American Tactical’s $50 OMNI Hybrid AR-15 Lower

American Tactical Imports have developed a low cost AR-15 lower receiver made of a fiberglass-composite polymer with a zinc metal insert which encompasses the buffer tube collar and rear take down pin. The metal insert prevents the receiver from cracking due to force applied to the rifle’s stock, which is arguably the achilles heel of traditional all-polymer lowers.

The company has produced a number of YouTube videos to demonstrate the strength of the OMNI Hybrid. The first video shows the receiver being run over by an 11,000 lb. fork lift. The second video shows 270 lb weights being hung from a buffer tube installed on the OMNI Hybrid.

The stripped receiver weights 8 oz, less than an aluminum receiver but more than an all polymer or magnesium receiver. If you were a polymer-lower-skeptic, this might be the cheap and light lower you were looking for. The MSRP is $49.95.

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.


  • M.

    With my luck, it would still break at the buffer spring.

  • JT

    So I guess AR-15’s are now the Glocks of the rifle world? At least you’ll be able to put one together for a few hundred instead of nearly $1000. At least this is more optimistic than look at it like they’re selling sawdust bread when there isn’t a food shortage

    • BryanS

      Before the last great scare, I put together one for a few hundred. maybe $500 all said and done?

    • Ergo

      if you think you have to spend a grand to put an ar together your doing it wrong. I just put together a 20 inch rig last month. Total cost was around 750 and that included 60 bucks to get the lo pro gas block pinned. Shop smart, scour deal sights and an excellent rifle can be put together for around 650 bucks.

      • JT

        I put my first one together in the late 90’s for like 650 and I think that included magazines. The one thing I’ll never be able to understand is people who go into Gun stores and buy generic DI AR’s for 1200 dollars. I saw it plenty actually in Hawaii where sportsmen seem to worship gun store owners or something

        • Ergo

          a bare bone new colt now sells for 950. Why anyone would pay more than that for an off the rack m4 clone is beyond me. Maybe they are the same people that buy cars without reading the kelly blue book.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    I thought the weak points of the poly AR lower were the pivot and take down pins and their detent plungers and springs? Recoil flexing and “disengagement of the sear” were also sited. Geoff Who is a curious fellow.

    • Ergo

      most of them tend to fail at the buffer tube. Some spit at the front of the magwell. I’ve never seen the recoil flexing you describe. Then again i’ve never seen a poly lower survive moderate use.

  • Luke Barreto

    I ordered two Omni’s during the AR rush a few months ago and just had one of mine break at the buffer tube after 100 rounds. I sent it back to ATI and they said they’ll send me their “2nd-gen” Omni. I’m hoping it’s this one.

  • Sparky

    In the future, all ARs will have polymer lowers and people will scratch their heads and wonder why those silly people used metal ones back in the day.

  • MattW

    Both video tests are great and show they are structurally strong, but I would like to see actual use testing. Hanging weights on it doesn’t prove the durability after hundreds or thousands of impacts from the action cycling. As Luke said in an earlier comment, his broke at the buffer tube after cycling 100 rounds.

  • Ergo

    i’ll spend the extra 12 bucks and buy a forged lower.

    • Brandon

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. When PSA does a sale on blemished lowers, they’re almost as cheap.

      • Ergo

        It isn’t just psa, aim does a natmil for 70 shipped, anderson’s are 55 plus shipping hell you can find areo lowers for 75. The savings on poly lowers are wiped out when you have to do another ffl transfer to for the free replacement these poly lower companies send out.

    • RocketScientist

      Hell, Kerri’s Guns has Anderson Manufacturing forged stripped lowers for $55 right now (shipping free on order over $150). Unless you’re specifically going for a lightweight build, i don;t see a reason NOT to spend the extra $5 for a forged aluminum lower.

  • Clint Notestine

    ive had a poly lower with at least 500 rds through it with zero trouble and would buy another

    • Ergo

      with 500 rounds you haven’t broken in the upper much less the lower. I’ve seen an m16 fall out of a blackhawk with no ill effect on the rifle. I’ve also seen a poly lower break when the rifle fell 4 feet off a shooting bench on to concrete.

      The difference in cost between a poly lower and a forged lower is less than the cost of ammo for two 30 round magazines. Please don’t be that guy.

      If you need help finding a vendor for an inexpensive forged lower i’ll be happy to send you a few links.

      • jesse

        not to say you could get a mil spec aluminum anderson stripped lower for around 65 to 70 bucks. a good source for ar parts is

  • Sterling

    Very nice, Not too fond of the trigger guard shape, but it looks like ATI addressed the weaknesses of the older poly lowers and will have a lower that will work perfectly fine for the majority of people who buy lowers. If I saw one for the $50 price locally, I would probably buy one.

  • Mark N.

    This whole AR business always has me confused–so many vendors, so few methods of checking them against each other. Being in California doesn’t help. I have yet to buy an AR, but am considering doing so before the Legislature takes the choice away. As I understand it, this is what is called a “stripped lower,” and that it has to be transferred through an FFL. Correct? $50 seems pretty cheap to me; how does EP Armory justify charging $100 for an 80% all polymer lower? And where are these $70 aluminum lowers? When I’ve dropped by the local LGS, it seemed I was always looking at $300, not including fees and tax. Further, the browsing I’ve done turns up any number of uppers, usually running $600 and up. And how on earth do some manufacturers charge thousands? are they really that much better?

    • jesse

      look on i got an anderson stripped milspec aluminum lower there for under 70 bucks

  • RocketScientist

    With one of these lowers, and one of these kits:

    you could build a complete stem-to-stern AR for $460 plus shipping/ffl. Not too shabby for cheap fun-gun.

  • I bet if they removed the cardboard and the rubber mat and placed the lower on bare concrete, the forklift would crush it.

  • SLC Shooter McGavin

    So I’m the only one excited about this? I emailed ATI with a similar recommendation based on reinforcing week points. Fiberglass/Poly can be a lot stronger than steel if done right. You also have to account for forgiveness that metal doesn’t accommodate. Metal bends, while polymer can bounce back. If this addressed the weak points adequately, I’d pay $50 for one? This is the future of the AR Lower.

  • José Pulido

    Polymer technology is going to pick up fast. In 20 years they’ll look at our polymers how we today look at bakelite.

    It won’t be long before you’ll see a completely polymer AR-15 lower that’s just as stable as a 7xxx Al lower.

  • The ATI OMNI HYBRID is available currently on our website:

  • private jones

    does anyone know where I can get one of these

  • JDilger

    I have been in the military for 14 years and I have been a certified gunsmith for 8 years. I have fired more M4s and M16s than I care to think about. I recived an OMNI Hybrid AR-15 for my birthday a couple of days ago and imediatly identfied an issue. There is far to much play in the magazine well even with the provided ATI Magazine. In order to have it cycle properly I had to swap out the lower completley with one I had on hand. Now if fires with no problems.