Shield Arms Releases ‘World’s First Folding AR-15 Lower Receiver’

Shield Arms just released the world’s first AR-15 lower receiver with a built-in folding mechanism. (Photo: Shield Arms)

Montana-based firearms manufacturer Shield Arms announced this week the release of the world’s first folding AR-15 lower receiver, the aptly-named Folding Lower Receiver (FLR). Currently only offered as a 9mm stripped receiver, the FLR features a folding mechanism machined directly into the 7075 billet aluminum receiver.

The unit allows the stock or pistol brace to fold without the need for an aftermarket folding stock adapter and only adds 5/8” to the overall length of the receiver, less than half the length of some popular aftermarket adapters, according to the company’s press release.

The unit comes with a buffer, and the preinstalled folding stock mechanism accepts any standard aftermarket buffer tube. The FLR can be used with a mil-spec bolt and bolt carrier group as well as a standard lower parts kit. It does not need any additional parts to function properly, and the SA-9 accepts Glock magazines.

The FLR is designed and manufactured in the United States and can be had for an MSRP of $399.99 (though the website currently lists the item as “Out of Stock”). The company did not announce whether they have any plans to release the FLR for an AR-platform rifle chambered in .223/5.56, though they do plan to license the design to other manufacturers.

For those who want a complete rifle, Shield Arms is also offering the SA-9, a closed bolt, blowback operated AR-15 style weapon system that accepts standard Glock 9mm magazines, built on the FLR. The pistol version of the SA-9 features the SB Tactical SBA3 pistol brace.

Standard Specifications

  • Upper/Lower: Shield Arms 7075-T6 billet aluminum upper/lower
  • Barrel: Ballistic Advantage 5.5″ Modern Series, 1/2×28 threads, 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium steel with a QPQ Corrosion Resistant Finish
  • Handguard: 4.4″ MLOK
  • Bolt Carrier Group: black nitride coated blowback
  • Trigger: ALG ACT
  • Grip: Magpul MOE
  • Charging Handle: Radian Weapon Systems Raptor
  • Muzzle Device: Thread protector
  • SB Tactical SBA3 5 position adjustable brace

The select fire version of the SA-9 was recently selected by the US Army to participate in the Sub Compact Weapon Prototype Opportunity.

MSRP is $1,499.99.

UPDATE (11/2/18): Shield Arms President Brandon Zeider tells GunsAmerica that a 5.56/300BLK version of the FLR should be released “at the same time, or worst case, a few weeks after the 9mm.” While the price isn’t finalized for the 5.56, it should be slightly lower than the 9mm version.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Montucky December 30, 2018, 7:04 am

    The point is this System is incorporated in the receiver, NOT an adapter. Hey the US Army is evaluating it now. Oh, I know, it’s not that there hasn’t been adapters for AR(15) rifles like Dead Foot, Law, etc., (luv AR-180, but it’s not an AR15, sorry!) to fold the stock. The Para TTR had an adapter like the LAw Tactical, not built in like the Shield Arms. This system Shield Arms created is unique and innovative. By engineering the folder into the receiver itself. This makes it more robust, compact, versatile and compatible in ALL AR calibers. Many nations have firearms with a folding stock, AK, SCAR, Galil, etc. to cut down space of the firearm when operating out of armored personal carriers, aircraft OR you personal bug out bag in the back of your Toyota Tacoma. Shield has not done something different, they have done something innovative. They have given AR15/M16/M4 enthusiasts like myself the ability to store a 38” carbine in a 24” bag. In the case of Blow back systems, it’s what was old is new again. Like the Thompson, Sten, PPSH, MP40 and Uzi the simple and reliable tried and true Blow Back system battle tested triumph from war zone to war zone is coming to concrete it self in the AR world. 9mm, 10mm, 45ACP have proven themselves as excellent close quarters bad guy stoppers. The possibility of me owning a home defense Folding 9mm AR15 that is only a foot long when folded and 24” when deployed has me excited. 5.56 and even .300 BLKO is overkill in most neighborhoods leaving possible innocents killed by overpenetration. With the superior pistol cartridges we have now this combo will surely offer all of us more leverage in personal protection and new directions of creation for the AR lover! I’m buying one!

  • Eric November 3, 2018, 3:47 pm

    Can’t possibly be “world’s first”! If it is, then I know of a previous one, which must make it the world’s FIRST first!

    quote: [Law tactical added to any rifle did the same exact thing for last 5 years]

    Yes, for sure. Fits just about any AR.

  • Eric Spear November 2, 2018, 7:18 pm

    Can’t be sure from just the picture but the folding stock piece looks a lot like the folding stock on the Ruger Precision Rifle.

  • JoshO November 2, 2018, 5:24 pm

    Oh, it’s like a MP5k only without the benefits of roller delayed blowback. Yeah…pretty revolutionary.

  • Jeffrey A. Weber November 2, 2018, 4:35 pm

    Para TTR???

  • Louis Michael Soja November 2, 2018, 4:11 pm

    If you want an AR that forld get the Dead Foot Arms MCS ( modified cycle system) let’s you fold and fire while foldered for 5.56 &300Blk. Or anything in between.

  • Charles Hutson November 2, 2018, 1:30 pm

    So what do you call the Sig Sauer MCX in 556 and MPX 9mm currently shipping for 3 years !

  • Mike in a Truck November 2, 2018, 12:54 pm

    In the mid 70’s I lusted after an AR180.Never came up with the cash.Ive humped an M16A1 up hill and over dale and not once ever had I said “gee I wish this thing could fold in half”.

  • MPALLA96 November 2, 2018, 12:28 pm

    I guess nobody remembers the original AR180 from Armalite? 5.56mm, folding stock, piston operated, innovative scope mount.

  • Andrew November 2, 2018, 10:13 am

    Not the first.
    Get your facts right.
    Daniel Defense has had one for ages… The MK-18 Law Enforcement NFA folding stock.
    This is not a new idea.

  • Hughston Shooting School November 2, 2018, 9:46 am

    I was wondering if I was the only one looking at this article thinking how unimpressed I was.

    People keep dressing up AR rifles and calling it innovation.

    Law tactical added to any rifle did the same exact thing for last 5 years and you are not stuck with the 9mm.

  • paul knutson November 2, 2018, 9:17 am

    nothing new here, old folding stock adaptor added to billeted 9mm upper/lower, price is dirt cheap if that is actual cost.

  • triggerpull November 2, 2018, 6:59 am

    Just what we need–yet another version of blow-back AR in a pistol caliber. This looks like a DOA concept with any reasonably powerful cartridge requiring a bolt lock-up.

  • Martin Snyder November 2, 2018, 6:09 am

    Worlds first? What about the AR 180? It folded

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