need opinion on AR upper.


January 29, 2012, 02:17 PM
I'm going to sell off my 16" middy upper in favor of a 20" variant. I was shooting a guys RRA predator pursuit the other day and it was just so much more pleasant than shooting mine. much less muzzle blast rattling me to the core.

I've got a nice 223 bolt action bench gun, so I was looking for something that is not a heavy bull barrel, and I'd like to keep costs down. The RRA predator pursuit looks good, but inevitably I'd have to get a good scope and use sandbags to really take advantage of it's capabilities, and I really don't want to turn the AR into a bench gun. And it's at the upper limit of what I would be willing to spend.

dsa makes a fluted hbar, and palmetto state has some decent offerings (when in stock) that have some appeal based on price. Anybody have any great thoughts on another option, (cost effective option. suppressor route is too expensive)

so, DSA vs PSA If I went PSA, I would probably get their basic gov profile barrel. not the FN or premium hammer forged one linked, so costs would be about the same. unless that truly is a more accurate barrel.

or other option? Priorities are accuracy cost and lower weight. Might eventually suppress it, and probably will free float it. From what I can tell, fluted hbar will weigh a half pound lighter than a gov profile? I doubt I will ever put 10k rounds through the gun, so barrel life and hard core mil spec battle ready 3gun capability is not a must.

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January 29, 2012, 02:26 PM
BCM makes 20 inch uppers

January 29, 2012, 03:25 PM
The RRA PP was one of my top pics when I was building my AR. Checked it out at several gun shows. Looks like a good solid setup, but as you've already determined it is going to be heavy. I also almost snagged a DPMS 20" heavy barreled setup from Midway. They were running a special for $465, and it's probably not the last time they'll do that so keep that in mind. Ultimately I ended up spending just a hair more and snagged a Stag 3G upper from a vendor I don't have a lot of rounds through it at this point but it's a darn good setup, atleast for my needs and from what you're describing your want list was very similar to mine. The blast from the 3G brake/comp isn't bad either. The ports are on the top and front vs. the sides. So that might work for you. Since you mentioned the noise specifically though, I'd probably be looking at something with a varmint or heavy barrel with no brake. That should take care of that.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2012, 03:41 PM
Back a couple of years ago I bought a complete flat-top upper from CMMG for a varmint/truck-gun setup. Lightweight, 20", 1:14 twist. It's easy-MOA with a K4 on top. I'm happy with it.

January 29, 2012, 04:01 PM
well that sounds pretty good Art, but I'm not seeing anything like that on CMMG's website now. bull barrels only.

January 29, 2012, 05:02 PM
I got a 20" A3 upper from PSA last month that is a nice shooter.

January 29, 2012, 05:23 PM
the bushmaster predator 20" is nice.
The Armalite 20" upper is as well.
You can also spec out a Del-ton 20" at their website.
I am also interested in this route.

January 29, 2012, 05:32 PM
look into del-ton, dpms, and stag arms.

January 29, 2012, 05:43 PM
Greyling, im considering a 20" ar instead of a 16" because of my right ear is getting sensitive to really loud recoil. Is there a significant difference in retort between the 2 barrel lengths?

January 29, 2012, 06:12 PM
as far as I can tell, delton only offers a 1:9 twist in their 20" stuff, stag & dpms only have bull barrels, the bushy predator has some potential since it's fluted, but I think it would be too heavy since it's a 1" hbar that's been fluted. probably the same weight category as the RRA predator. But cheaper. it's a possibility I guess.

well fremmer, I thought there was. So did the guy next to me. I don't know if the lack of flash hider on the 20" had anything to do with it. It's still plenty loud, but when I was wearing foam plugs and muffs shooting my 16" with a2 birdcage, I was flinching and cringing every shot because the the pressure wave and racket. With the 20, it was just loud.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2012, 06:48 PM
greyling22, call 'em and ask 'em. :)

I'm no expert on who makes barrels for the various companies. I guess i'd go to emailing here and there among the brand names for ARs and ask, "Who makes a ...... barrel?

On general principles I'd likely call Bo Clerke in Raton. I've met him, and he was gracious enough to give me a guided tour of his operation. He primarily produces barrels in .17, .20 and .22 caliber; about 150 or so per week. He holds to 1/10,000th tolerance. I've no idea, however, if he does AR barrels.

January 29, 2012, 07:04 PM
oh I could get the barrel I wanted made no problem. but it's pricey and I don't have the tools to swap them out. or really the inclination which is a little surprising for me. I do love to tinker.... Calling isn't a bad idea though.

January 29, 2012, 07:20 PM
Like Strongbad I'm also a new owner of the Stag 3G upper. It was a tough choice between that and the RRA Predator Pursuit and the RRA ATH. I went with the Stag largely for the weight savings and it isn't much heavier than a 16" mid weight, mid length upper with a rail.

I only have about 120 rounds through it and it's all been in 20-ish degree weather and wind, so my tests are not definitive by any means. Nonetheless I'm finding it to be finicky. The load that is showing the most promise is a 77 grain SMK over 23.8 grains of TAC with a very light FCD crimp. It does not like 69 grain SMK's at all.

I do really like the build on this upper though. The Samson tube is great, the smartest attachment yet designed. The muzzle brake is ok, not as effective as a FSC556 but a LOT less loud. Certainly the Stag is worth a serious look.

January 29, 2012, 07:33 PM
Why not build what you want from the get go? Its not hard, someone nearby might have tools and if not an AR wrench can be had fairly cheap. If your not far from me I would be more than happy to help.

I picked up a DPMS DCM barrel for a good price and it shoots really well.

January 31, 2012, 11:54 AM
anybody have the bushmaster predator? it looks promising, and most of the things I've seen online say it's accurate, though I have seen a few posts saying it had some feeding issues. I'm currently leaning toward it, with the RRA pred pursuit coming in second. The RRA is probably a better upper, but it is 4 oz heavier, and more importantly, $100-$150 more, so unless it is just so vastly superior to the bushy I think it will stay in 2nd. I'm also open to another suggestion on a comparably priced ($475-575) similarly designed complete upper. no bull barrels.

January 31, 2012, 12:00 PM
I bought a psa 20" to replace my 16" middy from del-ton. I couldn't be happier.

January 31, 2012, 01:36 PM
I would also suggest PSA.

January 31, 2012, 08:51 PM
Lightweight, 20", 1:14 twist


I'd like to shoot heavier bullets. ;)

I've heard of 1:12 twist, but not 1:14 223/5.56.

What brand?

January 31, 2012, 09:48 PM
I would just swap barrels and bolt. Keep upper and carrier. Then a WOA barrel. I think they might even offer barrels with matched bolts.

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