U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-My favorite fighter plane of all time is the Curtiss venerable P-40 Warhawk. It was the plane that the US Army Air Corp introduced in 1938. It wasn't the most powerful or fastest aircraft in the American fleet, but in my opinion, it was the best-looking plane ever to serve in the US Military.
With a shark mouth painted on the nose of the fighter, it struck fear into the enemy during World War II. There was no mistaking the prop-driven plane as it attacked enemies on the ground in North Africa. I am not the only one that has an affinity for the plane’s distinctive looks.
John Sharps also noticed the distinctive shark mouth on the iconic nose of the World War II fighter when he was looking for a design for his new AR-15 lower receiver. Sharps didn't want to design just another AR-15 lower receiver. He wanted something unique that was never seen before.
Not much has changed with AR-15 lower receivers since their inception back in the 1950s, but John Sharps and his new company, Sharps Bros was about to change the status quo on the gun world with the introduction of the new Hell Breaker lower receiver.
When I decided to start on a new AR-15 build, I wanted to make it look unique, and the Hell Breaker was the perfect starting point for my project. Not only did I want an impressive look, but I also wanted something that would be functional. I knew I loved the look of the Hellbreaker, but I was worried that it’s design would affect the functionality of the lower receiver.
The Sharps Bro. made the Hellbreaker out of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy. It is an incredibly corrosion-resistant and robust material. They then anodized the receiver to MIL-A-8625 specifications giving it even more protection from corrosion. These are the same specs used by the US military.
The Hellbreaker has a beveled magazine well flare. Sharps Bros. claim that this helps with magazine changes. It isn't too drastic, but in my testing, it did make a difference in the speed that I could change magazines.
A nice design feature of the Hellbreaker is the oversized integral trigger guard. I am a big fan of the integral trigger guard. I think they just look better than lowers without built-in trigger guards. The oversized trigger guard also lets the shooter acquire the trigger faster.
Another thing I liked about the Hellbreaker is universal to all Sharps Bros products. All their lower receivers are billet and not forged. This technique means Sharps Bros cuts their lower receivers using CNC machines from a single piece of aluminum instead of being molded.
The Hellbreaker came in black, but I knew I was going to use a Wolfpack Armory upper receiver in Wolfpack Bronze. I was able to make arrangements with Wolfpack Armory to Cerakote the lower receiver to match the upper.
The Sharps Bros cut down the weight of the Gen 2 Hellbreaker from the first-generation version. The lower comes in at 8.9oz, which isn't too heavy for a billet lower receiver.
I installed a Strike Industries lower parts kit with a Franklin Armory binary trigger into the lower receiver. The parts fit into the lower beautifully. Sharps Bros includes a threaded bolt catch pin which is a nice touch.
I installed an XTech Tactical heavy texture ATG 2.0 grip. The grip lets the shooter choose between three different grip angles. The standard grip angle for an AR-15 is 25°. The user can also move the grip forward to 17°. I like to set mine back to 33° because it allows my trigger finger to fall directly on the correct position on the trigger.
One of my worries about the lower would be that because the unique look it would have issues with magazines. Sharps bros claim the Hellbreaker would be able to use any standard AR-15 magazines.
I wanted to test the claim out, so I used a few different types of magazines. The first magazine I tested out with the Hellbreaker the Magpul PMag. I figured I would start with this magazine since it is the most used AR-15 magazine other than maybe the GI standard issue magazine which I also tested. Both magazines worked fine, which I was sure they would.
I then moved onto the less used magazines. The Tango Down magazine worked as well. It fell away quickly when I hit the magazine release. The small flare in the magazine well aided my reload times. I then tried a prototype magazine by XTech.
XTech gave me the prototype magazine to test out. It is an exciting design. The magazine has a built-in speed loader much like the magazines of a .22LR firearm. The speedloader does add some length to the magazine. The 30-round magazine is about the same length of a 40-round mag by Magpul. The speed loader worked well.
One thing that this lower receiver does is turns heads. When I take it to the range, a lot of people asked me where they could get the lower receiver. It is a conversation starter.
I think the Sharps Bros Hellbreaker is not only a quality-built part but is also a piece of art. Some purest might not like the design because it doesn't look like the typical AR-15 lower receiver, but with all the companies that produce AR-15 lowers the designs sets Sharps Bro apart from the competition. Innovation is something that we need in the AR-15 market.
The one downfall of the Hellbreaker is the price. The innovation and unique design come at a premium. It sells for $269.95, which might be a little too pricey for a lot of shooters, but Sharps Bros target market is not the budget builder. It is the builder who wants something unique and can apricate the art and craftmanship of the lower receiver.
Overall, I absolutely love the Sharps Bros Hellbreaker lower receiver. The build quality is second to none. The design is unique and is an actual piece of art. This selection of a lower receiver was an awesome choice for the base for my new AR-15 build.
Readers can find more information about the Sharps Bro. Hellbreaker and other Sharps Bros designs at http://sharpsbros.com/
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.