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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am ready to start my AR soon and I have already decided on the lower I am going to get and where I am getting it from. I am also pretty sure where I am getting the upper from. My question is, what is the difference between Carbine and Midlength and which I should choose if they are the same price. I also need a little help on the differences in A2 and A4 and what the best direction to go on that option. I am sure it will be helpful to know that I am just wanting to build a plinker, not going to do much if any hunting or any competition.
http://www.texasstargroup.com/5.html

Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I believe a Carbine has 6 5/8" handguards and the Middys have 8 5/8"
The recoil on a Middy has a soft impact to it the Carbines seem to hit a tad harder...Really not enough to make a huge differance.
On a Middy you'll have less gas pressure which means slower bolt velocity... a longer bolt life. Plus you don't need a stronger extractor, don't need a heavier buffer than a regular Carbine. If you're going to get a 16' Barrel a Middy is the way to go! :twisted:


The A2 is a FIXED carry handle.
The A4 comes WITH a REMOVABLE carry handle...This would be what you want!!
With the A4 is gives you the option to use a scope and such and be able to get a PROPER cheekweld.
With the A2 your face is off the stock = Not accurate, and Not comphy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe a Carbine has 6 5/8" handguards and the Middys have 8 5/8"
The recoil on a Middy has a soft impact to it the Carbines seem to hit a tad harder...Really not enough to make a huge differance.
On a Middy you'll have less gas pressure which means slower bolt velocity... a longer bolt life. Plus you don't need a stronger extractor, don't need a heavier buffer than a regular Carbine. If you're going to get a 16' Barrel a Middy is the way to go! :twisted:
WOW.. i just learned a whole lot of info.. didnt even consider bolt life when i bought my shorty... how much shorter of a life are we talking here?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honestly a lot of hardcore AR shooters have bunches of spare part on hand, Bolts, springs, pins...ETC.
I think the differance of bolt life maybe minute for some.
I've seen a few bolts go after 3K rounds and more last even longer than expected.
When you have a shorter gas system you create more pressure so the bolt is moving back harder and faster. From when I've read it can get to be around 1 1/2times more pressure onto the bolt than the original design. Most all M4s start to show cracks or some sort of failure around the 6K to 10K rounds. Keep in mind M4 are fired A LOT more than most civies will ever shoot their guns.
I honestly feel that ones should inspect their bolts after hitting several throusand rounds. I've got 5K thru mine with no major problems.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a Armalite Middy 16" flat top and love it. The recoil impulse feels like a 20" rifle and the longer forearm is easier on my fingers as I tend to grab to close to the front sight on a M4 length forearm and have burnt myself several times. I have noticed no differance in reliability between the carbine and middy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Honestly a lot of hardcore AR shooters have bunches of spare part on hand, Bolts, springs, pins...ETC.
I think the differance of bolt life maybe minute for some.
I've seen a few bolts go after 3K rounds and more last even longer than expected.
When you have a shorter gas system you create more pressure so the bolt is moving back harder and faster. From when I've read it can get to be around 1 1/2times more pressure onto the bolt than the original design. Most all M4s start to show cracks or some sort of failure around the 6K to 10K rounds. Keep in mind M4 are fired A LOT more than most civies will ever shoot their guns.
I honestly feel that ones should inspect their bolts after hitting several throusand rounds. I've got 5K thru mine with no major problems.
wow.. cool thx for the advice.. will put it to use for my m4 ( both civy and military)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A semi auto Carbine can go 25,000 rounds. If you are not shooting more than that than it is a moot point.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My question is, what is the difference between Carbine and Midlength and which I should choose if they are the same price.
Here is a typical answer to the above question on another AR website I frequent.

"Get both!":twisted:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My Rock River 9mm is a mid-length and I find it way too short a pull with the collapsible stock fully extended. Then again, my full length 20" Armalite feels short to me. Still haven't got around to ordering that 1" extension for the stock.

As far as the choice between the two, I find the handguards short on the mid lenght and just didn't like the even shorter Carbine ones. Some people hold the handguards closer to the back end so for them it really doesn't matter which length. I tend to hold them further forward so prefer the longer ones. Plus the mid-length has a better sight radius with the post being set a bit father forward. Haven't had a chance to shoot mine along with a Carbine to see any difference with a side-by-side comparison.

I didn't know about the longer bolt life with the two. You learn something new everyday.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Go middy. Easier on the internals, longer sight radius (big +), and more forearm real estate.

BTW, those are good prices on RRA stuff. Good find.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I am going to go ahead and go with the mid-length with a 16" barrel. Going with the RRA or Stag complete lower with M4 stock through a local company so I dont have to deal with the FFL transer.
http://www.lonestarwholesale.com/2.html

And as I said above, the RRA upper 16" midlength A4 from the other local provider that is associated with lone star wholesale.
http://www.texasstargroup.com/5.html

I am going to buy the lower first and then later get the upper just for money reasons, but I want the lower to be complete on this one. Perhaps when I get more comfortable with it I will change the trigger out to a two stage. Really the only reason I am going with those companies is they are local and I like to support local economy and its easier to deal with if something isnt right.

Thanks for all the input!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm sure you'll be pleased with the RRA. It might not be the "best" out there but the quality, fit and finish is still great. Might not be the Cadillac of AR's but still a top of the line Chevy! :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Check this thread out its very informative.

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=9792

Basically the mid length system is more reliable in the long term because its easier on parts.
Pat
What he said.

If you are getting the tax stamp for an SBR then sure, get the M4gery handguard.
If you are staying at 16" keep in mind that the gas system was designed for a 20" barrell and the longer the gas system is the easier wear and tear is on the platform and the system cycles more smoothly. You also get the added benefit of a longer sight radius.
And it is my opinion that an M4gery handguard on a 16" barrell looks goofy.
I have a RRA Elite CAR A-4 mid length and it is every bit as smooth as Uncle Sugar's Colt 20" that I used to carry.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am going to the Dallas Gun Show this weekend and look at everything in person from the dealer I am planning to buy from. Who knows, I might come home with some new goodies...
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
CMMG has some middies available as well.. can't beat the price..
I have looked at those and really considered it, but if I buy my lower and upper separately it is only gonna cost me $675 + tax for a stag lower and RRA upper. I hate to look at gift horse in the mouth, but I think it would be better for me if I can stretch out the money expenditure a little.

Complete Stag Lower - $220
Complete RRA Upper - $455
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am going to the Dallas Gun Show this weekend and look at everything in person from the dealer I am planning to buy from. Who knows, I might come home with some new goodies...
I'll be there too, trying to sell a shotgun...

The Market Hall show is where I got my lower from... $237 out the door for the complete lower half :)
 
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