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Old 05-01-2010, 20:44   #1
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Spikes Billet vs Mega Billet

Hello all, new to the forum here.

I have a question for a 6.8 SPC build I am going to start later this year. I am going to go with a billet upper and lower set. My question is which lower is a better value, I am looking for functionality first, but I am also looking at aesthetics all things being equal. The two I am looking at currently are Spike's and Mega, but I am open to options if there are anhy others out here that I have missed.

Thanks in advance
Aaron
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:32   #2
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You probably will get a lot of different opinions on this. Both make good uppers and lowers and get good reviews. Spikes gets very good reviews all the time. I think Spikes will engrave a custom lower for you for a 1 of kind rifle.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:08   #3
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Rawhide View Post
Hello all, new to the forum here.

I have a question for a 6.8 SPC build I am going to start later this year. I am going to go with a billet upper and lower set. My question is which lower is a better value, I am looking for functionality first, but I am also looking at aesthetics all things being equal. The two I am looking at currently are Spike's and Mega, but I am open to options if there are anhy others out here that I have missed.

Thanks in advance
Aaron

Aaron,

Firstly, welcome to the PU! Glad to have another AR-15 shooter on board.

With regards to your question about the Spikes billet vs. Mega Billet, I think either one will be a nice build option.

The Spike's billet lower is a tad pricey. But, I am sure it's made with excellent craftsmanship. BTW, I've dealt with the Spike's Tactical people before and they were very helpful and spent time answering my questions. Good people!

The Mega billet lower is more reasonably priced, and again...I'm sure it's made with excellent craftsmanship. In fact, a fellow PU member recently built a fantastic AR-15 using a Mega billet upper and lower receiver combo.

Click here

With regards to throwing another AR-15 billet lower and upper option out there for you, you might want to check out the Tactical Innovations billet lower receiver.

Click here

The T15BDX AR-15 billet lower has some cool features that make it worth consideration. For instance, I like the following features:
  • PRECISION CNC MACHINED
  • MANUFACTURED FROM 7075 T6 ALLOY ALUMINUM
  • LASER ENGRAVED MARKINGS
  • PATENTED FINGER SAFE POSITION
  • MULTI CALIBER MARKED
  • UPPER RECEIVER TENSIONING SCREW
  • REAR PIN DETENT CAPTURE SCREW

I've been looking at the T15BDX billet lower for some time...kicking the tires, so to speak. That said, I really like the Mega billet lower/upper combo that tlwest86 used for his recent AR-15 build.

As such, if I were going to go with a billet lower, I would be a bit torn. Please note, I don't think Tactical Innovations makes a billet upper (not sure 100%). So, if you wanted a "combo" billet set, I think the Mega billet lower/upper is the way to go.

Spikes? Great quality...but a tad pricey. (Just one man's opinion)

OK...now that I've gone through what billet lower (and upper) I might choose, I throw something else into the mix...

(And, if it wasn't going to be me, someone else probably would have mentioned it...)

Billet lowers, by the nature of how they are manufactured, are not as strong as forged AR-15 lowers. This has been discussed MANY times and in many forums before. So, I'll spare the long, drawn-out discussion about why this is the case.

However, I will briefly say that I have researched this point, and all indications state that the forging process produces a stronger component over a billet component. Moreover, my father is a metallurgical engineer and he has has confirmed and explained why forgings are stronger than machined billet components.

So what? Will that mean that an AR-15 billet lower is not good. Heck no! In fact, your billet lower will probably outlast us all here on the PU.

But, it is something to consider...just another data point. And, a good one to think about, especially since you're planning on going with the larger 6.8 SPC cartridge for this particular rifle.

Keep in mind, billet lowers are generally more expensive than forged lowers. Alternatively, forged lowers are priced lower and more readily accessible. In fact, Spike's has a VERY good deal on a "No-Logo" forged lower right now.

Click here

IMHO, I'd save the money on purchasing a billet lower and put the difference into a top-notch quality fire control group and barrel. But, that's just me.

With all that said, I still totally dig the "look" of an AR-15 billet lower receiver. And, as I've commented on tlwest86's recent AR-15, the Mega billet lower/upper combo looks fantastic. I mean, that is one great looking rifle. And, from his range report, that thing will shoot the hair off a fly's arse!

Anyway, I'm not trying to confuse you here. Rather, I'm just trying to give you data points to consider.

And, since you're asking for opinions, I'm throwing them out there.

Keep us updated on your thoughts...and, we'll be happy to share our thoughts too.

Again, welcome to the PU!
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Old 05-02-2010, 15:07   #4
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Thanks for the info alaj70. I've been pondering a build with a billet lower/upper.
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:37   #5
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Originally Posted by PABin25 View Post
Thanks for the info alaj70. I've been pondering a build with a billet lower/upper.
Always happy to "talk shop", my friend.

Good to hear from ya!
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Old 05-02-2010, 21:19   #6
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Alaj
Thanks for the welcome, I was unaware that the billets were not as strong as the forged lowers. I assumed that was part of the increase in price, as well as the machining. Do they reenforce the billets in the "weak" areas, they seem like they look a little bigger overall, and I was just wondering if they had more "metal" to help strengthen them. I guess while I'm asking are the billets heavier than forged lowers??

This rifle is going to be a deer/hog/coyote rifle, so it is going to get some "real world" use and not just goin to be a safe queen. So your points you bring up are of some concern to me. This rifle is going to need to be strong enough to handle this type of use.

Here is the rest of the build I have going in my mind:
RRA 2 stage trigger
Magpul CTR Mil-spec Stock
Magpul MIAD or Hogue grip
KNS anti-roll pins
YHM spectre length customizable HG
YHM BCG
Badger GenII Tac Latch
Still Looking at barrels and Comps
trying to find the best CH for the money (seen some pretty cheap feeling ones/ not spending $80 though)
prob going with Redfield Revolution 2-7 or 3-9 accuplex?? reticle

PS any and all ideas and advice are welcome on the rest of the build also.

Thanks guys
Aaron

Last edited by Rowdy Rawhide; 05-02-2010 at 21:22.
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Old 05-03-2010, 19:44   #7
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Rawhide View Post
Alaj
Thanks for the welcome, I was unaware that the billets were not as strong as the forged lowers. I assumed that was part of the increase in price, as well as the machining. Do they reenforce the billets in the "weak" areas, they seem like they look a little bigger overall, and I was just wondering if they had more "metal" to help strengthen them. I guess while I'm asking are the billets heavier than forged lowers??

This rifle is going to be a deer/hog/coyote rifle, so it is going to get some "real world" use and not just goin to be a safe queen. So your points you bring up are of some concern to me. This rifle is going to need to be strong enough to handle this type of use.

Here is the rest of the build I have going in my mind:
RRA 2 stage trigger
Magpul CTR Mil-spec Stock
Magpul MIAD or Hogue grip
KNS anti-roll pins
YHM spectre length customizable HG
YHM BCG
Badger GenII Tac Latch
Still Looking at barrels and Comps
trying to find the best CH for the money (seen some pretty cheap feeling ones/ not spending $80 though)
prob going with Redfield Revolution 2-7 or 3-9 accuplex?? reticle

PS any and all ideas and advice are welcome on the rest of the build also.

Thanks guys
Aaron
Aaron,

The billet lower will be strong, just not as strong as a forged lower. Again, this is due to the manufacturing process (billet vs. forged)

Honestly, I don't think you'll have a problem with a 7075 aluminum billet lower (or upper). Again, a billet lower will most likely outlast all of us on the PU.

Yes, billet lowers usually come with reinforced (i.e. thicker) areas on the receiver. That's why they're slightly bulkier. In fact, Tactical Innovations advertises their billet lower as having "REINFORCED CRITICAL STRENGTH AREAS".

And, yes, billet lowers do weigh a tad more...maybe an ounce or so. But, to me, that's sort of negligible, especially if you're going to add a bunch of "goodies" on the rail system anyway.

Yes, for some of my rifles, I'm concerned with weight. But, for others they're serving a different role/purpose. And, weight is not necessarily the driving factor.

Again, I think billet lowers just look "tuff". And, I too have considered using a billet lower before. So, trust me; I understand their lure and charm.

However, they're definitely more expensive than their forged counterparts. That said, I would never be one to tell someone not to buy something simply because it costs more.

If you're on a budget, you might want to consider going with a forged lower receiver, and put the money you save into a good barrel and fire control group. Frankly, the "pros" (i.e. accuracy) you'll get from these two upgraded components will be well worth it. In fact, IMHO, these are probably the best two upgraded components you can buy for an AR-15. (BTW, I would also add in a "free-float" handguard too.)

If your budget is sort of "open", then I say, "Get what you want." The billet lower will be just fine.

As far as your component list goes, I say everything looks great.

You'll love the RRA two-stage match trigger. In fact, if you're handy with a Dremel tool, you can polish it a bit with a rubber compound wheel, and then with some Flitz Metal Polish on a cloth wheel, and you'll be amazed at how clean it will break. For the money, these triggers are fantastic!

The MagPul CTR stock is great too. I've used it on a buddy's AR-15 before, and I love how it locks-up good and tight. In fact, I have one in my gun case for a future "AR project".

As far as the grip goes, if you have large mitts (like I do), the Hogue grip might be a tad small for you. Hence, the MagPul MIAD would be a better choice, since you can "fit" it to your hand.

KNS anti-rotational pins are good for "peace of mind", and they compliment the aesthetics of the rifle.

I'm going to suggest getting a MapPul Enhanced Triggerguard. I prefer the aluminum one, but I've used the polymer one too...they're just fine. And, they come in different colors, in addition to black.

YHM products are very solid from what other PU members have stated. And, all the YHM products I've seen are good. In fact, I just shot an AR with a YHM free-float handguard this past weekend. And, I have to say...I totally dig the diamond cut-outs. Good looking AND functional products!

As far as flash hiders, my first recommendation is the SEI Vortex flash hider (virtually NO flash). I also believe YHM makes a flash hider for the 6.8 round. Either one will be good.

Yeah, the cheapo carry handles will work. We used one on my father's AR-15 carbine...not bad. For my AR, I went with the DPMS carry handle.

Aside from that, the rest of your components list looks good.

Let us know if you have more questions, or need advice.

Cheers!
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Old 05-03-2010, 19:52   #8
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Here's a 6.8 SPC AR-15 to use for inspiration:

Click here

Enjoy!
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Old 05-13-2010, 20:37   #9
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dude go with the logo you like best or go with the cheapest one you can find. They are both top notch billet sets. I have the mega billet set and if you got spikes I am sure there is zero difference.

literally put the word mega and a spider picture on your wall drink 6 shots of jack and then turn around 7 times blindfolded. finally throw a dart at the wall and which ever one is closest to the dart is the best one.
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Old 05-15-2010, 15:40   #10
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Last edited by Rowdy Rawhide; 05-15-2010 at 15:43. Reason: wrong post
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:01   #11
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I little clarity is needed here. There is very little difference in the billet or forged lowers in terms of strength. The quailty of the machining is what really counts. The upper takes most of the abuse. A forged upper might be stronger and possibly be a better choice is a larger round. Generally speaking anything machined properly from a block of billet material will make for a better overall quaility piece. With billet the manufactuer can leave extra material in selected areas.
In short, the manufactuers reputation means more to me than billet of forged.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:04   #12
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I like this one
http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=sho...roduct_id=1611
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