Parts advice

I am thinking about changing my AR’s barrel so that I can put a flash hider on it instead of the pinned and welded muzzle break currently on it. Unfortunately, it turns out I have no idea what I’m doing, so once again, I turn to you, the good and experienced people of the USCCA community.

What should I look for in a new AR barrel?

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What barrel do you have now?

What kind of shooting do you want to do with the rifle?

A good gunsmith can remove that muzzle device and install a new one, likely, BTW. Could send it somewhere like Adco even

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The pinned and welded device is something you don’t want so the weld just needs to be ground away so the pin can be dug out. Unscrew the old one. Then spin on your new favorite flash hider with a new crush washer. If the barrel isn’t 16” minimum then the new device has to be pinned and welded to satisfy the length requirement. Otherwise it’s a short barrel rifle. Edited to add the length of the new flash hider you select needs to get you to 16” minimum and then pinned and welded. If your barrel is 16” without the muzzle device it doesn’t need to be pinned and welded.

Criterion makes quality barrels for the AR platform.

If you just enjoy pulling the trigger Bear Creek Arsenal makes inexpensive barrels. They do have a warranty but I stopped buying from them. After needing to return about three barrels in a row for not meeting the 1 moa guarantee I went to the other extreme and paid more up front.


Sorry. This sort of basic data should have been included up front.

My home defense AR comes from Spike’s Tactical with a 14.5 inch barrel. It has a recoil reducing cage thing on it that flashes very brightly indoors. I am looking for a flash hider that I can hopefully put a suppressor on top of. That said, if there is a suppressor that is made to put on the one I’ve got, a new barrel becomes moot.

There is a place fairly local I have heard of that says they will put muzzle devices on, but the last I heard they ended up destroying the barrels when taking off pinned and welded devices. I don’t trust them, and I haven’t heard of anyone in the area that will pin and weld a muzzle device onto a barrel.

You should decide on your suppressor/silencer, and buy it to start the tax stamp wait, before deciding on a muzzle device. Assuming you don’t already have a silencer, pick that, then work backwards with muzzle devices on your rifle(s).

Also, be clear when talking to a gunsmith or shop, there is a difficulty difference between swapping muzzle devices that are simply threaded/locktite/rockset on, and removing a “permanently attached” pin and weld device. As you say, it is definitely possible to end up kind of ruining the barrel.

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Are you thinking of keeping the 16”+ before putting on a suppressor. Might end up being too long for a home defense AR.

As @Nathan57 suggested, pick your suppressor before replacing the barrel. Might be better to wait for the suppressor, find a shorter barrel, then pin & weld the suppressor to get your total 16”.

If you still want to go the original route, maybe find a flash suppressor that has a 3 lug mount so you can attach a suppressor later.


It was my understanding that basically, each suppressor was meant to fit over a particular flash-hider. I did a quick search for 3 lug mounts, and everything I came up with specifically said it was meant for either pistols or subsonic rounds.

Is there a most effective way to mount suppressors to rifles? I suppose, I should also ask if there is a most effective suppressor. I was looking at Surefire.

This would not be a solution for your 14.5 inch barrel without a tax stamp but if you choose to replace your barrel with a 16 inch barrel, I really like the Area 419 Hellfire Linear flash suppressor. It sends the noise down range and is a superb flash suppressor. If you want a suppressor (silencer) later Area 419 makes suppressor mounts that utilize the same base as the Linear flash suppressor so that you can easily switch between the two.

You can check them out here: Hellfire Linear Flash Suppressor

Since you stated the purpose of this firearm was for home defense a budget barrel would be more than adequate. You could shave some weight with this one and reach 16” without having to make sure that a suppressor compatable device added 1.5+ inches after installing it and then having it pinned and welded.

If pinning and welding the suppressor is an option, then here’s a 10.5” barrel to keep you compact.

Yes. Suppressed Subsonic rounds from a 300 blackout.

IMHO you would be much better off buying a complete upper with the tube length you want in the profile that you want rather than screwing around unpinning a brake on a 14.5" tube. Simply because now you have two uppers and a viable excuse for a new lower, see what I did there :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The other reality is IF YOU take the tube off and YOU disconnect the pinned brake / FH you are now in constructive possession of an SBR. If you pull the tube with the gas block attached (you can’t get it off w/o unpinning the brake/FH you have a spare RIFLE barrel.

Once you start swapping parts it is good to know which laws you are playing with. There is VERY little difference between a legal rifle or pistol and an illegal SBR or AOW.



True, but, at that point, I kind of think…but .45 ACP is a lot cheaper and easier to find than .300 blk

There is a rather comical (and also, very NOT comical) YouTube video about this

Assuming he sticks with the modern sporting rifle platform his existing lower and magazines will work as is. Buy a 300 blackout barrel, new gas block and tube and done. Same bolt and bcg works.

45 needs a magwell adaptor and pretty much a complete new upper and bcg. Oh, new magazines too.

Also true, the .45 basically just requires a different gun.

My post was more of a comment that the rifle is now ballistically much akin to a handgun when shooting subsonic, IMO it just gives up so much vs supers…I don’t really get it for an HD application. But to each their own, and it’s not like a good ‘basically handgun round’ that is as easy to manipulate and shoot as an AR platform is a bad thing

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Well I haven’t tried the cmmg radial delayed blowback system, but a pure blowback msr has substantially more weight in the bcg and buffer than a gas operated msr. The firearm is noticeably heavier and I’m not in love with the additional reciprocating weight.

You are correct that both cartridges have similar bullet weights and energy at subsonic velocities. The thirty caliber bullet has a higher sectional density though. And then there’s the option to use supersonic rounds in 300 but not as much for the 45. I love a 45, just not on the msr platform.

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