Project Superlight: Quest for Lighter

Life is weird. One day, you could care less about something. And the next, you’ve fallen head over heels in love.

That’s me and the AR-15. They simply weren’t even on my radar for many years. But recently, the little carbine has won me over. The bolt-together simplicity. The light weight. Now I can’t get enough of them.

My most recent AR-15 build is something I call “Project Superlight.” I’ve read about a similar project called “Featherlight.” I wondered how light could I go without resorting to super-pricey/fragile parts. Well, I found out: 4 lbs. 4.2 oz. I’m sure I could go a bit lighter with some mill work. But I wanted to keep things simple at this point.

Here’s what I did. I wanted to start with a known quantity. So I picked up a Bushmaster Carbon-15 ORC (Optics Ready Carbine).

From the factory, it weighed 5 lbs. 1 oz. I knew it could be lighter.

I swapped out the buttstock for an Ace Ultralight. (I secured the rear takedown pin and spring by threading the rear portion of the the hole and cutting down the spring slightly.)

Next, I swapped the lower parts kit (steel) for an Accu Group (polymer). The polymer pieces actually have a much much better trigger pull. No creep. Lighter. Simply awesome—for plastic. 😉

I ditched the flash hider for a thread protector. And also lost the forward assist steel parts, ejection port cover, internal buffer weights, and forearm heat shields.

And this is what I ended up with:

The proof is in the pudding, as they say:

Still needs sights, I know. The TNVC RDPII is interesting at $140 and all of 0.9 oz.

Total cost for the build is currently $650. I picked up the Carbon 15 for $600. Got the stock for $50. And the Accu Group and thread protector were free from a friend. 🙂

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