Posted by on Jun 9th 2016

GUNNER for Hunting? 18" GUNNER Barrel Reviewed by

Will Chambers of got his hands on one of our GUNNER barrels and put it through the ringer for hunting. 

We pulled a few choice bits from his testing:

At the range.

Per our usual procedure, I took the Faxon GUNNER equipped upper to the range to see how well it would shoot at 100 yards. I rested the rifle in my Target Shooting Inc rest, then setup up a target at 100 yards. I then proceeded to shoot five, 5-shot groups with the same ADI ammo used above. The results were well above my expectations, as the little pencil barrel continued to impress me. The average of the 25 shots was 1.19MOA, with the smallest 5-shot group measuring .842MOA. These were not cherry-picked groups either, rather 5 consecutive groups. I then shot two more 5-shot groups with some hand loads that use Hornady 55gr Z-max bullets; which is a proven load from an old timer I sometimes shoot with. They both hovered right around 1MOA.

Finally, I shot two 10-shot groups with the ADI ammo. I wanted to see how well the barrel performed once it was heated up a bit, and the results were again impressive. The ES (Extreme Spread) of the first 10-shot group was 1.25 MOA, with the second opening up slightly more to 1.46MOA. This was with no “cooling off” period, other than the time it took me to police brass and load up another 10 rounds in my mag. To say this barrel shoots well is an understatement in my opinion. This isn’t a 416-R stainless barrel. This is a standard 4150, button rifled barrel with a QPQ finish inside and out. Below you can see each of the aforementioned groups.

AR15hunter-Faxon-18in-GUNNER-100yds-5-shot-ADI-55grBK-2 AR15hunter-Faxon-18in-GUNNER-100yds-5-shot-55gr-Zmax-1AR15hunter-Faxon-18in-GUNNER-100yds-10-shot-ADI-55grBK-1 AR15hunter-Faxon-18in-GUNNER-100yds-10-shot-ADI-55grBK-2

Closing thoughts

When I started thinking about this review, I was hoping to find a quality “budget” barrel, that would still work well for small to mid sized game. Faxon’s GUNNER barrel exceeded all of my expectations, shooting much better than I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect it to shoot poorly. But, I didn’t envision it would be able to shoot several sub MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yards, let alone sub 1.5MOA 10-shot groups. Their Hybrid Pencil profile works great, offering the needed material from the extension to the gas block with its government like profile, finished off with a pencil profile to help reduce weight, and give a more well-balanced feel.

With a retail price of only $189, Faxon’s 18″ GUNNER barrel offers an outstanding value. Whether you’re looking for an affordable barrel for your hunting rig, or a dual purpose barrel that will work well for range time or 3-Gun events, as well as knocking down critters; the GUNNER is sure to please.