Barrel Length differences
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default Barrel Length differences

I'm building my first AR and I was wondering if there was a big difference between the 14.5" and 16" barrels.

This rifle I'm building will most likely be used for Home Defense, Coyote hunting, and Competition.

I know it's only an inch and a half, but which barrel length do you think better suits those needs?

thanks for your help

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
I'm building my first AR and I was wondering if there was a big difference between the 14.5" and 16" barrels.

This rifle I'm building will most likely be used for Home Defense, Coyote hunting, and Competition.

I know it's only an inch and a half, but which barrel length do you think better suits those needs?

thanks for your help
Biggest difference I know is that one is legal off-the-shelf the other requires a class III SBR stamp and $200 payment to the BATF.

Long distance precision shooting and HD (CQB) usually require different barrel lengths, most varmint setups use a 20" barrel whereas a carbine (M4) is typically set up with a 16" or shorter (where legal). Longer barrels increase accuracy over longer distances.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:07 AM   #3
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This rifle I'm building will most likely be used for Home Defense, Coyote hunting, and Competition.
That should honestly be 3 different guns.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:02 AM   #4
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The 14.5 with a permanently attached flash hider would be OK and your best choice for HD. Coyote should be a 20-24" with a bipod on it, and the competition gun would depend on what kind of competition.

If you really want one gun that could do all those things decently but none outstandingly, a mid-length 18" might bridge the gaps and do it all. It would be pretty long for HD and a little short for varmint hunting, but it might do everything well enough for you.

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Old 11-22-2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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So a 14.5 requires a special permit?

I was told if I had a flash hider, I would be able to get the 14.5 without the permit

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Old 11-22-2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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So a 14.5 requires a special permit?

I was told if I had a flash hider, I would be able to get the 14.5 without the permit
The flash hider must be "permanently afixed" as in welded in place. You can have a ten inch barrel if you want, but the total barrel length with your flash hider/suppressor MUST be a minimum of 16" if the weapon has a fixed or collapsible stock ( IE - It's not an AR pistol ).
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:13 PM   #7
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So a 14.5 requires a special permit?

I was told if I had a flash hider, I would be able to get the 14.5 without the permit
That's true...but when you permanently affix a 1.5" flash hider you end up with a 16" barrel.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:47 PM   #8
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The only difference between barrels of different lenth is velocity and depending on the powder burn rate what that really is. Accuracy is reall not effected by barrel lenth. I use an AR for my up close and personal ( out to 250 yrds) coyote gun and have for about 5 years now. If you want mu idea of the ultamte coyote AR take a looke at the Rock River Coyote. It took me a while for mine to evolve into something close but a firend has one and it`s great. Put a 3 x 9 Leupold scope on it and your set.

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Old 11-22-2010, 10:47 PM   #9
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Indyfan,

The 14" would not be the way to go anyway if you are going to use it for a varmint rifle. And as the guys stated if the flash hider was not permanently attached it would be an SBR (Short Barrel Rifle) and require the federal stamp. Which later would be a hassle if you ever wanted to part with it. Depending on the terrain would depend on what the application is. For example if you hunt a heavily wooded area with shorter shots and walking a lot a 16" barrel might be a good choice. For instance the Rock River Coyote Model which I have is a nice piece. Light, Fast and easy to handle. But generally I would go with an 18" or 20" barrel for the varmint rifle. But once again you stated home defence! The 18" might meet the need in the middle. Keep in mind with the quality of barrels today and with good ammunition even the 16" barreled rifles are shooting 1/2 to 1 MOA groups at 100. A lot of the good quality 18" and 20" varmint models are capable of 1/4 to 1/2 MOA groups on a frequent basis. It is hard to have one rifle to do all things. Kind of like having a Porsche for performance & economy and a VW for economy and performance! Doesn't happen! But you might meet somewhere in the middle.

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Old 11-25-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys, helps out alot

I'm still in the process of customizing my upper

What's the difference between a Lite Barrel and a M4 profile barrel?

is there an accuracy/range difference between the two?

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