View Full Version : Lightweight (pencil) 7.62 barrels

November 25, 2016, 00:02
I've had an Armalite 16 in lightweight carbine for several years. It is the rifle I always figured I would grab if I had to go out the door in a hurry. Today I had some friends over and the conversation turned to shtf rifles and I was given a ration of shit about my pencil barrel choice. Personally I've never noticed any degradation of accuracy as the barrel got hot and never really gave it much thought. I always figured if it came to a fight I'd be happier with a couple of less pounds and it would be ended one way or the other before barrel heat became an issue. What are your thoughts on it?

November 25, 2016, 00:24
In my limited experience (20 yrs USMC) and having shot both the M16A1 and M16A2, the "heavy barrel" thing isn't that big a deal until you start shooting beyond 500-600 yds and in rapid fire. Most folks sporting red dots aren't going to be engaging much past 300 yds, and most folks using irons really can't use them much beyond 300 yds and definitely not beyond 500 yds. Heavy barrels help if you're looking to make small groups at extreme ranges. Practical accuracy means hitting a man in the torso (vital organ hits) at certain ranges. The 500 yd line used to be my bread and butter and I can still hit a man, standing, walking or running at 500 yds. Just my two cents worth on this topic. BTW, in comparison I suck with a pistol!:wink: Stick with your lightweight carbine, practice, practice, practice! Get good with it, get confident with it. If you're hitting what you're aiming at, you're comfortable with it and the manual of arms is second nature - stick with it. Let the other guys build their rifles the way they want and let them hump the extra weight. Your weight savings will help in extra ammo carried!

Mark IV
November 25, 2016, 11:39
Firing in semi auto, no worries. The M14 manual indicates that 40 rounds/minute can be fired for the first five minutes, then it decreases from there, don't remember the exact figure, and that's with the standard profile (thin?) barrel. 200 rounds in five minutes is a lot of ammo.

You should be good to go.

the gman
November 25, 2016, 14:16
Today's barrels are not the same as those of yesteryear. Modern barrels are being made with superior grade (or at least, with steel whose properties are far more closely controlled than ever before) and treated with much superior finishes like melonite/QPQ etc than in the past.

Hammer forged barrels are much more available than in the past and even the button rifled barrels with QPQ inside and out will last much longer than the pocketbook of the person firing the rounds through them.

Personally, after carrying weapons in the field hunting, in combat and as a cop, I want the lightest I can carry that achieves the objective in mind. I'm not going to use my 10.5" 5.56 AR to hunt elk with but it's damn handy in clearing a building. I've BTDT with adding useless crap on a 16" carbine and want no part of it: a 2 hour search in the boonies covering one of our K9 officers as we tracked armed robbery suspects cured me of that in a hurry... :sad::wink: If I'm hunting where 500yd+ shots are likely, then I'm taking a heavier barrel rifle in a magnum caliber.

For the AR, in terms of quality and lightweight, Faxon seem to have the best blend currently and while not as inexpensive as some barrels out there, they do shoot very nicely. Question is; what kind of practical accuracy do you really need in a SHTF situation? I can hit minute of man with my L1A1 up to 500 with irons and more than that with a scope but any decent AR pattern .308 with a scope will easily hit a person at 800 with the right dope on the sight. I think your buddies are gonna be sucking wind when you all get wandering around, you with your lightweight gun and them with the big HB barrels... :wink::D

November 25, 2016, 18:04
2236 and gman hit the nail on the head. Unless you plan on being a sniper an
M4 style AR will do it's part out to 300. Plenty good for urban SHTF work.

November 25, 2016, 21:31
Like having a selection to fit task at hand. If going to chase some perp through the woods for a few hours a 14.7" midweight profile barrel rifle with a 3x red dot with a 30 round mag loaded to 26-28 rounds should be just under nine pounds. Would do my best to be the guy telling the Gung Ho younger guys to "run that way and flush him out" as much as possible. Most of my truck guns are 14.5/14.7" builds with low power optics. If I can see it with a 3x optic can more than likely put it down before the magazine runs dry. Luckily worst of my job is carrying heavy stuff up ladders and towers, not chasing perps through briar patches.

November 26, 2016, 13:57
I've gone through a course or two where we shot more than a few rounds. At one of them we were shooting on a 300 meter KD range. I was using a Colt AR with a 16 inch pencil barrel. At 100 m & 200 m it was holding its own, kept groups within the 2 moa red dot. However, it all changed at 300 m, my groups opened up to about 24+ inches (were stringing vertically). The guy next to me with his 12 inch heavy barrel AR was grouping about 5 inch groups at 300 m with an Eo tech sight.

So I would say it depends on your gun. My AR is a no go past 200 m with its pencil barrel. Maybe with different ammo it might change some what but I'm not to optimistic that it would have much effect.

I did like carring that lightweight AR and the only thing I put on mine was the sight and light, it weights about 7.5 lbs fully loaded.

Bottom line if it shoots good at the range you want it too, then I say run with it. But if yours has problems like mine did, then swap out the barrel. Remember increased barrel length doesn't always equal increased accuracy, LaRue's 16 inch barrel OBR is still able to maintain their sub MOA requirements. Shorter barrels will always be more ridged which limits barrel whip. And thicker barrels also aren't more ridged and flutting doesn't make a barrel stiffer eiyher.

November 26, 2016, 15:48
the title sez 762 AR, did I miss something?

November 28, 2016, 05:58
Faxon 16" 1:7 melonite barrel Gman recomending and I second is on sale at Red Barn Armory for $89 today. Am waiting till after Christmas, have plenty.

November 28, 2016, 08:28
the title sez 762 AR, did I miss something?

No, but it appears as though just about everyone else did. :uhoh: