How Much Does An AR 15 Weight [Tips On Keeping It Light]

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A standard bare minimum A2 style 16" AR15 weighs about 103 oz (6.4 lbs).

Different AR15 builds weigh different based on the accessories attached to them, and keeping an AR light and effective is generally the best loadout option.

Typical Accessory Weight

  • Optics (4.5 - 48 oz)
  • Mounts (1.5 - 8 oz)
  • Magazine (1.2 lbs 30rd loaded PMAG)
  • Light and laser (1.8 oz - 9 oz )
  • Grip (2.8 - 4.4 oz)
  • Stock ( 8.8 - 19 oz)
  • Aftermarket handguard (8 - 11 oz)

Optic Weight

daniel defense m4a1 eotech exps3 fde

The optic maybe the only accessory attached to the top receiver for a bare minimum lightweight AR15 fighting rifle.

zeroing mk18 elcan specterdr

The user can go as light as 4.3 - 4.7 oz micro sized red dot sight (without mount), or go as heavy as a long range scope like the Vortex Razor Gen 2 (47.3 oz without a mount).

There are so many options on the market. Please browse more products below:

Best red dot sights 

Best long range scopes

As the weight of the optic increase on the top rail, the weight balance offset is much more noticeable when maneuvering it around.

Optic Mount Weight

scalarworks leap rail mount contact

Yes, you can shave weight off the AR15 by picking high strength to weight ratio optic mounts for red dot sights, LPVOs and long range scopes.

If your optic is heavier than what you wanted it to be, getting a lightweight optic mount is highly recommended.

We recommend checking out Scalarworks and Geissele Super Precision 

Magazine Weight


Magpul PMAG is the most popular polymer magazine on the market.

30rds of 55gr 223 is about 1.1 lbs.

Weight of the ammo is what it is, and there is not much you can do about it unless using 10 or 20 rds mags for DMR rifle applications.

Light & Laser Weight

surefire m600DF mk18 with aimpoint micro

Attaching a tactical flashlight or a laser device onto an AR15 handguard adds about 2 - 9 oz to the rifle. The user can definitely feel the weight difference if too much stuff is added to the handguard.

For the lightest possible setup, we just need a rock solid mount, pressure switch and a durable scout light.

Surefire m600df disassembled

We recommend:

Another potential weight reduction is getting the right handguard to cut down unnecessary material.

Handguard Weight

DDm4v11 upper

Browse our recommended complete upper receivers here

The length of the handguard and its type determine the weight. For the most part, the traditional full length M1913 picatinny quad rail weighs the most for 7", 9", 14", 15"

Go with a low profile gas block, and then go for a free float MLOK handguard will significantly cut weight. 

MLOK T Nut how it works

Modern MLOK modular handguard is much lighter because it's a "use rail space as needed" type of design. Same length quad rail is 40 - 50% heavier than a clean cut MLOK rail.

Users can mount accessories to the available slot without a full length or sectional M1913 picatinny rails, while the rest of the handguard remain smooth and lightweight for the support hand to grab.

Grip Accessories

bcm vertical foregrip

Grip accessories for the most part are extremely light weight for foregrips, vertical grips, handstops and pistol grips.

They weigh less than 5 oz total.

Stock Weight


The weight of the AR15 stock should balance out the rest of the rifle.

For a lightweight AR15, a 7 - 9 oz rifle stock is a good way to go. We recommend the Magpul MOE SL-M Carbine Stock or BCM Gunfighter stock for more pronounced cheekweld without any snag hazard feature.

For a DMR type AR15 configuration, we recommend the Magpul UBR or Magpul PRS Lite stock

They also provide multiple attachment options for slings, including an ambidextrous 1.25” footman’s loop, a reversible QD sling swivel cup, and space for another optional QD sling swivel cup. 

A rock solid AR15 stock shouldn't wobble and provide stable shouldering for the shooter to place accurate aim.