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Discussion Starter #1
I just received and installed a minimalist rifle-length stock and a handguard from Smoke Composites on a new 6.8 light-weight build. I had asked for a custom length and the John at Smoke Composites was happy to build it at any length! More on that later...

What fine pieces of artwork these are!!! The finish is perfect and they fit like a glove. Even though you can hear the spring inside the stock when pulling the charging handle back (just like an aluminum one), there is no TWANG or other plastic sound when firing. With such a light stock, this puts the center-of-gravity a bit further forward and makes this light platform very comfortable and balanced. I was concerned about the stock snagging on clothing so I put on my hunting coat and put the rifle up and......no snags using my usual motion.

The handguard attaches to a proprietary barrel nut with 4 steel socket cap screws (I wish these could be countersunk...). Looking at the business end of the handguard, it appears the fiberglass tube used for this handguard is quite thick. It's not. What you are looking at is a thicker band is built into the very end of the handguard to give it more rigidity. It is only the last 1/4", or so. The rest is MUCH thinner but plenty rigid; I can't squeeze the middle of the handguard and tell that it is moving at all.

So, if you are considering one of these handguards, and I strongly recommend you do, order the handguard so that it either completely covers your gas block (plus 1/2") or ends just short of your gas block. Otherwise, the end of the handguard may not clear your gas block. I installed my handguard over a new SLR titanium adjustable gas block. The handguard touched the top of the gas block. I like the look of a partially obscured gas block so I took a few minutes with a dremel and relieved that reinforcing ring to accomodate the gas block. No doubt the handguard end has lost some strength but it still seems plenty strong and won't deform when I put the big squeeze on it!

What great products these are from Smoke Composites!

Photo showing partially obscured SLR gas block


Photo showing relieved ring to accommodate gas block


Completed Rifle showing stock and handguard


Enjoy your weekend!

Garland in VA
 

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Nice job on the fitment. Good looking rifle, congrats.
 

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Pretty. I'm not a fan of light weight builds myself but that's really nice.


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Discussion Starter #4
If I wasn't planning on climbing up and down rugged terrain in Utah chasing elk and deer, I never would have built this rifle. I'm perfectly happy lugging my standard-weight AR over the flat lands of central and eastern Virginia. I'm usually never far from the truck or a road. Generally, a 200 yard walk (or less) and up a tree for a snooze.

But this western hunting opportunity came up and I began to look at this lightweight-build thread a bit closer. Up until that point, I was somewhat amused at what some would do to shed ounces and pounds off their guns. Soon, I was knee deep in it. I lost a lot of weight too preparing to hunt at 7500-8500ft. I'm not chiseled at this point but I've got a lot more wind and strength to do what I need to do.

I fired this gun a few days ago and it is one of my best shooters. With little overall weight, I thought this thing would kick like a mule but by playing the gas-throttling/low-mass physics game, most of the bite is taken out of the round. I don't think the recoil is any more so than my standard builds. VERY comfortable shooting at the bench.
 

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If I wasn't planning on climbing up and down rugged terrain in Utah chasing elk and deer, I never would have built this rifle. I'm perfectly happy lugging my standard-weight AR over the flat lands of central and eastern Virginia. I'm usually never far from the truck or a road. Generally, a 200 yard walk (or less) and up a tree for a snooze.

But this western hunting opportunity came up and I began to look at this lightweight-build thread a bit closer. Up until that point, I was somewhat amused at what some would do to shed ounces and pounds off their guns. Soon, I was knee deep in it. I lost a lot of weight too preparing to hunt at 7500-8500ft. I'm not chiseled at this point but I've got a lot more wind and strength to do what I need to do.

I fired this gun a few days ago and it is one of my best shooters. With little overall weight, I thought this thing would kick like a mule but by playing the gas-throttling/low-mass physics game, most of the bite is taken out of the round. I don't think the recoil is any more so than my standard builds. VERY comfortable shooting at the bench.
You definitely need to be in good shape for hunting at those altitudes. I just moved from 200 ft elevation to about 6400 ft. Normal exercise and physical activity requires frequent rest breaks so make sure you keep this in mind while climbing those peaks.
 

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I am glad I am not the only one who noticed zero AR Twang!!! Love my Smoke Composites stocks.

I suggested to John at Smoke Composites to get some titanium bolts for the hand guard. They are a larger size and a fair amount of weight can be cut by replacing with Ti.

Allied Titanium was used. I bought the pistol grip screws originally for close to $9.50 each, than a month later Vertex Ops and V7 had then for $5.

My presentation grade walnut stocked AR 6.8 shipped with HEAVY long steel bolts, cut 3-4 ounces with titanium.

I used to work some times at a gold mine, located at 6000 ft. above sea level, I then had to climb 11 stories with a face mask on, like sucking air through a straw.

Even though you are now in shape, the thinner air will still get you. Be aware your rounds will go further at that altitude.

Again GREAT build.
 
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