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View Full Version : Does anyone prefer a 20" barrel?


WolfMansDad
06-15-2006, 5:08 PM
Carbines seem to be de rigueur for the 21st century AR (and "California-legal, self-loading..." or whatever we're supposed to call them). Is there anybody out there who prefers a full-sized rifle? If so, why? If not, why not?

Some context: I am a shotgun shooter who bought a couple of OLL's for kicks, but have yet to build anything up. A long barrel works better than a short one for wing shooting, at least for me, and a full-length AR would be three or four inches shorter than my shortest shotgun, which is too short for me to shoot well. What is the benefit of having such a stumpy rifle, other than the lighter weight? I would think a longer barrel would also be an advantage when shooting stationary targets.

My only experience with these rifles is training with an M16 A1 in ROTC. I had no objections to that rifle. It handled well, carried easy, and had fine balance, and I never had a failure with it.

C.G.
06-15-2006, 5:29 PM
Carbines seem to be de rigueur for the 21st century AR (and "California-legal, self-loading..." or whatever we're supposed to call them). Is there anybody out there who prefers a full-sized rifle? If so, why? If not, why not?

Some context: I am a shotgun shooter who bought a couple of OLL's for kicks, but have yet to build anything up. A long barrel works better than a short one for wing shooting, at least for me, and a full-length AR would be three or four inches shorter than my shortest shotgun, which is too short for me to shoot well. What is the benefit of having such a stumpy rifle, other than the lighter weight? I would think a longer barrel would also be an advantage when shooting stationary targets.

My only experience with these rifles is training with an M16 A1 in ROTC. I had no objections to that rifle. It handled well, carried easy, and had fine balance, and I never had a failure with it.

Depends on use for the rifle. My Vulcan Ar-15 5.56 and my Beowulf .50 have a 16' barrel and I don't expect to go longer ranges with those. My HAR-25 .308 (AR-10 clone) has a 20" as I expect to shoot mid range with that one and my Grendel 6.5 is 24" as I would like to shoot it out to 1100 yards (at this point I mostly shoot 300 yards, as that is the longest our range goes.

glen avon
06-15-2006, 5:33 PM
for 5.56 velocity is everything so I recommend 20s.

metalhead357
06-15-2006, 5:34 PM
I prefer anything longer than the 16" barrels; Sight radius has been an issue for me on shorter/standard mount points for the front sight; no matter if I use a smaller peep- still just seems funky to me.......

Anyone wanna trade a 20 or 20+ inch for my A2- 16" Bushy???????:D

grammaton76
06-15-2006, 5:46 PM
I've got an SU-16CA for 16". If I'm gonna shoot short, it's gonna be my 14.5". Otherwise, it's going to be my 20". I agree, the longer rifles just feel more right for most applications.

However, I will admit that a hip-fired SRB-equipped 16" A1-stocked laser-targetted beast does appeal to me in a strange kinda way... :)

PatrickM.
06-15-2006, 5:48 PM
i like the 20 inch barrel...its better for paper shooting

now if i could actually do some defensive carbine shooting then maybe i would want a shorter barrel


also the carbine style ARs and AKs look more dangerous. we all know that tthe carbine style rifles can kill more people :p :p :eek: :D



Patrick M.

metalhead357
06-15-2006, 5:49 PM
However, I will admit that a hip-fired SRB-equipped 16" A1-stocked laser-targetted beast does appeal to me in a strange kinda way... :)

Yeah- there is the hip factor! But then again I'd LOVE a .50 BMG (yes BMG) PISTOL........ you'd never see me fire the dang thing (I like living:) ) but it'd kick butt!!!!!:D

All of 'em have thier applications; for the CQB stuff and most of us not able to the 14.5's the 16's are a nice....compromise; but God save me if I gotta shoot past 300:rolleyes:

SemiAutoSam
06-15-2006, 5:51 PM
Im more use to the look of a full length rifle and dont have any evidence to back it up but have a feeling that a 20 inch barrel would be more accurate or if thats the case a 24 inch in the case of a .223 AR style rifle

Remember those old muskets why do you think those barrels were so long
accuracy in my opinion.

Centurion_D
06-15-2006, 5:58 PM
Well I have 2 colt sporters. One I've dressed up like a M4. I figure the other I'll dress it up like a A4 to round out my collection. :D

PIRATE14
06-15-2006, 7:34 PM
Size doesn't matter for accuracy........

Velocity is increased w/ a longer barrel so if you plan on shooting beyond 4-500 yds get a 20".

16" carbines out sell 20" by a 100 to 1 but it depends on what you want to do with it.

adamsreeftank
06-15-2006, 8:44 PM
My favorite is a 16" with a mid length gas system. But I also have a 14.5" carbine with a fixed break, a 20" in 308 and a 24" in 6.5 grendel. I'm going to build a 20" in .223 next. Gotta love how easy it is to build these things.

five.five-six
06-15-2006, 8:57 PM
Size doesn't matter for accuracy........

Velocity is increased w/ a longer barrel so if you plan on shooting beyond 4-500 yds get a 20".

16" carbines out sell 20" by a 100 to 1 but it depends on what you want to do with it.


I beg to differ. anywat i have a 14" for my wife.. she thinks a 20" hbar is to heavy. I like the shorter barrel for around the house it is less likely to bump into things. I also have a 24" bull fftube that wil do about 1/3 moa. that is just not going to happen with a 16" the other thing to consider is that a heavier barrel will reduce recoil. the 24 kicks like a daisy. i can see the bullet strike at 100+ yards as it is still in the scope. I had a couple of 20" uppers I traded the a2 for my wifes car and the flat top for my varmeter. i want another 20" a2 they are great all around. I have a 20" a2 for my ar-10 I will be shooting it for the first time this weekend. start off with a 18" or 20" flat top with a carry handle. you will be able to decide what you want from there. usaly you can get what you paid for an upper less shipping

C.G.
06-15-2006, 11:59 PM
I beg to differ. anywat i have a 14" for my wife.. she thinks a 20" hbar is to heavy. I like the shorter barrel for around the house it is less likely to bump into things. I also have a 24" bull fftube that wil do about 1/3 moa. that is just not going to happen with a 16" the other thing to consider is that a heavier barrel will reduce recoil. the 24 kicks like a daisy. i can see the bullet strike at 100+ yards as it is still in the scope. I had a couple of 20" uppers I traded the a2 for my wifes car and the flat top for my varmeter. i want another 20" a2 they are great all around. I have a 20" a2 for my ar-10 I will be shooting it for the first time this weekend. start off with a 18" or 20" flat top with a carry handle. you will be able to decide what you want from there. usaly you can get what you paid for an upper less shipping

Do yourself a favor and read up a bit. Quite often 16' barrels will be more accurate a (at least short range) than longer barrels because of harmonics. The difference in short versus long barrel is velocity not accuracy, as pointed out by Pirate.

C.G.
06-16-2006, 12:02 AM
My favorite is a 16" with a mid length gas system. But I also have a 14.5" carbine with a fixed break, a 20" in 308 and a 24" in 6.5 grendel. I'm going to build a 20" in .223 next. Gotta love how easy it is to build these things.

See my previous post; I like the way we think.:)

adamsreeftank
06-16-2006, 4:55 AM
See my previous post; I like the way we think.:)

Yeah, I noticed that. I'm just missing the Beowolf. I'm really trying to convince myself I need one of those too. I'm thinking maybe a complete AA rifle shipped minus the p-grip.

five.five-six
06-16-2006, 7:00 AM
Do yourself a favor and read up a bit. Quite often 16' barrels will be more accurate a (at least short range) than longer barrels because of harmonics. The difference in short versus long barrel is velocity not accuracy, as pointed out by Pirate.

I agree I have seen some prety amazing groups from 16" at 50 and 100 but not too much in th sub 1/2 moa

Centurion_D
06-16-2006, 7:19 AM
I'd say it's mostly preference, and application. If you want a tricked out door kicker, then go w/ the 14.5" or 16". A nice distance gun? 20+ inches.

My first build was a carbine, and my soon to be started second build will be a scoped 20" HBAR. Why? Hell if I know. I knew both were going to happen one way or another. I think the zombies find the M4 look scarier too. Haha...

HC

Well said Han.. :D

akjunkie
06-16-2006, 8:27 AM
http://www.ammo-oracle.com

EVERYTHING u want or need to know about the AR/ 5.56 platform.

barrel length, rifle twist, ammo grain, velocity, fragmentation, ammo MFGs, ammo construction, Nato/Non Nato ammo, mil surplus/commericial ammo, etc.

xrMike
06-16-2006, 9:28 AM
The difference in short versus long barrel is velocity not accuracy, as pointed out by Pirate.But you do get a little better accuracy on longer barrels that have iron sights though, due to longer sight radius, right?

phish
06-16-2006, 10:02 AM
For my primary use, if not %95 of it, a 20" barrel is required. I have a "spacegun" upper with a big honkin 26" tube on it. :eek:

I personally feel 24" is about the max for the .223's useful barrel length, but the extra 2" of sight radius is always nice with iron sights.

DrjonesUSA
06-16-2006, 10:08 AM
Carbines seem to be de rigueur for the 21st century AR (and "California-legal, self-loading..." or whatever we're supposed to call them). Is there anybody out there who prefers a full-sized rifle? If so, why? If not, why not?[/b]


It isn't really so much "preference" as much as it is picking the right tool for the job. Sure, you can try to use a full size 20" A1 or A1 barrel for clearing a tiny hut in Iraq, but it will make your job a LOT more dangerous, and possibly fatal to you.

Likewise, you can't expect to win any 1000 yard matches with a 16" M4 carbine, no matter how much you "prefer" the 16" barrel.

As far as pure preference though, I personally see beauty in both the longer and shorter barrels. I like both the M4-style AR and the 20" A1/A2 style, as well as the 24"+ bull barrelled versions.

Again, it all comes down to picking the right tool for the job though and preference has to give way to practicality if you plan on using the gun in real life.



A long barrel works better than a short one for wing shooting, at least for me, and a full-length AR would be three or four inches shorter than my shortest shotgun, which is too short for me to shoot well.

What is the benefit of having such a stumpy rifle, other than the lighter weight? I would think a longer barrel would also be an advantage when shooting stationary targets.


Benefit of a short carbine? Take your longest shotgun, say with a 28" barrel or so, and try to clear your house with it.

Unless you live in a loft with no walls, you'll instantly understand the need for a short/very short barrel. ;)

DrjonesUSA
06-16-2006, 10:08 AM
But you do get a little better accuracy on longer barrels that have iron sights though, due to longer sight radius, right?


Yes, that is correct.

DrjonesUSA
06-16-2006, 10:10 AM
I've got an SU-16CA for 16". If I'm gonna shoot short, it's gonna be my 14.5". Otherwise, it's going to be my 20". I agree, the longer rifles just feel more right for most applications.



How is it that you legally own a 14.5" barrelled gun in CA?

Or does it have a permanently welded flash suppressor to bring it up to 16"?

phish
06-16-2006, 10:13 AM
Yes, it will most likely have a permanently attached flash hider/brake on it.

Small plug for SJGE, but they have a couple of 14.5" uppers with permanently attached Noveske brakes on it, pretty cool looking too. :cool:

C.G.
06-16-2006, 10:19 AM
But you do get a little better accuracy on longer barrels that have iron sights though, due to longer sight radius, right?

True, that is why Tubbs and other competition guns have their front sights on the end of the barrel.

Okami
06-16-2006, 2:39 PM
I like the dissapator 16" barrel with the full sight radius. :)

tpliquid1
06-16-2006, 3:17 PM
my buddy has dpms 20 govt profile upper on his ar, WOW!! its light
i have bushy20 inch Hbar, damn heavy.
i like the look of the 20 inch. something different not tacticool like the M4 style ones

NRAhighpowershooter
06-16-2006, 3:25 PM
I covered almost all the CA legal barrel lengths.. at least in my opinion..

26" Spacegun
20" HP Service Rifle
16" A4 Fun plinker
16" Mid-length
20" A2 fun Plinker

DrjonesUSA
06-16-2006, 3:27 PM
my buddy has dpms 20 govt profile upper on his ar, WOW!! its light
i have bushy20 inch Hbar, damn heavy.



Frankly, I find that hard to believe; what's the weight difference between an HBAR and Govt. profile; like a few ounces?

Centurion_D
06-16-2006, 6:34 PM
Frankly, I find that hard to believe; what's the weight difference between an HBAR and Govt. profile; like a few ounces?

I use to own a colt HBAR. The difference between that and a standard gov. profile is quite noticeable. If I had to do a long trek and had a choice..I'd go for the gov profile.