Larue sells their billet AR15 lower for $199 and their SR25 pattern 308 lower for $299.
I ordered a Flat Dark Earth (FDE) Larue Tactical billet lower almost 5 months ago. It finally came in.
It looks like the FDE lowers are anodized a light tan then painted over it. The coating might be Duracoat. The inside of the lower, trigger pin holes, etc are all left uncoated. You a little bit of the paint overhanging the top edge of the receiver. Also note that Larue added a flange where the receiver extension screws in. We will come back to that later.
The lower looked perfectly made with the exception of the final thread on the lower was a little deformed. This caused a little resistance when the receiver extension was screwed in, but was ultimately a non-issue.
This picture betters the distinction between the lowers natural finish and the coating.
The magwell has a very nice flair to it.
The trigger guard is nicely scalloped.
Bolt catch is held by a standard roll pin. The lower is notched in case you need to remove it.
When I started assembling the lower with the Larue parts kit, I first tried to use an aftermarket ambidextrous safety. The aftermarket safety was binding on the finish so I switched back to the Larue safety. I don’t care for the slop in the Larue safety. In the safe position it has lots of slop (as pictured above) and the movement is not very positive. I have a second Larue parts kit and the safety in that one is exactly the same way. Minor disappointment 1.
First I was going to use a different end plate with QD sling swivel attachment. I found it would not work with the Larue receiver extension. Minor disappointment 2.
Here is where I got frustrated. Using a Larue Receiver Extension, on a Larue Lower, they don’t fit together. The receiver extension hits this flange in the lower.
There is a post on AR15.com forums where Mark LaRue explains that he has his guys just use a sander to make the receiver extensions fit.
I spent a couple of hours trying to find that post, but I couldn’t. I’ll edit this if I find it. Link here.
There’s nothing wrong with the tube.
I had forgotten that when I laid it out, I did so with extra material on it that was dressed/sanded to fit in-house in the gun room.
Reason being that timing the threads on lower and receiver extension was a no-go.
My guys screw it together, sometimes randomly the threads are timed, others need a kiss on the sander.
ETA – there is a machined-in v-block feature that cradles the rear of the bolt carrier, that’s very much worth having, but makes it a little different when it comes to the installation of the extension.
So I ended up having to spend some quality some with a sharpie and a bastard file to assemble the lower.
After all these decades of various manufactures making interchangeable AR parts and Larue Tactical decides to make their own parts not fit together with out modification. That doesn’t seem right to me.
In the end, I now have an assembled rifle. I threw the T-1 on it for fooling around, I think I’d rather keep some magnification on this.
I like the Larue billet lower, but I don’t think it is worth waiting 4-5 months for. For far cheaper there are a variety of other .308 SR25 lower options. I forget the brand, but last month there was a sale where stripped uppers and lowers pairs were about $100. In all truth, I actually order a different lower when this one finally shipped. I’ll write about the other one later.
For those who want a complete Larue brand rifle and want to build it them selves, the option to buy a Larue lower is great. But if you really look at the dollar value, you can do better elsewhere.