Why do I choose to cover the… ahem… antiquated 20 inch AR15 configuration over other AR15 configurations that exhibit greater accuracy characteristics?
The SPR, the SAM-R, the SDM-R, ect. ect. can all be brought up in this discussion. Sure, these rifles are quite capable of running circles around a plane jane 20 inch A2 or A4 with a chrome lined barrel. They look sexy too, and that’s important. Oh, and elite units (or designated marksmen) also utilize these configurations as well. That is certainly worth a few more cool points here. I am sure you would agree.
In the grand scheme of things, yes they can outperform a chrome lined 20 inch A2 or A4 from a marksmanship perspective. Top off a SPR with an ACOG with bullet drop compensation and you have a very accurate and very simple setup for making hits at range with little calculation required.
So why cover the 20 inch AR15 for marksmanship? Why not something with more legs for the job?
I cover the 20 inch AR15 because you probably already have one in your safe.
It may be covered in cobwebs and dust, but it’s in there. Yea it might have that “useless” carry handle, it might be HBAR under those hand-guards, and no matter what configuration, that barrel is just so dang LONG. Let’s not forget that A2 stock designed for a 6ft tall guerrilla armed Marine. To some “tactical” shooters (and “tactical” shoppers) it is practically an antique to be hung up on the wall next to great great grandpa’s civil war musket.
To those with a flat top 20 incher… well at least you can put an acog on there, a RAS, and then post pictures of your “new” M16A4 clone next to your favorite picture of a Marine in a firefight.
Those poor A2 guys are practically relegated to the “retro” section of their favorite AR15 forum. Oh, but then again… they can post pics with head held high when a Black Hawk Down thread comes up once in a blue moon. That’s cool.
The point is, most of us have a 20 inch AR15 relegated to the back of the safe. What you have is a platform which can score hits out to 600 meters with no upgrades provided it is in good working order and can do so with more finesse (and more velocity!) than a 16 inch carbine. Oh, it is also more reliable too. I am building *several* 20 inch rifles for this website and I intend to learn to shoot them all. The next project is a A2 clone so I have both the A2 and a A4 to relate to both popular 20 inch configurations.
Thing is… I am going to modify it to bring it up to speed. The A4 will stay pretty basic so I can utilize it in XTC matches.
The A2 clone will be a project for fun and learning. Let’s imagine for a second… what if the M16A4 never came to be? What if our troops were in Afghanistan and Iraq with M16A2’s? How would they look? How would they be configured? It is an interesting question that I am going to post on a few forums to see what kind of response I get. I would also like your input below in the comments section. What would a M16A2 look like if it was humped today in the middle east?
So… do you have a neglected 20 in the safe? Bring it out to the range to play once in a while. Don’t forget about it.
It has a bit more legs to it than a carbine, and don’t neglect that. Plus it is a sweet shooter as is. No wonky buffer needed.
Till next time.
Just wanted to say thank for you continuous write-ups and articles throughout the years. I’ve only began seeing these recently, but they’ve been a wonderful source of opinion and information. I would be remiss to say that you’ve influenced my setup and philosophy of use for my own rifle.
Glad we could help! I got into writing articles to help people make informed decisions on what to buy and avoid the mistakes I have made. We are all passionate about firearm and and want to share our knowledge and passion with everyone else.