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Posted: 10/18/2002 9:45:51 AM EDT
I am building a varied gun collection for fun as well as for home defense. I have Glocks & Benelli for close range. I have a Remington 700 w/scope for long range. Now I want an Armalite AR, however I can't decide on 16" or 20" barrel. Both would suffice for mid range shooting. A little help with why I should go with either............Thanks
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 10:51:45 AM EDT
I suggest you read the ammunition FAQ on the ammunition board on this site. It is an excellent discussion of the effectiveness of the various types of ammo and the crucial importance of bullet velocity at impact. Shorter barrels really reduce the range at which the ammunition will be most effective. I bought a shorty Bushmaster before reading this. I would not do so again after reading the ammo FAQ.
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 11:10:37 AM EDT
I asked that question several months and two ARs later.

My first was a 20" HBAR A3 flattop by Bushmaster.

My second was a 16" shorty in 9mm by Olympic Arms.

But for 100 to 600 meter shots, the 20" is the way to go. The 16" is great indoors for close quarters work.
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 11:14:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2002 11:14:56 AM EDT by Warlock]
I'm with duncan........either way you go, you'll shortly want the other as well....

Mike

( I'm looking to trade a ramsey 9000lb winch for a complete 20" upper, Anyone???)

Mike
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 4:27:19 PM EDT
The 16" barreled ArmaLite should be fine out to about 300 yards. Past 300, the reduced velocity of the 16" barrel will begin to affect accuracy.
I always try and remember this whole "AR" (AR stands for ArmaLite !!) thing started with the Army's SCHV (Small Caliber High Velocity) program and the original rifles were tested and accepted with 20" barrels. Slowly too many of us, including the military, have reduced barrel length and correspondingly reduced velocity (which reduces stopping power). M4 16" (and even shorter)barreled weapons are great for CQB but that's where the line should be drawn.
When the HV component is removed from SCHV, you're left with only a small caliber bullet.

IMHO
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 4:29:59 PM EDT
i couldnt decide so , i ended up getting both.
not at the same time though.
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 4:42:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2002 4:54:42 PM EDT by ED_P]
I'm partial to a 20", It's more of a classic AR length from a historical standpoint.

Eventhough people here will say a 16" has plenty of velocity to fragment properly, the additional velocity the 20" gives can only enhance the probability of fragmentation effect.

Also, I trust a barrel length closer to the original in terms of reliability of the gas system working when ammo is marginal.

The sight radius will be longer, making for easier long range shooting. I swapped in a Match front sight on mine, a $10 no tools upgrade, and the thinner blade really helps at 100 yards.

Also less muzzle noise and flash with a 20", though I think all Armalites come with a muzzle break, so be ready for some loud shooting.

In my opinion the only advantage to a 16" barrel is easier accessibility in a vehicle if you are going to be carrying it in a rack or behind a seat.

As far as CQB goes, as moderators here have said, soldiers used to clear houses with Garands, and I think 4" more of barrel adds far more advantages to it as an all around rifle. I can climb up the stairwell in my house well enough with my 20" and get a barrel around the corner pretty easy.
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