When I was a kid, my dad was a car guy, or well a truck guy. His hobby was to take 60 and 70s model Fords and restore them. For one summer we both worked together on a truck, and it was an opportunity for us to bond. My dad and I never had much in common, but when it came to sanding down an old truck or passing him tools, I was right there I wasn’t a truck or car guy, and beyond changing fluids and tired I’m pretty useless mechanically. What I am is a gun guy, and as a gun guy with a son, I’ve been looking to do an 80% build with my son.
Sure he may never be a gun guy, but I feel it’s my responsibility to introduce him and share my love of firearms. I thought about an AR build but decided that’s a bit easy. Where’re the tools? The hard work, the real sense of accomplishment?
Why an 80% Build
It’s harder, plain and simple. It’s more work, it’s more challenging, and logistically it’s easier for me. I can order all the parts online and have them delivered to my door. Nothing else to it. This is especially true if I decide to go with something other than a AR 15. Sure AR 15 80 lowers exist and are very common, as are 80 percent lower jigs, but they aren’t the only game in town.
These days you have 80% builds for half a dozen different guns. The question I’m having is which he will enjoy the most? Which will serve him the best? There are lots of reasons to go AR 15 80% build, mainly because together we could customize it to be the rifle he wants. If we start with a 22 LR AR 15, we could easily toss on a 300 Blackout barrel and hit the ground running. On the opposite side, we can customize a 1911 and make it a family build and an heirloom gun he can pass down.
Ramblings of a Gun Guy
Now my decision is my own, but I think the time spent bonding over building a gun and sharing the celebration of success is something that can’t be replicated by much. Outside of the skills he’s learning I’m also passing down my love of firearms freedom, and he’s learning early the mechanics of firearms as well as how to handle one safely. He may never become a gun guy, but I hope I can plant a seed that will give him a good impression of firearms and the fundamentals of handling them safely.
All too often as gun guys and girls, we get stuck in our echo chambers. We hang out with fellow shooters and rarely do we reach out to the normies out there. However, we must remember firearms freedom is only one generation away from being lost. With father’s day right around the corner, I think the gift of an 80% firearm receiver or frame could be an excellent way to celebrate Dad’s day.
Since an 80% receiver isn’t a gun, it’s essentially a paperweight according to law before any milling you can ship one directly to dad. No need for an FFL, a 4473, or to ruin the surprise. In States with Universal Background checks, 80% lowers or frames won’t count as actual guns so no background check necessary. If your dad is a gun guy make sure you give him not only the gun but the gift of time with him. Hell buy two 80 lowers and make it happen, and you can each build a weapon. If Father’s Day has come and gone by the time you read this, consider Birthdays, and Christmas, or any other gift-giving holiday.