Modern rifles aren’t anything like the boat anchors that our forefathers carried into combat. But they can still be heavy and annoying to lug around a battlefield or take up crucial weight in a survival kit. The guys at Bentwood Gunsmithing, in cooperation with Battle Arms Development, have created the ultimate lightweight rifle and have dubbed it the “OIP,” or Ounces Into Pounds. The idea was to shave every last ounce they could find, creating the most lightweight AR-15 ever produced . . .
The weight savings have been achieved in every single component. For example, they even went so far as to custom machine a titanium muzzle brake because the steel version was too heavy. The magazine well has been skeletonized to eliminate every bit of superfluous aluminum. And the buttstock isn’t much more than a small aluminum end cap on a minimalist buffer tube. Even the optic mount has been skeletonized, and there’s only a tiny rail section on the top of the gun to minimize the number of teeth.
The end result is hard to argue with — it’s without a doubt the lightest AR-15 rifle I have ever held. The thing tips the scales at a feathery 3.8 pounds, which is almost exactly half the weight of a standard AR-15 carbine. But all that savings in weight comes with a heavier price tag: $2,879. The OIP takes an insane number of man hours to make, so the guys are only going to be producing a maximum of 100 per year.
My biggest problem with a very light weight rifle is that it’s hard to hold it steady. While I like a lighter gun to carry it’s a balancing act. Too light and I don’t shoot it well. Too heavy and I curse it every step.
I have a single shot 20 ga. that’s a delight to carry. It probably hits the scales at 5 pounds loaded. Try firing it with anything other than light birdshot loads. Kicks like a mule and is so brief it’s hard to steady it up on a moving target.
In the fall I shoot a lot of field clays, some of the guys with lighter 12ga guns develop tennis elbow problems from trying to hold onto the gun during recoil. There is a point of being too light.
Assuming no wind, holding a gun steady is more about balance than total weight.
A gun that is too front heavy (which is often the case when people build ultra light rifle), the gun is much harder to hold steady. If you balance the rifle so the CG is pretty close to the grip area, the rifle will be much steadier.
OTOH a rifle that is simply too heavy will be as hard to hold stead as the too front heavy rifle.
Weight is momentum, inertia, etc. Heavier rifles don’t wiggle as quickly.
Balance/location of the CG is more important to hand holding a rifle.
Well, your wallet would be lighter too, so there is that.
At that MSRP, that’s where the real weight-savings are.
And you might have to skip a few meals…
Tell your wife the anniversary dinner will be at McDonald’s for a few years!
I always question durability and reliability when you start cutting away and things like that. I doubt they get field tested before they go into production.
For the weekend warrior or competition, probably works. Otherwise, not sure about long term durability. I look at my Stagarms 3G which has been used in competition, and it has some serious battle scars from being thrown into buckets or accidently hitting obstacles. Maybe it will be fine, idk, but I do question when things get carved up to be made lighter how well they will last.
This is not about reliability. It’s about pushing the limit as far as possible on one particular thing.
Buffoonery at it’s finest. But, probably just what the feathery metrosexual ordered. How sad. But excellence in commentary on “the modern manwoman”.
Modern manwoman…….thanks for providing the first giggles of my workday.
Agreed. Anytime I see a guy with painted nails, I want to punch him in the face (and then laugh as he tries to run away/give me his money and beg rather than stand and fight like a man). And for what it’s worth, I’m not some OFWG who hates change. I’m a fit, 19 year old libertarian (and thus socially liberal) man. But even so, my toes curl when I think about what the “modern man” is. Pathetic.
You are no sort of libertarian, you are a criminal. Or at least a wannabe braggart. If by any chance you actually do act on your idiotic motivations I hope your would be victim puts you down like the thug you so desperately want us to think you are.
>> Anytime I see a guy with painted nails, I want to punch him in the face (and then laugh as he tries to run away/give me his money and beg rather than stand and fight like a man).
It would be very amusing (to me) to see you try that to some of the guys from Pink Pistols. There was a dude at the I-594 rally who had long hair, painted nails, mascara and leggings. He was also carrying.
And yeah, if seeing someone dressed up outside of the established gender norm makes you want to punch them, you’re not a libertarian at all. Not even close.
Jake. Grow up son.
Dont post stupid stuff like this on the innertubz where it WILL come back to haunt you, should you ever get in trouble with the law, or on a background check, or job application.
Or embarrass you horribly when you are older and wiser.
Somewhere in Eastern Ukraine, unshaven Ivan, who was once taught with the stick that titanium should be saved up for new Migs and Sukhois, looks puzzled at display of his freshly liberated Ipad, which shows certain peculiarities of sexually disoriented western people. Then he throws a glance at his 5.54 AK cobbled up in 1982 and laying on the dirtfloor like well fed alley cat, and starts to laugh his ass off.
Yep! I’ll take the weight of my AK any day over most AR variants…..It ain’t heavy, it’s by brother….
There are no iPads in Eastern Ukraine, it’s Ivans on both sides. In fact, the Ukrainian ones have older AKs.
I imagine they could shave $200+ off the price if they went with a steel muzzle brake instead of titanium. And it would only ad an extra 0.1 or so pounds.
Personally, I would be totally happy with a 5 pound AR-15. I want a little weight to steady my aim (as JWM mentioned) as well as a little weight to mitigate recoil and enable faster follow-up shots.
A steel brake at the furthest forward point of the gun may make it far less handy than the weight suggests. I once put a composite stock on my HD 12guage and the balance was so bad it hurt my back to hold it between shots.
I built a 5.2 lb AR with no esoteric components. Total cost about $900. Here is how I got there:
1) Troy shortie muzzle brake – its steel, but its small, short, and light.
2) Lothar Walther very light profile barrel
3) JP rifles ALUMINUM adjustable gas block
4) DPMS carbon fiber free float tube with aluminum barrel nut.
5) Upper from a M&P 15 sport that does not have a forward assist
6) AR15 semi-auto bolt carrier
7) Standard buffer with all the weights removed.
8) GWACS lower. I could use a standard lower with a lightweight stock for about the same weight. But I built this during the panic and was able to get this GWACS lower for very little money.
The gun is very very handy without the need for a tax stamp to support a SBR. It is very accurate with its Lothar Walther barrel, shooting sub MOA for the first 3 shots, at which point it starts to walk as the barrel heats up.
If you try to go much lower than 5 lbs, you get into the need for esoteric stuff that either causes the cost to balloon or adversely affects its usability or toughness.
There are times when I only want my heaviest rifle and there are times when the lightest one is best. Sometimes a middleweight is perfect. Same goes for handguns, knives and spoons.
To reject the value of something because you personally don’t need it, want it or can’t use it sounds way too much like an anti-gunner phrase.
I hope these people make a lot of money and can’t keep up with demand.
How heavy does an AR pistol need to be? – to prevent/cause tennis elbow.
I am curious to see how this thing holds up to some rigorous testing. As with some above, how much performance and durability is shaved off with those extra pounds? I wonder if any funk gets into the chamber with the skeletonized mag well, still it looks cool as hell.
I got momentarily into the ultralight backpacking thing. I threw 40 pounds of water and weights into a UL backpack. The frame bent out of alignment so bad that it killed by back after 4-5 miles. Not only is ultralight stuff unduly expensive, it tends to be fragile as well. So I got a Deuter 70 L pack that handles weight much better.
Carrying 30 pounds of energetic toddler a mile or two is definitely tiring. Plenty of mommies can accomplish that task.
I guess 9 pounds of fully loaded AR or my .308 / 30-06 just isn’t that bad. All will take a beating and still work. This AR looks pretty damn flimsy to me. Pass.
With limited production they can get way with a lot, but I agree with you that this piece lacks the things which I believe might make that cost worthwhile. Namely, this ultralight, I want a folding stock SBR, so that it can be used as part of a survival kit or backpack for hiking. The added weight of folding/collapsing parts shouldn’t exceed the weight dropped with the barrel shortening. I can’t think of a need for such a light weight rifle which is still full length.
For backpacking or survival kit I want a trimmed down stack barrel in rimfire over .410.
The butt stock looks ugly and they need to shave off the cost . Way too heavy for my wallet
With all of the open space in the magwell and no dust cover, I wouldn’t call this a “work gun”. For the range or light competition it would probably do fine. I think these are more like those car engineering exercises you see at the big auto shows. While it may not be everyone’s ideal gun it is more of lets see what we can do project.
Exactly! its an experiment
Producing 100 of these per year is not an experiment, it’s production. This is retail, not R&D.
It’s also a novelty – like most of the things you used to find in the Sky Mall magazine. Expensive, neat-to-have trinkets with little real world value. Sky Mall went bankrupt on their model and at almost 3k a pop, with the labor intensive production, so will these guys. There’s no market for these other than the gee-whiz crowd with too much money.
I am a battle rifle guy – meaning, any rifle I buy needs to be able to rise to that status. If you can’t buttstroke someone with it, it’s a novelty.
If they were going for the lightest AR possible, why have a muzzle break at all?
Muzzle breaks are one way to tame muzzle rise and keep recoil linear, which is especially important with such a light weight rifle.
Naw, muzzle breaks are flaws or the result of accidents. You’re describing muzzle brakes.
I’m all for light weight rifles, but damn.
I held this rifle at SHOT Show. It was dang impressive. I’m not sure about long term reliability, but it definitely didn’t feel flimsy. The BAD people know their stuff and make some great products for ARs. While I’ll never be able to justify the experience, I’m sure there’s someone out there with a Ferrari or a 911 Turbo that could. Not everything has to be a daily driver, some times a few laps with something light and high performance is enough to get your heart beating.
And if you want to see some cool looking stuff, search for BAD’s storm trooper inspired rifles.
It’s a cool project, and maybe some of the OIP’s ideas will trickle down to common ARs. It’s not like the 57 year old gal couldn’t use a bit of a facelift.
Looks like a tacticool whiffle bat.
No thank you.
World’s most expensive whiffle bat.
Price is high for what I would call a kid’s trainer.
I stick to my plan of my CMMG .22lr upper (16″, but because it’s a dedicated it feels like a 14.5″) and a polymer lower when it’s time to teach the kido.
Most modern ARs are overweight because people stick full length quad handguards on em and load them up with crap. Add that to billet lowers (why??) and heavy profile barrels (better for cyclic firing, they say), and the average sofa-soldier’s AR tips the scales at over 9 lbs. Giving an M14 a run for its money.
This. 100 percent this. If you could make a cheap AR without things like a dust cover, forward assist, add simple light hand guards, and convince people that your average AR doesn’t need 10 things hung off of it then you would sell a ton of them. Wait a second…we already have those SW Sport…DPMS and Bushy ORC…etc, etc.
I could see the market for something like this. A packable AR…but bring the weight back up to 4-4.5 pounds and the msrp to $999 and you would make a killing.
I never used the forward bolt assist. Until I was on the range at Ft. Riley and it was significantly below zero. That’s when I came to appreciate it. 😉
I’ll keep my dust cover and forward assist, thanks.
I just skipped the middleman and got a scoped M14 clone.
It’s called PT. Think of the skinny 5’6″ tall country/city boy from Anywhere USA, that was issued a Garand and hoofed it from the beaches of Normandy to Italy, and six ways across Europe, and the island hopping campaign in the Pacific. With gear/ammo/K Rations, etc,… I’m all for an efficient, next generation, advantage techno ergo carbine/rifle, however, if your a range/weekend warrior, fine. Our enemies (both foreign and domestic) aren’t.
P.S. I love my Garand, and front heavy Sig 556. More PT, and the weight “don’t” matter. Long hunts and hikes with Grampa’s bolt action comes close.
@Tom W., indeed sir. These days, the manwoman thinks anything that is heavier than the shim’s remote control is considered heavy. And PT will only put on unnecessary bulk and detract from their feminine physic, so that’s out. Then there is the PT/Gym stud to give me/us a lecture about lugging 50 lbs of battle rattle and a 9lb rifle…yeah, so what? Been there done it. Cry me a river.
Lets face it. Most menwomen won’t lug their ARs further than the trunk of their car to the firing line….maybe 50-60 yards if they really try. A few will put in their time in the gym with the mirrors and dumbbells but look for a reason to spend their bucks on a feathery POS just because its the “in” thing.
Whatever sisters….carry on with your lightness. For those, this erector set stick will be just the ticket to greatness.
You have serious mental problems that cloud your judgment of the world. Perhaps repressed homosexuality? Daddy issues?
I love guns of all shapes, sizes, colors, wood grains and price tags. I wouldn’t buy this, but I don’t think any less of someone who wants a lighter gun.
@Craig, right on time! As I expected!
The mount for that red dot sight looks like it’s vying for the title of the world’s most fragile. I would be afraid to zip that rifle into a carry bag for fear it would either have to be re-zeroed or the sight would simply come off.
Not black enough
Once you go black, you never go back? 🙂
I guess this is the NASA space station gun.
Captain Kelly, call your office, your next AR has arrived.
j/k no disrespect to the makers- props for incredible attention to detail and execution of the concept.
I kind of want that optic mount.
It’s interesting that even with their oz is lbs philosophy, they still found room for anti-roll trigger pins, which some tout as useless tacticool in a carbine that doesn’t have full-auto capability (and even some then). I wonder about their justification there.
The pins are probably tubes, therefore hollow so they could be threaded all the way through. Saved enough weight for the screws with the tube “pins”. I noticed that same thing in the title picture and started thinking of the possible value in that decision, and hollow pins is the only thing I could think of. I can’t imagine it saved them more than a matter of grams, though.
Disclaimer: All of this is speculation. I know nothing about this rifle beyond this blog entry.
I know there’s an effort going to try to get me to buy an AR15, but this isn’t the one. I just got my hip surgery paid off, and this isn’t even on the horizon.
Too bad it’s ugly as sin. But hey, function over aesthetics.
Look guys, if a 4-5lb rifle is too light for you just stick on a high-quality scope, scope mount, bipod, and silencer. Back to normal weight, but with superior functionality. Maybe you don’t want a 4lb rifle, but a lightweight rifle lets you get away with putting all sorts of heavy crap on the rifle, like a scope that weighs 2.5lbs. The bipod and silencer add at least another 2lbs. How about getting a nice thick barrel? Perhaps you add another pound or half a pound. So now you have a “4lb rifle” that weighs 9.5lbs.
I’m all about weight when it comes to firearms and other gear. Yeah, “ounces into pounds”. As long as I don’t give up utility or reliability. But they took it a step too far and compromised capabilities. This is a AR-15 for the guys who make it a competition to backpack with the lowest sub-5lb base pack weights (not including food and water), count grams, not ounces, and would rather risk being cold, wet, and miserable than carry another pound of trustworthy adequate gear.
Now, some of the features of this rifle could be put on a rifle without compromising functionality or reliability. The typical cantilever optic mount or red dot does not use all of the rail on a flat-top AR upper. Unfortunately, this upper is red-dot only. I like the trigger guard. I think I would like how the magazine well “goes up” and makes a little pyramid of negative space on the bottom, but I really dislike the cut-outs. Thinning the metal would be great, but why cut-outs? Increased risk of compromising reliability for less than an ounce of weight savings. The rifle needs a real stock, and this particular OIP does not accept normal AR-15 stocks. BCM’s Gunfighter stock weighs between 7 and 7.5ozs (different sources repeat different weights, but if I recall correctly the real weight is 7.1 or 7.2ozs), and you can be sure it works well and is durable and properly designed. ATI’s TacLite stock weighs 5.85oz and appears to do so without severely compromising utility unlike that buffer tube cap. If you can’t spare 6 or 7 ounces for a stock, you’re not serious about a fighting rifle. You’re basically a benchrest tinkerer making a toy that does one thing well to an extreme. The titanium bolt carrier sounds cool. As for the titanium pins, screws, and gas block, I don’t know if steel or aluminum are better choices. I like the upper “patterning” “carve-outs”. I would definitely prefer adding an ounce or two for a polymer or metal alloy handguard (BCM KMR, perhaps, but there are other good choices). That barrel looks much better than the MAG Tactical Systems AIR-15 “lightweight deer hunting bolt gun barrel on an AR-15” thinnest pencil barrel I’ve ever seen on a semi-auto. Watch the Iraqveteran8888 video and see it whipping all over. You have maximum accuracy for no more than 3-5 shots. I like their receiver and bolt carrier, though. However, I’m interested in AR-15s as weapons. I want two things from an AR, accuracy and light weight. If I don’t need those, I’ll use a more reliable (and heavier and less accurate) AK. The AR-15, and the 5.56mm cartridge, are top choices for when I need to carry a lot of gear on my person. Hundreds of rounds of ammo, body armor, all sorts of equipment, a week’s worth of food and water. And I still need to be maneuverable and minimize fatigue if I can. So I’d rather have a more serious barrel on there. I like the carbon-fiber wrapped steel barrels available from Christensen Arms and other companies. They weigh more than a dimpled fluted steel barrel, and for some serious ounce-counting purposes I might just say go with that, but I think on an accurate fighting rifle it’s worth an extra few ounces for really thick barrel performance (and the heat dissipation abilities of carbon fiber).
In short, in my eyes it’s somewhat of a novelty, although it may be great for some non-combat uses. But some company will eventually combine all the good ideas from the lightweight ARs and AR furniture on the market and produce an AR that gives full performance at the lightest possible weight before making any compromises.
I would really like to see this kind of treatment and innovation done to the AK. What I always heard is that it’s “impossible” to lighten the AK. Everything must be steel! It might be harder to do it without a precedent like there is for ARs, but think outside the box. There is a market for high-end AKs with superior features and functionality. Rifle Dynamics and Krebs Custom have more demand than they can supply.
Since all the comments I’ve read are based upon speculation, and not from someone who has actually fired this weapon, I figured I should chime in.
This OIP Rifle is an amazing piece of engineering and construction. For a rifle that only weighs 3.8lbs I expected to have to compensate for lift and excessive recoil. I was wrong. Firing this rifle I was able to hold on target extremely well, allowing me fast followup rounds. Recoil was extremely well controlled, and the firing experience was unmatched to any other AR.
Is this the perfect rifle? Depends on what you plan to do with it. As always – use the right tool for the right job. This weapon fills it’s niche and performs flawlessly in it’s role. Yeah, its $2800. The amount of labor and attention to detail justifies the cost – at least to me.
Don’t go bash a rifle because it doesn’t fit in the parameters of what you look for. Judge it for what it is, and when you do that, this OIP Rifle excels in every way.