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View Full Version : My New Frontier Armory LW-15 lightweight build


Boltz
03-15-2012, 1:45 PM
I finished my lightweight AR build and wanted to share it to help out others who are thinking about building one and of course to show it off. This was my first AR, and I wanted something that the Missus could enjoy as well. The weight as pictured (without mag) is 5.65 lbs.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tB0Dlj3IFXw/T1d9GXb__vI/AAAAAAAABXo/kDq6n-B0Z4o/s800/P3065930.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-CagKGpkzh-E/T1d9DZpsaVI/AAAAAAAABYo/ZEhdKQ8CqFI/s800/P3065941.JPG

I used the following parts:

- DD 14.5" LW barrel w/LPGB
- Rainier Arms upper, no FA
- VTAC Extreme 9" rail
- DD fixed sights
- Battlecomp 1.5
- Rainier Arms chrome BCG
- Standard charging handle
- New Frontier Armory LW-15 lower with H2 buffer
- Magpul RVG foregrip

So far I've put 400 rounds of PMC X-TAC XP193 downrange with this thing, and I've had no malfunctions with it. You do have to get used to the muzzle flipping about a little bit more, and I have had some failures of the bolt to lock back on the last round, but I think it might be a p-mag issue. Overall, I am pretty happy with it, especially since the Missus has no problem handling it. Special thanks to Capita159 for helping me out!

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DesertSniper
03-15-2012, 2:20 PM
good looking rifle!!

STROLLER
03-15-2012, 2:45 PM
Nice build. Almost bought a New frontier lower yesterday for a simular build.

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G

deviljon
03-15-2012, 3:19 PM
That's a sweet looking build! Have you had any problems with the take-down pins or the FCG/safety selector? I've ordered one from Rifle Gear several weeks ago and still haven't gone in to start the paperwork.

Also, is your serial number above or below 2000?

wsmc27
03-15-2012, 3:25 PM
That's a sweet looking build! Have you had any problems with the take-down pins or the FCG/safety selector? I've ordered one from Rifle Gear several weeks ago and still haven't gone in to start the paperwork.

Also, is your serial number above or below 2000?

^^^ wondering the same

OP, looks well done, congrats.

tomd1584
03-15-2012, 4:02 PM
Dude, what distance are you shooting!??! It looks like 15 feet...LOL.

goodlookin1
03-15-2012, 4:33 PM
Nice build bro! Did u use a .625 pencil barrel? If not, you can go lighter if you did this!

Grumpyoldretiredcop
03-15-2012, 5:28 PM
Nice clean setup. Well done!

Boltz
03-16-2012, 6:22 AM
Thanks for taking a look everyone!

That's a sweet looking build! Have you had any problems with the take-down pins or the FCG/safety selector? I've ordered one from Rifle Gear several weeks ago and still haven't gone in to start the paperwork.

Also, is your serial number above or below 2000?

My serial number is under 200 since I got one as soon as it came out. No problems so far with the FCG besides for the typical being able to put it on safe with the hammer down. I also noticed that the forward take-down pin does stick out further than the rear when open, but no functionality issues.

Dude, what distance are you shooting!??! It looks like 15 feet...LOL.

I was going to come in here proclaiming 1" groups, but you noticed the short distance, j/k. We were just fartin' around, but don't worry we did our fair share of 25 yd shooting.

Nice build bro! Did u use a .625 pencil barrel? If not, you can go lighter if you did this!

I sure did, but there are other areas I could've saved some weight on, such as the BCG, but the cost wasn't worth it to me for the amount of weight saved. Taking off the foregrip would shave another 0.2 pounds off, but that weight is worth it.

Mail Clerk
03-16-2012, 6:28 AM
Super nice rifle for your battery! I hope my Frontier lower fits as good as yours.:-)

Mail Clerk

Stephen83
07-19-2012, 2:50 PM
Very nice build! I also recently picked one up from them and is planning a lightweight build myself. Which lighter BCG where you thinking about? Are you running semi or M16? How much does that rail weigh?

im2ninja4u
07-19-2012, 3:04 PM
I just built a 9mm AR with the LW-15 complete lower and a CMMG complete upper. The hammer needed to be grinded down 1/8th of an inch on each side to fit the BCG. Other than that, no problems with it as far as fitment goes. I haven't shot it yet though. I don't know what it weighs as I haven't weighed it yet but it does feel pretty light.

Boltz
07-19-2012, 7:58 PM
Very nice build! I also recently picked one up from them and is planning a lightweight build myself. Which lighter BCG where you thinking about? Are you running semi or M16? How much does that rail weigh?

The lighter BCG was the Young Mfg lite BCG (http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=1010), which would've saved 3 oz, but it was over $100 more. The one I have is a Rainier Arms semi BCG (http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=2943).

I don't remember the exact weight of the VTAC rail, but it was somewhere around 10 oz. Soon after I built the rifle, Midwest Industries came out with an even lighter rail (http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=268). It's just an oz or two lighter, but every bit helps, and it is slightly cheaper than the VTAC.

So far I have about 900 rounds (PMC X-TAC XP193 and Prvi Partizan M193) through the rifle. I recently had a string of malfunctions where the trigger was not resetting, so I finally decided to replace the original fire control group with the replacement one I got from NFA (since my lower was serial number <2000) and it's had no issues since.

I also replaced the spring with a Wolffe extra power spring and reduced the recoil a bit. I was afraid that the H2 buffer, the heavy spring, and midlength gas sytem combo would cause short stroking, but it's been working great, even after no cleaning and lubing in about 300 rounds (I use froglube).

MrExel17
07-19-2012, 9:25 PM
Nice build,congrats!

gant
07-19-2012, 9:37 PM
congrats im suprised your range allows you to rapid fire like that in your first video

daybreak
07-19-2012, 10:10 PM
it'd be cool if it weight 5.56 lbs

icenix
07-19-2012, 10:24 PM
Nice. I have the same hand guard, love it!!

nickyrr
07-20-2012, 3:16 AM
Nice build... How was the fit and Finnish on the lower?

bonesurf
07-20-2012, 6:22 AM
I have a few of the lw15 lowers. I used one for an ar22. One for ar9 build and one was "extra". I also found that I had to shave down some of the hammer despite having a ramped bolt on the AR9 build. Other than that it works great. I added a 9mm rra buffer and the kns non rotating to the ar9 build and I am thinking about the spikes 9mm buffer vs a spacer.
http://img.tapatalk.com/c0e785fd-6806-b771.jpg
Have since added a barrel shroud changed to mbus and a PA reddot

As for the lw15 on my 14.5 556 upper....it started out just to try it. But I actually like the "feel" of the trigger more than the stock PSA LPK trigger (on the "usual" lower). So I never took it off. Works well. I had a problem when I tried a H2 buffer. It turned out to be my gas block was loose. Just for "giggles" I have changed to a fde grip, fde bad lever and I put fde kns anti rotation for trim more than anything else. I actually sorta like it more than my spikes/PSA lower.
http://img.tapatalk.com/6338c0fb-7e58-902c.jpg
http://img.tapatalk.com/6338c0fb-7e87-185f.jpg

As for "finish" it's poly....so....I dunno that applies. Fit: they are TIGHT. I have actually deliberately slight widened the pivot pin hole because it was so hard to take out

Nice light weight build! Got me thinking......

xtra870
07-20-2012, 9:45 AM
Why is it better to have a serial number under 2000? i recently finished mine with a PSA flat top, midlength, lightweight barrel and i love it.

bonesurf
07-20-2012, 9:57 AM
Why is it better to have a serial number under 2000? i recently finished mine with a PSA flat top, midlength, lightweight barrel and i love it.

my understanding is that it's not. There was something with the selector and maybe something else with the first run. They have an "upgrade" program


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

someR1
07-20-2012, 10:42 AM
sweet gun !

My NFA lower comes in on Monday, then it goes to jail ! I'm slapping on a new S&W 5.45x39 upper :43:

goldengate
07-20-2012, 10:46 AM
If you have a serial number under 2000, there is a new part kit from the local store you brought it from or from their website. http://newfrontierarmory.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=245_285&products_id=35531

Boltz
07-21-2012, 12:42 PM
Yeah, NFA's first batch (the 2000) of LW-15 lowers had safeties that could be put on safe with the hammer down and some other stuff, but they'll give you free replacement parts to fix those issues.

bonesurf, nice build, how do you like that Troy grip? It's a lot smaller than your typical AR pistol grip, but it felt good in my hand when I held one.

bonesurf
07-21-2012, 1:19 PM
I'm a small guy (5'5") so that smaller Troy grip feels good to me. I would imagine in a bigger guys hands not so much. I like the texture feel too.

goodlookin1
07-21-2012, 6:22 PM
Since I am just finishing up my lightweight build, curiosity is getting the better of me: How is the balance with the pencil barrel and the lightweight lower? Does it feel front heavy at all?

I have a TA31 on mine so I think it would equalize the weight quite a bit, whereas you have much lighter flip up sights. Just wondering if it might be worth the weight savings to go with an LW-15....

Mail Clerk
07-21-2012, 6:42 PM
That's a sweet looking build! Have you had any problems with the take-down pins or the FCG/safety selector? I've ordered one from Rifle Gear several weeks ago and still haven't gone in to start the paperwork.

Also, is your serial number above or below 2000?

devijon,

My buddy and myself went in together and got one for each or us. I've been saving my pennies for one more upper and I beleive that's it for me.


My buddy had issues with the take down pin when assembling his upper. Thesmall spring on the side shot out under pressure of accidentally removing the pin entirely.

My lowers serial number is below 1000...does that mean anything to you???

Anyway I'm waiting to get my upper toward the end of the year.

Mail Clerk

wingnut232
07-21-2012, 7:05 PM
Good stuff. I just picked up two that I plan on making lite weight builds for my sons. Only ones a lefty!! Gonna be interesting getting them to look and weigh in the same.

dc2integra
07-22-2012, 6:38 AM
Very nice set up.

bonesurf
07-22-2012, 7:13 AM
@boltz....now you got me thinking ultra lightweight build...ugh.

IEShooter
07-22-2012, 7:25 AM
Great info here. I recently picked up two NF complete lowers for a second try at a lightweight build.

I'm considering this handguard, which seems super light:

http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=450

I've never "built" an upper and was wondering if there's a good tutorial? I'm thinking of either going with a 16" pencil barrel or a 14.5".

Any advice?

nickyrr
07-22-2012, 7:30 AM
This lw build is really growing on me.

bonesurf
07-22-2012, 7:43 AM
I'm looking at one of these:
http://www.lokiweaponsystems.com/products/components?page=shop.product_details&flypage=&product_id=47&category_id=10

bonesurf
07-22-2012, 7:50 AM
I've never "built" an upper and was wondering if there's a good tutorial? I'm thinking of either going with a 16" pencil barrel or a 14.5".

Any advice?

I would get all your pieces and then invest the 30 bux or so and have an armorer put together. It's not all that hard but it's not worth the tool investment to do it right unless it's gonna be a regular thing for you. That being said there are all kinds of detailed tutorials on the internet

Boltz
07-22-2012, 8:48 PM
Since I am just finishing up my lightweight build, curiosity is getting the better of me: How is the balance with the pencil barrel and the lightweight lower? Does it feel front heavy at all?

I have a TA31 on mine so I think it would equalize the weight quite a bit, whereas you have much lighter flip up sights. Just wondering if it might be worth the weight savings to go with an LW-15....

It does not feel front heavy at all, and the balance point is about at the front of the magwell if that means anything to you. If anything, it is a little too light, recoil wise. That is, the muzzle has a tendency to jump around because there is so little weight up front. So there is a tradeoff for lightning up the entire rifle, especially the front-end.

Great info here. I recently picked up two NF complete lowers for a second try at a lightweight build.

I'm considering this handguard, which seems super light:

http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=450

I've never "built" an upper and was wondering if there's a good tutorial? I'm thinking of either going with a 16" pencil barrel or a 14.5".

Any advice?

Upper assembly is pretty simple if you already have most of the tools or are willing to invest in a few.

AR-15.com and Midway both have good AR assembly guides (http://www.midwayusa.com/General.mvc/Index/How-to-Build-AR-15-Rifle and http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_4/226782_.html) and there are a bunch on youtube as well. Watch a couple to see if you are up for the task.

This rifle was my first AR build and I put together the upper pretty easily. My battlecomp was already pinned on, the gas block came installed with the barrel, and the upper had the dust cover already installed.

The VTAC hand guard came with a barrel nut wrench and the only other tools that I bought were a vice and a upper receiver block (http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/730930/dpms-upper-receiver-action-block-ar-15-delrin). I didn't use a torque wrench for the barrel nut because the recommended torque range of 30-60 ft-lbs was a wide range that I felt like I could feel out.

The hardest part for me was that the barrel extension was a tight fit in the upper, and I had to beat it in with a mallet to fully seat it. Was kinda scary to do that, but that's what the guys at Rainier Arms recommended (tried the freezer trick already too).

Good luck!

bonesurf
07-22-2012, 10:06 PM
Of course as soon as I get bit with the lightweight fever someone HAS to post a Wilson mid length light weight in the market place......

MarkL
07-23-2012, 11:15 AM
Nice rifles gents.

Also put together a build for my wife, using a PSA M4 Madness upper with a LW-15 polymer lower. ~500 rnds and zero malfs. Minor issue I'm dealing with is with 10/20 PMAGs where the bolt catch gets caught behind the magazine follower, thus it does not hold back the bolt on empty mag. It works fine with PMAG 10/30s and aluminum mags though. Will look at a different brand bolt-catch maybe.

Overall, very pleased with the build.

http://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd336/makarov9/PAmico2.jpg

bonesurf
07-23-2012, 11:19 AM
Bolt catch is metal and standard. It's one of the few metal parts in the lower. It's the 20 rd pmags. They do weird things. although there was a thread earlier where some dude had some out of spec issue with his lower that NFA made good on