Finding a lower parts kit (LPK) for your AR-15 is easy. Finding a quality lower parts kit for your AR-15 is more difficult.
Most people are content to use whatever LPK they can find for the least amount of cash. You will often hear people say, “Company X gets these parts from the same place as Company Y, so they must be good.” While that statement may be technically true, it usually doesn’t tell the whole story.
Just because Company X gets their parts from the same place as Company Y doesn’t mean that 1) the parts were made to the same specification or 2) that the parts have been through the same level of quality control. Higher end manufacturers tend to have parts made to their specifications and put these parts through more rigorous quality control procedures.
The lack of quality control often shows itself in 3 easy to notice ways: sloppy triggers, sloppy selectors, and premature parts breakage. Due to poorly finished parts or tolerance stacking issues, many LPKs will have triggers that feel gritty, mushy, or heavy. Selector levers can feel mushy and without positive stops for the same reasons. Premature parts breakage is obviously the most serious issue that you might face. I have seen broken trigger/hammer pins, broken springs, and broken bolt stops.
Most people know the reality of the situation even if they don’t want to admit it. There is no free lunch. Quality usually costs a bit more. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to cost a lot more.
Colt LPKs are excellent but they can be difficult to obtain and very expensive. They are worth every penny if you need the utmost in quality and durability. LMT stopped selling LPKs years ago. BCM LPKs only go into BCM lowers at this time. Until recently you basically had to choose from the best of the rest. Thankfully two companies have stepped in to fill the void.
Daniel Defense makes an decent and very reasonably priced parts kit. They are one of the few places that is supposedly making nearly everything in their parts kit in house. I believe that only the plastic parts and springs are made elsewhere. This allows them to control the quality of nearly every part in the kit.
G&R Tactical offers what may be the Cadillac of quality affordable LPKs. It is a group of parts that is assembled from various quality manufacturers and subject to Grant’s (the owner of G&R Tactical) quality control. As a dealer, he has access to several individual parts from manufacturers that private individuals may not have access. He uses his knowledge of the industry to assemble a top quality and ultra reliable parts kit for a reasonable price. He also offers several different configurations so you can tailor the LPK to your project’s needs.
Don’t settle for just any LPK. Quality parts don’t cost that much more and they are cheaper in the long run.