practical advantages of the mid-lenth upper vrs. carbine upper?


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Fremmer
November 14, 2012, 08:24 PM
The mid-length uppers seem to command a higher retail price over the typical carbine upper/rifle. They appear to have 2" more barrel and a slightly longer gas system. I read that the benefits of the middy are slightly reduced recoil and lessened wear on the gas system and the bolt. I don't have actual experience with the difference, but am I correct about the advantages of the middy, and more importantly,

What are the actual advantages of the mid length upper in practical terms for an owner? Can anyone comment on actual data or tests showing a significant advantage over the carbine length for the average owner? Or perhaps your actual experiences with the middy vrs the carbine length? Thanks for the input, I'm just trying to justify the added expense of a mid length gun over the less expensive carbine set up.

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Warp
November 14, 2012, 08:27 PM
I have never owned, nor even shot, a mid length. However, from everything I have read I don't think there is a quantifiable, noticeable advantage to the average owner.

That said, whenever I can afford a second AR (might be awhile), it may very well be a mid length. But I do figure to get more rounds downrange than the average owner, so that "reduced wear" point appeals to me.

You also (typically) get more rail space, a longer sight radius, and can put your support hand further forward.

nodeal117
November 14, 2012, 08:27 PM
They look cooler. What else matters?

highorder
November 14, 2012, 08:27 PM
My wife enjoys shooting my Spikes 14.5" midlength with a Dynacomp.

My friends carbine gassed 16" with an A2 birdcage is too "sharp" to be pleasant to shoot.

Warp
November 14, 2012, 08:28 PM
My wife enjoys shooting my Spikes 14.5" midlength with a Dynacomp.

My friends carbine gassed 16" with an A2 birdcage is too "sharp" to be pleasant to shoot.

Your friend's is probably over gassed. Who made it?

meanmrmustard
November 14, 2012, 08:29 PM
Less crap in the action, proper dwell time, smoother cycling, and reduced recoil. Better, better, and better.

FMF Doc
November 14, 2012, 08:29 PM
I am not an armorer, but from what I have been told, bery little assuming the barrel length is 16-18". I was told that a carbing with 14-16", mid with 16-18" and rifle with 19-20" have the same "gas dwell time" in the tube. This means that shooting a round in the correct combination of gas tube length/barrel length will yeild about the same effect in regards to cycle operation, speed, and recoil force. At the end of the day, I don't think it really matters. The midlengths in my opion have less felt recoil, but that could be as much a factor of the overall weight increase as it is the gas tube. That's all I got. Hopefully someone who knows a little more will come along and fix anything I got wrong here.

highorder
November 14, 2012, 09:06 PM
Your friend's is probably over gassed. Who made it?

It's a S&W m&p15 MOE.

I agree it's over gassed. Strangely it went back to the factory once for under gassed issues. I wonder if they just reamed the gas port.

Warp
November 14, 2012, 09:09 PM
It's a S&W m&p15 MOE.

I agree it's over gassed. Strangely it went back to the factory once for under gassed issues. I wonder if they just reamed the gas port.

It isn't fair to blame that on the carbine gas system. That is simply a mid-tier AR manufacturer at work.

*flame suit on*

Bartholomew Roberts
November 14, 2012, 09:13 PM
The big practical advantages you notice right away are:

1. Better sight radius
2. More handguard real estate (easier to use a more forward grip, less hot barrel exposed, more room for rail mounted crap)

Additional advantages that are more theoretical than practical are a different recoil impulse compared to a carbine and a dwell time that is closer to the original 20" design than a carbine gas on a 16" barrel.

jim243
November 14, 2012, 09:22 PM
*flame suit on*

No flame suit needed.

I prefer the carbine gas system, shorter recycle times. But it is nice to have the longer sight radius if you shoot open sights, but I don't, red dot or scope for me.

Good luck on your choice.
Jim

Fremmer
November 14, 2012, 09:28 PM
And that's the rub, mr. Roberts: what are the actual differences in terms of recoil or wear that justify the added expense of the middy for the average owner? Have we had reports of middys lasting significantly longer, or are the advantages pretty much theoretical?

And I keep wondering why the military, police and others use the carbine instead of the middys. That might be the cost difference, I suppose. That and if you're gonna shoot a middy for dwell time, why not just get 2 more inches from the 20" platform and end the dwell concerns...

meanmrmustard
November 14, 2012, 09:31 PM
It isn't fair to blame that on the carbine gas system. That is simply a mid-tier AR manufacturer at work.

*flame suit on*
Give it a rest. What would the excuse have been if it were made by Colt? User error?

Warp
November 14, 2012, 09:34 PM
Give it a rest. What would the excuse have been if it were made by Colt? User error?

What's your excuse for this rifle?

MistWolf
November 14, 2012, 09:35 PM
Middys do not have less recoil. Fire the same ammo out of a 16" carbine length AR and a 16" mid-length AR, both ARs of the same weight and both will have the same amount of recoil.

There is very little practical difference between the two, assuming both are properly tuned.

The time it takes the bullet to travel from the gas port to the muzzle makes not a lick of difference. The bullet has cleared the muzzle before the BCG even charges up enough to get moving. What the extra length does is increase the blow down time- that is, the longer the distance from gas port to muzzle increases the time it takes the weapon to drop to atmospheric pressure after the bullet uncorks the muzzle before the gases get to the BCG. Blow down time makes a difference because it's the residual pressure inside the rifle after the bullet leaves that operates the action

meanmrmustard
November 14, 2012, 09:36 PM
What's your excuse for this rifle?
I haven't needed one. Ever.

Warp
November 14, 2012, 09:36 PM
I haven't needed one.

You are the friend being referenced?

I thought you had a Sport, but sold it?

Interesting.

meanmrmustard
November 14, 2012, 09:38 PM
You are the friend being referenced?

I thought you had a Sport, but sold it?

Interesting.
Point?

Nary you make one. I've owned several Smiths, none had issues. I'm no ones friend, so where is this query leading us exactly?

fatcat4620
November 14, 2012, 09:44 PM
And that's the rub, mr. Roberts: what are the actual differences in terms of recoil or wear that justify the added expense of the middy for the average owner? Have we had reports of middys lasting significantly longer, or are the advantages pretty much theoretical?

And I keep wondering why the military, police and others use the carbine instead of the middys. That might be the cost difference, I suppose. That and if you're gonna shoot a middy for dwell time, why not just get 2 more inches from the 20" platform and end the dwell concerns...

The carbine the military uses has a 14.5 inch barrel, not a 16 inch like most civilian carbines (which is the point of this debate).

RSR
November 14, 2012, 09:46 PM
Everyone's liking the midlength upper these days and rightfully so. There is going to be less wear versus the carbine length, but that comes many of rounds down the road. Truth is, shooters and collectors alike will probably never see this wear, so buy the one you want! If you're worried about chamber/bolt/receiver wear, go full length. The AR rifle was built on a 12" gas system and 20" barrel......and a full length shoots best IMHO!!! Best of luck to ya.....

Captains1911
November 14, 2012, 10:01 PM
The big practical advantages you notice right away are:

1. Better sight radius
2. More handguard real estate (easier to use a more forward grip, less hot barrel exposed, more room for rail mounted crap)

Additional advantages that are more theoretical than practical are a different recoil impulse compared to a carbine and a dwell time that is closer to the original 20" design than a carbine gas on a 16" barrel.
This.

Also, it's the gas tube that's 2" longer, not necessarily the barrel.

cfullgraf
November 14, 2012, 10:28 PM
I can tell some small difference between my 16" carbine length gas system AR versus my 20" rifle length but it is not enough to quantify. The different weight of the rifles has an effect.

The 16" might have a louder bark.

I just finished an 18" mid length gas system AR but have only a few sighters on it to make a judgment.

Bottom line, one is not any more objectionable to shoot than the other. I really never thought about different recoil.

As far as the mechanics of the different length systems, i will defer to others.

With optical sights, length of the barrel is a moot point in terms of sight radius.

Welding Rod
November 14, 2012, 10:48 PM
The big practical advantages you notice right away are:

1. Better sight radius
2. More handguard real estate (easier to use a more forward grip, less hot barrel exposed, more room for rail mounted crap)


Yep. And that is enough for me.

Bartholomew Roberts
November 14, 2012, 10:49 PM
And that's the rub, mr. Roberts: what are the actual differences in terms of recoil or wear that justify the added expense of the middy for the average owner? Have we had reports of middys lasting significantly longer, or are the advantages pretty much theoretical?

Well I think the difference in time to unlock between a carbine and a rifle is something like 120 microseconds (the exact numbers are in the archive somewhere) - which as small as that number is, it still has a measurable effect on function. As the weapon wears and parts get older and gas ports erode, a gas system that is closer to the original should give you a bigger window to work with.

The flipside is while the M4 and M16 are some of the most exhaustively tested rifles in the world, there hasn't really been the same testing of the midlength, so it is hard to make pronouncements about whether what should happen actually does happen.

To give an example, M4s have been shot to 80,000-120,000 rounds with parts replacement and can make 10,000-15,000 even without parts replacement. Doing a valid comparison to a midlength would be an expensive proposition, even for just a single rifle that would not tell us much. Either one will outlast 99% of the people who buy one.

And I keep wondering why the military, police and others use the carbine instead of the middys. That might be the cost difference, I suppose.

The military identified several new and improved M16 bolts that corrected identified problems with the bolt as early as 1999. However, changing the bolt meant changing the barrel extension - so the military continues to use the older bolt design. Logistics play a much bigger role the bigger your organization is.

That and if you're gonna shoot a middy for dwell time, why not just get 2 more inches from the 20" platform and end the dwell concerns...

? Not sure what you mean here. The whole point of the middy is to have the 14.5 or 16" barrel with a dwell time closer to a rifle. If you go 18", you have other options such as intermediate or rifle length gas and if you go 20", then rifle length gas is as close to the original design as you can get.

MachIVshooter
November 14, 2012, 10:55 PM
IME, with two rifles of roughly equal weight, the mid lengths have a noticeably softer recoil impulse.

However, for me, the bigger reason to go middy is that you don't have that ridiculously long piece of barrel forward of the FSB. It just looks retarded, and you can't put a standard bayonet on it.

Geneseo1911
November 14, 2012, 10:59 PM
I can't get real excited about moving the FSB forward, and adding a longer forend, when my carbine with a pencil barrel already feels nose heavy. I've been doing everything possible to decrease weight on the front end, and move my light back a little to improve balance. I can only imagine a middy would have a worse problem. Maybe that's why the VFG's are so in vogue nowdays, too; to go with nose heavy middys all the HSLD operators must have. I am also a little bemused by guys touting "lighter recoil" from the middys. Seriously? It's a .223. Go shoot an '03 Springfield, and then tell me about recoil.

Longer sight radius I get, but if you're shooting a middy with iron sights and need that kind of precision that sight radius matters, shouldn't you have got a real rifle? Or a dissapator?

I can't disagree with M4S's points above, though. Although the Potus says we don't need bayonets anymore...

*disclaimer-I am neither high speed or low drag

Nikdfish
November 14, 2012, 11:19 PM
Mid-lengths are bayonet friendly! :D

Nick

Warp
November 14, 2012, 11:34 PM
I can't get real excited about moving the FSB forward, and adding a longer forend, when my carbine with a pencil barrel already feels nose heavy. I've been doing everything possible to decrease weight on the front end, and move my light back a little to improve balance. I can only imagine a middy would have a worse problem. Maybe that's why the VFG's are so in vogue nowdays, too; to go with nose heavy middys all the HSLD operators must have. I am also a little bemused by guys touting "lighter recoil" from the middys. Seriously? It's a .223. Go shoot an '03 Springfield, and then tell me about recoil.

Longer sight radius I get, but if you're shooting a middy with iron sights and need that kind of precision that sight radius matters, shouldn't you have got a real rifle? Or a dissapator?

I can't disagree with M4S's points above, though. Although the Potus says we don't need bayonets anymore...

*disclaimer-I am neither high speed or low drag

Lower recoil is always preferred.

I guarantee that if you put a .22lr conversion into your rifle, you'd be quicker. Why? Less recoil, less muzzle rise, quicker back on target (or never off target)

Geneseo1911
November 15, 2012, 12:19 AM
Yeah...I'm familiar with how recoil works. You missed the point. I have a carbine that weighs 7 lbs unloaded, including optic, light, and sling. The way some people talk, it should recoil like a 12 ga. It doesn't. It recoils like a .223. Which is to say-not much. Yeah, my sig 522 doesn't recoil as much, but it's also NOT A .223. My M1 carbine has more muzzle climb than my AR.

The whole point of the AR-15 was light weight. The whole point of the 5.56 was lower recoil and lower weight. Now, 40 years later, we are adding a bunch of crap to make them heavier than the M-14's they replaced, and complaining about the recoil

justice06rr
November 15, 2012, 01:16 AM
Let me clarify one thing that a few people are mis-informed on:

You can put a longer rail on a carbine to have more railspace and sight radius if you prefer. This is not an advantage inherent on a midlength/rifle only.

You can configure a carbine to without the A-post front sight and put a 12inch or 15inch quadrail. The only real advantage is better cycling due to the longer gas system (only about 2inches). Everything else is/can be the same.

A quality brand like a Colt 6920 will function just as well as a BCM 16inch middy.

Warp
November 15, 2012, 01:26 AM
Let me clarify one thing that a few people are mis-informed on:

You can put a longer rail on a carbine to have more railspace and sight radius if you prefer. This is not an advantage inherent on a midlength/rifle only.

You can configure a carbine to without the A-post front sight and put a 12inch or 15inch quadrail. The only real advantage is better cycling due to the longer gas system (only about 2inches). Everything else is/can be the same.

A quality brand like a Colt 6920 will function just as well as a BCM 16inch middy.

All true.

But it is generally less expensive and easier to simply buy a mid length than to modify a typical carbine gun in the manner you describe. If you were just now buying the rifle and you wanted that rail space and sight radius, it would seem to make sense to just buy a midlength.

And yes, a 6920 will function just as well as, well, anything.

justice06rr
November 15, 2012, 08:16 AM
But it is generally less expensive and easier to simply buy a mid length than to modify a typical carbine gun in the manner you describe. If you were just now buying the rifle and you wanted that rail space and sight radius, it would seem to make sense to just buy a midlength.

Again it depends.

Mostly on your budget, preferred configuration, and if you are building the rifle yourself or not. If its just more rail space you want, you can add a drop-in quadrail from Daniel Defense or UTG (depending on your budget) like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/eiji81/AR15/DSCI0049.jpg
The UTG rail above cost me $50.


Or if you just wanted the longer sight radius, you can buy a Carbine directly from a manufacturer like PSA with a long freefloat rail (MI, Troy, etc) already installed like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/eiji81/AR15/DSCI0027.jpg

Of course the free-float rail like the 12-inch Midwest Industries above will cost more (about$180), but it is not any harder to do since it can be installed by the manufacturer, or can be done by the owner with some simple tools and know-how.

In short, what I'm saying is that a Carbine can be setup like a Middy if you are only talking about rail space or sight radius. The ONLY difference is the length of the gas system.

Captains1911
November 15, 2012, 08:44 AM
Let me clarify one thing that a few people are mis-informed on:

You can put a longer rail on a carbine to have more railspace and sight radius if you prefer. This is not an advantage inherent on a midlength/rifle only.

You can configure a carbine to without the A-post front sight and put a 12inch or 15inch quadrail. The only real advantage is better cycling due to the longer gas system (only about 2inches). Everything else is/can be the same.

A quality brand like a Colt 6920 will function just as well as a BCM 16inch middy.

I don't think people are being misinformed. A standard 16" carbine configuration has a shorter handguard with a fixed FSB, whereas a standard middy has longer handguard and a fixed FSB. Sure you can install a low profile gas block and expensive rail on the carbine, but that will cost you. If you want the longer radius and/or handguard, I really so no reason not to just buy the middy.

I own both a Colt 6920 and BCM 16" middy, and yes, they are both extremely reliable. I prefer the middy over the 6920 mainly for the extra handguard length. I cannot feel a difference in recoil between the two either, although I can feel a difference between them and a rifle length system.

Captains1911
November 15, 2012, 11:31 AM
Give it a rest. What would the excuse have been if it were made by Colt? User error?

It is rare to find out of spec gas ports on Colt rifles. This can't be said for many of the "middle tier" manufacturers. It is what it is, deal with it.

Geneseo1911
November 15, 2012, 11:36 AM
I own both a Colt 6920 and BCM 16" middy, and yes, they are both extremely reliable. I prefer the middy over the 6920 mainly for the extra handguard length. I cannot feel a difference in recoil between the two either, although I can feel a difference between them and a rifle length system.

But doncha reckon that is primarily due to weight? I would like to see the difference between a rifle, mid, and carbine length gas system in rifles of the same exact weight. I bet there would not be one iota of difference. Or are you saying the rifle recoils harder?

Captains1911
November 15, 2012, 11:44 AM
But doncha reckon that is primarily due to weight? I would like to see the difference between a rifle, mid, and carbine length gas system in rifles of the same exact weight. I bet there would not be one iota of difference. Or are you saying the rifle recoils harder?

My middy is heavier than my 20" A2 with a government profile barrel. The rifle just seems to shoot softer, but it does have that annoying "sproing"

SSN Vet
November 15, 2012, 12:56 PM
Now, 40 years later, we are adding a bunch of crap to make them heavier than the M-14's they replaced, and complaining about the recoil

now this is funny :D

However, for me, the bigger reason to go middy is that you don't have that ridiculously long piece of barrel forward of the FSB. It just looks retarded

I have to agree

my carbine with a pencil barrel already feels nose heavy. I've been doing everything possible to decrease weight on the front end, and move my light back a little to improve balance.

Uhm.... wouldn't "everything possible" include ditching the light. I'll bet that would do just the trick. :neener:

I am also a little bemused by guys touting "lighter recoil" from the middys. Seriously? It's a .223.

Yup.... it's a .223 ... I also am amused at all the references to recoil. ;)

Captains1911
November 15, 2012, 01:35 PM
I don't think anybody was complaining about the recoil, but simply noting the difference.

Quentin
November 15, 2012, 01:47 PM
The mid-length uppers seem to command a higher retail price over the typical carbine upper/rifle. ... I'm just trying to justify the added expense of a mid length gun over the less expensive carbine set up.

Where are you finding midlength uppers to be more expensive than carbine length uppers? I've bought four midlength uppers over the last four years and normally the price is the same or close to it. And that's four different brands, ArmaLite, BCM, Daniel Defense and PSA - same price.

Welding Rod
November 15, 2012, 03:21 PM
I don't think anybody was complaining about the recoil, but simply noting the difference.

I think the straw man said it bothered him. ;)

Personally I can't tell the difference between a carbine, mid, and rifle.

hentown
November 15, 2012, 03:28 PM
Less crap in the action, proper dwell time, smoother cycling, and reduced recoil. Better, better, and better.
__________________

Yeah, and for all those reasons, the military uses mid-length?? NOT! No discernible difference, other than having something to post about on forums like this!:rolleyes:

Warp
November 15, 2012, 03:36 PM
I think the straw man said it bothered him. ;)


I think you are correct.

holdencm9
November 15, 2012, 04:56 PM
I just got a middy for the longer sight radius. Couldn't hit much beyond 50 yards with the carbine-length. I also got the heavy barrel on my middy because somewhere down the road I wouldn't mind scoping it and doing longer-range stuff. For now, the middy is my irons-fun (and the extra couple inches makes a huge difference) and my carbine is my red-dot fun and what I would grab in a defensive situation.

I would have to agree with others who say that for a defensive use, a middy seems more front-heavy than a carbine, and less-quick to bring on a target. You could probably alleviate this somewhat by going with a pencil barrel. That is, if you really wanted to hang some stuff off of it, but then you are just adding more front-end weight. Everything is a compromise.

MachIVshooter
November 15, 2012, 05:10 PM
Yeah, and for all those reasons, the military uses mid-length?? NOT! No discernible difference, other than having something to post about on forums like this!:rolleyes:

The M4 is a 14.5", not 16". That's the difference. A 14.5" with CL gas system has proper dwell time, as does a 16" midlength. But a 16" with carbine gas system has excessive dwell time.

The mid length system was specifically developed for the civilian market's title I 16" guns. Armalite pioneered it, and over the last few years, just about every maker but Colt has decided to offer mid length rifles. They just make more sense.

Hit_Factor
November 15, 2012, 05:17 PM
I went with a 16" midlength lightweight profile for my 100 yard or less 3 gun AR. Reason, milder recoil in the lightweight AR for quicker 2nd shot on target.

Doogledog
November 15, 2012, 05:36 PM
I am not an expert and I have a lot to learn about the AR platform. However, I do own one rifle length, one carbine length and a midlength upper. My rifle length and my carbine length are complete rifles. I do not have a complete lower for my midlength rifle yet so the only shooting I've done with it has been on my lower that was built for a carbine. With that said, I personally do notice a difference in the recoil and the "spoing" that is characteristic of the AR's that I own. I prefer the midlength to both the rifle and the carbine. Perhaps it is simply my perception but, with that lower and a carbine buffer it feels smoother and I don't seem to get the same muzzle rise that I do with the carbine.

highorder
November 15, 2012, 09:42 PM
Mildly off topic:

A thin layer of light grease on the spring will greatly reduce the sproing.

Fremmer
November 15, 2012, 10:06 PM
The middys I see always seem to be more expensive, but they also usually have rails too.

The extra handguard length might be nice.

fatcat4620
November 16, 2012, 07:39 AM
The middys I see always seem to be more expensive, but they also usually have rails too.

The extra handguard length might be nice.

So uppers with rails cost more, got it ;)

fatcat4620
November 16, 2012, 07:40 AM
Double tap.

Fremmer
November 16, 2012, 08:16 AM
Lol yes x2

Ramone
November 16, 2012, 08:24 AM
On one occasion, about a year ago, myself and a friend swapped an 16" Carbine and a 16" mid-length on the same lower, just to see if we could feel a difference.

Doing it like that, we both agreed that we *could* feel a difference, that the Middy was smoother/softer on recoil. However, we also agreed that short of switching one from the other as we did, that the difference wasn't something you'd really notice.

BoilerUP
November 16, 2012, 08:42 AM
I just built an 18" rifle gas AR; its recoil impulse is noticeably softer than my 16" A1 carbine.

5.56 doesn't have much recoil, this is true...but how its recoil is presented (push vs. shove) can play a role in the precision of follow-up shots.

Girodin
November 16, 2012, 01:19 PM
I am also a little bemused by guys touting "lighter recoil" from the middys. Seriously? It's a .223. Go shoot an '03 Springfield, and then tell me about recoil.

This statement seems to stem from not understanding what people are really talking about or concerned about when they discuss recoil of a 5.56 rifle. Its not about recoil in the sense of "ouch my shoulder." Rather it is recoil and muzzle rise affecting split times and accuracy of follow ups. The "lighter recoil" people are touting is because of its affect on the speed and accuracy of follow up shots. Maybe that is not something that is important to your uses but you ought not be so dismissive of those who it is important for. Are you failure with the BSA drill (it also has other names)? Basically you have a target, say an IPSC target and you draw an 8" circle on it. You give your self a certain amount of time to fire a given number of rounds, say 5 rounds in two seconds. You try to keep all the rounds in that 8 inch circle. You start at five yards and mover back in increments from there until you reach failure points (which you then diagnose and work through). The relative recoil of two different 5.56 rifles will affect your performance in this drill. If I shoot a gun with a good brake I tend to be able to do better. I can put more rounds in that circle in a given time from a given distance. In sum, even though neither gun is anywhere remotely close to painful to shoot or anything like that, if I can reduce the recoil and muzzle rise of the gun I am faster. When I use my 22LR upper I can be faster still. Why not use what makes me most effective?

Do you have a shot timer? Go run the drill. If possible then run it with a similar but softer/flatter shooting rifle.

Longer sight radius I get, but if you're shooting a middy with iron sights and need that kind of precision that sight radius matters, shouldn't you have got a real rifle? Or a dissapator?

Not if the way in which I often or even predominately use his or her gun is better served by having a shorter barrel and/or lighter gun. One cannot know when they might also need to take a longer more precise shot. Someone might be going into a house with their rifle and then come out into the street and need to take longer shots (this is more of an LEO/MIL concern).

Moreover the statement seems to miss a basic point? Why not gain the advantage of longer sight radius whenever possible. It is not a bad thing to have a more rather than less versatile rifle. Is there a real advantage to having the shorter sight radius? If not then why not lengthen it. There are reasons to not have a rifle length gun/gas system. There are reasons one might not want a dissapator. Is there any real reason to prefer the shorter sight radius of a carbine with a sight at the gas block.

As has been noted there are both handguard and sight options to deal with both sight radius and handguard length issues. I own a carbine with a rifle length rail that has more handguard and longer sight radius than one of the middies I own. What is cheaper to set up really depends on what you are buying, when you are buying it are where you are buying it from.

To address the OP, I think there are some advantages. However, I think that a very large number of shooters will never notice them or even be able to make use of them. In buying a gun look at how you want to use it and look for a set up that will work best for YOU not for someone else and their uses.

holdencm9
November 16, 2012, 03:39 PM
Giroden, good response.

Like I said before, everything is a trade off.

Shorter barrel = more maneuverable, lighter, but shorter sight radius, louder bang, and less muzzle velocity.

You can help fix the sight radius issue by getting a mid-length handguard, but then you are cutting into some of the "benefits" of the lighter and more maneuverable carbine. You could balance that out by getting a pencil profile barrel, but then that will heat up a lot faster. It's just like the DI vs piston. Fix one thing (sorta) but create another problem. Last I checked, there is no perfect gun, just the gun that is the best balance of what you find important.

meanmrmustard
November 16, 2012, 06:06 PM
Good post Girodin.

meanmrmustard
November 16, 2012, 06:08 PM
Yeah, and for all those reasons, the military uses mid-length?? NOT! No discernible difference, other than having something to post about on forums like this!:rolleyes:
Wouldn't be the first time Uncle Sam has made an unwise decision. Won't be the last.

meanmrmustard
November 16, 2012, 06:09 PM
It is rare to find out of spec gas ports on Colt rifles. This can't be said for many of the "middle tier" manufacturers. It is what it is, deal with it.
Numbers to back this claim?

Quentin
November 16, 2012, 06:18 PM
Where are you finding midlength uppers to be more expensive than carbine length uppers? I've bought four midlength uppers over the last four years and normally the price is the same or close to it. And that's four different brands, ArmaLite, BCM, Daniel Defense and PSA - same price.

The middys I see always seem to be more expensive, but they also usually have rails too...

Configured the same, the price of carbine gas and midlength gas uppers by the same maker usually is the same.

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