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  1. #1
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    Looking for a 20 (possibly longer) .223 barrel

    Im going to be competing in a tactical division next year which requires you shoot either .308 or .223. The Open division has all the hot rods like the Creedmoors, 6GT/Dasher/etc etc.

    My current 16 Ultramatch barrels are fantastic but I want to step it up a notch for velocitys sake. Currently, Im pushing 75gr Hornadys around 2650fps. 4 extra would probably add somewhere around 80-100fps, and I think Im going to start using 73gr ELDs for said matches, so all in I want to be closer to or hitting 2800fps, which is definitely doable

    I also have a ton of 77gr TMKs which would be greatly accelerated as well....my load for them is in the low 2600s but theyre darn accurate. Of course Id be re-working my loads

    Im getting off track.

    Ive been looking at quality barrels and the two Im comparing to start with are:

    20 Rainier UM Mod 2 SDM ($380)
    https://www.rainierarms.com/rainier-...sion-20-satin/

    1/2x28 threads
    1:7.5
    Fluted
    .750 gas block seat
    2lbs 6oz

    20 Criterion 223 Wylde ($340)
    https://www.brownells.com/rifle-part...prod84773.aspx

    1/2x28 threads
    1:7.5
    Fluted
    .750 gas block seat
    2lbs 3oz


    Theyre VERY similar all the way around and both have good reputations.

    I checked WOA barrels and the ones I liked were either unthreaded or 5/8x24.


    Any other sub $400 barrel worth looking at? The corresponding Lilja barrel I liked was $500

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    Any other sub $400 barrel worth looking at? The corresponding Lilja barrel I liked was $500
    I bought a Lilja barrel a few years ago. I had to send it back to them to re-cut the chamber. They're not all they are cracked up to be ...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoxyDave View Post
    I bought a Lilja barrel a few years ago. I had to send it back to them to re-cut the chamber. They're not all they are cracked up to be ...
    Glad my top two choices are less expensive! Thanks for the heads up

  4. #4
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    Craddock is always solid. I looked at their 223 barrels and they have none listed over 20. Im sure he can turn one for any length you specify.


    https://craddockprecision.com/ar15-barrels/

    If a Bartlein, you can choose your twist rate. But thats above $500.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    Craddock is always solid. I looked at their 223 barrels and they have none listed over 20”. I’m sure he can turn one for any length you specify.


    https://craddockprecision.com/ar15-barrels/

    If a Bartlein, you can choose your twist rate. But that’s above $500.
    Yeah with my options it was a hair over $800 lol

    That’s a taaaaaaad bit out of my league I think

  6. #6
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    Whoa, that’s up near Proof territory.

    Curious what options you selected.
    -One Nation, Under God

    -"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." ~ Michael Althsuler

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn View Post
    Whoa, thats up near Proof territory.

    Curious what options you selected.
    Craddock Bartlein w/ Straight fluting, Superlative Gas Block + tube, and a head spaced bolt. $842. Free options: 1:7.7, 1/2x28 threads, .875 seat

    I selected the Craddock Criterion 20 barrel with identical options as above and came out to $570. Fluting wasnt standard on that particular Criterion barrel as it is with the one in my first post. To be fair, the $570 includes the gas block and tube Id be buying anyways which is about $110, so its more like $430 vs $570 for the two Criterion barrels.

    One more option Ive found and heard good things about:

    Faxon 20 Heavy Match Nitrided 223 Wylde ($320)
    1/2x28 threads
    1:8 twist/5R rifling
    Fluted
    .750 gas block seat
    2lbs 1oz

    https://faxonfirearms.com/match-seri...lon-extension/


    Ive read good things about this barrel. Definitely adding this to the list for consideration

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    Craddock Bartlein w/ Straight fluting, Superlative Gas Block + tube, and a head spaced bolt. $842. Free options: 1:7.7, 1/2x28 threads, .875 seat

    I selected the Craddock Criterion 20 barrel with identical options as above and came out to $570. Fluting wasnt standard on that particular Criterion barrel as it is with the one in my first post. To be fair, the $570 includes the gas block and tube Id be buying anyways which is about $110, so its more like $430 vs $570 for the two Criterion barrels.
    Ah, gotcha. Was curious because I played around with it some after Fledge posted the link (been debating something more accurate for a 16) and actually used most of the same options as you, except no gas block or bolt. So yes, I can see how that drove cost up.

    Another barrel maybe to consider, a buddy of mine has a BCM 20 410SS barrel that he can pull 1/2 - 3/4 MOA 5 shot groups with. At least with 77gr hand loads. About 1 MOA with 77gr Razorcore.
    -One Nation, Under God

    -"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." ~ Michael Althsuler

  9. #9
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    Just on brand and quality alone, Id choose the Ranier UM over Faxon. Isnt the UM made from Shilen blanks? If they are anything like my 18 SMOS shilen barrels, I would be very happy with that. Its beyond its price point.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    Just on brand and quality alone, Id choose the Ranier UM over Faxon. Isnt the UM made from Shilen blanks? If they are anything like my 18 SMOS shilen barrels, I would be very happy with that. Its beyond its price point.
    Gen 1's were Shilens, Gen 2 they changed, not sure who makes the blanks... but they are all turned by a company named in this thread... which is probably why they're such great shooters.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by UWone77 View Post
    Gen 1's were Shilens, Gen 2 they changed, not sure who makes the blanks... but they are all turned by a company named in this thread... which is probably why they're such great shooters.
    Yeah, Id go with the UM. Do they still have the satisfaction warranty?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    Yeah, I’d go with the UM. Do they still have the satisfaction warranty?
    Correct, all RA barrels have the 90 day money back guarantee

  13. #13
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    Yeaaahhh....Ive currently got three Ultramatch barrels in use (One Shilen/Mod 1 and two Mod 2s) and have had six RA barrels total. No reason to switch now I guess. Id still love to know who tunes them but secrets gonna secret, and the results are obviously there

    Was reading a Snipers Hide thread from 2018 about a guy testing four new Mod 2 RA barrels (300BLK, 223 Wylde, 224V, and 6.5CM). Wish I had that kind of time!! He was getting High 2700s/Low 2800s with 73gr ELDs and 77gr SMKs in a 20 just like I was looking at, which are exactly the figures I was hoping for. I really need a sponsor for next year lol. Well see how I do overall this year and go from there....Im just happy that Im learning so much more about shooting than I ever wouldve just pinging steel and playing around with new hand loads every outing

  14. #14
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    Is this a run and gun kinda course or stationary timed

    If run and gun I’d take the 16” , for such a small gain-FPS. But if sitting, I’d take the longer barrel

    Not trying to buzzkill your new build idea..just don’t totally see why.. don’t ya have a 18” UM?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustangfreek View Post
    Is this a run and gun kinda course or stationary timed

    If run and gun Id take the 16 , for such a small gain-FPS. But if sitting, Id take the longer barrel

    Not trying to buzzkill your new build idea..just dont totally see why.. dont ya have a 18 UM?
    I used to have an 18 but I sold the barrel.

    It was a weird intermediate length to me...like either go 16 or shorter or go 20 or longer. Sort of like .40 S&W....it just doesnt make sense

    The matches Im doing have a little of both. Its all on the clock and some stages are more stationary and some have a lot more movement, changing positions (like inside a vehicle to outside on the hood) or from a boat etc etc etc. A 24-26 barrel would be excessive because regardless Ill be using a can and that would be super long

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