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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a lot of fun planning my first build (as opposed to buying complet rifles). In the AR platform I currently have a S&W M&P15T (my first AR) and a Ko-Tonics 6.8 from Tim. I'm looking to build, or have bulit where necessary, a new lower using an SMOS billet receiver, UBR stock (assuming someday it will ship...), one of the single stage drop in triggers (probably the CMC, maybe the Timney), and various top quality pieces for the remainder.

The first upper will be 5.56, then I plan to have Tim build me a 6.8 piston upper to match. Both will be on the Larue Steal upper reciever, with BCG TBD along with other things like handguards that I'm not concerned about right now.

My reason for this post is that I am concerned about the 5.56 barrel. I plan to go 16" (no NFA) and, based on my research, I'd like one that is cold hammer forged. A MilSpec finish, chrome lined, and 1/7 twist are required. Octagonal rifling is fine. Noveske gets close, but no CL and only in stainless. Where else should I look?

I'm hoping some of you guys that do this a lot can point me in the right direction. I'm not a wealthy man, but cost is not the primary driver here, building a really, really nice AR is. So please, no 'I'd buy two Stags instead of one SMOS' comments. That's what I plan to do AFTER this build! :D Unless that BM ACR actually hits the market. Then all bets are off!

Thanks in advance,

Kerry (the other Kerry)
 

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I would look into the Noveski N4 upper. I think that would be as close to what you want, althugh they don't just sell the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
But that's a 14.5" with a fixed flash suppressor, right? I'm really after a 16". Any thoughts?
 

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A Colt barrel is the way to go, check with Specialized Armaments who specialize in Colt's. They usually have Colt parts in stock. But, since it is a Colt, plan on paying a bit.
 

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LWRC will have Hammer Forged Barrel soon on all their guns. They might be willing to sell you one if you ask really nice.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, thanks all. I'm pretty good at asking nice, so I'll try Colt and Denny's! Sometimes asking nice backfires on me. Any other opinions are welcome...
 

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Try Lothar Walther,
Noveskes are Pac Nor barrels and the poly barrels are like a 5R rifling not a poly bore like Glock or HK.
 

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+1 for Denny's stuff, I wouldn't count out his stainless barrels either, the Ion Bond finish is UN believable! For a 16" 5.56 barrel he would be my first choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, I'll check into all that and thanks for the input. But let's change it up and ask, given all the options, what would you guys would choose in a 5.56, CL, 1/7, 16", MilSpec finish barrel?

Kerry (the other Kerry)
 

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Yes, for 5.56 I would choose a cold hammer forged barrel with the 1x7 twist and chrome lined chamber and bore. This is what the Colt M4 (6920) uses, at least this is what my local Colt Factory Repair Center told me. I like to be able to shoot the heavier bullets like the 77 grain OTM's and the long 70 grain Barnes triple shocks. I have found the 55 grain rounds to have good accuracy in my barrel too. But then I don't use a scope and try to shoot groups with it at 100 yards either. I did shoot it off the bench a month ago just to see what it would do at 25 yards. Rifle is a 16" Colt 6920 5.56 with an LWRC piston conversion. Round was my reloads, a 55 grain fmjbt, 25.2 grains Tac, once fired FC brass, CCI#450 primers, and Lee crimp. I fired the rifle from a modified rest, my range bag, and with a Trijicon Reflex II sight. A five shot group was smaller than a dime, all bullets touching. I figure this is good enough for combat accuracy and at 100 yards I would be able to get rounds on target. I was pleasantly surprised since this ammo is my base training round and not at all match.
 

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Doesn't John have some thick CL 5.56 barrel in stock. They are suppose to be supper tough. I really like the barrel LaRue uses in the stealth. If they had M$ extensions I would say go with that upper and be done with it. I don't understand why he didn't. Regardless if it wasn't really needed people want them and at most they aren't needed but you do have them in case. Same with his uppers. All his vendors had to bug him to produce the uppers with M4 ramps and you have to go thru them to get them. I think his barrel are something special by Lothar Walther so they have my vote if you don't mind waiting.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry to be thick, but I'm not sure who John is?

I'm kind of laughing to myself, because I thought this would be an easy question for you guys! Who makes the best 5.56, 16", CL, 1/7 twist, MilSpec (or better) finished barrel? I half expected someone to say 'Try the search engine!", but maybe it's more complicated than I thought?

Surely, there is a simple answer!?

Thanks,

Kerry (the other Kerry)
 

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"Best" is a subjective word and will often depend on each person's opinions and uses. If you want a combat barrel that has good accuracy and is tough and long lasting, Colt 1x7 twist hammer forged barrels with a milspec finish is what I would go with. I have no experience with Noeveske or Lothar Walther. I hear they make great barrels. What is the intended purpose of your rifle going to be? That is how I would decide.
 

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kvincent said:
Sorry to be thick, but I'm not sure who John is? John Noveske. :D

I'm kind of laughing to myself, because I thought this would be an easy question for you guys! Who makes the best 5.56, 16", CL, 1/7 twist, MilSpec (or better) finished barrel? I half expected someone to say 'Try the search engine!", but maybe it's more complicated than I thought?

Surely, there is a simple answer!?

Thanks,

Kerry (the other Kerry)
Unfortunately there is no real easy answer because there are several good barrels out there. Are you just looking for a pure combat type barrel or an accurate combat barrel? The COlt 16" is real nice, except that it has a carbine length gas system. The Noveski Recon barrel and the Denny's barrel are both Midlength Gas System. FYI: KeviB uses the Noveski Recon out in Afghanistan so it is a great combat barrel and very accurate. Also, Saber Defense makes a nice 16" chrome lined barrel:

http://www.pkfirearms.com/store/get_items.aspx?type=0&term=70&pg=2

Forgot to add: If you are going to go with a 16" barrel, I would seriously consider one with the Midlength gas system.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I really appreciate all the comments and I'm learning a lot. It appears that CL and SS do not play well together. Or is it that SS simply doesn't need tha chrome? The SS Noveske from Denny's with the ion bond finish has everything I think I want except the CL. Which would you give up if you had to make a choice, the SS or the CL?

On the web sites, I don't see much mention of CHF. Are very few done that way? Or is it common enought that it doesn't require mentioning?

Though you guys have pointed me towards many good looking barrels, I still don't believe I've found 16", CHF, CL, 1/7, MilSpec or ion bond finish, and mid length gas system in the same package. I'm sure I will be fine with any of your recommendations, but that combination seems pretty tough to find.

Intended use is range work, sport shooting, and SHTF. I don't carry a duty or service rifle.

Thanks again to all for the input.
 

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kvincent said:
I really appreciate all the comments and I'm learning a lot. It appears that CL and SS do not play well together. Or is it that SS simply doesn't need tha chrome? The SS Noveske from Denny's with the ion bond finish has everything I think I want except the CL. Which would you give up if you had to make a choice, the SS or the CL?

On the web sites, I don't see much mention of CHF. Are very few done that way? Or is it common enought that it doesn't require mentioning?

Though you guys have pointed me towards many good looking barrels, I still don't believe I've found 16", CHF, CL, 1/7, MilSpec or ion bond finish, and mid length gas system in the same package. I'm sure I will be fine with any of your recommendations, but that combination seems pretty tough to find.

Intended use is range work, sport shooting, and SHTF. I don't carry a duty or service rifle.

Thanks again to all for the input.
Chrome lining is just a layer of chrome lining which protects from rust and helps the barrel last longer. Chrome lined barrels are a must for combat weapons but they are generally a little less accurate than SS barrels. If you plan on doing a lot of shooting and a lot of full-auto shooting, the chrome lined barrels are a good idea. If you want an accrate Recce/SPR/DMR type AR, get the SS barrels. The Recon and Operator barrels will still last you over 10,000 rounds. The Chrome lined barrels will last twice as long.

Here are my top 3 choices:
If you are getting a 16" barrel, I would definitely get the Midlength. And as I said before, you can't go wrong with the Noveski Recon or Denny's Operator barrels. Now, if you want Chrome lined, get the Saber Defense.

JMHO.
 

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I agree with Paulo.

You will only need CL if you plan to do what most would consider abuse to your rifle. I seriously doubt you will given your parts list. If you are going to be putting it away all the time without cleaning it, plan frequent mag dumps, or frequent full auto use. Otherwise it hurts accuracy. As far as CL extending the life of your barrel. This would be true if the bore or the chamber were the first things to wear out. Unfortunately on these guns it is the gas port that is used up before the barrel bore. Besides barrel really should be considered an consumable item in firearms. Most serious shooter consider them this way. Based on your parts list you have everything there to make a very highly accurate AR. I would go with a Noveske barrel. They are as has been said a Pac-Nor barrel that John has profiled and chambered which he is considered one of the absolute best at. Pac-Nors have won their share of BR LR HP and other type comps. The rifling used it a similar to a 5R more then it is to the HK or Glock polygonal bores. They have also show to be very long wearing. Being SS they allow you to go with either the bead blasted or other finishes ie DCL Ion Bonded. If your uses are those that would be more to those needing CL then Denny's followed by Sabre would be my choices. In 5.56 going from a Noveske to any of the CL barrel will double the size of the groups you will be able to achieve. Everything has its +/- and its proper uses. You have to decide what yours will be used for the most. Unless you have a DIAS or plan to waste ammo with Beta mags the Noveske or other high quality SS barrel ie WOA, Wilson; would given you tangible benifits you can see and use.

Next, since you are assembling a top quality AR would be a properly assembled bolt and top quality trigger group etc..

Tim

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again to everyone. I'm still open to suggestions, but I think the Noveske below is what I'm going with. The only problem is it shows 'not in stock'. I'll have to check on that. So far, my lower receiver, stock, and barrel are not in stock. Hard to build a rifle without those!

Kerry (the other Kerry)

Link to barrel:

http://global-tactical.com/index.asp?Pa ... ProdID=569
 

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You can get the barrel from Noveske and have it coated later. I would get the barrel, bolt, and carrier all Ion Bonded if you plan on doing any of it. So get it all together then send it out to be coated. Tim @ Kotonics works right down the street from the place that does it. When you send it to him to be put together have him get it all bonded for you then. Its no different. That way you can get started on the upper. That is the only part you really need special tools to put together.

Tim
 
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