Ar-15 bull barrel or standard barrel


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Michael R.
July 6, 2011, 02:20 PM
Hello everyone,
I have a quick question about which ar-15 barrel would be better for shooting coyotes andd other varmints. i am asking this question because when we hunt coyotes, i find we have to shoot offhand a lot and i was worried that the extra weight of a bull barrel would limit my accuracy(im 14 years old and 120 lbs). do you think i should stick with the heavy bull barrel or go with the standard barrel. Most of my shots will be within 50-75 yards.

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otomik
July 6, 2011, 02:28 PM
whats a standard barrel?
http://www.ar15barrels.com/profiles.shtml

i find we have to shoot offhand a lot and i was worried that the extra weight of a bull barrel would limit my accuracydisagree, the extra weight could be good for stability.

MtnCreek
July 6, 2011, 02:29 PM
I would consider a H-Bar or gov contour barrel. A 16" hbar that's floated should make for a good 400 yd rifle. If you're going to shoot <100 yds 100% of the time, go with the gov contour.
I would not buy a true bull barrel.

taliv
July 6, 2011, 02:32 PM
as light as possible

Michael R.
July 6, 2011, 02:51 PM
thank you very much. i would have to agree with you. the bigger it is the steadier it is. and i could also attach a bipod or rest it on our deck as support.

The-Reaver
July 6, 2011, 02:55 PM
The only AR I have has a pencil thin. ( I guess in the link it would be " featherweight " ) That is what I would use... just don't fire more than 30 rounds rapidly cause that things heats up quick!

MtnCreek
July 6, 2011, 03:03 PM
the bigger it is the steadier it is
The better the weight balance suits you the steadier you'll be. Heavy = better on a bench. Balanced weight = better offhand shooting.

gotigers
July 6, 2011, 03:04 PM
I like medium contours. Heavy enough to be stable when heated from shooting and light enough to hold up off hand for a while.

TonyAngel
July 6, 2011, 03:11 PM
There is absolutely no reason to go with a heavy or bull barrel, unless you are going really long on the length or it's going to be a dedicated bench/bipod rifle. For your purposes and out to around 500 yards, I'd go with a 16" barrel in something of an M4ish or government profile.

My last 16" build had a Bravo Company SS410 stainless 16" barrel. It was a literal tack driver and kept the weight down. At the distances that you mentioned, even a plain jane quality chrome lined barrel will do.

Michael R.
July 6, 2011, 03:12 PM
just a stupid question, but has anyone ever shot coyotes while shooting offhand with a heavy or bull barrel?

Michael R.
July 6, 2011, 03:25 PM
i would have to agree with tony angel. its now like im gonna be shooting off of a bench for coyotes. also, i wont be shooting 150 rounds at coyotes in one night. t

nastynatesfish
July 6, 2011, 04:14 PM
I have a bull bsrrel 204 that is fluted and its not bad at all most sits i do im sitting with my shooting sticks anyhow i like the meat on the barrel

Bovice
July 6, 2011, 04:19 PM
I also vote for a 16" M4-type barrel.

jem375
July 6, 2011, 05:15 PM
20" SS bull barrel on my coyote rifle and it works just great and is not a big deal to shoot off hand and carry...

TonyAngel
July 7, 2011, 01:01 AM
Really, I just don't see the advantage of having a bull barrel. A barrel won't necessarily be more accurate. Yes, it takes longer to heat up, but it also takes longer to cool down. Besides, a good barrel, regardless of profile, won't open the groups up by much, even when they do get hot.

otomik
July 7, 2011, 03:40 AM
Really, I just don't see the advantage of having a bull barrel. A [bull] barrel won't necessarily be more accurate.actually when it comes to barrel harmonics a shorter and thicker barrel is more accurate.

gotigers
July 7, 2011, 08:44 AM
otomik

actually when it comes to barrel harmonics a shorter and thicker barrel is more accurate.



True, but there is a point when a barrel is to thick. A well made medium or heavy profile seems to be good for me. A Noveske, WOA, etc., stainless, medium profile, 18 rifle gas, 1:7 or 1:8, .223 wylde chamber would be my choice. I am not sure if Noveske makes a .223 wylde chamber. Regardless, my point is, a quality barrel is more important than diameter. IMHO.

m33p0n3
July 7, 2011, 09:19 AM
I have a 20" AR with a rather heavy barrel. It has a standard profile past the handguards, but underneath it's about as large as can fit. For unsupported off hand shooting, it's not terribly easy because of the weight. The center of balance is right on the barrel nut, but holding the sucker up becomes a problem without using a hasty sling.

I would encourage that if you have the opportunity, go to a gun store and handle a few different rifles. Different people have different tastes and needs. I think for you whichever you can handle best will fit the bill. 50-75 yards is close range for an AR, and I highly doubt you will see much of a difference in accuracy between different barrel types at those ranges.

ForumSurfer
July 7, 2011, 09:44 AM
I can tell you from experience that a 24" varminter type upper (bull barrel) with nothing but a scope and a sling is heavy to shoot offhand after a few shots. Add a bipod and it becomes pretty heavy to shoot offhand.

If I were going to be lugging it for more than a mile or two and taking quick standing or improvised shots, I'd rather sacrifice the extra velocity of the longer barrel and run a much lighter setup...something more like 18".

It wasn't exactly like lugging around a tank, but an 18" version would have made me just as happy with similar results and a ton more comfort. I did enjoy that 24" upper for awhile, though. It looked much more menacing and sniperific than it was. :)

Tirod
July 7, 2011, 09:54 AM
Consider the average barrel sold for the AR comes off the same rifling machine and is then profiled, why automatically assume the heavy profile has more accuracy? Same buttons, same materials, same process?

Frankly, you would likely get better accuracy from precision reloads developed for a pencil barrel than shooting white box from a bull barrel. I'm sure many would contest that - feel free to post targets, because every time this subject comes up, there's a lot of "Doesn't this idiot know better?" but NO actual shooting to back it up.

Consider the bull about bull barrels - just because they are a preferred profile on $450 bench rest precision guns, it doesn't mean the supplier for a combat self loading action rifle is putting the same precision into the material selection, buttoning, and fussing over the precision of theirs. If anything, they make more money on them because there's LESS machine time running down the profile. A bull profile in the same price range as Gov't should be a big clue - same buttoning and rifling, same accuracy.

If the bull barrel maker guarantees, in writing, less than 1 1/2 MOA, then you might be getting some of your money's worth, otherwise, it's just marketing.

And if you're shooting mags of rapid fire out of a bull barrel, it's still a conflict in application - you only need milspec 2MOA in combat or medium game hunting, and you walk A LOT to do it. Another 12oz of dead weight in the barrel is exactly that over the 10,000 rounds the average combat rifle sees.

The OP mentioned his build and age, what range, and what target. A 100 yard shot at a coyote? The money should go to ammo and a good red dot or 2X optic, not a bull barrel. The complete package will perform better overall, rather than slant it for just one feature and unbalance the result.

ForumSurfer
July 7, 2011, 11:09 AM
Consider the bull about bull barrels - just because they are a preferred profile on $450 bench rest precision guns, it doesn't mean the supplier for a combat self loading action rifle is putting the same precision into the material selection, buttoning, and fussing over the precision of theirs. If anything, they make more money on them because there's LESS machine time running down the profile. A bull profile in the same price range as Gov't should be a big clue - same buttoning and rifling, same accuracy.Tirod, my understanding is that bull barrels offer less flex...particularly after being heated up due to firing. I don't think they are considering them to be more accurate. I never did when I owned one. I didn't forsee myself shooting this particular rifle fast enough for barrel flex to come into play. The only reason I went with a bull barrel was because of the recessed target crown and I was offered a really great price. I had my heart set on an 18" barrel, but we all know how that ar-15 project ends up getting twisted before you get it together sometimes. Speaking of the heavier profile...did my heavy profile actually do any good since so much material was removed due to the fluting? Who knows...:scrutiny:

As for the extra length, you are simply gaining muzzle velocity. More accurate? No, but you get less muzzle drop at longer ranges due to the added velocity....which won't help our new friend out here since he isn't taking 300 yard shots. :)

Within 100 yards a lightweight carbine (without optics even!) is just fine, of course. I'm 5'10" 175lbs and I work out 5-6 days a week, and I didn't enjoy lugging around an upper with a 24" heavy profile barrel at all by the time you added the weight of a scope and bipod. Stupid heavy? No...but uncomfortable, yes. Given the ranges the OP will see, 16" standard profile is perfect and anything over an 18" rifle length is overkill IMO.

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