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5 Things to Consider When Selecting AR-15 Barrels

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The AR-15 has a multitude of configurations available, and, with so many options, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and migrate away from your intended goal with your firearm. To further complicate the matter, there are also tactical gear upgrades you can add on as well.

Whether you are building your own device from the bottom up or are making modifications to your current personal rifle, always identify and keep the purpose for your weapon in mind before making any changes or purchases. The upgrades you make will vary depending on whether you’re using it for static target shooting, hunting, or skeet shooting. Ar 15 Barrels are no exception to this rule. When purchasing a barrel, you should always keep your use of the firearm in mind, as well as any future additions you may want to make. Before you buy, consider the following characteristics:

The Length of the Barrel
First and foremost, you need to determine the purpose of your weapon, because this information will determine how long the barrel should be. For instance, shorter AR-15 barrels are designed for easy target acquisitions and maneuverability but are not designed for long-range targets. With that in mind, a short-barrel modification would not be ideal for target shooting at deeper shooting ranges, whereas it might be perfect for hunting in environments where you’ll need space and the ability to quickly move your weapon.

The Barrel Material
When choosing a barrel, you should always think about the material. Depending on the exact selection, it can offer a tactical advantage or disadvantage for your weapon. For example, the 4150 steel provides a better resistance to extreme heat but also has a heftier price tag. If there is a chance of exposure to moisture for your weapon, you may want to consider a chrome lining to help with corrosion resistance.

Rifling or Barrel Twist Ratio
The type of ammunition you utilize will determine the top barrel twist ratio or rate for your weapon. For many traditional uses (not including long range target shooting), a favorite choice is to use a ratio of 1:7 or 1:9, with the best ammunition for these options being 62- or 55-grain bullets.

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The Chamber
Your ammunition choice is an accompanying factor when choosing a custom chamber. For instance, if you want the ability to use both .223 and 5.56 ammo, a top pick is a 5.56 barrel, as it allows both ammunition types to be fired. However, most gun enthusiasts will not recommend shooting 5.56 ammunition out of a .223 barrel since construction differences can lead to dangerous pressure changes. Other popular chamber and barrel setups include the 308 and the 7.62.

The Contours and Profile of the Barrel
The most popular barrel profile for the AR-15 is the military standard M4 contour. This option provides a mixture of durability, strength, and weight. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lighter-weight selection that you can quickly swing around, you may want to consider the pencil barrel, which is designed to be sleek and easy to carry. However, keep in mind that there are disadvantages as well. For instance, the pencil barrel does fall short for frequent, long shooting sessions. The downside of this barrel design comes from its lack of heat resistance, which can lead to damage from repeated and extended firing sessions. While larger barrels are durable and able to withstand rugged and heated firing conditions, their weight can be a significant disadvantage in certain use cases.

Before making your decision, do your research. While the considerations listed in this article are essential, they are not the only things you should think about when making a barrel purchase. If you have any additional questions or concerns about AR-15 barrels, contact the skilled gun enthusiasts at 22Mods4All today by calling (561) 926-5888.