20'' Barreled AR's..Need some advice

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by The7mmSTW, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. The7mmSTW

    The7mmSTW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    OK, so Im looking to building a UPPER for long target shooting, and taking down small game. this is going to be a 5.56/223.

    I already have one AR in 300 Blackout(7.62x35) that i built
    and i am working on finishing up a SBR 7.5'' barrel in 5.56

    I throwing around the idea of a 20'' barrel rather than the standard 16'' and i am wondering if that length is good for what im looking to be doing

    Anybody here have a 20'' barreled AR? share some light if ya do

    -Matt
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,380
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    I have one 20" but I pulled the barrel and am looking for an 18" in 6.5. The reason is I want more power. Here is what it did look like. I find I dont need the 20" barrel if you want another 5.56 I think 18" is a better choice.


    [​IMG]
     

  3. The7mmSTW

    The7mmSTW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    looks real nice, why would you go 18'' ( best of both worlds thing???)
     
  4. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,380
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    I want the rifle to balance better and I am going to switch out the butt stock to the new magpul one. I run the current rifle in a DMR role fast up close stuff and extended ranges out to 600M. I can do it with my 16" barreled gun bet the 20 fells to long at times. I think 18" will be just right.
     
  5. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    I personally think that a 20" barreled AR15 is a very good choice for a general purpose hunting/target rifle if the rifle is going to be chambered in .223. A National match profile barrel (.750 at the muzzle) is a good compromise in that department. Its stiff enough that long strings of fire will not effect point of impact while at the same time being light enough to carry when hunting everything from coyotes to ground hogs to prairie dogs.

    Just make sure your barrel has a 1 in 8 twist. This twist rate will stabilize any bullet that can be loaded to magazine length. I personally have shot everything fom 40 grain rat pills to 77 grain match rounds out of my 20" Rock River Arms predator pursuit. its light enough to swing and heavy enough to be rock stable. It really is the best of both worlds.
     
  6. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,380
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    A NM AR barrel is .750 from the gas block forward
     
  7. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    718
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    I just bought the Windham Exterminator with 20 inch barrel this past weekend. For target and hunting it seems perfect. Taking it to range this weekend. If I was looking for more tactical or cross purpose, I would consider something shorter. Might be nice to go through hassle and paperwork to get suppressor and go much shorter and piston....
     
  8. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    You are correct. That was what I meant.
     
  9. The7mmSTW

    The7mmSTW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    i think ill be going with a 1 and 7 twist
     
  10. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    909
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    I have a 20" Barrel Rock River EOP and it shoots like a dream. It has the 1-8 twist and loves 69 grain SMKs but still shoots 50 grain bt great too. It is a little heavy but shoots well of bags or a bipod.
     
  11. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    I find it a bit amusing that we're having a discussion/debate about a 20" barrel instead of "the standard 16-inch" tube these days. After all, the 20" barrel WAS the "standard" length for this rifle when it was originally designed, and has remained so until fairly recently. Now, the 14.5" M4 variants have become the standard issue, and the 20" versions are starting to stick out like sore thumbs in a platoon formation. Evolution in action, I guess.

    However, let's not forget that there are certain immutable rules of interior ballistics and expansion ratios that dictate there's a price to be paid, performance wise, from a shorter barrel. The 20" will virtually always deliver higher velocities than the shorter barrels,but do so at the expense of slightly more cumbersome handling qualities. Those of us used to the 20" barrels will probably always regard them as the standard, and the shorter guns as being the trade-off versions for better handling in close quarters. Just depends on what you're used to now, I guess. Still, I find it amusing that the typical 18 year old fresh out of BCT probably views a standard 20" M16A2/A4 like it's some sort of Civil War era musket. I can only imagine how they'd look at my 26" Match Rifles built on the AR platform. No particular point here, just think it's funny how things have developed over the years.
     
  12. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    I can certainly smell you're cooking here. With in the sand box that sane chamber pressures allow me to operate in, I am a speed freak.
    To a point, the longer barrel will let me get to faster muzzle velocities and keep the chamber pressure where they should be. A 24 inch 8 twist barrel will launch a 75 grain match bullet a 3000 FPS bellow max safe preasures if you pick your powder wisely.
    Since I hunt with my AR15 and tend to keep my shots at 300 and in, a 20" barrel is a good compromise while still letting me cut a few X's from the 600 yard line.
     
  13. timmay

    timmay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    232
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    I think the best length barrel for the AR-15 for an all around rifle for hunting and self defense is 18". I personally have a m16A5 clone (A5 meaning if the military decides on the vltor stock for their A5) with a 20" barrel and I absolutely love it.
    The special purpose rifle the military uses has an 18" barrel.
    I get very good velocity with the 20 inch. Mine has the gov profile barrel from BCM. Its light enough to carry anywhere and still heavy enough for repeated firing.
    The 18" isnt going to lose too much velocity and will be a little faster
    18" or 20" is the best bet.
     
  14. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,380
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    I rocked a M16A2 on my first tour to Afghanistan I hated it! Mostly do to the CDI factor and that I was allways in little trucks and tight quarters conducting meetings. I upgraded it to a Mk18 after about 2 months in country. It was a much better fit for my mission. In Iraq I got a brand new M4 slaped my ACOG on it loved it!

    So having run 3 diffrent barrel lengths for extended tours I have decided I like the 14.5" barrels with long hand rails. I actualy just took my 20" apart putting it back to an A4 and selling the handguard. Just some thoughts