With that lower receiver forging, you are going to have to form the magazine well. And to do so, you would have to broach the thing. Which is not easy to do. Or the magazine well must be wire EDM cut. Again, not easy and not cheap.
With that lower receiver forging, you will have to drill, ream and tap the buffer tube tower. Again, this is not the easiest thing to do. With the CNC Gunsmithing jig, it will be easier to do, but if you misalign anything, you can easily drill the hole off center.
With that lower receiver forging, you will also have to cut the fire control pocket. This is not that hard to do as long as you have a milling machine. But then again, you have to know what you're doing. And I am clueless around milling machines.
Some lower forgings also require that the mag slot be milled.
The basic forging is great, but you really have to have the right tooling and the necessary skill to do the job. If you are as unskilled as I, then you really are better off with an 80% receiver.
I haven't purchased anything from them, yet, but I have only heard good things. I currently have a couple of KT's 80% 1911 frames at home waiting for a mill. They are very nice. The two piece design threw me at first, only because I didn't know they were coming that way. They are very well made though, and I expect they will be great fun. I am also waiting on a couple of 80% KT10 frames from KT as well. They are a nice route, as I don't think there are any other "10" style lower receivers out there.
The forged 80% receivers from the Tannery Shop are excellent pieces. And the head honcho of the Tannery Shop, is one William Snelling, who was wounded in action in Iraq.
William is also a very fine guy.
Now his AR receiver differs from the KT Ordnance receiver in the following ways:
The Tannery Shop 80% receiver is machined from a forging. The KT receiver is CNC milled from an 8 pound billet of forged aluminum.
The Tannery shop receiver costs about $75 less. It does not come with the fire-control and other holes indexed. In order to complete a Tannery Shop receiver, you need to find a way to properly mark the receiver holes. To do so, you really need a jig, such as the one made by CNC Gunsmithing. The cost of the Tannery Shop receiver and jig actually exceeds the cost of the KT Ordnance receiver.
The Tannery Shop receiver requires that the buffer tube tower be reamed and then tapped. The tower on this receiver is almost drilled to the proper diameter, but you will still have to ream the tower. The reamer used for this costs about $30. And after reaming you will have to tap the tower. These two steps are not that difficult to do.
The KT Ordnance receiver does not require that the buffer tube tower be reamed. The buffer tower is pre-tapped with a coarser thread so it is very easy to just insert the correct tap and to tap the tower properly. The KT Ordnance tower is the easier of the two to tap.
While it is easier to build by the home builder, the KT receiver is not always readily available.
Both receivers are of very high quality. You really can't go wrong with either.
Finally, if the cost of the KT receiver deters you, just keep in mind that it is built in a more time-consuming and exacting way. It is simply a super-premium product and that's why it costs more. Compare a completed KT receiver with any other and you will see what I mean.
A friend of mine built a KT receiver and he also owned a Bushmaster. I was present when the lower was built and after anodizing, we compared the finished KT receiver with the Bushmaster. The finished KT lower was much, much nicer than the Bushmaster. Everything was much tighter and more precise.
When we took the finished gun to the range, the other shooters had no clue that the KT was not a factory made item. A few of them got curious when they noticed the funky round cut-out around the magazine release. No other AR has that.
Finally, John mentioned that his KT 1911 frames were made in two halves. I asked about that and their is a reason behind this. Making the frames in two halves allows the inside of the frame to be precisely CNC machined. The two halves are joined using a very special brazing technique that involves the use of a high-tech vaccuum furnace. This very technique is used the manufacture of jet-engine blades. In fact that's how KT Ordnance first used this technique. Richard once had a contract to manufacture turbine blades for a major engine maker.
So don't worry about the strength of that KT frame. I saw one that was destructively tested and the brazed seam was actually stronger than the surrounding metal frame.
Richard is an unusual guy. He hates to produce anything that isn't the very best he can do.
And although his receiver is not finished, it requires more machining than the Rock River lower. Rock River starts with the very same forging that you asked about yesterday. That forging is easy to machine to 100% on a CNC machine. That's why the Rock River finished receivers cost about $105.
Now the KT receiver arrives from Reynolds Aluminum or Kaiser Aluminum. It arrives in the form of a solid forged block. The thing weighs about 8 pounds or so. And it spends a considerable time in the CNC machine. When the machine is finished that 8 pound block now weights about 7 ounces. Although the receiver is not totally finished, it would not take very much more machine time to take the receiver to 100%.
Anyway, I agree with you that building a KT lower is not the cheapest way to go. But if you save a few pennies here and there, you'd be surprise how affordable it can be.
Personally, I am a sick and demented individual. I prefer to forego spending money on food, just so I can buy guns. I'm not kidding either. Years ago when I was in school, I literally starved for a week. I spent the grocery money on guns. That's why I am
P. S. I still have that gun today. And I didn't miss the food because I'm still here, right?
I was leafing through a brownells catalog the other day and came across the SOCOM Mfg Ar15 diamond series receiver. This is basically the same as what you have when you finish a 80% KT receiver. It goes for 320-325 dollars in their catalog.
Just a reference for what you are getting vs cost on the solid machined billet AR receivers.