Does the lower you buy for your rifle actually matter? Well, there are certainly people out there who will tell you that it definitely does. There are a number of gun users across the USA who choose certain manufacturers because of their precision. It’s something we look at here as we compare an Anderson Lower with a more expensive option from Colt.
There’s typically about $20 between the two in terms of the price difference, so what does one give you over the other? All you AR-15 fans out there will likely have your opinion about which is the best, but as we’ll see shortly, while the differences require a trained eye, they are there.
At a Glance, They Look Very Similar
With the Anderson lower and the product made by Colt sat side by side, the average person would likely be unable to notice the differences, they’re that subtle. Both are forged from aluminum and both fit most types of AR-15 setup, but when you look a bit closer, you’ll see some subtle differences in how each one has been machined.
What About Weight?
When you weigh both types of lower on some precise electronic scales, you’ll see that the Anderson comes in at 249 grams, with the Colt a touch lighter at 247.1 grams. Often lighter is better, but when you’re only talking about 1.8 grams in difference, it’s not something you’re really going to notice.
What About Aesthetics?
The Anderson Lower and the Colt look almost identical apart from some minute differences in machining that you’ll need a gauge to measure. There’s little doubt that the Colt branding does look rather nice, but then so does the Anderson product. You’ll find variations in each manufacturer, so it can come down to personal preference.
What About Tightness of Fit?
Of course, when it comes to using your AR-15 lower for real, precision counts. After checking each product’s inner machining, it’s evident that there are differences. However, the snugness of the fit may depend on the rifle it’s used with. What we did notice is that the Anderson product was, in general, a bit looser than the Colt. Does it matter – well, you’d have to use each one separately to know if it makes a difference.
The Suitability of the Anderson Lower Depends On Its Use
99 times out of 100, you’re going to find that both Anderson and Colt lowers are effectively going to do the same job. As such, you’ll not have too many troubles with either, so if you want to save some cash to spend on other areas of your rifle, it’s a good purchase to make.
Although if branding matters to you and you’re naturally going to lean to a manufacturer whose aesthetic standards suit you the best, you might be better off going for the more expensive option.
You literally have to try them all on for size to see how each one differs in terms of tightness of fit and function. Then and only then will you know whether it matters to you.
Just go with your gut and you’ll get your answer.