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View Full Version : 16 or 20 inch AR build?


takinflight33
02-19-2012, 11:56 AM
I am torn between a 16inch and a 20 inch build guys give me your opinions?

icenix
02-19-2012, 12:09 PM
I guess it depends on what you want it for. I went with a 16" barrel. I can still shoot pretty far, pretty accurately, but it gives me a short enough rifle that it is good in close encounters, where a 20" might not fare as well. Plus it weighs less.

GettoPhilosopher
02-19-2012, 12:11 PM
No substitute for holding (or better yet shooting) both. 16" will be lighter and handier, 20" feels more solid and shoots smoother (IMHO).

I like 20 better. Even my 16" has an A2 stock and a dissipator barrel.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk

bearstatearmory.com
02-19-2012, 12:16 PM
I went with a 20" because my brother has a 16" and it's just not comfortable to shoot standing up or any other way than off of a bench or laying down. I like the "stretched out" feel a little more. Just personal preference, but the extra velocity I get out of a little longer barrel sure won't hurt anything either :)

NewbieDave
02-19-2012, 12:30 PM
Go 18" with a collapsible... it gives you the best of both worlds in length. It's handier and softer shooter, less bolt bounce and gives you a little more barrel to stabilize those heavier rounds.

Hoop
02-19-2012, 12:33 PM
16" I like a carbine.

Army GI
02-19-2012, 12:52 PM
At home, I shoot exclusively with iron sights. So the 20" AR was my first choice. I love my NM White Oak Armament 20" A4 service rifle.

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm315/FA_45ACP/SANY1042.jpg

However as an army medic, I would prefer the M4. It's shorter and doesn't get in the way when you're treating patients. And even then it's still kinda of in the way.

Loner
02-19-2012, 3:46 PM
Just get both. I build up a 16" midlength years ago, now I'm getting the parts for a 20".

STAGE 2
02-19-2012, 4:59 PM
I say this with the caveat that its your money so you should get which ever one you want without justification. That said, IMO you give up too much when going down from stoners original specs. You lose reliability, and lethality and unless you're getting out of a humvee several times a day there isn't any point.

jbush
02-19-2012, 5:43 PM
Just get both. I build up a 16" midlength years ago, now I'm getting the parts for a 20".

Agreed, barrel length is totally a personal choice, depending on your wants and needs. Most of the guys I shoot with have carbines and shoot under 100 yds. My first build was a 14.5" barreled carbine and I haven't put enough rounds through it to say whether I love or not. But, I also knew that down the road I would want to shoot some long range target and varmit hunting, so I have another stripped lower and I'm starting to accumulate parts for a 20" heavier barreled with a large scope, bipod, free float rail etc.. Best of both worlds, I hope, when I'm done.

707electrician
02-19-2012, 6:33 PM
At home, I shoot exclusively with iron sights. So the 20" AR was my first choice. I love my NM White Oak Armament 20" A4 service rifle.

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm315/FA_45ACP/SANY1042.jpg

However as an army medic, I would prefer the M4. It's shorter and doesn't get in the way when you're treating patients. And even then it's still kinda of in the way.

Put a real sling on that bad boy :)

bohoki
02-19-2012, 6:36 PM
not that there is anything wrong with the shorties but in my experience ive seen more malfunctions with 16 inchers

zfields
02-19-2012, 6:42 PM
At home, I shoot exclusively with iron sights. So the 20" AR was my first choice. I love my NM White Oak Armament 20" A4 service rifle.

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm315/FA_45ACP/SANY1042.jpg

However as an army medic, I would prefer the M4. It's shorter and doesn't get in the way when you're treating patients. And even then it's still kinda of in the way.


I'm not an AR guy at all, but damn....that is a sexy rifle.

milotrain
02-19-2012, 6:54 PM
I'm not an AR guy at all, but damn....that is a sexy rifle.

The 20" just looks and feels right to me. Increased sight radius is also a boon if you shoot irons.

AlpineWeiss
02-19-2012, 7:38 PM
I love my 16" middy.

I originally wanted a 20" but bravo company was sold out at the time I was ready to build so I went with a 16"

It decently light. It functions flawlessly. Its plenty accurate to the range of my eyesight. No part of me regrets my decision, and no part of me yearns for a 20" anymore. I bought a CMMG 20" .22lr upper to take care of that. ;)


What kind of sighting package are you planning on running and what range are you planning to shoot at? If you are just going to 100 yard outdoor ranges I'd say a 16" is more than enough unless you like the 20" look.

451040
02-19-2012, 7:50 PM
16" and 20". If not, split the difference at 18".

takinflight33
02-19-2012, 8:00 PM
im goin to run irons for a while and will be doing more shooting out at ranches where i will have room to reach out if i want so i think im gonna go with the 20 plus i already have an ak so that will do for home defense purposes

TNP'R
02-19-2012, 8:02 PM
I went with a 16" and love it.

Squidward
02-19-2012, 8:13 PM
Arguably, a 16 inch barrel offers plenty of 'reach'...

bearstatearmory.com
02-19-2012, 8:25 PM
This is my 20" AR
http://img.tapatalk.com/aefe52ac-cfb9-7b13.jpg

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

dr_communist
02-19-2012, 10:49 PM
i went with 20" i held several 16" ar's and they were just way to small for me. plus i love the look of an a2

GettoPhilosopher
02-20-2012, 9:55 AM
i went with 20" i held several 16" ar's and they were just way to small for me. plus i love the look of an a2

Same here. It's why my only 16" is a dissipator (rifle length handguard and gas system, A2 stock).

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ford_nut
02-20-2012, 11:10 PM
I am personally a fan of the 20" although i might be a little biased because i just finished my first AR which happens to be a 20". It is an incredibly smooth shooting rifle and more accurate then I will ever be.

Standard
02-21-2012, 9:30 AM
I would definitely go with the 20". I prefer them in pretty much every way. Sight radius, feel when holding it, feel when shooting it, more velocity, and the way they look. I had to sell all of my ARs for financial reasons, but my next AR build will be a 20" again, and it will probably be my only AR.

17+1
02-21-2012, 10:39 AM
At home, I shoot exclusively with iron sights. So the 20" AR was my first choice. I love my NM White Oak Armament 20" A4 service rifle.

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm315/FA_45ACP/SANY1042.jpg

However as an army medic, I would prefer the M4. It's shorter and doesn't get in the way when you're treating patients. And even then it's still kinda of in the way.

Where's your cuff sling!?!?!?

Sweet gun though, I would have gone with the A2 upper for a target rifle to gain a greater elevation adjustment range.

OP:
20" with a medium/heavy contour barrel if you're expecting to become a rifleman.

16" with tactical accessories if you're aspiring to be a mall ninja. :p

Army GI
02-21-2012, 3:34 PM
Where's your cuff sling!?!?!?

Sweet gun though, I would have gone with the A2 upper for a target rifle to gain a greater elevation adjustment range.

OP:
20" with a medium/heavy contour barrel if you're expecting to become a rifleman.

16" with tactical accessories if you're aspiring to be a mall ninja. :p

I used the black sling just for the pic. I use the cuff sling for shooting at the range ;)

I was thinking the same thing about the upper. When I send it back to white oak to be rebarreled I'm going to opt for the A2 upper.

bomb_on_bus
02-21-2012, 8:54 PM
Depends on what your planning to use the gun for.

If your defending your local mall establishment and its patrons from elite terrorist forces then 14.5 - 16 would be the best bet. Or just your average day trip to the range.

20 inch length was what the original length although 24-26 inch lengths are used for target/varmint applications.

I went straight down the middle and went with and 18 inch barrel.

3GunFunShooter
02-21-2012, 9:07 PM
Go with a 18" with 1 in 8 twist, best of both worlds, and a Wydle chamber.

TNP'R
02-21-2012, 9:12 PM
Depends on what your planning to use the gun for.

If your defending your local mall establishment and its patrons from elite terrorist forces then 14.5 - 16 would be the best bet. Or just your average day trip to the range.

20 inch length was what the original length although 24-26 inch lengths are used for target/varmint applications.

I went straight down the middle and went with and 18 inch barrel.

All this hate for the 16" callin those with those barrel lengths mall ninjas is bullcrap lol.

jasonnorcal
02-21-2012, 9:38 PM
16" for a rifle used for carbine courses or a 20" to shoot mainly off the bench. Run and gun or sit and shoot. It all depends on what you want to do. For the record I just took the RDS off my 16" and put a 3-9 on it and its milk jug accurate out to around 425 yds. If I want I can put the RDS back on to take a class. I'd think a 20" would be a little awkward with an RDS in classes but with a magnified optic off the bench it would probably be better.

Lc17smp
02-21-2012, 9:55 PM
When I build a 20" I think I will mount the flashlight on the stock so I can be legal at night when I use it as a flag pole.:eek:

bigdrunk92037
02-21-2012, 10:11 PM
Tough choice for sure. Lots of opinions in this thread to sift through. Unless a shooter plans on pushing the envelop by pushing the range of his AR, doubt he will notice any real difference ballistically between the 20" and the 16". Keeping it 300 yards and closer, I feel the advantage is slim if not imperceptible to the average joe. 16" barrels are no slouches.

If you shoot irons a lot, the site radius of the 20" is the way to go. You could accomplish a similar by running the longest rail possible on a 16".

Pulling the trigger: Most say the 20" cycles smoother/softer. In general I completely agree. All the 20" rifles I have shot felt the same. Smooth and slow. I have shot 16" AR's which felt smooth as silk while others in comparison have felt violent.

Personal preference here, if you plan on running a red dot, I prefer not to have a FSP. If you are using irons or x4 or higher magnification, the FSP is a non-issue.

Stocks, hanguards etc. It seems pretty easy to invest $500+ on a cheese grater handguard and high-end collapsable stock. To this guy, nothing feels better in the hand than a $100 A2 stock/handguard kit.

Last though, if you plan on taking carbine courses and stuff like that, the 16" may be your best bet. If you will spend most your time blasting in the desert on shooting steel at the range, go for the 20".

Either way, you cant' go wrong and you will end up owning both in the long run.

takinflight33
02-21-2012, 10:17 PM
so after talking to a buddy of mine that was in the army he convinced me to go with the 16inch, he said i wouldnt really notice the difference of the 4inches until long range, he said the 16 would be good out to 500 meters if need be, of course with the right ammo and shooting ability

Phantompooper03
02-21-2012, 10:48 PM
I went to war with an M16A2 with iron sights. It got me through combat just fine. I'll stick with the 20".

P220
02-22-2012, 12:22 AM
Don't expect that get one rifle can do everything. : ) If it's my first AR, I will go 16"middy.

TNP'R
02-22-2012, 6:10 AM
If want to go mallninja go 20" the more real estate on the hand guard the more room for your tacticool lasers.:p

Sunday
02-22-2012, 7:27 AM
You most likly will end up with several ARs if you get bitten by the AR bug as most people do . You will end up with both I would say. Get a 20" BCM upper with their bolt assy . Then later you can get a 16" ,,,or get a BCM 16" with their bolt assy then you can get a 20" The BCM middy is nicer than the carbine length 16, I had both over the years. I like the A2 stock over the collapsable stock .
"

killathrilla
02-22-2012, 7:34 AM
For the average non competitive shooter there is nothing a 20inch can do that a 16 cant...go with the look thats more appealing to you.

JJ1911
02-22-2012, 12:25 PM
I startes with 16, got a 20 now too. The 20 shoots smoother and is my favorite. Might get 18 next