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AR Build Diary

By Gabby

I've been going back and forth on a number of decisions because, as I research I learn and must adjust my preferences (that were previously, only based on style). Barrel selection has been one such decision. I want something light, because I am a weakling in my left arm, but I want something that will last. I've been told that thicker is better when it comes to barrels, so I decided to go with a 14.5" barrel with a "government" profile. This means the barrel is thicker in the front than it is under the hand guard. I've also decided that a mid-length gas tube is the way to go. I had no idea that different gas tube lengths existed, let alone made a difference. But after doing some research, I found that carbine length gas tubes as not as good, so decision made...*

So today I ordered a gas tube from Wilson Combat. The name Wilson Combat is known for high end 1911s but I wasn't about to assume that that prestige automatically transferred to AR part manufacturing. However, after taking to some people I believe that Wilson Combat parts are a good quality, and I was surprised to find that they are not even the most expensive out there.

I also jumped to place this order (though I am yet to buy a barrel) because Wilson Combat is one of the few web stores, who, last night, showed some high capacity AR magazine availability. I'm very curious about these translucent magazines and since that's what was in stock. I added one to the order. I decided to make it a 20 round mag, because sometimes you want to run through your rounds a bit slower, and having a lower cap mag, will allow that option.

* When buying a barrel, they often indicate where they have been drilled for gas block installation. Now that I've bought a mid-length gas tube, I guess I have committed to such a barrel drilled to match. Further, depending where you put the gas block, it must match the diameter of the barrel at that point, so I will have to be careful about this point as well. More on gas blocks later...

©2013 ArmedCandy,LLC
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Marcus B said...

Usually the midlength is used on the 16" barrels. I think BCM does make a 14.5 with midlength system.

As fair as profile is concerned I like medium because of the larger surface area for heat dissipation. That said, the government profile you choose should do well since it has more surface area outside of the hand guard by having the larger diameter there. If it where the other way around it would be less effective. It may make the rifle a little more front heavy though.

Keep us posted!!

TomS said...

Is there a reason for going with the 14.5" barrel over a 16"? Have you chosen a flash hider to permanently attach or are you going to SBR it?

ArmedCandy said...

I've chosen 14.5" for the weight reduction and it's maneuverability. I have been looking at flash hiders but haven't made that decision yet.

ArmedCandy said...

Yankee Hill has one, as does Daniel Defense, but what do you think of Wilson Combat's stainless steel version?

TomS said...

Have you looked at BCM's lightweight 16" barrel? Overall length isn't much more plus you can easily swap out muzzle devices.

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