I'm thinking about having an AR style rifle built, preferably a .223. I've never owned one and there is such a glut of info out there, the number of options makes me dizzy. So here's my first question: What barrels do you recommend? What are the + and - of each type? I've heard of chrome lined barrels and many other options? This rifle will be my designated coyote rifle, so it will not be shot 100s of rounds. Accuracy and smooth ammo cycling is premium. So…barrels???
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December 9, 2013, 06:03 PM
Then avoid chrome lined, that is to reduce maintenance/corrosion. Probably look for a stainless match grade barrel from any of the big name barrel makers (Douglas, lilja (sp?), etc), in a heavier profile rather than lighter. Just my .02.
December 9, 2013, 06:06 PM
find a heavy barrel with a .223 Wylde chamber. That will shoot .223 ammo as well as 5.56mm and be a little more accurate. I would suggest 18 or 20" with a 1:8 twist.
December 9, 2013, 06:08 PM
I'm opting for SS 1:8 18-20" tapered. But I'll probably never shoot past 200 yds.
December 9, 2013, 06:15 PM
New to this myself.
I ordered a 20" Douglass Chrome Molly bbl from Compass Lake Engineering. .223 Wylde chamber, 1:7 twist, SPR profile ( not quite as heavy as a bull, but not a pencil bbl either.) I ordered it with a rifle length gas system and their low profile gas block. They do the Douglass blanks in either stainless or chrome molly. I went with chrome molly because I wanted a flat black finish and I didn't want to buy the stainless and have to send it out for finishing. If you want to spend more money they also have criterion blanks available.
Using 77 gr HPBT seconds from powder valley and 24.1 grains of CFE 223, it is shooting sub MOA. I have not had the chance to do much more than run a few shells through it to dial it in though.
December 9, 2013, 06:23 PM
You might consider a varmint upper built by the factory as well, instead of just a barrel. Turn key.
December 9, 2013, 06:30 PM
My suggestion would be a 20" match barrel in Service Rifle profile from any of the top barrel makers. Excellent accuracy and not so long or heavy to be difficult to carry.
You would also want a free floating fore end and a match trigger. I prefer a two stage trigger in my ARs but single stage triggers are available.
Also, you probably would want a flat top upper. It is easier to mount a scope.
December 9, 2013, 07:37 PM
My varmint AR is an old (Windham) Bushmaster with a 24" air gauged pencil barrel. Easy to carry and incredibly accurate. If you're not gonna shoot a lot in a hurry, a bull barrel is a LOT of weight to carry and little or no increase in accuracy IMO. We were routinely hitting prairie dogs at 300 yards+, using Winchester 64 grain SP's.
I'd second the thing about the trigger. Probably as or more important than barrel profile.
December 9, 2013, 11:52 PM
Your suggestions are right on target. Thanks a bunch. I need a medium weight rifle, too light creates accuracy problems for me since I have a tremor I have to manage, too heavy is impractical to carry into the field. I'll mostly shoot coyotes and will rarely walk more than a few 100 yards. A good trigger is a must in all my rifles, so I'll spend for a good trigger for sure. Typically I shoot 50 gr Sierra BKs in my Rem 700 .223 (great for p-dogs and coyotes), but can load anything I need for this proposed AR rig. I know there are a bunch of 55 gr options I can experiment with, which will be good for coyotes. I'll continue my search and let you know what I end up with. Thanks again.
December 9, 2013, 11:57 PM
check out the Geissele hi-speed national match trigger. expensive, but totally worth it to have the best AR trigger out there. Light 2-stage design, very fast lock-time.
December 10, 2013, 12:04 AM
For coyote I'd select a 1:8 or 1:9, whichever were in stock, in a 18 or 20" length, rifle length gas, medium or heavier contour probably in stainless. Wylde or otherwise match chamber. This will give you max velocity, max accuracy, and max reliability. Throw in a match grade trigger and you got yourself a coyote rifle. Freefloat the barrel, and you can pretty much use any other parts you want.
December 10, 2013, 11:29 AM
Honestly, almost any AR barrel you choose will be just fine for coyote. Chromed or not, 16"-24", 1/7-1/9 twist, stainless or CMV, free floated or not, heavy or pencil, target crowned or flash hider/muzzle brake. Any combination there of will be more than adequate to drop a yote out to 300 yards. The only one whos going to know what barrel you used is you, the coyote wont know the difference.:)
December 10, 2013, 12:24 PM
Plenty of folks love Black Hole Weaponry barrels. They are normally between $250 and $300, have plenty of options, and are good folks to deal with. Do a google search about BHW barrel accuracy. It won't take long for you to find that those barrels are extremely accurate. BHW uses polygonal rifling in their barrels. They claim less fouling and batter velocity. For a Cut rifled barrel, White Oak Armament has some pretty awesome tubes for around the same price as the BHW. I think it would be very hard to go wrong with either of those.
December 10, 2013, 03:18 PM
I recently purchased a BHW, 18" 1:8 with rifle length gas system in 5.56. Cant comment on accuracy as I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet (still finishing the build), but quality was first rate and they even emailed me back quickly about their recommended break in procedure. Purchased from Surplus Ammo in Washington (surplusammo.com). They were running a special where you got a free stripped upper with any BHW barrel purchase. Of course they started the special a week after I bought mine...
December 10, 2013, 06:45 PM
Sounds to me like you need a Rock River arms varminter.