A little over a year ago, I purchased a Bushmaster 16" (nothing on end of barrel) Hbar flattop with A2 stock. I've shot it 18 times and my fiance has also shot it a 2 times. She found that the stock was too long for her to comfortably bring up to her shoulder, and she complained it being too heavy. She was also quite intimidated with the amount of "fire" or "flash" coming out of the barrel. Actually she described it as an "explosion". About a year or so went by, we moved, got new jobs, and just never had the time or interest to go back to learning to shoot it.
Now that the AW ban has sunset, I'd really like to get back into shooting this thing, since it's still basically new and I still have 480 rounds of Federal xm193 ammo sitting in my closet. I'd also like to get my fiance into shooting it and am willing to modify my rifle so that both she and I can be more comfortable with it - making the stock shorter, barrel thinner, and rifle "balance" better (the rifle feels like it is too front-heavy). I'd really like for this rifle to be as light as possible.
So, what should I do now? I assume I'll be able to put a collapsible stock on it, which would be perfect for the needs of both my fiance and I. It seems stocks can cost anywhere from $20 to over $200 though. Which one should I purchase? I don't have a large wallet, but I want something with enough quality to serve our purposes well.
What should I do about the barrel? Should I purchase a superlightweight barrel (i notice that Bushmaster has them) for $200+, or get my current barrel trimmed down? Can I install the new barrel myself, and who can do barrel trimming?
I'd like to eventually purchase a surpressor for this. How should I set my barrel up for that - does it need any special threads, special flashiders that can accept surpressors? Regardless of the surpressor, I'd like for my barrel to have the best flash hider on it, so that my fiance can't complain about the "explosion" everytime she fires it.
I don't want to bring up optics here since I know that there is another forum dedicated to that. Ideally I want an acog, but don't have the cash for it at the moment. My main concern is just to lighten/shorten my rifle so that it's easier to handle.
I know absolutely zip about auto sears or if I can even use them in my Bushy rifle. All I know is that they cost more than 3 grand. I know there are legalities involved, forms to fill out, taxes to be paid, etc., similiar to the surpressor. Assuming paperwork is fine, taxes paid, is this something I can drop-in my rifle, or do I seek the services of a gunsmith? Maybe someone here could help educate me on this matter.
Any opinions/advice would be appreciated. Please don't feel obligated to answer everything. I'd be happy with a response on any 1 of the topics.
Thanks in advance!