Gun’s & Fun: Lightweight AR Build


I’ve slowly built this budget AR-15 over the last few months. It came out pretty much as expected. The first question everyone wants to know is – “How much does it weigh?” I have to give an estimate as I used various methods for weighing it and came out with a few different results. The average of the measurements was 5.8 pounds. This is significantly lighter than many AR’s commercially made – and just a tad lighter than some others. The typical AR with an optic and a couple of rail attachments easily peaks out over 8-9 pounds. So yeah – 5.8 pounds is obviously lighter.

The picture below shows it in its complete form minus sights. The budget on this gun was under $700 and I barely made it.


The components were as follows:

Mid State Firearms custom upper – see

MFT AR Minimalist Stock

Anderson Lower Parts Kit

Odin Works BCG

Fostech Lightweight Stripped Lower

Standard Mil-Spec Buffer Tube and Spring

Magpul MOE Grip

Standard Ambi Safety Selector

Rousch AR Charging Handle


Moving around with a sub-6 pound AR versus my Stag which runs around 8.5 pounds really highlights the weight difference. While there are ultralight AR’s out there costing upwards of $3,000 – a budget lightweight build is very possible. In fact – this particular build could have easily had a few ounces shaved off. A different flash hider could drop a couple ounces. The all-metal handguard could be replaced with a polymer one. Those that partake in the challenge of building ultra lightweight AR’s go to extremes with exotic metals and extremely expensive componentry.

Why go lightweight? Ounces equal pounds. Pounds equal fatigue. Weight matters.  Pounds removed from the rifle can equal more pounds of ammunition carried. Options.

A standard AR is not too heavy. Quality of components, barrel type, comfort, etc. is much more important to me than weight. But – weight is on the list.

A special thanks go out to for custom building the upper for me.

Let the fun begin!!!!!



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