The AR-15 rifle has reached a never-before-seen height in popularity. This has led to an explosion in manufacturers and new innovations by those companies to separate them from the pack. New Frontier Armory is one such innovator, and delivering on extremely inexpensive entry-level lower receivers and parts kits.
New Frontier Armory isn’t the first manufacturer of polymer lower receivers for AR rifles. Bushmaster has their well-known Carbon series of lightweight pistols and rifles, Cavalry Arms developed the popular CAV-15 lower, now produced by GWACS Armory, and Plum Crazy is particularly notable for popularizing the polymer AR lower receiver, until they sold their manufacturing equipment to none other than New Frontier Armory.
New Frontier Armory took the design and improved on it, by using a stiffer polymer that is more resistant to warping from heat and the stress from long days at the range, and dubbed it the LW-15. The resulting lower is durable in ways that aluminum isn’t, and is quickly developing a strong reputation for being a solid platform to build a rifle on.
It doesn’t hurt that you can find the LW-15 for a benjamin; $110, to be precise. And that’s for a complete lower, not just an empty receiver. The LW-15 is ready to to go, and is mil-spec in that it is compatible with all mil-spec parts and accessories. It comes complete with an M4-style pistol grip and buttstock, although it leaves the factory with a less expensive commercial-type buffer tube.
Apart from the springs and pins, the LW-15 also uses polymer for the fire control group. It has some advantages over steel in that it doesn’t require lubrication in the same way that metal does, and the resulting polymer-on-polymer contact makes for a very smooth, light trigger without the creep associated with entry-level AR trigger parts. Still, if you would prefer to use metal parts on the inside, you can drop in any standard steel triggers.
Like many other polymer gun parts, the LW-15 is quickly earning marks for durability and weight—the completed lower weighs just under half a pound lighter than an aluminum and steel lower—another neat thing about the molded design is that it can be made to exacting tolerances. The LW-15 is a very tight-fitting lower, with no “slop” or wobbling associated with many entry-level AR lowers. The fit is so tight that most people need tools to operate the takedown pins, at least while the parts are breaking in.
Even if you’re not convinced that a polymer lower is good enough for intermediate cartridges like 5.56 or 300 AAC Blackout, they make fine inexpensive lowers for AR-pattern plinkers. New Frontier Armory even makes a custom narrow hammer for use with blowback bolts seen on many .22 Long Rifle and pistol-caliber uppers.
If you’re looking to build an AR on the slightest possible budget, interested in building an extremely-lightweight rifle for hiking or traveling, or just intrigued with the idea of building a polymer AR, check out New Frontier Armory. It’s a neat product and a great bargain.