80% lowers are only going to continue gaining in popularity...
Via the Daily Caller:
In completing an 80 percent build, you are attempting to take heavy-duty, dangerous machines and use them to shape and tame a piece of metal so that it will contain the massive pressures, fire, and explosions used to send a projectile racing at a high speed toward a target. This process can be done safely, but extreme care must be taken. And because you are manufacturing a firearm, there are laws that you must adhere to. All of this is the responsibility of the individual undertaking the project, and it’s not all intuitive. The correct mindset is essential, and any doubt about the process is an excellent reason to consider not undertaking the project in the first place, especially when a firearm of equal or greater quality can be found in your local gun shop for less than what the home builder would pay.
However, if you, like me, are set on this path, modern technology is here to aid you in overcoming these obstacles. Most companies that sell products specific to the 80 percent builder also employ experienced builders, and they will often offer legal and safety guides with their products. A quick Google search will help you find many websites full of advice from average Americans all over the country who have completed similar projects and are more than happy to share their passion and hard-learned lessons. Finally, because this is becoming such a popular hobby in the firearms community, there are a wide variety of resources for tools, guides, and parts. A few big names in the firearms world only exist to sell products and parts for these 80 percent firearms, demonstrating just how popular this hobby really is.
I predict that these builds will only become more popular as technology advances: Tools will become even more affordable and available for the hobbyist, information even easier to share, and precision parts even easier to manufacture. While it most certainly will never be for everyone, there will always be a segment of gun owners that loves to tinker, and this is the next logical step of that tinkering. By nature, Americans have always been a hearty people, self-reliant and independent. And firearms have always been intrinsically tied to those all-American values. I honestly can’t think of anything that honors and promotes those values more than having the tools, knowledge and ability to assemble your own firearm from a bin of parts and metal.
Read more here.