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Thread: AR-15 Barrel replace or install

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    AR-15 Barrel replace or install

    I am wanting an integrally suppressed 300 bo and I want to be able to swap barrels periodically as needs arrive. Un-suppressed 300 bo or 5.56, I really don't want a whole lot of duplicate complete uppers just barrel swaps or replacing. I've read quite a lot of articles and watched more youtube then necessary, however only one used go-no go-field gauges. Any input about this situation would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    Finster101's Avatar
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    I would think having to remove the gas block and tube to remove the barrel nut might get tiresome. Stripped uppers are cheap. Buy a good quality bolt carrier and charging handle and just swap those from one upper to the other to keep cost down. This would also allow your optics to stay zeroed.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    I have to agree. Look for a deal on uppers and get several along with handguards, gas blocks/tubes and muzzle attachments. The main reason the whole switch barrel uppers haven't ever taken off for ar15 uppers is that the kits themselves are expensive and more importantly the sights need rezeroed each time for best accuracy. As far as headspace guages, I'd get at least a no-go for each caliber. With as many companies making barrels these days it's cheap insurance.

  4. #4
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    bruce drake's Avatar
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    make them up as two separate uppers. Life's a lot simpler just having to pop the two takedown pins and replace the upper with the spare upper that is already zeroed and ready to go.
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  5. #5
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    lefty o's Avatar
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    id personally build complete uppers. changing barrels is something your ll do once or twice and tire of it. conversely there are some uppers designed for quick barrel changes, but last i seen were somewhat expensive.

  6. #6
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    Bzcraig's Avatar
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    I too would go the route of a dedicated upper.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    You could consider something like the DOLOS quick-change barrel system, but you'll be spending more than if you just went with a dedicated upper

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Thanks, a lot of good info.
    Bill

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I agree. AR prices are at bargain basement levels now. I vote two complete uppers. Or rifles.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    IMHO you are not removing the barrel extension from the barrel so you should not be changing headspace...just general information. So using headspace gauges should be at most a one time event.

    Bill
    Both ends WHAT a player

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Now things and times have changed. I have a new barrel to install on an upper. Where I'm lacking experience is in installing the extension. Tools aren't the problem, it's the little things like the new barrel probably has the gas port already drilled, however installing the extension and matching the alignment of the pin and the port is where I'm a little lost. If any fine turning is necessary how does it effect the bolt and extension go no/go alignment/adjustment? I hope I'm posing this question properly.
    Bill

  12. #12
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    lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just bill View Post
    Now things and times have changed. I have a new barrel to install on an upper. Where I'm lacking experience is in installing the extension. Tools aren't the problem, it's the little things like the new barrel probably has the gas port already drilled, however installing the extension and matching the alignment of the pin and the port is where I'm a little lost. If any fine turning is necessary how does it effect the bolt and extension go no/go alignment/adjustment? I hope I'm posing this question properly.
    Bill
    most any barrel you buy for an ar will already have the extension and pin on it. in its simplest form, you slide the barrel into an upper rcvr, screw on barrel nut and torque it, install gas block and gas tube, and slide a handguard over it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by lefty o View Post
    most any barrel you buy for an ar will already have the extension and pin on it. in its simplest form, you slide the barrel into an upper rcvr, screw on barrel nut and torque it, install gas block and gas tube, and slide a handguard over it.
    This part I know, however this is a special wildcat barrel and I don't know how it comes. I just hoping for the best and preparing for the alternative.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  14. #14
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    I have not seen an AR barrel sold in the last couple years that does NOT come with the extension already installed ..
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by just bill View Post
    This part I know, however this is a special wildcat barrel and I don't know how it comes. I just hoping for the best and preparing for the alternative.
    Thanks,
    Bill
    The .277 Wolverine barrels I purchased from MDWS all came with it installed, same as the other wildcat barrels available there. I would think any barrel maker would install the extension as part of the process.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    I was guessing that call would be a Monday adventure.
    Thanks,
    Bill

    This is a new avenue for me, I've reloaded, swaged Boolits and had $60-$80 an hour gunsmiths do work on my stuff before retirement.
    Last edited by just bill; 08-25-2018 at 03:02 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check