Helmet Shaped AR-15 Lower Receivers are the New Trend!

We’ve already seen all kinds of stylized magazine wells of AR-15 lower receivers – skulls, hog heads and whatnot. Looks like for 2017 the helmet styled magwells are in trend. Two companies offer them right now.

Sharps Bros., known for making the majority of (or all of them) above-mentioned variations, came up with an AR-15 lower receiver which magwell is shaped like a Spartan helmet. They call it Overthrow. It is machined out of a 7075-T6 aluminum and is hard coat anodized. This receiver is compatible with standard AR-15 lower receiver parts and takes GI magazines or PMAGs. The MSRP is $310, but it is available for preorder at $269.99. The Overthrow receivers are sold through Rainier Arms.

Another company called Rare Breed Firearms offers two helmet-styled AR-15 lower receivers. One is a Spartan style too and it is called “Spartan”. The second one is called “Crusader” and, as the name implies, it resembles a Crusader helmet. Both versions are not available yet for purchase and they will be sold through the Spike’s Tactical website.

Although these receivers are perfectly functional, I don’t see a reason to opt for them unless you just want your rifle to look “cool” (still questionable). However, who knows, maybe these receivers will have a psychological effect on the enemy or criminal spooking them only with their appearance, just like only working the action of a pump action shotgun does (sarcasm).

Which one do you like the most?

Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • PK

    Of the three, the Sharps Bros. receiver wins in the looks department. “Overthrow” looks the best to me.

    • Giolli Joker

      Agreed. Much more detailed execution.

  • SGT Fish

    I still don’t like these fad receivers. its their right to build them and I’m sure they make good money from doing so. but if a student showed up to class with a rifle built on one of these lowers, they would spend the rest of the morning learning how to transfer parts to an Anderson stripped lower.
    I appreciate guns as an art form, sexy smooth wood and deep blued metal. Fine machining with tight tolerances. Heck, even mirror like polished stainless. But this is something else, Something cheesy and it hurts my eyes

    • PK

      I think of them as art receivers. I’m leaning toward buying one of the Overthrow receivers, but I don’t expect to build it into anything, rather simply to have a solid and well made desk toy/statue.

      In purely the light of “this is to build an AR”, they’re absurd, I agree. I’d sooner have a scroll engraved receiver.

      • SGT Fish

        If they were cheaper, or I was richer, I would add one of each to my wind chime of crappy AR receivers. Though the ATI and EP80 receivers just don’t give that nice clank that aluminum ones do

        • PK

          A demil wind chime is more my speed! …and price. It’s what I use most of the Apex demilled receivers to make.

        • Rogertc1

          Under $300 is not overpriced.

    • Joe

      Aesthetics are subjective, but you’d literally force a student to discard their completely functional lower because “I don’t like these fad receivers”? Yeah, sounds like an NCO, carry on.

      • SGT Fish

        they could put it back when they are done. but I wouldn’t train someone on ridiculous equipment. The mag wells are not designed for function, and are unsafe in the event of an OOB incident.

        • Joe

          Good point on OOB.
          Better to be proactive than risk injury.
          Maybe TFB or others could comparison test a standard lower and one of these vanity lowers for OOB so we could make an informed decision.

        • Zapped 02

          Unless you have first hand experience on each one of the various lowers and how the mag wells feed and function I would not say they are unsafe.

          Would think your better then prejudging bias based on appearance without in depth hands on testing.

          But I could be wrong.

          • SGT Fish

            im not saying they are unsafe in how they feed and function. but they are definitely not as safe as a standard milspec lower when it comes to OOB detonations. They also have no value when it comes to use and give more areas for a mag to get snagged on insertion. I bet they extract fine unless some dirt gets in there, but what doesn’t

          • PK

            Why would anyone who buys one of these possibly get it in a situation where dirt has a chance of getting inside? Something like this must be mostly a display piece.

          • Rogertc1

            Gun ART

          • Zapped 02

            I doubt anyone that has one of the custom lowers would use it as there primary shtf gun, but the only way to know if it can handle the job is to train with it.

      • JSIII

        I could see an argument that those extra openings invite a path for dirt to enter your firearm that would not otherwise exist. But yeah it is pretty extreme saying “I don’t like how your rifle looks, change it”

    • USMC03Vet

      No worse than the majority of aftermarket stuff people buy for their guns. Lemme show you this sweet red Apex trigger….

      • JSIII

        Good point how many people with “Death Comes” type of dust covers I see at the range every day…

        • Derrick Bonsell

          Which is a legal nightmare if heaven forbid you ever have to use it on an intruder or assailant.

    • RSG

      What is the name of your training company, so I know never to train with you. You sound like a fascist FUDD. We are in the age of modern firearms, where wood is obsolete. I bet you like wheel guns too. Clown.

      • SGT Fish

        lol. You’d be surprised by whats in my gun room then.
        A fascist? really? after I say that its their right to do so?
        and FUDDs don’t own belt feds, or ARs, or SMGs.
        “wood is obsolete” you want to argue the modern utility of pieces of art? I guess wood sculptures are obsolete, we should only look at metal and plastic art now!
        reading comprehension must be hard for you. were you one of those kids in school that had to have a tutor explain each question for you?

        • PK

          Eject, eject! Don’t engage that sort of commentary, it’s just not worth it.

          • SGT Fish

            hahaha. thanks PK.

        • Independent George

          I would actually love to build an AR with wood furniture. I think the A1 handguard would look great in wood.

          • VieteranGunsmith

            Try Boyd’s Gunstocks, or Lucid AR Stocks. I put a green laminated set on my government 20 inch rifle and it looks great. They make laminates and solid wood walnut stocks and handguards that look and feel great, and you can see Lucid stock on their site or Brownells. I had to do zero hand fitting on the Lucid stock and it looks much better than any synthetic. There are others but I found the Lucid the most reasonably priced.

    • VieteranGunsmith

      Have you seen a Turnbull TAR 15 or TAR 40? Doug is building AR rifles in 5.56 and 7.62 NATO with bone/charcoal color case hardened receivers and walnut looking graphic furniture. They are definitely not your common garden variety black rifles. The upper and lower are made from 8620 carbon steel and they are beautifully color case hardened and you can upgrade to a walnut stock as an option.

  • USMC03Vet

    Nothing wrong with a little deus vult and the smell of gun powered to get you going in the morning.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Oh look, this is on the front page… again.

  • Mmmtacos

    Throw caution to the winds and put out a lower reminiscent of a certain Mandalorian…

  • Pete Sheppard

    Beats toy-colored guns.

  • Vincent

    I’d rather have a Landsknecht styled one with a 24 inch barrel and all the gaudy, over the top aesthetics and colors inbetween.

  • Can we get a horned barbarian version? I want to maximize my lower’s dynamic potential to catch on things.

  • Heartbreaker

    Make a Darth Vader lower and we may be talking. Evil Black Sith Lords Matter.

    • Russ Kell

      Would def buy a Vader/Mando/Clone helmet design.

    • Independent George

      I’d buy it, but copyright issues make it a nonstarter.

    • Dirt-Torpedo

      Or the Hummel figurines of the gun world. People buying this sort of thing really need to develop other interests.

      • Rogertc1

        You don’t like guns?

  • MrBrassporkchop

    It’s like body kits on cars. Unless you go all-out with the build it’s just gonna look stupid.

  • Risto Kantonen

    This is the gun world equivalent of RGB trend in the computer hardware world. Stupid stuff. I’ll take function over form any day over this crap.

    • NanoSuitUser059 .

      Never expected to see that comparison made, but you’re absolutely right. Anything more than Aero’s Pew lower is just excessive.

    • David Jenkins

      Pretty much. Building my gaming PC, I had huge boxes and glowy crap. I want a plain beige or black case like the PCs I built in the early 90’s. Hate showy stuff, in any hobby.

  • Houston Moore

    Mandalorian Helmet, when?

    • Russ Kell

      Yes. This, right here^^^

    • pcjunkie429

      This! Minus the rangefinder, because that would just get in the way lol. I third a Mandalorian helmet lower! Although it would probably just be a safe queen or a cool range day showoff toy haha.

  • Some Rabbit

    Shaking my head and grumbling like Lurch on the Addams Family.

    That said, I want a coal locomotive to go with my steampunk AR build.

  • Dickie

    We need to send the crusader lower to our troops so they can use them on terrorists.

  • Swarf


    That’s super classy.

    I’d move two bays away from anyone with one of these simply for fear of being hit with froth.

    • the_duck
      • Malthrak

        Thats a ah…rather amusingly erroneous map, concatenating a thousand years and a dozen different empires worth of “muslim” battles with an…extremely narrowly defined counterpart.

        Not getting into the politics of the issue, just pointing out problems with the argument.

        • James Young

          Not 1000 years, this is 400 years of Muslim conquest that led up to the coalition of European christian states called the Crusades. Islamic conquest had proved to be a major threat to Europe, so when the Byzantine Empire begged for help they created a coalition to stop it.

          • Malthrak

            Muslim armies did not reach the gates of Vienna in that time period as displayed in the above image…

            The Crusades also has a whole lot more going behind them than Europe uniting against some sort of common enemy, thats a gross oversimplification.

          • James Young

            Of course there’s more to it. But we have short comments we can write up to respond. If we had pages and pages of text we could cover the details.

          • Paul Rain

            Yes, honesty, decency, and righteousness.

          • Malthrak

            I mean, I don’t think anyone would really use such words to really describe the events or actions of any side in those conflicts in any honest appraisal of history.

        • thesafesurfer

          A dozen different empires?
          Your ignorance of Muslim history is showing. The Caliphate of Cordoba and the Fatimids did not break off from the Ummayad Caliphate until 90% of those dots representing battels outside of the Balkans occurred.
          You should not casually post out of igrnoance.

          • Malthrak

            And the siege of Vienna, represented on the map, did not occur until the 1500’s…

            Please stop going through literally my entire posting history across multiple sites and attempting to argue literally every post I’ve made for the last several weeks…

          • thesafesurfer

            I wonder why you are posting about the siege of Vienna? It wasn’t in my post, and it wasn’t in the post of yours I replied to.
            You can’t even keep track of what you are posting about.
            Your frustration is showing. No doubt it is because my post made you realize the truth The Caliphate of Cordoba and the Fatimids did not break off from the Umayyad Caliphate until 90% of those dots representing battles outside of the Balkans occurred.

            It is pretty creepy of you to post to me out of the blue.

          • jonp

            You have a troll. Feel Blessed as you have now reached the big time. I had one on a different gun site that followed me to The Hill, Fox News, Reason and a few other gun sites for some reason.

          • Malthrak

            Apparently…not quite sure what these people do with their lives.

          • VieteranGunsmith

            The reason is Disqus enables trolls to find your comments on multiple sites you have posted on with the same ID. Consider it an undisclosed “feature” of Disqus. It’s a matter of the structure of Disqus, meant to allow others to follow you, unfortunately it allows the trolls to follow you as well. I’ve used Disqus since it began, and it has gotten better over the years, but it is far from perfect.

          • Paul Rain

            Aww, the little baby.

          • Malthrak


      • Awory

        It is also leaves off a few key battles, such as the 4th Crusade that sacked the Christian city of Constantinople.

        There is also the issue with the Spanish Reconquista. The Muslims rules Spain from about the 700s through the 1400s. The Spanish were basically ‘reconquering’ Pagan lands.

        • James Young

          The Muslims did not rule the entirety of Spain ever. They conquered part of Spain and established the Caliphate while Europeans maintained other kingdoms in northern Spain. By the time Granada fell the final Islamic Emirate was very small, and was reconquered by European kingdoms in the 1400s.

    • James Young

      You can thank the crusaders for keeping Islam from conquering Europe, so you have the freedom to insult crusaders with your blanket generalization that everything about them were bad or wrong.

      • Malthrak

        Hrm, that’s a rather…generous characterization.

        Access to trade routes to asia, employment for tens of thousands of otherwise idle and troublemaking armed men, the leaders establishing their own private kingdoms (in at least one case at the expense of an already existing local Christian leader), plunder, and other such pressures are far more accurate, just as they were for the Muslims in their early medieval ascencion more than any real moral vindication.

        • Derrick Bonsell

          Interestingly Tom Holland has advanced the controversial thesis that what the initial Arab conquerors were fighting for cannot be called “Islam” as it exists today.

          What’s not controversial is that most of the written sources on the period of the conquests was written after the Islamic Caliphate was already established. Also Mohammed is attested to be illiterate. So if we assume that religious explanations for him writing it are false, it leaves us with an inconsistency.

    • mcjagermech

      Knowing that it could provoke these kinds of reactions I’m almost tempted to buy one

    • Cory C

      Hahahaha. Damn, dude. That’s funny.

  • Malthrak

    Oh look, expensive, easily damaged machining that allows all sorts of garbage into the receiver or that will snag on everything.

    If you’re building a toy, ok, have at it, but these aren’t much different than truck nuts. It was dumb when they were doing it with skulls, still dumb with crusader and hoplite motifs.

    You want a hoplite helmet on your gun because you thought 300 was cool? Get it engraved or etched or buy one of the dozens that already come with either done.

    • cunning linguist

      Oh look, sensitive judgmental comments.

      Relax bro…its a piece of machined aluminum. If people want to buy them, great…if you dont want to…you dont have to.

      Though I think you’d do great with the Crusader one based on your holier than thou attitude.

      I swear…gun opinions are like children bickering. No winners and the only real losers are everyone else who has to listen.

      • Malthrak

        Buy whatever you want, I’m not going to stand in the way of you spending a bunch of your money to have some special snowflake looking range toy that’ll just snag on stuff and make another entry point for crap into the gun, have at it, by all means.

        But I’m gonna make use of my right to call it stupid nonetheless.

        • cunning linguist

          Hahaha…snowflake looking range gun? Im sorry…are you humping your AR-15 into combat? I’m sure those lowers snag on everything too…all those nasty angles at a range or in the gun safe. Oh the horror.

          Thanks for passing on your opinion. The world, I’m sure l, was just dying to know your negative opinion on AR-15 lowers.

          • Malthrak

            You sound particularly mad about a random opinion from an anonymous person commenting their opinion in the designated comments area of an internet news blog set aside for people to express their opinions. I’m quite amused at how much my disapproval of a novelty item has gotten your goat.

            I’m not sure why you need or desire my approval approval so bad, if you want, again, by all means, go throw your money at one and get your silly lower if you need an outspoken fashion accessory to show all the boys at the range how cool and edgy you are that bad.

            I probably won’t be there to judge you in real life 😉

  • ilpo

    Is it not a problem to cut a bunch of decorative holes in the mag well? It’s not for a race gun and clearly it’s going to be heavier than a standard lower. It looks like a range toy, so probably not a lot of debris coming at this on a bench, but I feel like taking this out and about is just going to invite dust, crud, and lush wads of tactical beard hair into your breech.

    It’s another novelty gun part marketed towards dudes who really crave that EDGE that a deadly weapon just doesn’t have outside of Final Fantasy. I get when someone makes a part in an anodized color so someone will notice you customized your gun, but I really wish we could stop encouraging people to make their very real weapons look like vaguely racist toys with all the Punisher logos, crusader iconography, and assorted nu-metal skull motifs. Is it a prize at the state fair? Does it smell a lot like 4 Loko and hotwings? People already tote their “mil-spec” carbines around like flaming erections, so can we work a little harder not to encourage this kind of tacticool gun-nut peacocking? It’s a fun skin for your IRL boomstick that just screams “I have unfortunate priorities” to other shooters. As a lifelong shooter who occasionally struggles to be accepted by non-shooters, this junk is just another product that shouts,”Here is my scary gun. I fancy myself a righteous warrior. Woe unto those in line behind me who must listen to my 2nd amendment rant at Chipotle.” After 33 years, I’m just tired of having to explain, Yeah, it’s stupid, and it’s made for people who I kind of wish didn’t have guns.

    • mcjagermech

      Although these are kinda tacky you kinda sound like a fudd.

  • George Smythson

    After reading many of the comments, I’m dismayed… Frankly anything that moves the needle away from “militaristic,” scary, assault rifle is a good thing. Granted, they’re not the least bit practical–anyone who would use an MSR for serious purposes won’t be attracted to these at all. But from an art perspective, they are kinda’ cool. And cool makes things more mainstream–which makes it harder, in the long run, for the “antis” to build momentum. Let’s live and let live…

  • Hoplopfheil

    That Crusader helm is going to be very popular with the Deus Vult crowd.

  • Imran

    These are ugly as hell.

  • troglobyte

    A safety hazard if there ever was one

  • VDMA

    The “new trend”? Um…no. Just. No.

  • James Young

    Not my thing, but if someone else is into this then go for it. I don’t criticize people for buying a fancy watch or decaling their cars. I’d be curious to the full rifle with one of these.

  • Ryfyle

    I much prefer Skulls tbh.

  • Independent George

    Did this make anybody else think of the Hello Kitty AR-15? Posting links always puts my comments into moderation, but you can search for it on TFB.

  • Iblis

    The Crusader with the Jerusalem Cross on it is my favorite.


    I kinda wanna do a knights templar themed AR-15 now

  • iksnilol

    Angry Hasselhoff, that’s the one I want.

  • Random Disabled Person

    Wait, why did we get away from “The Umbrella Corporation” lowers and uppers?

    Anyone who is going to buy these is not buying them for a SHTF scenario, they are taking it into dangers way, wait does the public range count as danger’s way….. They aren’t buying these for their 1st or second AR…. These will fall out of fashion and then demand collector prices. Since very few well pay 10X the cost of regular lower. The upside is with the ever dropping price in CNC milling we can have a never ending supply of pop culture themed weapons. Be thankful for that.

    The upside is it takes the AR in a non scary and crossover icon & pop culture reference that anti-gunners might not drop “”bricks”” in their paints at the sight off. Since based on scary looking and/or sounding features creates the dangerous level of the weapon. Obviously these couldn’t be those deadly evil 30 clip magazines a second murder machines that every criminal in prison has gotten through that gunshow loophole in California,Chicago,New York…. That they scream about flooding on to their campuses turning into a war zone like Beirut. The same campus where playing a prank with firecrackers is now a terrorist act.

  • jonp

    Crusader with the Optional Pig Fat Dispenser on the side to rub the bullets in for good luck if you please.

  • Evan

    The Crusader one is kinda cool, but neither of the “Spartan” ones look remotely like a Corinthian helmet, and the open faced mag well seems stupid.

  • SPQR9

    No. Just … just …. no.

  • Spencerhut

    Need one shaped like a cylon trooper or an imperial Storm trooper

  • SteveK

    Nobody has just ONE AR, so why not have fun with one of em. Heck yeah, I’d like a Spartan AR!

    • Rogertc1

      I’ve got ten so far.

  • Richard T. Jones

    ‘….and they stayed away in droves…………’

  • Rogertc1

    Nothing beats their JACK

  • uisconfruzed

    Welcome to TFB!
    How did you manage to wander so far from home and find yourself here?

  • Hammer Click

    When can I get this in Mickey Mouse?

  • Rogertc1

    Crusaders is sweet, May have to get one. MY Spikes
    My Jack was a fun build . Had my dentist put a gold tooth on it and has untreated rubies for eyes…

  • VieteranGunsmith

    Your history is full of it. The Spartans were a warrior culture and were raised to fight from childhood if they were able bodied. I’ve known the history of Sparta since elementary school, and your version is absolutely and incontrovertibly incorrect. No, Thermopylae was not about liberty, it was about fighting to deny an invader your home. No body said anything about liberty, and your slavery reference is a load – the Spartans would never allow slaves to be part of their forces because you can’t rely on slaves to fight like your own people.
    Your liberal bias is loud and clear, replete with the requisite dog whistle language. What are you even doing here in the first place with your way off topic rant? This isn’t a history class or a discussion of ancient military battles, it is about people being offered a product for sale, which is an aesthetic rendered lower receiver for an AR 15 rifle. Why is it you lefties always want to steer the conversation off topic as far as you can go in one or two sentences? What about that fulfills your needs? It just makes you appear to be a self important, self appointed know it all who in reality only knows some twisted version of pseudo history.
    Please try to stay on topic.

  • VieteranGunsmith

    I’d hardly call what you are doing bringing the thunder; it’s more like a popcorn fart. You are a provocateur, and that is apparent from your pseudonym. That one stopped being amusing 25 years ago.

    • cunning linguist

      Says the guy who rides in like some wanna be Lone Ranger with a random drive by comment of no substance. Thanks for the pithy retort chock full of ad hominem attacks.

      But if you want to take a run at pseudonyms…I’m game. Let me guess…you either can’t spell or served in Vietnam and think you’re clever? Take that pot and kettle nonsense to Call of Duty where it belongs.

  • cunning linguist

    Hahaha…wow…you really uncorked a spartan themed ar-15 at me in that post. Lets get to the break down shall we?

    No I’m not a fan of judmental types…hence my initial response to put you back down in the booster seat where you belong.

    I honestly dont care if you like the lowers or not, thats cool bro. Its when you veer onto running anyone who might like them down. We get it…youre above novelty parts. All your rifles are plain black sticks because youre a purist and need everyone to know that. Stay in that lane with the other gun Nazis. You show how red assed you are you when you talk about it being a toy, or to impress the boys at the range and living out fantasies. Really? Yeah…youre gonna get called out for talk like that because all youre trying to be is some judmental pile of hot garbage trying to couch itself as having performance concerns. Youre “accomplished” gun use resume made me laugh. You might want to be careful openly saying you take weapons to Black Lives Matter spots…police might want to know your name now. Youre transparent and its sad. Probably a racist too.

    Nice try with that last paragraph trying to come across as an internet tough guy, summarising (incorrectly I might add though with zero surprise)my issue and then trying to be the big man too cool for school chooch by oh so graciously offering the last word. I’ll say it again: transparent and sad.

    In the future you should be careful who you run your mouth to…you might get called out again for the master race supporter that you are. Take your lumps, learn your lesson and try to be a better person in the future.

  • E Wolfe

    More trash to get your cash. This type of silliness should appeal to the folks who’d consider having a tat on their willy.

  • Carl

    I’d bet he’s not racist, but he does hike into BLM (Bureau of Land Management) block management lands, so he’d be worried about dirt, sticks, debris getting into the magwell. He’s probably from one of those states that has more open land than people. Just throwing that clarification in there. Take care.

  • SeeThroughYou

    How about a lower that merely had the Cross of Jerusalem or even a Maltese Cross cut into the magwell instead the whole helmet thing? Makes your intentions clear without giving you a weird magwell grip position.

    Defend Christendom in style!

    Non nobis domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam…

    Deus Vult!!