Apex Gunsmithing
23Oct/13

Idea: Lightweight Production AR-15

Update April 2018: Wow, this post is nearly five years old and in that time the concept outlined here has more than become reality!  Five years ago we weren't swimming in sub-10oz free float rails, lightweight components, minimalist optic mounts and more.  At this point it's foolhardy to skimp on the nickel boron bolt group, and as of the time of this update one can procure a lightened NiB group from AIM for all of $99, a product which five years ago would've cost you $300+ from a boutique manufacturer.  Progress is a wonderful thing sometimes, huh?  I've made some changes below to reflect the changing times.

I was talking to a friend and customer of mine recently about putting together a light weight AR-15 that also has the features people really want in a good rifle. Typically the first thing is a chrome lined barrel, followed by replacing the rattle trap M4 stock and chintzy A2 pistol grip. I thought about it a bit and decided on what I would consider a personal baseline for a quality lightweight carbine.