Sharing is caring right? Part of the joy of building with friends or being in a build party is the ability to share experience and tools. One tool that can be tricky to share is an 80 lower jig. The short answer is: Legally you can share jigs.
There are certain ways the ATF categorizes laws surrounding tools and 80 lowers. Some of these rules revolve around the use of commercial machinery in milling jigs, someone else milling the lower for you, or a place that sells and mills lowers as an all-in-one service. However, simply sharing a jig between friends is not illegal.
Great news, right? Here’s a few things to think about before jumping into your build:
What kind of 80 lower jig does your friend have?
Is it made for a drill press or a router?
Is your friend’s 80 lower jig a quality jig?
Some less-than-stellar manufacturers make some less-than-stellar jigs. A bad jig will create a bad receiver. It is as simple as that. Some 80 lower jigs may be built to odd specs. For example, a polymer 80 lower may be a bit wider than a metal lower. If this is the case, the 80 lower jig won’t be in proper spec.
80 lower jigs don’t last forever either. In fact, they are almost disposable. Depending on the quality and manufacturer of the jig, it can be used anywhere between one to twenty times. It is very important to consider how many times your friend has used their jig and how many times the jig is meant to be used.
It is also a good idea to ask yourself if your friend is a good builder or good with tools in general. If not, he may have nicked the jig here or there, which creates its own challenges later on in the building process.
If your friend has purchased a quality jig and is decent with tools, then you are probably okay to share the equipment. Our heavy duty jig, for example, is designed to last and is incredibly durable. You can make well over a dozen 80 lowers if you use our heavy duty jig.
Saving money is probably the biggest advantage to sharing tooling. If you are a serious builder, you really do need your own jig. With your own jig, you know how many lowers you’ve finished, how to assemble it correctly, and know if it’s a quality model. If you do some basic record keeping and assemble your jig the correct way, you will be good to go.
To be on the safe side, check out our selection of 80 Lower Jigs and tooling: https://www.80-lower.com/80-lower-jig/