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ammunition, analysis, caliber, dangerous, equipment, errors-in-judgement, rifles, safety

Stuff I Didn’t Know…

…could fill uncounted libraries stacked to the rafters with (blank) telephone directories…

This was one of those things:

Human Events.  Yes, Human Events (!) brought me this information.  Quelle surprise, eh?

I’ve owned a few rifles.  Most were acquired due to the previous so-called Assault Weapons Ban.  Because I greatly dislike the government telling me what rights I have and don’t have!

But, while I’m an ‘okay’ rifle shot, I’m no rifleman.  I’m a much better pistol and revolver shot than I am with a rifle, comparatively   And with the exception of a .22, the AK variant, and the M-1 Garand, all the others were ar15AR-15 style rifles.

And I didn’t know this.

Is firing a 5.56 NATO cartridge in your .223 Remington chambered AR15 dangerous?  Or do Internet forum-ninjas and ammunition companies selling you commercial ammo instead of surplus overstate the dangers?  Believe it or not, a real danger exists, and some gun owners who think they are doing the right thing may not be safe.~

~The significant difference between the .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO lies in the rifles, rather than the cartridges themselves.  Both the .223 and 5.56 rounds will chamber in rifles designed for either cartridge, but the critical component, leade, will be different in each rifle.

The leade is the area of the barrel in front of the chamber prior to where the rifling begins.  This is where the loaded bullet is located when a cartridge is chambered.  The leade is frequently called the “throat.”

On a .223 Remington spec rifle, the leade will be 0.085”.  This is the standard described by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc. (SAAMI).  The leade in a 5.56 NATO spec rifle is 0.162”, or almost double the leade of the .223 rifle.~

~Many of the AR-15’s currently sold on the market are made for the 5.56 NATO cartridge.  If you own one of these, you should be fine with any .223 or 5.56 ammunition.

However, ATK dropped this bomb in the bulletin on the .223/5.56:

“It is our understanding that commercially available AR15’s and M16’s – although some are stamped 5.56 Rem on the receiver – are manufactured with .223 chambers.”

So, even if your AR is stamped 5.56, is it really?  Check your owner’s manual or call the company directly and make sure you get an answer you feel comfortable with.~

You should go and read the whole article.  Then check your rifles’ manuals and markings.

Just to be and stay safe.

Now we both know.

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


4 thoughts on “Stuff I Didn’t Know…

  1. Good point, and the other place is a barrel stamp (if there is one)…

    Posted by Old NFO | April 4, 2013, 6:57 pm
  2. I’ve run across that info before, might have been the same certainly reads familiar.
    Belle’s Bushmaster was advertised to chamber .223 or 5.56, but your post reminded me to take a serious look into that before we attempt to run any 5.56 through it.

    Posted by kx59 | April 4, 2013, 7:53 pm

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