If you’re considering an AR15 for home defense, every second can be the difference between life or death…so you need to know how much does an AR15 weigh. Remember: heavy gun = slow gun.
So, how much does an AR15 weigh? An AR15 weighs 6.5 pounds, without any accessories or magazines.
But weight (pun absolutely intended), there’s more!
The AR15 is a very popular weapon and the market has responded to the demand with a variety of manufacturers offering an ever-increasing variety of models. In the past few years there have been many new designs and features introduced to the gun market, including optics, optics mounting systems, and even the availability of an AR15 as a complete package (it’s called a “rail gun” for the purpose).
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Tipping the Scales
Part of what makes an AR15 such a fun gun to shoot is that you can customize it to suit your needs.
And depending on your needs, the weight will fluctuate. It is like comparing your Christmas-Cookie-Body to your New-Year’s-Resolution-Body—each serves a different purpose for the situation.
But most of the time you just have your This-Is-Just-Who-I-Am-Body for the other fifty weeks of the year. You can change the accessories and the parts of the gun itself to fit your needs.
You can personalize your AR15 to be as light as possible, which can bring the overall weight of the gun to be roughly 4 pounds.
So if you are doing a lot of carrying and walking with your AR, then you probably want to go with a lighter build out. If you are looking to shoot long range, then your AR will probably be studded up to around 10 pounds.
How Much Does an AR15 Weigh With Accessories and Ammunition?
There are different accessories that can be added or subtracted from an AR15 rifle. Because the barebones of the gun is so versatile, so are the accessories that you can add. That being said, all accessories have weight. And while you never want to weigh yourself with clothes on, you do want to weigh your AR with all its add-ons so that you get an accurate measurement.
Perhaps the most common (and arguably the most necessary) accessory is ammunition. If you are really wanting to shoot anything with your AR15, it is important to have bullets. When you add one 30 round magazine of .223 or 5.56, you can expect that you are adding around an extra pound of weight.
For other accessories, there are varieties within their own little family. There are some that are lighter than others, so depending on your goal and preference, it is important to look at the weight of the attachments. Here are some common items and their estimated weights:
- Scope: ~0.9 pounds (3-9X)
- Red Dot Sight: ~0.3 pounds
- Foregrip: ~0.2 pounds
- Bipod: ~0.5 pounds
- Magnifier: ~0.8 pounds
This list is by no means exhaustive or exact in measurement. There are ranges of products available, and you can find different weight options for each accessory. How you are building out your AR will influence what weights you are looking for.
There are some advantages to adding weight with attachments. Heavier guns are easier to control, and you experience less recoil from the gun. However, the more weight packed on means your AR15 requires more physical strength to maneuver and shoot. It is important not to overstep your own bodily limitations with your gun to the point that it is too heavy for you.
How to Lighten the AR15 WEight Load
If you want to get your AR15 bikini-body ready, there are some ways to reduce the weight.
The obvious answer is to remove all the fancy accessories and take the gun down to its stock parts. But as anybody who has lost weight can attest—sometimes you just want to take weight off a particular part. And you can do that with an AR15, not so much with the human body.
Important Gun Safety Note: The lighter your AR is, the harder in can be to control the rapid-fire shots as recoil is more intense. So it is important to consider yourself as a shooter and what your goal is and find the middle ground with the weight.
If you want to shed weight fast—like keto diet fast—on your AR15, change the barrel. There are a lot of modification options to the barrel of an AR: shortening, fluting, or reducing the profile. Whatever choice you make, be sure to follow your local gun regulation laws.
Shortening the barrel length can be one of the most efficient ways to reduce weight. Standard AR15 rifles usually have a 16” barrel. This is probably one situation where shorter might be more optimal. You can also reduce the profile by choosing a slimmer or turned down barrel. Fluting is another variation, and there are even varieties of the fluting profile, so you can find the right fit for you and your gun.
Optics and Lights
Both the optics and light accessories can add some unnecessary weight to your buildout. Determine the type of optics and lights that are best for the task that you are using your AR15. But you can always find low weight options for both accessories and still get high-quality use from them.
One area that might be… well, railing you…is the rail on your AR15. The only limitations that are imposed on your rail are your budget and your other fittings. But there are lightweight options for a rail available if you are going for cutting down weight.
Bolt Carrier Group (BCG)
Ah, the heart and soul of your AR15—the BCG. The bolt carrier group is crucial for your rifle to shoot things and perform optimally and properly. Sometimes, you may want or need to complete heart transplant surgery. You can change out the BCG of your AR15 to trim some fat without kneecapping its reliability.
You can invest in lighter stocks for your AR15, and not just on Wall Street. The butt of the AR is what provides support and integrity to the gun, along with being the part where the barrel, action, and firing mechanism are attached. You can find a lot of good options for buttstocks that are lightweight that can make it easier to move around and carry.
Conclusion: How Much Does an AR-15 Weigh?
Whatever modifications you make to your AR15 to either bulk it up or trim it down, make sure that priority is given to your personal fit and performance.
An uneasy shooter leads to gun accidents, so make sure that you are comfortable and at ease with the extra or less weight of your AR, and remember to always practice good trigger control when the gun is in use.
And when it comes time to store the gun, make sure you are using a high-quality and all-weather case. You wouldn’t want all that work to get damaged. It also protects and provides handy storage for all the accessories and parts that you are not currently using.
If you are traveling, remember that the case adds weight too, and that is one thing you really don’t want to skimp on in terms of weight as flimsy fabric or leather cases may not protect your gun the way you want it protected.