View Full Version : 16 to 20" Barrel ?

July 14, 2012, 07:15 PM
I have a 16" barrel carbine and want to get an accurate 20" upper to put on it. I want to find a complete upper. What would you guys recommend ?

July 14, 2012, 08:28 PM
Get the best quality barrel you can afford.

I would look for a stainless steel DCM/service rifle barrel by Kreiger or Shilen. 1 in 8 twist allows you to shoot 69, 75 and 77 grain match bullets, which have excellent ballistic coefficients for long range use.

I assemble my own stuff and haven't bought a complete upper since the 1980s, so I'm no help there. Maybe someone else has recent experience with purchasing complete uppers.

July 14, 2012, 10:49 PM
Id go with this http://noveskerifleworks.com/cgi-bin/imcart/display.cgi?item_id=20mv-556-n&cat=171&page=1&search=&since=&status=&title=

July 15, 2012, 07:51 AM
A longer barrel does not mean you well have greater accuracy. A 16" is as capable as a 20" if they are similar quality and one takes time to find the load that particular barrel likes.

One of the best uppers is from white Oak

Noveske Rifle Works makes a very fine barrel, it would be on my top three list.

Rainier Arms has a selection of barrels and complete uppers.

I recently built this A2 with a budget barrel, a DPMS mini SASS. It's a 18", 1-8 bull profile and I'm seeing moa with irons and Nosler 69 & 77gr match ammo. Pretty good for a $200 barrel.


July 15, 2012, 08:46 AM
A longer barrel does not mean you well have greater accuracy. A 16" is as capable as a 20" if they are similar quality and one takes time to find the load that particular barrel likes.

does a longer barrel give you longer range ?

July 15, 2012, 09:08 AM
does a longer barrel give you longer range ?

The longer barrel gives you more velocity.

July 15, 2012, 10:31 AM
I put together a build using a 20" Black Rain Ordnance 3R 1-8 barrel and have been very impressed. No problems consistently hitting a 18" gong at 500 yards using a 3-9x Nikon and 69gr Sierra Match King hand loads.


July 15, 2012, 11:42 AM
My 20" barrel is about 120 fps faster than my 16" barrels. No difference in accuracy. At "Extreme" range the extra 120 fps might make a tiny difference in accuracy, energy, and trajectory. Most bullets maintain accuracy as long as they are supersonic, around 1000 fps. Once they drop below that speed accuarcy suffers.

In a nutshell the 20" barrel might maintain that speed up to 1000 yards where the 16" barrel will become subsonic at 950. Hypothetical numbers, Just a SWAG for illustration purposes. I didn't look it up for accuracy, but I think you get the point.

July 15, 2012, 11:45 AM
If one was to study "The Secrets of the Huston Warehouse" and Dr. F Mann's "The Bullets Flight from Powder to Target" you'll discover the most accurate barrel lengh for the 22 center fires is 18.75 inches. (The army used an 18 inch barrel in their 223 Mann Accuracy Device for testing ammo).

Where the extra lengh comes in as to accuracy is when using iron sights. The longer barrel gives you a longer sight radius making for more accurate shooting (shooting, not a more accurate rifle).

Before I got carried away with a different barrel/upper, I'd find a bullet that best fits your 16 inch barrel. Depending on the twist and bullet weight, you can get out there quite a ways.

However if you want the most accurate Upper for an AR, walk down the line at a High Power Match checking the rifles of the top shooters. You'll find a huge majority of them using the White Oak Upper.

July 15, 2012, 12:22 PM


Master Blaster 2
July 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Del-Ton sells uppers on line.

July 15, 2012, 02:14 PM
Thank you guys for ll the info and links. After reading this thread I don't think I will rush into a 20" barrel.
The AR I have now is a S&W Ar 15 Sport and I get less than 1 inch groups @ 100 yds. I am going to go out to 300 yds and see how it does, maybe I don't need a 20" barrel. Maybe just put some money into an after market trigger which would be a little better than the one on it now.