I'm really close to getting a 16 inch 5.56 Faxon Gunner barrel for an AR upper build I'm going to be doing. Ive been reading a lot about light vs military barrels and have yet to make up my mind. If you have an A1 or a "pencil" barrel then your diameter will be .625". The Army's test showed a dramatic durability increase between the standard M4 barrel and the Heavy profile barrel. The original AR15/M16/M16A1 rifle/carbine & original M16A2 carbine standard barrel profile is now called the "LWT" lightweight. The standard barrel is tapered and is sometimes referred to as the “skinny” or “pencil” barrel while the larger-OD heavy barrel is not tapered and imitates a piece of blued pipe. The common diameters are .750" for standard barrels and .936" for heavy barrels. Just wanted to hear from other what their experience has been with this kind of hybrid profile barrel as it has the Gov't profile up until the mid length gas block, then after that it's a pencil barrel … The original M16 was designed with a relatively thin and light barrel, now generally referred to as a "pencil" profile. As stated above, many refer to the LWT barrel as a PENCIL barrel. This pencil has a buttery-soft exterior, a replaceable eraser, an incense-cedar barrel, and a smooth, dark core. When I triggered a frisky load, the pencil-thin barrel would whip up as if yanked from the heavens, the rifle’s comb cracking my molars. Yes, but I think the discussion is about a comparison of pencil profiles to M4 profiles, not M4 profiles to heavy profiles. The barrel tapers from the gas block to the muzzle. When it comes to barrel diameter you do need to pay attention to the diameter of barrel at the gas block if your barrel doesn't come with one installed. The plan is to test 4 barrel profiles (10.5" Faxon Pencil, 10.3" DD MK18, 11.5" BCM ELW Fluted, 11.5" BCM Gov't) suppressed and unsuppressed cold for POI shift and group size both between profiles and between suppressed and unsuppressed, then heat them up and repeat the test with hot barrels/suppressors. The thin barrel or ( Pencil Barrel ) as everyone calls it is .560 dia was the standard barrel until mid 2008 ( 580 series rifle ) that's when they changed to the tapered barrel or ( Heavy Barrel ) as ( SOME ) people call it .625 dia . It’s harder to have a perfect load for a pencil barrel harmonics wise; Pencil barrels introduce mirage issues that aren’t as pronounced with thicker/carbon barrels. but have M4 feed ramps. From the gas block back to the receiver the barrel is straight. 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