New to the firearms world.....

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by knutsen24, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. knutsen24

    knutsen24 New Member

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    Can someone please tell me the difference between .223, 5.56 and 5.56 NATO? I just put my first AR together and I'm trying to learn as much as I can without moving to fast on this. I got everything (in pieces) but the lower receiver on trade from a buddy. So, I got to put it together which went great and knowing how the pieces work together is a bonus too. Anyway, thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    5.56 and 5.56 NATO are the same and hopefully you bought a barrel chambered in that. It also will fire .223 but a .223 barrel shouldn't be used with 5.56.
     

  3. knutsen24

    knutsen24 New Member

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    So how do I find out what barrel I have? Should it be marked? I don't remember seeing anything. Thanks.
     
  4. knutsen24

    knutsen24 New Member

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    Oh yeah, all I have shot is .223 so far. Isn't there better deals on bulk 5.56 ammo than .233?
     
  5. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    It should be stamped on the barrel or in the case of a complete rifle like mine stamped on the lower receiver. Mine is stamped 5.56mm (.223 cal.) so both can be fired in it.

    If its not stamped on the barrel, then contact the location where you bought it and find out.
     
  6. lunarmanathome

    lunarmanathome New Member

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    Uh - 5.56 can fire .223, not advised for the other way around. There are pressure issues
     
  7. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    You have to look at the barrel, hopefully the caliber will be marked, maybe under the handguards. Some barrels aren't though, my Wilson (ArmaLite) isn't. If that's the case contact the manufacturer as dragunovsks said. Of course the lower's caliber markings won't help since you said it's a separate unit.
     
  8. 75370

    75370 New Member

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    The .223 is designed for less Freebore, .025, therefore it builds pressure faster than the 5.56 chambering. If you have a .223 chamber than stay with that, or your 5.56 ammo will start popping primers and swelling cases.
    The 5.56 is designed for .057 freebore and has about 5,000 psi more than the 223.

    Forgot to mention that Freebore is the distance your bullet travels before engaging the leades and then the rifling, the sooner a round engages these the faster the pressure spikes.
    That's why the NATO round can tolerate the pressure, it has more room for the pressure to expand.
    That's why the Weatherby magnums work, they have alotta freebore.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  9. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I can't help you with the ammo question but I am impressed you are "New to the firearms world" and put together an AR!!
     
  10. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Come on WOC...try it you'll like it. ;)
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    +1, agree 100%
     
  12. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    ROFL. Apparently you all either missed or forgot about this little endeavor of mine. [​IMG]


    I know this is a lengthy thread but try to read through it all. Me build an AR? Yeah........riiight.....not without someone sitting next to me who actually knows how to build an AR................and has a lot of patience.

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f33/yes-i-am-now-one-those-45994/
     
  13. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    If we can't be there in person, we will all be there in spirit. ;)
     
  14. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I like this guy!

    "I'll build this thing, then I'll figure out what it is."

    That's the kind of attitude that decided to sail past the horizon... whether or not there be monsters there or fall off the edge.

    :)
     
  15. knutsen24

    knutsen24 New Member

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    Scott, I have always been self taught. Never even shot an AR before mine, just knew that they are a bad gun and have wanted one for a long time.
     
  16. knutsen24

    knutsen24 New Member

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    To all others that shared your wisdom - I checked under the hand gaurd and the barrel is stamped....... 5.56. Good to know. Next question, what does NATO mean/ stand for?

    What oil do you guys use? Any preferred brands or types?
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    North Atlantic Treaty Organization

    Check out the gun coaching thread for recommendations for oils and such.
     
  18. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    NATO is a military conglomerate. They have certain specified standards to insure interoptability. Ammo, magazines, artillary shells, fuel, etc. The idea was if the Russians invaded, the member countries could supply each other in the fight.

    5.56, 5.56 X 45, 5.56 NATO are all essentially the same. The NATO designation indicates it is optimized for the 62 gr "SS 109" version of the ammo featuring a 62 gr enhanced penetration bullet.

    .223 looks the same, but is very slightly different. Suffice it to say that if your barrel is stamped 5.56, it should shoot the .223 w/o any difficulty.
     
  19. knutsen24

    knutsen24 New Member

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    Thanks Robo & Trip.
     
  20. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I meant gun cleaning thread. Autocorrect if killing me, and I don't know how to turn it off.