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Posted: 3/11/2006 3:38:27 PM EDT
I'm building a new AR flat top for varmint hunting. My friends swear by their 16" Bull barrels but it seems like a 20" might be a bit better. What do you think? please advise.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 5:36:32 PM EDT
depends alot on the shooter, I can out shoot most of my friends who have 20's and 16's with my 11.5. If I were gonna be building a Varmint gun and did not plan on doing any 200 + yard shooting I'd go with a 16in
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 8:11:15 PM EDT
the 16in is good enough for most 5.56 applications, at any range.....

h/w, i would go w/ the 20in for a varmiter....
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 8:21:21 PM EDT
20".
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:07:16 PM EDT
This must have been a tough question. I got 3 opinions. Thank you to those who gave me their advice and perspective. - Coach
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:30:43 PM EDT
Be different, go with 18"
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 5:57:47 PM EDT
Why not a 24 in.?? Purpose-made .223 bolt action varmint guns nearly all have 24" barrels.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 6:10:29 PM EDT
I bought a 24" varminter and got rid of it recently so I could get a 16" bull barrel, my .02
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 6:32:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By yankee2:
Why not a 24 in.?? Purpose-made .223 bolt action varmint guns nearly all have 24" barrels.hr


It depends on what he means by varmint hunting, prarie dogs, yes, I would like the 24". Anything where you have to walk around and/or swing on a moving target, I like the 16" (24 feels too dang heavy for that use to me)

When you say "varmint hunting" I think of prarie dogs and other assorted critters that you can kind of bench rest shoot at---if you mean coyotes, fox, bobcats--I call that "predator" hunting

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 1:19:07 PM EDT
Twenny Fo' :bling:


Really though, I think some people on here are way too sensitive about some things or have little non-AR shooting experience or something. In just about any configuration, an AR is lighter than a whole lot of other rifles and certainly recoils much much less.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:05:55 PM EDT
skin290 is onto something.

when i think "varmint" i think pdogs. in which case i'd go with 20" or 24"... if i had a choice for something i'd use past 400 yards for varminting i'd go with a 26"... i'll take all the velocity i can get. i've shot them out to 700 just last year.

if you're thinking coyotes i'd call them predators also. in which case a 20" for shots out to 400 is a good bet. anything 200 and closer is a 16" for me. the suggestion of a SPR in 18" for use to 400 isn't a bad one.

assuming you aren't shooting at great length, i'd go with a 20" heavy barreled unit. don't let anyone kid you, after you get used to a little more weight, you'll barely notice it. the difference in weight for short barrels when compared to standard barrels is slight.

HTH. just my two cents.

septic tank

FYI - i take 24" units out west for pdogging to shoot of bipods and/or bags. i also take my 16" rig with the EOTech for close work.

fun. fun. fun.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:10:01 PM EDT
BTW, I took the ARFcom advice and bought both. I just got in from UPS my M4gery and my 24" varminter uppers. The M4 feels like a little toy now and the 24" feels like most of the other "real" rifles i've handled in the past which have wood furniture and fire .30+ cal bullets.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 3:27:30 AM EDT
I live in Colorado and do quite a bit of prairie dog shooting. I've been using a mini-14 with a 24" bull barrel of all things (don't worry, once I finally wear the barrel out I'll be building an ar-15 varminter. I just can't bring myself to do it yet when my mini-14 still shoots 1/2 moa). Several of my buddies bring their 16" Varmint ar-15's along for the shots under 300 yards. Without fail though, once we've cleared out the short range prairie devils they pull out their 24" guns. They just can't hit them as reliably beyond 300 or 400 yards with a 16" .223 . Some of our best fun is had around the 500 yard range. Most of us have managed to tag some of them beyond 600 yards and farther with our 24" guns. I doubt we could do that with a 16" .223

Another big benefit of the 24" varmint bull barrels is the weight. Most of the time I watch the prairie devils turn to pink mist through my own scope thanks to the barrel weight, muzzle brake and benchrest taming the recoil. Plus, shooting from a standing position is much more accurate for me with a heavier rifle. That makes the extra weight a plus to me when I venture out on foot on occasion. Hiking with a 24" varminter really isn't a problem in my opinion.
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