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  1. #1
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    Extremly Lightweight AR-15

    I'm interested in building an extremely lightweight AR for hunting and trapping in the thick Maine woods. I just finished a long range AR and it weighs about 11 lbs. It kinda sucks for lugging through the woods. Im thinking about these options as i would like to have no compromises on weight:

    Barrel: 10.5" Noveske N4 w/ FSB

    Upper: not sure, im going for less weight, but dont know if a carry handle upper weighs less than a flat top with a flip up sight, im not worried about optics because i will most likely always have open sights.

    BCG: Young MFG National Match Light

    Fronts Sight: FSB

    Forearm: Magpul MOE

    Flash Hider: AAC Black Out

    Lower: not sure, billet or forged, if forged is lighter id go with Noveske, if billet, maybe POF gen 1, TKS, or Tactical Inovations

    LPK: CMT or Armalite

    Grip: like the MOE or MIAD, but probably stock ar grip would be lighter?

    Buffer Tube: VLTOR

    Stock: lightest possible, maybe VLTOR Clubfoot, LMT, MOE, M4 collapsible?

    Charging Handle: BCM Gunfighter, any lighter?

    Rear Sight: possible carry handle upper? if not try to find the lightest rear sight. maybe Magpul? Suggestions?

    In your opinions what is the lightest weight achievable? Possibly less than 7 lbs?

    Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to know people's opinions on the lightest AR parts and accessories.

    Thank You

  2. #2
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    The areas you can save signifigant amounts of weight are in the barrel and stock. Sub 7lbs is doable. You might consider a Cavalry Arms lower which is polymer and included the stock. A light profile "pencil" barrel is a big weight savings. I would think a flattop upper with a MBUS rear would be about as light as possible. Stuff like the grip and charging handle probably aren't going to make enough difference to matter.

  3. #3
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    Balance is more important than weight IMHO. A 10" AR can feel as heavy as a 16-18" one if not done properly. Keep things away from the front such as bipods and heavy weaponlights. For optics I'd get an Aimpoint T1 or the new EOTech XPS series.

  4. #4
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    While I agree that balance is important on a heavy gun, if you have a light one it is a non-issue. You can't pack enough stuff on the forend (for example) to negatively affect balance if you're keeping the gun light.

    Even when I add the light to the FSB on this gun, balance is a total non-issue.

    WWW.TACTICALYELLOWVISOR.NET

  5. #5
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    What do you guys think the lightest stock will be, m4, Vltor clubfoot, Magpul moe, or LMT? or any sugestions? I currently have a ubr and it weight a ton.

  6. #6
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    Old school car stock.

  7. #7
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    The early non-ribbed stock is the lightest.



  8. #8
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    I'm a huge fan of the Vltor style stocks with the nice cheekweld, so I'll sacrifice some weight for comfort. The Clubfoot Modstocks are actually pretty light if you use the regular compartments instead of the storage ones. But if you want the lightest, the Magpul MOE is very light.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by magpul_556 View Post
    I'm interested in building an extremely lightweight AR for hunting and trapping in the thick Maine woods. I just finished a long range AR and it weighs about 11 lbs. It kinda sucks for lugging through the woods.
    Could you please define your idea of light weight? I have an AR that weighs just under 5 pounds with a Weaver 2.5-7 scope attached. Do you need lighter weight than that?

    Vulcan polymer upper and lower
    Bushmaster 16" fluted stainless pencil barrel (A2 flash suppressor)
    Cheap CAR buttstock
    Lightweight Aluminum floated handguard tube
    Chip McCormick single stage trigger
    Approximately 1.25 MOA accuracy.

    It is not a combat/ three gun gamer's rifle but it is a great recreational/hunting rifle. It has 17 dead badgers under its belt and too may whistle pigs to count. A lightweight joy to take afield.

  10. #10
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    nah, I'm not sure what the minimum weight of an AR can be, i just know i built a precision AR this fall and it weighs a ton. Its around 11 pounds. I love it but i hunt with all of my rifles and i think now i would like to see how light of an AR i can build. I plan to use this rifle in thick brush, so accuracy is not a great concern, most of my shots willl be less than 75 yards.I'd like a 11.5" barrel as my 16" noveske stainless is very heavy. i dont think the shorter barrel will effect acuracy too much under 100 yds. All i really want is something easier to carry and manuever in the woods hunting and trapping.

    My current AR has a POF Gen 1 Billet Lower, do you think the billet is lighter than a Noveske forged lower? I'd like one of the two. I know the difference is not much, but im trying to take into consideration every ounce.

    Thank You
    Last edited by magpul_556; 28 November 2009 at 15:28.

  11. #11
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    You may want to look at Bushmaster's Carbon 15 offerings. You can easily find them under 6 lbs:

    www.bushmaster.com

  12. #12
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    For weight purposes it's really hard to beat a Cavalry Arms lower. It's a one piece receiver that is also integral with a grip and stock. It's polymer and very light. As advertised they typically reduce the weight of a complete build by roughly a pound. From what I've felt, a stripped Cav lower and a stripped forged lower, I couldn't really tell the difference in weight between them, even with one in each hand. For having a stock and grip, as opposed to the otherwise gripless and stockless forged lower, it's a huge difference in weight.

    A couple other things to consider. You mentioned this is going to be used as a hunting rifle so allow me to offer you this. For hunting I think you'd do better to have a longer barrel than 10.5 inches. You'll have higher muzzle velocities and more knockdown power. For a muzzle device, if you're in the woods you may not want something pronged. I've noticed they tend to get hung up on bushes and foliage which is not only frustrating, but can be quite loud if you're trying to be quiet. In fact (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) I think the Army even moved away from pronged muzzle devices for similar reasons.

    If you do decide to go with a longer barrel, Bushmaster makes a 16" superlight barrel that features a thin profile and, as the name imply's, is super light. I think that barrel, a Cav lower, and the MOE forearm all together would pretty well get you where you want to be.

    Here's a couple links if you want to follow up on that lower and barrel.

    http://www.cavalryarms.com/MKII.html

    http://www.bushmaster.com/products.asp?cat=7


    **Edited to add**

    Oh yeah, one other thing. If you're really being a zealot about weight, JP has what they call a low mass operating system. It's basically a bolt carrier and buffer that are lighter due to having less material. They don't recommend them for combat applications, but people use them for competition all over the place. Also supposed to reduce recoil due to less reciprocating mass.

    http://www.jprifles.com/1.4.7_bc.php
    Last edited by Aragorn; 14 December 2009 at 16:39. Reason: Forgot to mention something
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn View Post
    For weight purposes it's really hard to beat a Cavalry Arms lower. It's a one piece receiver that is also integral with a grip and stock. It's polymer and very light.
    One thing to keep in mind is that your stuck with the integral stock and grip configuration. The reach from the backstrap to the trigger is greater than that of a standard grip, so perhaps not the best choice if you have small hands.

    I put this one together a few years ago.

  14. #14
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    My personal light weight is 4lbs 11 ozs unloaded without optics. It weighs 5 lbs 8 ozs loaded with a red dot sight. It has the Plum Crazy lower, flat top A3 upper, .625 pencil barrel with smooth gas block, Colt 6520 BCG, DPMS carbon fiber forend, and an A1 6 position adj. stock. I was looking for a weapon as light or lighter than a M1 Carbine. I am pleased with the finished rifle.

  15. #15
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    It's possible to get an under- 8# ready to rock rifle (with loaded magazine, sling, optic, light), and if that handles well, nothing else would need to be done.

    The decision among lightweight units if if you're trying to minimize weight, or if you're using reduced weight to improve other characteristics of the rifle, like handling and balance. Pure lightweight units are more remarkable than a seven pound rifle that has a red dot and a flashlight attached, but if the latter is what you actually need to accomplish that rifle's mission, then go that route, but still save weight wherever possible.
    S/F
    "There is no greater calling than to defend the life of a fellow Marine" - LtCol McClane, USMC

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