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Author Topic: Question #2: AR barrel profiles  (Read 2208 times)

Kaso

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Question #2: AR barrel profiles
« on: September 20, 2013, 01:45:16 am »
With my FFL finally getting in contact with MWC, I am going to have a lower receiver in my possesion before long.  I have all the parts for a complete lower assembly, but I lack an upper.  I want one that is already assembled - no screwing with barrel nuts for me.  It looks like I am going with a 16" barrel, and so the question:  What are the pros and cons of the three main barrel profiles?  By three, of course I mean 'Heavy,' 'Lightweight,' and 'M4' profiles. 

Heavy is... heavy, so is there any good reason to go with it?  Accuracy?  My area does not have long shot possibilities.  Is there a downside to the pencil profiles?  And finally, if I don't have a grenade launcher, is there any good reason to go with the M4 profile? 

Thanks a lot. :)



Kaso

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    mwcoleburn

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    Re: Question #2: AR barrel profiles
    « Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 02:16:39 am »
    All three are just a play between weight and rigidity. Accuracy vs speed so to speak. There is also difference in heat dissipation and retention. Really you just need to ask yourself what is more important in how YOU intended to use the gun. The last thing is that a QUALITY barrel in a pencil, or other lightweight profile tends to be MORE accurate than a heavy barrel from a crappy company. That is all YMMV.
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    Coronach

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    Re: Question #2: AR barrel profiles
    « Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 09:49:57 am »
    Another question: will this be a free-floated barrel? If yes, you can go a little lighter, because different pressure placed on the handguard from hand position, slinging up, etc, will not influence POI. if it is not a FF barrel, you may want to go with a medium contour, as opposed to light.

    Finally: will you be hanging a can on the end of the barrel? If so, it may be advantageous to go with something heavier than a pencil barrel. I imagine that a long thin barrel + heavy can will lead to larger POI shifts when you dismount the can, but that's a guess.

    Also, the M4 profile is pure aesthetics, unless you own an M203. In many ways, it is the worst of all possible worlds. The barrel is almost a pencil barrel under the handguards, then gets thicker out where it is exposed at the end. This means that you have most of the drawbacks of a heavy barrel (nose-heavy feel, since the weight is way out front) and fewer of the benefits (it is less rigid where it needs to be). Unless you have a grenade- I mean, flare- launcher, or just like the look, skip the M4.

    Mike
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    Kaso

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    Re: Question #2: AR barrel profiles
    « Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 12:19:05 am »
    Another question: will this be a free-floated barrel? If yes, you can go a little lighter, because different pressure placed on the handguard from hand position, slinging up, etc, will not influence POI. if it is not a FF barrel, you may want to go with a medium contour, as opposed to light.
    Useful advice.  No, probably not free floated - I like the look of a bone-stock M4.  (That said, I don't care for the M4 profile barrel, seeing as there is no good reason for it)

    Where does one find a 'Medium' contour barrel?  I was aware of only the three I listed.



    Kaso

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