I have been doing some reading and it seems AK's can be assembled more easily. Many AK parts are pretty basic, some stampings, and a few milled pieces The receiver is essentially a 1mm-1.5mm piece of sheet metal with appropriate holes that are then pressed on a die and heat treated. Some guy as shown earlier built his receiver from pieces welded together forgoing bending a piece of sheet steel.
The AR is a good platform, but most likely it is a good platform because of the professionalism of its manufacture. If you want a gun good made easy something like the Sten is notorious for being made in basements. As the old engineering saying goes, KISS Keep It Simple Stupid.
What about making a curved plastic magazine out of 'sheet plastic', making the required internal shaping, then plastic-welding it all together? Could that work for diy purposes? (I know bugger-all about guns, but I have some good ideas sometimes)
Any reason they stopped the production of the AR-18? Sorry it is a bit off topic.
In 2001, the re-formed Armalite Co introduced the AR-180b, an updated version with an AR compatible mag well and a steel reinforced polymer lower receiver for around $600. It was accurate and lightweight at 6.0 lbs (2.7kg) and was generally well reviewed. And I kick myself for not getting one.
From an earlier thread:
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...R-180-or-AR-15[*******#000000][FONT=verdana]Unfortunately, Armalite ceased production of the AR-180b a few years ago because high demand for AR-15 type rifles.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=verdana]I got the following response to a query about Armalite restarting AR-180b production with maybe a folding stock this time:[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=verdana]The 180B isn’t dead, we’re waiting to see what happens with another possible ban as we’re looking to make some upgrades to it and don’t want to invest the time, R & D and money to do this now when a ban might stop it’s production.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******#000000][FONT=verdana]Tech - Internet Support / Sales[/FONT][/COLOR]
I have no idea what the time differential would be in building a cast or stamped receiver. Generally stamped is faster and cheaper than case.
I looked into buying a less than 80% cast AR15 lower, but the tooling, taps etc would cost a fortune, especially in building just a few. If you want to go sheet metal, I would build a AK over a AR.
Last edited by Hollis; 12-26-2012 at 09:22 PM.