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They are often cheaper than that. A lower is a lower. Snobs will disagree, but they are functionally the same piece, made from one of the same forgings as the other brands. 

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You're buying lowers at $50 a pop? Saw some for $35 recently on a "flash sale".

As for Andersons? last couple builds have been on them. A lower is a lower, unless you want something fancy on the side.  I know a guy who referred to them as "poverty ponies", so I'll use that slang with pride.

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I like 80% partly for the ability to machine or etch my own markings or not.

 

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Yes, and.

 

My brother has a personal CNC machine. My cousin gave me his jigs from tactical machining. So I modified the jig to be an easier way to hold the blanks in the CNC all trued up. Sort of a fixture I suppose. Otherwise holding a lower true in all the axes to the cutter so that engraving doesn't look like garbage would be a real pain. Engraving with a conical cutter really shows any variance in the Z axis/ surfaces that are supposedly true in the horizontal plane. i.e. the magwell, and the areas where the markings go near the safety selector. 

I kind of suck at drafting, but it is clearly better than the ones I've done with jigs on drill presses. Less issues with runout, drill wobble. Most of the jigs allow for a lot of play. 

I've also sort of supervised a friend using one of the expensive router jigs, which were well designed, but overkill.

IMO, a drill press with a cross slide vise would be adequate, but you would need to check runout on the drill, and you would need to accurately square the work to the drill. 

You can get away with being off by a bit in most of the pocketing operations, but the pin locations, and perpendicularity are critical.

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I have 2 Anderson lowers. One has a slightly tight magwell (Magpul won't drop free, USGI and Lancer will), but otherwise they work fine.

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I really really really like Anderson Lowers. I usually nab them when they are in the $40 range. All I have had are well anodized, fitment is great, and I have not had any weird issues with them. I happy enough with them that my AR15.com factory SBR lower is a dust collector.

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i donlt like the sand papery feel to the andersons.... at least thats my current memory of them...  i dont have a decent ffl locally that makes those cheap ones worth it to stack it deep.  ie they charge per lower, not per bg check. 

 

lancer (l15) had a cool lower that someone linked on here that i  picked up a couple years back.  interchangeable mag wells.  ambi bolt release or something?

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I picked up 4, and will be picking up the other 4 they had.  Slapped a S&W parts kit on one already.

With potential AWB's coming out of congress, better to stock now before a rush.

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