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View Full Version : 14.5" vs 16" upper


speeddreamz
04-14-2009, 5:45 PM
Why do these 14.5 inch uppers seem to be so popular ?

Doesn't the muzzle break which is longer on the 14.5 models make it the same overall length technically as the 16" uppers?

Its tacticool...thats it right?

please explain, I feel like I'm missing something and feel kinda ignorant.

dchang0
04-14-2009, 5:49 PM
Counting the length added by the flash hiders, a 16" barrel is actually longer than 14.5 by about 1.25", which can make a difference to some people, myself included.

Wayneard3413
04-14-2009, 5:52 PM
I am running a 14.5" barrel with a pinned PWS comp, although it is slightly shorter then it was before in all honesty it was more of an appearance thing than anything else

speeddreamz
04-14-2009, 5:52 PM
Counting the length added by the flash hiders, a 16" barrel is actually longer than 14.5 by about 1.25", which can make a difference to some people, myself included.

Pics? =D

I was hoping on getting a noveske n4 light upper 14.5....things so sweet but baby is an expensive one. >=T



Ahhhh huh.... now to really figure out the GPU vs non gpu debate... I tried following it and was kinda confused.

DA1L0
04-14-2009, 5:55 PM
From what I can recall the carbine gas system works better with the 14.5" barrel. That's the length it was originally designed for? (Help me out here) The 16" was made for civilian use. Then iirc the mid-length system was designed for the 16".

The 14.5" barrel with a pinned/permanent flash hider/brake will give us the legal over all length of 16". Where as the 16" barrel itself with a flash hider would be like 17.5" over all. The 16" already qualifies and allows us to put whatever we want on the end without having it permanently attached. Some people don't care about the permanency of their barrel attachments. But I guess yes the shorter it is the more tacticool it is.

Agustav
04-14-2009, 5:57 PM
How about the weight benefit? Will 14.5 upper be a little lighter? How about a 11.5 upper with 5.5 extension? Seems kinda pointless to me! :confused:

domokun
04-14-2009, 6:06 PM
How about the weight benefit? Will 14.5 upper be a little lighter? How about a 11.5 upper with 5.5 extension? Seems kinda pointless to me! :confused:

Any barrel that is shorter than 16" will need to have the muzzle brake/flash hider permanently pinned/attached to the barrel. If you don't know which flash hider/muzzle brake you'll love for an eternity, then it's better to have the 16" barrel and not worry about the uppers with a shorter barrel. It's mainly for looks and unless you're going to be spending time clearing rooms of bad guys with it, I personally don't see a need for it other than just for looks.

cryptkeeper
04-14-2009, 6:38 PM
I've heard people say the 16 looks funny. In person, I personally don't think it looks that bad. Too me it only looks noticeable it put up against a 14.5 inch upper. If you go with 14.5, the regular A2 FH doesn't quite make 16" if I remember correctly. You'll either need a longer FH or go with the 14.7 (a la CMMG). Don't quote me on this though.

Wayneard3413
04-14-2009, 6:45 PM
Here are a couple of pics comparing the standard 16" tube to the now 14.5/pinned comp combo

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/wayneard3413/Pic43214009-2.jpg

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/wayneard3413/SDC10165-1.jpg

speeddreamz
04-14-2009, 6:59 PM
Here are a couple of pics comparing the standard 16" tube to the now 14.5/pinned comp combo

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/wayneard3413/Pic43214009-2.jpg

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/wayneard3413/SDC10165-1.jpg

Can hardly tell the diff! but your rifle looks nice, now I'd like to see you blend in with the fireplace too ! =D

Wayneard3413
04-14-2009, 7:07 PM
As noted above there is probably only about a 1.5" difference, not much at all

And for record that is actually my plan in case of home invasion, haul *** to the fireplace and fight from concealment haha

Vtec44
04-14-2009, 7:12 PM
Side by side comparison, my 14.5" + a permanent flash hider and my 16" + flash hider. Both are over 31" OAL length.

http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z122/Vtec44/Zombie%20Survival/DSCF3536.jpg

missiontrails
04-14-2009, 7:36 PM
Why do these 14.5 inch uppers seem to be so popular ?

Doesn't the muzzle break which is longer on the 14.5 models make it the same overall length technically as the 16" uppers?

Its tacticool...thats it right?

please explain, I feel like I'm missing something and feel kinda ignorant.
Maybe because that is what much of the military uses. 14.5" is what a M4 is.

speeddreamz
04-14-2009, 7:38 PM
Maybe because that is what much of the military uses. 14.5" is what a M4 is.

I had no idea. =)

I'm getting one....sooner or later.

Plisk
04-14-2009, 7:41 PM
With a 16" barrel if you were to remove the flashider; the overall length will be 16" same thing with 14.5. But with a 14.5 with an A2 flashider on it the length is only 15 3/4" roughly. You need a flashider that is about 1/4" longer then an A2 and permanently attach it to make it legal on a rifle lower. Phantoms and Vortex flashiders do the trick, but SDI also makes an extended A2 FH that is designed to put the overall length at 16". I recently bought a 14.5" upper, and it's chillin' on my buddys pistol lower until I decide what flashider I want to pin onto it. The reason I went with the 14.5 is becuase it's the same length of our current military M4s, and you can mount a bayonet on it properly. Where as you can't mount one properly on a 16"

http://www.talonarms.com/talonarms/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=258

vandal
04-14-2009, 8:15 PM
14.5" midlength with perm Phantom. When minimum OAL is what you're after and you won't ever want to change the rail or front sight. Also the 14.5" midlength has better reliability, and less useless exposed barrel space.

If I had it to do over again I'd do exactly the same thing!

I had an earlier lesson-learned with a perm-attached Vortex when the flash hider tines started breaking off one by one. When I got down to the last one I had to stop to avoid creating a SBR! Phantom for me now!

http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/zombies5.jpg

Plisk
04-14-2009, 8:31 PM
I had an earlier lesson-learned with a perm-attached Vortex when the flash hider tines started breaking off one by one. When I got down to the last one I had to stop to avoid creating a SBR! Phantom for me now!

:eek:

Nice:thumbsup:

dchang0
04-14-2009, 8:36 PM
+1, Vandal. 14.5 middys are great!

But how on earth did you break the tines on a Vortex? You must've gotten one of the bad batch of 'em, because they are really, really tough mothers.

vandal
04-14-2009, 8:56 PM
Muzzle strikes of course.

Actually I think it was one of the bad ones. They started peeling off during a class.

+1, Vandal. 14.5 middys are great!

But how on earth did you break the tines on a Vortex? You must've gotten one of the bad batch of 'em, because they are really, really tough mothers.

aplinker
04-15-2009, 2:09 AM
I'll comment on a few things... 14.5" is better with a carbine gas system, but it's still not good enough (going mid-length is better).

You can mount a bayo on a mid-length 16"

The huge downside of perm attachment is you lose flexibility (like being able to switch FH for fun or to a MB to go featureless).

It does make the rifle handier and reduces muzzle weight.

oogabooga
04-15-2009, 2:48 AM
It might just be me, but even though 1.5" doesn't seem like much, it does feel and look noticeably shorter.

mls343
04-15-2009, 4:41 AM
I just got a new 14.5 upper and it changed the handling of the weapon vs the 16 upper that was previously installed (still have the 16 BTW). The 14.5 was what was originally specified for the weapon and it feel very natural and balanced with this configuration - for me anyway.

Both work fine, but the 14.5 looks and handles just a little bit better for me.

Cheers!

berto
04-15-2009, 9:21 AM
It might just be me, but even though 1.5" doesn't seem like much, it does feel and look noticeably shorter.

That's what she said

Here all week, two shows Friday and Saturday, tip the waitresses.

acegunnr
04-15-2009, 10:50 AM
^^
you owe me a new keyboard...

Clark_Kent_X
04-15-2009, 2:14 PM
go with the longest barrel you are comfortable using. but take note that the shorter the barrel the less accurate you will be at a distance.

Wayneard3413
04-15-2009, 3:19 PM
Actually the length of the barrel will not affect accuracy, only velocity... Which will shorten the maximum effective range

RECCE556
04-15-2009, 3:44 PM
I run 14.5" Colt M4 barrels is most of my M4 because that's a real M4 barrel. :) I also prefer that it's shorter than a 16" + Muzzle Device and lighter on the muzzle end....and the carbine gas system is correct for 14.5". I've never had "issues" with the carbine gas system on my 14.5"ers (and I treat them like $3.41 hookers)...and I have several 16" Middies for comparison.

The bottom line is that I'd rather have a quality 14.5" barrel with a carbine gas system over a not-as-good 16" middy. If you have both options on a quality barrel, consult the Magic 8 BallŪ...


Actually the length of the barrel will not affect accuracy, only velocity... Which will shorten the maximum effective range
BIG +1 on that! This is a very widespread misconception. I have a 16" Krieger that I will put against lesser quality 20"+ barrel for accuracy.

Rukus
04-15-2009, 7:55 PM
It might just be me, but even though 1.5" doesn't seem like much, it does feel and look noticeably shorter.

Thats what she said:thumbsup:

ETA: I was waaaay too slow on that one:p

OutlawDon
04-16-2009, 11:43 PM
14.5" midlength with perm Phantom. When minimum OAL is what you're after and you won't ever want to change the rail or front sight. Also the 14.5" midlength has better reliability, and less useless exposed barrel space.


http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/zombies5.jpg

Nice setup and it's inspiring me to want to get a 14.5 middy. Best of both worlds with shorter overall length along with better reliability. What brand upper is that? CMMG? Sabre?....? Thanks.

RECCE556
04-16-2009, 11:52 PM
Nice setup and it's inspiring me to want to get a 14.5 middy. Best of both worlds with shorter overall length along with better reliability. What brand upper is that? CMMG? Sabre?....? Thanks.
Not necessarily...reliability is a multi-faceted issue. Just because it's a Middy doesn't make it automatically more reliable. What if the gas port on the Middy is drilled too small? Or too large?

OutlawDon
04-17-2009, 12:07 AM
What if the gas port on the Middy is drilled too small? Or too large?

Well, there are lots of "what if's" if you're going to go there. I would hope that the gas port is drilled the right size regardless of what gas length it is. For discussion sake, let's just compare a 14.5 carbine vs a 14.5 middy that's built right in all respects....with the gas ports drilled correctly. ;)

docsmileyface
04-17-2009, 12:55 AM
Well, there are lots of "what if's" if you're going to go there. I would hope that the gas port is drilled the right size regardless of what gas length it is. For discussion sake, let's just compare a 14.5 carbine vs a 14.5 middy that's built right in all respects....with the gas ports drilled correctly. ;)

Another question, whats the difference in reliability between the 14.5 midlength and the 16 in midlength? I ordered a 14.5 midlength because I'm doing rifle length handguards for the better sight radius, but someone mentioned that the 14.5 does better with a carbine system then a middy? Whats up with that??

RECCE556
04-17-2009, 3:23 AM
I suppose if the gas port on the 14.5/mid was opened up, it could function properly but then what's the point? A 14.5/carbine gas system is properly designed (engineered)/ported. I can't imagine that the 14.5/mid would be any more "reliable". Maybe Randall can chime in and give us some more knowledge.

As for "reliable", the issues that people report isn't with a 14.5/carbine. It's with a 16/carbine. That's why mid-length was invented because originally, the manufactures just added 1.5" to the 14.5's and kept the gas ports the same which increased dwell time and pressure...that leads to a system that runs harsher than a 20/rifle or a 14.5/carbine. 16/mid gives you dwell/pressure that essentially the same as 14.5/carbine & 20/rifle.

Also, all the "reliability" issues I've had to work on, read about or just looked into in general, has been with "hobby brand" 16" uppers (DPMS, CMMG, RRA, Bushmaster, Hesse/Vulcan/Junk and "mix master" uppers made with various lower tier parts). Quality Parts + Quality Ammo = GTG.

The only time I've ever see a failure on high quality uppers, it has been due to the user experimenting with things like stronger buffer springs, overly heavy buffers, low powered ammo (wolff, umc, reloads), etc. Personally, I run a chrome silicon standard weight/pressure buffer spring, a H2 buffer and Lake City M193 or M855 ammo. The only failures I've had were related to mag failures, user failure (99.9% of the problem in my case) and some "freak" failures like having a shell bounce a pebble into my action when I was shooting low to the ground under a barrier with the port door facing down very close to the ground...that was ALMOST as good as when a CMMG barrel I was shooting popped a primer into the cam key channel of the bolt carrier...talk about a show stopper! That locked the gun up SOLID. Bolt was part way into the receiver extension so you coudln't separate the upper from the lower and you couldn't move the bolt forward or back. 5.56 stamped CMMG barrel + .223Rem chamber + full power LC M193 = No Bueno and after running into a few of these CMMG hack job barrels, I stopped using CMMG.

docsmileyface
04-17-2009, 5:26 AM
As for "reliable", the issues that people report isn't with a 14.5/carbine. It's with a 16/carbine. That's why mid-length was invented because originally, the manufactures just added 1.5" to the 14.5's and kept the gas ports the same which increased dwell time and pressure...that leads to a system that runs harsher than a 20/rifle or a 14.5/carbine. 16/mid gives you dwell/pressure that essentially the same as 14.5/carbine & 20/rifle.


OK, well heres a question: If I've got a 14.5" barrel with a mid-lengthed gas tube, I'd have shorter dwell time and pressure, correct? What are some of the consequences I could have using a system like that?

RECCE556
04-17-2009, 10:36 AM
OK, well heres a question: If I've got a 14.5" barrel with a mid-lengthed gas tube, I'd have shorter dwell time and pressure, correct? What are some of the consequences I could have using a system like that?Well if you took a 16/mid and chopped it down to a 14.5/mid without opening up the gas port then you run into the potential of not having enough gas go through the system to cycle the action = short stroke.

docsmileyface
04-17-2009, 10:23 PM
Well, I was going with a CMMG 14.5 Midlength complete upper.... Should it be safe to assume they've opened the gas port up since the setup is one of their standard options?

vandal
04-18-2009, 8:07 AM
It's a CMMG I got a few years ago.

Nice setup and it's inspiring me to want to get a 14.5 middy. Best of both worlds with shorter overall length along with better reliability. What brand upper is that? CMMG? Sabre?....? Thanks.

supersonic
04-18-2009, 11:08 AM
I could care less about the "extra" 1.5". Like you will ever be able to tell when using your rifle.:rolleyes: Besides, I like being able to remove my muzzle device if I want/need to!;)

vandal
04-18-2009, 2:08 PM
I could care less about the "extra" 1.5". Like you will ever be able to tell when using your rifle.:rolleyes: Besides, I like being able to remove my muzzle device if I want/need to!

Nothing wrong with you having a different set of performance criteria.

I doubt those choosing 14.5 are interested in 3gun match performance. Sometimes 1.5" makes a big difference in low-profile transportability.

http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/mojo2.jpg

http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/mojo1.jpg

http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/arccw6.jpg
http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/arccw7.jpg
http://contentproviders.com/dwimages/arccw8.jpg

The Bacon Eater
04-18-2009, 2:17 PM
I like that bag.

Plisk
04-18-2009, 2:31 PM
He looks like the guy who has no face.

supersonic
04-18-2009, 4:49 PM
Nothing wrong with you having a different set of performance criteria.
Sometimes 1.5" makes a big difference in low-profile transportability.doubt those choosing 14.5 are interested in 3gun match performance.

One and one-half INCHES? C'mon!:p
I can do the same w/ my bag (it must be 1.5" longer) + more considering the condition of your right foot.;):p