Darkop’s Super Lightweight AR-15 Project

Our friend Darkop started a project to build a super lightweight AR-15. He could have used various non-standard polymer receiver parts, but chose instead to see what he could do with standard aluminum parts. Here are the results of his project:

Rainier Arms slick-sided upper with no forward assist. Upper with bolt and carrier group weighed 3 lbs 5.8 oz.

Rainier Arms slick-sided upper with no forward assist. Upper with bolt and carrier group weighed 3 lbs 5.8 oz.

Daniel Defense 14.5" lightweight profile barrel, low-pro gas block, barrel nut, and battle comp compensator.

Daniel Defense fixed iron sights. 2.8 oz.

Troy handguard - 6.0 oz.

Squaring the upper receiver.

The barrel dimpled for the set screws on the gas block.

A little grease for the barrel nut.

Loc-tite on set screws under the gas block. I wiped up the excess with q-tips.

Troy's new attachment screws.

Prepairing to blind pin & weld the Battle Comp 1.5.

Palmetto lower receiver, before I lightened it with the drill press!

Old school CAR stock with receiver extension (buffer tube).

A2 pistol grip ready to drill.

Pilot hole for 1.5" hole saw.

It's getting uglier.

Loosing weight, getting skinny and svelte!

Lightening the receiver extension.

Drilled out the standard GI trigger guard.

Touching up the holes with Dura Coat. Then baked in the oven until medium rare!

The DuraCoat is still wet.

Making the CAR stock lighter.

My old school semi-circle Colt 6920 bolt carrier group.

That weld really looks better than the picture shows 😦

Drilled out the brass deflector . . .

. . . but not all the way through.

Overall weight when done: 4lbs 14.5 oz

The pretty side.

16 Responses to “Darkop’s Super Lightweight AR-15 Project”

  1. Oh dear, how stupid.


  2. Can this be done to my AR15, how much and where? MSgt. Tahir


  3. Very Nice Work! I have done some slightly different work, in parts and pieces, with less obvious lightening. I have obtained a very inexpensive MAG Tactical Lower, and it is only 1/8 oz heavier than a fully “skeletonized” aluminum lower. I also did a standard GI style collapsible stock, and it was nearly as light as an MFT Minimalist stock. Aluminum GI mags are lighter than polymer PMags, and I have one in the 20 round count. Still need to find a 14.5″ pencil barrel and lightweight pinned/welded flash hider!
    I believe I can build a “stock appearing” AR-15 at just over 5# for CHEAP!


  4. Really nice job.
    really like mag well mods.
    curious as to buffer rude getting debris.
    I have no qualms on middling my rifle,makes it mine.
    keep it up.


  5. you should use 10-20 rd mags to cut down on weight, and loaded weight.


  6. I’m not sure about the weight of the parts before and after… Im just worried about the holes in the buffer tube. The rest of the gun looks like a good solid lightweight reduction build but that all went out the window when he made swiss cheese out of the buffer tube. It reminds me of the French Chauchat… it had a similar open type magazine box that made the gun super unreliable. Some parts need to be sealed and the buffer tube is one of them.


  7. Does anyone know how many ounces are saved in skeletonizing these parts? Has anyone ever weighed their parts on a before-and-after basis?


  8. Needs more holes


  9. Woww…that is a great job! Congrats!


  10. Excellent!! Great job of putting the AR on a diet. looks beatifull


  11. very bad ass!! love the look also !! i think ill do somthing like this to my ar 10 man !!! big props


  12. Excellent!! Great job of putting the AR on a diet.


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