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Posted: 1/7/2005 1:46:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 1:56:46 PM EDT by Gator]
Gunshow tomorrow in town!

Thinking of building a new carbine for myself. I'm thinking I want to build a free floating gun, but is it worth doing with a standard M4 type barrel, or should I consider a match-type 16"?

Also I checked, but didn't see too much about floating handguards... Recommendations for a good but inexpensive one? I'd rather not have the uber-tactical 4 rail deals, but a top rail would be nice. Thinking of putting my aimpoint on it.

Edit - I know stress on the barrel can account for about 1 MOA accuracy loss... Also any free-floaters that look like a regular HG? Thanks!

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:16:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 5:26:50 PM EDT by Halfcocked]

Originally Posted By Gator:
Gunshow tomorrow in town!

Thinking of building a new carbine for myself. I'm thinking I want to build a free floating gun, but is it worth doing with a standard M4 type barrel, or should I consider a match-type 16"?



Not in my opinion. Match barrels are made for reaching out and touching someone, 300 yards +. Go longer for more velocity if that's what you're after.



Also I checked, but didn't see too much about floating handguards... Recommendations for a good but inexpensive one? I'd rather not have the uber-tactical 4 rail deals, but a top rail would be nice. Thinking of putting my aimpoint on it.


Brownells has a nice one peice unit that's barrel nut/hand guard all in one. Doesn't have a rail though, but you can add one. Again free floating is made so that sling tension doesn't affect POA/POI. If you sling in tight you will stress the end of the barrel and change Point of Impact vs Point of Aim on a non-free floater.


Edit - I know stress on the barrel can account for about 1 MOA accuracy loss... Also any free-floaters that look like a regular HG? Thanks!




It's not really accuracy loss. In theory if you kept the exact same tension in the exact same direction your point of impact would change but your group size wouldn't.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 5:20:33 PM EDT
I like a free floated carbine for mounting a red dot on the upper rail of the handgaurd.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 6:11:05 PM EDT
Any setup will benefit from free float.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:13:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2005 8:13:53 PM EDT by Gator]
Thanks for the ideas so far, I'll check Brownell's. I haven't found any local clubs that have more than a 200 yard range...

I do shoot at different positions, so the free float would certainly help. But it sounds like <200 yards a standard carbine barrel will do? Or can I expect more from a higher end barrel? (Assuming I'm using good ammo)

(I have two setups now, a Colt 16" lightweight sporter, and a 24" varminter, so it's like comparing apples and oranges)
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 6:49:40 AM EDT
Just remember that the Marine Corps still shoots at 500 yard with plain old handguards and non-free-float barrels.

If you are shooting to the limits of the gun, then it's time to free float. If not, then it is probably all for the bling.

The FF tube is the last thing going on my SPR build. I probably will not put one on my M4 since it isn't combat effective past 200-300 yards.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 7:15:59 AM EDT
I would not go with a free floating, unless i was going to place scope on handgaurds, or if I was going to use a sling. When using a sling right you my flex the barrel some.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 7:19:45 AM EDT
No.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:52:57 AM EDT
I freefloated both my 14.5" M4s. My reasons were:

-mount a forward grip
-cranking down on the forward grip will not put stress on the bbl and screw up my POI.
-I absolutly hate the looseness of the regular handguards.
-I can put my optics farther out.
-Can mount a sling swival on the rail and not put stress on the bbl.

Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:34:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By usagold:
When using a sling right you my flex the barrel some.



The flexing will not noticeably affect accuracy until you are shooting at a national match level or with optics past 600 yards or so.

I am basing this on experience with a target style sling (not the current USMC qual standards) and a Government Profile M16A2 barrel.

Personal preference about the looseness of the stock guards is understandable, but until you have enough experience and skill, the tension from the sling is a non-issue. You are fixing a problem that is not a problem yet.
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