Wednesday, April 15, 2009

cleaning house

I've got a bunch of stuff I haven't managed to write about so I'm going to make a list.

- Last night's Gun Nuts was fantastic. The hour flew by and our guest, James Yeager of Tactical Response, was so terrific we've asked him back to do another hour sometime soon. If you missed it, learn how to download at!

- my buddy Kaveman has found religion - & it's not what you think!

- Chicago area libraries have started kicking people out for having an offensive odor and since I've been known to boot surly teenagers out of the library for giving me lip, I'm all for it. It's not like these people are reading books anyway.

- Mike and our friend Heath are going to the Cleveland Tea Party this evening so if you're going to be there too, look for them. (I have to work.) There will be photos and a full report tomorrow. I urge you to attend one in your area.

- My friend just bought himself a Colt AR - anyone have trouble running 5.56 through one? (He's getting conflicting reports online and wanted me to ask my brilliant and knowledgeable readers for advice)

- Reader (and submariner!) Mark sent me a link to what might possibly be the coolest tshirt ever. (I wear a size small. Just sayin'.)


Anonymous said...

The confusion on the AR question is that 5.56mm NATO-spec is a higher-pressure load than .223. Look on the barrel for the caliber stamping, if it's 5.56mm you can run either load through with impunity. If it's stamped .223, prudence dictates using only .223 ammo instead of 5.56mm (but I suspect a name-brand manufacturer like Colt won't have trouble with either).

Anonymous said...

Tell your friend with the Colt to look at the side of the lower receiver. If it says, ".223 Remington", then no, it shouldn't be used with 5.56 ammo. While close, 5.56 is slightly different in dimension from the .223, and more importantly the 5.56 has a higher chamber pressure that makes it unsafe to use in a gun designed for .223 ammo. However, if the gun is marked for 5.56, it can also shoot .223 ammo.

Texas Mike

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike, Texas Mike!

One word of warning: don't always trust the lower-receiver marking. It's the upper receiver, chamber, and barrel that have to take the pressure. You're OK on a straight-from-manufacturer one, but it would be possible to mix a .223 upper and 5.56mm lower and that would be a dangerous condition.

Mad Saint Jack said...

the problem may be that it was made by Colt.

(please don't hurt me.)

Wild Deuce said...

Another word of caution ...

I have heard that 62 grain .223 Rem Winchester White Box (WWB) ammo has caused more than a few slam fires in some AR Rifles. Explanation given at the time was the sensitive primers found in .223 Rem WWB ammo combined with a robust recoil spring. My personal experience was with a ZM upper. I had two slam fires in a completely clean and well lubed rifle (no carbon on the firing pin). I had no problems with any other .223 Rem ammo from other manufacturers (Prvi, Black Hills, Federal, Remington, etc.). Keep in mind that the ZM does have that robust recoil spring over the gas tube.

By the way, what type of trouble is he having with his AR?

The Raving Prophet said...

Look at the barrel stamping to determine the chamber. You may have to remove the handguards. If it says "5.56", then you're good to go with 5.56 ammo. If it says .223, then stick to .223. Unless it's a long range varmint AR (doesn't look like it), it likely has a 5.56 chamber. 5.56 ammo is much rarer though- really only bought as surplus or the like; most commercial ammo is .223. Colts are great ARs, enjoy shooting it.

Wai said...

Wish the picture he took was clearer and more straight on so the words stamped on the lower is legible.

Willorith said...

It is a very cool t shirt. Makes me think of Amy Mullins, the coolest chick in the whole wide world(you are very close, Madam Breda).

On another subject entirely, the black pepper ice cream was very good, and quite unusual. It is not for eating by itself. However, when coupled with strawberries or peach pie, It is very very good. Perfect sort of surprise to spring on friends. Mrs Smith's frozen deep dish peach pie is better than most homemade pies

Assrot said...

I bought a Colt LE6920 the weekend before the Messiah got elected. I have put a few thousand rounds through her and never had any problems.

It's probably one of the best ARs I've ever owned.

The secret to keeping an AR running is keeping it well oiled.


Anonymous said...

My wife and I were at the local Tea Party for a couple hours this afternoon.

Maybe 150-200 folks which I thought was a fairly good turnout.
Lots of good signs, one friend of mine in Colonial era clothing, and TV and local newspaper people covering the thing.
The only pushback from the Gov. dependent left was one guy who drove by and yelled, "More taxes, more taxes, more taxes!" out the window. (I suspect, like most of BHO's appointees, he doesn't pay them anyway.)

The mistake the organizer made, IMO, was letting a local state rep talk. He didn't want to let go of the mike and tried to justify all the spending he voted for since going to the State capitol. At one point most of the crowd yelled "Cut!" at him, but I don't think he got the point. I will suggest that no pols be allowed to talk at the next one.

Robert said...

I shoot with the Texas National Match Team at Camp Perry and shoot about 15 matches a year, several lasting three days. I'm a former Texas Highpower Rifle Champion, Distinguished Rifle, NRA High Master Classification. Taught the army to shoot their own guns for a while a few years back. I load all kinds of handloads for ARs from 53 Sierra Matchkings to 90 grain. You can shoot anything in either marked rifle as far as I can tell. Just keep it clean and oiled. .223 is the same as 5.56. Just watch the front sight.

Sigivald said...

I don't think I've ever seen or heard of an AR upper that was really .223 only.

You'd have to make the barrel seriously thin compared to normal thicknesses to make it too weak for 5.56mm pressures. I'd be shocked if anyone bothered to make a .223-pressure-only barrel.

What would the benefit be? A trivial amount of weight saved... but the big market for featherweight barrels seems to be the "tacticool" crowd, who don't shoot .223.

I suspect much confusion has been caused by manufacturers marking and marketing as .223 while not configuring the barrel to be "only good enough for .223 SAAMI pressures".

I'd bet a dollar (as Terry Pratchett would say) that almost every ".223" AR-15 in the world is really "5.56mm".

If he really wants to put his mind doubly at ease, he can call or write Colt's and ask them. They'd know Fer Sher.

Anonymous said...

One of the considerations is the chamber. Is the chamber spec'd with a tighter chamber for .223, which would have a small edge in accuracy, or is the chamber actually spec'd for 5.56?

If the chamber is a .223, 5.56 should be avoided, as the chamber is a little tight for reliable functioning.

If the chamber is 5.56, shooting .223 is fine, although it won't be quite as accurate as shooting .223 out of a .223 chamber.

Brigid said...

CT0 went to the tea party out there. I've been antelopes to elbows the last couple of months. Sorry I've been slow to comment, but I do read :-)

Best to Mike - hope to see you two this summer (I am actually home I think in July and August). We'll see how you like my AR you checked out.

Warthog said...

For the most part, 5.56 is higher pressure and higher velocity than .223. It also has a tendency to stretch cases a bit, so be careful reloading it.

you can shoot about anything you want as long as it cycles the action. In my DPMS, I usually just shoot .223 as I start reloading, I plan to load a bit slower about 2500 to 2800 FPS. Then again most of my targets are within 150 yards or so.

kaveman said...

Love ya Breda! Looks like the 5.56/.223 question has been answered a few times over so I won't go there.

But I will ask if anyone knows about my buddie's AR, actually a Carbon-15, which mistakenly got stamped .22 long rifle on the lower when it should have been stamped .223.

I told him this kind of error could dramically increase the value, kinda like the upside down plane on the stamp thingie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the input guys.. when I get back from this business trip, I'll pull the hand guards off and check the barrel to be safe, but feel pretty good about the safety of the ammo my wife bought me.

Have a cup of tea for me. The vending machine in this hotel only seems to have kool aid.

AztecRed said...

"5.56 ammo is much rarer though- really only bought as surplus or the like; most commercial ammo is .223. Colts are great ARs, enjoy shooting it."

I once found two cases of 5.56 at Bass Pro. To be honest, I was surprised. It's the first time i've seen 5.56 outside of a dedicated gun store.

Jay G said...

When he says he's "having trouble running 5.56 through", what does he mean?

I had a LOT of trouble with my new Bushmaster and some softpoint ammo. It wouldn't completely load; it wouldn't eject, it was generally a HUMONGOUS pain in the ass.

A friend (JD, actually) commented that some ARs can be really finicky with softpoints - I switched back to FMJs and lo and behold, the problem went away.

Just a thought, something else to think about if the 5.56/.223 angle doesn't take care of things...

(on a side note, anyone need ~ 100 rounds of soft-point 5.56mm?)

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Awesome shirt!

Wai said...

.223 is NOT the same as 5.56.

Read it here at Cheaper Than Dirt: