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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking of getting a 16" bull barrel for my future AR mostly because I like the way it looks. Are there any negatives with the bull barrel? Positives?
Is that a good length?

The rifle will be used for home defense, varmint hunting, and plinking.

Thanks for any feedback!
 
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Discussion Starter #2
The bull barrel is most likely stainless steel which will hold it's accuracy longer than many traditional government, m4, and pencil thin AR15 barrels.

(eta: but it will require more diligent cleaning, Chrome lined and Chrome Moly barrels were meant to be abused and neglected to a certain degree.)

The bull barrel weighs much more than the above mentioned barrels.
A bull barrel is best in a target gun or one used for varmint shooting, where you won't have long strings of quick fire.

A 16" barrel is plenty long enough for home defense; plinking; and varmint hunting, but I don't recall seeing too many bull barrels with iron sights so unless if you plan on adding a front sight on the gas block your home defense gun won't live up to it's full potential.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I got the 16" heavy barrel Bushy and I love it!
On a rest at 25yards with the iron sights I can make a quarter sized hole
it is not great but I just suck that much
home defense and plinking 16" plenty but varmint I would go with much longer like a 20" or a 24" if your hard core into it

 
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Discussion Starter #6
Typically people who put bull barrels on their guns put them on varmit and competition/target rifles, many times because the rifling is at a higher twist rate and the barrel is designed for accuracy.

You also should have the barrel completely floated if you put a bull barrel on it, otherwise you are wasting more accuracy potential, and just gaining unnecessary weight. If I got a bull barrel, I'd make sure the barrel is at least 18, if not 20 inches.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
PackerfanXD said:
I do too.:cool: What type of upper is that?
It is a custom home built upper using a Yankee Hill Machine light weight standard length forend with cap. The barrel is a 16" medium contour barrel from White Oak Armament with a midlength gas system. It has a Smith Enterprises Vortex flash eliminator. For those of you that don't know them White Oak is run by John Holliger and he is one of the foremost authorities for AR based high power match rifles and longrange varmint guns.
I got all of these parts with the exception of the Yankee Hill stuff from ADCO firearms. They were shipped quickly and they were easy to put together. The Yankee Hill Machine parts were direct from the manufacturer.
http://www.adcofirearms.com/
http://www.yankeehillmachine.com/
http://www.smithenterprise.com/products06.html
http://www.whiteoakprecision.com/

I put this rifle through its paces during a 20 hour tactical carbine course run by a Gunsite Adjunct instructor. It never failed once and we shot over 400 rounds the first day and about 500 the second day.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
PackerfanXD said:
Can iron sights be added?
With the rail platforms and a flat top upper you can add on flip up sight like I have. I am using the A.R.M.S. 40 rear sight and the Yankee Hill Machine front for a forearm, not a gas block.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
A Gas Block it the part midway along the barrel that ports gas back to the mechanism. If it is misaligned or the gas port(hole in the barrel) is not drilled properly then it will cause malfuntions. If you get a complete upper from say DPMS then you will be fine. It will come with everything already put together. I built my own rifle just to do it. The tools added on the same amount of money it would take to get the upper already built. I have to say it is not something I would recomend for everyone.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Specifically, a bull barrel is heavier than a standard barrel. That is neither a negative or positive, unless you're carrying it over your shoulder for miles on end, but will result in somewhat less percieved recoil, so you can judge if that's a positive or a negative.

A bull barrel has an 11 degree target crown--postban version--(which typically will result in better overall groups) as compared to a preban version flash hider that will disrupt the gasses propelling the bullet as it exits the bore.

A bull barrel along with being heavier, is more ridgid, so it will have less "barrel whip" when the bullet is traveling throughout the bore (and will take longer to heat up so there will be less stringing possibilities). however, if you overheat it, it will also take longer to cool, so, in all, that could be one up for a standard barrel if you plan on repeatedly running it hot. Just keep in mind, heat is a bad thing when it comes to barrels.

Fluting is another option to make a bull barrel even more ridgid. I've also heard both positives and negatives with cryogenically treating barrels, so I can't say if that will help or hurt you. I personally don't have any firsthand experience with this method, and I am going to leave the hearsay offline and will try to keep this post with only the facts.

Freefloating as mentioned earlier, is a big big plus with any type of barrel so you won't be creating moving pressures on the barrel whether it is with a sling, your grip on the rifle, etc.

There are a lot of bull barrels that front sights are offered as standard equipment on them. The only difference is the size of the hole the barrel slides through is a larger diameter on a bull front post. The post height is still the same. Or you can get a picatinny gas block and have a removable front post.

If I were going to have a flat-top reciever for target only, I would prefer to use a magnifying optic, and eliminate the front sight altogether, but if I were wanting it for home defense purposes also, I would want one with a front post, so it may be best if you purchased 2 entirely different upper recievers and swap them out depending on what mood you were in that day, but if you have a quality optic, the front sight won't interfere none whatsoever with your sight picture through a magnification scope.

bull barrels as stated earlier, doesn't necessarily have a higher twist rate. I have seen some offered at 1:12 twist rates, but typically, even the bull barrels still have at least a standard 1:9 twist and won't offer any better accuracy from the twist rates alone. That really doesn't have anything to do with accuracy. The bullets you plan on shooting will determine that, so I can't really agree with that statement above.

Basically a 1:12 twist will shoot the lightest bullets with the most accuracy, 1:9 will shoot the average available 45-62 grain ammo the best, and the 1:8 or 1:7 twists will shoot the heaviest bullets the best. A lot of accuracy will depend on what you're feeding through it. It's best to experiment to find which load, weight, and brand will perform the best with any rifle.

If you're going to get a bull barrel and you're wanting the most accuracy you can squeeze out of it, I really feel you should consider a broach cut bore bull barrel by Olympic Arms.

Since most brand bull barrels are still a button rifle cut (the same method as any standard barrel of most other brands), the barrel itself other than being thicker won't really improve the accuracy except for less barrel whip generated.

Olympic Arms (SUM--stainless Ultra Match) barrels are broach cut and are superior to everyone's bull barrels simply because of that reason.

In other words, since most other brands bull barrels are rifled the same as their standard barrels, the only thing you're going to get out of it is more ridgitity. It helps some, but the broach bull's will out shoot the others all day long.

As far as what length to get, for your post mentioning target plinking and home defense, if it's within 300 yards, you'd be alright with a 16 inch barrel. If you're planning on shooting at over 300 yards, get an 18-20 inch barrel. If you're like me and enjoy pushing the envelope and shoot very long ranges well in excess of 700 yards every chance you can get, buy a 24 inch barrel.

I know this post has been a long one even for me, but I hope it helps you out. I've been doing this a long time, and if you have any questions, just drop me a PM or email. I'll be glad to help you out.

Oh, and the gas block is either built into the front sight post, or is where the front sight should be if you have a "shaved" or picatinny gas block with a rail built onto it.

There is a gas tube that runs underneath of the front handguard that connects to the front sight (gas block), and that's what causes the rifle to cycle.

If you buy a complete upper reciever or a complete rifle, it will already be assembled and you won't ever have to worry about it, and yes, you can exchange them for different versions if you don't like the one that's installed on it.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
John A. said:
If you buy a complete upper reciever or a complete rifle, it will already be assembled and you won't ever have to worry about it, and yes, you can exchange them for different versions if you don't like the one that's installed on it.
Definitely do that, it simplifies the whole process a lot.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
LOL, actually Knight of Light, yes I do have a shop. Every AR manufacturer in the US has a copy of my FFL and I am an authorized dealer for almost all of them.

Here's a pic of my favorite tackdriver (though it doesn't have a bull barrel). I wanted this one set up for rapid aqcuisition and follow up shots if necessary.

If ACE LTD (Ace Buttstocks) hasn't removed the pic, they had an older pic of it in their customer gallery at one time.

There is a lot of upgrades to it, some you can see externally, but most are internal.

And as far as my experience with AR, not only am I a dealer, I also do a lot of little upgrades and the likes for customers, and I am also a council member (moderator) on an AR forum.

edited to add, this one has a 24 inch barrel.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
John A. said:
LOL, actually Knight of Light, yes I do have a shop. Every AR manufacturer in the US has a copy of my FFL and I am an authorized dealer for almost all of them.

Here's a pic of my favorite tackdriver (though it doesn't have a bull barrel). I wanted this one set up for rapid aqcuisition and follow up shots if necessary.

If ACE LTD (Ace Buttstocks) hasn't removed the pic, they had an older pic of it in their customer gallery at one time.

There is a lot of upgrades to it, some you can see externally, but most are internal.

And as far as my experience with AR, not only am I a dealer, I also do a lot of little upgrades and the likes for customers, and I am also a council member (moderator) on an AR forum.

edited to add, this one has a 24 inch barrel.
Awsome rig.:D
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, guys!
John A, what a great explaination! I'll pm you with questions as needed. Thank you!
 
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Discussion Starter #18
John A. said:
LOL, actually Knight of Light, yes I do have a shop. Every AR manufacturer in the US has a copy of my FFL and I am an authorized dealer for almost all of them.

Here's a pic of my favorite tackdriver (though it doesn't have a bull barrel). I wanted this one set up for rapid aqcuisition and follow up shots if necessary.

If ACE LTD (Ace Buttstocks) hasn't removed the pic, they had an older pic of it in their customer gallery at one time.

There is a lot of upgrades to it, some you can see externally, but most are internal.

And as far as my experience with AR, not only am I a dealer, I also do a lot of little upgrades and the likes for customers, and I am also a council member (moderator) on an AR forum.

edited to add, this one has a 24 inch barrel.
That was a nice rifle. Love the JP eliminator! And double wow we now have an AR [email protected]!!! I don't have to log on to AR15.com to reasearch Q's anymore!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
I have a question for John A. or whoever has experience with the ACE skeleton stocks. Does the inside tube on the ACE stock rattle or vibrate when the AR is fired? Also, how does the foam covering on the tube hold up to cold/heat or moisture?
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Hard to argue with anything John A said. If I was going to get a bull barrel and shoot varmints, I'd get a 20". Otherwise, I'd get a 16" regular barrel. I'm happy with mine (Bushmaster), reasonable accuracy, and I can hit 12" plates at 500 yards some of the time (need a trigger!). Works good for 3 gun. The thing I wouldn't do is use an AR15 for home defense, unless my shotgun and pistol were empty (in that order). I'd be too worried about overpenetration with an AR, and shooting thru all my walls, into the neighbors. Get an AR, but get somthing like an 870 shotgun cheap for the house. Looks better if you ever end up in court too.......always better to have grabbed the hunting shotgun, than the evil black gun.

If you have the money........get a White Oak upper. I have a buddy with one, and it is sweet at 500.
 
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