14.5 AR-15 Rifle Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'AR15' started by MosinRuger, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    Lately I've been thinking that a 14.5 pinned/welded upper on a carbine rifle lower would be about the best all around/ GP carbine. being the owner of a 10.5 pistol and a 16" rifle, I can see how a 14.5 rifle would be kinda the "best of both worlds." the 14.5 upper with lpvo would be a great match. allowing for good up close maneuverability in a vehicle or building , lighter weight for carrying and decent energy downrange.

    i'd go with a flash hider/ muzzle brake hybrid device on the end.

    what are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk G&G Evangelist

    Depends on how the extra 4 inches of barrel would affect terminal energy and overall accuracy. My 10.5 inch pistol is close enough to my old CAR-15 from Vietnam, that it's very comfortable for me to handle and shoot well. Then again, I'm not expecting rifle accuracy and terminal energy. I've found that, usually, when I try to get something that does multiple tasks (Rifle and pistol) it doesn't do either well.
     
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  3. Just me personally, but if you already have an AR Pistol, and a 16" Rifle I really don't see much benefit to a 14.5" Pinned / Welded. The weight savings is negligible, and for the Pinned/Welded 1.5" long flash hider to get you out of the SBR realm you're at 16" so you're basically shaving just an inch off the OAL of the rifle compared to a 16" with a 1" stubby flash hider. Not a lot of gain for the effort unless you just want to do it for personal preference.

    That being said I might not be the best person to ask as I've gone exactly the Opposite direction... I Started with a more standard 16" Mid Length Gas System, and went the opposite direction to Rifle Length gas systems and longer barrels.

    So while I understand wanting a Close Quarters Rifle, it sounds like you've got that covered quite well already. Have you thought about going the other direction as then you literally would have all of the bases covered?

    I know for me I never really cared much for AR's in general and a lot of it was because of the harshness / violence of the action and muzzle blast. Just not too pleasant a weapon to shoot. When I went to a 16" x39 due to the lower pressure / velocity it was a much more enjoyable experience, then finally when I got the MPR (Rifle Length system) it was literally a whole different shooting experience in terms of Joy factor shooting it.

    But again it's all about what you want and enjoy.

    As for the LPVO (Lol had to look that one up!) That's not a bad option, but I tend to favor a low powered Prism scope (preferably with an illuminated reticle for low light). Holo's / Dot sights are nice but I hate the battery thing if the Optic won't work without it, and I like the compact form factor of the Prism's and though I like variable power fixed Optics are less likely damaged, and at a critical moment you can't forget and potentially have to adjust your optic to take the shot- good features for a closer in weapon, again just my Opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  4. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    I don't see any advantage to a short barrel being pinned to 16" either. like said above, you are only gaining one inch of shortness over a normal 16" bbl. also with the long pinned on muzzle device, you have a long tube on the end of your barrel with an oversized bore and no rifling which does nothing to aid velocity or accuracy.
     
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  5. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    Barrel length doesn’t have a great deal to do with practical accuracy in an AR; a 10.5 inch can be as accurate as a 16 inch but will have lesser ballistics.

    There’s merit in having a 14.5 inch upper for better ballistics vice a 10.5’inch and have slightly better handling if you keep the muzzle device short. I’d personally make it a pistol to avoid having to SBR it (or put a 14.5 inch upper on an existing pistol lower) and ditch the pinned approach. Pistol builds are easy to make and one pistol lower can serve for a variety of barrel lengths. You could even start with an existing commercial pistol AR and put a 14.5 inch upper on it. Once I get the brace length right there’s not much need to change it (within ATF limits) and some commercial braces are of adjustable length anyway.

    I think highly of the 1-6 or 1-8 vortex strike Eagle scopes but they can be a little heavy. They can work as a red dot in close with magnification available. Best of both worlds.
     
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  6. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    My go to General purpose non NFA carbines are 14.5's with pinned flash hider/comp to make it exactly 16".

    If you go this route you have exactly 16" of barrel AND muzzle device.

    If you go 16" barrel you actually have a 17" to 17.x" barrel setup because you have 16" of actual barrel PLUS the added length (minus the threading length) of whatever muzzle device you have on.
     
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  7. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    This is the difference between a 14.5" barrel with a pinned 1.5" muzzle device vs a 16" barrel with a 1.75" muzzle device for a total length of 17.75".

    The muzzle device on the 16" setup is one of the shorter muzzle devices out there.

    Barrels.jpg



    That being said...
    when you keep in mind the fact that depending on what muzzle device you put on there it can start to add up... for example I have another AR15 with a 2" comp/ QD suppressor mount and another AR that has a 2.5" 3-prong flashhider/ QD suppressor mount.

    Those muzzle devices are on an 11.5" and a 10.5" upper receiver respectively.

    but if I was running that 2.5" 3-prong flash hider on my 16" barrel Id then have an 18.5" overall barrel setup.

    When you start talking about a handy carbine for maneauverving in/out/around vehicles, barricades, structures, hallways/doorways bla bla bla those inches start to add up.
     
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  8. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

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    I wouldn't bother to save an inch or an inch and a half. But I have an 8" suppressor hanging off most of my rifles, so maybe I'm not the guy to take advice from on compact weapons.

    For my use, if I were making a short AR-15, I'd make a pistol build and put a suppressor on it. It just depends on what you want. We live in a golden age of options.
     
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  9. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    i think its just considering my context, having the 10.5" and the 16" ( with a somewhat long and heavy smith vortex FH on it) I cant help but think that something right in the middle would be really nice.

    I kinda want it to be a "Rifle" that can use many common and affordable adjustable buttsockts. i could get a 12.5 or 13.7 barrel for my pistol.. but idk i want the pistol to be small for HD. i could turn my 16" into a more dedicated dmr style gun and have the 14.5" carbine for the middle of the road, only choose one to "do everything" option.

    more context. ive been getting into more overland camping and exploring remote national forest land. one aspect of this is packing light. so i really dont want to bring a pistol and a rifle to maximize up close and long range. so im like well if i just want one rifle with me, the 14.5" starts to make lot of sense. basically i see value for my purpose a light, compact rifle with an LPVO. that could be a 16" with a short FH, or a 14.5" p/w.

    unfortunately now isnt the best time to be shopping for ar components, from being sold out to overprices( compared to say 6 months ago) I may just have to shelve this and make the most( oh no!) of what i've got on hand. luckily that will give me plenty of time to sort out what i really think i want!

    more context, this is more personal to my situation, not just 14.5s" in general. back to that "one rifle for exploring" i've come to really like LPVO's. i like the 1x capability as well as being able to zoom in and get a better or closer sight picture. I've been running one on my 10'5 pistol, however im beginning to think that its really more suited for a rifle/ carbine. it makes the pistol large and heavy, and still, its just a pistol, so its really most effective inside say 100 yards. yes it can reach out, its just not ideal.

    so, Im like well i can just throw the lpvo on my 16" and its good to go... except, my rifle has a a2 FSP, which really makes 1x on the lpvo unusable as the sight picture is largely obscured by the FSP. I also have a midwest industries free float hand guard on the rifle. long story short(er) its a pita to take off the Fsp and put on a different HG. its almost like i have 3 options. new barrel/ HG for the rifle. new upper, or cut the FSP and put in a new longer HG.

    If i could choose, i'd find a great deal on a 14.5" upper with a FF HG and low pro gas block. but i cant find a good deal on that.


    Part of me leans towards cutting my FSP and putting on a longer FF HG with the lpvo. but this is my first ar, its what i always wanted which was something very close to an M4, and i'd just hate to go cutting it.

    I could go with a new 16" upper, they are easier to find and cheaper than 14.5"s. but why get another 16" upper when i already have one!

    lastly i could just re barrel the upper i have with a 14.5" p/w and new HG. then i can keep the original barrel/ fsp hardware as is.


    so many CHOICES!

    thanks for the conversation.
     
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  10. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

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    Back when I used to backpack camp I had a ridiculous amount of money into the lightest gear possible. Or at least it felt like it at the time (I was pretty broke still). Specialized equipment is necessary for weight savings. And I can confirm hiking into elk camp with my hunting rifle and supplies wears thin fast. In your situation, I definitely see wanting a short carbine style rifle. Generally I would say it's not worth the cost, but for long brush-busting hikes with gear I totally understand wanting to do that.

    Here's my two cents:
    It may be worthwhile to look into a 14.5" or 15" upper assembly in a .30 caliber cartridge that will work with the short AR-15 action and pin a muzzle device to it to keep it a rifle. You've got the same AR-15 platform but with a slightly larger bullet. 7.62x39 would be my first choice, but that's only because I have two of them and they work flawlessly. There's options when choosing a cartridge though, so whatever is comfortable for you.

    Just something else to consider for your build.

    Edit- I'm not endorsing this particular upper, I just went to Morariti so see what she had in slightly shorter 7.62x39 barreled uppers.
    https://moriartiarmaments.com/milit...le-15-lightweight-fde-upper-ar47blkua-barrett
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  11. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    thanks for the picture! do those both have fully collapsed buttstocks?
     
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  12. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    im starting to think a 16" lightweight profile barrel might be a good way to go.
     
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  13. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Not directly related to your question about barrel length, but for being handy, highly portable, and forgiving when it comes to toting one around, take a look at those pencil profile barrels. You'll find them in 14.5" and 16" choices too, 5.56 NATO or 223 Wylde chambers, stainless or 4150 CMV, conventional rifling or even 5R rifling. But that pencil profile will make a few ounces difference and they still shoot decent 3 shot groups. I've built 3 with pencil profiles and the last two I snatched up the barrels clearance priced at $39.95.
     
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  14. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    or, simply get a new low pro gas block, and new HG, and have a smith replace all that stuff. my barrel is fine, its just the darn FSP that is in the way!
     
  15. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    man wish i could find a deal like that! and i agree, a 16" lightweight profile is starting to make a lot of sense. I dont shoot enough volume for heat to be an issue.
     
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  16. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

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    I can’t say enough good about my 16” BCM light weight (pencil) upper.
    IMG_6400.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Gun and Game mobile app
     
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  17. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

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    Swapping a gas block is pretty easy. It won't take but a minute for a smith to do that for you if that's the route you decide on.
     
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  18. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Actually I've built four 16" pencil profile carbines now that I get to thinking about it. One of my brothers talked me out of one of them. Then I gifted another one to a a very dear friend who came over here and stayed a few nights after my quad bypass. Had she not done that they were going to send me to rehab someplace. Lucky me to have a friend like her. Her carbine has a 1-8 twist, 5R rifling, Nitrided, 16" pencil profile, with the 223 Wylde chamber. These 2 are 1-7 twist 5R 5.56 NATO. Very inexpensive builds, but it would cost several bucks more to do it now. 20200803_154408~2.jpg
     
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  19. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    The two builds in the photo both have BCM gunfighter stocks on them. The butt stocks were not collapsed but were set up for my desired length of pull for the 14.5" one and the 16" setup it was set slightly different because its a spare build in my safe and I had to extend the stock more to get it to fit in the gun safe notches.

    When I took the pic I just lined up the two receivers next to each other so that you could see the difference in over all barrel profile length.
     
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  20. MosinRuger

    MosinRuger G&G Evangelist

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    ok, so right now my goal is essentially to be able to convert my existing rifle upper to a longer, free floating handgaurd with no front sight post so that it can be used with a LPVO.

    ive been doing some research.

    I can get a handgaurd that has the same barrel nut mating system as my current one, and a new low profile gas block. that would allow me to remove my FH, remove the a2 post, and remove the current HG. Then, without removing the barrel/ barrel nut, i would be able to install the new gasblock, new HG and either the same or new muzzle device.

    has anyone had experience or success removing an a2 and installing a screw on or clamp on type gas block?
     
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