Many civilian ARs, though, wear barrels as short as 16 inches, which cause a significant loss of velocity. Handloaded .223s shooting 55-grain bullets had a muzzle velocity of 2,784 fps from an AR with a 16-inch barrel. The same load increased bullet speed nearly 200 fps, to 2,979 fps, when shot through a 20-inch barrel. The gain was much less at 3,013 fps from a 22-inch barrel and 3,036 fps from a 24-inch barrel. As with .30/30s, a 20-inch barrel is ideal for the .223.