Surplus Ammo & Arms lower

Discussion in 'AR Talk' started by John A., Jun 4, 2010.

  1. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    My Aero Precision/Surplus Ammo & Arms lower got here today. It had a nice low serial number to boot. 8)

    It looks really well made. Especially since I picked it up during a group buy for $65 delivered.

    Just for giggles, I wanted to do an impromtu test to check the tolerances.

    I inserted an early version magpul mag, and placed a partially stripped Bushmaster A2 upper to check it out.

    The (loaded) magpul mag dropped free and felt nice. I didn't take the time to unload the mag and check but I think that it would drop free empty as well.

    I also tried 3 Colt mags. 2 of them would drop effortlessly, though in defense of the lower, the mag that didn't drop free has a lot of rub marks on the corners from previous use in other guns, so it may've been a little out of spec from dropping it while doing speed reloads. Though I don't remember having a problem with any of the Colt mags previously, but I'll keep an eye on that one mag in the future and have moved it to the range only mag drawer in the meantime.

    3 of 3 OK Center mags dropped free

    3 of 3 D&H mags dropped free

    3 of 3 asian import mags dropped free

    Both Orlite mags failed to drop free. One of them didn't even want to go in, but I've had those mags for a very very long time and I don't remember using them in years, so they're probably at the end of their service life. I got them out of the range drawer just out of curiosity.

    A Bushmaster 10 round ban mag also dropped free
    I appreciated the fact that the magwell had very nice defined square corners (inside) that were not as rounded as some others I have seen.

    The pin holes lined up perfectly with the spare upper. All of the other upper/lower mating surfaces were good too.

    The only thing I noticed that may be an issue for some folks (not me) is it had a high shelf that would need milled if anyone were to try to use a dias or LL with one.

    The anodize is mediocre and isn't as thick as some lowers I've seen and thicker than some others. Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I think it would be about a 4. That is my biggest drawback with it, but for the most part, I think it's fairly adequate.

    I think I have decided on a 7.62x39 Model1 upper for it. Cut back to 19.5 inch barrel and rethreaded for 1/2-28 so I can use my suppressor on it when I want to. Flat top upper, freefloat, etc. because I plan to make this my medium/large game rifle. I also plan to get a camo dip kit when it gets closer to time because I am a big fan of the Natural Gear camo pattern because it works so well where I hunt

    But it'll be a long while before I can start on that, but I think this lower will be a good base to build on.

    I just wanted to give you guys a heads up that the Surplus Ammo & Arms (made by Aero Precision) lowers are pretty decent for the cost if any of you were considering one to buy.

    And just because I know, pics or it didn't happen.

    [​IMG]

     
  2. southern thunder

    southern thunder XDTalk 5K Member

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    Congrats
     
  3. merc1973

    merc1973 XDTalk 100 Member

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    I just ordered a stripped Aero Precision (API) A3 upper from them, I'm waiting for the brown truck to arrive. I hear they supply for Armalite and LWRC and Spikes recently switched from using them too..... I will post pics when i get it. Hopefully the anodizing will be sufficient
     
  4. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    I hope the anodize is sufficient for you. That's really the only thing I saw about the lower that's iffy. But for the price I got it for, I am not complaining.

    I know that Aero made the lower, but I'm not sure if Surplus Arms and Ammo had them done to their specs (where the finishing is concerned to save a few dollars) or if all of the Aero's are "thin skinned", but I'm interested in hearing back when you get yours so I'll know if it's just this rollmark or not.

    I'm still in the slow process of building a rifle from this lower reciever and I'm going to be doing a water immersion camo dip from head to toe on this gun, so the anodizing will be covered up anyway and isn't a big concern of mine.

    If I think about it, I'll update the pics after it's been dipped. It should make for a heckuva deer and bear rifle, but I have to order more film.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  5. Mad Pick

    Mad Pick XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Thanks for the review. I'm planning to drive down to Surplus Ammo and Arms very soon and pick up one of their stripped lowers, so it was good to read your positive review.

    (Yes, I live about 45 minutes from their store.)
     
  6. hikeeba

    hikeeba XDTalk 500 Member

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    Neato, John. And that is a cool rollmark. I look forward to seeing your completed rifle.
     
  7. merc1973

    merc1973 XDTalk 100 Member

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    OK, I finally was able to shoot some pics of my Aero Precision upper and Spikes Lower. Anchor Harvey forged. As you can see the Anodizing finishes do not match as Spikes seems a bit thicker and glossier. ITs a nice tight fit though and the Flag goes with my lower (overkill?). M4 feedramps are nice. I am still unsure If I will just order a Spikes upper to match finishes??????

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    My build still isn't done, but is well under way. I'm not in a big hurry though and am just buying a piece here and there to keep my occupied until deer and bear season starts.

    It'll still be a while before I order the 7.62x39 barrel and bolt, but those are the only big things it still needs.

    But for now, the camo is coming along quite nicely (now you know why I wasn't concerned about the anodize color/sheen matching :mrgreen: )

    I am looking forward hunting with it

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  9. wesw

    wesw XDTalk 100 Member

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    Looks really nice, and you got a heck of a deal on that lower. I live about 15min from Surplus Ammo and Arms and go in there often and they charge quite a bit more than $65 for a lower
     
  10. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    Their volume pricing is considerably lower than their list price. I'm pretty sure they ordered 25 at a time to secure that amount.

    He had been ordering from Superior Arms lowers (which are more local to him) but they still wouldn't/couldn't match SA&A volume pricing, and hence how I ended up with an SA&A logo on the side of my newest hunting rifle. :)
     
  11. hikeeba

    hikeeba XDTalk 500 Member

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    Woohoo! Looking very nice, John! What sort of chips do you like with that dip? Oh wait... No chips! Chips would be bad!

    Are you going to do a separate write-up on just the dipping process? Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  12. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    I'm not sure, but I guess I could if anyone is interested. I still have a few more pieces to do if I could get someone to take some pics while I'm doing it.
     
  13. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    I'll send you a PM Hikeeba
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  14. John A.

    John A. XDTalk 3K Member

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    I finally finished all of the camouflage dipping and got it put together.

    I think it's gonna be a pretty good hunting buddy. :)

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. reflex

    reflex XDTalk Newbie

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    Hey guys was checking this thread for the review of the lower. As i read through it I noticed that you all related the Anodizing of the parts to the color and sheen. They are completely different things.

    The anodizing is an electro-chemical process in which the anodizing is "grown" on the surface of the aluminum material. It makes the aluminum pretty much water proof (meaning it won't corrode) and gives it a harder surface.

    The color is actually a die that is applied immediately following the anodizing process. So what you are actually seeing is the quality and most probably the difference in manufacture and actual color used to do the die job with. As I researched doing the anodizing and dieing at home (yes it is very possible to get highly professional anodizing and dieing completed at home) I noticed there are actually dozens of colors of black among thousands of colors possible to die aluminum.

    Absolutely love the camo dip. My next research project.

     

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