AR15: I know chrome-lined is better but...


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cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 02:15 AM
How much better is it...?

I want to get an AR from the bargain bin but they sold out of the chrome lined m4. Is it worth waiting for them to get more (whenever that may be) or is the non chrome lined good enough that I should go ahead now?

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highorder
March 16, 2008, 02:35 AM
if you don't plan on burning it up, chrome isn't necessary. it makes cleaning a little easier, but thats about it.

Coronach
March 16, 2008, 03:03 AM
If I knew they would be getting more in and the price was the same or only a few bucks off, I'd wait.

I don't know that, though. So, if I was looking for a basic M4, I'd buy it.

My M4 isn't chrome lined. I don't consider it a problem.

Zach S
March 16, 2008, 03:53 AM
I prefer a CLed bbl, but no chrome isnt a deal-breaker for me. If I had $570 to spent I'd get one, only to have the lady claim it (which would be fine by me, maybe she'd let me shoot mine when we go to the range).

I'd spend $570 on the non CLed bargin bin carbine before I paid $625 for the CLed 11.5" bbl with a 5.5" flash hider.

ZombiesAhead
March 16, 2008, 03:54 AM
A little OT, but how can you check for chrome lining? If you shine a light through the barrel and the inner is shiny, is that a sure sign of chrome? Or are there are other shiny coatings inside barrels?

Dionysusigma
March 16, 2008, 05:48 AM
Maybe a bore scope? Been wondering this myself... :confused:

Thing is, I can't really justify the expense of a bore scope, and the only place I could borrow one from would constitute a federal felony if I brought my AR there... :uhoh:

jwxspoon
March 16, 2008, 07:51 AM
http://forums.officer.com/showthread.php?t=81462

ZombiesAhead
March 16, 2008, 09:08 AM
Maybe a bore scope? Been wondering this myself...

Yeah...I have a WASR-10 AK-Style rifle and looking down the bore with a light through the open chamber it looks very shiny.

I've tried this with my new Bushmaster AR-15 16" Heavy Barrel. Guy at the store said "chrome-lined" but didn't seem so certain. I've looked down the barrel but the smaller caliber makes it harder to see a reflection when I shine a light in. I'd love to be able to test if it was chrome lined...

-A

cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 12:57 PM
so while the CLed is better, its not THAT much better right?

Onmilo
March 16, 2008, 01:03 PM
If you think you will shoot less than 10,000 rounds through the rifle in the next five years and you clean your rifle after every range trip you will probably find the non-chrome lined barrel to be more accurate and just as durable as a chrome lined barrel.

TheGunGuru
March 16, 2008, 01:10 PM
Heres a nice little trick to see if its chromed. Take a Q-tip and putit in the tip of the barrel about 2 inches down, take a look. The white tick and cotton ball at the end of the Q-tip will reflect the light in the room or off a flashlight very well and if you see a very shinny reflection..its chromed. To be sure, test it on your AR then on another rifle/pistol thats not chromed.

Ps. Make sure its unloaded...we all know its the "un-loaded" guns that kill people. "I swear officer, I thought it was unloaded...I didn't mean to kill him."

RugerOldArmy
March 16, 2008, 01:45 PM
'Better' depends on the use. I'm not in a war zone, so I prefer Stainless barrels and Wylde chambers to Chrome-Lined barrels and 5.56 chambers. For High Power competition, I'd avoid chrome-lined barrels like the plague.

ZombiesAhead
March 16, 2008, 01:49 PM
Heres a nice little trick to see if its chromed. Take a Q-tip and putit in the tip of the barrel about 2 inches down, take a look. The white tick and cotton ball at the end of the Q-tip will reflect the light in the room or off a flashlight very well and if you see a very shinny reflection..its chromed. To be sure, test it on your AR then on another rifle/pistol thats not chromed.


I will be testing this out as soon as I get home! Thanks for the tip. ;)

cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 01:53 PM
my use will be general recreation, and should the situation call for it, perhaps shtf use as well

RugerOldArmy
March 16, 2008, 02:02 PM
my use will be general recreation, and should the situation call for it, perhaps shtf use as well

IMO:

- For recreation: (varmint hunting, HP competition, etc.) You can't make much of a case for a chrome lined barrel, for, as a rule, a stainless barrel will outshoot them. Go to a HP event, and see how many chrome lined barrels you see.

- For SHTF: I wouldn't want an AR-15 anyway. I'd rather have an M4 or M16, probably with a 5.56 chamber and CL barrel. At that point (TEOTWAWKI), you wouldn't worry about what's legal, would ya?

I figure I'll be shooting for recreation, and it's all about holes downrange.

Nightcrawler
March 16, 2008, 02:12 PM
A lot of successful service rifles that saw action in some of the worst parts of the world lacked chrome lined barrels. The M1 Garand, for example (as far as I know). The FAL, for another, and the G3 also (again, so far as I know). Chrome lining became less of an issue with the rise of non-corrosive ammunition. A chrome lined barrel can still rust if not maintained properly (as can stainless steel).

Zundfolge
March 16, 2008, 02:27 PM
my use will be general recreation, and should the situation call for it, perhaps shtf use as well
For general recreation chrome lining is a non issue (in fact the word is chrome lining makes them less accurate). For a short term SHTF (think Katrina) you'll be fine without the chrome as you won't be doing a lot of shooting and the situation will likely resolve itself within a few days. In a hard core SHTF your rifle only has to last long enough for you to liberate something better ;) .



Also, if the worst happens and your non chrome lined barrel gets corroded you can always replace it ... AR barrels aren't that pricey (under $300 for a nice one).

cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 02:32 PM
so when IS chrome lining meaningful/useful

RugerOldArmy
March 16, 2008, 02:39 PM
so when IS chrome lining meaningful


It sure helps to impress posers on ARFCOM. It likely helps if you're gonna shoot your barrel cherry-red hot. It may help if you neglect cleaning it. But in real life, for the way most people use ARs, the accuracy drawback due to the complications of getting the desired final dimension of the barrel when a plating process comes into play (and the likely 5.56 chamber that would accompany most CL barrels) makes it's real merit questionable, at least IMO.

Zundfolge
March 16, 2008, 02:39 PM
so when IS chrome lining meaningful/useful

When you're outfitting an army with weapons that are going to see hard, full auto use for long periods of time with less maintenance.

cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 03:06 PM
so for civilians a CL barrel is just over accessorizing?

Cesiumsponge
March 16, 2008, 03:10 PM
Industrial chrome plating is NOT the same application as cosmetic chrome plate that most people think about. Both utilize chromium but cosmetic chrome plating is usually a thick nickel base with a very thin chromium plate buffed to a mirror finish. That type of stuff can peel off in sheets. Hard chrome isn't necessarily shiny like cosmetic chrome and doesn't peel off in sheets. My chrome lined barrel isn't shiny like a Harley.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=4185

RockyMtnTactical
March 16, 2008, 03:13 PM
Increased reliability, longevity, corrosion resistance, ease in cleaning and maintenance, etc...

If this is a SHTF weapon or a personal defense weapon, chrome is essential. If it's just a plinker, it's not as important.

Cesiumsponge
March 16, 2008, 03:27 PM
Chrome lining is beneficial, but not necessarily essential. There are plenty of old military rifles still kicking around without a chrome lining.

Zundfolge
March 16, 2008, 03:42 PM
The only circumstances that I'd say chrome lining is "essential" is if you're going to pack the rifle in grease and bury it in the hills for SHTF or if you're going to do a lot of full auto shooting.

Otherwise, yes its beneficial to "Increased reliability, longevity, corrosion resistance, ease in cleaning and maintenance, etc..." but not essential.


If the choice is between getting a rifle without chrome lining and not getting one at all (because the chrome pushes the rifle out of your budget range), get the rifle with chrome lining and don't worry.

Reality is an el cheapo Oly Plinker is sufficient for home defense as long as its kept clean and lightly lubed and not shot a lot.

The more you shoot it, the more benefit from chrome lining, but I still don't think its "essential" nor worth a lot of extra $$.

cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 07:53 PM
If the choice is between getting a rifle without chrome lining and not getting one at all (because the chrome pushes the rifle out of your budget range), get the rifle with chrome lining and don't worry.


Well my dilemma between CL and non CL is that I want to purchase one from the CMMG bargain bin and they just ran out of the CL. I have no idea when they will sell them again so its more a matter of patience for me. My predicament is weighing out patience vs a CL barrel.

Coronach
March 16, 2008, 08:44 PM
The other question is if they will get them again, at that price. No, I haven't heard any rumors or indications that they'll run out, but that is a screaming deal and they're selling like hotcakes. Just something to consider.

Mike

offthepaper
March 16, 2008, 09:13 PM
I bought a M4 and a 20"H-Bar from CMMG's Bargin Bin. Both non CL'ed. No Problems or complaints. And yes they are selling like hotcakes. CL just wasn't a deal breaker for me.

cbrgator
March 16, 2008, 09:26 PM
I just cant decide if it is or isn't a deal breaker for me. I don't want to buy a non CL and then 2 weeks later the CL ones are back.

Soybomb
March 16, 2008, 09:36 PM
Its going to come down to some personal preference too. You can talk about a chrome lined barrel being less accurate but I'm not shooting competitions and likely neither are you so that .20" of an inch group difference might not matter as much as you appreciate the easy clean up. I'd wait a month and see if they get more in, cmmg usually restocks pretty quick it seems.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 17, 2008, 03:38 AM
I have both chrome-lined and unlined barrels and until this year, I did a fair bit of shooting with ARs.

In my opinion, the longevity, corrosion resistance, and ease of cleaning of a chrome barrel is overstated. I would also say that the decrease in accuracy from chrome lining is overstated as well. Most chrome-lined barrels were just 2-3MOA barrels to begin with and are still 2-3MOA barrels afterwards.

The anecdotal reports I have actually seen on longevity suggests that chrome lined barrels take longer to reach the "sweet spot" for accuracy; but hold that spot slightly longer and hold overall accuracy maybe 1,000 rounds longer than an unlined barrel of the same quality.

Ease of maintenance? Again, I think this has more to do with the initial quality of the barrel than the lining.

I think that chrome-lining does enhance reliability though. Because ARs are direct impingement they are very sensitive to the timing of the extraction and ejection. Chrome-lined chambers are a bit slicker and seem to be less sticky when they get dirty and hot (though an unlined chamber can still be very dirty and hot and function just fine).

At the end of the day, the quality of the barrel is more important than the lining issue. A stainless steel barrel from MSTN is going to blow away a mass-produced chrome-lined 1:9 from your local gun show parts house in every category. Likewise a chrome-lined GT Operator barrel will blow away the same 1:8 parts house stainless steel bull barrel in those same categories.

Also, the easy way to check for a chrome chamber is to look for the dull gray ring around the chamber. To check the bore (sometimes only the chamber is chromed on some Colts), remove the muzzle device and look for the same dull gray ring around the muzzle.

NG VI
March 17, 2008, 10:34 AM
that exact thing happened to me. I originally was set on the Chrome Lined CMMG, but when I went to order they were out. I decided I wanted my AR sooner rather than wait till they potentially got more in. Ordered a 16" M4 barrel. about three days later they had the chrome lined version again, but Zundfolge pointed out to me that the CL version is the crappy 11.5" barrel with a 5.5" permanent useless extension on the end. I like a little flash, I don't want six inches of useless steel on the end of a velocity killing 11.5" barrel|!

An 11.5" SBR would be awesome, but with the hider it is pointless to me. you'll do fine with the other one, and you're uses sound the same as mine. You will have to buy a rear sight though.

Coronach
March 17, 2008, 12:00 PM
Chrome lining isn't "over-accessorizing" if it just costs a couple of bucks more for a CL vs the same non-CL barrel. The chrome is a nice peace of mind type deal for those times when you know you won't have a chance to clean the rifle right away or if you're doing a LOT of shooting.

But that's about it. It's not like a non-CL barrel will be decidedly inferior in reliability or durability, or decidedly superior in accuracy. It's just not that huge of a deal.

Add in the fact that, apparently, the CMMG CL barrels are SBRs with permanently attached muzzle devices (I forgot about that), there is no way I'd wait for a chromed CMMG bargain bin rifle. Just buy the regular 16". The loss of barrel and replacement with useless metal far outweighs the benefits of CLing the barrel (unless you plan on SBRing it and legally removing the FH).

Mike

Zundfolge
March 17, 2008, 12:56 PM
I just cant decide if it is or isn't a deal breaker for me. I don't want to buy a non CL and then 2 weeks later the CL ones are back.
IF that happens (which I think is unlikely, but who knows) then sell your non CL rifle (probably at a profit) and buy one of the CL ones :D

Or better yet buy both (always looking for more excuses to buy guns).

You might call CMMG and ask them what the percentage chance is that they'll have chrome lined bargain bin rifles any time soon (no guarantee they'll have an answer for you).

rino451
March 17, 2008, 02:04 PM
Barrels are $210 or so and easily replaceable, so get what you can afford now, shoots the crap outta it, and rebarrel if necessary in the future. Then, if you want/need chrome, you can get it. Sheesh...

Personally, I like 5.56 chambers, cl chambers and bores, but I don't clean my AR's.

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