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 Range of a 16 inch barrel vs a 20 inch
KYGlock  [Member]
4/18/2007 3:45:31 PM EST
Are both accurate out to 500 yards?

What are your experiences?
Debating the 16 vs 20 for target shooting.
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ALPHAGHOST  [Team Member]
4/18/2007 3:48:26 PM EST
bbl length has no bearing of accuracy (as long as the bbls are of the same quality), just velocity
Gregory_K  [Member]
4/18/2007 4:35:08 PM EST
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bigbore  [Industry Partner]
4/18/2007 5:06:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By KYGlock:
Are both accurate out to 500 yards?

What are your experiences?
Debating the 16 vs 20 for target shooting.


Define target shooting? Either will be just fine at 500yds, the 20" will give more velocity and be a bit easier to cut through the wind. That said, I've not seen any difference in windage needed shooting 16" or 20" at 600yds.
falm16  [Member]
4/18/2007 5:17:55 PM EST
you'll get about 4 more inches with a 20"er.
azhammer  [Team Member]
4/18/2007 5:34:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By falm16:
you'll get about 4 more inches with a 20"er.



plus or minus......
Special-K  [Team Member]
4/19/2007 9:13:36 AM EST
If all you're looking to do is target shoot, then I would reccomend the 20" rifle. It will give you a slight edge in accuracy, but will also give you a longer site radius - the distance between the front and rear site. The longer the distance, the easier it is to make precise shots. If you are planning on using some kind of optic site, or will be putting a scope on it, the site radius won't matter.

The 16" barrel has some advantages over the 20" barrel, but the advantages are not so much with target shooting as with defensive/tactical/military shooting.



-K
lawdawg430  [Team Member]
4/19/2007 9:25:59 AM EST
the more barrel the further the shot will go.

Accurate to 500 yards? For an expert shooter, sure. The rest of us do around 300 yards max. with any accuracy.
Bartholomew_Roberts  [Team Member]
4/19/2007 9:57:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By lawdawg430:
the more barrel the further the shot will go.

Accurate to 500 yards? For an expert shooter, sure. The rest of us do around 300 yards max. with any accuracy.


Expert shooter? My first time shooting at both 500yds and 600yds I made hits on silhouette targets at those ranges. I've had novice shooters who had never fired a rifle before making hits at 500yds with the help of an ACOG. My 600yd group was around 36" (windy and it took me a bit to get my dope; plus I was using 55gr surplus); but you definitely wouldn't want to stand around 600yds downrange from someone with a 16" barrel.
DTOM  [Member]
4/19/2007 11:32:32 AM EST
Technically speaking, the shorter barrel is the most accurate, but the longer barrel gives you the most velocity. So, it depends on the distance to your target, and several other factors. The shorter barrels are more accurate because there is less barrel variation to alter the bullet. But there's more to the story. Just remember that barrel length is important is your are trying to get a FMJ NATO round to operate properly, which means velocity is critical to fragmentation probablilities. If you're target shooting, buy a heavy bull barrel.
lawdawg430  [Team Member]
4/19/2007 12:37:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bartholomew_Roberts:

Originally Posted By lawdawg430:
the more barrel the further the shot will go.

Accurate to 500 yards? For an expert shooter, sure. The rest of us do around 300 yards max. with any accuracy.


Expert shooter? My first time shooting at both 500yds and 600yds I made hits on silhouette targets at those ranges. I've had novice shooters who had never fired a rifle before making hits at 500yds with the help of an ACOG. My 600yd group was around 36" (windy and it took me a bit to get my dope; plus I was using 55gr surplus); but you definitely wouldn't want to stand around 600yds downrange from someone with a 16" barrel.


Accuracy does not mean a one-hit wonder. It also means consistency. Some people are just natural born shooters. There are exceptions to every rule. Congratulations.
The_Lone_Ranger  [Member]
4/19/2007 12:41:57 PM EST
I think the 20 inch rifle has a slight advantage in acuracy but IMO the 16 inch is better all around.
sharkbait  [Member]
4/19/2007 3:34:39 PM EST
16 inch barrel vs a 20 inch


I found the 20in barrel length easier to hit targets at 500 to 600 yards
michealj  [Member]
4/19/2007 3:46:35 PM EST
Something else to consider is the type steel used for the barrel. I took my 12.5" Noveske to the range one day along with another rifle that had a Nightforce 5.5-22x50 mounted on it. One of the guys was wanting to know what the Noveske barrel could do, so we pulled the scope off the Remington and mounted it to the SBR.

It took a couple spotters to get on target but once I was on, I printed a few sub MOA groups at 600 yards with it using Black Hills BB 77gr. BTHP ammuntion. That day, the only other AR of the half dozen or so that were out there to shoot a simular group was a MK12 Mod1'ish clone using another SS barrel.
Covert8645  [Team Member]
4/19/2007 4:00:22 PM EST
All depends on the shooter.

I read in Soldier of Fortune magazine about an Army marksman who put 10 rounds on-target at 1000 yards using regular iron sights.

I also met a former Army guy who served in Afghanistan, and was the brother of a friend of mine. He showed me papers sent to him that the Army wanted him to attend Sniper School, but he turned it down. They wanted him for Sniper School because he acquired a "headshot" with his M4 rifle at approximately 800yrds with irons.

You can have the best, most well tuned rifle in the world... But if the person behind the rifle isn't capable, neither is the rifle.
sic_ness  [Member]
4/19/2007 4:16:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Covert8645:
You can have the best, most well tuned rifle in the world... But if the person behind the rifle isn't capable, neither is the rifle.


AMEN.

Technically speaking, a short, stiff barrel will be more inherently accurate than a long, skinny barrel. Longer barrels, like a 24"-er, have some "whip" (uneven vibrations/undulations) to them as the round goes downrange. The main advantage, as others have said, is the greater velocity gained from the longer barrel, which may or may not help with wind as the distances get longer and longer.

Sight radius? I'm going to guess you're using some type of scope, since you said "target shooting" and not "highpower" or "CMP." Really worried? Get a 16" bull barrel, put on a rifle length free float tube, and add a front sight to the very tip of the rail by the muzzle. Kerplah!
JJREA  [Member]
4/20/2007 7:13:10 AM EST
I've had 16's be more accurate than 20's. But I'm sure the opposite can be true. Alot of it depends on quality of barrel, how it's mounted. There's too many unkowns to even answer the question. Either one can be very accurate. What kind of AR do you want. A carbine / mid or a rifle? Are you using just irons or are you going to scope it? What is it for? Home defense your paper punching. And will that paper punching include anything over 200-300 yards. Etc. Etc.

Actually, after re-reading your post, the answer is yes. Both can be accurate to 500 yards.
fivepointoh  [Team Member]
4/20/2007 7:16:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Lone_Ranger:
I think the 20 inch rifle has a slight advantage in acuracy but IMO the 16 inch is better all around.


Once again...length has nothing to do w/ accuracy.


And there are too many factors to come into play on whether a 16" will outshoot a 20" or vice versa.
ThomasH  [Team Member]
4/20/2007 7:36:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By fivepointoh:

Originally Posted By The_Lone_Ranger:
I think the 20 inch rifle has a slight advantage in acuracy but IMO the 16 inch is better all around.


Once again...length has nothing to do w/ accuracy.


And there are too many factors to come into play on whether a 16" will outshoot a 20" or vice versa.


I agree to a point. When you start getting out to the outer reaches of the bullets range, Length of the bbl can make a difference in accuracy. But it has little to do with which bbl can stabilize the bullet better. it's about how long does the bullet stay supersonic as it travels down range. The faster you can get it down range, the less environmental factors come into play. Basicly there's less time for outside forces to affect the trajectory. If we were to take away the environmental factors, sure, they would have the same accuracy, but we can't, so they don't.

Now with that being said, at the typical ranges that we shoot, the length of the bbl makes little or no difference.

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