My first AR build...ammo question
Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Long Guns > Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion > AR-15 Discussion > My first AR build...ammo question

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-03-2013, 06:29 AM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DickTheNickhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 74
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I'm building my first AR (5.56, 16" mid length gas system, if that matters) and my question is which ammo should I use and which ammo should I stay away from?
Is it true that each gun will have ammo that feeds properly and some that the gun just doesn't like?
Which ammo is good? Which ammo is bad? And what makes it good or bad?
Which ammo is clean and which ammo is dirty?
....sorry, I'm a total n00b. I'm learning everything from YouTube and this forum. I have no family or friends to teach me, so I'm depending on you guys...thanks in advance!

__________________
DickTheNickhead is offline  
 
Reply With Quote

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today! - Click Here


Old 07-03-2013, 06:48 AM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sputnik1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Bluegrass state
Posts: 2,873
Liked 709 Times on 462 Posts
Likes Given: 1945

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickTheNickhead View Post
I'm building my first AR (5.56, 16" mid length gas system, if that matters) and my question is which ammo should I use and which ammo should I stay away from?
Is it true that each gun will have ammo that feeds properly and some that the gun just doesn't like?
Which ammo is good? Which ammo is bad? And what makes it good or bad?
Which ammo is clean and which ammo is dirty?
....sorry, I'm a total n00b. I'm learning everything from YouTube and this forum. I have no family or friends to teach me, so I'm depending on you guys...thanks in advance!
As a general rule 'cheap' = dirty.

A little carbon never hurt a gun, being dirty is a temporary problem with an easy solution.

As for reliability, yes you will have to test different ammo to see what yours likes and doesn't like.

Some will tell you to stay away from steel cased ammo for whatever reason. But it works well for its intended purpose, it does cause slightly more barrel wear than brass ammo because of the bi-metal jack eating on the steel cased stuff.

I honestly don't think an AR gets hot enough to melt the laquer or polymer on the casing, but some would disagree.

I would still run brass if u could afford it though, American eagle is decent stuff.
__________________
Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. - John Wayne

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
sputnik1988 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DickTheNickhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 74
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sputnik1988

As a general rule 'cheap' = dirty.

A little carbon never hurt a gun, being dirty is a temporary problem with an easy solution.

As for reliability, yes you will have to test different ammo to see what yours likes and doesn't like.

Some will tell you to stay away from steel cased ammo for whatever reason. But it works well for its intended purpose, it does cause slightly more barrel wear than brass ammo because of the bi-metal jack eating on the steel cased stuff.

I honestly don't think an AR gets hot enough to melt the laquer or polymer on the casing, but some would disagree.

I would still run brass if u could afford it though, American eagle is decent stuff.
Okay, so I'll look for brass...
What about grain?
I'm running a 1:7 twist (if that matters)
And I'm buying this thing for home defense and for fun at the range for not much longer than 100 yards...
__________________
DickTheNickhead is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
FTF_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Overkill0084's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Weber County, Utah
Posts: 4,402
Liked 2949 Times on 1471 Posts
Likes Given: 323

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickTheNickhead View Post
Okay, so I'll look for brass...
What about grain?
I'm running a 1:7 twist (if that matters)
And I'm buying this thing for home defense and for fun at the range for not much longer than 100 yards...
Hit this thread:
http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/ar15-primer-beginners-guide-59600/
Quote:
What twist rate is good for me?

The longer the projectile, the faster the twist is needed in the barrel. Nowadays, the most common rate is 1x9 (one twist per nine inches), which is optimal for stabilizing 55 grain. 1x9 means one full revolution (twist) every 9 inches. This twist will adequately stabilize and 62-69 grain bullet but may have trouble with the heavier/longer 75 grain and up bullets. I cannot be exact here because every barrel manufacturer is different, and every barrel is different. This is just a general guideline.

The second most common twist is 1x7. Most milspec barrels are 1x7 because they need to stabilize the very long tracer rounds. It will adequately handle a 55 grain projectile. And handle 80 grain bullets and everything in between. The optimal projectile is about 75 grain. It should not be used for very short projectiles i.e. 40 and 46 grain projectiles.
The third most common twist is 1x8. This is usually used by precision oriented stainless barrels. The most notable exception is S&W’s MP15, which uses this rate. My personal belief is that this is a great middle of the road rate and should be used more often. It handles the 55 grain projectiles well as well as everything up to 77 grains. You would need to test it out for yourself. It’s optimal at about the 67 grain size.
There are slower twist barrels such as 1x12 twist. These barrels are optimal for smaller projectiles, like 36 and 40 grain bullets. These are usually for varmiters that use specialized bullets for their hunting needs.
__________________
Cheers,
Greg
MSgt, USAF, Retired
NRA Life Member

"We've replaced what was an exceptional country with a tolerant country. " Greg Gutfeld

Last edited by Overkill0084; 07-03-2013 at 02:28 PM.
Overkill0084 is offline  
kuntreebouy Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DickTheNickhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 74
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Default

So basically as long as I buy ammo that's between 55 grain and 75 grain it will be fine?
I've heard ARs can be "finicky" with ammo..
What does this mean? How will I know if the ammo I buy isn't ideal for my rifle?
Will it jam? Not feed properly? Be inaccurate? What characteristics will I see with ammo my rifle doesn't like?

__________________
DickTheNickhead is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
purehavoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Not where I wanna be
Posts: 4,749
Liked 1132 Times on 736 Posts
Likes Given: 2021

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickTheNickhead View Post
So basically as long as I buy ammo that's between 55 grain and 75 grain it will be fine?
I've heard ARs can be "finicky" with ammo..
What does this mean? How will I know if the ammo I buy isn't ideal for my rifle?
Will it jam? Not feed properly? Be inaccurate? What characteristics will I see with ammo my rifle doesn't like?
Brother your over thinking all this , buy ammo, shoot it and have fun , if you have a problem come back
__________________
Criminals Prefer Unarmerd Victims....


And Dictators Prefer Unarmed Citizens
purehavoc is offline  
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
SSGN_Doc's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4,468
Liked 2290 Times on 1344 Posts
Likes Given: 500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickTheNickhead View Post
So basically as long as I buy ammo that's between 55 grain and 75 grain it will be fine?
I've heard ARs can be "finicky" with ammo..
What does this mean? How will I know if the ammo I buy isn't ideal for my rifle?
Will it jam? Not feed properly? Be inaccurate? What characteristics will I see with ammo my rifle doesn't like?
What I usually tell folks to do is buy a little bit of several types of ammo and try them out before buyng any brand in bulk.

Some AR's don't like some of the Russian Steel cased ammo. this can be for a variety of reasons. The chamber may not be chromed, the gas port may be a little narrow, or so far out toward teh muzzle that it does not provide adequate gas impulse to cycle the action completely. Most of the steel cased ammo is kind of on the under powered side of the spectrum. In general, Carbines and Midlength gas systems seem to be a bit more tollerant of steel cased ammo than rifle length gas systems.

Another reason to try different brands and bullet weights is to see which ones you can get the best accuracy out of. Once you find the sweet spot for your rifle, then you can stock up. If you are looking atusing your AR for home defense, I recommend trying some hollow or soft point ammo in the 50-62 grain weight range. These seem to fragment more reliably and will reduce overpentration risk inside of a home. If one brand in this weight range is not accurate, try another.

Experimenting with different ammo is part of the fun of owning an AR. Welcome to the AR world.
__________________
SSGN_Doc is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
fsted2a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,120
Liked 225 Times on 177 Posts
Likes Given: 321

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickTheNickhead View Post
So basically as long as I buy ammo that's between 55 grain and 75 grain it will be fine?
I've heard ARs can be "finicky" with ammo..
What does this mean? How will I know if the ammo I buy isn't ideal for my rifle?
Will it jam? Not feed properly? Be inaccurate? What characteristics will I see with ammo my rifle doesn't like?
Your barrel and bolt can be determining factors in how "finicky" with ammo your rifle is. My personal setup has a bushy barrel and bcg, (I had 4 at one time, now down to 1 due to selling the other 3 to buy ammo) with an ARES Black lightning piston system. After that, whatever interwebz parts I could get my hands on. It doesn't care what ammo I feed it. Steel, brass, blanks, it shoots 'em all.
__________________

"Democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is the well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin

fsted2a is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DickTheNickhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 74
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by purehavoc

Brother your over thinking all this , buy ammo, shoot it and have fun , if you have a problem come back
Exactly what I wanted to hear..thank you
__________________
DickTheNickhead is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
FTF_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Overkill0084's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Weber County, Utah
Posts: 4,402
Liked 2949 Times on 1471 Posts
Likes Given: 323

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickTheNickhead View Post
So basically as long as I buy ammo that's between 55 grain and 75 grain it will be fine? Pretty much.
I've heard ARs can be "finicky" with ammo. Haven't we all.
What does this mean? It depends on who you ask.
How will I know if the ammo I buy isn't ideal for my rifle? Will it jam? Not feed properly? Be inaccurate? What characteristics will I see with ammo my rifle doesn't like? I could vary from slightly larger groups to stuck cases or jams. But for the most part, you won't notice anything with most ammo.
I would stay away from large bulk purchases of steel cased ammo until you've had a chance to shoot some in smaller quantities. Some rifles eat it without a second thought, others choke on it. You really won't know till you shoot some for yourself. Just about anything else should be a non-issue.
Ask enough people and any type of gun can be "finicky."
Most properly assembled/maintained firearms will function without drama when using the correct ammo (even AR-15s.) The ones that don't are actually fairly rare.

Shoot more, worry less.
__________________
Cheers,
Greg
MSgt, USAF, Retired
NRA Life Member

"We've replaced what was an exceptional country with a tolerant country. " Greg Gutfeld
Overkill0084 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
First AR-15 build question DruidKing Gunsmithing Forum 5 04-02-2013 01:02 PM
New build Question jharder0002 AR-15 Discussion 2 01-27-2013 01:56 PM
Question for 1st AR build capnklump AR-15 Discussion 13 10-16-2012 12:29 AM
Ammo question about Aguila .22 LR Sniper Subsonic 60-gr ammo somawas .22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion 23 06-27-2012 11:21 PM
Anyone trying to build their ammo base? sweeper22 Ammunition & Reloading 15 04-17-2012 05:00 AM