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I like the 18 as well but if I had to have one to do everything it would be a 16" The 6.8 has developed most of its velocity by 16". It is considered the ideal barrel length. I very much doubt you would be disappointed with it and it would give you more mobility. The only reason I went with 18" after I had a 16" was I personally could balance it better for long off hand shoots. It was a personal thing. The overwhelmingly most popular barrel is the 16" in the caliber. You will be happy with either.

I to would suggest the Kotonics upper. It give you the most for your money but if you are on a very tight budget the RRA is a good option. What ever you do make sure it has an 11:1 twist and or the SPCII chamber. The best option on barrels are either an 11:1 SAAMI or a 11:1 SPCII. They will shoot the hottest round available and will allow you to use some of the hottest reload recipes. For built uppers that leaves you with the Ko-tonic, RRA, DPMS(only there 20" version). Ko-tonics being the best with the best customer support. The owner, Tim posts here regularly. The KT has both the 11 twist rate and SPCII chamber along with a 4 groove shallow land rifling. It is also chrome lined. You can develop hand loads that will shoot .5 moa groups. Most average 1 moa or below.

welcome aboard.

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