tl:dr - i'm never buying another Ballastic Advantage barrel again.


as paul harvey would say... and now the rest of the story...

so i finally got my hands on some 6mm arc ammo a few weeks back. been swamped with work (good thing) and finally got around to building the upper i bought a BA barrel for ~10 months ago.

what a hot mess this turned out to be in my adventures of ar gun-plumbering!

my donor upper - BCA 6.5 grendel g1 sidecharger - two of the handguard screws are WAY over torqued in and/or must have a gallon of red loctite on them.

couldnt break them loose by hand, tried my fat wrench at 60 in/lb and nothing but a click. threw a little heat on them. nothing.

broke the tip of my t25 off in one of them with my baby bosch ps42 impactor, and managed to strip a torque's screw head on the other! 900 in/lb impact wouldnt break them loose!

so i grab another upper (18" 223 wylde g2 side charge) decide i'll cobble that together with the bolt from the Grendel upper - [beeep] crush washer wont come off the barrel. wont slide over the threads, wont thread off over the threads. Just sits there in spins in the thread relief laughing at me. I'm guessing some ham-hand ovaled it torqueing the A2 birdcage on there somehow...

so on to upper #3, i'm determined to get this thing assembled - annnnnd success - this one actually disassembles properly.

i now have a upper, bcg, barrel nut, handguard to work with. sweet!

play a little pin the gas tube into the gas block.

shim the barrel nut to get it to index correctly for perfect handguard alignment.

gas block lines up nice and clean.

clean the threads of packing oil to rockset the muzzle device on and... there's no thread relief at the shoulder and the threads stop about a crush washers width from said shoulder. [beeep]? like you cant make this sh!t up.

so i cant use my QD mount, and i cant use my direct thread mount either. thinking to myself "this has got to be a just before lunch friday barrel"

call BA this morning, get thru to the tech dept, explain whats going on...

nope. the barrel is full in spec. exactly how they designed it. i am the first person apparently thats EVER had this problem before with one of their barrels. the QD and direct thread suppressor mounts they've tested all work just fine. sorry we cant help you. thank you for calling have a great day.

i'm paraphrasing... but that was the gist of the conversation. dude was super polite. and about as useful as screen door on a submarine.

i own threaded barrels from a half dozen manufacturers, and have had several threaded by smiths. ive *NEVER* seen a barrel cut like this. i mean.. maybe a half turn thread worth left back there... but never anything like this. they all either have a thread relief cut in before the shoulder or just threads all the way back.

0.096" gap. just a RCH shy of 1/8".

heck even BCA takes the extra 14 seconds of machine time to cut the thread relief in there.

so my barrel is heading off to the smith to get a proper relief cut added to it. thank god ADCO does that for only $30... but sheesh!

highly doubt i'll have it back in time for being able to hunt this upper this season.
All reloading info shared is based on my experiences in my guns. Follow safe reloading practice and work up loads from published minimum data.
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