Any true gun nut will either tell you straight up, or admit under pressure that polymer AR's are a great technology that just hasn't held up yet. They wear, flex, break, ect... That being said, ATI's new hybrid AR lower has the ability to be the most fantastic leap in modern sporting technology in a few decades.

American Tactical Imports has taken a proven technology from polymer pistols to create the first promising polymer/metal hybrid lower. Adding metal struts and rings where previous attempts have all eventually failed. Before you hit me with the "polymer lower rule" emails, I know there are proud polymer AR owners out there that swear they've had nothing but luck with theirs... but lets face it, you're not using it right if you aren't breaking it from time to time.

The design is infused with common sense. Ferules around the pins to keep the upper from warping the lower - brilliant.  Metal threads fused into the buffer tube - brilliant. Metal inserts throughout the body to protect it from crushing and pressure failures - brilliant! Putting it out there for $50 - EPIC!

Now, before you demand I shut-up and take your money, this fabulous design has some cons to match those pros.  While the metal inserts are brilliant, they're zinc. Zinc just isn't strong enough to keep up with aluminum. But as the technology evolves (and prices go up) eventually we'll see a polymer/aluminum hybrid. Second, the weight savings isn't there. Polymer lowers are usually pounds lighter than aluminum, but as they mix a heavy zinc in, the overall weight savings is only half an ounce. Again, with time, we'll see a half-the-weight hybrid lower.

Now, ATI hasn't had the best reputation in accessories and such, nor have they been a stellar importer in the past, but this new direction they're breaking ground on is looking pretty damn awesome. If you'd like the insights on the project, the tech specs and info can be found here.