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Posted: 9/11/2002 7:05:52 AM EDT
I'm in the process of building a preban AR and want to go with a short barrel. Is there any difference, other than the length, on using the 14.5" versus 16" barrel. I plan on putting on a Phanton flashhider using high temp solder so the 14.5" barrel would be the required minimum of 16". The 16" would get the Phantom also.

I believe the Phantom is 2 3/16" in length. After threading this on the end of a barrel, how much additional length is added to the overall barrel length?

Would I lose accuracy if I went with the 14.5 versus the 16. Does the 1.5" difference in length affect the weight significantly? Is one louder than the other? Does the flashhider affect the noise level?

I can't decide which way to go.

Thanks for your comments.
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 7:24:10 AM EDT
On the 14.5" with the Phantom, you end up with an overall lenght of 16.1". Once threaded onto any barrel, it will give you an additional 1.6" in length. If you use a crush washer you will get a little more. I kept the A2 flash hider on the 16". You will get better accuracy at longer ranges with the 16". Having both, I did no find any difference noise wise. It all depends on what you are going to use in for. For CQB, the 14.5" is best. The accuracy is decent at 100 yards. The 16" is a compromise between the 14.5" and the 20" and gives you decent accurracy at 150 yards. Weight wise, you are taking about maybe a third of a pound difference.
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 7:25:50 AM EDT
You wont lose a bit of accuracy and the weight difference is nominal. The primary difference is that bullets lose velocity coming out of the shorter barrel.

Are you familiar with milspec ammo requiring a specific amount of velocity to fragment? If not, check out the ammo FAQ at the very top of the ammo forum. BRIEFLY, milspec ammo generally will make somewhat dramatic wounds when traveling at least 2700 fps. At that velocity or higher the buller will fragment into many pieces, creating a much larger wound than the actual bullet size would suggest. As it loses velocity and drops below 2700 fps, it will lose its ability fragment reliably. The bullet wont fragment at all below 2500 fps.

So at what ranges will the bullet be able to fragment is primarily dictated by barrel length. A 16" barrel will be good out to roughly 150 meters, a 14.5" barrel will be good out to roughly 100 meters.

A 16" barrel with a Phantom flash suppressor will be just slightly over 17.5" long. A 14.5" barrel will be just slightly over 16" long. The 14.5" barrel is slightly more handy, and, if it matters to you at all, will allow the use of a bayonette, whereas the 16" barrel will not allow the use of a bayonette. Difference in sound will be rather negligable.

You will have to permanently attatch the flash suppressor to the 14.5" barrel. You will not have to permanently attatch it to the 16" barrel. There are the differences in a nut shell. There is no single best answer as to which is better, only which is better for you and your application of the rifle. Decide which differences better suit your needs and go from there. Me... I had to have both
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 1:54:49 PM EDT
Go with the 14.5, as it's nice and 'whippy'. I have a Phantom on my 14.5 and it is a combination I have enjoyed tremendously. One of the guys I shoot with has a 16 and it is nice as well, but the 14.5 just seems a tad bit handier. I know it is a mental thing, but I think you'll be glad you went with the 14.5.

-REAPER
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 2:05:24 PM EDT
Having an AR with a 14.5" M4 barrel and another with a 16" HBAR, I definitely prefer the 14.5" for both it's lower weight, reduced length, and better balance/handling.
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 2:54:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2002 2:56:19 PM EDT by doggie]
Sounds like we are working on a similar project. I've looked into this for a while now and my advice is if you are going use the Phantom, go with the 14.5". My reasons for suggesting this go along with new-arguy's post.

For a carbine, the short length is most important to me. I am also working on a 16" barrel gun and decided to go with the RRA M4 post ban barrel with pressed on flash supressor (not functional) to keep length to a minimum. With a fixed stock and going post ban I can have the M4gery look and keep cost to a minimum as well. My preban with all the evil features will still be my pride and joy.

Good luck on your build.
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 4:53:25 PM EDT
Thanks guys

I think I will go with the 14.5.
Link Posted: 9/11/2002 6:07:30 PM EDT
I cut a Bushy Super lightweight 16" barrel down to 15" & soldered a regular A1 F/S on it, It brings the overall length just past 16";
It is the lightest/Handiest AR I ever felt or shot!

I also removed the front sight/Gas block & replaced it with a M&A arms (Made of Aluminum)picanny gas block, So I could mount a compact scope as close to the barrel as possible;
The reason I mention this is I want opinions on the durability of the Aluminum gas block?
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 6:30:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2002 6:34:41 PM EDT by notack]
I went through the same decision(s)and went for the bushy 16" M4 contour barrel,w/A2 FH,for the accuracy and because I don't believe that 1.3" to 1.4" makes the barrel any less "wippy" or CQB useful ;)
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 6:33:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2002 6:33:50 PM EDT by M4_Aiming_at_U]
so whats the M855 fps out of a 14.5" barrel?
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 10:06:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By M4_Aiming_at_U:
so whats the M855 fps out of a 14.5" barrel?



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