A little while back I came into a couple of cheap MR556 uppers where the barrels had been trashed. I expected getting a replacement HK barrel wouldn’t be too bad. That was a mistake.
As I went to shop around for barrels, I found Brownells listed them. Right now I am unable to find it on their website, but it had a list price of about $800 and was constantly out of stock.
I wasn’t too happy with that price, and even so, couldn’t even get one since Brownells was out of stock. HK did not respond to my attempts to purchase a barrel from them.
Then I found HKParts.net 10.4 inch aftermarket barrel. Still very expensive at $589.95 and $49.99 S&H, it is a little cheaper than the unavailable stock MR556 barrel.
Much to my dismay, I found my barrel kit came in pre-rusted for me. My pictures don’t show it well, but there was rust on the flash hider, crush washer, barrel, gas block, gas block roll pins, and barrel extension.
Not very impressive for the most expensive barrel I own. On the plus side, the barrel nut and barrel wrench weren’t rusted. That counts for something, right?
Anyways, the installation went easily.
Now here is the part I don’t really feel like admitting.
Over two range sessions, using 3 different types of ammo, and 3 different optics, I was only getting 4 inch groups at 25 yards. I was really not happy.
Well turned out it was user error. See the HK hand guard has a tang to fit into a notch in the upper receiver. Since I had just installed this barrel, I had left the hand guard loose so I could quickly remove it. On each of the 3 optics I used (Aimpoint M4, NF2.5-10X, MK6 3-18), I had the mount run over this tang, and pressure on the hand guards was putting pressure on my scope mounts, throwing off the groups.
Once I finally realized what I had done, I moved the optics back a notch and finally had dime sized groups at 25 yards. I haven’t any real accuracy testing past that, but it is more reasonable than a 4 inch group.
Ultimately cost can become a major issue with anything HK. The cost and availability of replacement parts is ridiculous.