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Old 11-09-2008, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default AR caliber change

Is it possible to change the caliber of an AR simply by switching out uppers and mags? I was watching Future Weapons today and they were talking about the .50 BEOWOLF round. Mac switched out his 5.56mm upper with one chambered in .50 Beowolf to take care of a hostile vehicle. Is this possible on a commercial AR or was his "special"?

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Old 11-09-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
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Is it possible to change the caliber of an AR simply by switching out uppers and mags? I was watching Future Weapons today and they were talking about the .50 BEOWOLF round. Mac switched out his 5.56mm upper with one chambered in .50 Beowolf to take care of a hostile vehicle. Is this possible on a commercial AR or was his "special"?
i think it depends
like if you want to convert it to a 7.62 you need a special lower and upper and barrel
not sure about the .50 bewolf but i'm gonna guess most likely
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:23 PM   #3
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Yeah,Remove the mag,make sure chamber is empty,push out lower pins, remove upper. Install new upper,push in lower pins,install mag,chamber round,and fire your other caliber upper.

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Old 11-10-2008, 12:05 AM   #4
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Pretty much spot on as the info above will tell you. If the round takes a long mag ( like the 7.62 ) then you can't. However, I believe that the .50 Beowulf is in length with the smaller, standard, AR-15 size mag slot in the lower receiver.

As such, an upper chambered for .50 Beowulf, two pins and a mag change later, you are good to go.

One of the truly great things about the AR platform

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Old 11-10-2008, 01:12 AM   #5
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If you change from 5.56/.223, you're going to need a new bolt.

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Old 11-10-2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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If you change from 5.56/.223, you're going to need a new bolt.
My 6.5 Grendel uses the same bolt, the bolt head ( 7.62 x 39 ) is all I needed to change to chamber the smaller case.
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:13 AM   #7
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My 6.5 Grendel uses the same bolt, the bolt head ( 7.62 x 39 ) is all I needed to change to chamber the smaller case.
I'm talking about the bolt itself, not the carrier. I'm working off GI terms here, I apologize if the civilian equivalents are different.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:46 PM   #8
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Well thanx for the info, however on Future Weapons, Mac just switched out uppers. He had a complete .50 Beowolf upper and mag in a bag in the backseat of the SUV. He simply switched out the upper and mag and was ready to rock and roll. I was told by the guy at the store where I bought my AR that I might as well buy a second AR in a different caliber. He said that they couldn't be switched out like that. However he did say that I could go from a standard military A2 configuration to a flat-top with a varmint barrel in the same caliber (which I kinda figured anyway). Maybe he was trying to sell my another AR?

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Old 11-11-2008, 12:22 AM   #9
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50 Beowulf upper functions on a standard AR 5.56/.223 lower. The bolt face is larger however so you could have a complete upper (with proper bolt, carrier which is the same as 5.56/ .223, charging handle etc.) and slap it on, then use the appropriate magazine.

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Old 11-11-2008, 12:38 AM   #10
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Well thanx for the info, however on Future Weapons, Mac just switched out uppers. He had a complete .50 Beowolf upper and mag in a bag in the backseat of the SUV. He simply switched out the upper and mag and was ready to rock and roll. I was told by the guy at the store where I bought my AR that I might as well buy a second AR in a different caliber. He said that they couldn't be switched out like that. However he did say that I could go from a standard military A2 configuration to a flat-top with a varmint barrel in the same caliber (which I kinda figured anyway). Maybe he was trying to sell my another AR?
You ought to go back and punch him in the mouth for lying to your face.

Look, the AR lower is an AR lower for whatever upper you put on there, provided that the mag well will handle the new magazine. That's it. There isn't a magic component from one lower to the next.

Yes, you can buy a complete new upper in say, .50 Beowulf, and include a new Bolt Carrier Group and charging handle, the whole nine yards. You would pull two pins and be good to go.

However, you could also just buy a new bolt head, and with about 2 or 3 minutes of work and a little oil, you don't need to spend the money on a whole new BCG.

However, you still need a new barreled upper in the correct caliber.
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