Choosing the appropriate AR15 barrel profile is one of the most important decisions to make when building or customizing an AR-15. The shape and size of the barrel, as determined by the profile, can greatly affect the performance and functionality of the firearm.
Let’s take a look at the different AR-15 barrel profiles available and help you understand the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision. From heavier barrel profiles to lightweight pencil barrel profiles, we’ll cover it all.
Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a hunter, or just a hobbyist, this guide will help you choose the perfect barrel profile for your specific needs and goals.
AR Barrel Profiles Explained
The term “barrel profile” refers to the thickness of a barrel on an AR-15 style rifle, such as the Faxon Sentry 16” 5.56 Rifle. Different barrel profiles can impact the performance of the gun in various ways.
For instance, thinner barrels are lightweight and easy to handle, while thicker barrels provide more stability by adding weight to the front of the gun and can withstand more heat.
It’s essential to consider the trade-offs of different barrel options available in the market when making a choice.
Let’s now look at the different AR-15 barrel profiles to see what makes each one unique.
The Gunner profile is a blend of two of the best-performing profiles of all time, Gov’t and Pencil.
Faxon’s Gunner profile combines the durability of the Gov’t profile with the weight savings and maneuverability of the Pencil profile.
The Gunner profile brings the rifle’s balance back towards the shooter’s body, limiting fatigue and allowing for shooting, training, or hunting all day long.
A SOCOM barrel for an AR-15 is designed differently from the standard M4/A2 barrel.
Instead of being consistently thick throughout, it has a thinner section past the gas block and a thicker section near the chamber. In addition, SOCOM barrels often have a slot for attaching a grenade launcher and provide a balance between strength and weight.
If you’re looking for a barrel that can handle sustained shooting while still being lightweight, a SOCOM profile barrel may be a good option for you.
The pencil barrel is the original profile for the AR-15, typically measuring 0.625 inches in diameter.
It is known for being slim and lightweight, making it easy to carry and handle. However, due to its thinness, it may overheat more quickly during rapid firing, leading to elastic deformation or warping, which can affect reliability and accuracy.
Unlike run-of-the-mill pencil barrels, Faxon Firearms barrels are properly heat-treated and stress-relieved to improve heat resistance and longevity.
The durability of this AR15 barrel profile is ideal for shooters with a light or medium shooting schedule.
AR Barrel Profiles: Finding Your Match
The barrel profile of anAR-15 rifle can greatly affect its overall performance and handling.
The three most common barrel profiles are the Gunner, Government, and Pencil. The Government/SOCOM profile is the thickest and heaviest option, providing the most stability and accuracy but also adding extra weight to the rifle.
The pencil profile is the thinnest and lightest option, making it easier to handle and carry, but sacrificing some stability and accuracy. The government profile is a balance between the two, offering a good compromise between weight and performance.
Ultimately, the choice of barrel profile will depend on the individual’s personal preferences and intended use of the rifle. Therefore, it is important to consider the trade-offs and choose the barrel profile that best suits your needs.
FINAL RULE ATF: Last week, the BATFE issued new guidance on the legality of 80% frame lowers like those manufactured by Polymer 80, Lone Wolf Arms, Nomad Defense, and Matrix Arms. It’s rarely a Good Thing when we have to report ATF news, and this time is no different.
ATF Changes its Mind. Again.
Once again, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has changed its mind. Remember how 80 percent frames and lowers were legal until Joe Biden’s ATF decided that they weren’t? You know, like the ATF always does.
That question was shaking out as part of the Vanderstok v. Garland case in federal court, with the ATF agreeing that the frames and receivers in question were indeed legal so long as they didn’t ship with “associated templates, jigs, molds, equipment, tools, instructions, guides, or marketing materials.”
So, basically, the frames and receivers are only firearms under the Gun Control Act (GCA) if they are packaged with those “non-firearm objects” (NFO). Strange, but okay. Companies had already incorporated that change and were continuing to ship their products. NFO sold separately.
Then, out of the blue, ATF dropped a new rule on FFLs by way of a December 27 open letter. The letter stated that “these partially complete pistol frames are ‘frames’ and ‘firearms’ as defined in the GCA and its implementing regulations.” Even if they don’t include the NFO items.
ATF bases this change on the definition of the word “readily,” as in whether these frames can be “readily converted” to fully functioning firearms.
Here’s an excerpt from that statement:
Applying the regulatory text of Final Rule 2021-05F, partially complete Polymer80, Lone Wolf, and similar striker-fired semiautomatic pistol frames, including, but not limited to, those sold within parts kits, have reached a stage of manufacture where they “may readily be completed, assembled, restored, or otherwise converted” to a functional frame. This definition of “readily” applies to each and every classification of a partially complete frame or receiver under this Rule, whether sold alone or as part of a kit. Therefore, even without any associated templates, jigs, molds, equipment, tools, instructions, guides, or marketing materials, these partially complete pistol frames are “frames” and also “firearms” as defined in the GCA and its implementing regulations, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3)(B) and 27 CFR 478.12(a)(1), (c).
The following are some examples of companies that build 80% frames.
Faxon Firearms’ recently partnered with RE Tactical to write up what they refer to as the definitive guide to finding the best AR-10 barrel. Buying after-market barrels can be a hassle; maybe this might help. We figured you might be interested in a little less suck in your life.
A Definitive Guide To Finding The Best AR-10 Barrel
The purpose of the AR-10 platform is to get more power and long-range precision out of the AR platform. Who doesn’t want more power and precision?
To capitalize on that power and precision, it makes sense to get the best AR-10 barrel you can find. The right barrel will allow you to maximize the benefits of using the larger 308 round in a semi-automatic AR-10 battle rifle.
Faxon Firearms’ high-quality, affordably priced AR-10 barrels are all manufactured in the United States and ready for reliable and accurate long-range shooting. So whether you’re shooting 308 WIN, 6.5 Creedmoor, or the new 8.6 BLK, Faxon has the right barrel for you.
Their stock of AR-10 barrels are available in various lengths up to 24″, Salt Bath Nitride outside finish, gas systems (carbine, mid-length, and rifle-length), and barrel fluting.
Faxon AR-10 barrels are also available in Big Gunner, Heavy Fluted, and Pencil profiles. They are made with the finest 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium or 416R Stainless Steel and rifled for the best possible velocity and accuracy.
Before we get into finding the best AR-10 barrel, let’s answer some of the most common questions about AR-10 barrel selection.
AR-10 Barrel Length Considerations
There is more to consider about the barrel length than its effect on velocity and accuracy. For example, your barrel length will dictate your choice of accessories, such as handguards. Do you want something that just goes past the gas block or something that runs the full length out to the muzzle?
This can be important for aesthetic or practical reasons, such as ensuring that a suppressor or other muzzle device has enough clearance between the end of the muzzle and the handguard. In addition, a longer handguard provides more real estate for accessories like optics, sling mounts, and bipods. Finally, keep in mind that the length of the barrel will play a major part in the rifle’s overall weight, which is something to consider if this is a hunting setup.
What is the optimal barrel length for 308?
Barrels lengths for AR-10 calibers range from 16″ up to 24″. Although 20″ seems to be the sweet spot for the 308, with the right barrel, you can get away with using a 16″ barrel.
How accurate is a 308 16-inch barrel?
A 16″ barrel will do you just fine until you get out to and past 600 yards. Unfortunately, the 308 round will drop significantly past 600 yards, so if you’re going to be engaging targets at distances past 600 yards, you’d be better off with a 20″ barrel.
Is an 18-inch barrel good for an AR-10?
Most 308 WIN loads get full powder burn at roughly 18 inches of barrel length. So for a general-purpose AR-10 build, an 18-inch barrel will do you just fine.
However, even in 18-inch barrels, the profile and gas system length can determine weight. 18-inch barrels can range from a Faxon pencil to a thicker Big Gunner profile and come in both mid and rifle-length types.
What is the most Accurate AR-10 Barrel?
The Faxon Match Series AR-10 barrels take renowned performance and value up a notch.
Manufactured in-house from gun-barrel-quality bar-stock, the Match Series barrels start with 416-R in 5R rifling. 5R is a hybrid rifling with lands opposite grooves and reduced sharp angles that reduce jacket deformation, increasing velocity, and easy cleaning. After rigorous testing, the barrels are Nitride treated inside and out, locking in the bore, extending barrel life, and keeping the elements at bay.
The extension is coated in a Nickel Teflon coating that maintains incredible dry lubricity and corrosion resistance. The Nickel Teflon coating also tightens up the fit between the extension and receiver, further improving accuracy. As a result, the Faxon AR-10 Match Series barrels are ready for when duty calls with unrivaled performance.
Best AR-10 Barrel | Faxon Firearms
Below you’ll find a list of AR-10 barrels available for your next AR-10 build or upgrade.
The AR-10 is an excellent platform for reaching out with larger calibers.
Choosing the right barrel is a significant decision, one that is based on your needs as a shooter. Long-range competition shooting, close-quarters shooting, and hunting all have different needs, so choose wisely.
Faxon Firearms barrels are some of the best barrels for the money on the market right now. They’re well-designed, and the performance is hard to beat. That’s why the Faxon Firearms 308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor Big Gunner Profile Barrels are some of the best AR-10 barrels on the market.
GunMag Warehouse is proud to announce the exclusive availability of AR15 Lancer Advanced Warfighter Magazines in Olive Drab Green (ODG). Available in 10-, 20-, and 30-round versions, these Lancer OD Green mags feature:
• Hardened steel feed lips
• Impact resistant polymer body
• Steel-topped magazine catch
• Non-tilt follower
• Constant curve internal geometry
• a Stainless Steel spring
• Aggressive texturing on the body for a positive grip
• Slim body design
The Lancer OD Green Advanced Warfighter Magazine may be purchased in:
In addition to Lancer OD Greenmags, many of these magazines can be purchased in other colors: black, smoke, flat dark earth, translucent red, blaze orange, and translucent dark earth are all options, though it is increasingly difficult to keep them in stock. Availability will vary with demand.
About GunMag Warehouse
Founded in 2012, GunMag Warehouse has become the predominant gun magazine and accessory destination for new and veteran gun enthusiasts alike. We provide nearly every magazine that is currently in production, in stock, and ready to ship. Accessories too! We can take care of you. GunMag Warehouse has the largest selection of commercial gun magazinesanywhere. Follow us: @gunmagwarehouse on Twitter; /gunmagwarehouse/ on Facebook. Connect on IG, @gunmagwarehouse. Be sure to follow our blog,The Mag Life.
Hard Head Veterans is excited to showcase their Micro Lattice Pads – helmet accessories that are an excellent and affordable upgrade for tactical or ballistic helmets. Developed in association with Carbon, using their Digital Light Synthesis manufacturing process, the Micro Lattice assembly is a superb energy-absorbing structure.
This substantially improves the protective capabilities of a helmet by mitigating and even preventing head trauma.
The Micro Lattice Pads average single-digit deformation numbers when tested to 1400 fps with 9mm projectiles on our ATE ballistic helmet. Regardless of whether they are at -60 degrees or 160 degrees they still perform the same.
This cannot be said for standard foam pads.
HHV Micro Lattice Helmet Accessories
Up to a 66% decrease in ballistic transient deformation over standard foam pads
Up to a 21.70% decrease in blunt impact accelerations over standard foam pads
Lattice construction allows unrestricted airflow keeping helmets an average of 14 degrees cooler
Pads do not absorb sweat or water making them quick drying, positively buoyant, and easily washable.
Comfort lattice conforms evenly to the user’s head
Available in 1” and ¾” sizes
The Carbon DLS process enables lattice structures that absorb and dissipate energy through the precise tuning of strut thickness and cell size.
This lattice structure facilitates the absorption and dissipation of energy by aligning internal damping struts against the directions of impact. With over 28,000 individual struts, the lattice is built so each strut is specially tuned at every point on the helmet. Increases or decreases in the stiffness of the lattice structure are enabled through precise adjustments to the thickness of each strut, allowing the lattice to absorb and disperse energy from various impacts.
The Micro Lattice Helmet Pads are compatible helmet accessories for ACH, MICH, LWH, ECH, Crye Precision, Ops-Core, MTEK, Revision/Galvion, Gentex, Team Wendy, United Shield, and most other helmets that utilize Velcro attachment.
Night Fision’s Optics Ready Stealth Series (ORS) tritium sights are engineered to offer a lower ⅓ co-witness. Still, with the new blade heights, a wider array of optics and handgun combinations will see what is regarded as the best position for backup irons on a handgun with a slide-mounted optic.
ORS sights are designed from the dovetail up to work as backup sights for optics yet obscuring less of the optic window while still allowing three-dot sight as an alternative to repurposing Suppressor Height sights alignment if needed.
Night Fision Optics Ready Stealth Pistol Sights
Night Fision is pleased to announce new blade height offerings for three manufacturers in their Optics Ready Stealth Series product line; Glock, SIG SAUER, and Heckler & Koch.
Optics Ready Stealth Glock Sights
Designed to work with pistol optics, these Optics Ready Glock sights offer the perfect 1/3 co-witness tailored to the shooter’s preference. Additionally, they are serrated for low glare, so you’ll never know they’re there until you need them.
Optics Ready Stealth SIG Sauer Sights
Designed to work with pistol optics, these Optics Ready SIG SAUER sights offer the perfect 1/3 co-witness tailored to the shooter’s preference. Additionally, they are serrated for low glare, so you’ll never know they’re there until you need them.
Optics Ready Stealth HK VP9 Sights
Designed to work with pistol optics, these Optics Ready HK VP9 sights offer the perfect 1/3 co-witness tailored to the shooter’s preference. Additionally, they are serrated for low glare, so you’ll never know they’re there until you need them.
Optics Ready Stealth Series FEATURES
Green Tritium Vials in front and rear sights are housed in a ballistic-grade polymer.
Thin ring size on front sight balances visibility without distraction
Perfect Dot front sights have a domed lens to focus glow for crisp sight picture, and fluorescent rings guaranteed not to chip, crack, or break.
Rear sight available in blank or with black polymer ringed Tritium.
Serrated heavy-duty steel sight body complimented by a tough Nitride Coating.
Blade heights allow for various co-witness possibilities with different optic, plate, and milling-depth combinations.
Built-in the USA with Swiss Tritium
These new sights are designed so that they are just high enough to clear the optic. In the past, many shooters have used suppressor height sights to co-witness with an optic. The problem is that it clutters the optic sight window and can become distracting to the shooter. With many pistol optic manufacturers making larger sight windows, why would we want to impede that with tall irons?
The new Optics Ready Stealth tritium sights are designed to sit right at the bottom of the pistol optic sight window, allowing you to take full advantage of the sight picture but still have co-witnessed irons as a backup.
“These additions to our most popular product line affirm that they truly are designed with our customers in mind,” said Rachel Maloney, Marketing Director for Night Fision, “that we can help our customers create their perfect sight picture and remove any barriers to both having the brightest night sights on the market mounted on their gun, yet avoid crowding their optic window when they aren’t needed.”
For more information on these products or other Night Fision offerings, visit the Night Fision website.
An Aero Precision AR15 has successfully completed a series of rigorous testing procedures required to meet National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standards for law enforcement. Following that process, the rifle was evaluated with a 10,000-round endurance test.
The weapon experienced zero malfunctions during the 10,040 round NIJ assessment, even in extreme conditions that fall outside normal use.
Evaluation to NIJ Standard
The evaluation process was conducted by a West Coast law enforcement agency and included the following phases:
• Initial 60-round test fire sequence
• 12 hour Freezer period with subsequent 30-round test fire
• 12 hour Oven period (120° Fahrenheit) with subsequent 30-round test fire
• Water submersion with subsequent 30-round test fire
• Sand submersion with subsequent 30-round test fire
• Six (6) position drop test with five (5) rounds fired after each drop.1
• Initial zero with optic and iron sights2
• Final zero conducted with 3-round zeroing shots near the end of the endurance test with an acceptable zero of 2.75 in.
• The test consisted of 10,000 rounds fired in 1,000 round increments.
• The rifle was cleaned and lubricated prior to the beginning of the test.
• It was subsequently lubricated in 1000-round intervals.
• The firing schedule for this rifle consisted of 150-180-round increments from various shooting positions and firing rates.
• There was an 8-12 round cooldown period between firing cycles utilizing a 4’x4′ industrial fan.
• The gas rings of the rifle were replaced at 6,040 rounds.
• A final zeroing test was conducted at around 9,960.
The Aero Precision rifle completed both the NIJ Standards and Endurance Test with zero (0) operational problems.
1The charging handle lever on the port side broke during the drop testing sequence and the flash-hider and pistol group came loose. None of these issues impacted how the rifle functioned. Loosened parts were re-tightened.
2The T&E optic failed during the drop test; no effect on the rifle test. A second T&E optic also failed. A third T&E optic was used during the endurance firing sequence.
Push Reliability and Accuracy to new heights with Ruger 10/22 barrels From Faxon Firearms. Faxon Firearms is proud to announce the availability of new rimfire barrels for the ever-iconic Ruger 10/22 rifle.
Why Should You Upgrade your Rimfire Barrels?
There is no doubt that the Ruger 10/22 is a good rifle out of the box with all factory components. Ruger has a reputation for building a dependable, durable, and accurate gun ready to shoot straight from the factory. Because of its popularity and reputation, the Ruger 10/22 has created one of any rifle’s largest aftermarket parts industries.
One of the top benefits of owning a Ruger 10/22 is that you can customize it without going broke. This alone makes the 10/22 rifle an excellent choice for those looking to tinker with their gun or get into the skill of gunsmithing.
With so many upgrades available, though, most owners overlook one of the essential components of their Ruger 10/22; the barrel. Ruger puts decent Rimfire barrels on their factory 10/22 rifles; however, If you want to enhance the accuracy and performance, you must consider upgrading the barrel.
“Faxon believes that firearms bring people together and create generational memories. Faxon Firearms looks to expand on this legacy with the Faxon Rimfire line. Faxon Rimfire Barrels are made from 416-R stainless steel, given six groove rifling at a 1:16 twist, and a Recessed Target Crown. Barrels are Magnetic Particle Inspected and are finished in either Salt Bath Nitride or PVD. Both Tapered and Bull Barrel options are available.” – Faxon Firearms.
New “Shorty” 10/22 Rimfire Barrels (6.0″, 8.5″, and 10.5″)
The newest expansion of the Faxon Firearms Rimfire line includes three new short barrel offerings for the Ruger 10/22 platform. These new “shorty” barrels all have fluted designs and threaded muzzles and are made from 416R stainless steel.
These new 10/22 barrels are being manufactured alongside the other Faxon rimfire barrels in their Cincinnati facility. Like the additional barrels, they are manufactured from raw bar stock. In addition, they will undergo the same Magnetic Particle Inspection testing and quality assurance measures that all their rifle and pistol barrels go through.
These three new Rimfire barrels will feature 6-groove rifling with a 1:16 barrel twist rate and recessed target crown and will be finished in either a Salt Bath Nitride or PVD coating. In addition, the 6″ and 10.5″ 10/22 barrels will come with the same straight fluting design.
The short 8.5″ 10/22 barrel will feature a Flame fluted design.
If you’re going to install any one of these barrels on a standard 10/22 receiver, you’ll need to go through the NFA registration process of applying for a tax stamp since it will be classified as an SBR.
The DSX-D Duty Suppressor System from Maxim Defense was built to optimize quiet performance in a suppressed weapon system. It provides superior direct thread suppression to weapons chambered in 5.56, 7.62, and 6.5 Creedmoor.
Duty is built for the world’s most rigorous demands; this suppressor is designed to be the most robust and strongest suppressor in the category. It has been repeatedly tested with SOCOM tables across various calibers and barrel lengths, down to 8.5″ 5.56 NATO with M855 ball ammunition. It has survived with no damage or significant changes in sound reduction.
DSX-D: Duty Suppressor System
The DSX-D Duty Suppressor was explicitly designed to minimize the violent cyclic rate and gas blowback of a suppressed weapon system like the AR15.
The suppressor consists of a three-piece MonoKore design that adds 7.25″ to the muzzle of your rifle. It is rated for full-auto (with an 8.5″ barrel restriction) in the following calibers:
► 6.5 Creedmoor
Increase reliability and longevity with host firearms due to low gas blowback and low gain in host weapon cyclic rate compared to other more traditional suppressor designs.
Drops sound to well below hearing safe levels. The specific reduction amount is based on weapon configuration, ammunition, barrel length, and atmospheric conditions.¹
It’s said in the industry that it’s easy to make a 22 suppressor, but to make a good one is another story. Maxim Defense has taken the .22 suppressor to a whole ‘nuther level with its new DRF-22.
They’ve been seen and discussed before, but we will provide you with a little more detail.
DRF-22 (Direct Thread Rimfire) 22 Suppressor
Why the DRF-22? Because the DRF-22 suppressor is specifically designed to minimize the increase in cyclic rate and gas blowback of a suppressed rimfire firearm.
Primary design features include the significant reduction of sound signature, decreasing flash signature, reduction of recoil, and increasing the accuracy of the suppressed firearm.
And let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want a suppressed .22? With the right ammo, the most you will typically hear is the action of the bolt. What’s not to like about that?
Things to Know About The DRF-22
There are four unique characteristics of the Maxim Defense DRF-22 rimfire suppressor that a potential user/shooter should know.
It is user-serviceable. This means that you can disassemble and clean the suppressor without having any specialized tools or having to send it into Maxim Defense. If the core itself becomes compromised from a bullet strike, all you need to do is remove the core from the tube and send in that part; there is no need to send in the serialized part and deal with the red tape of replacing that.
The suppressor has been designed to mitigate First Round Pop significantly; see below for more information.
The suppressor tube has an integrated carbon scraper. As you unscrew and pull the tube from the core, it scrapes any excess carbon from the internal core of the suppressor.
With some other suppressors on the market, after running a lot of rounds through them, the threads tend to lock up, and you cannot remove the suppressor from the gun. Maxim Defense has put the time into their thread design to ensure the suppressor stays secured to the weapon, but it will unthread with minimal effort when it comes time to remove it.
What is First Round Pop?
First-round pop is defined by the volume of the first round fired minus the average of the volume of the remaining rounds fired.
In a typical case, the first round fired is much louder than the other rounds that you would fire. There are several contributing factors to first-round pop.
First and foremost: before the first round is fired, the suppressor is full of an oxygen-rich atmosphere. This oxygen encourages a secondary detonation inside the suppressor as unburnt and burning gun powder enters the device.
After the first round is fired, the suppressor is immediately full of carbon dioxide instead of oxygen; additional detonations do not occur. There are other causes of first-round pop, but this is the most common.
Two others are:
Ammunition.Pressure. Pressure is generated in different measures by different loads. Therefore, separate versions even of the same cartridge (and/or manufacturers) may react differently.
Barrel length. Barrel length also contributes to first-round pop. As a result, short-barreled weapon systems tend to have first-round pop than their longer barrel counterparts.
Maxim Defense 22 suppressors, for the most part, are designed to negate or, at a minimum, significantly reduce first-round pop. The internal geometry of the suppressor baffles are what tend to increase or decrease first-round pop.
When Maxim Defense designed its monocore, they went to great lengths to find the right combination of entrance chamber volume and baffle geometry (fluid resistance). Its DSX and PRS line of suppressors have an integrated M baffle in the entrance chamber that significantly reduces or negates all first-round pop entirely. Its line of 22 suppressors does not have an integrated M baffle, as it turns out that they do not need it. The baffle geometry that they had designed worked perfectly on its own. For the .22, it all came down to a mathematically and geometrically optimized monocore.
DRF-22 Rimfire Suppressor Technical Specs
Diameter: 1.0″ outer diameter
Material Composition: 7075-T6 Aluminum and 6AI-4V Titanium
Weight: 3.5 ounces
Overall Length: 5.9″
Finish: Type III MIL-SPEC hard coat anodizing and DLC
DRF-22 Rimfire Suppressor Features
State of the art MonoKore Design
Simple three-piece design
Constructed of military-grade materials
No detectable first round pop
Designed explicitly for .22LR pistols and rifles chambered in .22LR, .22MAG, and.17HMR
Disassembles with standard tools for end-user serviceability
Find DRF-22 Rimfire Suppressor or the entire Maxim Defense suppressor lineup here online.