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Modifying an 18" barrel for 3Gun? suggestions, comments?


Butterpuc

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So, I purchased an 18" Wilson Arms, 223 Wylde, rifle length gas as a new 3 gun project. I still haven't turned it into a 3Gun rifle yet, so I have options. I like my 16" mid length gas 223 Wylde WOA 3Gun rifle setup, but I just wanted to try an 18". Two things I don't like about the 18" vs the 16": 1) the weight is more than I expected and the creates a nose heavy feel, 2) the length is noticeable (I was surprised). Both my 16" and 18" barrels are HBAR / Medium weight profiles.

So I have options, these are just some I have been thinking about. Don't get me wrong, this is a project, why not make it fun

1) Machine some weight off the 18" barrel on each side of the gas block to help with the weight and balance. Don't do anything else. I'm just not sure I will like the length.

2) still machine some weight off. Then put on an AAC short brake, I'm not sure they make them any more, but I can have one made worst case. Bore out the barrel a little more than the caliber to about 16.5" and put a match grade crown there. Then custom cut a brake in the newly bored area. I don't have a clue what angle these should be cut. is it worth trying this?

3) sell the barrel

What do you barrel experts think, is worth attempting?

barrel%20modification_zpsbdfd72nh.jpg

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turn the 18" barrel down a bit. An HBAR or SPR profile aren't that great for 3 gun. I started with a Blackhole 18" SPR and a buddy turned it down to make it lighter. I don't have it in front of me or I would offer you some better dimensions. let me know if those dimensions would help some.

the other option you have is to either add a little weight to the rear of your rifle to get some balance or lighten your hand guard up some to offset the barrel weight. You would still end up with a heavy rig but it would take away the "nose heavy feel".

your last option may be the cheapest. sell the barrel you have and get something that is more suited towards 3 gun ( Nordic, JP, Ect)

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In general it is not really worth it to turn down a barrel. That Wilson Arms cost 200 or so and you are going to spend 50-100 turning the barrel down. Also consider that if you now have an issue with the barrel you are stuck. A Wilson Combat barrel, if that's what you have, is 250-275.00. I suggest that you just sell the barrel and buy a lighter profile if you want a lighter weight rifle. You do not want to mill or machine flats on the site of the barrel, if you want it lighter you need to turn it down. I also don't know how Wilson makes their barrels but they might rifle them after they finish profiling them. If this is the case then machining the barrel will relieve stress and could alter the bore so it might not shoot as well.

My background in LR and NRA target shooting tells me that weight invested in a barrel should be a good investment. Heavier barrels are stiffer and should shoot better. They should be able to absorb a higher rate of fire before heating up. I don't know and I would have to do the math, but due to increased surface area I should think they cool at the same rate as a lighter weight barrel. I suspect that once you get a scope on the rifle if there is not one on there now things will balance out a little bit.

I am still in the process of selecting a new barrel for my mostly lightweight rifle and I will not want a ultra-light weight barrel and Im looking at a 20" barrel. I have saved weight with a light comp, light scope mount and light handguard.

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I do have a Magpul UBR stock on the lower for this rifle, it certainly helps the balance. Just haven't decided what I want to do yet.

The barrel is a Nordic barrel, I wrote Wilson Arms, because I understood Nordic had them made by Wilson Arms. I wanted to say that just in case I neeeded to be corrected.

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I still don't think that it makes financial sense to turn down the barrel. If you have a lathe and can get it done for free you might consider it. I know that if you turn the barrel you will save weight. I think that if you turn the barrel it will not shoot as well.

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