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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am trying to build an M4gery-ish AR15 right now. I just want a good 1:7 twist M4 profile 16 inch barrel with a carbine length gas system and F maked front sight post. Do they not make these anymore? All I can find are the lame chrome-moly 1:9 barrels or some nitride barrels.

I do not understand the nitride thing. When I built my first AR15 about 11 years ago it was chrome-moly or chrome-lined and the latter was clearly considered superior by basically everyone.

Now they got this nitride thing going on and it's confusing because the manufacturers claim it's as good or better than chrome-lined barrels but most gun enthusiasts seem to hate nitride since they consider it inferior yet it's replacing chrome-lined stuff. I read recently Steyr USA stopped producing AUGs with chrome-lined barrels and switched to nitride which many shooters on various forums don't seem happy with.

Almost every AR barrel that's like what I'm looking for is nitride not chrome-lined anymore. I know it's cheaper and easier to make a nitride barrel than a chrome-lined one so of course the manufacturers will praise it, but is it really as good better compared to chrome-lined stuff?

I am confused on this.
 

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IIRC, Stag Arms offers chrome lined 1:7 twist M4 profile in both uppers and their Model 2. 4140 steel, MP tested, but not HP. Again, it's IIRC, so you might want to look them up. :)

Fully transferable warranty and a "Lifetime " barrel guarantee.
 

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i've not had much experience with nitride barrels but my experience isn't positive. I bought 2 nitride psa kits in 2018 and neither barrel is worth a ****. I replaced the 16 inch 1-7 middy barrel a few weeks ago and you can read my "I hate Palmetto State Armory" thread in the ar forum here. that barrel shot 5 MOA AT BEST. mostly it shot in the 6 moa range. i replaced it with a windam 1-9 inch chrome lined dissapator barrel and that barrel with the same ammo shoots 3.2 moa. this is with iron sights mind you with both barrels. the 10.5 inch nitride pistol barrel also shoots around 5 moa again using irons.

i had/have so far no reliability issues with the nitride barrels but I haven't abused them with ****ty wolf ammo like I did a dozen years ago when i had been in ar-15s previously.

the 3 most important parts of an ar15 is the barrel, the bolt, and the carrier. don't skimp. Nitriding isn't popular because its better, its popular because its cheaper. a chrome barrel a manufacturer has to over size the bore and chamber then apply the chrome. nitriding they just dip a bunch of barrels into a vat and thats it. nitriding isn't a coating its a metal treatment.

my next barrel and all future barrels except maybe a SPR barrel will be chrome.

i do like nitrided bolts and carriers though.
 

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There is a thread on this a couple months back about buying FN CL barrels in PSA uppers or Melonite / Nitride from Ruger, S&W, etc. I’m not going to repeat all the details, however Nitriding / Tennifer / Melonite is a metal treatment and when done correctly with QPQ creates a very hard, wear resistant surface for the whole barrel. You cut the barrel to size and give it a chemical bath and that’s it.

Chrome lining coats the surface of where you put it. You ream the barrel slightly larger to account for this. There are a multitude of issues that can impact accuracy due to this process. Does the thickness of the CL properly match what the barrel was cut for? How much unevenness did the process impart in the CL coating along the way? CL is a very specialized process to do correctly. Few manufacturers do it.

Chrome lining was the only way to do things 75 years ago to prevent corrosive ammo from quickly destroying combat accuracy in the field. It also helped to compensate for softer metallurgy. It greatly extended barrel life with minimum maintenance during combat and that was paramount as opposed to getting 1 or 2 MOA.

Chrome lining is still the baseline for combat barrels, but the move away from corrosive primers, advances in metallurgy and treatments have made it a trade-off for civilian barrels.

You’ll get increased accuracy at a significantly reduced cost, albeit with less barrel life compared to a chrome lined barrel. For a non-military use, it is a no brainer. You’re going to spend more money in ammo many, many times over than it is going to cost you to replace the barrel from wear. Most people just don’t shoot that much to ever wear out a barrel. The ones that do typically understand the cost equation and pick accuracy and cost over some increased longevity and decreased maintenance.
 

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Unfortunately, melonite barrels are often cheap soft metal barrels that NEED the melonite process to harden up and survive. I've seen some of them wear quicker than a SS target barrel.

Sometimes those barrels are high quality CHF barrels that are absolute tack drivers. Generally, they'll be on a name brand expensive upper. BCM, Rainier, Noveske, etc.

There's a reason why, even with a parts surplus, some barrels are $300, and some are $88. You have a 1/3 chance that a cheap barrel is going to be ok.

That being said, if I build a AR pistol, I'm just going to try a cheap melonite barrel. Building a carbine? The Larue kits are too good to pass up right now.
 

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The military specifies chrome lining for bores due to some extra durability against heat, protection from lack of maintenance, and perhaps longevity is then a byproduct.

The civilian AR market is always looking for the bottom line without sacrificing too much. I wouldn't mind a nitrided barrel for plinking and target shooting, but my go to AR has a Gov't profile chromed bore, CHF, CMV 4150 and all that. Does it matter? Probably not, as I'm nowhere near Afghanistan and don't plan on visiting anytime soon. But still...I'd rather have the most durable barrel that I can afford.

And if it's .25 MOA less accurate than a barrel with a non-chromed bore, I wouldn't be able to tell anyway.
 

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On a barrel that is made right, melonite is superior to chrome lined is superior to CroMo is superior to Stainless...in terms of durability. In terms of accuracy, Stainless, CroMo, Chrome lined. Meloniting to a Stainless or CroMo won't alter the accuracy.

Put either coating in a cheap, poorly finished blank and it is a waste of time and money. Barrels should be Melonited without the extension as it creates some issues with them. In general, Melonite and Chrome Lined barrels last 3 to 5 times longer than the same barrel of the same base metal.
 

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The answer is , it all depends, Nitriding if done right can be very good, problem is that it was not sought out as how do we make our product better, it was sought out for how can we mass produce barrels cheaper and claim they are just as good as mil -spec Chrome lining.

look at the manufacturer and their reputation for quality Colt barrels are amazing and chrome lined , I have taken rack grade colts put optics on them and found them able to shoot MOA groups with rounds they like.

The barrel of the day special at PSA that is "nitrided" will not be the same quality .
 

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Does the nitride treatment prevent rust?
Prevent? No. Because "prevent" is a very strong word. Does it offer substantial protection against rust? Yes. Absolutely.

The degree of protection does depend upon the treatment (not only liquid versus gas, but also time and process, which determines the depth of the boundary layer). I am not expert, but as others have noted, the slight advantages and disadvantages don't really apply to me. If I manage to be able to afford a full-auto rifle, I will pay a lot more attention, but for my needs, I can accept either. A bare commie-block steel barrel and corrosive ammo do bother me...
 

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As stated above, one is a treatment that actually changes the surface of the metal metal and the other is a plating that goes over the metal.

Melonite, nitrocarburizing, nitride, etc. are all different names for pretty much the same thing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
IIRC, Stag Arms offers chrome lined 1:7 twist M4 profile in both uppers and their Model 2. 4140 steel, MP tested, but not HP. Again, it's IIRC, so you might want to look them up. :)

Fully transferable warranty and a "Lifetime " barrel guarantee.
Yeah I saw that too, will probably end up going with a Stag M4 upper. I'd rather just stick with chrome-lined stuff since I'm going for sort of a an M4gery anyway. I hope their barrels are good.
 

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Yeah I saw that too, will probably end up going with a Stag M4 upper. I'd rather just stick with chrome-lined stuff since I'm going for sort of a an M4gery anyway. I hope their barrels are good.
I own a Model 2 M4gery and am very pleased with it.
 

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i've not had much experience with nitride barrels but my experience isn't positive. I bought 2 nitride psa kits in 2018 and neither barrel is worth a ****. I replaced the 16 inch 1-7 middy barrel a few weeks ago and you can read my "I hate Palmetto State Armory" thread in the ar forum here. that barrel shot 5 MOA AT BEST. mostly it shot in the 6 moa range...the 3 most important parts of an ar15 is the barrel, the bolt, and the carrier. don't skimp...
^^^ THIS ^^^

No offense intended please, but I find it interesting how common it is for some folks to be proud of the fact that they purchased their AR components such as a barrel and carrier/bolt combination for cheap, who then seem to be genuinely stunned when the quality and/or performance isn't there?

The old adage "You get what you pay for" is significantly truer when it comes to firearm parts. And there's another saying that's a truism; "Buy once, cry once". One would think that when assembling a firearm that may one day be depended upon to save ones life or put food on the table that one would want it to be made from reliable and quality components and not simply the cheapest crap available. Most often it's the newcomers to firearms who make such mistakes due to their lack of experience, or in cases where a firearm can simply be assembled from parts, their big hurry to "join the AR15 pack".

Outfits like PSA run their business like the local Dollar Store, offering the least expensive no name products just so they can hook you in. I was once on PSA's email list...I'd made a couple of purchases from them for some ETS Glock mags and 9mm ammunition, but I got sick of them blowing up my phone and computing devices twice a day with emails offering the same crap over and over. And of the times where I'd actually found something of interest it was always "temporarily out of stock". After seeing this happen time and time again I finally realized that this was just an effort by PSA to "steer" me in another direction, like the proverbial carrot in front of my face hanging down from a string above my head ------> towards what they did have in stock.

Since the differences in chrome lined and nitride has already been discussed and answered, I can only suggest to those considering an AR15 variant build that they fully investigate all the options and for cripes sake have some patience if you need to save up the money to purchase quality components of known pedigree. You may not have what you want right away (this seems to be the way of the world lately) and you'll definately spend more money, but better quality has always had a higher price. And owning a good quality, reliable and accurate firearm that you can count on will give you a peace of mind that's hard to beat and be something that you can trully be proud of :D
 
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