What I am not grasping is why you feel going over 16” is a bad thing? The REECE concept is pretty cool if you are looking for a “Do-it-all” AR and in that role, the compactness of the 16” barrel is an advantage. But if we are talking about a dedicated precision rig, to be used at the range only, what’s so bad about using an 18” or longer barrel?
Nothing wrong with a longer barrel. It all depends on what you want to use the tool for.
An 18” or longer barrel will give you more velocity. The value of that may be in question but I cannot think of any way in which that extra velocity would be a bad thing? 18” or longer barrels also allow you to use a “rifle” length gas system (without having the gas block at the end of the barrel). Granted a mid-length gas system works just fine but the rifle length is a tad bit better. Basically, I’m just trying to understand your dislike of 18+ in. barrels?
18" barrels with rifle gas systems are not a very good thing. The gas port on SPRs is big enough to drive a truck through to get them to work in cold weather.
I also read that at some point, you had posted your thoughts about barrel profiles and fluting on precision barrels but could not find that post. If you happen to have a link to that thread or if you wouldn’t mind giving me a quick re-cap on your thoughts about that I would greatly appreciate it.
In short - if you're shooting fast enough that heat becomes an issue, the heat of the barrel isnt much of an issue in the resulting group size.
The best 20 shot group I ever shot at 600yds, with a 16" barrel was done with a barrel that was not fluted. Taking my time and shooting a shot every minute, I wasnt getting the barrel hot enough to matter. Had I shot faster, and opened up the group, it would probably be more my fault, and not the barrel.
Test it for yourself. Shoot a few groups as tight as you can, and keep track of how long it takes to shoot 10 of your best 5 shot groups. Then set a timer, and shoot 10 more 5 shot groups in half the time. Are your groups bigger because of the hot barrel or because you arent taking as much time as you should??
For me the lightbulb came on at the pop-up range a Fort Custer. Having the opportunity to play on that range, my friend and I shot 60 rounds each pretty quick, and were still able to hit the Ivan at 300meters.
I think fluted barrels are a great way to save weight, and possibly aid in cooling, but IMO they arent enough of a benefit after you factor in the person pulling the trigger.
Does that make sense, or am I just rambling?