Thereâ€™s simply no reason why an AR carbine intended for personal protection should tip the scales at more than nine pounds. While accessories are often the culprit, they are not the only place to look when shaving ounces. And yes, when you begin trying to lighten your rifle it basically comes down to shaving ounces here and thereâ€”ounces that can quickly add up to a significant weight reduction.
Itâ€™s also extremely important to keep in mind that where you reduce weight can be just as important as the amount of weight reduced. Weight removed from the front of the carbine will affect its handling to a greater degree than an equal amount of weight reduced at the receiver or butt.
And with that, letâ€™s look at some ways to trim excess ounces from your favorite AR.
Choose this: old-school M16A1 profile pencil barrel
Weight savings of approximately six to eight ounces from the front of the barrel, which has an instant and noticeable effect on handling.
Choose this: standard M4 stock
Weight savings ranging from two ounces up to nearly a pound, depending on what aftermarket model youâ€™re looking at.
Weight savings one to two ounces; short as-needed rail sections will save additional ounces over full-length 1913 rails and covers
Choose this: simple Israeli two-point sling
Weight savings, three to four ounces
Choose this: Insight Technologyâ€™s WL1-AA with integral mount
Weight savings, half a pound, and that includes the Insightâ€™s batteries
Weight savings are just an ounce or two, but that weight comes off the front for better handling