AR Builds - Forget The Middy Hype - Build Rifle Length

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WinThePennant, Nov 3, 2013.

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  1. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    Oh, joy. I jumped into building ARs about two years ago, and pretty much built what I read all over the Internet. And, I have always loved every minute of it.

    My builds were typically:
    Mid-length
    Six-point adjustable stock
    Blah-blah-blah

    Now, I am building a rifle length kit. I am literally jumping for joy. I love this build! I'll post pics when done.

    I've always been uneasy about the whole "castle-nut-buffer-detent-sling-plate" area of an AR 15. Those who build know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Let me tell you, the rifle length buffer tube with a good ole Magpul rifle buttstock is a joy, and has put all my OCD worries to rest. The buffer tube screws in all the way, and holds that buffer detent down SOLID (seems like my carbine length buffer tubes always just barely caught that buffer detent). The buttstock holds in place and screws in the back SOLID. The QD sling mounts are SOLID.

    No more staking, no more witness marks, no more castle nut worries for me. Rifle length is the way to go, IMHO.

    I know I am being a worry wart, but, hey, we all have our mountains to climb, right? :)
     
  2. Hummer70

    Hummer70 Member

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    On two of my builds I have Daniel Defense 14" 4 rail handguards. One on a 16" barrel and the other on a 20" barrel and they are really solid.

    Four of mine have hard blue barrels which I don't think can be shot out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  3. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    I'm building one right now:
    BCM 18.5" SS410 upper with rifle gas, A2 FH, and ION Bond black coating.
    DD Lite 14" rail
    Noveske lower
    Magpul ACS stock
    CARBINE buffer tube. LOL.
    Magpul Moe grip lower parts kit from Pallmetto State Armory
    Ambi safety
    BAD lever
    Magpul sling plate
    H3 buffer (might have to remove a weight or two)
    BCM bolt carrier group
    Eotech XPS (3 gun) or Trijicon 5-20x 50mm scope

    You have to love the low recoil and quick repeat shots of a mid-heavy SS barrel on a 18.5" rifle.
     
  4. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    You can build any length barrel with a fixed stock, can't you? Sounds like most of these problem sport have to do with the adjustable stock, not barrel length.
     
  5. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    It's not the barrel length so much as it is the gas system length. The rifle length gas systems, AFAIK, require a rifle length buffer tube. I'm sure some genius out there has figured out a way to make a rifle length gas system work with a carbine buffer tube. I guess what I'm saying is that I prefer the hookup of the rifle length buffer tube to that of the carbine length tube.

    Also, I'm the perfect size for a rifle length stock, so the whole adjustable stock thing is pretty much lost on me.
     
  6. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    Buffer tube is personal preference so long as the right buffer is used within. I personally prefer a fixed rifle stock for the longer, smoother spring action but build using adjustable stocks for the family to use.

    Gas system length is dependant on barrel length and gas port diameter. This is where some engineering is required (or SWAGs) and adjustable gas blocks and/or varying buffer weights can fine tune the function.
     
  7. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    It's not hype; The mid length system applies correct dwell time with a 16" barrel, among other things.

    No, it doesn't. A rifle stock requires a rifle tube.

    If you want a rifle, then build a rifle. But if one wants a title I carbine, middy makes more sense than carbine. That's why it became popular. Back in the day, Armalite was pretty much the only manufacturer to offer it. Fast-forward a decade, now just about everyone has a middy offering, and we see them more and more frequently. And with good reason; correct dwell time, longer sight radius, more handguard real estate, standard bayonet fits (if you care), and they don't look goofy with so much barrel hanging out of the end.
     
  8. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    You guys are getting waaaay too high tech with this. The answer is simple...

    colt-sp1.jpg

    colt-sp1-1.jpg
    :D

    Middy and Carbine gas both work just fine too. I own examples of all three. The reality is, there is no hard data to back up many of the claims of midlength superiority. "Easier on the BCG" is hypothetical until we get some real world numbers rolling in; this will take a long time. Midlength gas is optimal in (engineering) terms of port pressure and dwell time, but that is in *optimal* conditions. When conditions are not optimal (temperature, carbon buildup), then the increased operating pressure of the carbine system can be advantageous. The carbine gas system is the proven one, the middy still stands to unseat it.

    The majority of people spend waaaay too much time reading and theorizing and not enough time shooting to judge this for themselves. My latest AR has carbine length gas with a 16" bbl. With a FA profile BCG, H2 buffer, proper in-spec spring, it runs like a top. If properly spec'd and built, they ALL work just fine.
     
  9. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    I shoot my 2 rifle gas much more than my carbine gas ARs. I probably shoot ten times more rounds through the rifle gas ARs.
     
  10. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    This is, perhaps, a misunderstanding of mine. I always figured, probably because it seems like every build is configured this way, that rifle length gas systems ran best with a rifle length tube and buffer.

    None the less, I really like how the Magpul rifle stock mates with the lower receiver. Match made in Heaven.
     
  11. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    One of my rifle gas ARs has a callapsible stock, milspec receiver extension, a Spikes ST-T2 buffer and carbine buffer spring.

    The other rifle gas AR has an A2 stock, rifle receiver extention, std rifle buffer and std rifle spring.

    Any gas system will run with any stock system.
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    The title of this thread is a mess. A midlength carbine is an excellent choice. No hype at all!

    If your barrel is 16" then midlength gas is ideal while rifle length gas is ideal for a 20" barrel. You can use a carbine or rifle receiver extension/stock kit with either barrel. Normal fine tuning likely will give smoother operation but either kit with standard components should work. I have tried a rifle RE kit on my carbine with good results but I prefer the carbine RE with a collapsible stock.
     
  13. henschman

    henschman Member

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    I have a 20" with rifle length gas, and a 6 position carbine buffer tube. I mainly went with the carbine stock to get it lighter weight. Other than that I prefer a fixed stock. Cheek weld on a fixed stock is a lot better than putting your cheek on the buffer tube.
     
  14. Oro

    Oro Member

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    I agree. Combine mid length gas, lightweight/original style barrel, carbine length, throw in 5R rifling and meloniting and you have a great combination.

    I do hate collapsible stocks and I put A1 length stocks on all my guns; carbines or also 20" rifles. Either Cav Arms pieces or some restored Vietnam era D or E type stocks.

    The magpul rifle stock is certainly "OK," but it's not great. it's the wrong length for most people and twice the price of the real thing.

    S&W Magpul Spec Mid-gas. Now useable that the magpul junk is gone. I have some A2 guards curing right now in FDE to replace the M4 ones on it in this photo:
    IMGP2840.jpg


    A1 stock preparedness recently achieved!:
    photo.jpg
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Beautiful KISS rifle, Oro!

    FDE (or is that "desert sand"?) and the rifle stock really soften the "evil rifle" look.
     
  16. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    Yeah, the Canadians figured it out.

    http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/assets/ARMY_Internet/images/
     
  17. Oro

    Oro Member

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    The stock and guards are Cav Arms factory "Coyote." The mag is sprayed Brownell's Alumahyde "Desert Tan," which matches the cav "coyote" pretty well. The grip is Hogue FDE. Thanks for the compliment; that rifle is staying simple; it might get a small red-dot like a Vortex Sparc but that is it, perhaps a different flash hider to make it suppressor-friendly (my dad's paperwork on a trust should be through pretty soon).

    I have some more 20rd mags, a D type A1 stock, and some A2 guards I just painted Brownell's "Coyote", which is of course actually magpul FDE in real life and not at all like other Coyote colored things from other makers (confusing, eh?). Going to try those on it later today.

    What I have found, in case it helps someone, is if you want to match colors/shades relatively closely from various makers, you will need to do some painting.

    Alumahyde "Desert Tan" is a nice sand/tan color.
    Alumahyde "Coyote" is a very close match to magpul FDE and a nice flat color.
     
  18. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I'm working up to building my first FrankenAR and the barrel I'm considering is from DEZ arms. It's the Series II 16" Match Fluted Tru Flight H-Bar (med. wt.)

    Couple of questions. It only comes with a carbine length gas system, given the specs on the barrel, will I see any issues that the mid length gas systems handle better? And has anybody bought from Dez arms - if so, what do you think of their product?
     
  19. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    My first build had a fixed A2 stock. I like it a lot though it's tough to match my eye relief with my scope of choice.
     
  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    My son has an M4 style with collapsible stock an 16" barrel. Mine is fixed stock with 20" barrel. I much prefer mine and he prefers his.

    Could be an age thing. He likes to shoot many holes in to inanimate objects. Mine is a back-up to my .243 for hunting varmints and predators.

    I do not understand why AR's have such crappy stock triggers. Had to install a Timney in mine.
     
  21. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    Timney exists because of crappy stock triggers that where made long before the AR's was a problem.
     
  22. LebbenB

    LebbenB Member

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    THIS.
     
  23. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    On the other hand, the majority of AR buyers don't put nearly enough thought and research into their purchase. You've got to think about it before buying it then shooting it!

    Midlength gas tends to be ideal for a 16" barrel and carbine length for 14.5". Of course there is overlap. Various buffers and action springs can smooth up function but it is wise to do your research before choosing.


    ETA:

    Again, nice rifle Oro!
     
  24. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Quent, if I'm using a carbine length gas system with a 16" barrel - what buffers and action springs will smooth up it's function?
     
  25. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    DB, the standard spring and H2 buffer should work well for normal loads. Lighter power loads, steelcase may shortstroke though - so if that's the main diet then the H may make more sense. If you already have a standard weight carbine buffer you could even try an H3 and swap steel and tungsten weights to end up with two buffers - either standard and H3 - or H and H2. It just requires tapping out roll pins to get to the weights (and of course they should be solid weights not powder).
     
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