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Forged vs billet

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Thinking about my next project upper and see that the receivers are offered in a varitiy of AL alloys, forged or billet. I would have thought forged would be stronger as a result of the process. I haven't seen any billet wrenches out there but tons of forged ones. What makes a 7075 T6 billet pricier than a forged part of the same mat'l? My experience as an A and P has taught me that most wing spar cap strips and fittings are 7075 not 6061 but I want to say I have seen MLG parts in forged 6061. I have also seen extreme corrosion and exfoliation in the 7075 metal where it burst through the surface like angry little splinters. Never saw that in 6061. Of course the hardening, aging, annealing process denoted by the "T" number affects mat'l strength and workability. Input?

 

As always, may God bless and guide us all!

 

Matt

 

P.S. Thinking .224 Valkyrie to keep my Grendel on it's toes.

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Billets are always chunkier than their forged counterparts. Billets are also 100% machined so thats why they are more expensive.

 

Honestly, id only go with a billet upper if you have a billet lower. My very limited experience is that billet uppers dont match that well with forged lowers and vise versa.

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The only billet I have is a side charge upper receiver from Bear Creek and it is definitely different looking than a forged upper. Since its a side charger anyway, it was going to look different so it doesnt bother me.. As stated the billet parts have to be milled and are labor intensive so they cost more. Are they better? Probly not unless you like the mill work better than forging. If you do like the milled look, match up your uppers and lowers from the same company for the best looking match. Even then, some manufacturers may have different versions so check carefully.

 

Most quality uppers and lowers are made from 7075 aluminum. You see some occasionally made of 6061, polymer or even magnesium. I would steer clear of these unless building a low recoil rifle like a .22LR. Each of these materials have their own issues. Find a good quality forged upper and be happy you bought a good one. Just about all my rifles hare Aero Precision uppers and a few have Aero lowers as well. Black Creek Precision is my go to for lowers. mainly because they are local to me and have features found on lowers that cost much more. PSA, Anderson are a couple more affordable products I can think of.

 

Good luck!

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I have billet and forged lowers, they dont di anything different besides cosmetic as far as I can tell. Now the uppers I'm not sure about, I have always ran forged. If it's what you want go for it. But I really haven't seen anything to make me say one is superior to the other.

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Thx guys. I kinda figured the billet was more expensive due to the additional machining. Do they start from forged stock? Would have thought there wouldn't be a fit issue with a billet but maybe an accumulation of tolerances causes an interference. Now I'm looking for a sale.

 

May God bless and guide us all.

 

Matt

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I think "billet" means its completely milled from a block of aluminum. Forged parts all start with the basic exterior shape then machined for pin and spring locations, trigger pockets, mag wells. Very similar to what you would get with an 80% lower.

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Thx guys. I kinda figured the billet was more expensive due to the additional machining. Do they start from forged stock? Would have thought there wouldn't be a fit issue with a billet but maybe an accumulation of tolerances causes an interference. Now I'm looking for a sale.

 

May God bless and guide us all.

 

Matt

I have a POF gen 3 lower and Vltor MUR1 upper. Both billet and they match up soo well you would think they were matched at the factory(but theyre from 2 different companies)

 

Now, the same upper on a POF forged lower is completely diffrent. Theres a gap between the 2.

 

Also, billets are typically thicker than forged so theres an overhang.

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