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The CAV-15 is a special snowflake in the AR-15 world. Not only is the lower receiver made from a high strength polymer instead of the standard aluminum, but it comes with a polymer stock permanently attached as well. It’s lightweight and strong, and definitely “different.” The original manufacturer — Cavalry Arms — went out of business due to issues with the ATF and missing inventory, but the machines and IP needed to make them were sold to a new owner who is now listing them for sale. According to the GWACS Armory’s website a stripped CAV-15 can be yours for the low price of $199.

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  1. I’m not so well versed in AR-15’s, so forgive the stupid questions…
    What are the benefits to this design? Wouldn’t it make the gun incredibly top heavy once you attach an upper?

    • I have one only because I bought it from friend supper cheap, I really like it as much as my saber ower. No balance issues. It is very lite

  2. The benefit is that you can not adjust the length of pull of the stock
    The benefit is that you can not change the stock
    The benefit is that you can not change the pistol grip
    The benefit is…?????
    hmmm…I think we need to redefine the meaning of “benefit.”

    • It is not a benefit if you are wanting to fleece the pockets of idiots with a GI Joe complex by selling an adult set of legos.

      The AR is a good product, but the people who typically buy them and throw money into them have more sense than money.

    • The benefit is being able to shoot 45 acp using grease gun magazines. Hahn makes great mag adapters and heavy buffer coupled with an Olympic upper. Mine has been reliable and fun, so much that I made a 9mm version. Both are cheaper to feed than 5.56 and I can carry a pistol that shoots the same caliber.

  3. Hey, it’s a low-cost lower. The military did just fine without collapsible lowers on M16’s for quite a few years, and their are police agencies that still field them as well. I carried a non-collapsible lower on my M16 for 6 1/2 years in the Marine Corps, and I’m still here to write about it.

    I may be looking at my third lower, on this one. I don’t see the harm in variety, as long as these have enough durability to be useful. Perhaps there is a TTAG review in the future?

  4. I’ve had a CAV-15 for a few years now, it’s been great. Not everyone wants or needs a whiz-bang über tactical mall ninja gun. I wanted a nice simple KISS rifle and for that purpose the CAV-15 has been great.

    If you want to make a 10 pound Barbie dream house rifle then obviously go with the traditional lower.

  5. The true benefit to a cav lower is weight. I won one of these several years ago at the Iron Man. With a pencil barrel and the right furniture, it makes an extremely lightweight carbine. Mine is under 6 pounds with a 20 rd mag.

  6. Point of Order: CAV arms never went out of business. They gave up their license to manufacture firearms as a result of the ATF mess, but they have continued to manufacture AR furniture, accessories, and their line of medical supplies without any break in manufacturing.

    I’m glad Gary Owen was able to sell or license the IP, although there are a few oddities to the design, they make a great lightweight rifle, especially for those who like an A1 length stock. (I have 3, including one of the rare CAV-Aid recievers)

    • Cavalry Arms Corp ceased operations in June of 201o. All of its assets were sold by its CEO, Shawn Nealon (aka Garryowen).

      Cavalry Manufacturing, LLC was formed by Christian Cappello, former operations manager of Cavalry Arms Corp. Cavalry Manufacturing makes all the AR15 furniture, various firearms components, and Emergency Medical Kits.

      When Cavalry Arms closed down, I took the opportunity to purchase the CAV-15 mold and IP. Unfortunately, the BATFE wasn’t convinced there was a complete separation from the former owners. My association with the old Cavalry Arms prompted the government to want me to fulfill more requirements than a “normal” applicant would have had to do. Even though they have no issue at all with the product, my completion of their requirements still wouldn’t have guaranteed I would get the FFL. From a financial perspective, it made no sense for me to move forward on this, so in the end I sold the CAV-15 to GWACS Armory in late 2011.

      As for the advantages of the CAV-15, they are lightweight, durable, fast to manufacture and eliminate a number of separate components by molding them all as one piece.

      • Flexibility is good to a point. Are these rigid enough that gripping them under different levels of durress won’t change point of impact? I ask because I have seen some synthetic stocked hunting rifles that can be fairly easily “bent” to the point that the forends touch the free floated barrels just by sling pressure in a shooting stance. And I’m not talking a “gorilla” attempt at deliberately trying to bend the stock, just the effort of using a shooting sling changing butllet impact over not using a sling.

        • Accuracy in an AR15 is all in the upper. And the fit between the upper and lower is deliberately tight on the CAV-15. They accept any standard AR15 upper.

        • I can comment on that tightness, my CAV-15 locks up hard on my BCM carbine upper and it was tight on my old midlenvth upper too.

        • Thanks for the answer, and had I thought about it a little more, I would have realized that this would have no effect on the barrel as it “don’t go there”. I am also glad for the feedback on how tight these fit the uppers. This lower is probably going to be the kick I needed to get my first AR type rifle, it’s simple, looks to be extremely durable and affordable.

        • Take the plunge, it’s so easy to do. I found the metal lowers easier to assemble but neither was especially hard. Probably 20 minutes of work.

  7. Own 3. Prefer the solid stock. Weight is weight, and these are extremely light. Put thousands of rounds through them. Kept them clean and maintained. Still running strong. Customer service at GWACS is top notch.

  8. I think GWACS is on the ropes. They claim the molds wore out, and the can’t pay their rent, so maybe they can sell the tooling to someone who can run a business. Cavalry Arms was the first to make GWACS lowers, and the AFT shut them down. The last GWACS I bought was pink out of desperation. It was used, and that is all I can find for now. GWACS has gone from 3rd quarter 2018 to 4th quarter 2018 to 1st quarter 2019 to 2nd quarter 2019, and now with LUCK they MIGHT make it by 4th quarter 2019, but odds are they are already tits up and in their death throes. I hope I am wrong, but with Ian’s WWSD project maybe someone like Knights or Deltron or Armalite or who knows maybe an Arizona laminated building panel builder will buy the rights to build GWACS lowers and not get into trouble.


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