Hemming and hawing on an AR Barrel profile.


February 13, 2008, 01:24 PM
Im looking at an AR build in the near future. It will actually be for the Mrs. Right now, were looking at a 16 mid length light weight barrel for the project (CMMG), but we were wondering if we should split the difference and go with a mid length government profile. Its going to be a range toy mostly, with SHTF applications.

Will we really gain all that much balance and handling going with the light weight barrel vs. heating and longevity issues?

Thanks in advance.

And yes its for HER. She knows about it. Its not some weird, Oh look honey! I got you a new table saw for Valentines Day, sort of thing.

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February 13, 2008, 01:31 PM
I have both profiles, in 16" and 20", and I definitely prefer the lightweights. They do heat up more quickly, but they also cool down faster, and they're easier to handle.

The differences are not that great, so if you have some other reasons for preferring the gov't. profile, go for that.

February 13, 2008, 01:36 PM
HBAR's are suited for machine guns, sniper rifles, and target rifles, so just avoid those altogether.

They have no place in an AR15. The AR15 was made to be light and handy. I bought a 20" HBAR with my second AR15. Big mistake that was quickly rectified.

That said, all of my AR15's are superlight or govt profile. Either will do fine. I built my wife a 16" superlight and it is extremely handy and points very fast. It is amazing how much faster and well balanced the lighter barrels are.


I've taken coyotes with this superlight. I can easily put a couple mags through it in short order without losing a lot in the way of accuracy. It's a defensive carbine. Meant for short engagements, not for prolonged firefights.

February 13, 2008, 01:48 PM
Personally, I have a heavy-contour (not a bull barrel--just a heavy NM-type profile) barrel on my 16", and love the muzzle-forward balance it provides. I wouldn't enjoy the same weapon with a light barrel nearly as much.

February 13, 2008, 02:00 PM

February 13, 2008, 02:05 PM
CMMG's lightweights are Da Bomb - I have built three rifles with 'em (two 16" and one 20") and have been very pleased with every one. They are as accurate as anything I have, handle very well, and are of high quality.

I prefer the lightweight 16" profile over the 16" M4-style Gov't profile both because they are a bit lighter and because I do not need (and find objectionable) the M203 cutout.

February 13, 2008, 02:13 PM
And yes… it’s for HER. She knows about it. It’s not some weird, “Oh look honey! I got you a new table saw for Valentine’s Day,” sort of thing.Hrm. You mean I should send that drill press back?


February 13, 2008, 02:25 PM
No... but you may want to wrap it with a box of chocolates!! :evil:

February 13, 2008, 02:49 PM
Why not a fluted heavy contour barrel? I think it's lighter than M4 profile, but should be stiffer.

February 13, 2008, 03:11 PM
CMMG also has a midweight barrel profile that I hear is about the same weight as a government profile but has the weight distributed differently for a little better balance. I just built a light and am eager to see how it shoots, my only concern is that its not floated and may flex more than I like when shot with a sling.

February 13, 2008, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the info.

Don't worry. Its not a gift. But if it was, a box of ammo would be more appropriate than chocolates. Don'cha' think?

Soybomb: I hadn't considered the flex when shot from a sling? I'll see if CMMG has a "Med Con" in mid length flavor and give that a ponder.

Armedbear: is that a custom turned barrel or off the shelf somewhere?

Thanks again.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 13, 2008, 07:21 PM
ArmedBear, it will be lighter; but not anywhere near lightweight or gov't profile territory. I think fluting might shave about 0.2lbs off an HBAR.

I have the medium profile CMMG barrel. It was one of the first batch of 1:7 midlength barrels they ever did so I am not sure if it is still a production item. Very nice handling; but I believe the Gov't profile is a bit lighter.

It seems like the main issue with lighter profile barrels is a shifting point of impact when slung, from a bipod, or with a suppressor. For most work, they seem just as handy as their heavier cousins.

February 13, 2008, 07:51 PM
Keep in mind that if you every wish to compete with the thing (i.e., CMP/DCM/Whatever they call it this week...), it has to be the right kinda profile/sights, etc...

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