View Full Version : 16" Mid-length compares to 14.5"?

12-11-2008, 8:07 PM
Happy holiday guys. I am planning on getting a new upper assembly with mid-length gas system. I am debating on either getting a 16" from BCM or a shorter version from CMMG or Sabre Defense (pricey), which is the only two middy with 14.5" barrel I could find.

I guess my question is how different is a 16" + flash hider length barrel compare to a 14.5" barrel with a permantly attached flash hider? I am more looking into close quarter use and normal urban use. Which is why I am considering the 14.5 middy even I heard great things about the BCM. I have a m4gery so I never really handled a 16" barreled AR.

12-11-2008, 8:11 PM
With a 14.5" it has to be brought up to the federal requirement of 16" inches by pinning the muzzle device on anyway so essentially you are going to have a 16" barrel anyway.

The length difference is 1.5" if both guns are using the same muzzle device

12-11-2008, 9:56 PM
Go with the 16" middie.

Having been one of the first people EVAR to own a 14.5" middie (Noveske Afghan) I will vote against it. You loose velocity and gain nothing tangible in term of handling. That along with the fact you loose the ability to change muzzle devices makes it a no in my book. And the last point is that it just does not look right. Yes that's frivolous but in the world of AR's, when something doesn't look right it has to be brought up.

12-11-2008, 11:07 PM
The lower dwell time of the bullet for the gas system might theoretically also cause short-stroking problems with lower powered ammo... No actual experience on that, just speculation.

12-12-2008, 12:35 AM
It's really up to you, but my preference would be 16" for all the reasons listed above. It gives you a lot of flexibility. You can also mount a bayo on a 16" mid

Pinned muzzle devices are not the best choice.

There's nothing "wrong" with it, though - so don't feel bad if you really feel like you want to have a 14.5" w/perm

The lower dwell time of the bullet for the gas system might theoretically also cause short-stroking problems with lower powered ammo... No actual experience on that, just speculation.

Nah... The 14.5" still has plenty of barrel past the gas port.

12-12-2008, 8:00 AM
I have the 14.5 + FH and a 16. They each function equally well and I don't think it makes a bit of diference really. I think the 14.5 looks fine but that's subjective of course. I got the 14.5 to have the shortest AR (in CA) I could legally own - it's 30.25 to 31.5 OAL depending on the rubber recoil pad attached or not, ACE shorty fixed stock.

The main difference with the 14.5 is that if you want to switch out the FH for a nice comp or replace the issue front sight with a YHM flip type it's a pain in the butt. Given how alot of AR users like to fiddle around (and whoever mentioned "looking right" was right, we do like to get a certain look) an FH that won't come off can be more work for no return.

12-12-2008, 6:22 PM
I'd vote for 16" mid-length gas. It looks more "right" when it comes to 16" barrel, and you can switch or re-use your muzzle device, especially if you are one of those gear head who has to have the latest and greatest; be it a PWS muzzle break ($$$) or an AAC flash hider ($$$). You got more muzzle velocity; you don't have to use H-buffer to correct the short stroke that may happen on the carbine gas system (although I never had that issue before), and longer sight radius if you want to shoot iron, which means better accuracy.

I have decided that I'll never go back to 14.5" barrel after I burn my old M4 barrel out. That upper now has a 16" A1 profile carbine barrel. I didn't go mid-length on that replacement simply because I am cheap and want to keep using the KAC RAS that I had on.

12-12-2008, 6:57 PM
You need the 16" BCM middy.
Unless you put a 14.5" and a 16" right next to one another you'll never notice the difference in length. Plus, you get the benefits others have mentioned.
I've found that my BCM middy is more reliable and noticeably cleaner running than a comparable rifle with a carbine gas system.

12-12-2008, 8:39 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I think I am gonna go with the BCM middy. Who knows when they gonna be back in stock though..:(