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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
18.6" heavy vx 16" light barrel advice needed

I'm looking at buying a XCR to use primarily in 7.62x39. The pricing seems to make it attractive to buy a 5.56 XCR rifle and then 7.62x39 conversion. I will probably use the 5.56 only for target shooting (200-600 yrds) or shooting varmints. Given this use, which would you recommend - 18.6 or 16 inch barrel? Since RA only offers 1/9 twist, will the 18.6" barrel stabilize 75-77gr bullets better than the 16" barrel? I guess bottom line what I'm asking is will the 18.6" barrel provide meaningful improvements in velocity and accuracy over the 16"?
 

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Re: 18.6" heavy vx 16" light barrel advice needed

For shooting in the 200 and longer range the 18.5 barrel will help with higher velocity especially if you are going to do any type of varmint hunting.
 

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Re: 18.6" heavy vx 16" light barrel advice needed

You'll have to excuse me if I disagree.

A Hornady TAP round from a 16" barrel is good (as in it keeps it's somewhat explosive properties) to 300+ yards.

Everyone has personal preferences, but a shooter won't typically be able to differentiate between the barrels. A benchrester will, but a guy with his belly in the grass won't.
 

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Re: 18.6" heavy vx 16" light barrel advice needed

My point being that if all thing being equal higher velocity is usually better when shooting at the longer ranges, while some specialty ammo is designed for explosive terminal performance most varmint ammo is not that good without the necessary velocity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: 18.6" heavy vx 16" light barrel advice needed

Sigh... If only I could afford to shoot TAP ammo! The real reason for the 5.56 was as a lower cost solution to shooting targets with my 30-06. The 7.62x39 conversion will be my carbine weapon for 0-200 yrds. I've had my 30-06 bolt action for over 30 yrs and is by far my favorite, but I'm beginning to shoot it less and less because of ammo prices, wear and tear on the rifle, and (sad to say) recoil is getting more bothersome as I get older.
 

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Re: 18.6" heavy vx 16" light barrel advice needed

What you say is true, but it's not something normally not 'visible' to the rifleman.

If you're shooting off sandbags or some-such, the extra 150-200 fps will be visible as another 1/2 MOA out there. As far as windage, it's not a consideration.

I'm talking about rounds from a guy on his belly, using a slung carbine.
 
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