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Thread: Colt 14.5-inch M4 barrel vs SOCOM barrel?

  1. #1
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    Colt 14.5-inch M4 barrel vs SOCOM barrel?

    Looking at getting a new upper for one of the carbeans (I prefer Colt - I drink the Kool Aid)

    Was thinking just the standard 14.5-inch M4 (6921) barrel, but seem to be seeing a lot of the heavier M4 SOCOM barrels out there too and had a couple questions...

    What (if any) advantage is there with the heavier SOCOM barrel?

    What is the difference in weight between the two barrels (I'd be building up the upper the same either way, so the only real difference is going to be the barrel).

    Thanks.

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    The heavy barrel is made for full auto fire. The extra mass works as a heat sink and keeps it from overheating as fast. It's totally unnecessary for a semiautomatic carbine. I can't remember how much weight it adds but it has been posted on here so you should be able to find it in a search.

    Personally I hate having a heavy barreled M4. It's noticeable during transitions and when carrying the weapon around all day. I think the ideal weight would be something like Noveske's N4 light profile. I also really like the .625 light profile. I'm thinking about getting a 6720 myself.

    If you're building the upper yourself Rainier Arms has Noveske N4 barrels available. If you want to go heavier DD makes what they call their S2W barrels with a tapered profile.

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    I'd like to grab one of these Colt SOCOMs to try. I definitely don't do light weight barrels... but I find the standard M4 profile to be just right.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Go with whatever's cheaper and readily available, both are good choices and the differences are minimal.

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    I bought a Colt(I drink the Kool-aid too) 14.5 barrel and had a extended FH pinned on it at the time Alabama was a Non SBR state .it was the ideal weight for me, I held a colt SOCOM barrel and to me it was to heavy .as said it is more for full auto I think the 14.5 would do you well I love mine and for just semi auto there is really no reason unless you just want it and the extra weight


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    It's ideal (IMHO) for short barrelled suppressor hosts, due to POI shift.

    There should be less shift, on a heavier profile. Especially with something like the MUR upper.
    Quote Originally Posted by montanadave View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Salad0892 View Post
    It's ideal (IMHO) for short barrelled suppressor hosts, due to POI shift.

    There should be less shift, on a heavier profile. Especially with something like the MUR upper.
    You mean longer barreled hosts, right...? I have a 10.5 LMT I run suppressed all the time and there's little shift. I've run Surefire on 16" KAC barrels with no more that 1 MOA shift.

    You shouldn't see much sag at all in an SBR with any profile really compared to a 16".
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~ Paul Howe

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    I'd like to grab one of these Colt SOCOMs to try. I definitely don't do light weight barrels... but I find the standard M4 profile to be just right.
    I really can't understand your hatred of light weight barrels. Perhaps if you could give a reason why you don't like them, it would make more sense than your usual "I hate 'em" response for everything from LWRC to light weight barrels (although I must admit that I happen to agree with your comments on LWRC...)
    Last edited by DeltaSierra; 01-04-12 at 18:02.

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    It's all a trade-off...and more so as the barrel length increases.

    For use with suppressors and full-auto...there very well could be a noticeable benefit for having a heavier barrel. (less barrel flex/poi change with suppressor, & better heat management with full-auto)

    No use of suppressors or full-auto?...well in that case, it would be hard to justify the extra weight.
    Last edited by MikeCLeonard; 01-04-12 at 18:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaSierra View Post
    I really can't understand your hatred of light weight barrels. Perhaps if you could give a reason why you don't like them.
    I'm thinking about picking one up, but I have no experience with them.
    Last edited by nml; 11-19-12 at 00:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    You mean longer barreled hosts, right...? I have a 10.5 LMT I run suppressed all the time and there's little shift. I've run Surefire on 16" KAC barrels with no more that 1 MOA shift.

    You shouldn't see much sag at all in an SBR with any profile really compared to a 16".
    No. I meant shorter barrels.

    Take a 10.3'' LW barrel, and hang an NT4 on it. Then do the same thing with a fatty barrel.

    The fatty barrel will have less shift every time, IME.

    And Colt's are worth it, because their fat barrels are stupid accurate.

    I like 'em.
    Quote Originally Posted by montanadave View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Salad0892 View Post
    No. I meant shorter barrels.

    Take a 10.3'' LW barrel, and hang an NT4 on it. Then do the same thing with a fatty barrel.

    The fatty barrel will have less shift every time, IME.

    And Colt's are worth it, because their fat barrels are stupid accurate.

    I like 'em.
    I have. The shift is usually due to something other than the barrel profile on SBR's, like the NT4, which will show shift on everything. I've run Surefires on all different barrel lengths and profiles with very minimal shift regardless though slightly more on longer, thinner barrels.

    On a 16" barrel with a heavy NT4, I can see the benefit of a heavy profile, just to be clear.

    I'm not saying it won't shift at all, but that's a silly reason to buy a heavy profile SBR... Can you post some pics of your set up or just the targets to show this on the SBR's?
    Last edited by jonconsiglio; 01-04-12 at 19:55.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~ Paul Howe

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    I have both regular profile Colt M-4 and SOCOM, and I like both of them. My last build I used a Colt SOCOM barrel because I got for a very reasonable price. I would not mind building a lightweight for my next build and see the difference.

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    Thanks guys.

    I'm wanting to outfit a couple carbeans to be similar and think with what I've already got the M4 pattern is the easiest/best way to go (...and I know it well). As for lightweight, I've got an Air Force GUU-5/P clone I'm working on; unfortunately the lightweight 14.5-inch 1/7 barrels some of the GUUs have is not to be had on the open market, so mine will wear a M4 barrel in a C7 upper. They're very lightweight, fun to shoot, but can get squirrely on auto. Based on your info and as the M4 build isn't going to be run on auto or be a target rifle, I'm thinking the standard weight M4 barreled upper is the way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaSierra View Post
    I really can't understand your hatred of light weight barrels.
    It's not so much the Barrel profile as it is the homo fad it has become. After 15 years of AR15 experience, I've seen a lot of herd mentality. And usually the more obsessed a shooter is with light weight, the more retarded he is. (not that a heavy gun is the answer)

    It's just that light weight retardation leads to Carbon 15 AR and .380 pistol customers.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    It's not so much the Barrel profile as it is the homo fad it has become. After 15 years of AR15 experience, I've seen a lot of herd mentality. And usually the more obsessed a shooter is with light weight, the more retarded he is. (not that a heavy gun is the answer)

    It's just that light weight retardation leads to Carbon 15 AR and .380 pistol customers.
    I don't care if someone is buying a heavy profile or a lightweight, what bothers me is when they do it based on what they heard or read without any experience of their own.

    I see so many people buying lightweight barrels without a reference and without a specific need. I understand it if you're experienced and you need a lighter rifle for training classes or for sme other specific purpose, but I see too many people buy them thinking the only difference between them and the govt pr hevy profiles is weight.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~ Paul Howe

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    My first AR-15 was a Colt Sporter Lightweight II and I honestly didn't like it .it felt like a weak barrel to me I didn't think it would take the abuse being I was use to AKs .
    once I got a hold of a M4 it just fit and was the right weight for me .Plus My time as a Tanker we trained with the M4 and I know what I could do with the weapon and what it would withstand as far as the punishment I put it through .


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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    It's not so much the Barrel profile as it is the homo fad it has become. After 15 years of AR15 experience, I've seen a lot of herd mentality. And usually the more obsessed a shooter is with light weight, the more retarded he is. (not that a heavy gun is the answer)

    It's just that light weight retardation leads to Carbon 15 AR and .380 pistol customers.

    OK...

    Thanks for clearing that up. Now that I understand your reasoning, I have to agree with you....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    I don't care if someone is buying a heavy profile or a lightweight, what bothers me is when they do it based on what they heard or read without any experience of their own.
    everybody has to start some where. We are not born with experience.
    Last edited by David Thomas; 01-05-12 at 13:11.
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    For a suppressor, or most any use without a barrel mounted M203, the Noveske N4 contour makes much more sense, and it's cheap compared to the Colt SOCOM profile units.

    I got a CMMG SOCOM profile 14.5" as my first rifle - have it next to me right now and still love it, but it's a heavier rifle than it needs to be, and having learned what I know now I'd be cost ahead getting a simpler barrel profile and saving money by using a cheaper and lighter stock as well (STR instead of a UBR at the moment) and end up at a lighter overall weapon without giving up accuracy or massively increasing cost.

    All the added mass is great for short high round count use, since that's the area of the barrel that gets hot the fastest, but for the volume I shoot through this thing the standard M4 contour would have made more sense.
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