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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was pondering this question over lunch: does anyone still run a 20" AR-15 these days?

The current trend seems to favor SBR length carbines. Civilians enjoy LARP'ing as high-speed low drag operators, and actual high-speed low drag operators have to jump in and out of vehicles, clear rooms, and fight in urban settings. However, SBR length barrels tend to favor heavier projectiles, and heavier projectiles mean more recoil and more bullet drop. They also tend to be louder and have a stronger muzzle flash; adding a suppressor mitigates this, but at the expense of adding length to your barrel.

A 20" barrel, on the other hand, can still make effective use of (inexpensive) bulk M193 ammo. The rifle length gas system usually translates into a very reliable operation with low recoil. Since the long barrel allows for a more complete powder burn, there is less muzzle flash. Likewise, muzzle blast tends to be lower.

What are your thoughts? Does the 20" AR still have a place in your personal arsenal?
 

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Well not for me anyway. I only have 2, .556 a Colt SOCOM (older one NIB with the KAC stuff) and a regular M4 Colt that lives in my tool box in the truck for the ranch. The other AR's are 6.5 and 308's all Colts.
 
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I still shoot my old Colt HBAR, it must be 30 plus years old... Have made some really good shots with it on ground hogs in Maryland...I think I used to use 69 grain Nosler or Sierra H.P. bullets..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Is it only an AR-15 if it's in 5.56?

I have 2 5.56 ars w/ 20" barrels that I regularly compete in 3 Gun events with, and 2 more 6.5 Grendel ARs w/20" barrels.

Some 3gun stages require quite a bit of maneuverability- enter/exit vehicles, culverts, stairs, doorways, etc. You see a pretty good range of barrels, from sbrs, up to 20" is pretty common. My guesstimate is that probably 75% of competitors run a 16" barrel, and the rest are fairly evenly distributed.

"Operators," do things most of us humble peeps will never need to.
 

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My FIRST AR build:
Colt M16A1 parts kit & replacement barrel (1in7 twist, Chrome lined), from McKay Enterprises. I traded the A1 upper for an A2 upper, because I like the windage and elevation adjustments on the A2. Built on a "RGUNS” POW-MIA marked lower, with the FA lower parts exchanged for Semi ones. I’m real happy with it.
 

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My wife's rifle is a 20" bbl. She likes the way it balances for her.
She also says it doesn't "kick" at all compared to the 16" guns.
I think it's a combination of the gas system and end of the bbl being a little father away
from her ears.
Me I don't care either way.
We use them for fun guns at the range, and some multi gun events.
Coyote hunting once in a while!
 
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