Absolute Lightest AR-15 type rifle.


April 27, 2012, 01:25 PM
Now that I have taken the AR plunge with an A2 rifle configuration, I want more! It happens right.

So one of the obvious beauties of the AR platform is light weight. So I am thinking "get the lightest possible AR there is". Irrespective of what folks think of Bushmaster, they've got one of the Carbon series that weight 4lbs empty! No forward assist, no dust cover, no sights, pencil thin barrel. Any others that can compete with that? Weight-wise?

I read a mystery book recently where a man was out in the desert and found himself confronted by a "skinwalker"...a type of evil figure in Navajo culture...which in reality was a man dressed like a wolf engaged in criminal activity in the wilderness and using this ruse to scare off shepherds and such.

The man scrambled up the side of a cliff and hid in the darkness scared to death thinking he was a dead man. I am thinking to myself, "I'd probably scramble up and hide but if I had an AR...I might be worried about death, but it wouldn't be mine".

In this VERY hypothetical scenario, one would want the lightest possible AR with a sling. So my quest for a very light weight AR is on.

Any thoughts?

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April 27, 2012, 01:40 PM
Bushmaster are good ar's. don't let people snob you outta them. That said I would consider a suitable handgun. Maybe an xdM They hold almost as much as an ar and you can just hide till the skinwalkers get too close.

April 27, 2012, 01:40 PM
Not the "absolute lightest" but my go to AR is 6.8lbs. That is with a loaded mag, sure fire and TA-33 acog.

BCM middy lightweight upper.
MOE treatment with one lil rail for light and sling mount. (CTR stock)

A real basic set up. It turns heads because I don't have rails on it. I always get the "I can't believe how light it is" when someone handles it. I spent the money saved from not putting a $300 rail system into geisselle trigger.

I think in this day and age people have forgot the benefits of the AR being light weight. Especially when they make weigh as much as an M1A. I do have a heavy 20" but its a bench(ish) gun. My SBR is pushing 9lbs without mag, but it has the Vltor Vis upper.

Sorry bout my ramblings, I've been up for 24 hours and just finished an 18 hour shift.....carry on.

April 27, 2012, 01:51 PM
If you want it to work?

A standard alloy pencil-barrel carbine.



April 27, 2012, 02:15 PM
This one is the lightest I've found:


Mines doesn't have a high round count (approximately 2000 rounds to date), but it has been totally reliable so far.

As always, YMMV

April 27, 2012, 02:24 PM
The absolute lightest is going to be an SBR. There is a significant amount of weight in 6-9" of barrel.

I imagine the absolute lightest gun would use some combination of polymer lower, carbon 15 stripped upper, lightweight weight BCG, a short 7.5-10.5" pencil barrel, and some kind of carbon fiber hand guard.

A kel tec PLR weighs 3.4 lbs to give you an idea.

I've flirted with the idea of a Noveske 8" rogue hunter 300 BLK upper on a polymer lower which whould be sub 5 lbs. IIRC when I researched it all before it would be like 4.5 with a cav arms lower.

April 27, 2012, 02:36 PM
dpms sportical is just over 6lbs

April 27, 2012, 03:12 PM
Colt 6720 weights a little more than 4 lbs but you wont find a lighter AR that is duty worthy.

April 27, 2012, 03:20 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=50947 here's some ar-15 manufacturer info

April 27, 2012, 05:31 PM
Really liking that Colt light carbine...

I think maybe for skinwalkers you need an AR...but I would have a handgun too.;)

April 27, 2012, 07:46 PM
I'm thinking for Skinwalkers, you really need to cover all the bases.

Since we don't know for sure what they are?

I'm thinking a 577/450 Martini-Henry single-shot.
And a 480 grain Silver Jacket bullet with a Wood Stake core?

I think 30 rounds of .223 might just PZ'em off.


April 28, 2012, 07:17 AM
Don't forget the silver bullets for the Skinwalkers. I do like the Skinwalkers books, great stories.

If you want a real light AR you have to go SBR, pay the one time tax stamp, engrave the lower and you're GTG.

Retro SBR. I can build this with any upper I choose and I have three barrel lengths on my stamp.


April 28, 2012, 08:35 AM
Navajo culture has the concept of the Skinwalker. In European culture the Skinwalker would be a witch, vampire, werewolf...and that is how Europeans tend to think of them...that is if you live in the 4-corner region of the US or read Tony Hillerman.

From what I can deduce, in Navajo culture the skinwalker is just as likely to be what we might call a psychopath, a sociopath...but with a magical component woven in as it is a witch. Always evil, always up to no good, and the cause of trouble. In decades past, the police out there had to pay careful attention to "witch talk". At crime scenes and whatnot, victims and witnesses apparently often attributed crime to skinwalkers, people accused one another of being witches from time to time. The police has to make note of it because so many people back then believed in it to some degree, witch craft was frequently the motive for crime.

So I thought I would try to steer the popular imagination away from the :cuss: zombies (zombies really :banghead:) and get a Skinwalker thing going.

Maybe Hornady will come out with a line of "Skinwalker-MAX" ammo!

April 28, 2012, 09:21 AM
Maybe Hornady will come out with a line of "Skinwalker-MAX" ammo!

It's a bit 'wordy', don't you think?? 'Z-MAX', much better...

I was going to give some input on the lightweight New Frontier Armory lower/DPMS Oricale thin barrel upper. But then you went and dissed Zombies, so now you are on your own......

Skinwalker, pffft, at least Zombies are real!

April 28, 2012, 09:36 AM
As has been stated, the way to keep a weapon light is to resist the urge hang a bunch of accessories on it. Keep the barrel as short as possible and stay away from lights, optics and extra handles.

I built a carbine from PSA using a 14.5" barrel w/pinned flash hider. I weighed it, and it came in just under 6.5 pounds. It should do the trick for either zombies or skinwalkers.

Due to aging eyes, I had to add a red dot (one of the smallest available). I just can't see targets past 100 yards any more.

April 28, 2012, 09:52 AM
No one even going to mention the Plum Crazy polymer lowers? I've read builds with pencil barrels coming under 6 pounds.

Yes, a NFA barrel will be lighter if under 14.5", but you can go too far with it. Building an exercise in weight reduction doesn't make it a better bullet launcher in and of itself. It still needs to hit a target at the desired distance.

April 28, 2012, 10:01 AM
keltec su-16?

April 28, 2012, 12:08 PM
Christensen Arms prolly gonna be the lightest. That is sorta their thing.

April 28, 2012, 12:42 PM
My buddy built an AR on a polymer lower and a christensen arms CA-15 upper. I didn't weight it, but it was incredibly light, I'd guess less than 5 lbs unloaded. He was running a micro red dot of some sort and no BUIS just to get the lightest possible rifle. Very pointable and fun to shoot.

April 28, 2012, 02:15 PM
Well my 10.5 is 6lbs 5oz unloaded and that is with everything you see here except the sling.


April 28, 2012, 02:22 PM
Just to note. It is important to dig deeper when looking at what you want to put on your gun. For instance a lot of people claim that to keep things light you want to avoid rails, etc. However if you look at the actual weight you will see that the Rail used on my gun above is actually lighter than M4 or MOE hand guards for a carbine.

It is true you don't want to bolt a bunch of extra junk on your rifle. But planning ahead and looking at the weight/quality of each part can save you a lot of trouble.

April 28, 2012, 03:09 PM
GWACS bought the CAV arms lower molds and machinery.

They are the absolute lightest you're going to get for a lower. Then just choose an upper wisely. Every once in a while BCM has liteweight barrel 14.5" uppers.


April 28, 2012, 03:38 PM
GWACS bought the CAV arms lower molds and machinery.

I think the CAV arms lower is the best of the polymer lowers. I think they are asking a bit much for them though.

April 28, 2012, 04:13 PM
My Carbon 15 has a 16 M4 profile so it is a pound over something lighter and has the pretty much appendix forward assist which is about 5 oz. more but the C More sight is very light and the plastic Israelian foregrip/light is light for what you get. Total weight unloaded is 6 pounds and I have zero issues with it working so far altho I restaked the bolt ect.

April 28, 2012, 04:20 PM
Thunderhead is a good read.

April 28, 2012, 10:09 PM
What's your budget?

I imagine for around $600 a New Frontier complete lower + a Del-ton or PSA lightweight or featherweight upper and just irons would be under 6 pounds. I know places like Noveske also make really light barrels (for more).

Matthew Courtney
April 29, 2012, 08:57 AM

At 5.95 pounds, a standard 6920 weighs 49% more than this rifle's 4 pounds, and this one has a match grade stainless barrel.


4.3 pounds

Both have match grade stainless steel barrels.

April 29, 2012, 10:12 AM
Budget TBD. Skinwalkers talk aside, this is an exercise in learning about light weight AR-15 that would be purposed for self/home defense (officially - as a range gun practically) and that would be light enough to carry a bit.

In my original scenario, the "hero" was an archeaologist who drove his vehicle as far as it would go up a canyon and then hiked maybe 2 or 3 moderate miles farther up to where the ruins were. For me, that sort of trek would be perfectly reasonable to assume I'd undertake and in that scenario, I'd want the option of a light weight rifle, 90 rnds of ammo, a knife, and water.

In case anybody is worried, this type of thing is about as close to "fantasy" of you know what hitting the fan that I even think about. I do have a bug out bag but that's for tornados which, in Indiana are a real threat. We are the number 3 worst state in the Union for tornados (OK is the worst, forget the second).

So summing up this interesting thread, my next AR will be all about light weight...as light as I can get it. I won't bother with SBR but thanks for the advice. That Colt RC pointed out really caught my fancy. The Bushmaster carbons are fascinating too but, back to the skinwalkers, they live in dusty desert regions and I'd like a dust cover.

April 29, 2012, 10:20 AM
Shootrite Katana. (http://www.redjacketfirearms.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=42&category_id=8&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=6) Never been done before. A real game changer.

April 29, 2012, 11:10 AM
Shootrite Katana. (http://www.redjacketfirearms.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=42&category_id=8&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=6) Never been done before. A real game changer.

Tell me you are joking.

April 29, 2012, 12:17 PM
Tell me you are joking.


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