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BlindRacer
10-24-2011, 3:54 PM
I've heard some conflicting information.

I'm looking at building an AR (first one).

I'm looking at the Spikes Tactical 14.5" upper with the permanently attached Vortex Flash Hider, which they say brings it to 16".

Now the problem, I've heard some people say that it's measured at the bottom of the protruding parts as opposed to the very end. Where a bird cage style is measured to the end, because it's exposed.

If it's measured in this way, it wouldn't reach the 16" and would then become a SBR, and obviously I want to stay away from those issues.

Does anyone know how it's actually measured, and could there be any potential problems with it? Anything specific to Califonia as well?

gun toting monkeyboy
10-24-2011, 3:59 PM
If the flash hider/muzzle device is welded on, it is part of the barrel, and you measure to the end of it. If it is not welded on, you measure to the end of the barrel.

blazeaglory
10-24-2011, 4:10 PM
Just go with a true 16" barrel and avoid the drama. A 14.5" barrel with a 1.5" FH kinda defeats the purpose of a SBR. IMO anyways

ke6guj
10-24-2011, 4:19 PM
ATF explanation on how barrels are measured,


2.1.3 Rifle. A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and designed to use the energy of
an explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled barrel for each single pull
of the trigger.

A rifle subject to the NFA has a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.

The ATF procedure for measuring barrel length is to measure from the closed bolt (or breech-face) to
the furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. Permanent methods of
attachment include full-fusion gas or electric steel-seam welding, high-temperature (1100F) silver
soldering, or blind pinning with the pin head welded over. Barrels are measured by inserting a dowel rod
into the barrel until the rod stops against the bolt or breech-face. The rod is then marked at the
furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device, withdrawn from the barrel, and
measured.

CHS
10-24-2011, 4:41 PM
Just go with a true 16" barrel and avoid the drama. A 14.5" barrel with a 1.5" FH kinda defeats the purpose of a SBR. IMO anyways

A 14.5" with a permanent flash hider has absolutely nothing to do with SBR issues. It's about creating the shortest and lightest possible weight AR you can. Without that permanently pinned hider your AR's barrel really comes out to about 17-18" long depending on flash hider. With a 14.5" you get nearly EXACTLY 16".

That 1.5" of missing barrel also removes a couple ounces of steel from the overall weight of the gun. Since the single biggest contributor to weight in an AR is the barrel, if you can make it lighter you make the whole gun lighter and balance better.

Also, if you're looking to make as close as possible to an M4 clone as you can, you need a 14.5" barrel so that the length is proper and that you can actually fit a bayonet because the flash hider will be at the proper distance from the front sight base.

Are there real disadvantages to going with a 14.5"? Yes, of course. I'm a 16" guy myself. But to say that there's no point or that it has anything to do with SBR's is absurd.

dantodd
10-24-2011, 5:54 PM
of course. I'm a 16" guy myself.

congrats. And that it definitely NOT an SBR.

Rattlehead
10-24-2011, 10:49 PM
Just go with a true 16" barrel and avoid the drama. A 14.5" barrel with a 1.5" FH kinda defeats the purpose of a SBR. IMO anyways

There is no drama, and it's not considered an SBR unless you plan on breaking federal law.

If you have any doubts, send your upper receiver to a reputable company like ADCO, they'll pin it properly to the 16.1" OAL.

www.adcofirearms.com

BlindRacer
10-25-2011, 8:17 AM
A 14.5" with a permanent flash hider has absolutely nothing to do with SBR issues. It's about creating the shortest and lightest possible weight AR you can. Without that permanently pinned hider your AR's barrel really comes out to about 17-18" long depending on flash hider. With a 14.5" you get nearly EXACTLY 16".

That 1.5" of missing barrel also removes a couple ounces of steel from the overall weight of the gun. Since the single biggest contributor to weight in an AR is the barrel, if you can make it lighter you make the whole gun lighter and balance better.

Yeah, I'm looking to go very light weight. I've got a 26" heavy barrel bolt action for a heavy weight, high accuracy, long range gun. For this build, I'm looking for just about as light as possible.


Now, why do you go with 16" over 14.5"? Is is so you can keep the upper modular? Change the FH, change the gas block, and change the hand guard?

I'm thinking I may do that for a second build, but for this first one, I want small, light weight, and durable. And the Spikes upper that I found looks great as it is, so I'd be getting it without wanting to change the components around. If I want to do that, I'll get a second upper, or build a whole other gun.

CHS
10-25-2011, 9:59 AM
Yeah, I'm looking to go very light weight. I've got a 26" heavy barrel bolt action for a heavy weight, high accuracy, long range gun. For this build, I'm looking for just about as light as possible.


If you can find a 14.5" pencil barrel with a permanent YHM hider, I doubt it's even possible to go lighter weight than that :) (and remain reasonably functional without any SBR issues like a 11.5" with a stupid-long attachment).


Now, why do you go with 16" over 14.5"? Is is so you can keep the upper modular? Change the FH, change the gas block, and change the hand guard?


For me, yeah it's about keeping my options open. I like to tinker, modify, experiment. I love working on my guns. As soon as I end up with a 14.5" and permanently pinned hider, I'll find something I want to change that would require pulling the hider again. So that's the only reason I stay with 16".

I've been contemplating building a super ultra-light one of these days for backpack carry, emergencies, etc, and for that I would probably go with a 14.5" pencil barrel and YHM hider (they're much lighter than the AAC or Vortex but the required length)


I'm thinking I may do that for a second build, but for this first one, I want small, light weight, and durable. And the Spikes upper that I found looks great as it is, so I'd be getting it without wanting to change the components around. If I want to do that, I'll get a second upper, or build a whole other gun.

If you're not planning on ever changing anything out, and you want to go light, then a 14.5" with pinned hider is a very good option.

blazeaglory
10-25-2011, 11:35 PM
I just measured my barrel and it is 14.5 inches with a perm flash hider//lol Try as I might I cannot get it off. It measures a little over 16"

Rattlehead
10-25-2011, 11:50 PM
I know I'm drifting off topic in the 2nd amendment forum, but...

Now, why do you go with 16" over 14.5"? Is is so you can keep the upper modular? Change the FH, change the gas block, and change the hand guard?

Pretty much what CHS said.
With a 16", you can still change out your gas block, handguard, and whatever muzzle device you're running.

I have a 14.5" BCM BFH midlength barrel with a pinned Surefire MB556K, and a Troy VTAC 13" rides that. The VTAC is one of the very few exceptions in which you can actually swap hand guards with a pinned brake (so long as your gas block clears it, I'm using a Vltor). Of course, I can only swap the VTAC for another length of the VTAC, so if I ever wanted an 11" VTAC instead of the 13", then it's possible.

Either way, I can notice a big difference when using a 14.5" and a 16", the 14.5" just has a different feel to it, a more maneuverable feel.

I'm thinking I may do that for a second build, but for this first one, I want small, light weight, and durable. And the Spikes upper that I found looks great as it is, so I'd be getting it without wanting to change the components around. If I want to do that, I'll get a second upper, or build a whole other gun.

Check out BCM.

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-BFH-14-5-Mid-Length-LW-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-mid-14lw-bfh.htm

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-BFH-14-5-Mid-Length-Upper-Receiver-Group-p/bcm-urg-mid-14-bfh.htm

I had that lightweight 14.5" BCM upper with a pinned A2X, and it made for a nice lightweight setup. Slap an MOE handguard on it and it's going to be a very simple light weight upper.

Since BCM doesn't have a picture of the lightweight upper, here is a picture of my old one. It's the only picture I still have of it, it's the one on the far right.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6147/6191144867_21bdf39dfb_b.jpg

Similar to the regular 14.5", but thinned, it's a pencil profile past the FSB.