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Posted: 2/17/2016 12:22:21 PM EST
I know that several MOHTF members have been/are working on Lightweight AR's

I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of time before a three pound AR-15 is built.

I'm currently working with an individual who has a goal of developing an aluminum bolt carrier with a 10,000 round life.

He's definately making progress. When I can, I'll post photos, being that these are still prototypes it might be awhile though.

IIRC, Josh Aston currently has the lightest AR out there 3.4 lbs.

SOMEONE needs to offer a TRUE Carbon Fiber upper & lower receiver (Cabon Fiber MAT)



Link Posted: 2/17/2016 1:25:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 1:46:39 PM EST
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Originally Posted By eric10mm:
I'm afeard that I can't afford such lightness. Thankfully I'm strong enough to lift a 6-7lb rifle.
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You and I both.
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 2:01:51 PM EST
Interesting.

Carbon Fiber is neat stuff.

I'm surprised no one has done a 3-D CF model or machined a CF block into an upper or lower. Maybe they have and it's still being tested?

At this point, it seems like a novelty, niche item.

As a certified old fart, I too am thankful to be able to man-handle steel and aluminum. It's comforting to torque up a sling and know that nothing is going to bend or break.
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 2:46:34 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:


You and I both.
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Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:
Originally Posted By eric10mm:
I'm afeard that I can't afford such lightness. Thankfully I'm strong enough to lift a 6-7lb rifle.


You and I both.


You both and I both.
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 5:19:47 PM EST
The lightweight stuff is neat and all, but until I see a 3.5# 458 SOCOM I'm not interested...
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 6:35:00 PM EST
Just so long as they stop with all the skeletonized crap.
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 6:39:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2016 6:40:07 PM EST by lokifox]
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Originally Posted By cheapsandwich:
Just so long as they stop with all the skeletonized crap.
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This.. Saw a skeletonized lower the other day. Looks like a little bump in the wrong place would knock the trigger pin out of alignment and cause a inadvertent discharge.

Link Posted: 2/17/2016 7:10:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 7:31:46 PM EST
I just want to build another one. But money keeps getting in the way. Somebody keeps pawning suppressors off on me. Hummmmmm.....
It doesn't need to be 3 lbs. I just want an accurate rifle.
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 8:50:52 AM EST
Someone once made a carbon fiber lower and upper I think they called it a "Carbon 15" Professional Ordnance was their name... sold out to Bushmaster...
Not a real success, My little GAU 5 clone is plenty lightweight, if you are having issues carrying your little rifle to the range station from the trunk or your car or what not then you probably ought to lift some weights or something...
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 4:11:54 PM EST
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Originally Posted By AFSOC:
Someone once made a carbon fiber lower and upper I think they called it a "Carbon 15" Professional Ordnance was their name... sold out to Bushmaster...
Not a real success, My little GAU 5 clone is plenty lightweight, if you are having issues carrying your little rifle to the range station from the trunk or your car or what not then you probably ought to lift some weights or something...
View Quote



It's an exercise in technical advancement. Competitions like this provide the impetus for improvements in metallurgy, surface treatments, design, and manufacture. Pushing the envelope is what makes the next generation of designs better.

Maybe you're comfortable with the size and weight of your rifle.

Maybe you'd like to get a 22-inch barrel with more stiffness and accuracy, with a 60-round mag of equivalent ammo, packed into the same size and weight of your current rifle.
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 7:02:27 PM EST
There are several alum bolt carriers that are rated at 10K rounds.
I have one.
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 8:52:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By toothandnail:
There are several alum bolt carriers that are rated at 10K rounds.
I have one.
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This is what has occurred with my early eighties Smith Enterprises aluminum carrier, most of the rounds were fired on full auto. Smith used a 2000 series aluminum.



The units I'm testing are cut out of 7075-T6, TaylorWSO is experiencing more of a deformation on the unit he's testing on full auto. It's not showing "chatter", it's more of a case of the bottom spreading out.
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 11:26:15 PM EST
Heat treatment problem?
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 11:30:59 PM EST
No, too soft of aluminum vs steel hammer at a cyclic rate of 1,400 rounds per minute.
Link Posted: 2/19/2016 11:37:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/19/2016 11:43:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2016 11:44:02 PM EST by PursuitSS]
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Originally Posted By Chapman:
Interdasting, I've never heard of an aluminum bolt carrier. How does the cam pin channel hold up? That would be my main concern with one.
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So far around 4,000 rounds.

The machinist thats working on a new design addresses this possible issue.
Link Posted: 2/20/2016 8:01:34 AM EST
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Originally Posted By PursuitSS:
No, too soft of aluminum vs steel hammer at a cyclic rate of 1,400 rounds per minute.
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Is it anodized to MIL-A-8625 Type III? I ask because for Abrasion resistance it should be equal to Rockwell 75ish...
It should not be taking an impact from the hammer except at the Rear of the ramp... it should just be dragging across it.
Link Posted: 2/20/2016 8:54:03 AM EST
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Originally Posted By AFSOC:


Is it anodized to MIL-A-8625 Type III? I ask because for Abrasion resistance it should be equal to Rockwell 75ish...
It should not be taking an impact from the hammer except at the Rear of the ramp... it should just be dragging across it.
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Originally Posted By AFSOC:
Originally Posted By PursuitSS:
No, too soft of aluminum vs steel hammer at a cyclic rate of 1,400 rounds per minute.


Is it anodized to MIL-A-8625 Type III? I ask because for Abrasion resistance it should be equal to Rockwell 75ish...
It should not be taking an impact from the hammer except at the Rear of the ramp... it should just be dragging across it.
The post anodize sealing process is going to have a noticeable impact on abrasion resistance on a aluminum bolt carrier. Not to mention how it not a great idea to be removing operational mass from an AR is.
Link Posted: 2/20/2016 9:38:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/20/2016 9:50:01 AM EST by AeroE]
Link Posted: 2/20/2016 10:01:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/20/2016 10:07:17 AM EST by PursuitSS]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JBowles:
The post anodize sealing process is going to have a noticeable impact on abrasion resistance on a aluminum bolt carrier. Not to mention how it not a great idea to be removing operational mass from an AR is.
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Originally Posted By JBowles:
Originally Posted By AFSOC:
Originally Posted By PursuitSS:
No, too soft of aluminum vs steel hammer at a cyclic rate of 1,400 rounds per minute.


Is it anodized to MIL-A-8625 Type III? I ask because for Abrasion resistance it should be equal to Rockwell 75ish...
It should not be taking an impact from the hammer except at the Rear of the ramp... it should just be dragging across it.
The post anodize sealing process is going to have a noticeable impact on abrasion resistance on a aluminum bolt carrier. Not to mention how it not a great idea to be removing operational mass from an AR is.


He's having them anodized to Mil Spec Type III, his first prototype is Type III. The latest one I have is more of a proof of concept and isn't anodized. It wasn't intended to be used.

As to removing operational mass from the carrier/buffer, that's been covered over and over again! Three gun shooters reduce the mass as much as possible to reduce recoil. You can easily reduce weight of the carrier/buffer by MORE than HALF without effecting reliability. The other benefit of running a Lightweight carrier/buffer is you can knock well over a quarter of a pound off of the weapon.
Link Posted: 2/20/2016 10:13:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/20/2016 10:36:13 AM EST by PursuitSS]
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Originally Posted By AeroE:
Carbon fiber parts will always suffer from poor pin bearing strength and low overall stiffness compared to aluminum. Doesn't matter if it's short strand fiber in epoxy, polyester, vinylester, or nylon, fabric, unidirectional tape, or mat.

Use WE-43C magnesium alloy. It will beat the snot out of burnt string and glue at less weight.

I never gave much thought to taking weight out of the bolt carrier, only adding weight. But if I wanted to reduce the weight of a steel carrier I would take a careful look at where I could take material out without compromising strength, fatigue life, or wear. Then look about everywhere else to get the weight out of the gun. The payoff will be in barrels, handguards, and butt stocks. And the scope.

Now, if we want to build an impractical stunt rifle, that's a different story, everything in the gun has to earn its way on.

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As I've stated in another thread, Mag Tactical had the right idea on their magnesium receivers, just very poor execution.

Most AR shooters don't consider the fact that the platform is OVER 50 years old. Technological developments can (and should) be applied to update it, some won't work out, some will.

When you start thinking outside the box and looking at where you CAN save weight (without affecting reliability) you would be surprised how easy it is to get the weight down to FIVE POUNDS! Five pounds is easy, four is DAMN HARD (and Damn expensive), three pounds is going to require a breakthrough to be achieved.

Several ways weight reduction is occurring....

Replacing steel parts with Titanium (where applicable) - Expensive!
Uber thin barrels wrapped with Carbon Fiber - Expensive!
Lightweight carriers/buffers - Moderately priced.
Removing weight from non-critical areas - inexpensive.

If you hand a shooter who is familiar with AR's a sub-five pound AR, the look on their face is priceless!

Here are a couple of photos of one of my earlier toys, it could be made CONSIDERABLY lighter today. It has a 16" barrel, a full stock sight base, a steel barrel nut, etc.
But it's still down to 5 pounds 1.2 ounces.



Link Posted: 2/21/2016 6:34:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/21/2016 6:44:41 PM EST
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Originally Posted By eric10mm:
Might all that rearward beating be due to hammer bounce?
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Originally Posted By eric10mm:
Originally Posted By AFSOC:
Originally Posted By PursuitSS:
No, too soft of aluminum vs steel hammer at a cyclic rate of 1,400 rounds per minute.


Is it anodized to MIL-A-8625 Type III? I ask because for Abrasion resistance it should be equal to Rockwell 75ish...
It should not be taking an impact from the hammer except at the Rear of the ramp... it should just be dragging across it.
Might all that rearward beating be due to hammer bounce?


I'm not sure, it appears to be worse when used on full auto. That's the MAIN issue that the developer is trying to address on his new aluminum carrier design.

The wear in the cam pin slot and the where the gas rings ride are within acceptable range.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 1:17:42 PM EST
Serious question...

Why all the fuss about aluminum when TI carriers are now being mass produced at reasonable prices?

From Aim Surplus "Where our Standard Nickel Boron BCG's weigh in at 11.6 ounces, this 6AL-4V Aircraft Quality Titanium Carrier version weighs only 7.8 ounces. Almost 33% in weight savings! Perfect for your light weight build."

How much do you save going to aluminum? Is the reduced recoil worth it or are we only talking about carrying the darn thing? Does the weight savings trump the service life of the part itself for most users?
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 1:44:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:01:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 2:10:06 PM EST by PursuitSS]
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Originally Posted By lokifox:
Serious question...

Why all the fuss about aluminum when TI carriers are now being mass produced at reasonable prices?

From Aim Surplus "Where our Standard Nickel Boron BCG's weigh in at 11.6 ounces, this 6AL-4V Aircraft Quality Titanium Carrier version weighs only 7.8 ounces. Almost 33% in weight savings! Perfect for your light weight build." Titanium would be FANTASTIC if they could get the weight down enough, but the units I've seen aren't that light. Boomfab produced the lightest Titanium carriers I've seen, their stripped carriers were 4.4 ounces. But they are no longer in production, Boomfab has stated that they are no longer in the Arms business.

How much do you save going to aluminum? Is the reduced recoil worth it or are we only talking about carrying the darn thing? Does the weight savings trump the service life of the part itself for most users?You save a LOT in weight. MY primary goal is to reduce overall weight of the weapon. A good muzzle brake does wonders for reducing recoil.
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This unit could be machined more to drop the weight at least another 3/4 of an ounce!
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