TFB Review: SilencerCo SCO15 Billet Stripped AR-15 Lower Receiver

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    In the past couple weeks SilencerCo has been teasing that they had a new product coming down the pipeline. Logic would make us assume that it is another silencer, but SilencerCo very recently also dropped a NEW Enhanced BCG (Bolt-Carrier Group) so you never truly know. They also had left us with some fun word-play to see if we could read between the lines:

    Something big is coming… well, not really that big. It’s on the lower end of big. But it’s unique and built to SilencerCo standards, and that’s what really counts.

    We see what you did there SilencerCo. Touché, touché. So, with that being said, we are glad to help announce the NEW SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver! SilencerShop was kind enough to ship us an early copy to examine, build, and review. So, in this Exclusive TFB Review, we will take a look at the NEW SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver and see how it varies from others, and what are the improvements over a standard AR lower. Let’s dive in!

    Specifications: SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver

    We have all seen AR-15 stripped lower receivers before (maybe you have 10 sitting at home on standby). While a billet AR-15 stripped lower receiver we can all acknowledge is less common and higher quality, SilencerCo has decided to jump into a difficult and diluted market. So, what sets this lower apart? What is their secret sauce? It is a lot of small, but valuable improvements to a time-tested design. All of the specifications for the SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver can be read below as presented by SilencerCo:

    • 7075 Billet Aluminum, Type III Hard-Anodized Machined In‑House by SilencerCo
    • Integral Ambidextrous Anti‑Rotation QD Sling Cups
    • 17-4 Stainless, 3D-Printed, Proprietary, Ambidextrous Bolt-Catch/Release (Included, but Not Installed)
    • Enlarged, Integral Trigger guard
    • Flared Magazine Well
    • 45° – 90° Safe-Fire Selector Window Markings for Short-Throw Fire Selectors
    • Rear Tensioner Bolt Hole (Bolt Not Included)
    • Designed for Use with Standard Mil-Spec Lower Parts Kit and Buffer Assembly

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    The starting MSRP for the SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver is currently benchmarked at $249. That places it similarly in line with a lot of other billet stripped lower receivers on the market. Right now if SilencerCo can keep an ample supply of these going out the door, it could be a huge seller for them considering the difficulty shooters are having to buy basically anything related to the shooting sports – firearms, accessories, or otherwise. If you happened to miss the teaser video SilencerCo dropped last week you can check that out courtesy of their YouTube channel below.

    assembly: SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver

    When you first look at this lower receiver it is as sharp-looking and attractive as any on the market. It looks robust, has sexy edges, and like many billet lowers, it has unique features unto itself. While curb appeal does not make for tighter groups downrange, it definitely helps when you spend your hard-earned money on it. “No one wants an accurate gun that is ugly.” The true test here is how well it assembles and the tolerances it exhibits; otherwise, its classy appearance could be for not.

    When I assemble lowers I start with big pieces first like the install of the magazine release and bolt-catch/release (help build some confidence in my fudge hands before we play with smaller pieces). During the unboxing of the lower, there was a second piece, other than the lower, that came with being the 17-4 Stainless, 3D-Printed, Proprietary, Ambidextrous Bolt-Catch/Release.

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    Standard Bolt-Catch/Release on the LEFT versus the SilencerCo 17-4 Stainless, 3D-Printed, Proprietary, Ambidextrous Bolt-Catch/Release on the RIGHT (Included with the SCO15 Billet Lower, but not installed)

    I thought that was pretty thoughtful of SilencerCo to not only produce a piece like this in-house but include it with the lower receiver. The Magpul B.A.D. Lever (Battery Assist Device) is an extremely popular add-on for AR-15 owners and SilencerCo basically built that all into one piece and gave it to you with the lower.

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    The improved bolt-catch/release actually held its own detent and spring in place while I tapped in its coinciding roll pin. The bolt-catch/release (for me) is typically the most difficult piece to install in a lower because it feels like you need a third hand helping you with pieces under tension and using a punch on a tiny roll pin. So, this was very helpful.

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    Also, the lower receiver, left of the bolt-catch/release, has a channel machined and cleared out so you can more easily drive in the bolt-catch/release roll pin from the left-hand side. My punch extended beyond the left-hand side of the receiver so there was no hazard of my fudge hands striking the lower with a baby hammer. When installing that roll pin from the right-hand side there is always that danger.

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    With the SilencerCo SCO15 billet lower, the rear takedown pin’s detent and spring are located beneath the pistol grip as opposed to the rear of the receiver. This is a huge upgrade in my mind for such a little change because now when you spin on your buffer tube the rear takedown pin’s spring is not in the way of the endplate or buffer tube. Less of a chance of having it rocket across the room or me bending it in a bad way.

    The rest of the lower’s components installed without a hitch as well and were more predictable. The trigger, hammer, front takedown pin, buffer tube assembly, and upper assembly all came together perfectly. With the lower fully assembled and a complete rifle made the last thing to do was some basic function testing.

    function check: SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver

    Now looking over what was a complete lower I examined my work. The SilencerCo SCO15 Billet lower had smooth, rounded edges to the touch; no sharp or jagged edges. The finish was evenly coated throughout. The many over-sized features made it easy to manipulate the functions on the lower, but the enlarged elements were not so big that it distracts from its functionality.

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    Like a good lil’ gun owner, I did not buy a parts kit for this lower receiver to assemble it. Instead, I simply dug through my jars, boxes, and bench of components and found enough of the right pieces to build a gun (found a detent spring in the carpet, better build another lower, right). So, with all of my hodge-podge collection of pieces, everything came together and fit. Through simple static and dry-fire testing the gun was functional. The only thing left was a live-fire test.

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    For the live-fire function test, I ran 30 rounds of Norma USA Match .223 Rem 77 Grain HPBT (Hollow-Point Boat-Tail) ammunition. This was not an exercise in accuracy; although, while testing other firearms with this ammunition I have repeatedly gotten sub-M.O.A. (Minute of Angle) groups. I simply fired 10 rounds, cracked the upper and lower open, did a visual check for safety, searched for potential problems, and repeated the cycle. It functioned as one would hope which was flawlessly.

    final thoughts: SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver

    So, what are my final thoughts?… All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver. I expected it to be a good quality, billet lower since it was coming from SilencerCo, but they surprised me with some of their small integrated features which just made life easier when building the lower. It looks great, functions well, assembled easily, and it boasts the added durability of a billet product. At an MSRP of $249, I would not hesitate in recommending this to anyone. I believe you will be pleased with the SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver.

    In closing, I want to say thank you to SilencerCo for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver. Also, many thanks to SilencerShop for facilitating the transfer. Finally, thank you to Norma/Ruag for providing TFB with ammunition for this review as well as others. That is always greatly appreciated.

    Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the SilencerCo SCO15 Billet AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver is something worth spending your money on? Would you build it out as a home defense rifle or pistol? Shoot a league with it? Give it a groovy camo Cerakote and take it hunting? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

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