Faxon 16″ AR15 Pencil barrel Review – “Conventional” Lightweight AR15 Build

Faxon 16″ AR15 Pencil barrel Review – “Conventional” Lightweight AR15 Build The pencil is mightier than the sword This past year Faxon Firearms released what was a slap in the […]

Faxon 16″ AR15 Pencil barrel Review – “Conventional” Lightweight AR15 Build

The pencil is mightier than the sword

This past year Faxon Firearms released what was a slap in the face to the traditional notion that a stiffer, thicker barrel is required for accuracy. The Faxon pencil barrel has quickly become the choice for many competitors and specialty manufacturers catering to those, like us, that are putting together lightweight AR rifles while still expecting good performance.

Faxon 16″ AR15 Pencil barrel specs…

  • Barrel Material: 4150 CMV Steel
  • Barrel Type: Button Rifled
  • Barrel Caliber: 5.56
  • Barrel Twist: 1:8
  • Barrel Length: 16”
  • Barrel Profile:  Pencil
  • Barrel Gas System: Mid
  • Finish: QPQ Nitride
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2-28 TPI (Threads Per Inch)
  • Gas Block Diameter: .625″
  • Gas Port Diameter: .078″
  • Gas Block Journal Length: 1.1″
  • Barrel Extension: M4
  • Weight:  1.20  lbs.
  • 11-degree Target Crown
  • barrel MSRP $175.00
  • gas block MSRP $120.00

Faxon 16″ AR15 Pencil barrel review

Faxon has perfected the mentality of weight reduction with this AR15 pencil barrel, then took it a step further with the development of the super slim muzzle break.

I could find no flaws in my meticulous inspection of the Faxon AR15 pencil barrel and slim muzzle brake. The barrel extension comes attached and I had no issues fitting it to the Bootleg Inc Enhanced Lightweight AR15 upper receiver and the Weaponsmart Lightweight AR15 BCG or the Rubber City Armory adjustable gas key AR15 BCG. The barrel slid snug into the upper receiver.


Our accuracy testing at 100 yards was done with 6 types of ammo. The accuracy target will be revealed in our overall rifle performance review, since I consider them result of all the parts. The barrel does have the biggest job and its performance is completely dependent on the manufacturing quality, but without the rest of the parts there wouldn’t be a chance to shoot through it.

Gears rating

Gear Score
The Faxon Pencil Barrel is another example of the excellent manufacturing we have come to expect. The barrel is light and helped us achieve the desired rifle balance for fast shooting. I have been impressed with every Faxon barrel that we have used. Definitely recommended
Faxon Firearms ARAK 308 Jeff SHOT 2016 fireball

Check out the muzzle blast as Jeff shoots the ARAK in .308

The bleeding edge

The origins of Faxon Firearms stems out of a machining company established in 1978. Faxon is more than just a gun company, with products for a wide range of industries like medical, machinery, automotive, even air and space.

Perhaps it is the broad reach into other industries that brings Faxon Firearms a different perspective that sometimes turns the industry on it’s head. For example, Faxon’s ARAK rifle brought a unique approach to delivering a modular, ambidextrous, multi caliber rifle solution. Faxon has also hovered around the leading edge of barrel design and manufacture offering creative external treatments like the “Flame fluted barrel” featured in our 2016 Gear Report custom AR15 (build link) and the Lightweight Pencil AR15 barrel featured in this build. In fact, Gear Report’s Editor spent some quality time with the big cheese himself, Bob Faxon, in October and got the scoop on their innovative line of Glock replacement barrels with tighter tolerances and a variety of performance and aesthetic improving coatings.

Faxon Firearms Glock barrels

*Editor’s note: Yeah… I know… This is an AR15 Pencil barrel review. Why a big pic of Glock barrels? Because I think it is a cool picture. 🙂

Lightweight AR15 Review Project

With so many brands introducing light weight parts and rifles, we put together two AR15s that barely tip the scales. We call this series of reviews… the Lightweight AR Review Project.

The two rifles are:

  • “Conventional” Lightweight AR15 – mostly aluminum that has been aggressively lightened.
  • “Carbon fiber” Lightweight AR15 – combo of lightened aluminum and carbon fiber

This is our “Conventional” Lightweight Build

Each brand that sent parts for this build is featured in a separate article. This one is for Faxon Firearms.

Ammo for testing provided by

Without the support of our ammo suppliers we would not be able to do nearly the amount of gun reviews that we do today.

Defender Ammunition CompanyDefender Ammunition Company

Big thanks go to our primary Ammo Sponsor Defender Ammunition Company for supplying ammo for our tests and reviews on an ongoing basis. Defender provided a variety of calibers and types of ammo for this test. Gear-Report.com is a proud member of Team Defender

Sig Sauer

SIG provided .223 ammo for this test.

Gorilla Ammunition

Gorilla Ammo provided reman and factory .223 rifle rounds for this test.

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About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.