3D Printed AR15: A Reliable Alternative to 80% Lowers? (Tested in 2020)


Gunny McGunsmith


Published on Jan 31, 2020

We took our 3D Printed AR15 out to the range twice, and have put somewhere between 400-500 rounds through the frame and upper.

The first range visit was a bit bumpy, with an initial break in period during the first 100 rounds dragging us down after which an under-gassed upper hampered reliability. Then, at 243 rounds the gas block came loose without my knowledge. Being my first AR15, I didn't recognize that this is what occurred and went home feeling a tad defeated.

However after some research online I narrowed down my issues to the gas tube and set a date for a second range visit. Originally I intended to use this second range date to dial in the gas system, but I opened her up all the way with no success. It wasn't until several mags were drained while attempting to zero the new EOTech 512 that I realized the gas block worked itself loose.

Tightening the block down I was able to get the system working reliably again and sent a few mags through with no hiccups! We even managed to get the EOTech most of the way zeroed.

It's too early to truly say, but this lower could be a reliable alternative to 80% lowers which require more expertise and equipment! I'll be sending many more rounds through the frame and providing updates all along the way. :)

Also a few things I forgot: The build as it stands is 8lbs or so and the frame was printed with a mixture of eSun and Overture PETG filaments.

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