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Is it difficult to cut down an AR barrel at home?

This is a discussion on Is it difficult to cut down an AR barrel at home? within the AR Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; Well as the title infers, I'm looking to cut down my AR barrel. It's currently 16" + Muzzle Brake and I'm looking to make it ...

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
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Is it difficult to cut down an AR barrel at home?

Well as the title infers, I'm looking to cut down my AR barrel. It's currently 16" + Muzzle Brake and I'm looking to make it 14.5" + pined Muzzle Brake. I'm getting ready to have my AR Cerakoted, so now would be the best time to have it done because I can have weld job sanded down and painted over.

I'm a pretty handy guy and I have a lot of tools, I'm just wondering if this is something I can do in my garage. If so what will I need? Hacksaw? Bandsaw? Whats the best way to rethread the end of the barrel?

I know it would be MUCH cheaper for me to cut down the barrel but should I just say the hell with it and buy a 14.5" barrel?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:07 PM   #2
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At a minimum, you would need a lathe. Probably better off buying a new barrel. You could cut the barrel off with a hack saw, but then you would need to face the barrel in a lathe to make it square to the bore. Then cut a crown of some sort, turn the OD for the thread, then cut the thread. Single point cutting the thread on the lathe would be the best, but it could be done with a die.

Probably not a DIY project if you're not a machinist.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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why?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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I've seen this posted on other forums.

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:25 PM   #5
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A lot of work and potentially ruined barrel for 1.5 inches? I would only try this on a 94-04 type barrel that doesn't have a suppressor.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
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Something to keep in mind regarding the threading of the barrel is that it should remain completely concentric to the bore if you ever plan on slapping a suppressor on there. Otherwise, not so critical. Just get the thread pitch and such correct.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT Jon View Post
Something to keep in mind regarding the threading of the barrel is that it should remain completely concentric to the bore if you ever plan on slapping a suppressor on there. Otherwise, not so critical. Just get the thread pitch and such correct.
That's why it's a job for a Machinist/Gun smith. Probably cheaper to buy a new barrel.

Seems like a 16 inch barrel with a flash hider is is only 17 inches total length, so you would only be saving 1 inch at most. Is it really worth it? If you want short, just build an AR pistol. With the standard length pistol buffer tube, they are still easy to shoot from the shoulder, and no NFA fees involved.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the good info! I'm not a machinist and from what has been posted here and other research it seems like the hardest part of this is threading the barrel. I can see how if that's screwed up it could cause a problem. I just like doing stuff with MY hands and being able to say "Yeah, I did that".

I've looked into just replacing the barrel, Wilson Combat makes a great 14.5" barrel but they are currently out of stock. The only barrels I've found in stock, just did a quick search, were from Spikes Tactical.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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crowning a barrel is truly art. MIkey if you buy a new barrel if yours is a mid-length I might buy it off you.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT Jon View Post
Something to keep in mind regarding the threading of the barrel is that it should remain completely concentric to the bore if you ever plan on slapping a suppressor on there. Otherwise, not so critical. Just get the thread pitch and such correct.
Thread alignment tool.

not that expensive. I'm not sure if I trust one with a high priced can, but he wants a short suppressor on it. I am planning on a recrown and thread on at least one of my guns that came without threads.

unfortunately, that specific tool is, shock of shocks, sold out last time I looked.
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