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Thread: 18" SPR Barrel Choice

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    18" SPR Barrel Choice

    Just wondering if you guys had any suggestions on barrel choices for a 18" rifle length gas barrel. Price isn't to much of a concern. Trying to find some actual support for one barrel over another.
    Been looking at WOA for a while but I wanted to see what you guys had to say about a few other options like Lilja, Noveske, the Rainier Arms Ultramatch (shilen blank), Fulton/Criterion, also heard good things about Lothar-Walther and of course Krieger but neither of them other the length I want.

    WOA uses Wilson blanks, if that matters. And I used to shoot a 20" WOA and was getting about 1/2 MOA pretty consistently at 100yrds. I guess I'm just not sure if I should stick to what I know or try for something hopefully better.

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    I had a Noveske and it was AWESOME... youre going to pay for it though. I think mine was $560 for the barrel and gas block. Flawless fit and sub MOA without any effort.

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    Bergara isn't too bad for one of the cheaper SPR barrels available. I've been pretty impressed by mine so far. It typically shoots around 1/2 to 3/4 moa. What I like most about it is that it holds accuracy extremely well as it heats up. Even after long strings of fire without cool down, it still holds zero without any discernable shift.

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    Frank White (CLE) is an excellent choice if you are interested in quality

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjh30 View Post
    Frank White (CLE) is an excellent choice if you are interested in quality
    Yes, I'm half temped to call him up and see what he can do for me, he works with Krieger and Douglas barrel. If there is any chance of getting what I want with a Krieger I'll be doing that.

    Frank White actually does barrels for WOA, thus allowing John Holliger focus on WOP.

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    You and the other posters covered some good ones. Just for discussion,
    -when I checked with Brux about a similar barrel, I was surprised by the quoted turn around and reasonable price (this was before the craziness though).
    -A Douglas from Centurion Arms or High Caliber Sales should also be top notch. Superior Barrels also uses Douglas that is nitrided, but has a different chamber than the CA or HCS.
    -Finally, the BCM SS barrels (Criterion) also get good reviews.

    I think any of the options listed in the thread would be very good, likely close to 1/2 MOA with the right ammo and shooter. Best value has to go to WOA with no accuracy compromises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poptart4YALL View Post
    Yes, I'm half temped to call him up and see what he can do for me, he works with Krieger and Douglas barrel. If there is any chance of getting what I want with a Krieger I'll be doing that.

    Frank White actually does barrels for WOA, thus allowing John Holliger focus on WOP.
    Frank told me he's not doing custom 1 off barrels. He may use a different blank and run it in the same profile as the DCM barrels he makes. He does 50 at a time for me in 6mmAR and 6mmBR.

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    I've got a wilson combat barrel. 1:7 18" SPR, it shoots 1/2"-3/4" MOA pretty consistently with 75gr BTHP's, want to try some 68 or 69 grainers, and that's 1/2 MOA with me driving. I think it was $250 or so.

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    Just got my Noveske in from Rainier last week. Love it. But all the manufacturers you mentioned are top quality. Also give Kevin at High Caliber Sales a call. He sells the barrels that they use in the "real" Mk12 SPR's.
    Last edited by Mr_MagicMallyMall; 04-09-2013 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Mispelling

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    I have a 18" 1:8 rifle length 5.56 Black Hole Weaponry barrel...been very pleased with it and its reasonably priced.

    There's probably "better", but the value seems to be quite high.
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    +1 for Noveske. I bought one used for $300 before the craze, and it shoots a solid sub-moa every time. If I do my part, half with the right load.

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    I couldn't be happier with my WOA 18" SPR bbl
    There are two kinds of men in this world...one who interjects opinion based on experience and another who parrots the opinion of those men. WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

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    Got a Walther Lother Barrel with Match BCG for my MK12 SPR"ish" Build in 1 in 8 Twist with .223 Wylde Chambering and it is a aboslute laser with just about anything I feed it. Though mine is a 20" not 18".

    I believe Larue Tactical also uses Walther Lother Barrels for the Infamous OBR Rifles if that means anything. I know for a fact that those rifles shoots lights out!

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    Rainier has an ultra match 18" with intermediate gas system available right now, takes a special gas tube about the length of spectre handguards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOGTOOTH5R View Post
    Got a Walther Lother Barrel with Match BCG for my MK12 SPR"ish" Build
    Same here...

    -- Dogtown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogtown View Post
    Same here...


    What is the back-up mount and optic which is mounted on the scope - at an angle ?

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    Looks like an RMR

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    Yeah, it's an RMR angled to at least keep some sense of a cheekweld. I normally prefer a backup RDS mounted on top, but this HDMR/OBR combo doesn't work so well for that. The turrets of the scope are just too tall.

    As for the Lothar-Walther barrel, not only does it shoot well, it shoots well even when its dirty. I normally clean the bolt after every match (anywhere from 80-220 rounds), but I have yet to clean the barrel after 800+ rounds and it's still holding nice groups.
    Last edited by Dogtown; 04-09-2013 at 05:28 PM.
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    Douglas barrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogtown View Post
    Same here...

    Dam, mine is no where near as impressive as yours! Love those MK12 Mod 0s!!!

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    I have a 18" stainless 1:8 barrel from BCM that does good things with 75 gr BTHP. BCM hasn't raised their prices at all but finding one in on their webstie may pose a challenge.
    Last edited by Achilles11B; 04-09-2013 at 07:49 PM.

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    Just ordered a White Oak Armament. Can't wait to see how it shoots.

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    Any body know what blanks Black Hole and BCM use? Just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogtown View Post
    Same here...

    Is that a 20" or 18"?

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    BCM is Criterion.

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    +1 on woa.i also have noveske spr and on 16" to me theyre way overprice and overated..

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    I have three AR's and all have WOA barrels. They are great barrels. I've heard good things about all the barrels you mentioned too.
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    Black Hole must be "embarrassed" by who makes their Blanks. Can't find any info concerning that.

    I think I'm pretty set on going WOA.

    Noveske doesn't really appeal to me simply because of the intermediate gas tube length. I'd rather not have to limit my options with proprietary parts. Plus the I don't really see the benefits of a intermediate over rifle length, but that's a whole other subject.

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    I think black hole makes their own blanks from steel stock. My take is that for 300 and under it is either white oak or criterion from fulton or bcm.

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    I agree with mjh30.. call Compass Lake and order one up. I ordered mine March 4 and received it in UPS yesterday... now I have to find a Knights Armament block to mount the rail.

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    I run a criterion on my 6.5 creedmoor ar-10 and I have been very happy with it!

    I have been looking at buildling an 18" barreled SPR at some point I did look at the Legion barrels but honestly only because their hex fluting is sexy I have no experince with how they shoot.
    I love me some 6.5 creedmoor and have both an AR-10 (3/4moa) and M2008 Custom rifle (.3moa) chambered in it.

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    Had Noveske and WOA barrled MK12's. The origionals has CLE barrels, which were kinda of hard to get at the time.

    Don't waste your money on the Noveske. Maybe waste is a bad word, but it shot about the same (1/2-3/4") as the WOA at more than twice the price.

    The WOA is one of the best barrels for the money. Guys win highpower matches with their barrels and they are very well known.

    Get the WOA.

    And since this is now a pic thread. Here is the first SPR I build using a noveske back around 2005

    God I fucking miss that rifle. Best shooting 5.56 I have ever owned. Way too much money into it, but that rifle and optic combo was MOOOOOONNNNNEEEEEYYY. Should have never sold it.

    Last edited by Cobracutter; 04-11-2013 at 09:48 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by poptart4YALL View Post
    Black Hole must be "embarrassed" by who makes their Blanks. Can't find any info concerning that.

    I think I'm pretty set on going WOA.

    Noveske doesn't really appeal to me simply because of the intermediate gas tube length. I'd rather not have to limit my options with proprietary parts. Plus the I don't really see the benefits of a intermediate over rifle length, but that's a whole other subject.
    I'm pretty sure Black Hole does their own rifling in house. Black Hole barrels are also sold under a few other brand names as well. The Rainier Select grade barrels and Parallax Tactical PXT barrels are made by BHW. Addax tactical also sells barrels made by BHW. I've run BHW barrels on a few rifles. One thing I have noticed is that the crowns that BHW puts on the barrels are sometimes not all that great. Rather than a target style crown, theirs is more of a rolled crown like you find on older military rifles. Some of mine have shot extremely well, while others have been 1.5 moa at best (Still not bad, but IMHO not good enough for an SPR)

    For under $300, I think WOA and Bergara are probably the best options available. Like the WOA barrels, the Bergara (the one on my rifle at least) is easily sub moa capable. It runs well when hot, and doesn't seem to foul up even after several hundred rounds without much of a break. And since this turned into a picture thread:


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    Quote Originally Posted by FMJBT View Post
    I'm pretty sure Black Hole does their own rifling in house. Black Hole barrels are also sold under a few other brand names as well. The Rainier Select grade barrels and Parallax Tactical PXT barrels are made by BHW. Addax tactical also sells barrels made by BHW. I've run BHW barrels on a few rifles. One thing I have noticed is that the crowns that BHW puts on the barrels are sometimes not all that great. Rather than a target style crown, theirs is more of a rolled crown like you find on older military rifles. Some of mine have shot extremely well, while others have been 1.5 moa at best (Still not bad, but IMHO not good enough for an SPR)

    For under $300, I think WOA and Bergara are probably the best options available. Like the WOA barrels, the Bergara (the one on my rifle at least) is easily sub moa capable. It runs well when hot, and doesn't seem to foul up even after several hundred rounds without much of a break. And since this turned into a picture thread:

    You have a build list for that? Interesting Break, Rail and grip I've never seen

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    Just to let everyone know I call WOA today and order the barrel. They quoted me 6-7 months. Good thing I got a whole before I'll be home. I swear it's going to be like X-mas when I get there. I've ordered well over 2k worth of gun parts and still have more to go lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poptart4YALL View Post
    You have a build list for that? Interesting Break, Rail and grip I've never seen
    The brake is actually a ported stainless shroud that covers a standard Ops Inc 12th brake. Being in CA, the actual 12th can is not an option, but I did want something to mitigate the amount of dust kicked up by the brake. The shroud redirects the muzzle blast to keep it from hitting the ground as much. It does seem to increase the accuracy as well, either through improved barrel harmonics or having the last few inches of barrel under tension from the 2 point mount. Either way, I did notice a decrease of about 1/4 moa in average group size when running the shroud.

    The forend and rail are made by Precision reflex, just like the original components on the MK 12 Mod 0. Instead of the round Gen III rail though, I went with the Gen III Delta version which has a more triangular cross section. The Delta forend also requires a proprietary top rail that is slightly different than the PEQ rail on the Mod 0. The flat underside of the forend tends to be more stable than the round version when shooting from a pack or sandbags. I also installed a Noveske flush mount QD socket on the underside near the barrel nut to allow the sling to be repositioned there for better stability in unsupported positions. The pistol grip is the same Sierra Precision grip used for the Mod 0.

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    Quote Originally Posted by insight3b View Post
    I couldn't be happier with my WOA 18" SPR bbl
    I've got a WOA SPR barreled rig and a Noveske-barreled rig. The accuracy is close enough I can tell the difference. I'd buy again in a heartbeat from either of those companies.
    "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."

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    I used a $159 (on sale from MidwayUSA) 18" DPMS 1:8 MK12 barrel, could not be happier for the money spent.

    Attached target, 3 shot group, 100 yds, 55gr FMJ.

    Equally impressive at 300 yds and out to 600 with 77 gr SMK over 23.3 grs of IMR 8208 XBR.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by poptart4YALL View Post
    Just to let everyone know I call WOA today and order the barrel. They quoted me 6-7 months. Good thing I got a whole before I'll be home. I swear it's going to be like X-mas when I get there. I've ordered well over 2k worth of gun parts and still have more to go lol.
    I had the barrel watch listed at Brownell's when I ordered and it was back in a week or two.
    After dimpling and coating

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    I have an 18" BCM IonBond coated barrel on my AR and it shoots 1/2 MOA consistently. I absolutely love it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by poptart4YALL View Post
    Just wondering if you guys had any suggestions on barrel choices for a 18" rifle length gas barrel. Price isn't to much of a concern. ...

    ... of course Krieger but neither of them other the length I want.
    There's always the option of buying an off-the-shelf service rifle match barrel (20" HBAR with rifle gas and .750" gas block seat), then having it cut and threaded to 18" if that's your preference. Cut-rifled brands like Krieger and Satern offer such models, as does Shilen (button-rifled). I think all three brands mentioned are listed on Midway's site, but not sure about current stock status. Fulton Armory had some Kriegers in stock last time I checked. Adco can cut, crown, and thread with reasonably quick turnaround. Overall, not the cheapest route, but might be preferable to get top-quality in a short amount of time versus waiting months for an ordered barrel.
    Last edited by Drifter™; 04-14-2013 at 12:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve@hsa View Post
    I used a $159 (on sale from MidwayUSA) 18" DPMS 1:8 MK12 barrel, could not be happier for the money spent.

    Attached target, 3 shot group, 100 yds, 55gr FMJ.

    Equally impressive at 300 yds and out to 600 with 77 gr SMK over 23.3 grs of IMR 8208 XBR.
    ER Shaw rep the other day told me they do AR barrels for DPMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedCpt View Post
    ER Shaw rep the other day told me they do AR barrels for DPMS.
    Montana Rifleman does barrels for DPMS too.

    The DPMS SASS, various 308 ARs, the 223 ARs that are specialty sort of ones like the mini sass and mk12 etc, all montana rifleman barrels. I think the cheapy carbine 1:9 and stainless bull barrels are Shaw.

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    My Rainier Ultramatch is absolutely spectacular. I had them do it in SPR profile with rifle length gas.
    ...Slow, deep breath in followed by two quick, shallow exhales, then one long breath out. It should sound like "HEE HEE HOOOOOOOOooooooo...HEE HEE HOOOOOOOOooooooo". Once your comfortable with that breathing pattern, try to sync the tempo up with your heart rate. "Lub-dub...HEE HEE HOOOOOOOOooooooo... etc".

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    Quote Originally Posted by hk dave View Post
    My Rainier Ultramatch is absolutely spectacular. I had them do it in SPR profile with rifle length gas.
    +1 on Ranier SPR. Love mine.
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    Just had a few old Krieger Match Barrels cut to 18" hopefully they shoot!

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    My SPR has a Noveske 20 inch barrel. The Noveske is by far the most accurate I have used. You get what you pay for in the long run.
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    I have the 18" Noveske SPR w/SwitchBlock mated to a matched Noveske upper/lower, CMC trigger, and MagPul PSR stock. Best shooting AR I have ever owned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by poptart4YALL View Post
    Just to let everyone know I call WOA today and order the barrel. They quoted me 6-7 months. Good thing I got a whole before I'll be home. I swear it's going to be like X-mas when I get there. I've ordered well over 2k worth of gun parts and still have more to go lol.
    I hear you on this. I ordered a complete upper from WOA in December and I'm still waiting.
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    The Mil-Spec barrel is a Douglas. They aren't a big name on the hide, but they must be doing something right as I never saw a single complaint about the barrel on the SPR.

    On a side note, does anybody have the drawing for the SPR barrel contour and gas port diameter?

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