Precision Arms Manufacturing Facebook page

A regular reader writes:

I’ve been following the rockethub.com funding of 80 percent lowers for some time now.  [ED: 80 percent lowers are the unfinished lower receivers which recipients complete to create a legal, unregistered firearm.] A LOT of the projects have turned into complete crap storms. Multiple projects have gone way, way over what they were trying to fund (i.e. trying to fund $10k, make $220k) and nobody has gotten anything. There are now rumors amongst funders and on forums that Rockethub is pulling 80 percent firearms projects due to the complete failure of most of the projects. Reading the “conversations” tabs on the projects – click here, here or here – is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. If you do some more Googling on these companies, the amount of excuses and “next weeks” is astounding. It seems that only one company has really been able to actually deliver the goods, albeit slowly, Precision Arms Manufacturing… incidentally, also the one I threw my $90 into the mix for an AR-10 lower.

44 Responses to Rockethub Funding for 8044 Lowers: Crash and Burn

  1. “Registered with he federal government”? I expect this nonsense from the NYT, but all of us here know there is no federal firearms registry. (excluding NFA)

    • Thinking that the ATF doesn’t have a warehouse or twelve full of old purchase forms just waiting to be scanned into a comprehensive database is like thinking that because you’re a good citizen you won’t ever run into problems with jerk cops.

      • So if it’s happening illegally, best to just allow it and move on? They won’t even have to change the law when it’s national registry time, because no one will be aware there ever was a law against it if we just stop caring.

        • He said waiting to be scanned. When a gun shop goes out of business they turn all there forms over to the ATF. Those warehouses exist and are legal.

  2. I received an 80% 10/22 receiver from Northwest Precision from a Rockethub project. Slow (3+ months) but it did arrive and looks great. On the other hand, I made purchases with Sierra Nevada Arms that have not materialized after 6+ months.

    • Max – my condolences on giving Sierra Nevada your money. He at least seemed to try to give refunds… Fealty Arms on the other hand looks like they booked out of town with the loot.

    • I have two orders with Northwest. Im not in a hurry so I am ok with waiting. I think the main problem is these companies bit off way more than they can chew. They needed to keep their campaigns smaller and offer fewer products.

      • Max,

        You may want to check in on SierraNevada’s facebook page, they began shipping completed lowers yesterday.

        Fortuitous for you eh?

      • I can’t comment on lowers, but I have received a stripped upper from Northwest Precision that I funded through RocketHub. It did take a while, but they were setting up production processes with the funding they received.

  3. yep if Obama corps needs something to do with the new 15/hr min wage they just send em out with toy atfe badges and scanners. could be done with Executive Orders probably.

  4. like any crowd sourced project you run the risk of never getting your stuff……. you are throwing money at an idea, not a working project or product. look at some of the other failed crowd sourced projects, its 50/50 on actually getting the end product.

    • If Kevin Deleon gets his way, you will have to get a number BEFORE you start the build, and engrave that number on the lower. And the bill has been amended to require RETROACTIVE registration of all 80% builds.

  5. This is why my future products are ‘crowd funded’ by the current products, instead of blowing it all on extravagant living… My customer are my funding, for the next project for my customers… Such a viciously awesome cycle of productivity and capitalism…

    80% is silly anyway… I’m working on a “Negative Zero” percent rifle and pistol… Always prepare for the next attack, and before any of the fools started talking about “Ghost Guns” I was working on receivers you don’t need to buy/transport at all… And, no, not 3D printed. Real steel.

  6. Still waiting / hoping / praying i get mine from Pebble Peak. I don’t think at this point its ever going to happen, but a guy can dream.

  7. Is no one purchasing the poly or composite 80% lowers, albeit some strength issue rumors around the rear of them.

    Must you have a billet machined number?

    • I just bought a polymer lower. There a few complaints on their web site, and none I saw about failures, and their lowers are easy peasy, as the expression of the day goes. The part you need to mill out is a different color plastic than the lower. $50 plus (in state) tax, shipping and handling. It looks like it will be a fun project. EPLowers.

      • One other thing–it’s jigless, so no additional expense there. The milling can be done with a drill press or a dremel.

    • The whole point of the 80% lower is that it is not a firearm (as defined by the ATF) until you finish milling out the remaining 20%. (Stripped lower is a firearm.) The ATF does NOT require that any serial number be affixed to a homemade firearm, which is what an 80% lower is, as long as you are making it for your own use and not for resale. If you want to sell it, you MUST affix a serial number. And you may sell one of these ONLY occasionally, or you become a manufacturer. So if you keep it for yourself, there is no record of the purchase. Hence, Kevin Deleon’s “ghost” gun. Uppers are not firearms and may be purchased from a LGS or through the internet.

  8. That really sucks. As I understand it, people who gave these startups money did not technically buy the 80% lowers, but rather made an investment with the expected return on investment being a lower. So if the company does not produce the goods, people who “invested” could be SOL. It’s a shame because the concept of unfinished lowers is great and the more businesses churning them out the better.

  9. Sierra Nevada seems to be making good on their Rockethub deal. While it is taking a tremendous amount of patience on the funders part (I’m on the hook for multiple lowers and a jig, since May) the company has been making things happen. Even when they were having machining issues, they were working deals for securing their FFL (to turn out 100% lowers), finding a Cerakoter and anodizer for those wanting those services, and putting together rifle kit deals for their customers.

    Again, its been frustrating, and until I get paperweights in hand its all vaporware, but they’ve at least appeared to be putting in the effort.

  10. Here’s the thing:

    Making firearms isn’t that difficult. Making an AR lower casting shouldn’t be difficult at all. This spring, when I get some free time, I’ll order some green sand, light up an improvised forge and knock one out, just to be able to write up an subversive pamphlet on how to do it.

    The problem is, lots of people now no longer have even the most cursory mechanical knowledge that we used to be able to assume of every high school graduate.

    To paraphrase Dick Cheney, lots of people no longer know what they now don’t know.

    What I’d like to see someone start up is a source of cheap bolt gun receivers. All we need is a piece of round 4140 bar stock with a 0.700″ hole down the middle with the bolt races EDM’ed or broached out and you have the starting point for a Rem700 style receiver. From there on out, machining the rest of the receiver isn’t that difficult.

    I’d prefer to see a Win70 receiver, but hey, that’s going to require forging, not just casting.

    • That would be an interesting project. Building a rem 700 could be a fun project but I doubt a lot of people know how to do the machine work for it. I have also seen 80% 1911 frames which would be a great project. I think RIA sells a parts kits to finish a frame.

  11. I got burned by Adapting Arms (Andres Olivares). Still waiting for a refund. Rockethub has pretty much washed their hands of it. The best they do is provide an address.

    If anyone else is in my boat, apparently he lives here:

    Andres Olivares
    5554 Carlton Way Apt. #21
    Los Angeles, CA 90028
    adaptingsystems@yahoo.com

    Not holding my breath.

  12. I think I’m missing the point of these crowd-funding exercises. I thought that crowd-funding was primarily to help startups with innovative ideas to get some capital to get underway on truly ground-breaking inventions. These are presumably new ideas that probably wouldn’t be touched by a conventional funding source like a bank, or would be stripped of any profits by a venture capitalist (assuming that the startup could find one who was interested.)

    All I see on RocketHub in the firearms category is a bunch of startup companies producing the exact same product, but who need the cash to buy a CNC machining station, and in many cases, the materials and training to learn how to operate it. Do these sound like the type of company I want to buy a critical part for a firearm from?

    If you want to start a machine shop, how about doing it the old fashioned way – approach your bank, hat in hand, and get a small business loan. The banks don’t look so kindly at you if you don’t make your monthly payments and have the power to do something about it. Ripping off gun people by selling sham “contributions” for product they’ll never receive is pure fraud – for which they ought to be prosecuted.

    • Banks are in the business of making small business loans? Wow, I never woulda guessed. When the housing bubble (that they created) burst, funding for just about anything vanished over night. Even now funding is hard to come by, despite the fact that banks are borrowing money virtually for free and lending it out at 20% plus. Removing he cap on usury (thanks, Joe Biden) has been extremely deleterious to the US economy, and the banks are getting fatter and more powerful every day.

      • You forgot that Bill Clinton told the banks to give loans to people who can’t afford the loans. That is why banks foolishly gave out the bad loans & caused the bubble. Remember everytime you make a bubble it will pop & the bigger it is the more it will hurt everyone.

  13. I purchased my lowers and jig from Sierra Nevada Arms. I am not mad or irritated at how long it’s taking to receive my products. I am a small business owner and a metal fabricator. All you individuals crying about how long it’s taking should have spent 2 or 3 times more money and picked it from a website. WE bought into a dream. We gave money to individuals in hopes that their dream comes true. Some fail, some succeed, but that’s what life is about. I bet six cups of coffee from Starsmucks that Sierra’s business plan would work. If I receive my lower than it would have been worth it. All the cry babies want everything for nothing. Next time open up your wallets and pay the full price for these things. I’m sick and tired of hearing all you guys bitch.

    • I don’t think anyone would be pissed if it were taking a long time. We get pissed when we’re told that product has shipped, that refunds have been sent, that it will be one more day, etc for the last 6 months. If the “business owners” manned up and said, “sorry, I couldn’t pull it off, this was harder than I thought” then fine. Instead we get a cowardly run around that reeks of fraud and deceit. It’s not a matter of the lost money, it’s the fact that I suspect no attempt was made to create a product. No one likes getting scammed.

      Also, if you’re sick of my bitching, move along and stop reading comments on the internet. No one cares what you’re sick and tired of.

  14. Pebble Peaks Website is down, many predict the venture is over and $150,000.00 plus has been absconded.

    You really can’t blame the guy for pulling a scam. If 1500 suckers give money without checking out the venture, they deserve to be ripped off…

    Joe Gotts

  15. I lost a bit of money on these as well, and I decided to start my own campaign but I’m going to do it much different. I’ll be starting a crowdfunding campaign, if Rockethub will allow it. I want to start up a small mfg company, but instead of everyone waiting on my production to start and for me to work all the kinks out, I’m buying the lowers from a wholesaler in the USA. So instead of everyone waiting on me to finish setting up my machine shop, I’ll be shipping orders. I’ll use the proceeds to THEN start my machine shop. I think this way we’ll all be happy. I’ll post a link to it here when/if Rockethub puts it up.

    Personally I think it’s more important now than ever to buy these 80% lowers. The current trend of gun control isn’t going to fizzle away and disappear. I believe this could become a situation where there are a few safe states that won’t honor any federal level gun control measures, but states like CT, NY, and CA already are threatening gun owners. We need to be prepared. And I don’t believe owning serialized commercial guns will help in any way…

  16. Precision Arms MFG is no better than the rest!! Precision Arms MFG and their new parent company CB Arms are a bunch of liers and cheats. They have repedidly lied about shipping of funded items. I even recieved a shipping notice from them via USPS on Febuary 7 2014 and have still yet to recieve anything as of April/18/2014.

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