14.5" or 16" barrel AR-15?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TacticalSpeed, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. TacticalSpeed

    TacticalSpeed Member

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    I already have a 16" barrel AR-15, but want to build another. However, now I am thinking maybe I should do 14.5" barrel instead.

    Pros? Cons?
     
  2. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    SBR or pinned brake?
     
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  3. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    16 for general use, 14.5 if you have something specific in mind
     
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  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Not worth jumping through the legal hoops for 1.5" less barrel. If I were going shorter than 16" I'd go with a 10" pistol AR and use an arm brace.
     
  5. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    I have a pinned 14.5. Barring NFA idiocy, the 16 offers no advantage.

    Personally, I prefer the balance of the 14.5.

    I sold or traded away my 16 inch barrels and have no plans to get another.
     
  6. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I think 16" is the best balance between maneuverability, ballistic performance and lack of legal/NFA issues for most purposes. I personally wouldn't go shorter than that even for a dedicated home defense type setup because I just like the clarity of it being a rifle, but I understand why others choose to do so. I would have no qualms about going longer, though. I've been toying with a 6.5 Grendel build and I'll probably use a 20" barrel if I do it.
     
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  7. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I have a build with a 14.5", was looking to do a lightweight build for a HD gun without going the NFA route. I really like it, plus the 16" .22lr upper I built to match is nearly the same length.

    I used a Faxon barrel, they have a small diameter flash hider pinned and welded on so you're not married to one gas block and it's NFA compliant.

    https://www.righttobear.com/faxon-14-5-pencil-5-56-nato-mid-length-4150-qp-15a58m14npq-pfh3/
     
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  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    If comparing 16” barrel muzzle versus the same length as 14.5” P&W.... Strong favor to the 16”. If you’re carrying the length and weight, having the extra ~50-65fps makes more sense than having nothing.

    If SBR is on the table, then 10.5” SBR is where I land.
     
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  9. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    I find the difference in velocity not enough to make a difference out to 300 or 400 yards. But I prefer the balance & handling of the pinned 14.5

    That’s funny! With shorties, I prefer 11.5 over the 10.5 because I feel they do better at 300 yards.

    I don’t find maneuvering in tight spaces with a 16 inch more difficult than with a 14.5.

    All personal preference, of course.
     
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  10. TacticalSpeed

    TacticalSpeed Member

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    SBR. Pistol brace will be on it so it'll be a pistol I suppose.

    I have an 11.5" upper already that is next up to build so 10.5" or 11.5" suggestions fall on deaf ears lol
     
  11. TacticalSpeed

    TacticalSpeed Member

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    But I already have an 11.5" build coming up, a 10.5" 9mm AR that I love, a 7.5" barrel AR9 that, once back from FM, will hopefully be fixed & I plan to build a 7.5/8" barrel 5.56 and a 16" barrel 9mm lol
     
  12. TacticalSpeed

    TacticalSpeed Member

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    Already have an 11.5" build coming with a brace & plan to do a 7.5/8" barrel with a brace as well. Sucks I cannot put a stock on a 14.5", but at least I can have it. I will likely go with another 16" so I can put a stock on it, but 14.5" is tempting just b/c I have an addiction & don't have one lol
     
  13. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have each.

    My 16” is a pencil barrel, the 14.5” has a phantom pinned on it and is an M4 profile.

    In all honesty I really can’t tell much of a difference between them handling or shooting-wise.

    If you don’t have a 14.5”, pin on a flash hider and give it a whirl. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  14. TacticalSpeed

    TacticalSpeed Member

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    Won't be pinning the FH regardless of what I go with :) Don't want to deal w/the hassle
     
  15. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    If you already have a 16" you won't see much benefit building one in 14.5". Ballistics wise you are losing about 100FPS. At 5.56/.223 speeds that isn't very much. 14.5" as a build has legal loopholes around the SBR law that you have to contend with. Either by adding a brace for a pistol build or by going through the long form as a registered SBR and a stock. Length, weight, and balance you won't see much of an advantage with 1.5" less compared to a 16" build.

    The long and short of it is, if you want another 5.56 but in a more compact form, just build an AR pistol while they are still legal. You have the weight and length savings you are looking for. No added SBR laws (right now) to contend with. FWIW I have a 16" and a 10.5" build. If I started another one it would be a long barrel over 20" for the velocity and range.
     
  16. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    SBRs have stocks, so any length bbl will work as a pistol
     
  17. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    If you have a 16” the 14.5” doesn’t offer much. However if you want to go shorter than 16”, I’ll recommend a 11.5” with a brace.

    Take a look at the Aero Precision 11.5 and the 14.5 mid length. Both sweet sweet shooters. This is a side by side comparison

    Top: CMMG 16.5 Carbine length
    Middle: Aero Precision 14.5 Mid length
    Bottom: Aero Precision 11.5 Carbine length

    BCE20778-CCF4-4094-9167-2D7F7CB2E255.jpeg

    i find myself picking the 11.5 more often for carbine classes, cqb training and stuff, it’s easier to maneuver in and out of cars and door ways.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  18. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I pinned it to stay away from the NFA rules on SBR’s, they’re a no go in Ca. :(.

    Stay safe.
     
  19. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    There are a lot of ways to build with any barrel length to keep it compact. The world is your oyster, build something fun.


    My 10 1/2” braced (SBM) build (was in progress) and daughter’s 16” with mini fixed stock.
    870A7EAB-9D7D-453B-9DC1-7E1827174706.png
     
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  20. TacticalSpeed

    TacticalSpeed Member

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    I could always slap a Sylvan folding adapter on it. Always looking for cool ways to waste money lol
     
  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Hell if that is your goal, slap a DOLOS on it too. Make the thing really compact by taking the barrel out.

    https://www.pantheonarms.com/
     
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  22. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    14.5 and 16 are the same.

    Build an 18, rifle gas, this time.
     
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    And with a can, it winds up being like the 16” again, just quieter and slower.
     
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  24. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Not if there’s a muzzle device on the 16, and not in muzzle velocity.
     
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  25. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Since you already have a 16 and several shorter ones why not try a 20 inch rifle? They are a smooth shooting gun. I dont think you will notice much difference between the 16 inch and a 14.5 inch. To me, any advantage a non pinned 14.5 has over a 16 inch is negated by the brace. I know the braces work well, but they arent as good as a stock.
     
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