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What's the appeal of a short barrel with flash suppressor (to avoid SBR designation)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Snowdog, Mar 5, 2010.

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  1. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Lately, I've been seeing some rifles advertised that have short barrel that have a flash suppressor or other barrel attachment to achieve a 16" minimal length ( aka "SA58 FAL PARA Elite Combat Rifle" ).

    Is there an advantage to this over, say a 15" barrel with a 1" flash suppressor? Why not have an 8" barrel with an 8" flash suppressor, or a 4" barrel with two 4" flash suppressors and a 4" muzzle brake?

    Perhaps I'm missing something. I thought having a short barrel was to take advantage of the added maneuverability afforded by the reduced length of the rifle (carbine) at the cost of a reduced muzzle velocity.
     
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    You thought correct. There is a purpose for a short barrel, and there is a purpose for a flash suppressor, but an 11" barrel and a 5" permanently attached flash hider is just a gimmick.
     
  3. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    I agree, why cut a 5.56 barrel down so much you'd be better off with a .22 Mag? And then weld a flash hider on it?

    If you want short, go short. BSW

    IMG_1491.jpg

    IMG_1500.jpg

    IMG_5966Medium.jpg
     
  4. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Folks want their "cool looks".

    I personally prefer a full length barrel with a hollow muzzle device (the barrel screws to the inside at the front, instead of the rear). This provides the "cosmetics' w/o losing any barrel length.
     
  5. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    CoRoMo, it certainly seems like a gimmick as I can't think of a decent reason for it (especially as they're usually welded on, as you mentioned). If there is an advantage in going this route, I'd really like to know what that happens to be.

    Brian, those are some great photos and I must say that I'm jealous.

    I get a kick out of that 2nd picture though. I know that's a shooting timer, but I get a chuckle every time I see someone holding out a timer like that. I can't help but imagine it's of a candidate for the "lousiest timing" award holding out his phone for the shooter to check out his new ringer. Yeah, I often snicker to myself because of this strange imagination, unfortunately sometimes at inappropriate times (much to the dismay of my wife).
     
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Question:
    What can a 5" flash hider do that a 2.25" can't?

    Answer:
    Get you to 16"!
    :neener:
     
  7. Big_E

    Big_E Member

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    Wouldn't an AR15 with a carbine length gas system benefit from a 14.5'' barrel over a 16''? IIRC, the midlength system was designed for reduced wear and tear when using a 16'' bbl, so a shortened barrel with fixed suppressor on a carbine system would be less demanding on the rifle.

    For piston guns however, I don't see the point because with a shorter barrel you are reducing velocity and shortening range. Too bad the hiders have to be welded on too.
     
  8. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    One achieves a slightly shorter overall length as opposed to a 16.5" barrel plus flash suppressor/muzzle brake. Not enough for my money tho.
     
  9. RSVP2RIP

    RSVP2RIP Member

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    I own one, only because it was a good deal on a Sabre Defence. It really is to allow the bayonet to attach, and offer the same muzzle velocity as an M4 carbine. That would be important if you are using a Trigicon ACOG with a carbine reticle, as it is built to jive with a 14.5" barrel not a 16" barrel. Maybe it's splitting hairs, because at 500 yards where it would matter, you really can't tell a difference, because the gun it's on is shooting a 10" group...
     
  10. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    The answer is:

    --IF it's a 14.5" bbl (give or take), and a 1.5" FH (give or take), then it DOES make sense, if your goal is to have the shortest possible carbine without an SBR tax (because a 16" plus FH is 17.5" total, not 16" total).

    --If it's anything shorter than a 14.5" bbl, with a longer FH to compensate, it makes no sense whatsover to me.
     
  11. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    A 14.5" pencil or M4 profile barrel with a Smith Vortex makes sense to me (shorter and lighter than a 16" plus flash suppressor), though I'd personally rather have 16" of barrel for the gentler midlength gas system that allows. An 11.5" plus a 5" flash suppressor doesn't seem all that practical, to me, unless you get it that way because you intend to SBR it later and need the super-shorty gas system. But if somebody wants one because they think they're neat, more power to them.
     
  12. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    You can get a 14.5" with a midlength gas system. It's not quite as "gentle" as a true midlength, but not as sharp as a carbine, either.

    Anyway, I personally have a 14.5" with a permanent Phantom, because there's a slightly greater availability of aftermarket handguards in carbine length compared to midlength, and I absolutely loathe 16" guns with a carbine gas system.

    An 11" with a 5.1" thing is, however, purely for tacticool looks. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, as long as you're honest about it.

    It could also make sense to have a short barrel with a welded on silencer, to avoid paying 2 taxes.
     
  13. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Its solely a matter of individual taste.

    I think it is pointless and ridiculous myself.

    I'm sure some people think some of my gear is the same.

    I've got little use for a $3,000 shotgun too.
    "Pigeon grade???"
    What, do people actually EAT pigeons?... YUK.
     
  14. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    While I don't understand the 11" barrel/5" supressor thing, I completely agree with a 14.5" tube and a 1.5" supressor. If you're gonna have a flash hider anyway, a 14.5" barrel with a permanent one gives you the shortest OAL legal under title I regs, without the velocity sacrifice of the 11"/5" combo. I did exactly that with my mini:

    100_0380.jpg


    The U.S. military did a lot of testing and determined that a 14.5" barrel was the best compromise between portability and muzzle velocity with the 5.56mm cartridge. For 7.62 NATO, on the other hand, I consider 16" to be a bare minimum.
     
  15. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I built mine to get the lightest and most compact carbine possible. I went with the midlength gas system to get the longest sight radius.

    Would I want this to be my only rifle? Probably not. But since I already have a bunch of ARs in various rifle and carbine configurations, I wanted to build something simple, handy and very light weight just to see what it was like. I actually really like the way this little carbine handles.

    I would not want a heavy rifle like a FAL in this configuration or shorter.

    Here's one here. The car/M4 length in 14.5" barrel length adds additional dwell time due to added barrel after the gas port. However, the midlength is still easier on your bolt and allows for less violent extraction.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  16. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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  17. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    At one time AR-15 type carbines with 11.5 inch barrels and long flash-hiders were in vogue since they closely resembled the CAR-10 and CAR-15 type carbines.
    And they were legal.

    See: CAR-15 Commando (XM177/GAU-5 series)

    Those adopted by the Air Force as the GAU-5/A Submachine Gun (GAU = Gun, Aircraft, Unit.) were old first generation M-16s that were modified by CATM units. Some were still being used by the Air Force SPs (later SF) Forward air strike controllers and the PJs. (Para-Rescue) up until the M4 started to be furnished in the mid 2000s.
    Some had 10.5 or 11.5 inch barrels with the old bird cage fash suppressor. The muzzle flash was HUGE. As was the sound....
    So some also had a long flash suppressor / sound suppressor.


    From the wikipedia site:
    "In September 1966, Colt developed a 3.5-inch long moderator that lessened the noise and muzzle flash, which also increased the weapon's reliability by increasing the amount of back pressure. However, the moderator created its own problems, such as heavy bore fouling and causing tracer bullets to wildly yaw. A 4.25-inch long moderator with six slots and an expansion chamber, which further reduced noise and flash, replaced the previous muzzle device and became standard for the SMG and the Commando series, but fouling and tracer problems persisted."

    So the long civilian flash suppressor (without the sound dampening qualities) was another way to appear like something it was not.

    Considering some of the stuff you see on this site, you should not be surprised.
     
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