how much do 16" barrels run? how do i switch?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by ananab, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. ananab

    ananab G&G Newbie

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    i have a colt h-bar 20" heavy barrel with a flat top reciever, and i would like to swap the 20" heavy barrel to a 16" lighter barrel. i've been told it's easier to just switch the whole upper assembly than to just switch the barrels, is this so? also, are there any legal factors i might need to be aware of? i want to keep the flat top, but i don't know how expensive it is to do the switch i want, or which would be the easiest / less costly route to do so. ultimately i want the light barrel in a flat top upper.
     
  2. Eric

    Eric G&G Newbie

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    USA
    Ananab,
    First thing, it's a whole lot cheaper to just switch the barrel instead of the entire upper. Then, it's a whole lot easier to just change the upper instead of the barrel. There are no legal issues as long as you don't replace a post-ban barrel with a pre-ban barrel. If you just change the barrels out, all you really need is a barrel wrench with just a little 'Mcgivery". It really isn't that difficult at all. If you get a whole new upper there is nothing to it and you actually will have two rifles in one. You never know, you might need to use a 20" in the future. If you change the barrels out, unless you plan on building one later, you'll just have a big'ol paperweight. For cost, just the barrel with gas tube, handguards and complete delta ring assembly is right at half of a complete upper. Good Shooting! Eric
     

  3. ananab

    ananab G&G Newbie

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    thanks eric, it would be nice if i could sell the 20" barrell (money is kinda tight right now) but i think i will probably buy the barrel and install it. i just had somebody tell me that the "head spacing" needs to be just right, but i'm not really sure what he's refering to. i'm assuming that it's how far the chamber is forwrd or backward, but i'm not really sure. do you know anything about that?
     
  4. Eric

    Eric G&G Newbie

    673
    0
    USA
    Ananab,
    If you don't have one (Headspace guage) you turn barrel nut as far as you can go, then look thru the rear of the upper rec. down the path the charging handle travels. you'll see an X, and the U (or slot that the gas tube rests in) of the barrel nut. Just move the barrel nut a little more until the center of the X is in the center of the U. That's as "layman" as I can make it. It works EVERY time! of course, you can always order a Headspace GO/NO-GO gauge for cheap. Good Shooting! Eric
     
  5. Eric556

    Eric556 G&G Newbie

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    Maine
    Ananab,

    I have recently altered 3 uppers with new barrels, including doing what you're planning (only in reverse, I removed a 16" barrel and replaced it with a 20" A2 profile barrel on a Colt upper receiver).

    I highly recommend the video that Bushmaster Firearms sells for about $20--you might even want to get it first and view it before deciding if you want to "do it yourself." AGI also makes a video, but the Bushmaster's better. I have the USMC & US Army manuals, but just watching somebody else actually do it was really helpful.

    In addition to the Armorer's Barrel Wrench($11 to $30) already mentioned, you'll need a vise and either a set of Barrel Vise Jaw Blocks($15) or an Armorer's Action Clamp($40), and possibly a torque wrench, depending on which Armorer's Wrench you buy. If you already own or have access to the vise and torque wrench, it's not that big an investment. Bushmaster has the specialized items on their Website and in their catalog.

    And, for the record, I'm not a shill for Bushmaster(even if I do live in Maine)! I'm a Colt man -I have 4 preban Colts, 1 preban PWA, and only one postban Bushy. Bit I love 'em all!

    Ananab, good luck on your project, I think you will enjoy modifying your rifle into the configuration you want. And if your lower receiver is postban, remember not to make any changes to the upper that would result in the creation of a 1994 Crime Bill "Assault weapon!"

    Eric556
     
  6. AR-tim

    AR-tim G&G Newbie

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    WI
    Good Lord! Four pre-bans and one post-ban.....I am soooo jealous. And the guys at work call me a gun nut for owning what they call an M16 ( actually it is my post-ban AR-15).