14.5” or 16”

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04zx10
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Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:01 pm

I’ve been on the verge of ordering an A1 upper for a few weeks now, and I just can’t decide which length to go with. Upper will be going on an Aero rifle lower, so 14.5 would have to be pinned / welded.

What did you go with and why?


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apex
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Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:08 pm

14.5" if:
A. you want to convert to the mil-spec gas block
B. you want to be able to mount the bayonet
C. you want a true(ish) clone

16" if:
A. you like the K1 sight picture
B. you don't mind the front post not being flush with the sight block
C. you want to use standard AR rear sights
D. you don't want to mount a bayonet
E. you don't want to fuss around with the extra cost and labor of converting to mil-spec

I have both a 14.5" (pinned and welded) and 16" and have no problem hitting a 1x1ft steel plate at 300m with irons using 55gr Wolf Polyformance with either- the loss of accuracy from the shorter barrel will only become relevant past ~400m.
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04zx10
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:06 pm

Appreciate the reply. Ended up going with the 14.5
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apex
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Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:27 pm

I think it goes without saying but just to be on the safe side (and which I probably should have posted in my first reply), NFA rules apply to the 14.5. Pin and weld a 2" muzzle device to your upper or SBR it if you want a stock on it.
If you intend to build a "clone" and swap to the mil-spec block, pin and weld the muzzle AFTER you have installed the mil-spec gas block, because this is a permanent install.
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JTM20
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Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:07 pm

Will the T91 flash hider bring a 14.5" barrel to 16"?
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apex
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Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:34 pm

JTM20 wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:07 pm
Will the T91 flash hider bring a 14.5" barrel to 16"?
Yes, as will the XT-97. Both muzzle devices measure about 2.25in and will take the barrel out to around 16.5in after permanent installation.
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