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I really like the XCR. Though one thing I wish were improved about the XCR is the weight. I remember a long time ago there was talk of a possibility of Robinson making an optional lightweight upper. Is this still a possibility?

I think the ideal weight for me would be at or below 7 pounds. I never use the 3, 6, & 9-o'clock rails so eliminating them would be fine by me. Perhaps the handguard section could be built to be modular so one can swap in either a handguard with rails or one without (perhaps made of polymer).

Is there a reason Robinson does not offer a light barrel option for the 7.62x39 and 6.8 kits?
 

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Don't know about the upper stuff but I'd imagine the barrel question is driven by how much steel you can turn down before the barrel gets too weak. 5.56 can go pretty small but the larger calibers need a little more meat. Adco will turn down the barrel for you but I'd contact Robinson and see about what they think would be the smallest diameter they'd recommend and then add a little bit more to that just to be safe.
 

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Alex mentioned the weight thing today. When you look at strength and durability, the weight is necessary. The the trade off for a good robust design that won't break into pieces means the weight will be higher. I too have always thought it was too heavy but in the end it seems to be worth it. Actually the LMT MRP piston upper is heavy. I believe the 12" (whole gun) is 8.3 lbs without optics. Beefy for a reason.
 

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For the barrel, as said, there is only so much you can do. I wouldn't want a 6.8 with a barrel profile of the light barrel 5.56. There is probably a money issue involved as well. It is easier to get 2 types of barrel blanks, light and heavy. between the 2 blanks you can build every barrel and caliber.
 

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If someone had a mind they could machine probably machine off a good portion of the upper without affecting function. But of course that's Al which is not terribly heavy to start with. But with the intention of knowing specifically what you wanted to end up with you could take off the parts of the rails you wouldn't use. It looks like there are edges that could be smoothed, chamfers made in both the upper and lower to take off a bit here and there.

The big ones are of course the barrel and the gas system. Maybe a lightweight op rod/recoil guide. There looks to be some meat in the buttstock attachment area that could be lightened up. Without going with an SBR I don't know that you could do much about the barrel.

But, you would start to sacrifice durability and flexibility. Not to menion adding extra machining time, possible additional material costs, etc...



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SBR, yes, excellent. ATF cashed my check....finally. Well, I did send it in right before the holidays too....


Fluting the barrel might be cheaper, haven't priced it though.

I made mention of an upper with NO rails a little while back, just a polymer handguard capable of mounting small rail sections if deisred, and that suggestion was met with mixed reviews. The top mono rail is great but all the additional rail space on mine is pretty much just a place to put rail covers. I'd never mount anything more than a small light, maybe a VFG, or bipod for zeroing on the bench when I'm feeling lazy. Simplified machining, it would remove some weight because you could also remove some mass from the forward area since the handguard would take the brunt of abuse vs. the receiver.
 
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