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Posted: 1/19/2015 11:15:57 PM EST
I think I may know my answer already, but I thought I'd put it out there to see if I can be swayed one way or the other.

For HD (primary), plinking and range use, what length is best?

I have trained on an indoor course with both and I do admit the slightly shorter barrel is easier to maneuver .... especially getting through doors. However, I definitely prefer the longer barrel at the range or out in country.

Any thoughts or ideas for a single rifle guy that will without question use the piece for home defense?

Appreciate it ... thanks.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 11:23:45 PM EST
when 95% of armed engagements take place at well under 50yds 16" to 10.5 will do for sure, I dont have an SBR so I just go as short as legally possible 14.5/phantom and 14.7/A2 hider will both give a leagl 16" overall.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 11:24:29 PM EST
I'd say a 14.5 for that purpose but if you're not going the NFA route the permanently attached flash hider presents its own challenges if you ever want to say change the gas block. If you want a low profile block make sure you buy it installed.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 11:30:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 11:31:07 PM EST by EmperorMA]
Sorry ... I should have mentioned that I will probably never build anything shorter. I do not have a desire for a SBR and doubt that will change.

I may, however, be caught with an 18" barrel something or other somewhere down the road.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 11:54:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 11:56:58 PM EST by Blacktree]
Just a thought: a 16" barrel with a target crown (i.e. no muzzle device) will be the same length as a 14.5" barrel with a pinned-on flash hider. At least then, you'll still be able to swap out gas blocks, fore-ends, etc.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 12:10:01 AM EST
Go with a 16", because chances are at some point you will want to change the rail, gas block, or muzzle device. The extra 1.5" really isn't that bad.

My first AR was a pinned 14.5" and I quickly came to the realization that I wanted to make changes and try other things. Now all my rifles are SBRs so I don't have to worry about pinning.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 1:04:40 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bionic589:
Go with a 16", because chances are at some point you will want to change the rail, gas block, or muzzle device. The extra 1.5" really isn't that bad.

My first AR was a pinned 14.5" and I quickly came to the realization that I wanted to make changes and try other things. Now all my rifles are SBRs so I don't have to worry about pinning.
View Quote


Absolutely true.

16 inches is a great general purpose length and you likely won't notice a difference in maneuverability.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 1:34:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2015 1:36:30 AM EST by lazyengineer]
If I had to do it over again, I would have gone with a pinned 14.7". Mine is a 16" middy, and it's fine. For mostly outdoor usage, 16" has the advantage of longer range while maintaining fragmentation velocity. But the point of an M4 is to be handy and a light weight 14.7" with a skinny barrel and carbine gas system would do that well. Don't worry about not being able to change the FH or gas block - who cares.


But if you want an 18" BBL in a <14.5" bbl sized package, might I suggest the awesomeness of the:
Which is what I eventually ended up graduating to.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 1:44:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2015 2:02:35 AM EST by DCN1982]
Voodoo Manimal is an extended birdcage type FH that will get a 14.5 to 16 and still allow changing gas blocks, barrel nuts, and rails on .750 barrels. An option to keep in mind.

Personally I'd get the 16, then when I have had enough play time to figure out what I like and get something a bit longer for another option I'd cut and pin it to 14.5

That's really how my collection has ended up. It's all 14.5 or less SBRs and some 18s and 20s. I've only got one true blue 16 left sitting around, and that's what it mostly does.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 7:12:42 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By researchanddestroy:


Absolutely true.

16 inches is a great general purpose length and you likely won't notice a difference in maneuverability.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By researchanddestroy:
Originally Posted By bionic589:
Go with a 16", because chances are at some point you will want to change the rail, gas block, or muzzle device. The extra 1.5" really isn't that bad.

My first AR was a pinned 14.5" and I quickly came to the realization that I wanted to make changes and try other things. Now all my rifles are SBRs so I don't have to worry about pinning.


Absolutely true.

16 inches is a great general purpose length and you likely won't notice a difference in maneuverability.


Agree 100%. PITA to change out the FH on a 14.5 that is pinned.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 8:17:26 AM EST
Well, I can't imagine the average 'AR for HD' user noticing a difference between 14.5" and 16" (or rather 16.5" vs 17.5 or vs a 16.5" SBR (lol)).

The turn on to 14.5" to me is that it's closer to the original design (gas system length, buffer set up, etc). I won't gain anything in a go-to with a 1x optic with the added velocity from 1.5", so why bother with the added length?

Just my .02, but go 14.5 pinned.

And even a rifle has far fewer restrictions than an NFA gun. A pistol, even fewer. (In the Free States)
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 10:27:51 AM EST
10.5" SBR
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