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Been a minute but I’m back!

Had a few questions about HK’s lower receiver, all models seem absurdly expensive and fairly hard to find. Are they any better then Brownells clone? (Which apparently are made by HK and finished by Brownells)

Currently I have a LMT MARS-L lower that I had planned to use with a upper Ive recently assembled, wouldn’t mind having a genuine lower to go with the build though, could settle with Brownell’s lower but I’d like to see opinions from the experts first. Is it worthwhile to invest in a takeoff/used HK lower or should I just get a Brownells and have someone add HK markings?
 

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The Brownells receivers are HK forgings with the machining done by PRI for Brownells. Quality is good, but some don't like them for clones due to some minor variations, including markings.

To answer your question, it depends on how 'clone correct' you want to be.
 

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I believe the Brownells lower is machined by PWS, Primary Weapons Systems.
There are a few differences, most notable is the chamfer cut the put on the rib by the bolt catch and above the magazine release. They did not try to get aggressive with funneling the magwell. And there is a bit of extra material by the front of the trigger guard. I wish PWS didn’t put that damn chamfer on all their lowers.
You have the option of going the 80% route, I think there are At least 2 guys that do that. I’ve seen one from an actual forging from here and I’m really tempted to buy it. That would be the most correct.
 

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Been a minute but I’m back!

Had a few questions about HK’s lower receiver, all models seem absurdly expensive and fairly hard to find. Are they any better then Brownells clone? (Which apparently are made by HK and finished by Brownells)

Currently I have a LMT MARS-L lower that I had planned to use with a upper Ive recently assembled, wouldn’t mind having a genuine lower to go with the build though, could settle with Brownell’s lower but I’d like to see opinions from the experts first. Is it worthwhile to invest in a takeoff/used HK lower or should I just get a Brownells and have someone add HK markings?
Meh. In my opinion, a lower is a lower as far as basic function goes. Amongst myself, and several friends who have built ARs, none of us has ever had any problem with any aluminum AR15 lower. If you want to spend $300 for a lower, you certainly can. It'll work. So with a $50 Aero Precision. The LMT MARS-L gets you some nifty features for your extra dimes.

When it comes to HK416 lowers, there are really only two paths:

A real-deal HK416 lower from Hurricane Butterfly. That'll cost you $7k or so at the moment. If having $10-11k into a gun to have it be all-HK is worth it to you, then go right ahead.

All other options are merely clones. Its up to you to decide how close of a copy you want it to be, and how much you want to spend.

Myself.. before the Brownell's lowers came out, I set up a few lowers with HK416 markings based on the Spikes Tactical "No-Logo" lowers. Slapped on a pair of HK416 uppers, and ended up keeping the one where the receivers lock up nice and tight. 100% happy with it, even though it is "not correct."
 

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As stated before by sickness your only "real" option is Hurricane Butterfly (HB) but bear in mind that they will have an import mark on the receiver, usually on the roof of the trigger guard. Some individuals on here sell 80% but not often; I have seen perhaps 3 in a year and two of the three were a relist. Most range users will never understand or notice the difference even holding a form 3 next to an A2 that's been engraved. I will attach a pic here so you can compare the Brownells to a copy; the pic with all other receivers is there to show the light difference, the Brownell's and the copy are the same black.
20200909_114227.jpg

20200909_115517.jpg
 

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The MARS-L is a great lower receiver. Arguably one of the best normal folk can readily get for ambi-bolt catch options. Should be a close anodized black hue and they use HK picto markings which is nice.

In a way LMT lowers are more authentic operationally as those VERY early pics of Army 416's showing up overseas (pics that broke the internet) were on LMT lowers because the uppers were GTG while the lowers were still stuck in some bonded warehouse.

The only functional benefit the Brownells lower serves at this point is cost for people that overlook the fact that it's finished by a mid-tier company (PWS) in favor of markings.

There isn't much mechanical benefit that can be squeezed out of a lower receiver. Either the holes are drilled correctly and everything's to spec or it isn't.

If you want to unload that MARS-L lower and/or talk turkey about getting you an MR556 lower that I could be talked out of, my PM's are open ;)
 

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I put together my 416 clone on a Brownells BRN4. Had San Antonio Laser Engraving do the markings. Its been a little over a year since my Form 1 was approved and I completed the rifle. I'm pretty happy with it.

AAC9921C-6A09-4FC2-A156-9CB95F1175A8.jpeg EE3937EA-F6D5-4CBC-A387-B9D949146238.jpeg
 

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I myself just sent my BRN-4 lower and upper receiver off to San Antonio Laser for 416 markings. It's also getting cerakoted brown to mimic the CAG anodize. Cerakoter is busy at the moment so it will be a few weeks before I see it but when I get it back, I'll post some pics of the completed product. I did notice there were some lines that did not quite line up perfectly, but the fitment was good and I'm sure I'll be happy with the outcome.
 

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I myself just sent my BRN-4 lower and upper receiver off to San Antonio Laser for 416 markings. It's also getting cerakoted brown to mimic the CAG anodize. Cerakoter is busy at the moment so it will be a few weeks before I see it but when I get it back, I'll post some pics of the completed product. I did notice there were some lines that did not quite line up perfectly, but the fitment was good and I'm sure I'll be happy with the outcome.
Does SALE offer the cerakote service as well?
 

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As stated before by sickness your only "real" option is Hurricane Butterfly (HB) but bear in mind that they will have an import mark on the receiver, usually on the roof of the trigger guard. Some individuals on here sell 80% but not often; I have seen perhaps 3 in a year and two of the three were a relist. Most range users will never understand or notice the difference even holding a form 3 next to an A2 that's been engraved. I will attach a pic here so you can compare the Brownells to a copy; the pic with all other receivers is there to show the light difference, the Brownell's and the copy are the same black.
View attachment 272338

View attachment 272340
I have one of those real HK forging lowers brought to 80 percent that I am selling in the equipment exchange. No longer need
 

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The PWS chamfer cut on the BRN lowers is frustrating, but overall they do a fine job of replicating the HK lower. The anodizing, to me, seems slightly off HK's, but is improved with application of some gun oil. Someone also posted about using a light clearcoat finish to replicate the anodizing on the MR556 guns. The unavoidable thing when using a standard-ish AR lower, be it an LMT or Anderson, is the magwell profile discrepancy. To me, matching the correct 416 lower profile which is possible with the BRN lower, more than makes up for the chamfer (which is a dead giveaway that the lower is not genuine upon close inspection in it's own right), and a good engraver (SALE) does a lot to make it look convincing.
 
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