Gunsmithing is a rather enjoyable hobby, especially if you’re into firearms. However, it’s a hobby that requires a lot of skill, patience, as well as a willingness to learn.
After all, there’s a lot you’ll have to do and go through before you get the hang of it. But, aside from this, becoming a good gunsmith also requires that you have the right tools for the job.
After all, how would you be able to hone your skills and smith a good firearm if you don’t have the means to do so?
There are an array of tools and materials that one would need to practice the art of gunsmithing. Hammers, files, engravers, and screwdrivers are just a few of the many necessary tools any gunsmith would need.
As for materials, there are stocks, upper receivers, and lower receivers, among others. While any gunsmith would say that tools and materials are essential in any build, there are still more essential items when making a firearm.
For instance, one of those truly essential items would be a lower receiver.
What’s a lower receiver?
When you start on a firearm build, the first piece you’ll need for that build is a lower receiver. Also known as just a lower, this piece is what you can consider the vital component of your build.
It’s the piece where the rest of your firearm would revolve around, as this is where you attach all the other parts of the gun.
If you’re an independent gunsmith or work for a small gun shop, most lower receivers you start out with are blank or unfinished. These are what are called the 80% lower receivers or 80% lowers.
The 80% means that it is only 80% finished. This means you’ll have to machine all the necessary holes you’ll need for the firearm you plan on building. In other cases, some shops already have pre-finished lower receivers that you can build on right away.
How Do I Go About Getting One?
Whether you’re a beginner or someone that just wants a little extra challenge when making a finished firearm, an 80% lower is a useful bit of material to help you hone your skill.
Most gun shops have unfinished lower that you can just purchase over the counter or online. These are not legally considered firearms as they are not finished, making them rather easy to acquire. But, the laws of your state may be different. So, it’s best just to double-check.
80% lowers come in all shapes and sizes, all of which are based on the type of firearm you’re trying to build. There are those made for rifles such as the AR15 and ones made for handguns such as the Glock, among others.
If you thought that was a lot, the variety doesn’t even stop there. If you come across the right shop, you can even find them in various finishes or colors.
Some come in bead-blasted finishes, others in cerakote finishes, and even others in anodized finishes. With all the varieties available, you’ll never run out of choices.
For any gunsmith, aspiring or seasoned, one of the most essential parts of any build would be your lower receiver. This is practically the foundation of any gun build you plan on doing.
Fortunately, unfinished ones are relatively easy to come across and acquire, as you can find these in your local gun store or online.
So, if you’re looking to practice or hone your gunsmithing skills, you can just as easily do so. All you need is to find the 80% lower of your choice, the rest of your parts, and you’re good to go!