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Posted: 9/23/2012 1:02:12 PM EDT
The first AR I bought was a Bushmaster with an 11.5 in barrel and a 5.5 in flash hider (didn't know what I was doing). My current setup is as follows-

Midwest Gen-II free float monolithic rail system
Magpul RVG grip
Magpul CTR stock
Magpul MIAD
Troy rear buis
Surefire light w/ VLTOR mount

I've had a number of optics but haven't loved any of them. I've since been saving up for a new EOTech but have grown to really enjoy shooting irons in the mean time, so I'm considering just sticking with them. My question is, do you all think my money would be better spent on the following?

16 in barrel
Mid-length rail system
Front flip up BUIS

This setup would increase velocity / decrease recoil and also increase my sight radius.

All I do is bench shoot.

Thoughts?
Link Posted: 9/23/2012 1:10:57 PM EDT
That Bushmaster 11.5 inch upper with the 5.5 inch retro style flash hider is not a bad way to go if you want to do a "retro style" build but you don't want to jump through NFA hoops to get "true retro."

I have one of those on order (LONG waiting list!) for a project I am working on right now.

I guess for your stated purposes, though, you would be better served with the 16" barrel.  An EO Tech would seem kind of out of place on a retro/XM177 styled weapon, IMHO.

My vote - get the 16".
Link Posted: 9/23/2012 1:17:14 PM EDT
If all you do is bench shooting, I'd look at a 20in barrel.  If not 16in barrel. Also, if you're enjoying iron sights.. Get a good fixed front sight and skip the flip up bUIS
Link Posted: 9/23/2012 1:24:48 PM EDT
depending on your range out to 100yds that 11.5inch barrel is still more accurate than a lot of shooters
Link Posted: 9/23/2012 2:26:50 PM EDT
Quoted:
That Bushmaster 11.5 inch upper with the 5.5 inch retro style flash hider is not a bad way to go if you want to do a "retro style" build but you don't want to jump through NFA hoops to get "true retro."


A retro build certainly wasn't my intent, it's just the rifle they had on the shelf.

Quoted:
If all you do is bench shooting, I'd look at a 20in barrel.  If not 16in barrel. Also, if you're enjoying iron sights.. Get a good fixed front sight and skip the flip up bUIS


Your FSB remark brings me to my next question. I've read that 1) a factory pinned FSB is optimal and that 2) increased sight radius is optimal as well. That leads me to a "Dissipator" style setup, but when I researched Dissipators they didn't get great reviews at all because you basically have the weight of BOTH a gas block and a FSB, and the weight of an unnecessarily long rail system . Which lead me to the mid-length rail / gas system and flip up BUIS. Thoughts on that?
Link Posted: 9/23/2012 2:28:34 PM EDT
Thought about a 18" SPR kind of set up with magnified glass?
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 6:00:59 AM EDT
Quoted:
Thought about a 18" SPR kind of set up with magnified glass?


I wasn't familiar with that setup, but it seems like a viable option for my needs. Would it be ridiculous if I never put glass on it?
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 7:18:03 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
That Bushmaster 11.5 inch upper with the 5.5 inch retro style flash hider is not a bad way to go if you want to do a "retro style" build but you don't want to jump through NFA hoops to get "true retro."


A retro build certainly wasn't my intent, it's just the rifle they had on the shelf.

Quoted:
If all you do is bench shooting, I'd look at a 20in barrel.  If not 16in barrel. Also, if you're enjoying iron sights.. Get a good fixed front sight and skip the flip up bUIS


Your FSB remark brings me to my next question. I've read that 1) a factory pinned FSB is optimal and that 2) increased sight radius is optimal as well. That leads me to a "Dissipator" style setup, but when I researched Dissipators they didn't get great reviews at all because you basically have the weight of BOTH a gas block and a FSB, and the weight of an unnecessarily long rail system . Which lead me to the mid-length rail / gas system and flip up BUIS. Thoughts on that?


If you are shooting from a bench then weight isn't an issue.  In fact it can help curb recoil (conservation of momentum).  

I'll second the fixed front sight.  Personally I'd grab a 13.5" NSR rail and put a fixed sight on the end of it.  You can also get a clamp on FSB and install it at the end of the barrel like the Noveske shooting team rifles.
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 8:43:15 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Thought about a 18" SPR kind of set up with magnified glass?


I wasn't familiar with that setup, but it seems like a viable option for my needs. Would it be ridiculous if I never put glass on it?


If you enjoy shooting it, it isn't ridiculous.  
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 8:49:41 AM EDT
The 11.5 with 5.5 parmattached  flash suppressor is a decent enough compromise. You are trading bullet velocity for bolt longevity.
The residual chamber pressure is lowered at the time of unlocking and extraction than in a longer barreled gun with the same length gas system.
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 9:01:48 AM EDT
It sounds like you have a flat top upper with the fake XM pinned on?

IF it were me, I would ditch the MI rail for some thing lighter, DD is costly but makes good light weight rails like the omega series. or go MOE. I'd ditch the 11.5 barrel in favor of either a light weight 14.5 with pinned FH to bring to legal 16" and carbine gas. Or a light weight 16" barrel with mid length gas. I personally don't care for the EoTech I find them heavy. I'd add a BCM/Colt BCG when/if The bushmaster unit fails you. Again this is only what I'd do.

Edit to add, I really like the Bravo company Gunfighter med. charging handle.
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 9:42:59 AM EDT
if you want to have a longer sight radius but dont want to change barrels/gas lengths, this is a thing:  http://troyind.com/%20/rail-systemsaccessories/rails/ar15m16-rails/free-float-rails/troy-alpha-rail®-13″-with-sight
Link Posted: 9/24/2012 11:37:38 AM EDT
I do believe I'm going to forgo an optic and spend the money on a new barrel, either 16 or 18 inch.

Thanks everyone.
Link Posted: 10/5/2012 4:02:16 PM EDT
I thought you guys might appreciate seeing the result of your advice.



BCM Mid-length Upper
Magpul MOE Handguard
WMD Bolt

Thanks for the help everyone, very pleased with how it all came together and I'm sure shooting it will be even better.

Headed to the range tomorrow, will report back.
Link Posted: 10/5/2012 5:16:52 PM EDT
Quoted:
I thought you guys might appreciate seeing the result of your advice.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/tegunderpressure/DSC_0146-1.jpg

BCM Mid-length Upper
Magpul MOE Handguard
WMD Bolt

Thanks for the help everyone, very pleased with how it all came together and I'm sure shooting it will be even better.

Headed to the range tomorrow, will report back.



NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!

You have it looking good!  Congrats on the sweet rifle.
Link Posted: 10/5/2012 7:06:13 PM EDT
Quoted:
I thought you guys might appreciate seeing the result of your advice.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/tegunderpressure/DSC_0146-1.jpg

BCM Mid-length Upper
Magpul MOE Handguard
WMD Bolt

Thanks for the help everyone, very pleased with how it all came together and I'm sure shooting it will be even better.

Headed to the range tomorrow, will report back.



Nice !

Now get out there and run that puppy !
Link Posted: 10/6/2012 9:37:51 AM EDT
Just got back from the range, I'm very pleased. Some observations-

1) The increase in accuracy compared to my last barrel is very significant. It's probably a combination of the increased sight radius, and just the overall quality of the BCM barrel.

2) The difference in carbine to mid-length gas system feel isn't as big as I was thinking it would be, but that's not really a big deal.

3) I have to admit, the only reason I went with the nickel-boron coated WMD bolt is because it's the only one I could find in stock. But in the end, it functioned flawlessly and wiped clean with a paper towel, which is pretty neat.

Here's a final group at 100 yards using iron sights, 1 inch grid target-



The top right shot is admittedly bad, but I was quite sure I pulled it the moment after I took it, which is great because it's the first time I think I've been able to call a shot. Once I brush up on my shooting, I'll be able to take advantage of this rifle. It also only has about 30 rounds through it at this point, so maybe it will tighten up even more. Thanks again for the help everyone.
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