Behind the Popularity of Short Barrel Uppers

One of the great things about the AR, and about MSR platforms in general, is the amount of flexibility you’ll have when creating a build.

Add to this the fact that the market is utterly awash with parts, many of which are readily interchangeable, and you’ll start to get an impression of why this is so fondly called “America’s rifle.”

Now, for some, short barrel uppers hold a special allure. While not conventional – most AR platforms are made with barrels 16” or longer – short barrels definitely have their selling points.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that make short barrel uppers so popular.

Maneuverability and Concealability
Let us start with the obvious. If you needed this guide to tell you that a short barrel upper will result in a platform that is lighter and easier to maneuver and conceal, then you really needed to find this. The other benefits would have been lost.

This is not rocket science. Short barrel uppers result in overall platforms with smaller footprints and more compact designs, making them better for defensive applications, especially in cramped quarters. There are other parts you can pair with them, too, like short buffers, that will further rein in the overall footprint.

Easier, More Discreet Transport
The smaller nature of a rifle built with a short barrel upper will also mean that it will be easier to transport the platform, and you will be able to do so more discreetly. This makes short barreled ARs and pistols perfect as truck guns.

No Compromise on Firepower
Short barrel uppers are overwhelmingly chambered in the same rounds as their full-size counterparts. Don’t think you need to take a step down to a pistol caliber just because you want to build with a short barrel.

Handling in Tight Spaces
With a shorter barrel, these platforms will handle more like a handgun or a very compact carbine or SMG in tight spaces. This makes them superior for defensive applications in cramped quarters, in which handling is secondary only to firepower – which as we have already illustrated loses nothing.

Better Balance When Running Attachments
Think about the attachments you might add to an AR – like a muzzle device or a WML. The longer the barrel, the more it serves like a lever, compounding the force pulling down on the rifle, making it harder to handle. You will have less space to mount attachments to an SBR, but it will handle better and more freely if you do.

Compatibility with Existing Parts
Building with a short barrel upper doesn’t mean you need to make compromises elsewhere. Most of the parts and accessories you run on your other AR will likely work just fine here.

Surprising Notes on Accuracy
One last note: there is a pervasive myth that shorter barrels are less accurate. That’s not entirely true. It is, at best, generally true. The thing is, shorter barrels exhibit more consistent harmonics. Properly tuned and paired with a load that responds well to it, accuracy will be just as good as with a longer barrel, and possibly even better.

Shop a Wide Range of Short Barrel Uppers for AR Builds
Looking for short barrel uppers to help you with your next build? Check out MCS Gearup. They carry these, along with lower parts kits, build kits, parts and other attachments and accessories. Visit their website for more information.

For more information about Lower Parts Kit GLOCK 19/23 and Ar15 Pistol Upper Please visit: MCS Gearup.

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