Registered Lightning Link


4 posts in this topic

After YEARS, I am about to pick up my lightning link.  Long, sad story that isn't worth repeating.  However, the wait had nothing to do with me.  Flip side, its worth more now then when I bought it!

This isn't my first machine gun, but it is my first lightning link.

To make sure I'm off to a good start, I am looking for advice on how to get started.  This is what I have done so far.

1.  I have been reading QuarterBore's site.  Some of it is over my head, but I hope it'll start making more sense when I have the LL in my hands.  I have also been watching some YouTube videos.

2.  I have 2 lowers that are deep / low shelf, but I have not assembled them yet.  The lower kits I have are 100% Colt burst kits and modified / notched for the LL.  Please see #8, on why I have 2 lowers.

3.  I do NOT have a KNS protector.  Should I get it or is there another product that I should get?

4.  I have a couple of Young Manufacturing LL carriers, I also have an SP1 carrier (just one).  I am assuming (please correct if needed) that the BOLT is standard, its the carrier that needs to mate with the LL.

5.  I have paddles in different thicknesses.  

6.  I have seen a SOT advertise here to help with timing of a LL.  If its a matter of just sending in uppers, that would be fine by me.  Opinions?

7.  If an upper is modified to work with a LL, can I still put it on a semi lower?  On my registered receiver?

8.  Will the modified burst kit behave like a safe-semi (non NFA) lower if the LL isn't in it?  I'm also registering the lower as an SBR to avoid any issues (I know that I don't have to if the LL is in the lower).  Since I have 2 lowers that I want to use with the LL, just making sure.  One of the lowers is a Colt pattern 9mm.  Once I get this working with 556, I will worry about 9mm.

I don't know anyone local to me (Phoenix) that is well versed in the LL and timing.  If you know someone, I don't mind taking it to them.  One of the major problems I have is if I make any changes, I have to get in the car and drive at least 30 minutes in one direction to test it out on live fire.  That is so annoying, but a fact of urban living.  Anything to minimizes that would be nice.


My dealer thinks I should just put the LL in the safe and use my registered receiver.  Then sell the LL in a decade for a profit.  I'd at least like to try it out.

Please, any advice regarding the LL is welcome.  I am learning.

Edited by Liver

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Absolutely try it out. Get one of those belt fed uppers that REQUIRE you to modify the lower and don't worry about futzing up a registered lower. They work way better than Colt or the later Ceiner guns ever did. Drop it in a proprietary AK mag lower and enjoy 7.62x39. All sorts of different stuff you can do. It's why DIASs and LLs are so popular.

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I have one personally and about 6 hosts for it, I've also built hosts and timed about 10 at this point for people and even got my 22 upper to run on one which people said was impossible.


Your lowers need a relief cut so when the link comes back it doesn't hit and tear the ears off.

You NEED a KNS for sure, different thickness paddles are cool but if you spec your bolts right you only ever need one size. 

You neer SP1 cut carriers yes 

When you mod the upper it will work on regular guns still and doesn't effect the integrity of the upper. 

Yes the recut burst will just be safe/semi without the LL.


Then again it comes easy to me since I've probably got 40,000 rounds on mine. If you need help let me know.

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Some follow up!

I currently have 2 lowers that are LL compatible.  One standard and one 9mm Colt magazine pattern.  I have several that work.  556, 762x39, 9mm.  At the moment those are all the calibers that I'm interested in.  I'm not interested in 22 auto.  

Everything works great.  Things that I have learned.  

It doesn't matter if the lower is advertised as being low shelf or LL compatible.  It still *may* require some fitment.  So I say, start with any lower you like, it doesn't matter.  Get it machined for your LL.  

If you get the lower done right, you most likely may not need to touch the uppers.  With my lowers, I can put on any upper and it will fit without modification.  

SP1 carriers or even the newer YM LL carriers are not 100% guaranteed to work.  Some fitting may be required.  In my case very very minor fitting.  

If at all you are not up to the task, take this to a competent gunsmith.   I considered sending all this to the man mentioned on all the forums.   In the end I took it to a local guy.  Why?  The man is very good at what he does.  He has done work for me in the past with excellent results.  He also listens and reads.  In my case it worked out beautifully.  

I'm glad I got it done. 

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