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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2009, 9:53 AM
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Default AR-15 pencil barrels

I've been entertaining the idea of putting a pencil weight barrel on my AR-15, but I can't seem to find a source for them aside from Model 1 Sales, which I refuse to buy from. Anyone know a place where I can get one? I'm looking for 14.7" or 16" chrome lined, with m4 ramps.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2009, 9:59 AM
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I got a 16" chrome from PK, You might try them and see if they have any in stock. http://www.pkfirearms.com/
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:01 AM
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i have a few coming you need one? Im building one right now Billet Sundevil Slick side upper with 14.5 mid-length pencil barrel
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:08 AM
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Earliest I would get it might be for Chirstmas, if not it would be afterward.

I plan to keep the same system I have on my upper which is A2 sight, carbine gas system, and KAC RAS. Can a pencil weight still work for that?
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2009, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Plisk View Post
Earliest I would get it might be for Chirstmas, if not it would be afterward.

I plan to keep the same system I have on my upper which is A2 sight, carbine gas system, and KAC RAS. Can a pencil weight still work for that?
yes if you can find a front sight post that accepts .625 gas block other wise what i am using is a low pro gas block. theres not many people who like the pencil barrels anymore so you dont see them as often i got lucky that one of the manufacture still have a few left that are on clearence so i took all 10 of them lol i dunno why people dont like them i think they are awesom
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:12 AM
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Simple. Get a 6520 upper from Colt. I believe that you can probably get one from Specialized Armament.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:15 AM
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What is wrong with Model 1 Sales? Aside from the wait, they have been fairly good for me. I got my first 2 uppers from them, and they work just fine. They have decent prices, and good customer service. I know they aren't top shelf, but for what they have, it is usually a good deal.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:17 AM
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What is wrong with Model 1 Sales? Aside from the wait, they have been fairly good for me. I got my first 2 uppers from them, and they work just fine. They have decent prices, and good customer service. I know they aren't top shelf, but for what they have, it is usually a good deal.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:18 AM
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I'm not looking for the whole upper, just the barrel assembly. I see the upper on their site, do you think Specialized Armament would just the barrel?
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2009, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JPB View Post
Simple. Get a 6520 upper from Colt. I believe that you can probably get one from Specialized Armament.
hes looking at to changing barrel only and plus the enjoyment of building your own upper is a lot more statisfing then just buying one and plus its a learning experience and its cheaper for example

Complete upper - $100 to $120
Barrel Chrome line M4 14.5 Pencil Barrel - $250
Misc parts (Gas tube, Gas block, Gas Block Pin, Barrel nut) - $60
Rail - $100
BCG - $100 to $120

so its around $610 for a complete upper with a rail
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by evollep3 View Post
hes looking at to changing barrel only and plus the enjoyment of building your own upper is a lot more statisfing then just buying one and plus its a learning experience and its cheaper for example

Complete upper - $100 to $120
Barrel Chrome line M4 14.5 Pencil Barrel - $250
Misc parts (Gas tube, Gas block, Gas Block Pin, Barrel nut) - $60
Rail - $100
BCG - $100 to $120

so its around $610 for a complete upper with a rail
I already have many of the components already present on my current upper, plus selling my current barrel could potentially pay for the new barrel assembly.

And an upper is the only thing I haven't built for my AR-15, I'd like to get to know it even better.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Plisk View Post
I already have many of the components already present on my current upper, plus selling my current barrel could potentially pay for the new barrel assembly.

And an upper is the only thing I haven't built for my AR-15, I'd like to get to know it even better.
good getting to know it better helps you to get the bugs out if you ever run into any problems
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:33 AM
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I believe that Specialized Armament has barrels. If one is looking for Colt parts, SAW is the place, albeit a little expensive. Build your own, buy complete, whatever.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:40 AM
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I believe that if you buy the 14.5", It'll need to have the FH permanantly attached, which also means that the gas block will have to be installed, and barrel nut will need to be on there as well.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:48 AM
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You mention that your upper has an A2 rear sight. Does that mean it's a fixed carry handle A2 upper receiver?

If so, are the M4 ramps cut into the receiver?

If they aren't, M4 ramps on the barrel extension won't really matter.

If that's the case, look at Bushmaster's website for a 16" lightweight profile barrel.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:52 AM
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I believe that if you buy the 14.5", It'll need to have the FH permanantly attached, which also means that the gas block will have to be installed, and barrel nut will need to be on there as well.
it goes all in order barrel in barrel not tube and block then you go get the FH pinned easy as cake
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
You mention that your upper has an A2 rear sight. Does that mean it's a fixed carry handle A2 upper receiver?

If so, are the M4 ramps cut into the receiver?

If they aren't, M4 ramps on the barrel extension won't really matter.

If that's the case, look at Bushmaster's website for a 16" lightweight profile barrel.
im pretty sure he meant front post
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:56 AM
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Shotgun News had a really nice article on a pencil barrel build including sources. With some Googling you should be able to find it. It was a 2009 article.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
You mention that your upper has an A2 rear sight. Does that mean it's a fixed carry handle A2 upper receiver?

If so, are the M4 ramps cut into the receiver?

If they aren't, M4 ramps on the barrel extension won't really matter.

If that's the case, look at Bushmaster's website for a 16" lightweight profile barrel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by evollep3 View Post
im pretty sure he meant front post
Yes, my current upper is a flat-top with an A2 front post.

Yes, I have the m4 ramps cut into my current upper receiver.
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  #20  
Old 10-30-2009, 11:00 AM
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M4 ramps might be tough to find on these. Kinda defeats the purpose of the barrel for many if not most people. For the most part these are used to build replica's of vintage ARs. Back then, they didn't do the M4 feedramps. So having them would not be correct for the vintage builder. Then again, anything over a 1/12 twist would be incorrect as well, and I've seen lots of them in 1/9 twist so who knows. I've also seen a ton of them with A2 uppers instead of A1 uppers, which is also strikes me as odd.

I do get that one of the reasons people want them is that they are lighter weight. But I'd much rather have a pencil barreled AR that was as close to what the military has/had as possible. After all, its not going to be your only AR right? So why not have one "classic" style AR and then let the others be modern? Just a thought.

I keep toying with the idea of building a realistic clone of the GAU-5 I carried in the USAF. It had a 11.5" 1/12 Twist Pencil Barrel with a slick side A1 upper and an A1 flash hider. All harder to find than the current M4 stuff. I see lots of 11.5" barrels but they are thicker than the correct barrel. Of course, I would have to do it as pistol build since we cannot have SBRs here in the PRC. Should I ever move I could apply for the SBR stamp and finish the build correctly.

The only thing stopping me is that I have an M4 that I am not willing to part with already and I am 90% done with a "Navy Seal" CQB-R Clone (the Army and Air Force both use the rifle as well) Pistol Build. A third short range AR would be pushing it. Still, I really loved my GAU-5. The USAF did not have a lot of carbines at the time. It was a ton of fun to shoot. More so that the standard M16.

Last edited by tacticalcity; 10-30-2009 at 11:12 AM..
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  #21  
Old 10-30-2009, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by evollep3 View Post
im pretty sure he meant front post
Front sight post on my BFI LW bbl is an A2. As is the FSB. Barrel extension is standard though (no M4 ramps).

Been considerting a 14" LW barrel myself (Once this barrel needs to be replaced).
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2009, 11:04 AM
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I have a DPMS 16" lightweight barrel new in wrapper with M4 feedramps and chrome lining if your interested. I have PMd you.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:18 AM
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http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIte...Item=145033120
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:19 AM
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That would be a great retro build! Even has the straight D-ring on it.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by evollep3 View Post
it goes all in order barrel in barrel not tube and block then you go get the FH pinned easy as cake
Is that not a constructive possession violation? I didn't think that you could possess a < 16" barrel unless you have a pistol registered lower. As I understood it, the permanant fixture that extends the barrel over 16" needs to be in place before one takes possession.

Also, CMMG used to have an impressive assortment of pencil barrels. Not sure about now.

Last edited by JPB; 10-30-2009 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:30 AM
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Is that not a constructive possession violation? I didn't think that you could possess a < 16" barrel unless you have a pistol registered lower. As I understood it, the permanant fixture that extends the barrel over 16" needs to be in place before one takes possession.
16" is legal 14.5" is not you need to permanently attach the flash hider so it make the barrel longer than 16".
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:39 AM
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That would be a great retro build! Even has the straight D-ring on it.
LOL The term "Delta Ring" (D-Ring) didn't come into usage until the tapered handguard retainer ring came into existence in the early 80's.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:49 AM
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16" is legal 14.5" is not you need to permanently attach the flash hider so it make the barrel longer than 16".
Thats my understanding, but it sounds like it is being suggested that OP build the upper, then go have the barrel pinned. I believe that you need to have the barrel pinned berfore you take possession of it (much less build it into an upper!). This has to be taken into consideration when building as the gas block and barrel nut need to be slid over the barrel before the FH is permanantly affixed.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JPB View Post
Thats my understanding, but it sounds like it is being suggested that OP build the upper, then go have the barrel pinned. I believe that you need to have the barrel pinned berfore you take possession of it (much less build it into an upper!). This has to be taken into consideration when building as the gas block and barrel nut need to be slid over the barrel before the FH is permanantly affixed.
By law, you cannot have a less than 16" upper if you are in posession of a rifle lower, unless you have an SBR registered lower or a pistol lower. But the barrel itself? I'm not sure.

Luckily for me (before I knew of the contructive posession law) I bought my 14.5" upper and pinned it before I came into posession of my lower. So I believe that was legal, if I'm wrong about this I'm sure someone will correct me.

DREADNOUGHT does have a DPMS barrel that suits my needs avaliable for me, but I'm curious if anyone knows a source of the same barrel but from a different manufacter? Like if anyone knows where I can get the Colt 6250 barrel assembly, and not the complete upper. I just want to see all my options.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPB View Post
Is that not a constructive possession violation? I didn't think that you could possess a < 16" barrel unless you have a pistol registered lower. As I understood it, the permanant fixture that extends the barrel over 16" needs to be in place before one takes possession.

Also, CMMG used to have an impressive assortment of pencil barrels. Not sure about now.
yes anything is a no-no <16 but however if it was never mated with a upper there are no difference cause its useless at that to have just the barrel if assemblying it give all the parts to a gun smith and have them assemble it but the way i see it to me as i am building my intention is to make it perm 16in but then again i have a pistol lower so i never really cared lol

I dont know if that made sense lol

and CMMG is the barrel I am using and its not a 1/12 twist
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Old 10-30-2009, 1:13 PM
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Quote:
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LOL The term "Delta Ring" (D-Ring) didn't come into usage until the tapered handguard retainer ring came into existence in the early 80's.
And your point? The word "Street Rod" is used to describe cars ranging from the 20s till today and was not commonly used untill the later decades you new what I was talking about why comment on it? Ahhh but your name is Technical Ted so I guess that's what you do.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:53 AM
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With pencil barrels, what kind of stength limitations to that have? Do they bend easier? Any strength issues? Or do they bend when heated up enough like 1919s can?
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Old 10-31-2009, 7:12 AM
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I'm just wondering what the draw is to a pencil barrel in the first place. I had one and never fired a round through the thing but the new owner got it and says there are accuracy issues with barely any heat at all. What is the draw other than a lightning fast carbine for indoor clearing or what have you.
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Old 10-31-2009, 8:19 AM
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I'm just wondering what the draw is to a pencil barrel in the first place. I had one and never fired a round through the thing but the new owner got it and says there are accuracy issues with barely any heat at all. What is the draw other than a lightning fast carbine for indoor clearing or what have you.
Bear in mind that befor the A2 all AR/M16s were "pencil" barrels. Even under the handguards, A2s and M4s are "pencil" barrels. Additionaly, pretty much all traditional 5.56 military rifles(HK 93, Sig 55X, etc..) have what would be considered "pencil" barrels. Can't really speak to accuracy/heat issue as I've never benched a lightweight (more like standard weight) after heating one up. I can say, hot or cold, I have no problems hitting my target. The appeal of the standard weight barrel becomes clear when one has to hike his rifle and accompanying magazines up and down the hillside all day.

You should see how thin military battle rifle (7.62X51) barrels are.
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Old 10-31-2009, 5:28 PM
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Oh I understand barrel profiles well enough, I am just wondering what the draw is to the pencil barrel when there are so many other options out there. Something Something like the BCM mid length where its pretty darn light with a little bit of muzzle weight to keep things a bit more controlled or the countless other options out there. Why the draw to that particular one. I can find lots of downfalls but the only real upside is the low weight factor. I will say the bushmaster superlight was really darn light, but it wasn't that much lighter than the BCM mid-length upper that I just picked up in 16"
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:32 PM
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By comparison, a pencil wieght AR barrel is more or less closer to being identical to all the major assualt rifles in history. Take your normal weight AR-15 barrel and compare it to a Garand; see which one is bigger? The AR-15. I know the Garand isnt an assualt rifle, but try an AK, a Sig556, an AUG, an FS2000. All of them have lighter barrels than the M4 profile AR-15s do.

But as with all non-Match AR-15s barrels, under the handgaurds are pencil already to cut down on weight. So why only have the ends of the barrels that much thicker? Pencil was the original deisgn, it worked back then. Yes it has it's drawbacks of being less accurate and heating up a lot faster. But those are military problems and by military problems I mean full-auto problems. We don't have such problems, so the benefits of a lighter gun/barrel is just common sense. Unless you're planning to go through a lot of ammo at once, or be extremely accruate then a pencil is all you need.
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  #37  
Old 11-01-2009, 9:26 AM
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Oh I understand barrel profiles well enough, I am just wondering what the draw is to the pencil barrel when there are so many other options out there. Something Something like the BCM mid length where its pretty darn light with a little bit of muzzle weight to keep things a bit more controlled or the countless other options out there. Why the draw to that particular one. I can find lots of downfalls but the only real upside is the low weight factor. I will say the bushmaster superlight was really darn light, but it wasn't that much lighter than the BCM mid-length upper that I just picked up in 16"
I guess that I would just question why I need all that extra barrel mass that isn't doing anything, particularily the M4 profile, which is really standard profile under the handguards. I don't have a 203 to mount up. I can understand the draw of medium and heavy weight barrels, but the A2/M4 profiles that will have all the drawbacks on a standard weight and none of the benefits of a heavier weight, are a mystery to me. I believe that the military went this route simply for structural rigidity should a soldier use the barrel for a leverage assist!

I can think of plenty of ways to add weight up front if needed. I'd like the flexability to remove it if I'd like. Extra barrel mass is there permanantly. The barrel pictured suffers from every downfall that a pencil/standard barrel suffers from. I would like to see a midlength pencil/standard as well though.

Last edited by JPB; 11-01-2009 at 9:35 AM.. Reason: CSFS
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  #38  
Old 11-01-2009, 1:14 PM
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Its definitely doing something, its keeping your muzzle down a little easier, you can have it fluted for cooling and rigidity, you can have the contour changed if you want, but its very minimal on weight. How many ounces would it be if it were tapered down from the FSB forward to make it a pencil barrel profile?? I guess thats probably a question for randall. I just don't hump around with a slung AR enough that for me it would make that much of a difference, but from a rigidity standpoint, I like the heavier barrel out front. I also like the minimized barrel whip although on a 16" you will likely never see it anyway. I think we're on the same page, but I digress, hope all goes well and post up pics. If you're looking for a complete carbine upper, bushmaster makes their superlight as well as RRA and PKfirearms.com has them both in stock.
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Old 11-01-2009, 2:35 PM
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You should see how thin military battle rifle (7.62X51) barrels are.
Very true! I was surprised to see how thin .308 and 7.62x51 barrels often are. Although just a bolt gun and not a battle rifle per se, my .308 Steyr Scout has a ultrathin pencil barrel that's so thin that the barrel wall near the crown is only around 3mm thick! And with the straight fluting near the crown, the barrel wall might get even thinner than that in the bottoms of the flutes.
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Old 11-01-2009, 2:40 PM
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because mercedes will always be better than kia
And Ford will always be better than Mercedes
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