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Posted: 9/29/2004 6:53:03 AM EST
I want to build an AR and have been researching various types and their practicality. I've read that the 11.5" barrel isn't ballistically a very good combination for the 5.56 round but I would like to know how much of a difference it does make compared to a 16" barrel. What's the general concenus? (I doubt I would go past 100 yards shooting)

I've looked at the M4gerys and 16" CARs but I just really like the XM177 style. I suppose if it makes a big enough difference I could probably find an M4 14.5" with 2" FH... It just seems like everyone has one whereas I don't see as many XM177s.. (hmm, maybe that's because the 11.5" barrel does make a difference?)

Thanks for any help! :) (I did a little searching through here but didn't find much.)
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 6:55:19 AM EST
I have a 5.5"/11.5" combo and it's one of my favorite and oldest ARs but...

I wouldn't recommend them as a primary weapon. I only have one because I have just about every other configuration out there. I consider it a fun gun, nothing more.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 6:58:44 AM EST
Fun to play with and shoot, but don't expect any long range accuracy with one. As mentioned, not recommended for primary weapon use.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 7:15:15 AM EST
I have one. It's a great shooter. Accurate out to 100 meters. Past that, I wouldn't even try.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 7:28:36 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 7:52:19 AM EST
Screw the 5.5" part, go 11.5" and have fun with it. I can hit stuff out to 200, though my eyes are getting foggy.

Accuracy??? I have shot 1 1/2 easy with a cheap 3-9x40, off sandbag, this was with 52gr Hornady HP.
Can shoot upper A/B shots at 100 on a std IPSC target.

Practice - practice - practice - length has no effect on accuracy.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 7:54:38 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:00:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By SBR7_11:
Screw the 5.5" part, go 11.5"



Some of us want to play, but can't due to state requirements or have to go with the 5.5" FH permanently installed. I built one with a Bushy 1/7 barrel so that I could do some 77gr SMK load development with it. The only legal way for me was the 11.5"/5.5" combo.

I'll gladly move out of MI if someone can find a comparable job with comparable pay and benefits.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:15:19 AM EST
I have one, it is a lot of fun to play with but as others have said it should not be a primary choice. For SHTF/TEOWAWKI/hunting/competition/target shooting I use a 20" hbar but that commando clone is a hoot for close range fun shooting.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:22:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By M4arc:
I have a 5.5"/11.5" combo and it's one of my favorite and oldest ARs but...

I wouldn't recommend them as a primary weapon. I only have one because I have just about every other configuration out there. I consider it a fun gun, nothing more.




+1, except my 11.5/5.5 is my newest. It is fun to shoot, looks cool, and doesn't require a bunch of paperwork. Again, not what I would grab in an emergency, but if you have the other bases covered, why not own a "flame thrower"? <reference to the huge fireball from my 11.5/5.5>
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:26:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
I still dont get why anyone would want 16 inches of barrel with 11 inches of performance, give the HUGE limitations that puts on the gun ballistically.



AMEN to that brother. But I guess cool factor sells alot of stuff....
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:30:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By SteveinAz:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
I still dont get why anyone would want 16 inches of barrel with 11 inches of performance, give the HUGE limitations that puts on the gun ballistically.



AMEN to that brother. But I guess cool factor sells alot of stuff....



... Same crowd that buys fake suppressors, Airsoft optics and pinned open their postban "collapsible" stocks.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:59:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 9:01:03 AM EST by M4arc]

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:

Originally Posted By SteveinAz:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
I still dont get why anyone would want 16 inches of barrel with 11 inches of performance, give the HUGE limitations that puts on the gun ballistically.



AMEN to that brother. But I guess cool factor sells alot of stuff....



... Same crowd that buys fake suppressors, Airsoft optics and pinned open their postban "collapsible" stocks.



According to the AZ boys I'm now in the same group as the airsoft optics guys

Oh well...
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:03:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:15:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 9:32:03 AM EST by M4arc]

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By M4arc:
According to the AZ boys I'm now in the same group as the airsoft optics guys

Oh well...



No you arent. One of these days you'll replace that barrel with something cool like a Bushmaster Super Light.



Already have one. Like I told him in my first post, they are fun (and cheaper than going the SBR route) but they are no good for a primary weapon. If you have most of the other configurations like I do then go for it and have fun. Even an inferior AR is still a fun AR.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:38:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By M4arc:

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:

Originally Posted By SteveinAz:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
I still dont get why anyone would want 16 inches of barrel with 11 inches of performance, give the HUGE limitations that puts on the gun ballistically.



AMEN to that brother. But I guess cool factor sells alot of stuff....



... Same crowd that buys fake suppressors, Airsoft optics and pinned open their postban "collapsible" stocks.



According to the AZ boys I'm now in the same group as the airsoft optics guys

Oh well...



Mine is an for data collection only. Imagine the look on the airsofters when I pull up with that flame thrower!!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:46:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
I still dont get why anyone would want 16 inches of barrel with 11 inches of performance, give the HUGE limitations that puts on the gun ballistically.



Ding ding ding.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:49:59 AM EST
Don't worry about some of the opinions MauserMatt. Just remember their like A-holes. Everybody has one. If that is the rifle you want, go get it.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:53:25 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:58:50 AM EST
I like Lumpy more and more each day.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:59:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By Rusty69:
Don't worry about some of the opinions MauserMatt. Just remember their like A-holes. Everybody has one. If that is the rifle you want, go get it.



DIDNT HE COME HERE ASKING FOR A OPINION?


I love this shit.



NO, if you will re-read his post, he does not ask for an opinion. He ask for a general concenus. And referenced the XM177 style rifle.

So, let me break it down for you. He is wanting a real life concenus on how they shoot vs. a longer barreled rifle.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 10:11:12 AM EST
Oh boy, it looks like this thread is heading down the path that so many threads take here on ar15.com.

You boys have fun with it!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 10:21:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rusty69:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By Rusty69:
Don't worry about some of the opinions MauserMatt. Just remember their like A-holes. Everybody has one. If that is the rifle you want, go get it.



DIDNT HE COME HERE ASKING FOR A OPINION?


I love this shit.



NO, if you will re-read his post, he does not ask for an opinion. He ask for a general concenus. And referenced the XM177 style rifle.

So, let me break it down for you. He is wanting a real life concenus on how they shoot vs. a longer barreled rifle.




Main Entry: con·sen·sus
Pronunciation: k&n-'sen(t)-s&s
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Latin, from consentire
1 a : general agreement : UNANIMITY <the consensus of their opinion, based on reports... from the border -- John Hersey> b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned <the consensus was to go ahead>
2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief
usage The phrase consensus of opinion, which is not actually redundant (see sense 1a; the sense that takes the phrase is slightly older), has been so often claimed to be a redundancy that many writers avoid it. You are safe in using consensus alone when it is clear you mean consensus of opinion, and most writers in fact do so.


Just so we know what the definition of 'is' is.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 10:31:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
DIDNT HE COME HERE ASKING FOR A OPINION?





Originally Posted By Rusty69:
NO, if you will re-read his post, he does not ask for an opinion.



BOY, DID HE EVER COME TO THE WRONG PLACE, POSTING A QUESTION ON THE INTERNET, AND DIDNT WANT OPINIONS.

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 11:10:36 AM EST
As I recall, someone makes a slip-over Flash hider for a 16" barrell that will make it 'look' like a shorty barrell, but gives you 16 inches of barrel... Anybody remember this other than me?

That would give you the 'look' you want, with more effective ballistics.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:26:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 3:19:39 PM EST by gus]

Originally Posted By M4arc:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By M4arc:
According to the AZ boys I'm now in the same group as the airsoft optics guys

Oh well...



No you arent. One of these days you'll replace that barrel with something cool like a Bushmaster Super Light.



Already have one. Like I told him in my first post, they are fun (and cheaper than going the SBR route) but they are no good for a primary weapon. If you have most of the other configurations like I do then go for it and have fun. Even an inferior AR is still a fun AR.



+1 here. I already had 2 16", 3 20", 1 20" MG w/ 14.5" extra upper (large hole), and 1 14.5" with perm. Phantom supressor, plus a 16" 7.62x69 Colt Sporter, and I still had two stripped lowers on 9/12/2004. Should I have built another example of what I already had plenty of? One stripped lower is now mated to an 11.5/5.5 A2 Bushmaster upper. I still have another lower to do something with, but I think that's going to become a CMP match rifle. Or are there tactical or ballistic disadvantages to that choice too?

If it's your first and only AR, or one of only 2 or 3, then yes, ballistics, practicality, and usefulness are of primary concern. Once you have all the bases covered, having one or two toys just for fun makes one an Airsofter??? I suppose that makes all the HK51 owners out there Airsofters too. It's a friggin hobby to some of us. We have FUN with it. We do it for ENJOYMENT. Big fireballs can be FUN at dusk, when you are plinking (not when in combat).

What's so wrong with that?

ETA: I'm not pissed or anything, just debating!!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:47:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By gus:
What's so wrong with that?



Apparently we can't own any ARs because we think they are cool! All of your ARs should be your primary. go to weapons! Hell, if that was the case I wouldn't have 3 of those "cool" M4s sitting here even though I don't own a M203. I bought mine because a) it was a pre-ban and I figured I could always change the upper if it ever became "uncool". b) I thought it was neat. c) I had the money.

Oh wait, I said I was bowing out of this thread because it was following the typical ar15.com path straight into the shitter. OOPS!

Out.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:11:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:

Originally Posted By SteveinAz:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
I still dont get why anyone would want 16 inches of barrel with 11 inches of performance, give the HUGE limitations that puts on the gun ballistically.



AMEN to that brother. But I guess cool factor sells alot of stuff....



... Same crowd that buys fake suppressors, Airsoft optics and pinned open their postban "collapsible" stocks.



OMG, the firearm community has ricers too? hock.gif

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:44:28 PM EST
Thanks guys, I do appreciate the help.

I think instead of my original plan to buy one lower to start out with has changed to getting two lowers.. hink
Main reason I got into AR15s is the look. Then I started liking the flexibility of the weapon system. Though I don't intend on completely tricking it out beyond recognition, I like that I could if I wanted to. Plus ya have to admit, some ARs just look plain evil! hat,
As far as SHTF rifle.. I got that covered already (with my tried and true CETME). Course it can't hurt to have a few backups/close range rifles, which this would probably be.

Now I can't wait for Knob Creek to see what's there! Only a week and a half to go!!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:14:23 PM EST
It doesn't look like anybody addressed this part yet:

I've read that the 11.5" barrel isn't ballistically a very good combination for the 5.56 round but I would like to know how much of a difference it does make compared to a 16" barrel.


And here's your answer:

M193:
16" bbl muzzle velocity: 3100 fps
11.5" bbl MV: 2850fps

16" fragmentation range: roughly 100-115 yards
11.5" frag range: roughly 30-40 yards
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 4:23:25 PM EST
Ballistically you'll lose quite a bit. Look around on the web, there are guys who did the comparsion with different .223 barrel lenth from 24" down to 4".

I think Olympic web site also has article discussing penatration and damage of .223 with respect to velocity. Some recent articles about the M4 performance in Irag, discribe the M4 as in lacking stopping power as a battle rifle (14.5 in). The reason why the Military is developing this 6.8 mm stuff.

And vendor do sell slip over muzzle breaks, that give the shorty look. In the end, it is just a toy for the big boys... Get the one that makes you happy.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 4:38:56 PM EST
Does anyone make a 4" barrel with a 12-1/4" Flash hider? I am in the market for one if you guys know of any
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:13:49 PM EST
So could anyone fill me in on why the XM177 style barrel was developed? Is it lighter weight than an M4 profile barrel? I know someone had a chart with weights for most barrels listed, but I'm not sure the XM177 was included on it. Thanks for the info.
-dc2wheel
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:09:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By ASUsax:
As I recall, someone makes a slip-over Flash hider for a 16" barrell that will make it 'look' like a shorty barrell, but gives you 16 inches of barrel... Anybody remember this other than me?

That would give you the 'look' you want, with more effective ballistics.



DPMS
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:20:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By dc2wheel:
So could anyone fill me in on why the XM177 style barrel was developed? Is it lighter weight than an M4 profile barrel? I know someone had a chart with weights for most barrels listed, but I'm not sure the XM177 was included on it. Thanks for the info.
-dc2wheel



Here's a great website that covers the history and development of the CAR-15. Notice it dates back to 1965?

www.specialoperations.com/Weapons/Features/M4/
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 12:16:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 5:42:19 PM EST
I just picked up a 11.5 / 5.5 barrel. I think that they're light and handle very well. If I were concerned about longer range ballistics, I'd grab one of my FALs. We each have opinions, and I consider the 5.56 as a shorter range round anyway, which is what I wanted. I'd never want to use a .308 in a neighborhood or urban setting. 50 yards and under, I'd be very conmfortable with this setup. I know it's not realistic, but if I could tailor the weapon to the range and setting, it would generally be 50 yds or less, a SBR would be fine, 50 to 100 yds, 14.5" to16", past 100 yds,
I'd go with the .308. Although I know the 20" is really popular, I have no use for it.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:23:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 6:23:44 PM EST by XxSLASHERxX]
this one has run its course..at least for me
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