Sharpen Your Hatchet While The World Screams

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Barrel Length and Wicked Little Pills

My last post brought out some questions here and at WRSA about velocity in 16" barrels vs. 20". I am sure velocities will vary from gun to gun and specific loads used, but real deal NATO spec M193 runs about 3150 from 16" barrels. Federal in particular and Wolf Gold I have tested personally. Winchester Q3131 and some others seem to be lower pressure and consequently lower velocity.

This guy got similar results to my own.

This guy too

As well as G&A

The following I found interesting and it nicely written. It shows a loss of about 25fps per inch of barrel loss. While I realize it is a bolt gun and that a gas gun will run slightly slower the correlation is the same.

Also I realize that some folks only believe in 30 cal sticks and I say if you can shoot it as fast and as accurately as you can a 5.56 carbine, you are a blessed man and I commend you. Some just hate the AR platform, OK but don't base it on stories or experience from Vietnam. Things are very different from 1970.

John Mosby had this to say about that...

This conversation is not intended to instigate a debate on the merits of the Stoner platform versus anything else, nor is it intended to foment discussion on 5.56 versus 7.62. The first has been completely dispelled, in the realm of this blog at least, by the refusal of all those opposed on principle to Stoner’s design, to accept my standing challenge on the “Last Word” page. The second is simply not open to discussion here. I KNOW 5.56 kills people, dead. I know 7.62 kills people, dead. I choose 5.56 because it kills people, dead, plus I can carry more of it, meaning, when necessary, I can kill more people, dead. Additionally, because it has less felt recoil, I can kill them faster, because shot-to-shot recovery is faster. Are there guys out there that can recover from 7.62 as fast, or faster, than I can from 5.56? Perhaps, but those guys don’t need any advice on setting up their fighting rifle. Most guys can’t recover from 5.56 as fast as I can from 7.62. I choose 5.56 because it works, for me. I don’t moderate comments, but I WILL delete comments that hold no merit to the conversation, on this article, if the only thing you have to say is along the lines of “Stoner was stoned!” or “Mouseguns are for pussies!” –J.M.

High velocity rifle bullets, even .223 size, do incredible damage to flesh within the range they are effective. Fragmentation isn't a myth and under about 100 yards is pretty predictable with 55g NATO ammunition .

On zero, look use what makes sense to YOU. 

To all of those who are still pretty new to this stuff, first I would like to thank you for waking up and learning. It takes courage to begin to question reality as it is presented by pop-culture. Get out there and DO, don't just read. There is no experience like personal experience and seeing it for yourself from YOUR equipment will make you more confident and better prepared. 

Equipment isn't the only part of the equation, you are the multiplier and you are the part of the math that is not negotiable. PREP YOU as you get your preps straightened out. Don't just accept stuff you read, get out there and see for yourself.

Tick Tock.


  1. is that actual chronograph data, from your rifle? i've been handloading for many many years. chrono results off of my handloads on a 16inch doesnt get up there.with load manual data says it should. when shooting for 3050-3100 . the chrono says maybe 2600. but test with longer barrels . they show an added 25 fps per inch.

    any recomendations on nitride versus chrome barrel?
    over at midway. they are running their brandname of arstoner barrels for $69 , with pinned sites/gas blocks

  2. I have chrono tested from 3 different chrome lined ARs and gotten between low to mid 3100s with Federal and high 3000s to low 3100s with Wolf Gold. WG is sold as .223 but is contract M193 from Europe, it is what I have bought for a good while now but have a good amount of the Federal from back when it was in the low $200s/1000.

    I don't discount that some ammo is slower. I have seen Winchester, Black Hills, PMC and Privi all run a good bit slower but not 2600 slow. NATO spec is hot stuff and there is a difference between .223 max loads and 5.56 max loads.

    On barrels I am a chrome guy. Nitride barrels are gaining in popularity and can be very accurate because they are cut or hammer forged to final bore size and then the nitride process hardens the steel. Chrome is added after cutting or hammer forging and can vary the final bore size. Chrome IMO is the harder and ultimately more durable. Nitride is like Glock's Tennifer finish and is also called Melonite. Honestly unless your shooting auto, nitride is fine.

    Thanks for reading here.

  3. BTW, this guy got similar results to my own.

  4. A note on the AR, from a thirty cal guy ( honestly, with my terrain and the constant winds here, it is not really a choice ). I don't care that I can carry more ( I think most discount the extreme light infantry concept at their peril ) ammo with 223. What is more important is that the AR is so accurate that you can miss a lot less. We can debate what a hit is going to do, but the gun is simply more accurate for a low to mid price weapon, in a combat rifle ( hunting rifles are better than nothing if you are on a budget but I prefer military designs for increased ruggedness ). If you factor in ammo cost, the AR can be a real advantage because you simply need less. If you are engaged in ambush and not spray and pray frontal assaults. The AR has a lot of disadvantages, but its commonality trumps a lot of them. Add to that the accuracy, even for a low budget version. My main point here is that the debate misses a lot of other factors, logistically and financially.

    1. Very very true. Most any AR is better than most can hold out to a few hundred yards. Thanks for the comment.

  5. I'm a fan of the 6.5mm bore size, have one AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel, and Ruger Gunsite Scout in 6.5 Creedmoor. There was an interesting test of the effects of barrel length on 6.5 Creedmoor velocity. It found much the same results you did.

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