My New M4 Profile Barrel



I decided that I’d had enough. I wasn’t satisfied with the barrel on my AR-15. I thought I could live with the police-style barrel with the mid length gas tube that came with the rifle. It was very accurate because of the thick metal walls (like a bull barrel), and there was very little recoil. But after a lot of time holding it out away from my body, I realized, it was way too heavy. My back muscles were aching.

The picture below shows why. The top pic is my old barrel. With the hand guard removed you can see that the metal actually widens as it goes back from the flash suppressor to the chamber area.

m4The bottom picture is my new M4 profile barrel. Compared to the old one, the new barrel has a lot of diameter cut out along the way. This not only allows for a grenade launcher (if I so choose), but also cuts down on weight. In addition it’s a carbine length gas system. This puts the minimal weight of the A-post closer to the center of the rifle, again causing it to feel lighter and more balanced.

This change came about when I talked to my “supplier” and we came up with a deal. It was pretty much an even swap. I gave him my heavy barrel (with upper and bolt carrier assembly) so he could set it up on something a little more sniper-ish with a scope. I took his M4 barrel, upper and bolt to make my rig lighter. The results: Love it. I couldn’t be more happy with the feel and balance. No more over-travel. It feels much more balanced in my hands.

The new barrel on the M4 is melonite (instead of chrome). I don’t have much experience with that, so we’ll have to see how it does down the road. I’m probably going to change out the hand guard to match with the other OD Magpul furniture, but the CAR hand guard will work for now. Next, we’ll see how she shoots.

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