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Can someone tell me why I should get one type barrel over the other, considering all other aspects being equal? Im talking specifically about BCM 16 inch and 14.5 inch barrels. I understand the raw differences between them, but I'm not sure, for instance, what benefits a Cold hammer forged would have over the standard. Are BFH worth the extra money? Are they heavier? Are the light weight barrels less accurate? How much lighter are they? Why not just stick with a BCM standard?
 

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LW - yes they are lighter. The weight savings is all from the muzzle end of the barrel, so the lighter feel is very noticeable. How much accuracy lost is dependent on a alot of factors. (my guess: if identical guns shooting identical loads and the guns have a similar preference for that load gov't = 1.25" therefore LW = 1.5" this is just a for instance). Depending on what you are using the rifle for you may never notice the difference in performance. The weight difference is noticeable.

BFH - harder than std and supposedly can take more rounds before being shot out. How many more? no one really knows because no one head to head shoots out barrels with same conditions same ammo etc. Say a std takes 35k rounds to become inaccurate (whatever criteria you use) BFH might last 45k. Is it worth it? - at BCM's pricing IMO no. Other companies, DD for example, only offer hammer forged barrels and are barely more than BCM's std. For 99% of the people reading this board BFH is not necessary. I think BFH are actually slightly lighter than std. barrels (very slightly and I could be wrong; the difference is negligible).

Why not stick with std? - because you might want LW of BFH or even a LW BFH. It depends on your budget and what you plan on doing with the rifle. For a first AR, my normal recommendation is get 16" midlength gov't profile. IMO best to not mess with 14.5" as a first AR unless you get the tax stamp (then you are introducing even more complications).
 

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Go with lightweight. Unless you have a happy switch the chances of you overheating it are slim. Accuracy will be close if not the same. If your going to be pick over .5 MOA difference you need a stainless barrel to shoot for accuracy.
 

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I think the standard BCM's are fine. I don't really think the cold hammer forged barrels are all that much better.

As for the lightweights, I think they are fine. Even in carbine classes they seem to work just fine. You don't run into serious problems with a lightweight barrel unless you are shooting full auto. It's not a machine gun.

As a general rule, I don't like throwing extra weight on my rifles. The lightweights are great.
 

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Filthy 14 has over 40,000 rounds with the standard BCM barrel. Never cleaned no wear. BFH is a waste of money.
 

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I remembered when Steyr advertised its cold hammer forged barrel for "increased accuracy" plus leaving all the swirling marks behind as a badge of honor. All they did was using a hammer manufacturing method that was designed to make hammers more economical AND not bother to finish its exterior - but it's cool and hip, y'all!!!

I can't believe that in this day and age of 2020, people still believe all that advertising crap about hammer forged barrels are superior than conventional methods.

If hammer forging is truly superior for accuracy, then the most premium match grade barrels should all be sporting them.

If hammer forging is truly superior for wear, then AK barrels (hammer forged on some of them) should be weather the wear better too. Right?
 

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I had to look up what exactly "cold hammer forging" is. I have always been interested in blacksmithing, so to hear about something being literally hammered while cold made me wonder about the process. Now I have seen a video of it and everything, and it seems pretty neat, but I don't know about this "realigning of the metal crystals" to make it stronger, again, I always thought that is what heating the metal is for - not just to make it easier to move, but to re-align the crystalline structure.

But I am no metallurgist, so what do I know? Then I read this:


"Cold forging is a reliable and cost efficient process. The main advantages are the following:

  • savings in material and final machining,
  • high productivity,
  • excellent dimensional accuracy and surface quality of cold extruded parts,
  • improvement of mechanical properties of extruded parts
  • favorable crystal grain flow increases toughness."
RifleShooterMag.com – http://www.rifleshootermag.com/gunsmithing/gunsmithing_rsgunsmith1/#ixzz4NCoGP3fg

:dunno:
 
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