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A.R. rifle with shorther than 16" barrel Login/Join 
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posted
If I know for a fact that I won't be shooting at anything farther than 300 feet away,
Am I nuts for even considering an a.r. with a 14 inch barrel and a folding stock?

are there people that own these?

am I the only one here ?





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Posts: 48273 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unflappable Enginerd
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Huh? Razz


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Posts: 4017 | Location: Headland, AL | Registered: April 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Personally, I'd stick with 16" barrel...if you're going 14.5", you've got to pin & weld your muzzle device which is going to be a pain if you want to change it or the barrel nut (hand guard) in the future.

If you're going with a folding stock adapter, does 1.5" really matter? Roll Eyes




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Posts: 3527 | Location: Valley, Oregon | Registered: June 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
Picture of gearhounds
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If you're considering 14.5", you might also consider around 10" and install a good quality brace to make a (wink wink) pistol that that won't be much different from a ballistics point of view. It will, however, be more compact and just as accurate.

I have an Adams Arms 10" piston upper that I carried on duty that I routinely outshot all the other guys shooting 14.5" and 16" AR's. There is no difference between a standard stock and a brace as far as the target is concerned.




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Posts: 10605 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I suppose there is some hard data floating around that suggests a 16" is more accurate than a 14.5". That probably boils down to the slight increase in muzzle velocity. However, having both, this does not hold true for my rifles. Granted they are equipped differently with the 16" having a magpul hand guard which uses a delta ring and the 14.5 is free floated, but side by side the 14.5 is the more accurate and easier to manipulate rifle. I really like the shorter barrel.

As to the PITA changing out the pinned and welded muzzle device... yep. Make sure you have what you want from the get-go and just know that down the line you might have to deal with the semi permanent installation.



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Posts: 9539 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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AR-type rifle barrels significantly shorter than 16 inches are much handier in close quarters conditions such as when clearing small rooms. Other than concealing one in a backpack while walking through town, that’s their only benefit, and unless one goes the pistol with “brace” route, there are the drawbacks associated with the NFA registration. More important, though, is that the wounding effects of the 223/5.56 cartridge are largely dependent upon bullet velocity. A cardboard target won’t know the difference if the bullet is fired from a 16 or 10 inch barrel, but a living, breathing bad guy might.

In one test I conducted myself a 55 grain full metal jacket load (M193) lost an average of 532 feet per second when the barrel length was reduced from 16 to 11.5 inches (didn’t have a 10 inch to test). That’s a reduction of over 17 percent in velocity, and a loss of 21% (1/5) of the 16 inch energy. Is the shorter barrel energy of ~900 foot-pounds sufficient? Perhaps, but wounding effects aren’t simply a matter of bullet energy. The more pertinent question is Why would we deliberately reduce the amount of energy we could deliver to the target if we get nothing in return?

If we really need a shorter gun due to our tactical situation, I’d recommend getting one chambered for 300 Blackout, a cartridge that isn’t as dependent upon velocity for its effectiveness.




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Posts: 39943 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The primary difference between 14.5" barrel and 16" barrels will be muzzle velocity. Based on my own barrels and what I see on the webz, expect 30-40 fps change for each inch of barrel length change for factory loads. The heavier bullets tend to be closer to 30 fps per inch, the lighter bullets closer to the 40 fps per inch. All other things being equal, the 14.5" barrel will loose 45-60 fps MV from a comparable 16" barrel.

Note the this MV change is for barrels in this length class. The MV change for each inch of barrel length change varies as one considers really short or really long barrels.

This lower velocity will make no noticeable difference in point of impact out to 100 yards. By 300 yards, there will be a discernible POI difference, but most shooters won't experience issues with the difference.

There will be no noticeable difference in wind drift at 100 yards. It would take a good shooter to see the wind drift difference at 300 yards.

If energy on target matters, then the 14.5" barrel will have slightly less energy. You can calculate this difference on virtually any ballistics program, once you pick bullet and muzzle velocity.

As noted in above posts, the pinned or welded muzzle device on the 14.5" barrel reduces muzzle options down the road. And you still have a barrel that's 16" long overall. Personally, I don't see the need for a flash hider. And yes, I've shot at night -- mainly at a carbine class at Grayguns. I didn't experience the so-called blinding light flash of a bare muzzle when I shot another student's AR-15 that didn't have a FH, brake, or can. Thus, a bare muzzle 16" barrel is the same length overall length as a pinned 14.5" barrel.

Now if you have an SBR lower, you can have a 14.5" barrel without a muzzle device. I went this route on a 14.5" upper I won in competition. I had the pinned flash hider removed so I could install my own brake/can adapter. The downside to this route was that removing the pinned FH really buggered up the last half of the barrel's threads. I will likely go a different path when throat erosion eventually requires this barrel be replaced.

There should be no discernible difference in accuracy between the two barrel lengths. This assumes comparable barrel quality.
 
Posts: 6070 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Depending on barrel profile and manufacturer, a 14.5" barrel may weigh 2-3 ounces less than a comparable 16" barrel. Unless two rifles of the exact same specs are shot side by side with the same ammo, it would be difficult to notice the differences in handling and recoil between the two different barrel-length rifles.
 
Posts: 6070 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For a first, or only AR, I'd stick with a 16" barrel and regular DI gas system. Most parts available (and anywhere), most flexibility in customization down the road and probably just as (if not more?) reliable.




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Posts: 4435 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You're in Ill. Can't get an SBR here.
So a 14 1/2" and a pinned on flash suppressor is the only way to go if it's a rifle, and you WANT a sub 16".

Pistols however....
If you do go the pistol route, I'd give a serious look at a brace. (And the laws pertaining to NFA weapons)


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Posts: 5655 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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But... it's not really sub 16", just the rifling is.

You're looking at a 14.5" barrel with a welded on extra long flash hired for total length if 16" (maybe a smidgen more)

Or a 16" barrel with a normal flash hider for a total of about 17"

(Unless you get a target crown at 16" even, no flash hider.)

I always viewed the pin and weld 14.5 as more down sides than up.


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Posts: 16876 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
sick puppy
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I like my AR Pistols. I had a 14.5 pinned rifle for a while, but sold it off. I just didn't shoot it as much. Now I have 3 AR pistols and no rifles (in .223 that is).



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Posts: 7306 | Location: Alpine, Ut | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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great information , thank you for taking the time.

will just go with the 16 inch and try it out for awhile





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48273 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't see advantage in having a 14.5" barrel pinned and welded to 16". I see no practical difference in accuracy between my pinned and welded 14'5" barrels and my 16" barrel AR's. But there is a loss of velocity.
 
Posts: 1778 | Location: Arizona | Registered: June 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
Am I nuts for even considering an a.r. with a 14 inch barrel and a folding stock?


Just don't shoot it with the stock folded Wink
 
Posts: 17629 | Registered: August 12, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did not know that , that was an option.

( is it ?)





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48273 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sure a folding stock is an option.
Again, if you WANT the short barrel option, you need to go with a pistol, and get a folding arm brace.


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"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

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Posts: 5655 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You are not crazy. The USGI issue M4 carbine barrel is 14.5". In order for a civilian to have such would require a permanently attached muzzle device to bring it to a legal length of 16".

Typically one would use an extended birdcage flash suppressor. If not you would need to submit for a SBR stamp or go to jail. This would allow you to still mount a bayonet if you are so inclined with a USGI front sight base. There are some muzzle device manufacturers that have a pre drilled hole for pinning the flash hider to the barrel. Smith Enterprises is one of them.

Or configure it as a pistol with a brace which is not as authentic in appearance. I would do the permanently attached muzzle device route and send the barrel and muzzle device to ADCO and have them pin and weld it.
 
Posts: 207 | Location: Eastern Washington State (dry side) | Registered: May 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by CPD SIG:
You're in Ill. Can't get an SBR here.
So a 14 1/2" and a pinned on flash suppressor is the only way to go if it's a rifle, and you WANT a sub 16".

Pistols however....
If you do go the pistol route, I'd give a serious look at a brace. (And the laws pertaining to NFA weapons)


This post is factually inaccurate. In Illinois, we have been able to own SBR's for some years now. Its not easy, but you can own an SBR here.
 
Posts: 76 | Registered: February 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
I did not know that , that was an option.

( is it ?)

Yes, but you'll need an AK or some rifle other than an AR that doesn't require the bolt to interact with anything in the buttstock. FWIW, it may be worth your while to look into velocities for the 7.62x39 in shorter barrels; both the Zastava (Yugo) M92 and the Romanian Draco with arm braces have become very popular.
 
Posts: 23280 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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