AR15.Com Archives
 16" barrel vs. 18"
jtrevor123  [Member]
3/8/2011 6:33:47 AM EST
What is the main diff. Between the 2 as far as accuracy/ velocity goes.. Let's say I'm shooting 200 yards. What kind of diff will I see.. Thnks
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RussDXT  [Member]
3/8/2011 6:41:00 AM EST
not enough to notice....
RTBA-8  [Team Member]
3/8/2011 7:26:12 AM EST
Last weekend I shot my 18" AR and buddy's 16" AR with the same ammo through a chronograph, the difference in velocity was between 50-100 fps for all shots fired. As for accuracy potential, barrel length alone is probably one of the least important variables.
JoshAR  [Team Member]
3/8/2011 7:34:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By jtrevor123:
What is the main diff. Between the 2 as far as accuracy


Accuracy? Nothing. Accuracy has nothing to do with barrel length.

Sight radius limited by the barrel length can matter for iron sights, but that's more of a rail space issue and a non-factor if optics are used.


velocity goes.. Let's say I'm shooting 200 yards.



Velocity gains with the extra 2" are actually quite substantial. Visit the ammo forum for more and better information. Velocity has more to do with the terminal performance of the munitions used; whether it will fragment or not. Some ammo will not fragment at 200 yards in a 16" gun, but will fragment past 200 yards in an 18".
jtrevor123  [Member]
3/8/2011 8:26:15 AM EST
Ok well that makes sense. I was referring to accuracy due to velocity.. I've just seen posts saying get a longer barrel for longer range. But I would rather have a 16 inch barrel for my first ar.
JoshAR  [Team Member]
3/8/2011 9:03:58 AM EST
Originally Posted By jtrevor123:
Ok well that makes sense. I was referring to accuracy due to velocity.. I've just seen posts saying get a longer barrel for longer range. But I would rather have a 16 inch barrel for my first ar.


Welcome to the site!

Nothing at all wrong with 16" AR's.

If I could have only one it would be a 16" Middy.

But...

I can have lots, so a 10.5", 14.5" and 18" are all planed for me.
jtrevor123  [Member]
3/8/2011 2:49:20 PM EST
haha might as well get them all
gee223  [Member]
3/8/2011 2:53:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By jtrevor123:
haha might as well get them all


The disease has take hold of this one quickly! Enjoy the hobby, it will get very addictive... And EXPENSIVE!
BaileyMoto  [Member]
3/8/2011 4:59:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By jtrevor123:
Ok well that makes sense. I was referring to accuracy due to velocity.. I've just seen posts saying get a longer barrel for longer range. But I would rather have a 16 inch barrel for my first ar.


I believe you mean to say trajectory due to velocity. Like stated, length/velocity won't effect accuracy - at least not until the bullet transitions from super sonic to sub sonic.

Here is how *I* feel. Do you want a short/compact style rifle with a shorter range optic? (1x or 1-4x style optic, for example) Or, do you want more of the so-called SPR style rifle with a larger/heavier profile and a 'larger' optic with more magnification? I have both - a 14.5" with a 1-4x and an 18 with a 3-12x. I shoot my 18" more.

I'd personally worry less about velocity between the 2 and ask yourself how you plan to set your rifle up. To be honest, my 14.5" rifle is probably redundant, as my 18" can fill both roles just fine. I don't consider my 14.5" with a 1-4 the best application for 600 yard target shooting. However, I do prefer my 14.5" for chasing down critters on the buggy, home defense, etc. It's what I consider my "200 yard gun". Sure, it'l shoot much further, but it's my "hit what you point at" rifle. I don't bother with hold overs, turret adjustments, etc. Within 200 yards, it doesn't have more than 2" rise/drop...so within range to kill varmints. If I have to start ranging, dealing with hold overs and/or turret adjustments...then I would personally rather have my SPR.

My 18" is heavier, has a bi-pod, and a much larger scope - I do a lot of target shooting with it. My 14.5" is lightweight and usually shot off hand and with less precision.

My vote? Get both :) Or more...

jtrevor123  [Member]
3/8/2011 5:21:29 PM EST

I believe you mean to say trajectory due to velocity. Like stated, length/velocity won't effect accuracy - at least not until the bullet transitions from super sonic to sub sonic.

Here is how *I* feel. Do you want a short/compact style rifle with a shorter range optic? (1x or 1-4x style optic, for example) Or, do you want more of the so-called SPR style rifle with a larger/heavier profile and a 'larger' optic with more magnification? I have both - a 14.5" with a 1-4x and an 18 with a 3-12x. I shoot my 18" more.

I'd personally worry less about velocity between the 2 and ask yourself how you plan to set your rifle up. To be honest, my 14.5" rifle is probably redundant, as my 18" can fill both roles just fine. I don't consider my 14.5" with a 1-4 the best application for 600 yard target shooting. However, I do prefer my 14.5" for chasing down critters on the buggy, home defense, etc. It's what I consider my "200 yard gun". Sure, it'l shoot much further, but it's my "hit what you point at" rifle. I don't bother with hold overs, turret adjustments, etc. Within 200 yards, it doesn't have more than 2" rise/drop...so within range to kill varmints. If I have to start ranging, dealing with hold overs and/or turret adjustments...then I would personally rather have my SPR.

My 18" is heavier, has a bi-pod, and a much larger scope - I do a lot of target shooting with it. My 14.5" is lightweight and usually shot off hand and with less precision.

My vote? Get both :) Or more...

WEll thanks for the info, well my set up will be for hunting purposes, maybe fast shots, shots up to 200 could be common. Just a fun gun for the varmints.. hehe Im thinking about a 16'' noveske upper with a spikes lower... i know its not the cheapest starter rifle.. But i never was much for starting things
jtrevor123  [Member]
3/8/2011 5:22:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By BaileyMoto:
Originally Posted By jtrevor123:
Ok well that makes sense. I was referring to accuracy due to velocity.. I've just seen posts saying get a longer barrel for longer range. But I would rather have a 16 inch barrel for my first ar.


I believe you mean to say trajectory due to velocity. Like stated, length/velocity won't effect accuracy - at least not until the bullet transitions from super sonic to sub sonic.

Here is how *I* feel. Do you want a short/compact style rifle with a shorter range optic? (1x or 1-4x style optic, for example) Or, do you want more of the so-called SPR style rifle with a larger/heavier profile and a 'larger' optic with more magnification? I have both - a 14.5" with a 1-4x and an 18 with a 3-12x. I shoot my 18" more.

I'd personally worry less about velocity between the 2 and ask yourself how you plan to set your rifle up. To be honest, my 14.5" rifle is probably redundant, as my 18" can fill both roles just fine. I don't consider my 14.5" with a 1-4 the best application for 600 yard target shooting. However, I do prefer my 14.5" for chasing down critters on the buggy, home defense, etc. It's what I consider my "200 yard gun". Sure, it'l shoot much further, but it's my "hit what you point at" rifle. I don't bother with hold overs, turret adjustments, etc. Within 200 yards, it doesn't have more than 2" rise/drop...so within range to kill varmints. If I have to start ranging, dealing with hold overs and/or turret adjustments...then I would personally rather have my SPR.

My 18" is heavier, has a bi-pod, and a much larger scope - I do a lot of target shooting with it. My 14.5" is lightweight and usually shot off hand and with less precision.

My vote? Get both :) Or more...

http://www.mk12.net/bailey/ARsBWsm.jpg


WEll thanks for the info, well my set up will be for hunting purposes, maybe fast shots, shots up to 200 could be common. Just a fun gun for the varmints.. hehe Im thinking about a 16'' noveske upper with a spikes lower... i know its not the cheapest starter rifle.. But i never was much for starting things

HS2  [Team Member]
3/9/2011 3:51:57 AM EST
I have a 16" Noveske barrelled upper. It can shoot better than I do... so I don't think you will be disappointed with the accuracy.
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