WMD Guns – Range Test – LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review

WMD Guns – Range Test – LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review Much to Mrs. Gear Report’s dismay, I gave up a half-day of my […]

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - with All Environments rifleWMD Guns – Range Test – LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review

Much to Mrs. Gear Report’s dismay, I gave up a half-day of my family’s Disney vacation to visit WMD Guns at their local shooting range in Florida for a first look and some range time with two new WMD Guns rifles:

The review continues below this video

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - with All Environments rifle

What’s the big deal?

With a MASSIVE variety of lightweight AR parts available today a semi-trained monkey can put together a “lightweight” AR.  And I am not even referring to a NASA monkey.

However, as you trim weight from a rifle a variety of issues can totally wreck performance and reliability.

  • Reduced mass means more felt recoil for the shooter and more muzzle movement, making aimed follow-up shots more difficult
  • A thinner barrel can heat more quickly while firing, which can cause accuracy degradation
  • Lighter parts could be insufficiently strong for the application
  • etc…

WMD Guns didn’t just throw together some parts. They engineered a lightweight AR solution for the 5.56/.223 cartridges.

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - right sideSexy, champagne colored goodness

Like all WMD Guns rifles, the Lightweight Beast AR15 is coated inside and out with strategically selected options from the wide range of high-tech coatings that WMD offers (mostly Nitromet QPQ Salt Bath Nitrided and Nickel-Boron). The engineered coatings provide far more corrosion resistance, durability and natural lubricity than the generic coatings you find on most brand’s ARs. There is no old-school anodizing on this rifle. The unique color of the Lightweight Beast AR15 comes from WMD Gun’s proprietary Nickel-Boron coating. I recently learned that the term “NiB-X” is trademarked and identifies WMD’s version of Nickel-Boron coating. I’m guessing that my confusion either comes from the brands that violate WMD’s NiB-X trademark, from the various NiB-X coated parts that WMD makes and/or coats for other brands, or some combination of the two.

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - Hiperfire 24 ECL

One of my favorite triggers

Range Report

On the range I found the WMD Guns Lightweight AR15 rifle accurate and fun to shoot, with an outstanding Hiperfire 24 ECL NiB-X coated trigger​. The mid length gas system reduced some of the harshness of the typical carbine, making up for the reduced mass of the rifle.

I should not be surprised at the performance of this rifle, as I have owned a WMD Guns Big Best AR10 for a couple of years and have seen first hand the attention to detail in manufacturing and benefits of their high tech coatings.

A sight for sore eyes

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - Leupold scopeFor this test WMD Guns mounted a Leupold scope to the rifle, but didn’t sight it. I have to admit that I had trouble finding initial hits to see where I was on the paper… or if I was on the paper at all. I swallowed my pride and got some help from the RSO, who ignored the paper and focused on a clump of dirt on the far back berm to get the optic close enough that it was on paper (turns out it was significantly off paper). I was able to salvage a few shreds of pride, dial it in from there and put up some groups I was pretty happy with. On the way back to the hotel from the range I got severely ill. So, I have chalked up my early sighting struggles to my body being in a state of impending distress. Honestly, my fragile ego couldn’t handle any other explanation.

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - AR pistol gripConfiguration

While I really like the feel of the Hiperfire 24 ECL trigger, the Seekins Precision NOXS handguard and adjustable buttstock. If I were going to change anything on this lightweight AR15 it would be the A2 pistol grip. I have an intense dislike of the A2 grip that borders on irrational. Suffice it to say, it does NOT fit my hand well AT ALL. So, my first choice would be “anything but an A2 pistol grip”. Beyond that, I am very fond of some of the Ergo Grip models with palm swells and rubberized, textured coatings… they call it “Suregrip”. I might also consider a lighter optic, depending on the intended role for the rifle. I’m pretty sure that the Leupold scope was thrown on at the last second because it is what they had in the shop and I needed an optic on it to shoot, not because it was the ideal optic for a lightweight build. The lightweight rifle is sold without an optic

WMD Guns - Range Test - LIGHTWEIGHT BEAST 5.56 AR-15 FORGED RIFLE 16” Range Test Video Review - on the benchHere is WMD Guns list of parts in this rifle:

  • LOWER RECEIVER: Mil-Spec 7075-T6 Aluminum Forging Machined To Mil Spec Dimensions, Front Magazine Well Finger Grips, Nib-X Nickel Boron Coated For Durability
  • UPPER RECEIVER: Mil-Spec 7075-T6 Aluminum Forging With M4 Feed Ramps. Nib-X Coated For Lubricity And Durability
  • BARREL: Match Grade Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel, 1:8 Twist, 16″ Special Light Weight Profile, Carbine Gas System, Nitromet QPQ Salt Bath Nitrided Outside and In The Bore For Extended Life And Accuracy.
  • BARREL EXTENSION: NiB-X Coated Barrel Extension For Extremely Smooth Locking And Unlocking With The Bolt GAS SYSTEM: Low Profile .625 Gas Block, CNC Machined From 4140 Steel And Nib-X Finished, Nitromet QPQ Mid Length Gas Tube, Direct Impingement
  • MUZZLE DEVICE: Compensator, 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, Nib-X Coated
  • BOLT CARRIER GROUP: M16 Profile, Semi-Auto, Mil-Spec MP Tested, Nib-X Coated For Reliability And Ease Of Cleaning, Properly Staked Gas Key
  • FIRE CONTROL GROUP: Hammer, Trigger and Disconnect coated in NiB-X for lower pull force (<6 lbs.) and smooth reset
  • BUFFER: Carbine Buffer
  • SIGHTS: Optics Ready
  • HANDGUARD: Free Float, Special Light Weight, CNC Machined Of 6061-T6 Aluminum, Nib-X Coated, Mounting Holes For Configurable Picatinny Rails
  • RAILS: Picatinny Rails on top of upper receiver & free Floated Handrail
  • RECEIVER EXTENSION: 6 Position Mil-Spec 7075-T6 Aluminum, Nib-X Coated Inside And Out
  • BUTTSTOCK: Mag 400-FDE Triangular Cheek-Weld Design For Comfort, Rugged Materials For Durability, Rubber-Like Butt plate For Non-Slip Contact Surface
  • PISTOL GRIP: FDE Pistol Grip Drago Tactical Bag: Ballistic Fabric Tactical Bag With Exterior Magazine Pockets, Shoulder Backpack Straps, Range Ready. 2 NiB-X 30 magazines. With match ammo this rifle will shoot ½ MOA at 100 yards.
  • Made in USA!

Would I own one?

If I were picking an AR that my life might depend on and I expected to have to lug it around, then I would definitely give this highly engineered lightweight AR15 serious consideration. While WMD Guns rifles aren’t “cheap”, if this exact rifle were stamped with a more well known brand name I suspect it could sell for around twice what WMD sells them for. In my experience, WMD makes very reliable guns. Their high tech coatings are rumored to allow an AR to run for tens of thousands of rounds without oil. NiB-X, for example, makes for easier cleaning, better heat dissipation, and provides lubricity. This makes the rifle a great candidate for a serious lightweight survival rifle, IMHO.

Want to know more?

Would you like to see a more in-depth review of this rifle? If so, let us know in the comments. I didn’t have time to run this rifle through our standard battery of tests in my brief visit to the range in Florida. If there is enough interest, then I’ll reach out to WMD to arrange a demo gun for review. You can also checkout WMD Guns website for more details and current pricing.

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Thanks

Defender Ammunition CompanyWithout the support of our ammo suppliers we would not be able to do nearly the amount of gun reviews that we do today.

Big thanks go to our Ammo Sponsor Defender Ammunition Company for supplying ammo for our tests and reviews on an ongoing basis.

*For this review WMD Guns supplied Hornady Match ammo.

AR15s go great with Silencers!

You can legally purchase silencers online and have them shipped to your local SOT FFL, who will help you with the ATF Form 4 transfer process. Here are some links to trusted retailers who sell suppressors.

More silencer content

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About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.