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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started my first ar build and had a question about a upper. I've done tons of research and have come down to the decision to get a 16in. barrel or a 20in. I'm not going to be going tactical i just want a rifle that will be fun to shoot with my buddies but also be able to put on a bipod and knock some distant steel. Everyone keeps telling me to get a shorter barrel but will it make that much difference shooting offhand. I'm not adding a lot of accessories maybe a scope when iron sight are off. Any help will be greatly appreciated every other forum is telling me to use crazy priced parts. I have a DPMS lower. Sorry for the long intro I just figuered mire info would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
 

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mine has a 16" barrel. i have a 4 power scope on it and its good out to a few hundred yards. i go plinking i just take the scope off and flip up the sights start blasting! i have a ncstar scope wich was like 80 bucks and a utg rail system for 60 bucs off ebay and they both work great. beat spending $1000 on an acog and another 250 on a name brand rail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do you think the weight difference is between 16 and 20 in. I'm in maryland so most of my shooting will be off a bench because its not really fun shooting 1 round a sec offhand.
 

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i bought a stag arms and when i was shopping i did not think the was much of a weight difference between the two. i just like the way the 16" looked and just felt more comfortable. but that being said if you are bench shooting the longer barrel might be somthing you would like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thats what im thinking everyone is so caught up in brand loyalty they can't give a opinion on what i ask about. but i'm glad some people would rather give their experience than biased opinions.
 

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Get a decent 16in midlength gas system. This has been a good size for me & it is accurate with irons and has mild recoil. If you are going to put a bipod on it, you probably do not want free float handguards. The great thing about an AR is you can get a great "base" model and add accessories and upgrades as your budget allows.

Do learn the basic parts and structure of an AR before you just run out and buy the best deal. You might end up paying for something that you are not happy with in the long run.
 

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The extra 4 inches of weight doesn't add much to the raw weight of the rifle, but it's adding it at the point farthest from your support. This means that the rifle's center of gravity shifts farther away from your shoulder, and becomes more difficult to hold offhand.

For a combination mid-range and plinking rifle, 16" is the way to go.

If you can do it, or know a gunsmith that can do it cheaply, free float your barrel. It's totally a worthwhile investment, and I know some people swear by it. I purchased $50 worth of tools so I could do it (a quality job of it) myself on my current build. Free float handguards can get expensive, but there are some well-made off brand models that hold up well to casual use.

I'm also going with the MBUS GEN-2 sights; for <$100, they're an outstanding pair of backup ironsights.

Finally, scopes are tricky -- really, you should find one that works for you; there are countless brands, and they all bring different aspects of cost, quality, size, weight, and power to the table. I personally wouldn't expect needing anything higher than a 4x for a short- to mid-range rifle, and a 4x32mm lens will be plenty bright for most daytime shooting. After that, it's down to preference.

An extra note on length:
The gas system, barrel length, twist rate, buffer weight, and bullet weight all affect the necessary powder load you'll need to cycle properly. Generally speaking, a carbine-length system will do you just fine as long as you're firing more than 55gr rounds and using a carbine-spec buffer. If you start moving into the 20" barrel / rifle-length gas systems, you may need to get a little pickier about your rounds and configuration. Then again, this setup might be better suited for an experienced sharpshooter...

My $0.02.
 

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In the Marines we hit targets at 500 yards with that 20 inch barrel. If this is gonna be a range gun, go long barrel.. why not. The weight is not an issue. I've seen female Marines who prolly weigh in at a buck twenty hold that beast up and shoot it. It's an AR, it is a light rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah the more i look into it weight really isnt that big of a deal. I'm actually looking at the sportical style because if i want a forward assist and ejection port cover ill just buy a receiver and mount a barrel later and use it as experience. I have a bit of knowledge from magazines and online but always looking for more.
 

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Go 16" man. That's pretty much the basic barrel length for the AR15 and it works wonders. I've never owned a 20", but why go 20"? More weight, and the enhance in accuracy probably isn't noticable. With a 16", you'll be shooting just as far and just as accurate as you could with a 20".

If you're looking for a pretty good, budget upper receiver. I went out on a limb and tried out a DS Arms upper, and so far it has worked amazingly. Absolutely no problems, and my Bushy BCG dropped in aswell as the lower fitted perfectly. I got one of the "new" Nitride treated barrels or whatever, but I havn't noticed anything different than a regular barrel or something chrome-lined. Best thing about DS Arms, I got my whole upper for like 300 bucks. Really cheap, and I've had no problems.

Now, there's going to be alot of people say bad things about DS Arms and anything else shy of a Colt, DD, Noveske, BCM, etc, and they are great companies, but it's the price thing. It's all about the Benjamins.
 

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I'm on a 22" AR barrel right now. It's very accurate but I found myself having to put more money in to the scope to make the longer barrel worth it. A 16" upper is on my wish list for close range plinking.
 

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Get a decent 16in midlength gas system. This has been a good size for me & it is accurate with irons and has mild recoil. If you are going to put a bipod on it, you probably do not want free float handguards. The great thing about an AR is you can get a great "base" model and add accessories and upgrades as your budget allows.

Do learn the basic parts and structure of an AR before you just run out and buy the best deal. You might end up paying for something that you are not happy with in the long run.
What does a free float handguard have to do with not putting a bipod on? I have a bipod on my free float and i've had no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah the 20in. sounds like something i would use alot. I'll plink around with my buddies once in awhile but we'll end up using my gun to shoot coyotes the most. only one close friend has a ar right now everyone else has ak 's and sks's. Plus bragging rights will be earned with distant shots lol
 

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scrappletaco, some questions for you:

-What is your rough budget for your upper? (don't need to be exact; helps point you in the right direction)
-How often do you think you'll shoot this rifle?
-What are typical distances you usually shoot?
-What do you think is the max distance you'll shoot?
-Will you be carrying the rifle most of the time it is used?
-Do you have any crazy/unrealistic accuracy expectations we should know about? ;)

Other questions:
-Is your DPMS lower stripped or complete? If complete, what type of stock does it have?


You can attach a bipod to whatever you decide to get; be it a 16" or a 20" barrel. And while I like good stuff like anybody else, I don't believe you have to spend a ton of dough to get something that is reliable and fun to shoot.
 

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20 shoots further and more accurate. That is fact. You'll get about 150-200 yards more distance on the 20 than the 16.
Please explain that statement.

A longer barrel is not more accurate then a shorter barrel.
It all depends on the quality of the barrel not the length.

If longer barrels were more accurate you would see bench rest competitors using 30 inch barrels not the short ones they actually use!

A 20 inch barrel will give you about 200f fps more velocity but that is not enough to make it shoot 150-200 yards farther!

don
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
As for price range $450-$650. if i wait a week or two would let me spend around the $650 mark cause of payday.
Distances could be 25yrd to 300yds maybe close to 375max
maybe carry ocasionally and would like around 1in. group @100yds I dont know if thats unreasonable or not though. the more accurate the better though I'm not kicking in doors with it.
The lower i bought was a complete with the m4 style 6 positon. I will be buying a magpul stock set after the rifle is finished.

I shoot atleast 3 times a month by my base. But shoot alot when i go to my hometown 4.5 hrs away but thats about every 2 months
 
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