Given my preference for semi auto rates of fire and accurate distance shooting, after extensive testing and quite literally shooting out 3 barrels from chrome lined civilian manufacture through milspec “grade” and have settled on the superb Radical Arms 16″ melonite barrel.
For a mere $120 shipped this barrel in 5.56 is absolutely amazing. Two inch 30 round groups at 100 yards offhanded, 5 round sub moa groups all day with 5″ groups of five rounds per at 500 meters using my personal favorite Winchester OTM 62 grn round.
This is a wonderful article- by all means, do not overthink your barrel purchase, remember, with an average life span of 30,000 rounds a standard AR barrel outlasts the average AK barrel which has a lifespan of 14-16,000 rounds.
Huzzah the modern AR.