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Posted: 3/15/2008 5:14:59 AM EST
Guys,
I have 3 ARs now and really enjoy them. Two are varmint models and one is a Bushy 16 inch carbine. But, I see allot of folks w/ 14.5 inch barrels and permanantly attached flash hiders to total 16 inches keeping them legal. What is the advantage to this?

I would think that since the "tube" has to be 16 total, why not have all of it be barrel. Seems that the only thing the 16 would result in would be a louder gun and a loss in accuracy/velocity. I guess I am just missing something.

Thanks, just trying to learn.
Hank
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:19:43 AM EST
because the 14.5" M4 barrel looks better than the 16" version
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:22:22 AM EST
If you look at the M4 (14.5) barrel it does have a different look to it than the M4 cut 16" barrel. I think it looks better. This also saves a small amount in overall length.

I prefer not to do it if you have hopes of changing forearms or front sights. It is just a little more of a pain. If you want a rifle that is as close to an M4 as possible this would be a reasonable choice.

Mike
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:26:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2008 5:29:35 AM EST by Quarterbore]
The 14.5 w/ perminate longer flash hider is also the shortest non-NFA length as my 14.5/Phantom has a 16.1-in barrel. A 16-inch with an A2 flash hider is about 17.25 inches including the flash hider. The one case in life were having and inch and a half less "tube" is a good thing

Note, my primary SHTF gun changed when I purchased a supressor as my 14.5/Phantom could not mount the can. I built a new Mid-Length that is now what I consider my go to gun in SHTF not that the 14.5/Phantom is getting sold or replaced as I will never get my money invested in that upper back on resale. The Mid-Length looks right, has more room for grip, better sight radius, and is a well balanced gun.
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:26:37 AM EST
OK,
Thanks. If it is for looks, then that is good enuff. I realize we are talking about a carbine lenght anyway and the loss of two or so inches really isn't that big a deal.

Thanks for the answers.
Hank
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:38:09 AM EST
14.5" with perm hider = bayonet
16" = no bayonet (unless you get one of those funky long handled ones)
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:42:34 AM EST
Why not a 42" barrel?

I reckon aesthetics have something to do with it. Weight, both in over all and balance, and overall length have something to do with it as well. Compact guns with all the weight close in to the shooter are easier/faster to handle or more wieldy.


You are correct that it will reduce velocity (about 80 fps with M183 or 2.6% so not much).

As far as accuracy is concerned it is often the case that short barrels are more accurate than long.
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:42:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By texasaggie:
14.5" with perm hider = bayonet
16" = no bayonet (unless you get one of those funky long handled ones)


can't say I'm going to do any drive by bayoneting's so it's probably not that big a deal.
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:46:33 AM EST
I have a CMMG 14.7 inch (thin profile) with permanent flashhider, making barrel just over 16 in. For me, it's the look thing. I realize most of us have all been conditined to "think" the M4 barrel length looks correct because that is what is used on the M4, but if the military used 16 in barrels on the M4 that is proably what we would think "looked right". Sense or no sense, I just think the 16 in with flashhider just looks "too long".

I have also noticed that it seems nearly all advertisements for AR uppers with 16 in barrels actually show a picture with a shorter barrel. It makes it "look better". Take a look in Shotgun News (and other gun mags) and see for yourself.

A the range I shoot at, I'm limited to 100 yards. The rifle is accurate and "paper" does not realize perhaps the hole being punched has a few less foot pounds of energy than a 16 inch would deliver.


Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:52:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By GeorgiaBII:

Originally Posted By texasaggie:
14.5" with perm hider = bayonet
16" = no bayonet (unless you get one of those funky long handled ones)


can't say I'm going to do any drive by bayoneting's so it's probably not that big a deal.


For 10 years the commies wouldn't let me buy a new AR I could mount a bayonet to, and now that I can I do it just to piss them off.
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 5:58:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By texasaggie:

Originally Posted By GeorgiaBII:

Originally Posted By texasaggie:
14.5" with perm hider = bayonet
16" = no bayonet (unless you get one of those funky long handled ones)


can't say I'm going to do any drive by bayoneting's so it's probably not that big a deal.


For 10 years the commies wouldn't let me buy a new AR I could mount a bayonet to, and now that I can I do it just to piss them off.


Midlength mounts a bayonet just fine, so 14.5 Carbine, 16-in Midlength, or 20-inch Rifle for me then again I have a bigger bayonet addiction then gun adiction so I have to show them off somewhere
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 11:39:23 AM EST
I had a RRA 16" middy with their HBAR profile and got tired of the extra weight. So, a trip to ADCO and I've now got a lightweight barrel profile and 14.7" w/pinned A2. The difference in both weight (over 1¼ lbs lighter) and balance is amazing (the weight is now in the center of the rifle, not muzzle heavy). Steve puts a target crown on the muzzle and it is still an accurate shooter. BTW, barrel length doesn't affect accuracy, it affects velocity.
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 11:55:38 AM EST
Aesthetics and familiarity.

It's what I'm used to seeing, and what I'm used to using.

I don't switch flash suppressors often so permanently attached is not a big deal, and it's as short as you can go without additional paperwork.

HTH,
~Augee
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 3:07:43 PM EST
I agree the 16" barrel looks too long. But the pinned flash hider is to me what does not look right reminded me of the AWB guns.
Link Posted: 3/15/2008 7:58:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By texasyid:
I agree the 16" barrel looks too long. But the pinned flash hider is to me what does not look right reminded me of the AWB guns.

That's why you have the barrel cut to 14.7" and pin on a std A2 flash hider.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 7:17:18 AM EST
The A1 flashhider on my CMMG 14.7 is permanently attached. I assume it is pinned (CMMG did it). However they did it you can't see any difference from one that is just screwed on. You see no pin.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 8:26:34 AM EST
Looks aside, a 14.5 inch barrel with a carbine gas system just runs better. The dwell time is correct and is excessive with a 16 inch barrel.(carbine gas)
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 11:39:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By mvician:
because the 14.5" M4 barrel looks better than the 16" version



Made my M4 30 1/2 inches RETRACTED TELESTOCK

16.1 barrel plus bird gage is getting pretty darn long

For a CARBINE I will take the shorter barrel any day

12.5 would be awesome I also would go 10,5

with 75gr TAP you are good to go Home Protection/CQB/Urban
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 11:42:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2008 11:46:15 AM EST by FMJ]

Originally Posted By COSteve:
I had a RRA 16" middy with their HBAR profile and got tired of the extra weight. So, a trip to ADCO and I've now got a lightweight barrel profile and 14.7" w/pinned A2. The difference in both weight (over 1¼ lbs lighter) and balance is amazing (the weight is now in the center of the rifle, not muzzle heavy). Steve puts a target crown on the muzzle and it is still an accurate shooter. BTW, barrel length doesn't affect accuracy, it affects velocity.


SMART MAN

I had Kurt Kustoms cut my Bushmaster A1 16 incher down to 14.7 in 2001
I just hate a Long barrel on a carbine

I really dont care about Bayonet Lug


When I got my 14.5 LMT M4 UPPER with Birdcage
the phantom really didnt add much length to it
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 11:48:07 AM EST
Size. If there was not the 16" rule, I would have all SBRs. However, I am not TOO keen on perma attach, since I change things so much. A 16" midlength is the best idea IMO.

My 16" M4gery is too long. My brother's 14.5 is nice.
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 12:50:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By chewbacca:
Size. If there was not the 16" rule, I would have all SBRs. However, I am not TOO keen on perma attach, since I change things so much. A 16" midlength is the best idea IMO.

My 16" M4gery is too long. My brother's 14.5 is nice.


+1

16" middy is the best set up you can go without paper work. Its the ideal bbl length for a middy, anything shorter and you'll have to go with a carbine length and all its disadvantages (increased recoil, harder on the gun, all its little fixes:Hbuffer, upgraded extractor ect)
Link Posted: 3/16/2008 1:13:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By vicious_cb:

Originally Posted By chewbacca:
Size. If there was not the 16" rule, I would have all SBRs. However, I am not TOO keen on perma attach, since I change things so much. A 16" midlength is the best idea IMO.

My 16" M4gery is too long. My brother's 14.5 is nice.


+1

16" middy is the best set up you can go without paper work. Its the ideal bbl length for a middy, anything shorter and you'll have to go with a carbine length and all its disadvantages (increased recoil, harder on the gun, all its little fixes:Hbuffer, upgraded extractor ect)

Not so. As I said above, I had Steve at ADCO reprofile to a lightweight and shorten my RRA middy to 14.7" and pin on the A2 flash hider. It runs great, the barrel is over 1¼ lb lighter, and the balance is better.

Link Posted: 3/16/2008 1:23:35 PM EST
Very nice COsteve.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 2:52:32 PM EST
I would go 16" mid-length first, 14.5/14.7 pinned second, and 16" carbine last.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 3:10:09 PM EST
Why? Because I can.

(Also because I can't have an SBR in HI )
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 3:19:22 PM EST
I have both a 14.5 w/ 5C2 and a 16" M4orgeries...

I prefer the 14.5" for 3 reasons in this order:

1.) Weight
2.) Balance/ handiness
3.) Seems to cycle smoother

YMMV,

- AG
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:06:48 PM EST
I wanted a clone of an M4 as close as possible, right down to a full auto BCG and 1/7 twist.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:27:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By Quarterbore:

Originally Posted By texasaggie:

Originally Posted By GeorgiaBII:

Originally Posted By texasaggie:
14.5" with perm hider = bayonet
16" = no bayonet (unless you get one of those funky long handled ones)


can't say I'm going to do any drive by bayoneting's so it's probably not that big a deal.


For 10 years the commies wouldn't let me buy a new AR I could mount a bayonet to, and now that I can I do it just to piss them off.


Midlength mounts a bayonet just fine, so 14.5 Carbine, 16-in Midlength, or 20-inch Rifle for me then again I have a bigger bayonet addiction then gun adiction so I have to show them off somewhere


SAme here. I bought a mid-length and the bayo fits nicely! I'm getting ready to buy a 14.5 with perm/FH just cause I've already got a 20". This new purchase will round out my collection nicely!
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:30:51 PM EST
Just sent an email to Steve at ADCO about cutting my 16" down 14.7 and pinning a birdcage on it because of this thread.

-X
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 6:08:24 PM EST
I recently purchased a Sabre Defence 14.5 in middy upper with a Omega 9.0 rail, from Talon Arms. Compared to the Sabre Defence 16 in middy I have, it feels lighter, shorter, and really balances different than the 16 incher. It is intended to shoot many paper targets, 100yds and under. I am impressed with the handling qualities of the 14.5, and I can live with the drawback of having the FS pinned and welded on. Its also neat to have a rifle a little bit different than my others, Like I told the rep at Talon Arms, despite the drawbacks, I'm just really Jonesing to have one.


Link Posted: 6/4/2008 6:44:36 PM EST
I went with a CMMG 14.5" With the Vortex hider - look is fantastic, and it'll take a bayo, which is another plus (OKC3S is too pretty to not have)

For most purposes, a 16" works best with a middy, but if you're 100" certain on the configuration you want, then I can't see a reason not to get a 14.X w/ permahider.

Also, for what little my opinion is worth - on the 14.5's I prefer the SEI Vortex over the phantom. Not on aesthetics, but for the same length, I like the minimally added functionality of the Vortex (I only shoot daytime, however, dunno how much an improvment at night), and they do look great. Cost difference isn't really too much in my book either.


If you're not 'done' building it, then a 16" is fine. For a pure range gun - no reason to spend extra on a permanently attached hider, but if it's a final configuration you're sure about (spend all the money you need to up front), then I'd say there are hardly any disadvantages to a 14.5/14.7"
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 6:48:57 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 7:06:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bigsampson:
Guys,
I have 3 ARs now and really enjoy them. Two are varmint models and one is a Bushy 16 inch carbine. But, I see allot of folks w/ 14.5 inch barrels and permanently attached flash hiders to total 16 inches keeping them legal. What is the advantage to this?

I would think that since the "tube" has to be 16 total, why not have all of it be barrel. Seems that the only thing the 16 would result in would be a louder gun and a loss in accuracy/velocity. I guess I am just missing something.

Thanks, just trying to learn.
Hank

Actually, a 14.5" bbl with an attached 1.5" FH is LOUDER than a 16" bbl with no FH at all. The 16" bbl is clearly ballistically superior to the 14.5". Pushing a "heavy" bullet like a 69 SMK or 77 SMK, the 14.5" bbl will probably produce velocities about 50 fps less than the same load in a 16" (assuming you are using a fast powder).

I think most of the guys probably buy the M4 profile 14.5" with permanently pinned FH for the "coolness" factor. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you know the carbine will be losing about 50 fps muzzle velocity and be louder (to you and others near you) than a "clean" 16 bbl.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 7:18:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/4/2008 7:25:45 PM EST by jdixon22]

Originally Posted By GeorgiaBII:

Originally Posted By texasaggie:
14.5" with perm hider = bayonet
16" = no bayonet (unless you get one of those funky long handled ones)


can't say I'm going to do any drive by bayoneting's so it's probably not that big a deal.


That's because the Clinton Ban of 1994 prevented you from doing that.....
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 7:23:30 PM EST
Because it looks really good with a 13.5 inch rail.

Link Posted: 6/4/2008 8:10:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/4/2008 8:10:33 PM EST by gunnut003]

Originally Posted By Greymantle:

Originally Posted By Bigsampson:
Guys,
I have 3 ARs now and really enjoy them. Two are varmint models and one is a Bushy 16 inch carbine. But, I see allot of folks w/ 14.5 inch barrels and permanently attached flash hiders to total 16 inches keeping them legal. What is the advantage to this?

I would think that since the "tube" has to be 16 total, why not have all of it be barrel. Seems that the only thing the 16 would result in would be a louder gun and a loss in accuracy/velocity. I guess I am just missing something.

Thanks, just trying to learn.
Hank

Actually, a 14.5" bbl with an attached 1.5" FH is LOUDER than a 16" bbl with no FH at all. The 16" bbl is clearly ballistically superior to the 14.5". Pushing a "heavy" bullet like a 69 SMK or 77 SMK, the 14.5" bbl will probably produce velocities about 50 fps less than the same load in a 16" (assuming you are using a fast powder).

I think most of the guys probably buy the M4 profile 14.5" with permanently pinned FH for the "coolness" factor. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you know the carbine will be losing about 50 fps muzzle velocity and be louder (to you and others near you) than a "clean" 16 bbl.


none of the bad guys seem to be missing the extra 50fps.

With regard to the whole 16 vs 14.5 issue,--- "same difference"

I have 14.5" perm barrels because I am building clones, but one will be a 16" "RECCE" another type clone. Its mainly personal preference.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 9:30:39 PM EST
I did because it was the shortest I could without extra paperwork and 200 bucks I could spend on ammo or parts.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 9:36:46 PM EST
Because its shortest overall and with 95% of gun fights taking place well under 50 its plenty enough barrel as at that distance you have the needed 2700FPS for the bullet to be effective...besides im not a participant in the Haguemost of my ammo is a 55 gr hollowpoint.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 10:43:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By Greymantle:

The 16" bbl is clearly ballistically superior to the 14.5". Pushing a "heavy" bullet like a 69 SMK or 77 SMK, the 14.5" bbl will probably produce velocities about 50 fps less than the same load in a 16" (assuming you are using a fast powder).

I think most of the guys probably buy the M4 profile 14.5" with permanently pinned FH for the "coolness" factor. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you know the carbine will be losing about 50 fps muzzle velocity and be louder (to you and others near you) than a "clean" 16 bbl.


A 16" carbine has excessive dwell time and too much gas. What happens is the gun starts trying to eject the spent casing after the peak pressure but before the ideal extraction point. If you look at brass fired from a 16" carbines typically they will exhibit signs of this. (Bent rims, smears on the headstamp) Theres just too much damn barrel after the gas port. The loss of velocity comes as a trade off for a gain in reliability.

Now if we are talking midlength, then yes, a 16" would be superior to a 14.5 in every way.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 11:30:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By DonnieBrasco:
Why? Because I can.

(Also because I can't have an SBR in HI )
i168.photobucket.com/albums/u175/donniebrasco223/IMG_1306.jpg


Nice! Is that the 14.5" with the longer Flash hider,or is that the standard F/H on a 14.7"?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:09:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 2:11:06 AM EST by HUNTER223]
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:19:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By raygixxer89:

Originally Posted By DonnieBrasco:
Why? Because I can.

(Also because I can't have an SBR in HI )
i168.photobucket.com/albums/u175/donniebrasco223/IMG_1306.jpg


Nice! Is that the 14.5" with the longer Flash hider,or is that the standard F/H on a 14.7"?


Looks like an extended A2 flashhider
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:22:43 AM EST
This is 16" plus a vortex. I dont think it looks wierd. It is heavy tho. If I was going for the lightest thing possible it would be a 14.5 pencil.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 3:41:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 3:44:17 AM EST by Red_SC]

Originally Posted By HUNTER223:

Dumb question, but being a foreigner bear with me please. That extra paperwork you guys talk about, does that mean the rifle-carbine will be a registered gun under the owners name? or do you just buy-get a form to be able to legally own a SBR without even writting down the serial number on it (the form)? Is it like a license to own any SBR or by buying-getting the form you're registering ONE particular gun-serial numer under your name? thanks.



HUNTER.


Each short barreled rifle has to have a $200 tax paid and paperwork filled out. Too bad it isn't a license to own SBR's, that would be nice- pay the tax once and be done!


Love my 14.5 Bushy, why have an extra 1.5"? I am about to have to cut the Izzy flash hider off to replace it with an AAC suppressor mount, though.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:39:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By PRYDE:

Originally Posted By Greymantle:

The 16" bbl is clearly ballistically superior to the 14.5". Pushing a "heavy" bullet like a 69 SMK or 77 SMK, the 14.5" bbl will probably produce velocities about 50 fps less than the same load in a 16" (assuming you are using a fast powder).

I think most of the guys probably buy the M4 profile 14.5" with permanently pinned FH for the "coolness" factor. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you know the carbine will be losing about 50 fps muzzle velocity and be louder (to you and others near you) than a "clean" 16 bbl.


A 16" carbine has excessive dwell time and too much gas. What happens is the gun starts trying to eject the spent casing after the peak pressure but before the ideal extraction point. If you look at brass fired from a 16" carbines typically they will exhibit signs of this. (Bent rims, smears on the headstamp) Theres just too much damn barrel after the gas port. The loss of velocity comes as a trade off for a gain in reliability.

Now if we are talking midlength, then yes, a 16" would be superior to a 14.5 in every way.


Now when you say "too much d#@$ dwell time" what do you mean? Too much for what? My brass doesn't seem to display what you are talking about. I have one 16" carbine presently and had another. I know you say "typically" but I don't think I totally agree with your assessment. People say the Carbine gas system in general is not opitmum, yet, it continues to fight on. Well. Sometimes I think some of this "too much" and "this is the best" sentiment is a little overblown.

I really don't think it makes a whole lot of difference between a 14.5 and a 16". Yeah, it's 1.5" shorter. Besides FMJ's freekishly short carbine. I'm not saying I'm against them. I think they look cool too. But for some reason I don't really think the 16" look bad either. I wish we could just all have SBR's without going through all that paperwork, because I too would prefer something shorter. With a can too.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:42:40 AM EST
I find that the best difference between my 16" HBAR and 14.7" lightweight barrel is that the rifle now is lighter and has a more balanced feel. I guess a side by side may be in order.

My RRA middy with 16" HBAR:



My same RRA middy with 14.7" lightweight barrel:



The sole difference in the above 2 pictures is the barrel/FSB and the fact that the lightweight weighs over 1¼ lbs less (actually, it also has a custom pistol grip I was trying out at the time which weighed some 2½ ozs more than the Hogue).

I tried out this combination at the range with my std 55grn FMJBT reloads I used in it's HBAR configuration and found that after recalibrating for increased bullet drop at 300 yds (due to slightly lower (40fps) velocity) there was no difference in accuracy. I don't do mag dumps so I found that POI shift due to barrel heating wasn't and issue either. If anything, Steve's great work and his inclusion of a target crown (std) increased it's accuracy.

I did have another thought in mind when I considered this change in that I wanted to convert this AR into a short to medium range platform and lighten it as much as possible. Switching out the M4 stock/CAA saddle with a Magpul CTR, replacing the scope/mount with an EOTech/mount, and modifying my custom pistol grip did the trick as my current configuration now weighs just a smig over 2½ lbs less than the original version.



In addition, I did have an ulterior motive in mind when I started my update. You see I had this scope and mount just laying there and, well my 12x scope works really well at 300 yds and well, I do have BRD so how can I have just one AR??




Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:51:36 AM EST
Steve, if you had left it in 16", it would have balanced better still because of the less weight. I'm sure the 1.5" makes a little difference also, but my 16" LW is pretty darn handy. I like it better than my dad's HBAR 14.7"er M4gery. Because of the weight. My dad's feels as heavy as a 20" A2. Although because it's a carbine it swings quicker and as you say, the weight is more close to your body.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 10:13:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By vicious_cb:

Originally Posted By raygixxer89:

Originally Posted By DonnieBrasco:
Why? Because I can.

(Also because I can't have an SBR in HI )
i168.photobucket.com/albums/u175/donniebrasco223/IMG_1306.jpg


Nice! Is that the 14.5" with the longer Flash hider,or is that the standard F/H on a 14.7"?


Looks like an extended A2 flashhider


Yep, SDI Extended A2.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:14:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By Black-X:
Just sent an email to Steve at ADCO about cutting my 16" down 14.7 and pinning a birdcage on it because of this thread.

-X



Same here. Going this route as well, after reading this thread.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 7:10:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By JJREA:
Steve, if you had left it in 16", it would have balanced better still because of the less weight. I'm sure the 1.5" makes a little difference also, but my 16" LW is pretty darn handy. I like it better than my dad's HBAR 14.7"er M4gery. Because of the weight. My dad's feels as heavy as a 20" A2. Although because it's a carbine it swings quicker and as you say, the weight is more close to your body.

I tried a friend's 16" lightweight and it handled well too. I just like the more compact package.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 9:01:42 PM EST
if 10" was legal we would all have one of those instead.
major point of a shorter barrel is to be better in close quarters.


and its more fun when I'm clearing my house every night.
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