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sweeper22 11-18-2012 05:52 PM

Barrel Twist Rate- Why not more 1:8" options?
I now have 4 ARs, and enough odds and ends to be half way to another. Two are 1:9", two are 1:7". I see benefits to each, but I keep thinking that the 1:8" is probably the most versatile for both myself and many (if not most) other owners. I shoot mostly 55, 62, and 64gr ammo. I also have a healthy dose of 45-50, as well as a bunch of 69 and 75gr match ammo. All of my rifles can produce acceptable results with most (if not all) of my ammo. But it sure seems that 1:8" would sort of be the "ideal, right in my wheelhouse" twist rate for most of the rounds I shoot and stock.

As I stumble further into the BRD abyss, I keep asking myself the same question...why aren't there not more sub-18" barreled AR's available with a 1:8" twist? Like a lighter 16" midlength gun, for example.

I know part of the logic is that it wouldn't conform to some folks' "milspec" label. I don't much care. The more I learn, the more 1:8" seems the best fit for most peoples' shooting habits. S&W and a few others offer this twist rate, but you really have to hunt 'em down if you want anything other than a SS precision long range setup. WHY?....any thoughts?

kryptar19 11-18-2012 06:01 PM

I've been wondering the same thing. Both of my AR's have been 1:8 twist, and it will probably be the only twist I will have. Both guns have been exceptionally accurate with all ammo types.

In all honesty I really don't think that twist rate matters as much as some people think. From 0 to 300 yards it really doesn't make a difference. Look at Hornadys website, all the .223 testing they do is with a 1:9 twist barrel. Even with the 75gr bullets.

Sniper03 11-18-2012 06:25 PM

Most of the 1:8 twist barrels in the industry are manufactured in stainless steel barrels. Most are on Match Rifles and or Predator or Varmint rifles. As Kryptar stated most rifles with 1:9, 1:8 or 1:7 will stabilize most bullets well enough to have a reasonable acceptable accuracy at 300 yards and less. Although if we are speaking about optimum precision and consistency the twist rate is important to be matched within a bullet weight range. Although I will testify that the 1:8 Twist 20" Rock River Arms A-4 Varmint Rifles I have had will shoot 55 gr. match ammunition very very well! We are talking about 1/4 to 1/2 MOA at 100 Yards. I have owned two of these rifles and both performed equally as well. Both were in the 1:8 Twist Barrel. The other issue mentioned is that most tactical rifles should not utilize a stainless steel barrel since the durability of them is less with excessive use vs the stainless steel. But I will admit the stainless is slightly more accurate until wear begins. This information regarding the stainless barrels is from my experience at Camp Perry. Of course most of us are not going to shoot enough rounds even through the stainless to wear that fast. So the consideration of wear is certainly a lessor consideration compared to the accuracy we can achieve from them.
That is the main reason that most tactical, military and law enforcement weapons either have the 1:9 or the 1:7 twist barrel. Who cares in a tactical gun if we have a 2 or 3 MOA group at 100 yards since they are not target or varmint rifles. Although I will advise that the 1:9 twist is a very good versatile twist. While the 1:12 twist is a very poor choice if shooting bullets over 62 grains. They will not stabilize in flight and at 100 or + you will get side strikes on the target because the twist is not fast enough. Not to prolong this response if you go to the white information box in the upper left corner of the Home page and type in Barrel Twist there have been several good threads addressing the issue.


sweeper22 11-18-2012 07:05 PM

I get the idea of 1:7 or 1:9 being adequate. "Adequate" is about what my skills currently amount to. And I too think a lot of folks worry too much about twist rate.

But am I wrong in thinking that 1:8" is sort of a perfect happy medium for most owners/shooters? And if it is, why doesn't any manufacturer want to claim that market share by producing a light mil-spec/patrol type 1:8 AR15?

After all, many of us AR nuts want to possess the light as hell, built tough as nails, do-it-all, shoot any bullet at any range between 6 and 600 yards setup for when the aliens, zombies, or Commies predictably invade....(WOLVERINES!!!)...whoops, might have just outed myself as a child of the 80's there.

Car54 11-18-2012 09:01 PM

Sweeper; Surplus Ammo has at least three models in a 1:8. I bought one for my son last year and he's using it in two and three gun competitions and he likes it. here is one of them;

Or just the barrels:

AgentTikki 11-18-2012 11:27 PM

I agree with the the op.

More ARs should 1x8.

S&Ws are. More should follow suit.

Sniper03 11-18-2012 11:48 PM


I think it is because most manufacturers have agreed that the 1:9 is the happy medium regarding tactical guns. A good 16 inch rifle in 1:9 twist will shoot 1/2 to 3/4 MOA Groups from the bags on the bench. In addition the 1:9s are the highest in demand as far as orders. Another issue is that when a manufacturer purchases any configuration of barrel from a supplier they must usually order 250 units at a time. So if the demand for a certain specification is not adequate. They have inventory setting on the shelf and considering the initial outlay of cash for a specific barrel that is dollars of inventory setting on the shelf. The tactical rifles in a 1:8 twist would sell much slower than those in the Varmint or Predator version rifle which are normallly 1:8. The demand for the 1:9 and 1:7 has probably got to do with the normal standard of acceptance if nothing else. And you all are correct the 1:8 is a fine twist. But honestly other than shooting rounds of 72 Grains + there is little if any difference between the 1:9 and the 1:8. But as stated if you prefer the 1:8 go for it! Certainly a good choice if you can locate what you want.:)


purehavoc 11-18-2012 11:52 PM


Originally Posted by AgentTikki (Post 1019274)
I agree with the the op.

More ARs should 1x8.

S&Ws are. More should follow suit.

Most of the companies are catching on to the thoughts of some of we the people , "Its mil-spec so that must be best attitude"
I I had my choice I would have nothing but 1:8 and 1:9 in my arsenal . we simply dont need a 1:7 barrel , most stuff on the shelves out here are 40-67gr ammo anything beyond that is special order for me and nobody carries it on the shelves here or you have to load it yourself . when the **** hits the fan its going to be 40gr game loads and 55 gr FMJs on most shelves and a 1:9 is perfect for all those up to 62 gr. I have a savage bolt gun 1:9 and its literally a tack driver with cheapo Remmy UMC 55gr FMJs . There really isnt anything better on the shelf out there that shoots better out of this rifle

Ruger52 11-19-2012 01:02 AM

The answer is, as with most

Manufactures are set up for 1:9 and 1:7. Very few are set up for 1:8. I takes money to re-tool. The more we out our advice (bitch) the better chance for idiots to take heed. ;)

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