Lightweight AR15 Review Project

Lightweight AR15 Review Project For many months JJ and Jeff have worked tirelessly behind the scenes on what was going to be a lightweight AR15 rifle rifle review. However, response […]

Lightweight AR15 Review Project

For many months JJ and Jeff have worked tirelessly behind the scenes on what was going to be a lightweight AR15 rifle rifle review. However, response from brands was so strong that it grew into two rifles. We are calling this series of reviews… the Lightweight AR Review Project.

Why build a light weight rifle?

The two main reasons are:

  1. Easier to carry – When you have to lug a rifle around every ounce makes a difference. Sometimes less rifle weight translates to more ammo that can be taken. Other times it is just nice to carry less weight.
  2. Easier to use – A lighter rifle can be more maneuverable and easier to transition in between targets.

Competition, not combat…

These rifles are not built to be the most rugged, bulletproof, durable combat rifles available. Instead, we focused on lightweight configurations better adapted to 3Gun and other competitions.  As we quickly found out, lots of manufacturers are specializing in parts for light, accurate AR15s.

We trust that you will find these lightweight AR builds interesting and will want to use some of these parts in your next AR build.

Let’s dive into the builds…

The Conventional Light Weight AR Build

AR-15 with lighter metal parts.

The components come from the following companies:

The Carbon Fiber AR Build

The second lightweight AR15 is a very specialized collection of parts. Many of these parts are either milled or manufactured from carbon fiber.

The companies that compose this rifle are as follows:

LOTS of reviews coming

With both rifles complete and tested, we will post articles for each independent company and their product in the following days. These will also contain links to their websites and products at some of the well known merchants that have the products. We’ve had a very positive experience with each product and trust that you’ll find their quality and performance just as satisfactory.

Ammo for testing provided by

Without the support of our ammo suppliers we would not be able to do nearly the amount of gun reviews that we do today.

Defender Ammunition CompanyDefender Ammunition Company

Big thanks go to our primary Ammo Sponsor Defender Ammunition Company for supplying ammo for our tests and reviews on an ongoing basis. Defender provided a variety of calibers and types of ammo for this test. is a proud member of Team Defender

Sig Sauer

SIG provided a wide range of subsonic and supersonic .223 and .300 BLK ammo for this test.

Gorilla Ammunition

Gorilla Ammo provided reman and factory .223, subsonic and supersonic .300 BLK ammo rifle rounds for this test.

Help us share more reviews!

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Faxon Firearms

Gallery of lightweight AR project pictures:



About JJ

JJ - Senior Firearms Review Specialist & Project Coordinator A long time friend of, and frequent behind-the-scenes instigator…I mean contributor, JJ joined the Gear Report team in 2014 in a more formal capacity. Expect to see JJ’s ongoing contributions to reviews, while he coordinates with manufacturers and retailers to review their products. If you want to see what it takes to make the cut here at Gear Report, look no further than JJ. Part inventor, part outdoorsman, JJ brings a wealth of experience to the Gear Report team, as well as some fancy book learning. A Structural Designer by day, JJ spends his nights and weekends on a massively broad range of outdoor and active interests. Whether making hunting knives, bamboo frame canoes, hunting platforms or various other creations, or hunting, fishing, paddling, boating, teaching martial arts, or re-engineering ammunition reloading equipment, JJ is always up to something interesting. Usually several somethings. A native of Guatemala, JJ brings a valuable different perspective to Gear Report. We will see if we can get him to add some Spanish language content to the site, as the need for fair, trusted information on outdoor gear is not limited to English speaking readers.