AR15.Com Archives
 floating or non-floating barrel?
amnt  [Member]
9/8/2011 4:29:34 PM
I am new to the forum and new to the AR-15.

I am currently looking at a new AR and wonder if the floating barrel is worth the extra $$.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
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Krylancelo  [Team Member]
9/8/2011 4:35:06 PM
It's commonly called a free-floating barrel or handguard meaning the handguard (or rail system if you want to call it that) doesn't make direct contact with the barrel. This allows the barrel to wobble freely when firing the weapon allowing for more consistency from shot to shot as the barrel movement should be nearly identical.

It also has a benefit in that any stresses you apply to the handguard via sling pressure or from resting it on the bench or on another obstacle will not change your point of impact as the barrel still flexes freely when fired.

Whether or not its worth it to you depends on what you're doing. Are you going to be shooting matches? Are you intending on making an extremely precise AR or are you just wanting something to plink with? Many say it isn't necessary to have a free floated barrel for doing "combat" marksmanship although it's merit isn't entirely lost either.
Russ4777  [Team Member]
9/8/2011 4:35:21 PM
Yes if you are willing to pay for increased accuracy. What is your objective with this weapon?
1saxman  [Member]
9/8/2011 4:38:43 PM
Originally Posted By amnt:
I am new to the forum and new to the AR-15.

I am currently looking at a new AR and wonder if the floating barrel is worth the extra $$.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks


What is already posted is correct, but just to clarify, there is no difference in how the barrel is attached to the receiver, and you can go back and retro-fit a free-float hand guard at any time. So it's not the barrel at all, it's the hand guard system.

amnt  [Member]
9/8/2011 4:53:13 PM
Wow!

What a great response. Thank you everyone for the input.
die-tryin  [Team Member]
9/8/2011 7:03:52 PM
Shooting 100yards or more, spend the money and free float it.

Plinking under 100yards not necessary IMO.

My 18" SS WOA barreled AR is FreeFloated and I can pop quarters at 100yards with 77gr match ammo.

Just keep in mind, a FF barreled is only part of the equation to making it a good shooter, you the barrel, trigger, how its put together, ammo, shooter, etc etc.

Originally Posted By 1saxman:
Originally Posted By amnt:
I am new to the forum and new to the AR-15.

I am currently looking at a new AR and wonder if the floating barrel is worth the extra $$.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks


What is already posted is correct, but just to clarify, there is no difference in how the barrel is attached to the receiver, and you can go back and retro-fit a free-float hand guard at any time. So it's not the barrel at all, it's the hand guard system.



This is NOT entirely true. Some barrels have the FSB attached from the factory, in order to install certain FF tubes you have to remove this and that can be a chore, esp for a novice gun builder. Also keep in mind some FF tubes require special tools to install, so keep this in mind when calculating cost.
jcrowl  [Team Member]
9/8/2011 7:10:03 PM
I use free floats on my precision rifles, like my recce, my SAM-R, SDM-R, Mark 12 Mod1 SPR. I generally use non FF s on my carbines. though I have one on a middy and an sbr
458winmag  [Team Member]
9/8/2011 8:39:37 PM
Mad Cow is correct.

Some FFT's are totally proprietary in that they use a special barrel nut (WOA) or captured (CLE). Some like RRA NM use a modification of the standard nut.

If the design uses a standard nut, then it's dependant on the FFT and the FSB as to if they can be readily changed
wanderson  [Member]
9/8/2011 10:27:07 PM
My first upper was a RRA with 'standard' handguards & front sight post. Then I dropped in a quad rail to replace the standard guard. Later I was able to easlily convert it with a Troy Ind. free float handguard by cutting off the delta ring & cutting down the front sight post. There's an awesome writeup with pics on this board that encouraged me to take a dremel to my upper. But it was also a much heavier setup than it's original config and I eventually swapped over to a lightweight upper with 'standard' handguards & sight post. So don't think that you're locked into any one config, you can change up just about anything.
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