AR/M4 Barrel question

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Teej, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Teej

    Teej

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    Disclaimer!! I know NOTHING about AR's.

    AR's & M4's appear to be like buying a car. Many manufacturers, many options, prices from the $600 and WAY up.

    One thing I just happened on was someone talking about an economical AR he purchased. He liked it a lot but mentioned that after several rounds the barrel heats then looses accuracy. [sounds like a mini 30, he might as well have bought one] So I am going to guess that lite barrels are more geared towards hunting where there are only a few shots taken??

    I've seen mention of models with lite barrels and heavy barrels and I've read that barrels are made 3 different ways.

    So if I am going to look into an AR or M4 with the purpose of being a personal defense weapon, shtf or an afternoon of target shooting, but I am not going to be competing or need all the high end stuff professionals or LEO might need, what type of barrel should I look into?

    Something that is dual purpose but not the high end, top of the line. Does anyone have a particular make and model they'd suggest?

    Thank you
     
  2. 12131

    12131 Monkeyboy CLM

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    RED: "Several" rounds? What does that mean? 10? 100? 1000? 10000?
    "Accuracy" is another highly subjective term. 1, or 2, or 3 MOA might be acceptable to combat carbine, but, to a precision rifle shooter, that is crap, I'm betting.

    BLUE: Just get a AR with a chrome lined barrel, and you you should be fine. Brand wise, I'll let the brand Kool-Aid drinkers duke it out.:supergrin:
     

  3. creamofG17

    creamofG17

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    I have an RRA with the heavy barrel profile. 16 inch. It is accurate, & holds its accuracy fairly well, even when hot. Its an all purpose gun to me, but it is a little front heavy. I think you'd be well suited with the standard M4 barrel profile. Its a good middle ground. Its hard to decide whats good and suitable for your needs in the AR market. Theres a myriad of makes and style and flavors. People here are going to be saying to look at "BCM" XYZ I predict.
     
  4. surf

    surf

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    Daniel Defense and Bravo Company both have excellent barrels on their current production rifles and they are cold hammer forged and chrome lined. For barrels, look for 4150 or better steel. IMO the best barrel maker for this weapon for either a precision rifle or a battle rifle is Noveske. The heavier profile the barrel, in theory it can take more heat with less ballistic effects. However we are talking a lot of rounds rapidly. Now you are trading of weight and for most people, full auto or sustained rapid fire is not the norm.

    IMO you really get what you pay for when it comes to this platform of weapon. You might get away with a cheaper rifle that gives you a lifetime of shooting fun, however your chances for an issue with the rifle from the manufacturer or down the line, is much higher. The bad thing with a rifle on the cheap is that if you do get a lemon, it will often cost a lot more to fix it than if you would have purchased quality at the start for only slightly more in cost. So in the end you will have a crappy rifle that cost you more than a top quality rifle. Spend the 10%-15% more up front if you want a lot more value in quality parts and better peace of mind.
     
  5. surf

    surf

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    FWIW - there is a good reason that certain manufacturers are mentioned more often when referring to quality. You won't find the cheaper brands offering Cold Hammer Forged, chrome lined barrels that are 4150 steel or better with a great reputation for accuracy. You really do get what you pay for.
     
  6. mixflip

    mixflip

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    First off, I dont think you need to say AR and M4. All commercial M4's at the gun store are AR15's. M4 is just a style of AR15. Kinda like saying I own a truck and an F150. They are both trucks.

    AR15 barrels come basically built 2 ways. 4140 CM and 4150 CMV. The difference between 4140 chromoly steel barrels vs 4150 chromoly vanadium steel barrels will not be noticed by anyone with a semi-auto AR15. Now the quality of the barrel maker is a whole other can of worms.

    The military requires 4150 CMV barrels because when you shoot it full auto/select fire burst the vanadium barrel withstands heat better. That being said, your semi auto AR15 will not know the difference. You cant pull the trigger that fast. At least I cant anyway.

    Also, M4 feed ramps were developed to feed the fast cycling selectfire bolt. A semi auto rifle does not need M4 feed ramps because you simply cannot pull the trigger fast enough to cause a failure to feed like select fire can. But its still nice to have if you can get them.

    M4 profile vs heavy barrel? The logic works both ways. The thinner lighter M4 profile does heat up quicker but it also cools down faster if you have a semi auto rifle. For a semi auto rifle, this is a major asset because it is light and cools down fast. If you are shootin' and scootin' like you should be doing when SHTF you'll never suffer from an over heated barrel.

    Heavy barrels resist heat and maintains it accuracy better under full auto fire but it also keeps the heat in the barrel longer so it will take longer to cool down. If you dont shoot full auto then you probably dont need a heavier barrel. If you are more of a long shot, bench shooter, then this may be the barrel for you?

    At least thats my understanding of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  7. Constructor

    Constructor

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    If you plan to shoot bullets up to 69gr then a 9 twist will be fine, if you want to shoot 75-77 and heavier then you need a 8 or 7 twist barrel.
    Shooting hundreds if not thousands of barrels over the last 17 years I can tell you most are not inspected very well, most are made, stuck in a box and shipped, a very high percentage have crowns with burrs or swelled muzzles and shoot 4-5" groups, I have even seen a few shoot 1 ft groups if you can call them groups.
    A stainless barrel is fine for comps, hunting or varmint shooting but is not what I would chose for a high round count defensive weapon.
     
  8. Cheseldine

    Cheseldine Texan

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    I do not have much experience with other brands, but I took my Colt 6920 out this weekend with some friends and I could constantly hit a metal square 2ft by 2ft at 400 yards with a cheap 4 power scope.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    M4... yeah... we don't have M4's. We have M4gery's as civilians. The M4 is the military designation for their new issue combat carbine, i.e. select fire capable with other design parameters that the .mil selected.

    We have semi-auto AR-15 carbines with M4 barrel contours and maybe M4 feed ramps if you order that option. That's about all that it is.

    Don't worry too much about getting 0.5MOA out of your carbine. What are you looking to get out of it, realistically? 200 meters? 300 meters? 600 meters? What can you shoot within your abilities?

    Pick a decent commercial brand within your budget, have fun. That's all that matters. Don't blow you whole wad on your first AR. You'll have time for tons more. Those things have a magical ability to multiply in your gun safe. I know. I started with one... held on for a long time... then within a year, there are 6. Don't know how that happened.
     
  10. mixflip

    mixflip

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    You let them drink water after midnight didnt you?
     
  11. Teej

    Teej

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    Ya know, I read lawman800's post and I figured right away it had to be the water!!! :rofl:
     
  12. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    I think my mistake was buying another one to keep the first one company and then next thing you know, they just wouldn't stop multiplying until I ran out of space.
     
  13. Teej

    Teej

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    I can see this happening. Just like Gerbils, very difficult to tell which is male and which is female.

    Now it this would only work with ammo.....................................:dunno:
     
  14. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    The Ammo Fairy totally got it wrong, I tells ya!

    Not only does the Ammo Fairy take my ammo, she also takes my money at the same time! Doesn't it work the other way? Ammo for money? Sorta like the tooth fairy? No? Hello? Anyone?