My first AR with Questions and a Picture


April 27, 2007, 11:52 PM

The foregrip has been removed and the lazer light is now mounted at the back of the rail right in front of the magazine.

I acquired this (my first AR) rifle today. The previous owner says this:

Bushmaster .223 M4 lower and RRA 15" upper with loads of extra's. Its got a Daniel Defense M4 rail, rubber grips on the rail, folding front grip, TLR-2 light/laser combo, LMT night sites on front and back sites, Magpul handle/grip with a Hogue rubber grip over it, CAA stock cover, 6-pos stock, Vortex flash suppressor, and 5 mags.

My question is this, This thing is heavy! My brother and buddys m4's are much lighter, then again they both have 16 inch uppers, it seems that the weight is all in the front. Is it the barrel? I didnt like the folding vert grip in the front so I have removed it. Other than that I am loving the rifle. I will be testing it out this weekend.

My concern about the weight is not that it is HEAVY, but the fact that it feels unbalanced. I am ok with the overall rifle being a little heavier.

See I changed the synthetic on my 870 to wood to balance it out and I am much happier. (

Can you guys suggest a stock that will help balance out the weight?


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April 28, 2007, 12:01 AM
while i appreciate that any unbalanced gun can be teh suq, run a few miles with a garand for some perspective. :)

btw, what's with the multicolored mags? do any two of them have the same finish?

honestly, it looks like a great gun. even though most of my ARs are 16", I have a lot of respect for the 20"

April 28, 2007, 12:04 AM
the 3 mags are black with the same finish but of of the three is tilted slightly and reflection is different.

I do have a garand and it is a pig.

So my question is, is it the Barrel? the weight I mean.

April 28, 2007, 12:12 AM
The rifle feels front-heavy for several reasons. The barrel is part of it... since it's RRA, I bet it's a thicker profile under the handguards. Railed handguards aren't light either. Finally, while they're not that heavy themselves your laser and vertical foregrip add weight to the rifle.

In other words, a 20" M16A2 (rented in the past) does not exhibit the symptoms you've described. I highly doubt that the lower weighs more than any other on the market. Therefore, it must be in the upper.

April 28, 2007, 12:15 AM
The fact that it is a lightweight gun already may make it seem relatively unbalanced. Maybe it is a nice, heavy barrel to get the most out of the given barrel length? Maybe replace that quad rail with something that has a bit less metal in/on it (sell the quad for some extra cash), and that may "lighten it up" a bit.

Depends on what you paid for it that affects how I answer what I would do. Though, maybe get yourself a nice sling setup for shooting, and that extra weight will be reduced?

April 28, 2007, 12:15 AM
Do the other rifles have plastic handguards? Your aluminum rail is going to be heavier.

April 28, 2007, 12:18 AM
You don't actually have an M4gery like your brother's. His is probably has a shorter thinner barrel. That moves the balance point well back of yours. The rail forend and the light/laser add weight far forward as well. With the heavy barrel on your's it will never feel like his.

Take heart, though. You're rifle is probably capable of much greater accuracy than his.

Texas Gunman
April 28, 2007, 12:38 AM
I've gone through many different configurations, so Im saying...I stay away from heavy H barrels.
Using government contoured barrels, also have gone back to KISS, great balance.

Also have 20" ARs, one does have bipod and scope, government contoured barrel, it doesnt feel heavy, like the H bar that was on it.

I got rid of quad rails,flashlight etc.


April 28, 2007, 12:45 AM
I edited my original post, I misstyped the barrel is 16 inch.

You guys saying that it is the lazer/light and forgrip.. I have removed them and I am still feeling like it is heavy in the front.

Yes my bros rifle is a little heavier after he added his rail.

How much could I get for the rail? it is a Daniel Defense M4 9.0

Bartholomew Roberts
April 28, 2007, 12:47 AM
The Daniel Defense first generation rail you have is actually lighter than the plastic handguards if it has the aluminium barrel nut (which is most likely). I have the same handguard on mine.

The barrel appears to be a 16" midlength HBAR. My bet is that the barrel is probably why it feels so nose heavy. The RRA HBAR profile is 1" under the handguards, so the barrel weighs a tad more than a 20" A2 government profile barrel.

There are basically two ways to get it balanced - add weight to the rear and/or take weight off the front. Removing the vertical grip and light/laser might shed some weight up front. You could also have the barrel reprofiled to shave some weight off.

In the back, you could either use the storage tubes on the stock to store batteries (more weight in back) or you could replace the stock with a heavier stock. I like the Magpul M93 (and soon the UBR) stock. They have enough weight to balance the rifle well and they are a nice stock to boot.

Nice rifle!

April 28, 2007, 12:51 AM
Closer look at the barrel through the rail I see that it thins out in the middle like the one on the bottom.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 28, 2007, 12:56 AM
Hmmm... it should be pretty handy then unless those rail accessories (folding grip and laser) weigh a lot. RRA doesn't make that barrel normally, so it must have been reprofiled already.

April 28, 2007, 12:59 AM
hmmm... OK so I have a mystery. because even with light and vert grip removed it still seems heavy in the front. Then again I am un experienced with ARs.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 28, 2007, 01:04 AM
It should balance right at or just behind the barrel nut with the grip and light removed.

April 28, 2007, 01:17 AM
The more I read the more I think I might be just me. Because you said It should balance right at or just behind the barrel nut

So I checked and noticed that both with and with out a full mag it tips to the rear. But some how the front feels heavy when I hold it up like I am going to fire it.

Hell maybe it's just me and I just might have a great balanced rifle and not even know it yet.

Taking it to the range in the morning to find out.

April 28, 2007, 01:21 AM
Just think back to physics. You've got a collapsible stock for Compact AR's on the back end, really light. But the front end looks closer to a full-size. That's the start. The quad-rails contribute as well (although BR says they're lighter, which I wouldn't know cause I don't own them - just looks to be more to them). Then the laser module. Think moment-arm. Even if it's light, the fact that it's farther from the center will contribute to the gun pulling forward.

The glass is half full though - you're offsetting recoil, right? Even quicker followup shots with that peppy little .223.

But yeah, if you want it balanced: Just think of the gun as a see-saw around wherever you want it to balance, and adjust. Putting a heavier stock - perhaps a standard M16-style fixed stock - would be a start. Minimizing accessories would be good - or, if they can still function effectively mounted back closer to the receiver, it would improve the balance. And maybe stick to aluminum and polymer mags (no steel) as those are pretty clunky. I own a few and it can create a different feel than with the lighter mags.

Damn nice gun though, really like it :)

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