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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after tying the knot I'll start getting that extra pay from Uncle Sam now, I think I can finally finish one of my AR builds. A while ago I built a RRA lower with their 2 stage trigger parts kit and a Voltor 5 posi stock. I don't plan to build the upper but rather just buy it already built so I can slap the upper and lower together and go kill paper.

Here is the upper I plan on buying. RRA Entry Tactical.
http://www.rockriverarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=AR0840X&storeid=1&image=uentry07.gif&CFID=38968914&CFTOKEN=18146453

I plan to go with the Quad Rail Freefloat handguard, Dominator2 mount with Eotech, standard front sight. My question is should I go with the R4 heavy or R4 lightweight barrel? No matter what it will be chrome lined with a 1:9 twist. Any pros or cons to either barrel besides the weight or is it that simple? Thanks in advance!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
what is the purpose of the rifle going to be? Is it going to be a distance shooter? Is it going to be more close up use? My RRA has the heavy barrel... let me tell you, you do notice that barrel being the heavy one.. especially if you have to one hand the rifle at any time.

for distance shooting, prone shooting, supported bench shooting.. the heavy will be more accurate due to the extra stiffness of it.. but close quarters stuff, or frequent use of the rifle.. I honestly think you'd be better off with the lighter barrel. I know I wish mine had the lighter barrel. One handing the rifle kills my wrist. Going prone in a real life situation.. you need to keep the rifle on target.. which means one handing it and keeping it pointed down range while you get down. Having the lighter barrel would help that out a LOT.

So if the rifle is just a plinker, only going to be shot occasionally at the range, and not used in any sort of tactical way.. either barrel will work.. but if it's a gun for home protection, or any other tactical use.. it's my pesonal opinion that the lighter barrel excels in this situation. You really wouldn't think it.. but you do notice the extra weight of the barrel after a while.. and you REALLY notice it when you one hand the rifle. The balance is much better with the lightweight barrel.

I am not positive, but I believe the heavier barrel will last longer due to it being able to handle high temps better from the extra thickness.. but.. it does stay hot longer too.

So it really depends on what you want to do with the rifle. In all honesty, you can do it all with the heavy barrel.. maybe I just notice the weight more because I have girly wrists lol.. I'm not your typical sized male.. I'm not super strong and I have pretty small wrists. A "real" man might not notice this like I do. So you may not have any problem at all with the heavier barrel.. I just know that personally, I do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
also.. if you're looking at getting the quad rail free float.. I have that one... I would highly suggest getting the lightweight one.. it's about 6 oz lighter and that will help a little, especially if you go with the heavy barrel. If you get the lightweight barrel, you will notice it even more being lighter.. I think it's well worth the extra cost to have the weight savings.

The normal quad rail weighs about 18 oz, the lightweight is about 12 oz. You may not think 6 oz is much.. but that's almost 1/2 lb. 1/2 lb is quite a bit when you hold it out at arms length.

Anyway, just a suggestion.. i have the quad rail you're looking at.. so I really wish I had the lightweight.. and I will eventually.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. For the handguard I missed some details...I'm going with the quad rail lightweight free float on it. I have the tactical mindset and will build this for CQC and home defense. I dont really care for long range shooting with this M4gry because the evil twin of this rifle will be a RRA 24" Varmint rifle (stainless steel barrel with 1:8 twist). Again I already built the lower for that rifle with a 2 stage trigger kit and a Magpull stock on it. But one project at a time. After reading your post, I'm leaning towards the lightweight barrel since I'm already putting money into lighter parts. I wonder how light I can get this? The M16A2 is 7.79 lbs....if its under that damn that is going to feel good. Especially after I was a SAW Gunner for 6 months and during our urban training, 25 lbs with a full can on it clearing rooms, this thing is going to feel light as a BB Gun. Hopefully I can put the order in later this week! I'm freakin stoked!:cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am not 100% positive what my rifle weighs.. but like I said, I have the normal quad rail on it.. and I have the heavy barrel. I believe, but again.. am not positive because I'm not sure how accurate my scale is.. but my gun is around 8 lbs.. some guns are in the 5-6 lb range.. you really wouldn't think a few lbs makes a difference.. but it really does.

I took my quad rail off the other day when I took my gun apart. That took about 1 lb off of the front of my gun. Honestly, I would have liked more weight gone. I believe having the lightweight barrel, and the lightweight quad rail, would be the best way to go. I have a mid-length barrel so my options for the barrel are limited. About all I could do, is have mine fluted to cut some weight down.

Since you are making it for CQB situations, I definitely think you are on the right track going with the lightweight freefloat combined with the lightweight barrel. And since yours is a M4 type, your freefloat will weigh even less than the one for mine.. I believe the M4 one is only about 7 oz.. while mine is 12 oz. You will notice a lot of difference in the weight savings, I know that much.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ScottyPotty said:
go with the light weight barrel.:cool:
I sure wish I had... though my barrel is very very accurate because of the extra weight.. but.. when I got my gun I puchased it through a private individual through the internet.. and i wasn't very educated on all the different things with AR's..

oh well.. guess I now have another reason to start my own AR build lol.. good enough excuse for me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
you don't gain accuracy because its heavy. the thicker the barrel can just take more repeated shots and stay straighter longer then the thin barrels. You dont lose accuracy because the barrel is not a bull barrel.

That's why varmint guns are usually heavy barrel - the thinking is you usually shoot a lot more at the ground hogs than say Deer. Deer guns don't need the heavy barrel because you only need 1-2 shots (unless your like my brother in-law:p )
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ScottyPotty said:
you don't gain accuracy because its heavy. the thicker the barrel can just take more repeated shots and stay straighter longer then the thin barrels. You dont lose accuracy because the barrel is not a bull barrel.

That's why varmint guns are usually heavy barrel - the thinking is you usually shoot a lot more at the ground hogs than say Deer. Deer guns don't need the heavy barrel because you only need 1-2 shots (unless your like my brother in-law:p )
well, as barrels heat up to a certain point, accuracy can suffer some.. so.. that's where a thicker barrel can be better with accuracy.

regardless.. i still feel for the average AR shooter, the lightweight is the best route to go. I really am considering sending my barrel in for fluting to help cut some weight down. it'd be cheaper than me buying a whole new barrel right now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
skinny barrels droop as they warm up, ask any long range shooter or take your favorite light contour hunting rifle to the range and shoot 20 rounds through it in quick succession. You will see your shots begin to string verticaly. For your intended purposes, I would go with the M4 barrel. I have the Entry Tactical Elite with the heavy barrel and it does add some weight.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PackerfanXD said:
I've got the Entry Tactical and love it. It's pretty accurate for a 16" barrel.
I'd get it from Pete at AR15Sales.com. He's awesome.
I'll check into it. Would I be able to buy through him and still get the free float handguards I'm looking for?

It sounds pretty much the majority is for the lightweight. I think that is what I'll go with it. Like I said before this doesn't need to be for distance shooting since I'm building a rifle just for that purpose alone. I should get the funds within the next couple days and I'll put the order in. I'll put up some pics when I finish the build.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pete can get you what ever RRA sells and then some. Make sure and let him know that you're active Mil!!!!

Something not mentioned (and actually a bit more impacting on lightweight sportster rifles) is barrel vibration. I'm not going to explain this, but it is affecting of FF setups. If you're active, you should have some experience with the M4 series. That should give you an idea of weight and heat build up. M4 cut barrels are much lighter under the HG than a Gov't profile or Heavy.

I'm running heavy barrels on 2 of my RRA's and a M4 cut on a STAG upper.. the STAG is a whole lot lighter than my 16" RRA with railed HG's.. it's to the point where I almost have to have a VFG on the RRA. The STAG on the other hand is just fine without.

Weight is a serious consideration, but for me it's the opposite of what has been said here. I don't mind the added weight, it sucks up more recoil and keeps the weapon on target better than some of the "lighter" AR's I've shot. Then again, I don't spend 18hrs a day chasing Hadji.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I called up Pete and put in my order. Nothing but good things to say about him and can't forget the great prices! Only down fall is it will take 6-8 weeks to get since it is not the standard entry tactical. O well its worth the wait. I'll get some pictures up when the new toy arrives.
 
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