AR-15 80% lowers are very popular right now. That is because of the many benefits 80% lowers have over their complete counterparts. There is only one issue that 80% lowers have that complete lowers do not have. They need to be built. That is where the 80% Lower jig comes in.
What is an 80% lower jig?
The 80% lower jig is a part that is vital to the building of an 80 lower jig without a CNC machine. Jigs are an exterior frame that could be made of several different kinds of materials. The purpose of the jig is to house the 80% lower in the building process while providing a framework with which to work from, to accurately and precisely finish the lower.
The 80% lower jig differs from CNC machines as CNC machines are meant to cut out the lower with a drill that is relying on a program. 80% lower jigs are meant to be used with a drill press and the proficiency of the builder. 80% lower jigs are often metal or a durable polymer. While they are meant to last for multiple lowers, many people do not build more than a couple. There is no downplaying the effect of 80% lower jigs in the gun building process.
What types of 80 lower jigs are there?
Jigs come in many different shapes and sizes. There are jigs for 80% of various AR-15s and for other handguns as shown in Polymer 80s. The idea of the jig is to provide a frame to work inside of, reducing the margin of error. 80% lower jigs are a more cost effective way to build lowers, as this option does not involve a CNC machine. The 80% lower jig provides nearly the same budget for a fraction of the price it costs to even hire someone with a CNC machine.
Jigs are really classified by the type of tool they are made for. The two main types of jig are the Drill press jig and the router jig. These two must be different because the way they are mounted is different and the drill bit placements are also different.
Drill presses are machines that cut holes into most commonly wood stocks. However the aluminum or polymer used in these 80% lowers, the drill press will do fine. The drill press utilizes a downward facing drill and a press with which to drill holes into certain materials. Vise grips are the main form of fastening, and the 80% lower jig will likely be designed for the a vise grip if it is meant for a drill press.
Routers are generally seen as quicker. There are more ways to attack the lower and your 80% lower jig made for a router should be able to accommodate that level of flexibility. The only caveat to the router method of 80% building is that router finishes tend to be less accurate than with a drill press. That is with or without a jig.
Is it worth it to buy an 80% lower jig?
80% lower jigs are investments. While many people do not mill out tons of lowers, and the ones that do would probably even be using CNC machines, 80% lower jigs can be used until they are broken. Even if it is not constantly working, it can be picked up and used. At least a hand drill is necessary to mill out the lower properly, and the building process is even easier with a jig.
There are many printable sheets that people use to skip out on the extra cost of buying an 80% lower jig. They also jeopardize every lower they have by not having some kind of physical barrier in between the drill and the lower. Any mistake made without a jig could be catastrophic whereas the jig is actually capable of reducing the damage to the lower itself.
The 80% lower jig is the barrier between error and your 80 lower. For the price of a lower, you can have the means to build 10-15 lowers.
Jigs are not expensive. They will usually cost the amount it costs to buy an 80% lowers, which is generally pretty cheap. There are also polymer jigs, instead of the metal ones, which are cheaper and just as good with the right level of skill.
Is it legal to buy an 80% lower jig?
The laws around manufacturing firearms are pretty cut and dry. If one is making firearms with intent to sell them, it must be done by someone who is in possession of a Federal Firearms License. This would permit them to transfer the ownership of the firearm over a monetary transaction. It is legal to, however, assemble and build a firearm from a receiver blank if there is no intent to sell it.
80% lower jigs are necessary tools for this, and there is no constitutional law out there that could ban its sale as it is not a firearm itself. The 80% lower jig is a tool designed to make the building process easier.
80% lower jig are great tools. They are designed to be a cheaper alternative to the AR-15 80% lower building process. The addition of more kinds of 80% lower built firearms means more jigs, and a better time building the guns you want to shoot. There are two main kinds of jigs that give people with different circumstances to come out with a consistently good result.
They are good for multiple uses, and can be used until they no longer provide the correct dimensions due to wear. 80% lower jigs can be bought on any online gun store, especially ones that sell AR15 parts. Many of them come with the necessary bits for drilling, as well as instructions for how to use the jig.And they can be shipped directly to your house, with your parts as there are often 80% lower jig combos.