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Posted: 7/2/2003 6:22:22 PM EDT
Ok,
My brother has talked me into building a varmint AR15. I have purchased a complete DPMS lower from CMMG and now need an upper. I am looking for a 24 inch with 1:9 twist. I am indifferent about fluting.

From my research (and other finds), I have found the following options:

1. Adco RRA varmint upper (?? twist) ($472.22)
2. Model 1 1:9 stainless ($430.00)
3. Used Bushmaster Special Stainless (1000 rounds) ($~550)

What other dealers should I consider (or steer clear from) before I purchase.

Thanks in advance,
TC
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 7:06:58 PM EDT
Might want to look at 20", also. They are easier to swing around while varminting, slight velocity loss (50fps), and I have seen many 20" outshoot 24". (Cannot say the same for 16", though) Get Good Optics (do not skimp there, that is what makes the rifle shoot to full ability). Stainless helps, fluted helps heat and gives it a nice 'look'. Olympic also has great uppers near the prices your are looking at.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 8:59:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2003 9:01:30 AM EDT by GhillieHunter]
Don't mean to hijack your thread, but this may help you too. brasspile, why would a 20" outshoot a 24"? shorter lock time? More rigid barrel? Just curious. thanks, -GH Edited to add... you might want to check out J&T as well.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 9:54:02 AM EDT
I worded that slightly wrong (I am good at that). I didn't mean to say a 20" would outshoot a 24" across the board, but I have seen more than a few 20" do one hole groups of 5 shots at 100 and more than a few 24" that can barely hold an inch at 100. It is the quality of the barrel/optics/trigger/shooter, not the length of the barrel (comparing 20 and 24" here). The reason I recommended him looking into a 20" was due to the fact that varminting is my primary use. I have a friend with a 24", and that extra 4" really somehow gets snagged/bumped on everything. [:D] From what I have seen/experienced/own, the 24" bbl gives you about 50-80fps faster muzzle velocity, but no substantial gains in accuracy. Perhaps on two match grade AR's, 1 being 20", the other being 24", the 24" might show an accuracy gain, with everything else being exactly equal, but for wanting MOA/Sub-MOA, I find both lengths are very capable.
Link Posted: 7/5/2003 5:39:41 PM EDT
So here is the summary: Model1Sales.com 20/24 Stainless 1:8/9 $430 AdcoFirearms.com 24 inch stainless 1:8 $472.22 J&T 20/24 1:8 $476.95 ar15sales.com 20 1:8 stainless $489 Del-Ton.com 20/24 1:9 stainless $575 CMMG 20/24 1:9 fluted $595.95 Armalite 24 1:8 stainless $600 The Model1Sales is by far the most inexpensive with the Adco being the first RRA part. They go up from there. I really want the twist to be 1:9 which puts be at $430 (model1) or around $545 (CMMG - assuming no fluting is $50 cheaper). The CMMG is a DPMS upper, the model 1 doesn't list any manufacturer... Should I have any concerns in getting the Model 1 upper or should I pony up for a RRA/DPMS? Thanks again! TC
Link Posted: 7/5/2003 8:30:51 PM EDT
Recommend 1/9 Twist. I always go with what has been proven "good" by a large opinion. DPMS/RRA would be a good bet. (As would ArmaLite, but I think that is beyond what you would like to pay...)
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 9:28:38 AM EDT
Some thoughts: Decide on the bullets you will shoot BEFORE you decide on your twist rate. If you want to shoot 40 grain explosive varmint bullets at well over 3000 fps, then you want a slower twist than 1:9... such as 1:12. If you do not plan on reloading for accuracy, get the cheapest barrel. Good ammo tuned to the barrel is the most important component. If you want to be sure that you have a good barrel with a good throat and concentricity- get a barrel from someone that makes competition barrels. It may cost a bit more, but you will never wonder if bad groups are because of a bad barrel. http://www.alccrl.org/whiteoak/whiteoak.htm http://www.compasslake.com/ http://www.accuracyspeaks.com/ They can make a varmint upper, but you have to ask. Most of their craft is great barrels plus great iron sights plus great triggers and great service. There are other good smiths, but the top 2 guys are ar15.com members, have good web presence, and are at the top of the hill with a select few others. "The bitter taste of disapointment lingers long past the sweet taste of a bargain." The 24" bull barrel is a F(*&ing PIPE! It weighs a Mother F(*&%^ing ton. Perhaps I'm not being clear enough about that. If you plan on walking with it for long ways on a varmint shoot, or were thinking of avoiding a bipod... think again about the merits of the 20". My next barrel will be a fluted 20" service profile- I bit off a bit more than I can comfortably chew with the 24" barrel. But I'm a little old fat man. So, I'm off to the range to try some handloads and Black Hills factory ammo from my RRA 24" upper. My first forray with Winchester Q2121a was a bad disapointment. 2+ moa at 100 yards. I believe that the longer pipe will be more sensitive to load variations-- increased resonances. I also expect to have a better day today, having some well researched loads to try. Pete
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 4:41:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/6/2003 4:45:18 PM EDT by Fenian]
I've got a 16" RRA Varmint upper, and stinkypete is right...it's a boat anchor...I can't imagine what 8" more of barrel on that puppy would do in terms of weight. I've spent a lot of time thinking about building an upper, or just rebarraling the RRA to a 24" match barrel, but not a bull barrel due to the weight. I haven't decided what to do, but I was looking at all the same components that you were. If I'm not mistaken, M&A has 24" wilson match grade barrels for $125 or so...you could slap that on the upper of your choice, along with whatever you want in terms of handguards, and it would still probably be cheaper than a RRA Varmint upper. I think I paid $460 for mine new, and that was last year. An M&A varmint upper is about $435. [url]http://www.m-aparts.com/[/url] Also, I just built a model 1 kit. The barrel seems fine, and out of the box with my 55gr handloads, the 16" barrel did 1moa. The only part I was unhappy with was the charging handle, it felt like it was made out of pot metal, and it was horribly rough feeling. I swapped it for a spare I had, no problem. Stinkypete is also right about bullet selection; my 16" RRA has only cracked 1moa once or twice, but I've shot nothing but 55gr bullets out of it. I'll have to try some heavier bullets, since it's got a 1:8 twist. I'm not a varmint hunter, but I gotta believe there's the need to handle bigger bullets for stuff like coyote, and smaller, faster bullets for groundhogs. A 1:8 or 1:12 twist might limit you as to what you can shoot; 1:9 or 1:10 may be a compromise. Serious varminters chime in here lol...I just shoot paper! You could build an upper with a Kreiger barrel for a little over $600: barrel $400 receiver $80 bolt/carrier $105 gas block $30 gas tube $8 If you're even considering the Armalite @ $600, I'd seriously think about the Kreiger, you could get any length and twist you want. Switch to a Douglas barrel and drop that price down about $150. and, last but not least, Fulton Armory will do you a hot shit varmint upper for around $650, with a RAS style front end. Good luck on making a choice lol...I got a headache and went to bed!
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 10:46:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/6/2003 10:51:18 PM EDT by BillSP1]
As for barrel length, you will pick up a bit more velocity with the 24" barrel, how much increase depends on the ammo (bullet weight, gunpowder type, etc). But it you want ultimate speed you would have got a bolt-action in 22-250 anyway. The 24" bull barrel will be a heavy beast, even 20" bull is pretty substantial. If you plan to carry this rig a lot I would think 24" bull is a mistake IMHO. Fluting will cut the weight a bit AND allow it to cool faster should you get into a 'target rich environment'. Personally I have a 16" Bull barrel AR15 by DPMS that right out of the box is surprisingly accurate. With my handloaded 55 grain Balistic Tip ammo it will shoot under 3/4" five-shot groups (100 yards) with the Leupold 4.5-14x scope. But I have a 220 Swift in a heavy barrel bolt-action for long range p.dog bustin'. Whatever barrel length you decide on be sure to get a free-floated barrel, the simple aluminum tube is fine. Like Brasspile said, get a good scope! Also make sure the mount (base/rings) are well made and securely attached to the flat-top upper.
Link Posted: 7/7/2003 7:18:08 PM EDT
Ok, here is my plan. A4 flattop receiver $90 - Adco bolt/carrier $105.56 - Adco Charging Handle $14.11 - Adco Fulton Armory NM 20 in. HBAR Stainless Steel - $179.95 Varmint Gas Block - $34.95 - Fulton Armory Gas Tube - $9.95 - Fulton Armory Full Floating Tactical Handguard - $59.95 Rings - $10.00 Total cost $504.47 before shipping. Now the concern is the assembly. I have found some threads detailing upper assembly but nothing extensive like the lower assembly guide on this site. For the build, I know that I will need to get at least an armorers wrench and block to hold the receiver. What else should I purchase to do the build or should I approach a local smith to do it? Thanks, TC
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 7:14:45 AM EDT
Just got a quote from Fulton-Armory and it looks like they can substitute a handguard and gas block on one of their Predator II uppers. The savings is good enough for me to go with one of their uppers. Thanks for all your input!!! TC
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