FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Reviews on parts for the PTW platform.

FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby lUcIfEr on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:51 am

Hey Guys (n Gals)

I would like to have the honor of doing the first post in this section.
First, I would like to thank Hades and other admins who worked to get this section up and running.

My first review will be the FCC CNC M4A1 Colt Lower Receiver for the PTW.
Price is around 335USD+Shipping, can be bought by contacting a rep of FCC here. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fight-Club-Custom-PTW-airsoft-works/207219405958297

Having used many third-party M4A1 lowers, such as Gen1, Gen2 Prime, and PCG, I have come to conclusion that the FCC is one of the most accurately replicated one within the three. I will explain the reasons in the following article.

-All pics are cellphone pics...my apologies about the quality :roll: -
-Images wont show up as expected...the forum cuts the edges off, right click on image and select "view in new tab" for the whole picture.-


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First is the color, which many people are concerned about.
Although I do not see the color differences between the upper and lower receivers a problem at all(because the real guns use AL7075 for the upper, 6061/6063 for the lower, which causes differences in color outcome within the anodizing process), the Gen1 BLUE Prime receivers were simply not acceptable.

In the pictures below shows a comparison of colors between a USGI Issued M4-Flattop receiver made by BAFE Forgings and the FCC Lower.

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As you can see, the FCC lowers are MATTE BLACK. Not blue or blingin' pimp-chromed black like Prime or PCG lowers.

Second, I will talk about the markings.
I have noticed Prime/PCG Lowers having weird fonts, and the engravings/letters looks stretched compared to the real Colt Lower. Analyzing/comparing with some pictures, FCC Lowers can be said they closely replicate the real lower.

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Third, I will talk about the trigger retaining pins, full-auto sear pins, and the dummy selector switch on the left side of the gun.
This hasn't been an issue to many users, but I felt disappointment at the non-realistic views of the Systema pins (The dummy selector switch protrudes like it had a boner :mrgreen: ) or Prime ones (Just a plain flat piece of cap). However as shown in the picture below, the FCC has a cut-out like the real guns on the dummy plate, adding a bit of realism to your PTW.
The sizes of the trigger retaining/FA sear pins are different, the FA sears being a bit smaller in diameter. Again, this is how the real gun is.

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Fourth, I will talk about the dimensions of the lower receiver.

Prime and PCG seems to have used a CAD file for non mil-issued lowers, as the dimensions around the take-down pin resembles which is commonly seen in a civilian ar-15 lower receiver. I did a small comparison on the second picture between a RS USGI Issued M4 lower, my FCC lower, and a Prime lower.
The FCC lower also has the water-escape hole on the left side of the receiver, just behind the pivot pin.

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(QR-Code sticker not included!)

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(Starting from left: RS Colt, FCC, Prime)

Fifth, the fittings between the upper/lower, and installation.
The fittings between a RS Upper and the FCC lower is extremely tight. This causes absolutely no wiggles, even when a cylinder is not inserted in the upper. However, this tight dimension caused some billet receivers (LaRue Stealth) not to go in. In this case you will have to shave off a little meat off from either the lower or the upper.
This is not the lower's fault, but mostly the upper dimensions of the Stealth and other billet receivers being bigger for eliminating receiver rattle in an AR-15 rifle.

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Installation was a smooth drop-in, expect for the motor. Due to the tight tolerances, the bottom of the motor had to be filled off a bit.
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(Took a quick pic while doing my monthly maintenance. You can see the silver spots, where it had to be shaved off a bit by a dremel. Can be done with a file as well.)

On the other hand, the pin-hole tolerances were a bit too loose on the bolt catch assembly and trigger guard assembly, so roll-pins had to be opened up a bit.

Motor angles were spot-on, compared to Prime lowers which have a slightly off angle that causes even more motor noise to the already loud PF-490 motor. (Yes, my motor hasn't been tac'ed yet...but its at his hands right now waiting to get tuned...! :D )

Last but not least, I will mention about the finishing of the lower.
The lower seems to be anodized, however not a Type-3 HA Anodizing. This causes the lower to be easily scratched.

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This is a picture of my magwell after inserting a PMAG about 50 times. You can see the finish is already nicking off a bit. If this was to be done with a regular steel magazine, I am sure you will find some serious scratches inside your magwell.

Conclusions
The FCC lower is an absolutely fantastic lower for the price. Although improvements can be made, I can be confident to say that this lower is a steal for the price.

The only superior lowers I have ever seen is K.Siam(Siam7900)'s RS Lower modded for a PTW, or the L.A. Studio(Japan) CNC Lower reciever, which is made out of mono-block 7075 Aluminum, Type3 HA Anodized and correct dimensions, although the MSRP is more than 1000USD :shock:

Finally, the FCC lower is a very good choice compared to other competitors on the market for an upgrade for your military issued theme PTW.

For a suggestion to manufacturers, I would like to see some forged lowers instead of a billet one, because billet lowers simply look too clean for a mil-issued lower. And according to Vltor and other RS manufacturers, forging is stronger compared to billet, and it reduces cost as well. Which is why I see no point of not making one like Inokatsu did.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to ask any quetions :D

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My MK18 Block 2. Not finished yet... :cry:

-edit-
some spelling errors and pictures
added price and where to buy
Last edited by lUcIfEr on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:27 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace. - George W. Bush
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9/11-NEVER FORGET-NEVER FORGIVE
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby The Reptile House on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:56 pm

Excellent review and a lovely looking MK18 Block II-in progress :D

You don't happen to have an OG Systema upper around to test the fit, do you?
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby lUcIfEr on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:08 pm

Thanks for the comments ;)
No, i got rid of every Systema upper and lower I have. I never trust them and never use them after cracking a few during games. However I will see if my friend can loan me his for a fit test.

Speaking from past experiences, the Systema uppers are a bit smaller in diameter around where the pivot pin goes through compared to RS forged uppers, so I think the Systema upper and the FCC lower should fit fine, although it may be a bit wobbly. This will not be a problem once you install your cylinder.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost
I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace. - George W. Bush
EXTREMELY RIGHTWINGED.
9/11-NEVER FORGET-NEVER FORGIVE
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby Zzzujo on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:26 pm

Great review...Been looking for a "RS" lower myself...you didn't mention the most important thing: how much $ and where can I get one? ;)
Last edited by Zzzujo on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby logan on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:35 pm

Around 350 USD + shipping and for details quote user fightclub here at forums.
And the search does not bite...
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby Zzzujo on Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:23 pm

you mean contact? ok thx for info
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby The Reptile House on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:00 pm

lUcIfEr wrote:Speaking from past experiences, the Systema uppers are a bit smaller in diameter around where the pivot pin goes through compared to RS forged uppers, so I think the Systema upper and the FCC lower should fit fine, although it may be a bit wobbly. This will not be a problem once you install your cylinder.


That's really useful - thanks!
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby Hades on Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:41 pm

AWESOME job! This set the standard for the Reviews.

On a side note my Prime lower was also tight on a Larue stealth so material had to be removed I think maybe its the upper. How's the Anodizing durability compared to the Prime units as I'm not sure what grade they are Anodized. Easier to knick or the same?
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby Lee on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:51 pm

Excellent review, I've been waiting to hear someones input on FCCs lowers. Hopefully they'll produce more types soon -cough- LaRue :D
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby JetL on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:52 am

Nicely done review L. It answers a lot of questions for the board members.

Thanks for taking the time to do it. I've been having some difficulties with my receivers and now I want a FCC Noveske lower, damn it.

On a side note how the hell are you guys getting Larue Stealth uppers in Japan? Impressive.
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby lUcIfEr on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:47 am

Hades wrote:AWESOME job! This set the standard for the Reviews.

On a side note my Prime lower was also tight on a Larue stealth so material had to be removed I think maybe its the upper. How's the Anodizing durability compared to the Prime units as I'm not sure what grade they are Anodized. Easier to knick or the same?


Thanks :D

Ah, you're correct. Had same problems with all lowers n the stealth upper including Systema, Prime, PCG, and FCC. My apologies, in the review it made it sound like its the lower's fault, but its actually the upper. :oops: Just wanted to mention that for a thumbs-up.

For the anodizing, it looks like a type-3 HA, but the wear resistance is nowhere near. The color outcome is much better on the FCC, but quality and wear-resistance wise no different than Prime, which is a bit of disappointment. I mean...they use Type-3 HA on their new BB Loader adaptors, why not on the lowers?

For getting the Stealth uppers in Japan, all I can say is "we have our way". ;)

-edit-
anodizing should be either type-2 or regular black anodizing considering it's weak wear-resistance.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost
I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace. - George W. Bush
EXTREMELY RIGHTWINGED.
9/11-NEVER FORGET-NEVER FORGIVE
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Re: FCC CNC M4A1 Lower Reciever

Postby lUcIfEr on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:31 pm

A quick update - My friend was kind enough to try fitting his FCC lower with a Systema upper, which fits fine. However,all Systema uppers are die-cast and painted, there will be slight differences in dimensions, and depending on your lot, there can be a bit of wiggle present.
Once again, this will not be a problem once you install your cylinder and shim the back plates on your buffer tube correctly.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost
I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace. - George W. Bush
EXTREMELY RIGHTWINGED.
9/11-NEVER FORGET-NEVER FORGIVE
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