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AR-15 build: A4 or M4?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ArmedBear, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Senior Elder

    Sep 8, 2005
    Any thoughts?

    I have a Mini-14, which is a rather more compact and handy carbine than an M4gery anyway. I live in a condo; I won't be shooting .223 indoors, even at an intruder.

    I've got a lower (currently with a fixed A2 stock) that is interested in getting an upper for itself.

    My options:

    1. 16" carbine of various sorts, many vendors.
    2. Mid-length 16", few vendors, but attractive to me. I like the longer sight radius, longer gas system, and longer foreend.
    3. Full-length standard M16A4 style upper, 20".

    Since I want a fun rifle, and it needn't be tacticool at the expense of real performance, I've been thinking of going with the 20". I'd like a 16" midlength, but they aren't available from many vendors.

    Anyone have comments?

    Gas system longevity? Ergonomics? Fun factor?
  2. MikeH

    MikeH Active Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    MoCo, MD
    Just to give you an idea, a 16" upper mated to your existing hardware will look like this:

  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    Midlength 16" is the way to go for general purpose / defense (unless you go NFA SBR).

    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]

    [​IMG] [ link to LARGER image ]

    For NRA High Power, you want a 20". For 3-Gun / action rifle, there are a few advantages to a 17-18" barrel and a rifle-length gas system.
  4. RCR29

    RCR29 New Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    I agree. Midlength is definitely the way to go. It is so much softer shooting than a carbine gas system, and you can mount an evil bayonet!:evil:
  5. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    If you already owned an AR in the past, then I'd try something new. If not the midlength is a great do-it-all AR that combines the best features of the carbine (light weight, handiness) and the rifle (sight radius, longer forearm, softer recoil impulse).

    Vendor-wise, Armalite, RRA, Sabre Defence, Bravo Company, and CMMG all offer production variety midlengths and you can get them from the various high-end custom AR places as well.

    On a 20" that you will be using for fun, about the only things to consider are that many 20" barrels are HBAR profile (about 3.4lbs). If you can get a government profile 20", you'll shave almost a pound off the weight.
  6. mrmeval

    mrmeval Participating Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Greenwood, Indiana
    A friend had Model 1 Sales take a short barrel and weld on a flash hider to make it legal, they also turned the barrel down in diameter to reduce the weight. It's an exceptionally light gun.

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