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Posted: 2/28/2006 7:59:15 AM EDT
I'm shopping for my first AR for casual 3gun matches. I'm currently looking at the Rock River Arms Elite CAR A4 with mid-length furniture.

I'm curious why mid-length ARs aren't more common. Are there any pitfalls in going with a mid-length upper as opposed to a short m4 forearm?

I also plan on getting either a 9mm or 22lr upper for the indoor ranges, will this choice of AR impact me getting a second small caliber upper in the future?

thanks.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:02:20 AM EDT
there are no cons...


the military isn't using them...perhaps the reason why they aren't more prevalent


I whole-heartedly recommend them
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:03:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bp78:
I'm curious why mid-length ARs aren't more common. Are there any pitfalls in going with a mid-length upper as opposed to a short m4 forearm?



Two that I can think of:
1) Slightly more weight
2) Not as many accessories
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:09:05 AM EDT
What would be needed to add a rail to the RRA mid-length upper for the purposes of a vertical forward grip?
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:13:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 8:19:18 AM EDT by AR15_Fanatic]

Originally Posted By bp78:
I also plan on getting either a 9mm or 22lr upper for the indoor ranges, will this choice of AR impact me getting a second small caliber upper in the future?



As long as your small caliber upper is designed to work with a standard AR-15 lower your GTG.

Only negative on the mid-lengths is that there are fewer sources for parts.

ETA - Do you want to add a FF rail? RRA stocks DD Rails (AR3082) or are you talking about just adding a rail to the standard hand guards to mount a fore grip?
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:18:01 AM EDT
What parts are dependant on the mid-length stock that I should be concerned about them being fewer?

Would the rail for a verticle grip be one of these parts that are few?

Thanks again for the advice.

Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:20:21 AM EDT
Only parts that are different are the barrel, gas tube, and hand guards.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:31:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bp78:
What parts are dependant on the mid-length stock that I should be concerned about them being fewer?

Would the rail for a verticle grip be one of these parts that are few?

Thanks again for the advice.




Railed forends are out there, you just have to look a little harder. There's at least one of everything made for the midlengths, just not as many choices as with rifle or carbine length.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:43:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bp78:
What would be needed to add a rail to the RRA mid-length upper for the purposes of a vertical forward grip?



Samson bitches!!!
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 9:02:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By bp78:
I'm curious why mid-length ARs aren't more common. Are there any pitfalls in going with a mid-length upper as opposed to a short m4 forearm?



Two that I can think of:
1) Slightly more weight
2) Not as many accessories



I don't think the accessories is much of any issue anymore. The only accessories that I can think of right now that are unique to a middy (as opposed to a carbine or rifle) is the hand guards and just about every rail manufacture makes rails for a middy.

I would still like to see more barrel options from known sources. I would love to see Colt make them (although the Bravo Co. and even Saber options are pretty close) and a BM option would be nice too.

The weight issue is the only semi serious concern IMO. To be honest, it's not even really the weight per say (assuming you have a Gov't profiled barrel) but it's the balance. To me, balance is almost as important as overall weight. Middy's are front heavy, so much so that I do not like using a collapsible stock on them. With a Fixed A1 stock it balances much better.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 9:25:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 9:59:28 AM EDT by Gunzilla]
nevermind...
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 9:52:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bp78:
What would be needed to add a rail to the RRA mid-length upper for the purposes of a vertical forward grip?




Pretty much all the options are available.

You can just bolt on a rail to the handguard, with cheap rail sets.

You can buy a YHM or MI set of railed handguards that snap into place like regular handguard.

Or, you can buy and install (or have someone install for you - YHM does free installation) a true set of free-float railed tube.


Link Posted: 2/28/2006 9:55:35 AM EDT
I really like my Armalite middy. Mine came with a factory quadrail (which is for sale in the EE) that I changed to a normal forend. I have since picked up a LMT M4 carbine that has a quadrail and will be my "tactical" AR. I really like the look of the middy as well
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 10:35:41 AM EDT
i see one of everything that the midlength affects available....hell, even the RRA catalog has a representation of all the popular (well most of them) rail systems as I see A2 style, Free float tube, quad rail alum free float, quad rail lightweight free float, surefire tactical rail, Daniael Def Quad rail, .......so that is a good start. Vertical grips and all that stuff are all accessories that attach to these rails....

I would not worry...
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 10:57:24 AM EDT
Get a middy and don't look back. You'll love it.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 11:13:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunzilla:
nevermind...



I actually read you original reply but I got busy and you edited it before I had a chance to respond. I would like to try and answer it anyway.

The answer is, I do not know? In theory, if you took 2 different 16” AR barrels, both profiled to A2 specs, one with a carbine length gas system and the other with a mid-length gas system, you would think that the middy would be lighter. Reason being the majority of the profiling happens under the hand-guards. More of the middy’s barrel is under the hand-guards so there for in theory, (and maybe in reality – don’t know if anybody has every measured them side by side) a middy should weigh less?

Whatever the difference in weight, It’s probably not enough that most people would be able to tell by holding them. What I can tell you from personal experience is that a 16” A2 profiled mid-length barrel feels more front heavy in my hands then a 16” true M4 profiled barrel does. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it the fact that the FSB is located further out on the barrel? Maybe it’s just in my head but that has been my experience.

Sorry I couldn’t give you a more technical response
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 11:26:56 AM EDT
Parts are readily available. Besides, most of us have to mail order our shit anyway, so it equals out.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 11:38:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cgv69:
In theory, if you took 2 different 16” AR barrels, both profiled to A2 specs, one with a carbine length gas system and the other with a mid-length gas system, you would think that the middy would be lighter. Reason being the majority of the profiling happens under the hand-guards. More of the middy’s barrel is under the hand-guards so there for in theory, (and maybe in reality – don’t know if anybody has every measured them side by side) a middy should weigh less?



I would agree. The middy barrel would be lighter since more of it is turned down, even though you gain a little weight from the longer handguards. But I think most 16" carbine barrels with a gov't profile under the handguards are M4-type barrels with the M203 cut out front, so there's a little more weight lost there. Add to the equation some railed handguards with lights and VFG's and the answer to the question quickly becomes "It depends."

The only way to truly know is to GET BOTH.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 11:48:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cgv69:

Originally Posted By Gunzilla:
nevermind...



I actually read you original reply but I got busy and you edited it before I had a chance to respond. I would like to try and answer it anyway.

The answer is, I do not know? In theory, if you took 2 different 16” AR barrels, both profiled to A2 specs, one with a carbine length gas system and the other with a mid-length gas system, you would think that the middy would be lighter. Reason being the majority of the profiling happens under the hand-guards. More of the middy’s barrel is under the hand-guards so there for in theory, (and maybe in reality – don’t know if anybody has every measured them side by side) a middy should weigh less?

Whatever the difference in weight, It’s probably not enough that most people would be able to tell by holding them. What I can tell you from personal experience is that a 16” A2 profiled mid-length barrel feels more front heavy in my hands then a 16” true M4 profiled barrel does. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it the fact that the FSB is located further out on the barrel? Maybe it’s just in my head but that has been my experience.

Sorry I couldn’t give you a more technical response



I think that for factory rifles, they only offer middies in HBAR profile, hence the comments about the weight.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 12:01:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cgv69:

What I can tell you from personal experience is that a 16” A2 profiled mid-length barrel feels more front heavy in my hands then a 16” true M4 profiled barrel does.




I don't know if I can agree with that. I actually have both (wow, talk about being an ARFcom stereotype) and the middy feels lighter up front.

Course, opinions are like a variety of body parts, everyone has them

WIZZO
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 12:25:14 PM EDT
+ 1 for RRA Elite CAR A4. Ordered mine 3 weeks ago, w/ chrome lined, and ergo grip. 6 - 8 weeks. got it down to 3 - 5 weeks. can't wait.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:08:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WIZZO_ARAKM14:

Originally Posted By cgv69:

What I can tell you from personal experience is that a 16” A2 profiled mid-length barrel feels more front heavy in my hands then a 16” true M4 profiled barrel does.




I don't know if I can agree with that. I actually have both (wow, talk about being an ARFcom stereotype) and the middy feels lighter up front.

Course, opinions are like a variety of body parts, everyone has them

WIZZO



+1

I can't really tell any signficant difference in balance between them - especially with full mags.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:14:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rob78:
there are no cons...


the military isn't using them...perhaps the reason why they aren't more prevalent


I whole-heartedly recommend them

+1
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:30:16 PM EDT
theres only one way to be sure you'll be happy--
get both, you have two hands, don't ya?
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:34:21 PM EDT
IMHO the HBAR middys are too heavy.

but the 16" or 14.5" goverment profile middys are just about perfect.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:35:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 1:35:38 PM EDT by KA3B]
The cons?
Still waiting for CMMG to deliver my 18 inch SPR 1/7 midlength.....
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:39:15 PM EDT
Just bought my second midlength upper from DSG
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 4:22:29 PM EDT
If you want one, go ahead and get it. It's the way to go for 16" carbines, in my opinion.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 4:40:58 PM EDT
People are trying to come up with cons (which I haven't seen one yet in this thread that holds water) to the midlength as compared to a 16" car lenght. Let's talk about the biggest pro of all. Sight radius!!!! I own two car lengths and one middy, I really appreciate the extra sight radius the middy offers when using irons.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 5:21:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 5:22:22 PM EDT by BOHICA_Beast]
A middy is a good choice. I love my RRA Elite CAR A4. It has provided excellent function and balance.

Granted it is a little on the heavier side, but that is another incentive for me to keep hitting the weight pile. Believe me, once one can consistently handle 50lbs per arm the extra middy weight will no longer be a problem.
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