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Colfax Tactical

Forged lowers

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I talked with Colfax Tactical about a month ago and they said they were planning to have production started middle of this month and be ready to start shipping some time around now, which in my way of thinking, translates in to middle of next month or so.

I've purchased one of their receivers before and regularly shop at a store that these guys do business with.

The reason you are not hearing from them on the board is because they're busy. I've seen stuff like this get started up before and I said before that I'd be surprised if it didn't take this long or longer to get the ball rolling. These things take time. Just hang in there.

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That's understandable. I work with bringing new products to market and it's not easy or fast if you want to deliver a quality product. In light of trying to make sure that everything is just right, perhaps the wait is a blessing. I'll keep an eye out, too. Making a complete .308 lower from an 80% is looking very much like my next challenge.

I have access to a small milling machine, and have milling table on an old drill press in my shop. It could be an extremely interesting project, but some type of drilling jig is needed o get the trigger, hammer, and safety holes in exactly the right places.

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Every time I look at these pictures I drool. Makes me want to attack a project as challenging as this, on my bridgeport. Wish I had your tooling. Tell me, Do you think it would be substantially more work, to make one of these from billit? It sure looks like you have to make cuts on 90% plus of the surfaces in order to make one using the forging.

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Tell me, Do you think it would be substantially more work, to make one of these from billit? It sure looks like you have to make cuts on 90% plus of the surfaces in order to make one using the forging.

Trust me, if you're thinking billet you need one of two things, either a CNC and programming knowledge, or tons and tons of patience. I'm not saying it can't be done on a Bridgeport, but "that's a project"

I documented my build if you want to do one from a raw forging. Here's a link to the document (be patient, it's 7.34 MB)

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Holy crap Batman! I thought an 80% lower meant that 80% of the work was already done for you... Now I realize that there is still 80% of the work that needs to be done.

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Holy crap Batman! I thought an 80% lower meant that 80% of the work was already done for you... Now I realize that there is still 80% of the work that needs to be done.

Robocop,

You are way too funny. I never said it was 80%.

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Guess you didn't. It was a natural assumption since most unfinished receivers on the market are 80% complete. If you have to be going to all this trouble, why bother with a solid forging? Most of us don't have access to or knowledge of CNC equipment.

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Good point, guys - this was posted in the 80% lowers section.  JohnnyV's stuff would have been more appropriate in some other section, outside of this one - but I'm not sure which one...

In an exteme sense, it much more belongs in this section:

http://308ar.com/forum/building-a-308ar/

It's damn sure nothing like an 80% lower, though.

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Guess you didn't. It was a natural assumption since most unfinished receivers on the market are 80% complete. If you have to be going to all this trouble, why bother with a solid forging? Most of us don't have access to or knowledge of CNC equipment.

rhinegarten,

Sorry if I led anyone to believe this was an 80% project.

One of the reasons I went this route was I wanted a rifle that was mine and one that I understood completely. Second reason being is that the only other documented build from a raw forging is by Ray Brandes (aka - Ray-Vin) for an AR15. I completed an AR15 following Ray's build instructions about a year ago and it came out pretty nice, so I thought it would be a neat idea to document a build on an AR10 raw forging and share it with the shooting world. I realize that not everyone has the machinery or skills to do a project like this, but for those of you who do, I believe it to be very rewarding and one to be proud of.

I am currently working on the barrel for the AR10. I have it chambered, headspaced, profiled, trimmed to 20.5", have the gas block and tube, but still have to drill the gas hole and make a free float handguard. I will also be working on documentation of this project and will keep everyone updated on my progress.

BTW, if I posted this in the wrong forum, please feel free to move it. I was only chiming in on a previous post....

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Oh I don't think it's a problem. It great that you can do builds basically beginning from a hunk of aluminum and that you can document the process here for us to look over. You really learn all the details of what goes into the making of a lower and rifle as a whole and I'm glad that you can share it with us.

To tell you the truth I'm just a little jealous - wish I had that level of skill, and access to the necessary equipment. When you're done, you'll know that rifle inside out and you'll have exactly what you want. It'll also instill a bit of pride and sense of accomplishment. I know how good I feel just beginning from a pile of loose parts and ending up with a completed, fully functioning rifle that shoots 1/2" or better groups and making improvements as time and finances permit. I've done it with three AR-15s and most recently an LR308.

I do think that many more of us, though, could complete an 80% lower with access to a simple "dumb" milling machine and/or a drill press with milling table and maybe a drill jig. It would definitely present a challenge.

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A little jealous!? I'm burning with envy right now. I don't have the time and money to learn johnnyv's methods, but lord do I wish I did.

This is definitely pushing me to the idea of a 3D printer and pumping out unlimited polymer receivers. Laugh if you want, but it's already happening in places.

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Why not? They make Glock frames and Springfield XD frames out of polymers, among others.

I saw a demonstration about 6 months ago where someone drew up an object in a CAD program, fed the data to a special printer and in a few minutes, was holding the object in his hand. I forget what it was, something like a polycarbonate hammer. And the tolerances were unbelievably tight. So if something like this could be done with the same material, say, that Glocks are made of...

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IM_JOHNNYV, just curious, where is the starting datum located on a forging for an AR308?

We used to have all sorts of odd starting places.  Variations inbetween lots was fairly substantial, for both castings and forgings...but they always came out dead-nuts.  <thumbsup>

Jon

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There was an article of a kid who used his computer and a $400 "3d" printer to make an AR15 lower out cutting board material. He said it broke down fairly quickly but worked for a while.

I have looked into this as an investment and the technology isn't quite there yet. As stronger polymers come available and 3d printers more affordable, the advancements in the firearm industry are going to sky rocket. You could bust out 3 or 4 different designs a day to try out new theories. The overhead cost would be minuscule. I'd be tempted to build all kinds of crazy things.

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Robocop, the last thing I saw on 3-D printers, they were combining essentially a polymer-squishing "hot glue gun" tool head/tip.  This was working at VERY high-speed, working off of what looked to be a G-code.

The final result for what they were making was intensely strong but not very detailed.

I would think a person could squish out what is essentially a polymer forging/casting, do some final machining ops (on plastic, should go quickly) and voila!

I'm still waiting for someone to start paying attention to ceramics again.

Jon

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IM_JOHNNYV, just curious, where is the starting datum located on a forging for an AR308?

We used to have all sorts of odd starting places.  Variations inbetween lots was fairly substantial, for both castings and forgings...but they always came out dead-nuts.  <thumbsup>

Jon

Read my documentation,  AR10 One step-at-a-time and you'll see how to best determine your starting point.

Also, this is not an AR308, it is an AR10. I have yet to do any of the other DPMS style forgings, so I can't answer for them.

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I just talked with Colfax Tactical yesterday and informed them that you guys have been asking them questions. They informed me that they haven't been following this board lately, stating that they've been too busy with their work. I think they mentioned something about answering some questions for you guys in the near future. The owner also informed me that the noise I was hearing in the background was the first batch of .308 80%s being milled and informs me that they may have some ready around the end of the month.

He also said he doesn't have a sure price yet but thinks it'll be somewhere around $150 - $160

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I'm still waiting for someone to start paying attention to ceramics again.

Jon

From what I understand about ceramic products, is though they may be stronger than steel, they are more brittle and prone to shattering. That'd be cool as hell though if I'm wrong and somebody could do it!

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My understanding is that they have trouble doing strong ceramics in thicknesses for larger projects.  Something about curing it properly.

For decades now Mavic has made ceramic bicycle rims...light and thoroughly strong.  Never heard of them breaking.

Just going to take someone with the stones to stick to it.

Jon

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My understanding is that they have trouble doing strong ceramics in thicknesses for larger projects.  Something about curing it properly.

Just going to take someone with the stones to stick to it.

Jon

Hmmm...Like NASA. Remember the Space Shuttle and the problems with the ceramic plates and panels ! One little error AND KABOOM !!

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There was a knife made by Mad Dog Knives that was ceramic. It was called the MIRAGE Magnetically Inert, Radically Advanced, Galvanetically Exempt. It was meant for EOD use (especially around mines) and was supposed to be stronger than the steel knives they made, even as far as being able to scrape steel from their other knives. The blade sharpness/edge was supposed to outlive the user.

If they were able to make a receiver out of that I wonder how much it would weigh, and more importantly how much it would cost.

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