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Posted: 7/3/2012 11:02:48 AM EDT
I know supposedly that the Midlength's advantages over Carbine is smoother recoil and that it's alittle more gentle on the BCG so you're SUPPOSEDLY going to get longer life from your BCG.





But I know you can put in a heavy buffer and even a heavy recoil spring into a carbine length and make it feel just like shooting a midlength or carbine length rifle. So then you kind of negate the midlength's biggest "advantage" over carbine length; dont ya?





I am wrestling with either trying to get a 14.5" or a 16" and I can't really figure out which way I want to go. Because it almost sounds like 14.5" can be enhanced to make it seem just like shooting 16" midlength and you end up with a more compact rifle.




 
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:07:09 AM EDT
[#1]
From someone who shoots a 14.5 carbine length system alot and has owned both, I can't tell much of a difference.  At all.  My "go to" 14.5" carbine has probably close to 7K rounds through it and no problems, and it has a (eek!) standard buffer.

To me, it is much ado about nothing.

- AG
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:07:20 AM EDT
[#2]
Either works. If you keep the front sight post, the midlength gets a longer sight radius.



I shoot almost all carbine length gas system equipped guns.

Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:07:57 AM EDT
[#3]

14.5 Carbine

16 Midlength

18+ Rifle

That's what most are recommending these days.

Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:08:46 AM EDT
[#4]



Quoted:


Either works. If you keep the front sight post, the midlength gets a longer sight radius.



I shoot almost all carbine length gas system equipped guns.



Yeah, well I doubt the sight radius thing will do anything for me because on either barrels I will be using a low profile gas block and using a 10" or 11" rail system.



 
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:15:45 AM EDT
[#5]
I think many places are trending toward midlength because they sell better.  I thnk they sell better because people like the appearance of more rail/handguard and less barrel length.  Granted some people do need extra rail space.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:28:30 AM EDT
[#6]
I have both a 14.5" carbine and a 14.5" mid-length...they both shoot great, and I can't tell much if any of a difference between the two.

I'd say with a 14.5" barrel, carbine or middy are both equally GTG.

With a 16" barrel, I'd go mid-length though.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:35:31 AM EDT
[#7]
My latest is a 14.5" midlength with DynaComp and 9mm buffer.  It almost feels like shooting an airgun.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 11:41:14 AM EDT
[#8]
14.5 Middies for me. And I have not have trouble from Wolf or Tula, out of a few different 14.5 middies.

That being said, I really dont feel much a difference between a carbine and mid length. It is a bit softer, but not enough for me to switch platforms if I had a carbine.

I also dont think the heavier stuff helps that much. You slow down the reciprocating assembly, but you increase the mass. And according to Force = mass x acceleration, the force stays the same.

I think JP enterprises has it figured out, low mass carrier, standard spring/buffer, and an adjustable gas block. Makes for the softest shooting rifles IMHO
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 12:15:25 PM EDT
[#9]
So the guys using 14.5 middys, do they feed just as reliably as 14.5 carbine length gas systems?



Cause that actually kinda sounds like the best of both world's. lol


 
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 12:31:52 PM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
So the guys using 14.5 middys, do they feed just as reliably as 14.5 carbine length gas systems?

Cause that actually kinda sounds like the best of both world's. lol
 


I have a 14.5 bcm with a battle comp and with a spikes t2 buffer my casings eject right at 4:30

I'm not agreeing or suggesting that this image is fact but this might help picture it: http://i555.photobucket.com/albums/jj475/Cansler_Tactical/Smileys/General/ARejectionpattern.jpg
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:17:43 PM EDT
[#11]
Midlength should be more reliable.   Slower cyclic rate delays extraction a bit allowing the spent case to cool a little more than carbine length.    That is supposedly the advantage.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:18:40 PM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:
So the guys using 14.5 middys, do they feed just as reliably as 14.5 carbine length gas systems?

Cause that actually kinda sounds like the best of both world's. lol
 


This is my first 14.5" and I don't have many rounds through it yet.  So I can't comment on comparisons to a 14.5" carbine or reliability.  Just that it shoots ridiculously soft with how I have it set up.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:30:00 PM EDT
[#13]
Quoted:
14.5 Middies for me. And I have not have trouble from Wolf or Tula, out of a few different 14.5 middies.

That being said, I really dont feel much a difference between a carbine and mid length. It is a bit softer, but not enough for me to switch platforms if I had a carbine.

I also dont think the heavier stuff helps that much. You slow down the reciprocating assembly, but you increase the mass. And according to Force = mass x acceleration, the force stays the same.
I think JP enterprises has it figured out, low mass carrier, standard spring/buffer, and an adjustable gas block. Makes for the softest shooting rifles IMHO


This...

Of the hundreds of carbine gas system guns I've built or repaired, I've seen 10x more cycling problems caused by heavier buffers than solved by them.

- AG
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:33:02 PM EDT
[#14]
Quoted:
Quoted:
14.5 Middies for me. And I have not have trouble from Wolf or Tula, out of a few different 14.5 middies.

That being said, I really dont feel much a difference between a carbine and mid length. It is a bit softer, but not enough for me to switch platforms if I had a carbine.

I also dont think the heavier stuff helps that much. You slow down the reciprocating assembly, but you increase the mass. And according to Force = mass x acceleration, the force stays the same.
I think JP enterprises has it figured out, low mass carrier, standard spring/buffer, and an adjustable gas block. Makes for the softest shooting rifles IMHO


This...

Of the hundreds of carbine gas system guns I've built or repaired, I've seen 10x more cycling problems caused by heavier buffers than solved by them.

- AG


This surprises me none.

The heavier buffer will never solve a problem. That being said, I do run heavy buffers. I feel the same impulse, but at a slower rate, gives a slight advantage to keeping the sights on target.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:34:47 PM EDT
[#15]
I have a few 14.5 carbines and middys, and prefer the longer sight radius.  Iv'e never had performance issues with either.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 1:50:04 PM EDT
[#16]
Count me as another one who has both––and can't tell much, if any, difference. However, I haven't tried my mid-length upper on my FA lower, so I'm interested to see if I notice anything then.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 2:07:56 PM EDT
[#17]



Quoted:


Midlength should be more reliable.   Slower cyclic rate delays extraction a bit allowing the spent case to cool a little more than carbine length.    That is supposedly the advantage.


Yeah, I forgot about that aspect. That supposedly it allows the case to shrink back because the longer it takes the gas to go down the tube and cylce the weapon.



Pretty interesting.



 
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 3:58:23 PM EDT
[#18]
I own a 16" carbine and a 14.5" middy.

There is a slight difference in recoil between the two. The middy is slightly less. I didn't notice any significant difference.

The other difference is the sight radious, which will not matter since you plan on using a low-pro gas block.

There is also the matter that you can use a normal length bayonette on the middy. Which only matters if you have the bayonette lug on the FSB.

I like both of mine, and can use either.

Sorry, I don't think that I was that much help, but there's my $.02
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 4:30:50 PM EDT
[#19]
I've got a few of just about every configuration, each has it's own characteristics. My first rifle I'd grab is a 14.5" carbine gas Noveske, it is soft shooting but my 14.5 middies have a very slight softer push in recoil, the difference is minimal. I do believe tests show your bolt life will be slightly better in a middy over a carbine (if all else is equal). I prefer the longer sight radius also, but using an Aimpoint 99% of the time sight radius is moot.
A properly setup rifle is sweet whichever path you choose to follow, I like'em all if not overgassed/undergassed. I prefer heavier BCGs and heavier buffers as long as reliability is 100%. The beauty of this platform is we get to do it our way, I personally only worry about what I prefer. Reliability is king.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 4:35:51 PM EDT
[#20]



Quoted:




14.5 Carbine



16 Midlength



18+ Rifle



That's what most are recommending these days.





I agree although I would lean to a 14.5 middy too.



I see these post all the time. Do I really NEED a middy? I think the question should be do I really NEED a carbine length. They basicly cost the same. Why get one thats not quite as good even if its only a tiny bit difference?



 
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 4:44:34 PM EDT
[#21]
Quoted:

14.5 Carbine

16 Midlength

18+ Rifle

That's what most are recommending these days.



+1
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 4:47:42 PM EDT
[#22]
Quoted:

Quoted:

14.5 Carbine

16 Midlength

18+ Rifle

That's what most are recommending these days.


I agree although I would lean to a 14.5 middy too.

I see these post all the time. Do I really NEED a middy? I think the question should be do I really NEED a carbine length. They basicly cost the same. Why get one thats not quite as good even if its only a tiny bit difference?
 


Exactly.  I have read it on here several times that the Carbine gas is better suited for 12.5".  So based on that:

10.3-12.5" Carbine length (maybe even shorter but I have only shot those)

14.5-16" Mid-length

18-24"  Rifle length

My STAG 16" carbine gas cycles rougher than my 14.5" mid length.  A lot has to do with the barrel gas port size.  I have 5 completely built rifles right now.  1 16" Carbine, 1 20" rifle, 1 14.5" middy, and 2 16" mid lengths.  The parts for my 6th build are in route and that one will be a 16" mid length.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 5:30:49 PM EDT
[#23]


Exactly.  I have read it on here several times that the Carbine gas is better suited for 12.5".  So based on that:

10.3-12.5" Carbine length (maybe even shorter but I have only shot those)

14.5-16" Mid-length

18-24"  Rifle length

My STAG 16" carbine gas cycles rougher than my 14.5" mid length.  A lot has to do with the barrel gas port size.  I have 5 completely built rifles right now.  1 16" Carbine, 1 20" rifle, 1 14.5" middy, and 2 16" mid lengths.  The parts for my 6th build are in route and that one will be a 16" mid length.


I did alot of digging online and consulting with people who hold a wealth of knowledge and this was the concensus across the board. I have a 16" carbine and 16" mid length and it is very apparent there is a distinctive difference. the carbine system is more "violent" so to speak and the mid length is much smoother and easier to keep on target for rapid follow up shots. you can find more technical information regarding the dwell times associated with the different systems online. There were quite a few threads on here that explained the differences also. I will say this though, i prefer a mid length because of all the benefits but there is alot more merchandise on the markets for carbine systems.  
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 5:50:25 PM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
Quoted:
So the guys using 14.5 middys, do they feed just as reliably as 14.5 carbine length gas systems?

Cause that actually kinda sounds like the best of both world's. lol
 


I have a 14.5 bcm with a battle comp and with a spikes t2 buffer my casings eject right at 4:30
^^^^^^^

Is there a consensus on ejection "timing"?  

Can one diagnos cyclical rates by ejection?  

Link Posted: 7/3/2012 7:24:57 PM EDT
[#25]
Question for the guys who have both 14.5 or 16 inch carbine, and middy. Have you guys shot them both back to back and feel no difference?
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 8:27:55 PM EDT
[#26]
Quoted:
So the guys using 14.5 middys, do they feed just as reliably as 14.5 carbine length gas systems?

Cause that actually kinda sounds like the best of both world's. lol
 


Feeding is not the issue, extracting and ejecting is.
Link Posted: 7/3/2012 8:35:15 PM EDT
[#27]
Quoted:
Midlength should be more reliable.   Slower cyclic rate delays extraction a bit allowing the spent case to cool a little more than carbine length.    That is supposedly the advantage.


I've never heard the cooling thing, I would imagine the temperature differences between the two would be so negligible as to not really have an effect.

Everything that I've heard pertains to the midlength being more smooth.  Less dwell time equals less gas pressure on the BCG.  Less pressure means slower speed.  The slower the BCG is moving, the less recoil your going to feel.  

Now in my 14.5 middy I experienced less than desirable reliability as I originally had it configured (H2 Buffer) using steel case ammunition (Tula).  Cooling of the cartridge case while in the chamber would have very little effect in my opinion.  With the diminished powder charge in the Tula ammo, the BCG simply didn't have enough velocity to extract the case.  

Of course this may be different when dealing with a 16" barrel, however, I really doubt it.  The extra BCG velocity gained from running a carbine length gas should be more than enough to overshadow any gain you may realize from the cartridge case cooling due to a longer dwell time. (Providing you have a decent bolt with a decent extractor that isn't going to slip off the rim of the cartridge.)
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 6:17:54 AM EDT
[#28]
Quoted:
Question for the guys who have both 14.5 or 16 inch carbine, and middy. Have you guys shot them both back to back and feel no difference?


I did notice a difference, albeit small. I had 2 RR and 1 BM that were 16" carbines, they all shot a little harder than my 14.5" carbines, they also shot harder (recoil pulse) than any of my 14.5 and 16" middies. I since sold all my 16" carbines- personally I see no need for a carbine gas system on a 16" barrel. I have several middies that all shoot soft and feed any ammo I feed it- (will not shoot Tula to rate any weapon's reliability).

I could feel a difference on those, the 2 RR and the Bushy were all slightly overgassed compared to any of my middies. As far as which gas system on a 14.5, I'd say either a carbine or middy is great. Why would anyone want carbine gas on a 16"? Again, recoil is not bad on 5.56 unless you are shooting hundreds of rounds per day- but there is a difference. The gas port size, dwell time, buffer weight, barrel weight, rails, bullet weight/velocity, barrel device, stock design,overall weapon weight, etc... all affect felt recoil, why knowingly increase dwell time past what is needed?

There is nothing wrong with your rifle if it works well for your needs, so if you have a 16" carbine and you like it- keep it and enjoy it. Middy gas is perfect on 16" weapons, and works fine on most 14.5" also when good ammo is used. YMMV
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 6:34:39 AM EDT
[#29]
Quoted:

14.5 Carbine

16 Midlength

18+ Rifle

That's what most are recommending these days.



I've been saying this for years. IMHO, a 16" middy shoots with slightly less perceived recoil impulse than a 16" carbine.

Link Posted: 7/4/2012 6:54:10 AM EDT
[#30]
I shoot a lot of full auto, and have a LMT 14.5" carbine and a RRA 18" midlength.  on semi auto, its really hard to tell the difference, and most folks who shoot them cant tell the difference.  on full auto, the midlength is definitely smoother and perceived recoil is less.  The RRA is run on a full length buttstock and the LMT runs a carbine length stock, so those differences alone probably impact what the shooter feels.  most folks who shoot the RRA midlength tell me that's their favorite, and I tend to agree.
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 7:57:14 AM EDT
[#31]
With 16" barrels, a middy is more noticeably smoother than a carbine. With 14.5" barrels, the difference between the two is very negligible.

And you'll hear of several 14.5" middys cycling like a champ with any and every ammo run thru it, but I still will say that the one slight advantage of a 14.5" carbine is that you pretty much know with certainty that it will always cycle any and everything with ease.
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 7:57:43 AM EDT
[#32]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Midlength should be more reliable.   Slower cyclic rate delays extraction a bit allowing the spent case to cool a little more than carbine length.    That is supposedly the advantage.


I've never heard the cooling thing, I would imagine the temperature differences between the two would be so negligible as to not really have an effect.

Everything that I've heard pertains to the midlength being more smooth.  Less dwell time equals less gas pressure on the BCG.  Less pressure means slower speed.  The slower the BCG is moving, the less recoil your going to feel.  

Now in my 14.5 middy I experienced less than desirable reliability as I originally had it configured (H2 Buffer) using steel case ammunition (Tula).  Cooling of the cartridge case while in the chamber would have very little effect in my opinion.  With the diminished powder charge in the Tula ammo, the BCG simply didn't have enough velocity to extract the case.  

Of course this may be different when dealing with a 16" barrel, however, I really doubt it.  The extra BCG velocity gained from running a carbine length gas should be more than enough to overshadow any gain you may realize from the cartridge case cooling due to a longer dwell time. (Providing you have a decent bolt with a decent extractor that isn't going to slip off the rim of the cartridge.)


My RRA 14.5" middy will shoot anything, including Tula, without issue.  This is running a FA carrier and H2 buffer as well.  Tula is a poor standard to hold a rifle or gas system to as it is very underpowered.  I'll say it again though, different makers have different gas port diameters.  This factors more into the felt recoil.
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 8:03:07 AM EDT
[#33]
I can not tell any difference, other than I like the look and longer sight radius of the mid-length.
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 8:43:32 PM EDT
[#34]
I have also been wondering about this.  Although the majority seem to prefer a mid-length system for a 16" barrel; I don't see many of those for sale (either locally or online).  The vast majority of complete systems that I see for sale are 16" carbine systems.  Thoughts on that?
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 9:57:14 PM EDT
[#35]
Quoted:
I have also been wondering about this.  Although the majority seem to prefer a mid-length system for a 16" barrel; I don't see many of those for sale (either locally or online).  The vast majority of complete systems that I see for sale are 16" carbine systems.  Thoughts on that?


Umm.. that's because of the history of the M4. The original M4 is carbine length with a 14.5" barrel. As already been said, that works just fine. For the civvy market, they just took it and put a 16" barrel on it to make it legal. This results in ~12% more travel distance when the bullet is creating backpressure down the gas tube. This creates greater pressure spikes than the CAR system was originally designed for. The fix was to move the gas port out with the mid length system but this did not really catch on until a few years ago so you don't see it much. That and because there are tons more CAR handgaurds, gas tubes, etc... because that's what .mil uses so economies of scale, history, etc... makes CAR much more popular.

Really, the CAR works fine, mid length in theory is better but it's not going to make a world of difference as some people think it does.
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 10:10:32 PM EDT
[#36]
Midlength systems are still fairly new in that the mainstream manufacturers have few if any complete rifles with that gas system. Colt, Bushmaster, DPMS, Stag and the sort haven't made the switch yet, and seeing as those are the cheap, mass produced rifles they are the ones most people buy, especially when they're getting into AR's. Midlength systems are popular on the rifles that you buy after you learn more about the platform and want something nicer and more than just a hobby gun. Thus, midlengths are popular with brands such as Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, Noveske, Spikes, etc.
 
Link Posted: 7/4/2012 11:55:44 PM EDT
[#37]
Quoted:
Midlength systems are still fairly new in that the mainstream manufacturers have few if any complete rifles with that gas system. Colt, Bushmaster, DPMS, Stag and the sort haven't made the switch yet, and seeing as those are the cheap, mass produced rifles they are the ones most people buy, especially when they're getting into AR's. Midlength systems are popular on the rifles that you buy after you learn more about the platform and want something nicer and more than just a hobby gun. Thus, midlengths are popular with brands such as Daniel Defense, Bravo Company, Noveske, Spikes, etc.  


Hell, Colt is Colt and they won't think outside the box too far without a lot of nudging.  Stag just recently started offering 1/7 barrels, just this year they seem to be reaching out to the AR folks more.

Bushmaster makes a couple of mid length rifles and DPMS is selling mid length barrels.

But you are right, the companies that adapt quick and give the customers what they want have been doing Middy for awhile now.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 3:10:49 AM EDT
[#38]
I prefer shooting my 16" middy with a rifle buffer tube over my 16" carbine with a carbine buffer tube. It seems less violent during cycling, and the rifle buffer gives more of a push than a slam.  Both cycle herter's and tula with no problems at all. I really like the longer sight radius of the middy, as my eyes are no what they used to be. My future builds will most likely be mid length gas systems unless it has a 20" barrel. My 10.5" pistol build shoots great with the carbine gas system, the only reason I use an H buffer in it, is because it came with the pistol lpk.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 3:36:40 AM EDT
[#39]





Quoted:



I think many places are trending toward midlength because they sell better.  I thnk they sell better because people like the appearance of more rail/handguard and less barrel length.  Granted some people do need extra rail space.



I think carbine length gas systems will always sell better simply because it's the most commonly issued AR to our troops - not that the mid-length is any less "cool", but people (especially new shooters) will always trend towards what firearms are being dragged through the sand on the modern battlefield. The "it's what the military is using" is always the best selling point for any AR in my opinion.






It's the same reason everyone wants a MK18 or a MK12 - they're tools of the trade and their "cool" factor cannot be touched.




By the way, I'm not suggesting one is better than the other - I own a mid-length and a carbine length and love them equally.

 
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 5:00:31 AM EDT
[#40]
Quoted:

Quoted:

14.5 Carbine

16 Midlength

18+ Rifle

That's what most are recommending these days.


I agree although I would lean to a 14.5 middy too.

I see these post all the time. Do I really NEED a middy? I think the question should be do I really NEED a carbine length. They basicly cost the same. Why get one thats not quite as good even if its only a tiny bit difference?
 


This

Link Posted: 7/5/2012 7:32:06 AM EDT
[#41]



Quoted:





Quoted:



14.5 Carbine



16 Midlength



18+ Rifle



That's what most are recommending these days.





I agree although I would lean to a 14.5 middy too.



I see these post all the time. Do I really NEED a middy? I think the question should be do I really NEED a carbine length. They basicly cost the same. Why get one thats not quite as good even if its only a tiny bit difference?

 


Please explain to me how a carbine system on a 14.5-inch rifle is "not quite as good". Is there a problem with the carbine gas system?

 



OP, I've owned both systems, however the middy was a RRA 16" Elite CAR A4. I picked it up because of the longer sight radius. It was a sweet shooter, and I never had any real issues (I did have a post about dents on my brass, but that ended up being normal for many rifles).




Being I don't have that rifle anymore, I can't say if there was a difference in recoil or reliability. I think the carbine gas system is a proven system, and it seems to work great on my Colt uppers.  I would like to buy a 14.5-inch middy though, just to see if there is a difference. Does moving the gas port forward 2-inches really make that big of a difference?






Link Posted: 7/5/2012 7:35:02 AM EDT
[#42]
I can feel a drastic difference between my car and middy.  
OP.  Go to the hometown page and see if anyone near you has the guns you are torn between.  Chances are someone will have them, and be happy to meet you at the range so you can try them out.  This will make your decision easy.  There are too many variables in people (body type, weight...) for us to tell you what kind, or how much recoil you will feel.  Whatever you get, have fun and shoot the hell out of it. Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 9:26:25 AM EDT
[#43]
I have a BCM 14.5" middy and it runs flawless with my reloads which are hot and NATO ammo. It does not run at all on Wolf.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 12:03:59 PM EDT
[#44]
Quoted:
Midlength should be more reliable.   Slower cyclic rate delays extraction a bit allowing the spent case to cool a little more than carbine length.    That is supposedly the advantage.





It allows pressure to drop sufficiently that the case is no longer obturated to the chamber walls when extraction begins.

Heat has nothing to do with it.

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