Preferred AR-15 SBR Barrel Length?

The #1 community for Gun Owners in Indiana

Member Benefits:

  • Fewer Ads!
  • Discuss all aspects of firearm ownership
  • Discuss anti-gun legislation
  • Buy, sell, and trade in the classified section
  • Chat with Local gun shops, ranges, trainers & other businesses
  • Discover free outdoor shooting areas
  • View up to date on firearm-related events
  • Share photos & video with other members
  • ...and so much more!
  • JEBland

    INGO's least subtle Alphabet agency taskforce spy
    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0
    Oct 24, 2020
    1,547
    113
    West Lafayette
    As an added note for post 39. I'm just NFA-curious at the moment, but I also found this Fuddbusters interesting.

    Gun Law 101: Do I Need an NFA Trust? - Getting into Buying NFA Firearms

     

    Patched

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Oct 4, 2021
    16
    3
    Indiana
    I had a DD Mk18 - I believe it was 10.3". Not knowing better, I first shot it unsuppressed at an indoor range - RO got a lot of complaints about our SBR - it was loud and concussive. Once I spun my can on, it was fine. Now I am looking for a shorter barrel setup again and am thinking it will be a 11.5-12.5 after reading a lot. The 10.3 I had was also overpassed.
     

    MRE Milkshake

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Apr 24, 2022
    56
    18
    Indianapolis
    I had a DD Mk18 - I believe it was 10.3". Not knowing better, I first shot it unsuppressed at an indoor range - RO got a lot of complaints about our SBR - it was loud and concussive. Once I spun my can on, it was fine. Now I am looking for a shorter barrel setup again and am thinking it will be a 11.5-12.5 after reading a lot. The 10.3 I had was also overpassed.
    Yeah from what I've been reading, it really seems like the 11.5 or the 12.5 is a solid bet if you are looking for something short than 14.5
     

    1nderbeard

    Master
    Local Business Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    24   0   0
    Apr 3, 2017
    1,805
    113
    Hendricks County
    I won't SBR another rifle lower when pistol braces are still available. Other than a greater length of pull on the SBR, I don't see a need unless you run a suppressor.
    The problem is if the NFA gets what it wants braces won't be available this summer and beyond. And you'll be a felon if you have one.
     

    ACC

    Master
    Site Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    112   0   1
    Mar 7, 2012
    1,704
    63
    N. Side of Indy
    My $0.02

    10.5" to 12" for a 2.23/5.56 SBR. Any shorter and you are looking a lot of velocity and creating a loud fireball machine. Any longer and you are defeating the point of an SBR. I'd go 10.5"
     

    100 bullets

    Plinker
    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0
    Aug 6, 2010
    85
    6
    Georgia
    Pick a length that you will always keep. You can do temporarily barrel changes so you have to keep an upper with barrel length you put on form. I switch out barrels and calibers a lot. I always make sure I keep at least one 10.5 inch barrel
     

    Indiana_Jeff

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Jun 20, 2022
    52
    18
    South Bend
    Does anybody have any specific preference any SBR barrel lengths they prefer (10.5, 11.5, 12.5, 14.5) for a general purposes, home defense, etc? I know there a re a lot of videos talking about various pros and cons of barrel lengths like velocity and accuracy etc. but I am curious to see what other people think in terms of SBR barrel lengths.
    Great topic, although there are several YouTube videos and postings on other forums which beat this to death...without really answering the question. Most seem to say something vague like "buy this and try this to see if you like it". Well, I don't know about you, but I prefer not to waste a lot of $$$ on barrels and gas systems I will not use. I have used 7.5", 8.5", and 10.5" barrels on AR15 SBR's with and without Suppressors. Muzzle blast with the 7.5" was rough without a Suppressor. The 10.5" with a blast can (like those from Midwest Industries) was OK, and allowed me to turn around in a residential hallway without dropping the gun. The 8.5" seemed "just right", but Muzzle Velocity was a bit too low for down range energy to allow M855 62gr. bullets to be most effective. All of these that I have found use a Pistol Length gas tube or piston, so Dwell Time is about the same across the board. On balance, I feel for my LEO purposes the 10.5" with a blast can is the best way to go. Good luck & stay safe!
     

    MRE Milkshake

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Apr 24, 2022
    56
    18
    Indianapolis
    Great topic, although there are several YouTube videos and postings on other forums which beat this to death...without really answering the question. Most seem to say something vague like "buy this and try this to see if you like it". Well, I don't know about you, but I prefer not to waste a lot of $$$ on barrels and gas systems I will not use. I have used 7.5", 8.5", and 10.5" barrels on AR15 SBR's with and without Suppressors. Muzzle blast with the 7.5" was rough without a Suppressor. The 10.5" with a blast can (like those from Midwest Industries) was OK, and allowed me to turn around in a residential hallway without dropping the gun. The 8.5" seemed "just right", but Muzzle Velocity was a bit too low for down range energy to allow M855 62gr. bullets to be most effective. All of these that I have found use a Pistol Length gas tube or piston, so Dwell Time is about the same across the board. On balance, I feel for my LEO purposes the 10.5" with a blast can is the best way to go. Good luck & stay safe!
    Great answer! You mentioned M855, is this round restricted at all by the ATF? In other words, would I be able to get my hands on it without any hassle?
     

    Indiana_Jeff

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Jun 20, 2022
    52
    18
    South Bend
    Great answer! You mentioned M855, is this round restricted at all by the ATF? In other words, would I be able to get my hands on it without any hassle?
    The M855 round is the 62gr. "Green Tip" 5.56 NATO cartridge which can be legally purchased by anyone. The M193 is the older 55gr. FMJ round used from the Vietnam era forward. I think most AR15 and M16 use these cartridges, for both performance and economical reasons. Some specialty .223 Rem loadings like the Hornady Critical Defense and Winchester Silvertip promise close range "terminal performance" advantages, but these are budget busters for LE Agencies and the Real World advantages are mostly anecdotal (due to relatively little use).
     

    MRE Milkshake

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Apr 24, 2022
    56
    18
    Indianapolis
    The M855 round is the 62gr. "Green Tip" 5.56 NATO cartridge which can be legally purchased by anyone. The M193 is the older 55gr. FMJ round used from the Vietnam era forward. I think most AR15 and M16 use these cartridges, for both performance and economical reasons. Some specialty .223 Rem loadings like the Hornady Critical Defense and Winchester Silvertip promise close range "terminal performance" advantages, but these are budget busters for LE Agencies and the Real World advantages are mostly anecdotal (due to relatively little use).
    Ah okay. I wasn't sure. Mainly whenever I get ammo I just get some 55gr 5.56 made by PMC. When the price of ammo dies down a little I'll look into getting some M855.
     

    Indiana_Jeff

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Jun 20, 2022
    52
    18
    South Bend
    Ah okay. I wasn't sure. Mainly whenever I get ammo I just get some 55gr 5.56 made by PMC. When the price of ammo dies down a little I'll look into getting some M855.
    I buy my 5.56 in bulk of 200 to 1,000 rounds from Midway and Natchez. Either 55's or 62's are both around 70¢ per round. Belted or in stripper clips it's about 95¢ per round. Local shops near me don't seem to be able to carry much ammo inventory.
     

    MRE Milkshake

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Apr 24, 2022
    56
    18
    Indianapolis
    I buy my 5.56 in bulk of 200 to 1,000 rounds from Midway and Natchez. Either 55's or 62's are both around 70¢ per round. Belted or in stripper clips it's about 95¢ per round. Local shops near me don't seem to be able to carry much ammo inventory.
    Same here with the shops. The ones near me only sell the boxes of 20, and are a lot closer to a dollar per round because it's not bulk. M855 any good for boar hunting?
     

    Indiana_Jeff

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Jun 20, 2022
    52
    18
    South Bend
    Same here with the shops. The ones near me only sell the boxes of 20, and are a lot closer to a dollar per round because it's not bulk. M855 any good for boar hunting?
    I honestly don't know what a 62gr. 0.223" MP round would do to a boar or large hog, but within 100m the terminal energy is likely only about 1,000 ft-lbs or less. Myself, I've only used 30-'06 and 45-70 Gov't on such critters. I have heard of people in AZ, NM & TX using 223 Rem on small Javelina, but can't speak to how sportsmanlike the deed ends. Please share any experiences you can!
     

    MRE Milkshake

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Apr 24, 2022
    56
    18
    Indianapolis
    I honestly don't know what a 62gr. 0.223" MP round would do to a boar or large hog, but within 100m the terminal energy is likely only about 1,000 ft-lbs or less. Myself, I've only used 30-'06 and 45-70 Gov't on such critters. I have heard of people in AZ, NM & TX using 223 Rem on small Javelina, but can't speak to how sportsmanlike the deed ends. Please share any experiences you can!
    Well before I go boar hunting, I'll look to see if I can find some 5.56 that's good for boars. I'll remember to get back to you on that.
     

    JGIBSON

    Marksman
    Rating - 100%
    17   0   0
    Feb 7, 2021
    265
    43
    Abington IN
    Does anybody have any specific preference any SBR barrel lengths they prefer (10.5, 11.5, 12.5, 14.5) for a general purposes, home defense, etc? I know there a re a lot of videos talking about various pros and cons of barrel lengths like velocity and accuracy etc. but I am curious to see what other people think in terms of SBR barrel lengths.
    12.5 is my personal preference. Gives you a great all around CQB setup. It will also allow for those longer shots and not sacrifice much on that end. Just my opinion do you research on the ballistics and performance of each lenght and choose what works for you.
     

    Indiana_Jeff

    Plinker
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Jun 20, 2022
    52
    18
    South Bend
    12.5 is my personal preference. Gives you a great all around CQB setup. It will also allow for those longer shots and not sacrifice much on that end. Just my opinion do you research on the ballistics and performance of each lenght and choose what works for you.
    The 12½" barrel does yield higher velocity than very short lengths, plus has a more forgiving dwell time with a Carbine length gas system. For my LEO purposes, a short Patrol Rifle is wanted with the knowledge that it's intended to be used inside of 150-200m. A 12½" barreled 5.56 AR can be effective to 300-400m.
     
    Last edited:

    1nderbeard

    Master
    Local Business Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    24   0   0
    Apr 3, 2017
    1,805
    113
    Hendricks County
    Well before I go boar hunting, I'll look to see if I can find some 5.56 that's good for boars. I'll remember to get back to you on that.
    I don't think 5.56 would be anyone's first choice for wild pig, unless you can hit the brain from whatever range you'll be shooting the pig. Not saying it wouldn't work for a headshot, I've seen people use 22lr with a head shot. I'm just saying it wouldn't be my first choice.
     

    Site Supporter

    INGO Supporter

    Latest posts

    Forum statistics

    Threads
    499,885
    Messages
    9,122,820
    Members
    49,277
    Latest member
    GratefulDead3838
    Top Bottom