As far as weight savings go, I agree with cutting weight on the front of the rifle. It does make the rifle easier to handle. I learned this through experimenting with different set ups, various handguards, vfg, AFG, etc. I eventually ended up with an Ultimak gas tube with a micro red dot on it and a K-Var lower handguard on both my AKs and this is what I plan to stay with for the foreseeable future. I find it to be ergonomically comfortable, light weight, and heat resistant. Basically, it's a high speed low drag set up to help combat my low speed and high drag. lol Everyone is different, so YMMV.