I am about to let you in on what could be the best kept secret in AR-15 barrels. Sionics Weapon Systems is making what just might be the ideal general purpose barrel for the AR-15 and selling them at a price you won’t believe.
Sionics only sells one barrel right now but it is has two features that make it very attractive to me: 1 in 8″ twist and a medium contour. It has always boggled my mind that more AR-15 manufacturers weren’t using 1 in 8″ twists and medium contour barrels.
1 in 8″ twists are incredibly versatile. They will stabilize any bullet length that will feed out of a magazine and yet, because they are slightly slower than a 1 in 7″, they will handle much of the shorter (lighter) bullets as well. It is a very versatile twist rate and yet it is nearly impossible to find in chrome lined barrels.
Medium contour barrels also very functional yet inexplicably rare. A good medium contour barrel will weigh within a few ounces of a gov’t contour barrel yet offer improved performance in rapid fire strings due to the additional “meat” under the hand guards. It is also a more rigid and thus theoretically more accurate profile than the gov’t profile.
The mid-length gas barrels are made from 11595E CMV 4150 Steel and have a very clean manganese phosphate finish. The bore and chamber are chrome lined. They have true 5.56 chambers and M4 feed ramps. These barrels are x-rayed and MP inspected. All of their stripped barrels are dimpled for a low profile gas block. They weigh in at about 29 ounces (3 ounces more than a gov’t profile barrel).
Best of all, the stripped barrel costs only $159.95. They are also available with a number of different gas block options including a pre-installed low profile gas block which is a fairly hard to find option on stripped barrels.
I purchased one of these barrels for a build and if it shoots as well as they are reputed, it might just be the best deal going in AR-15 barrels.