I’ve always liked the lower that I bought with my PTW. The previous owner (Ali, I love you buddy) laser engraved Haley Strategic’s logo on the lower receiver above the magwell, and it gave the gun a unique and distinctive look that turned heads and got many a compliment.
But it was also the only non-kosher (read: non government issue) item on my PTW. It always looked a little odd in pics when I’m in full impression gear and there’s a dragonfly lasered on my gun. I’ll miss it, and it was ridiculously cool, but it had to go.
When an FCC Colt lower receiver became available locally (thanks, Drift!) I decided to jump at the chance. Overview and more pics after the break.
Initial impression of the lower out of the box reveals an impressive piece of work. It is very solid, and the lines are clean. According to the FCC website:
“[The receiver is] CNC milled from solid block A6063-T6 Aluminum, offers enhanced durability and precise engineering. Prior to machining, heat treated, aged twice and undergoes a proprietary cryogenic treatment. They all precision machined and each part finished by hand & features realistic markings engraved onto the body. There is not a better receiver available.”
Make of that marketing-speak what you will, but I can tell you that this thing is solid as a rock and very well made. There is what appears to be a small machining mistake in the magwell, but it’s not noticeable at all externally and I covered it up with velcro anyway (my PMags need velcro in the magwell to feed correctly, for some odd reason).
Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about PTW internals, and I somehow had to get the guts from my old lower to this one. Cue DXN, resident Fireteam Bro PTW armorer and all-around good guy!
DXN was able to get my gearbox, chips, and motor out of the old lower and into this receiver in around 45 minutes, and that was with us hovering over his shoulder and generally being a nuisance. Every part seemed to fit smoothly into the FCC receiver without any issues. He had to tap the gearbox into the lower with a mallet (with more force than I was comfortable with – the whole procedure was like watching a heart surgeon work on your child), but other than that the installation went very smoothly.
FCC included small bits that needed to be glued into place, including the cover for the other side of the non-existent ambi selector. It was nice that these were included as separate bits and not simply molded into the receiver as with most AEGs – it adds to the realism because they stand out a little more.
The legit trades on the lower are of course the main draw for this thing. The engravings are crisp and clean, although I would have liked them to be a little deeper. From what I could tell, the trades match up well with the trades on real steel receivers.
There were no issues with fitment with the Systema OEM uppers on my SOPMOD Block II and SPR Mod 1 uppers, although my 416 upper required a little filing on the upper’s forward tab in order to fit a little easier (it fit without the filing, but I wasn’t comfortable with the amount of effort it took to jam it in there). This isn’t surprising, as my 416 upper is actually an Iron Airsoft GBB upper receiver that was modded to work with PTWs.
I absolutely love the look of my PTW with the new lower. The color is a solid matte black, which is a nice improvement on the oddly blue-hued OEM Systema lower. It fits perfectly with the black 416 upper. I tossed a QR code sticker I had picked up some time ago on the lower for that added touch of authenticity – QR codes are often put on issued guns by armorers for what I presume are inventory purposes.
Overall I’m pretty happy with this, even if it does cost more than some complete AEGs… but when you’re a PTW owner, you’re used to being broke.