7 Ways You Can Make Your AR-15 Lighter

7 Ways You Can Make Your AR-15 Lighter
Aimpoint Micro T1

STOCK

Instead of this: aftermarket stock with all the latest bells and whistles

Choose this: standard M4 stock

Weight savings ranging from two ounces up to nearly a pound, depending on what aftermarket model you're looking at.

FORE-END

Instead of this: long designs weighing 13 to 15 ounces

Choose this: Alexander Arms Mk10 Plus (9-inch), Troy Industries BattleRail TRX Extreme (11-inch)

Weight savings one to two ounces; short as-needed rail sections will save additional ounces over full-length 1913 rails and covers

OPTICS, MOUNTS

Instead of this: 1-4X scopes weighing 16 to 24 ounces and mounts in the seven- to nine-ounce range

Choose this: High-Lux 1-24 CMR with Burris P.E.P.R. mount weighs 26.5 ounces total; EOTech EXPS3 system, 11 ounces; Aimpoint Micro T-1 in LaRue mount, 5.7 ounces

SLINGS

Instead of this: complex designs with heavy metal hardware and metal QD swivels, which can weigh half a pound or more

Choose this: simple Israeli two-point sling

Weight savings, three to four ounces

WHITE LIGHTS

Instead of this: older models with QD mounts, which can weigh three-quarters of a pound

Choose this: Insight Technology's WL1-AA with integral mount

Weight savings, half a pound, and that includes the Insight's batteries

VERTICAL GRIPS

Instead of this: models with QD levers

Choose this: GG&G Vertical Foregrip, Tango Down's standard vertical grip

Weight savings are just an ounce or two, but that weight comes off the front for better handling

With the exception of precision rifles, weight is an enemy to be avoided at all costs. Excess weight can ruin the balance of your rifle, make it slower handling and become an unnecessary burden. A heavier rifle is more fatiguing to carry and employ than a lighter one.

There'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 there — ounces that can quickly add up to a significant weight reduction.

It'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, let's look at some ways to trim excess ounces from your favorite AR.

BARREL

Instead of this: Government and medium weight barrel profiles

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.

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