Benefits of Using Titanium in the AR-15

The AR-15 is currently the most popular sporting rifle, and for good reason. Its many notable features make it one of the top choices for any gun owner whether they use it for hunting or protection. If you’re not familiar with the AR-15 rifle or would like to learn more about it, here is a brief introduction to what it is, what it is used for, and why using titanium parts in your AR-15 is a smart move.

The Basics

First, despite having “AR” in the name, the “AR” does not stand for assault rifle or automatic rifle. Instead, it stands for ArmaLite Rifle, the company that created it in 1950s. The fact that it looks similar to a military rifle adds to its appeal and popularity. Unlike the military rifle and other automatic rifles, AR-15s are semi-automatic and are legal in all 50 states.

Besides its appearance, the AR-15’s accuracy, reliability, ruggedness and versatility make it popular among sporting enthusiasts. They are used primarily for target shooting and hunting.

Traditionally, these rifles have been made with primarily all steel parts. In the last few years, however, more of their parts have been made with titanium. In fact, there are a few AR-15s made completely out of titanium. The benefits of using titanium in these rifles have created a stir in the gun owning community.

Why Titanium?

For current owners of AR-15s, you’ve likely heard about and put in your two cents about the use of titanium parts. They seem to be all the rage and a topic of controversy among gun owners. Are the added benefits of titanium worth all the talk and excitement?

The most notable benefits of using titanium parts in AR-15s include:

  • Reduced lock time. This means that there will be less disruption of your rifle when fired.
  • Titanium is lighter than steel, allowing the hammer and primer to be struck faster, which causes the firing pin to accelerate faster. The faster shooting decreases any hesitation and increases accuracy. These can make a huge difference when hunting.
  • Faster shot ignition. With the lightness of titanium, all the moving parts work faster leading to faster shots and less time resetting in between shots.
  • Strong and durable. Titanium can handle a significantly higher temperature than traditional steel.
  • Reduces wear on the gun. As titanium is lighter than steel, it has less momentum, causing the pin to leave less indentation on the primer, which will make the gun last longer.
  • Make firing safer. Since titanium is light and leaves less dents inside your rifle, it reduces the risk of slam fire, or premature firing.
  • Easier to clean and don’t need as much lubrication.
  • Aesthetically pleasing. Titanium is much shinier than steel which makes it stand out. Some gun owners like this unique look.

If you’re new to gun ownership, you can stop by your local gunsmith or gun retailer and discuss them with a professional.

Titanium is also used in many other AR-15 parts. These include:

  • Barrel nut
  • Gas block
  • Hammer/trigger Pins
  • Bolt catch
  • Buffer retainer
  • Selector lever and core
  • Magazine catch/release button
  • Pistol grip screw
  • Front pivot pin
  • End plate
  • Castle nut
  • Firing pin
  • Carrier
  • Light Port Door
  • Port door rod
  • Gas tube

*If you’re new to gun ownership, there are many firearms forums out there. Stopping by your local gun supplies store and talking to a staff member is the best option for getting information about the purpose, care and maintenance of your AR-15 rifle’s parts.

The addition of titanium parts to your AR-15 will slightly lower its overall weight, which can improve safety, accuracy and making for quicker shooting. Titanium does come with a higher price tag than traditional steel. This is the big debate point among those in the gun owning community. Some think the higher cost of titanium parts isn’t worth it and the benefits are slight. It depends on your preference and if you have or are willing to put more bucks into the investment.

As a warning, there are gun parts sellers and manufactures who sell parts labeled as titanium, but are not. In these cases, a spray on coating that resembles the shininess of titanium is applied to steel or other metals. Make sure to double check if you’re getting true titanium. To test, ask for the part to be weighed.

Whether you are new to gun ownership or have been a gun member for years, you should do your homework and speak to a gun professional about using titanium parts in your AR-15.