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Thread: PSA ar-15 lowers

  1. #1
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    PSA ar-15 lowers

    I keep getting emails from PSA and their AR lowers are very attractively priced. I always believed you get what you paid for and I have a few BCM uppers I salted away. What's the consensus? I apologize I didn't take to time to search for the answer but I don't have the time to waste today. I remember somebody asked in the Black Friday thread.
    Last edited by Poconnor; 01-03-2017 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Joliet IL
    I've had good luck with mine they are full PSA builds and have a few thousand rounds through them with no issues. They fit up to the PSA upper nice and tight. A couple of buddies have them as well with similar results. They were purchased years ago before they had the two different lines so I don't know if quality is the same.

  3. #3
    Supporting Business
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    Youngstown, OH
    Every "cheap" lower I have purchased from PSA has been made by Aero Precision, who are one of the larger manufacturers of the lower receivers. Whether that is still true or not, I cannot say.

    AP has blem lowers for $63.00 on their website right now.
    Last edited by Rich@CCC; 01-03-2017 at 03:11 PM.
    TANSTAAFL

    Managing Partner, Custom Carry Concepts, LLC

  4. #4
    I no longer take the reviews of PSA blem stuff seriously. I was at the LGS when a guy was picking up his PSA assembled blem lower, and three guys were standing around it talking about how they could see nothing wrong. I was a good four or five yards away and thought I could tell what the issue was, so I walked over to confirm. The anodizing was flat, with the chalky residue wash of aluminum oxide. Should have been obvious to any detail-oriented person, even someone who hasn't spent as much time QCing anodized parts as I once did. It'll look OK if it's kept oiled, but it's far from correct.

    I have no basis to independently verify this, but I've read that the buffer tubes PSA uses on their assembled lowers are 6061, while the ones they ship in kits are 7075.

    I checked out some AP-branded lowers when another LGS was having a special on them. The anodizing was sticky to the touch, indicating it hadn't been sealed properly. The sealing process consists of dunking it in hot water for a period of time, so it's fairly difficult to screw that up. The parts would probably seem fine if kept oiled, but they weren't what they should be. In addition, the details of the machining left something to be desired. A matter not of cut corners, but corners left uncut. I decided the difference in price between the AP lower and the Mega Arms basic forged parts I've used is well worth it. Much nicer attention to detail in the machining and anodizing that's what it should be.

    For perspective, a friend of mine decided to try anodizing parts he'd made for his car. Using the internet, a battery charger and buckets in his garage, his first efforts came out visually correct, much nicer than the PSA and AP items described above.
    Last edited by OlongJohnson; 01-03-2017 at 11:49 PM.

  5. #5
    SLG's Cousin Eddie LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    VA
    I SBR'd one, I've ran it hard and trust it, no regrets.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Greg's Avatar
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    Jul 2015
    Location
    Utah
    I have one on a build I did for a fun KISS style carbine.

    FWIW It mates up with my BCM upper like they were made for each other.

  7. #7
    I have a PSA complete blemished lower and a PSA Freedom mid-lenght upper with the premium BCG. Looks great. Fit is fine, and runs great. I only have a little over $450.00 in it and I run it pretty hard.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter
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    Oct 2013
    Location
    Canton GA
    I have multiple PSA lowers and uppers and had no issues. Several of my ARs are range toys so these work fine for them.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by OlongJohnson View Post
    I no longer take the reviews of PSA blem stuff seriously. I was at the LGS when a guy was picking up his PSA assembled blem lower, and three guys were standing around it talking about how they could see nothing wrong. I was a good four or five yards away and thought I could tell what the issue was, so I walked over to confirm. The anodizing was flat, with the chalky residue wash of aluminum oxide. Should have been obvious to any detail-oriented person, even someone who hasn't spent as much time QCing anodized parts as I once did. It'll look OK if it's kept oiled, but it's far from correct.

    I have no basis to independently verify this, but I've read that the buffer tubes PSA uses on their assembled lowers are 6061, while the ones they ship in kits are 7075.

    I checked out some AP-branded lowers when another LGS was having a special on them. The anodizing was sticky to the touch, indicating it hadn't been sealed properly. The sealing process consists of dunking it in hot water for a period of time, so it's fairly difficult to screw that up. The parts would probably seem fine if kept oiled, but they weren't what they should be. In addition, the details of the machining left something to be desired. A matter not of cut corners, but corners left uncut. I decided the difference in price between the AP lower and the Mega Arms basic forged parts I've used is well worth it. Much nicer attention to detail in the machining and anodizing that's what it should be.

    For perspective, a friend of mine decided to try anodizing parts he'd made for his car. Using the internet, a battery charger and buckets in his garage, his first efforts came out visually correct, much nicer than the PSA and AP items described above.
    Was the anodizing of the blemmed PSA lower chalky, or was the dye chalky? Did your friend dye his home anodized parts?
    Steiner watched School House Rock. That's not how laws are made

  10. #10
    I'd say the anodizing was chalky. I'm not sure how the dye would be chalky separate from the anodizing. Maybe I don't know enough to understand the difference, if there is one. I've seen the look on a lot of parts in the past, where you could see run marks in them, and it was usually attributed to the rinsing process not having been done well. I don't remember the PSA receiver having run marks, it was just an all-over haze (although it was long enough ago that my memory of finer details is a little hazy, too).

    I believe my friend just used black Rit dye on his home-anodized parts, and they looked great. Nice and black. Consistent, with a solid sheen. I wouldn't make any representations about how the color will hold up over the years, but I've seen a lot of black ano done by aerospace-qualified suppliers turn brown-orange-red-pink-bronze when run at temperature. My general rule is, if you want ano parts to keep a consistent appearance at, say, racing brake temps, don't bother going for color, even black. Not sure you could do enough mag dumps to get an AR that hot.

    Also, don't clean anodizing with anything acidic or caustic. The aluminum oxide has relatively poor chemical resistance to a lot of substances. The anodizing is built up of honeycomb-like cells on the surface of the part. They are filled with dye, then the sealing step essentially closes the tops of the cells and locks the dye inside. Given that the whole buildup is on the order of 0.001" thick and the closure of the tops of the cells is a small fraction of that, it takes very little to open the cells and allow the dye to escape, leading to uneven appearance. It's a painful irony that countless owners of high-end cars have the finishes on expensive wheels and brake parts ruined by "professional" detailers spraying them with acid to get the brake dust off.
    Last edited by OlongJohnson; 01-06-2017 at 10:53 PM.

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