Tag Archives | GWACS Armory

GWACS Armory and KE Arms – Flying Too Close to the Sun

I have written about GWACS Armory CAV-15 Lower Receivers before. They are the only polymer AR-15 lowers that I have personally vetted over several years and a few thousand rounds. I own two of them and trust them in large part because they are designed around the strengths and weaknesses of polymer rather than just a normal lower rendered in plastic instead of aluminum. Are they for everyone and every purpose? Maybe not. Do they work as intended and take a massive amount of abuse? You bet. I believe they are very under-appreciated.

InRange TV (who you really should be watching regularly for their unique blend of firearm reviews, history, culture, and consistently solid content) posted a test a while ago that I shared on the JTT Facebook Page that showed them running over, shooting, and generally abusing a GWACS Armory CAV-15 Lower.

KE Arms recently sent me some press that shows what happened to that poor, abused CAV-15 Lower. You might think it was retired to trade show booth wall-hanger status or the dust bin. Not quite. Karl, one of the hosts of InRange TV is still using it. In fact, he is using quite effectively. The lower was recently used in conjunction with a KE Arms upper to win Trooper Division at the Independence Day Action Rifle Match and place 6/76 over all.

The upper/lower combo has affectionately been named Icarus which is very fitting. It certainly looks like it has been flying a bit too close to the sun. Both KE Arms and GWACS Armory are understandably proud of Karl’s accomplishment and their gear.


KE Arms and GWACS Armory Lightweight Collaboration Rifle

KE Arms and GWACS Armory recently collaborated to help a student of The Suarez Group who has a physical limitation. The result was a sub 5 1/2 pound carbine with an MSRP that is less than $1000.

KE Arms GWACS Lightweight

The carbine features a GWACS Armory CAV-15 lower receiver with KE Arms lower parts kit. The KE Arms built upper receiver features a lightweight contour barrel, Young Manufacturing Lightweight BCG, and a KE Arms 12.5″ Delta-S Keymod Handguard. The total weight is just 5.6 pounds.

Hopefully, this or a similar package will be available as an off-the-shelf item in the near future.

GWACS Armory CAV-15 Lightweight Pivot Pins

The CAV-15 lower receivers from GWACS Armory are popular among lightweight AR-15 builders. Their two piece polymer construction has a track record of durability and they are very lightweight. A modified GWACS Armory CAV-15 lower is central to my Sub 6 with a Twist build. I recently emailed them to ask if they ever considered making a lighter pivot pin set (the ones I have are solid steel). GWACS Armory response was something like… “Yeah… we already make those.” Their real response was much more polite than that but they probably felt like being snarky to the guy who was giving them ideas for products that they already make.

The new lightweight pins save .4 oz versus the standard steel pins. The steel pins weigh .6 oz while the new lightweight pins weigh in at just .2 oz. They are machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and hard anodized for durability. GWACS Armory sells them for $15 including shipping.

Note: These pins are for use with the CAV-15 lower receiver only. They will not work with standard lowers.

gwacs lightweight pins

GWACS Armory CAV-15 MKII Improvements

Several months ago I wrote a review of the GWACS Armory CAV-15 MKII AR-15 lower receiver. I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. They just work and don’t seem to have the durability issues of other polymer lowers on the market.

In the review, I mentioned a few fit and finish issues that I noticed: the finish on the take down pins was so bad that they looked used before I even installed them and there was plastic flashing left in the magazine well. GWACS Armory immediately acknowledged the issues and said they would work to correct them… and they did.

GWACS Armory Improved Pins

I have been able to check out a handful of their recent CAV-15 MKII lowers, including a new one that they sent me to show off the improvements. The fit and finish on the take down pins has been MUCH better. The new finish appears to be a deep, black oxide that has held up very well for me. Even after being installed and removed several times, the pins show little wear and look much better than the previous ones even when they were new.

They also addressed some of the plastic flashing issues. GWACS Armory is obviously taking a bit more time cleaning up the lowers by hand after the two halves are fused. The bottom of the grip and the magazine well are much cleaner on this newest example.

GWACS Armory Buffer

All CAV-15 MKII also now come with GWACS Armory’s new distinctive buffer. It is a standard weight buffer (H buffers will be available soon as an option) that is hard anodized bright red and branded with a GWACS Armory logo. This isn’t really a functional improvement (though this buffer is of a higher quality than the one that came in my previous lower) but it does add the type of detail that rounds out a lower and lets you know that the company behind it gives a rip.

It is great to see a company responding to customer feedback the way the GWACS Armory has with these new improvements to the CAV-15 MKII. Check out GWACSArmory.com. Use discount code “triggerjerk” to save 5% off your purchase.

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