New Frontier Armory 80% AR-15 lower receiver review


Price - $80 shipped (has been out of stock for some time now, raw is also available)
Material - 7075 billet aluminum
Finish - anodized
Color - deep black
Rear pocket - completed
Trigger guard - integrated
Engravings - none
Notable features - threaded rear takedown pin detent hole, threaded bolt catch pin hole, Allen head screw to tighten fit with upper receiver
Works with the 80% Arms Universal Easy Jig - no, modifications required

Works with the Modulus Arms Jig - yes


Runner Runner Guns 80% lower receiver left sideRunner Runner Guns 80% lower receiver right side

Runner Runner Guns 80% lower receiver topRunner Runner Guns 80% lower receiver bottom


I purchased this lower for $75 shipped (now $80 shipped) when it first became available. I was very excited when this lower became available. I liked the New Frontier Armory lower and really wanted an 80% version of it. That finally happened, first with a raw finish and then with the deep black anodizing which I bought. My biggest concern in purchasing this lower was getting it to work with the Easy Jig, or any other jig for that matter. This lower has extensive non-standard features and enhancements which were definitely going to interfere with parts of the Easy Jig.


First impressions:
This is an 80% version of the New Frontier Armory and other similar lowers with the deep black anodizing. These are made by New Frontier Armory who also sells them private label. I think this is a beautifully machined and designed lower. It does not have any selector stops which is unusual but gives a clean look. It has an integrated trigger guard as most machined billet lowers do. The rear takedown pin detent hole is threaded as is the bolt catch pin hole for easier installation. It also has an added Allen head screw that is used to tighten the fit to the upper receiver. Not only is this receiver made of 7075 but all of the additional receiver reinforcements are definitely going to make this a tough one to complete.


Fitment to the universal Easy Jig:
This was the only 80% lower I have tried in the universal Easy Jig that did not fit without modification. The problem lies in the extra outer reinforcements placed on both sides of the magwell. To get this to work with the universal Easy Jig you would need to machine out parts of the side plates that interfere with the magwell outer edge. If you're uncomfortable doing this you may want to choose another 80% lower if you only own an Easy Jig. I used the original Easy Jig with heavily machined side plates to complete this lower.


Runner Runner Guns New Frontier Armory lower fitment to 80% Arms Easy Jig


Fitment to the Modulus Arms Jig:




Ease of machining:
Like the other 7075 receivers this lower tested the limits of my 8" Harbor Freight drill press. But I knew this going in so I had already put the drill press at 620 RPM. Cutting fluid and several breaks were employed to keep the drill press motor from overheating. The Porter Cable 690 router powered through no problem as it did with every receiver I have completed. With this lower I tried something new and drilled all of the 3/8" holes about half way and then switched to the router and end mill. My thinking was if I removed the top half of the holes that were already drilled it would be easier to drill the bottom half of the holes. That turned out not to be the case and I noticed no difference between drilling the bottom of the holes after maching this lower as compared to the bottom half of the holes on the other 7075 lowers.


Final thoughts:
I really like the look and finish of this lower. The price is lower than most other anodized billet or even forged lowers. It does require modification to the universal Easy Jig but if you are willing to take the time to do that the machining it is no different than any other 7075 lower. If you prefer a raw lower those are offered as well for a slightly lower price though I have not seen the anodized versions available for a while.


80% lower receiver comparison chart