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Basic
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Posted: 1/9/2012 9:00:01 AM EST
I am trying to buy my first ar-15, I want it as light as possible since I don't have good strength, the Bushmaster SuperLight Carbine with Red Dot at $600+ 5.1lbs sounds like a good deal that fits my needs well, the only concern I have is the quality. I read on the web lots of posts bashing bushmaster, so I like to see some real evidence (personal experience or links to owner stories) that bushmaster or carbon-15 does break more often than colt or BCM etc.

also about the bushnell red dot included, the picture looks like a 1x28mm trophy, but i also saw on the web people got TSR-25 1x25mm? is this something you can choose?

thanks!
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Posted: 1/9/2012 9:12:40 AM EST
I have a Bushmaster M4 A3 carbine for 3 years now with probably over 3k rounds through it and any jam that I have had with it was due to a old pre-ban magazine/follower. I did however, upgrade the BCG from the stock to a BCM after 100 rounds simply because I was drinking the BCM koolaid. I think you will be fine buying a bushy however you may want to look into Spikes Tactical as well. I have a 14.5 inch middy from them that is a dream to shoot. Accurate as hell too and its a LW version with the thin barrel profile. Because I live in MA and had to make it post-ban compliant, it cost me a few extra bucks. If you are G2G with the AWB, then you should be around the same price point as the bushy for JUST the upper. Not sure what a complete spikes rifle will run you. Primary Arms makes awesome budget optics, I have 2 micro dots and an M4 clone. All work very well.
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Posted: 1/9/2012 9:19:25 AM EST
as I said weight is important for me, if there are options to build/buy one around 5lbs i am all ears
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Posted: 1/9/2012 9:25:47 AM EST
I bought a bushy m4 a3 clone (not select fire) and it ran flawlessly with no malfunctions of any kind. It now wears a different barrel and free float handguard and stuff but the bcg and lower is still all bushy excluding my modified hammer and the jp yellow springs. It stills run great. Imo everyone has lemons. My brother has a s&w mp15 and he's still jealous how nice my upper to lower fit is.
I do have one gripe however. My buffer tube nut was a real pain in the ass to remove in order to install my sling plate.. I ended up cutting it off.
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Posted: 1/9/2012 11:09:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2012 12:02:58 PM EST by FIGJAM]
Originally Posted By ns66:
I am trying to buy my first ar-15, I want it as light as possible since I don't have good strength, the Bushmaster SuperLight Carbine with Red Dot at $600+ 5.1lbs sounds like a good deal that fits my needs well, the only concern I have is the quality. I read on the web lots of posts bashing bushmaster, so I like to see some real evidence (personal experience or links to owner stories) that bushmaster or carbon-15 does break more often than colt or BCM etc.

also about the bushnell red dot included, the picture looks like a 1x28mm trophy, but i also saw on the web people got TSR-25 1x25mm? is this something you can choose?

thanks!


The Carbon is not going to be a durable gun in my opinion. I managed to break the selector detent shelf by being lazy and I've never done that with an aluminum receiver. Fortunately, one can epoxy plastic. But that's the problem, it's just a fancy plastic. I would not buy one again because it was too easy to break. The other thing I don't like is the very thin aluminum top rail is barely secured to the receiver. I have a feeling it's a matter of time before that comes off. It also flexes independent of the receiver.

The TRS-25 is better than the Trophy. Seems like they do alternative runs with the optic. You can't chose and often times it's not clear which one you're going to get (unless you open the box).

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Posted: 1/9/2012 11:13:41 AM EST
John Willis OSOE http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_7_109/929579_John_Willis__OSOE.html
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Posted: 1/9/2012 1:46:05 PM EST
For really light like you desire, the only other option would be to build your own based on the Cavalry Arms lower. There are instructions on the build process on this site.
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Posted: 1/9/2012 2:06:07 PM EST
It doesn't appear that the Bushmaster Superlight Carbine uses the dreaded Carbon 15 receiver, so that's not a problem.

While I've never purchased a Bushmaster whole, I have had several of their Superlight barrels and they've been great, lightweight barrels.
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Posted: 1/9/2012 2:09:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2012 2:10:07 PM EST by Aimless]
John Willis OSOE http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_7_109/929579_John_Willis__OSOE.html
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Posted: 1/9/2012 2:38:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2012 2:39:55 PM EST by ns66]
the bushmaster model i am talking about is this one, both upper and lower c-15 i believe
http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_MAZ-C1516SLORC.asp
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Posted: 1/9/2012 2:42:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2012 5:15:36 AM EST by 9divdoc]
I have had a couple of Bushy "Superlight" 16" barrels and all have been good shooters.....

Find yourself a reasonably priced upper and buy a stripped barrel (I think PK Firearms carries them) and send it off to ADCO and have them build you one to your specs....

you could even get the barrel cut to 14.7 and shave off little more weight....carbon fiber handguard one or no rails light weight stock 20rd mags....you'll be all set .... light wt & reliable.

IMO there is a "law of diminishing returns" while seeking "the lightest" AR you can build.....and I would not want to own an AR that is the "lightest possible" at the expense of reliability & longevity.

That being said....were I in the market today for a light wt AR ....I would hop on over to BCM & buy either a mid gassed 16" or 14.5" light wt & pick out a handguard for it
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.
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Posted: 1/9/2012 2:56:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2012 2:59:47 PM EST by FIGJAM]
Originally Posted By ns66:
the bushmaster model i am talking about is this one, both upper and lower c-15 i believe
http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_MAZ-C1516SLORC.asp


Yes, that gun is mostly plastic. Mine came with the TRS. It's not worth the price no matter how inexpensive. Save your pennies and get a Colt 6720 or the Bushmaster version of the 6720. You'll have a lifetime gun that weighs a pound more.

If I were buying a light gun today and it was the only one I was going to own, I'd probably buy a Colt LT6720-R. Cool gun.

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Posted: 1/9/2012 3:26:19 PM EST
Hello, I purchased a Bushmaster Carbon 15 Super Lightweight last Sept.at Gander Mountain for $649.00 with a Bushnell red dot. I went out to sight in the rifle at an indoor range, 25 yds to set windage. Fired about 40 rounds. Windage was right on. Rifle shot about an inch and a half low at 25 yds without any adjustment to the bushnell red dot scope. I figured it should be close to being on at 50 yrds. I had no jams or problems. The next week i went to an outdoor range and sighted in at 50 yrds. Off a bench rest i was able to shoot groups between 3/4 of an inch and a 1/2 inch at 50 yrds. after i installed a geissele SSA trigger. I did not care for the factory trigger, It was to heavy and felt rough. The SSA is a fantastic trigger. I never fired a two stage trigger before. It took my 100 yrd groups down to about 2 inches from 4 inches at 100 yrds. with a 6 moa red dot sight. I was using American Eagle 55grain full metal jacket. I fired about 550 rounds at the range without a hiccup. I also tried some 75 grain TAP hollow points .223 at 100 yrds. with good accuracy and no keyholing.I have since added a Magpul grip with the ruberized coating and a Magpul CTR stock. My rifle weights in at 5 lbs. 14 ounces as equiped without the magazine. The Magpull stock weights about 4 1/4 ounces more than the factory stock. It actually helps balance the rifle a little better. So far im satisfied with a performance accuracy and quick handeling that the light weight affords. I disasembled the entire rifle for a cleaning except for the front handguard. I found no unusual wear. The gas key was staked properly. Nothing looked amiss. I will do a follow up once i run another 1000 rounds thru it. I did also run some federal / american eagle 55grain .556 FMJ XM193J without any problems. Barrel is stamped .556 1 in 9 twist. Hope the information helps you out. I know there have been some who dont like plastic guns. A lot of people didnt like Glocks when they first came out either. I own 2 H&K pistols made of plastic also. Myfirst H&K 45 was purchased in 1996 and has never hiccuped in 16 yrs. Time will tell, Tony
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Posted: 1/9/2012 4:41:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By FIGJAM:
Originally Posted By ns66:
the bushmaster model i am talking about is this one, both upper and lower c-15 i believe
http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_MAZ-C1516SLORC.asp


Yes, that gun is mostly plastic. Mine came with the TRS. It's not worth the price no matter how inexpensive. Save your pennies and get a Colt 6720 or the Bushmaster version of the 6720. You'll have a lifetime gun that weighs a pound more.

If I were buying a light gun today and it was the only one I was going to own, I'd probably buy a Colt LT6720-R. Cool gun.


did you ask for the TRS or is it just random? i really like the TRS much lighter/smaller than the 1x28
i also looked at colt 6720 and think if i remove the iron sights and put a light weight red dot on it could reduce the weight a bit too
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Posted: 1/9/2012 4:43:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2012 4:45:54 PM EST by ns66]
Originally Posted By MARIOGTO1968:
Hello, I purchased a Bushmaster Carbon 15 Super Lightweight last Sept.at Gander Mountain for $649.00 with a Bushnell red dot. I went out to sight in the rifle at an indoor range, 25 yds to set windage. Fired about 40 rounds. Windage was right on. Rifle shot about an inch and a half low at 25 yds without any adjustment to the bushnell red dot scope. I figured it should be close to being on at 50 yrds. I had no jams or problems. The next week i went to an outdoor range and sighted in at 50 yrds. Off a bench rest i was able to shoot groups between 3/4 of an inch and a 1/2 inch at 50 yrds. after i installed a geissele SSA trigger. I did not care for the factory trigger, It was to heavy and felt rough. The SSA is a fantastic trigger. I never fired a two stage trigger before. It took my 100 yrd groups down to about 2 inches from 4 inches at 100 yrds. with a 6 moa red dot sight. I was using American Eagle 55grain full metal jacket. I fired about 550 rounds at the range without a hiccup. I also tried some 75 grain TAP hollow points .223 at 100 yrds. with good accuracy and no keyholing.I have since added a Magpul grip with the ruberized coating and a Magpul CTR stock. My rifle weights in at 5 lbs. 14 ounces as equiped without the magazine. The Magpull stock weights about 4 1/4 ounces more than the factory stock. It actually helps balance the rifle a little better. So far im satisfied with a performance accuracy and quick handeling that the light weight affords. I disasembled the entire rifle for a cleaning except for the front handguard. I found no unusual wear. The gas key was staked properly. Nothing looked amiss. I will do a follow up once i run another 1000 rounds thru it. I did also run some federal / american eagle 55grain .556 FMJ XM193J without any problems. Barrel is stamped .556 1 in 9 twist. Hope the information helps you out. I know there have been some who dont like plastic guns. A lot of people didnt like Glocks when they first came out either. I own 2 H&K pistols made of plastic also. Myfirst H&K 45 was purchased in 1996 and has never hiccuped in 16 yrs. Time will tell, Tony


thanks a lot for the detailed personal experience, which model of the bushnell red dot did you get? (edit: you said 6moa i guess it's the long 1x28mm one)
this gives me more confidence in the bushmaster
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Posted: 1/9/2012 4:45:18 PM EST
John Willis OSOE http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_7_109/929579_John_Willis__OSOE.html
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Posted: 1/10/2012 4:00:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2012 4:02:19 AM EST by FIGJAM]
I bought mine at Cabelas for $599 on sale and it came with the TRS-25. I actually like the TRS-25. A couple weeks later, Cabelas was out of the TRS-25 version and was selling the Trophy for the same price. I haven't seen the gun sold with a TRS-25 locally since I purchased mine back in September of 2011.

I, too, put in a Geissele trigger. I find it interesting that other poster put in a Geissele trigger and didn't mention what he had to do to make it work. You can't just drop in a Geissele in the Carbon and have it work. Not a big deal, but it does have to be modified.
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Posted: 1/10/2012 7:04:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By FIGJAM:
I bought mine at Cabelas for $599 on sale and it came with the TRS-25. I actually like the TRS-25. A couple weeks later, Cabelas was out of the TRS-25 version and was selling the Trophy for the same price. I haven't seen the gun sold with a TRS-25 locally since I purchased mine back in September of 2011.

I, too, put in a Geissele trigger. I find it interesting that other poster put in a Geissele trigger and didn't mention what he had to do to make it work. You can't just drop in a Geissele in the Carbon and have it work. Not a big deal, but it does have to be modified.

that's what i like $599 is a great deal, right now it seems all sold out, cabelas lists it as $729 and 6.6lbs? wth

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Posted: 1/10/2012 1:44:29 PM EST
In answer to 2 of your questions, first my rifle came with the Trophy red dot. The reviews i read were much more positive towards the trophy site than towards the TRS 25. The trophy is also the site shown in the Bushmaster catalog and on there web site. Second there was NO MODIFICATION NECCESARY to install the SSA trigger. I spoke to Bushmaster and they said the lower was built to the same specs as all there other rifles. I also spoke to Bill Geissele after the installation, and after running 550 rounds without any problems to let him know the trigger installed just fine and functioned perfectly. Just because the lower is made of carbon doesnt mean its not built to the same specs or standards as an aluminum lower. My Magpul hand grip and CTR stock also went on without any problems. Let me know if you have any other questions, Tony
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Posted: 1/10/2012 1:54:06 PM EST
One last point to make. The Carbon 15 super lightweight weighs 5.1 lbs without the site or magazine according to Bushmaster. I weighed mine on a very accurate food scale and with the SSA trigger, Bushnell trophy red dot, Magpul grip and Magpull CTR stock it weighed 5 lbs. 14 onces without magazine, Tony
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Posted: 1/10/2012 2:54:14 PM EST
I built this light weight a few months ago using a BCM 14.5 LW middy barrel pinned YHM 5c2, 9'' Troy TRX, a Rainier Arms upper without foward assist and A.R.M.S composite BUIS, MOE stock and K grip.
weighing in at 5.lbs 9.1oz without mag. and my AIMPOINT PRO additional 13. oz
If your interasted in building you own heres my Build thread I changed the upper after posting this build to help lighten it up.


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Posted: 1/10/2012 4:07:46 PM EST
AR-15 uppers and lowers have been made out of aluminum for a 1/2 century. Nobody seems to have issues with aluminum.

Plastics are new, have had some issues from what I have read - note: I am not claiming personal experience here, but I have seen my share of second hand accounts. Just given the fact that people are having issued on guns that were made in the last 5 years makes me wonder about durability. I also know for a fact that plastics that are heated and cooled and subjected to oils and such can become brittle over age.

For me the 1/2 lb. you save using plastic does not outweigh the risks. This rifle just a tad over 5 1/2 lbs w/out mag:



The A1 upper actually weighs more than a flattop with a DD 1.5 (at least according to my scale) and the grip I use is not light either. Change these out and you have a optics ready carbine that is 1/7, has a full front sight, and rear BUIS. Just throw a Aimpoint T-1 for an additional 3.7 oz. and you have a rifle that I am sure would outlast the bushmaster and only weigh 3/4 of a lb. more.

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Posted: 1/10/2012 4:28:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2012 6:34:16 PM EST by ns66]
thank you all very much for the replies, definitely help a lot

the reason i like the bushmaster is because of its light weight and low price as a bonus (plus a red dot included), but right now it seems hard to find and price goes to 750+, btw does the price on the web already include the 11% Federal Excise Tax?

also the bushmaster 5.1lb i guess does not include the red dot weight?

another option i am considering is the new colt 6720, 1lb heavier and $300 more...

@big-al, your build is nice but is way too complicated for me, i can only piece upper and lower together :D, the YHM 5c2 is muzzle brake?

@intervivos, what's that stock? that looks lightweight

edit: about making a lightweight ar myself i think it's better to open a separate thread... here
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_4/559076_.html&page=1
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