Everything you want to know about ARs

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Everything you want to know about ARs

#1 Post by ABNinfantryman » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:59 am

Since there's a bit of interest on black rifles here, I thought it would be prudent to have one thread that deals with everything you'd want to know. So without further ado....

Everything You Wanted to Know About ARs, but Were Afraid to Ask

  • 1: Description

    A lightweight, air-cooled, direct impingement gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle designed for either automatic or semi-automatic fire through use of a selector lever.

    Caliber: Originally .308 was the caliber of choice when the AR10 was designed, which uses the direct impingement gas system very effectively with less wear and tear on the components, but was scaled down to 5.56x45 to meet the military's need for a lighter weapon system than the M1 Garand and M14 service rifles. Now there are multiple calibers which have been developed for the platform or the AR platform adapted to use.

    Different Models: Airborne, what's the difference between an A1, A2, A3, and A4? The most obvious difference is the carrying handle/rear sight of the A1s, A2s, and A3s in comparison to the flat top receiver with a picatinny rail on the A4s. The other difference is that the A1s and A3s are full auto where as A2s and A4s are three round burst. Here's a by order list of differences followed by the different models of the M4.

    AR10: One of Eugene Stoner's original designs and the predecessor to the AR15. Because NATO was adopting the 7.62x51/.308 round (known as the .30 Light Rifle in the late 40s) most arms developers were putting their focus towards building a weapon around the round which would be used by Western forces. FN designed the FAL off of the Nazi StG44 7.92x33 Kurz round and was persuaded by the US to adopt the 7.62 caliber over England's smaller .280 British round and was given the test name of T48 where as what became the M14 was known as the T44. Stoner wanting to move away from the old steel and wood firearms became set on showing what new space age materials could do. By the time he completed his prototype the military's testing had already been going on for two years. Despite this, the AR10 had a strong showing. It was more accurate despite being two pounds lighter and had better recoil control, however George Sullivan doomed the weapon when he tried his new composite barrels which ultimately blew up during testing. There are no AR10 "standard" specifications because it was never adopted by the military and thus never given military specs (or Milspec), thus most AR10 parts made by different manufacturers today usually won't function properly together as they all try to set the standard for the .308 AR.

    AR15: After the demise of the AR10, ArmaLite restructured and sold the rights to the weapon system to Colt. Colt converted the AR10 platform to the smaller .223 Varmint round with a 1:14 RH twist with much success. However, due to the design of the pointed lead round and the slow barrel twist rate this caused the round to tumble at less than a hundred meters. Because of this tumble, and the structure of the rounds which caused massive fragmentation, this helped create reports of large wound channels from the original ten AR15s sent to Vietnam by ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency). Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara now had two conflicting reports, one from the Army saying it wasn't suitable for combat operations and another from the front lines of Vietnam with pictures showing its devastation. McNamara ordered another side by side test of the AR15, M14, and the AK47 by the Army, and again the Army said the M14 was their rifle. McNamara then sent the Army Inspector General to check the findings who also reported that the M14 was their rifle. McNamara becoming frustrated with the Army's incestuous relationship with the M14 caught a break when manufacturers reported they could not meet the demand for the M14 causing McNamara to halt all production of the M14. In steps Colt with it's cheaper and easier to manufacture ARs which were the only weapons which met all of the requirements across all of the branches of the military. McNamara found his universal military rifle. Colt created two AR15 variants, the 601 (to meet the demands of the Air Force) and the 602 (to meet the demands of the Army), these became the M16 (601) and the M16A1 (602).

    M16: Triangle handguards, "duck bill" three pronged flash suppressor, solid buttstock with no cleaning kit storage, no forward assist, 1:12 RH (right hand) rifle twist, and slick sided chrome bolt carrier group.

    M16A1: Adoption of a birdcage flash suppressor, forward assist, notches in the bolt carrier group to facilitate the forward assist, the bolt carrier group's outside was parkerized instead of chrome plated, barrel bores were chrome plated and later fully lined, a crimp was added to the cam pin so the bolt couldn't fit if it were backwards causing failures to eject, and a rib was added around the magazine release button so it couldn't be pressed on accident while closing the ejection port cover.

    M16A2: Most notable difference is the switch to three round burst, but the system's not perfect because you have to complete the cycle for the sear to reset. For instance if you only let two rounds fire while in burst, the next time you squeeze the trigger only a single round will fire. Other changes included the introduction of the cleaning kit compartment in the buttstock, the barrel was given a faster 1:7 RH twist rifling, was thicker on the end to prevent bending, the front sight was made into a square allowing it to be adjusted with a loose round, the rear sight was made so you could adjust windage without a tool and could move it vertically to dial in different ranges, the A2 birdcage flash suppressor was created with a closed bottom so as not to kick up snow or dirt while firing, handguards were made symmetrical and rounded so people with smaller hands could better hold them, the pistol grip got a notch for the middle finger and texture was added, and the case deflector was added.

    M16A3: An A2 with an A1 full auto assembly. Referred incorrectly as the auto version of the A2 with a picatinny rail, HOWEVER, the reason why I continue that here is due to the fact that most manufacturers have adopted the description and you will see flat top receivers referred to as "A3" receivers. The reason this happened was because the Navy had adopted the full auto version of the A2 as the A3 for the SEALs, but Colt wanting to push more military sales ended up calling the A4 the A3.

    M16A4 or M16A4 MWS: The Colt "A3" that introduced the picatinny rail in place of the carrying handle. Came with an attachable A2 carrying handle, a rear back up iron sight (BUIS), and Knights Armament Co RAS handguard (the fore end rails) thus making it easy to attach vertical grips, lights, lasers, and optics and giving it the name "Modular Weapon System" or MWS.

    XM177, Commando, or CAR-15: The final variant of the CAR-15 was full auto, had an 11.5in barrel, a longer flash/sound suppressor, and were mostly issued in small numbers to everyone but the infantry as a personal defense weapon (PDW). In other words, they were well suited for pilots, artillery men, and the like because they were considered mostly a defensive weapon for people who didn't need an assault weapon but something with a higher round count than a pistol.

    M231 Firing Port Weapon (FPW): The first "pistol" like configuration because of its lack of a butt stock. Meant for firing from the ports of armored vehicles and only capable of firing in full auto, it has a higher cyclic rate because it fires from the open bolt position rather than the closed bolt position like your typical M16. It is also commonly used by Mech Infantry for clearing trenches and urban close quarters combat (CQC).

    There were other variations, mainly a sniper variant that never really made it into wide circulation.

    M4 and M4A1: Both are 14.5 barreled versions of the M16A4 with a telescoping stock, the only real difference between the two are the fire control assemblies, M4s are three round burst and M4A1s are full auto.

    Milspec Vs Commercial: Airborne, what's the difference? Milspec parts tend to be a bit smaller than commercial parts making the interchangeability among the two difficult. For instance milspec trigger assemblies use small holes for their retention pins, where as commercial assemblies tend to use larger pins so it's easier to identify commercial and milspec parts. Essentially think the difference between metric and inches, similar concept. This is important to know so if, for instance, you wanted to switch an A2 stock with a telescoping stock, you need to know if your lower is Milspec or Commercial so you can buy the right size buffer tube and there by purchase the right size butt stock. Personally, I usually only use Milspec parts. It doesn't necessarily mean the parts are better, but they're made to a standard and can be mixed and matched easier among manufacturers. Not to mention they're combat tested so I know they work.
  • 2: Components

    The parts to an M16/AR15 by disassembly group. If you're in, or were in, the military you'll notice the Auto Sear Assembly is missing from the diagram, that's because AR15 lower receivers don't come with the holes necessary to put a standard auto sear in.

    Image

    Note: In the case of a collapsible stock you have the Buffer Tube, Recoil Spring, Buffer, Receiver Plate, and Lock Nut (AKA Castle Nut). In the case of an A3 Upper Receiver (AKA Flat Top Receiver) you won't have a carrying handle unless the rifle comes with the attachable handle. Instead you will have a section of Picatinny or Mil(itary) Std(Standard) rail.
  • 3: Function

    Here's an old Department of the Army video in two parts that details the function of the M16/AR15. One note about the second part, as most AR15s don't have the bolt carrier or auto sear necessary for full auto or three round burst, you can ignore the last bit of the video unless you're curious how it would work. A quick look at your AR15s lower receiver and you should notice that it lacks the hole for the auto sear above the safety selector switch, if not I'm an interested buyer if you want to sell. :D

    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2x8Oot- ... re=related
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ui288P4 ... re=related
  • 4: Operating and Maintaining

    I'm putting these together because there's a lot of instruction on this which can be found in Sections 2 and 3 of the Army TM which can be found here:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3458887/Field ... -and-M16A1

    Note: I will be adding videos of your's truly going through the motions at a later date.
  • 5: Full Auto/Three Round Burst

    It is possible to own a full auto M16/AR15, however because of the 1986 ban on full auto weapons made after 1986, you would be hard pressed to not only find one, but it would also cost you as much as a small car. If you can do that, all it takes is the $200 Tax Stamp and clearance from BATFE. You might've heard about a DIAS or rDIAS which stands for Drop In Auto Sear or Registered Drop In Auto Sear. An RDIAS is a registered machine gun and falls under NFA regulations requiring a $200 Tax Stamp from BATFE made pre 1986, these are legal to own and use with an AR15 to make it full auto, but they also cost around eight grand. A DIAS generally refers to an unregistered DIAS which can get you into a bit of trouble, i.e. Federal Pound You in the Ass for a Long Time Trouble (FPYALTT). They're also known as "Pre-81" DIAS because prior to 1981 there was a legal get around that allowed you to legally build, own, and use the DIAS without registering it because it wasn't considered a machine gun. BATFE caught on and changed that. So now what does that mean for you? It means you can find them around the net or in Shotgun News for around $150, but it is a felony to own one if you also own an AR15 or equivelant. If you don't own an AR, drop $150 on a useless and potentially liberty threatening piece of metal all you want.

    So if you want to convert your AR to full auto, find a registered and transferable DIAS, eight grand is a lot less than spending personal time with Bubba.

    You also need a full auto disconnect lever, a full auto safety selector switch, and a full auto bolt carrier to complete the conversion. The disconnect lever for full auto is slightly longer so it's disengaged during the firing process by the full auto safety selector switch which has multiple flat sides (instead of one like an AR15) to do so. The bolt carrier must have the full auto shelf on the bottom so it trips the auto sear to release the firing hammer at the appropriate time.

    Picture of three different types of BCs. The top is your typical AR15 BC, the middle is a colt SP1, and the bottom is your standard M16 BC.
    Image

    As you can see on the M16 BC it has more material on the bottom, this is the sear shelf and what trips the auto sear during auto or burst fire, and this is the kind of BC that manufacturers are referring to when they say they sell "Full Auto Bolt Carriers." Again, this does NOT make your AR full auto, and it is perfectly legal to have a full auto BC instead of your typical AR BC that lacks the shelf.

    Lightning Links: They function much the same as a DIAS but I'm still learning about these, more to follow.

    You can find information for timing a DIAS or Lightning Link here: http://www.quarterbore.com/ar15m16/index.html
  • 6: 14.5in Barrels

    So you might be asking, "Airborne, how can my AR have a 14.5in barrel when the legal limit to not register it as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) is 16 inches?" Most manufacturers, and DIYers, get around this by welding the flash suppressor directly to the barrel there by extending the barrel's length to the legal 16 inches. This is known as 14.5PA or "Permanently Attached (Flash suppressor)." If you don't have the flash suppressor PAed then you have an SBR and you need to register it with BATFE. Just weld the damn thing, barrels don't cost that much and you can get gas blocks/front sights that clamp onto the barrel instead of having to be slid on.
  • 7: .223 Remington, 223. Wylde, 5.56 NATO and How They Play Together

    "Airborne, I got this sweet .223 Remington Varminter, can I fire 5.56 NATO surplus ammo in it?" Unfortunately, you're stuck with just the .223 Rem, bud. Before I get into specifics for those interested, here's a quick compatibility reference. You can fire 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem in both 5.56 NATO and .223 Wylde barrels, it is NOT recommended to fire anything but .223 Rem in .223 Rem barrels as you can cause catastrophic damage to the barrel and possibly yourself. Now allow me to explain. To achieve the velocities required by the military the 5.56 has a larger powder charge than a .223 which creates a significant amount of pressure on the chamber and barrel due to case expansion which is why 5.56 barrels have wider throats than .223 barrels to handle the expansion of this pressure. 5.56 rounds are also slightly larger than .223 Rem rounds and can increase the rate of barrel wear or just get outright stuck depending on the fit of the bore which can cause the rifle to explode if firing in successive shots. .223 Wylde on the other hand is the middle ground between the two chamber sizes. It has a smaller throat than a 5.56 and a wider throat than the .223 Rem allowing both rounds to be fired safely and accurately. .223 Rem can be fired from a 5.56 barrel, but be warned you can end up with Failures to Eject (FTEs) because not enough gas tends to travel down the gas tube since it has a habit of escaping around the round itself due to wider bore and its casing due to the wider throat of the chamber.
  • 8: Twist Rate, Barrel Length, and Bullet Weight

    The twist rate is how many inches a groove in the rifling takes to wrap the entire barrel. So if you have a 1:7 Right Hand twist that means the grooves twist to the right and complete their rotation every seven inches. General gun philosophy is the faster the twist rate (the less number of inches to make a rotation) the better stabilization of the bullet since the twist causes the bullet to spin. With pointed ammunition this is most important because the front of the round tends to be heavier than the rear which will eventually cause it to tumble on it's axis or in other words flip end over end significantly degrading the possible distance it can go and it's accuracy. Heavier bullets tend to favor faster twists, because surprise you can over spin a bullet, especially lighter bullets. This is another reason you want to use barrels designed for the caliber you plan on shooting the most so you can get the most out of your rounds. 5.56 barrels tend to be 1:7 twist to maximize the weight of the M855 5.56 62gr. bullet used by the military. .223 Rem barrels tend to have 1:9 twist barrels to better maximize their typically lighter 55gr. bullets. Remember how I said the .223 Wylde is the go between the other two rounds? Guess what its twist rate is. That's right, 1:8 twist. These are the standard twist rates you'll see, you might see a 1:12 running around once in awhile.

    Barrel length is really dependent on the manufacture, but typical gun philosophy says, and despite what your wife might say, longer is better. This is really an opinion and dependent entirely on what you plan to do with the weapon. For accuracy and harder hitting rounds longer does tend to be better, and here's why. Longer barrels give gases behind the bullet more time to build pressure causing the round to have a higher velocity when it leaves the muzzle of the weapon there by making it travel further and harder than it would from a shorter barrel. Due to this barrel manufacturers of short barrels continue to play around with the diameter of the bore making the tolerances tighter to help get the same amount of pressure behind the round. Now the reason why I said this matters depending on what you plan on doing there's a trade off. Longer barrels are good for accurate shots, so hunting, competition target shooting, and sniping in open areas would be your main considerations, however what if you're inside or you plan on using your AR as a home defense gun or you live in a heavily wooded area or just generally don't have a lot of open space? Why would you need a much longer and heavier weapon for that situation? That's where the short barrels come in. If you're staying within 300M with your shots and you need to not only be able to move around quickly, but also maneuver the weapon around obstacles and in tight spaces (like furniture or corners), why would you want a longer heavier weapon when you're not going to use it for it's intended purpose? When considering a barrel length, consider what you plan on using it for, that should be your main concern.
Last edited by ABNinfantryman on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:40 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#2 Post by ABNinfantryman » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:59 am

Everything You Wanted to Know About ARs, but Were Afraid to Ask: Part Two
  • New Tricks for an Old Dog
  • Time To Do It Yourself: Tools

    Here are the tools you will need to complete your own AR, some of them will be marked as helpful rather than needed.

    A hammer, preferably one with a nylon end but I used a standard 4lb claw hammer with paper towels on what I am striking to get the same effect.

    A long flat head screw driver, for the pistol grip or butt stock if you decide to go with an A2 stock.

    A Roll Pin Punch Kit: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=5551 ... IN_PUNCHES Number 1-3 punches are absolutely necessary but I suggest getting the whole set.

    A Bolt Catch Pin Punch: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2648 ... _PIN_PUNCH This punch is very useful and you'll be using it the most to keep different assemblies in place while you get the actual pins ready and in place.

    Pivot Pin Detent Installation Tool: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2648 ... ATION_TOOL I can not stress enough how much easier this makes installing the pivot pin than trying to do it without it. Make sure you wear safety glasses in case you slip and spring pops up!

    Barrel Extension Torque Tool: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=5368 ... ORQUE_TOOL Makes installing the barrel with the proper torque a breeze and doesn't scuff up your barrel or receiver. Not necessary but makes the job easier.

    Barrel Nut Wrench: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2741 ... NUT_WRENCH Needed to either hold the nut in place while using the torque tool or to torque the barrel down from the outside.

    Buttstock Wrench: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2745 ... OCK_WRENCH Needed for the castle nut if you plan on using a telescoping stock.

    Snap Ring Pliers: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2647 ... ING_PLIERS Only if you plan on using a standard Delta Ring assembly. A lot of the newer free float hand rails don't use the Delta Ring, only the barrel nut.

    Headspace Guage: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=1596 ... IELD___223_ You need this to make sure the space between your bolt and chamber is correct, this is a necessity before firing your weapon!

    Some other tools to consider are a vice, receiver vice blocks, and front sight bench block, but they're not necessary. I don't have room for a vice so I have to make do, but they do help.
  • Time To Do It Yourself: The Lower Receiver

    I prefer to do the lower first because I usually have all of the parts on hand as lately I'm usually waiting on barrels to get back in stock. Since Brownell's already taken the liberty of making a video guide of step by step instructions, I'm not gonna make more work for myself. :D

    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11011/learn/
  • Time To Do It Yourself: The Buttstock

    Brownell's instruction on both fixed and collapsible stocks: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11012/learn/
  • Time To Do It Yourself: The Upper Receiver

    If you got a completely stripped upper these vids are for you: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11008/learn/
  • Time To Do It Yourself: The Barrel

    Self explanatory: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11009/learn/
  • Time To Do It Yourself: Charging Handle, Bolt Carrier Group, and Headspacing

    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=11010/learn/
  • Time To Do It Yourself: End

    Time to put the two halves together by pushing the pivot and take down pins out, place the upper in the lower, and push the pivot and take down pins in. Sometimes it's easier to put the upper in the shotgun position so you can line up the pivot pin first, then close the upper and push the take down pin in. Voila, your own custom AR! Now do a functions check (Will add videos of this later) and go to the range!
Last edited by ABNinfantryman on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:30 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#4 Post by Paladin » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:39 am

Nice job!

Might want to throw a function check in there too.




Also the manual of arms. :smart:
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#5 Post by Inquisitor » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:31 am

Stickied.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#6 Post by JayFromPA » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:54 pm

The diagram is quite helpful. But I don't think you reserved enough additional spaces. In fact, I'm sure of it. Mark should insert about 6 more posts in there for you.

As an ar noob who is about half into a pistol build piecemeal, how about....

What's the deal with this A1, A2, A3 and A4 designations, what are the changes?
Difference between commercial and milspec?
What's up with the diff bolt carriers? I understand the stainless steel and chrome varieties help with the wet against rust, but what's going on with this titanium nitride coat, that nickel boron coat, that ceramic plating, or... is there really a need for diamond coating the BCG? :hmmm:
I'll come up with more later, it's beer o'clock.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#7 Post by ABNinfantryman » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:04 pm

Jay I'm getting to that. I wanted to get the intro up first, then start getting into more detail. Though you're right about the differences between the models so I'll lay that out in the first post too. Check back in about twenty minutes under description.

Pally, they should be under the Operations section of the TM. I'll double check and if not I'll post them.

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Everything you want to know about ARs

#8 Post by Paladin » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:20 pm

Reading a TM how fun.

Maybe a YouTube if there is one. Just a suggestion we bought 20 or so lowers so guys are building and stripping them.
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#9 Post by gendoikari87 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:28 pm

Thanks man, I love this article!
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#10 Post by DenistheMenace » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:09 pm

Wow, nice article. very helpful. :clap:

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#11 Post by AmirMortal » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:17 pm

Very nice, looking forward to more.
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#12 Post by ABNinfantryman » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:59 pm

Added more. Took me longer than 20 minutes because I got on a roll and went a little more in depth than I had planned.

And fine Paladin, you win, I'll find a youtube video. :ras: But that TM's actually not that bad, the pictures in it are pretty decent.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#13 Post by gendoikari87 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:11 am

you have a nice write up on twist rates, gives me an idea as well... would a lower twist rate say 1 in 10 cause more cavitation in shorter engagement ranges?
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#14 Post by ABNinfantryman » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:37 am

Went ahead and added the actual building section. Brownell's has a very good collection of videos that are step by step.

Gendo, yes, but you trade off accuracy in doing so. The military standard for acceptable minute of angle deviation is 2 MOA or less at 100M, and I tend to agree, but that's a discussion that will go up top later.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#15 Post by ErikO » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Not that I'm an expert on ammo, but the development of the 6.8mm SPC round sounds promising. I know that Stag Arms offers AR-15s in that caliber as do Barrett Arms. What are your thoughts on the non-.223/5.56 rounds (besides being out of stock almost everywhere and $1+/shot)?
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#16 Post by Guardian117 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:53 am

Whoa, nice article! This will be very useful when I start to build my AR! Thanks!

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Everything you want to know about ARs

#17 Post by Paladin » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:32 pm

ErikO wrote:Not that I'm an expert on ammo, but the development of the 6.8mm SPC round sounds promising. I know that Stag Arms offers AR-15s in that caliber as do Barrett Arms. What are your thoughts on the non-.223/5.56 rounds (besides being out of stock almost everywhere and $1+/shot)?

I turned mine into a AR57 and it is tacticool fun. Only about .50 a shot a Russian round would be good too but I wanted something for an indoor range.
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#18 Post by nosreme » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:02 am

Terrific article-thanks!

I've held off even thinking about getting into ARs because I knew next to nothing about them (other than technical terminology like "upper" and "lower") and couldn't find much of use online or in print that didn't presume existing knowledge.

Looking forward to more--and to getting one of these things (even though there's only one range here that lets you shoot ARs).

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#19 Post by ABNinfantryman » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:23 am

ErikO wrote:Not that I'm an expert on ammo, but the development of the 6.8mm SPC round sounds promising. I know that Stag Arms offers AR-15s in that caliber as do Barrett Arms. What are your thoughts on the non-.223/5.56 rounds (besides being out of stock almost everywhere and $1+/shot)?
My only problem with new/specialty rounds is that they're not readily available, and for me my ARs are SHTF rifles so I don't want to rely on something that's not in widespread use. However with that said, the nice thing about the 6.8mm is it can use the same lower and magazines as the 5.56 so you could buy an upper in 6.8 (or build it) and be able to use both. The 6.8 itself is a great round for close to medium range shooting with better terminal ballistics than the 5.56, and it's already developed, it just needs a LE/military contract here and there to spawn serious interest among civilians and cue the ammo manufacturers that it's an investment worth making. Once that happens you'll see more accessories tailored to the round from the likes of Magpul so the cost of things like magazines also goes down. Which is the other thing to consider too, gun shows fart 30 round 5.56 mags, you can find them every where, how many 6.8 or 5.45 or 7.62x39 or .308 AR mags have you seen? How many of them function well? For instance LWRC (on top of 5.56 and 6.8 rifles and uppers) sells a 5.45 upper which I looked at getting and a lot of what I read from the owners is how these mags work sometimes and they had to shave this part or clip part of the spring and on and on and thats too much hassle for my taste.

So I'd suggest keeping the specialty rounds for hunting, target shooting, and the like, but for defensive or zombie apocalypse purposes, stick with what's in wider use and is easier to keep running. Or buy a shit ton of ammo and accessories.... if you can find them. Or, as a 6.8 fan told me, carry a backup 5.56 upper. Also, spend the extra money on rifles/uppers from companies that actually take the time to properly engineer the weapon and don't just push something out quick to ride the waves of a fad. Which is another thing to consider, the fad issue. You'll hear a lot about some new magic round every so often that people just buy up because they heard that Special Forces uses it to rape kittens over in the litter box and how its going to replace the 5.56 as the standard military round. Then they're just absolutely shocked when the round doesn't go anywhere, so if you hear someone say "the military's going to switch to this round" and it just came onto the scene, they're full of shit or speculating. It takes a long time for the military to acquire or adopt anything, like the .338 lapua mag for instance which was designed in 1989 and we're just now starting to see .338 LM rifles because the Army put out a call to manufacturers to see possible replacements of the current sniper systems.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#20 Post by ErikO » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 am

The backup upper makes sense. Good to hear that the 6.8 and 5.56 use the same lowers.

I was hoping to get an AR from MI, but the IRS closed the door on that dream. :(
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#21 Post by stickman » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:41 pm

So, you kind of answered my questions already I know, but I figured I'd make use of your knowledge on the subject.

I'm looking at a Del-Ton kit to finish my LGC lower, specifically the one at http://www.del-ton.com/ProductDetails.a ... ode=RKT106 (naturally with the pinned and welded muzzle break and A2 front sight without bayonet lug, thanks Massachusetts).

1.The chambering says 5.56 but the rifling is 1:9, I assume it won't make a big difference? I don't plan to shoot past 200 yards very often.

2. I understand that .223 Remington will shoot in a rifle chambered for 5.56, is it significant out to 200 yards, or is it more of a thing that pin pushers would be concerned with?

Thanks in advance
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Everything you want to know about ARs

#22 Post by Paladin » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:43 pm

It will be fine I just would not go lighter than 55gr.
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#23 Post by ABNinfantryman » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:44 pm

A 1:9 twist just means it's designed for lighter rounds, specifically for 55 grain rounds. You can use any weight you want, you'll just usually see better terminal performance from the lighter round with that twist rate.

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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#24 Post by wlewisiii » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:04 pm

Can you add any thoughts on alternative chamberings? I'm not terribly fond of the AR platform (leftover bias from my time in the Army) but I have been considering the possibility of one in 6.8 SPC.
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Re: Everything you want to know about ARs

#25 Post by ABNinfantryman » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:24 pm

What more are you specifically looking for than what's been said?

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