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Old 10-02-2012, 04:02   #26
Clutch Cargo
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Originally Posted by JW1178 View Post
Hardly a difference. If you are going 18" might as well go 20" "standard" style.
I concur as I've just not seen much difference in 16" and 18" barrels in the field. Either go with 20" or keep it light as possible with a 16"
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Old 10-02-2012, 23:37   #27
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All of the input is very much appreciated. Here is what I gather from the replies:

16" - best bet for light, not ideal for the longer end of my 100-500 yard range

18" - gain 30-40 yards on the 16"; middle of the road (kinda like the .40 S&W).

20" - heavier, much better suited for the longer end of my range.

Because this may (hopefully) wear a can in the future I think the 20" is not an option.

I think I have some more research to do. I can say that looking at ballistics tables has been very helpful. Thanks for all of the input!
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Old 10-03-2012, 13:15   #28
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Old 10-09-2012, 00:42   #29
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Well guys, unfortunately some unexpected car repairs have set me back ~2 months on my AR budget, so no new upper for a little while. I do have to say the responses I got were very helpful, and my plan will be to go with a 16" barrel. Here are my reasons:

1. I have realized that going out beyond 500 yards will be extremely rare. If I choose to shoot longer I will be moving to a bigger cartridge, at least a .243, but probably something like .260 rem or .308.

2. I have ruled out a 20" barrel. Just more length and weight than I want. I am only using this future gun to shoot for fun, no hunting or SHTF where I need to worry about velocity and KE for effective killing/stopping.

3. I really only gain ~30-40 yards with an 18" barrel over a 16" barrel. I value the ability to carry the rifle due to lighter weight more than the 30-40 yards I will gain.

4. I do not want a pinned muzzle device that would be required with a 14.5" barrel. I prefer my first stamp to be for a 5.56 suppressor.

I will be using either BCM or Rainier for the upper, these two companies seem to be the best fit for me.

There is nothing wrong with any of the lengths or products suggested in this thread, and I appreciate the variety of responses I received. I also appreciate the photos posted, nice sticks! Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:03   #30
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Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
For your stated needs (500 yards) you'll want as much barrel as you can buy. For a self defense carbine trying to hit a person-sized target out to 600 yards--anything longer than 12" is fine.
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