Friday, April 15, 2016

Barrel Review

The Rifle
Recently, the wife unit requested a barrel upgrade for her AR15. She's not happy unless she is putting all the shots into a tiny group. The previous barrel is fine, but it is a lightweight barrel, and was selected for its weight - not it's accuracy. So, an order was placed with  Palmetto State Armory for a 16" heavy barrel, fluted for weight reduction.

The Catch
When the barrel arrived, it looked a bit longer than 16". It was measured and compared to other known 16" barrels. The barrel was 18" long. This was a pleasant surprise, as Mrs. Usagi liked the idea of an SPR. The weight was not prohibitive, and so construction began.

The Look
Per specific request, the barrel and a mag were painted light blue. The collapsible stock, pistol grip, and free float rail were painted pink. This rifle really catches the eye!

Red dot sights at 50 yards. Looks like she will be plenty accurate.

After zeroing at 100 yards with the ACOG, three shots were fired using Federal 50 grain ammo. This ammo has proven to be surprisingly accurate, and a good compromise between cost and precision performance. The 1:8 twist barrel liked the ammo.

Next up was 55 grain Hornady Spire Point ammo. In the past, this ammo has been something of a disappointment,  with the cost of match grade ammo, yet only half the performance. As good as this barrel might be, the best that could be mustered was a 2 MOA group.

But was that shooter error?

Enter the King of factory loaded ammo - Federal 69 grain match ammo. This has grouped better than any other ammo, and more consistently, than any ammo tested by the author. Once again, it did not disappoint. A 0.75 MOA group was the reward.

This barrel is as accurate as the author's 18" fluted stainless barrel from White Oak Armory. It is possible that this barrel is better. Not only is that a surprising result, but it's also welcome, as Palmetto State is known for being budget - friendly.

As for the color scheme, a friend put it best -
You might be on to something with the color. Hard to call it an evil assault weapon when is looks like it belongs to a carebear.

But don't let Mrs. Usagi hear you call it a Care Bear Rifle. That makes her mad, and she just might shoot you with it. And getting shot with that rifle would be embarrassing... if you lived.


  1. I like your wife. Does she have a sister?

    1. Lol. Thank you.
      Yes, she has a sister, but her sister has been married over 15 years... and isn't into guns that much.


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