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Balancing my Highpower AR-15

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Rockrivr1, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Well-Known Member

    While at the range on Sunday, Cold showed me how his AR was balanced over the magazine well. When I tried to balance mine, well lets just say the bbl was in the 6 o'clock down position.

    I was thinking that the extra wieght probably makes it easier to stop the slight "wiggles" when trying to aim and relieve some of the direct wieght to your forward hand. What other benefit does it provide?

    I figure that wieght would just be needed in the butt to counter the heavy bbl. Is that a correct assumption?

    Lastly, what would be the best way to balance the AR? (Techniques) What is a good place to get wieghts to balance it?

    Thanks again for the help and information.

  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Balancing an AR does several things for the HP shooter. It will slow down the little bobbles in the standing portion. In addition, it will also make the movements more deliberate. In a heavy wind, it will make the gun somewhat more wind resistant. It will keep you from having to "control" the rifle with your left arm, as it will "hang" right at the delta ring or wherever you prefer. For rapid fire stages, it will keep muzzle climb (little as it is) to a minimum. Properly balanced, you will not feel a burden of the extra weight when in position.

    You can buy lead butt weights and under-the-handguard cuffs from Ray Brandles www.ray-vin.com You can cut or drill the weights to adjust them for you. Another option is to line the rear stock with a plastic bag and use lead shot and JB weld to fill it. Insert a screw of some type before it sets so you can pull it out later. You can use mag wheel weights for the front if needed.
  3. cold

    cold Member

    Steve is right on the money about the balance point (CG) being at the delta ring, as most shooters hold there with a reverse grip. That's the hold I showed you. My CG is back towards the mag well because I have not done the fine tuning to the balance. Even being off, adding the weight helps alot.

    I also installed an A1 stock which is 3/4" shorter. As you know, I'm not a big guy, so the shorter stock fits better. The shorter stock forced me to trim the buttstock weight to fit, but I still need to trim some more to move the CG forward another 1/2 to 1".

    Ahh, all the fine details,
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Cold, I am not a big guy either, but I don't know how you can use that A1 in prone. :D I suppose I could use an A1 stock for standing and an A2 for prone, but we all know how silly that would be. I'l stick with the A2.
  5. M1911

    M1911 Well-Known Member

    Didn't know you could do that. Is that kosher in service rifle with an A2 upper? Also, do you have a source for A1 stocks? I'm also not a big guy and the A2 length of pull is too long for me.
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    A1 stock is a-ok by SR rules.

    Source... Rock River Arms or Bushmaster?
  7. cold

    cold Member

    Are you asking me where the A1 came from? If so, it came off my Colt SP1. Swapped with the A2 last month. Didn't even think about prone as we're only shooting offhand until the end of April... pausing, gets up and gets AR, slings up and get into position on living room floor.

    I think I'll be fine in prone. It feels good in the sitting position, too. :)

  8. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Well-Known Member

    To balance properly should I get the NM Wedge for the stock and Cuff weights for the handgaurd or will I be fine with just the Wedge weight only?
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    That totally depends on you. I'd say that you could start with the wedge, and maybe add the cuff (or half of it) later. Its all personal at that stage, and you won't know what you like for a while. The wedge in the butt will give you a good start, though.
  10. M1911

    M1911 Well-Known Member

    careful with the wedge. I had to really "wedge" mine in there after lots of trimming. And then, of course, I couldn't get it out, after I'd determined it was much more weight than I wanted. With my heavy profile barrel Golden Eagle, the full wedge in the stock resulted in a stock heavy gun -- balance point was too far aft. I've gone back to rolls of pennies.
  11. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Well-Known Member

    I ordered a Ray-Vin A2 wedge last night. It seemed like a decent price at $14. Hopefully I'll get it soon.

    I'm also hoping it installs a little easier then what M1911 had to go through. Maybe I'll put a thin covering of CLP or oil in the well before I put it in to make sure I can get it out again.

    I figure I'll wipe out the oil once I have it trimmed down to the weight I need. I'll start with just the wedge and see how it goes before I think about putting the cuff weights in. I'll have to save what I trim off the wedge to counter the cuff weight if I decide to use it later.

    As usual, thanks for the great advise.

  12. cold

    cold Member

    The Ray-Vin A2 wedge fit my my RRA A2 stock perfectly. Some cautions are in order; when you remove the top screw on the butt plate, the rear take-down pin detent spring is released. I am willing to install it for you on a Sunday morning, if you would like. I'll also show you how to remove the handguards to install the cuff weights. I never did ask how familiar you are with the AR platform, so if you're comfortable, have at it. If you do the install yourself, use a spray silicone rather a petroleum-based lube. Once the wedge is installed, I think you will also find the CG will move all the way back to the charging handle area. On my RRA, I have the full cuff and the wedge shortened an inch, and the CG is at the mag well. I may have to trim another half-inch from the small end of the wedge.

  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Troy, don't worry, it'll be a piece of cake. When M1911 said "Armalite Golden Eagle" that's all I needed to know. Its a goodgun, but not "standard" when compared to the guns being produced now. Of course, the RRA is a little non-standard too, more on that later. You'll be fine with the weights.

    Now, one thing of note on that RRA upper. Unless they changed it, that rear sight is a 1/4Wx1/3E sight. Yes, I know they said quarter/quarter, but they never put a dial micrometer on it! I would bet good money that its a third minute elevation. Elevation come ups from 200 to 300 is 3 minutes and from 300 to 600 is 9 minutes. That'll get you in the black every time. What I would suggest for that first 600 match that you're going to shoot soon is to come up 12 minutes from your 200 yard zero and fire. In a third minute gun that's 36 clicks. If you are WAY low and you fired a great shot, then come up 12 clicks and fire again.

    I used that same gun for a year and a half of HP and I know that its a 1/3E sight...and the dial indicator proves it. Mine wasn't special, as Holliger was the one to tell me about it when I took receipt of it. It was a RRA thing back then, so who knows if they've changed it. Realistically, most folks never know how good their rear sights are until they start shooting HP. Every company's sights are off or drift all over. The RRAs don't drift at all...they're just third minute.

    I'm sending my RRA upper off to Holliger for him to true up the rear sight with the mods he did on my other custom upper. Then it'll be true 1/4x1/4. The individual doesn't really have to worry about this, but I'll be shooting on several teams this year, so I want to be able to keep up with the coach when he says "5 right! Two down!"
  14. M1911

    M1911 Well-Known Member

    ? The barrel profile is certainly non-standard. But all I did was add a buttstock weight. What is non-standard about the GE's buttstock?
  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Its too small! lol

    FWIW, the GE was Armalite's first crack at a "real" competition HP gun. They had a new concept with the barrel, but unfortunately some strong armed Marines proved that it didn't work.

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