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Mike9250

16" vs 18" barrel

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Shoot a Stretch16 and your opinions will change!

If you want to be the one to buy me a $400 barrel for gun games where 90% of shots are within 50 yards, then sure.

I spent about 330 not bad considering it has the gas block and tube.

Pat

That's more than double the cost of the barrel necessary for most 3 gun shots and matches.

3 gun matches are not the same everywhere. Frankly I like a rifle capable of at least MOA with match ammo. Nor am I a fan of hoser only short stages. They are fun and should be part of the match but not all of it.

Pat

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How many off the rack button-rifled 5.56 NATO chambered barrels aren't MOA capable with match ammo?

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How many off the rack button-rifled 5.56 NATO chambered barrels aren't MOA capable with match ammo?

Don't know you would have to test them all to find out. Frankly I have found that if you test honestly with at least 5 ,5 shot groups and not cherry pick the best groups not nearly as many guns are sub moa as the internet would have you believe. Such has been my experience at least. My most disappointing barrel purchase has been one of the most expensive with a Rainer Ultramatch barrel. So far that barrel has not shot sub moa with any load I have tried from 52 grain bullets up to 77. Must have got a lemon.

pat

Edited by Alaskapopo

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I'm going to chime in on the whole melonite process......and I not sure if stretch or anyone else for that matter melonites before or after the barrel extension is applied.

Melonite is not the same as cerokote......in fact they are WAY different. Cerokot is basically, painting and curing at 250F to 300F....this will not anneal any metal parts and provides a tough finish.....they claim that some of the cerakote finishes will protect up to 1700F......well, you're barrel would be pretty much trashed if it ever got to that temp anyways......so big deal.

Melonite....or QPQ or Nitro Carburizing......what ever you want to call it. is actually, a heat treating process. Process temps can be between 800F and 1200F......this is significant!! It can anneal the base metal. And even though the QPQ will give you and VERY hard surface (70Rc)....it is only a few .0001" deep. It's great to do on a barrel and can increase service life. HOWEVER.....it is BAD for barrel extensions, infact, it is the single most worst thing you can do to a barrel extension (and bolts, not carriers). What happens is....the base metal is annealed and the surface is SUPER hard.....and things are pounding when the rifle goes bang....the surface of the barrel extension develops micro fracturing and that goes into the base metal and you end up with a catastrophic failure. And....no, you can't melonite the surface and then heat treat the base metal either.

Sooooooo.....what does this mean? maybe nothing......maybe something. Is a barrel that is melonited, done before the extension is put on or after? I'd probably make sure beyond the shadow of doubt before I bought one. I have no idea what stretch does......don't care. I'm pretty much set with all the barrels I'm ever going to buy in 223. BTW......you do NOT want a melonited extension, and you want the extension assembled to the barrel AFTER the barrel is melonited......it's interesting though, considering the gas hole is drilled AFTER the extension is put on, they must use a spendy starting drill to cut thru that surface.

AND......to the nay sayers.......whats new again was old....years ago, there was a fairly prominent player in the AR world that did the melonite thing on bolts and extensions......it about ended that company.

As for 16" with mid s 18" with rifle.......velocity difference? someone stated 100FPS.......possible, although depending on bore dia's, chambering tolerances, rifling land distance and angles.....you could actually have a 16" barrel with faster velocity than an 18".....that 100fps is a good theoretical number......but putting rounds thru a chrony will tell the actuall story.

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So, can anyone on here comment on the order in which the Stretch process takes place?

We have a local group that occasionally gets groups of items together to send off for melonite/QPQ treatment and I was considering sending my Nordic barrel in the next batch. But, it already has the extension installed... Is this a bad idea?

I like the potential for increasing barrel life and making cleanup that much easier.

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Faxon for instance doesn't melonite their extensions, they simply use a black oxide finish so it matches the barrel.

How many off the rack button-rifled 5.56 NATO chambered barrels aren't MOA capable with match ammo?

Don't know you would have to test them all to find out. Frankly I have found that if you test honestly with at least 5 ,5 shot groups and not cherry pick the best groups not nearly as many guns are sub moa as the internet would have you believe. Such has been my experience at least. My most disappointing barrel purchase has been one of the most expensive with a Rainer Ultramatch barrel. So far that barrel has not shot sub moa with any load I have tried from 52 grain bullets up to 77. Must have got a lemon.
pat

I mean at the end of the day a lot of these barrels are just button rifled, not cut rifled. Biggest differences are whether or not they're hand lapped and if they're a .223 Wylde chamber or true 5.56 NATO. I really struggle with the idea a $300-400 button rifled barrel is any better than a ~$200 button rifled barrel. I haven't found an 18" rifle to transition that slow, so is a 16" intermediate appreciably *softer* is my real question.

Edited by SubOrbital

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So, can anyone on here comment on the order in which the Stretch process takes place?

We have a local group that occasionally gets groups of items together to send off for melonite/QPQ treatment and I was considering sending my Nordic barrel in the next batch. But, it already has the extension installed... Is this a bad idea?

I like the potential for increasing barrel life and making cleanup that much easier.

Yeah.....that would be a bad idea. Hey, just figure on the barrel last 12K rounds (MAX) and drive on......your upper probably will be worn out before that anyways. Going from 12K to 30K.....I'd be skeptical if they claim it still held 1MOA, but I am sure there is an all knowing person who has personally done this on the forum.

Back in the day.......Kreiger, Hart or Snyder barrels would be totally awesome if they lasted a season and a half for service rifle......meaning 7K to 10K rounds before you would be looking to replace as you were gettting up towards 1 MOA. In this game? loose the barrel once it goes to 1.5 to 2MOA and you would be amazed at how many rounds that would be. I do (personally) have a JP ultra light that has 12K known rounds on it and still shoots 1 to 1.5 MOA......and those 12K rounds were VERY hard rounds.

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Like Tim Ubl, said, meloniting a used barrel is not a good idea. 10-12K is about the norm for non-treated stainless barrels. Faster, cooler powders can lengthen that some as gas port erosion is one of the things that deteriorates accuracy. Bruce Piatt re-crowns barrels and increases service life as well.

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Faxon for instance doesn't melonite their extensions, they simply use a black oxide finish so it matches the barrel.

How many off the rack button-rifled 5.56 NATO chambered barrels aren't MOA capable with match ammo?

Don't know you would have to test them all to find out. Frankly I have found that if you test honestly with at least 5 ,5 shot groups and not cherry pick the best groups not nearly as many guns are sub moa as the internet would have you believe. Such has been my experience at least. My most disappointing barrel purchase has been one of the most expensive with a Rainer Ultramatch barrel. So far that barrel has not shot sub moa with any load I have tried from 52 grain bullets up to 77. Must have got a lemon.

pat

I mean at the end of the day a lot of these barrels are just button rifled, not cut rifled. Biggest differences are whether or not they're hand lapped and if they're a .223 Wylde chamber or true 5.56 NATO. I really struggle with the idea a $300-400 button rifled barrel is any better than a ~$200 button rifled barrel. I haven't found an 18" rifle to transition that slow, so is a 16" intermediate appreciably *softer* is my real question.

300 is not that much. You pay your money and you take your chances. The worst barrel I ever got I only paid $60 bucks for on a black friday sale. It grouped about 10 inches at 100 yards it was a Radical arms barrel. At the end of the day you get what you pay for. Rather something is worth it to you is entirely up to you. I think people get too wrapped up over this stuff.

Pat

Edited by Alaskapopo

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I, for one, and thankful Mark has been promoting the Stretch16 barrels. Built a new rifle for this season based on his feedback and took it out for its first match since I last shot in Oct ...

https://youtu.be/Immi4Xk0swA

To say I'm thrilled is an understatement

Edited by IntenseImage

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I, for one, and thankful Mark has been promoting the Stretch16 barrels. Built a new rifle for this season based on his feedback and took it out for its first match since I last shot in Oct ...

To say I'm thrilled is an understatement

Looks like you've got that dialed in nice and smooth.

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I personally like 18", but, go for what you want.

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We kind of got off topic here I think.... a 16" barrel should be slightly more maneuverable then the 18" of the same contour type. The 18" should give you on average another 50-100 fps. Your average 18" will be a little heavier. If you want rifle gas there are fewer choices in a 16" rifle gas barrel.

I shot NRA highpower for years. Kriegers dominated the sport for years as they were cut rifled, so they lasted longer, and they shot very well. Because were shooting magazine length bullets for 3G, we can start with a shorter throat. Because were shooting non-VLD bullets they will shoot well even if they jump.

Because we do shoot a lot of shots very fast 3G barrels will heat up quick and we need a barrel that shoots well after 30 rds in one minute I test for accuracy again after the barrel is hot to see how things hold up. Say what you want, but I still find it hard to believe that some of these pencil thin barrels will maintain accuracy or POI after a magazine dump and a transition to a far target. As such, ill take a slightly heavier barrel then some.

I have a 18" DD STW and a 16" Micro MOA and I cant tell the difference really.

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I have a JP 18 and 16LW. They both shoot better than my skill level.

I like the 16 for short course matches and the 18 for longer course matches.

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I have a 18" Nordic and it's awesome, flat and fast. I don't think the length hurts on the close up hoser type stage, it really shines on the long range stages. My local match shoots to 500+ regularly. I have seen a lot of limited shooters with a 14.5-16" barrel with a prismatic for the 3 gun nation style stages. I guess it really depends on the style of match the OP is intending to shoot, or build two different uppers.

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Well I'm new to 3gun but I'm 20 years in LE with 16 in Tactical operations. I have banged steel, standard sized uspsa style out past 300 with a 12.5" on up to a 18". the one thing i teach new operators is the rifle is a tool and with any tool you should know what it will do when used properly. now i prefer a 14.5 pinned of most any type as i never have needed to shoot sub-MOA with a 5.56 anyway.

And I'm sure others have said this but it really depends on your environment. Here in Alabama much over 150 yards is a stretch for most matches, or so i hear.

Edited by Debob

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Well I'm new to 3gun but I'm 20 years in LE with 16 in Tactical operations. I have banged steel, standard sized uspsa style out past 300 with a 12.5" on up to a 18". the one thing i teach new operators is the rifle is a tool and with any tool you should know what it will do when used properly. now i prefer a 14.5 pinned of most any type as i never have needed to shoot sub-MOA with a 5.56 anyway.

And I'm sure others have said this but it really depends on your environment. Here in Alabama much over 150 yards is a stretch for most matches, or so i hear.

Well 16 going on 17 years in LE now and the marksmanship challenges presented to LEO's even at the SWAT level in training is far lower than what we put on shooters in typical three gun matches. Try a 6 inch Colt Speed popper at 300 yards for example instead of a whole USPSA target. Apples to oranges.

Pat

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Huge fan of the stretch 16 and a 16" barrel for 3 gun :) around my parts though we don't have a lot of distance. I can see were out West an 18" would help.

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I went with a 16.5 because I wanted to run an SJC Titan which adds 3 inches, evo ultra-light from Voodoo innovations, with a rifle gas system, and a syrac ordnance adjustable gas block, its louder than hell, but it swings stupid fast and has essentially no recoil.

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Huge fan of the stretch 16 and a 16" barrel for 3 gun :) around my parts though we don't have a lot of distance. I can see were out West an 18" would help.

Having shoot the Stretch16 against an 18", still choose the Stretch 16, and I shoot many of the longer distance matches.

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Huge fan of the stretch 16 and a 16" barrel for 3 gun :) around my parts though we don't have a lot of distance. I can see were out West an 18" would help.

Having shoot the Stretch16 against an 18", still choose the Stretch 16, and I shoot many of the longer distance matches.

Then I'm I'm super happy with my purchase ;) Started looking into the Stretch because of your mention of them on the forums Mark, Thanks!

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