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Posted: 8/7/2005 5:17:04 AM EDT
16" vs 14.5" barrel, is bigger better?

Speedfish
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 5:27:41 AM EDT
Velocity-wise, see here: www.bushmaster.com/faqnew/content_by_cat.asp?contentid=205&catid=103

The measly 70-75 fps difference in velocity does seem to impact how far the bullet will reliably fragment. See here: www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=189353.

You also can't easily mount a bayonet on the 16" barrel.

And unless you are going the SBR route, you might as well have the 16" barrel, instead of 14.5+long flash hider. But some folk here swear by their 14.5" barrels, so they'd disagree with me. :)
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 5:41:09 AM EDT
My thoughts lean with billclo. If you aren't builbing an SBR, it will have to be 16" anyway. Why lose the velocity with a 14.5" (or an 11.5"), just to install a long flash hider, and end up at 16"?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 5:43:21 AM EDT
There are disadvantages and advantages.

1: The 14.5" barrel with a permanently attach flash hider is shorter and lighter than a 16" barrel with a flash hider.

2: The 14.5" barrel will facilitate mounting a bayonet without the barrel covering up several inches of the blade. This does not apply with mid-length 16" barrels.

3: The extra velocity that a 16" barrel imparts to a bullet will increase fragmentation range by 15 yards for M193 rounds 40 yards with Black hills 75gr OTM rounds. Note that barrel length has no bearing on accuracy.

4: A shorter barrel will be easier to maneuver with in close quarters, think CQB.

5: When a flash hider is permanently attached you can not install a rail (the RASII and SIR are exceptions) or another flash hider with out destroying the one that is already attached.

I personally recommend a 16" mid-length barrel. This configuration will allow you:

1: You can properly mount a bayonet

2: Have the reliability that is inherent to a mid-length gas system (significantly lower gas pressure)

3: Extra velocity due to the 16" barrel

4: You will not have to permanently attach anything to the muzzle.

I own a couple of M16s and have found that the 14.5" barrel carbine and the 16" barrel mid-length are the most controllable under full auto firing conditions. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:15:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Azalin:
There are disadvantages and advantages.

+1. If one was better than the other, than everyone would chose just one.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 8:49:55 AM EDT
only 2700 fps is needed for a bullet to fragment and both barrels will do this under 100 ydswich in the real world 90% of combat takes place and 70% of that well under 50.I dont change foreends or muzzle devices so I go shortest with a permanent phantom.My phantoms are silver soldered on wich is still a legal way to do it other than pinned on so with a little elbow grease it can be wrenched off..hard to do but possibel so I can save the phantom if I have to change a barrel.With 4 ARs I will probably never have to do a barreol change as everything is in the configuration I want and when I want something different I just build it that way.A 16" will fragment out to 150yds 14.5 to 100 but as I said in real world combat distances both will do fine and neither has an advantage over the other in that scenario.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 2:22:52 PM EDT
I have both a 16" (HBAR) and a 14.5" (M4 type) and I love them both. The 16" is on my patrol rifle and the 14.5" is on my "fun gun". I have used both in a patrol rifle course shooting both 55gr. FMJ and 62gr. softpoint. I feel the 14.5" is a bit more accurate with the 62gr., however did just as well in both. THis was at ranges between 10 and 175 yds.
Advantage of the 14.5" is length as it pertains to close in wirk. Building clears are alot easier without that eaxtra 2 inches of barrel. The 14.5" is an all around choice for me. Just dont shoot any bullet lighter than 55gr.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 3:16:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 6:46:08 PM EDT by Norge1956]
.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 3:51:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 3:52:25 PM EDT by repub18]
I personally chose a 14.5/w phantom option because of the overall length compared to a 16in. + the bayonett.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 4:01:13 PM EDT
i have no use for the bayo but i do have to say that the 14.5 is slightly shorter and a tad lighter.



but i dont like the complications and limited choices in freefloats that come with perm. flashhider and 14.5

again personal preferences
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 4:07:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 4:08:08 PM EDT by Sigurd]
A 14.5 is lighter, more compact, and just "feels" better to me.

A 16 has the advantage of easy installation of FF rail systems, thread mount suppressors, and slightly increased velocity.

IMO, the ideal compromise is a 14.5 with Larue rail system (best thing going right now, why would you want to change it?) and permanently mounted Gemtech or AAC QD-mount flash hider.

If, in the future, you want something else, just build a new upper instead of worrying about removing your old one.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 4:08:53 PM EDT
That's cool...the new BM A2 M4 I'm getting this week has the 14.5" barrel and then the birdcage takes it too 16"s....I'll take the 70fps hit for a shorter tube cause I hate trying to weasel my way through tight crap with long guns....btdt...the shorter the better....provided of course you still have enough whack to punch a hole in the bad guys out too 200 yards or so....so imho?....

cool beans on the 14.5"er.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 4:09:02 PM EDT
I go with the 16 inch. If you could legally own a 14.5 without having to use a longer, perm attached FH, Id lean that way as thats what I used in the military. But as the law stands now, I dont see giving up your threaded muzzle and the ability to change out your FSB just to gain what? an inch total? Ive put a 14.5 with a vortex side by side with my 6920 upper and there is very little difference. Some guys think the 14.5 looks more military..maybe it does but then you have a distinctly non issue looking flash hider on it. I use an M4-2000 suppressor on mine so its important to me to have the threaded muzzle.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 5:30:51 PM EDT
The 14.5" vs. 16" debate never ends I guess. I was unsure about which length to choose about a year ago, so I went to a gunshow and tried them both out.

If you don't plan on shooting badguys with the barrel, the whole fragmentation argument between the two barrels is a waste of time, IMHO the only exception I see is military personnel. Even if you never planned on shooting badguys, and one breaks into your house he will likely be in close quarters with you, at which time a 14.5" or a 16" barrel will both cause DEVASTATING trauma to the assailant if you fired multiple rounds.

That subject aside, the 14.5" is a little handier and lighter, and just as accurate as a comparable 16" barrel. There are ways around the permament flash hider or brake when it comes to installing a ff system short of removing the said flash hider or brake. I know of at least 2 ff rail systems that do not require you to remove the permanent flash hider or brake, simply cut off the delta ring with a dremel or some other cutting tool. If you are interested in another ff system, my suggestion is buy the upper in parts, i.e. 14.5 barrel, receiver, b/c/ch and send it away to have the ff rail installed or do it yourself if you are handy or wish to learn how to do it for the first time.

It all comes down to what works for you and how you wish to spend your money.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:58:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 7:04:02 PM EDT by Variablebinary]
Diemaco was smart enough to learn from colt's mistake with the M4's scrawy ass, fragile barrel and poor ballistics, and made their Premier carbine, The SFW, with a 16" HBAR. Notice that is the gun that defeated Sig's 55X and HK's G36 in the UK's special forces trials, and went on to win a high profile contract with the SAS

I wouldnt be too concerned with trying to imitate the M4

Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:08:52 PM EDT
Colt has sice changed to the heavier SOCCOM barrel with no problems.And even the "scrawny"M4 profile works fine when soldiers use fire discipline and dont use the M4 as an M249 SAW...abuse an HBAR with full auto continuously and Im sure that will fail eventually.That being said I love HBARs and have both 14.5/phantoms in HBAR and M4 profile.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:03:45 AM EDT
Azalin,

does anyone besides M&A make a "midlength hand guard 16" barrelled upper"? I ask because I want chrome lined barrel and bore, not that I have anything against M&A.

Thanks,
Speedfish
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:19:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Azalin:
5: When a flash hider is permanently attached you can not install a rail (the RASII and SIR are exceptions) or another flash hider with out destroying the one that is already attached.

You left out the Troy and MI rail systems. They too can be mounted without removing the front sight or flash hider.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:21:02 AM EDT
Speedfish, you can get 16" chrome lined middies from CMMG, ADCO and, IIRC, Sabre Defence also offers one.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 5:26:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 6:55:20 AM EDT by Yojimbo]

Originally Posted By Variablebinary:
Diemaco was smart enough to learn from colt's mistake with the M4's scrawy ass, fragile barrel and poor ballistics, and made their Premier carbine, The SFW, with a 16" HBAR. Notice that is the gun that defeated Sig's 55X and HK's G36 in the UK's special forces trials, and went on to win a high profile contract with the SAS

I wouldnt be too concerned with trying to imitate the M4

www.gun-world.net/old/USA/M16/diemaco/sfw-hand.jpg




V,

Where can I find more info about the the trials you mentioned. I'd be intrested to find out what kind of testing was done. Beating both the Sig 55x and HKG36 as pretty damn cool considering most think the M16/AR15 has run it's course and should be replaced.

As far as the 14.5" and 16" barrels go I prefer a 16" mid-length!

I don't like having to pin/weld muzzle accesories because it makes it a PIA to add or swap FF rails.

I run my stock fully collapsed or on the first notch so I'm easily able to make up for 1.5" extra length.

The little bit of extra velocity sure doesn't hurt anything.

Also, the baby killing assault bayonet fits just fine on the mid-length.

It really boils down to personal preference, just get which ever length best meets your needs.

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 6:11:40 AM EDT
Regardless of which one you get now, you will probably get the other at some point.

I've got a 20" and a 16" midlength that used to be a 16" carbine. I know somewhere down the road I will be getting a 14.5" carbine, probably with a pencil bbl.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 6:49:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 6:49:45 AM EDT by Variablebinary]

Originally Posted By Yojimbo:

Originally Posted By Variablebinary:
Diemaco was smart enough to learn from colt's mistake with the M4's scrawy ass, fragile barrel and poor ballistics, and made their Premier carbine, The SFW, with a 16" HBAR. Notice that is the gun that defeated Sig's 55X and HK's G36 in the UK's special forces trials, and went on to win a high profile contract with the SAS

I wouldnt be too concerned with trying to imitate the M4

www.gun-world.net/old/USA/M16/diemaco/sfw-hand.jpg




V,

Where can I find more info about the the trials you mentioned. I'd be intrested to find out what kind of testing was done. Beating both the Sig 55x and HKG36 as pretty damn cool considering most think the M16/AR15 has run it's course and should be replaced.

As far as the 14.5" and 16" barrels go I prefer a 16" mid-length!

I don't like having to pin/weld muzzle accesories because it makes it a PIA to add or swap FF rails.

I run my stock fully collapsed or on the first notch so I'm easily able to make up for 1.5" extra length.

The little bit of extra velocity sure doesn't hurt anything.

Also, the baby killing assualt bayonet fits just fine on the mid-length.

It really boils down to personal preference, just get which ever length best meets your needs.




Like most trials, info is skimpy. Here is a tidbit though
www.thegunzone.com/556dw-6.html
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 7:25:10 AM EDT
I like either or. Right now I have a 14.5" upper but there will be some sort of 16" upper in my future. As far as not being able to have work done on the shorter barrel because of a pinned fh, that doesn't bother me. I thought out exactly the upper I wanted and had Denny build it for me(LMT 14.5 w/DD 12.0 FSP). Look at the SEBR coming out, being in NY I can only have a post ban version, but I could still add a Troy FF rail or a Knights' RAS to it very easily. If I ever move, I'll just ship out to someone and have them do the work for me.
One of the best features of the AR series is that you can have almost any configuration you want, unfortunately, you will probably want all of them.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:46:59 AM EDT
Okay...I need to buy a vowel here...what's the difference between a 16" Carbine and a 16" mid-length?

and as long as I'm in a ? asking mood...wtf is an SBR?

tia, Bill.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:53:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FUZ1ON:
Okay...I need to buy a vowel here...what's the difference between a 16" Carbine and a 16" mid-length?

and as long as I'm in a ? asking mood...wtf is an SBR?

tia, Bill.



SBR=Short barreled Rifle. It costs an extra $200 to the gov to have a barrel under 16". A barrel under 16" can have a permantly attached flashhider that brings it out to 16" without having to pay the SBR tax.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 11:23:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 11:28:16 AM EDT by Yojimbo]

Originally Posted By FUZ1ON:
Okay...I need to buy a vowel here...what's the difference between a 16" Carbine and a 16" mid-length]

tia, Bill.



A midlength barrel has the gas port moved up about 2 inches closer to the muzzle.

This makes the carbine run a bit smoother, gives you more handguard space, longer sight radius and allows a bayonet to fit.

Here's a quote I took from an article explaining the advantages of the mid-length gas system.

"The Armalite Mid-Length Carbine was designed specifically to overcome the long-known gas system-related problems associated with the standard M4/M4A1, problems that have been plaguing end-users for years. These include greatly accelerated gas port erosion, , excess heat, higher operating gas pressures, melted and blown-out gas rings, and an open/iron sight radius that's too short. None of these are good things on a field combat weapon.

So, how does the the Mid-Length Carbine mitigate these problems? The Mid-Length Carbine moves...

the front sight base/gas block 2 inches forward from its position on the M4/M4A1 Carbine. This puts the Armalite Mid-Length Carbine's gas port mid-length between that of the M4/M4A1 carbine and full-length AR-15/M16 rifle, thus the Mid-Length Carbine's name.

The 20-inch barrelled AR-15/M16's gas port is located 12.5" forward of the chamber and 7.5" back from the muzzle. The M4/M4A1 Carbine's gas port sits 7.5" in front of the chamber and 8.5" back from the muzzle. The Armalite Mid-Length Carbine places its gas port 9.5" in front of the chamber and 6.5" behind the muzzle.

All this serves to put the Armalite Mid-Length Carbine's gas port closer to the full-length AR-15/M16's optimum operating pressure curve allowed by its 20" barrel. This results in less gas port erosion, reduced heat, slower bolt velocity, improved extraction, and a longer sight radius. "
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 11:34:05 AM EDT
tag.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 12:07:21 PM EDT
16in for overall uses

14.5in for better looks and bayo compliant

BOTH are good
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:46:38 PM EDT
I chose both. I've got a 16" midlength on my AR so I don't have to permanently attach a flashider.
Have a 14.5" M4 on my M16. Can use my supressor on both.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 6:57:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Matt_B:

Originally Posted By Azalin:
5: When a flash hider is permanently attached you can not install a rail (the RASII and SIR are exceptions) or another flash hider with out destroying the one that is already attached.

You left out the Troy and MI rail systems. They too can be mounted without removing the front sight or flash hider.



The Troy rail will require you to cut the delta ring assembly off. Some people are not comfortable doing that on an upper that has a permanently attached flash suppressor. Reattaching handguards will be impossible without first removing the permanently attached muzzle device and barrel to install a new delta ring.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 2:09:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 2:16:57 PM EDT by chewbacca]
If you did go 14.5 you are not limited to the ARMS and RAS2. There is the Troy or Samson as well.

My next build will be 14.5.

ETA: Damn I am dumb. I just read the thread and saw what I said 3 times...oh well.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 2:49:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By model927:
only 2700 fps is needed for a bullet to fragment and both barrels will do this under 100 ydswich in the real world 90% of combat takes place and 70% of that well under 50.I dont change foreends or muzzle devices so I go shortest with a permanent phantom.My phantoms are silver soldered on wich is still a legal way to do it other than pinned on so with a little elbow grease it can be wrenched off..hard to do but possibel so I can save the phantom if I have to change a barrel.With 4 ARs I will probably never have to do a barreol change as everything is in the configuration I want and when I want something different I just build it that way.A 16" will fragment out to 150yds 14.5 to 100 but as I said in real world combat distances both will do fine and neither has an advantage over the other in that scenario.



I've been debating with myself over this. I was wondering, does the bullet drop a lot more between 200 and 300 yards? Thanks for any info.

Couch-Commando
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:10:40 PM EDT
Very few will need the extra length for fragmentation. Be honest with yourself, do you think that extra velocity will ever come in handy; not likely. If you shot a 16" and 14.5" side by side I bet most people would have a hard time telling them apart at ranges under 400yards.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:15:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By model927:
only 2700 fps is needed for a bullet to fragment and both barrels will do this under 100 ydswich in the real world 90% of combat takes place and 70% of that well under 50.

I've been debating with myself over this. I was wondering, does the bullet drop a lot more between 200 and 300 yards? Thanks for any info.

Couch-Commando



If you look here: www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=189353 you'll see that there is very little difference in bullet drop between the 16" and 14.5". Certainly of no consequence in the field.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:35:16 PM EDT
Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:02:22 PM EDT
I'm surprised no one mentioned the RRA's 15" barrel with the permanently attached A2 flash hider.

I got one, from Pete-in-NH, and it is as close to the M4 14.5" barrel length with an A2 flash hider as you can get and still be 16" overall. For those who want the 14.5" look it's real close. It's light under the hand guards so it's fairly light.

Colt_SBR
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:04:39 PM EDT
i have a 14.5 bushy, kinda the happy middle between short and 20.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 5:59:11 PM EDT
Satisfy my curious nature. If you buy a 14.5" upper, what would be considered a permanent installation of a brake or flash hider? In others words, what will satisfy the law?
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 9:39:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 9:41:30 PM EDT by Billmanweh]

Originally Posted By BigBoot:
Satisfy my curious nature. If you buy a 14.5" upper, what would be considered a permanent installation of a brake or flash hider? In others words, what will satisfy the law?



http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=242496

http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=238891

I just bought a 14.5" LMT upper and had a Phantom blind pinned and welded on.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 9:41:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 9:41:50 PM EDT by Billmanweh]
....
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:30:48 PM EDT
So, I am convinced that I should save the extra $200.00 tax for SBR and go with the 16" mid-lenth barrel.

Now, should I go with the HBAR or the M4 contoured barrel? Any advantages with either one?

thanks again,

Speedfish
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:33:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Speedfish:
16" vs 14.5" barrel, is bigger better?

Speedfish



I love my 14.5 with phantom. No point in a 16". If you want accuracy that bad, use 20".
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:15:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:
I love my 14.5 with phantom. No point in a 16". If you want accuracy that bad, use 20".

Within the most common ranges for an AR (300m or less), a longer bbl does not offer any appreciable accuracy improvements, aside from a longer iron sight radius.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:27:47 PM EDT
just go 16"
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:28:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Matt_B:

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:
I love my 14.5 with phantom. No point in a 16". If you want accuracy that bad, use 20".

Within the most common ranges for an AR (300m or less), a longer bbl does not offer any appreciable accuracy improvements, aside from a longer iron sight radius.



I am not really sure that is true. Most match BBL are 20" plus. There are more 16" match bbls on the market nowdays. My first was a Bushy 20". I can do 3" groups at 300 yards without concentration. I have yet to duplicate with my Bushy 14.5" or 11.5+6.6.

If anyone were to build an AR specifically for room clearing or vehicle use, I recommend a 10 or 11.5 inch AR pistol. I love mine. I started with longer bbls and keep going shorter. My next build will be an Oly 45ACP on an 11.5" BBl. Now that's a room clearer! Supperssor friendly too!
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:54:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 4:27:47 AM EDT by Matt_B]

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:

Originally Posted By Matt_B:
Within the most common ranges for an AR (300m or less), a longer bbl does not offer any appreciable accuracy improvements, aside from a longer iron sight radius.



I am not really sure that is true. Most match BBL are 20" plus. There are more 16" match bbls on the market nowdays. My first was a Bushy 20". I can do 3" groups at 300 yards without concentration. I have yet to duplicate with my Bushy 14.5" or 11.5+6.6.

It is true. At extended ranges (greater than 300m), longer bbls do help accuracy because of the greater velocities they produce. Here's a thread that covers it in detail:

How big of a factor does barrel length play in accuracy, advantages/disadvantages?

There are quite a few threads linked in the thread I linked to. If you really want to know the facts, read through the entire thread.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 6:13:33 PM EDT
Matt_B,
I have been able to find all of the destributors you listed except IIRC, can you provide a link for their site or a phone number?
thanks,
Speedfish
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 6:32:08 PM EDT


I lean towards the 16" mid-length as the optimal "carbine" - I like the added iron sight radius, the slightly smoother operation, and the ability to stick a bayonet on it (regardless of how pointless it may be ).


I don't like the idea of a permanently attached muzzle device - possibly limiting rail choices, and while some people (correctly) point out that the longer fragmentation range of the 16" is rarely going to be a decisive factor, I'd counter that it is probably as unlikely that the 1.5" shorter barrel length will be a decisive factor either. (Most of us are not going to "need" the 1.5" any more than the extra frag range in any scenario we are likely to be in).

I've got a regular 16" carbine, a 16" midlength - but even though I keep thinking of building a 14.5" (or 14.7" CMMG), I never quite get around to it. Maybe because I already have an ABR (10.5") the mystique of 1.5" shorter isn't as powerful? I dunno - but I will admit I am still tempted to build a 14.5 just to "round out" the collection.


Link Posted: 8/15/2005 7:09:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

I lean towards the 16" mid-length as the optimal "carbine" - I like the added iron sight radius, the slightly smoother operation, and the ability to stick a bayonet on it (regardless of how pointless it may be ).


I don't like the idea of a permanently attached muzzle device - possibly limiting rail choices, and while some people (correctly) point out that the longer fragmentation range of the 16" is rarely going to be a decisive factor, I'd counter that it is probably as unlikely that the 1.5" shorter barrel length will be a decisive factor either. (Most of us are not going to "need" the 1.5" any more than the extra frag range in any scenario we are likely to be in).

I've got a regular 16" carbine, a 16" midlength - but even though I keep thinking of building a 14.5" (or 14.7" CMMG), I never quite get around to it. Maybe because I already have an ABR (10.5") the mystique of 1.5" shorter isn't as powerful? I dunno - but I will admit I am still tempted to build a 14.5 just to "round out" the collection.





Actually the 16" is way too long and the 14.5" is still too long but not WAY too long. I am seriously considering an 11.5" barrel for an all purpose carbine. Makes more sense for a self defense / LEO weapon.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 7:40:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Speedfish:
Matt_B,
I have been able to find all of the destributors you listed except IIRC, can you provide a link for their site or a phone number?
thanks,
Speedfish



You're kidding, right? If I Recall Correctly, there is a sticky in this forum called "Acronyms and Abbreviations in common use on AR15.com"

Not a jab, but it is a good idea to read through it. I know I have read it at least twice.
Link Posted: 8/15/2005 8:29:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

I lean towards the 16" mid-length as the optimal "carbine" - I like the added iron sight radius, the slightly smoother operation, and the ability to stick a bayonet on it (regardless of how pointless it may be ).


I don't like the idea of a permanently attached muzzle device - possibly limiting rail choices, and while some people (correctly) point out that the longer fragmentation range of the 16" is rarely going to be a decisive factor, I'd counter that it is probably as unlikely that the 1.5" shorter barrel length will be a decisive factor either. (Most of us are not going to "need" the 1.5" any more than the extra frag range in any scenario we are likely to be in).

I've got a regular 16" carbine, a 16" midlength - but even though I keep thinking of building a 14.5" (or 14.7" CMMG), I never quite get around to it. Maybe because I already have an ABR (10.5") the mystique of 1.5" shorter isn't as powerful? I dunno - but I will admit I am still tempted to build a 14.5 just to "round out" the collection.





Actually the 16" is way too long and the 14.5" is still too long but not WAY too long. I am seriously considering an 11.5" barrel for an all purpose carbine. Makes more sense for a self defense / LEO weapon.




I guess "way too long" begs the question of "for what?"

I think for an overall multi-purpose, utility rifle - 16" is the PERFECT balance of range, weight, velocity, etc.

However, I agree with you 100% that an SBR is a better choice for the specific purpose of self-defense (or even LEO). If I need to grab an AR for something that goes bump in the night, the 10.5" is the best choice by far.
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