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Barrel recommendation - accuracy


rvb
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I'm building an AR for my dad as a retirement gift. He's a group shooter, not a run-n-gunner. I'm thinking a 20 or 24" heavy barrel under an extended JP handguard.

With accuracy off a bench as the ultimate goal, what barrel would you recommend? I was planning on a krieger, but thought I'd see if you all had a better suggestion.

Thanks,

-rvb

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Barrel length does not direclty equate to accuracy. Longer barrels help with velocity but they are not per say more accurate. In fact often shorter stiffer barrels shoot better groups. I would go with the 20 and get a JP or Kriger barrel.

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I can't comment on any of the above barrels but I can comment on barrels made from Broughten "5c" and Lilja "3-Groove" blanks.

Lilja is now selling complete barrels bout same price as Krieger.

There's at least a half dozen barrel blank makers here in WI and they all have good reps.

Broughten, Brux, Criterion, Krieger, Obermeyer, Schneider, Mike Rock, etc, etc

Some have completed AR barrels and some you'd have to get made from blanks.

The last barrels I made are from Broughten=17" 1x12, 18" 1x8, 20" 1x8, and 24" 1x8 == all 5C rifling.

The 17" 1x12 makes one small hole @ 100yds but with 50 grn bullets.

The 18" and 20" make a larger hole @ 100yds.

The 24" 1x8 is crazy accurate shooting @600yds w/75 A-Max single feed length running 3000 FPS.

It might help that they are in my high strength upper receiver design.

Any good match finished/lapped blank should shoot better than most "mass produced" AR barrels but you are going to pay for it.

Make sure not to get a twist rate more than what you actually need and note that it can vary slighty by manufacture what twist rate is "claimed vs actual".

It's best to check w/maker for sure but.....Generally..... 1x8 80 grain max 1x10 70 grain max 1x12 60 grain max bullet weight.

Nick

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Another one to look at is Chris' Winning Shooting Accessories

http://www.cpwsa.com/gun_parts_ar.htm

AR15%20barrel%201.jpg

Custom built to our specifications for use on the competitive and tactical carbines that we offer. .875" before the gas block, .750 at the gas block, then .725 to the muzzle. It is black phosphate finished, fluted, 16" long, with mid-length gas, 1 in 9 twist, with M4 ramps and 5.56 NATO chambered.
Edited by Niceash
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Lilja is probably the way to go if you are looking for killer accuracy. Krieger is also a good option. Go 20" 1/7" for precision, you want to stabilize a heavier bullet for ranges over 100 yards. Another key important point is to have that gas port as close to the muzzle as possible so the longer the gas port placement, the better.

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If bench shooting is the game I would sway you away from a round handguard.

Yeah that flat bottomed Seekins handguard would be very sweet shooting from bags.

Great tips, guys, thanks!

I like that seekins HG!

-rvb

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I can't comment on any of the above barrels but I can comment on barrels made from Broughten "5c" and Lilja "3-Groove" blanks.

Lilja is now selling complete barrels bout same price as Krieger.

There's at least a half dozen barrel blank makers here in WI and they all have good reps.

Broughten, Brux, Criterion, Krieger, Obermeyer, Schneider, Mike Rock, etc, etc

Some have completed AR barrels and some you'd have to get made from blanks.

The last barrels I made are from Broughten=17" 1x12, 18" 1x8, 20" 1x8, and 24" 1x8 == all 5C rifling.

The 17" 1x12 makes one small hole @ 100yds but with 50 grn bullets.

The 18" and 20" make a larger hole @ 100yds.

The 24" 1x8 is crazy accurate shooting @600yds w/75 A-Max single feed length running 3000 FPS.

It might help that they are in my high strength upper receiver design.

Any good match finished/lapped blank should shoot better than most "mass produced" AR barrels but you are going to pay for it.

Make sure not to get a twist rate more than what you actually need and note that it can vary slighty by manufacture what twist rate is "claimed vs actual".

It's best to check w/maker for sure but.....Generally..... 1x8 80 grain max 1x10 70 grain max 1x12 60 grain max bullet weight.

Nick

Nick, that's a lot of great information. I thought I had too many options before!

-rvb

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I think I'm going with the Lilja. That name keeps coming up (and I hadn't heard of them prior to this thread; glad I asked!)

From this page (http://riflebarrels.com/products/ar.htm), I'm leaning towards their "AR740" offering.

If they will take custom orders, I'd like to get their M4 profile, just in a 20" w/ rifle gas....

I think I'll do those Seekins HGs, too. Those look great for the application.

I need to get some input from Dad on what kind of trigger he wants. I'm planning JP if he wants single-stage, or Geisselle if he wants 2-stage (what I'd use).

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.

-rvb

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Patrick,

My original plan for the gun was a 20" "HBAR" style barrel. I didn't really want to go down the 24" bull-barrel route, because I'm sure the gun will be shot at least some from the shoulder... so there's a little bit of a trade-off there and that rules out their AR24 bull barrel. The AR740 is the closest in their standard line-up to what I'm looking for.

I mentioned their M4 profile.... I think it is almost exactly what I'm looking for, if they will do it in 20" w/ rifle gas for me....

M4: .975" diameter for 2" then a radius down to .850" diameter to the .750" diameter gas block section. From the gas block to the muzzle the diameter is .725".

There's also the non-technical considerations... If their standard 20" profile is available w/ a few weeks turn around, that means I can get the completed gun to him around the time of his retirement... if a custom profile takes a year w/ the current environment, well that would suck. Bottom line, I need to get on the phone w/ Lilja....

I'm still open to suggestions!

Thanks for your input,

-rvb

Edited by rvb
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just got off the phone w/ Lilja. They won't do any profiles other than their 24" bull, 20" AR740, and 16" HBAR. So no 20" HBAR direct from them.

They gave me the name of a smith who could do the finish work, and I could always contact someone like Compass Lake if I wanted to stay with a full HBAR profile.

Part of me thinks I've over-thinking this... the AR740 is essentially an HBAR profile, just the mid section turned down from ~0.850" to ~0.750. That's still a tenth thicker than a JP in this section, as a for-instance.

-rvb

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I'd go with the 740 and be happy!

AND .... that's what I did! :) Ships this afternoon!

So Patrick and Nick (or anyone else w/ experience w/ the Liljas)... got any "pet" loads to share? :) My dad will thank you!

-rvb

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I think those are 1x8 twist IIRC. Made two Identical Lilja 3-goove 1x8 barrels 24"about 7-8 yrs ago for prone action steel(Mad Minute) shooting. They were 1.200" straight past the barrel nut diameter!! I had to install the barrel nut before putting on the Barrel Extension! Huge custom adj gas block too. It was all about no movement of rifle and staying accurate w rapid fire.

Since that funner the you know what match no longer exists here I recut the contours to 20" Bull size. Sold one to a fellow shooter but I still have one.

I've had good luck w 60 up to 80 grn.

60 V-Max, 60 NBT

68 Horn hpbt, 69 Sierra hpbt

70 Berger VLD

75 Horn hpbt, 75 A-Max(Single feed only load length)

77 Sierra hpbt

80 Berger VLD(single feed only load length)

There are lots of high performance powders out there right now but most are not currently available.

Benchrest, XMR 8028, Varget, TAC, N135, N530, N540, AR-Comp, Superformance, PP2000MR, H4895, etc,etc are all good.

Most powders get dumped around 24-25 grains.

Some of the new stuff can go about 1-2 more.

Always check for the start load and max load and don't exceed it either way.

Good barrels usually aren't hard to make shoot well.

I rarely if ever have the time to ladder test different loads. I just pick something and load up about 20rds.

I Can't remember the last time a good bullet and powder consistently loaded didn't shoot 1/2 moa or better @100.

You can PM me if you want.

Nick

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