Are you currently in the market for a lower receiver for your 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Stripped Lower Receiver: Lewis Machine & Tool AR MWS Stripped Lower Receiver
The Lewis Machine & Tool AR MWS Stripped Lower Receiver is a solid pick for a stripped lower receiver. After all, Lewis Machine & Tool specializes in making lower receivers for AR-10s and also manufacture the lowers for AR-10s for the British Army, so you should feel comfortable knowing you’re buying a military grade lower.
Best Fixed Stock Lower Receiver: PSA Gen 2 PA10 A2 EPT Rifle Lower
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 A2 EPT is a complete lower receiver that comes ready to install on your rifle. It’s very durable and corrosion resistant thanks to its 7075-aluminum build with hard coat anodized finish. The fixed stock it comes with is very stable and secure, but also not adjustable for length of pull.
Best Classic Looking Lower Receiver: PSA Gen2 PA10 Complete Classic Lower
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 Complete Classic Lower is designed from the ground up to have a very classic look thanks to its A2 hand guard and M4-style adjustable stock. It’s also built out of a very durable 7075-T6 aluminum material with a hard coat anodized finish for excellent rust and corrosion resistance.
Best Overall Lower Receiver: PSA Gen2 PA10 Forged Complete ACS-L EPT Lower Receiver
The PSA Gen2 PA10 Forged Complete ACS-L EPT Lower Receiver is so named for its adjustable Magpul ACS-L stock that comes installed on it. As with other PA10 lower receivers, it’s also very durable thanks to its 7075-aluminum build quality with the black hard coat anodized finish.
In the twelve years of its existence, the 6.5 Creedmoor has established itself as a popular caliber challenging the popularity of long established cartridges such as the .308 Winchester. And while the .308 remains the most common caliber for the AR-10 platform, the 6.5 Creedmoor has been making significant headway in the AR-10 market due to its superior ballistics and performance.
In this article, we’ll discuss the primary advantages of the 6.5 Creedmoor round, the main types of 6.5 Creedmoor lowers, the best materials and qualities to look or in a lower receiver, and then our top four choices for a 6.5 Creedmoor lower receiver for 2020.
What Is The Lower Receiver?
The lower receiver is, well, the lower section of an AR-style rifle or carbine. But it’s also arguably the most important part of the AR, because it’s the part that comes with a serial number and that makes the AR a gun in the first place. For this reason, a complete lower receiver must be shipped to a licensed FFL dealer when you purchase it.
While you could buy a complete 6.5 Creedmoor caliber AR-10 for instant gratification, purchasing the lower receiver and upper receiver separately means that you can customize a rifle to your specifications.
You can also either purchase a complete lower receiver that is ready to pair with a complete upper right out of the box, or you can purchase a stripped lower receiver where you will need to purchase and then install the different components yourself (such as the trigger, trigger guard, magazine release, buffer spring, etc.).
A stripped lower receiver requires a lot more work, and in some cases, you may need to employ the services of a gunsmith to ensure that everything fits properly. But on the plus side, you can handpick each component that goes into your firearm individually, which means that you can truly customize the firearm to how you want it.
A complete upper receiver, on the other hand, will be easier to contend with, because all you need to do is pair it with a complete 6.5 Creedmoor upper receiver in order to create a functional rifle.
In the case of the 6.5 Creedmoor round, you will need to go with an AR-10 lower receiver rather than an AR-15 lower receiver. This is because the AR-15 is designed to fire intermediate rifle rounds such as the 5.56x45mm NATO or .223 Remington, whereas the AR-10 is designed to fire full power rounds such as the .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor.
Most AR-10s are chambered for the .308 Winchester, and the lower receivers will be listed as such as well. However, in almost all cases an AR-10 lower receiver for the .308 Winchester round will be fully compatible for the 6.5 Creedmoor as well. Just make sure that you buy an upper receiver that is designed specifically for the 6.5 Creedmoor with a 6.5 barrel; most other components between a .308 and 6.5 AR-10 are fully compatible.
In other words, when building an AR-10 for the 6.5 Creedmoor, it’s okay if the lower receiver is listed as being made for the .308 Winchester, but the upper receiver will need to be listed as being made for the 6.5 Creedmoor and specifically have a 6.5 Creedmoor barrel. You should also make sure to read our guide on 6.5 Creedmoor muzzle breaks.
What Are The Advantages to the 6.5 Creedmoor Round For the AR-10?
The 6.5 Creedmoor has been around since 2008 and was designed from the beginning to be a long range caliber comparable to the .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm NATO. However, the 6.5 slept in the .308’s shadow for many years, until the latter half of the 2010s when it began to receive a lot more attention due to its superior ballistics.
The 6.5 Creedmoor can simply be pushed to higher velocities than the .308, and while it does produce slightly more recoil, at the end of a day the 6.5 round should perform better at longer ranges. In fact, with the proper ammunition, the muzzle velocity of the 6.5 Creedmoor can even rival that of the .300 Winchester Magnum.
Most AR-10s are chambered in the .308 Winchester, and the .308 is a highly respectable round in its own right. But in many ways, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an even better round, and it’s steadily growing in popularity.
What Are The Best Materials For 6.5 Creedmoor Lowers?
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new lower receiver for your 6.5 Creedmoor lower:
One of the best materials that you can go with for a lower receiver for your AR-10 is aircraft grade 7075-T6 aluminum. Aluminum possesses many advantages: it is durable, lightweight, has strong anti-corrosion properties, and easier to machine than many other kind metals.
Many reputable service pistols are also built out of 7075-T6 aluminum for these same reasons, such as the Beretta 92FS 9mm pistol.
Another option for aluminum is 6061-Ty aluminum. This is a very common general purpose alloy that, besides firearms, is also used in fishing reels and vehicles. It’s very easy to forge, but it is also not quite as durable as 7075-T6 aluminum.
In short, 6061-T6 will definitely work for your AR-10, but if you truly want your lower receiver to be very long lasting and of the utmost durability you should go with 7075 aluminum.
For reference, 6061 aluminum has a tensile strength of 45,000 PSI, but 7075 aluminum has a tensile strength of 83,000 PSI.
One more option besides aluminum is to go with a polymer made lower receiver. Many popular duty pistols such as the Glock and Smith & Wesson M&P are made out of polymer for their frames, so it should come as no surprise that AR-10 lowers can be made out of polymer as well.
Polymer is much lighter than aluminum, and it’s also very scratch and abrasion resistant. However, in most cases polymer lacks the strength of aluminum. Since the lower receivers of AR-10s have many stress points, such as the buffer tube area, you would be wiser to look at aluminum-based options instead.
Additional Factors To Consider For Your 6.5 Creedmoor Lowers
These are some additional factors to consider when searching for a 6.5 Creedmoor lower:
Pairing with The Upper Receiver
Remember that the lower receiver is only one part of your AR-10, and it will need to be paired with a complete upper receiver in order to turn it into a complete rifle. However, also remember that the manufacturers for a lower receiver and an upper receiver do not need to be the same. If anything, sometimes your rifle will perform better if the manufacturers are different.
To help ensure that your lower receiver will pair well to your upper, the following conditions must be met:
- The takedown pivot holes must be aligned properly and machined to the correct specifications
- The roll pin holes must also be properly aligned and machined to the correct specifications
- The magazine well must be machined to proper specifications to ensure that you 6.5 CM magazine will both be held securely and drop freely
Rust and Corrosion Resistant Finish
Even if you go with a very durable lower receiver, you will still want to make sure that it is rust and corrosion resistant finish as well. Simply put, your lower receiver will last longer and resist moisture better if it has a high end finish. A Type III hard coat anodized finish is one of the best options, especially if you will be using an aluminum receiver to go with it.
An anodized finish means that the lower is submerged in a sulfuric acid bath with an electrical current for up to two hours. This forms a layer of aluminum oxide on the surface of the metal that will help make the receiver more resistant to moisture.
Last but not least, there’s no shame in admitting that the looks to your rifle matter. Make sure that you choose a lower receiver that is not just well made, but also one that is aesthetically pleasing. In addition, when pairing with your upper receiver you want to make sure that both the lower and the upper look well together.
Recommended read: Our article on 6.5 Creemoor bolt carrier groups. We did the research and picked the best options on the market.
The 4 Best 6.5 Creedmoor Lowers For 2020
Now that we’ve covered why you need to upgrade your 6.5 Creedmoor lower, here are our picks for the top four best 6.5 Creedmoor lowers for 2020:
PSA Gen2 PA10 Forged Complete ACS-L EPT Lower Receiver
The PSA Gen2 PA10 Forced Complete ACS-L EPT Lower Receiver is a complete lower receiver that has everything already installed and is therefore ready to use right out of the box.
The PA10 ACS-L is both stylish in its appearance very functional in what it can do. It’s built out of 7075-T6 aluminum with an anodized black hard coat finish to help ensure that it’s very rust and corrosion resistant. It comes installed with a Magpul MOE ACS-L stock, which can be adjusted for length of pull. Magpul is well known for making some of the very best AR-15 and AR-10 stocks on the market today.
While originally designed for the .308 Winchester, it can be used with the 6.5 Creedmoor round so long as you pair it with a 6.5 Creedmoor upper receiver.
All in all, the PA10 Complete ACS-L EPT is a great option for a lower receiver for your 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10. The adjustable ACS-L stock it comes installed with is both stylish in its appearance and very well made in its functionality.
- Trigger pull is very smooth
- Very durably made thanks to its 7075-T6 aluminum material
- Comes installed with a Magpul MOE ACS-L stock
- Should be compatible with most 6.5 Creedmoor upper receivers
- As a complete upper receiver, it’s ready to install right out of the box
- Threading may not be a good fit for all AR-10 rifles
PSA Gen2 PA10 Complete Classic Lower
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 Complete Classic Lower Receiver comes ready to install with a 6.5 AR-10 upper right out of the box. Despite originally being built for the .308 Winchester round, it is also compatible with the 6.5 Creedmoor round (just make sure that you are also using a 6.5 Creedmoor upper).
This is a forged lower receiver built out of high grade 7075-T6 aluminum with a hard coat anodized finish for excellent rust and corrosion resistance. It comes equipped with an A2 style grip and an M4-style stock, which helps give it a classic look.
This lower comes with an adjustable stock installed, so it can be adjusted for length of pull. However, it will also be slightly less stable than a fixed stock.
All in all, if you are looking for a complete lower receiver for your 6.5 Creedmoor that also comes with an adjustable stock, you’ll want to take a close look at the PSA Gen 2 PA10. As with all PSA products, the PA10 is very high quality and well made.
- Built to mil-spec standards
- Very classic look and design
- Built out of high grade 7075-T6 aluminum
- Stock is adjustable for length of pull
- Has an A2 style grip
- As a complete upper receiver, it’s ready to install right out of the box
- Trigger pull is not the best and has a little bit of creep
PSA Gen 2 PA10 A2 EPT Rifle Lower
The PSA Gen 2 PA10 A2 EPT Rifle Lower is a solid choice to go with if you are looking for a complete upper receiver that comes with a fixed stock much like the Colt M16A2.
The PA10 A2 is built out of billeted aircraft-grade 7075-T6 aluminum, which is a highly durable material. It also comes with a patented black anodized hard coat finish for superior rust and corrosion resistance as well. The trigger to the PA10 A2 is polished to help ensure a nice, clean break when you shoot it.
Since this has a fixed stock on it, it cannot be adjusted for length of pull. However, the main benefit to a fixed stock are that it is more durable and can help ensure superior accuracy since there will be no wobble.
All in all, if you want to build an AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor with a fixed stock, the PSA PA10 A2 is the lower receiver you’re looking for. As a complete upper receiver, this comes ready to install right out of the box with a 6.5 upper.
- Excellent quality fixed stock
- Fully compatible with most 20 inch uppers
- Built out of 7075-T6 aluminum
- Has an anodized hard coat finish for added rust and corrosion resistance
- Trigger is polished
- As a complete upper receiver, it’s ready to install right out of the box
- Stock cannot be adjusted
Lewis Machine & Tool AR MWS Stripped Lower Receiver
As a company, Lewis Machine and Tool has traditionally been known for their .308 caliber AR-10s, including the L129A1 rifle that is a standard issue marksman rifle in the British army. However, their lower receivers are also compatible with the 6.5 Creedmoor round, including their AR MWS stripped lower receiver.
As a stripped receiver, the AR MWS does not come ready to go and install right out of the box, and all of the other lower components will need to be purchased and then installed either by you or a gunsmith. Fortunately, this means that you can easily customize the MWS exactly to your own specifications.
Take note that the MWS is an SR-25 pattern lower receiver and will work with SR-25 patterned uppers but not DPMS patterned uppers.
All in all, the Lewis Machine & Tool MWS is a solid option for a stripped lower receiver for your 6.5 Creedmoor AR-10, and it will serve as an excellent foundation for building a new AR-10 in 6.5 from the ground up.
- Machined forged
- Comes ready for you to customize to your specifications
- Designed for use with SR-25-style uppers
- Stripped, so you will need to purchase and install the additional components yourself
- Not compatible with DPMS-style uppers
And that concludes our list of the top four best 6.5 Creedmoor caliber lower receivers for your AR-10 for 2020.
Any one of the four lower receivers that we have covered here today will be an excellent option for your AR-10. But even if you don’t go with one of the three models that we have discussed here today, so long as you closely follow the buyer’s guide that we laid out before, you can ensure that you purchase a high quality lower for your 6.5 Creedmoor.
Featured image by RobEvans123