Light-weight AR-15 Options?


Headless Thompson Gunner
October 4, 2004, 05:59 PM
It seems to me that the big advantage of the AR-15 is it's comparatively light weight. I want to buy/build an AR-15 that maximizes this advantage by being as lightweight as possible. So what are my options?

- Bushmaster makes a carbon fiber AR-15 that would seem to be perfect for me, if it doesn't compromise ruggedness or reliability. Does anyone have any experience with those?

- Cavalry Arms makes an all-plastic lower receiver and stock gadget that's supposed to be pretty lightweight. Does anyone know how well those hold up?

What other possibilities are there that I haven't found yet?

What about barrel weight? Are there different weights/diameters of AR-15 barrels? Where can I find a thin/light barreled upper?

I'd appreciate any advice at all related to light-weight AR-15s

If you enjoyed reading about "Light-weight AR-15 Options?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 4, 2004, 06:27 PM
I built this one using a Model 1 lightweight upper, Rock River lower and a Tapco adjustable stock. It comes in a tad over 5lbs. I can hit 300 yd plates with it all day long with cheapo Wolf ammo. Just an idea for you.

Not sure if the picture will come up, but I'll give it a try.

Chris Rhines
October 4, 2004, 06:30 PM
I have a Bushmaster Lightweight 16" upper on a Cav Arms lower. Without the red-dot scope and flashlight, it weighs about 4-1/2 pounds. I think that's about as light as you could realistically make an AR.

- Chris

October 4, 2004, 06:56 PM
I'd go with the Bushy lighweight upper and collapsible stock on the lower. That would give you light weight plus compact size.

Cavarms really needs to think about producing a lower without the integrated buttstock. That way you could have a polymer lower and a collapsible stock.

Good Shooting

Headless Thompson Gunner
October 4, 2004, 07:34 PM
Have any of you noticed any disadvantages to a really lightweight AR-15?

Or, put another way, will I regret anything after I build my lightweight AR-15?

October 4, 2004, 07:50 PM
The leight weight makes it much easier to carry and shoot offhand for extended periods. However you may notice some pretty good heat building up as you empy magazines downrange, so you just might want to include some double shielded M4 handguards on your lightweight option.

AR15s are supposed to be fun to shoot. The light weight just makes it a bit more enjoyable.

Good Shooting

October 4, 2004, 08:29 PM
There seems to be some differences between the lightweight models offered. Olympic Arm's FAR-15 only weighs 4.92lbs . I don't know if it has non-standard parts, other than the lightweight barrel.

Bushmaster's Superlight is 6.25lbs .

Colt's LE6920 weighs 5.9 pounds I believe, with an M-4 profile barrel.

Perhaps the Oly Arms has an even lighter barrel than the Bushmaster?

Zak Smith
October 4, 2004, 09:10 PM
The CavArms lowers are durable; I've seen several with tens of thousands of rounds shot full-auto through them. In addition, they have an excellent warranty.


Headless Thompson Gunner
October 5, 2004, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the info, y'all. I 'preciate it.

Any word on how well Bushmaster's carbon fiber ARs hold up?

Andrew Wyatt
October 5, 2004, 02:05 AM
The daniel defense rail system is lighter than the M4 handguards. just a suggestion.

October 5, 2004, 08:12 AM
I remember a test by Gunworld of the carbon fiber Type 97 (Bushmaster now). They ran a couple thousand rounds rapid fire like 30 round, 30 full mags, in cold weather, throwing the gun locked open into the snow between mags occasionally to get it "more dirty" etc...

Gun never hiccuped that I remember reading. I've handled one, very nice gun.

October 5, 2004, 10:29 AM
I have a Bushmaster Superlight. As indicated, its listed weight is a little over 6lbs. Everything on it is the same as on a well built standard AR, except for the barrel. I don't see how you could possibly make an AR any lighter than this one without compromising quality/durability in some way. This one is so light that I could shoot it one handed if need be:

One thing about the handguards. Yes, the lightweight barrel heats up quickly. However, the M4 handguards are thicker and do have more heat sheilding than the stock ones on the Bushmaster. The stock ones on the Bushmaster expose the gas tube and barrel to the open air through the ventilation holes. I would suspect that the stock Bushmaster ones may actually promote heat dissipation better than the M4 handguards, but this is just a guess on my part. It just looks like M4 handguards would hold in heat for a longer period of time.

October 5, 2004, 06:00 PM
Here's my lightweight. Model 1 Sales lightweight barrel on a slickside A1 upper (no forward assist, no shell deflector) with a 4 position collapsible stock on a Vulcan lower. Comes in at around 5 lbs.

If you enjoyed reading about "Light-weight AR-15 Options?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!