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Posted: 3/4/2002 6:22:42 PM EDT
Looking for some advice regarding the advisability of using an AR-15 that does not have a chrome-lined bore or barrel for a defensive weapon role. I want to relieve my pre-ban (mint condition and I want to keep it that way) Colt AR-15 of its duty as my defensive rifle, and my thought is to replace it with a good post-ban AR. My question is, if the chips are down, will a non chrome-lined barreled upper perform 100% as well as one with the fully chromed bore and barrel? I bought one of the RRA LEGP 16" M4gery barrels from Pete-in-NH recently as part of this plan but now I am second guessing this decision. Don't get me wrong, the RRA barrel is very nice in fit and finish (I haven't fired it yet), however, I NEED to be able to have full confidence in this upper to be 110% reliable in the off chance (and God forbid) I ever have to stake my and my family's lives on it.

If any of you were in my shoes with what I'm looking to use this rifle for, would you trust your life to your skills and a non chrome-lined AR-type weapon? Remember, this is not a "pretty rifle" for show, it is going to be employed as a defensive weapon. My Colt is very "pretty" and that I want to keep minty for show!

I'm looking for straight up, honest answers, even if the answer is that I made a bad choice in buying the RRA stuff for this purpose.

So, what'll it be... get a chrome-lined upper or stick with the non chrome-lined RRA?

Thanks guys and gals for your help.
Link Posted: 3/4/2002 6:30:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2002 9:23:04 AM EDT by Derek45]
For a "serious rifle", only a Bushmaster or Colt military chrome lined barrel is good enough for me.
The chrome lined chamber is essential to reliable extraction. The chrome lined chamber and new buffer is what improved the M16 during the Vietnam war.

Sarco had real Colt military 1:12 M16A1 barrels for $135 new.
www.sarcoinc.com/prev12.html

I'm not sure if they have any more, this is a great barrel for 55gr. FMJ.
Bushmaster makes great barrels too.

www.bushmaster.com/shopping/barrel-assemblies/
Link Posted: 3/4/2002 6:37:55 PM EDT
Considering a chrome lined barrel only aids in preventing the shooting out of your barrel when its really hot, reliability should play no part in your question. I don't own one gun with a chrome lined barrel, nor do I expect to. The benefit is not good enough for the loss if the chroming was done imperfectly. Stick with your RRA, you won't regret it.

My DPMS 16" is the house defense tool and it is not chromed, so my family is just as dependent as yours.
Link Posted: 3/4/2002 6:47:57 PM EDT
Personally I wouldn't have a rifle for defensive purposes without a chrome lined barrel and (more importantly) chamber. There's a reason why the military doesn't have non chromed AR15's.



Link Posted: 3/4/2002 6:49:59 PM EDT
Minman72 is right. Chrome or no chrome should not affect reliability.
Link Posted: 3/4/2002 6:54:24 PM EDT
IMO, chrome is a requirement for a serious rifle. Chromed bores last longer, have less extraction problems, clean easier and don't rust. My first AR was a post ban Colt with an unlined bore (chamber was chromed), it would rust if not cleaned the day it was fired! Never again. Mine are all chromed now. BTW, Colt and Bushy barrels have NATO spec M16 chambers, another requirement for your purposes.
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 12:35:44 AM EDT
DPMS is also 5.56 NATO spec, the .223 stamp is there to cause less confusion for civilian shooters.

"Because it's IMPOSSIBLE to maintain the EXACT same thickness of chrome down the entire barrel, accuracy is effected by the ever-changing bore diameter and it's effect on the bullet."

This is the text-book explanation of the chrome-lined/accuracy issue. In most casses the amount of accuracy depleation is unnoticable. But just ask the High-Power shooters how many 'lined barrels they order for competition. The non-lined barrels dominate the game.

I just don't see the advantage of the lining myself. I have barrels that have rested for years with no signes of rust, and my regular shooters get cleaned about once every few months, if that. I would rather take the 'theorized' accuracy benefits, and do own a couple 1/4" guns myself.

To each his own. I stop in about once a week and this question is always on the GenDisc board. I just throw in my $.02 and move on.

Take care everyone.
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 2:10:15 AM EDT
I am not trying to stir the pot or anything like that, but I am curious as to how one employs a long range weapon in the cozy confines of home in a defensive role. I personally carry a USP40 compact on my person at almost all times, and on what seems like logical thought to me, that is also my home defense weapon of choice. All of my training for an emergency response weapon is done with the same firearm, and as such my responses are in autopilot. I cannot see carrying an AR type weapon on my person, and as such it seems to be counter productive in terms of trained response as opposed to time consuming thought out action. Again my intent is not to start any arguments, just point out another line of thought. Feedback is welcome.

Link Posted: 3/5/2002 3:39:22 AM EDT
Don't overthink this one.
Home defense is about reliability, not accuracy.
Chrome/No Chrome has nothing to do with reliablility. A properly cut milspec chamber decides reliable feed/extraction (with regard to the barrel). Any gun that functions reliably is a winner.
Your shot won't be more than across the room or across the street, so don't be too concerned with who won Camp Perry and what barrel they had. If you leave your home to hunt then take a good Bolt gun with at least a .308. If you want both worlds then take an AK with a red dot sight. Perfect for a 12" circle out to 200 yards every time. Range & the impact of a .30 cal. Boy, this is going to get me in trouble.
I have all three. You never know what ammo is going to be available in tough times.
Your barrel shouldn't rust with modern powder. You had something else going on if you were getting rust in a week.
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 5:00:37 AM EDT
Here's a good read on what the author of this article considers an AR for Serious Use...

communities.msn.com/TheMarylandAR15ShootersSite/theseriousar.msnw
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 7:43:13 AM EDT
Thanks everybody for your responses so far, AR15.com members can always be counted on for good info. I like inherent accuracy as much as the next guy, but in the role this rifle will be used in, match grade accuracy is not a concern. 100% feed/function reliability is of paramount concern. I don’t need to be able to place four consecutive rounds up a woodchuck’s butt at 400 meters. Honestly, I am not sure a chrome-lined barrel is as important as a chrome-lined chamber because the chamber is the source of good/bad feeding and extraction.

Also, since I am using 5.56mm-spec ammo, not SAAMI .223 commercial, I’m not sure I’m confident in a chamber that is .223 SAAMI or “somewhere between .223 and 5.56-spec” as in the RRA, Olympic, etc. uppers. My problem with this is that “almost” is good enough for the range but NOT for my home. Murphy’s Law says that something bad would happen at the worst possible time, even if completely reliable under range conditions. I am a firm believer in Murphy’s Law (unfortunately).

I just read the linked info provided by DarkStar (thank you DarkStar) and I think that sums up exactly what I’m looking for. I guess I’ll be going with a new Bushy upper then. Although the brand new RRA looks cool, I just can’t find the confidence in it that I need, given its non chrome-lined barrel/bore and its not quite M16/5.56 chamber. As a showpiece, target or range rifle, I’m sure it would be fantastic.

So…. Does anybody want to buy a brand new, never fired RRA “LEGP style” M4gery barrel?

Link Posted: 3/6/2002 3:04:25 PM EDT
Dude before you sell your rifle take it out and shoot it!Run 400rnds of the ammo you plan to use for home defence and if it is reliable it is reliable.Chrome lined bbls are more resistant to crud,but IMHO a nonchromed chamber can be as reliable as a chromed one.Instead of being able to fire 1000 rnds w/o problems you may have to stop and clean at 800.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 5:01:07 PM EDT
No, I'm not going to sell the rifle... just the upper!
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 5:16:01 PM EDT
BMANSAR15 I'd like to buy that upper if you really want to sell it. LMK
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 6:01:28 PM EDT
The government at one point during Vietnam decided the Chrome chamber and bore was uneccesary. Several Marines where killed while removing stuck cases from their rifles by ramming cleaning rods down the bore from the muzzle. There is a famous picture of it somewhere. The M16 was designed to use a chrome lined bore and chamber. Don't mess with it.
Everyone here should read "The Black Rifle" There are several good examples of what has happened to this wonderful rifle when someone else thought they new better than the designer.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 6:56:37 PM EDT
It seams to me the only diferrence is the number of times the barrel is lapped before the rifling is actually broch cut and then lapped three times before the chrome is done,only oly, wilson ,and i think armalite maybe does this that makes the crome linned barrel the real deal! (i'am sure i am wrong here but most companies just don't tell you this) kinda like putting bondo on a car then not fine sanding and putting chip filler and painting and expecting to have a smooth serface when painting! the same thing happens in that rifle unless you lap-lap-lap- before chroming!
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 7:11:08 PM EDT
Chrome guns not accurate? My bushy will do honest 1/2 5 shot groups all day long w/ good reloads and optics.

Any one ever look at the fn police rifle. . . chrome lined.

In his case, it doesn't really matter, he wants reliability. If he wants it to be as reliable outside as wedll as inside, it needs a chrome chamber at minimum.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 7:22:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2002 3:22:43 PM EDT by Schnert]
Put your money where your mouth is.

Buy a chrome moly upper, a chrome lined upper and a case of ammo. Then head to the range and see which one chews through ammor without a failure to extract.

My experience with chrome moly barrels has not been good. I had one good barrel that I got - oddly enough - from Sun Valley Traders way back when. The Olympic Arms and Wilson chrome moly's that I've had have always had problems extracting when hot. I've never had this trouble with a chrome lined bore.

For instance, last June I took 500 rounds and 2 AR's out to the range. One AR was a Bushmaster with a chrome lined bore. The other was a M&A kit with a chrome moly bore. I still have my range notes, so I can report that I shot 67 rounds through the chrome moly barrel before it failed to extract. The rest of the ammo I ran through the chrome lined bore without a problem.

Link Posted: 3/6/2002 7:52:06 PM EDT
Ok..couple of questions.

1. Why did AR15.com choose a non chrome lined barrel to represent them? If they were that inferior I would hope that this forum would not put their stamp of approval on the weapon.

2. We have Citizens and Law Enforcement personnel all over this nation using non chrome lined barrels for their weapons (pistols). You can bet many competition pistol shooters put thousands of rounds through their non chrome lined barrels. Just curius, Does anyone know if Glock barrels are Chrome Moly or chrome lined?

3. Reliability is important of course. If you are looking for a battle rifle where you will fire magazine after magazine of ammo followed by infrequent cleanings, by all means get a chrome lined barrel. If you fire more than one mag in a defensive situation, more than likely you are really screwed. You need something bigger than an AR. Chrome or non chrome isn't going to save your bacon.

I've had several non chrome lined barrels that were just as reliable as the chrome lined ones and my last few AR's were non chromed lined. I've been perfectly comfortable with each one.

Good Shooting
RED
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 11:48:34 PM EDT
BMANSAR15:

I have set out to do just as you are.
I have a chrome moly barrelled Eagle Arms that I want to switch the upper for a chrome-lined, flat-top upper and mount an Eotech 511.

I have heard from more than a few respected minds (before even those on this thread) over the years
that chrome lining is best for reliability under all conditions of
usage, bar none.

I've had pretty good luck with my chrome moly and I guess I could say 95% reliability--only because I've had extracting MFs with the S Afican and Spanish hot surplus, but not with mil-spec IMI or Q3131A-- so, what gives, I don't know...

I'm looking
to get a Bushmaster 14.5" or 16" M4 barrelled upper to go on my Eagle (preban) lower.

????????
Can anyone tell me which length is better and is it
better to go ahead and also get a
new bolt/carrier with my new upper???
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 12:49:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By USP40C:
like that, but I am curious as to how one employs a long range weapon in the cozy confines of home in a defensive role.



Except that it is too bulky to carry around with you, an AR, especially with a short barrel, is better suited to defensive work than a handgun. Each bullet has more power than a pistol round, each round has much less mass so it eases concerns about over penetration, and most importantly the use of the shoulder stock allows much faster shots with a much greater amount of precision.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 2:54:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:
...and most importantly the use of the shoulder stock allows much faster shots with a much greater amount of precision.



I got to disagree with you about this point.
Several friends and I shoot several rounds of the El Presidente drill with pistols and AR/AK/Fal/M1A/etc. almost every week and at less than 15 yards we are all faster with pistols than rifles. Accuracy is better with rifle than pistol but does it matter if the group is 3" with rifle vs. 5" with pistol? If the distance is increased to 20 yards or more then the rifle has advantage.

I have fired over 8,000 rounds in my 2001 LEGP and I have yet to have any kind of failure... 100% reliability. I do use good quality ammo but I don't baby this rifle. I usually take it out once or twice per month and shoot about 500 rounds per outting.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 9:09:23 PM EDT
I tend to think of a chrome lined bore and chamber as "insurance." True, a non-chrome bore and chamber does not spell DOOM for a person looking for reliability. On the same token, chroming does not spell DOOM for a person looking for good accuracy. The fact is, unless your barrel is free-floated and you are using match ammo or your own tuned reloads, you will not notice a accuracy difference between the two. My points for chrome are:

1. Doubles barrel life.
2. Bore/chamber unlikely to ever rust.
3. Easier to maintain.

Therefore, I make it a point to get my ARs with chromed chambers and bores.

On a different note, I would reconsider using the AR-15 rifle inside a home as a defensive weapon. Not that is not effective-- but I can say with all assurance that by the third shot you WILL BE DEAF permanently if you fire that AR in a closed room scenario!
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 4:09:32 AM EDT
The chrome extends barrel life, resists corrosion, and improves reliability. Unchromed barrels work well in North American conditions but for a true service rifle you want the chrome.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 2:39:51 PM EDT
Someone posted on here that the m16 was designed with a chromed bore/chamber.Not true.Up untill that point the millitary had chromed all there bbl,but didnt the m16 cause the ar from which it was designed didnt have a chrome bbl.The biggest problems with the initial m16 were 1.the gov switched from stick powder for the rnds to ball powder. 2.didnt issue cleaning kits for the weapon as it was "self cleaning".Lastly they deviated from a chromed chamber just cause the ar wasnt designed with one.No flame intended,my only point is is that there are many variables as to whether a weapon is reliable.A chrome lined bbl is just one variable.That being said,my shtf rifle has a chromed bbl.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 3:34:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2002 3:40:48 PM EDT by Schnert]
Yes, the original M-16's were issued with a non-chromed bore. This was simply because we did not have the technology to chrome line small caliber bores when the M-16 was fielded. Why? I don't know. I know that some in the DOD had a bit of heartburn over this during the initial procurement of M-16's. They argued that the M1, M-1 and M-2 carbines and the M-14 with chrome lined bores and a manual means of closing the bolt were superior to the M-16 design.

The M-16 was fielded. The DOD encounter a problem with the ammo supplier, approved a change in powders and the rest is history.

The M16A1 was then introduced with a chrome lined bore and chamber and also a forward assist.

My match rifle DOES NOT have a chrome lined bore.

My defensive AR's HAVE chrome lined bores.

My beaters have chrome moly bores.

In order to test reliability you have to do a lot of shooting. I used to think that since my rifle put two boxes of ammo downrange on a sunny day without a hiccup my rifle was "reliable".

Then I began shooting 200 - 500 rounds during the course of a day and I began to see things in a new light. Suddenly those chrome moly bores were holding onto my cases and I was reduced to using a cleaning rod to remove stuck cases.

I have never had to do that with a chrome lined bore.

Like I posted earlier. I only ever had one chrome moly that would chew through serious amounts of ammo. And, to my amazement, it was an old Sun Valley el cheapo.

My Colt, FN and Bushmaster barrels have always performed regardless of how much I put through them or how hot they got.

I just got a RRA 16" chrome moly, but I haven't sufficiently abused it yet to know how reliable it is. I suspect that it's a good quality barrel, and I hope that it performs as well as that old Sun Valley. I'll let you know what happens.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 1:42:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By colklink:
Someone posted on here that the m16 was designed with a chromed bore/chamber.Not true.Up untill that point the millitary had chromed all there bbl,but didnt the m16 cause the ar from which it was designed didnt have a chrome bbl.The biggest problems with the initial m16 were 1.the gov switched from stick powder for the rnds to ball powder. 2.didnt issue cleaning kits for the weapon as it was "self cleaning".Lastly they deviated from a chromed chamber just cause the ar wasnt designed with one.No flame intended,my only point is is that there are many variables as to whether a weapon is reliable.A chrome lined bbl is just one variable.That being said,my shtf rifle has a chromed bbl.



Nice to see that someone knows their history... It amazes how many people say it must be chrome 'whatever' by design. If one reads up on history chrome anything was added because other problems (I.e. powder, lack of cleaning kit, etc.)

mark
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 2:03:49 PM EDT
A bushmaster salesman told me (several years ago) that they don't do stainless because when it heats up, the bore will constrict and seize the bullets. Anyone else hear this?
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 12:33:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2002 12:36:39 PM EDT by Yanqui]
Axel,

That does not make sense. Bushmaster offered stainless barrels before they acquired a government contract. Hell, before their contract Bushmaster use to offer chrome-moly barrels. I still have some of their old catalogs.

The guy you talked to might have been new to the company.

A side note. In Bushmasters new catalog they offer a chrome-moly barrel for their DCM Competition Rifle.

Now what do I prefer? I prefer to go with chromelined. I qualified as Expert in the Marine Corp and can still do the same. So how can they say a chromelined barrel is not accurate. So if at a 100 meters I can group within an inch is not accuracy then what is? Perhaps a chrome-moly barrel can group at the size of a dime. But in the 100 meter race the difference between first and last is in tenths of a second.

But on the other hand I have an old Winchester 1892 SRC in 44-40 made in 1895. It can still hold its own today. The barrel is chrome-moly I think.
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 4:36:49 AM EDT
Now I'm going to point out the fly in the ointment...

What kind of chrome lining process is the best?

Link Posted: 3/11/2002 5:38:16 AM EDT
This thread came along at a convenient time as I am contemplating the same issue. Does anyone know if the Knights SR-15 has a chrome lined bore? If it does not, it's a Bushy for me. Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/12/2002 7:05:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Axel:
A bushmaster salesman told me (several years ago) that they don't do stainless because when it heats up, the bore will constrict and seize the bullets. Anyone else hear this?



He was selling his product, as all sales people do.

Your high end competitors use stainless steel broach cut or better barrels.

Stainless steel does hold its heat longer than a chromemoly. Any metal will expand when heated. The quesion is how much expansion difference is there between SS and CM? I do not have the answer. Anyone?

In the end, the shooter is the weakest point in any competition. You can only gain so much with tinkering on your gun. Most of us do not need the high end, if you know what I mean.

mark
Link Posted: 3/12/2002 7:17:20 AM EDT
My $.02:

Had a Colt that was chromed-worked great
Have a Bushy chromed upper on my M16 works great.

Have a DPMS non-chrome - Not so great.. have ot bringa cleaning rod whenever I go shoot.

Could be a combination of DPMS specs and no chrome lining though
Link Posted: 3/12/2002 5:31:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thee12nv:
Have a DPMS non-chrome - Not so great.. have ot bringa cleaning rod whenever I go shoot.



What is the problem that your cleaning rod solves? Bullets getting stuck in the bore? :-) Casings not extracting?

mark
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