AR-15 Barrel Length
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Thread: AR-15 Barrel Length

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    AR-15 Barrel Length

    Ok what is the main advantage and disadvantage of a 16" (carbine) vs. 20" barrel. I just want to get some feedback. I am thinking of a build for target shooting. I know there are a lot of guys who would have some worthy input. I would think the bullet weight would have something to do with it but not sure.
    "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms . . ."
    - SAMUEL ADAMS

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    TN, the patron state of shootin stuff
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    I would have to do some digging around on the net but I came across an article that tested barrel lengths of 16" and 20" of an AR-15 and the differences between the two barrels was negligible at best. There was a slight increase in FPS of the bullets fired through the 20" but if memory servers it was around 100 or so FPS. Not an earth shaking difference. The article summed it up as to say that the 4 extra inches neither helped or hindered the accuracy. YMMV of course and I am sure others will chime in here as well on the subject. Of course barrel designs such as heavy bull barrels and target loads were not tested. Just the common type found on most AR-15's using 55gr ball type ammo.
    Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress;
    but I repeat myself.
    Mark Twain

  4. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Lowcountry, SC
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    Shorter barrel. Slightly lower velocity.

  5. #4
    If you're going to the shorter barrel I strongly suggest using the 6.8 SPC. I spent about a month researching this.

    The M4 platform with lesser velocity in the .223 because of the shorter barrel just doesn't cut it in today's combat situations from what I unhderstand

    here's about 16 pages of awesome reading. 6.8 mm SPC Cartridge History & Development. Hornady's Ammunition. The Stag Carbine.


    YouTube - Future Weapons 5.56 mm NATO Replacement - 6.8 mm Remington SPC & 6.5 mm Grendel
    You can run... but you'll just die tired. 3%

  6. #5
    The 6.8 would be a good choice but if your getting the AR to go to the range and blast away, the 6.8 ammo is pricey, and there not a lot of differant choices, as was said the differance between the 16 and 20 barrels is small 100 to 200 fps depending on who you ask, we shot both and ended up with a 20 with A2 stock, fits me better than her, but at the range I cannot get it away from her, and she's dead nuts with it

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North Shore - Mass.
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    The 6.8 sounds like a real a.. kicker! But for just target I don't think I need that kind of punch. I found a real good looking upper on this site.

    Rainier Arms, LLC™ | Browse | Commercial Grade Uppers | Upper: STAG M4 w/ BUIS - PostBan

    It is post ban. No bayonet lug no flash suppressor pinned compensator. The price is also right and they ship for 7.95 flat. Any thoughts.
    "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms . . ."
    - SAMUEL ADAMS

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