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AR-15 Gas Tube Sizes by Aaron Henderson
 
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AR-15 Gas System Sizes


There are four common AR-15 gas system lengths: Pistol, Carbine, Mid, and Rifle.  Each length utilizes different sized gas tubes and placement of the gas block.   Although you can use nearly any sized forearm with any length gas system, it's important to know what the lengths are if you desire a concealed gas block (under the handguard).  If you don’t know what size system you have, measure the handguard or distance to the gas block to quickly determine.  Below are the common dimensions.


Pistol-Length
Used on very short barrels, usually 10″ in length or less.  
Gas Tube Length:  Approximately 4.5”
Handguards or free-float tube Length: Generally between 3”-4” in length.  It's common to install a low profile gas block and conceal it under a carbine length free float forearm like the YHM Diamond YHM-9630-DX for more accessory space and better grip area.

Carbine-Length
Most common length gas system.  Usually found on barrel lengths from approximately 10”-18”.es of AR-15 rifles.
Gas Tube Length:  Approximately 7.5”
Handguards or free-float tube Length: Generally between 6.5”-7” in length.  For a concealed gas block look, buy a free float tube 9" or longer like the Spike's Tactical BAR 9".


Mid-Length
Commonly used on barrels from 14”-20”.  
Gas Tube Length:  Approximately 9.5”
Handguards or free-float tube Length: Generally between 8.5”-9” in length.  For a concealed gas block look, buy a free float tube 10" or longer like the Midwest Industries T10.


Rifle-Length
Found on rifles with 20" or longer barrels.
Gas Tube Length:  Approximately 13”
Handguards or free float tube length ranges from 11.5”-12” long. For a concealed gas block look, buy a free float tube 13" or longer like the Midwest Industries SS-15.

This article was published on Tuesday 16 November, 2010.
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