Weekend Photo: Long Barrel Brazilian military police AR-15

Vinicius sent us this photo of troopers belonging to the military Police of São Paulo State, Brazil, GATE (Grupo de Ações Táticas Especiais) squad. GATE is modeled after American SWAT. The barrel on the foreground AR-15 looks to me to be about 24″ in length (or 22″ + flash suppressor/brake). The rifle has no optics on it, just carry handle iron sights.

UPDATE: I generally get accused of overestimating barrel lengths, but this time readers are commenting that it looks more like 26″!

Thanks Vinicius.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • KungPaoChicken

    Looks like 26″ o more.
    Can it be a optical illusion caused by the barrel of the second dude?.

    • Andrew

      I don’t think so. The second guys gun (FAL I think) is at a different angle.

    • Joshua

      Def looks like a 26″ barrel.

  • Amsdorf


    • Nicks87

      If he doesnt plan on any close quarters engagement why not have the extra velocity a longer barrel offers. Or maybe he was just the last guy in line at the armory.

      • nadnerbus

        There is a drop off in velocity increase after a certain barrel length that makes the extra length and weight pretty worthless. For 5.56 out of the AR it was right around 20 inches from what I recall.

        • Tassiebush

          makes it more pleasant to shoot but that’s probably very far from being a priority in this case.

  • The_Champ

    Didn’t he get the memo that to be a super-elite, high speed low drag operator you MUST have only 10 inches or less of barrel?! Idiot!

  • Esh325

    I can’t tell if the rifle has an A1 or A2 carrying handle. If it really is a 26 inch barrel, then I would say it’s quite odd. Could it be just some training gun perhaps?

  • forrest1985

    If he had some optics then fine but i dont get this especially if he has to do any CQB work! Reckon he lost a bet or something with the police armourer

  • Brody

    It could be to jab an assailant at a distance, not practical yet still a possibilty

  • jpcmt

    A typical 55gr FMJ round at 3300FPS goes through armor plates…so there’s a benefit for having the longer barrel in CQB.

    • Esh325

      So you’re saying a 55gr bullet coming from a 10-20 inch barrel won’t go through armor plates?

      • jpcmt

        Up close with a long enough barrel that builds enough velocity…3300fps or faster, will go through is what I’m saying. My 10.5″ barrel with really light loads won’t get that fast at the muzzle so that certainly wont go through type 3 armor.

        • Esh325

          But isn’t that part of the reason why they made the M885 and M995 AP round? I’m sure either of those will easily pass through armor plates at close range making the idea of having such a long barrel to piece armor pointless.

          • Joshua

            M855 was designed to penetrate Soviet steel armor during the cold war, at 600M from the M249.

            M995 is the real AP ammunition due to its tungsten penetrator core.

            M855A1 also penetrates modern armor better than M855, still not as a good as M995 though.

          • Kivaari

            Is that the NATO test plate? I remember, often faulty, that it is a hardened 3mm plate.

          • jpcmt

            Don’t know about M885 but M855 (green tip mild steel core ‘penetrator’ 62gr) doesn’t get enough velocity to penetrate as well as M193 ammo which is why it sucks so bad and is unpopular and often replaced by good 77gr SMK OTMs in current war zones for its obvious barrier penetration abilities. Also, my comment isn’t about the various armor penetrating rounds..i was just pointing out that maybe the brazilians, with their crappy gun selection might have found the benefit of shooting regular m193 ammo through their long barrels to defeat type 3 body armor many gang lords use in the favelas.

          • CommonSense23

            Dude none of what you wrote makes any sense. M855 penetrates better than M193. Its why it sucks as a round. 77gr MK262 rounds are used over seas due to their accuracy and far superior terminal ballistics to M855, not cause they have better barrier penetration abilities. And M193 fired out of a 10inch barrel is going to penetrate NIJ Level lll body armor all day. Pretty much any center fire rifle round will.

          • jpcmt

            Can you show evidence of 10″ barrels penetrating level 3 armor even once with m193? Any centerfire rifle round can go through type 3 armor? Do you even youtube bro? You can smack 308 on ar500 armor all day and not get through it. M855 is largely abandoned because it had poor barrier penetration (blocks and windshields) and as you said, poor ballistic performance at range. All I’m saying is that no, it does NOT go through type 3 armor as good as m913 ammo, and it doesn’t do it because its too slow…the core means nothing in that round.

          • James

            Maybe common is taking about lvl IIIA soft armor? That would make sense.

          • jpcmt

            yeah, that must be it. and he must be referring to type 4 as his issue armor that can of course stop pretty much everything short of 50bmg which i think is what its rated for.

    • CommonSense23

      Yeah, a typical 55gr FMJ isn’t going to defeat modern ballistic armor, even going that fast. And if you are that close might as well just shoot the face.

      • jpcmt

        Yes, regular 55gr fmj ammo does in fact go through ar500 body armor if it hits at 3300 FPS. There’s at least one video of it and its common knowledge on some forums.

        • CommonSense23

          Modern Ballistic Standalone plates will easily defeat 55grain FMJ going at 3300fps. The plates I wear and am issued will easily stop multiple hits from 7.62 Nato Point Blank. 5.56 unless you start getting some of the special rounds that are rare even in the military ain’t doing anything these days against military grade ceramic plates. You want to buy some crap of the internet, eh maybe.

          • jpcmt

            No, you are dead wrong bro. Sorry. lol @ ‘crap off the internet’ because ar500 steel is such a fluke metalurgical technology. what magical plates are you referring to? Type 3 plates follow an NIJ standard as you’ve mentioned…and the armor ‘sold on the internet’ that is rated thusly does follow that standard.

    • toms

      Depends on what type of plates. Lvl 4 no. Maybe m995 out of a 26″ inch barrel would though.

      • jpcmt

        True, I’m sure lvl 4 plates would stop m193 up close at full speed, just like the lvl 3+ plates by ar500 armor.

  • Lance

    Maybe he forgot his optics LOL.

  • Ben

    Integrated carry handle and teardrop forward assist. I wonder when this rifle dates from.

    • Joshua

      Receivers are probably ancient. Receivers have a 150,000 round part life.

  • Graham2

    There really is no point to this! What a dumb idea.

  • Tassiebush

    It’s actually regular length. It’s just that with a Brazilian it looks longer…

    • anon

      COTD. Close the thread.

    • Zebra Dun

      OH Lawds I cannot help it, somebody stop me!…………………….That’s what she said!
      Sorry couldn’t help myself.

      • Tassiebush

        Haha Never hold back mate!

    • Some Rabbit

      It’s funny because it’s true.

  • RealitiCzech

    This is what happens when your designated marksman doesn’t believe in optical sights.

    • Tassiebush

      They should put the front sight further out to make more use of that barrel. extend the forestock too and it could be the musket model!

    • noob

      Simo Hayha approves this post.

  • MR

    Brazilian Airsofters…

  • Kivaari

    That length barrel deserves optics. It is quite long for an entry gun.

  • Sean Dockerty

    Don’t you realise how many aftermarket parts he’s had to install to make his M4 look this retro?

  • Zebra Dun

    At some point doesn’t a longer barrel actually slow down the rounds speed?
    I believe I’ve read where the long barrel Thompson .45 Submachine gun actually produces less MZ.

    • Tassiebush

      Yeah it does at some point. The pressure peaks early on a fast burning load and extra barrel length adds friction which can slow the round. Extreme examples can get stuck in the bore of longer barrels.


    Well I know the USCG still has to use very well used hand me down M16A2’s which have seen a lot of wear and tear so it’s not hard to imagine this being a rebuilt older model that is all they had to work with. Still like to see him try and clear a corner. I know clearing a boat with the standard 20 inch barrel is…interesting to say the least.

  • Wheelsucker

    I think you guys have missed the point. It’s heartwarming to see the disabled overcome their difficulties. Who would have imagined conjoined twins serving in demanding occupations such as Law Enforcement SWAT. Imagine being able to work a doorknob with both hands on the rifle and still be able to scratch yourself or pick your nose. #Inspiration

  • Vinicius Rosa

    Hey mom look at me, i’m on TFB hahaha

    • Tassiebush

      Is that the same unit as BOPE depicted in the Elite Squad aka Tropa de Elite movies?

      • Vinicius Rosa

        No, BOPE is based on Rio de janeiro, where the unit on picture is based theres only normal criminality.

  • toms

    Maybe their rocking .204 ruger? Generally most cultures think bigger gun = more dead. Longer stick = bigger D___. It must be the most accurate rifle ever! sarcasm. We probably paid for this too.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    They use whatever they get, don’t look for a specific reason or policy behind this….

  • ghost

    The more to reach out and touch someone.