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cut my barrel down?

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Unread 02-02-2012, 12:06 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Creswell, Or
Posts: 239
cut my barrel down?

I have a 24" heavy barrel on my 223 AR and am thinking about cutting it down. If I do I will have it cut to 20". It is real heavy in the front. What are your thoughts on this. Thanks Ryan
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Unread 02-02-2012, 11:23 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,256
Re: cut my barrel down?

Your rifle, your choice! You'll lose a little velocity out of this, but probably not enough to make a huge difference in the field. It may well balance better for you, but there's also other ways to change that (stock weights, etc.) if you need to. Depending on the use here, I'd probably try to redistribute the weight in the butt first, and go to cutting the barrel as a last resort.

Again, no matter what anyone suggests, it's ultimately your choice.
Kevin Thomas
Lapua USA
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Unread 02-03-2012, 05:20 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Patagonia Mountains, Arizona
Posts: 770
Re: cut my barrel down?

An additional consideration on shorting AR-15's is the length of the barrel past the gas port.
There are four common gas port loactions for AR-15. Those are rifle, mid, carbine, and pistol.
The pressure and the duration of the pressure after the bullet passes the gas port to the time the bullet exits the muzzle determines, along with the diameter of the gas port, the energy available to drive the bolt carrier. It you cut off the barrel you may need to enlarge the gas port a bit to make up for the reduced gas impulse. If you cut off the barrel within a couple of inches of the gas port the rifle may not function at all. it is possible to move the gas port to a different location.

Tuning AR-15 can be difficult. They're designed to be fairly forgiving, but there are a lot of adjustable variables:
Barrel length
Gas port location
Gas port diameter
bolt carrier mass
buffer mass and structure
buffer spring rate
buffer spring length
Stock length( spring chamber)
Bullet weight
powder weight and burn rate (several interrelated parameters)
Muzzle device (particularly a suppressor)

It's a lot easier just to purchase a new upper and keep the longer barreled upper for when you want higher velocity. 24 and 26" AR-15s generaly work well on bipods or bags.
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Unread 02-06-2012, 07:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Wisconsin
Posts: 225
Re: cut my barrel down?

Worse case is after cutting to 20" you have to open up the gas port, which is easily done. .093" is the standard diameter for the 20" barrels, but usually you can get by with .088-.090".
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