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Peter-Scott
02-23-2009, 02:55 PM
Can someone share some thoughts regarding the most reliable barrel lenght?

Any experiences with a 8.5" barrel? Too short?

Better stay with a 16 3/4" barrel?

Please share your thoughts and recommendations.

Thanks.

Pokeguyjai
02-23-2009, 04:17 PM
Depends on your needs. How far do you plan on shooting?

Cameron
02-23-2009, 04:35 PM
Can someone share some thoughts regarding the most reliable barrel lenght?

Any experiences with a 8.5" barrel? Too short?

Better stay with a 16 3/4" barrel?

Please share your thoughts and recommendations.

Thanks.

I think the optimal barrel length for an AR15 is a mid-length gas system and a 16" barrel.

That said, I have 2 16" ARs a 14.5" and now a 10.5" SBR coming...

Cameron

Peter-Scott
02-23-2009, 11:56 PM
Depends on your needs. How far do you plan on shooting?

Maximum 100 yards. I would go for open sights or an EO-Tech w/o magnifiers.


I think the optimal barrel length for an AR15 is a mid-length gas system and a 16" barrel.

That said, I have 2 16" ARs a 14.5" and now a 10.5" SBR coming...

Cameron

Did you notice/heard of any reliability issues with the short gas system? I think I can remember a guy with a "shorty" who was complaining about permanent malfunctions with a 10,5" (I think he had feed issues). It was in an other forum, and I do not find the thread.

Is it right: more short barrel, more sensitive gun?

Coolhand77
02-24-2009, 04:00 AM
As the owner of a 7.5" AR Pistol, all I can say is, mine has been reliable. Part of the equation isn't just the gas system, its also the buffer. Lots of the older "pistol buffers" were a specialized, super short unit using a high power 1911 spring. Those have reliability issues. Add to that the improper port diameter, and high impulse from short gas systems (which equals wear on parts) and short ARs get a bad reliability rating. IF your port diameter is drilled right, you should be getting enough gas to cycle the weapon right. A solution to the impulse issue is the "pigtail" gas tube, though mine seems to be operating fine (note: I have NOT run a 1000 round torture test on it yet). The solution to the buffer system is to stick with carbine length buffers and springs.

Even my 7.5 is good to 1 or 200 yards, so an 8.5 for those ranges SHOULD be acceptable. If you are really antzy about reliability, etc, go with a 10.5 inch barrel and carbine gas system. The "Commando" type upper has been proven to be somewhat reliable, and not as finiky as some of the shorter offerings. If this is a main "go to gun" go with a 16" barrel with a mid length or carbine gas system (preferably midlength as it reduces parts wear do to softer cycling impulse) or a 14.5" with perminant 2" muzzle device for all around versitility and least amount of legal hoops to jump through for a rifle.

And remeber, not all malfunction issues with short ARs can be traced back to it being a short AR. I had a VERY reliable dissipator that had a sudden extraction feed problem that could be traced back to a green and white box or Remington .223....which I found out later alot of people had problems similar to mine using that ammo. First check ammo, then check stuff like extractors, magazines, mag well dimensions, etc, then check your gas system for short stroking and gas port size if you have problems with feeding and extracting

Raven1911
03-03-2009, 10:15 PM
Can someone share some thoughts regarding the most reliable barrel lenght?

Any experiences with a 8.5" barrel? Too short?

Better stay with a 16 3/4" barrel?

Please share your thoughts and recommendations.

Thanks.

Peter,

I have an AR with a 20 inch barrel. I bought my AR from a friend and wanted a 16 inch barrel, however, after shooting it and doing more research after I bought the rifle, I am very satisfied with the 20 inch. You will have a .223 with a higher velocity and more concussion upon impact, which, in turn, is more damage. I bought my AR for by GTG. You will get so much more performance out of the .223 with the 20 inch as opposed to a shorter barrel. I have since bought the 6.8 spc upper for my go to caliber, and will keep the .223 upper for backup. If you are considering a shorter barrel I would reconsider that thought solely based on the fact that you will get more performance out of the .223 caliber.

Peter-Scott
03-08-2009, 03:49 PM
Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Right now I am deciding between a Sabre Defence M4 (14,5") and a M5 (16 3/4"). To be honest, right now I'm tending more to the M5, having less wear on the internals in mind (bolt...).

The better ballistics due to the longer barrel is another plus...

nickdrak
03-08-2009, 05:00 PM
I believe 16" is the best overall compromise between optimal ammo performance (velocity), and weapon manuverability. I have been a big fan of the 14.5" barrels, but the extra 200+ or so FPS that the 16" barrels offers has drawn me to building a 16" mid-length upper next.

The Sabre Defense barrels are top quality.

CouchTater
03-08-2009, 09:50 PM
I'm no expert, but I'm less concerned about muzzle velocity than most. The way I see it, I'm always going to have at least 100 rounds of softpoint on hand, and I'm very unlikely to ever need more than that. While FMJ fragmentation is very dependent on impact velocity, modern SP ammo is going to perform well at realistic ranges whether it leaves at 2700 or 3000 fps.

Here's a table to look at w.r.t. FMJ ammo;

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/terminal.html

If you really need fragmentation of FMJ at long range, then a 20" bbl is the way to go, but then a 24" barrel would be more better than that. For the OP's 100 yard standard, it appears that 16" would be fine for 55 grain FMJ but a bit iffy for M855.

Peter-Scott
03-09-2009, 07:17 AM
Thanks. The thoughts from the homepage cover my thoughts, concerning the use of FMJ rounds.

Now I have to find out how long my dealer needs to deliver a Sabre Defense XR15. :)

Nanuk
03-09-2009, 08:09 AM
I prefer the 16", the 14.5" with the tube attached to make it 16" always made me ask :confused:. I also have a 20"HB that is very accurate.

Ronin_Gray
03-09-2009, 10:28 AM
I like ARs to be as maneuverable as possible, and being a “scum-sucking civilian” this means 16” barrels. As it turns out, I think the 16” barrel is a good compromise between ballistic performance and maneuverability.

Section1_Operations
03-09-2009, 05:51 PM
I dislike with a passion the 16" bbl w/ FS unless it's on a Recce or SPR designated 5.56 rifle.

The 14.5" bbl w/FS is an ideal carbine -- Carbine/Mid-Length DI gas is moot for a number of variables.

FMJ is a last resort, no option fall back.

Projectile design can be chosen to impart any desired outcome for a given platform set-up.

Set the operational parameters and determine the realistic need for the given -- there's what ones kit should meet.



http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/terminal.html


Certainly, there's a lot of info there; unfortunately the context of a number the conclusions presented are incorrect or outdated.

Coolhand77
03-10-2009, 07:53 AM
The 16" barrel with a flash hider is approximately 17" to 18" depending on muzzle device, with the option of swapping them out if you decide to later (easily).
The 14.5" with pinned hider is approximately 16.25 to 17" depending on muzzle device, and you cant swap them out cutting off the muzzle device, and and pinning on a new one (assuming you have the tools to do it) and if at any time you reassemble your rifle without the pinned hider (or potentially even have the short barrel, and a non SBR or Pistol receiver in your possession) you run the risk of running afowl BATFE regs.

S1O, I am curious, why don't you like the 16" barrels? I know you said you dislike them with a passion, but I would like to hear your reasons. Its always nice to have datapoints that explain a subjective opinion.

Section1_Operations
03-10-2009, 12:13 PM
The 16" barrel with a flash hider is approximately 17" to 18" depending on muzzle device, with the option of swapping them out if you decide to later (easily).

The 14.5" with pinned hider is approximately 16.25 to 17" depending on muzzle device, and you cant swap them out cutting off the muzzle device, and and pinning on a new one (assuming you have the tools to do it) and if at any time you reassemble your rifle without the pinned hider (or potentially even have the short barrel, and a non SBR or Pistol receiver in your possession) you run the risk of running afowl BATFE regs.

S1O, I am curious, why don't you like the 16" barrels? I know you said you dislike them with a passion, but I would like to hear your reasons. Its always nice to have datapoints that explain a subjective opinion.


All your above points are much to do about nothing in reality.

Swapping out FS, really..., how often and for what reason???:confused:

Latest Gucci gear...: PLEASE, stop while you're a head!!!:rolleyes: Oh, shiny ball... look at that FS, FF rail, etc.
One buys a defensive rifle not on a whim w/little understanding of its intended use. Know ones need, formulate a plan of attack, acquire the properly configured tools to get it done.
Buying a Suppressor, and need an adaptor: This is usually a (1) time item fix for a competent smith on a ~$800-1,500 total acquisition project.
Bbl lengths: 14.5" + pinned FS = 16.1", with a ~16-18"+ bbl I want a .308 if I have to have that kind of length.
Fragmentation Threshold on 14.5" vs. 16" is an angles on the head of a pin discussion as I pick ammo based upon projectile design for serious social purposes -- in training it doesn't matter what you shoot in most situations.

Nanuk
03-10-2009, 07:06 PM
I must be thinking of a shorter BBL then, the ones with the silly 3"-4" fake suppressor.

Coolhand77
03-10-2009, 07:14 PM
good points all S1O. Some of us get a stock upper, and then decide to swap certain componenets later down the road due to budget at the time. Case in point, I got my 16" with an A2 flash hider...good, but I have considered swapping it out for a Phantom or a Vortex when funds allow. Of course mine is used for general purpose so "DMR" or "Recce" type role IS possible as well as CQB. Honestly though, the extra 1.5" of barrel weren't the reason I went with 16"...it was cost and availability at the time of purchase.

Like I said, good points. Thankyou for elaborating.

Edit: Nanuk, I think you are thinking of the "commando" style 10" barrels with the fake "moderator" pinned to them. The original 4" moderator was supposed to be kindof a proto-suppressor (it actually has baffels in it!) and though it only drops muzzle report by a few decibels it IS considered a suppressor by the BATFE, so all the civvy versions just have a really long version of the A1/A2 flash hider instead. One of the reasons the M4 has a 14.5" barrel + FH is because they ditched the "Commando" moderator, and they wanted something to hang a bayonette off of...hence 4 more inches of barrel.

Favorite REAL "Commando" I ever saw was an Israeli carried one with a sawed off 203 slung on it...the band that goes in the cutout on the M4 barrel was up around the A2 flashhider that was on it and the 40mm barrel was sawed off just forward of the 203 reciever rail, making the end of the 203 even with the flash hider. Short package, lots of oompf.

Peter-Scott
03-19-2009, 08:28 AM
The order is out: Standard Sabre Defense XR15 A3 with 16 3/4" barrel. It will be upgraded with an ACOG (4x), that's it.

Thanks for the input.

Peter-Scott
09-08-2009, 10:42 AM
Today I'm some kind of gravedigger, bringing this old thread into the light of day.

The Sabre Defence I ordered is mine for about 3 months. Due to the import/export squabbling I did go for a German scope, a Hensoldt FERO Z24 (with .223 BDC).

http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/820/dscf16052small.jpg

But as some might know: have one the other will be coming soon.

The Sabre Defence now has company:cool:...

http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/5632/m7vsg17.jpg

Troy Folding BUIS are ordered, perhaps a Tango Down VFG will be added.


Thanks for the input :) although I bought both, a 16 3/4" and a 8,5" AR.

Coolhand77
09-08-2009, 10:58 AM
Hey, no problem. Nice to see some good hardware.

FYI, 40 grain .223 JHP will penetrate 28 layers of ballistic rated kevlar at 50 yards from a 7.5" barrel just fine in case anyone is interested. We had some fun this weekend. :rolleyes:
And yes, it was about a quarter inch low, but I was dead center laterally on the target. And thats with Iron sights that are certainly not set up at the usual sight radius nor distance from eye. Lemme tell you, I fully expected to embarrass the hell out of myself and miss the center of the target. :D

Peter-Scott
09-08-2009, 11:59 AM
Hopefully the BUIS arrive this or next week. Then I will take the SBR to the range.

40 grain JHP? Factory ammo or hand loads?

Coolhand77
09-08-2009, 01:27 PM
Factory .223. IIRC it was the Remington UMC yellow box 200 round bulk pack stuff you could get from Bass pro. Oops, it was 45 grain JHP. :o

Kansas Volunteer
09-08-2009, 09:02 PM
Depending on the projectile, which can only be driven so fast safely, the shorter the barrel of an AR-type rifle the more like a .22 Hornet it becomes. Is the .22 Hornet really a fighting cartridge. Crunch the ballistics numbers before deciding on barrel length.

Coolhand77
09-09-2009, 08:40 AM
Fortunately, thats why I wanted to test the 45 grain JHP. I will do a number on soft tissue, and unlike my .45 ACP it will also go through 28 layers of kevlar. Ranges for this package are maximum 100 yards, with CQB ranges being the norm. This is not for distance shooting, this is for up close and personal, so loss of MV is not quite as bad an issue.

USMC8541
09-09-2009, 08:47 AM
20" barrel

Kansas Volunteer
09-09-2009, 08:57 AM
+1 for the 20-inch barrel. It may not be uber-cool, but it gets the job done better than anything shorter. Most of today's magic bullets where designed with the 20-incher in mind.