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Old May 2nd, 2021, 01:41 PM #11
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It seems like the skeletonized receivers provide minimal weight savings for the money spent. Of course, always an option.

My experience has been the balance is more important than the raw weight within reason. In my experience most of the weight is in barrel, handguard and front sight base. We must use an HBAR in Maryland, assuming post 10/13 build. Fluted barrels, shorter smaller diameter handguards, and flash hider around the weight of an A2 helps...or no FH at all. Longer full floats will lose the front sight base for a much lighter gas block. Carbine barrels will move the balance back since the HBAR section is not extended forward. I have been looking at the lightened carriers, but more for loss of reciprocating mass reasons than overall weight. That would be double benefit in the lightened carbine being sought in this thread.

Gun Connection, Ballistic Advantage 16” fluted barrel, not inexpensive but a couple hundred $$$ will get you more weight loss advantage than $800 in skeletonized receivers.

Real trick would be ALL of lighter pieces. OP, whatever you do let us know how it works out with the intended shooter.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 02:45 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnumite View Post
It seems like the skeletonized receivers provide minimal weight savings for the money spent. Of course, always an option.

My experience has been the balance is more important than the raw weight within reason. In my experience most of the weight is in barrel, handguard and front sight base. We must use an HBAR in Maryland, assuming post 10/13 build. Fluted barrels, shorter smaller diameter handguards, and flash hider around the weight of an A2 helps...or no FH at all. Longer full floats will lose the front sight base for a much lighter gas block. Carbine barrels will move the balance back since the HBAR section is not extended forward. I have been looking at the lightened carriers, but more for loss of reciprocating mass reasons than overall weight. That would be double benefit in the lightened carbine being sought in this thread.

Gun Connection, Ballistic Advantage 16” fluted barrel, not inexpensive but a couple hundred $$$ will get you more weight loss advantage than $800 in skeletonized receivers.

Real trick would be ALL of lighter pieces. OP, whatever you do let us know how it works out with the intended shooter.
I'm pretty much in agreement.

The biggest trick to building a 'light weight' AR is to not bolt a bunch of tacticool junk on it. You'd be surprised how light a stock AR carbine is.

For me, if my goal was to do a light weight build would be as follows:

Stock https://www.midwayusa.com/product/3022119912

Handguard https://www.mentium-usa.com/

Barrel Any 16" hbar will do. Fluting doesn't really reduce much weight. It's intended purpose is to provide more surface area to speed up cooling, so I personally wouldn't hold up my build waiting on a fluted barrel.

Bolt Carrier Group Any quality low mass carrier will do. I do not mean skeletonized either.

Gas Block You can go with a Titanium GB, but they are usually pricey and don't cut much weight. Avoid aluminum GBs.

Sights Either some light flip-up BUIS or even better, a very light red dot, but not both. This is to be more or less a range toy, I'm assuming.

Everything else is pretty much a wash.

The only concern is lighter guns tend not to absorb recoil as well as heavier guns do so there's that also to consider.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 03:51 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outrider58 View Post

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

https://aerospacearms.com/blog/how-t...htweight-ar15/
Thanks for linking to the article-- some options there for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnumite View Post
It seems like the skeletonized receivers provide minimal weight savings for the money spent. Of course, always an option.

My experience has been the balance is more important than the raw weight within reason. In my experience most of the weight is in barrel, handguard and front sight base. We must use an HBAR in Maryland, assuming post 10/13 build. Fluted barrels, shorter smaller diameter handguards, and flash hider around the weight of an A2 helps...or no FH at all. Longer full floats will lose the front sight base for a much lighter gas block. Carbine barrels will move the balance back since the HBAR section is not extended forward. I have been looking at the lightened carriers, but more for loss of reciprocating mass reasons than overall weight. That would be double benefit in the lightened carbine being sought in this thread.

Yes on the post 10/13 (bastages!)

Gun Connection, Ballistic Advantage 16” fluted barrel, not inexpensive but a couple hundred $$$ will get you more weight loss advantage than $800 in skeletonized receivers.

Real trick would be ALL of lighter pieces. OP, whatever you do let us know how it works out with the intended shooter.
You can count on it-- I expect this will take a little time but we aren't in a rush

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Originally Posted by outrider58 View Post
I'm pretty much in agreement.

The biggest trick to building a 'light weight' AR is to not bolt a bunch of tacticool junk on it. You'd be surprised how light a stock AR carbine is.

-Not happening! This will be a pretty bare-bones rifle-

For me, if my goal was to do a light weight build would be as follows:

Stock https://www.midwayusa.com/product/3022119912

Handguard https://www.mentium-usa.com/

Barrel Any 16" hbar will do. Fluting doesn't really reduce much weight. It's intended purpose is to provide more surface area to speed up cooling, so I personally wouldn't hold up my build waiting on a fluted barrel.

Bolt Carrier Group Any quality low mass carrier will do. I do not mean skeletonized either.

Gas Block You can go with a Titanium GB, but they are usually pricey and don't cut much weight. Avoid aluminum GBs.

Sights Either some light flip-up BUIS or even better, a very light red dot, but not both. This is to be more or less a range toy, I'm assuming.

-Yep... one very light red dot and yes, pretty much a range toy

Everything else is pretty much a wash.

The only concern is lighter guns tend not to absorb recoil as well as heavier guns do so there's that also to consider.
Yeah--we talked about this from jump street-- she's not a high count round shooter per range trip (hell who can afford to be at the moment) and she uses a 12 gauge for Trap so she should be good there.

Gents-- thanks for the discussion and the links...this is helpful. I'm starting to get a feel for the correct direction and areas of focus for the project. Much appreciated.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 03:53 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotman68 View Post
With the HBAR requirement it’s 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.
Thanx--We haven't totally dismissed the option but we're aiming for a rifle at the moment
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 04:24 PM #15
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You didn't mention a caliber but have you considered 9mm? You could put a 16" pencil barrel under a lightweight handguard and come in under seven pounds. Plus a good muzzle break will tame any remaining recoil.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 05:55 PM #16
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Too bad MD's laws are so stupid and you can't get a pencil barrel 5.56 AR. I have one of the very first Colt CAR-15A2 carbines I bought back in the '80s and it's probably as light and functional an AR variant you can fine. No frills...the only thing I've changed is to add Tritium night sights.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 08:35 PM #17
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The build I am working right now with an emphasis on short, light and no frills to add weight or break off.

Colt Socom barrel pinned and welded to 16", Brownells retro receiver set, A1 stock, irons only and not much more. 6 pounds, 10 ounces.

My Prototype model is still lighter (6 pounds, 6 ounces) even with a full 20" barrel though MD legal pencil barrel goodness
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 09:01 PM #18
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I built out my girlfriends ar recently. She is fairly small/slight and isnt overly strong, but has started getting stronger since she started lifting and not just doing cardio and abs. I focused on cutting weight where I could. I couldn't find every part i wanted to use due to shortages and all that but it came out very well balanced and light enough for having a hbar in it. She also shot it very well at rifle class i sent her to.

I have a faxon heavy fluted barrel in one of my rifles which is fairly light. If you can find one in stock it wouldn't be a bad choice. If you wanted to save some more weight you could have the barrel cut down to 13.7" or 14.5" and have your muzzle device of choice pinned and welded to make legal length which isn't too hateful cost wise. This also allows you to save some more weight with a little bit shorter barrel, shorter handguard and moves the balance point back some as well. I like the the aero atlas handguard on my girlfriends rifle as it is very slim and light weight. I also have a midwest industries 12.6 handguard on my 13.7" build and that is very lightweight as well. You could also cut some weight with your choice of optic. Don't know your budget in that regards but sig, vortex, holosun, trijicon, and aimpoint make smaller redots that aren't very heavy .

Hope this helps some. And good luck
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 09:17 PM #19
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I just completed a build on a hybrid poly/aluminum lower receiver. Granted it is 300 Blackout but the barrel probably weighs as much as a Ruger carbine barrel, maybe more. It has a linear brake. Sans sights and optics it tips the scale at 6.25-6.38 pounds.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 09:37 PM #20
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I built a pretty lightweight AR15 rifle for my wife.

I did use a 16” HBAR barrel but utilized a carbine length gas system to minimize the amount of material on the barrel (as opposed to a mid length HBAR). Put a Superlative Arms adjustable gas block on it and for a handguard used a 13” Midwest Industries Ultralight Combat rail. Everything else is pretty much standard fare. I opted for a Vortex Crossfire ii red dot since it’s compact and lightweight. For the stock I used the Mission First tactical stock as linked in a previous post.

Not a “lightweight” build per se, but it’s super soft shooting and very handy. The wife approves.

Some other folks mentioned the Aero Precision S-one handguard... I am a huge fan of Aero but to me, a .750 gas block just comes too close to the rail for my comfort. Even when things are dead center, it’s real tight in there. It’s absolutely still doable but given the options, the Midwest Industries lightweight combat rails have better internal clearance for the gas block.
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