AR-15 Podcast 210 - What to Know About Lower Receivers

Welcome to Episode #210 of the AR15 Podcast. On this episode JD, Reed, Anthony and Michael talk about lower receivers and what you need to know.

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The Winner of the RTT SBR Giveaway is Jim R.

 Clear the Air:

1. Reed:  Uberti 1860 Single Action Army

2. JD: Eating his Dinner and being healthy

3. Anthony: Working 9 to 5

4. Michael: Working for a living

Our thanks to JWB Military & Brass for sponsoring tonight's main topic.  Go to and use promo code ARP10 for 10% off of quality once fired military reloading brass, AR-500 steel targets, and much much more.

Main Topic:

Hard anodizing is typically applied to heavy wear industrial parts intended for use in aggressive or highly corrosive applications. These coatings are typically far thicker and harder than decorative ones, and usually lend the parts a durability approaching that of hard faced or case hardened steel.

Hardcoated items usually have a dark gray to a black finish. This can vary depending on the aluminum alloy.

One of the main purposes of hard anodizing is to make the aluminum more resistant to corrosion. The thicker oxidized layer protects the finished part from being exposed to moisture, oxygen, and other factors. Sealed items are even more corrosion resistant.

The outer coating is also extremely hard, typically much harder than the original metal. In many cases, a thick hard anodized coating can be as hard as tool steel.

The oxide layer is part of the metal, it won't peel off and the surface finish will increase.

Hard anodized metals are usually very well insulated they don't conduct heat or electricity well.

This is especially useful for applications that require the part be used at high temperatures.


Forged is typically a piece of material that is smashed into a shape while it is red hot (when referring to a shaped object for rough or final product). The grain structure of the metal material will follow the shape of the unit being produced. (ETA: forged material can also have no particular shape to make forged blank material to be machined into smaller pieces but retaining the strength of the initial forge)

Billet is a more general term used to describe a piece machined from a chunk of material/metal.

The original piece is most likely some sort of casting or drawn out, formed piece of metal.

In simple terms forged is probably going to be stronger.

Billet strength is dependent on the original slug of metal it was machined from.

Billet uppers or lowers can be more pleasing to the eye however due to more machining operations to achieve the final product. A forged or cast piece will usually be a rough resemblance of the final product and some areas may not need a finished surfaced machining/milling.

To add to the confusion you can have a piece that is forged and billet at the same time if the parent material stock was forged.

On another note: Take for instance a crank shaft for an engine that is forged into it's final shape then machined. The shaped forged crankshaft would be stronger than a crank that was machined from a forged piece of billet material due to the grain structure following the shape of the forging.


Ryan H: I just had a quick question. Getting ready to do my first build and wondered what your opinion is on the Reliabolt from SRC. From what little I have seen/heard it seems like a nice option, however I have seen a couple of YouTube videos saying they were junk and have broken. I don't know many AR guys so I thought it would be a good way to pick several brains at once. Thanks and love the show.

Keith S: In the event of an EMP, first people won't know what happened... but if your watch is out along with the power, laptops, cars, etc... you can guess what happened fairly quickly.

You'll need info on the area you've traveled to for business, I imagine Reed on a trip, business suit, briefcase, etc. First thing I'd do is secure shoes and any clothing needed for the long haul home (rain gear). (before you go on the trip know where sporting good stores are in your area, you won't be able to google them afterwards)

Second, hit the grocery store and stock up on something like Ramen Noodles, lightweight and easy to carry (wise to know where they are in your travel area as well).  Third, you talk about trying to trade for a car? ever car on the highway died in place and no one is clearing the roads... get a bicycle, you can always carry it around blockages etc.

A few years ago here in the PNW, we lost power for a week... some areas for longer. Gas stations that had power to pump gas had lines backed up for miles..stores weren't being resupplied and shelves were bare. My take from that experience was, I was prepared enough to get by for a week so I didn't need to go out and get stuff... but after a week, it was mostly gone and too late to go get and I realized that in the event of something really major happening that you needed to react first and fast or else it would be too late. So get your boots, raincoat, bike and some food to get you going and go quickly.

Love the podcast, it's like being part of a conversation of good friends that I would love to join in the discussion... but talking back to my car stereo never gets a response from you guys ha ha.

As for Reed's obsession with iron sights, I was in the Corps a few years before he was.. and I totally get it... as he ages, he'll want optics so he can focus better... it's just a matter of time.

Keep up the good work and I hope you all are enjoying making the podcast as I am enjoying listening to them.


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