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Old August 07, 2019, 10:15   #1
raubvogel
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Bear Creek Arsenal barrels

I do not expect them to be top shelf, but how bad are they? I ask because I got a few and later found some threads in other sites not bashing them directly but implying they are not the droids you want.
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Old August 07, 2019, 11:26   #2
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Why not try the ones you got and decide for yourself? I've had one, and it did fine.
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Old August 07, 2019, 11:43   #3
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No personal experience, but, from what I've read and heard from a couple of coworkers, their name should be "Bear Crap Arsenal". If you already have them in your possession, give 'em a go, but I sure wouldn't buy one.
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Old August 07, 2019, 13:07   #4
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bear creek arsenal sucks.

Period.

My middle son purchased a 7.62x39 complete upper from classic firearms that was a bear creek upper.

Arrives a few days later, loads the mag, racks the charging handle back and let's go.

Raises gun to fire

click.

Looks down through the ejection port, bolt not seated all the way, hits the forward assist, but the bolt still not fully closed.

Ejects the cartridge and looks, the next round does the same thing.

Barrel is short chambered and a round will not fully seat.

This tells me a few things.

1. The empty steel cases that were included in the box were not test fired through that upper. There is no way those three shells were fired through it because the gun would not fully seat a cartridge, let alone fire one.

OK, my son contacts classic. They tell him that it's a warranty issue, set up a return with bear creek arsenal directly.

Within a couple of hours, has a return fedex label.

Mails it to bear creek.

More than a month later, still no upper. He emails bear creek. No reply.

Calls classic. Again.

They said they'd look into it.

A few days later, he gets a tracking number for the upper he sent back in.

OK, so he thinks it's fixed.

Takes it outside, puts the mag in, charges the gun, bolt would not close.

AGAIN.

This time, the cartridge is fully seated.

WTH?

After some close inspection, they had somehow put a 556 bolt in with the 7.62x39 upper receiver this time expecting it to somehow work I guess.

Son calls classic again.

Classic again tells him to send back to the manufacturer.

2 hours later, another fedex label.

Mails it back.

3 weeks later (now a full 2 months from the time he paid for it), and still no upper.

Finally called classic and asked for a refund. They were reluctant but when he told them he will hang up and call and dispute the charges immediately, they did ultimately give him a refund.

There are several bad BBB complaints against them. And several others from short chambering and kabooms

Plus, they also were raided by ICE a few months ago hiring a bunch of illegals.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/st...225554780.html
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Old August 07, 2019, 14:22   #5
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I have personal experience with 3 stripped barrels and 2 complete uppers.

2 of my stripped barrels are 16" heavy profile 5.56. The other stripped barrel is 16" heavy profile 6.5 Grendel.

Built all 3 into great shooting rifles, no issues.

The complete uppers were in 6.5 Grendel and .308. They belong to a friend, not me. Both function/shoot well, no issues.

I had read all the same bad press about them as well. But given the opportunity to buy 3 new stripped barrels for $150 shipped, hell I'll roll the dice once...I won, this time.

I will add some bad with the good though..

I also purshased the BCG for my Grendel build from Bear Creek. Extractor claw broke after 20 rounds..called and bitched, new extractor arrived in 3 days.

I had already replaced it with a DPMS piece.

Examining the broken extractor, its obvious why it broke. The broken example as well as the new replacement appear to have been reprofiled from 5.56 extractors. Machining a piece of metal post heat treat usually doesn't go well. How do I know it was cut post heat treat? Because both of the BC extractors were nitrded, and the new cuts are shiny/raw. No reason it should be that way other than being cut post heat treat. My DPMS extractor is completely nitrided.

I expect the replacement BC extractor to fail as well. Haven't had range time to cofirm that yet. The DPMS etractor has 400 rounds under its belt..
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Old August 07, 2019, 21:25   #6
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bear creek barrels

I have been using them in my 300 black and have been very happy with them. I have a 10.5 and two 16 inch stainless barrels. The 10.5 came with some left overs from them drilling the gas port. I cleaned it out and it was no issue. All three of my barrels are all around 1 moa at 100 yards from a bench and with what ever ammo that I have laying around.
I will say this though, I have had one barrel that I had to return because the threading on the end for the muzzle brake was... special. They took care of me quickly and efficiently. For the price I do recommend their barrels. Just my 2 cents though.
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Old August 08, 2019, 09:28   #7
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Have never purchased a Bear Creek barrel but have been given two and tried to help improve issues with a few others with mixed results. The two I was given slapped on an upper one at a time and got better accuracy than people who gave them to me but not good enough to leave on any rifle. Both are in parts locker tagged as lightly used, 2-2.5 MOA best group with best ammo. Have seen others that seemed only limit was optic on rifle. Friend built two from same batch that with a scope mounted shoot close to 1 MOA and with red dot which is how they were configured after initial testing shoot sub 2 MOA from the bench.
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Old August 16, 2019, 21:51   #8
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Originally Posted by hueyville View Post
Have never purchased a Bear Creek barrel but have been given two and tried to help improve issues with a few others with mixed results. The two I was given slapped on an upper one at a time and got better accuracy than people who gave them to me but not good enough to leave on any rifle. Both are in parts locker tagged as lightly used, 2-2.5 MOA best group with best ammo. Have seen others that seemed only limit was optic on rifle. Friend built two from same batch that with a scope mounted shoot close to 1 MOA and with red dot which is how they were configured after initial testing shoot sub 2 MOA from the bench.

@hueyville
Do you mind sharing what all you attempted while trying to improve the BCA barrels ?

A friend of mine bought a 20 BCA in 6.5CM... and I am going to attempt to improve its odds of shooting respectable groups.

I do plan on firing it prior to lapping the upper receiver face, and Loctiting it in the upper. So I can have a standard to measure possible improvements.
FWIW, I have had improvements from truing and gluing barrels in numerous of my assemblies.

I say attempt because of his barrel choice , and because he spent more on the FF handguard then the barrel.... Uugh

I will bore scope the barrel , and probably give it a mild "shade tree" lapping.
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Old August 17, 2019, 06:55   #9
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I bought a .458 SOCOM barrel from them because it was very affordable and did have cycling issues once the rifle was built. I had to open the gas port up two sizes (number drills but I don't recall which size bit made it work) to get the rifle to cycle but my 50 yard groups were just fine. It would have been nice if it worked right away but opening the gas port was no big deal. I'm happy with it.
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Old August 17, 2019, 07:33   #10
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I have the luxury of a bore scope that records as I pass it back and forth through the barrel then replay the video clips and still photos (sharper) on a high resolution computer screen evaluating the inside of the tube. Throat and muzzle are two of the key points as throat is what starts the bullet on its way and then the muzzle releasing the bullet properly is the final step and as important as any other in long range accuracy. (Yes have seen the tests where people purposely gouged their crown or cut a barrel 1" at a time with hacksaw and got good groups afterwards but most had better than Bear Creek barrels)

Usually find some areas of concern like a burr that's left a constriction even after being shot in, open grain structure in the throat area (open grain structure from cutting rifling fast (especially in throat area) is going to copper foul by round three and get worse quickly) or a abnormality at the muzzle. If given a horrid barrel that builder tried taking apart and reassembling twice and 200 rounds later given up or brought to LGS for paid smith work after bore scoping I may have enough evidence to force vendor to exchange if owner wants to tit at windmills. Crooked chamber or throat, thin rifling in a section, bad crowns will still usually run through the "steps" and try it with three different loadings of varying bulet weight and design.

First check chamber size and if snug open it up and if sloppy big quit then. Next use a throater to ensure throat is square and bullet hits all the lands at same time so not upset immediately as goes down bore. Generally use the throater very carefully and do not remove much metal. Step two is to take my crowning stone and stone the crown or "lap" the crown whichever terminology like to use. Five minutes work on muzzle by hand can remove small imperfections. After do these steps and reassemble run a half of a Tubbs Fire lapping kit (don't ever use all the rounds in a fire lap kit) and if a kit is not available for cartridge make my own by using proper grit compounds and projectiles. Once have throated, touched up crown, assembled properly and fire lapped have done all I can do.

Of course when reassemble always square the upper and make sure extension fits it properly. Some are so sloppy undersize using just Loctite will not keep them from wallowing around and have to shim them. Keep at least a dozen thicknesses of machinists shim stock and often cut a shim that wraps the extension one turn or four strips that I use a tape made by 3M to tape at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00. Tape is over $200 for a 1/4"50' roll making it $4 per foot but is almost as strong as a weld and so thin measures in the thousandths. Back in the day actually used a Coca-Cola can to cut shims for an Olympic barrel extension. Shims or not still coat extension with loctite, insert in squared upper and torque barrel nut. I torque, let sit then loosen and retorque three times to account for thread stretch in receiver and barrel nut threads. (don't add coat of Loctite till final torque) Always use thread compound so able to take apart some day and is not stuck due to different metals contacting each other. Aluminum contacting stainless is a well known way to set yourself up for galvanic corrosion. (Tef-Gel, Permatex Anti-Sieze or Noalox if find it first on a bargain build, Loctite when bedding the extension has enough anti-corrosion inhibitors) If necessary use shims to get my preferred torque value and gas tube still line up.

Let sit overnight and take to range. Fire lap while cleaning bore well between every two rounds of each grit. Use five grits so barrel has to be cleaned ten times in twenty rounds. Afterwards shoot a couple mags of standard ammo, clean again, fire a few fouling shots then use the three varied factory loadings have chosen. Fire three five shot groups of each and if get reasonable (sometimes it's amazing how much better rifle shoots) to good accuracy leave it alone. If it's still a 2 MOA or more barrel pull it, tag it and let owner try to fight to get replaced (do you really want to get another of the same barrels likely from same production run and go through this again) or talk them into buying a better barrel.

If didn't enjoy doing this would have more invested in a piece of scrap metal than if bought an ARP, White Oak, Lothar or other know quality brand barrel and pitched the problem. Have seen people get good results with inexpensive barrels often enough it's worth the savings for them to pitch one bad one on occasion or keep returning to vendor till luck finally gets them one that shoots. The only cheap barrels I have are take offs from others home builds that after months of fighting a rifle that won't shoot buy a good barrel and pay a smith to install or part out their build in an online Marketplace and buy a factory built rifle.

I take all the doorstop barrels I can get. About 1/4 get shooting well enough to keep, a few good enough to use on rifles am gifting to someone and rest are tagged with their issue, what was done, how they currently shoot then put away on shelf of substandard parts. Have barrels, receivers (both lower and upper) and triggers that were unable to fix. Fly 2.0 sent me an upper had most of a day before bolt would go in and front was squared. Bolt went about half in and stuck so tight could not get it any farther even with a hammer. Used an older receiver lapping tool, coated it with agressive compound and when it got too hot to touch would let cool. After several hours finally got the lap to go in far enough it's shoulder almost touched the threads. Had to keep flipping that upper and grinding from front and rear till it was straight enough internally for a lap then a bolt to fit all the way but was still snug.

Cleaned my lap and used three different compounds slowly working out the worst of the grinding marks till inside was shiny aluminum and bolt would go in and out with hand pressure and not tools. At that point pulled out my newer lap (replace grinding tools on occasion as they wear, just had to replace a taper pin reamer) to square front of receiver and called it done. Never heard how it worked out but am always willing to try and fix a part for people if it's something they are invested in which he was. I felt sure with a few hundred rounds it would break in and shoot fine.

In recent days have seen posts where people had receivers that pin holes to attach to lowers and uppers didn't line up and trigger pin holes that were too small. I believe on the bargain parts many of their makers are using tooling past it's lifespan and when worn does not cut proper size parts or bore proper size holes. Know of a lower company that used their broaching tool for cutting magazine wells to final dimensions till wore so bad they sent out hundreds, if not more, lowers that no magazine would fit.

I had one that came into LGS that owner returned twice, could not get magazines to fit the third any better than the first and LGS grew tired of paper work involved in returning lowes that were nto getting better. Used my 80% jig to open mag well a fuzz then Cerakoted the thing. If not using on a give away rifle built from mostly free take off parts would have been better to have cut it and mailed to BATFE so was removed from system. If not doing work for fun would have been time better spent buying a new lower and chopping that one. I will put more labor in a part than its worth if believe I can fix it. Some I realize effort didn't help enough or are so bad don't even try. Have a big steel locker with bottom shelf full of AR parts that are too crappy to use from LGS and helping people with uppers regularly. Some day if laws are changed and can't buy build parts will drag them all out and will be worth trying to fix. I just prefer not to skimp on barrels personally but fix others problems if able.

I saw ads last week for Match Grade 6.5 Grendel AR 15 barrels for $99 to $111 from a vendor based on profile and length. Match Grade barrels start at $350 and go up toward $500 or more. I don't understand someone trying to build what many wrongly believe is the most accurate AR 15 cartridge using the cheapest parts they can source and expect a 600 yard laser straight shooting rifle. I have to start with uppers with double thick walls and no forward assist to support my big fat and long air gauged tubes.
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Old August 17, 2019, 07:40   #11
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I say attempt because of his barrel choice , and because he spent more on the FF handguard then the barrel.... Uugh
Have seen people put a $250 forearm and $300 trigger in Palmetto receivers with a $79 barrel. Rifles look cool from the outside but have no heart. Then people like us are asked to make it work because our builds shoot tiny groups. Would rather have a $250 barrel wrapped in a $49 Chinese forearm.
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Old August 17, 2019, 09:38   #12
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Hueyville,
Thank you for your very thorough answer, quite a few things I had not thought of.

Your various specific answers , made me glad I asked.

I also so have a bore scope, so I will be starting there.

My labor involved is also going to be a learning lesson... and he is a Good Marine friend.
He also has an on-going bet with others that he can shoot a mile with it... Lol, I told him, yeah, you can shoot a mile... but that barrel does very little to help make any form of repeatable hits.

I have access to a mile+ range w/ a 4300ft altitude, so he can ( hopefully , Lol ) burn out the barrel trying.
That way we can buy a better barrel... Lol

We have other, more suitable mile rifles for him to prove his abilities.

I have 3 months to play with the rifle, so thankfully I can give it all I can.

I have yet to try the Tubbs Lapping system, so this will ( I suspect ) be a great candidate to try it on.

Thanks again for your thorough answers.

Have a great morning !
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Old August 17, 2019, 12:39   #13
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Used my 80% jig to open mag well a fuzz then Cerakoted the thing.
Which 80% jig is designed to cut magwells? I could use one of those.

Last edited by M90A1; August 17, 2019 at 18:07.
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Old August 17, 2019, 20:20   #14
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Which 80% jig is designed to cut magwells? I could use one of those.
Purchased some lowers from a German company that came without trigger pockets or mag wells broached many years ago. All that was done was final outside machining. They sold a very nice jig that allowed a person to cut the pocket for trigger packs and broach the mag wells if they had a mill. Guess they were more like what have heard called a 70% receiver. These were sold across the pond during the AWB and gave a person the option of using their blanks or jigs to cut a preban trigger pocket and do mag wells yourself. May have been a Euro thing but purchased the jig and a few lowers for experimenting purposes.
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Old August 17, 2019, 20:25   #15
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Purchased some lowers from a German company that came without trigger pockets or mag wells broached many years ago. All that was done was final outside machining. They sold a very nice jig that allowed a person to cut the pocket for trigger packs and broach the mag wells if they had a mill. Guess they were more like what have heard called a 70% receiver. These were sold across the pond during the AWB and gave a person the option of using their blanks or jigs to cut a preban trigger pocket and do mag wells yourself. May have been a Euro thing but purchased the jig and a few lowers for experimenting purposes.
Would love to see a pic of that jig.
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Old August 17, 2019, 23:41   #16
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It's actually called a 10% jig by some, 50% by others and believe they can still be purchased from several sources People use 10% lowers to machine clones of rifles like the HK 416 and others can't find lowers for easily or just like to do more of the processes. CNC Gunsmiting sells raw forgings/10% lowers for AR 15's and AR 10's withour magazine wells broached for hobby machinists to have more material to make customized designs. They even have the jig for the magwell.

80% Arms sells a 0% billet for machining entire lower yourself. Some may want to do a clone that NoDack Spud does not sell lowers for. New Frontier, Ghost Guns, Hellfire Armory, Dumont and others. Dumont Minute Man has a nice kit for cutting AR 15 magwells.

http://dumont.com/cnc-broaching-systems/ar-magwell-kit/



With a decent mill and a block of aluminum a man can make a complete lower from scratch, start from raw forging or do an 80% on a sloppy drill press which I often throw in the trash. When trade for them many 80% lowers are done by people on a cheap drill press and look the part as can tell their drill press had worn bushings and cuts/holes are not parallel and perpendicular to center axis of the lower. I bought an entire machine shop just to experiment and determined all I needed was a good mill to crank out lowers from blocks to forgings to 80% and good jigs make it even easier.
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Old August 18, 2019, 12:39   #17
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It's actually called a 10% jig by some, 50% by others and believe they can still be purchased from several sources People use 10% lowers to machine clones of rifles like the HK 416 and others can't find lowers for easily or just like to do more of the processes. CNC Gunsmiting sells raw forgings/10% lowers for AR 15's and AR 10's withour magazine wells broached for hobby machinists to have more material to make customized designs. They even have the jig for the magwell.

80% Arms sells a 0% billet for machining entire lower yourself. Some may want to do a clone that NoDack Spud does not sell lowers for. New Frontier, Ghost Guns, Hellfire Armory, Dumont and others. Dumont Minute Man has a nice kit for cutting AR 15 magwells.

http://dumont.com/cnc-broaching-systems/ar-magwell-kit/



With a decent mill and a block of aluminum a man can make a complete lower from scratch, start from raw forging or do an 80% on a sloppy drill press which I often throw in the trash. When trade for them many 80% lowers are done by people on a cheap drill press and look the part as can tell their drill press had worn bushings and cuts/holes are not parallel and perpendicular to center axis of the lower. I bought an entire machine shop just to experiment and determined all I needed was a good mill to crank out lowers from blocks to forgings to 80% and good jigs make it even easier.
So, to cut to the chase, there is no 80% jig made that is set up to cut magwells. Would be kind of stupid to make one that would, since, by definition, 80% lowers come with the magwell already machined.
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Old August 19, 2019, 00:48   #18
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Did you just blaspheme against the great and mighty HUEY!!??

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Old August 20, 2019, 08:00   #19
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Got a freebie from them for Veteran's day promo they were doing. Built it into my cheapie build. It's no target AR by any stretch, but it's been reliable and issue free. With XM 193 it's holding 2-3" at 100. For what it is that's all I would have hoped for. It was built to be light and humped stalking pigs in south Texas brush. Longest shot it will likely see is 50-75 yds, and 3moa is fine for that. I've made zero attempt to see what it really can do by developing a load for it, as I just don't GAF. It's functional, reliable, and does better than it should for the $0.00 I paid for it.
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Old August 22, 2019, 06:31   #20
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I mistakingly mixed up terminology when saying have had to use my 10% or 50% whichever term people choose to use magazine broaching tool to open up some tight mag wells. Anyone here who has not typed in error while sitting in doctor's office or waiting on client using a smart phone, etc raise their hand as want to know the perfect people. Tend to steer clear of folks who claim never make even a small mistake. I have worked lowers from raw forgings to 80% and top dollar machined from billet. Even welded up a kit from several dozen small pieces of steel cut on a plasma table. Sometimes it all gets scrambled and why I keep a shop manual at both assembly benches with notes then make sure have no distractionsuch when assembling firearms.
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Old August 22, 2019, 13:48   #21
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CNC Gunsmiting sells raw forgings/10% lowers for AR 15's and AR 10's withour magazine wells broached for hobby machinists to have more material to make customized designs. They even have the jig for the magwell.
Still looking for that CNC Gunsmithing jig to cut magwells. Got a link?
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Old August 22, 2019, 14:05   #22
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Still looking for that CNC Gunsmithing jig to cut magwells. Got a link?
Bottom of the products page.

https://www.cncguns.com/products.html
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Old August 22, 2019, 14:09   #23
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Bottom of the products page.

https://www.cncguns.com/products.html
Uh, no.
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Old August 22, 2019, 14:12   #24
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CNC10 10% lower "paperweight": $250 + $10 shipping
I agree. You can buy uncut forged lowers for $20 a piece.

But that is where the product is located on their website. See the quote above.
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Old August 22, 2019, 14:18   #25
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That's an un-cut lower, not a jig to cut the magwell on that lower.

I don't believe there is any such thing as a jig to cut the magwell on a 0% lower. Even if there was such a jig, which would be unnecessary for any real machinist, it would be designed for use with a milling machine. How many of you own one of them? They are broached or EDM'd by most manufacturers, and even CNC(Justin) states that he sends his lowers out to be finished by those methods. He tells how he cut the well on an HK416 lower using a mill and files, but that is way above the capability of anyone not a machinist, and he decided not to do it again. The German tooling that was pictured earlier was designed to be used on a mill, by someone who really knows what they're doing, not your even advanced hobbyist.

Last edited by M90A1; August 22, 2019 at 14:49.
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Old August 22, 2019, 15:18   #26
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Uh, no.
http://dumont.com/cnc-broaching-systems/ar-magwell-kit/

Just as posted above, go to the Dumont Minute Man website and READ the entire page where is a link in the text that takes you to the tool. It's not in big bold letters with price and flashing photos. It's a website for people who are detail oriented and actually read the information rather than just look at the pictures and read the captions. Several other companies that make different widgets including a more standard jig that works well if have a good mill and broaching tools.
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Old August 22, 2019, 15:36   #27
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http://dumont.com/cnc-broaching-systems/ar-magwell-kit/

Just as posted above, go to the Dumont Minute Man website and READ the entire page where is a link in the text that takes you to the tool. It's not in big bold letters with price and flashing photos. It's a website for people who are detail oriented and actually read the information rather than just look at the pictures and read the captions. Several other companies that make different widgets including a more standard jig that works well if have a good mill and broaching tools.
Look, you're the one who stated there was an 80% jig for cutting undersized magwells on 80% lowers, but there is not. You have showed the tooling to cut the well, using a milling machine, but not that 80% jig. 80% jigs don't require the use of a mill.

I read the whole Dumont page, SA, and there is no jig there either. They offer the tooling to cut the magwell, but the machinist would have to design a fixture(jig) to hold the part being machined.
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Old August 23, 2019, 10:04   #28
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Look, you're the one who stated there was an 80% jig for cutting undersized magwells on 80% lowers, but there is not. You have showed the tooling to cut the well, using a milling machine, but not that 80% jig. 80% jigs don't require the use of a mill.

I read the whole Dumont page, SA, and there is no jig there either. They offer the tooling to cut the magwell, but the machinist would have to design a fixture(jig) to hold the part being machined.
Your trying to selectively mix statements from different posts in which stated in following post made a mistake in terminology on that one post. If you can't figure out how to hold a part then probably don't need to be cutting mag wells. I have a jig that uses a round carbide broaching set in a mill similar to how most 80% jigs cut trigger pockets but have not used in years and how far behind am presently unless it just jumps out of a box will not be taking time to look for it anytime soon. Have 5,000 square feet of specialty tools at work plus 1,000 square feet in basement with guns, ammo, parts and tools. Looking for something have not used in years could take days.
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Old August 25, 2019, 15:13   #29
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I have experience with the Bear Creek Complete Uppers in several calibers. All have functioned 100% with very good accuracy. Have not fired any endurance tests, but very satisfied and will buy more.
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