[Review] 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen 2: Never Easier

Want to build your own AR lower receiver…without letting big brother know?

Starting Pilot Hole, 80% Arms
Starting Pilot Hole, 80% Arms

We hands-on review 80% Arms’ Easy Jig Gen 2 after several completed lowers across multiple people.

All Done with 80% Receiver
All Done with 80% Receiver

Now with a full video review of the actual process:

By the end you’ll know if an 80% project is for you, if the Easy Jig can help you out, and the tips/tricks we learned along the way.

Disclaimer: We’re not lawyers and you should check with your local, state, and federal laws regarding 80% receivers. Rule of thumb is if you can normally buy and own an AR-15, you can build one for personal use.

Table of Contents

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Quick Overview of 80%

Hopefully you already know what an 80% receiver is…but this is a super fast refresher.

There’s got to be a point of a block of metal where it isn’t a firearm. The industry term “80% receiver” straddles this point.

Some 80% AR-15 Receivers
Some 80% AR-15 Receivers

Therefore you can buy these paperweights anywhere since they aren’t functional firearms.

BUT you will need to finish them yourself.

And that’s where 80% jigs come in that help you cut out the firing control group area and some trigger pin holes.

Old School Jigs

We cover a bunch of stuff in our Best 80% Receivers & Jigs, but many years ago you had some drill-press jigs.

Old AR-15 80% Jig
Old AR-15 80% Jig

First you needed a full-on drill press.

Then you had to make tons of little holes into the fire control group pocket before attempting to mill (cut in a horizontal manner) it out.

It sucked and took hours.

Previously Completed 80%
Previously Completed 80%

Enter the Easy Jig

Now…all you need is a power drill, wood router, some bits, and the jig!

250
at 80% Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Don’t worry, we’ll have a list of everything at the end.

Easy Jig 2 and Lowers
Easy Jig 2 and Lowers

And you avoid all the dozens of little drill holes by using the router to slowly mill the pocket immediately.

So how does it all work?

The Process

We’re not diving completely into the process since 80% Arms’ instructions are pretty nice.

80% Arms Easy Jig Instructions
80% Arms Easy Jig Instructions

And they have a full-on video that walks you through everything:

But this will give you the gist of what’s really necessary. Plus what are the hard bits.

Setup

It’s easy…

Attaching Buffer Tube Alignment
Setting up the 80% Receiver

There’s a big plate on top where you connect the two smaller shinier plates. One is for AR-15…

AR-15 Side Plates
AR-15 Side Plates

While flipping it will give you the AR-10 side plates.

AR-10 Side Plates
AR-10 Side Plates

Note we went with the Easy Jig Gen 2 multi-caliber version which lets you do the AR-15, AR-10, and AR-9.

Otherwise there’s the less versatile versions which omit the AR-10.

Connect it to the big plate and plop in the appropriate lower. Connect with pins and some screws.

We used 80% Arms’ version here but we’ve tried other brands and they are all good to go.

Easy Jig Receiver Install with Pins
Easy Jig Receiver Install with Pins

Then attach the buffer tube alignment part and shopvac attachment.

Attaching Buffer Tube Alignment
Attaching Buffer Tube Alignment

Pilot Hole

You’re ready to start the pilot hole with a regular power drill.

Starting Pilot Hole, 80% Arms
Starting Pilot Hole, 80% Arms

Milling

After that load up the router with the appropriate parts. Really make sure to tighten that milling bit!

The Ridgid R2401 Router we used needed two larger screws (included).

The old jigs made you measure your depth…but the top plate gives you super handy-dandy hashmarks.

Easy Jig Milling Depth Gauge
Easy Jig Milling Depth Gauge

My recommendation is to start off with the half-hashmarks. If you’re using 6061 aluminum (which is softer) you can go with full hashmarks.

But try to start with half first before you get the hang of everything.

Then you’re ready to get milling with the router!

Milling with Router, 80% Easy Jig
Milling with Router, 80% Easy Jig

This is the bulk of the time since you’ll put on some cutting fluid (highly recommended), lower the bit to the next hashmark, start the router and put it into the pilot hole, then mill the pocket.

Another pro tip is to have your router on the highest speed and to make sure you start milling each time from the pilot hole. Both these tips will prevent runaway chattering (yeup…learned it the hard way).

Aluminum Flakes
Aluminum Flakes

There’s going to be aluminum flakes everywhere…so make sure to have eye protection if not also hearing protection.

Remember that Shopvac attachment?

I highly recommend hooking one up…and use some tape to make a better vacuum.

Easy Jig 2 Tape Trick
Easy Jig 2 Tape Trick

Then boom…you’re done with all the three sections of milling.

Trigger Pin and Safety Holes

Flip it to the side and get your power drill ready to make the two trigger pin holes and safety hole.

Only do one side at a time!

 Drilling Firing Control Group Hole
Drilling Firing Control Group Hole

You’re basically done!

FCG Holes on Side Plates
FCG Holes on Side Plates

You’ve just got a aluminum-flake covered lower!

Almost Done 80% Receiver
Almost Done 80% Receiver

Wipe that bad boy off…

Decent Completed 80% Receiver
Decent Completed 80% Receiver

And get your lower parts kit of choice.

Complete It

We went with the CMMG kit from 80% Arms…but you can also see our Best LPKs List.

CMMG Lower Parts Kit and 80% Arms Completed Receiver
CMMG Lower Parts Kit and 80% Arms Completed Receiver

Check out our guide to Completing an AR-15 Lower if you need some help with that.

Add a nice upper (Best AR-15 Uppers) and you’ve got an un-serialized piece of American freedom.

Finished 80% Arms Rifle
Finished 80% Arms Rifle

Needed Parts & Tools

Easy Jig 2 and Router
Easy Jig 2 and Router

Essentials

Nice to Have

  • Shop Vac: If you don’t want aluminum chips everywhere
  • Vice: Makes it much easier than trying to clamp it down by hand or quick clamps
Aluminum Flakes
Aluminum Flakes

Time Needed

For his first build, Johnny in our video took about 5 hours. He went super slow in a measured-twice-cut-once kind of way.

For my build, it only took me 90 minutes but I’ve already built a couple 80% projects across the years.

Depending on your skill and patience…you’ll probably be somewhere in-between.

But trust me…already tons faster and more precise than the old school jigs.

AR-15 80% Jigs, Old School and Easy Jig 2
AR-15 80% Jigs, Old School and Easy Jig 2

Tips & Tricks

We went over several things already but here are our main takeaways…

  • Read the instructions & watch the videos a couple times
  • The router we used needed two larger screws to attach its parts (comes with them)
  • Really clamp down the mill bit onto the router or else it might back in
  • Go 100% on the speed with the router
  • Try half-hashmarks first. Stay with them if you have 7075 aluminum, and you can try full-hasmarks if you have the softer 6061.
  • Start each milling pass in the pilot hole
  • The router can overheat and shutoff…give it a few minutes
  • Use cutting fluid
  • Use eye and ear protection!

Is It Worth It?

It does add up with the jig (even if you go with the cheaper ones), bits, lowers, and tools if you don’t have them.

Building 80%-ers is usually never about cost savings.

It’s about exercising your right to make your own guns away from the eyes of Uncle Sam.

Finished 80% Arms Rifle
Look Ma, No Serials

Plus…it’s super cool to know you build your own lower receiver.

All that sounds good…but it’s still a good chunk of change.

I’d recommend either building a lot of them (for your own personal use). Or going in with a couple of friends.

Conclusion

There you have it…our review of the 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen 2.

Almost Done 80% Receiver
Almost Done 80% Receiver

If you’re decently handy and want an AR that you literally built yourself (without those pesky serials)…it could be the easiest way.

250
at 80% Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Again here’s the video review:

Are you going to attempt an 80% project now? Check out our Best 80% Receivers article as well as our Definitive AR Guide to get all the best parts for your future build.

5 Leave a Reply

  • James Woods

    What about finish on the new bare aluminum interior and in the holes? Can you send them out? Spray-paint? Recommendations?

    1 hour ago
    • Sua Sponte

      I DuraCoated and baked my 80% lower.

      1 second ago
  • Eric

    Beto won’t be finding any of these!

    3 days ago
  • Billy

    Is it me or do the outside edges of your fcg router job appear very thin?

    4 days ago
  • Robert

    One thing I learned the hard way Go buy the cutting fluid. WD-40 is petroleum based and will eff up certain " parkerized" finishes. Also,based on experience, when you're milling the oval hole for the trigger 1/4 hashmarks work best and go very slowly as the end mill has a tendency to flex when you're cutting that deep

    5 days ago
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