Recoil|November - December 2020
We Make Short Things Shorter
Dave Merrill

The build for this issue is all about small. And if something wasn’t small enough, we followed the best traditions of the Wile E. Coyote School of Gunsmithing and busted out the hacksaw and Dremel.

The center of this story revolves around an 8.5-inch Rainier Arms Ultramatch Mod2 barrel chambered in .223 Wylde. Most everything about this barrel is built to Rainier specs: Starting with a Melonited 416 stainless barrel with a 1:7.5 twist barrel, a TiN barrel extension is added, and the barrel is typically contoured and profiled. Instead of a standard 0.750, skinny 0.625, fatty 0.875, or 0.936-inch gas block seat, Rainier Arms determined 0.800 inch was ideal for their purposes. Therefore, a Rainier Arms gas block must be used, which they’ll happily bundle for you. Unfortunately, we didn’t end up with an adjustable block so we needed to ensure we used a lower-pressure silencer.

While a stubby barrel might seem contrary to the concept of “Ultramatch,” mostly what you lose with a short barrel is velocity and not accuracy. You do need to be more choosey with ammunition, though.

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