View Full Version : if you could do it over..which length barrel would you get?

07-23-2008, 5:15 PM
Hey guys,
A question for you AR owners.
I have the cash, and I have the lower, but I have too many choices, and not enough experience. So I come to ask the advice of those wiser and more worldly than myself. :confused:

I have read that the m4 version is the one to get, and that the 16" mid length is also a good length. Is this accurate? why?

Of course no one has those in stock...

So I'm wondering if I should get a different length? 14",18",20"? ....Or should I place the order and wait for the 16" m4??

I have heard rifle length gas system, has lower recoil, so maybe I should get the 18,or 20? ACK!

Too many choices for a guy that has never had an AR. So I'm asking for a little help here.

Soooo If you could do it over, and you had to get a cmmg complete upper, which one would you get? And WHY?

Thanks for the help guys!

Oh yeah.. this is a SHTF gun.

07-23-2008, 5:16 PM
24" varminter.

Oh wait i have one of those.:p

07-23-2008, 5:18 PM
SHTF? 16"

07-23-2008, 5:25 PM
16" or 14.5" with FH or MB to make it 16".

07-23-2008, 5:36 PM

One Shot, One Dropped
07-23-2008, 5:40 PM
Well, if it is just for fun, and you want a good all-around gun, I would recommend getting a MedCon 16" upper with a mid-length gas system (Someone on this forum will know 100% for sure that I am talking about their upper). CMMG makes a pretty good quality one, and I think you can get it for around $500. The mid-length gas system will be a great setup and you will get longer (and I think, better looking) hand guards.

Pvt. Cowboy
07-23-2008, 5:48 PM

07-23-2008, 5:50 PM
Get whatever looks good to you now you can always change it or make another in the future. If you like M4's get a 16". If you like the M16 get a 20"

07-23-2008, 6:05 PM
doesnt matter you will probably build another one within a few months after :)

07-23-2008, 6:07 PM
I've got a few in 16" and 20", and I love them both. I think I like the 20" more because I went so many years with just the 16's. It's different. But like the other guy said, it don't matter because it wont be your only one.

07-23-2008, 6:43 PM
Well..... lesse.... I have:
10.5 (with a 5.5FS)
18" middy
20" match
20" GI
26" Spacegun.......


well... I did have a 16" CAR upper.. but I got rid of it as I have more fun with my 10.5(5.5FS) and my 18" middy

07-23-2008, 6:46 PM
10" just 10"

Santa Cruz Armory
07-23-2008, 7:05 PM
Get one of each...thats what I did.:43:

07-23-2008, 7:09 PM
Like they say, you most likely ain't gonna have just one. That being said, if I only had one it would be 16" or 14.5" with welded flash hider. It would be a RRA or Noveske if I could afford it.

Blacktail 8541
07-23-2008, 7:15 PM
You will get as many answers as you get replies. A lot of it depends on your planned usage. If you plan to just use it as a general blaster, 16in middy. Long range precision, 20in stainless.

07-23-2008, 7:20 PM
But then again I am doing it over so :D

07-23-2008, 7:53 PM
I've got a few from 14.5" to 32". Of course, the 32" has a .510 bore and probably isn't what you had in mind. So, I'll go with Ivan and say a 24" varmitter.

07-23-2008, 7:54 PM
wow thanks for the response!I think...
ugh. sounds like there is no perfect length. I was trying to weaken the disease with one solid 5.56, and one grendel... Sounds like you guys are more in the later chronic stages. :puke: ..multiple 5.56's ..sigh..I guess this will be my fate as well..I might as well start with the 16 and buy a bigger safe.

07-23-2008, 8:02 PM
16" is best with midlength gas system.

Whatever you do, stay away from 16" carbine gas system, it is a turd.

07-23-2008, 10:33 PM
the beauty of the ar system is that you can have multiple uppers for one gun. get as many as you want or need.

i have:
(3) 16" uppers
(2) 20" uppers
(1) 24" upper
and i'm still adding to that list.

i have multiple guns and can mix and match, but that's besides the point.

07-23-2008, 10:35 PM

07-23-2008, 10:40 PM
Well BRD demands that I continue to do it over and over and over and over.

10.5 but then again I no longer live in MIssissippi.:(

But I do love CA. So I would go with 14.5

07-23-2008, 10:52 PM
Avoid the carbine-length gas system, it's harder on bolts and brass.

07-23-2008, 11:06 PM
If I could do it all over again... well I don't regret the 16" as it has worked flawless for me, I would get a 20" govt barrel and maybe a stainless 24" match barrel in .260 Remington for long rage engagements :-P

07-23-2008, 11:36 PM
18 or 20" freefloated stainless with 1-8 twist. Works good for stabilizing heavier 69gr or 75gr bullets for long range work while still short enough for close range urban environments. Similar to the Army SDM-R rifle:

07-23-2008, 11:44 PM
Im a bad person to ask this question t


07-23-2008, 11:54 PM
no pistol uppers? shame on you

07-24-2008, 12:14 AM
16" Middy Sabre Defense or Noveske would be my choice for a SHTF AR.:chris:

07-24-2008, 1:34 AM
Bottom line is this: there are tradeoffs at any length.

Shorter means lighter. Longer means more velocity, but also will be heavier (as you increase length you'll need to increase stiffness to maintain accuracy).

So, if you're plan on carrying your rifle and shooting standing, sitting, on the run, etc - you will absolute want a lighter rifle. Further, if you're going to be in close quarters (urban areas, indoors, etc) you'll also want shorter. In CA short barreled rifle laws make the 14.5" with permanently attached muzzle device (brake or flash suppressor) the minimum logical choice. 16" allows more flexibility (swap muzzle devices) and adds a bit more oomph in velocity. It also is a natural for mid-length gas systems, which reduce the recoil impulse (more accurate) and soften the recoil to prevent parts wear. Those who have used ARs for a while will tell you to absolutely pick mid-length over carbine gas whenever possible. As far as contour (what the thickness is), the military picked the medcon for their SF teams due to the better accuracy under sustained fire. I would argue this is unnecessary for a CA resident. A lightweight is just fine (not ultralightweight, though!).

If you plan on shooting off a bench or from fixed positions, get the heaviest and longest barrel you can with a rifle gas system. It will be reliable and very accurate. I have a 24" bull barrel AR that is like shooting fish in a barrel at 600yds. It's a beast, though, and I'd never wanna hoof it while hauling it.

I think the 20" M16 government profile is a poor choice. It adds velocity, but a gov't barrel is thin and whippy - not a good way to get good accuracy. An 18" SPR profile is a good longer compromise, as well - with rifle gas - adding some weight but upping the longer range potential & accuracy.

If I had to pick only 1 gun it would be a 16" stainless RECCE with midlength gas. Excellent accuracy, very smooth, not too heavy and still plenty compact.

07-26-2008, 5:26 AM
16" handsdowm. Best overall lenght. Everything else is special purpose.

07-26-2008, 6:02 AM
I have a question regarding caliber. My understanding is, you can shoot 5.56 from a upper/barrel marked .223. However, can you shoot .223 from a upper/barrel marked 5.56?

07-26-2008, 10:18 AM
I have a question regarding caliber. My understanding is, you can shoot 5.56 from a upper/barrel marked .223. However, can you shoot .223 from a upper/barrel marked 5.56?other way around...

07-26-2008, 10:25 AM
yup... like many of the guys here i couldn't just have one so:

-stag 16" m4gery (sold)
-dpms 18" sdm (sold)
-colt 16" 9mm (sold)
-del-ton 16" LW (unfired)
-stag 18" (20" cut to 18" by randall, this is my racegun)
-bohica arms 30" 510 dtc (sold)
-bushmaster 24" fluted target (unfired by me)

and i got a lower sitting around built but with no upper. damn this disease...

07-26-2008, 10:33 AM
I have a question regarding caliber. My understanding is, you can shoot 5.56 from a upper/barrel marked .223. However, can you shoot .223 from a upper/barrel marked 5.56?

yup, it's the other way around... .223 has a tighter chamber than 5.56 and 5.56 ammo is loaded to a higher pressure which COULD lead to a large metal paperweight should you use 5.56 ammo in a .223 chamber. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO

all this found in a search here on calguns:

07-26-2008, 8:35 PM
I have the 16" on mine because of weight...easy to fire standing up....since you mentioned that this rifle will be made specifically for when the SHTF...I suggest getting a MMG or U-15 stock...for quicker reloading;)

07-27-2008, 5:15 AM
If SHTF I wouldnt care about BB, MMG, U15 BS!! I would run it like it was suppose to be run.

07-27-2008, 2:27 PM
I've got a CMMG upper with 20" Gov't Profile bbl on my OLL. I don't have any complaints, but I can see how I'd ache for something lighter if I was shooting on the move (competition, SHTF, etc).

07-27-2008, 2:49 PM
If I did it all over again, I'd still stick with the 20" medcon/HBAR. LW carbines are for WUSSES! ;)

07-27-2008, 4:19 PM
If I had to choose from CMMG, it would be:
CMMG 16" midlength
CMMG 16" midlength lightweight.

Because of length, weight, gas system, flexability w/optics. etc.