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AR-15 Barrels

One of the most important choices you will make as you build, repair or upgrade your AR-15 is that of the barrel. That’s why we offer a diverse, carefully-vetted selection of AR-15 barrels that won’t let you down when it’s time to get the job done. If you are looking for an AR-15 heavy barrel upper or another profile barrel we will meet your needs. Our barrels are great choices for long-distance shooting at the range or for hunting your choice of game. Our shorter AR-15 barrels provide a perfect combination of accuracy and maneuverability. Depending on your maintenance preferences, you may opt for a barrel with or without chrome lining. Chrome lining is excellent for those who prefer only light barrel maintenance and upkeep; however, stainless steel, which requires more frequent care, is better for long-range accuracy.

Looking to replace your entire upper? Browse through our huge selection of barreled uppers from a trusted manufacturer. From short barreled uppers for your SBR build to Long Range Tactical Uppers, we have all of the AR-15 barrels and barrel accessories you need. Contact our professionals if you need help selecting the right upper for your AR-15.

Look below the barrels for the answers to your AR15 Barrel related questions.

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AR15 Barrels

So, you’re looking for a barrel huh? Not sure what to get or why? We can help. Your AR15 Barrel is the center piece of your rifle. All your other decisions like muzzle device, hand guards and so on should be determined by the barrel. AR Barrels come in a variety of calibers like 5.56 NATO, .223 Wylde and .300 Blackout. The materials used can be 416R Stainless Steel, 4150 Chromoly Vanadium Steel and some other proprietary alloys. The best way to choose your barrel is to ask yourself what you plan to use it for. Are you going to the range to plink and for home defense? Is it a Duty weapon for work? Is it to hunt with? Or do you just want something that is high quality, looks good and get to shoot it every so often?

The three main things you want to consider when choosing your barrel are: Caliber, Material and finish so we’ll discuss them first.

AR15 Barrel caliber options:

5.56 NATO – This is by far the most common choice for this platform as there are multiple ammunition manufacturers which provide a world of options in terms of grain weight and usage. Generally speaking, 5.56 barrels are less expensive as they are so common.

.223 Wylde - These barrels are a combination of .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO providing the best of both worlds. These barrels are very popular with 3-Gun competitors and Varmint Hunters as the tighter tolerances provide for greater down range accuracy.

.300 Blackout – This caliber barrel was initially developed by Advanced Armament Corporation to address the U.S. Military’s need for a round that that comparable to the 7.62x39 that the AK47 uses. Although the military never adopted the round, it is widely used in the hunting community for hogs and animals as large as deer.

Additional Calibers – AR15 barrels can also be found in 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC which make great hunting rounds for medium sized game. Growing in popularity are the AR barrels in pistol calibers such as 9mm and .45 caliber. Pistol caliber carbines arrived on the scene and have taken hold in the competition community. They are easy for reloaders to fire tons of ammo inexpensively. Lastly, you’ll find .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM and 7.62x39. These were initially perceived as a novelty but are gaining acceptance every day. Due to the much heavier round they have also increased in popularity as they can be configured into an AR15 Pistol and used for defense against large predators in the wild.

Barrel Materials and common usages:

4150 Chromoly Vanadium Steel - This alloy is great for your high round count rifles. These AR15 barrels can be found in virtually all calibers to include: 5.56 NATO, .300 Blackout, .223 Wylde, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 9mm, .45, .450 Bushmaster and 458 SOCOM. This material makes for a very durable barrel which makes them the main stay for your plinking, hunting and duty rifles on the AR15 platform.

416R Stainless Steel – These barrels are favored by bench rest shooters and shooting competitors. Although most people do not notice a difference between and 4150 and 416R, precision shooters notice it in long range shooting applications. These can be found in the same calibers listed above.

Proprietary Metals – Some companies use their own patented metal alloys to manufacture AR Barrels along with the ones listed above. Lothar Walther for example has long used their own blend of steel to manufacture barrels. Another company is Proof Research which manufactures their own carbon wrapped barrel.

AR15 Barrel Finishes:

Nitromet Salt Bath Nitrocarburizing (Melonite, Tennifer, Black Nitride)

This process is the new industry leader in bore coatings for firearm barrels—achieving a significantly greater lifespan in the bore than chrome lining. It provides a Rc 55 (Hardness) surface through a high temperature diffusion process. This process is applicable to metals that can withstand these temperatures such as barrels, gas blocks, magazines, steel receivers, and so on. This process is a great option when used on 4150 CMV 5.56 Barrel for example. Generally, shooters that opt for 5.56 NATO are looking for something they can shoot inexpensively and often. The nitride process is a great fit for that use.

Phosphate - Mag Phosphate or manganese (not “magnesium”) phosphate is coating on the outside of the barrel using a sprayed or immersed salt bath to achieve a somewhat porous finish that then more readily accepts and holds some sort of lubrication to help prevent corrosion. Mag Phosphate is also called Parkerizing. A mag-phosphate finish without lubrication can rust. A Mag Phosphate coating does nothing other than protect the metal (if properly lubricated). For many years this has been the “MILSPEC” standard finish for U.S. Military rifles.