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jaredr

it's that (rebarreling) time again - suggestions for 16" mid-l

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looking for feedback and reccomendations on 16" AR barrels with mid-length gas system.

barrel on my S&W VTAC is looking pretty shot out. approx 18K rounds through it, not sure if this is typical barrel life for chrome lined or not but 100 yd bench groups have opened up to 4+ inches (from ~1" or so last time I shot it off a bench). barrel nut is tight, no damage to the crown that I can see, and no amount of cleaning has made any difference, so I'm guessing i've seen all the useful (accurate) life I'll get out of it. I am getting less than MOA from my .308 bolt gun, so I'm thinking this time it actually IS the rifle and not me.

Since I'm rebarreling, Intention is to switch from carbine to mid-length gas with the new barrel. This is not a competition or 3-Gun rifle (no lightened bolt carrier/adjustable gas block) but would like to see whether I get any recoil reduction benefit from a mid-length gas system. Want to stay with a 16" barrel length. There's no shortage of carbine gas barrels and also lots of choices for 18 or 20" barrels with rifle or mid-length gas, but fewer choices for 16" barrels with mid-length gas. options i've found so far are:

1) Rainer Arms has a stainless barrel that is very reasonably priced ($189). maybe a few ounces heavier than a standard M4 profile but I can turn it down if needed.

2) JP Supermatch ($350 from JP)

3) Daniel Defense (cataloged at brownells for $300 or so)

I've heard good things about Daniel Defense, but I see JP as the gold standard and their barrel would be a known quantity for only an extra $50. That said, I think my question is:

1) are there other great alternatives I just don't know about? maybe Midway catalogs a magical Shilen drop-in 16" cut rifled tube with mid-length gas for $50 and I just missed it on their site? :lol:

2) if i've already found all there is, then does anyone have any feedback on Rainer Arms or their line of "UltraMatch" barrels ?

I've already read the "buy once, cry once" thread comparing Dillon and Lee loading presses (and I've repeated the sentiment in other discussions), but on the other hand maybe the Rainer is a legitimately good buy? keen to hear from anyone who's got any experience with any of the Rainer Arms private labeled barrels, or suggestions for alternatives.

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I've read the Rainier barrel your looking at is made by these guys: Black Hole Weaponry It would appear they use poly rifling similar to Noveske.

What are you doing with the rifle? Are you set on SS? 18k rounds is a lot through a barrel. I haven't heard of a stainless barrel lasting nearly that long.

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I've read the Rainier barrel your looking at is made by these guys: Black Hole Weaponry It would appear they use poly rifling similar to Noveske.

thanks, I'll see what I can find about them

What are you doing with the rifle? Are you set on SS? 18k rounds is a lot through a barrel. I haven't heard of a stainless barrel lasting nearly that long.

rifle is just used for range practice, almost always inside of 100 yards as it's a lot of effort for me to get out to any facility with a rifle range more than 100 yds. the original S&W carbine gas barrel was chrome-lined which I understand will generally last longer than stainless (but is also likely to be less accurate than a stainless barrel). I'm not committed to using a stainless barrel, but the only chrome-lined barrel I've found is the Daniel Defense product, and since it's almost the same $$ as a JP barrel, my thought is that if I'm going to spend that much (or close to it), I'll get a JP. I'm okay trading shorter barrel life for more accuracy if I have to.

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Give Rainier a call or an email, I have always gotten good coms back from them.

Also you can get 10% off the Wilson barrel from Nordic the code is in their dealer forum here on benos and it shipps free.

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Noveske has stainless barrels worth a look.

Bravo Company has stainless and chrome lined offerings.

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http://global-tactical.com/16inchmidlengthreconbarrel556mminstock.aspx

This is a barrel I have had good luck with. I bought it 2 years ago and at that time WOA made it. I assume White Oak still does Denny's barrels. Don't worry about the out of stock, just call and they usually have one.

I have one as well. The blank is actually Shilen, the profiling is done by WOA. I have a .22 barrel that I had made to the same length and profile as well. The barrel is a little heavy but a great shooter. I think there are some less expensive options mentioned in this thread though that will probably shoot just as well. That Nordic looks great for example.

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I can tell you that with 70 gr match bergers the Beaver Creek 16" medium/heavy barrel is absolutely the best value and best shooting AR barrel you can buy. I have over 100K rounds through my 8 or 9 AR platforms, shooting competition, long range, deer hunting and prairie dogs and its a nail driver. .5" MOA with reloads and .75" with white box factory winchester. It is an a tube that anyone would be proud of. I have three of them and each is as excellent as the one sitting next to it. Although its called a med/heavy barrel it as lite as a M4 barrel. I can not speak positively enough about them and at $162 including shipping, it can't be beaten.

For practice at 100m we put thumb tacks up and punch them through the backing all day. Good luck and thats my 2 cents for what its worth.

Blackfin

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18K seems a bit low for a Chrome lined barrel to be shot out. It is a little long for a stainless barrel.

Have you considered the Sabre barrels? They are long-lasting and very good.

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All the Beaver Creek barrels I see are 16" with carbine gas systems. Is there something I'm not noticing?

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thanks for everyone's posts - lot of good information here and looks like a lot of choices I was not aware of.

My upper has M4 feedramp extensions, so I believe that rules out the the Nordic (it looks like a great buy and I'd like to support a forum dealer if I could). Beaver creek may be a great barrel but unfortunately it looks like both of their models are carbine gas, and also 1:9 which is a bit too slow for 77 or 75gr bullets (I don't shoot a lot of them but would like to retain the option, so need at least a 1:8).

I'd completely forgotten to check dennys guns and BCM, will check them out. Thanks as well for the reminder about noveske, but it looks like they're priced about $100 more than the JP. I know noveske makes quality products, but if I do end up going the spendy route I think i'd probably just go with JP. Also sent mail to JP to check on whether their barrels are available with M4 cuts as well.

MarkCO- I'd looked at Sabre through brownells, they have a number of barrels with mid-length gas but unfortunately none of them was "just right". One option was a 14.5" with perm-attached flashhider (no-go for me because I have no SBR receivers and need my barrel to be at least 16" - i'll be swapping out comps for a while and don't want a 14.5" upper around without any registered lower). Other Sabre choices were 18 or 20" barrels - I could turn it down and re-thread, but that's some extra cost (and effort) on top of a barrel that is listed at around the JP price to begin with (which is what I'd probably buy if I'm going to spend $350 or more).

Looks like I need to read through dennys and BCM options, and then decide whether I'm going to invest in a JP barrel or go with one of these other choices. Appreciate everyone's suggestions, thanks.

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BCM makes some very fine products. Its all Ive been using. Im running their SS410 16in Mid-Length line for my 3gun rifle, and a 14.5in Mid Length gas(Hammer Forged, Chrome Lined) for a "fighting carbine" build, plus also have a 12.5in "Kino" SBR(HF,CL) from BCM. Very accurate, very dependable.

The Midlength gas system is a large improvement over the carbine. Less carbon build up, slightly lower recoil.

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/AR15-M16-M4-Barrel-Assemblies-s/3.htm

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Johnson Tactical Rifles

You may want to give the above a look. Pretty much the longest lasting accurate barrel you will find and not bad $$$ wise for a custom barrel, especially when the longevity is factored in. Plus, you are still supporting a BE vendor. Although I would contact him through his website for faster service.

edited to add: You would have your choice of mid, intermediate or rifle length gas systems in a 16, 17, 18 or 20. Mix and Match, your choice.

Edited by fleshoid

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Only barrels I have experience with are Rainer, White Oak, Noveske and Lothar (LaRue). All are very good but the Noveske and Lothar are probably the best. I have a 18" Rainer that is right up there with them though. White Oak makes an excellent barrel but, IMHO, are not quite what the other three are.

Don't own a Daniel Defense but have used some of their parts and dealt with thier people and they seem very on the up and up in quality, especially if you are looking for "milspec" usage. STAG also seems to be right up there with them as well for the "milspec" type useage. I have one of thiers in carbine and it isn't a tack driver but for a all around M4 type gun it is more than good enough.

Just my 2 cents.

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Johnson Tactical Rifles

You may want to give the above a look. Pretty much the longest lasting accurate barrel you will find and not bad $$ wise for a custom barrel, especially when the longevity is factored in. Plus, you are still supporting a BE vendor. Although I would contact him through his website for faster service.

edited to add: You would have your choice of mid, intermediate or rifle length gas systems in a 16, 17, 18 or 20. Mix and Match, your choice.

Ha! Thanks! It is usually better to hit me via email or through the site. Maybe I spend to much time in the shop :)

If you go with a stainless or nitrided barrel, we can cut anything that is mechanically conceivable. But on the Chrome lined front I also offer the entire Noveske and Daniel Defense line with the exception of the N4's unless listed on Noveske's site. Nitrided in my opinion is a great balance between durability and accuracy.

18K on a chrome lined barrel is a pretty short life. Some my earlier LW50/Poly stainless barrels are doing that no problem. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

--Kevin

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I just received one of the new Daniel Defense Light weight 16" barrels with a mid length gas port. I am waiting on the gasblock to come in and will provide a range report. The barrel is soooo light. I can't wait to see how it shoots cold and hot at distance. Everything I have used from Daniel Defense has been top notch.

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