The Sub 60oz AR Project

    I am fascinated by the push towards light small arms, especially now with a thriving aftermarket for rifles. An entrepreneurial fellow has started The Sub 60-oz AR Project on Tumblr and thus far has made some significant progress. The goal is to create a less than 3.75 lbs rifle for less than $1000.

    The Goal

    Over the next few months I’m going to build the lightest possible full sized black rifle for under $1k, and share that process with everyone.

    There are a few guidelines:

    1. Under 60oz (with optics? with mag? hopefully both, we’ll see how crazy this gets).
    2. Under $1000 cost.
    3. Obviously it will be functional and relatively safe — no glue instead of roll pins, but aluminum and polymer aren’t failure proof.
    4. Polymer is fair-game.
    5. Some hole drilling may be used, within reason, but we’re not going for a swiss-cheese build [warning: AR abuse in link]
    6. Will not use custom ordered parts (fluted 14.5” pencil barrels for $400, etc.)

    To answer a few questions:

    • Hasn’t this been done before?!

    It certainly has been tried, and with good efforts, but never with a satisfactory result. All projects miss their goal — at no fault of the skill of the builder — they just use the wrong parts. Off the top of my head, ‘60oz AR Project’ ( ended up with a 72.55oz rifle. 3lb AR [48oz] (MustyYetisTacticalHQ on YouTube) ended up with a77.38oz rifle. I will succeed where others have failed!

    • How much is 60oz anyway?

    Well, 60oz = 3.75lbs = ~1.76kg. The density of water is 1kg/L, so 60oz is roughly 1.75L of water. Put in another way, the density of whiskey is ~0.91kg/L, but at 1.75L it comes in a heavy glass bottle… This rifle will be significantly lighter than a handle of Jack Daniels (and cheaper to take shots with).

    • Why?

    There are plenty of reasons, but the most obvious is portability and ease of use. Some people find the platform to be cumbersome, and depending on the rifle load-out they may well be right. The rewarding hobby of shooting and firearms ownership should be accessible, and not just in a ‘muddy girl’ pink, 22lr format. I’m sure some hardcore operators would probably be able to literally juggle several 60oz rifles, and that’s understandable. However, for the less fit or smaller in frame, it may make the difference of being able to maintain good accuracy while standing. Another reason would be to use in a 3-gun, but I can’t guarantee that the muzzle brake I’ll end up choosing will minimize recoil rather than minimize weight. Lastly, It’ll be a fun challenge for me, and probably a blast to shoot.

    I’ll add posts as I order new pieces, or as I weigh (literally and figuratively) the possibility of different parts.


    So far, the author has located a barrel, receivers, magazine, an aluminum(!) bolt carrier.

    Its a fascinating read.

    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.