What's the deal with the SPR?
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default What's the deal with the SPR?

I've been seeing a bit of stuff lately on what people are calling a SPR (Special Purpose Rifle). For those of you who don't know, it's an AR, almost always 18" barrel, that is supposed to be for longer range work than your carbine.

Now for the military, I can KIND OF understand it, because they're running 14.5" or shorter for their carbines, so that jump to 18" makes a substantial enough difference. But for the civilian guys, most of which are running 16" carbines, I don't see what purpose it serves. There are very few things you could hit with an 18" that you couldn't do with a 16".

I guess what I'm saying, is in both cases, military and civilian, why not just run a 20"? Most of the SPR set ups that I see are rifle length systems, so the 2" of barrel isn't gonna make much of a difference in weight, but it gives you more versatility with the two different weapon systems that you have.

Maybe I'm looking at and thinking of it all wrong, as I'm kind of seeing it sort of as a DMR type set-up, and maybe that's not what it is, but I just don't see much use for it. If I wanted an AR, still chambered in .223, that would be for the longer ranges that my carbine just wasn't set up for, personally I would go with a 20" and not the 18".

What do you guys think?

-Fred

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Old 10-29-2011, 03:24 AM   #2
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I just retired from the Marine Corps where we were shooting the M4 at 500 yards with no problems. It calls for a little bit more windage adjustment (more clicks to get on target) but other than that no issues at the 500 yard line. For the military the reasoning behind the shorter configuration is the posture of the battlefield. With all the room clearings with the cordon and search missions hunting down caches and suspected terrorists, the M4 accommodates the mission better than the older A2. For the Corps the M9 has for the most part been fazed out of an everyday carry for senior enlisted in officers with the M4 taking it's place. I think the 20 inch barrel would present some of the same problems that the A2 had in a CQB environment for those in the think tank. As for the civilian side the only thing I can think of that it might help in is at the 1000 yard range in matches, but I agree why not just go with the 20 inch. IMO it could be average shooters that like that setup thinking it will help their marksmanship skills, but I haven't looked into it at all. After carrying a 16A2 and M4 for so many years it is going to be a few years before I get one for personal use.

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Old 10-29-2011, 03:38 AM   #3
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I fully agree, here is my "SPR"
3lb timney trigger
ASA upper & lower
Bushmaster heavy fluted 24" varminter barrel & bolt
ASA carrier, buffer, tube, and spring
Badger Ordnance Stabilizer hand guard
Osprey 10-40X50 scope
RRA high rise 30mm mount
Ergo grip
Magpul PRS stock with accu pod
UTG bipod

and a few more lil odds and ends

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Old 10-29-2011, 04:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by silverado113 View Post
I just retired from the Marine Corps where we were shooting the M4 at 500 yards with no problems. It calls for a little bit more windage adjustment (more clicks to get on target) but other than that no issues at the 500 yard line. For the military the reasoning behind the shorter configuration is the posture of the battlefield. With all the room clearings with the cordon and search missions hunting down caches and suspected terrorists, the M4 accommodates the mission better than the older A2. For the Corps the M9 has for the most part been fazed out of an everyday carry for senior enlisted in officers with the M4 taking it's place. I think the 20 inch barrel would present some of the same problems that the A2 had in a CQB environment for those in the think tank. As for the civilian side the only thing I can think of that it might help in is at the 1000 yard range in matches, but I agree why not just go with the 20 inch. IMO it could be average shooters that like that setup thinking it will help their marksmanship skills, but I haven't looked into it at all. After carrying a 16A2 and M4 for so many years it is going to be a few years before I get one for personal use.
I get and support the reasoning for switching to the M4. All I'm saying is why 18" for what they have dubbed the SPR? Why not the 20"? It seems to me like it would fill the role a little better.

-Fred
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCross7

I get and support the reasoning for switching to the M4. All I'm saying is why 18" for what they have dubbed the SPR? Why not the 20"? It seems to me like it would fill the role a little better.

-Fred
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCross7 View Post
I get and support the reasoning for switching to the M4. All I'm saying is why 18" for what they have dubbed the SPR? Why not the 20"? It seems to me like it would fill the role a little better.

-Fred
OIC It boils down to the original configuration from Mark something that developed the SPR for the Army. The Army approved the 18 inch and that's how it was manufactured. In all honesty from being involved with military contracting process IMO the 2 inch difference probably equated to a couple hundred dollars difference in price per weapon, thus a "savings" was achieved for a superior weapon system.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado113

OIC It boils down to the original configuration from Mark something that developed the SPR for the Army. The Army approved the 18 inch and that's how it was manufactured. In all honesty from being involved with military contracting process IMO the 2 inch difference probably equated to a couple hundred dollars difference in price per weapon, thus a "savings" was achieved for a superior weapon system.
Now that actually sounds like a very good explanation for it. And then everyone jumps on it because they have to be riding around on the coolest new bandwagon. I'm actually thinking about building something similar in the future, but I'm going with a 20".

-Fred
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:21 AM   #8
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Now that actually sounds like a very good explanation for it. And then everyone jumps on it because they have to be riding around on the coolest new bandwagon. I'm actually thinking about building something similar in the future, but I'm going with a 20".

-Fred
Yep the bandwagon is always in play. Good luck on your build.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:42 AM   #9
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It took me a few years to touch a firearm after leaving the military. Now I can't get enough of them.

The 18" SPR is a proven system. I forget when but a group of SF types were walked up on by a kid who ran off and reported what he had seen. A large firefight pursued in which one soldiers 18" SPR went to work piling up bodies.

I imagine it's similar to the onces equal pounds things. Who wants to carry extra weight if you don't have to. You have to consider the pros and cons on a mission by mission basis.

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