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OK...just when i was starting to get a handle on my understanding of which ARs could and could not fire 5.56, I am re-confused by my own rifle. I have owned my COLT AR-15 a3 LE/govt Carbine, for several years now. I bought it NIB for an absolutely awesome deal. Had it not been for this deal I would not be an AR owner probably. I have shot it very little. Always using .223. I was fondling it a little and putting on a light coat of oil yesterday. It was part of a special run getting 16" heavy target barrels. The receiver is marked .223. The barrel says "5.56 NATO/HBAR". For you AR gurus, am I safe to shoot 5.56?
 

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Mine is marked .223/5.56 so I use both? But, I'm not an AR guru.
 

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OK...just when i was starting to get a handle on my understanding of which ARs could and could not fire 5.56, I am re-confused by my own rifle. I have owned my COLT AR-15 a3 LE/govt Carbine, for several years now. I bought it NIB for an absolutely awesome deal. Had it not been for this deal I would not be an AR owner probably. I have shot it very little. Always using .223. I was fondling it a little and putting on a light coat of oil yesterday. It was part of a special run getting 16" heavy target barrels. The receiver is marked .223. The barrel says "5.56 NATO/HBAR". For you AR gurus, am I safe to shoot 5.56?
You can shoot either round with that Colt barrel, there are other specific rifle models from some manufacturers that you can only shoot .223 (Some bushmaster models etc.) When I first got my AR i shot quite a few 5.56 just to test it out and I didn't see any real differences.

By the way, keep that AR wet!
 

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Can't remember the particulars, but you can shoot .223 in a 5.56mm, but you can't shoot 5.56 in a .223. If your barrel is marked 5.56, then you're ok. I can't remember if it has something to do with headspace, case shoulder dimensions, chamber pressures, or what. If I'm wrong, anyone please feel free to correct me.
 

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"...you can shoot .223 in a 5.56mm, but you can't shoot 5.56 in a .223. If your barrel is marked 5.56" - Nitrohead

Correct ^^

Same as you can fire .38 out of a .357 Mag but not .357 Mag out of a .38.
The reasons for this are different as from that of a rifle (not just ARs) but the concept of ammunition interchangeability remain the same there.

For maximum flexibility in a rifle/carbine/pistol get one that is chambered for 5.56 and you can support conventional .223 Remington no problem, including .223 Wylde as well.

- Janq
 

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If the barrel is marked 5.56, this means its chambered for 5.56.

Mine is marked .223/5.56 and I can shoot either. Your questions may be better answered at ARFCOM, AR15.Com This is where the guru's are.
 

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"...you can shoot .223 in a 5.56mm, but you can't shoot 5.56 in a .223. If your barrel is marked 5.56" - Nitrohead

Correct ^^

Same as you can fire .38 out of a .357 Mag but not .357 Mag out of a .38.
The reasons for this are different as from that of a rifle (not just ARs) but the concept of ammunition interchangeability remain the same there.

For maximum flexibility in a rifle/carbine/pistol get one that is chambered for 5.56 and you can support conventional .223 Remington no problem, including .223 Wylde as well.

- Janq
Spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good to know. Dont know why I had never noticed that the receiver was marked one way and the barrel another. Guess I dont shoot it enough. LOL
 

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I have seen 500 rounds for 145.00 here... not too bad
Where?!? Please tell. If it is someplace that is a national chain, I'll go get some now and I don't even own an AR yet!
 
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