AR-15 .223 barrel Length?

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by Broz, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Guys I have a Stag Varminter with a heavy SS target barrel 24" with a 1 in 8 twist. She is a bit front heavy and I am thinking of maybe putting her on the chopping block. My concerns are I plan to load for it soon and want to take advantage of the larger bullets the 8 twist will shoot for long range shooting. I will be using it for gophers and prairie dogs in the summer and also coyotes year round. What do you think the perfect length barrel would be? I don't want to loose accuracy. Right now with the very inexpensive Wolf 55gr rounds its affective range is about 550 yards on a yote. I hope to take it farther with larger bullets and hand loads.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Jeff
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Broz

    18" is the ticket for me but 20" is very manageable as well. Have you considered just switching out the barrel? There is a little more involved in choping the barrel on a gas gun than a bolt gun.

    If you chop your barrel for 24" to 18" your gas port could be an issue as well as your buffer and spring. Gas port may need to be enlarged so you get enough gas to achive the proper IPS speed on your bolt.

    I would call ADCO machine services and ask about the associated cost. Re profiling could be another option keep the speeds but drop the weight. Their are alot of options out their.

    Jon
     

  3. 1984nitro

    1984nitro Well-Known Member

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    20" is a great opinion to go with. It can be very accurate. My wife's ar-15 it capable of shoot clay birds out to 468yd so far shooting the 50gn vmax. The major thing you will see it the drop in velocity. Using the hornady 55gn vmax which are rated at 3240fps out of a 24" barrel on go 3000fps out of the 20" barrel. But they are still accurate just get there slower.
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, 20" is what I was thinking but great point on the gas issue. I will look and see how much barrel I would have in front of the port.

    Anyone shooting a 20" 8 twist with the heavier high BC bullets?

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  5. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean about the 24" bull barrel being muzzle heavy. I bought one and never shot it, decided to go 20". I checked into having the barrel cut down to 20" but nobody local wanted to do it for less than about $150! I ended up selling it and buying a 20" bull upper. I can't speak to the velocity difference but I can say that the 20" barrel balances much better. I don't think you would have any issues with the gas block going down to 20" as I think they are in the same spot as the 24" barrel. You could go down to 22" or 21" and improve your balance without losing as much velocity. Food for thought.
     
  6. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    There should be no issue cutting off 4" in regard to having enough barrel in front of the FSB. There are only 3 standard gas system lengths carbine, midlength and rifle. You have a rifle length system.

    Jon
     
  7. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone make a 20" 458SOCOM barrel. If there isn't, and I had one made what would be the gains losses of adding the 4"?
     
  8. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62 Well-Known Member

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    Have a DPMS 24" 1/8 barrel also a little front heavy BUT want the 24" barrel so will add some weight to the buttock to even things out
     
  9. bullfrog

    bullfrog Well-Known Member

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    I love the 18" barrel on my RRA varmint model. The balance is perfect for me. I chrony'd the Hornady 75gr BTHP factory load and lost right at 200 fps from advertised velocity. The heavier bullets shoot WAY BETTER in my 8 twist barrel, especially any thing over 300yds. The increased drop takes some getting used to but the accuracy is worth it.
     
  10. chuckmaster

    chuckmaster Well-Known Member

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    To me, it all depends upon what you plan on using your AR15 or AR10 for. They were developed and designed for quick shouldering and pointing, that is why they usually come with a 16" to 20" barrel. They were made for tactical situations, geting in and around tught quarters.

    If you are looking for a hunting rifle then you go with the longer barrel. Not to say that an 16" to 20 " barrel can't reach out that far, but you will not have the consistant shot after shot consistancy that you would with a longer barrel.

    Mine is a dual purpose gun, to be used for what it was originally designed for and to varmit hunt with. It is a 16" DPMS Lo-Pro Classic that shoots great.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to go with.

    Jim
     
  11. 1idCat

    1idCat Member

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    If your main complaint is that the long barrel is nose heavy, try putting lead in the buttstock. That will balance it out. You can buy a cast lead ingot that will fit perfectly, or you can just fill the butt compartment with birdshot in a ziplock bag, or spare bullets.

    The longer barrel length will shine at longer distances. With my WOA 26" varmint rifle and 77 or 75 gr handloads, sub MOA shots out to 600+ is boringly easy.
     
  12. CLICKBANGBANG

    CLICKBANGBANG Well-Known Member

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    If it was me, I'd leave it at the longer length. I have a 20" RRA varmint 1/8 and wish I had picked up the 24" barrel to squeeze out a few more fps. I think 20" would be the minimum to maximize the velocity/ weight trade.

    To balance out the gun I got the lead buttstock weight for my A2 stock. It does a great job of making the gun not so front heavy. It used to balance on the front bag. With the weight in there now, it helps the gun to settle down when on the bench. And for $24, it is a cheap thing to try before you invest in chopping the barrel that you can't reverse without replacing.

    As far as loads...... :) I have been happy with what I've found with the Hornady 68 grain HPBT Match. Win brass, cci 400, and Varget. Mag length got me under an inch. And 5 thousands off the lands got me under .5". I'd have to look in my log to see the powder weight but it was around 23-24 grains. They are not hot, but are spot on with my gun. The worst groups with this work up was 1.3" and average was .9". The load of choice ended up around .45" five round groups.

    edit- spelling
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011