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Thread: 16 or 20inch barrel for a AR

  1. #1
    45 is offline Junior Member
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    May 2012

    16 or 20inch barrel for a AR

    Hey everybody sorry I haven't been on here in a while my work schule is a pain in the but anyway I am building a AR slowley because I am on a beer budget & finding parts right now is like trying to find a neddle in a hay stack anyway I don't know weather to go with a 16 or 20 inch barrel for it because I don't know how effictive a 16 inch barrel would be at 300 yards where I live at there are some places where a 300 yard shot is possible I know a 20 inch is still effictive at that distance but the 16 I don't know about I know you lose about 120 ft lbs of energy & about 200 ft per secound out of the muzzle of a 16 inch barrel copared to a 20 inch barrel at least that what I read in a gun magazine which one I can't remember anyway I was woundering if any of you have shot into a block of ballistic jel at that distance with both barrel or have been in combat with a m4 & has shot the enemy at that distance by the way the caliber I am using is 223 REM 556X45 NATO any info would be helpful thanks & have a safe & good time at the range.

  2. #2
    denner's Avatar
    denner is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2011
    If you want a pure long range varmint rig I'd go with an 18" to 24" barrel. Generally the rifle will be heavier and more cumbersome. However, a 16" barrel is deadly and accurate out to at least 300 yards depending on the load used. I own a DPMS 16" bull barrel AR and it will easily take varmint size game at 300 yards. I hunt with V-max or ballistic Tips w/ 40 to 55 grain bullets w/ a 1/9 twist barrel, I don't use Nato ball for hunting, nor do I use my 556/223 on larger game, so w/a good hot V-max or ballistic tip load a 16" barrel will get the job done well past 300 yards on small game. If you are going for very long shots over 400 yards on a consistent basis you'd be well served to go w/ the longer barrel in my opinion, as the 16" barrel does lose a little steam ballistically compared to the longer barrels on the long, long shots.

  3. #3
    45 is offline Junior Member
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    May 2012
    The reason I was asking I like to go hikeing in the wood but the pot growing business has gotten so bad that they will shoot at you & you won't even be close to it that why I was wondering how effctive a 16 inch barrel would be at 300 yards that way if I have to defend myself I know it would do the job the reason I didn't ask that way eariler I didn't want you guys to think I was crazy & was going to go on a shooting spree I would never shoot someone unless it was to defend myself or protect my family & hope & pray to GOD that I never have to.

  4. #4
    Charlie's Avatar
    Charlie is offline Senior Member
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    May 2006
    Kerr County Texas
    A 16" barrel will be no more or less accurate at 300 yds. than a 20" or even a 24" barrel, assuming everything else is equal. Actually, shorter barrels are inherently more accurate because they vibrate less and cool quicker. The only reason a longer barrel would be more accurate (if everything else is equal) is if one was using iron sights. That would give the shooter a longer sighting distance and therefore should improve accuracy. A longer barrel will/should increase velocity and theoretically shoot a flatter trajectory. Depending on what you're shooting at 300 yds. if you're not going much past that, the 16" barrel will probably serve you well.
    denner likes this.


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