Update: Covid has basically wrecked stocks across the United States of America, so not all of these guns are available right now. In fact that number is shrinking by the week.
So if you want a rifle right now, these live links show you what’s in stock at our favorite dealers. Be warned, it’s not good…
- Euro Optic – The best AR-15s, great selection, relatively.
- Guns.com – Good supply, some insane prices right now.
- Sportsman’s Warehouse – Lots of rifles displayed online, not all in stock.
- Brownells – Limited supply of quality guns.
The best lightweight AR-15 is a serious title round these parts. That’s because it’s the number one priority for a lot of American gun enthusiasts.
The weight is bigger than the price, bigger than the spec in many cases. That’s because an ultralight AR-15 is so utterly versatile and useful that you will always get your money’s worth from that rifle.
You will always have that time you want a flyweight on your shoulder, just in case. Light rifles can be a tactical advantage too.
We have tried to find an ultralight AR-15 to suit every budget. We think you will like some of these radically different weight-saving techniques for your best AR-15 rifle.
The Best Lightweight AR-15s For Sale
1. Christensen Arms CA-15 G2 Recon
- Price: $2,995
- Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
- Barrel: 16 inch
- Total Length: 32.5 inch
- Weight: 5.9lb
Christensen Arms has made its name with custom rifles and pistols that exploit material science. This super light AR-15 is no exception.
Carbon fiber reins supreme here. Lots of it. From the barrel sleeve to the M-Lok rail system, it’s all flyweight carbon composite.
At this price, it looks kind of a cheap rifle. It isn’t, but for this much tech?
Truthfully, it was much more expensive. More than $3,000 in fact. But with the help of Euro Optic, Christensen Arms is offering some seriously deep discounts that make this dream rifle a real contender for your next gun purchase.
Get one, while you still can.
2. Zev Technologies Core Elite
- Price: $2,199.99
- Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
- Barrel length: 16 inch
- Total: 33-37 inch
- Weight: 6.67lb
This is a competition gun, straight off the peg, that is much more than simply a light rifle. This AR-15 has match-grade components across the board and could well be the best overall here.
ZEV Technologies carved out its reptation with aftermarket Glock parts. Now it has evolved into a boutique gun manufacturer and this rifle is aimed at 3-Gunners and others that want the very best AR-15 money can buy.
Aftermaket Parts With ZEV Foundations
ZEV Tech could have branded everything. Instead, it has assembled a selection of quality suppliers until it learns the specifics of the AR-15 game.
An ATC AR Gold trigger, Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous safety and more join forces with the ZEV parts. It’s a formidable rifle and one that deserves its place among the elite.
3. Faxon Firearms FX5500 Ultralight AR-15
- Price: $1,994.05
- Caliber: 5.56 NATO
- Barrel: 14.5 inch + welded muzzle device. NFA Compliant.
- Weight: 4.95lb
Faxon has made a name with Glock parts and specialist shiz like the AR-15 light weight pencil barrel. Now it has created this ultralight AR-15 build with a shorter barrel and pinned muzzle device.
You get a forged aluminum upper receiver, a free float carbon fiber handguard, Superlative Arms adjustable gas block and more. All that in a 4.95lb package? Yes you can…
All the parts & accessories are top flight. There’s a Hiperfire EDT3 trigger group, a Magpul MOE grip, MFT Minimalist stock, Radian Arms safety and Lancer magazine.
Up top there is enough rail for the minimalist mil-spec red dot that it deserves. Do that and you might have the best AR-15 here.
Faxon Firearms supplied a good portion of the rifle, including the lightweight upper and lower receivers. Everything else is absolutely the best money can buy. It might not be a daily gun, but this ultralight AR15 is an awesome special occasion gun at the range.
You can order an extensive selection of Faxon lightweight parts, too, from a pencil barrel through to a titanium barrel nut and lightweight complete uppers. Check them out here for your own lightweight AR-15 build.
4. Battle Arms Development Authority Elite
- Price: $2,099.99
- Barrel: 16 inch
- Weight: 5.5lb
This isn’t even the lightest B.A.D rifle on this list, but it is another lightweight you can actually buy right now.
This is a 5.5lb rifle with a 16″ barrel and that’s pretty special at the best of times. At the worst of times, yes it’s a winning recipe.
The receivers are machined from billet, the Workhorse handguard is drilled out, tapped for just about everything and light.
It’s another simple direct impingement design with a Wylde chamber. It’s expensive, but competition shooters and military specialists rely on these rifles. They’re that good, and you can buy one.
So don’t wait, you know how the market is right now.
6. V Seven LR Enlightened
- Price: $3,004.17
- Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
- Barrel: 16 inch
- Total Length: 33-37 inch
- Weight: 5lb
There is a lot of titanium on the V Seven LR Enlightened AR-15, which is a lightweight AR-15 build done right.
You will pay handsomely for the privilege, but this is engineering excellence and a light weight rifle produced from the strongest possible base elements.
This is a full-size AR-15, complete with a 16 inch free float barrel, that relies on material science for its weight saving tricks. For shooting sports, this could be the competitive advantage you have been looking for.
Advanced Alloys Cut Weight
The upper receiver and matched lower are a Lithium-Aluminum alloy of V Seven’s own making. The handguard is a Magnesium-Aluminum recipe and that’s a tensioned handguard system for additional rigidity.
The enlarged port door, charging handle, buffer retainer, takedown pins, trigger group, pins, A2 compensator muzzle device, and more are all titanium. A lightweight BCG goes without saying. That stuff is expensive, but it’s also super strong.
Other gun porn features include a Geissele G2 trigger and Bravo Company Manufacturing pistol grip and stock.
We can’t deny the V Seven LR Enlightened is an expensive rifle, but it’s also a great AR-15. When even a takedown pin and barrel nut are titanium, you know you have engineering excellence in your hands.
The tensioned handguard system is something we’ve come to expect on high end custom AR-15s these days and the tech is trickling down. Right now, it is another mark of quality with this ultralight AR15.
7. Brownells XBRN177E2
- Price: $1,397.99
- Weight: 5.3lb
- Caliber: 5.56 NATO
- Barrel length: 12.1 inch + Welded Muzzle Device
This retro rifle tribute to the Colt Commander service weapon US Marines took into action in Vietnam.
Brownells has an awesome selection of retro rifles that combine the look of the original with the convenience of a modern semi-auto AR-15.
This stock black Colt Commander clone is as close as the online gun store and occasional manufacturer to the original.
Colt issues its own much more expensive tribute acts from time to time. One online reviewer who put the guns side by side said the Brownells XBRN177E2 is every bit as good for half the money.
You also get a light weight rifle, in part thanks to the shorter barrel that helped the US Special Operations teams. It turns out the shorter barrel was much easier on the shoulder in the jungle and much more useful in tight urban settings.
Now, the welded device is an essential addition to get round the NFA rifle regs and avoid SBR status. That can be a pain in the ass with the paperwork. So this is the most painless way to get a Vietnam special forces style service rifle for $1000.
Classic Colt M4 Design Cues
You get a polymer CAR buttstock, the classic grab handle on the back and fixed front sight standing proud. We kind of like that oversized flash suppressor, too, although you might want to find space for a red dot.
You also get a trip down memory lane and a really cool rifle that will put a smile on your face when you pull the trigger. It isn’t meant for shooting sports. It’s a retro rifle and that is fine too.
Brownells is one of the best online gunbrokers and has its own range of AR-15 parts and accessories. It concentrates on value for money, but there are some pretty trick components for sale.
Check out the Brownells AR-15 parts bin here.
8. ATI Omni Hybrid Max
- Price: $399.99
- Weight: 5.65lb
- Caliber: 2.23 Rem/5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 16 inch
The simple truth is if you want an ultralight rifle and you don’t want to spend big money, then the ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx P3 is a frickin unbelievable deal.
There’s just one small catch. The receivers are polymer…
Are we ready for polymer receivers on an AR-15? Honestly yes. They are ounces lighter, and that matters.
You can buy plastic pistols, plastic 1911s, why not a plastic AR-15? Material science has come a long way, this isn’t 3D printed garbage and you trust plastics on your car, spaceships and aeroplanes. Yeah, plastic AR-15s should work by now.
Fiber Reinforced Polymer Receivers For Sale
This is fiber reinforced polymer and ATI claims to have put 2000 rounds through the test units without any issues. That’s not a huge amount and this might not be an heirloom gun to pass down to your kids. But at this price and this weight, does that matter?
So get over that and this suddenly looks like a monumental deal. The ATI Omni Hybrid Maxx P3 is a $400, 5.9lb, cheap AR-15 lightweight.
Is it the lightest AR-15 you can get in the United States with a 16 inch barrel?
No. But it is one of the lightest AR-15s that actually looks like a Modern Sporting Rifle. Does that matter? The sales figures say yes.
9. Battle Arms Developments Ounces is Pounds
- Price: $2,499.99
- Weight: 4lb
- Caliber: .223 Remington/5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 14.5 inch + Pinned Muzzle Devices
This custom AR-15 is one of just 11 rifles on the planet and the last in stock at our supplier. So the Battle Arms Development Ounces is Pounds might not be here long.
So enjoy this rifle while you can and get some carbon fiber inspiration for your own AR-15 build…
Pretty much everything on one of the lightest AR-15s on the market is custom gunsmithing. They include a free-float carbon-fiber handguard, titanium BCG, castle nut and muzzle brake. The receivers are machined from billet aluminum and there’s a proprietary buffer system.
You get a match-grade trigger and everything on this gun is pretty much perfect. The dimpled, shorter barrel is what marks this specialist rifle apart from the more common or garden BAD rifles we’ll get to shortly.
10. Daniel Defense DDM4 V11
- Price: $1,824.00
- Barrel: 14.4″ + pinned & welded muzzle device.
- Weight: 6.09lb
This is the short barrel rifle version of the iconic Daniel Defense DDM4 that has swept the board in most ‘best AR-15′ posts for more than a year. Ours included…
Here, Daniel Defense has cut the barrel down to 14.4 inches and got round the NFA with a pinned and welded muzzle device.
It’s not a new concept, but everything behind that muzzle brake is a DDM4 V7. So that makes it kinda better.
11. Wilson Combat AR-15 Protector Carbine
- Price: $1,819.99
- Weight: 6.1lb
- Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56 x 45mm NATO
Wilson Combat make some of the best rifles and handguns for sale. It’s really that simple. So this lightweight Wilson Combat AR-15 Protector Carbine is inevitably one of the best AR-15s on the planet today.
At just 6.1lb for a rifle with a proper 16 inch barrel, this is a miracle of firearms weight savings.
That barrel is a Wilson Combat Match Grade barrel, button-rifled and stainless steel. Each one is tested for accuracy and Wilson Combat’s quality control is well known to be nigh-on perfect. That’s why they keep popping up in the Winner’s Circle at shooting sports events.
Wilson Combat AR-15 Barrels For Sale
You can buy those barrels for your own AR-15 by the way, and you should. And a Rogers Super Stock. But your gun will never be a Wilson Combat AR-15 Protector Carbine. And, deep down, you’ll always know it…
A two-stage Wilson Combat M2 Tactical Trigger provides impeccable feel. A Wilson Combat Q-Comp muzzle device damps recoil and a modular construction means you can strip this semi-auto rifle in a minute.
The Wilson Combat BCG contains a Carpenter 158 MPI steel bolt, one piece gas ring and long-life chrome-silicon ejector and extractor springs. Weight saving tech is just about everywhere and if you’re going competitive shooting then this might be a real option for you.
The Wilson Combat/Roger Super-Stock buttstock, Wilson Combat/BCM Starburst grip and M-Lok free float handguard complete the look.
12. Taran Tactical Innovation John Wick TTI TR-1 Ultralight
- Price: $2,141.99
- Caliber: 5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 14.5 + Welded Muzzle Brake (NFA Compliant)
- Total Length: 32 inch
- Weight: 6.4lb
Yes, this is the semi-auto version of the rifle John Wick took into battle in the second instalment of the John Wick movies. It remains the best long gun in all three films, in our humble opinion.
It’s another short barrel ultralight AR-15 with a pinned muzzle device to skirt the NFA regs. John Wick took a fully automatic SBR to war on the streets of New York, but then he’s a contract killer and the ATF is really the least of his issues.
This is a rifle tuned for competitive shooting, as TTI boss Taran Butler is a 3-Gun devotee who largely tailored the boss level firearms sequences in John Wick to the 3-Gun crowd. It really is a shooting sports specialist.
TTI’s John Wick guns are not the lightest here, not by a long shot. But this is a stunning rifle that comes with the John Wick seal of approval. That’s worth something, we think…
13. Master of Arms Enyo AR-15 Lightweight
- Price: $3,104
- Weight: 3.65lb
- Barrel Length: 16 inch
Read that vital stat again. The Master of Arms Enyo Lightweight weighs just 3.65lb. That makes it a safe bet for the lightest AR-15 for sale, although you could yet prove me wrong.
You could argue that the Master of Arms Enyo AR-15 Lightweight isn’t a complete rifle and certainly is not the best AR-15 on this list. You may have a point. But then it does have a proper 16 inch barrel and it is just an exercise in sheer minimalism.
Solid Rifle With Long Range Skills
So it is a complete rifle, that will give you the outer reaches of the best AR-15 rifle’s range. It’s just stripped to the bone and made from next-gen materials with the lightest possible weight in mind.
The receivers are made from 7095 Tennalum, which basically combines the strength of steel and the weight of aluminum.
The carbon-fiber handguard is a properly tensioned handguard system thanks to a proprietary system that uses barrel and guard assembly under heated conditions. When the metal cools, there’s a natural torque that creates tension. Clever shiz.
Awesome AR-15 Parts
There’s a titanium BCG, titanium adjustable gas block and mid-length gas system. ,A lightweight charging handle, carbon-fiber buffer tube and proprietary tailhook style stock all contribute to a scarcely believable weight of just 3.65lb. It even has titanium takedown pins.
Aside from that there’s an AR Gold trigger, Hogue G10 grip, Cobalt Kinetics buffer system and a V7 mag release. The Master of Arms Enyo AR-15 Lightweight is the best of the best. It is also the lightest AR-15 for sale in 2021, although some State’s gun laws don’t like it, at all…
1. Kaiser US X-7 Monarch Skeletonized BCG Lightweight
- Price: $1,710.00
- Weight: 4.5lb
- Barrel: 16 inch
Now the Kaiser US X-7 Monarch Lightweight Rifle looks like a normal AR-15. So how does it weigh in at just 4.5lb? Material science, and carbon-fiber reinforced polymer receivers draped over aluminum inserts.
Mats of carbon-fiber bonded with polymer resin have been used to build racing cars, powerboats, space craft and other high-tech shiz for years. It’s a solid principle and there’s no reason at all why it can’t make a seriously high-end AR-15 receiver.
Durability will always be a question mark with carbon fiber and plastic. The human spirit is naturally suspicious of new tech. But it’s a tantalising prospect that we think is worth a shot. Or hopefully several thousand at least…
Polymer Receivers Are Gaining Acceptance
This is a much more upscale take on the polymer receiver concept, with polymer infused carbon-fiber matting forming one of the lightest rifles here.
Let’s face it, plastic AR-15s, polymer AR-15s, are here to stay. Carbon-fiber is working its way into the firearms industry and some of the next gen plastics and alloys have to be seen to be believed.
Some badass stuff is coming to the firearms industry and carbon-fiber/polymer AR-15 receivers will be normal in the not too distant future. In fact it may be old tech by then. That’s how fast the world of material science is moving.
Right now, this is pretty cutting edge shiz. If you’re planning a lightweight build, you might want to start with polymer. The AR-15 upper receiver is ounces lighter and it takes a lot of carbon fiber furniture to bridge that gap, and a lot of money.
Polymer AR-15 Receivers Half Weight of Aluminum
Kaiser relies on its X-7 polymer-bonded carbon-fiber receivers for the best AR-15 rifle with aluminum inserts to provide the required torsional rigidity. They end up at 10oz for a matched set, about half the weight of forged aluminum receivers. That’s a big deal and maybe a step-change in the world of ultralight AR-15 firearms for sale.
You can buy the matched receiver set, incidentally, which is the price for the whole ATI Hybrid Maxx P3 rifle.
Injection Molding: Future of Rifles?
The polymer bonded carbon-fiber receivers give the chance for a custom finish, custom stippling that gives Kaiser US a unique look and feel. Injection molding is cheap and the finish on these carbon-fiber reinforced polymer receivers is unique.
The blocky pattern should give you additional points to grab on to at any given time, even though it does look just a touch 1980s.
A beveled magwell is another touch that was built into the mold and this is a clever gun.
Polymer Needs No Lube or Gun Oil
Kaiser US also points out these polymer receivers layered with carbon fiber goodness don’t need any lubrication. So if you love the smell of gun oil, well you’re shit out of luck.
The company also eliminated harmonics between metals that can be an issue with some guns.
The natural elasticity in the polymer, combined with the rigidity of the carbon-fiber, helped Kaiser US tune their ultralight AR-15 for reduced recoil too.
Plastic AR-15 With Sub-MOA Accuracy
The American firm guarantees sub-MOA accuracy and has done surprisingly well in shooting sports.
You also get a skeletonized Bolt Carrier Group that is a $249.99 part on its own. Other custom AR-15 parts & accessories include a Faxon lightweight 16” barrel, MFT Minimalist Stock and MFT Pistol grip. This is nice stuff for a rifle in this price range.
This is a custom AR-15 version of the ATI. The Kaiser US X-7 Monarch Skeletonized BCG Lightweight Rifle is also an awful lot of rifle for the money.
As for the skeletonized bolt carrier group (BCG), you can buy that separately, along with a lot of the carbon fiber reinforced plastic parts. It’s almost the lightest AR-15 you can buy and the price is right.