled sheets from a PC board shop. Ordered in even modest quantities, each sheet wouldn't cost more than a buck.

I wonder what the legal implications would be of selling a complete set of pre-cut sheets as a receiver "kit". Or, what about selling just part of them? Example: Someone sells a "Type X" kit which contains half of the required pieces, and someone else sells a "Type Y" kit which contains the other half.
metalsaber  [Life Member]
11/10/2009 10:13:31 AM EST
Doesn't the ATF have anything better to do than troll the forums?
Cypher15  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:14:08 AM EST
nylon reinforced plastic.
Kuraki  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:15:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By California_Kid:
There was a thread about making a lower from pieces of plastic cutting board.


Laminating pieces of sheet fiberglass (i.e., bare printed circuit board material) sounds like it might work. The pieces could be held together with epoxy or fasteners (screws, rivets, etc.). If you wanted to get fancy, you could draw up each sheet in a CAD program and order pre-cut, pre-drilled sheets from a PC board shop. Ordered in even modest quantities, each sheet wouldn't cost more than a buck.

I wonder what the legal implications would be of selling a complete set of pre-cut sheets as a receiver "kit". Or, what about selling just part of them? Example: Someone sells a "Type X" kit which contains half of the required pieces, and someone else sells a "Type Y" kit which contains the other half.

Ask KT Ordnance. He manufactured a "bolt together" AR15 lower that had all of the fastener holes indexed and spot drilled. You could assemble it with a cordless hand drill if you were so inclined. ATF took all his shit.

In their defense he never submitted his idea saying "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission" and is one of those guys who tries his damndest to become case law.


cerberus212  [Member]
11/10/2009 10:18:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By mcnielsen:
Anyone else find irony in the fact the OP is Cerberus, the same parent company that makes DPMS rifles?

They also make Remington and Bushmaster.
MSC182  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:22:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By colklink:
Originally Posted By MSC182:
Post vid of ensuing explosion, please.


I do not believe you know how an AR works.



You would be wrong. Explosion was a poor word choice. We've all seen the pics of broken Hesse/Vulcan lowers. If polymers were strong enough for SUSTAINED firing then that is what we would see lowers made from in modern rifles, much like polymer frames in handguns. It's cheaper and lighter, but clearly not the best choice in material.
jhud  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:25:32 AM EST
Make sure it has a pink panther on it.
And "not a DPMS" somewhere.
CS223  [Team Member]
11/10/2009 10:27:22 AM EST
Here's a set of plans for building one from flat bar stock. Not the prettiest thing but a bit easier than working with a forging.

http://metalworking.com/DropBox/AR_15_Scratch_Built_Receiver.pdf


Whew! Took some diging but I finally found the archived page. Original page was on geocities that went TU

http://www.iterasi.net/openviewer.aspx?sqrlitid=ymjms65gdksx7zbsevmktw

CBR900  [Member]
11/10/2009 10:30:03 AM EST
Citizens CAN make AR lowers at home, provided they follow state & federal laws. Why would you think that they cannot?

And handguns can be made for personal use at home too. No serial number is required (though it is a smart idea to add one).

Ask BATFE if you do not believe me. It is right on their site. Go look it up.

Now, go back to turning in your neighbor over that "illegal home-brew beer" he made.

Originally Posted By metalsaber:
Doesn't the ATF have anything better to do than troll the forums?


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