IE Tactical 80% AR-15 lower receiver review


(company appears to be out of business)

Price - $50 shipped (use coupon code "80percents")
Material - A380 cast aluminum
Finish - raw
Color - raw
Rear pocket - not completed
Trigger guard - none
Engravings - none
Notable features - safety selector stops
Works with the 80% Arms Universal Easy Jig - yes

Works with the Modulus Arms Jig - yes



NOTE: The IE Tactical site has been down for a long time and it's possible that they are no longer in business.


IE Tactical sells this lower as a SHTF receiver and a lower cost alternative to a forged or billet lower. I purchased mine on sale with a coupon for about $47 shipped which put it even below the cost of the EP Armory lower.


First impressions:
The cast aluminum makes the finish look like a very fine gray metallic. Definitely strong since it is aluminum but more brittle since it is cast. A couple of noticeable design issues. The bolt catch pin area seems to have less material than a standard forged lower. I'm also concerned with the rather sharp angle of the front pivot pin area where it meets the receiver. This should be more curved to add strength to that area. This angle is not 90 degrees but the radius of the fillet is much smaller than I would like to see. Everything else looks up to spec so I'm not sure why these two areas are different. In any case I'm sure they would not be an issue under most circumstances but I do wonder if knocking them into something would cause any damage.


Fitment to the universal Easy Jig:


IE Tactical lower fitment to 80% Arms Easy Jig


Fitment to the Modulus Arms Jig:



Ease of machining:
No issues here. A380 was just as easy to machine as the 6061 but of course not as easy as polymer. I used cutting fluid when drilling out the 3/8" holes and none when machining out the fire control group pocket using the 1/4" end mill. A note of caution when machining any lower. Check the depth of your stop collar after every hole. In the photo below you can see what happens when you don't do that and the collar starts to slip. Luckily I didn't go all of the way through.



Final thoughts:
This lower is a good alternative in the budget 80% receiver market if you prefer an aluminum receiver to polymer. The price is comparable and the material is easy to machine. The finish is raw so you will have to add some labor and material cost if you want a similar looking finished lower. I know there are people that won't even consider a cast lower due to the brittleness. That's fine. There are plenty of alternatives in either polymer, billet or forged 80% receivers. While this would not be my first choice in a receiver I have no problem using a cast product for range use. Next step is to get some Aluma-Hyde II on it.


80% lower receiver comparison chart