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Thinking about a new AR barrel.

JeeperJeeper Senior MemberPosts: 2,954 Senior Member
edited August 2018 in General Firearms #1
So, after my latest range trip, I have ascertained that I own TWO uppers that are basically 2"-4" MOA (one 16" 5.56 medium length gas action, the other 18" .223 Wylde rifle length gas action, both 1/7 twist & medium contour - not "pencil") depending on ammo. Even premium ammo that groups well under an inch out of my HBAR JSE upper won't get me better than ~2" in either of them.

I'm thinking that I'll sell one or the other and buy a quality barrel for the other one.

Thoughts?  Barrel recommendations?

Goal is no more than ~1" with premium ammo, 2-3" with bulk ammo.


 
Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug

Replies

  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #2
    BTW, the 5 .45 holes in the middle are my new Ruger Blackhawk with hot .45 Colt loads offhand at ~48 yds.  

    One high to the left, one high to the right.  At 50 yds, I can only just barely make out the circle... basically just shooting at the middle of the target.  >.<
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    I'm thinking about a lightweight 20" Bergara barrel for one of mine.

    This one, in particular
    http://shop.bergarausa.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=B02C9AA672014AEEB4AE6D29A048DE5A

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    Wow, that's certainly not a lot of money!
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    Jeeper said:
    Wow, that's certainly not a lot of money!
    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have zero first hand experience with them
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,402 Senior Member
    I've had good (albeit limited) luck with the AR Stoner barrels. Especially the 6x45 but that's not what you asked about. 

    Subtle hint to rebarrel in 6x45. 
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,798 Senior Member
    How much do you want to spend? 
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #8
    I don't want to say price no object, but preferably not much more than ~$300ish.

    I'd prefer it to be SS, 1/7 twist, NOT pencil thin (medium contour), either medium or rifle length gas action, and haven't decided for sure whether to go 16" or 18".

    Gah.  I'd go $400 if I was really confident that it was going to be *really* accurate.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    6x45 is NOT happening.  It's a GREAT cartridge, but I'm sticking with 5.56/.223 for cheap plinking ammo.

    Next build may be .300 BO.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    You asked for thoughts, so, here goes.
      Are the optics and triggers on the two rifles in question up to the task of shooting less than 2 MOA groups?  You compared the results to an HBAR upper,  what are the set ups on all three rifles, for the sake of a baseline?


  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    Valid questions JB.

    Bushnell 4.5x14 power scope swapped to whatever I'm shooting.  All 3 of my ARs have aftermarket triggers (One JP Enterprises, one Timney, one Geissele SSA-E) ALL of which break at no more than ~3.5lbs with perfectly crisp let offs.

    Shooting sandbagged off a bench at Max power (14x) with the rifle absolutely steady before/during/after each shot, on a 100 yd indoor range with no wind issues.   I've gone through enough different brands and grades of ammo in enough different weights (55, 62, 69, 75, 77) to ensure that there isn't an issue with the ammo. 

    I have absolutely NO doubt that the results are symptomatic of the accuracy of each upper.  The same scope with the JP Enterprises trigger (arguably the least ideal trigger of the 3 for bench rest shooting) on  the JSE bull barrelled upper routinely produces .5"-.75" groups using premium ammo, and ~2.5" with cheap stuff.    I just want similar performance from something that doesn't weigh 9 lbs.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,798 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #12
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,798 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #13
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,798 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #14
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    Pegasus said:
    How much do you want to spend? 
    Like mentioned above... Not more than $300-400.
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Shilen Select Match.  They may not be the hot new name in barrels, but mine (chambered in 6x45) puts up .18" groups at 100 yards and will keep them under a dime at 200 yards in a medium contour.




    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    That sounds great!   I'd be happy with sub 1" groups with premium ammo.
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #18
    Only problem with Shilen is that they're above your price point.

    Their SS barrels, with the bolt they're head spaced for are $480
    CS is $397
    http://www.shilen.com/ar15Barrels.html

    Without the bolt, you can get a Lilja AR740 contour for $420
    http://riflebarrels.com/shop/drop-in-barrels/223-8-ar740-20/


    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Yeah, it appears price has climbed since I had my upper built, but you see the results.  The bolt should be a simple part swap, but it obviously adds some cost.  Lilja also makes great barrels, in general, but I can't speak to their AR offerings.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    I have one of their AR24 barrels, SHOOTS great, weighs a ton and a half
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    That's $555 for a threaded Shilen barrel, and *that* is more than I want to spend.  I'm sure it's a great barrel, but I'm looking for something with 95% of that level of performance for only ~75% of the cost.

    The Lilja's are too heavy.  I'm looking for a 16-18" barrel weighing in ~1.75 lbs (or less)

    Anybody have any experience with "Ballistic Advantage" AR barrels?
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,877 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #22
    I have no real world knowledge, but just from reading/research, I have seen that Faxon and Ballistic Research are usually mentioned in the "budget" accuracy barrels. 

    https://www.pewpewtactical.com/best-ar-barrels/


  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    Jeeper said:
    Anybody have any experience with "Ballistic Advantage" AR barrels?
    Never heard of them
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    I’d love to have my old DPMS upper/barrel back. 1/4” groups with handloads. 
    Me too
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    I'd love for my Lilja barrel on my RRA to shoot as many different loads well as the OEM 20" barrel did

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,402 Senior Member
    One thing to keep mind - semiautomatic systems aren't inheritantly accurate. Sure, everyone can offer a 3 shot group that suggests great accuracy but shoot 5 and see what happens. Cool the barrel accordingly.  Anything less than an inch with good loads is good. 

    My $0.02 having chased accuracy a lot in semiauto platforms. I've got some rifles that beat this but also have some that struggle to get under an inch. 
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,202 Senior Member
    JKP said:
    One thing to keep mind - semiautomatic systems aren't inheritantly accurate. Sure, everyone can offer a 3 shot group that suggests great accuracy but shoot 5 and see what happens.

    Ummm, that IS a 5 shot group I posted.
    as is this one from a different AR (24" Grendel)

    The grendel is the same rifle/load/scope combo I used to split the playing card in half from 100 yards

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I stopped shooting 5-shot groups a while ago.  It felt like I was looking more for an anomaly than consistent performance.  I'd rather shoot a 3-shot group at one range, then a second 3-shot group as I'm zeroing for my hunting range.  If I see a consistent increase in group size as range increases, I don't fret it.  That's exactly what my AR group pics posted above demonstrate.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,812 Senior Member

    cpj said:
    I’d love to have my old DPMS upper/barrel back. 1/4” groups with handloads. 
    I have a DPMS 1:8 .223, 20" heavy barrel, and a 7mm-08 medium contour 16' that consistently shoot groups in the 1/2 MOA range. I like them both, and my skills do not demand more. In fact, the only 'accuracy enhancing' mod that made a difference on either rifle (beyond tweaked hand loads) was to upgrade the triggers to RRA National Match.
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