Author Topic: Ultimate AR-15 Accuracy Makeover – Teludyne Tech StraightJacket – Review  (Read 3812 times)

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Offline Ford289HiPo

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The Teludyne Tech StraightJacket is a completely novel product. This is not a “heavy” or “bull” barrel rifle in the traditional sense. Teludyne press fits a 1 1/4″ sleeve over your barrel and fills it with a proprietary media alloy, then they weld a cap on, threaded to their own muzzle brake system. The StraightJacket wicks heat away from your barrel and bleeds it off the jacket, giving you not only more rigidity and accuracy, but also much less wear and tear on your barrel’s throat.

The marketing promise from Teludyne is that your best 3 shot group will be your average 10 shot group. This Rock River 24″ varmint rifle averaged just under 1 MOA in 3 shot groups before it was StraightJacketed. Now it shoots five shot groups into about 1/2 MOA.

The concept of “accuracy” reaches far beyond a 3 or 5 shot group when you shoot your rifle in competition or varmint hunting, where 3 or 5 shots is nothing. It isn’t unusual these days to find off the shelf, inexpensive rifles that guarantee “MOA accuracy” out of the box, limited to a 3 or 5 shot string. But when you get up into 10, 20, and even 100 shot strings, it is a virtual guarantee that the accumulated heat in your barrel will throw your shots into a much bigger circle than MOA, (which is roughly an inch of dispersion at 100 yards). Back in 2010 we first examined a product called the “Straightjacket” from Teludyne Tech that was designed to cure the effects of heat in rifle barrels. The Straightjacket is a 1 1/4″ wide sleeve that is fitted around your existing barrel. It is filled with a heat-wicking media of a proprietary metal alloy, and the overall system is much less weight than would be a comparable 1 1/4″ heavy, or bull barrel. Our original look at the Straightjacket was on bolt guns, but now in its 4th generation of the Straighjacket, Teludyne has come up with a system for the AR-15 that is said to make your best 3 shot group into your average 10 shot group. What we originally called the “Ultimate Accuracy Makeover” has become the “Ultimate AR-15 Makeover,” and we got some amazing results from our two test uppers. The Straightjacket is still a niche product for people who shoot a lot of bullets, fairly quickly, at things far away, and it ain’t cheap. AR-15 upper conversions are currently $1049 and bolt guns can be converted into Straightjacket guns for $849 ($1049 titanium). From its introduction to this day the Straightjacket challenges everything we “know” about accuracy, and that alone makes it exciting to play with, and worth the investment if your budget allows it.

This was shot with Hornady Superformance Varmint, which is made specficially for prairie dog hunting using longer barrelled AR-15 rifles. Our chronograph measured the velocity at over 3500 feet per second, even better than the box velocity.

To re-cover a bit of old ground so you don’t have to go clicking around, the Teludyne Straightjacket is a completely novel, patented product. The barrel you see in the pictures is not a “heavy barrel” or “bull barrel” at all. It is a regular barrel that has been fitted with a Straightjacket sleeve. You might ask “why would I want this instead of just a heavier barrel, like you see in a lot of long range competitions?” The answer lies in physics. A heavy barrel is just more of the same barrel. All of the particles of the single steel alloy in a normal heavy barrel are lined up with each other, so when they heated up from repeated firing, all the molecules heat up, and they all tend to exhibit the same behavior, albeit slower because there are more of them to heat up. Therefore, though a heavy barrel is more “accurate” over long shot strings than a normal thickness barrel, the improvement is only marginal.

The shock was when we tried a 20 shot string. It fell into about 1 1/2″ at 100 yards, which is roughly 1.5 MOA, but notice that most of the rounds were in a 1/2″ hole. Shot from a bipod, human error probably contributed to the 6 rounds that were outside of the main hole.

The Straightjacket uses a second, proprietary metal poured over the barrel to stiffen the overall rigidity the way a single alloy can’t. Because there are two materials, the barrel steel and the media, the heat link is not connected at the molecular level. This results in a heat resistance and improvement in rigidity that is equal to more than the sum of its parts. The media has a higher conductivity to heat than does steel alloy, so it wicks heat away from your chamber and barrel as well, preventing a lot of the throat erosion you would experience with a standard rifle barrel, heavy or not . This gives you exponentially longer barrel life and exceptional consistent accuracy over long shot strings, over the longer life of the firearm.

The second upper was from a STAG 3G, which is made specifically for 3-Gun competitions. Those guys and girls shoot a lot of rounds in quick succession, yet require good accuracy for long shots with the gun heated up.

The difficult thing about the Straightjacket is that you can’t really try it out to see if you like it. As we explained in the original article, you have to send your gun, or in the case of AR-15s, your upper, into Teludyne, where they will permanently install a Straightjacket . The outside sleeve is press-fit onto your barrel, then filled with the proprietary media, which bonds itself permanently to your barrel, and a cap is welded on top, threaded for a muzzle brake or suppressor. Teludyne has its own muzzle brake system which eliminates a good deal of felt recoil and it is now cut to standard ½” x 28 TPI suppressor threads.

sing Fiocchi range ammo we averaged about .5 MOA – .7 MOA for 5 shot groups at 100 yards, with only a 4x Meopta scope.

Look at the pictures in the first article and you will see, there is really no going back once you install a Straightjacket on a bolt action rifle. But with the AR-15 platform you can buy and send Teludyne a separate upper that will not affect the rest of your firearm. We have never actually heard of a case of someone where was unhappy with the performance of their Straightjacket rifle, so it isn’t a huge leap of faith sending your gun in. Google around on it and you’ll see that the only negative comments are from those who just don’t believe the positive results. These days people are somewhat suspect of positive reviews of new products because of the advertising payoffs that you clearly see in the print mags and on TV, but Teludyne is one of the majority of companies we review here who have never spent a dime in advertising on GunsAmerica, and have no plan to ever do so. The StraightJacket isn’t going to make you a better shooter, but it will make your gun more capable of top notch performance under heavy fire conditions, and it will make throat erosion nearly absent, no matter how many rounds you put through the barrel.

20 rounds of the same Fiocchi ammo fell into again about 1 1/2″ at 100 yards, and again, only a handful of rounds fell outside of those two groups next to the bullseye that are less than 1/2″ apart.

Since 2010 Teludyne has installed over 1200 Straightjackets. Two major manufacturers are currently evaluating OEM Straightjacket models, and there are shooting clubs out there that have even created a “Straightjacket” class for their competitions. This is because guys were showing up with SJ equipped deer rifles at F-Class matches and scoring with the big boys, who had of course spent thousands of dollars more on their traditional heavy barrel, custom bedded rifles than did the SJ guys. The performance of the StraightJacket is so unique that several top competitors refused to let us use their name for the article in hopes that they wouldn’t lose their competitive edge. There are lots of youtubers and bloggers out there who have already used the system for years, and some of them even have a Sine Pari upper in hand for new testing. My only concern is that once the OEM guns do come out the rules bodies from shooting competitions will ban the StraightJacket, but the nice thing with ARs is that you can take the barrel off of the upper fairly easily, so it will be easy to decide if you want to shoot SJ or not.

The StraightJacket has been vastly improved since our original article. It is lighter and has a Cerakote finish now. The threads on the Teludyne muzzle brake are now cut for standard suppressor threads as well. Note that chip in the Cerakote on the edge of the brade from a 2 foot drop onto tile of the Rock River gun. It is much superior to the old finish.

For our latest tests with the Straightjacket, we sent Teludyne two uppers from two of our favorite ARs, two guns that were made for shooting sports where a lot of rounds are fired fairly quickly at things pretty far away, varmint hunting and 3-Gun competition respectively . The first is a Rock River LAR-15 with a 24″ heavy barrel that came to us in an A4 configuration with an A2 buttstock. It had repeatedly shot sub-MOA out of the box, and those guns come with a guaranteed 3/4 MOA. The second gun is our prized STAG 3G, which was designed specifically for 3-Gun competition. It has an 18″ barrel with a rifle length gas system, and again, it is a gun that has always performed in 5 shot groups in the MOA and better range. The thing has been, with both guns, they did great in 5 shots, but when you opened them up to 10, and 20, the dispersion of the rounds downrange opened up considerably. This is important, because whether you are prairie dog hunting at 300 yards or taking long shots in 3-Gun after heating your gun up, both guns would be better if they could withstand long shot strings without a substantial loss in accuracy. So we sent them into Teludyne to see if they could do just that with the StraightJacket.

You can now buy not only complete Sine Pari uppers from Teludyne. They now have this AR-15 barrel kit for $985. It comes with the barrel nut and a special straight gas tube. .

Information gathering for this round of StraightJacket testing was a bit convoluted because Teludyne has been working for the last year and a half on their 4th generation “Sine Pari” system, which is available now. If you didn’t take Latin in school, Sine Pari means “without equal,” and it is the motto of the US Special Forces, dozens of whom have quietly deployed SJ equipped ARs and bolt guns in the field today. Our two uppers went out at first when Teludyne was in the 2nd generation of the Straightjacket for ARs, and we decided at the time to send them back for the 3rd generation. Rather than send them back for Gen IV now, however, we decided to just shoot them and give you the results. The main difference between Gen III and Gen IV “SIne Pari” is in full-auto fire. The Sine Pari system, which is now being made exclusively at Teludyne, is made to handle slightly more heat than Gen III, but our guns are fine for the aimed semi-auto fire they will experience. Our tests are with Gen III, and at some point we hope to get in a Gen IV SIne Pari for a followup, hopefully when ammo isn’t in such short supply.

We have not done any A-B testing with the proprietary Teludyne muzzle brake for recoil reduction, but it definately doesn’t cost you anything in velocity. Our chronograph tests were right where they should be for the 18″ barrel of the STAG 3G.

We tested the Rock River 24″ with Hornady Superformance Varmint ammunition in 5 and 20 round groups. This is a 53 grain round with a special bullet made for downrange energy retention, and it is a head and shoulders favorite for prairie dog hunters. Our 5 round group average at 100 yards was just over .5 inches with the newly StraightJacketed upper, which was a definite improvement in the gun, but the real performance boost was at 20 rounds. As you can see from the target, all but six shots went into a .5 inch hole at 100 yards, aimed from an Atlas bipod and shot in 60 seconds. We used an inexpensive Nikon .223 4-16x scope for this rifle, and we felt that it reflected the setup that an average shooter on a modest budget would bring out for dusting prairie dog towns. Likewise the setup for the 3G. The scope was a Meopta 1.5-4x and at 100 yards our average 5 shot group was just under an inch, with the 20 shot group at just under 2 inches using common Fiocchi competition .223 ammunition. Obviously, the magnification and cutting edge ammo made a difference for the Rock River, but we wanted to try to duplicate what kind of setup the average shooter would be using in the field for both guns, without cherry picking the best results. Most 3-Gun shooters don’t use more than 4x magnification due to the majority of close shots, and who can afford anything but range rounds for competition? Overall the performance of the Straightjacket was impressive, and it is no wonder that the Sine Pari system is being looked at by Rick Porter of Team Hornady in 3-Gun, as well as many other competition shooters.

If you look back to our first article on the Straightjacket, a lot has changed since the early days of this technology. Our biggest complaint on the old system was the finish. It was too delicate and scuffed easily, for those of us who tend to bump into things. Our new test uppers came back with a Cerakote C-102 Graphite Black finish and it is night and day with the old dull black finish. All the new guns will come with this finish, and it is nearly scuff proof. “Nearly,” because of course the finish on the Rock River was inadvertently tested with a 2 foot vertical drop onto a tile floor ouch. But even that only chipped the Cerakote a little. The other thing that has changed some is the overall weight of the Straightjacket sleeve and media. Our first SJ guns were bolt action deer rifles and we still use them today for long distance shooting. They are noticeably front heavy, but not as heavy as they would be with a steel alloy barrel the same 1 1/4″ wide. The new Straightjackets are lighter, not completely weight neutral, but they add much less weight than our Gen I version. A 16″” Sine Pari upper weighs 48 oz. (the 12.5″ weighs 40oz.) compared to a common M-4 with all the same parts weighing 39oz. Both of our test uppers balanced nicely in the guns, and neither of them were the 16″ version.

The question a lot of people ask is whether the Straightjacket kit is compatible with their existing hardware. Nearly all handguards that use a standard military barrel nut can be adapted to work with the Straightjacket, and custom versions can be made for hardware from Daniel Defense, Yankee Hill, Midwest Industries and a few others. As above, we did have to replace the Rock River handguard with a Samson, so call Teludyne and ask if you are worried about the extra cost of replacing hardware. There are no hidden or surprise costs to the Straightjacket. You won’t get calls from Teludyne that your {part} needs to be replaced like you would a mechanic or something. It is pretty much send your gun in and get it back in a month or so, Straightjacketed. Generally the word “straightjacket” is something that belongs on someone in a loony bin, and it was probably the looniest among us who originally sent those first guns to Teluydyne sight unseen. These days it isn’t so loony, and it is pretty sane to order Straightjackets for everyone who wants their gun to shoot the best it can.

The newest news from Teludyne is that they are now shipping complete Sine Pari uppers, for ahem, $1,688. It comes with a whole list of high end options listed on the information page, and it looks as though it was specifically made for MIL-SPEC, full-auto fire. It also comes in a 12.5″ SBR version. You can also buy just the barrel assembly kit, with barrel nut, for $985. and this kit should be available from “two big gunsmithing suppliers” soon (probably Brownells and Midway). The delivery time on full Sine Pari uppers is 3 weeks, but it is subject to parts availability, which is still a little tight right now. If you send in a gun they can generally turn AR-15s over in 2-3 weeks, and bolt guns in 4 weeks. Keep in mind, however, that this article is being emailed to over 800,000 people this week, and the line could get pretty long pretty fast. Our first article kept Teludyne busy for several months, and even after our SHOT Show article from 2012, where we reported on the findings of H.P. White on the claims of the Straightjacket, orders piled in for a long time and continue today. Sooooo, if you want to get your gun done in time for Camp Perry, don’t stand around hemming and hawing about the thousand bucks and just do it. The Teludyne Straightjacket is a great investment in making your gun shoot better and last longer.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline Ford289HiPo

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This looks like a great product for competition shooters, but a tad expensive for those of us who are only targeting slow moving zombies  :laugh:

Personally, I despise AR platforms and knock-offs. I own an M1A, a real man's weapon!
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.


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What I think is rather cool is the AR-15/M-16 hybrids that are out there

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