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View Full Version : Rifle setup vs. Carbine setup ? for an AR


KevinXT
12-04-2009, 11:08 PM
so ive reached a point where im having a hard time decieding on whether to build a carbine style AR (collapseable stock, 16" barrel mid length) or a full 20" fixed stock rifle (m16 style). I thought i always wanted a M4 style carbine. but after holding a m16 style AR today (20" , A2 stock etc) it feels solid and almost more comfortable for my tall self ( im 6'5").

I guess what im wondering is will i be loosing alot of maneuverability and such in a close quarters scenario (running a m16 style setup). And quick engagements (just figuratively speaking if was ever needed to) Watching some of chris costas videos im wondering if any of that type shooting is possible with a full length rifle....

or if i should just shattupp and get a carbine and feel kinda cramped...

this is gonna be a K.I.S.S. build... im not into fancy rails and flashlights.. and i will be running iron sights.. (unless i feel the need for a eotech or something later down the road). Id be using it for shooting at the range and just in case "SHTF.. "

paratroop
12-04-2009, 11:24 PM
for a fella your size, the carbine might look and feel like a little toy, but for manueverability, it cant be beat. you might also want to look into a midlength gas system, i have no experience with one, but i hear they are awesome. the rifle is also a good choice, but it lacks the quick handling in close quarters. although i would go for whatever feels the most comfortable for you. and if both weapons are in your future, get the carbine first.

oni
12-04-2009, 11:27 PM
I second paratroop.

Get what is comfortable for you to shoot. Chances are you will end up building both like the rest of us fell fast and hard to the black rifle syndrome.

dchang0
12-04-2009, 11:48 PM
You could always go in between the two choices and build a midlength-gas 16" or rifle-gas 18" AR with collapsible stock.

KevinXT
12-05-2009, 12:04 AM
hmmm i assume the barrel length is what makes it quicker handling? i think the fixed A2 stock is what i liked best about the rifle setup... maybe something like this with a middy upper and A2 stock would be a compromise...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/johnrippert/CMMGmidlength1.jpg

mala in se
12-05-2009, 12:18 AM
build 'em both

Group B
12-05-2009, 1:42 AM
If you're only going to have one, I would say build a carbine.

I recommend that you have both though, so build a carbine first.

I'm 6'3" and since my wingspan is wider than I am tall, I have decently-long arms.

I currently have an LMT MRP CQB Piston 16 carbine, and I'm planning to replace the SOPMOD stock with a MAGPUL ACS stock w/.070" thick buttpad, to extend the length-of-pull, so as to make it more comfortable for my frame: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=245294

I guess what I'm getting at is that, a carbine allows for greater maneuverability than a rifle, and that by increasing the length-of-pull on it, by using a longer buttstock, it can be made to fit you better.

stphnman20
12-05-2009, 2:21 AM
Yea build them both.. If not, go with what every your comfy with..

aplinker
12-05-2009, 2:33 AM
hmmm i assume the barrel length is what makes it quicker handling? i think the fixed A2 stock is what i liked best about the rifle setup... maybe something like this with a middy upper and A2 stock would be a compromise...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/johnrippert/CMMGmidlength1.jpg

If you're going to do that, use a MMG or similar and get detachable mags.

A great choice, IMHO.

Nothing makes you slower or less capable in CQB than dropping your bullet button tool. :D

mls343
12-05-2009, 5:06 AM
I might suggest a different approach. I think you should consider making the rifle first. The original M16/AR was designed as a rifle. Historically, most of the early AR's mostly came configured in the rifle only. From a pure shooting perspective, the 20 inch configuration is one sweet shooter. Even at standard rifle lengths, it is still quite handy.

Personally, I'm a rifle guy. Carbines are nice to have, but if I could only have one SHTF AR (Note: an AR would NOT be my SHTF weapon of choice), that AR would be a rifle. Better accuracy, reliability, and a feel (silly, but just my take), would be the deciding factor for me.

Again, I own both and both would be my ultimate suggestion, but starting with a rifle and getting to know how the AR was originally intended, just may be a great foundation moving forward.

Regardless of the route you take, welcome to the disease! Your wallet will hate you, but your in for a great time!

Cheers!

pacrimguru
12-05-2009, 8:22 AM
hmmm i assume the barrel length is what makes it quicker handling? i think the fixed A2 stock is what i liked best about the rifle setup... maybe something like this with a middy upper and A2 stock would be a compromise...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/johnrippert/CMMGmidlength1.jpg

this sounds like the perfect compromise you're looking for.

sholling
12-05-2009, 8:34 AM
16" upper with a mid-length gas system for reliability and durability and a collapsible stock something like this one. The Vltor EMOD stock on it adjusts from a 11.5 LOP when fully collapsed to 14.75" when fully extended. That should be plenty but you could always fabricate a thick butt pad if you want more.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u197/damnfineguy/My%20Tots%201024/BCM-EOTech001a.jpg

I'm using a Bravo Company 16" upper with mid-length gas system (http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/AR-15-16-Mid-Length-Group-s/27.htm) - highly recommended. BCM is known for extreme SHTF ready durability and reliability.

Or their complete and ready to go rifle (http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=16M_RIFLE&reference=/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi%3Fsearch%3Daction%26keywords%3D%26sea rchstart%3D9%26template%3DPDGCommTemplates/FullNav/SearchResult.html%26category%3DBCOM). G&R works with BCM and is a good company.

McCrown
12-05-2009, 8:56 AM
Why not go for a compromise, 18" barrel with a rifle length gas. SPR

Hoop
12-05-2009, 9:02 AM
My 6pos stock, fully extended is slightly longer than my A2 stock so not sure on that count.

As far as 16 vs 20, I have both and like the 16" more. My only gripe is that the carbine length handguards are a little small.

mala in se
12-05-2009, 9:51 AM
I might suggest a different approach. I think you should consider making the rifle first. The original M16/AR was designed as a rifle. Historically, most of the early AR's mostly came configured in the rifle only. From a pure shooting perspective, the 20 inch configuration is one sweet shooter. Even at standard rifle lengths, it is still quite handy.

Personally, I'm a rifle guy. Carbines are nice to have, but if I could only have one SHTF AR (Note: an AR would NOT be my SHTF weapon of choice), that AR would be a rifle. Better accuracy, reliability, and a feel (silly, but just my take), would be the deciding factor for me.

Again, I own both and both would be my ultimate suggestion, but starting with a rifle and getting to know how the AR was originally intended, just may be a great foundation moving forward.

Regardless of the route you take, welcome to the disease! Your wallet will hate you, but your in for a great time!

Cheers!

i agree my 2nd build was a 20" A2 and it is the most accurate AR in my collection. it would not be too big for your size, in fact i think it would be perfect.


Why not go for a compromise, 18" barrel with a rifle length gas. SPR

my first build was an 18" w/ a full rifle length gas. it did not have the accuracy of the 20", and my 16" build was getting the same group size results. in fact i just sold my 18" to fund my new 16" plinker. (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?p=3452946#post3452946)

i definitely would keep the 20" in my mind as i believe everyone should have a AR full size rifle set-up in their collection. but go w/ what feels right and practice.

SuperSet
12-05-2009, 10:23 AM
Assuming you're not a TRex and 6'5", a longer handguard will feel right. It's one of the reasons that I don't really like a carbine setup.

Flogger23m
12-05-2009, 10:24 AM
A mid length isn't an M4.

You can go with a similar set up to mine:

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/508/arwsights.th.jpg (http://img682.imageshack.us/i/arwsights.jpg/)


Mid length with A2 stock. KISS and it works.

Good thing with mine is, if I can remove the flash hider and replace it with a break, I can throw on a Solartactical featureless grip and remove the BB. Then I can drop the mags. Then when I want to go back to the BB, I spend 5 minutes switching configuration. I will eventually be doing this.

wilson_wwsc
12-05-2009, 10:28 AM
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg230/wilson_wwsc/guns/StagAR152.jpg
I think my setup might work for you. Carbine upper, A2 stock.

aplinker
12-05-2009, 11:58 AM
my first build was an 18" w/ a full rifle length gas. it did not have the accuracy of the 20", and my 16" build was getting the same group size results. in fact i just sold my 18" to fund my new 16" plinker. (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?p=3452946#post3452946)

i definitely would keep the 20" in my mind as i believe everyone should have a AR full size rifle set-up in their collection. but go w/ what feels right and practice.

The length was not what made the rifle inaccurate. Adding additional length contributes nothing to intrinsic accuracy - in fact, overall, it tends to make the intrinsic accuracy worse due to barrel whip. That's why longer barrels tend to be thicker.

It's been shown a few times ~18" is a sweet spot for 5.56 and velocity.

The OP has lots of options. The main thing to remember is ARs are tinker toys.

That is...

Most of us never "finish" our builds. We continue to adjust them to suit our needs and changes in style as we grow as shooters.

The good thing is you can generally sell parts easily - and you can usually come out close to even (sometimes better, sometimes a few $ under) if you buy used.

KevinXT
12-05-2009, 6:18 PM
thanks for all the replys! ....i wasnt planning on going featureless. i already have a lower with a parts kit assembled with a BB. im thinking perhaps ill do the mid-length with a A2 stock. seems like it would fit the bill.

one day i would like to have 2 so i can have the best of both worlds but im barley gonna be able to swing 1 AR right now.. times are tuff. But this is something ive always wanted!

aplinker
12-05-2009, 6:46 PM
thanks for all the replys! ....i wasnt planning on going featureless. i already have a lower with a parts kit assembled with a BB. im thinking perhaps ill do the mid-length with a A2 stock. seems like it would fit the bill.

one day i would like to have 2 so i can have the best of both worlds but im barley gonna be able to swing 1 AR right now.. times are tuff. But this is something ive always wanted!

With a fixed stock, the only changes you'd need to go featureless are a MMG and removing the flash hider (or use a brake) - oh, and reinstalling the standard mag catch.

KevinXT
12-05-2009, 7:28 PM
With a fixed stock, the only changes you'd need to go featureless are a MMG and removing the flash hider (or use a brake) - oh, and reinstalling the standard mag catch.

whoops i mis worded that... i ment having a rifle and a 16" carbine type (or middy with a collapseable stock)

theirs so many options its almost un bareable! im addicted and i havent even built my first one haha


but yeah its good having the featureless option too.

Flogger23m
12-05-2009, 9:57 PM
but yeah its good having the featureless option too.

This is the reason I went with an A2. I can switch back and fourth in 5 or so minutes. Well, not the flash hider. That will have to be removed and it isn't something you can quickly remove. But though on a nice muzzle break and then it only takes 5 or so minutes going from BB to featureless.

If you have high cap magazines, you can use them in your featureless AR.