Can You Finish An 80 Lower With A Hand Drill?

Last updated on May 1st, 2022

Has your passion for gunsmithing made you want to transform an 80 lower into a fine firearm, but you do not know if a hand drill would do? Transferring an 80 lower into some majestic and completely operative weapons is a process that requires patience and a big lot of hard work till you finally make it into a masterpiece that you have wanted. Here are mistakes you must avoid to finish an 80 lower.


Lack of Adequate Tools

The first and foremost mistake that most people, who are new to this, is not having the right tools. Right tools require investments and are worth it. Usually, the fully-equipped kits comprise a finishing 80% jig, one of the most important tools for avoiding this process. Other than that, using the best pocket hole jig, hand drills, and drill presses are also essential. You use either one of these depending upon the material hardness of your lower.

Incorrectly Marked Holes and Inappropriate Cuts

One of the most frequently made mistakes when drilling is the incorrect marked holes and cuts that do not align. Even a single wrong amount or hole can make your entire piece go to waste since it takes multiple attempts at drilling and milling to carve out a single spot.

The main reason this common mistake occurs is that the individual working on the lower level lacks skill and adequate knowledge about the usage of tools. Not all materials can be transformed using just a hand drill. When used onto a receiver that it is not adequate for, misaligned cuts and holes occur frequently.

Poor and Rough Finishing

When drilling out holes into the receiver or making the cuts, you need to keep in mind that your holes and cuts do not come off with a non-presentable finish. For this purpose, it is important to understand that precise drilling is not exactly what you need to be careful of for smooth holes and cuts.

You need to make sure that you are drilling your 80 lower at the right cutting speed. The required speed to carve out smooth holes and cuts is 25,000 RPMs. You can, however, reduce speed when the heat gets excessive.

Drilling In Too Much

Excessive drilling is that one common mistake that you need to avoid making if you want to achieve your goal of making a graceful firearm. To avoid this mistake from occurring, you must read out the instruction that comes with the receiver and make sure to make adequate measurements before you begin to cut.

The drilling pressure and depth vary from hole to hole. Drilling less or too much can lead to your receiver becoming weak. This is also one reason why some firearms tend to misfire.

Hold Up On Your Overconfidence

This one here is not a technical error but one that becomes the origin of most problems. When you start to drill in, make sure you are just confident. Overconfidence leads to even the right things going wrong. Be very careful with your cuts and holes because you would not want your receiver to waste.


There is nothing wrong with finishing an 80 lower with a hand drill, but you need to understand that you cannot drill everything with it. Sometimes you just need to switch to the drill press.


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