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djslik
11-06-2008, 5:58 PM
I am trying to decide on my varmint upper for my AR15 build. I have a sun devil lower and I'm trying to decide between a White Oak Armament Upper and a complete Sun Devil Upper. I have spoken with the guys at WOA and they say that their .223 Varmint upper can shoot 1/2 MOA or better at 100 yards. They seem to be well respected on other forums and apparently do a lot with the National Match crowd. The Sun Devil upper receiver is their own design with no forward assist as an option and is machined just like their lowers with a thicker side wall compared to Mil Spec. They have a custom upper that supposedly shoots 1/2 MOA even out to 200 yards and have actually seen reports of 1/4 MOA at 100 yards. If you guys have any insight on either of these I would appreciate it. The WOA upper goes for about $600 and the Sun Devil goes for $750.

I also want to know about barrel length. Is 26 inches worth it for a varmint or should I just stick with 20". Is there any real advantages to the extra velocity that I would get with a 26 inch barrel?

Here are links to both companies:
http://www.whiteoakarmament.com/
http://www.sundevilmfg.com
Here is more material on the Sun Devil Upper
http://www.sundevilmfg.com/SD-RifleFlyer_OL.pdf
http://www.sundevilar15.blogspot.com/

nobs11
11-06-2008, 6:01 PM
What are you going to feed it? If you are going to have a precision upper you should feed it match quality ammo.

I'd go with the WOA. RRA varmint uppers can do sub 1/2 MOA with handloads. They use Wilson barrels.

Which barrel is Sun Devil using?

Mostly depends on the shooter and ammo.

jmzhwells
11-06-2008, 6:08 PM
The twisty barrel is sweet on the WOA. Id go w/ that one in camo. No experience w/ them sorry.

djslik
11-06-2008, 6:14 PM
Sun Devil is using wilson barrels and they are custom tuning the last section of the barrel for accuracy. Sorry I'm not familiar with the method for the barrel. Ammo is going to be reloads but will take time to dial in my perfect formula. Match Ammo and reloads definitely for accuracy and cheap ammo for fun. I know the gun will outshoot me but then I want to know that I have an upper that is capable of great accuracy even if my shooting is not quite there yet. Someday it will be with more and more practice. I figured if I was going to buy two OLL and build them up I might as well build them up right since they will be my only AR15's and that means more now than it used to. The first AR is a Sun Devil lower with a Bravo Company Upper, Magpul CTR stock, YHM Free Float, and Aimpoint Micro T-1. That is my light gun for fun shooting and serious SHTF situations. This one is my highly accurate, varmint type of gun. I am not too fond of hunting but I do like shooting for accuracy.

5hundo
11-06-2008, 6:18 PM
A few DPMS uppers are still on sale at midway. The 24" upper is $499:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=693910&t=11082005

djslik
11-06-2008, 6:25 PM
That is an option as well and I have heard some good things about them. Now my other question is what do you guys think about barrel lengths. 20 inch, 22 inch, 24 inch, 26 inch I mean what is preferred and if I go longer I add weight and the balance is thrown off. Will I really notice a difference in the 26 inch barrel versus the 20 inch barrel in terms of accuracy or distance.

5hundo
11-06-2008, 6:27 PM
Accuracy? Not really...

Muzzle velocity? yes...

They also have 20" uppers on sale:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=486925&t=11082005

Fjold
11-06-2008, 6:37 PM
A 20" bull makes a very poorly balanced rifle. I have one and had to add a weighted target buttstock to it. With a 26" barrel you will have to add 4 Lbs or so of lead to the buttstock to get it halfway balanced and you're going to wind up with a 15 Lb rifle.

djslik
11-06-2008, 6:51 PM
I'm worried about the balance but am willing to make the sacrifice for accuracy. Like I said I have another much lighter AR for balance. The build is going to basically be this:
Varmint Upper to be decided
Sun Devil Lower
Magpul PRS Stock
WOA tuned RRA National Match Trigger
DPMS Grip with Base Rest
10 Round Mag
Zeis Conquest or Bushnell Elite Scope

So balance wise yes I will need a heavy rear to balance out the front barrel. So I guess the only thing I gain is muzzle velocity with a longer barrel. What does that mean to me exactly and how does it affect my shots. Will I be able to shoot 20 yards farther or 100 yards. I'm still learning about the ballistic characteristics of rifles and the AR15 so any education on this will help me make an informed decision so I don't regret the upper purchase.

5hundo
11-06-2008, 7:09 PM
So balance wise yes I will need a heavy rear to balance out the front barrel.

Exactly... The bull barrels are heavy, thus making the rifle light at the butt, when compared to the barrel end. Fluted barrels help, but they're more expensive. They also dissipate heat a little faster, due to increased surface area. (slightly)

So I guess the only thing I gain is muzzle velocity with a longer barrel. What does that mean to me exactly and how does it affect my shots. Will I be able to shoot 20 yards farther or 100 yards.

Muzzle velocity effects energy and (ultimately) range but the difference between a 20" - 26" barrel isn't going to be that drastic. However, the difference between 16" and 20" will be more substantial. The idea is that the more time the bullet spends in the barrel, the more time the powder has to burn completely and put energy into the bullet. So, between 16" and 20", you can see a lot of benefit from that powder that is still burning. Between 20"-26" you will still see some benefits but it won't be as drastic...

Any of the heavy "bull" barrel options will be very accurate. Just decide on a twist that suits your purposes and get what you think is the best value for your money. Spend what you have saved on good optics. That's a big piece of the puzzle, as well... ;)

djslik
11-06-2008, 7:20 PM
That was exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. I am going to have a quick discussion with the guys from White Oak Armament tomorrow and then I'll make a decision between the 20 or 24 inch based on that. I'm leaning towards the 20 inch right now. We'll see if WOA agrees or if they think the 24 inch would suit my needs.

nobs11
11-06-2008, 8:29 PM
A 20" bull makes a very poorly balanced rifle. I have one and had to add a weighted target buttstock to it. With a 26" barrel you will have to add 4 Lbs or so of lead to the buttstock to get it halfway balanced and you're going to wind up with a 15 Lb rifle.

What he said. If you want a varmint gun, get a varmint upper. But if not, you can get an accurate upper that will weight less but will cost more than the varmint upper. Noveske and Larue are easy choices.

capitol
11-06-2008, 8:37 PM
If you want superb accuracy don't bother with chrome lined or chrome moly barrels. They are built for durability and ease of cleaning.

Look at the benchrest folks. They use stainless steel etc

djslik
11-07-2008, 5:15 PM
I ordered the White Oak Armament 24 inch varmint mainly due to the 1:8 barrel twist versus the 1:7. After a lengthy discussion with the guys over at White Oak I decided that the gun is mainly for accuracy and it was going to be heavy so I made the decision to go for a little more velocity. It will be 90% bench shot so I don't think this will be a problem. I also ordered the White Oak Armament custom tuned version of the RRA 2 stage trigger with a 3.5 lb trigger pull. I'll get a range report when it comes in which is going to be 8 weeks hopefully.

nobs11
11-07-2008, 5:17 PM
Can't go wrong with WOA.

bombadillo
11-14-2008, 7:08 PM
Well, have you shot this thing yet, I'm contemplating getting this upper cause everything else is drying up.

djslik
11-14-2008, 8:00 PM
Unfortunately not yet. I have it ordered but I should see it by Christmas because they are also very backed up. So my suggestion is if you want one order it now.

7222 Hawker
11-14-2008, 8:13 PM
I have an RRA 24" Stainless Bull Upper. It is an absolutley superb shooter and prints 1/2" MOA all day long. It is heavy though on the front end. However, unless you are lugging it in the field, it is fine. I shoot varmints mostly from a bipod / rested position, so it is not an issue. If you are hauling it, go for an 18", lighter weight barrel. You will not notice the difference in accuracy if shooting off hand but you will notice the off balance and heavy to carry rifle. Just my opinion.

X-NewYawker
11-14-2008, 8:22 PM
Armalite used to make the "Spirit" -- an upper with an uncontoured barrel that looked like a stainless steel silencer. Sold away when the ban came, you could lay it across the sandbags and shoot one hole all day. Sigh...

For balance/weight/fps -- 20 inch will do you fine.