Building a 223 precision AR...barrel?

Langford

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I’m in the process of collecting parts for a precision 223 build, and I’m going back and forth on barrels. The rifle will be used shooting either prone or off of a bench at 500-1000 yards mainly. It’ll be going on a set of KAC receivers.

Three in eyeing:

-JP 20” supermatch

-proof carbon fiber 20”

-bartlein 20” from craddock precision.

I’ve owned both the proof and JP in 6.5 Grendel and was very happy with both. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy either again. Bartlein has a reputation of being top notch, and I have never used one before...so I’m curious how it would perform against the other two.

Anybody have any input? Or others they’d recommend over the 3 mentioned above?

Thanks in advance!
 

Codiekfx400

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A call to Keystone accuracy is where I would start. But like TonytheTiger said 1000 yards is quite a long ways for a ar.
 
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TacticalDillhole

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I’m in the process of collecting parts for a precision 223 build, and I’m going back and forth on barrels. The rifle will be used shooting either prone or off of a bench at 500-1000 yards mainly. It’ll be going on a set of KAC receivers.

Three in eyeing:

-JP 20” supermatch

-proof carbon fiber 20”

-bartlein 20” from craddock precision.

I’ve owned both the proof and JP in 6.5 Grendel and was very happy with both. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy either again. Bartlein has a reputation of being top notch, and I have never used one before...so I’m curious how it would perform against the other two.

Anybody have any input? Or others they’d recommend over the 3 mentioned above?

Thanks in advance!
I can’t recomend Paul Craddock’s work enough. You won’t be disappointed.
 

VegasHKShooter

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Craddock may be great, I’ve always heard good things about his/ their work. My experience lies with Compass Lake. They can spin you up a Bartlein, a Douglas, a Kreiger, or a Hart’s I believe. The CLE chamber is said to be another aspect of their accuracy. My buddy has a 18” CLE in his AR, and it is a thing of beauty. Not an internet special “sub MOA ALL DAY”, but a true precision AR barrel. I’m not doubting any others who were mentioned, but at least look at Compass Lake.
 

Langford

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I like that the CLE barrels have a matched bolt option, may go that route.

So Krieger vs Bartlein...just personal preference?
 

Langford

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And for the difficulty of a 223 AR at 1000 yards, that’s why I want to build this. I want something a little more challenging...
 

gunsnjeeps

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A .223 at 1K is fun but it is at the mercy of the wind. I shot my first 1K with Berger's in a Rock River NMA2. The wind let off half way through the string and I went from centered to between targets. If the wind is constant you can do ok. In gusts it's tricky.

Last month we had Marines shooting 77's at 1K and posting respectable scores.
 
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lennyo3034

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And for the difficulty of a 223 AR at 1000 yards, that’s why I want to build this. I want something a little more challenging...
It will certainly be a challenge. I shot the peacemaker DMR match this weekend. One stage had a target at 861 yards, another at 815. Light and consistent wind requiring about 1.0-1.2 mil hold.

At 815 I was centerpunching the targets with ease. At 861 the bullet struggled in both windage and elevation.

77TMK going about 2740, SD around 5. I consider the transonic range around 1300 fps and it had begun to destabilize in between those distances. Peacemaker’s altitude is 700ft so if you’re out west, YMMV.
 
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VegasHKShooter

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In regards to Bartlein vs Kreiger....flip a coin. I can say on my precision bolt guns I use all Bartlein. They are hammers. I shot a match Saturday and my AI with my Bartlein was VERY consistent and predictable. That said, my KAC with its 18” Kreiger is my most accurate small frame AR-15.
There are guys that likely swear allegiance to either brand. I believe Bartlein was started from guys that left Kreiger and went out on their own. Not POSITIVE, but I believe I’ve heard that.
 
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Darqusoull13

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I like that the CLE barrels have a matched bolt option, may go that route.
Every JP barrel will come with a matched bolt. JP also provides bolts for several other manufactures offering this option. I have had fantastic results with my JP but certainly everyone on your list offers quality products.
 

LeadZeke

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For sure Craddock, CLE, or Keystone Bartlein or Kreiger. Really no reason to look elsewhere given your uses.
 
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Twins82

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I’m in the process of collecting parts for a precision 223 build, and I’m going back and forth on barrels. The rifle will be used shooting either prone or off of a bench at 500-1000 yards mainly. It’ll be going on a set of KAC receivers.

Three in eyeing:

-JP 20” supermatch

-proof carbon fiber 20”

-bartlein 20” from craddock precision.

I’ve owned both the proof and JP in 6.5 Grendel and was very happy with both. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy either again. Bartlein has a reputation of being top notch, and I have never used one before...so I’m curious how it would perform against the other two.

Anybody have any input? Or others they’d recommend over the 3 mentioned above?

Thanks in advance!
Bartlien 24
 

Bluewater132

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Very happy with my 20" CLE. It shoots lights out and likes just about any ammo I've put through it. I built my son a 20" upper with a BCM 20" SS barrel and it shoots very well and was a bit cheaper. It surprised me.
 

Langford

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I’ve decided to go with the CLE/Barrlein for the barrel. Thinking 22”, but I’ll decide on length for sure after discussing what I’m putting together with CLE.



Now the last part that I need, trigger.

I’ve used Geissele’s in the past, a couple of SSA-E’s and one SDE. On my last build, a 300blk pistol...I went with a AR Gold trigger. I like every one of them, but I’d like to try something new again.

This time, I’d like to get the lightest 2-stage trigger available, preferably a straight blade...any suggestions?
 
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USMC_JA

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I’ve decided to go with the CLE/Barrlein for the barrel. Thinking 22”, but I’ll decide on length for sure after discussing what I’m putting together with CLE.



Now the last part that I need, trigger.

I’ve used Geissele’s in the past, a couple of SSA-E’s and one SDE. On my last build, a 300blk pistol...I went with a AR Gold trigger. I like every one of them, but I’d like to try something new again.

This time, I’d like to get the lightest 2-stage trigger available, preferably a straight blade...any suggestions?
Great choice with CLE. I think you are going to be happy.

I have multiple Geissele triggers. But the HSNM is beyond awesome. Think SSA-E but with the ability to adjust each stage to the weight YOU want it to be. Same feel, same fantastic break. It is superior to my JP factory LRP-07 single stage trigger.
 

NHR

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It will certainly be a challenge. I shot the peacemaker DMR match this weekend. One stage had a target at 861 yards, another at 815. Light and consistent wind requiring about 1.0-1.2 mil hold.

At 815 I was centerpunching the targets with ease. At 861 the bullet struggled in both windage and elevation.

77TMK going about 2740, SD around 5. I consider the transonic range around 1300 fps and it had begun to destabilize in between those distances. Peacemaker’s altitude is 700ft so if you’re out west, YMMV.
That's been my experience as well, except with 77 SMKs at 2790 fps. 750 yards very doable. Somewhere around 800-850 it falls off a cliff and loses all repeatability.

This was at Arena which I believe is ~500 ft
 

Wyzrd

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I’ve decided to go with the CLE/Barrlein for the barrel. Thinking 22”, but I’ll decide on length for sure after discussing what I’m putting together with CLE.



Now the last part that I need, trigger.

I’ve used Geissele’s in the past, a couple of SSA-E’s and one SDE. On my last build, a 300blk pistol...I went with a AR Gold trigger. I like every one of them, but I’d like to try something new again.

This time, I’d like to get the lightest 2-stage trigger available, preferably a straight blade...any suggestions?
Geissele all day for a good AR trigger. For 2 stage, just as someone else mentioned, the High Speed National Match is tits👌 If you decide on single stage, their SSP is also titties👍👍
 
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garandman

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When you say "precision AR" .... I would start by defining that term. What size groups are you looking to get at 100 / 500 / 1000 yards?


Also.... I'd think 224 Valkyrie in an AR platform (or something similar) over a 223. Problem is, mag length limitations. As said, SMK 77's drop off bad beynd 7-800.
 

Langford

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I’d like to be the biggest factor impacting accuracy, not the rifle. I’m not competing against anybody but myself and trying to improve my skill set...so I’d like to have a very accurate setup.

As far as caliber, I’ve got plenty of other rifles and calibers that are probably better suited but for LR precision (6.5 Grendel, a few Creedmoor’s & 300wm), but I’d like to build a 223 specifically for this purpose instead of jumping into another caliber that I’d have to stock up on.
Like I mentioned, I welcome the challenge of its characteristics over something that will shoot like a laser every time...if it becomes too easy, I won’t develop any further. When I step out of my back yard 1k yard range, I won’t have much practical experience at pushing any round to its limits like I’d like to do eventually.
 
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bigjake83

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I’d like to be the biggest factor impacting accuracy, not the rifle. I’m not competing against anybody but myself and trying to improve my skill set...so I’d like to have a very accurate setup.

As far as caliber, I’ve got plenty of other rifles and calibers that are probably better suited but for LR precision (6.5 Grendel, a few Creedmoor’s & 300wm), but I’d like to build a 223 specifically for this purpose instead of jumping into another caliber that I’d have to stock up on.
Like I mentioned, I welcome the challenge of its characteristics over something that will shoot like a laser every time...if it becomes too easy, I won’t develop any further. When I step out of my back yard 1k yard range, I won’t have much practical experience at pushing any round to its limits like I’d like to do eventually.
I don't see anything wrong with what you're trying to do, I do it all the time. I'm getting older now so I would probably opt for the 224 Valkyrie just to make the longshots a bit easier on myself. If that's something you would consider Craddock is your man.

I'm one of the biggest accuracy geeks on this site, this is what I would recommend considering you have already decided that this will be shot from the bench or prone.

if you're using an SR15 upper and lower receiver I would recommend you saving that for a build down the road when you want to do a Recce or a SPR.

22" SDM Contour, rifle length gas, 875 Gas Block, Bartlein or Krieger CLE match Chamber(it'll absolutely love 77gr Black hills ammo from the get-go) 5/8x24 threads, headspace to a JP or RCA enhanced Bolt.

Since you're using a heavier Barrel I would recommend using a stout upper for enhance rigidity and to mitigate receiver flex, I'd go with Seekins IRMT-3 with matching 15" Handguard or JP CTR-02 and Geissele or SLR Handguard.

SLR, SA or JP for a AGB

APA or 419 for MB

Low mass bolt carrier, RCA makes a nice and affordable carrier

JP SCS

Rifle length Buffer system and adjustable stock, Luth or MP PRS

Seekins Billet Ambi lower receiver will match and work well with all of the above parts.

You're definitely heading down the right track as far as the best trigger for your desired application I would highly recommend the Triggertech AR Diamond, IMO it's the best on the market now followed by a close second of the AR Gold and then Geissele Hi speed Match.

I make the above recommendations to you because I know for certain those combination of parts work well and I've built several rifles with that same recipe here is one of mine with a 20" barrel if I were to do it over again I would have went 22"

IMG_20190610_130518502.jpg
 
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lennyo3034

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I don't see anything wrong with what you're trying to do, I do it all the time. I'm getting older now so I would probably opt for the 224 Valkyrie just to make the longshots a bit easier on myself. If that's something you would consider Craddock is your man.

I'm one of the biggest accuracy geeks on this site, this is what I would recommend considering you have already decided that this will be shot from the bench or prone.

if you're using an SR15 upper and lower receiver I would recommend you saving that for a build down the road when you want to do a Recce or a SPR.

22" SDM Contour, rifle length gas, 875 Gas Block, Bartlein or Krieger CLE match Chamber(it'll absolutely love 77gr Black hills ammo from the get-go) 5/8x24 threads, headspace to a JP or RCA enhanced Bolt.

Since you're using a heavier Barrel I would recommend using a stout upper for enhance rigidity and to mitigate receiver flex, I'd go with Seekins IRMT-3 with matching 15" Handguard or JP CTR-02 and Geissele or SLR Handguard.

SLR, SA or JP for a AGB

APA or 419 for MB

Low mass bolt carrier, RCA makes a nice and affordable carrier

JP SCS

Rifle length Buffer system and adjustable stock, Luth or MP PRS

Seekins Billet Ambi lower receiver will match and work well with all of the above parts.

You're definitely heading down the right track as far as the best trigger for your desired application I would highly recommend the Triggertech AR Diamond, IMO it's the best on the market now followed by a close second of the AR Gold and then Geissele Hi speed Match.

I make the above recommendations to you because I know for certain those combination of parts work well and I've built several rifles with that same recipe here is one of mine with a 20" barrel if I were to do it over again I would have went 22"

View attachment 7102153
How’s the balance with that G2 razor? That much weight up top makes me nervous. At the peacemaker DMR match, a guy had one on his rifle. He had to set it down on a table mid stage to transition to pistol. Big heavy scope like that and setting down on the clock did not go well together. Entire rifle toppled off bench, round in chamber. Luckily it stayed pointed in the right direction and didn’t go off but that was still a match DQ.
 

bigjake83

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How’s the balance with that G2 razor? That much weight up top makes me nervous. At the peacemaker DMR match, a guy had one on his rifle. He had to set it down on a table mid stage to transition to pistol. Big heavy scope like that and setting down on the clock did not go well together. Entire rifle toppled off bench, round in chamber. Luckily it stayed pointed in the right direction and didn’t go off but that was still a match DQ.
It balances really well but this gun is for benchrest and shooting from the prone recreationally, if I were to use it for competition I'd probably throw on the AMG.
 

Langford

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I was wondering how these receivers would handle a very heavy barrel...

I emailed CLE this morning to get their opinion on the receivers. If they recommend a stouter billet set, that gives me a reason to do a little parts trading with another of my rifles.

I’ll pull the handguard, barrel and trigger out of this one, throw the CLE barrel and a different handguard on these seekins receivers, and throw the hsnm trigger (or tt diamond, whichever I decide on) in it, and swap optics.

E897CAB6-6FEA-4B70-AACE-9E8C89BAEEB9.png

I’ll then throw the proof 6.5 Grendel barrel on the KAC receivers along with the z8i from above, transfer the SDE trigger over, and set that up as my deer/ yote rig. Either way, all of the parts below along with the XLR stock I just ordered will be going to Blown Deadline Customs for a black/gray/OD multicam cerakote job.

F385F6FA-E2B9-4598-882C-454F86FFA90C.jpeg
 

USMC_JA

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Real nice parts you got there...gonna be a nice build..

Suggest you call CLE. Theresa has always been the one to answer email. If you call, she will let you speak directly with a Smith who is likely the one to spin your barrel and./or build your upper.
 
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DellaDog

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CLE Krieger, I’ve got two, one carbine one rifle. Both have shot 1/4”. Theresa is a gem.
1000 is tough with 77 SMKs no doubt.

Put together a Defiance and 24” Mullerworks with 75ELDMs and hit 1000 1MOA targets regularly (once I figure out the wind.)
 
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Langford

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No reply back on the email, so I’ll give them a call Monday. I’d like to drop everything off next week for cerakote, so I’ve got to figure out which route I’m going with receivers.