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Thread: Lightweight Ar15 build

  1. #1
    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    Default Lightweight Ar15 build

    I was kinda challenged by a friend to build this one. Cost, light wight and practicality were the three criteria. Was intended to be a home/farm gun.

    Here is a Cav Arms lower I bought out of curiosity when they were $50. I decided to go ahead and build it for a school I was going to because the instructors (friends of mine) insisted that homebuilds were not as reliable as factory, plastic lowers were even less so. (I was afraid they were right on this one but have no experience on the matter). So here we go

    $50 Cave arms plastic lower
    $25 used Colt FCG
    $75 used Bravo company bolt and carrier
    Some misc parts to round out the lower
    $14 A Wolff heavy buffer spring
    $69 a blemished BCM upper
    $80 used Colt lightweight barrel, carbine gas system cut to 14.5" with and AK flash suppressor silver soldered on. (I had the extra AK suppressors around, they were running $15)
    Viking tactics sling (extra)
    $70 High intesity LED Lenser light (this aint your daddy's LED light, it works)
    $10 I machined the free float tube
    The EOTECHs are mine and I normally have it on the "go to gun" minus the magnifier.


    So After 3 days of running, barricade shooting, in and out of car drills and shooting from cars, from 7 to 200 yards and approx 1750 rounds.....

    One magazine related failure. Period. One.

    The Sigs turned in NUMEROUS mag failures and a few FTF, The HK had a few "issues"
    and the Bushmasters a large agency near here bought crapped out 5 out of 5.

    Accuracy is subjective, I typically out group 90% in these classes and this was not very different (I'm not good, they just suck) 100 yards EOTECH minus magnifier was giving me 3" 10 shot groups while under time limits.

    So its good enough for me.

    Below it is an AR10 16" Carbine I machined recently too.




  2. #2
    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    i found that home builds generally do better than factory.

    yet then again i am running ones i built! LOL!


    i really like the cav-arms polymer lowers! if i build another lower this year for myself that is what i am going to run most likely. mall ninjas-hat the cav-arms for some reason.

    i guess if colt made them they would change their tune.

    i have run my cav lower on a 5.45x39 conversion upper. lost count of the rounds. haven't had any problems to speak of with it. it just keeps on ticking!

    nice build! and it proves you don't have to blow a wad of dough to build a good running ar-15!

  3. #3
    GuncoHolic 555th's Avatar
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    Have you weighed it with out the optics and light? Looks light and handy.

  4. #4
    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    6.4lbs on bathroom scales no mag. It is very "pointable" and carrying it and running in kit with it makes you really appreciate how much lighter it is then my colt.

  5. #5
    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    i can't decide weather to build a 16" middy LW or go the LW 20" on the barrel.
    6.4lb with the optic is pretty darn light.

    the polymer lower saves 1 LB and the LW barrel saves nearly 1.0lb.

    i don't know how much you can save on the hand-guards, delta kit and gas block but a few ounces here and there add up.

    i did see a 20" LW that was stripped down that came in @ 5.4lbs with no optic.

    i probably won't go for the super light version, probably that a1/a2 retro look but i plan on coming in @ around 6lbs even with iron sights.

  6. #6
    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    I have a 18" LW and a 16 LW middy that I sold to a guy recently. What do you HONESTLY gain by going the extra 4-6"? Current high quality ammo will not really need the extra few inches until you are WAY outside defensive ranges or even farm ranges. I would like to chrono the 14.5 but I am comfortable with the plethora of ammo selection for short barrels. Also that suppressor wiped out the flash you otherwise might expect out of a shorty. I would have no problem hitting a feral dog at 200 yards with it oin the field and further with a little pause to go. I was at prone 200 yards head shooting without magnifier as fast as I could squeeze until the instructor yelled at me for heating up his plates. What practically do you want beyond that?

  7. #7
    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    since i run a lot of steel cased russian ammo that is underpowered an extra 4" of barrel can be helpful with the slow burning powder they loaded in um.

    and the A1 look is hard to get with a 16/18" that 4" is only couple OZ more and i got a shit load of 16" car's and middys so tell me why i need another?--LOL

    ok maybe one in 6.8spc 2--LOL

  8. #8
    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j427x View Post
    since i run a lot of steel cased russian ammo that is underpowered an extra 4" of barrel can be helpful with the slow burning powder they loaded in um.

    and the A1 look is hard to get with a 16/18" that 4" is only couple OZ more and i got a shit load of 16" car's and middys so tell me why i need another?--LOL

    ok maybe one in 6.8spc 2--LOL
    OK ammo I can get. Or run a reduced power spring and or light weight buffer.

    But the A1 look is nice

  9. #9
    tired of idiots vz58's Avatar
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    Well its raining and power is cutting in and out so no CNC today.

    Shot 5, 5 shot groups of hand loads prone with magnifier at 78 yards (back yard)


    25.5 grains wc846 cci 41 ss109
    2.2" group vertical string. (barrel getting warm?)

    25.0 grains wc846 cci 41 ss109
    .81" tight

    24.5 grains wc846 cci 41 ss109
    .50"

    24.0 grains wc846 cci 41 ss109
    1.4" loose

    Not bad for an old fugly guy.....

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