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Posted: 1/10/2021 2:22:49 PM EST
The reason asked is that there was a study done years ago by the Canadian army that said 16 inches was optimum over 14.5. I’d like to know the opinions here.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 2:27:55 PM EST
There is no such thing as a general consensus.

Buy or build whatever you want.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 2:28:29 PM EST
As with everything the application should drive the decision.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 2:29:20 PM EST
16" with midlength gas is solid if you don't want to mess with NFA or pistols.  It's also a barrel length where even cheaper / ball type ammo performs OK'ish.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 2:34:46 PM EST
I'm a big fan of 16" midlength carbines.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 2:36:41 PM EST
I've always had 16" barrels on everything just because 90% of rifles come that way not just ARs. I been using 14.5s the last few setups because they just feel better but I guess if velocity is a concern you could argue 20" is the best.

I guess it all depends on what you want to do. So many factors to consider with any length I guess.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 2:42:13 PM EST
16” is a good all around barrel imho.
As for carbine vs middy.. the debate will never end..
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 3:16:57 PM EST
I have a bunch of 16” carbine barrels because Colt.  

PORT SIZE matters more than location.  

Mid length barrels have had the ports opened up so much over the years that whatever minuscule advantage existed is now lost in the noise.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 3:33:36 PM EST
Another 16 vs 14.5 thread? Here we go again.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 3:45:38 PM EST
16 inch barrels exist because of leftist gun laws, not because of logic. Although a 16 would be slightly better than a 14.5 in terminal ballistics. I would argue that a 16 inch barrel should have a mid length gas system.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 4:04:01 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Soberglitch:
Another 16 vs 14.5 thread? Here we go again.
View Quote

Yeah.

Link Posted: 1/10/2021 4:14:28 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Frens:
16" is a good all around barrel imho.
As for carbine vs middy.. the debate will never end..
View Quote

I don't believe you could debate a 16" carbine is better.

It works, but not better.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 4:39:33 PM EST
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Originally Posted By STJ:

I don't believe you could debate a 16" carbine is better.

It works, but not better.
View Quote


With proper gas port size how could one be better than the other?

This is just one of those 1st world problems...
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 5:42:56 PM EST
Nothing is optimum. All barrel lengths have their pros and cons. I prefer shorter barrels (10.3-11.5) on AR-15's mainly because they are more practical for my uses and I want a bigger caliber for longer ranges. My wife has one, but I don't even own a 16". Hell, I don't even shoot the 2 14.5's I have anymore. I do have some 16" barrels on hand should I ever need them, but they're mainly for replacements for my wifes rifle.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 6:33:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/10/2021 9:33:39 PM EST by Exorpmtech]
I don't think there's anything optimal about a 16" barrel.  Too long to be short enough, and not long enough to get that velocity way up.  It's an arbitrary number that a bunch of dumb fucks came up with to keep people from concealing a rifle without paying the crown.  

To note, for those that don't know, the NFA tax was purposely set at $200 because that was an absurd amount of money in the 30's. (A new Ford cost around $600).  That prevented the poors, hell, most people of the day, from having SBR's.  $200 in the 30's was equivalent to around $4000

With that being said, there's nothing functionally wrong with a 16" barrel.  It shoots Boolets® and makes holes in stuff you'd want to put holes in out to about 1/2 a mile, give or take.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 8:01:51 PM EST
MORE OF THE SAME

Buy/shoot whichever is preferred. To each their own.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 8:07:30 PM EST
I honestly believe that if there was no NFA, most of us would have a do all carbine gas in 14.5.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 8:56:20 PM EST
The AR platform and the 5.56mm round are designed for a 20" barrel with a rifle length gas system.

Shorter barrels are to get a more maneuverable package while declaring the ballistics as "good enough".
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 9:00:54 PM EST
Honestly, I'd rather just go 18" with rifle gas if we're talking about that type of bbl length. More velocity, almost imperceptible recoil impulse.
Link Posted: 1/10/2021 9:08:34 PM EST
I have two 14.5 P/W rifles and they both are mid length gas system and shoot very smooth.

I dont own one, but I think if no NFA, I would have 11.5-12.5" length barrels, I have read a lot of good info on the 12.5" length.

Link Posted: 1/10/2021 9:23:10 PM EST
I've been long and short. 18" seems best FOR ME.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 11:22:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/11/2021 11:24:29 AM EST by dalle0001]
I think this is a trick question because you're not taking into account of the ammunition that the Canadian military is using in conjunction with the barrel length recommendation. They're likely using a M855 ammo which primarily works best when it pitch and yaws in the body. However, I have heard they are still using M193 but I don't know how to confirm it. Either way, both projectiles require speed to achieve the pitch and yaw effect that is desired.

There are certain other factors to consider such as the distance of the target, and the speed of the projectile. At 0-300m, which is considered most combat area, the M855 needs to come out of the barrel at about 2800+ speeds for it to effectively take targets down. At 14.5, the velocity is just about 100-200 fps less than that of a 16 inch barrel. So you're looking at the bare minimum with M855 when coming out of a 14.5 which is typically at 2800-2900 fps. Whereas with a 16 inch, you get a tad bit more velocity so you got a bit more room typically at 2800-3000 fps with about 2900 average. Both are still effective at those ranges, but one is just going a tad bit faster and you only need to give up about 1.5 inches to achieve it compared to losing 4 inches from a 20 inch barrel. So it's "optimal" for the ammunition that is being used.

Now, in the civilian sector, you're not limited to such crap ammunition. Using an OTM type projectile, you can go slower but still achieve better results. So barrel length does not matter in the civilian world except by the legal problems.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 11:31:32 AM EST
Only way I'm going 16" 5.56 is with a bullpup.
Link Posted: 1/11/2021 11:32:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/11/2021 11:42:38 AM EST by MS556]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mattsandb:
16 inch barrels exist because of leftist gun laws, not because of logic. Although a 16 would be slightly better than a 14.5 in terminal ballistics. I would argue that a 16 inch barrel should have a mid length gas system.
View Quote


Are you seriously contending that the NSWC Crane 16" "Recce" barrel it specified to custom barrel maker Lilja and Lilja made for Navy SEALs exists because of leftist gun laws

Lilja still makes it.  I'll follow their logic - oh, I already did.  It's an excellent blend of weight, length (maneuverability vs velocity) and balance.  The profile is heavy under the handguard, but straight .725" from the front of the gas block forward.  Crane had a good idea.  It still is.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 12:55:09 AM EST
For 98.9% of civilian use the 16" barrel is the best over all compromise in barrel length. 16" is legally long enough to not full under the NFA, short enough to be manageable in tigher spaces but longer enough to still have decent muzzle velocities. The Army uses the 14.5" M4 barrel because anything shorter causes too much concusive noise in small spaces and has reliability issues. A 20" barrel has the best performance and reliabilty for the 5.56mm round and is what the AR was designed with.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 5:34:18 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NealE:
The Army uses the 14.5" M4 barrel because anything shorter causes too much concusive noise in small spaces and has reliability issues .
View Quote


To think of all of those unreliable MK18s down range....


Link Posted: 1/12/2021 6:09:29 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Tigwelder1971:


To think of all of those unreliable MK18s down range....


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getting tired of this shit. every time barrel length comes up I gotta read this kind of nonsense....
weird how my mk18 runs and runs
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 7:12:57 AM EST
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Originally Posted By 100roundclipazine:


getting tired of this shit. every time barrel length comes up I gotta read this kind of nonsense....
weird how my mk18 runs and runs
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Originally Posted By 100roundclipazine:
Originally Posted By Tigwelder1971:


To think of all of those unreliable MK18s down range....




getting tired of this shit. every time barrel length comes up I gotta read this kind of nonsense....
weird how my mk18 runs and runs

Yeah, agreed.


16" is the "general consensus" because NFA. It's what most own so therefore rationalized with fervor.


With the advancements in modern ammo, I'm not even sure that the ~200 fps gain is even a debate point anymore.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:26:03 AM EST
The MK18 is not TDP rifle and is made for SOCOM for the global war in terror. Shorter barrels than 14.5 have reliabilty issues is artic conditions, the MK18 in not used in cold weather conditions. Do some research on the devolopment of the XM4 program. The milirtay requires standard issue firearms to function in all conditiins, the MK18 is not a standard issue firearm.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:27:26 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Exorpmtech:
I don't think there's anything optimal about a 16" barrel.  Too long to be short enough, and not long enough to get that velocity way up.  It's an arbitrary number that a bunch of dumb fucks came up with to keep people from concealing a rifle without paying the crown.  

To note, for those that don't know, the NFA tax was purposely set at $200 because that was an absurd amount of money in the 30's. (A new Ford cost around $600).  That prevented the poors, hell, most people of the day, from having SBR's.  $200 in the 30's was equivalent to around $4000

With that being said, there's nothing functionally wrong with a 16" barrel.  It shoots Boolets® and makes holes in stuff you'd want to put holes in out to about 1/2 a mile, give or take.
View Quote

I guess it depends on what range you want your fragmentation threshold velocity with M193 to be.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:47:05 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NealE:
For 98.9% of civilian use the 16" barrel is the best over all compromise in barrel length. 16" is legally long enough to not full under the NFA, short enough to be manageable in tigher spaces but longer enough to still have decent muzzle velocities. The Army uses the 14.5" M4 barrel because anything shorter causes too much concusive noise in small spaces and has reliability issues. A 20" barrel has the best performance and reliabilty for the 5.56mm round and is what the AR was designed with.
View Quote


Actually wrong. The only reason the military uses a 14.5 barrel is that it fits a bayonet. The objective of the M4 project is that parts can be interchanged between the M4 and M16 rifles.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 9:02:54 AM EST
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Originally Posted By NealE:
The MK18 is not TDP rifle and is made for SOCOM for the global war in terror. Shorter barrels than 14.5 have reliabilty issues is artic conditions, the MK18 in not used in cold weather conditions. Do some research on the devolopment of the XM4 program. The milirtay requires standard issue firearms to function in all conditiins, the MK18 is not a standard issue firearm.
View Quote

So I did some research. The Mk18 was developed for SOCOM from a requirement that began years before GWOT and not for GWOT as you previously stated, for a maneuverable rifle in close quarters. Other units from across the services adopted it because the range of the M4 was not needed, and these units operate in cold weather just as much as warm weather. Plus I found out that it is indeed standard issue: VBSS uses it as general issue. NCIS when forward deployed to combat zones. Coast Guard's Tactical Law Enforcement Teams and Maritime Security Response Teams as standard issue. USN's EOD teams. USMC Force Recon.

Do more research, they held up fine in the mountains of Afghanistan, some in actual cold weather where the temperatures were in the teens or single digits.

Where are you getting your information from, because when I did just as you stated, I found the opposite of what you wrote. No dog or dig on you brother, just trying to understand where you're coming from. If you have legitimate experience here from actual usage that is contrary to what I read and vetted, please share further.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 9:36:22 AM EST
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Originally Posted By MS556:


Are you seriously contending that the NSWC Crane 16" "Recce" barrel it specified to custom barrel maker Lilja and Lilja made for Navy SEALs exists because of leftist gun laws

Lilja still makes it.  I'll follow their logic - oh, I already did.  It's an excellent blend of weight, length (maneuverability vs velocity) and balance.  The profile is heavy under the handguard, but straight .725" from the front of the gas block forward.  Crane had a good idea.  It still is.
View Quote


Crane had nothing to do with the recce uppers, those were unit internal.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 9:43:42 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Tigwelder1971:

Yeah.

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Originally Posted By Tigwelder1971:
Originally Posted By Soberglitch:
Another 16 vs 14.5 thread? Here we go again.

Yeah.


Well, the ol pendulum keeps a swingin', sooooo...
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 9:53:46 AM EST
A 16" barrel with an LPVO will cover the widest range of shooting activities and distances.

I'll be controversial and say a 16" with a red dot is my least liked combination, which is what the majority of AR's are. Red dots peak at ranges a 16" barrel doesn't, and 16" barrels are effective out to ranges where a red dot isn't optimal.

My favorite gun I've ever had is my 10.3" with an LPVO.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 11:22:24 AM EST
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Originally Posted By cherokeefan03:


Crane had nothing to do with the recce uppers, those were unit internal.
View Quote

My understanding.....

SEAL Recon Rifle gained enough popularity that it left the hands of individual units and went up to NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) Crane for further development.


NSWC Crane went to the Army to seek input on developing a new lightweight sniper rifle and cartridge to go with it. The Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) also entered the picture and put their expertise to work.


The end result of this program was the Mk-12 Special Purpose Rifle. 
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 12:19:15 PM EST
M4 Carbine is a military issued service rifle. Are you meaning AR-15?
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 1:05:48 PM EST
Test
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 1:17:14 PM EST
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Originally Posted By NothingBurger:
Test
View Quote

Acknowledged
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 1:27:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NealE:
The MK18 is not TDP rifle and is made for SOCOM for the global war in terror. Shorter barrels than 14.5 have reliabilty issues is artic conditions, the MK18 in not used in cold weather conditions. Do some research on the devolopment of the XM4 program. The milirtay requires standard issue firearms to function in all conditiins, the MK18 is not a standard issue firearm.
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We used our Issued Mk18's in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan with 0 issues... unless something has changed between then and now, I'd think they're still in use.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 1:29:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By SenditDoc:

We used our Issued Mk18's in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan with 0 issues... unless something has changed between then and now, I'd think they're still in use.
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Where I was at in Afghan it was freezing, snow and below zero at times. No issues here as well.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 1:33:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NealE:
The MK18 is not TDP rifle and is made for SOCOM for the global war in terror. Shorter barrels than 14.5 have reliabilty issues is artic conditions, the MK18 in not used in cold weather conditions. Do some research on the devolopment of the XM4 program. The milirtay requires standard issue firearms to function in all conditiins, the MK18 is not a standard issue firearm.
View Quote


Wrong on just about every single point.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:19:05 PM EST
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Originally Posted By calviroman:
16" with midlength gas is solid if you don't want to mess with NFA or pistols.  It's also a barrel length where even cheaper / ball type ammo performs OK'ish.
View Quote


Agree.  A 16" midlength is the tits.   If it's an M4 it needs to be 14.5" and not 16".  Just my worldly view.

kwg
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:32:45 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DoctorLove:


Where I was at in Afghan it was freezing, snow and below zero at times. No issues here as well.
View Quote

In addition to that, cold weather actually slows down the cycle speed, which would help an over gassed rifle in theory.

No issues on my 10.3. Haven't gone below 20, but I do have a buddy who's SR15 chokes in the cold.
Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:57:12 PM EST
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Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:

In addition to that, cold weather actually slows down the cycle speed, which would help an over gassed rifle in theory.

No issues on my 10.3. Haven't gone below 20, but I do have a buddy who's SR15 chokes in the cold.
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Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:
Originally Posted By DoctorLove:


Where I was at in Afghan it was freezing, snow and below zero at times. No issues here as well.

In addition to that, cold weather actually slows down the cycle speed, which would help an over gassed rifle in theory.

No issues on my 10.3. Haven't gone below 20, but I do have a buddy who's SR15 chokes in the cold.

Proper lube/extractor kit/spring and buffer/full power ammo and they will run.

Too many run their guns on the ragged edge of reliability/shoot underpowered ammo/and use the wrong lube.

Link Posted: 1/12/2021 8:57:13 PM EST
Even absent any NFA-related considerations, I think that 16" strikes a fairly good balance.  Not too long to be a PITA to use indoors, even if not short enough to be ideal, while having the velocity to reach out and be effective a good ways out.  With a kurz suppressor or something close to that, it isn't way too long suppressed, either.  It's a good general-purpose length, particularly with a mid-length gas system.  Maybe it only exists because of the NFA on the AR; maybe not (I'm not sure we can really know that for sure; it may well have come into being regardless), but that doesn't change its merits.  

Link Posted: 1/12/2021 9:42:53 PM EST
I have  16" Mid with a LVPO
I have a 14.5 Mid with Red dot
and a 14.5 Carbine with a red dot

I shoot the 14.5 Mid the most.

it's light
handy
accurate
reliable
I try not to get too wrapped up in details...
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 1:40:17 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Tigwelder1971:

Proper lube/extractor kit/spring and buffer/full power ammo and they will run.

Too many run their guns on the ragged edge of reliability/shoot underpowered ammo/and use the wrong lube.

View Quote

M193 was what went down the pipe (including my own) and it was a factory configured rifle. Not sure about lube but he's not an idiot. A lighter buffer would fix it, but it was a factory configured rifle so I'd hardly say he was running on the alleged ragged edge of reliability.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:11:08 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NealE:
The MK18 is not TDP rifle and is made for SOCOM for the global war in terror. Shorter barrels than 14.5 have reliabilty issues is artic conditions, the MK18 in not used in cold weather conditions. Do some research on the devolopment of the XM4 program. The milirtay requires standard issue firearms to function in all conditiins, the MK18 is not a standard issue firearm.
View Quote

@NealE where was your information pulled from?
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:34:27 AM EST
Fun fact. The 16-in barrel is the legal length before entering NFA territory because of the m1 carbine. Originally both rifles and shotguns had to have 18-in or longer barrels. But then after world war II the US government had so many surplus m1 carbines for sale that they didn't want to have to deal with making exceptions, or something like that, so they changed the law.

There is no optimum length, only optimum for the intended use.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 8:42:10 AM EST
My 6920 w/ a 1-4 is what Im grabbing if Im forced out of my safe place... Its my jack of all trades.
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