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  1. #1
    First 30 day Probationary User butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    SACRAMENTO, California

    Default Pictures: "Government" Barrel vs. "Pencil" Barrel Weight Difference

    I'm new to AR-15 builds, so please bear with me if I make any mistakes.

    That being said, for those who are curious about the actual weight difference between a "government" barrel profile (also known as an A2 barrel profile) and a "pencil" barrel profile (also known as an A1 barrel profile): (this picture/schematic isn't mine; I found it in a Google search, but I don't recall where)

    I did an apples-to-apples comparison between two barreled upper assemblies from Palmetto State Armory (PSA). Both have 16" barrels with a midlength gas system; both have rear back-up iron sights (BUIS), bolt carrier groups (BCG), charging handles (CH), front sling swivels, and muzzle devices removed.

    I know it's an informal test at home (using a baby scale, no less), but the government/A2 style barreled upper assembly came in at 2 pounds, 13.5 ounces (sorry about the glare):

    In contrast, the pencil/A1 style barreled upper assembly weighs 2 pounds, 8.0 ounces (again, sorry about the glare).

    The weight difference may seem negligible, but it really does seem to assist with handling/weight perception.

    But it could be all psychological....
    Last edited by butler; 06-01-2018 at 16:55.

  2. #2
    Moderator SA Friday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Castle Rock


    If I put 5 ounces in your hand and tell you to hold it out for as long as you can, then I do the same thing but the weight is on a two foot stick. With one is more fatiguing faster? The one on the two foot stick. It's not just the weight, it's where the weight is. It comes down to use and the shooter's physical capabilities. The thicker the barrel the more stiff it is and the less harmonic movement there is while shooting. It lowers the standard deviation from point of accuracy. It also dissipate heat faster. The thinner the barrel, in general the less accuracy you will see and it will get and stay hotter for longer but it's easier to shoot in fatiguing positions and carry for long periods.
    Mom's comin' 'round to put it back the way it ought to be.

    Anyone that thinks war is good is ignorant. Anyone that thinks war isn't needed is stupid.

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