M4gery Build

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jr_roosa, Jul 26, 2013.

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  1. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    Quick question to help me plan.

    I got a couple of stripped lowers coming, and one build is going to be an M4 kick around plinker toy, and I like lightweight.

    SBR is a bit of a pain in my county, but I'll do it eventually.

    I'm trying to decide between 2 options for uppers:

    14.5" with pinned vortex or one of the slightly stretched GI style flash hiders. I would start with a carbine gas system and GI handguards, but someday I'd add the Knight's rails for doo dads or even just for looks.

    Question 1: How are the Knight's rails? Do they move a ton, or are they relatively solid? I know they're not free floated, but that's not a big deal for me on this rifle...the other build will be the match rifle.

    16" with mid-length gas system. Probably just a GI look to start with. Without pinning anything, I can swap stuff a lot easier.

    Question 2: Anybody have a good idea of the difference in weight between the 16" and 14.5" upper in a standard GI configuration (F-marked FSB, round handguards, standard profile barrels)?

    Thanks!

    -J.
     
  2. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Go with the 16" middy with a lighter weight barrel profile. Versatile, lightweight and simple because the muzzle device does not have to be pinned. It will be easy to sell if necessary to raise funds for the SBR. You'll see a greater difference in weight savings by going with a slim profile than you will by lopping off an inch and a half off the length
     
  3. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    I agree, 16" mid is the way to go. Much softer shooting and can easily be reconfigured since nothing is pinned.

    Plus, if you ever do SBR it, you can sell the middy barrel for more than a pinned 14.7" will bring.

    BSW
     
  4. Oro

    Oro Member

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    You say you are interested in light weight, but I get the feeling from your post you are missing the big picture:

    barrel profile. A1/A2/M4

    Get a true lightweight barrel profile (PSA does them adequately in a lightened A2 variant from FN, ARP does them really well, calls them Scout), Colt makes them in true Lightweight/A1 style. No loss in accuracy unless you are doing mag dumps. Others are starting to catch on - 50 years after it was introduced, of course!

    Back on point, look at how much owners of true lightweight Carbines like Colt 6520's, 6720s, love their guns. Aftermarket makers are now getting off the M4forgery trend and on to more practical guns, so it's becoming more available. I also applaud PSA for leading the way with mid-gas on this. ARP, too, though they only really do barrels - albeit great ones with 5r rifling and meloniting. Colts variants are still all carbine gas - but the gas length issue is very secondary in real terms to the barrel profile for practical use.

    So if building, look at PSA uppers to get a feel for what can be done with lightweight barrel, or build an upper with an ARP barrel. Possibly find a Colt lightweight upper, though that is hard, people don't part with those.
     
  5. Krusty783

    Krusty783 Member

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    Which gen are you talking about? The URX 1&2's are full length quad rails w/ the URX1 having a built-in folding front sight that is actually part of the top rail. The URX3 only has a full length top rail and short rails at both ends of the other sides. They're working on a URX4, but I'm not sure what that will entail.

    I have an LPR with the URX3 rail and it is quite solid and very lightweight. I think the URX1 & 2's are quite bullet proof also. The only issue with your plan is that you need a proprietary tool to remove KAC's barrel nut at the tool is ~$200. Unless you know someone with one of these tools, you might as well just buy a complete KAC upper.
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    A couple years ago, i discovered a short flash hider and an AAC single chamber muzzle brake. Both extend the barrel about 3/4". They make the 16" barrel very handy and not much longer than 14.5" barrel with a standard flash hider.

    The AAC muzzle brake works well but of course the 223 Remington really does not need much braking. The flash hider isn't a GI style if your are looking for the "look".

    Unless you have a specific need or desire, not fooling with the SBR paper work can be an advantage.

    Just a thought.
     
  7. wally

    wally Member

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    Light weight and hanging stuff off rails does not compute!
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    I'd expect less than a 3 oz difference between the 14.5" and 16" M4 barrels, probably 2 oz.

    I agree with the others that a 16" pencil/LW with midlength gas makes more sense than a 16" M4 profile with carbine length gas.

    I have the pencil profile from BCM and Daniel Defense and a "lighter profile" from PSA (about 2 oz more than pencil but 2 oz less than government profile. All are 16" middys and all work well. The two pencils of course have .625" gas blocks and the skinny look of the early M16s. The PSA uses the standard .750" gas block but narrows down from there to the muzzle to about .725" (under the handguards it's .625" like both the pencil and govt. This barrel actually is from FN and Spikes also sells it. PSA does sell a true pencil profile too. It's hard to beat the lightweight barrels.
     
  9. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    14.5" with a flash hider are ridiculously loud. You are better off with a 16" barrel or even an 18" with a thread protector instead of flash hider. Flash hiders are highly overated and more fashion than function in 90% of most applications. I hunt at night w/o a flash hider and have never blinded myself.
     
  10. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    Just the M4 RAS, since I want to be able to swap for the GI handguards, can't swap nuts easily once the flash hider is pinned anyway.

    http://www.knightarmco.com/portfolio/m4-carbine-ras/?cate_cm=commercial&term=rails&features=m4-carbine-ras

    Just a light. Sometimes I get to go play in a shoot house and do some CQB stuff. Most of the time, I don't need anything on the rifle.

    Hmmm. Yep, this might be the way to go.

    When I said "lightweight" I think I had in mind more of the concept of compact. I don't need a super light setup, but this even makes me think that maybe I should get a pencil profile 14.5"

    Thanks. Plus there's another ounce or so in 1.5" of handguard, maybe, so lets call it 3 oz.

    Food for thought.

    Really? I've been in the shoot house with guys shooting the 10" and 11" unsuppressed M4s indoors and never really noticed it being super loud. I usually shoot 30 cal, and I've always been surprised that .223 seems almost as loud. Must be the shorter barrels.

    -J.
     
  11. henschman

    henschman Member

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    An inch and a half shorter barrel would probably drop less than a half pound. As others have said, barrel profile is much more important. Go for a pencil profile!
     
  12. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Not so. A buddy had a 16 inch Keltech carbine with a thread protector. It's muzzle blast, especially when fired at an indoor range, was horrendous, even when standing behind the shooter. We put an A2 birdcage on it which focused the blast more down range, making the rifle much more civilized. While flash reduction may not be a high priority to some, it also killed the huge fireball the bare muzzled Keltech was putting out. Since the A2 birdcage is less than $10, it's more than worth it
     
  13. DougW

    DougW Member

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    I added Phantom 5C2 or Vortex flash hiders to my AR rifles. A good muzzle device really does help with the flash problem.
     
  14. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    For muzzle concussion I'd rate:

    Brake > bare muzzle > flash hider

    BSW
     
  15. wally

    wally Member

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    +1 and Brake > bare muzzle > flash hider >> suppressor :)
     
  16. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    This is one option that should cover most of what you want, if you want to go the light weight route. The midlength version is also in stock should you want to go that route.

    If you want to be more "authentic", this would likely be the best option.

    I believe the difference between the 14.5" government profile barrel and the 16" lightweight barrel is probably in the neighborhood of 3 ounces. A 14.5" pencil barrel will probably be about 6 ounces lighter than it's government profile brethren.
     
  17. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    The difference in handling from a 14.5" to a 16" is not worth welding a muzzle device on, and a 16" middy will be softer shooting anyway. Unless you're sold on the M4 look with the correct amount of barrel protruding, go 16" middy.
     
  18. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    Those were what I was looking at. I'm really tempted to get the 16" LW and have it cut to 14.5" and drop half a pound over the standard wt 16" upper. That would be cool.

    I know that I'm only thinking about a 1.5" difference, but the 16" with a carbine gas system just looks weird to me. Actually the 11.5" carbine looks the most correct of all the options.

    I just put 70 rounds through my Garand at the 600 yard line at my prone match this morning, so I'm not too worried about how soft the AR shoots. I have to say that I have been surprised at the felt recoil of a stock M4 16" carbine (6.5 lbs) compared to my M1 Garand (12 lbs). I would think they would be very different, but they are actually not that far apart.

    -J.
     
  19. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Member

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    I have a Colt AR15A2, 1987 vintage. Screw M4geries, go with the real deal. Oh, and mine is a 1.5 MOA rifle, with irons, and no I'm not tactical and I don't do BUIS and toys.

    YMMV, but it shouldn't.

    FH
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Keep in mind the .223/5.56 caliber lives and dies on high velocity.

    The longer the barrel, the more high velocity you get with any load.

    There is nothing to be gained in performance with a shorter barrel and a longer flash hider.

    Except probably more weight, and cool sorta different look.

    The longer pinned or welded on flash hider probably will weigh as much or more then the 16" barrel you cut off to pin on the longer, larger diameter flash hider.

    The U.S. Army M4 carbine has a 14.4" barrel, simply because it had to be that length for a U.S. GI M16 Bayonet to fit on the end of it.

    It would have been a better combat carbine, with less performance complaints, if it had a 16" barrel and no bayonet capability.

    rc
     
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