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Thread: Which AR-15 Barrel Length is best????

  1. #1
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    Which AR-15 Barrel Length is best????

    I recently acquired a completed lower in .223 for myself.
    I have lived in .308 land for quite a while now, and I do
    love it! BUT I see a real need for a 5.56. (I.E. Cheaper
    shooting, better to carry around, etc.)

    I am pretty much sold on a 1-7" twist rate to shoot the higher
    grain bullets, like the 69 - 80 grainers. And since I am
    a "Service Rifle shooter wanna-be" I have nixed any notion
    of getting a 16" barrel.
    BUT I don't want a 20" barrel either, even though that's the
    SR standard.
    Model ONE sales has an 181/2 barrel in a 1-7" twist.
    Does anyone here have any experience with this rig?

    I want a hybrid rifle that can be a carbine, but yet
    get the velocity that a longer barrel will provide.

    What saith you all??

  2. #2
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    Some people have had problems with identity theft after ordering from Model 1 sales.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=1039470

  3. #3
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    I hate sounding like a shill, but I have ordered 2 complete uppers, and parts to complete a third from Bravo Company USA.

    I love the free hat they sent in one of the packages, it just says BCM, and most people don't get it, but I know who the shooters are because they do.
    When the going gets tough the tough get cyclic!
    "The Constitution is a restraining order against the federal government. I'm not going to say a word about the effectiveness of restraining orders against criminals." Standing Wolf

  4. #4
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    What's the best barrel length for an AR-15?

    Good question. Do you want it for clearing rooms, general plinking, dedicated varminting, long range matches?

    There's not a one-size-fits-all and only you can decide. I've got a 20 inch A2 profile on my AR and I think it's a good compromise between portability and performance. Others might disagree, but that's okay. I've got mine.

  5. #5
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    PawPaw, I figured that an 18" would be short enough
    for 'Operator' type of work, and yet longer for
    some distance work.
    I guess I was contemplating a 'one-size-fits-all'
    AR-15, contrary to your advice.
    Maybe I'll get a 20" instead...

  6. #6
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    DnPRK, I see their table at many DFW gun shows.
    So a face to face cash deal would be my ticket. I may check out BCM.

  7. #7
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    18" seems an ill compromise to me. Knocking two inches off an AR-15 does not seem to gain much.

    If you want to shoot "accuracy" matches, and expect to shoot 300-600 yards, get the 20" barrel.

    If you want to shoot tactical matches, and clear rooms with it, get the 16" barrel.

    Or, get one of each!

    For tactical/under-300m get a 16" with a slow twist (~1:12"). Slow-twist is ideal for the cheaper 55 grain M193 ammunition. That combination is generally considered to be the most effective "stopper". Get a flat-top with places for all the latest cool gadgets, plus a set of the flip-up iron sights.

    For the 300m+/accuracy work, get a match-grade 1:7" 20" barrel A2 upper with National Match sights. Consider a free-float design that conforms to "service" rules. Use 62 gr ammunition "green tip", or heavy match ammo. Reach out and touch some X-rings.


    I spent several years working with M-16s professionally, and have shot Service Rifle matches. If you limit yourself to one gun and configuration, I would get the A2-configured heavy-barrel 20".

    Have you discovered CMP matches yet?
    Burt Blade

  8. #8
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    For tactical/under-300m get a 16" with a slow twist (~1:12"). Slow-twist is ideal for the cheaper 55 grain M193 ammunition
    Not necessary at all and it will make using good self defense (75-77 grain ammunition) impossible.

    55 grain ammunition works fine out of a 1:7.

    In .223 / 5.56 there really is no reason to go any more than 1:8 unless you want to use very lightweight varmint bullets.

    Slow-twist is ideal for the cheaper 55 grain M193 ammunition. That combination is generally considered to be the most effective "stopper"
    There is absolutely no reason to use M193, there is far better ammunition available.

    For defensive use 75 or 77 grain BTHP (TAP) or OTM is VERY good.
    Last edited by ShadoWalker; May 17th, 2010 at 01:27 AM.
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  9. #9
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    For the 300m+/accuracy work, get a match-grade 1:7" 20" barrel A2 upper with National Match sights. Consider a free-float design that conforms to "service" rules. Use 62 gr ammunition "green tip", or heavy match ammo. Reach out and touch some X-rings.
    Good advice guys. Yeah the 1-7 is best IMO.
    Yeah Burt I am familiar with the CMP matches.
    I intend to start participating in them soon.
    Sounds like fun...

  10. #10
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    Actually an 18 in. barrel is a good compromise IMO, just not very available at a reasonable price. A 16 in. is pretty handy and will shoot quite well even at 300 yards.

  11. #11
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    Get two uppers. 16", and 20" with irons for service rifle. Toss a red dot, acog (yea I know $$$) or scope of your choice on the 16 incher.

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