Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > Firearms and Other Weapons Forum > Military Weapons Forum
Articles Chat Room Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files



Notices

Military Weapons Forum AR15, AK47, SKS, H&K, Galil, CETME, FN/FAL, Tanks, Ships, Jets, Helicopters....

Advertise Here
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-19-2012, 11:09 AM
kev's Avatar
kev kev is offline
Forum Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Texas
Age: 46
Posts: 14,707
Thanks: 1,619
Thanked 31,612 Times in 6,684 Posts
Default Mid length vs M4 carbine



Advertise Here

While researching the purchase of a new AR-15, I came across several forum topics on the M4 Carbine VS midlength debate.

It seems that the midlength rifle is a little more reliable then the M4, mainly due to pressures in gas system.

The question I have, in most of the debates people keep using the word "slightly". How much is slightly? Is a midlength 20% more reliable then the M4 gas system, 10% more reliable, 5% more reliable, 2% more reliable, .005% more reliable,,,,?

Surely there has been some kind of government, FBI or military study that shows the difference between the M4 and midlength systems?

The reason I am asking, I am down to the final line on a new AR purchase. At this time I am looking at a Spikes ST-15 midlength, or the M4 version. I like the looks of the M4 version, but I also want a full length 16 inch barrel + flash hider, and not a 14.5 inch barrel + flash hider.

It seems to me that some people try to break the AR15 into a science (correct me if I am wrong). I just want a rifle that works, and is compact enough to carry in my truck, in my boat, or on an ATV.

On the rifle I am hoping to add a Magul MOE grip + surefire tactical light. It seems to me that the M4 version would be easier to operate with everything so compact and close together.

I would like to hear from people who have combat experience with either the midlength of M4 versions. Which version do you prefer and why?

The intended purpose of the rifle is for home / property protection.

This is my Bushmaster Xm15 that was made during the assault rifle ban. I am leaning towards another M4 version so the parts can interchange easier.



__________________
Our survival gear Section

If you have a question about the forum, please post it in this section.
General questions sent through private messages will be ignored.
Old 01-19-2012, 11:16 AM
TDFbound's Avatar
TDFbound TDFbound is offline
Average Joe
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,185
Thanks: 24,498
Thanked 1,793 Times in 928 Posts
Default

Anybody with combat experience with either of these will have used the M4 with a 14.5" barrel, since that is what is issued. Either that or a standard 20" M16.
Old 01-19-2012, 11:16 AM
reverendg reverendg is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2,107
Thanks: 998
Thanked 1,699 Times in 835 Posts
Default

Both systems function reliably for me, don't have any percentages. The carbine system is a little harsher in function, nothing you couldn't cure with a heavier buffer if need be. The middie system probably saves a little wear and tear on the gun, but I doubt it is any real savings over the usable life of the weapon. I personally prefer the middie system, just personal opinion.
Old 01-19-2012, 11:18 AM
Kimberuser Kimberuser is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 390
Thanks: 300
Thanked 650 Times in 218 Posts
Default

I would go with the collaspable stock. I had one on my M4 in the army and mine never jammed. That way you can adjust the stock into the postion that is most comfortable to you. If you are shooting in tight spaces, then you can collaspe it, or if you like the extended stock you can extend it. I prefer flexibility. For reliability I honestly dont know how it affects.
Old 01-19-2012, 11:27 AM
Getyershells's Avatar
Getyershells Getyershells is offline
Noman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 898
Thanks: 627
Thanked 1,363 Times in 423 Posts
Default

Kev,

You won't go wrong with an ST-15 (if you can find one in stock) There is a long wait period if you buy from Spikes website. They are backordered.

I own an ST-15 Mid-Length carbine. The biggest difference I can tell between a midlength vs a carbine length is the middy has smoother, softer recoil. The middy will be a bit heavier than the carbine length.

As you stated (in theory) the middy has higher longevity due to the length of the gas sytem. Not sure that there has ever been any actual testing to verify this but it makes sense to me. It will run cooler but when you are shooting 100's of rounds it's not really going to matter. Both guns are going to heat up.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Getyershells For This Useful Post:
Old 01-19-2012, 11:30 AM
merlinfire's Avatar
merlinfire merlinfire is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,771
Thanks: 15,679
Thanked 17,769 Times in 5,627 Posts
Default

my m4 has never jammed but then i've not submerged it in mud and !@#%ed in it either.

so can't say what it would do under those circumstances.

however a middy will be slightly heavier, but due to the weight will reduce muzzle rise and perceived recoil
Old 01-19-2012, 11:48 AM
backwoodsbullets backwoodsbullets is offline
Target Shooter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 458
Thanks: 63
Thanked 251 Times in 158 Posts
Default

I have a 20in on my ar. My next one will either be a 16-18 with the rifle gas system. One like said earlier a little easier recoil and two i want the greater distance for a better sight picture. I had a shorty and didnt like it. I love my rifle but to long for cleari.g the house. So im going with the 16 with full length rails and gas system. As far as reliable i never had problems with the m4 not preforming like it should.
Old 01-19-2012, 12:03 PM
Icculus Icculus is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 356
Thanks: 101
Thanked 242 Times in 150 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinfire View Post
however a middy will be slightly heavier, but due to the weight will reduce muzzle rise and perceived recoil
Why because it has 2 inches more of gas tube? Identically configured guns; one carbine gas and one a middy; and there will be virtually no weight difference. Now if they have different things on them (rail, stock, optics) then different story.


OP. I don't have actually figures in front of me but here's a small comparison. One AR is a DD, full 12 in Omega X rail, heavy ass ACS stock, gov't provile 16in barrel with carbine gas system. With optic and loaded mag it comes in at around 9-9 1/2 lbs. Second is a BCM with a 16in pencil barrel with middy gas, moe handguard, ctr stock. It's the lightweight training gun and with optics and mag probably comes it at 7 1/2 lbs. The heavier DD gun should absorb more of the recoil than the light gun but the middy is definitely a softer shooter.

I would say get the middy but if you get the carbine you will be perfectly fine as well (assuming bought from a quality mfg). The only issue I've seen with a middy was a 14.5" middy (with pinned FH to make legal) and it had some problems cycling the horribly underpowered wolf ammo. As long as you aren't shooting the cheapest ammo you can find and sticking with a 16" barrel, I think you will like the middy better. Pair it with a Vltor A5 kit and you're gold.
Old 01-19-2012, 12:18 PM
lordsuprememaster's Avatar
lordsuprememaster lordsuprememaster is offline
Barbaric and dishonorable
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: cajun country
Posts: 747
Thanks: 1,313
Thanked 809 Times in 385 Posts
Default

As said above if you wish to stick with the carbine definitely go with the heavier buffer such as the Spikes ST-T2. I recently installed one and bought both the car and spike buffer to the range for a comparison and could tell the difference.
Old 01-19-2012, 12:24 PM
Getyershells's Avatar
Getyershells Getyershells is offline
Noman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 898
Thanks: 627
Thanked 1,363 Times in 423 Posts
Default

[QUOTE=Icculus;3675019]Why because it has 2 inches more of gas tube? Identically configured guns; one carbine gas and one a middy; and there will be virtually no weight difference.[QUOTE]

I wouldn't think the weight difference comes from 2 inches of extra gas tube but from the middy not having the barrel cut out for an M203 attachment.

As far as making a difference in recoil ounces do count. It probably wouldn't make much differnce in what the carrier feels but with muzzle climb.

But as you stated different configurations in furniture, and accesories will make the biggest difference.
Old 01-19-2012, 12:27 PM
kev's Avatar
kev kev is offline
Forum Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Texas
Age: 46
Posts: 14,707
Thanks: 1,619
Thanked 31,612 Times in 6,684 Posts
Default

I am kinda leaning towards a midlength AR-15.

Even though I already have a carbine version, it would be nice to have something different. At least then I can do side-by-side comparisons.

And, I really like the look of the rifle Getyershells posted in this thread - http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=211263
Old 01-19-2012, 01:41 PM
MikeK's Avatar
MikeK MikeK is offline
Walking methane refinery
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Age: 51
Posts: 47,397
Thanks: 83,970
Thanked 92,210 Times in 30,765 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Member 
Total Awards: 1
Default

For proper function, there has to be a specific length of barrel in front of the gas port. The M4's gas port location was correct for the shorter military barrels. They just kept the same location when the 16 inch carbine length guns started hitting the civilian market. The mid length system slows the cyclic rate somewhat, which decreases the perceived recoil and helps reliability a bit.

What I especially appreciate about it is the increased sight radius. Personally, I think the dissipator concept over a mid length gas system is just about the perfect compromise.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MikeK For This Useful Post:
Old 01-19-2012, 02:06 PM
Rockclimber Rockclimber is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 203
Thanks: 89
Thanked 255 Times in 91 Posts
Default

The main concern is bullet velocity. Shorter barrels will cause the bullet to travel slower causing them to not tumble at yards greater than 200-300. After 200-300 yards the round will only be as effective as a .22
Old 01-19-2012, 02:17 PM
Getyershells's Avatar
Getyershells Getyershells is offline
Noman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 898
Thanks: 627
Thanked 1,363 Times in 423 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockclimber View Post
After 200-300 yards the round will only be as effective as a .22
Are you trolling or are you being serious?
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Getyershells For This Useful Post:
Old 01-19-2012, 02:21 PM
Metcalf's Avatar
Metcalf Metcalf is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 573
Thanks: 73
Thanked 720 Times in 287 Posts
Default

My current AR was a built by me. I went down to a 14.5" barrel with a mid-length gas system. The muzzle device is pinned and welded in place to keep it legal. I used a low profile gas block and a free floating rifle length handguard. The front sight is on the end of the rifle length handguard for a nice long sight radius and plenty of room to get my hand WAY out for stability.

I love this combo. It shoots everything I feed it. It is more than accurate enough for a non-scoped rifle with iron sights or a red dot.

I HIGHLY suggest building your AR yourself. Its rather easy overall and you will get more rifle for your money.
Old 01-19-2012, 02:24 PM
Icculus Icculus is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 356
Thanks: 101
Thanked 242 Times in 150 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Getyershells View Post
I wouldn't think the weight difference comes from 2 inches of extra gas tube but from the middy not having the barrel cut out for an M203 attachment.
I think we're on the same page but my guess is the weight savings of the M203 cut would be negligible. Yes the middy wouldn't have the cut but as the fsp is pushed out further there is an extra 2" of smaller barrel profile behind gas block. Don't have actual weights but probably evens out.

Now if you go with a lightweight barrel there are some real weight savings. If you look at numbers 27 and 28 the LW saves you 4.8 oz.
http://www.03designgroup.com/technot...ht-comparisons

With the middy you probably get a more appropriate dwell time for a 16" barrel plus the added bonus of a longer sight radius. I won't say there is a single thing wrong with the carbine gas and wouldn't necessarily pay to make the switch if you already had the rifle. But when buying a new one its hard to find a real reason to go with the the shorter gas system.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Icculus For This Useful Post:
Old 01-19-2012, 02:55 PM
arizonafusilier's Avatar
arizonafusilier arizonafusilier is offline
Trapper
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 977
Thanks: 1,084
Thanked 1,102 Times in 490 Posts
Default

Gang, I have read the thread carefully, but I am not familiar with term "middy" in this context.

Is it the barrel length, or the gas tube? And how long is it?
Old 01-19-2012, 03:04 PM
Icculus Icculus is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 356
Thanks: 101
Thanked 242 Times in 150 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonafusilier View Post
Gang, I have read the thread carefully, but I am not familiar with term "middy" in this context.

Is it the barrel length, or the gas tube? And how long is it?
Sorry middy=mid-length gas system. Basically a 9.5" gas system vs the 7.5" carbine.

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=51748
The Following User Says Thank You to Icculus For This Useful Post:
Old 01-19-2012, 05:11 PM
corndogggy's Avatar
corndogggy corndogggy is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7,362
Thanks: 228
Thanked 4,625 Times in 2,530 Posts
Default

I think these debates are all theoretical personally. I mean, I have a BCM 16" mid-length and it was harsh as hell, seemingly overgassed, and would recoil when the buffer hit the back of the tube too fast. I put in a spikes buffer and it calmed down quite a bit, but still, a mid-length gas system shouldn't need such a thing if you listen to what everybody says about them. I consider the Spikes buffer to be a band-aid and didn't like having to resort to that.

In contrast, you can watch the videos on a Daniel Defense M4 with a carbine gas system and they hardly move at all when you pull the trigger. According to the legend it should be the other way around, a heavy mid length should be crazy stable as compared to a light carbine but that doesn't seem to be the case.

In other words, it's all about how well the entire system is tuned. Spring rate, buffer weight, bolt weight, gas tube length, gas tube size, gas tube rear port size, barrel length... there's a whole bunch of things that need to work together.

If I were to do it over I'd get a Daniel Defense carbine system and be done with it. Also supposedly if you got a mid-length, the 14.5" barrels are supposedly actually smoother than the 16" like I got. I'm assuming that's because a 16" has another 1.5" that the bullet has to travel and more gas is pressing into the gas port during this time. A 14.5" should have slightly less gas pressure due to a smaller timeperiod that the gas can enter in other words. Of course this is due to BCM marketing too, but yeah supposedly a 14.5" mid-length is the smoothest shooting thing they offer.
Old 01-19-2012, 05:53 PM
jaloysiusc jaloysiusc is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 9
Thanks: 6
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

i have a 20" A2, a 16" CAR (m4 profile), and a 16" midlength. my favorite is the A2. it is the most accurate rifle that i have owned! as for the 2 16" rifles, i think they are pretty much the same. i love all my rifles.i rally dont have any complaints about either one.
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
aftermarket parts, ar-15, ar-15 parts, bushmaster ar-15, bushmaster m4, bushmaster review, colt, daniel defense, daniel defense ar-15 review, magpul, shtf survival rifle, survival rifle, survival rifle for shtf, vltor a5 kit



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
$99.00 for a LWRC Carbine Length Rail System Available in Black (Free Shipping) GearHog GearHog 9 10-11-2011 12:29 PM
Bow length D1g1talDragon Primitive Weapons, Bows and Crossbows 13 12-18-2009 04:40 PM
barrel length Canine Firearms General Discussion 1 05-02-2009 03:44 PM
barrel length berserker Shotgun Forum 4 04-16-2009 04:17 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Kevin Felts 2006 - 2012,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net