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70gto

What do you guys like for an AR 3 gun

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Curious what do you guys like for a Competition (3 gun AR) prefer 16 inch for 3 gun duty and all around tack driver. Daniel Defense, Bravo company , Noveske etc? reliable, more accurate than average and not fragile. Optic recommendation would be awesome, scope vs red dot etc. I never had an optic other than an eotech so Im all ears 

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My personal opinion, and I'm sure that there are those who will disagree, is that for most of us it's not the firearm that will hold us back but rather our skill level.  For that reason I recommend for those just starting out or are up to an intermediate level, just go with what you already have.  If you don't have anything, get something reasonably priced from a reputable manufacturer.  Here's a place to start.

Then practice and compete!  Working on improving your skills and gaining experience will do far more to improve your times and scores than any micro improvement the firearm from a top-tier manufacturer will give you.  

As for optic, go with a red dot.  Easily handles out to 100 yards and most stages you shoot will be that or less.  I'm a big fan of the Holosun gear, quality at a great price point.  If you decide you want a scope, go with 1-6 or 1-8, as you will want the no magnification (1) option for up close work.  I like Vortex here for the same reason as Holosun.

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Thank you, this is gold. Its very easy to spend money in the wrong direction here. I appreciate what you are saying, re practice, i hate buying stuff twice and was just thinking of buying a platform i would be able to grow into with practice.  

I only have 1 AR at this point, It wouldn't be appropriate for this as its an lwrc 14.5 carbine. I wanted another sort of dedicated to comp.

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24 minutes ago, 70gto said:

was just thinking of buying a platform i would be able to grow into with practice.  

It's just like any other hobby and your budget, spend what you're comfortable with but realize there's not much point in over-spending to gain any material performance advantage from the gear.

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I have one 16” home built rifle with a 1-6x that I use for everything - matches, classes, goofing around. I can’t imagine why your LWRC wouldn’t work, especially around here where the longest stage I’ve seen is 100 yards. I’ve even seen a guy using an “Other” and he did just fine

 

I’m way too poor for a Gucci gun anyway. 

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Ive used my lwrc 14.7 with aimpoint h2 plenty of times 3 gun.  I eventually switched to my colt 6940p with an acog.  Especially for the 50 yard plus shots.  That works for me.  Most guys use a 1-6 or8.  Vortex makes good ones for the money

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Ok, so like all things in life, it's a compromise. 

You want a light gun for transitions and faster handling when mounting and unmounting. 

You want a heavier gun for taming recoil and muzzle rise. 

You want a red dot for speed and 6-8x magnification for the longer stuff. 

You want a reliable gun, but you want to run on minimal gas for the fastest return to sight picture. 

You want a good trigger that you can run fast up close and accurate far away. 

Pick some of those and how much you hate your wallet. 

There's two top tier choices of rifle size and gas system: 18" barrel with a rifle length gas system or the stretch 16 with it's intermediate gas system.  The 18" system is much easier to build without issues. If I hadn't mucked around building a half dozen rifles and troubleshooting friends' gear, I would have been pulling my hair out with the stretch 16. There's also a 17 inch barrel out there with a rifle length that is much like the stretch 16. I forget who makes it. 

The winning answer for all around use for an optic is a good 1-6 to 1-8 LPVO. I see a LOT of the vortex 1-10 scopes going back on sale shortly after being bought because they just aren't as good a fit to the needs and the price is high. 

 For me, and I'm not alone, a total package weight of about 7-8lbs with the rifle empty and optic mounted is the sweet spot, and you want the center of mass to be about where the magwell is. I've owned and shot everything from 11.8lb rifles to a 5.5lb lightweight I built, and I'd say down around 6lbs you spend a lot more time and effort managing recoil and getting things to settle down in general. At around 10lbs I start hating AR format rifles and unless you found a REALLY heavy stock, there's really no option but to be both heavy and front heavy at that point. 

My current setup is a forged noveske gen3 lower with triggertech trigger, an ARFX stock, a gutted rifle buffer (about 2.8oz), a taccom reduced power buffer spring, a rubber city armory reduced mass carrier, a JP bolt, a stretch 16 barrel, venom defense viper comp (high temp solder to avoid any issues drilling might cause and fuck NJ), american defense recon X mount, trijicon accupower 1-8 FFP, and JP two piece adjustable gas block (which is there mostly because it's two piece as it needs to be run fully open), and odin works 15.5" O2 lite foreend and a rainier version 2 billet upper. 

If you aren't going beyond 200 yards, you can shoot a dot, even if you don't have the best vision (so long as you don't have more than a VERY mild astigmatism, then back to LPVO for you). 

But you can get a basic flat top with no sights, a red dot, and a decent drop in trigger and have a lot of fun at most nearby matches, then swap out stuff as you know what you want. 

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9 hours ago, 70gto said:

Great post . I learned alot w great advice but whaT is a stretch 16 barrel? 

Short version:

It's a specific brand of barrel designed to shoot softly and give you the soft shooting characteristics of a rifle length 18" barrel by using the not very common (and also not very much agreed upon dimensionally) intermediate length gas system to give you only slightly higher port pressure with similar dwell time to an 18". And to mitigate port pressure, they gas port size is reduced. 

Oh also I left out of my previous list of things, a 1:8 twist .223 wylde chambered barrel is the right thing. 

TLDR version. 

Most AR barrels have the gas port drilled to over gas the gun. This is generally more reliable in more situations with more parts, but it means you bleed off more gas and beat things up more. Additionally, the shorter the gas system, the closer the port is to the chamber, and the higher pressure you get at the gas port. The farther the gas port is from the muzzle of the barrel, the longer that gas impulse lasts. Too low a pressure and too little dwell time, and the bolt won't unlock reliably. Too much pressure and dwell time, and it'll probably work, but you shorten the life of the components and slam the carrier group and buffer around a lot. Oddly enough, and confusing for a lot of builders, being overgassed and undergassed have the exact same failure mode for different reasons. Got a little too much gas and you get FTFs because the bolt comes back faster than the magazine can shive a round up to be caught. A little too little and you get an FTF from short stroking. Way too much and you get FTEs I believe because the case is still being expanded by gas pressure when the bolt unlocks. Way too little gas and you get FTEs because the brass never clears the chamber and just gets reinserted. 

That's probably way too much. If you want to know more about AR gas systems, this is one of the more informative articles: http://www.ar15barrels.com/prod/operation.shtml

Anyway, as 3 gun progressed two main factors made lighter guns better. 1) more popular meant more matches which meant 300+ yard shots got less common in the average shooters match season. 2) true 1x LPVOs came to dominate and you could have your cake and it eat too provided you didn't mind slapping 2lbs on top of your rifle. 

Because that's a lot of weight out of an 8lb budget some other things became more popular:  reduced gas system with lightweight buffers and carriers, lighter barrels, and lighter forearms.  Mostly because you can retain a lot of the functionality while losing a lot of weight compared to other things. 

18" barrels with rifle length gas systems became popular because you could slap most any 20" barrel in a lathe, cut and re-crown it, and it'd work.  Even though a 16" barrel will get the job done very similarly to an 18" at the ranges you will encounter in most matches, it won't work with rifle length gas unless you get very specific about port size, ammo, ambient temp, etc. 

So after a while, it became pretty accepted that for an 18" barrel, a 3gun profile would give you the best combo of weight an accuracy. That's basically a 0.75" profile back to the chamber area except for the gas block flange. Stretch precision ran with this profile, chopped it to 16" then made the gas system as long as they could without opening up the port too much, and then gave it some minimal fluting. And you have a soft shooting 28oz barrel. 

It's closest competitor is probably the ballistic advantage 17.7" hanson profile at 31 ounces, the ar15perfromance scout at 28oz, the faxon flame fluted 16" match series barrel at 28oz, the 16 " faxon gunner at 21.28oz,  the 18" faxon gunner at 24.62oz, oding works also has similar gunner-like 16" as well as a 31oz 3gun profile at 31oz. 

(There are lighter pencil barrels, but they tend to be more whippy and drift with heat soak. The gunners are pretty much at the practical limit of tolerating that in most 3 gun matches). 

but all of those are mid length except the 18" gunner which is rifle length but has a small gas block shoulder that means you can't use most adjustable gas blocks. The odinworks has non standard spacing to the gas hole and you need to use their block unless they got smart and made it normal.  If you want lower gas pressure you and normal gas blocks, you are shooing a limited number of 18" barrels on the market. 

It's pretty nit-picky and pretty niche but I'm happy with mine. I don't know that I'd do it again and will probably just get a 31oz 18" when I have to replace it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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