Extreme Lightweight Balios-Lite Lower 7 Upper Receivers

2A Armament of Idaho now has announced their upcoming BALIOS-Lite Receiver. The lower is a scant 6.5 oz according to their retailer, which is close to full polymer lowers (about 5.5 oz) from most manufacturers. The upper receiver weighs in at 5.85 oz.


To match the (I dare say, stunning) good looks, 2A has also created a custom matching upper receiver. The full BALIOS-lite sets are available for pre-order from Hawktech Arms. Uppers are $217 and lowers are listed at $295.

2A-BL556-2-5T 2A-BL556-2-4T


The BALIOS-lite is perfect for those who participate in 3-gun, hunting, or any other shooting activity where weight is a concern.

3-D Machined from U.S.A. Certified 7075-T6 plate aluminum
Pocketed design reduces weight, and enhances appearance
Forward assist has been removed from upper to reduce weight
Bolt release features screw in pin (Included)
Integrated and lightened trigger guard
Upper receiver features M4 style feed ramps
Machined T-Markings and minimized logo for a clean appearance
charging handle ramp to eliminate unsightly wear marks
Integrated tensioning screw guaranties a tight fit (included)
Bead blasted and hard coat anodized black (Type3 class2)
Can be interchanged with forged, or standard BALIOS sets
Weight: Upper 5.85 oz Stripped
Product of the great state of Idaho, MADE IN THE U.S.A.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • hami

    Those are very attractive uppers and lowers, in my opinion.

    • hkryan

      I agree.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Talks up the benefits of “3D machined”… Has a part with primarily 2.5D features : Almost all AR-15 receivers have 3D machined features (upper receiver contours, foward assist protrusion, lower receiver extension, etc) but… OK.

    As for lightweight… I get that ounces are pounds… But this isn’t going to make you a better shooter. Taking a couple ounces off isn’t going to improve your split times. You aren’t going to go from a 3 minute to 2 minute run down drill (100-200-100-50-25-7 drill with 2 shots each from 200 on) because you pulled a couple ounces out of the lower receiver.

    I made a really light carbine last year. 12.5″ barrel, flash hider, noveske NSR rail, no light, it was 6lbs or 6.5lbs something like that. I got worked. I was slower than nearly everyone else at a class I took it to. Reason was I was comparing everyone else with 16” midlength guns, H1 buffers, comps/brakes, and heavier rails, to my gun which was at the time an overgassed carbine, heavier buffer to make up for the gas, very light with no brake/comp… That was 50% of the problem, the other 50% was I was “giving up the gun”, letting it ride me and not really locking it down.

    In this case, the lightweight was a problem, and I didn’t have enough training to really work around that. … I added about 26oz to that gun in suppressor, light, rail panels, adjustable gas block and optic mount. Now I run that thing like it’s an extension of me and I don’t feel I need the gun lighter.

    I was caught up in the ultra-light craze and learned my lesson.

    • CA

      I don’t even know what your point is. The purpose is to lessen the carry load, and lessen fatigue when pointing the rifle.

    • Jack

      Sounds like you got what works for you figured out. I would hope people aren’t buying this for a few ounces for better times. I put together a light weight rifle “just because”. Some are just looking for something different. The light weight fad has come back around again evidenced by several types of LW receivers, BCGs, stocks, grips etc.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Getting there. I like the idea of a lightweight rifle and all, but not at the cost and craze people get into to get it. Esp when I had a light rifle that actually held up my performance.

        I’m not a bid dude, so trying to run a 6lb carbine fast was just working me around. I’m much happier now at 7.5 or whatever it came out to.

    • ColaBox

      I love when people describe their rifle, makes me wish TFB had a “share your build” page like AR15.com.

  • An Interested Person

    That`s lighter than the magnesium set I was looking at purchasing, and will not corrode. I`m sold!

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Aluminum and magnesium both oxidize the exact same way. Both get dissimilar metal corrosion from being next to steel about the same way. That “magnesium” lower is almost certain AZ31 or AZ61 which have significant portions of aluminum in them. Not sure on strength difference between 7075 and the lowers made from mag alloy.

      • An Interested Person

        7075 is stronger according to Wikipedia, but I’m no metallurgist.

        The marketing material for the magnesium alloy recievers mentions a special corrosion proof coating, so I presumed it rusts in some fashion when unprotected. 7075 aluminum I know for sure does not.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          7075 aluminum I know for sure does not.

          You’re going to want to back up on that. All aluminum with oxidize when exposed to air. For what you’re saying to be true, 7075 would be UN-anodize-ABLE because that’s all anodizing is, a controlled layer of aluminum oxide that is sometimes dyed. Once a layer of continuous alox has formed, no oxygen can get to raw aluminum, so no more corrosion. The coating of aluminum oxide is extremely hard.

          All aluminum corrodes just like all magnesium does, they’re very similar metals/alloys. Neither can “rust” because rust is a forming of ferrous oxide. And no alloy for either has a significant amount of iron so no ferrous to oxidize..

          special corrosion proof coating … just like aluminum parts get when they are anodized, heh

    • Jack

      the mag tactical upper comes in at 4.8 oz stripped according to their page. Lower, just under 6oz. It’s not much but my math has the mag as the lighter option.

      • An Interested Person

        Yes, I was just going off of the lower reciever weight. Oops.

  • CA

    Where is the forward assist located?

    • An Interested Person

      That was cut to save weight


        And nothing of real value was lost.
        I don’t remember anyone I know having used it once.

        • jamezb

          it makes a decent bottle opener if held just right…of course so do half a dozen other places on a milspec AR. 🙂

        • CA

          Don’t the military soldiers train to hit the FA after a reload? What a time-consuming precaution if so.

          So are you guys really saying that the AR was better before the FA?? Why wasn’t it designed so that the charging handle is the FA, like on the.. umm… every other rifle.

  • allannon

    I keep thinking about building an ultralight rifle. I can’t bring myself to do so, though, based solely on “just ’cause”.

    Especially when I already have a half-finished build anyway.

    • dan citizen

      Do it! So rewarding. I have built 2 hyperlight builds one right at 4 pounds and one well under 4 pounds.

      They feel like squirt guns and really capture that lightweight feel of the original AR’s rather than the 12 pound tac railed monsters people build today.

      • Risky

        well under 4#? Let’s hear more about that.

        • dan citizen

          CAV arms lower (one piece w/ butt, buffer tube, grip), Bushmaster carbon 15 upper and “pencil barrel”, JP enterprises carrier/buffer, cheap carbon fiber front floating tube. Plum crazy polymer FCG.

          Modify the bolt carrier/upper for a reciprocating handle so as to eliminate the charging handle, FBA, and dust cover. Shave everything you can.

          3.6 pounds is doable, 3.8 is easier, 4 pounds is much cheaper.

  • Steve (TFB Editor)

    UPDATE: We accidentally posted the manufacturer specifications for the BALIOS, not the BALIOS-lite. The BALIOS-lite has no forward assist.

  • hydepark

    So not only are these not forged but they also have even less metal where it counts? I dunno, there’s a lot of stuff out there about being careful what billet vs forged will do for strength. But both the upper and lower look very, very good. Not bad prices, either.

  • Cymond

    I feel sorry for anyone who paid $295 for a lower. They’re now on sale for $265, which I still consider to be rather pricey just to save a few ounces.