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-   -   Headspacing on an AR (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/headspacing-ar-37407/)

jhog 01-25-2011 11:37 PM

Headspacing on an AR
 
I have been looking at barrels and some companies give the option of getting a bolt headspaced to that barrel. So, if the bolt is housed in the carrier, how do you headspace the bolt to a "bare" barrel? This to me is confusing. I mean, how do you headspace an AR bolt?

Squirrel_Slayer 01-25-2011 11:59 PM

Been really curious about this myself.

jhog 01-26-2011 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squirrel_Slayer (Post 429667)
Been really curious about this myself.

And another cool Avatar! Were do you get those?

Dillinger 01-26-2011 12:57 AM

Go/No Go gauge, but you need the right one for the application at hand.

.223 is different from 5.56 and both are different from Mil-Spec for the M16.

Sounds confusing but really the difference is like 1.465" to 1.470" or 1.473" - something very near those numbers.

What the manufacturers are doing is a CYA in case they are selling to a handloader and don't know it.

"what? Barrel blew up on you with your reloads? You didn't have it headspaced by us? Sorry, this one is on you".

JonM 01-26-2011 01:26 AM

i dont worry about it mainly. just stick to the ammo the maker recomends. i reload for mine. all my chambers are 5.56 so i make my ammo to 5.56 spec. if you have a .223 chamber dont use mil-surp ammo only ammo marked for .223. if you put your own extensions on the barrel then you might need to buy some gauges for your application. i dont mess with putting on my own barrel extensions. i dont have the tools for it. used to in the army and the knowledge is faintly there in the back of my empty head rattling around somewhere. it prolly killed my ability to type some while back.

jhog 01-26-2011 03:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dillinger (Post 429704)
Go/No Go gauge, but you need the right one for the application at hand.

.223 is different from 5.56 and both are different from Mil-Spec for the M16.

Sounds confusing but really the difference is like 1.465" to 1.470" or 1.473" - something very near those numbers.

What the manufacturers are doing is a CYA in case they are selling to a handloader and don't know it.

"what? Barrel blew up on you with your reloads? You didn't have it headspaced by us? Sorry, this one is on you".

OK so if I were to buy a berrel from, lets say, White Oak, it would be a good idea to also buy the bolt with it?

mjkeat 01-26-2011 02:41 PM

Yes it would be a good idea. Im not 100% on why but have come to the conclusion through previous reading that it would give you the best outcome. When you purchase that BCG you'll have a spare bolt. Spare parts are always nice. THey eventually turn into complete rifles.

Squirrel_Slayer 01-26-2011 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jhog (Post 429685)
And another cool Avatar! Were do you get those?

The interwebz my friend.

So if your chamber is marked 5.56, I should be A OK with my handloads if I only use the same kind of brass, Lake City, all the time? The LC stuff isn't marked with either .223 or 5.56, all it has on there is L C.

jhog 01-26-2011 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squirrel_Slayer (Post 430049)
The interwebz my friend.

So if your chamber is marked 5.56, I should be A OK with my handloads if I only use the same kind of brass, Lake City, all the time? The LC stuff isn't marked with either .223 or 5.56, all it has on there is L C.

I don't think that would matter so much cause once fired brass from your chaimber is formed to your chaimber however, I'm not to sure about fire forming .1223 in a 5.56 chaimber. Maybe someone else could enlighten us on that? Someone that reloads alot.

JonM 01-26-2011 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squirrel_Slayer (Post 430049)
The interwebz my friend.

So if your chamber is marked 5.56, I should be A OK with my handloads if I only use the same kind of brass, Lake City, all the time? The LC stuff isn't marked with either .223 or 5.56, all it has on there is L C.

its not the brass its the dies and where you set the head spacing. case gauges are important for getting the proper headspacing for your dies. 223 brass will fire just fine in a 5.56. 5.56 will fire in a 223 but you may run into chambering issue and feed reliability which is why the manufactuerer doesnt recomend it. also repeatedly loading to 223 spec and firing out of 5.56 chambers will wear your brass out much faster due to the constant stretching and resizing.

thats why you should set your dies accordingly for each chamber and why i dont mess with .223 chambers just to preserve the life of my brass. it doesnt matter really which you have its just easier to stick with one or the other for extended brass life and ease of setup for reloading if you have multiple ar15's that shoot 223/556


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