5 Ways Skeletonized AR-15s Change The Game
Do They Really Enhance The Shooting Experience Or Just Look Cool?
If you’ve been following Demolition Ranch on YouTube, you likely saw a pretty candid introduction of the latest craze: skeletonized AR-15s. “Skeletonized” refers to manufacturers and gun makers taking out any excess metal in the frame of a gun until it only has the bare minimum needed to function properly. We’ve seen this pattern emerge with custom Glocks as well as ARs and we have to admit: they’re sleek, lighter, and come with all the bells and whistles a competition shooter could hope for.
But do they serve purpose for tactical and legitimate home defense applications or are they just focused more on competition shooters? Well, we’re going to get into that. But first we’re going to dispel a few myths about skeletonizing weapons systems.
Less ≠ More
Just like visiting a nude beach for the first time, taking more things off is not always a good thing. In order for a gun or a car to perform its best, it needs critical pieces to support the stress you’re going to put it through. If you shave the frame off the underbelly of a Ford F-150 Raptor, it’s not going to necessarily run better or faster. People pay a lot of money to mechanical engineers to find ways to remove excess mass while retaining all the best features of a product. Guns — and ARs in particular — are the same. So if you want to skeletonize an AR-15, it’s highly recommended you go to a design manufacturer that understands function over form first.
Now that we’ve gotten that bit out of the way, we’re going to be using a few popular models of skeletonized AR-15s to illustrate how a well made model can actually improve your shooting game and work well in a tactical environment.
5. Weight Is A Big Deal
If you’ve ever served in the Army or Marine Corps and were told to hold your unloaded M-16 out in front of your body, you’ll realize quickly that a little weight can add up quick. The average stock model AR-15 weighs in vicinity of 7 to 8.5 lbs. That is usually before custom sights, optics, lights, and a loaded 30-round magazine inserted. Where this will play a big difference is firing from the standing position — something you’ll likely do if you find yourself in a self-defense situation. While we always stress the importance of taking cover and firing from a supported position, the reality is you may be required to engage bad guys while moving. A skeletonized AR-15 is a lot easier to carry tucked into the shoulder.
4. Increased Accuracy And Precision
If you spend the money to get a great model of a skeleton AR-15 — like the BDR-15-3G from F1 Firearms — you will notice that in lieu of the added mass of metal in the frame, they’ve taken the time to put in a custom muzzle and a great bolt carrier group. This helps out a lot when trying to keep tight shot groupings. The decreased weight also helps because your arms will shake less when trying to line up shots.
3. Carrying Out In The Field
For those who wander outside the home but want to stay protected, you know that carry weight is important. If you’re hauling it on your back or on your body, you want the least amount of weight possible. Every ounce counts and when you may be out on the trail for days or even weeks, staying protected with an AR-15 weapon system is a blessing.
2. Encouraging Competition Shooting
Having a skeletonized AR-15 in your hands will lead you to believe you’ve got a potential future as a competition shooter. Whether that bears any fruit or not has more to do with practice and determination than anything else but no gun owner loses out by competing in friendly shooting tournaments. Even if your skeletonized AR-15 is not the gun you naturally reach for in a self-defense situation, it will still promote the values and proficiency necessary to take with you should you ever need it.
1. Going Back To Basics
In an age where high-end optics are pretty common, a lot of people forget how to use iron sights. The practice of using iron sights on a competitive shooting model of the AR is extremely useful as it doesn’t get you too dependent on having a high-end optic system do the guessing for you. You have to, instead, focus more on sight picture, sight alignment, breathing control, and support. You know… The basics of marksmanship. It’s important to never let a firearm do the thinking for the gun owner. Red dot optics and flashlights are fantastic tools but we should never become too entirely dependant upon them when the basics of good marksmanship are well within our reach.
For those that haven’t seen the video from Demolition Ranch where he gets to show off his new toy — here’s the sauce.