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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why is it that all of the 16" barrel models are called "Carbines" and all of the 20" models are called "Rifles"??

Since there's a distinct chance that this question doesn't make much sense (since I'm an AR newbie who just caught The AR Fever BIG TIME), here's an example:

http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/weapons/

It might also help if someone could define the word "carbine".

Sorry I'm such a helpless fella when it comes to AR's... my roommate just bought an AR-15 from Alexander Arms that fires the 6.5mm Grendel and after a few minutes of research on AR's, I was instantly addicted to the .223/5.56's. So I'm basically coming into the AR thing totally unprepared... all I know is that I want one and I need to do TONS of research to make my best selection.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The carbine is the little cousin of the M16. Its basically your M16 but is shorter and lighter which makes it better suited for close quarter combat. If you stick with the good brand names you can't go wrong with whatever you decide to get. Check out Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, Stag or LMT to start with. Welcome to the addiction!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The carbine is the little cousin of the M16. Its basically your M16 but is shorter and lighter which makes it better suited for close quarter combat. If you stick with the good brand names you can't go wrong with whatever you decide to get. Check out Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, Stag or LMT to start with. Welcome to the addiction!
Thanks. I'd be more interested in a 20" or so barrel as opposed to a 16" just for accuracy's sake, but I've heard that the 16" is the best for a rifle you can stand and shoot with. Are the 20"+ barrels really that unbareable to shoot standing?

By the way, I must have researched 20+ AR manufacturers last night, and so far I really like Bushmaster. I'm thinking about either a 16" or 20", A3 Upper, and that's basically it. Just start with a very basic A3 rig and modify it to my liking as I go.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What's ur primary purpose for the rifle. Is hunting etc then the 20inch would be in order. For fun and home defense the 16inch is still plenty accurate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What's ur primary purpose for the rifle. Is hunting etc then the 20inch would be in order. For fun and home defense the 16inch is still plenty accurate.
I agree- I think you will be pleased with the accuracy of a 16"
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbine

The 20" will be more accurate at long range. Other factors are twist rate, pressure points on the barrel (the less contact on the barrel the better hence the reason folks Freefloat their barrels), barrel type - Heavy, Fluted, Fluted Heavy, M4 cut, light and pencil light (the last two are typically found in the older A1 models but can be had on newer A3/4 models as well)

The general consensus is that 16" is more than fine for the majority of civilian applications. If you think you're going to want to shoot accurately beyond 300meters then consider the 20". If you're use will have you shooting at less than 300m then the 16" will more than meet the need.

Hopefully someone with better understanding can give you detail on twist rate recommendations.

Welcome to the addiction!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm hardly an expert (semi-informed noob might be more accurate), but I have done a little looking on twist rates for barrels as I've kicked around configuring a 24" varmint AR. Most .223 AR's will come with a 1 in 9" rate, which is a good compromise twist for general all-purpose use. It will stabilize your common 55-gr rounds nicely, but will also work for some heavier rounds (high 50-gr's and maybe low 60-gr's, I'm not sure), and some lighter ones (low 50-gr's).

Many folks who are using their AR's for service rifle competitions will go with something like a 1 in 8" or even a 1 in 7" because they use heavier loads (high 60-gr's and even some 70-gr's) to maintain accuracy at distance. The heavier bullets work well with the faster twist rate, but lighter rounds can over-spin and in some cases actually fly apart and disintegrate, or go way off-target.

If I was buying one just for fun/all-purpose shooting, I'd get a 1 in 9" or 1 in 8", leaving some options open for using slightly heavier rounds if I felt like it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nikon777 said:
What's ur primary purpose for the rifle.
Targets only. No hunting, and no self defense (that's what the .45 ACP is for :D)
SpringfieldXD.40 said:
I agree- I think you will be pleased with the accuracy of a 16"
That's good to hear. I may opt for the 16" after all.
Badshot said:
If you're use will have you shooting at less than 300m then the 16" will more than meet the need.
I am certain that I will not need to shoot nearly that far with the rifle. I'll go for the 16".
DanTheEldest said:
If I was buying one just for fun/all-purpose shooting, I'd get a 1 in 9" or 1 in 8", leaving some options open for using slightly heavier rounds if I felt like it.
Almost all of the Bushmasters I'm interested in have the 1 in 9" twist. What do you think would be the optimal weight bullet for that? Is 55 grain pretty much the standard for 5.56/.223's?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What sort of targets are you going to be shooting? Are you planning on competing with the weapon, or are you just planning on heading to the range now and then to sling lead at paper plates and such?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Almost all of the Bushmasters I'm interested in have the 1 in 9" twist. What do you think would be the optimal weight bullet for that? Is 55 grain pretty much the standard for 5.56/.223's?
Yeah, the 55-gr stuff is basically the standard round for us civvies for all-around shooting. I'm not entirely sure about this, but I believe with the 1 in 9 you could even get up to about a 62-gr for longer distances and a bit more power if you felt like it, but all the "cheap" factory ammo is 55 these days. If you handload, however, the sky's the limit.....
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hikeeba said:
What sort of targets are you going to be shooting? Are you planning on competing with the weapon, or are you just planning on heading to the range now and then to sling lead at paper plates and such?
Yea basically paper targets, beer cans, maybe even the occasional possum or skunk unfortunate enough to wander into my back yard, etc. I don't plan to compete with the gun, but I do plan to do drills and such. Like little time trials and what-not.
DanTheEldest said:
Yeah, the 55-gr stuff is basically the standard round for us civvies for all-around shooting.
Good to know. I'll have to do some experimenting with the different types (once I get the rifle, that is :()
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would stick with the 16” barrel with a 1/9 twist for what you are looking to do with your AR. It will be plenty accurate and work great for CQC or HD applications and shoot pretty much anything you feed it. I’d recommend getting your basic M4 style AR with the A3 upper as you stated earlier with a detachable carry handle. This way you can learn how to shoot with the iron sights before you get a high speed optic. Plus you can add as money allows.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Found something interesting:
Bushmaster.com said:
The barrel's button rifling, in a 1 x 9" right hand twist, will stabilize a wide range of currently available ammunition with bullet weights up to 69 grains.
Guess the 1x9" can support a fairly heavy bullet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bigger is not always better. I don't have figures to support this, but I would be willing to bet that eight out of ten AR-15s sold today are carbines, shorter barrels and tele stocks...mine is.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The 1in9" twist will run everything you could possibly want to run through the AR platform. 1in7" is too fast for most of the lighter bullets 62grain or less. The big problem with the really heavy .223 rounds, over 70 grains, is the length of the bullet, when seated to work in a AR platform they use up a good deal of your case capacity and down range performance suffers. I have found the 69 grain Sierra HP BT to be the most effective bullet for my AR's 1 1in8" and 1 1in9". As far as AR's go Bushmasters are OK I've had 3 but I really like my Armalite M-15 National match A-4 better. RRA seems to be the hot ticket going right now but if you order one of those you have to specify if you want a chrome lined barrel, You do by the way unless you go with stainless instead.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Uncle Giggles said:
Targets only. No hunting, and no self defense (that's what the .45 ACP is for :grin:)

Yea basically paper targets, beer cans, maybe even the occasional possum or skunk unfortunate enough to wander into my back yard, etc. I don't plan to compete with the gun, but I do plan to do drills and such. Like little time trials and what-not.
Drills and such... Just be careful. Practice SWAT ninja rolls without a weapon first ;).


Ok, I'm going to play devil's advocate here: Targets only, no slef-defense, no hunting. Paper and assorted non-alive targets, but maybe occaisional small game. No competitions, but 'drills and such.'

So, why a 5.56/.223 platform? Are you planning on doing a lot of 100m-300m target shooting? If not, why not look into a less expensive caliber platform, like 9mm or a dedicated .22? I have seen some majorly tricked out ARs in both of those calibers. If you're doing most of your shooting within 100m, pistol/rimfire calibers would make sense. If you don't require 'people knock-down power,' why not a .22?


Ok, devil's advocate switch turned off. I do entirely understand and appreciate the interest in the standard 5.56/.223 platform. But if money is tight and/or you plan on shooting a lot, there are other options out there that may not be as versatile (effective range), but they are just as fun to shoot. Don't forget your .45 ACP AR option, either!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gonna have to agree with Hikeeba here... I've got a 9mm RRA that is SO much fun and about $100 per 1k rounds cheaper to shoot.

Nuthin wrong with 5.56, got 3.5 of those and it'll put a hurtin' on targets at ranges out to 600m without a ton of effort or fancy hand loads (mind you I use both 62gr. and 55gr. rounds depending on what is available for a fair price). 600m is actually reasonable even with Iron Sights.

RRA, STAG, LMT, Del-Ton, Bushmaster, Colt and several others are top notch. I know that RRA and Colt have solid 9mm AR's, haven't looked for other vendors in the 9mm cause I'm a RRA and STAG snob :)

Let us know what you get! --- Pictures are required at this point as a small fee for all the help :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hikeeba said:
Drills and such... Just be careful. Practice SWAT ninja rolls without a weapon first
Haha! I don't plan on doing anything THAT ridiculous :D. I took care of the evil samurai infestation with my XD last week.
hikeeba said:
Ok, I'm going to play devil's advocate here
Sweet! You be Keanu Reeves and I'll be Al Pacino!
hikeeba said:
So, why a 5.56/.223 platform? Are you planning on doing a lot of 100m-300m target shooting? If not, why not look into a less expensive caliber platform, like 9mm or a dedicated .22? I have seen some majorly tricked out ARs in both of those calibers. If you're doing most of your shooting within 100m, pistol/rimfire calibers would make sense. If you don't require 'people knock-down power,' why not a .22?
I have explored the 9mm/.22LR option a bit actually. But it's just not my thing... I just want the "real deal". In the end, I think it's like asking a 1911 collector:

"How come you're buying another 1911?! You already have one! Why not get some kind of .22? It's like $10 for 500 .22's, but $20 for only 50 .45's!"

(Response... ) "Well... cuz 1911's are bitchin!"

And plus, I'm sure I'll be doing some longer-range shooting. I do enjoy that kind of shooting, so I guarantee I'll be doing quite a lot of it at some point.
hikeeba said:
Ok, devil's advocate switch turned off.
But I wanted to be Al Pacino for the rest of the day! :(
hikeeba said:
I do entirely understand and appreciate the interest in the standard 5.56/.223 platform. But if money is tight and/or you plan on shooting a lot, there are other options out there that may not be as versatile (effective range), but they are just as fun to shoot. Don't forget your .45 ACP AR option, either!
Money really is not that big of an issue. I'd gladly spend whatever I have to to have (and feed) an excellent top-notch weapon.

I've never seen (or heard of) .45 ACP AR. Sounds interesting though. Got a link?
Badshot said:
Let us know what you get! --- Pictures are required at this point as a small fee for all the help :smile:
Oh you betcha!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry I am coming in to this late, but I was wondering what you AR-15 experts think of Panther DPMS? I have a friend who owns a gun shop and he only sells DPMS Ar-15's.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Excellent responses Uncle Giggles :D. Please do keep us informed of your AR quest.

As for the .45 ACP AR, Olympic Arms offers a complete carbine and a complete upper. The Olympic system utilizes a standard AR lower. The twist is that Oly modifies an Uzi magazine for the .45 by welding a block onto it so it fits perfectly into the standard AR magwell. The down side is the modified magazines are expense, and at this time the Uzi magazines are hard to come by (I guess). The up side is Oly has a reputation for very reliable pistol caliber converted uppers that will eat lots of different ammo with nary a hiccup.

There are other .45 uppers out there, usually built be smaller companies, and in small batches. Also, I have heard of small runs of dedicated .45 lowers, but I haven't ever really seen any.

For more info on the .45 and other pistol caliber ARs, check out the Rimfire and Pistol Calibers forum at AR15.com: http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=3&f=15
 
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