The Briefing Room: AR15 Lower Receivers Forged vs Billet

The Briefing Room: AR15 Lower Receivers Forged vs Billet

In this episode we tackle a question we get a lot in our monthly QA series but don’t often cover. Well, due to the continued interest we deiced to make an episode dedicated to the topic, Forged vs Billet AR’s. We go over the pros and cons, the differences and some background to help you decide which is best for you. Thanks for watching!

Check us out online and on Facebook!


  1. B Dubz on October 27, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I use billet, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder, and to each their own.

  2. Scott Campbell on October 27, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Glad i found this. I keep hearing wrong info. Both are CNC’d they are either from a slab of metal (billet) or from a piece of metal that is forged. Both are completed in a million dollar CNC machine. No one makes ar receivers with a 1950’s style mill.

  3. DeepPastry on October 27, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    There are three main types of lower receivers, you’ve only mentioned two of them. I’m ignoring MIM and plastic (polymer) because you should too.
    There are Cast, Billet, and Forged; how they look after finishing means nothing other than tolerances and machinist skills.
    Casting lowers are just now reaching a high enough quality to be an actual thing. (Or more correctly, the few folks who do said casting are actually taking the time and effort that previous makers weren’t bothering with.) They can be as strong as a billet lower, if it was carefully cast wit A380 aluminum and then machined properly and given a proper heat treatment. These would be slightly better than 6061-T6 aluminum lower, and these would be the very cheapest you can get.
    Billet formed lowers would be next, you can use 6061-T6 or 7075-T6, and then have the very largest and most expensive amount of machining. A 6061-T6 billet lower would almost be as good as an A380 cast lower, strength of metal wise, but the savings from starting with a billet of aluminum would be completely eaten up by the machining itself. Starting with 7075-T6 would raise the strength to above the Cast A380, but add an additional cost to the end product. These would be the prettiest but also the most expensive.
    Forged is best, and fairly competitive priced versus Cast lowers, and if you want to spend more you can make them just as pretty as the extruded then heavily machined billet lowers. Forging uses compression to make the basic shape. This forces the metal’s crystalline grain structure into the strongest pattern possible.

  4. Nick Piscopo on October 27, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    save you time 2:43

  5. Vicente Rubio on October 27, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Billet is a waste of money. Go buy yourself an Anderson lower for 40 bucks and save yourself the money for something that’s actually worth spending extra on.

  6. meh on October 27, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Which one for Full auto?

  7. Chris Louie on October 27, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Good info! Thanks

  8. muffemod on October 27, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    You can always forge a billet receiver FYI

  9. King Shabazz on October 27, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Diamond cuts,"precisely" not ONLY start with clean cuts vs dirty cuts It includes understanding ultimate value in EVERYTHING that WE Hope 2 LOVE …But stage performance is SUPPOSEDLY LOVING, IT reaps unnatural solicitude and mistrust. MAKIND PREVAILS. CHILDREN WILL NEVER BE BETRAYED. A UTOPIAN SOCIETY IS EMINENT AND/OR POSSIBLE. We Got This ,We’ve Won!

  10. Estrada603 on October 27, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    I heard a lot of companies are saying cast billet aluminum lowers n from what i read its just a cast aluminum lower

  11. Under The Liberty Tree on October 27, 2021 at 5:37 pm


  12. michael smith on October 27, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    At the end of the day… “if it doesn’t fit, Accu-Wedge it!”

  13. C. Rod on October 27, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks !

  14. DesignatedDriver25 on October 27, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    I’ve never seen a broken lower.

  15. Cutting Edge Cool on October 27, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Excellent information!

  16. lord loki on October 27, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    I’m gonna ask you which one you’d like shows a really nice looking one next to the everyday one hmmm I wonder

  17. zane Elliot on October 27, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    In some of my builds, I use a forged lower, with a Vltor upper. The Vltor is a little thicker, and still cheaper than a billet

  18. my name is inigo montoya on October 27, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    I love my M4E1

  19. Angel Designs on October 27, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    2021: get what’s available.

  20. Godservative on October 27, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Forged: gang gang gang since potty train

    Billet: gucci gun gucci gun gucci gun

  21. Son of Liberty on October 27, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Retired 24 year ARSOF combat vet. Aero won me over 5 years ago.

  22. g STARKS on October 27, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    I have the aero m4e1 forged billet style and it’s the shit

  23. Pieshka on October 27, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Really jealous seeing that ascend armory receiver set. Really wanted one but now they and the company are gone

  24. Todd's Stuff on October 27, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    Forged aluminum is shaped under pressure, I.E. squished repeatedly to increase the molecular strength. Billet is simply cast aluminum. They are both milled afterward. The milling options are identical, forged are not restricted in terms of options like flared mag wells. The difference is solely strength.

  25. Nite Owl on October 27, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Aren’t forged a little lighter? I was told billet was a hair thicker to make up for the lack a strength.

  26. Ted R. Richardson on October 27, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you

  27. Ellis Smith Jr on October 27, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Wait…that lower billit comes as one piece?…so tge bolt carrier group and other internal parts are perminatly inside?…Nuts!

  28. woohoo2491 on October 27, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Long as it can shoot billets I’m happy

  29. Machinehead on October 27, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    Great video but why use the word Forged to describe Forged … Forged is a process in which metal is hammered or pressed into shape to line up the molecular structure to make a stronger piece of metal without changing it chemically

  30. Viking Buddhist 喚き声ー浪人だよ頑張れ! on October 27, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    Pay for almost "6" times the amount for a forged. Stupid.

  31. Theia on October 27, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Forged is the best and stronger than billet or cast. It’s hammered into shape, compacting the metal at a molecular level, while being lighter and cheaper than billet, and is 7075T6 aluminum. I have never found the billets to be prettier, I like the classic M4/M16 look of a forged mil-spec, and removable trigger guard.

  32. BigT 187 on October 27, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Aero was my first build. super nice features on the M4E1

  33. Tommy Copeland on October 27, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    I am a metallurgist. There are large differences between forged and billet…which you will not notice unless you are shooting from inside a furnace at 400F+ or for some reason need to use it to hold up a tank.

  34. Marvin Von Renchler on October 27, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    the3 Ascend is $450 ‘blemished’ on the last site I checked. Holy cats ya don’t need to spend 450 on a receiver. Holy cats.

  35. the modfather on October 27, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Oh, so no plastic ones? Haha.

  36. Bradley Hetherington on October 27, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    I want you to check yourself because I’m pretty certain that Billet is going to be stronger than forged and you said that forged was stronger than billet

  37. seanmcelroy47 on October 27, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    That Ascend is a serious piece of kit, unfortunate you can not find them anymore.

  38. Scott Campbell on October 27, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Look fir videos making an engine crankshaft. Basic or complex the work is done by a cnc machine and the programming is where the thing is really made. The machines change their tools automatically and do their own qc as they go. The idea is perfection that can be repeated. Hence the modern computer and CNC. Machines.

  39. SlowcarsInc on October 27, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Mil-spec is Mil-spec. If the receiver meets the specs designs tolerances in every measurement and has a good durable finish and the features you want buy that one even if it’s half what most other lowers are.

  40. Gene A Peveto on October 27, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Meet the Parasites That Control Human Brains
    Toxoplasma gondii tops the list as the most famous — and most controversial — neurological parasite. This tiny protozoan doesn’t look like much more than a blob, but once it makes its way to the brain, it can radically alter the behavior of hosts like rats, cats and, yes, even humans.
    What might this mean for human behavior?
    “We often see symptoms like altered activity levels, changes in risk behaviors, and decreased reaction times,” says Joanne Webster, a parasitology researcher at Imperial College, London. “But in some cases, they become more severe — like schizophrenia.”
    Another paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, argued that in areas with high T. gondii infection rates, these tiny parasites could cumulatively alter the behavioral patterns of entire cultures. Infected parents, researchers found, have a 30 percent chance of passing the parasite on to their children.
    If that all seems a little far from home, though, consider this: Researchers estimate that more than 60 million people in the U.S. alone currently carry T. gondii, and most of those have no idea, because the parasite often causes no symptoms at all. Until the day it strikes, that is.
    Read about it here if you dare.
    If you can explain why some if not all of our leaders are not infected with T. gondii, I would like to hear it.

  41. Jonathan Davis on October 27, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Truth be told… I buy 80% forged lowers and build my own shit. Got a few FN rifles but screw it

  42. Remington Steel on October 27, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Great video. I just bought an aero lower and it looks great. Can’t wait to start the build!

  43. slant6guy on October 27, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Saw this on Aero Precision’s site: M16A4 forged Clone Lower Receiver features custom engraving on the AR-15 Gen 2 Lower Receiver + is the perfect base for a M16A4 "clone" build. The lower do not have engraving on the right side of the magwell. Left side of magwell = Markings include: *Property of U.S.A.*, *MOD M16A4*, *CAL. 5.56MM*; *Safe/Semi/Burst* safety selector markings. <~~ this is a nice and utilitarian lower for the currency!

  44. scottp119 on October 27, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Have you mentioned 2024 aluminum? Do some manufacturers make them out of it. It’s a high strength aircraft aluminum and it machines beautifully. 6061 is very gummy.

  45. real isrealite on October 27, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    I have an m4e1 from Aero and my no logo Anderson lower is much better when it comes to building.The Anderson just goes together easier,the Cmmg parts kits fit like a glove but on the Aero I had to fit some of them.The Aero detente spring hole seemed like they weren’t deep enough, it just didn’t go together like an Anderson.I won’t buy Aero again,I’ll stick with Anderson lowers if I build.

  46. Lehmann Peters on October 27, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Dude, saying "forging" is "forging aluminum into a shape" is not the best way to explain forging!

  47. Dude A Ron on October 27, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    I hate to burst your bubble, but at the end of the day, a lower is a lower is a lower. If you want to spend 5 times as much for a billet lower because it looks cooler, or you think it’s stronger, or so you can show all your gun buddies and tell them how much it costs, then go ahead. I’ve never spent over $100 for a lower, and I shoot up to 458 Socom on several of them with zero issues. If anything’s going to test component strength it’s 458 Socom.

  48. Bill Shefer on October 27, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Does this have no comments?

  49. steven richards on October 27, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    AERO’s are great ! Anderson also make a lower with a integrated trigger guard which is very nice.

  50. Branden's Outdoor (B-Channel) on October 27, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t see any extra controls on a billet lower. Still has mag release, bolt catch, and safety cutout. Aero still has the best features for the price. They have the most practical upgrades that make building easier.