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SBR Barrel Length

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  • SBR Barrel Length

    I am in process of my SBR build and have contemplated a 10.5 or 11.5 barrel. I have read and read anything I can find on ballistics and velocities, advantages/disadvantages. Most everything I find only discusses the additional dwell times in 11.5 and I've been pretty much sold in going this route EXCEPT THAT... everything I find is dated back to like 2010. I can't find anything showing degraded ballistics in one over the other. Does anyone have any data they can share?
    "The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it – Thucydides"

  • #2
    The issue comes in with reliability. The shorter dwell time of the 10.3/10.5" barrel leads to issues with timing. If the bolt speed is too fast or it unlocks early, you can mitigate this by installing a heavier buffer or recoil spring and upgrading extraction components. If you buy a setup from a quality manufacturer like DD, BCM or LMT, you'll have a good rifle. You will just put more wear on the rifle and take a higher chance at damage to components like the bolt.
    I went with a 11.5" rifle using DD components and barrel, and the rifle has been 100% reliable through nearly 10k rounds. It's a good trade-off between length and ballistics.
    That said, I know several guys and one SWAT team that have DD Mk18 rifles, and all have been completely reliable.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
    -John Adams


    Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

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    • #3
      What is your duty ammo?

      If you're running a bonded HP round, velocity won't be as critical.

      TAP will generally fragment out to just over 40yds out of a 10.5".

      If you're running M193, it won't fragment past ~15yds out of a 10.5". You'll be better served by an 11.5" barrel with this ammo, as it will stretch your fragmenting range out past 40yds.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. It is bonded (Speer Gold Dot) and some research on their site provided the answer. It's rated for 200yds from a 10.5" barrel. I don't expect to be shooting over that in my assignment.
        "The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it – Thucydides"

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        • #5
          If you are looking to go short a quality 10 " should be fine but I am no expert. I have 7.5 on my pistol lower never a problem but it is not my patrol gun. My patrol gun is 14.5 colt M-4 more problems then my personal 16 and 7.5 but also had more wear and tare on it.

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          • #6
            We just picked up a few Colt SBR 11.5" carbines. Haven't shot them yet, but hopefully next week.
            I make my living on Irish welfare.

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