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steel AR
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 07 2017 at 11:48pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

a while ago, i designed a sheet metal AR-15 upper that was compatible with the AR-15 lower.. it consisted of a 1.25" OD 1" ID steel tube, a few cutouts on that and it was inserted and welded into a sheet metal shell which allowed it to line up right with the AR-15 lower as well as close off the receiver and supply the raceway for the charging handle.. a complex piece

now i designed a sheet metal AR-15 lower receiver as well, however, wanting a pair (upper and lower) that were easier to fabricate, i made some design changes to facilitate this.. now there is so sheet metal cover over the pipe upper receiver, a slot is cut down the middle for the gas key to ride in and the raceway is welded on directly to the tube, theres no flat-bottom to mate iwth an AR-15 lower anymore which SIGNIFICANTLY decreases difficulty to where know the upper is basically a steel U channel welded to a pipe

the lower is the same style ive used on a few designs of mine already where the magazine well and trigger box are welded to the bottom of a slightly larger steel tube thats been trimmed to mate with the upper receiver.. a rear "trunnion" is welded inside the tube of the lower and threaded for the buttstock and in all it works, however, im still making tweaks to both the upper and lower to make them even simpler

basically, the end result of this is a metal AR-15 upper and lower that can easily be fabricated from 0% and work with all AR-15 bolts, barrels, carriers, buffer tubes, gas systems, barrel nuts, handguards, fire control group parts, magazines, and the only non AR-15 part that had to be implemented is the AK pistol grip since cutting thar radiused section for the web of the hand on the AR lower isnt really doable using sheet metal

heres an outside rendering of the original style sheet metal upper, now being changed to something simpler.. as shown in the photo its about 6.5lbs completed (yeah, just as light as the aluminum version) but with the simpler upper receiver im working on its going to sacrifice some of those weight savings for an easier to make upper which will end up closer to 7lbs total i believe.. and i still have to make up the forward assist and dust cover


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  backbencher

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 11:35am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

I would suggest skipping the LRBHO, forward assist, and dust cover.  If you're welding a complete AR, cheap, quick, and dirty is the name of the game.

The Stark "Grip of Shame" would solve the radius backstrap issue, and give you a free trigger guard, as well as solve the safety detent spring issue w/ the AK PG:



http://www.starkequipment.com/stark-one-ar-rifle-grip.html

Just slice the very top part of the grip flat, and you'll still have good protection for the web of your hand.  Stark's is not the only one out there that will solve the issue, but the only one that gives you a free trigger guard (hence the Grip of Shame).

The Flat Spot lower is the easy button if you're welding a lower; if you want one to experiment with, I have one here new in the bag I'll send you if you'd like:

http://www.theflatspot.net/ar-15-receiver-flat.html

Instead of tapping your buffer tube trunnion (an AR specific thread), why not just weld in a steel pipe of 1" internal dia, and weld a flat piece of steel to the end, and now you have a very inexpensive buttstock that you can buttstroke someone w/?

Alternatively, leave the trunnion off the lower, abandon the current charging handle, use a single piece of pipe for the upper and the buffer tube, weld your U channel all the way down the top of the upper and the buffer tube, cut a slot in it, and use a right, left, or top charging handle.  Make the buttstock plate slot into the back of the buffer tube, and have the recoil spring, buffer, and bolt  carrier slide out the rear, a la the M231.

If you don't want to be drilling takedown detent spring holes, here are the pins the Cav Arms Mk 2 uses, $10 shipped:

http://www.cavmfg.com/CAV-15-MKII-Take-Down-Pins-CAVTDP.htm
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 12:47pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

the intention was to use self captive pins such as those shown for the takedown pins, but as far as welding a buffer into the lower its doable, but you would miss out on the ability to change the components, welding in is possible though but really not necessary since the rear trunnion is a simple ring pressed and welded into the back of the lower for the buffer to thread into

the forward assist is actually pretty easy to make, take a steel tube with about a half inch inner diameter, cut it at a 22.5 degree angle, radius the cut and weld it to the side, then you can run a drill bit down that tube to drill into the receiver, very simple, and 100% optional

also, that grip still complicates things because then you need the block of metal AR grips bolt into welded to the bottom of the receiver, the advantage of AK grips though is that they are designed to work with sheet metal receivers, intended to be placed flat against the bottom and bolt into a nut from the inside and if you consider the SAW grip like i use for my AKs, its contoured to fit the web of the hand... the trigger guard though is nothing but a strip of sheet metal bent to shape and plug welded on

i havent made the LRBO yet, but there is already a steel block placed inside the lower for AR-15 mag releases.. it wouldnt be hard at all to thread a couple screws into it from the left side and then drill a hole out to put an axis pin between the two , then file a groove out of the block before welding it in to have the LRBHO functioning, pretty easy
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  backbencher

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 3:17pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

How are you going to manage the safety detent then?  Cut the detent and springs each in half, set screw on the bottom of the receiver?  Or blind hole from the top al la Cav Arms Mk 2?

ETA:  With the proliferation of trigger jigs, plastic and aluminum, if you could knock out a steel mag well, you could just screw it into a trigger jig, the pistol grip mounts on the jig, throw the buffer tube on the upper, and Bob's yer uncle.
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 5:38pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

i could probably just cut a square bar maybe .25x.25x1" or something, drill a hole down the center of it and weld it inside behind the safety lever, wouldnt be hard to add the detent for that, and something similar for the buffer tube detent
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  backbencher

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 9:04pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Ok, but if you don't put it under the safety lever, now you've got to be grinding on the safety cutting out a new channel for the detent.
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 10:28pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

the part i created works just fine, fits behind the safety lever in the trigger box, and the hole drilled into it lines up perfect with the detent notches on the safety lever.. i could extend this all the way to the back of the receiver and cover up the spring with a plate on the back same as a regular AR

i really wish i could eliminate that bend in the middle of the receiver between the trigger box and the magazine well.. hmm, maybe i could actually just cut the receiver where this bend normally would be, have the magazine well section cover over top of the trigger box section and weld together
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 11:05pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

hmm.. this works, i just simplified the lower greatly by now only requiring right angle bends, and really just two of them.. first is a U channel that makes up a trigger box, in the very front of that box a metal block is welded in, this metal block makes up the back edge of the magazine well, holds the button mag release and the LRBHO

the magazine well is a U channel, but with the bend in the front of the magazine well so that the edges will slide over the outside of the trigger box and overlap about half an inch and gets welded to this.. end result giving you the AR-15 sheet metal lower compatible with all AR-15 lower parts, no complex bends, and the outside dimensions of the trigger box match that of the fire control group so the safety lever fits.. all perfect

the upper of course is just the raceway welded on top of a tube
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 08 2017 at 11:36pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

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  backbencher

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Posted: April 09 2018 at 8:40am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

justin, you fiddle any more with this?  It's pretty slick.
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