TFB’s Rifle (And Subgun) Weight Omnibus – How Heavy is Your Rifle? (Part 1 of 3)

1009151735a

In October, I traveled out to see my co-writer Alex C. to collect data on the weights of different long guns and some of their components. Over that weekend, I weighed 58 rifles and submachine guns, and numerous magazines, bolts, bolt carriers, and other miscellaneous items. The purpose of this was not only to collate a general list of the weights of different weapons, but to be able to enhance the accuracy of a previous spreadsheet I’d produced showing the loaded “combat” weights of different rifles; that being available at this link.

Note 1. The weights on the scale are in kilograms, period, grams. Therefore, if the scale reads “3.425”, that should be read “three kilograms, four-hundred twenty-five grams”. If the scale reads “3. 25”, that should be read “three kilograms, twenty-five grams”. I realize most of my readers probably are more familiar with pounds than they are kilograms, so the weights have been converted in the text body. The conversion factor I am using, for those who want to check my work – please do, by the way – is 2.205 pounds per kilogram.

Note 2. Where practical, I removed slings before weighing rifles, however, some rifles were weighed with their slings attached. In some of these cases, the slings have their weight bearing on the table, effectively removing them from the rifle, but it still should be noted that the weight of the slings may be throwing off these values, slightly. Where the slings are fully on the scale with the rifle, this should be made obvious by the image. Most cotton and leather slings have a similar weight, so this can be subtracted from the value shown on the scale to give bare rifle weight, if desired. I weighed a USGI cotton web sling, which came out to 0.126 kilograms, or 0.278 pounds. Leather slings will vary a lot, but a USGI leather M1907 sling weighs approximately 0.320 kilograms, or 0.706 pounds.

1011151303b

Now, without further ado, I present my findings on the unloaded weights of these weapons, and the weights of their magazines, in alphabetical order.

 

1. ARMALITE AR-180 (Costa Mesa)

Weight, Rifle: 3.390 kg, 7.745 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.082 kg, 0.181 lb

10091517471009151747b

 

2. BENELLI MR-1

Weight, Rifle: 3.640 kg, 8.026 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.122 kg, 0.269 lb

1009151735q1009151735c

 

3. BERETTA AR-70

Weight, Rifle: 3.608 kg, 7.956 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.258 kg, 0.569 lb

10101514361010151346f

 

4. BUSHMASTER ACR ENHANCED

Weight, Rifle: 3.766 kg, 8.304 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.138 kg, 0.304 lb

1009151120bPMAG

 

5. BUSHMASTER M17S

Weight, Rifle: 3.666 kg, 8.084 lb

Weight, Magazine: Same as 8, 0.106 kg, 0.,234 lb

1009152226a

 

6. CENTURY VZ2008, FIXED STOCK (SA vz. 58 clone)

Weight, Rifle: 3.048 kg, 6.721 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.192 kg, 0.423 lb

1010151312b1010151314a

 

7. CENTURY VZ2008, FOLDING STOCK (SA vz. 58 clone)

Weight, Rifle: 2.832 kg, 6.245 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.192 kg, 0.423 lb

1010151324a

 

8. COLT LE6920

Weight, Rifle+Optic: 3.400 kg, 7.497 lb

Weight, Optic: 0.430 kg, 0.948 lb

Weight, Rifle: 2.970 kg, 6.549 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.106 kg, 0.234 lb

1009151056 1009151056cUSGI

 

9. DAEWOO K1A1, 16″ BBL

Weight, Rifle: 2.962 kg, 6.531 lb

Weight, Magazine: Same as 8, 0.106 kg, 0.234 lb

1009152231a

 

10. FAXON ARAK-21 (16″ MED. CONTOUR)

Weight, Rifle: 3.544 kg, 7.815 lb

Weight, Magazine: Same as 8, 0.106 kg, 0.234 lb

1009152138a

 

11. FN FNC

Weight, Rifle: 3.720 kg, 8.203 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.220 kg, 0.485 lb

1009151154aFNC

 

12. FN FS2000 STANDARD

Weight, Rifle: 3.694 kg, 8.145 lbs

Weight, Magazine: Same as 8, 0.106 kg, 0.234 lb

1009152255a

 

13. FN G-SERIES FAL

Weight, Rifle: 4.282 kg, 9.442 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.240 kg, 0.529 lb

1011151334a1010151404a

 

14. FN SCAR 16S

Weight, Rifle: 3.214 kg, 7.087 lbs

Weight, Magazine: Same as 11, 0.220 kg, 0.485 lb

1009151110

 

15. FN SCAR 17S

Weight, Rifle: 3.616 kg, 7.973 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.242 kg, 0.534 lb

SCARSCAR 17

 

16. G.41 (M)

Weight, Rifle: 4.916 kg, 10.840 lb

Weight, Magazine: N/A

1010151439a

 

17. G.43 (W)

Weight, Rifle: 4.108 kg, 9.058 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.216 kg, 0.476 lb

Weight, Optic (ZFK43): 0.652 kg, 1.438 lb

1010151442 1010151441d 1010151441b

 

18. GALIL ARM

Weight, Rifle: 4.404 kg, 9.711 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.304 kg, 0.670 lb

1009151202a 1009151210a

 

19. GWINN FIREARMS BUSHMASTER RIFLE

Weight, Rifle: 3.426 kg, 7.554 lb

Weight, Magazine: Same as 8, 0.106 kg, 0.234 lb

1009151829

 

20. HK G3 (PTR91, wood furniture)

Weight, Rifle: 4.192 kg, 9.243 lb

Weight, Magazine (Steel): 0.268 kg, 0.591 lb

Weight, Magazine (Aluminum): 0.134 kg, 0.295 lb

1010151404e 1010151405 1010151417a

 

21. HK G36K

Weight, Rifle: 2.958 kg, 6.522 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.136 kg, 0.300 lb

1009152314ab 1009152305c

 

22. HK MP5

Weight, Rifle: 2.618 kg, 5.773 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.180 kg, 0.397 lb

1010151352a1010151347

 

23. HK MP5K-PDW (MKE receiver)

Weight, Rifle: 2.620 kg, 5.777 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.120 kg, 0.269 lb

10101513371010151348

 

24. HK MR556 SBR (HK416 D10RS config.)

Weight, Rifle: 2.828 kg, 6.236 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.246 kg, 0.542 lb

1009152137HK maritime

 

25. HK33

Weight, Rifle: 3.962 kg, 8.736 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.244 kg, 0.538 lb

1010151408b 1010151346c

 

26. HK53

Weight, Rifle: 3.464 kg, 7.638 lb

Weight, Magazine: Same as 25, 0.244 kg, 0.538 lb

1010151351a

 

27. LJUNGMANN AG M.42

Weight, Rifle: 4.414 kg, 9.733 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.258 kg, 0.569 lb

1010151300 1010151300c

 

28. M1 CARBINE (early, no bayonet lug)

Weight, Rifle: 2.080 kg, 4.586 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.078 kg, 0.172 lb

10101512091010151211

 

29. M1 GARAND (with M1907 sling)

Weight, Rifle: 4.790 kg, 10.562 lb

1009151900

 

30. M1A1 THOMPSON

Weight, Rifle: 4.798 kg, 10.580 lb

Weight, Magazine: 0.238 kg, 0.525 lb

1010151341aM1A1

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll weigh everything from a SIG AMT to a Pedersen rifle!


Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


Advertisement

  • HKmaster

    Now this is an excellent post! Thanks for taking the time to make this one 🙂 May I ask what is the date code of the 416 upper? i heard that earlier 416s, for example AF guns come with the lighter profile barrels and later date codes (BA onwards) come with heavier barrels. Thanks!

  • ShootCommEverywhere

    Very nifty information to have. How is it that the MP5 with full length barrel and standard stock weighs slightly less than the MP5K?

    • Rusty S.

      The mp5k has an earlier lower receiver, and the folding stock as well as the hinge is quite hefty compared to the mp5 stock.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        I had the picto lower on mine and it was a reverse stretch with the A3 stock. It still never felt considerably lighter than the full size.

        There just isn’t any weight in the extra cocking tube length, and really only a tiny bit in 3″ of 9mm barrel. Other than its the same everything.

        Sold that thing anyhow. It’s rare to find people that have honest opinions about both, but the full size really is the better gun if the extra 3″ won’t kill ya.

  • Ezra Bristow

    Thanks for the metric measurements. Us foreigners appreciate it.

  • Derp

    Did you zero the Dymo scale before starting? Also, the misuse of semicolons is disappointing. Otherwise, good info and grade A for effort.

  • Martin Törefeldt.

    some results like the galils weight were expected but others like the MP5K came as a surprise.
    So thanks for the post exellent ide.

  • iksnilol

    MP5 surprised me.

    Shouldn’t the PDW version be lighter? Is it due to the receiver?

    VZ 58 masterrifle surprised nobody 😛

    • The weight difference comes down to the MP5K-PDW’s Choate folding stock. The stock’s hinge mechanism and Rynite construction added up quickly.

      • iksnilol

        Aah… Is there any lighter folding stock available?

        • ostiariusalpha

          The SRC stock is a little lighter.

          Edit: Because it’s for airsoft. You’d sacrifice some durability for decreased weight.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            You could just write the B&T real version of that as I suspect they are similar weight.

          • ostiariusalpha

            LOL! Of course. The sturdier Brugger & Thomet stock is about 345 g (12.2 oz) versus the Choate stock’s 935 g (33 oz).

        • wzrd1

          Just remember, weight tames climb in auto.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, suppressor takes care of that in my case. If I want an MP5, I want it as light as possible.

  • Hellbilly

    I built a lightweight AR recently that weighs in at 5.8 pounds – about the same weight as the MP5 according to this write-up. It’s extremely handy. Simply using a Del-Ton lightweight 16″ barrel, Magpul MOE SL handguard, and MFT Minimalist stock brought the weight down to under 6 pounds.

    • Some Guy

      I kinda mess around with designing guns in my spare time (as one is prone to doing when one has access to solidworks) and the more that I do the more I appreciate just how clever the AR is in terms of being a light gun. A 20 inch M16A1 is just over 6 lbs and if you look at the modern competition to the AR they have to either cut their barrel down or use more polymer to come close to the 6.5lb mark.

      • gunsandrockets

        Well my M16 (USAF) pattern AR weighs 7 pounds on the nose without sling or magazine, according to my digital scale.

        • It will depend a lot on what kind of buffers you’re using, which patterns of receiver, and whether your stocks are repros or originals.

          First gen AR-15s are anywhere from 5.9-7 lbs, accounting for those variables.

          • gunsandrockets

            My rifle has an A-1 short butt, original triangular forend with heatshield and the upper receiver has no forward assist. I haven’t disassembled the rifle to weigh the buffer, but supposedly a rifle buffer weighs 5 ounces, and the lightest carbine buffer I found was 3 ounces.

            I’m highly skeptical the variables you mentioned could reduce the weight of my rifle (which already has some of the lighter variables you mentioned) from 7 pounds down to 5.9 pounds.

          • Originally, AR-15s did not have a weighted buffer, just a hollow plastic spring guide.

            There’s also things like the cleaning kit, trapdoor, sling, etc that add weight to the rifle.

    • Squirreltakular

      Awesome weight reduction. Does that include a loaded mag and any optics?

      • Hellbilly

        That weight of 5.8 lbs is the rifle only with a standard F-marked front sight base and Magpul polymer rear sight. I’m sure that weight could be dropped down to 5.5 lbs or less with additional light-weight parts (different pistol grip, lightweight bolt carrier instead of M16 carrier, polymer lower receiver, etc).

  • RH

    I am always amazed by just how light the m1 carbine is.

    • NDS

      Grabbed mine out of the safe long ago in a hurry and almost poked my eye out, like picking up a gallon of milk you think is full.

    • gunsandrockets

      When I weighed my old series SS Mini-14 with synthetic stock and the pencil barrel it came out at 6.5 pounds.

    • iksnilol

      The pressures of 30 carbine and 5.56 aren’t too far away from each other. You could make a 5.56 M1 carbine and it would weigh very little.

      • DW

        30 carbine have much less pressure than the 556, about a third lower.

        • wzrd1

          A quick Google shows around 46k for the M1 carbine, 55k for the AR (in general terms, a few K either way for temp and load).

      • They more or less did, it was called the Winchester LMR and it weighed 4.9lbs unloaded.

        • iksnilol

          Beautiful.

          :3

          • Note that it was chambered for .224 Winchester E2, which used the same case as 5.56, but a stubbier bullet and shorter overall length.

      • Core

        Mini14

        • iksnilol

          No.

          Mini-14 is more like M1 Garand.

    • gunsandrockets

      I would like to see a manufacturer make the M1 carbine in .19 Badger caliber.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    It’s crazy how much balance really affects how heavy a gun feels. I’ve never weighed my FS2000, but I wouldn’t have thought it weighed quite that much. I would have thought it would have weighed in within a half pound of the SCAR.

    • ostiariusalpha

      I know, right? It is only when I hold mine out at arms length that I get a more accurate impression of it’s weight compared to other guns; when I have it shouldered, it feels like nothing.

      • Whenever I want to guesstimate the weight of two guns, I hold them both by their muzzles. Much more accurate.

  • Giolli Joker

    Thank you for setting the weight scale on grams!

    • Alexandru Ianu

      Seconded – and it shows that intermediate round stuff is in practice between 2.8 and 4 kilos unloaded, usually towards 3.6kg (8 lbs).

  • BattleshipGrey

    So how much does $100 weigh? Or was that tag code for Hi Point?

  • Lance

    MP-5 and G-36 win the lightness prize. M-1 Carbine in in the runner up.

    • The carbine is lighter and its the runner up?

      • My theory on Lance is that he’s some bored fella from Reddit who has nothing better to do but say random crazy crap in the TFB comments.

        • Squirreltakular

          Same conclusion I came to.

      • ostiariusalpha

        You just don’t understand the kind of advanced hyperlogic that Lance uses. You need to have studied a lot of Zen koans and be versatile with Intuitionistic Logic to start off, before delving into the more rigorous areas of Category Theory and Topos Theory. After that Lance’s statement will be clearly… the same old b——t he always says.

      • iksnilol

        I think it is because the MP5 and G-36 are more practical. I mean, 5.56 has way better range than .30 carbine.

  • tony

    Thank you for using metric units… like the rest of the world.
    Please do so more often on TFB

  • Don Ward

    Thank you for converting the god-awful metric measurement to something useful and coherent like pounds.

    • /k/ommando

      I see you don’t work in a technical field.

      • Don Ward

        Nope. In the field I work in we grow potatoes.

        • iksnilol

          Uh, I also work in the potato field (wheat now) and that doesn’t I have to use the nonsensical imperial system.

          • mosinman

            Shut up Freedom hater

          • wzrd1

            No, just some of us don’t really want to worship the measurement system of King George.
            Had the system been available by the time we had a Constitution, I’m quite sure King George’s foot size would not have anything whatsoever to do with our measurement system.*

            *Yeah, I know that they stopped changing measures to fit each monarch longer ago than that, work with the joke here. 😉

    • mosinman

      yeah the only measurement that matters is the Freedom Unit. We did after all, put a man on the moon

      • Marty Ewer

        There are two types of countries: those that use the metric system and those that have put a man on the moon. 😉

        • wzrd1

          Although, a foul up in mixing the systems did manage to face plant one spacecraft on Mars.
          Proving again, if you’re not going to stick with one system of measurement, don’t use any and wing it. The result will be the same.

      • bull

        well… doesn’t NASA use metric? i think i’ve heard they do… 😛

        • In professional circles, USians inevitably use what should be called “The Murican System” which is SI and US Customary smooshed together uncomfortably, with one system used for quantities in one area, and the other used for quantities in another area. The Apollo Program was no exception to this.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Yeah, just ask the Mars Climate Orbiter how uncomfortable that smoosh can be.

          • Whoops!

          • itsmefool

            Oh, I’m very comfortable with it.

        • Some Guy

          As a general rule physicists use metric and engineers use freedom units.

          • US engineers spend approximately 45% of their time converting back and forth between the units of the different teams they have to talk to. 😉

  • gunsandrockets

    Biggest surprise is AR-180 about a pound heavier and M1 carbine about a pound lighter than expected.

    • The AR-180 has gotten a reputation for being a sub-7lbs rifle… NOPE!

  • Bill

    I bet that was an exciting weekend.
    Seriously, post the loaded weights also – nobody I knows carries an empty gun. I’ve also noticed that after the first couple of miles/kilometers/furlongs/hills, the wider and more well-padded the sling, the lighter the rifle.

    • Pretty easy to calculate the loaded weights yourself using this Excel spreadsheet I made.

      • Bill

        I was sort of referencing that, but someone would complain that the weights would be different if a M4 was loaded with 55 gr vs 69 vs 77 grain loads. I had to know the empty weight of a particular pistol magazine to pass the armorer’s test – I’d still like those wasted neurons back so I could kill them with vodka.

        • There’s also a loaded weapon weight spreadsheet linked in the text.

  • mosinman

    and the VZ.58 shows why it’s a great rifle yet again

    • Squirreltakular

      Of every gun I’ve sold off, that is by far the one I regret the most.

      • mosinman

        yeah my only complaint is how short the folding stock is

        • Squirreltakular

          There are some aftermarket options, but I guess if you are trying to keep it classic, yeah.

      • wzrd1

        I keep thinking of that about my old .32 Winchester, but then, I never used the thing.

  • Cymond

    If the scale reads “3. 25”, that should be read “three kilograms, twenty-five grams”.

    Your scale was designed by an idiot. What would it display if it was 3 kg 5g? 3. 5? And if it were 3kg and 50g, would it display as 3. 5 ? Who uses whitespace as a place holder for zeros?
    Why not just say 3.025 kg?

    • It’s a scale designed to display pounds and ounces. But yeah, once or twice during the weighing I looked at the scale and went “this rifle weighs WHAT!?” before I realized there was a placeholder space there.

    • Martin Grønsdal

      I thought of the same. I want to manufacture a gun in the caliber 3 8. Your guess.

  • JoshCalle

    I’m amazed at how light the m1 carbine is, and how heavy the thompson is. I mean I know it’s an older design but how do you maked a .45 acp subgun weigh as much as a .308 battle rifle?

  • plingr2

    Pray for the mighty vz 58 ( magazine could be lighter)

    • iksnilol

      Could get an AR mag version in 5.56

  • claymore

    Surprised that no one has asked the main question who owns all those firearms LOL.

    • iksnilol

      Probably Alex C.

  • Joe

    20.4 lbs…… unloaded and no optics.

  • vz58 owner

    Kinda surprised the folding stock Vz58 was that much lighter considering it is a solid piece of steel on a steel hinge, but then compared to other folding stock mechanisms it is probably a lot simpler and compact. Will you be weighing a stamped ak as well? Curious to see how that stacks up, and then versus a milled receiver.

  • Kelly Harbeson

    I hope the Tavor gets weighed

  • itsmefool

    This reminds me of a piece the great Massad Ayoob once did with pistols long ago, perhaps before you were born. I’m told he was drunk and needed a story ASAP, thus the “how much do they weigh” angle.

  • Core

    For weight just use ounces and pounds.

  • Core

    The HK45 seems uber light, did you weigh one yet?

  • J Garcia Sampedro

    Since it’s not there, a CETME L rifle weight is 3kg 420 grams (first series were 20 grams lighter). Magazines were a tad heavier than AR aluminium mags (close to the ones the FNC uses).
    I leave the conversion to you 😉