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Your lower receiver is the foundation of your rifle (or at least half of the foundation). The right lower receiver and furniture is what makes your rifle comfortable and ergonomic for you.
Also, your lower receiver establishes a sort of “theme” for your rifle. A lightweight lower receiver is going to encourage a lightweight build. A mil-spec lower is what you need for a military clone rifle. The list goes on.
Our Best Choice
Aero Precision AR-15 M4E1 Stripped Lower Receiver
SPOILER: If you want to take the pain out of the decision, just get the Aero Precision AR-15 M4E1 Stripped Lower Receiver. It’s remarkably affordable, and includes some very useful upgrades that make your life easier.
If you’d rather check out the options and make the most informed decision possible, keep reading. We’ll break down all the best AR-15 stripped lower receivers shotgun style, so you can get a good look.
The Top AR 15 Stripped Lower Receiver In the Market Today
The Best AR 15 Stripped Lower Receiver Reviews: Setting the Foundation
Our winning stripped lower receiver is up first. After that, all our lower receivers will be lined up in order of price, starting with the most affordable and ending with the lowers that are most likely to end your budget.
Let’s break it down.
1. Aero Precision AR-15 M4E1 Stripped Lower Receiver - Overall Best AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver
The Aero Precision AR-15 M4E1 Stripped Lower Receiver offers an excellent blend of upgraded features and affordability.
One of the best things about this lower receiver is that the durability improvements also make it look really cool. The parts that are ordinarily round have been angled to make this lower receiver more durable and impact resistant. But, the angular construction also gives it a more aggressive look.
Additionally, this model has an integrated aluminum trigger guard that’s angled to provide more room for your trigger finger. The trigger guard is also skeletonized to keep the weight down. The integrated trigger guard also makes this lower receiver more rigid overall, which improves reliability once your rifle is complete.
Up front, the magwell is flared. This helps you nail those speed reloads.
This lower receiver also includes a threaded bolt catch roll pin to make assembly easier.
There’s also a polymer tipped tension screw for adjusting the fit with the upper receiver. That way there’s never any slop in your upper and lower receiver fit.
Of course, this lower receiver is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum and hard coat anodized. And, even though it’s machined, this model is compatible with mil-spec parts kits.
This may not be the lower receiver for you if you want a classic aesthetic. But, if you like the angular look, this lower receiver packs a lot of excellent features into a remarkably affordable package.
2. Aero Precision AR-15 Gen 2 Stripped Lower Receiver - Budget AR-15 Stripped Lower Receive
The Aero Precision AR-15 Gen 2 Stripped Lower Receiver is an excellent foundation for those who want a machined lower receiver with classic looks.
This model is machined from a forged block of 7075 T6 aluminum. It’s the best aluminum you can get for a lower receiver and offers excellent durability.
Speaking of durability, this receiver is rated for any caliber that you might fire from an AR-15—5.56mm, .223, 6.5mm, 6.8mm, 300 Blackout, 9mm, and any other AR-15 compatible caliber. So, this is a great lower receiver for those who want to build something other than a 5.56mm rifle (and those who do want to build a 5.56mm receiver).
This model accepts any mil-spec AR-15 parts and magazines, and mil-spec compatible parts. So, it’s easy to get what you need to complete your lower receiver.
There’s no integrated trigger guard, like there are on other Aero Precision lower receivers.
But, most lower parts kits include a trigger guard.
The only real difference between this and a classic M16/AR-15 lower is the Aero Precision logo. But, if you don’t need true military markings, this is an incredibly affordable and well-built lower receiver that retains classic looks.
3. Matrix Arms AR-15 Multi-Caliber Stripped Lower Receiver - Multi Caliber Lower Receiver
The Matrix Arms AR-15 Multi-Caliber Stripped Lower Receiver is a great option for anyone who’s building an AR that shoots something other than 5.56mm or .223. It’s also ideal if you want a lower receiver that you can use on multiple upper receivers.
First, this lower receiver is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum. It’s durable enough to handle even big rounds like .308.
On the outside, this model is hard coat anodized to better than mil-spec standards, which offers excellent corrosion and wear resistance.
Although machined lower receivers have gotten a bit of a reputation for incompatibility with mil-spec parts kits, this model is compatible with any mil-spec parts kits. So, you can easily get what you need to complete your rifle.
Lastly, the magazine well on this lower receiver is angled a bit more than a standard mil-spec lower, which lowers the weight slightly.
But, it also makes loading and reloading easier, since you can get your hand a bit higher on the lower receiver. It’s especially helpful for left handers.
This lower receiver is truly stripped. So, there’s no trigger guard. But, a lower parts kit usually takes care of that.
There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles. But, this is a durable and versatile lower receiver for anyone who wants to build an AR around a larger caliber or use one lower receiver for multiple upper receivers.
4. Anderson Manufacturing AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver - Value AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver
Anderson Manufacturing is a bit like the Honda of the AR-15 world. The Anderson Manufacturing AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver isn’t flashy. It’s not expensive. But, it works.
This lower is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum. And, the hard coat anodizing is thick and durable. This model is known for exceptional durability, corrosion, and abrasion resistance.
The form factor is the standard mil-spec design. There’s no integrated or included trigger guard. But, this lower receiver readily accepts mil-spec parts for easy, drop-in assembly.
The only real complaints about this receiver is that occasionally there’s some slop in the upper and lower receiver fit. But, this depends on the upper receiver, and the fit never causes reliability issues.
Also, the magazine well is almost straight.
There’s a very slight flare. But, a bit more improvement on the traditional mil-spec design would be nice.
But, overall, this receiver is a great choice for those who want a high quality lower receiver at a great price, and don’t mind the plain aesthetics and features.
5. American Defense Manufacturing AR-15 UIC15 Stripped Lower Receiver Ambidextrous - Ambidextrous AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver
Ambidextrous controls on an AR-15 are a good idea. They help with one-handed weapon manipulations, regardless of whether they are strong handed or weak handed. The American Defense Manufacturing AR-15 UIC15 Stripped Lower Receiver Ambidextrous provides a perfect platform for building an ambidextrous AR-15.
All the standard features are in place. This lower receiver is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum and hard coat anodized to better than mil-spec standards.
But there are quite a few improvements over a standard mil-spec receiver.
First, this lower receiver comes with ambidextrous controls. So, your rifle is ambidextrous without any assembly required.
Then, the magazine well is both flared and reinforced. The bottom of the magazine well features a 20 degree flare to speed up your reloads.
And, there are reinforcement ribs that make the magazine well more rigid and durable than a standard lower receiver. Unfortunately, this does add half an ounce of weight. But, that’s negligible.
Lastly, the hard coat finish is impregnated with Teflon to improve corrosion resistance and reduce friction from moving trigger parts and magazines for smoother operation.
It might be a bit pricey. But, this lower receiver not only improves your weapon manipulations—especially if you’re left handed—but it’s also got superior durability and longevity compared to mil-spec lower receivers.
6. Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 BAD556-LW Lightweight Billet Lower Receiver
The Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 BAD556-LW Lightweight Billet Lower Receiver is a perfect lower receiver for a lightweight AR-15.
This lower receiver is machined from 7075 T6 aluminum and hard coat anodized, as you’d expect.
What makes this lower unique is the lightweight design. Every part is as thin as possible, without compromising durability. It weighs just 6.84 ounces.
But, there are reinforcement ribs on the magazine well and along the top edge, where the upper and lower receiver meet. So, the lightweight design will hold up for as long as you own this lower.
There’s an integrated aluminum trigger guard, which is skeletonized to further reduce the weight. The integrated trigger guard also makes this lower more rigid to ensure reliability.
The magazine well is flared for faster magazine insertion. And, the bottom lip of the magazine well is cutout to give you more room for your hand during reloading. This lower receiver makes it incredibly easy to reload fast.
Lastly, this lower receiver accepts mil-spec parts. Or, you can use the Battle Arms Development ambidextrous controls.
This isn’t an inexpensive lower receiver. But, it’s one of the lightest on the market. And, it offers an excellent set of performance features that enable you to maximize your performance with your rifle.
It’s a common mistake to build a rifle without giving much thought to the lower receiver. This is a mistake. Take a moment or two to consider how you want your rifle to look and feel before you buy your lower.
Aero Precision AR-15 M4E1 Stripped Lower Receiver
If you want a lower receiver that takes all the decision pressure off of you by being great for everything, get the Aero Precision AR-15 M4E1 Stripped Lower Receiver. It’s affordable, durable, and offers a few excellent upgrades over a standard mil-spec receiver.
Now that you know, pick up a lower receiver and start (or finish) your next build.
James Miller is a defensive firearms coach, certified through the ICE Training Company. He teaches Intuitive Defensive Shooting fundamentals and tactics to shooters of all skill levels. He lives, writes, and skis in Reno, Nevada.