“Complacency kills”. That’s a phrase that applies to nearly every aspect of life, from combat to business. It’s good to see companies like 80% arms haven’t become complacent. Their original Easy Jig changed the 80 lower game and introduced the ability to use a router over a drill press. The Easy Jig reduced the time it took to finish an AR lower, and made it safer and more affordable to finish multiple lowers. Not content with old success, 80% arms recently released the Easy Jig GEN 2.0 and has taken the success and innovation of their jig to a new level.
More Calibers Can be Built at Home
Well, with the AR 15 world constantly changing you have to make a decision, change with it, or disappear. So, what’s popular right now? AR 15s in 9mm, or AR 9s as they are commonly called. They hit the 80 lower market and were basically jig less, until now. The Easy Jig GEN 2 is the most robust, and easiest to use jig for doing an AR9.
What else is becoming popular? To the excitement of many, it’s long-range, .308-chambered ARs like the AR 10 lower. The Easy Jig GEN 2 can build those now, too. It’s a universal jig that can adapt when necessary to build 5.56/223, 9mm, 300 Blackout, and 308 rifles with ease.
It’s Gotten Easier
The thing about milling metal is that it makes a mess, including cause a ton of metal shavings to cover your entire lower. This can really get in the way and cause tooling issues. This is why we have to stop occasionally and empty out the jig. If you are clever you can just Shop Vac it all out. The Easy jig GEN 2 now features a shop vac adapter to make it a lot easier to clean your jig as you work, without removing your half-finished lower.
Now It's Mistake-Proof
The other issues are vibration and movement. Your jig and lower are positioned in such a way that any movement can cause some ugly machining and finishing problems. The self-centering mechanism of the Easy Jig GEN 2 means you don’t really need to stop and ensure everything is still in position and going smoothly. This is a minor problem, but for perfectionists like us, it’s a Godsend.
It’s Gotten Stronger
One of the revolutionary things about the GEN 1 was the fact you could replace a single plate if you made a goof and chomped it up with your drill and bit. We all make goofs, right? So, instead of purchasing a brand-new Jig you just replace the one part. That whole idea has basically been eliminated by the GEN 2 Easy Jig. The router will no longer touch the surface of the jig at all, eliminating this chance of wear and abuse. As long as you don’t make a huge goof, like knocking the whole over onto the floor, you’ll be able to use the jig indefinitely without issue.
What about the GEN 1?
There’s no doubt the GEN 1 is still one of the best jigs on the market and it's likely not going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re just looking to build a single 5.56 AR then the GEN 1 will get you there. If you want to advance to AR 9s and AR 10s, or just prepare to build different calibers with one tool, then the Easy Jig GEN 2 is for you. If you want milling to be a little easier too, go with the GEN 2. If you are planning to build tons of rifles, the GEN 2 is again where it’s at. If you already own a GEN 1 and are happy with it, then keep going!
If you’re new to building, or are simply looking for a new jig, the GEN 2 is going to be the better option, if not the best option out there. We even have kits that include everything you need: GEN 2 Easy Jig, 80% lowers, and all the tooling. Check it out here! If you want to really take the plunge, check out our popular, complete AR 15 Rifle Kit, which includes every rifle part you need to go from a box of stuff to a shooter with just the Easy Jig! It requires no FFL transfer or paperwork and ships straight to your front door. Seriously, it's legal because it's not considered a firearm until you build it and machine the lower!DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At 80 Lowers, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.