Need input on 5.56/.223 ammo...

Need input on 5.56/.223 ammo...

This is a discussion on Need input on 5.56/.223 ammo... within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am (slowly ) building out an AR-15 for myself and I want to start stockpiling some ammo. I have a few basic questions at ...

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Thread: Need input on 5.56/.223 ammo...

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Question Need input on 5.56/.223 ammo...

    I am (slowly ) building out an AR-15 for myself and I want to start stockpiling some ammo. I have a few basic questions at this point, though...

    What is 'boattail'? Are there other types of HP in this caliber, and what's the difference?

    I generally prefer heavier bullets (I shoot 147gr in 9mm and 180gr in .40S&W, so at least I am consistent...), so I am leaving towards Hornady 5.56 TAP 75gr BTHP. Of course, that's near a buck a bang, and for about half that I could lay in a can of Georgia-Arms BTHP, but that's .223 at 68gr. I'd like some input from out local AR fans before I go plunk down that cash, though.

    I plan on sitting on at least 500 rounds, and maybe a thousand, of defensive ammo, then worrying about practice ammo as I get closer to a finished build. I do plan on having a 5.56 upper.

    Thanks for the help!
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    A bullet with a boattail configuration is tapered at it's rear unlike a standard bullet which is the same width all the way to the bottom.
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    I don't know a whole lot but you'll need a fast-twisting barrel for the heavy round. I guess that the very common 1:9 is can stabilize up to 68-69grains, but it can be hit or miss up there. I have a 1:7 which can stabilize heavier bullets, but I understand that the barrel will wear quicker than a 1:9.

    Also, 75 is getting to the point where it might not feed reliably in all guns. If I were you, I'd take the $250 - $400 you were gonna spend on stockpiling and buy another part for your gun. Once you know what it likes to eat, then you can worry about hording it.


    Oh, boat-tail is the shape of the rear end of the round. Compared to the rear-end being straight, it narrows back some. This is far aerodynamically superior.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    I am (slowly ) building out an AR-15 for myself and I want to start stockpiling some ammo. I have a few basic questions at this point, though...

    What is 'boattail'? Are there other types of HP in this caliber, and what's the difference?

    I generally prefer heavier bullets (I shoot 147gr in 9mm and 180gr in .40S&W, so at least I am consistent...), so I am leaving towards Hornady 5.56 TAP 75gr BTHP. Of course, that's near a buck a bang, and for about half that I could lay in a can of Georgia-Arms BTHP, but that's .223 at 68gr. I'd like some input from out local AR fans before I go plunk down that cash, though.

    I plan on sitting on at least 500 rounds, and maybe a thousand, of defensive ammo, then worrying about practice ammo as I get closer to a finished build. I do plan on having a 5.56 upper.

    Thanks for the help!
    What barrel length / rifling twist? This makes a big difference in the ammo your gun will shoot well.

    Matt
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    Member Array gunnClan's Avatar
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    The best advice on this thread is figure out what your gun shoots best, (weight etc) and stockpile that.
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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    What barrel length / rifling twist? This makes a big difference in the ammo your gun will shoot well.
    Well, that's part of why I am asking, really.

    I am inclined towards a 16" barrel, and from what I have read I will want a 1:7 twist for ~70gr bullets---although some of the info I have read says the twist rate correlates more to the length of the bullet than to the weight, and I have no idea what the length variation for different rounds happens to be.

    So, let me try it another way---who out there shoots the heavier 5.56 rounds and what barrel config works for you?
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    There's a pretty good write up here:
    Clint McKee on AR-15 Twists

    FWIW I have two AR's, both with 14.5" barrels, 1:9 twist. They shoot 62 gr FMJBT fantastically, 55 gr well, but larger 70+ and I get flyers sometimes (speaking strictly of bench shooting out past 200m). I also had my only failure to feed with a 77gr match bullet.
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    1:9 twist barrels perform best with the 50-69 grain rounds. 1:7 handle anything up to the high 70's. 80 grains and up needs an even faster twist, and starts handling the lower-grain .223 and 5.56 less well. I would default to the 1:7 twist, since that'll handle nearly everything out there and is what works best with the good personal defense ammo.


    -B

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    There's a pretty good write up here:
    Clint McKee on AR-15 Twists
    Ah, now that's perfect! Give me formulae and let me figure out how it works for myself.

    Thanks, matiki!
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Heavier bullets are longer bullets. More mass and bearing surface in the rifling. According to what you've said, and contemplating using either 5.56 or .223 ammo, be sure your rifle build includes a 5.56 chamber for the upper.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Anyone have any opinions on this assembled Dominator upper from GG&G? Based on this thread, I'd be getting 16" 1:7. (The list below says 1:9, but 1:7 is an available option.)

    AR 15 Uppers - Complete Upper Receiver Assembly - Dominator-1 Barreled Upper



    Here are the facts about the Dominator-1:

    Mil-Spec Forged 7075 Aluminum A3 Upper Receiver With Correctly Cut Feed Ramps For Military Type M Barrels. Complete With Forward Assist And Ejection Port Cover. Upper Receiver is T-marked.

    A2 Back Up Iron Sight With Locking Detent.

    16 Inch Set Up Includes Chrome Moly M203 Contoured Barrel With A 1-9 Twist Rate And Flash Hider.

    Barrel And Chamber Are Hard-Chrome Lined And Have Been High Pressure And Magnetic Particle tested.

    Mil-Spec Gas Tube And Delta Ring Assembly.

    Newly Designed Flip Up Front Sight With Locking Detent Mechanism, Bayonet Lug And Ambi Sling Swivel.

    Tactical Modular Forearm Complete With Rails And Foregrip Panels.

    Recoil Cross Slots Of Upper Receiver And Tactical Modular Forearm Are Sequentially Numbered. (T-Marked)

    Aluminum Components Have Been Type III Hard-Coat Anodized Matte Black Per Mil-Spec.Steel Components Have Been Manganese Phosphated Matte Black Per Mil-Spec.

    Fully Assembled And Headspaced, Ready For Your Bolt Group And Lower Receiver.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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