14.5 mid-length Training Upper - Noveske, Rainier or what?

Austincqc

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Hey guys/gals,

I'm in the market to either buy or build a 14.5 mid-length upper to train with and hopefully take to some run and gun events/competitions and would appreciate opinions and thoughts. Right now my criteria is pretty simple:
1. Accurate - hate to miss a target or score low because I have a 2 MOA pencil barrel but don't want a fat ass pipe on the end of my rifle either.
2. Durable - this isn't going to collect dust in the safe. I also don't want to burn through barrels every 5k rounds.
3. Rail/handguard 12-13.5 inches long. I'm looking at Surefire and AAC brakes and don't want to go beyond 13.5 inches.
4. Price - I'm not skimping on parts but don't want to shell out $2500 for something. Really wanting to stay below $1500.

I first started looking at Noveske since I've always had a hard on for their barrels and components. Like a lot of people, I've heard the claims that their SS barrels hold sub-MOA past 10k rounds. Although swapping barrels every 2 years isn't a big deal, I wouldn't mind having to do it every 4. Which led me to looking at their N4 barrels. Claims of sub-MOA accuracy in a 20k round durable package - sounds like a win/win although I haven't seen too many range reports on the N4 barrels. That led me to Rainier since they have very similar barrels in both departments (SS and M249-ish barrels) but for hundreds less.

I'm thinking something along these lines:

https://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=2438

https://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=3955

https://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=3947

Or cutting the barrel back on something like this https://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=2010

What do you guys think? SS or M249? Noveske or Rainier or something else?

I'm not a fan boy of anything except having fast, accurate weapon systems. Thanks for your thoughts and opinions.
 

hewlett260

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Thought about BCM? I just rebuilt my upper with one of their 14.5 mid-length barrels. Can't complain so far. They make their complete uppers or you could just build it yourself. They are like Legos and G.I.Joes rolled into one for adults.
 

Austincqc

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That's one of the reasons I love the AR. GI Joe legos!

This will be the third AR I've built. My last one was a heavy contour Wilson SS 16 barrel with an Adam's Arms mid length system. I like it and it shoots sub-MOA, but just too much swing weight for the goal of this rifle. I'll look at closer at BCM. I know they make a solid rifle but wasn't sure about the accuracy part. Thanks Hewlett260!
 

Crosshair

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Cold Hammer Forged barrels are pretty darn nice. Super durable and very accurate. BCM's call theirs 'BFH' and get great feedback from owners. Daniel Defense's CHF barrels get awesome reviews too, a guy in the semi-auto challenge on here has shot some sick groups with a CHF DD barrel.

An upper like this would be very handy and accurate: BCM BFH 14.5" Mid Length Upper Receiver Group w/ MI KeyMod 12" Handguard
 
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cfulback32

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I have a pencil barrel BCM 16" I've been shooting 3 gun with for a few years. With good ammo it is a tiny bit over 1 moa, which I think is plenty accurate for run and gun matches. I also have a 14.5 pencil barrel N4 barrel that shoots great. I haven't tested it for groups, but with irons at 300 yards, I was consistently hitting a 12x18 plate about 75% of the time with Wolf 223, so I think it will be plenty accurate as well.

Unless you are sitting and punching paper at a long way away over and over, I don't think the added weight of a medium profile barrel is needed for run and gun type matches. Look up the Noveske Shooting Team barrels. Those guys can use whatever they want and they go with a lightweight profile.

I'd look at the Noveske NST 16" barrel, or if you really want a 14.5, the BCM lightweight 14.5", both with a NST hand guard.
 

smschulz

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The UM will be the most accurate.
They are fantastic barrels.
Any SS barrel will have a life less than the CM counterparts.
My first choice would be the UM upper followed by the Noveske.
Or you could piece it together in any combo you like.
Quad Rails are heavy and maybe the load could be lightened there.
YMMV
Good Luck
 

Austincqc

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I'm digging the NSR and it should be pretty light. Also thinking about the KAC URX system with the integrated sight. Damn that thing's sexy! I like a lot of Troy's rails too...I need to hit up the gun show this weekend and hopefully hold some in my hands to see which ones I like.
 

ChemE1975

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great suggestions above.

one other thing to think about is how accurate will the ammo be that are going to shoot from the rifle? shooting wolf from a match grade SS barrel and complaining about accuracy never made sense to me.