My wife’s AR has undergone an evolution in recent months. As a backpacker, I’ve almost always been weight conscious.
You know, ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain, and all that jazz.
However, it wasn’t until I tried to get my wife to go to the range with me to do more than AR plinking, that I became more focused on a really lightweight AR.
So begins a new project: one of our rifles had to become as svelte as possible. I got laser focused!
She likes to shoot ARs, but her reach is limited as a petite woman. Simple geometry dictates, the longer and heavier the rifle is, the more strenuous the angle is, the harder it is for her to manipulate for extended periods of time. That’s true for all of us by the way.
I don’t know about you, but when my mind comes to a problem, it has difficulty moving on without a solution.
Here’s the solution that I came up with:
- My old Windham Weaponry lower with Windham lower parts (save the trigger).
- A KEArms DMR trigger.
- VZ Grips Operator II M-LokBundle
- A Troy Upper Receiver & M-Lok Rail (Save me the Troy bashing, it was on sale and it’s good gear.)
- A H4 BCG from Aim Surplus
- A Pencil SLIM barrel from Faxon (This was the game changer.) Or this option.
- A simple light weight low profile gas block
- A Bushnell TRS-25
- A VTAC Slingd
- A MFT Torch: Back Up Light
Moving from a standard profile 16″ barrel with muzzle device added, to a 16″ overall including muzzle device pencil barrel has made all the difference. My wife is digging this set up; it’s pretty lightweight at around 6 lbs 7 oz. There are certainly lighter weight setups out there, but this one is budget friendly, ultra reliable, shootable, and I believe it will hold up well, too.
Time will tell, and updates shall follow.
Is this a backpacker’s AR? Well, strictly speaking, yes. I’m a backpacker, and I own it.
However, I don’t imagine I’ll be backpacking with an AR anytime soon. If I knew I was going to do that, I’d shave a few more ounces with an even lighter handguard, and I’d consider another lower material, etc.
For our present purpose, this’ll do just dandy!