This thing has ended up being worth every bit of headache it caused (not it's fault). Yeah the 14.5" barrel thing was an issue, but now that it's shooting like this and welded, it is not even a thought.
Follow up shots are quick as a result of the mid-length gas system. This was one box of Silver Bear 62 grain HP off-hand from kneeling/standing (about half and half?)
I switched lubes and completed a detailed cleaning last weekend and NO malfunctions occurred. Among the Silver Bear, I used Brown Bear 62 gr SP, Winchester White Box 55 gr and Tula 62gr and even WOLF 62 grain HP. All shot "good enough" for me at 200 yards. Silver Bear stood out, so that's the target I kept.