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

AR15: Should I go Midlength?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BluedRevolver, Jul 26, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,285
    Location:
    Black Hills, SD
    Anecdotal evidence of one Colt having issues is far outweighed by the ample posts on this forum of cheap AR’s having a lot more issues.
     
    bearcreek likes this.
  2. Jackal

    Jackal Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    I never once shot a Colt AR and thought "God I wish the gas tube was 2" longer"....
     
    chicharrones and GBExpat like this.
  3. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,859
    Location:
    Denham Springs LA
    Now could it be that there are maybe a few thousand cheap AR’s out there for ever Colt that is out there.
    My coworker is a Firearms Examiner. While in school in 2013 his class toured several firearms factories, Colt being one of them. He was surprised that was no longer manufacturing all of their AR parts. This was done to cut cost. But he did say that Colt inspected every part used to build their rifles.
    But let’s not turn this into a Colt Fanboy discussion.
     
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    12,617
    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  5. SamT1

    SamT1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Texas
    I wonder how today’s $500 jobs stack up to what the military was using up into the 80’s.
    You may have to spend $600 plus a trigger to get one to shoot moa ish. But I’d like to see some reliability tests on a $400 complete gun, a psa low end build, one of the $550 jobs the market is flooded with, some of the 800 guns, a $1200 colt, then a Daniels defense.

    I’m gonna guess reliability takes a jump once your over the rock bottom $400, and accuracy steadily increases to $800.
     
    gulogulo1970 likes this.
  6. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,656
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I love everything about my midlength, have fired it side by side with a number of other guns of many gas / piston systems, from several makers. Even clipped a (registered) select fire lower to it. My favorite full auto except maybe my (when I borrowed an auto-sear) HK33.

    It has been 100% reliable, even with things like blanks. We have done a lot of blanks and blanks with MILES where I got to bring my own gun. No issues there, either.

    It's a great choice for a new gun, but probably wouldn't mess with an existing gun unless I was all good with changing top ends (I have 3 so far for my SBR...it's totally a thing) or so unhappy with the current upper I was going to get rid of it and start from scratch
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  7. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Louisiana
    This is another point that makes me wonder if I should upgrade. The Colt uses button rifling that is not quite as durable as a cold hammer forged barrel. That combined with it being carbine length makes me wonder if I should go for something "better", i.e. a midlength gas system and cold hammer forged barrel. But then again I know my Colt will work just fine. Does anyone have an idea of how many rounds a Colt 6920 can fire through it's entire lifespan? Or at least the barrel life. How does it compare to hammer forged?

    How significantly underpowered? What about cheap .223 brass case?
     
  8. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Call it an OCD quirk or something, but I would rather keep the Colt lower and upper together. I don't really have a tangible reason why, I know the military throws uppers on different lowers all the time that work just fine. I think I want to stick to complete rifles. Now it's a matter of whether I'm going to just get an LMT enhanced BCG, DD free float quad rail, and BCM Mod 4 charging handle, or I'll start saving for a mid-length CHF barreled carbine.

    I was messing around with a friend's Bushmaster lower with BCM upper and maybe its just in my head but the Bushmaster lower's finish (lower made in 2006) seemed a little smoother than my Colt's. Same with the new BCM upper. My Colt has a noticeable bit of play between the upper and lower. I can't say it's ever jammed though in 700 rounds (which, granted, isn't a lot at all). I'm more concerned about it's long term durability compared to what I could have gotten. I like this Colt, though. It's certainly better than some of the lower brands I've owned. I want to be happy with it, and I have been for a while until I started reading more about what I could have gotten. I want my "go to" defensive and general use carbine.
     
  9. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,803
    Blue, the Colt barrel will last you a good long time. Just about any modern barrel is going to last you a good long time. A friend of mine replaced the barrel of his full auto AR after more than 20,000 rounds suppressed and he wasn't particularly kind to it. He also had to have the suppressor rebuilt as it was loaded with carbon.

    I just paid $0.31 a round for Federal 5.56x45 55 gr ammo. 20k x 0.31 = 6,200. That means it will cost you at least $6,200 to wear out your Colt barrel. After spending $6,200 to wear out your barrel, you'll spend roughly another $300 to $400 for a replacement barrel and bolt. What's $300 - $400 after spending $6,200 or more on ammo?

    Get a sling and an RDS. Get a snotload of MagPul or Lancer magazines. Get a couple of mag pouches. Get a BIG pile of ammo. Go shoot your rifle.

    Once more- Shoot Before Modifying. Ammo Before Accessories.

    Go in peace, brother. You have a righteous rifle.
     
    chicharrones and Demi-human like this.
  10. Demi-human

    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5,737
    Location:
    The Haymarsh, MI (Aka, Paradise.)
    Amen!:thumbup:
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    12,617
    For comparative reference - most Service Rifle competitors consider their AR barrels to be worn out somewhere between 2,500 and 5,000 rounds (cut vs. button rifling does make a difference).
     
  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    17,651
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    Exactly. Statistical probability. Other makes could exhibit failures with far less frequency, but you'd still have a higher aggregate due to the larger sample size.

    Couldn't really say. I'm speaking academically, as none of my mid lengths have ever choked on even the Tula garbage, which is notoriously weak. Just that the higher port pressure and longer dwell time of a 16" gun with carbine gas would theoretically allow it to cycle with ammunition that would be too weak for a 14.5" carbine or 16" middy. On that note, I did have issues with the weak Tula stuff not cycling my 12.5" BCM with carbine gas. Of course, the same crap ammo ran fine in a 10.5" PSA upper that also had carbine gas. Port size difference, most likely; that BCM barrel is probably on the ragged edge of being sufficiently gassed with M193 or M855, while the 10.5" PSA port size is likely more generous.
     
  13. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,803
    I have to point out that my buddy considered his barrel worn out when he started getting the occasional keyhole. When that happened, he was still getting 2 - 3 MOA. The Army considers a barrel worn out when it starts keyholing. Obviously, competitors consider a barrel worn long before it starts keyholing!
     
    Varminterror likes this.
  14. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    7,507
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Also if you don’t drive a Porsche you’ll never get to work on time.
     
  15. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    6,963
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Conversely, I have never shot an AR and thought "Heavens, I wish the gas tube was 2" shorter."

    This past Christmas I took a new to me DPMS carbine out to the desert and ran a case of ammo through it. Interestingly enough, I actually DID wish the gas tube was 2" longer... to accommodate a longer forearm so I wouldn't keep burning my fingers on the gas block of the shorter carbine gas system. As an aside, I fully expected to have problems of some sort with the DPMS... it's one of the cheapo Oracle carbines... but aside from barrel deflection when slinged up, it ran 100% through 1000rds, and I'm not kind to my AR's.
     
  16. Siscowet

    Siscowet Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Great advice. Just go enjoy it! I picked up a Colt AR15 HBAR Match in the early 90’s. 6,000 rounds later it still shoots MOA. Changed the trigger, because it was mil spec like a chisel on a stone, but that is it.
     
  17. Jackal

    Jackal Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    You can have any length forearm you please, slap a free float on there. AIM Sports makes a surprisingly nice one for about $60, they OEM for DelTon and others. Cheap AR's have come a long way.
     
  18. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,803
    That's what the MagPul Slimline handguard is for :D
     
  19. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,859
    Location:
    Denham Springs LA
    Your right but a Magpul Slimline handguard on a middy is even better.
    5B517B0A-7AE9-472F-B772-7F73A59A3B02.jpeg
     
  20. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    12,617
    Exactly - which is why I pointed out that other end of the spectrum. I have a Bushmaster Hbar M4gery A2 which I bought to be nothing but a blaster. It has well over 20,000 rounds down the tube in the last ~13-14yrs, still hits 66% IPSC out to 100 any time I pull the trigger with the sights on steel, but a precision rifle - it ain’t. Comparatively, I abandon barrels in my Service Rifles, Match Rifles, BR rifles, Precision Rifles as soon as groups open significantly or I start losing significant velocity - “significantly” being subjective based on the type of competition. For 223rem, that’s about 2,500-4000 typically. For 6mm Creed, well, one of my barrels just broke off at about 800 rounds, where I lost 112fps on my average compared to my 150-500rnd averages with the same lot. However, I know I can set back and rechamber this barrel, stick it on a Remington 700 action and happily kill coyotes and deer with it for the next decade without complaints.
     
  21. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    6,963
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I bought the DPMS as a project gun. I've never built a free-float AR, but I have already sourced a floating forearm for it, and I'm now in search of a better barrel for it... a mid-length barrel.

    I've always liked the Magpul MOE handguards because they sort of replicate the USGI A1 handguard profile, which I think is far better than the A2 profile if not necessarily it's construction. I'll have to look at those Slimlines... they look interesting. Hopefully the heat shielding is better than it is on the MOE.
     
  22. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Louisiana
    https://m.imgur.com/a/r78rZHk

    Is this something I should be concerned about? It’s a bit frayed looking or something. It’s not like this on my friend’s AR
     
  23. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,803
    It's nothing to worry about. It's just where the end of the threads were ground down to length.

    Now, stop obsessing and go shoot!
     
  24. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Louisiana
    You're right! I'm definitely being nitpicky now. I shot it yesterday and it was quite accurate and completely reliable. I think I'm starting to feel comfortable enough to spend money on rails and a couple of other upgrades for it.
     
  25. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,803
    I recommend you hold off on any "upgrades" to your Colt until after you finish your class.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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