ATI Omni Lower ($50, Polymer)

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American Tactical Imports are now selling a polymer AR-15 lower receiver called the Omni Lower. It has a MSRP of just $50 stripped, and $130 complete (including M4-style stock).

ATI says …

The Omni is a multi-caliber AR15 lower made of reinforced polymer. It is designed after a mil-spec lower and is compatible with most current AR15 lower parts kits, grips and stocks. Made with a high-grade durable polymer material, the Omni can withstand harsh environments as well as everyday wear and tear.

The Omni lower will be available with either a complete finished kit including all lower internal parts and collapsible stock, or as a stripped lower. It has tested reliably with .22, .556, and .410, but is not recommended for higher calibers.

The Omni stripped lower has an MSRP of just $49.95 while the complete finished kit has an MSRP of $129.95. The Omni will be available in a color choice of black or dark earth.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Reverend Clint

    so they basically just do what new frontier does now except for more $

  • JD

    If I owned a firearm company and wanted to guarantee a bad reputation, I would offer polymer AR15 lowers. The buffer tube just sees too much stress.

    • Nick Pacific

      Definitely.
      For those who aren’t aware, that’s a major stress point where polymers tend to crack. There’s a reason Cav Arms made theirs with an integral stock.

    • Anon

      Looking at the photos, it appears to be doubled up in thickness around the receiver extension threads over a standard aluminum lower. Extra material will make up for that weakness…it can work.

      The real question is why Magpul hasn’t done this already, and started selling them in packs of three for $64.99.

      • noob

        Magpul would be too busy with space-gun projects like the ACR and the Magpul PDW. if it doesn’t look “future” magpul can’t fit it in its branding image.

  • Bill #2

    You get what you pay for.

  • TangledThorns

    I see no issue with the lower except you can’t switch out the trigger guard.

    • JT

      Anyone know if they can export?

      • bob

        JT, exporting a $50 firearm(receiver according to U.S. law) would not be a cheap route for you as U.S. gun exporters charge $200.00+ more for just the mountain of paper work and you would also have to pay the ATF and U.S. State Department export approval fees(very few country’s even get export approval) and probably wait for up to a year for everything to get approved thru the U.S. government agencies involved with approval. All this would in all likelihood cost you close to a $1,000 factored with shipping and a lot of hassle along the way. You would also have to make sure your not running afoul of any of your nations gun regulations and I think you would also have to find in your country a licensed entity to take the gun on your behalf, although that depends. Unless your Canadian or your from a select few Western European countries that allow individual civilian firearms importation don’t even bother as in all likelihood you wouldn’t gain the multiple U.S. approvals. I’m a member of a mainly U.S. gun forum that has some Canadian members and they described the process in detail which is a huge pain in the butt as they had also make sure what they were importing was also legal according to Canadian law and had to have all the paperwork on both sides of the border in order, I’m told its even more work in some European nations and usually there the easiest part is the U.S. side of the equation once you know what your doing. Unless you know of a local gun distributor in your country that would import these directly in quantity, I wouldn’t bother going thru the export process for $50 ar-15 stripped lower receiver.

      • JT

        I have got stuff like this from the States before, bit of a hassle but no where near the costs you are suggesting! Takes around 6-8 months in worst case usually, just not sure if this company does export is all.
        Cheers!

  • gunslinger

    so, are there studies/reports on the stress/durability of these polymer lowers?

    • Stella

      The Cav MK. II has a track record only blemished by their ATF induced fire-sale when they let slip some lemons. Another company has picked up the production rights but are pricing them at a point where I’m not sure it’s worth it. Because polymer will rebound from crushing stress, polymer lowers’ party piece (other than weight reduction) is that they can be run over by a car and still work. Think of how you can impress your friends!

      NFA has some videos up of their lower in action. AR lowers are not high stress parts, with the receiver extension taking most of whatever punishment there is (this area was even reinforced as the AR was updated.). Coincidentally, that is where these plastic lowers have seen failures. The Cav Mk. II gets around this by integrating the extension in an A1 like stock. Also some LPKs may need some fitting beyond just whacking the hell out of them.

      I would buy one of these (and I would certainly buy a CAV lower if they were a bit less expensive/I had more money) because they are cheap enough that if they break it’s not a huge deal. That said, finding a $59-$80 metal lower is so easy that the price point to sway me on this or an NFA would have to be low indeed.

    • Phil White

      gunslinger,

      We shall see I’ll be doing a review on one in the, hopefully, near future.

  • dave

    I think for a dedicated .22LR AR-15 this is great. I wouldn’t trust it with any other caliber, though. I did some math and INCLUDING shipping, you can make a dedicated .22LR AR-15 with this lower for UNDER $500. That’s insane!

    • Jeff

      That was my thinking as well. I think a polymer lower might be able to hold up to being used as dedicated for some of the pistol cartridges as well.

      A light weight lower seems generally useful for people building pistols as well.

      I think alot of people give polymers a bad rep, unlike aluminum, there is more constant R&D being done to improve them. If this were made of DuPont’s high glass fill Delrin polymer, it’d be as strong as some of the cast aluminum lowers on the market. Even still if their is an issue with plastic lowers breaking they can always add metal inserts.

  • http://com jon

    Seems like it may very well be a rebranded NFA lower. I have one of those and the features and contours of the ati lower seem identical to it.

  • Jeff Smith

    I would buy one for a dedicated .22 project, but why buy this when you can get a Mil-Spec lower for an extra $10?

    http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=F1SASL&name=Surplus+Arms+%26+Ammo+LOW15+Stripped+AR+Lower+Receiver&groupid=11

    I love the idea, but given the choice between polymer (which has been know to crack) and aluminum, I’d have to pick aluminum, even if I were just using it for a .22.

    • jpr

      Well, you can’t get them. Sold out. Do they get them in often?

      • Jeff Smith

        @jpr – Yes, I believe they get them in fairly often. I think they sell out fairly quickly, but they do get them in and they can notify you when they get a shipment. They also carry the Spike’s Tactical and the Aero Precision stripped lowers for $79. While it’s $20 more than the Surplus Arms and Ammo stripped lowers, $30 more for an aluminum lower isn’t bad at all.

        Also, check out http://www.slickguns.com/. People regularly post deals on stripped AR lowers in that general price range ($59-$79).

    • Nicks87

      “polymer (which has been know to crack)”

      Oh and aluminum never cracks, does it.

      Many products made of plastic have proved their worth over the years but we still get to hear it from the plasti-phobes.

      • Jeff Smith

        @Nicks87 – Yes, aluminum can crack. Any type of material used in a firearm can fail. The point I was trying to make was that polymer lowers (similar to this one) have been know to crack much easier than other materials. And, given the choice between a polymer lower and an aluminum one (when the price difference can be as little as $10), I would much rather have an aluminum receiver.

        Also, I am by no means a “plastic-phobe.” I own several polymer handguns and love them. My problem with polymer is limited to instances like this where it’s disadvantages seem to outweigh it’s advantages. It may save weight, but you’re not saving money and you’re decreasing reliability.

      • Jeff Smith

        @Nicks87 – I should note that my comments about polymer are confined to AR lowers like this and ones with similar designs. I’m absolutely certain that you could design a lower out of polymer that would be just as reliable and strong as an aluminum one, but essentially making a copy of a mil-spec receiver in polymer doesn’t seem to be the way to go. Cav Arms seems to have ironed out the concept before they went out of business.

        Also, I just noticed that someone mentioned that if appears that ATI increased the thickness of the receiver around the area where previous polymer lowers tend to break. I’d be really interested to see how this one will hold up.

  • Will

    Now you can have your handgun (lookin at you glock) and your rifle explode!

    • Beefalo

      1980 called–they want their Glock opinion back.

    • Cymond

      Wow, reality check. All of the pressure in an AR-15 is contained by the chamber and bolt. The only significant stresses on the lower are in the area where the stock attaches. I don’t think I’d run a 50BMG upper on a polymer lower, but they hold up well to normal use.

  • Gary

    Polymer lowers are the wave of the future. Twenty years from now you guys will be scratching you heads wondering why anyone would make AR lowers out of fragile aluminum. I also think that these inexpensive lowers will entice more people to buy into the AR phenomenon. EBRs (evil black rifles) are now MSRs (modern sporting rifles). They’ve gone mainstream which is a good thing I think.

    • Mike

      I still dislike the “MSR” tag. I prefer “sport utility rifle”, since a lot of people own them for things other than sport, while IMO most people own them for both sport and uhh, “utility”.

    • Cymond

      Yeah, a New Frontier lower finally got me to jump into the AR world. ARs all seemed so expensive at first, so the NFA is a nice ice breaker. It cost $100 for a complete lower, which is cheaper than the parts to complete an aluminum lower. It seemed like an ok risk. If anything breaks, it can be replaced as necessary.

      I also like the ‘sport utility rifle’ moniker for unexplainable reasons.

    • Rangefinder

      I am thinking in twenty years most of the rifle is engineered ceramics including the bullets (telescoped or ceaseless).

      • Shao

        Ummm… no… Maybe in 100 years… Stress bearing components on firearms have been manufactured from metal since their conception. Modern polymers are fantastic stuff. My AR is Magpulled out (stock, pistol grip, handguard, BUIS, trigger guard). But for the most part, these are not stress bearing components. Ceramics?? Come on… I can see it now, the first guy who drops his AR onto a tile floor… More plausible: MMCs… Metal Matrix Composites – imagine carbon fiber but instead of phenolic resins used to bond the fibers, a metal such as titanium is used. Lighter and stronger than their non-reinforced cousins -only cost currently prohibits their use in consumer applications… and don’t get me started on ceramic bullets… Bullets are made from lead for a reason – molecular weight, density, and cost… Lead is abundant and heavy – an “engineered ceramic” bullet would weigh very little and would retain very little energy/velocity past any close quarters combat situation. Caseless ammo? AWESOME idea that never should have been shelved… I do believe that caseless ammo is the future… The weight of caseless rounds would allow troops to carry at least double the ammunition…

  • Trev

    That looks cheap as hell.

  • Mike Knox

    Could use one of these in some of my whack-job projects..

  • Lance

    IDK looks like a cheap lower and if it works then the cheap price is worth it.

  • texasplinker

    please remember, polymers are always inferior to metals. And expensive is always better. [/sarcasm]
    http://vuurwapenblog.com/2012/07/08/buisoptic-drop-test/

    • Tinkerer

      I’ve said it before: aluminum behaves with plasticity -when deformed, it doesn’t return to it’s original shape-, while many polymers behave ellastically -when deformed, they do return to their original shapes-.

  • bob

    Really? I was under the impression that it can get pretty expensive and time consuming for export permits for semi-auto weapons from the U.S. as most other countries heavily restrict this category and that its somewhat easier with export controlled parts like barrels, bolts, upper receivers etc. and bolt action rifles/shotguns but no parts exports for shotguns. The Canadians on the gun forums describe it, that in their situation they had to have a valid Canadian Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) in the right category first which isn’t easy to get according to them and not dirt cheap either, have a International Import Certificate (IIC) which is free, a US export license and a willing FFL dealer to do it for them at a price and finally the Canadian importer of the firearm has to pay duty on the firearm to Canadian customs? I don’t know if this still holds true but that doesn’t sound inexpensive to me, your situation might differ though. I’m getting my info from the Internets and we’ll all know how accurate that can be so I apologize if I’m not getting it right. Thank god I live in the good old USA and in a free state where I don’t have to put up with any of this silly stuff.

  • MrDakka

    Anyone know what the polymer is? Its most definitely an engineering plastic, but which one? PEEK, ABS, Polycarbonate, PA?

  • tom

    PSA has sales on aluminum lowers from time to time for $50. Problem is the savings would have to be significant in order to go for a poly lower. I wouldn’t trust the strength of the extension.

    They should have made it for a dedicated 9mm/.45 and had the mag well match specific mags not currently offered. THen someone might actually buy one.

    • Mike Knox

      @tom
      Or how about making it a lower for companies selling pistol calibre uppers like CMMG’s or the AR-57..

  • J-

    If it works, this will be a step in the right direction. A shooter can put togther an AR15 $500. Lower costs mean more AR’s in more hands. More shooters owning AR’s will make the “evil black rifle” as ubiquitous as any bolt or lever action hunting rifle, and therefore harder to take away.

  • Reverend Clint

    ive got a plum carazy lower with over 1k rds though it with the only problem being i had to replace the front pivot pin spring. i dont treat my rifle like a beater so i cant say how strong it is but if you dont plan on clubbing people with it on a daily basis there is nothing wrong with polymer.

    • Reverend Clint

      and my entire rifle weighs less than my 18″ mid length upper

      • swilliams

        That’s great to hear. I just got a New Frontier poly lower, but was worried about how it would keep up. Like you, I’m not taking this out into combat conditions and throwing it around.

  • noob

    I think this might be a really good thing for a maritime context. Aluminum does pit a little on exposure to salt water, and this is the serialized “firearm”.

    You can always swap out a salt-ruined upper, but this lower is inherently resistant to salt water corrosion.

    Just don’t soak any kind of plastic in kerosine!

  • VBA

    can someone tell me how this website work? What determines whether a product gets review or written about on this site? Does the Manufacturer have to give the author a free trial for him/her to write about it? Or does the author seek to keep us reader updated to the latest and greatest?

    I asked because there’s no mentioning of New Frontier lower polymer on this site. I was sold base upon the various stress-test videos, on their site and on youtube, that I’ve seen. I tried searching for OMNI stress test or any kind of testing to see how well it would hold up against standard aluminum lower but none were found.

    Polymer is the future as the cost for metal and such goes up. Even the casing are now being manufactured as polymer. With the rapid growth of gas-piston, more emphasis should be place on polymer. I do enjoy a lighter ar platform that functions just as well if not better than aluminum and for a lot less.

  • http://www.theplaceforclassifieds.com Bucky

    Looks Great. I was wondering when will someone come out with 80% polymer AR lowers?

    • tomj16601 .

      eplower.com jigless 80% lower

    • Jacob Long

      aresarmor.com they have 80% polymer lowers and the simplest jigs around for finishing them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-English/100000445034909 Brandon English

    I built my 300 AAC Blackout with an Omni lower. Nikon scope holds zero and I put ten rounds in an area the size of a coffee cup lid at 200 yards. Yea, I like it.

    • Jacob Long

      From bench?