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Top 8 Best AR-15 Lower Receiver In 2020 Review

Are you planning to build an AR-15? 

Well, you’ve come to the right place because in this best AR-15 lower receiver review, we’ll explain why building your AR-15 can not only be a lot of fun, but also a great way to save money!

Rather than buying a complete rifle, you can get the exact parts you want as well as reduce costs when you build it yourself.

You may already have an AR-15 setup and are looking to replace your lower, or you may be building one from the ground up. Either way, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the best AR-15 lower review.

Best AR-15 Lower Receiver

But before we get to the product reviews, let’s start with a quick comparison table to see what we’ll be covering and how they differ from each other…

Best AR-15 Lower Receiver Comparison Chart

NameMaterialMagazine WellColor OptionsTrigger GuardMil-SpecLogo MarkinFire Selector Marking
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
Enlarged Bevel
Color Options
Black
Trigger Guard
None
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
No
Fire Selector Marking
Safe and fire
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
Enlarged Bevel
Color Options
Multiple
Trigger Guard
None
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
Yes
Fire Selector Marking
Ambidextrous 3 mode icons
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
V-shaped widened bevel
Color Options
Matte Black
Trigger Guard
Integrated
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
Yes
Fire Selector Marking
Ambidextrous 3 mode icons
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
Standard wide bevel
Color Options
Black
Trigger Guard
None
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
Yes
Fire Selector Marking
Safe and fire markings
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
Extra flared
Color Options
Black
Trigger Guard
None
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
Yes
Fire Selector Marking
Ambidextrous 3 mode icons
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
Whale curved
Color Options
Black
Trigger Guard
Oversized and integrated
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
Yes
Fire Selector Marking
Ambidextrous 3 mode icons
Material
7075 T6 Aluminum
Magazine Well
Whale Curved
Color Options
Black
Trigger Guard
None
Mil-Spec
Yes
Logo Markin
No
Fire Selector Marking
Ambidextrous 3 mode icons

Top 8 Best AR-15 Lower Receivers On The Market 2020 Reviews

1 Palmetto State Armory Stealth Stripped Lower

Palmetto State Armory has come a long way in the past few years. Originally PSA was considered a cheaper entry-level company for parts. However, recently, PSA has proven to be a worthy competitor in the shooting industry by providing quality products to the market.

Product Description

Palmetto State Armory has a wide variety of stripped lowers to choose from. Aside from minor markings, the lower receivers are all more or less identical. The company supplies only the empty lower, all featuring well-machined pinholes, and the threads are perfectly aligned.

On the side, there are the standard caliber markings, licensing, manufacturer, as well as serial numbers. For the selector markings, there a variety of etchings from safe, semi, and burst to safe fire and auto. Depending on what you require, you can also get stealth lowers that don’t feature these markings and only have the essentials.

Product Specifications

The PSA lowers are forged from 7075-T6 aluminum and are standardized with mil-spec craftsmanship. Each item is also coated with a hard black anodizing type 3 class 2 for enhanced durability.

The magazine well has an extra bevel making it easier to reload and has an open trigger guard for you to add whichever after-market product you wish. PSA stripped lower receivers are available in black and gray.

Pros

  • 7075-T6 Aluminum
  • Magazine bevel.
  • Ambidextrous selector markings.

Cons

  • Trigger guard pin slots are a bit too close to the edge.

2 Aero Precision Stripped Lower Receiver

Aero Precision is a high-end weapons supplier and distributer. Their products are respected amongst the firearms community and have earned a reputation for making premium products.

Product Description

The Aero Precision lower is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. The markings are clean and clearly etched into the body. On the right side, there is a large Aero Precision logo, and underneath are the markings. Moving to the rear, you’ll find the serial number and the manufacturer markings, as well as the ambidextrous fire and safe icons.

The left side has fewer markings, as the logo is smaller, and this is designed for your own marking if you wish to personalize the mag well. The mag well is standardized and has a small bevel, as well as being slightly flared for easier reloading.

Product Specifications

Aero Precision uses 7075 T6 machine forged aluminum for the lowers before being hand-inspected and then hard-coat anodized. They offer coatings in various colors like black, OD green, and desert.

All cuts have been measured and milled to Mil-Spec accuracy and is compatible with most standard internal parts making it a great foundation for an AR-15 build.

Pros

  • Respected brand name.
  • Widened bevel.
  • Multiple colors.

Cons

  • Higher price.

3 Battle Arms Development AR-15 BAD556-LW

Battle Arms Developments, also known as B.A.D. Inc, are a small business that focuses on developing and designing firearms components. Since 2009 they have been supplying their products to shooters who continually comment on the product quality.

Product Description

The BAD556-LW is a lightweight billet stripped lower receiver. Therefore, you get a little more style, and design than with the standard forged lowers. There is no marking for the logo on the mag well, but instead, you get a grooved out X design on both sides as well as front.

As for the magazine well, the billet uses a V-shaped design. Instead, the logo is in front of the mag release with the markings on the lower.

On both sides of the fire selector, there are three mode icons; safe, fire, and automatic. As for the trigger guard, it is integrated and cut for weight reduction. The billet lower has a block-ish design and has been deburred by hand, which makes it easier and faster to produce, as opposed to having rounded edges, this keeps the costs low.

Product Specifications

The billet uses 7075 T6 aluminum and has a type 3 class 2 hard-coat anodized finish. The machining is all Mil-Spec and is compatible with all standard after-market components. The bolt catch pin has been modified with an easy-to-install roll pin rather than a screw and has a captured rear takedown pin spring, unlike other lowers where the spring may be lost.

Pros

  • Stylish.
  • Feature heavy.

Cons

  • Not as versatile as standard lowers.

4 Brownells Anderson AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver

With over 75 years of experience, Brownells knows how to supply quality products that are built to satisfy their customers.

Product Description

This stripped lower delivers high-quality performance when fitted with any standard after-market components. Built for any design, Brownells lowers are the platform to any performance AR-15 or rifle. Complete with the proper licensing, Brownells lowers come with their logo engraved on the left side as well as stealth lowers for customization.

Safe and fire are also etched into the selector switch without the burst or auto marking (which is for semi-auto rifles), but these can be added depending on your State Laws for automatic rifles. Meanwhile, the right side is left empty for customization.

Brownells lowers are machined and milled to perfection for any drop-in installations and are crafted with the finest manufacturing processes to give reliability and performance when assembled.

Product Specifications

The lower receiver is made from 7075 T6 aluminum and milled with precision providing an optimal finish. To complete the process, each lower is coated with a black hard anodized finish to give it a spectacular look and feel.

The walls of each lower are also reinforced to give strength and resistance to the brutal situations the lower can find itself in.

Pros

  • 7075 T6 Aluminum.
  • Markings are highly customizable.

Cons

  • Standard Bevel.

5 Rainier Arms Stripped Lower Receiver – Best Premium AR-15 Lower Receiver

Rainier Arms is a high-end brand that supplies elite products at a premium price. Formed in 2005, Rainer Arms uses cutting edge technology and emphasizes their attention towards the modern-day shooter. Their main focus in on AR-15 and AR-10 platforms, so you are guaranteed to get Rainer Arms expertise on each product.

Product Description

Rainer Arms stripped lower receiver is beautifully crafted. Starting with the markings, the left side boasts the Rainier Arms logo, and all the licensing cleanly etched. The fire selector uses safe, fire, and safe icons instead of the lettering, which is preferred by many. The mag well is also flared a little wider than the standard bevel, making it easier for fast reloads.

On the right side, the same fire selector icons are present, as well as the multi-caliber markings and the serial number. The right side also sports the Rainier Arms brand name. In addition, the front of the mag well also has the Rainier Arms logo. As for the trigger guard, the space is left empty for your own after-market installation.

One key feature that the Rainier Arms lowers have is a small screw at the back of the pistol grip. This tensioning screw ensures a firm hold when marrying the upper and lower receiver together, making sure there is no wobble or play between the two parts.

Product Specifications

Built from 7075 T6 aluminum, this lower is forged rather than milled, unlike a number of other lowers on the market. Forged lowers are stronger and take a beating without issue. These lowers are also hand-finished before being anodized.

Pros

  • Flared bag well.
  • Respected brand name.
  • Tension screw.
  • Customizable trigger guard.

Cons

  • Expensive.

6 Seekins Precision SP223 Billet Set Receiver

New to the market is Seekins Precision. Founded in 2005, they specialize in Computer Numerical Control machining, better known as CNC. They provide competition-grade products and are renowned for their quality products.

Product Description

Although the SP223 comes as a set, our review will focus on the lower receiver rather than the upper. The SP223 was definitely crafted to make an impression on the range, with a much more aggressive design to it. Both sides of the magazine well have a large Seekins Precision logo, and the front of the mag well has a dimpled texture to it.

The mag well is also flared to get a wider bevel for fast reloads. There are also ambidextrous fire selector icons for fire, safe, and automatic. Markings like legal licensing, serial number, and caliber are also etched into the lower for distribution purposes.

The SP223 is a semi-stripped lower and comes with a preinstalled ambidextrous bolt release with an enlarge button. There is also a tension screw at the rear of the pistol grip to help fasten the upper and lower receiver together, preventing any wobble. Other features also include the trigger slack adjustment screw and the takedown spring.

To some, having an integrated trigger guard is a negative. But the SP223 ensures that the trigger is accessible even with gloves. The integrated trigger guard is also drilled out to reduce weight and for cosmetic reasons.

Product Specifications

The billet lower is CNC milled and then hand-finished before being hard-coat anodized. The lower is built from a block of 7075 T6 aluminum and machined to get the final product. Once it is inspected, it is treated with a type 3 class 2 hard coat-anodizing.

Pros

  • Modern design.
  • Set tension screw.
  • Semi-stripped lower.
  • Integrated trigger guard.

Cons

  • It comes as a billet set.
  • Higher price.

7 Palmetto State Armory Stripped Lower – Best Budget AR-15 Lower Receiver

PSA has many offerings for its lower receiver market. From stripped to stealth and even fully modified. One thing that is for sure is that all products are made with the same precision that guarantees lifetime use.

Product Description

The PSA AR-15 stripped lower is identical to the stealth lower. The only difference lies in the markings. On the left side, you’ll have the PSA logo, and the model number etched onto the mag well. The manufacturer and the serial number are right behind the bolt release, and the selector markings are safe and fire.

On the right, there are only safe and fire icons and no logo or any markings. This is probably left for your choice of markings later on. There are no pins or screws included, but everything is machined for drop-in installation.

Product Specifications

There are very few companies that use 6061 aluminum for their lowers, and PSA manufactures all their parts with 7074 T6 aluminum. The lower features a black hard-coat anodized finish, is mil-spec, and is compatible with all after-market products.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly.
  • High-quality.

Cons

  • Not the best looking lower on the market.

8 Sharps Bros Warthog Stripped Lower – Best Looking AR-15 Lower Receiver

Founded in 2012, Sharps Bros brings you impressive lowers that will stand out on the range. If your bored of standard, traditional lowers, try the Sharps Bro Warthog; it will definitely fit your brief for a custom AR-15.

Product Description

Inspired by the A-10 warplane, the Sharps Bros Warthog looks like a hog baring its teeth. The Gen 2 has more cutouts to make it lighter, especially around the nostrils and the teeth on the magazine well. The magazine well is also flared and has a whale curve for added style and reduced weight.

The lower also has full ambidextrous markings and is etched behind the bolt release, and the selector switch has safe, fire, and automatic icons. For this model, you also get an integrated oversized trigger guard which goes perfectly with the rest of the lower. Customizing your own trigger guard may not look as good.

Product Specifications

The Warthog lower is built from 7075 T6 aluminum with a black hard-coat anodized finish. It is fully compatible with most after-market products and Mil-Spec internal parts. The magazine well is also compatible with all standard magazines as well as Pmag.

Pros

  • Stylized look.
  • High-quality.

Cons

  • Heavier than standard lowers.

More Superb Upgrades for Your AR-15

A quality lower receiver will enhance your AR-15 no end, but there are so many more great upgrades you could do as well. So check out our reviews of the Best 9mm AR15 Uppers, the Best AR 15 ACOG Scopes, the Best Scope Mounts for AR15 Rifle, the Best Aimpoint for AR15, and the Best AR 15 Charging Handles currently available to find out more.

Best AR-15 Lower Receiver Buyers Guide

Best AR-15 Lower Receiver Guide

There are many key points to look for when buying a lower receiver, but to be honest, a lower receiver is a lower receiver. You will be getting the same functionality from a budget lower and a high-end lower. Unless you are getting the added features like a flared mag well or tension screws, then they are more or less equal.

Standard Materials

All manufacturers use 7075 T6 aluminum, and they are all Mil-Spec, so it really depends on the look you are going for.

Even though they are all the same, a few things to look for will still come in handy. First off, you’ll want to check the machining. True, all are machined, but sometimes there are flaws, so make sure all the holes and cuts are clean and no machine lines can be seen.

In addition to that, also check for bubbles or cracks in the coating, this may indicate a flaw in the milling and won’t look good.

Threading

Best AR-15 Lower Receiver Threading

Next, consider the threading. It really makes a difference when parts screw together properly. There should be a problem with any of the quality lowers we’ve reviewed, but it is worth bearing in mind.

Lastly, consider how you will be using your lower and the way you would like it to look. As mentioned, apart from the minor extra, these are the two biggest considerations. Are you taking your AR-15 seriously or just plinking in the backyard? Does speed reloading and style play a big role in your purchasing decision?

Answering these questions will ensure you choose the perfect lower receiver for your needs.

So, what is the Best AR-15 Lower Receiver?

Picking a clear winner was not easy to be honest, because of the similarities between all the products; however, the…

Palmetto State Armory Stealth Stripped Lower

…is the victor, and here is why.

Basically, with PSA, you get what you pay for. The company has great products that will stand the test of time and are more than good enough for any AR-15. If you are looking for a lower, it also means are you looking to customize your rifle. So why not buy a blank slate?

PSA offers 7075 T6 aluminum and an anodizing finish. Their machining is Mil-Spec, and you are still only paying entry-level prices. Even though other brands offer stripped lowers with empty mag well etchings, you are paying a lot more for the branding. And in fact, many brands don’t even produce their own lowers and simply stamp a logo on it. However, if branding is important to you, then you will have to pay a heavier price for the logo.

But, on the other hand, if after reading this review, you may have changed your mind on getting a standard lower and want to increase your price range to get a fancier and more feature-heavy lower. Then the…

Rainier Arms Stripped Lower Receiver 

…or the…

Aero Precision Stripped Lower Receiver

…are our recommendations.

Billet designs are a good choice as the upper and lower are designed for perfect fitting in both style and measurements. They come at a higher price and may not have the same durability as forged lowers, but they are still noteworthy options.

Happy and safe shooting.

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