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Old May 1st, 2021, 10:13 AM #1
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Light-weight AR build for the wife

Folks-

I like my ARs on the hefty side and I've only built one on my own.

Mrs. River recently purchased an AR-15 lower and wants to explore options for a light-weight build (NOT X-treme light-weight mind you) but on the less hefty side than mine. So I'm in search of suggestions for what parts and/or complete uppers the brain trust might recommend to make this project a reality.

I know there are probably slim pickins out there...but we aren't in any rush- so we don't have any issues with punching the "Let me know when it's back in stock" button on the websites for highly recommended parts--thanks in advance!
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Old May 1st, 2021, 10:52 AM #2
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Give her a M1 Garand to try...any AR will feel like a lightweight to her after that. Problem solved.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 11:04 AM #3
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It seems to me that one can only go so far to reduce the weight of an AR rifle - there's just not that much to it that would even allow for relieving it of much weight.

You could get a fluted barrel, you could get a lightweight aluminum floating handguard, and I suppose there are lightweight stock options, but as it is, the AR platform is already made to be fairly lightweight - the upper and lowers are already aluminum, and the attaching hardware out of necessity needs to be steel.

I'm sure if you look you could probably find handguards, pistol grip and stock that are made from carbon fiber. That would shave a few ounces. Add a fluted barrel and to my way of thinking, that would probably get you close to where you want to go.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 05:37 AM #4
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Find a good lightweight BCG and a skeletonized upper receiver.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 06:31 AM #5
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My lightest ar has a Hogue rubberized handguard fwiw.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 07:10 AM #6
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Christensen Arms and Proof Research make carbon fiber barrels. They are also marketed as HBAR for legal porpoises. They'll reduce the perception of weight and shift the balance of the rifle rearward.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 07:12 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOriginalMexicanBob View Post
Give her a M1 Garand to try...any AR will feel like a lightweight to her after that. Problem solved.
Fair point-- I should do a side by side for her. I pulled out my lightest AR for her yesterday to try out. 16" Criterion heavy barrel and 9 inch DD quad rail, ACOG optic. I'll match that up with the Garand today. I'm sure it will be an eye opener--but still want to help her make a rifle she'll be more inclined to want to shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trickg View Post
It seems to me that one can only go so far to reduce the weight of an AR rifle - there's just not that much to it that would even allow for relieving it of much weight.

You could get a fluted barrel, you could get a lightweight aluminum floating handguard, and I suppose there are lightweight stock options, but as it is, the AR platform is already made to be fairly lightweight - the upper and lowers are already aluminum, and the attaching hardware out of necessity needs to be steel.

I'm sure if you look you could probably find handguards, pistol grip and stock that are made from carbon fiber. That would shave a few ounces. Add a fluted barrel and to my way of thinking, that would probably get you close to where you want to go.
Thanks-- definitely some avenues to look into. Handguards, barrel, stock and optic-- I like the idea of a fluted barrel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbobborg View Post
Find a good lightweight BCG and a skeletonized upper receiver.
Ok--any idea who makes a quality lightweight BCG? Any performance issues with those?

Thanks for the input to this point gents
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 07:14 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar92 View Post
Christensen Arms and Proof Research make carbon fiber barrels. They are also marketed as HBAR for legal porpoises. They'll reduce the perception of weight and shift the balance of the rifle rearward.
Thanks--I'll give them a look.

Update: Daaaaaammmmmnnnn-- beautiful barrels...not cheap. $$$... I might need to try one of them stripper jobs
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Last edited by River02; May 2nd, 2021 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Update
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 07:41 AM #9
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With the HBAR requirement itís gonna be hard to build a really lightweight rifle . Have you thought about building an AR-15 pistol. You could save lots of weight that way.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 09:30 AM #10
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Carbon Fiber Barrel (if you are in Md, I don't see any being legal as none will be marked or marketed "Heavy Barrel")

Having said that, a real neat article on building a light AR 15...

https://aerospacearms.com/blog/how-t...htweight-ar15/

Otherwise, I'd shop for skeletonized AR receiver sets https://www.stagezeroshooting.com/st...and-receivers/
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