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Ultralight but reliable: Where to shave the weight on an AR? Adjustable gas blocks now being considered. Login/Join 
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If anyone has good experiences with a simple, reliable adjustable gas block, I would be happy to hear about it. A couple of options for research would be great.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bruce,

I used the SLR V6 adjustable gas block. Tuning them is really simple. Just turn the gas off and fire 1 round at a time increasing the gas after each. When it locks the bolt to the rear go 1 more turn for reliability.

As a range or competition gun, I see no issues with low mass BCGs and adjustable blocks. It would only be an issue for combat or high round count courses where things get dirty. The extra mass and inertia would help.

But for a range/play gun it should stay relatively clean and lubed anyway. I used the LW BCG from AIM and it was only $109.

I spent $1130 including the PA MD-ADS optic (no BUIS), this was a few years ago before AR prices hit bottom. It is 5.22 lbs empty and 5.9 lbs with a loaded aluminum 20rd magazine.

If I wanted to save more weight, I would next look to a titanium FH and the titanium adjustable gas block, might pick up a couple more oz there...but $$$.

The best site I found for lightweight parts, but things get spendy fast! I am tempted to get a titanium A2 for my build though, at $49 it is right in there with what many muzzle devices cost and would shave over an ounce off the end of the barrel.

https://www.vsevenweaponsystems.com/




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4598 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the info. I can see how going really light can get spendy fast!

I have heard of people running empty carbine buffers with the LW BCG and adjustable gas blocks.
Do you do that, as well? Is it about total weight or reciprocating weight, I wonder?

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
Thanks for the info. I can see how going really light can get spendy fast!

I have heard of people running empty carbine buffers with the LW BCG and adjustable gas blocks.
Do you do that, as well? Is it about total weight or reciprocating weight, I wonder?

Bruce


Yes, I pulled the weights out of a spare carbine buffer so it only weighs 1oz and run a LW carrier and adjustable block. It greatly lowers the total weight of the rifle, but the reduction in reciprocating weight detracts from reliability, less inertia to overcome grime.

It does result in a very light and very soft-shooting rifle which in real-world terms is very reliable, just keep it lubed and wipe her down after a range session. Recoil-wise there is just enough gas to run it (plus a bit extra via the turn one more click method) and it has very little weight reciprocating to the rear and then slamming home again.

I wouldn't do it for my main HD gun which is an LMT SBR with a BCM auto carrier, but for your purpose it will work great.




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4598 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay, so here is what I have come up with:

Faxon pencil 16" barrel with midlength gas system
A2 flash hider
SLR adjustable gas block
Lightweight bolt carrier group
Anderson slick-side LW upper
Sampson Evolution 15" handguard (delta ring delete)
Magpul K grip
MFT Minimalist stock
Carbine buffer

That seems like it will be light enough without sacrificing any chance at reliability or my bank account.

Anything there that anyone would swap out for something different?

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think you've got it, should be solidly under 6# empty.




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4598 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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You could probably go with a 13" instead of a 15" handguard and save a few ounces.


Depending on where the adjustment screw is on your adjustable gas block, you may have to access it from the front of the handguard or drill a hole in the side.
 
Posts: 13451 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by IndianaBoy:
You could probably go with a 13" instead of a 15" handguard and save a few ounces.


Depending on where the adjustment screw is on your adjustable gas block, you may have to access it from the front of the handguard or drill a hole in the side.


Good point, the adjustment screw is in the front so you'd want to tune it before installing the rail I guess. I used a 10" rail so I had access.




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 4598 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was thinking that but I like the full length handguard. I may have to find a really long allen key or have to fuss with taking the rail on and off.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The big brown truck came today with a box of goodies!

I had seen the Faxon pencil barrels before but I had no notion of how light they actually are! It feels like my kid's Harry Potter wand, in the hand Smile

I need to get this thing put together and head out to the range.

Thanks, everyone, for all the information.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
I was thinking that but I like the full length handguard. I may have to find a really long allen key or have to fuss with taking the rail on and off.

Bruce


JP used to ship their front adjusting gas blocks with a really long allen key.

Their new adjustable blocks are side adjustable. So if you can't access it through a slot in the HG you could drill a hole.
 
Posts: 13451 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
We gonna get some
oojima in this house!
Picture of smithnsig
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rail and barrel nut weighs the same as a milspec barrel nut.

G3


-----------------------------------------------------------
TCB all the time...
 
Posts: 6306 | Location: Cantonment/Perdido Key, Florida | Registered: September 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a complete v7 rifle with all of their components. It’s been 100% reliable in over 6k rounds. Not one failure.

Their quality is top notch.
 
Posts: 149 | Location: boston | Registered: June 13, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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https://www.odinworks.com/M_LO...nds_p/f-12-ml-ra.htm

I think my next handguard will be from Odin Works. 9.3 oz with the barrel nut.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mbinky:
LW barrels, no forward assist, CAR type stocks will all lead to weight reduction. I am a huge fan of lightweight carbines.

This carbine weighs in at 5 lbs. 9 oz. Accurate and reliable.





My Colt 6720 with a Comp M3 and Larue mount weighs in at about 6 lbs. 12 oz (with MOE grip). I have since gone back to the ACOG so it is probably a few ounces heavier now.



With the exception of a FA my CAR type carbine looks exactly like yours. Very light without even trying. On my next build I substituted a Colt SOCOM barrel and the weight difference is quite noticeable. Both are iron sight only.
 
Posts: 25 | Registered: August 22, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
And this, too,
shall pass away
Picture of Drifting Fate
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Very much part of the pencil barrel brigade here.

Went even further this last time: Cavalry Arms lower (no longer in production and can't remember who bought the molds, check out the What Would Stoner Do rifle on YouTube) which is a polymer Cool - plastic - lower with integrated A1 buttstock.

Magpul forend, Aimpoint Micro, A-frame front sight, Magpul rear sight, with a BCM 14.5" LW barrel w/pinned & welded flash suppressor to make 16". I have a legal SBR and this thing is just much nicer to work with. It's topped off with a KE Arms trigger. Love that so far thought the jury is out on it's durability.

I really believe in fixed stocks despite the commonality, and admitted versatility, of the adjustable one.

No magnifier - run them and they are nice to use on the range, but add so much weight that they just don't make sense for a non-LEO/non-Military application. They shine in target identification and acquisition at moderate distance, something I just can't believe will be an issue for me. Most Average Joe gun uses are very close. I once read even the average police sniper engagement is less than 100yds. Says a lot about what to expect in the real world.

Anyway, that's my rambling. Good luck on the search. Putting the carbine together is half the fun.
 
Posts: 3676 | Location: AZ | Registered: June 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a New Frontier Armory polymer lower that might see some time with this upper.
That setup may be around 5 lbs!

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
I've decided to go with the Sampson Evolution rail since it uses as standard barrel nut and deletes the delta ring. Ounces saved without doing anything exotic.

Bruce


Titanium G.I. barrel nut. It weighs 21 grams (0.75 oz.) Not cheap at $58.50, but a standard barrel nut is 1.5 oz.

https://www.vertexops.com/mobi...Nut_p/v7-gibnut.htm=


A titanium dust/port door will shave weight, but at $36.00....

https://www.vertexops.com/mobi...Door_p/v7-ul-pd.htm=

A plastic port door is cheaper, and lighter than standard.

https://www.wingtactical.com/f...ultimate-dust-cover/

Aluminum takedown pins are inexpensive and will shave weight. I have them one a couple of lightweight builds, 7075-T6. I have never had a problem with them. Offered in several colors and engraving.

https://tactical-expressions.c...5-takedown-pins.html

More money is of course titanium. I have them on a couple of lightweight builds.

Titanium endplate castle nut on your buffer tube/receiver extension. Shave weight on carbine and wallet.

Titanium gas block. Way better than aluminum (don't use an aluminum gas block, you will run into all kinds of problems.
But titanium is perfect for this. I used a V7 weapons and you can really feel the difference. Being at the end of the barrel, really changed the handling Dynamics of the carbine.

https://www.vertexops.com/mobi...lock_p/v7-t.750.htm=

The titanium will shave weight, but it's not cheap. But I used titanium and aluminum and every little bit helps.

My 16" carbine without scope, mount, sling and loaded magazine is like 4.8 lbs., All decked out it's just over 7 lbs, and I didn't get a lightweight scope. I'm still looking into that. I just haven't found on that offers what the scope I have now lighter.

Just how much you wanting to spend? How much you are willing to shave weight verses cost?

ARman
 
Posts: 2307 | Registered: May 19, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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$58 to save .75 oz on a barrel nut isn't worth it.
Aluminum castle nut and end plate are interesting and lighter than titanium and slightly less costly.

I can hardly wait to get this uoper together and weigh it.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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All together.
She came in at 6lbs exactly with a Romeo 5 red dot, a standard full auto BCG and standard gas block. I elected to save the fancier stuff for another day when I can spend a little more on shaving grams with titanium and carbon fiber goodies.

This is plenty light and very fast handling.

I like it.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3471 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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