Upgrade AR barrel recommendations 5.56 & 7.62 nato?

teamRR

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I am looking to upgrade a few barrels - looking for suggestions. Have brands in mind but there are so many out there it's good to see what others think that I haven't considered.. All of these are Aero/BA currently so looking for stuff that beats that, budget up to say $400/each on these on average.

7.62 barrel, non stainless, ideally 16 inch, not m118 - sucks criterion would be a runner but I don't think running regular 7.62 nato through an m118 chamber is going to work great and I don't run across much of that ammo.. Anyway in short ideally I want a high quality chrome lined barrel for this, something accurate that will stay that way after getting beat some.

5.56 barrel, non stainless, 1:8 twist, 16 inch chrome lined high quality - similar to above, want one that is accurate and can take a little abuse.

5.56 or .223 wylde barrel, 1:8 twist, longer than 16 for a dedicated bench rifle - open on length and construction, 18 to 22 inch ballpark
 

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Fan of Green Mountain barrels...made in NH. Tough to beat for the money.

Thanks for that, kinda aware of them but looking for something a little better.

On my short .308 barrel, if it ever was 1 MOA it is kinda cooked. On the others am upgrading decent 1 MOA sort of barrels, replacement is a way of sparing but also want to get a different twist and gain a little accuracy.
 

mac1911

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Thanks for that, kinda aware of them but looking for something a little better.

On my short .308 barrel, if it ever was 1 MOA it is kinda cooked. On the others am upgrading decent 1 MOA sort of barrels, replacement is a way of sparing but also want to get a different twist and gain a little accuracy.
What are you running for twist now?
What are gou running for ammo?
 

mac1911

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I am looking to upgrade a few barrels - looking for suggestions. Have brands in mind but there are so many out there it's good to see what others think that I haven't considered.. All of these are Aero/BA currently so looking for stuff that beats that, budget up to say $400/each on these on average.

7.62 barrel, non stainless, ideally 16 inch, not m118 - sucks criterion would be a runner but I don't think running regular 7.62 nato through an m118 chamber is going to work great and I don't run across much of that ammo.. Anyway in short ideally I want a high quality chrome lined barrel for this, something accurate that will stay that way after getting beat some.


5.56 barrel, non stainless, 1:8 twist, 16 inch chrome lined high quality - similar to above, want one that is accurate and can take a little abuse.

5.56 or .223 wylde barrel, 1:8 twist, longer than 16 for a dedicated bench rifle - open on length and construction, 18 to 22 inch ballpark
i dont think the M118 chamber will matter.
Especially running 7.62 NATO .
If your current 308 platform barrel is shot out and your running what ever 7.62 NATO you can find almost any barrel will do. The accuracy variations from lot to lot on 7.62 will pretty much make barrel choice moot? I would just get a decent quality barrel , green mountain, criterion , and what ever else is out there these days

For the bench gun ?
Shilen, wilson arms, krieger, bartlien, hart- theres so many.
Also depends on what you plan to do.
I have a 18" wilson arms 1" heavy barrel I set up for 80 grain bullets for 600 yard prone matches. It does well and only limited to my booger hook skills.

5.56 same as above for 7.62 if your running M193/855 fodder who cares. Decent barrel will do.

i cant see wasting money on a barrel your going to shoot mil spec 7.62 or 5.56 out of.?
 

teamRR

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i dont think the M118 chamber will matter.
Especially running 7.62 NATO .
If your current 308 platform barrel is shot out and your running what ever 7.62 NATO you can find almost any barrel will do. The accuracy variations from lot to lot on 7.62 will pretty much make barrel choice moot? I would just get a decent quality barrel , green mountain, criterion , and what ever else is out there these days

For the bench gun ?
Shilen, wilson arms, krieger, bartlien, hart- theres so many.
Also depends on what you plan to do.
I have a 18" wilson arms 1" heavy barrel I set up for 80 grain bullets for 600 yard prone matches. It does well and only limited to my booger hook skills.

5.56 same as above for 7.62 if your running M193/855 fodder who cares. Decent barrel will do.

i cant see wasting money on a barrel your going to shoot mil spec 7.62 or 5.56 out of.?


What are you running for twist now?
What are gou running for ammo?

I'd say criterion, DD, wilson combat, that ballpark is what I am looking at. I think they all are a little better than Aero/BA in the barrel game, at least with the options available like a QPQ stainless or an accurate chrome lined barrel, better QC etc etc..

On the m118 do you not think it hurts or just that it shouldn't matter unless I put something good through it? Everything I have read, which is limited as its a niche, says shorter rounds jumping is a bad start. Seems like a bad choice when there are others with a standard chamber out there?

The 7.62 stuff is all standard 10 twist. I run off the shelf match or run of the mill brass 7.62 nato or .308, depends what I am doing. Honestly though in my bench gun, which is nothing special but absolutely is sub moa, it will get you 1 moa with say PPU 7.62 nato or kinda anything I have seen - my experience is this caliber you can do pretty well on ok ammo..

The 5.56 all is 1:7 and will similarly see anything from 55 grain mil spec to 77 grain match. Neither do well on seemingly anything less than 68 grain, and suck with mil 55/62 varieties, but they aren't terrible otherwise..

My 16 inch 7.62 is honestly a 2.5 moa gun now, experienced what I believe was erosion of the gas port 2000 rounds ago and I bet it isn't just the gas port - is clean and looks great just lost accuracy to the point I see it, good ammo doesn't help this one.
 

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I’ve done a few build with Faxon barrels recently. They are incredible quality. I found them because they offer some interesting barrels that reduce the dwell time for running a silencer. I think they meet your requirements but they are hard to find in stock.

 

teamRR

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I’ve done a few build with Faxon barrels recently. They are incredible quality. I found them because they offer some interesting barrels that reduce the dwell time for running a silencer. I think they meet your requirements but they are hard to find in stock.


Yes I like them too, often sold out but I believe can be put on order at a retailer like OP and eventually they show up.

What has steered me away from them here at least on the 16 inch stuff is I want chrome. I know it is only a hair more durable, just prefer that route. If I can't find that 16 inch .308 in chrome lined I think they would be a solid option for nitride and could probably shave some weight too.
 

mac1911

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I'd say criterion, DD, wilson combat, that ballpark is what I am looking at. I think they all are a little better than Aero/BA in the barrel game, at least with the options available like a QPQ stainless or an accurate chrome lined barrel, better QC etc etc..

On the m118 do you not think it hurts or just that it shouldn't matter unless I put something good through it? Everything I have read, which is limited as its a niche, says shorter rounds jumping is a bad start. Seems like a bad choice when there are others with a standard chamber out there?

The 7.62 stuff is all standard 10 twist. I run off the shelf match or run of the mill brass 7.62 nato or .308, depends what I am doing. Honestly though in my bench gun, which is nothing special but absolutely is sub moa, it will get you 1 moa with say PPU 7.62 nato or kinda anything I have seen - my experience is this caliber you can do pretty well on ok ammo..

The 5.56 all is 1:7 and will similarly see anything from 55 grain mil spec to 77 grain match. Neither do well on seemingly anything less than 68 grain, and suck with mil 55/62 varieties, but they aren't terrible otherwise..

My 16 inch 7.62 is honestly a 2.5 moa gun now, experienced what I believe was erosion of the gas port 2000 rounds ago and I bet it isn't just the gas port - is clean and looks great just lost accuracy to the point I see it, good ammo doesn't help this one.
my thoughts are if your running 7.62 NATO the slight increase in the Leade in the M118 chamber IMHO is not going to matter.
How many rounds through your 308, you been running hot loads? How many rounds did you get before gas port erosion?.
IIRC the M118 chamber came about to lower pressure in the M14s as M118lr that was being produced when the M14 seen active service again was loaded on the hot side for the bolt guns.
Quick and easy solution was to run a quick pull through reamer into the M14s.

If your getting consistent MOA with 762NATO I hope you have a shit ton of the same lot of ammo.

Theres been a increase in barrel manufactures so you have a lot to choose from on that front.

Me , 762NATO blasting i would just get a nice criterion , chrome lined and enjoy.

For the bench gun, decide what you want from it.
If you know your going to shoot 55-69 grain 90% of the time go with a 1/9?
Barrels are funny , so are the bullets.
I have a 1/7 that will shoot 52 great. I do have to "dumb" down the velocity or the poof at about 30 yards. That same barrel does not like Nosler 80 grain custom comps? My purpose built 18" heavy barrel for 80s is 1/8 twist and im off the lands a good amount. i reload for those rifles though.
 
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Mountain

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I'd say criterion, DD, wilson combat, that ballpark is what I am looking at. I think they all are a little better than Aero/BA in the barrel game, at least with the options available like a QPQ stainless or an accurate chrome lined barrel, better QC etc etc..

On the m118 do you not think it hurts or just that it shouldn't matter unless I put something good through it? Everything I have read, which is limited as its a niche, says shorter rounds jumping is a bad start. Seems like a bad choice when there are others with a standard chamber out there?

The 7.62 stuff is all standard 10 twist. I run off the shelf match or run of the mill brass 7.62 nato or .308, depends what I am doing. Honestly though in my bench gun, which is nothing special but absolutely is sub moa, it will get you 1 moa with say PPU 7.62 nato or kinda anything I have seen - my experience is this caliber you can do pretty well on ok ammo..

The 5.56 all is 1:7 and will similarly see anything from 55 grain mil spec to 77 grain match. Neither do well on seemingly anything less than 68 grain, and suck with mil 55/62 varieties, but they aren't terrible otherwise..

My 16 inch 7.62 is honestly a 2.5 moa gun now, experienced what I believe was erosion of the gas port 2000 rounds ago and I bet it isn't just the gas port - is clean and looks great just lost accuracy to the point I see it, good ammo doesn't help this one.

If you are shooting 55's in a 1:7, no wonder accuracy sucks. That's too fast of a twist rate for 55's. They may keyhole or even go poof at some point. 69's or heavier for that barrel.

Don't discount Ballistic Advantage. I have their 20" premium series on my 6.5 Creedmoor AR. Combined with a JP BCG with high pressure bolt and a Geissele match trigger, and some careful fitting / lapping it averages ~1/2 MOA, 3/4 MOA at worst and my best 5-shot group ever was a .12" group size bug hole. I don't think it's possible to get much better out of the AR platform without ridiculous level benchrest preparation of the cartridges.

Criterion barrels are quite accurate and also a good value, but I would not rate them higher than the BA. I shoot a Criterion in my CMP match AR.
 

teamRR

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my thoughts are if your running 7.62 NATO the slight increase in the Leade in the M118 chamber IMHO is not going to matter.
How many rounds through your 308, you been running hot loads? How many rounds did you get before gas port erosion?.
IIRC the M118 chamber came about to lower pressure in the M14s as M118lr that was being produced when the M14 seen active service again was loaded on the hot side for the bolt guns.
Quick and easy solution was to run a quick pull through reamer into the M14s.

If your getting consistent MOA with 762NATO I hope you have a shit ton of the same lot of ammo.

Theres been a increase in barrel manufactures so you have a lot to choose from on that front.

Me , 762NATO blasting i would just get a nice criterion , chrome lined and enjoy.

For the bench gun, decide what you want from it.
If you know your going to shoot 55-69 grain 90% of the time go with a 1/9?
Barrels are funny , so are the bullets.
I have a 1/7 that will shoot 52 great. I do have to "dumb" down the velocity or the poof at about 30 yards. That same barrel does not like Nosler 80 grain custom comps? My purpose built 18" heavy barrel for 80s is 1/8 twist and im off the lands a good amount. i reload for those rifles though.

Thanks again, what I'm trying to say though is I don't always run 7.62 nato, I stock typically lots of that but also match ammo in some flavor of the week that could be a 7.62 or .308 variety and I would like to see the 16 inch perform ok..

I guess on the flip side it won't be scoped, just gets a 2.5x or if I totally changed up w/ a variable still wouldn't have a big honking scope on there because I want it to be reasonable to shoulder.
 

teamRR

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If you are shooting 55's in a 1:7, no wonder accuracy sucks. That's too fast of a twist rate for 55's. They may keyhole or even go poof at some point. 69's or heavier for that barrel.

Don't discount Ballistic Advantage. I have their 20" premium series on my 6.5 Creedmoor AR. Combined with a JP BCG with high pressure bolt and a Geissele match trigger, and some careful fitting / lapping it averages ~1/2 MOA, 3/4 MOA at worst and my best 5-shot group ever was a .12" group size bug hole. I don't think it's possible to get much better out of the AR platform without ridiculous level benchrest preparation of the cartridges.

Criterion barrels are quite accurate and also a good value, but I would not rate them higher than the BA. I shoot a Criterion in my CMP match AR.

I have a 20 inch 5r Aero/BA .308 that is outstanding, probably 1/2 MOA, however reviews are very mixed especially in the big frame stuff. There is more than one online where experienced folks fought to get close to that 1 MOA mark and just couldn't hit it with the best Aero offers.

I love Aero, have a pile of their stuff, but my take is when their barrel is $200 and criterion charges $350 for "the same thing" the $$ isn't just wasted, is probably the difference of more careful QC versus blasting out barrels by the pallet. Also though Aero just doesn't have many options, you get bare stainless, you get QPQ, not QPQ in stainless or a chrome lined steel (which is how I would rather go).
 

teamRR

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my thoughts are if your running 7.62 NATO the slight increase in the Leade in the M118 chamber IMHO is not going to matter.
How many rounds through your 308, you been running hot loads? How many rounds did you get before gas port erosion?.
IIRC the M118 chamber came about to lower pressure in the M14s as M118lr that was being produced when the M14 seen active service again was loaded on the hot side for the bolt guns.
Quick and easy solution was to run a quick pull through reamer into the M14s.

If your getting consistent MOA with 762NATO I hope you have a shit ton of the same lot of ammo.

Theres been a increase in barrel manufactures so you have a lot to choose from on that front.

Me , 762NATO blasting i would just get a nice criterion , chrome lined and enjoy.

For the bench gun, decide what you want from it.
If you know your going to shoot 55-69 grain 90% of the time go with a 1/9?
Barrels are funny , so are the bullets.
I have a 1/7 that will shoot 52 great. I do have to "dumb" down the velocity or the poof at about 30 yards. That same barrel does not like Nosler 80 grain custom comps? My purpose built 18" heavy barrel for 80s is 1/8 twist and im off the lands a good amount. i reload for those rifles though.

Sorry failed to answer your question, I think 2500 opened up the gas port but I am not a careful counter.

Add: I know that's not a high number but is part of the reason I want to do better on the next barrel.
 

Mountain

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I have a 20 inch 5r Aero/BA .308 that is outstanding, probably 1/2 MOA, however reviews are very mixed especially in the big frame stuff. There is more than one online where experienced folks fought to get close to that 1 MOA mark and just couldn't hit it with the best Aero offers.

I love Aero, have a pile of their stuff, but my take is when their barrel is $200 and criterion charges $350 for "the same thing" the $$ isn't just wasted, is probably the difference of more careful QC versus blasting out barrels by the pallet. Also though Aero just doesn't have many options, you get bare stainless, you get QPQ, not QPQ in stainless or a chrome lined steel (which is how I would rather go).
Fair assessment. FWIW, I bought my barrel from BA shortly before they were bought out by Aero. That said, their Premium Series are the ones to get.
 

mac1911

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Thanks again, what I'm trying to say though is I don't always run 7.62 nato, I stock typically lots of that but also match ammo in some flavor of the week that could be a 7.62 or .308 variety and I would like to see the 16 inch perform ok..

I guess on the flip side it won't be scoped, just gets a 2.5x or if I totally changed up w/ a variable still wouldn't have a big honking scope on there because I want it to be reasonable to shoulder.
Well then lean towards the ammo you want to get the perfomance out of and make your barrel choice on that.
As for 5.56/223 same thing.
Although my 1/8 and 1/7 barrels can shoot some lighter bullets I dont. I have my 1/9 for the 52-60 gn pills.

Now I am tempted to reasemble my Heavy as f*** 1" AR barrel and shoot some 80 grain pills. I only have 200 yards but its still fun. i mount a sightron SIII 8x32x54 on that thing.
 

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After attempting to research the M118 chamber thing some more, I sent a question to Criterion on it to see what they say.
 

Mountain

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No need to over complicate. If you want accuracy, a .308 chamber is called for. M118 ammo was greatly outclassed by what became M852. The M852 adopted the 168 Sierra Match King that many of us shoot in competition. That can be further improved by using a .308 chamber rather than 7.62.
 

teamRR

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No need to over complicate. If you want accuracy, a .308 chamber is called for. M118 ammo was greatly outclassed by what became M852. The M852 adopted the 168 Sierra Match King that many of us shoot in competition. That can be further improved by using a .308 chamber rather than 7.62.

So you say no on that chamber? To be more specific its the M118 LR they reference, which is a little different.

"Our .308 AR match grade barrels feature the M118 LR match chamber that is compatible with both 7.62×51 NATO and .308 Win ammunition and is optimized for heavier, longer bullets. The versatility of this barrel allows it to be used in a variety of applications from competition and tactical uses to hunting applications."
 

teamRR

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What is also a little confusing is one of the things I read is that some barrel manufactures essentially do this (M118 chamber-ish things) without advertising as such, I don't remember the terminology exactly but basically they are just a little generous leaving room where the rifling starts to accommodate slightly longer ammo, so it doesn't get stuffed in the case. So I read, no feeling for these tolerances or why they matter.

What's attractive about that criterion barrel is they are both intended to be accurate and of quality, are 16 inch, and are chrome lined. Isn't much produced in that area - 18 inch more options, cheaper not so accurate stuff a few more options, non chrome a zillion options.

A backup might be screw the chrome go faxon in QPQ.
 

jasons

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Buy a quality blank and have a good shop profile and chamber it to your specs.
 

Mountain

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So you say no on that chamber? To be more specific its the M118 LR they reference, which is a little different.

"Our .308 AR match grade barrels feature the M118 LR match chamber that is compatible with both 7.62×51 NATO and .308 Win ammunition and is optimized for heavier, longer bullets. The versatility of this barrel allows it to be used in a variety of applications from competition and tactical uses to hunting applications."

It's a compromise chamber. If you think it necessary to occasionally shoot factory mil spec 7.62, that chamber is a safer bet. If you will buy and/or load .308 only, it will be inherently more accurate in a true .308 chamber. If you had a top armorer build a match gun for you, you would get the .308 chamber.

That said, Criterion does make a solid accuracy barrel for many applications. They are a very good value and a smart buy for 99% of folks compared to Krieger, Satern, etc. which are slightly more accurate but considerably more expensive. I built a M14 for CMP matches from a Bula Defense package that included a barreled receiver with a chamber cut by Bula that is essentially what Criterion calls their match M118 chamber. Via the M14 / M1A platform shooting with iron sights, I'm not missing out on anything with that chamber. Load was Sierra 155 TMK, Lapua brass, and Varget for powder:

K8TNNLy.jpg


Here's a 10 shot 100 yard group again via iron sights with a 20" Criterion medium weight .223 AR match barrel. Pretty sure the chamber in this is also a hybrid style- tighter than 5.56 but not as tight as true .223.

dh6C5dS.jpg


Also worth noting that tight match chambers are intended for being competitive in shooting games, not for real world reliability.
 

teamRR

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It's a compromise chamber. If you think it necessary to occasionally shoot factory mil spec 7.62, that chamber is a safer bet. If you will buy and/or load .308 only, it will be inherently more accurate in a true .308 chamber. If you had a top armorer build a match gun for you, you would get the .308 chamber.

That said, Criterion does make a solid accuracy barrel for many applications. They are a very good value and a smart buy for 99% of folks compared to Krieger, Satern, etc. which are slightly more accurate but considerably more expensive. I built a M14 for CMP matches from a Bula Defense package that included a barreled receiver with a chamber cut by Bula that is essentially what Criterion calls their match M118 chamber. Via the M14 / M1A platform shooting with iron sights, I'm not missing out on anything with that chamber. Load was Sierra 155 TMK, Lapua brass, and Varget for powder:

K8TNNLy.jpg


Here's a 10 shot 100 yard group again via iron sights with a 20" Criterion medium weight .223 AR match barrel. Pretty sure the chamber in this is also a hybrid style- tighter than 5.56 but not as tight as true .223.

dh6C5dS.jpg


Also worth noting that tight match chambers are intended for being competitive in shooting games, not for real world reliability.

Nice!

On the criterion, it would be for a 16 inch carbine AR10 that generally gets fired from my shoulder at 80 yards and I am happy if I can consistently break up clay pigeons, occasionally gets set on a rest or I lean into something to make more accurate shots, occasionally it sees commercial match ammo, occasionally I dump a 25 round mag or 8 or more smashing up concrete until the skin on my shoulder gets too bruised. Is sorta the all around thing thats my favorite...

That's the barrel or keep looking? My concern was that oddball chamber would open up the groups with any non M118xx ammo by +1 MOA or something.
 

Mountain

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Nice!

On the criterion, it would be for a 16 inch carbine AR10 that generally gets fired from my shoulder at 80 yards and I am happy if I can consistently break up clay pigeons, occasionally gets set on a rest or I lean into something to make more accurate shots, occasionally it sees commercial match ammo, occasionally I dump a 25 round mag or 8 or more smashing up concrete until the skin on my shoulder gets too bruised. Is sorta the all around thing thats my favorite...

That's the barrel or keep looking? My concern was that oddball chamber would open up the groups with any non M118xx ammo by +1 MOA or something.

No, you are good with that barrel. If groups spread out another 1 MOA vs. the usual, it's the ammo not the chamber. Actually it's most likely the shooter [smile] . The top 2 or 3 shooters at Camp Perry Nationals usually drop a couple points in offhand (standing, shooting from the shoulder). The targets have a 10-ring that is approx 3.5 MOA. For the type of shooting you seem to enjoy, the hybrid / M118 type is the chamber you want and the benefit of a tight match chamber will be nil.
 

mac1911

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It's a compromise chamber. If you think it necessary to occasionally shoot factory mil spec 7.62, that chamber is a safer bet. If you will buy and/or load .308 only, it will be inherently more accurate in a true .308 chamber. If you had a top armorer build a match gun for you, you would get the .308 chamber.

That said, Criterion does make a solid accuracy barrel for many applications. They are a very good value and a smart buy for 99% of folks compared to Krieger, Satern, etc. which are slightly more accurate but considerably more expensive. I built a M14 for CMP matches from a Bula Defense package that included a barreled receiver with a chamber cut by Bula that is essentially what Criterion calls their match M118 chamber. Via the M14 / M1A platform shooting with iron sights, I'm not missing out on anything with that chamber. Load was Sierra 155 TMK, Lapua brass, and Varget for powder:

K8TNNLy.jpg


Here's a 10 shot 100 yard group again via iron sights with a 20" Criterion medium weight .223 AR match barrel. Pretty sure the chamber in this is also a hybrid style- tighter than 5.56 but not as tight as true .223.

dh6C5dS.jpg


Also worth noting that tight match chambers are intended for being competitive in shooting games, not for real world reliability.
Wait , your getting 1.1” groups in a M118 chamber using those short fat 155s? How can that be?
 

mac1911

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Secret shooting tip taught to me by an old Indian who ran our friends' ranch. That and I rubbed steroids into my eyes.
Ah, reminds of young crayon nibbler who had seen I had multiple primer s , bullet weights and powder weights in my reloads for cmp. he had been nipping a our heels for trinkets.
Says to me, l might finally beat you mac.
Some how I managed to shoot well and snag a silver trinket. Young crayon nibbler not so happy

i have not bought a barrel in several years. Nocparticular order of the barrels I,have bought That i thought where good valve.
Criterion , 30-06 and 308
Wilson arms, douglas, white oak and green mountain. - 223
Kidd- 22
A few RRA which at the time i believe they used Wilsons?
All except 2 green mountain where "match /target " style.
I dont bother with chrome lined.
 
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teamRR

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A wise old shooter once said " You can have a chrome-lined barrel, or you can have an accurate barrel. But you can't have both."

I think accurate is subjective but really it is better stated, making an accurate chrome lined barrel is more expensive than QPQ.

Daniel Defense for instance has a well tested reputation for producing some really accurate, as far as AR platforms go anyway, cold hammer forged & chrome lined barrels. They don't offer a twist for 5.56 nor a length in 7.62 I am interested in though.

For me in this 7.62 carbine I didn't do well with QPQ so looking for something that holds up a little better. In a carbine where its off my shoulder most of the time I tend to think if the barrel is a little more robust as far as wear resistance, if there is any real difference at all, it is more likely to stay more accurate w/ chrome even if it came out of the box a little less so.
 

mac1911

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I think accurate is subjective but really it is better stated, making an accurate chrome lined barrel is more expensive than QPQ.

Daniel Defense for instance has a well tested reputation for producing some really accurate, as far as AR platforms go anyway, cold hammer forged & chrome lined barrels. They don't offer a twist for 5.56 nor a length in 7.62 I am interested in though.

For me in this 7.62 carbine I didn't do well with QPQ so looking for something that holds up a little better. In a carbine where its off my shoulder most of the time I tend to think if the barrel is a little more robust as far as wear resistance, if there is any real difference at all, it is more likely to stay more accurate w/ chrome even if it came out of the box a little less so.
What do you mean off shoulder? Shooting from the hip?
What twist are you looking for ?
almost any twist will work with 5.56 NATO / M855 .
Maybe I missed it but Om not getting a clear idea of what ammo you will be using the most and what type of shooting your doing.

if “ off the shoulder “ means bench then go for the most accurate barrel
If “off the shoulder “ means standing off hand and shooting rapid fire go chrome then?
 
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