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Old 01-03-2011, 21:32   #1
ottomatic
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Lightweight boltcarrier

I just finished building a lightweight AR at 5 3/4 lbs w/empty 20 rd mag, Burris Fastfire2, and a 90 lumen light (not the brightest, but maybe the lightest REAL light). A buddy and I were just looking at it and trying to figure out if one can lower the weight any more without going to exotic materials. He suggested a lightweight boltcarrier. I have access to a machinist who coud probably get some weight off it for very little money.
The question is: would a lighter boltcarrier require a lighter buffer or a heavier one? My guess would be a lighter one.

Who has a good guess or (preferably) a physics/engineering background to help out?
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Old 01-03-2011, 21:53   #2
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IMHO, you'd need a lighter buffer because the bolt carrier would not have the same energy to travel to the rear.

*deleted partial thread*
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:50   #3
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You can buy them premade. They are designed for the competition crowd. Click Me
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:52   #4
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Boomhower nailed it,

Give JP Enterprises a call, explain your needs and get proven results. I would suggest get their bolt and buffer.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:26   #5
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I appreciate the replies. I looked at the link and that appears to be a good bolt carrier, but I don't want to lose the forward assist function. This whole rifle has been an interesting project. The optics are a must as she is cross eye-dominant, but has other problems trying to shoot left handed.
I actually have the results I wanted, at this point additional weight loss is more of a game than anything else. The only limiting factors are I don't want to use exotic materials such as carbon fiber and titanium, and I want the cost to stay reasonable. So far I'm in the mid $800 range including the optics and light.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCsilver View Post
IMHO, you'd need a lighter buffer because the bolt carrier would not have the same energy to travel to the rear.

*deleted partial thread*
I think it would be just the opposite, that you'd need the same or heavier buffer. Look at it this way. Since no mention was made of changing the gas system, I am assuming that it is the same. If it is the same and the bolt it lighter, it will be moving rearward faster. It's a lot like when you lighten a slide or use more powerful ammo in a handgun. In those cases, people us heavier springs, not lighter. Remember, the mass of the bolt/slide contributes to the inertia that controls the movement.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:58   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halojumper View Post
It's a lot like when you lighten a slide or use more powerful ammo in a handgun. In those cases, people us heavier springs, not lighter.
Wrong concerning the lightened slides part.

If you run a lighter bolt carrier you can use a lighter not a heavier buffer. If you lighten the carrier and use a heavier buffer you didnt gain a thing.

I use a JP light stainless carrier and a Firebird/PMT Ti carrier in my competition rilfes. Less moving mass means less sight movement on recoil.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozer View Post
.....If you run a lighter bolt carrier you can use a lighter not a heavier buffer.....

Correct,......lighter buffer to control the lighter carrier......less moving mass requires less buffing.

Make sense?
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Old 01-04-2011, 19:07   #9
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If you run a light carrier and buffer you really ought to use an adjustable gas block too. With the standard unit you'll be overgassed.
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Old 01-04-2011, 21:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushflyr View Post
If you run a light carrier and buffer you really ought to use an adjustable gas block too. With the standard unit you'll be overgassed.
Every adjustable gas block I have had (JP and PRI) ended up being full open. So I went with a normal gas block. One less thing to break.
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