Quantcast
  1. Upgrade efforts paused for now. Thanks for your patience. More details in the thread in Tech Support for those who are interested.
    Dismiss Notice

AR-15 Barrel Search Help!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Centurian22, Apr 9, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Stainless, Crome Moly Vanadium, Cold Hammer Forged, Button Rifled, Nitride, 16" 18", mid gas rifle gas, 1:7 1:8, 5.56 .223 wylde, light or medium contour. AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

    I've officially gone cross-eyed trying to figure out what I want in my first AR build barrel. I'm looking for any and all input on the above different components. I think I want 16", mid, 1:7 or 1:8, 5.56 or .223wylde, CHF (or possibly Stainless), nitrided, light weight. Any suggestions that meet most or all of the above at or under $300ish would be awesome.

    Here is what I've found so far:

    Barrels:
    Ice Arms 16" mid gas 1:8 5.56 416 stainless nitrided polygonal rifling dimpled looks like light to med profile $199
    http://www.icearms.us/products.cfm?show=936

    Daniel Defense 18" mid gas 1:7 5.56 CMV CHF nitrided, S2W profile (medium) $289
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/49...mer-forged-nitride-finished-chrome-moly-black

    JPRifles 16" mid gas 1:8 .223Wylde Stainless light profile button rifled and lead lapped $479 w/ enhanced bolt assembly. Black Teflon for $50 More.
    http://www.jprifles.com/buy.php?item=JPSM223-16L8

    As of right now the DD is top on my list and has great reviews only thing it doesn't meet is 16".

    My needs / expectations for this barrel: it will be used mostly at the range, maybe eventually for some form of competition, home / property defense, possibly hunting. Light weight (within reason as in no HBAR/bull), short for maneuverability, smooth shooting. Even though I don't expect to run high round counts rapidly through this gun I am happy to pay for toughness / corrosion resistance to get something that will last me likely 'forever'. As to accuracy, its not the primary goal of this system but I am really a stickler for a precision gun so keep that in mind. I plan to keep a flash suppressor on the gun for home defense, but may add a brake or comp later for competition.

    Last question if I go with the 18" mid DD, I've read the 18" mid gas is over gassed, good for reliability, not as soft/smooth shooting as the 16" mid. Would an adjustable gas block help or be worth it? If so what brand do you recommend.

    Thanks again for all the input as I work my over-analyzing brain through this build process.
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    13,914
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    If you have the money get the JP. Their products are top notch. Every JP I have ever shot was simply amazing.
     
  3. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I seem to keep reading that about JP's stuff. I've gotta find out when it says it comes with the "enhanced bolt" if its the entire assembly (with carrier) or just the bolt by itself. If its the entire assembly then its on par with everything else ($289 for the DD barrel, and $179 for the BCM bolt assembly).
     
  4. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    N E Washington State
    Check Rainier arms for barrels and other goodies, they do not sell cheap stuff but that is a good thing. Rainier barrels are among the best and they do pin & weld if needed, etc.
     
  5. RussellC

    RussellC Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,651
    Try reading this thread by putting "So you want to buy an AR 15 huh?" in google. This thread explains, brand by brand, what they have and what you should be looking for. Enjoy.

    Here you go:


    http://forums.officer.com/t81462/

    I cant think of anything that answers as many questions as this thread did about the myriad of AR stuff.


    Russellc
     
  6. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    SW MO
    Practically any 16" mid length gas barrel will do all that, and shoot 50,000 rounds. It's been done with carbine class rifles.

    Precision at .Gov Standards is 2MOA, a ten inch circle at 500m. It takes a lot of practice and thousands of rounds a year to bump up against that as a limiting factor in competition. At that point, your experience and options will be a lot more clear.

    Stainless and nitriding are as a combination somewhat controversial. There are those who think it is actually counterproductive. as the nitriding process for stainless affects it's ability to generate a self protective oxidation, which is the whole point of the alloy. It's like having a cerakoted stainless shotgun. It's already anti corrosive as the base material will get, the additional treatment doesn't add much.

    Hammer forged is nice, but it goes to precision rifles are button cut, by and large. t's not mutually exclusive, but "precision" hammer forged aren't seen very often. Hammer forging is a mass production technique using a $5 million dollar machine, and it does a nice job, but it's all about making a lot of barrels, not just one good one, one at a time.

    What I'm reading in the list of options are things that don't support each other well. If it's a range rifle for HD, then a stainless precision barrel isn't the optimal. A competition rifle, then a plain chromed barrel would need to be air gauged and checked for high quality.

    HD/plinking/entry level competition: 16", 5.56, mid gas, carbon steel, chromed. A step up would be nitrided. More than that is deviating from the specific list of tasks, just bling. All the barrel can do is launch a bullet, it's all about the rifling and what bore treatment it has, it's concentricity, etc. I would go so far as to say the muzzle crown is more important than the alloy of steel it would usually be made of, which are few.

    It's not as complicated as it seems, it's really narrowed down by knowing what it will be used for and then just sticking to only what it takes to do that job.

    Glad you didn't mention fluting the barrel . . .
     
  7. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    3,452
    For 5.56/.223/Wylde 1:8 or 1:7.7 is just about ideal for 62-77gr match bullets and the long all copper bullets. 1:7 is needed to stabilize the very long ballistically matched tracers. If you don't want to shoot tracers you don't need it. All the services have gone 1:7.7-1:8 for their designated marksman rifles, not 1:7.

    Don't got slower than 1:8. My most accurate factory rifle so far is a 5.56 bolt action (not even a Wylde). I've shot 200yd 1/2" groups with 62gr match ammo but it opens up significantly with 77gr match probably because it is only 1:9.

    Mid (9") is ideal for 16". Think about it. The engineer designed and battle proven gas lengths are 12.5" for a 20" barrel and 7" for a 14.5" barrel. Just a linear interpolation says 8.75" for 16.25" barrel.

    A note on cheap barrels: AR Stoner barrels are very tempting (I've worked hard to get to a point where I am not price conscious but the fact that Midway seems to have them constantly in stock is still tempting) You can get tempted 8 months into the back order of a Rainier like I did and go for it. My lightweight 300BLK Stoner barrel is a 1.25 MOA barrel. I wanted better. You would probably do better with a medium or heavyweight. Also, I recently found the thread shoulder parallelism is not perfect (not enough to give me a suppressor baffle strike but a little off) likely contributing to POI shift.

    You honestly might want to consider a cheaper barrel if you want lightweight. You are only going to get so much accuracy out of a lightweight barrel due to harmonics even with the best quality (unless you handload and tune the load to your barrel).

    Stainless is softer which makes it easier to machine more precisely. Most match grade barrels are stainless for that very reason. Probably want to go with steel with hot salt nitriding or Stanless, but you don't need both.

    Cutter rifled is best although there are some very good hand lapped button rifled barrels out there. Personally I would avoid hammer forged unless you want a very hard barrel for very long service life.

    I always use an adjustable gas block but then again I don't enjoy cleaning. Is a cleaner gun with a little less recoil worth the cost to you?

    Mike
     
  8. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    3,452
  9. GaSwamper

    GaSwamper Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Middle Georgia
    Check out ARPerformance they make some of the most accurate ar barrrels around and at great pricing they would be my first choice. Wilson Combat has very nice barrels but at premium prices. For a little something different check out Blackhole Weaponry they also offer lots of custom options.
     
  10. Woodworker74

    Woodworker74 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Sherwood, OR
    I have a Black Hole Weaponry 18" rifle length barrel (rifle length gas) with the polygonal rifling. It's stainless with a black finish (though I don't recall the finishing/ bluing process they use). It' seems wicked accurate, though I'm still in the load development process and don't get the opportunity to shoot it as often as I'd like. Price was great too. They have a lot of interesting options that might fit your needs.
     
  11. writerinmo

    writerinmo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    414
    Location:
    Missouri
    I have an Anderson barrel in 1:8, a Tactical Ambush in 1:7 and a JSE Surplus in 1:9, all 16", the Tactical Ambush is a mid-length gas system, the others are carbine. All chromoly. The TA barrel is a SOCOM profile, the other two are M4. The TA barrel is more accurate with 55gr Hornady FMJBT and pretty much all standard factory ammo. If I were to build another AR I would buy that barrel again, and right now they are under $100.
     
  12. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,048
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    My thoughts...

    16" barrels are the ultimate jack of all trades barrels. The still get good velocity, aren't front heavy and a barely longer that a 14.5" barrel with a similar pinned and welded flash hider. They are good and offer an advantage over a carbine profile. It isn't a night and day difference but it is an improvement with no trade off. But... an 18" barrel that uses rifle length gas adds a slightly better advantage plus some velocity gained by the extra 2" of barrel. Either way don't spend too much time worrying about this. This isn't a choice that you should look back on with regret. I've never understood the allure of a 18" mid-length.

    On the subject of barrels. Online when you look at all the different barrel material and methods of manufacture, you'll see a world of difference. 4140 vs 4150, button rifled vs CHF, chrome lined vs melonited vs unlined, etc. But in real life so few people actually shoot out a barrel, any barrel, that it is hard to find trends, numbers and life expediencies. Plus actual use will vary how long a barrel lasts so it isn't just a round count you can look at. If you want this AR to last practically forever at a reasonable rate of fire, get something chrome lined or melonite treated. I believe stainless barrels have their place but are for specialty rifles that need extreme accuracy when shot from a bench. As soon as a person starts shooting free hand, from a knee, against cover or from the prone, any accuracy gained but a top of the line stainless barrel is lost compared to a chrome lined barrel that will still shoot MOA or close to MOA. Even an unlined 4140 barrel is going to last most shooters essentially forever.

    I personally wouldn't worry about an adjustable block unless you plan on running a low mass BCG. When you are shooting factory ammo, the barrel is already going to be gassed pretty good.

    When you talk about competition you need to remember that there are different forms of competition. I'll give you my advise as a 3-gunner. Don't waste your money on a stainless steel, air gauged, match quality barrel. The accuracy requirements just aren't high enough where you will benefit from one. In a game where a target that takes longer than 5 seconds to shoot is a waste of time, and a true gamer is better off firing a single round in that direction, you aren't going to see targets that require extreme accuracy. A 4" circle at 100 yards is pushing the limits of what you can expect a shooter to try to hit before it becomes a competitive advantage to take the penalty and move on. I honestly think half the reason you see some many match grade SS barrels on 3-gun rifles is to raise the price and not to benefit the shooter. The other half is people have come to expect a barrel like that an a pricey gamer AR. They have literally become the AR equivalent to the 1911's full length guide rod.

    So with that in mind, my recommendations for a barrel are:

    If you want a FSB: Get the chrome lined Del-ton lightweight mid-length. 1:9 twist does what 99% of AR shooters need it to do and 100% of 3-gunners need it to do. 1:9 will also stabilize a variety of SD bullets. The del-ton barrel I had on my AR wasn't a tack driver with standard ammo but shot my reloads with match grade bullets MOA. When you compare the price of this barrel to another + the price on installing a FSB, it is an excellent value. http://www.del-ton.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=BL1088

    If you want a Govt profile: Get the mid-length Green mountain barrel. For the $154 the price is ridiculously low for the quality. My 20" green mountain barrel shoots MOA with match bullets and almost MOA with cheap soft points. http://www.gmriflebarrel.com/16-m4-for-mid-length-gas-system-5-56-nato-chromed-bore-chamber/

    If you want a lightweight profile: Get the standard BCM lightweight profile barrel. A quality barrel at still a low price when compared to lesser known brands. http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-...ipped-LIGHT-WEIGHT-p/bcm-brl-mid-16lw std.htm

    And if you want an unashamed gamer barrel that still functions as part of a relatively stock gun: Get the Voodoo 18" ultra light barrel. http://palmettostatearmory.com/inde...tra-lite-625-barrel-brl-18-r-l-556-m-t-l.html
     
  13. henschman

    henschman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,880
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Voodoo Innovations has one that exactly matches your description: http://palmettostatearmory.com/inde...o-ultra-lite-barrel-brl-16-m-l-556-m-t-l.html

    I have the exact same criteria for my ideal carbine barrel, other than that I would take a chrome lined barrel just about as readily as a nitrided one. This opens up my options somewhat. However, I've been holding out for an assembly that comes with the FSB already pinned on, so I don't have to buy the reamer, pins, etc. and do it myself. Since Palmetto hasn't had aything of the sort in some time, I will probably just go with a BCM.
     
  14. tuj

    tuj Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,994
    Location:
    Houston
    If you want one of the best, .223 Wylde from White Oak Precision. Those are match-winning barrels in NRA high-power.
     
  15. torchroadster

    torchroadster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Texas
    I had the same decision in front of me and went with AR Performance. Melonite, Wylde chamber, 5/8-24 threads. Mine is SOCOM weight and I have been very impressed. The accuracy is everything I could hope for. Fit and finish were excellent.

    http://www.ar15performance.com/barrels
     
  16. rskent

    rskent Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,747
    Location:
    The land of blue sky and sunshine
    I can't say enough good things about White Oak.
     
  17. mooner

    mooner Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    237
    Another recommendation for AR Performance. Very very accurate barrels at an excellent price. Easily could sell for $100 more with the accuracy I have seen through mine in 6.8. I have a Rainier Ultra match in .223 wylde that was much more expensive and the accuracy is about even between the two.
     
  18. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Those who are recommending the AR performance barrels with the 5/8-24 muzzel: do you just use a .308 flash hider / muzzle break? Their line "NOTICE*** THIS BARREL HAS 5/8-24 threads to keep the bore at the muzzle from swelling like most barrels threaded 1/2-28. The tighter bore at the crown gives better accuracy." really kind of bothered me. I would imagine if this were a true commons "problem" it would be pretty widely known and addressed by others. I'm not knocking their quality just a little confused.
     
  19. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,048
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    If the OP wants...

    ...then White Oaks isn't really fitting the criteria. That's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole just because they fit well into square holes.

    Yeah I've read that and I wasn't convinced either. But there are lots of good muzzle devices 5/8-24 as well.
     
  20. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    Tennessee
    My main concern on the 5/8-24 thread is if / when I seek a compensator / break or if I ever go down the suppressor road. It seems to be nearly non-existent to find a 5/8-24 thread designed for the 5.56. I Know bore / pass through hole diameter matters in cans and would have to imagine it matters for brakes too.
     
  21. torchroadster

    torchroadster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Texas
    I know it isn't an option for most but I made my muzzle brake. Actually two of them so far ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397315537.184631.jpg
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice