Wood AR 15 Build Barrel: LaRue Tactical Stealth
The Optic Mount: LaRue Tactical 16” Stealth Barrel
Accuracy’s critical component.
The barrel of an AR-15 is one of, if not the most, critical component that determines the rifles accuracy. If your upper/lower wiggles a little bit, or your stock isn’t amazing, your rifle will likely still have the ability to shoot as good of groups as the shooter can manage. If however, you have a discount barrel, that is over used or poorly constructed it will be nearly impossible to consistently shoot tight groups on medium to long-range targets.
The barrel is critical and there are many, many options to choose from. Although I can’t imagine actually counting, there may be more barrels on the market today than hand guards/rails.
In this article, we will present our case for choosing our specific LaRue Stealth Barrel. For the sake of all our time, we will not be going into the merits of all the other options for length, twist rate, weight reduction, etc.
Stainless steel, standard weight
Length: We aren’t building an SBR, so our two options were 14.5 and 16 inches. We chose the 16-inch because we didn’t want to have to pin the muzzle device. Pinning the muzzle device on a 14.5-inch barrel looks cool and does reduce length and weight but it also limits our making changes in the future. It is hard to remove a pinned muzzle device.
Twist Rate: We wanted a 1-in-8 twist rate barrel due to the diversity of bullet weights it can shoot accurately. Heavier bullets are better stabilized by faster twist rates and lighter bullets do better in slower twist rate barrels. This rifle is going to fire a variety of different ammunition types and weights so the 1-in-8 twist gives us solid accuracy with bullets that weigh as little as 55 grains and as much as 77 grains.
Chamber: Much like our selection of twist rate, we chose the .223 Wylde chamber because it affords us the ability to shoot the widest variety of ammunition. Strict .223 Remington barrels cannot shoot 5.56 NATO ammo and while 5.56 NATO barrels can shoot .223 Remington ammo the .223 Wylde is specifically designed to shoot both.
No Pencil Barrels: As we have mentioned a number of times throughout this build, our aim has never been to create the lightest AR-15 possible. We are more concerned with quality, flexibility and reliability over weight. As such we wanted a standard weight barrel not a weight reduced or “pencil” barrel. There are certainly some great lightweight barrels out there but they usually come at a high cost and we aren’t yet convinced of their long-term reliability.
Stainless Steel: Many people swear that chrome lined barrels are the only good option because they are supposed to last longer than traditional stainless steel barrels. This is likely true after 30K or so rounds. However, stainless steel barrels are considered more accurate through their “shorter” lifespans. Since we placed a higher value on accuracy for the first 29K rounds ;) we went stainless.LaRue: Based on all the above specifications it became clear that LaRue was the best choice of barrel manufacturer. LaRue has a great reputation for making extremely accurate barrels and as convenient additions, you can add their gas block, gas tube, and barrel nut when selecting a barrel. We added all three and are particularly pleased with the quality of the gas block and its easy three-screw installation.
The whole package
Manufacturer: LaRue Tactical
Price: $225.00 (without gas tube/block or barrel nut)
Material: Stainless Steel
Chrome Lined: No
Length: 16 inches
Twist Rate: 1-in-8
Gas Block: Low Profile LT202
Barrel Nut: USGI
M4 feed ramp
We want to give a big thanks to LaRue for sponsoring the Stealth Barrel, gas block, gas tube and barrel nut for this build. This is our first time owning a LaRue barrel and we are very excited to see how it performs on the range. We are now only a few weeks away from having all of the build’s components assembled and beginning of the wood work. Stay tuned to the Wood AR-15 Build to see the final build and its performance on the firing line.