What is an AR Lower Receiver?

The term “lower receiver” gets tossed around a lot. But exactly what is a lower receiver? First, some basics. The lower receiver is the part of an AR-style rifle that contains the serial number. Generally made of aluminum, it’s that part that all the other parts connect to make the rifle function. Because of this, purchasing a stripped lower has to go through an FFL (Federal Firearm License) dealer.


Where it gets a little more confusing to some is when you add the word “stripped.” A stripped lower receiver is like the base of a Lego project. It’s ready for you to start connecting your desired components in your custom rifle build, and they all attach to the stripped lower receiver. 

Of note: a stripped lower receiver should not be confused with an 80-percent lower receiver. They are not one and the same. An 80-percent lower receiver is an unserialized block of aluminum or polymer that requires drilling and other modifications to have it set up as a lower receiver. 

You can read the rest of my article on guns.com!

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