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Old October 27, 2010, 10:25 AM   #1
silver-bullet
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Riddle Me This: What Is The Lightest-Weight .308 Battle-Rifle?

I recently bought a full-size Armalite AR-10, and I absolutely love it. Very accurate and reliable; a joy to shoot. Now I "need" another .308 battle-rifle, but I want this one to be a lightweight companion to my Armalite.

So I'm asking: what is the absolute LIGHTEST .308 battle-rifle on the market? The only criteria here is weight; it must be lighter than air! (figuritively, not literally).
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Old October 27, 2010, 10:47 AM   #2
nbkky71
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Hmm... that might be a hard one silver-bullet.

Most of the rifles that I can think of will be in the 9 pound range, with differences of ounces between models based on their features, such as folding stocks, aluminum receivers, etc.

The lightest one I can think of is the H&K G3KA4 at 8.8 pounds
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Old October 27, 2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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The HAC-7. Aluminum upper and lower, folding stock - never picked up by any military, though and only a few hundred were ever made. But, it is pretty light weight for a .308 battle rifle. I believe the carbine weighed about 8.5 lbs.
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Old October 27, 2010, 10:54 AM   #4
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SCAR 17 is listed as 7.91lbs unloaded. Nice.
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Old October 27, 2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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silver-bullet, what does your AR-10 weigh?

The SCAR 17 does appear to be the lightest .308 BR available,
but the cost of extra mags will lighten your wallet real quick.
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Old October 27, 2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
but the cost of extra mags will lighten your wallet real quick.
The cost of the gun ($3500) will shatter my wallet! It looks more modern than a Para FAL - but what does it do that the Para FAL doesn't do? What's the weight difference?
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Old October 27, 2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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I know, I know. 7.62x39 isn't even close to the same as 7.62 NATO. But did you read the recent review of the new Ruger Tac-30?

6.7 pounds.....

I was always a skeptic of the Mini 30 but Ruger may have finally fixed all the issues. Plus they will sell me high capacity factory mags now!

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=424806

Gregg
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Old October 27, 2010, 12:55 PM   #8
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Rock River's "Elite Operator" LAR-8 is listed at 8.1 pounds - only .2 pounds heavier than the SCAR 17.
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Old October 27, 2010, 01:15 PM   #9
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You could buy/build a light topend for what you have.The DPMS LR-308L is free floated and 7.9 lbs.It is a hunting trim,I think DPMS makes a ight one with a4 rail.
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Old October 27, 2010, 02:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
silver-bullet, what does your AR-10 weigh?



My AR-10 is a full 20" barrel, flat-top. I mounted a Nikon scope on it, and the whole thing weighs about 10 pounds, unloaded.

I want my next one to have a 16" barrel, and open sights. Lean and mean. I like HiBC's idea of buying a separate upper-assembly for my rifle, which I can then swap out at will. Hmmm......

Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old October 27, 2010, 09:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
It looks more modern than a Para FAL - but what does it do that the Para FAL doesn't do
Its got a lot of little features - adjustable cheek piece, adjustable length stock, etc, that make it more ergonomic. Also there's the issue of accuracy - SCARs are documented ~.5MOA shooters with the right ammunition. FALs are typically more like 3MOA guns depending on the manufacturer.
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Old October 28, 2010, 04:58 AM   #12
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My DPMS 308 ap4 weighed 8.3 pounds when i got it...now with the optics, new handguard, and forgrip it probably weighs about 9 when empty....Also it was only about 900 bucks!!!
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:06 AM   #13
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POF P308-14-MMR-308 8.94# Gas piston gun
RRA LAR-8 Mid-length A2 & A4 8.1# Direct impingement
DPMS Pantherâ„¢ 7.62NATO Sportical 8.3# Direct impingement

There are others, these are the sites I could find after a short search.

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Old October 28, 2010, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
My AR-10 is a full 20" barrel, flat-top. I mounted a Nikon scope on it, and the whole thing weighs about 10 pounds, unloaded.

I want my next one to have a 16" barrel, and open sights. Lean and mean. I like HiBC's idea of buying a separate upper-assembly for my rifle, which I can then swap out at will. Hmmm......

Keep the suggestions coming!
I have a 21" HB Noveske upper on my AR10 and it is heavy with scope and bi-pod.

I'm looking at a short barreled (12.5-14") upper for it, a one time $200 tax stamp is all that's required. With iron sights and no accessories it would be pretty light.

Since you have a ArmaLite now you should stay with that magazine platform, ArmaLite or Noveske, that way all mags would interchange.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:58 AM   #15
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I question the balance of these 'light' rifles, they have to be nose heavy.
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Old October 28, 2010, 09:15 AM   #16
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I question the balance of these 'light' rifles, they have to be nose heavy.
I don't see how this really matters. The muzzle end of the gun is going to weigh the same regardless of what the butt end weighs. Personally, I'd rather have the weight in the nose-end than in the butt-end.
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Old October 28, 2010, 09:55 AM   #17
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Overall balance is more important than total weight.
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Old October 28, 2010, 10:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Overall balance is more important than total weight.

I've heard this before - but nobody has ever been able to explain "why"?
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Old October 28, 2010, 12:50 PM   #19
silver-bullet
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I question the balance of these 'light' rifles, they have to be nose heavy.



Actually the lighter rifles I've handled are "lighter" generally because the barrel is shorter. This makes them LESS nose-heavy, and MORE well-balanced.

Just compare the full-size Springfield M1A to the SOCOM 16 version, or the AR-10 with 20" barrel vs. the 16" barrel. I'm currently comparing these weapons, and the shorter barrelled, lighter, versions are indeed better balanced (that is, balanced near the center of the weapon, not the muzzle).
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Old October 28, 2010, 01:12 PM   #20
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I've heard this before - but nobody has ever been able to explain "why"?
I would agree with the statement since I've always preferred a heavier rifle that balances well rather than a nose heavy rifle that is lighter. However, it is a subjective preference. I have never tried to objectively qualify WHY I prefer it.

In objective terms, I would guess that I prefer it because a heavy stock acts to counteract weight in front of the balance point of the rifle. If you think of the rifle as a seesaw, with the muzzle being one end and the stock being the other, then the balance point is right around the barrel nut. Now imagine your support hand as the fulcrum of the seesaw and the stock resting in the pocket of your shoulder. The weight behind the fulcrum can be relatively heavy, because it is supported by your strong hand and your shoulder pocket at two separate points.

However, weight in front of the fulcrum (your support hand) is unsupported. The more weight that is out there, the harder it will be to keep it pointed in one place. One solution to this is to move the fulcrum (support hand) further out to put less weight in front of the fulcrum. This works well; but there is a fitness/size limit on how far out you can grip the rifle. Another solution is to make the stock end heavier so it better counterbalances the front end.

It would be interesting to take two rifles of the same weight; but with different balances and see how this plays out in terms of speed to see if my subjective preference is justified; but for now I mostly do it because it "feels" better to me.
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Old October 28, 2010, 01:29 PM   #21
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Seems to me that a "perfectly" balanced rifle will more likely to have muzzle rise during rapid or full-auto fire - personally, I'd rather have a muzzle heavy rifle in for this purpose. Now, for hunting or long-range target scenarios, I think I'd rather have a more balanced rifle. Those are just my thoughts - definitely subjective.
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Old October 28, 2010, 02:06 PM   #22
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Seems to me that a "perfectly" balanced rifle will more likely to have muzzle rise during rapid or full-auto fire
Probably true, though to what degree I couldn't say. In my experience, muzzle rise is as much of a design issue as anything. For example, shooting .308 AR10s, I notice more recoil; but not so much muzzle rise due to the inline stock. On an M14 with a traditional stock, you definitely notice the muzzle flip more.

Quote:
personally, I'd rather have a muzzle heavy rifle in for this purpose.
I run a suppressor on my AR15. This means adding 20oz and 6" to the end of the barrel - so I definitely get to play with nose-heavy rifles despite my preference. When I first got the suppressor, I was surprised how much the muzzle weight affected my rapid fire shooting from a standing, squared off stance under 50 yards. It was so bad I thought something was broken at first. As it turned out, adding 20oz and 6" to the end of a 16" lever just makes the end of that lever that much harder to control (at least for me).

It was a big eye opener for me since I had figured giant, super-efficient muzzle brake + 20oz weight on the barrel = no muzzle movement when shooting (and actually that is true when I can get a good supported position); but for positions where I didn't have that support, it did have a negative impact for me.

Of course, that depends on the style of shooting as well I guess. If I took a manual-perfect High Power stance and started shooting, I imagine the extra weight would probably be more helpful.
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Old October 28, 2010, 05:53 PM   #23
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I don't think that you can have a light battle rifle. I always thought that the whole point of a hefty battle rifle was two-fold:
1. to absorb the recoil of popping off a full-sized round and/or a lotta full-sized rounds.
2. to help facilitate use as a club or a pike-length bayonet-mount; "just b/c you're out of bullets doesn't mean you're out of weapons..."

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
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Old October 28, 2010, 06:18 PM   #24
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The cost of the gun ($3500) will shatter my wallet! It looks more modern than a Para FAL - but what does it do that the Para FAL doesn't do? What's the weight difference?
10mmAuto is correct. According to the current American Rifleman which tested the Para FAL, they posted 3"+ groups at 100 yards (3 MOA or greater) in the ballistics section with three types of ammo. Almost any other .308 except an AK based one will be more accurate.

Personally, I like and own the PTR-91. I think it is outstanding. Lots of accessories, and arguably the best bolt system in a rifle. No, I do not hate FAL's, I own one of those also.

Last edited by IXLR8; October 28, 2010 at 06:24 PM.
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Old October 28, 2010, 09:19 PM   #25
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Personally, I like and own the PTR-91. I think it is outstanding. Lots of accessories, and arguably the best bolt system in a rifle. No, I do not hate FAL's, I own one of those also.



This one, the PTR91, has actually caught my eye. Is yours the 16" barrel or the 18" barrel? How do you ike it compared to your FAL? If you own the 18" barrel version, do you wish you'd bought the 16" version (or vice-versa?) Lastly, does the back of the receiver ever strike your face during recoil? (I've heard this is the case if you get your cheek-weld too close). Thanks.
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