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AR15 16 vs 20 inch barrel length

tayarantayaran Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
edited May 2009 in Ask the Experts
Experts, please tell me what are the advantages/disadvantages of each. I am eyeing the 16" and my friend keeps telling me I am crazy if I don't get the 20", thank you in advance ...


  • MaaloxMaalox Member Posts: 5,171 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tayaran
    Experts, please tell me what are the advantages/disadvantages of each. I am eyeing the 16" and my friend keeps telling me I am crazy if I don't get the 20", thank you in advance ...

    First, I am not an expert

    But it doesn't matter which you purchase (first). Because once you get one, the second will not be far behind. [:D]

    Shorter barrel = easier handling in close quarters
    Longer Barrel = better accuracy over longer distance shooting
    Regards, MAALOX
  • nyforesternyforester Member Posts: 2,575 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The longerr barrel will be more accurate with open sites. If you scope them, you will not be able to tell which is more accurate. Get the one that feels and looks best to you.
    Maaloux is correct. I can't seem to "Just say no" when it comes to buying AR's. I guess I have the AR-BUG.
    Abort Cuomo
  • BHAVINBHAVIN Member Posts: 3,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just as an all around gun I prefer the 16". I like the feel better. You are losing about 120fps (feet per second) with the shorter barrel which doesn't amount to much. Like NY said if you are using open sights the 20" will be a little more accuracte because of the added sight radius. See which one feels best to you. I have 16", 20" and 24" AR's and like them all and all of them have their niche.
  • Mr. GunzMr. Gunz Member Posts: 1,879 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    20" will have slighliy higher velocity, but not nessecarly more accurite (less barrel movement...
  • linthicumlinthicum Member Posts: 825 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm no expert also so maybe one can correct me on this, But I was told that the 16" is louder with more muzzle flash. If that matters to you.
  • MethodMethod Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Also, i heard that a 16" barrel cannot accomadate a bayonet? is this right?

    Thanks, the only part left for me to complete my rifle is the barrel. I am also leaning towards a midsized 16"

    Is it true that chrome lining really only helps the cleaning process?

  • redhead71redhead71 Member Posts: 2,337 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    chrome line helps alot in the cleaning process 223 rounds are very dirty, far as barrel lenght which one make you happy buy that one! if you going to use the rifle in cmp matches 20" out blasting cans and paper 16"
  • MethodMethod Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    What about the bayonet? Is it compatible with a 16" barrel?

    Thanks again
  • NwcidNwcid Member Posts: 10,674
    edited November -1
    As the others said the 20" should be more accurate due to sight radius.

    The shorter the barrel the more noise is true for any gun. The difference between the 16" and 20" is not worth worrying about. You can easily tell the difference between an 11.5" and a 24" barrel though.

    The bayonet will fit on the 16" gun but not correctly. The gas system and mount is further back from the muzzle then on an M4 or a 20" gun.

    I like the carbines but if I could only choose one to have I would pick the 20" A2 as I feel it is the best all around gun.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    The 20" barrel will give approximately 100 more yards before velocity falls below 2750fps. That's the speed above which the fmj 55gr bullet breaks at the canelure creating two wound channels and greater stopping power.
    The iron sight radius advantage of the 20" barrel disappears with the 16" models having full length stock and the longer sight radius.
    Your eyesight is good but don't go below 16" for ballistic effectiveness.
    Ar15 weights can range from 5 1/2 lbs to over 8lbs.
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