In a recent article, I mentioned that the difference-maker for my lightweight AR build was the barrel from Faxon. The Pencil SLIM barrel from Faxon is quite remarkable. One of the guys at Faxon jokingly called it “The Best Thing to Happen to ULW Builders.”
He’s not altogether wrong.
Seriously, the guys and gals at Faxon have reason to be proud; this is an exceptional barrel. When I first saw it, I thought, “well Duh!”
More than a fad
Recently, 14.5″ barrels have been all the rage, but I’ve avoided them. I weigh things from a risk/ return standpoint, and I never felt like the slightly shorter barrel was worth the trouble of tapping or the greater trouble of removing the weld if servicing needed to be done. I still feel that way when it comes to standard profile barrels. If you really want a short rifle, get a tax stamp and an SBR or go the pistol route, but in my lowly opinion, the return of a shorter barrel isn’t worth the risk of not being able to fully service your weapon.
However, when you take a pencil profile barrel and pin an equally thin muzzle device, you’ve got something altogether different. Now you can simply slide a gas block over the device. Therefore the muzzle device never needs to be removed from its welded position. Voila– magic just happened! Even better, it’s mundane magic. The idea is so simple that we’re all sitting here saying why haven’t we been doing that for years? Well Duh!
Often the best solutions ARE the simple ones. This barrel is from a reputable manufacturer with a growing reputation.
- It features a mid-length gas port.
- A 1:8 twist. It’s for 5.56.
- It’s magnetic particle inspected.
- Has an effective little 3 port muzzle break.
- Is button rifled.
- Has a durable QPQ Nitride finish.
- Has an 11-degree large crown.
On paper, my boxes were all checked. In the field, something that rarely happens happened. It’s better in reality than it is on paper. It points effortlessly and is simply more accurate than I am. In a world filled with online dating apps and bloated resumes…in a world where nothing is as good as it seems, it’s really refreshing to stumble across something that is better than advertised. Faxon knocked this one out of the park!