The AR of today is virtually unrecognizable from the time I first picked one up at Fort Benning, Ga. Civilians at least can get ARs that look like something out of a sci-fi movie in any color or pattern and with insanely tricked-out features. However, anyone who is looking to build a custom AR that really stands out from the crowd needs to start with a lower receiver from Sharps Bros.
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Founded by John Sharps, the company, based out of Eugene, Ore., uses the latest in CNC technology and machinery to produce some of the most detailed and interesting-looking AR lower receivers on the market today. The company uses premium-quality 7075-T6 billet aluminum to achieve the unprecedented level of detail in its designs, which include the original that started it all, Sharps’ Hellbreaker AR-15 lower receiver.
Giving ’Em Hell
The Hellbreaker design was inspired by the nose art on the World War II P-40 Warhawk fighter plane. This razor-sharp design, with its bared teeth on the front and sides of the mag well, was meant to inspire fear in the enemy while inspiring unit camaraderie. Another aircraft-inspired design is the Warthog AR-15 lower receiver, which is a tribute to the A-10 Warthog aircraft. The design features an angry charging hog, nostrils flaring and tusks exposed, followed by a row of pointed teeth as part of the distinctly upswept magazine well. Anyone looking to build a dedicated hog-hunting AR could hardly do better.
But the most detailed and distinct of all the Sharps Bros. lower receivers is definitely “The Jack.” This nightmare-inducing lower receiver features a highly detailed human skull design complete with molars and incisors, as well as an open nasal cavity at the front. Missing the bottom part of the jaw, the rear of the magazine well arches upwards at a high angle to meet the front of the triggerguard.
Of course, there are cleaner designs for those who want Sharps Bros. quality without the sharpness. The Meanstreak features a subtle angry eye design, and the new Livewire has clean and straight lines with improved performance features. All Sharps Bros. lower receivers feature integral, enlarged triggerguards, beveled magazine wells for faster reloads, hardcoat anodized finishes and multi-caliber markings. They will accommodate all mil-spec internal parts, magazines and upper receivers.
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The bottom line is that these designs are fun and the ultimate in personalization. In my mind, the ideal would be to combine a Sharps Bros. lower receiver with a custom DuraCoat or Cerakote paint job to truly bring out the aircraft nose art look. The company’s tagline is “Exceptional Designs. Exceptional Craftsmanship,” and this is not taken lightly. All Sharps Bros. lower receivers are sold exclusively through Spike’s Tactical.