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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found a gunsmith that makes a 24inch 1:8 twist stainless steel bull barrel upper with a 17" M Lok rail and head spaced BCG. The tag is $550. This is with a UTG rail which costs $110. I would want to instead put on the $210 (made in USA) Mid West 18' rail. This means going with the upper as this gunsmith makes it but provide the $210 rail to him to install in lieu of the UTG. So I figure his price to me will be $440 plus my rail.

Here is what I'd like input on:

a. 1:8 the correct twist for a 24" barrel pushing 80 gr bullets or 77 gr bullets.

b. I just found that Mid West Industries advertises a 18" rail, made in USA , M Lok and $210. I think my
rail issues are solved although the cost is about 100 bucks more than the UTG rail but I trust Mid West products so peace of mind is there for USA made rail. I want to cry once on a rail, they are not cheap.

c. Is my math correct on average costs: BCG & Bolt costs $120, barrel would cost $200, Rail about $210 and receiver is $75. Total $ 595.....and if that is so, then at best this gunsmith might be making a $100 off this build because his costs for parts is far less than I can buy them for. If my math is correct here, then $595 for a completed for this upper is not out of the ball park for what I am buying.

So any input from those in the know about bbl twist, rail and what I should be paying for such an upper would be quite helpful. I am toying with the idea of just buying the parts and doing it all myself but I don't want to pay too much and get bilked ...I don't see that I would be but need your second opinion.


Yes...this sucker when done will be heavy , its a pure range firearm.

and yes, once you start on a "good idea'...costs do mount up fast . It only takes one cheap short cut to screw things up big time.
 

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You and I have had some disagreement, but I ask that you at least consider this: check out a White Oak Armament complete 24" varmint upper. They run $635 - a little more than your option, but well worth it. Yes, (a.) a 1-in-8 will work with 80gr - even vld's in a 24". Yes, (c.) $550-600 is appropriate for a quality upper. I have looked at the Midwest (b.) myself, and here is my take. For a free-float handguard, it is reasonably priced (as anything labeled "tactical" is overpriced), but as with all of the breed, there is but one, rear, mounting point, and it is not very strong. The longer they get, the weaker they become, due to increased leverage. The proprietary tube from White Oak uses a much stronger mounting arrangement, and is indexable. Now, for the barrel. A $200 barrel is not going to be anything great, but what will make a difference is how concentric it is. White Oak mills their barrels from blanks, and they are better built than the "contractor grade" stuff available elsewhere. As they heat up, a $200 White Oak barrel won't walk around like other $200 barrels. Also, by going with their upper, you get quality parts (not the "mil spec" garbage that others hawk), built by a competition level armorer. Good luck, hold hard, and keep 'em in the 10-ring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The only disagreement I can remember is how far in distance can I push a 556 bullet and expect accuracy and I am willing to kick the can and tell you I was wrong. Of course how big a target can make any results spectacular and I won't fudge that way.

That said, I had not considered White Oak but based on your comments, they indeed are the less risk option for a 24' AR and best chance for accuracy. The cost is a few bucks more than my SWAG at component prices and White Oak makes legendary barrels. I am moving to the White Oak course of action. If I want success and quality ..or chance of success and no mystery on quality, the White Oak
upper is the overwhelming approach.

The longer the rail ..and the leverage issue, I could have some drama unanticipated. I'll go with the rail length White Oak recommends and limit unintended consequences .

Thank you .
 

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why a rail?


why not a float tube and normal handguards,

inquiring minds, and all that,

not a rail guy, but have a couple of KAC RAS in the safe (rifle A2 style and a 14.5" for the 16)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bob (Jojodaduck code name on these boards) is letting me borrow his 24 inch AR to do the long range tests at 1000 yds. I'll have to use a rifle rest as his tube fore end may not have a attachment for bipod.

Mark, Thanks for offer to use your 24' rail system. I think Bob's will suffice for the accuracy test and lay the cards out face up on LR accuracy ...or face down on LR accuracy.

Lyman...I could certainly ask White Oak if they offer a 24' varmint upper with standard hand guards or just the standard tube fore end they show on their link, and then decide about which is the best course of action. I still think a bipod is a plus on such a rifle so I am inclined to a rail for that purpose.

If Bobs rifle brings home the bacon, I'll be going to White Oak. If it does not and is just a great 800 yd rifle, then I will have to step back and regroup.
 

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If you have any intentions of shooting Berger's you should verify that 1/8 will stabilize.I thought they needed a faster twist but could be wrong. If you want to go to 1000 with best possible accuracy, I believe the heavier Berger's are the ticket.
 

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Bob (Jojodaduck code name on these boards) is letting me borrow his 24 inch AR to do the long range tests at 1000 yds. I'll have to use a rifle rest as his tube fore end may not have a attachment for bipod.

Mark, Thanks for offer to use your 24' rail system. I think Bob's will suffice for the accuracy test and lay the cards out face up on LR accuracy ...or face down on LR accuracy.

Lyman...I could certainly ask White Oak if they offer a 24' varmint upper with standard hand guards or just the standard tube fore end they show on their link, and then decide about which is the best course of action. I still think a bipod is a plus on such a rifle so I am inclined to a rail for that purpose.

If Bobs rifle brings home the bacon, I'll be going to White Oak. If it does not and is just a great 800 yd rifle, then I will have to step back and regroup.
just happens I picked up a vintage 24" a few days ago,

likely an older SGW barrel, LM A1 upper, and a M60 bipod on the end of the barrel with adapter and A1 flash hider,
guessing it is 1:9. so likely not worthy for your testing,,, and standard A2 handguards,,
 

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for the weight and length of the bullets 1:9 may work out better.would there be less wind deflection and no loss of stability?might be worthwhile to try. am impressed at the effort and thought you put into long distance shooting with the 556 ar platform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
for the weight and length of the bullets 1:9 may work out better.would there be less wind deflection and no loss of stability?might be worthwhile to try. am impressed at the effort and thought you put into long distance shooting with the 556 ar platform.
I am just kicking the can down the road in hopes I stumble upon a solution. Bob's loan of his 24' barreled AR saves me time , I can test and use what happens to judge where I go next...saves time and money. I may find, 800 yds is the longest distance for this caliber in realistic use and confirm what others have said.

I have one advantage: living 6 miles from a 1000 yd range available nearly every weekend.. my disadvantage is winds are fouling me up and making testing a wasted effort so far this winter.
 

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1/8 as a minimum for normal 80's like SMK's and NCC's. You should really be looking at 1/7. Honestly if you're serious about 1000yd, start looking into 90gr bullets and appropriate twist needed.
 

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I am just kicking the can down the road in hopes I stumble upon a solution. Bob's loan of his 24' barreled AR saves me time , I can test and use what happens to judge where I go next...saves time and money. I may find, 800 yds is the longest distance for this caliber in realistic use and confirm what others have said.

I have one advantage: living 6 miles from a 1000 yd range available nearly every weekend.. my disadvantage is winds are fouling me up and making testing a wasted effort so far this winter.
wind you say-why not start with 1-9? then drop to 1-8 and compare.dont know if VAs 24" can handle the length of bullets you proscribe but you you may want to try that the same day if possible just to compare.if you get worthy results when wind deflection is a factor it may be more beneficial to your quest.
 

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Consider the 75 and 80 Amax bullets instead of Sierra, they have a better BC. The 75 with 24.7 grains of RL15 did well at 1000 out of a 22 inch 1 in 8 twist upper for me. The 80's I load with 24.5 grains of N540.
 
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