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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,

I hope someone can help educate me regarding the origins of some of my favorite rifles.

I am aware of the existence of both the HBAR 20-inch barrel and the so-called "Government profile" A2 barrel profile. I have owned and fired both. I'm not trying to start a discussion of the pros and cons of a heavy barrel! I'm just curious about how these two animals came about.

But I have heard differing information regarding the origin of them both. One opinion holds that the result of the Marine Corps rifle development program in the 80s was what we know as the M16A2, which Colt designed with the familiar A2 handguards, pistol grip, sights and a heavy (HBAR) barrel, with 1 in 7 twist. The Gov. profile barrel only came about later, when the Army adopted the A2 and requested the barrel be cut down under the handguards to allow for the mounting of the M203. The other opinion I have encountered is that the result of the Marine Corps program was the A2 with a Gov.. profile barrel, and that the only place the HBARs showed up was in the civilian market when the AR15 became popular and the manufacturers saw an opportunity to sell the cheapest barrels (not quality but less machining) as some great feature.

Does anyone know the true dope on this question?

Thanks and be well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I can't believe no one had any info on this one! Oh well. :cry:

If anyone is interested, since posting it, I've heard more info suggesting that the HBAR was never intended for military use in the M16A2.

Peace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think the visible cut for M203 on the M4 is forward of the handguard and FSB.
What I heard about the M16A2 was that the HBAR is too fat along its length for the M203 to be there.

Who knows? Those who claim the HBAR was never a part of the military program are probably correct. They say Colt, then others like Bushmaster, promoted the supposed advantage of the heavy barrel to sell barrels that cost less to machine. I know the few HBARs I had were very accurate. But so were the Gov. profile 20-inchers. I didn't shoot either one back then enough to get them really hot and do a side--by-side!
 

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This guy worked for Colt for many years. He's also got a good video on AR buffers and their history. If anyone knows, he probably does. I think his name is Chris Bartocci. My apologies if I got his name wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks.

That is a great video. And yes, the host of that channel is very knowledgeable and, as you said, was a Colt employee for many years. He also wrote "Black Rifle II" if I recall correctly. I think he said it was out of print, then re-released under a different title.

Be well.
 
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