Win This Rifle Build! Lightweight AR15 Giveaway!
9/9/2019Primary Arms Staff9/9/2019 10:02 amwww.primaryarms.com
You ever hear the phrase “ounces are pounds”?
If you know the history of the AR15 and its offspring, you know that weight is everything. It started in Vietnam, where the M16 made its debut as a replacement to the 10lb+ M14. Trading a wood stock for aluminum and polymer, the M16 weighed 2.5lbs less than the previously-issued battle rifle, and the smaller cartridges meant soldiers could carry more ammunition outside the wire. After the war, the Military’s demand for smaller, lighter equipment continued, leading to the development of the M4, the M249, and countless other modern rifles. Even today, you can see the trend continue with M-LOK/KeyMod, 300blk shorties, and Microdot optics.
With all these great products, we had to wonder: just how light can you make a field-ready AR? What kind of savings can you achieve without compromising on durability, accuracy, or reliability? As you have probably already gathered, we couldn’t let our curiosity go unanswered.
This is our take on a lightweight build. It weighs as much as a 2-liter of Coke at 5.1lbs, but we didn’t compromise on functionality. With a pin-and-weld 14.5in barrel, you’ll achieve the velocity needed for effective 5.56 ballistics. Of course, one of our favorite features is how easy it is to pack and ship to our giveaway winner.
As always, no purchase necessary and no raffle tickets. Just a good, old-fashioned giveaway to get y’all kitted. All you need to do is click the button at the top of the page to put your name on the list. Easy as that.
If you want to learn more about the rifle, though, we’ve got a full breakdown below. So, why don’t we start with the obvious question: why does weight matter? You don’t have to be a soldier on the march to enjoy the benefits of a lightweight carbine. There are a handful of reasons why shaving pounds can enhance your marksmanship.
3 Reasons for Lightweight
First, a lighter rifle is easier to carry. If you’ve hunted, competed, or stood on duty, you know that a heavy rifle can wear you down over time. Quality slings like the Blue Force Gear Vickers series or the Viking Tactics slings reduce strain, but there’s no getting around a pound. In the end, everyone experiences muscle fatigue, but a lightweight rifle makes an exponential difference. Our lightweight build is so light, you could carry two, and you’d still be hauling less than a kitted M16.
Second, a lighter rifle is easier to manipulate and point. The physics are easy to understand: a heavy rifle will have more momentum in motion. Thus, you need more muscle control to stop and control its movements, especially when you’re engaging targets at long distances, where small errors make a big difference. While a high-caliber benchrest rifle may favor more weight, our AR has the need for speed. At just over 5lbs, our build points with ease, making it perfect for rapid target acquisition.
Finally, a lightweight carbine is easier to hold on target for long periods of time. Since it’s September, the most appropriate reference is to Oktoberfest! If you’ve ever competed in a steinholding challenge, you know that weight plus extended arm equals sore muscles. The same is true for rifles. If you try to point a 10lb rifle for minutes at a time, your biceps will scream at you. By cutting the rifle’s weight in half, you can hold your aim without shakes or soreness.
The only benefit to added weight is recoil reduction, but with .223/5.56 cartridges, recoil is negligible. That said, our build includes components that minimize muzzle rise, so let’s dig into our parts list to understand how it all comes together.
The Lower Receiver
2A Armament’s Gen 2 Balios Lite Billet Receivers aren’t just stylish. They’re carefully machined to remove excess material without compromising the strength of either receiver. Given the exacting tolerances and matched fitment, this receiver set also reduces the risk of any parts incompatibilities during installation. Since a lower is easier to slim down, we’ll start there.
When looking for weight-saving opportunities, your lower parts kit is a good place to start. Expo Arms makes a small parts kit that conveniently meets all our simple parts needs. We also added a couple parts from Battle Arms Development, who have become well known for their lightweight components. The pivot pins and takedown pins are both skeletonized titanium, as is the Enhanced Bolt Catch. Exclusive to Primaryarms.com, Battle Arms Development’s CASS Lightweight Safety Selector has a positive engagement and enhanced ergonomics for any high-speed build.
Lightweight triggers are already common on the market, as 3-gun competitors are always seeking an additional edge. Elftmann’s AR-15 3 Gun Mil-Spec .154 Trigger is one of the most popular lightweight triggers that we carry. With a straight trigger face, adjustable .75-4lb pull, and reliable drop safety, Elftmann’s trigger is an easy choice for our build. It has the reliability of a standard duty-grade trigger with all the comfort of a low-weight match trigger. Plus, it’s made right here in the US and backed with a lifetime guarantee.
We finished our lower with a bit of primo furniture. Magpul’s MOE-K2 Pistol Grip is one of the most popular, and its polymer construction makes it naturally lightweight. Plus, its reduced grip angle makes it both comfortable and effective in bringing muzzle to target. Our stock is the iconic Mission First Tactical BATTLELINK. Though it’s minimalistic, it brings all the features one would expect from a premium rifle stock: non-slip buttpad, QD Sling attachment, and a wide cheekweld. It’s the perfect end to a lightweight lower.
The Upper Receiver
Here’s where the rubber hits the road. Upper receivers can get to be a lot heavier than most lowers, so there’s a lot of room to shave down the pounds. Since we’re using a matched upper and lower from 2A Armament, we’ve already got our upper selected. Just like the lower receiver, the Balios upper is precision cut for minimal weight with full durability.
Faxon Firearms is our featured brand this September, and for a good reason. One of the heaviest parts on a rifle is the barrel, as even a 16” barrel can weigh a few pounds depending on the profile. Faxon had us covered with their 14.5” Pencil Profile Barrel with Permanently Attached Slim 3-Port Brake. Not only do you save weight with the thin profile, but the brake is way smaller than a traditional birdcage or comparable 3-port brake. To complete our barrel assembly, we added Faxon’s 3-Screw Gas Block and Expo Arms’ Mid-Length Stainless Steel Gas Tube.
Your handguard selection is one of the more important decisions when reducing weight. With a wide variety of designs, M-LOK is the perfect system for our lightweight build. Battle Arms Development’s 13.7” RIGIDRAIL handguard totals in at 9oz for a full 13.7” handguard. It has mounting on the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions, QD sling attachment points, and a durable 6061-T6 construction. It’s everything you want from a premium handguard but with reduced weight. What’s not to love?
Finishing the upper, we chose a BCG that is purpose-made for this build. 2A Armament’s Lightweight Adjustable 5.56/300blk BCG is less than 8oz assembled. It uses an adjustable gas regulator that allows you to tune the gas key to match your chosen loading (or use a suppressor). You don’t even need to break down the rifle, as it’s adjustable through the ejection port. 2A Armament’s BCG is precision machined from 8620 steel and heat treated before finished in QPQ nitride for exceptional lubricity. Pair it with a Fortis Manufacturing Clutch Charging Handle, and you’ve got a match made in lightweight heaven.
For optics, there’s only one option that jumps out: a microdot. Microdots are compact red dot sights that weigh only a few ounces. These sights are fast, durable, and run for years on just a single battery. Our Primary Arms Silver Series Advanced Rotary Knob Microdot also bakes in several premium features to help round out our rifle’s sighting system. With 11 brightness settings and NV compatibility, this dot performs above its price and keeps on trucking. We made it from 6061 aluminum and waterproofed it to take the field abuse. Plus, we back it with Primary Arms’ lifetime warranty and commitment to user satisfaction.
Our microdot rides on a Fortis F1 Optics Mount for a Lower 1/3rd co-witness. The mount adds extra height for faster acquisition, plus it only weighs 1.1oz, making it one of the lightest mounts out there.
How to Win
There you have it. A relative featherweight carbine, all ready for the range. At 5.1lbs, this rifle will point like a dream, snapping from target to target with ease. Plus, your biceps will thank you!
If you want to take this rifle, we have good news: our giveaway is free. You can enter by visiting our Giveaway Landing Page, which has all the instructions to give you the best odds. We've recently updated some of the point values to encourage sharing and tweeting more, giving that extra advantage for the proactive. Some terms and conditions apply. The giveaway ends September 30th, 2019, at 11:59pm CDT. At the end of the giveaway, the winner will be contacted via email on October 1st. Winner MUST be legally able to possess a firearm and pass a federal background check. Winner is responsible for all taxes. If the winner cannot meet the requirements necessary to take ownership of the firearm, the winner will be granted the total value of the prize package, $2,289.46, in cash. Exclusions apply, and no purchase is necessary. A full list of terms and conditions are visible through the Giveaway Landing Page.
If you’d like to build a clone of this rifle—or if you want to learn more about the components—all these parts are available at primaryarms.com.