Clear 80% AR-15 Lowers

It seems like a ton of new AR-15 lowers have been hitting the market over the past few months. From lightweight magnesium alloy lowers and polymer 80% lowers to jigless 80% lowers. In case you couldn’t get enough news about lowers here’s something new, EP Lowers is working on a clear 80% lower. No you read that right, a clear AR-15 lower. EP Lowers didn’t go into specifics on what their new lower is made out of other than it contains a polycarbonate. Why a clear lower you ask? I have no idea, but it looks pretty interesting. It might be a good way to demonstrate how an AR-15 functions, and a good excuse to build another AR. EP Lowers posted a sneak peek of their new lower on their Facebook page and even hinted that they were working on a clear upper as well.

Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog and Instagram.

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  • Squishie

    i must say i do like this idea, would be good for teaching gunsmiths and troops also would look rather nice for a range gun i think scratches would show easily though

  • Lou

    Would be cool for a .22LR build. I wouldn’t trust that lower for anything greater. As for an upper…. especially. I remember speaking to a rep at the 2009 SHOT Show that Magpul has not released clear Pmags due to issues with clear plastics not being strong enough. Something to do with the chemicals used in making them.

    I’m not a chemist nor do I work with polymers. So don’t go asking me thirty million questions.

    • Cornelius Carroll

      Yup. Note that Lancer mags aren’t “clear” clear but have a slight tint to them.

      • Samuel Suggs

        Lancer mags have seriouse opaque tint it’s not even easy to distinguish rounds when your out in the sun

  • jake

    Polycarb is very brittle, like you said demo use only.

    • Samuel Suggs

      the lower failures you migte encounter with these are unlikely to cause any injury as they it will probobly just seperate around the buffer as in early 3D printed lowers so its worth testing out the majority of the utility lies in demo usage though

    • Marcus D.

      Doesn’t it depend on the polycarb? I have never managed to break one of my lenses, though they have taken some pretty hard abuse. Personally, I think this is one of the coolest lowers I’ve entire rifle would be awesome. ‘The Ghost Rifle.” And since I don’t airsoft, I don’t think I’d mix them up.

  • Ian


    • JumpIf NotZero

      Kills 🙂

  • Alex

    I wouldn’t chance that thing. I normally don’t have anything against polymer lowers but I can’t get the image out of my head that I will be at the range shooting that thing one day and it will crack in half on my.

  • Cornelius Carroll

    All for it as a non-functioning demo.

    • Samuel Suggs

      It is shoot able and probobly safe as lower failures similar to those seen bye DEFCAD early on are the worst case scenario

      • HSR47

        Sam, your posts would be significantly less annoying if you actually took the time to check your spelling and grammar.

        • Samuel Suggs

          Do you find my posts otherwise annoying? i meen is thid lik a nail on a chak bord for U

  • mikewest007

    Brilliant idea, make your real-steel gun look like a NY-legal airsoft toy. Beats the Tomato Red Springfield 1911 I saw in a SA catalog in the early 90s.

    • Samuel Suggs

      Why would you want people to think you had an airsoft gun it’s not like it will even work that way if they get a good look but again Why?

      • mikewest007

        I’m too honest to come up with a response to that question.
        By the way, the “brilliant idea” claim was supposed to be sarcastic. How do you do italics in this thing?

        • Samuel Suggs

          ah it was a joke thats fine then. what are you getting at when you say your “too honest to come up with a response to that question”? anyway font and text options would be a good idea though

          • mikewest007

            I just believe there are crooks who would try to disguise their weapons as toys – transparent receivers, bright colors, etc. And as far as I know gas airsoft guns, the mechanism in a gas M16 is very similar to a real one, just slightly different mechanically and dimensionally.

          • Samuel Suggs

            firs of all why would they do that second of all why not jsut use a can of spraypaint and not this convoluted thing

          • Garrett

            You are correct, it is very similar to the way a real AR/M16 operates. The gas tube is however a solid steel rod, there is not gas port drilled into the barrel or gas block, and the fire control group pins are offset by enough so that if you were to try and redrill them to fit real ones they would cause misalignment and not work at all. Even they go so far as to make sure the hammer is shaped so it does not contact the firing pin area if a real bolt carrier was to be inserted into the replica and managed to close the upper (the locking lugs do not rotate on an airsoft rifle, instead just having the shape). This is all done on purpose obviously to avoid someone converting it.

          • mikewest007

            Which of course didn’t stop BATFE from freaking out and destroying the whole first shipment that arrived, with the reasoning along the lines of “it’s readily convertible, if we remove the pistol grip and put it on a real AR15, we will have a real firearm” (the details are, of course, classified, and nobody knows what they did to that replica to actually convert it).

        • Just as you would on your keyboard

  • Esh325

    Maybe it’s a dumb question, but how does being transparent indicate a lack of strength?

    • John

      IIRC from high school chemistry/physics, for a polymer to be transparent, there has to be a level of crystallization, or pattern/order to how the polymer chains are laid down.

      Going off of this, it would make sense that opaque polymers are laid down as a woven meshwork while transparent polymers are laid down in a somewhat parallel manner.
      The woven meshwork of opaque polymers would prove more robust than chains of polymers lying parallel, or in a distinct pattern to one another that can easily split apart/crack

      Then again, I may be wrong…

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Nah, you’re pretty much right. Pretty universal to say clear things aren’t as strong as opaque things.

        • Samuel Suggs

          Hmm we’ll clear plastics anyway.

  • Bill

    It would make it very easy to see when you needed to clean your rifle…..just saying

  • Lance

    Not a good idea and you can get your AR mixed up with your air soft gun now.

    • Samuel Suggs

      You can see your trigger group through the plastic as well as all the other lower parts shouldn’t be to hard to distinguish the two also they make non clear plastic air soft guns so your point is moot

      • Garrett

        You have never seen an airsoft gas blowback rifle have you?

        • Samuel Suggs

          I have actually I just didnt know they made ones that looked like this.

          • Garrett

            That is a Canada legal Western Arms M4 series rifle. The clear lowers are required for importation of replica airsoft rifles into that country. (Parts are another issue).

            The particular replica pictured is made in HK, due to the fact only two companies make three round burst FCG’s for the WA platform, and only one comes installed already. It is an older model as well, as the internals are made of steel instead of an aluminum alloy.

          • Samuel Suggs

            that exsplains it thanks

    • Garrett

      That is why real airsoft players treat their replicas like real weapons or rifles. Considering that airsoft is getting more and more realistic already, safety is extremely paramount in these times. I’ve seen former army, navy, and marines who all avidly shoot look at some of the airsoft stuff I build for people and they think that they are real SBR’s and full auto carbines.

  • John Daniels

    This would be great for instructional purposes and armorer classes.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I’d like one for high speed, it would be nice to be able to time when the hammer hits. Right now I watch muzzle blast, but that isn’t really ideal.

    • Samuel Suggs

      If they also made an upper it then put a warning on it

    • Gary Patterson

      looks cool, but how would the strength play out versus an aluminum lower such as the ones at that say 7075 ?

  • Brandon

    Interesting as a demo as others have pointed out, but I wouldn’t shoot one. I like my fingers.

  • BlackoutM4

    A cool concept, but nothing more than a novelty or display/demo item. It will also get dirty easily as you start firing multiple mags as the gases and dirt/oil will accumulate on the inside.
    I’d get one as a pure show piece, but preferrably as a finished lower, not an 80%.

  • BryanS

    Lots of comments to not wanting to use the rifle except for 22. Im not sure why this is… at worst, it cracks and the rifle wont function any longer, you unload and pack it up. The upper is still containing all of the explosion and force.

    I say we get one and run it through the testing. Im game for finishing it and shooting, if someone helps out with ammo supply.

  • Commiefornia

    This is great! *sarcasm* Since a proposed retarded CA law will require toy guns to be translucent. Stupid CA lawmakers…