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practical advantages of the mid-lenth upper vrs. carbine upper?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Fremmer, Nov 14, 2012.

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  1. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Member

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    I can't get real excited about moving the FSB forward, and adding a longer forend, when my carbine with a pencil barrel already feels nose heavy. I've been doing everything possible to decrease weight on the front end, and move my light back a little to improve balance. I can only imagine a middy would have a worse problem. Maybe that's why the VFG's are so in vogue nowdays, too; to go with nose heavy middys all the HSLD operators must have. I am also a little bemused by guys touting "lighter recoil" from the middys. Seriously? It's a .223. Go shoot an '03 Springfield, and then tell me about recoil.

    Longer sight radius I get, but if you're shooting a middy with iron sights and need that kind of precision that sight radius matters, shouldn't you have got a real rifle? Or a dissapator?

    I can't disagree with M4S's points above, though. Although the Potus says we don't need bayonets anymore...

    *disclaimer-I am neither high speed or low drag
     
  2. Nikdfish

    Nikdfish Member

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    Mid-lengths are bayonet friendly! :D

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  3. Warp

    Warp Member

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    Lower recoil is always preferred.

    I guarantee that if you put a .22lr conversion into your rifle, you'd be quicker. Why? Less recoil, less muzzle rise, quicker back on target (or never off target)
     
  4. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Member

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    Yeah...I'm familiar with how recoil works. You missed the point. I have a carbine that weighs 7 lbs unloaded, including optic, light, and sling. The way some people talk, it should recoil like a 12 ga. It doesn't. It recoils like a .223. Which is to say-not much. Yeah, my sig 522 doesn't recoil as much, but it's also NOT A .223. My M1 carbine has more muzzle climb than my AR.

    The whole point of the AR-15 was light weight. The whole point of the 5.56 was lower recoil and lower weight. Now, 40 years later, we are adding a bunch of crap to make them heavier than the M-14's they replaced, and complaining about the recoil
     
  5. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    Let me clarify one thing that a few people are mis-informed on:

    You can put a longer rail on a carbine to have more railspace and sight radius if you prefer. This is not an advantage inherent on a midlength/rifle only.

    You can configure a carbine to without the A-post front sight and put a 12inch or 15inch quadrail. The only real advantage is better cycling due to the longer gas system (only about 2inches). Everything else is/can be the same.

    A quality brand like a Colt 6920 will function just as well as a BCM 16inch middy.
     
  6. Warp

    Warp Member

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    All true.

    But it is generally less expensive and easier to simply buy a mid length than to modify a typical carbine gun in the manner you describe. If you were just now buying the rifle and you wanted that rail space and sight radius, it would seem to make sense to just buy a midlength.

    And yes, a 6920 will function just as well as, well, anything.
     
  7. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    Again it depends.

    Mostly on your budget, preferred configuration, and if you are building the rifle yourself or not. If its just more rail space you want, you can add a drop-in quadrail from Daniel Defense or UTG (depending on your budget) like this:

    DSCI0049.gif
    The UTG rail above cost me $50.


    Or if you just wanted the longer sight radius, you can buy a Carbine directly from a manufacturer like PSA with a long freefloat rail (MI, Troy, etc) already installed like this:

    DSCI0027.gif

    Of course the free-float rail like the 12-inch Midwest Industries above will cost more (about$180), but it is not any harder to do since it can be installed by the manufacturer, or can be done by the owner with some simple tools and know-how.

    In short, what I'm saying is that a Carbine can be setup like a Middy if you are only talking about rail space or sight radius. The ONLY difference is the length of the gas system.
     
  8. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    I don't think people are being misinformed. A standard 16" carbine configuration has a shorter handguard with a fixed FSB, whereas a standard middy has longer handguard and a fixed FSB. Sure you can install a low profile gas block and expensive rail on the carbine, but that will cost you. If you want the longer radius and/or handguard, I really so no reason not to just buy the middy.

    I own both a Colt 6920 and BCM 16" middy, and yes, they are both extremely reliable. I prefer the middy over the 6920 mainly for the extra handguard length. I cannot feel a difference in recoil between the two either, although I can feel a difference between them and a rifle length system.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  9. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    It is rare to find out of spec gas ports on Colt rifles. This can't be said for many of the "middle tier" manufacturers. It is what it is, deal with it.
     
  10. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Member

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    But doncha reckon that is primarily due to weight? I would like to see the difference between a rifle, mid, and carbine length gas system in rifles of the same exact weight. I bet there would not be one iota of difference. Or are you saying the rifle recoils harder?
     
  11. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    My middy is heavier than my 20" A2 with a government profile barrel. The rifle just seems to shoot softer, but it does have that annoying "sproing"
     
  12. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    now this is funny :D

    I have to agree

    Uhm.... wouldn't "everything possible" include ditching the light. I'll bet that would do just the trick. :neener:

    Yup.... it's a .223 ... I also am amused at all the references to recoil. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  13. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Member

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    I don't think anybody was complaining about the recoil, but simply noting the difference.
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Where are you finding midlength uppers to be more expensive than carbine length uppers? I've bought four midlength uppers over the last four years and normally the price is the same or close to it. And that's four different brands, ArmaLite, BCM, Daniel Defense and PSA - same price.
     
  15. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    I think the straw man said it bothered him. ;)

    Personally I can't tell the difference between a carbine, mid, and rifle.
     
  16. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Yeah, and for all those reasons, the military uses mid-length?? NOT! No discernible difference, other than having something to post about on forums like this!:rolleyes:
     
  17. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I think you are correct.
     
  18. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I just got a middy for the longer sight radius. Couldn't hit much beyond 50 yards with the carbine-length. I also got the heavy barrel on my middy because somewhere down the road I wouldn't mind scoping it and doing longer-range stuff. For now, the middy is my irons-fun (and the extra couple inches makes a huge difference) and my carbine is my red-dot fun and what I would grab in a defensive situation.

    I would have to agree with others who say that for a defensive use, a middy seems more front-heavy than a carbine, and less-quick to bring on a target. You could probably alleviate this somewhat by going with a pencil barrel. That is, if you really wanted to hang some stuff off of it, but then you are just adding more front-end weight. Everything is a compromise.
     
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    The M4 is a 14.5", not 16". That's the difference. A 14.5" with CL gas system has proper dwell time, as does a 16" midlength. But a 16" with carbine gas system has excessive dwell time.

    The mid length system was specifically developed for the civilian market's title I 16" guns. Armalite pioneered it, and over the last few years, just about every maker but Colt has decided to offer mid length rifles. They just make more sense.
     
  20. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    I went with a 16" midlength lightweight profile for my 100 yard or less 3 gun AR. Reason, milder recoil in the lightweight AR for quicker 2nd shot on target.
     
  21. Doogledog

    Doogledog Member

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    I am not an expert and I have a lot to learn about the AR platform. However, I do own one rifle length, one carbine length and a midlength upper. My rifle length and my carbine length are complete rifles. I do not have a complete lower for my midlength rifle yet so the only shooting I've done with it has been on my lower that was built for a carbine. With that said, I personally do notice a difference in the recoil and the "spoing" that is characteristic of the AR's that I own. I prefer the midlength to both the rifle and the carbine. Perhaps it is simply my perception but, with that lower and a carbine buffer it feels smoother and I don't seem to get the same muzzle rise that I do with the carbine.
     
  22. highorder

    highorder Member

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    Mildly off topic:

    A thin layer of light grease on the spring will greatly reduce the sproing.
     
  23. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    The middys I see always seem to be more expensive, but they also usually have rails too.

    The extra handguard length might be nice.
     
  24. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    So uppers with rails cost more, got it ;)
     
  25. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Double tap.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
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