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AR build - 16 or 20 inch barrel?

8243 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  osucowboy8
Well, I've decided to build an AR. I'm pretty well set on how I want it to come together. I do have some questions about barrel length though. The rifle should be relatively light and easy to handle. I'd like to make head shots on the occasional deer inside of 250 yrds but it will mostly be used as a general purpose rifle. Long range beaver kills, home defense, plinking, and zombie apocalypse type situations. The military claims combat accuracy out to about 500 yrds with the carbine. Will the 16 inch barrel really provide me with the accuracy that I'm looking for or should I step up to a 20 inch barrel?
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OK. May be my goal of 250 yrd headshots is a little too ambitious. Let me ask this a little differently. What would be a reasonable range for headshots using heavy bullets in both 16 and 20 inch barrels when accuracy, velocity, and bullet momentum are considered?
What about with a 5.56. Are there considerable velocity gains by adding 4 inches of barrel?
+300 fps is almost enough to make me go for the 20 inch and forget about the 16 all together. That sort of goes against my first requirement, though. It must be light and easy to handle. Worth the trade off? May be.
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