Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Questions for you AR-15 experts

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by hntn&fshn, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. hntn&fshn

    hntn&fshn Boring Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    10
    I am considering buying a RRA AR-15 for predator hunting. I am looking at the Predator Pursuit and the Varmint model.

    Question 1. Barrel differences
    The Varmint has bull barrel and the Pursuit (per the web site): "20 inch Air Gauged Stainless Steel heavy match barrel - same used in the NM rifle." What is the difference between this and the Varmint Bull barrel? What does NM mean?

    Question 2. I am leaning toward a 20" barrel. Anyone think I will regret this vs. a 24" barrel for varmint hunting, reasons?

    Question 3. Regarding Charging handle
    Should I go with the standard handle or the Gas Buster? And what is the difference between the two?

    Any other pearls before I pull the trigger (so to speak)?

    Here is a link if interested: http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=229
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    2,374
    Go with the cheaper of the two. You probably won't notice the difference between the two barrels in terms of varmint hunting, both will be accurate enough to do the job. You probably don't need the gas-buster charging handle.
    Check the barrel twist rates on the two barrels. You will probably want to sling some heavier lead for the coyotes, so make sure you get the proper twist rate. Someone else can answer the twist rate question better, but I'd recommend probably a 1 in 7 or 1 in 9 twist...
     
  3. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    6
    buy what is cheaper in a 1 in 9 twist and enjoy. My 16'' match gun shoots better than most "varmit" bolt action guns.
     
  4. bmgm37

    bmgm37 Coos Bay Active Member

    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    238
    I just purchased the Varmint Upper for a build of mine and also looked at the Predator. NM stands for National Match. The Predator has a smaller diameter of barrel than the Varmint and I have read the Varmint is about 1 pound heavier. I went with the 20" barrel as again I have read that there is not that much gain in accuracy with the longer barrel and would be heavier and longer if you are going to be packing it around a lot. What I know about the gas buster charging handle is it is great if using a suppressor, but kinda pricey IMO. You can get them a little cheaper from PK Firearms than direct from RRA plus they show them as "in stock"

    http://www.pkfirearms.com/content/1/20/94/116
     
  5. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,911
    Likes Received:
    2,327
    as to the gas buster- they're only useful on suppressed guns. otherwise, they're just a waste of $85
     
  6. hntn&fshn

    hntn&fshn Boring Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    10
    I am a complete noob when it comes to AR platform rifles so please bear with my silly questions as I am trying lean as much a possible before purchasing one of these rifles.
    What is the difference?
    Why won't I need it - what does it do?

    Thanks for the information. Do you think one is more accurate than the other? I am leaning toward the match barrel because it is a pound lighter but if the varmint barrel is more accurate, I would go with that one. I think they are the same price.

    What does it do different from the standard handle?
     
  7. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have been pondering the same purchase this week. What a coincidence!

    First question I asked myself is what size/type of varmint I was to hunt. Coyote will require a larger/heavier bullet than sage rats. For coyote I'd go 62gr and up. 1/7 twist will work best for 69 gr and up (75 & 77gr is my experience), 1/8 for 69 to 77gr (maybe 75), 1/9 for 55 to 69g, 1/12 for up to 55gr (where most if not all the explosive varmint bullets are found). 77gr is longest bullet still capable of mag length COALs.

    For MOA or better accuracy, you need to match bullets to twist carefully. Too fast a twist tends to produce inaccurate loads. On my mils spec M4 1/7 bbl I can only get close to 1 MOA with 75 & 77gr. 68gr is 2 MOA and everything else is worst, sometimes, much worst. A varmint or match barrel will do better but I'd expected a similar trend, only better MOAs accuracy.

    The Gas Buster helps when suppressing a rifle. The "can" increases the pressure at the muzzle and a lot of the gases are pushed back into the receiver. Shooter gets a blast of hot gas in the face. It is noxious, at worst. If you do not suppress, you don't need it. That's something you go and throw money at after you grow sick and tired of getting hot gas in your face and because you don't mind paying the outrageous price.

    I am going for a 20" and the thinner of the two for the same reasons stated here. I intend to suppress it (on and off) and that's another couple of pounds, so I need to save weight somewhere else.
     
  8. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,169
    Likes Received:
    884
    Question 1. Barrel differences
    The Varmint has bull barrel and the Pursuit (per the web site): "20 inch Air Gauged Stainless Steel heavy match barrel - same used in the NM rifle." What is the difference between this and the Varmint Bull barrel? What does NM mean?

    as it said "same used in the NM rifle" so if its the same its the same. NM is national match (national match being a big match usually held by CMP) http://www.odcmp.com/NationalMatches.htm
    . being a match grade barrel , at least their version of a match grade barrel just about every manufacture has a match grade barrel who actually wins the the matches is another question and who makes the best match grade barrel is like arguing who makes the best truck ford chevy dodge (we all know chevy makes the best truck though)


    Question 2. I am leaning toward a 20" barrel. Anyone think I will regret this vs. a 24" barrel for varmint hunting, reasons?

    maybe maybe not how far to plan to shoot if your planning to do a lot of 600 meter + shooting go 24" keep in mind the extra weight its already gonna be heavy as a bull and even though its only 4" its at the other end

    Question 3. Regarding Charging handle
    Should I go with the standard handle or the Gas Buster? And what is the difference between the two?


    I owned one and it did nothing for me supposably deverts gas away from the face i bought one back when you could only find the big latches on them now you can buy the latches separtly i sold the charging handle again i did'nt notice any difference and got the latch now the latch is supper cool a must have especially if scoped



    Any other pearls before I pull the trigger (so to speak)?

    speaking of trigger get a good one makes a big difference . get a good float tube try to go with a carbon fiber they are lighter and dissapate heat
     
  9. hntn&fshn

    hntn&fshn Boring Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    10
    Good info here. I do have a question regarding a suppressor since I may suppress my AR in the future. I have a couple of 22lr guns that are suppressed and they are very quiet when using subsonic ammo but supersonic ammo is pretty loud, shot from the rifle (not my P22) when the bullet hits the sound barrier. I have watched video of suppressed .223 and I can't hear the bullet sound when it goes supersonic? Can anyone explain this? Maybe I just can't hear it on the video - I have never seen a suppressed .223 in person.
     
  10. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    1
    About the 20" v 24", two points:

    * More inches will get you more muzzle velocity, not more accuracy. But you might end up disappointed with the improvement. My SWAG is you will obtain between 30 to 100 fps more with a 24" barrrel. I believe most factory ammo is tweaked for 20" or shorter barrels. Powders have burnt completely by the time the bullet reaches 20" and will gain very little fps in the last 4". If you handload you can move to slower powders to realize the full benefit of the additional 4".

    * If you ever consider suppressing, the end result will be unwildy. 24" bbl + ~ 8" can. That's 32"! If moving around in open fields, then, not much of an issue. Hunting with a suppressor is fun! You can enjoy the sounds of nature in full. :)
     
  11. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd say suppressed supersonic 223 rem will be about as loud as an unsuppressed 10/22 shooting subsonic ammo. it is loud but you can get by w/o hearing protection.

    Centerfire auto-loaders do not suppress as well as 22lr, bolts and levers.
     
  12. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    14
    The one barrel I recommend for varmint hunting is the Noveske 16" stainless. If you are planning on shooting bullets lighter than 55 grain, I would recommend the 1/9 twist. 55 grain and heavier, 1/7 twist. We are using the 1/7 twist 14.5" barrel on our high end guns and are getting impressive accuracy out of them. The 16" barrel is going to give you 20-22" barrel performance out of a lighter and shorter package. We chronographed the two Noveske barrels, a standard 16" colt barrel, and a 20" colt barrel. The 14.5" barrel only had a difference of about 50 feet per second less as compared to the 20 inch barrel. Check out this video of one of our customers made with the 14.5" rifle. He made an 800 yard shot with Federal XM 193 ammo.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teUnXTs_Rts
     
  13. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    167
    I love my Noveske barreled AR (its a 16" SS 1x9) Fun and light - I don't know how accruate it is with a 4 MOA red dot but it shoot under 3" @ 100 yards with factory 55 grain FMJ's
     
  14. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    4
    Regarding the Gas Buster handles, I recommend them to anyone with an AR. I like they because they are wider and have more area to grab, which is especially helpful when running magnified optics used on varmint guns.

    Also, when shooting AR's the person pulling the trigger will always get a little gas in the face. This less common with rifle length systems but with carbine gas system, it is much more frequent.

    Here are a couple pictures to show you size difference and how the handle works to deflect gas from the shooters face:

    IMG_0171.jpg
    IMG_0172.jpg
    IMG_0174.jpg
    IMG_0175.jpg

    As for your barrel questions, they seem to have been answered. My experience has taught me that longer barrels are not always better and shorter barrels are not always worse, as far as velocity goes.

    I like 16"-20" for varmint hunting. Just get a good stainless barrel and find the load that it likes. Practice with that load and hunt with that load so you know what it does. Also, as stated above, for varmint hunting, the difference in price will not really show unless you're shooting 300+ yards constantly.

    Let us know what you decide!