Billet vs. Forged

I’ve been reading up on lower receivers for an AR15. I still dont understand why I’d want to pay more for billet. All of information points to forged being more durable, aligns with mil spec parts and is not much heavier, like a quarter of an ounce. Is there any compelling reason to go with billet?

3 Likes

Only advantage iirc, imo, with billet is the trigger guard is one piece. Working in mainly exotic metals for 40 plus years,I prefer forged. I worked a year in a shop that made the M16 uppers and lowers, all forged. We used an 1800 ton press,two dies, pre-sized, then finish sized. Carabineers another product, basically things that can not fail. It’s why I like Springfield 1911’s as well, and would love to get a pre 90000 s/n M1a.
Edit to add, I think the reason forged receivers are less expensive is that as forged, the forgings are much closer to finish size than simply having a block of 7075, so there’s less machining needed.

3 Likes

Cabotguns.com claim their billet approach to building 1911s is far superior to cast or forged. I don’t know enough about it to even be close to knowledgeable, just sharing what I read on their website.

2 Likes

I think this Brownells Smyth Busters explains forged vs billet vs cast very well. Only 3:29

4 Likes

:+1:,yeah, good vid, explaining grain structure as well…

The Cabot’s, dang they are gorgeous, but being in precision machining most of my life, I was amused by their “better than perfect” and “hair splitting” fits. Hair is huge! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

3 Likes

Thanks for the video.

Basically I’m looking for a higher grade AR. I want something durable, light, and that I can rely on if SHTF. I’m comparing details between Battle arms Development and Daniel Defense M4A1. BAD has two AR models with one using billet and one using a forged lower but the billet is about .20oz lighter and $300 more than the forged model. I couldn’t really figure out what you’re getting for an extra $300. Of course DD is hard to argue with.

2 Likes

Sounds like you’re getting a nice firearm regardless of your choice. I agree Daniel Defense is hard to beat.

2 Likes

Yeah it seems that way, Battlearms Defense has good reviews on quality and they’re local to me. I’m looking at this like I think it’ll improve my skills or anything, I just want something that’s light and will simply perform even it bad conditions, take a beating. The price gap between DD and BAD is about $600 to $800 so I’m curious what I’m getting (quality) for the price. The receiver material was one thing I noticed.

1 Like

They’re both equally the same dimensions, the advantage of forged is it can handle more pressure due to the manufacturing process, that’s if they follow the proper process meaning no short cuts.

I personally like the billet better, because I like to machine it and see if there’s any voids or porosities in the material.

Bottom line, either one no problem.

3 Likes

Agree, either receiver should last a lifetime. Jesse, have you ever found voids in billet?
Another critical area to look into if going top shelf is the bolt…if you see MPI in the bolt description, that’s a real good thing. Magnetic particle inspection, it’s a process that checks for porosity and other faults in the material, and you’ll get an abnormal magnetic field showing deviations. Magnaflux another term used…fpi, x-ray, zyglo, all material inspection processes that will drive up cost but assure a good product.
Hammer forged barrel…say no more…tough, aligned grain etc…

2 Likes

That’s good to know. DD does indicate that for the M4A1 model.

This is what I was looking at from BAD.
https://www.battlearmsdevelopment.com/shop/product/authority-010-authority-elitetm-rifle-4001#attr=

1 Like

Either way I think you’ll be fine…Good numbers and processes on the link you posted.
Nice thing with AR’s is the ability to swap things out as well.
My son’s first rifle out of the .Marines was a DD. Seems to go through training just fine with it…
Think his latest, 9" .300 bo is a DD as well…Nice to be rich :grin::laughing:

3 Likes

I would like to hear @Craig6 chime in and give his perspective on this.

3 Likes

Thanks Matt. Your experience working with metal provided some cool insight.

3 Likes

Just checked that site, and noted the Workhorse, forged receivers, otherwise same specs, and $200 to put towards an optic :thinking:
Appreciate the thanks. Lot of years, lot of pressure, not much appreciation :joy:, from management anyways. Our customers were awesome, though.

1 Like

That looks very nice. I’d be thrilled with that. :+1:

1 Like

Good vid, out yesterday.

Chris at small arms solutions on YouTube has a new vid out on Colt, specifically the 6920, and touches on what makes for a mil spec bolt, barrel, receiver etc…

2 Likes

I don’t know much about forged vs billet, and I think others have covered it from a metallurgy standpoint…

But if you are asking which is better between Daniel Defense and Battle Arms Development? The BAD model you linked is ~$1700, DDM4v7 lists for $1800+… I would take DD every. single. time. As pointed out in the TFBTV video @mattm posted, DD has a long and distinguished track record of providing quality arms not just to civilians but to the military as well.

Nothing against BAD I’m not familiar with them one way or the other, and there are a lot of AR makers out there making good stuff. But at that price point I’m going with known quality.

3 Likes

@Gary_H In an AR platform it just doesn’t really matter. Cast, Forged or Billet. Think about what forces impact the lower receiver. There are no lateral forces, there are no torsional forces and the linear forces are small. If the internal dimensions are done correctly and all the pieces parts fit the way they are supposed to the metallurgy of the lower or upper really doesn’t factor in. He!! they make them in plastic nowadays and amazingly enough they actually run pretty good and for a long time.

IMHO there are only 3 parts in an AR worth spending money on. Barrel, Trigger and BCG. Is it nice to have all the lumps, bumps and lines match up just so, yeah its nice. Does it matter, no. After 30+ years of running AR’s for fun and business I know what I like and I’m the only one that makes them that way and it doesn’t cost me anywhere near $1K let alone $1700.

JMHO and worth what you paid for it.

Cheers,

Craig6

6 Likes

Well, been on my mind since this post…so I just ordered a DD upper…Thinking about that barrel and bcg :thinking: and on top of it, the vertical foregrip which is required for a CT legal “other” came with it. So much winning :hugs:

1 Like