October 26, 2022
With all the furor over 80 percent lower receivers and the Biden Administration’s new ATF rule on gun parts and so-called “ghost guns,” wouldn’t it just be easier if you could make a complete lower at home from scratch?
In fact, you can if you’re willing to wait just a few weeks.
AR15Mold.com is a firm that not only makes regular 80 percent and serialized lowers, but also produces a pour-your-own kit to make a polymer-based lower that is completely functional and 100 percent legal.
Chris Johnson, part owner of AR15Mold.com, said the company produced and did quite well selling the pour-your-own kits, called the Freedom-15, for a number of years, but then chose to put more of their efforts into producing metal gun products like their outstanding 80 percent lowers, which are used by a large number of gun manufacturers in producing their firearms.
“We did really well with the Freedom-15,” Johnson said. “What hurt us was when Trump got elected the entire industry just kind of contracted. That’s when I decided to focus on metal products rather than the plastic ones.”
The company quickly became known for its very high-quality lower receivers and other parts, while still selling the polymer kit. By mid-2020, however, AR15Mold.com had run out of their inventory of the Freedom-15 kits.
Then recently, when the new rule on so-called “ghost guns” was announced in late August, demand quickly resurged for the polymer product.
“When the demand spiked, we weren’t prepared because I had decommissioned all those machines,” Johnson said. “I moved them over to make stuff out of metal.
“It’s a tough product to bring online, and I had to bring several new machines in,” he added. “It takes time to get the power ran and everything done to the machines. So, we have the machines online and have the first articles produced. Now we are going through the testing phase to make sure that it still operates the same.”
The kits are expected to be available again sometime in November.
Since the announcement of the new ATF rule, Johnson had seen his business for 80 percent lower receivers drop drastically because of the wording of the ruling.
“The impact originally was pretty catastrophic because we make a lot of parts for a lot of people and because of that ruling I was not willing to risk our FFL on misunderstanding,” Johnson explained. “There’s been a severe economic impact to us but I just took it because I don’t want to, A) lose my license, or B) be put in jail by somebody that’s gung-ho running the letter of the change of the law.”
Interestingly, the ATF recently sent out a letter to manufacturers and FFLs further “explaining” what the ruling really meant. According to that letter—complete with both written explanations and pictures—the 80 percent lowers that AR15Mold.com and many other companies produce are still perfectly legal.
After the letter was released, Johnson’s company saw an immediate jump in business.
“The new guidance is very clear,” Johnson said. “We turned this back on, and we sold 1,000 80s the day we first turned it back on. Those weren’t going to individual customers. Those are for folks that we make 80s for that want to stick them in their mill, do the final work and put their serial number on it.”
Now the future of the company looks very bright, with the recent explanation letter clearing AR15Mold.com to continue making metal 80 percent lower receivers, plus machines coming online to again produce the Freedom-15, which is also legal per the new ATF explanation letter. For more information, visit AR15Mold.com.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.