Should I go with a 14.7 carbine or 16" mid-length?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by sputnik1988, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    I am debating on what upper to go with, I like both but I'm not sure if the 1.2 inch difference will be anything noticeable in terms of knockdown. I also don't know with 100% certainty if a permanently fixed flash hider would bother me or not. I am however 100% sure I want a bayonet, so it's 14.7 carbine or 16" middy.

    Also, light or normal profile barrel? I know that the thicker barrels dissipate heat better, but is the extra weight worth it?

    This AR-15 will be my go to gun. I want it to be fairly lightweight, but not feel like a toy. I want it to be for anything from HD to SHTF and everything in between. And it likely will be the only AR I ever own, suggestions?
     

  2. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Lighter barrels heat up faster, and cool down faster, so they dissipate heat better. Heavier profiles take longer to heat up, so resist groups opening up during long strings of fire.

    All your other questions are answered in the link provided!

    Hope it helps ya!

    :D
     
  3. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    In late 2010 I had that decision to make and went with 16" LW midlength. Never been sorry. Didn't want to permanently attach the muzzle device and wanted to shave off about 8 oz from the front of the rifle. And I like midlength gas in a 16" barrel.
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    sounds like for your intended use the lighter weight barrel would be better, but get the 16", because with the 14.7" barrel, you will have to pin and weld the flashhider/muzzle brake on for it to be legal.
     
  5. frostyone

    frostyone New Member

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    I had this exact same debate about 2 months ago and went went a lightweight 16" middy. No regrets at all. Once I find a compensator I really like I will probably get a 14.5" lightweight middy.
     
  6. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    I believe that you are really asking 2 separate question here...barrel length and gas system length. Carbine is a term that has come to describe both a short rifle and a 7" gas system on an AR. A true m4 carbine will have a 14.5" or shorter barrel but as stated that requires paperwork and a NFA stamp. As other have opined, your best all around GPR will have a 16" lw profile built on a mid length gas system. Unfortunately I believe that this precludes a lug mounted bayonet.
     
  7. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    For your first Id go w/ a 16". It'll make things easier as you figure out what works best for you. I personally like a 14.5 LW but admit the 16" is nice when it comes to swapping parts. There really isn't a difference in weight.

    I'm curious as to what a bayonet brings to the table.
     
  8. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i personally like the 16" barrel length as to the fact, i can use different muzzle brakes or flash hiders if i so choose to change them. anything less requires welding and pinning to be legal. if you get caught with a 14.5" barrel and the flash hider or muzzle brake isn't pinned and welded, you will be looking at some major jail time.
     
  9. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    I just like 'em, I put bayonets on all my rifles if I can help it. Even if there is no chance that they'd ever be used. If it has a bayonet lug, it gets one. I can understand the feeling that's its unnecessary though. Just a personal preference really.

    You guys have pretty much convinced me to go with the middy 16" bbl, I prefer them aesthetically anyway, I just didn't know which was the better choice. Thanks for all your help.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  10. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    Nothing wrong w/ that.
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    A bayonet lug shouldn't be a problem on a LW barrel. My DD came that way. But maybe some 0.625" FSBs don't work with the lug so definitley something to check out.

    Of course as the OP pointed out with midlength gas you need a 16" barrel so the bayonet fits properly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  12. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Not so much the lug as the loop over the FH but I probably goofed on that one anyway, I knew there were issues with bayonets and certain gas length - barrel length combinations not properly fitting the handle length of the bayonet. Just wasn't sure if it was carbine or midlength with 16"
     
  13. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Yeah the loop doesn't hit exactly where it would on a 14.5" carbine length gas but it's still secure on a 16" middy. I think it'd do the job, and just for show at least it won't fall off. :D