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Old January 13, 2013, 11:04 PM   #1
LRChops
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COLT CAR-15

I have a Colt CAR-15 that has the reciever marked '.223'

It says 'COLT CAR-15 Gov't Carbine .223'

This is an older gun that was purchased in 1990. Do you know if it is ok to fire 5.56 through it? I am pretty sure I have with no issues. I know that guns marked 5.56 fire both 5.56 and .223

What do you think an original CAR-15 in excellent condition is worth?
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:31 PM   #2
Willie Sutton
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"Do you know if it is ok to fire 5.56 through it?"


Of course it's OK to fire 5.56 thru it. Same-Same.

Value? Anyones guess at the moment. Hang onto it.


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Old January 14, 2013, 12:48 AM   #3
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You can but it's not advised. Rifles built to .556 can shoot .223 but not vice versa. Keep in mind that .556 ammo builds higher pressure's than the barrel that your rifle is designed for. Shoot .556 at your own risk.......
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:03 AM   #4
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+1 Stripeknight

A rifle with a .223 chamber isn't built to handle 5.56 pressures. Regular use of 5.56 ammo can damage your rifle.

If it were marked "5.56 NATO" you'd be hunky dory to shoot either or through it.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:11 AM   #5
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What does it say on the barre? I had an old Colt marked ".223" on the lower but the barrel itself was marked "5.56", and that's what matters.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:21 AM   #6
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YEAH! It is stamped 5.56 on the barrel!!!!! Thanks for sending me in the right direction THEOHAZARD!!!

Never even realized the barrel was marked because my eye sight is ageing. I had to put on some magnifiers to read it!!

I am good to go with any variation of ammo!!!!!! This place really does work!
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:51 AM   #7
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Great! Glad we could help! Yep, you're good to go with both 5.56 and .223.
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Old January 14, 2013, 07:17 PM   #8
Willie Sutton
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^^^ Gentlemen:

Anyone who thinks that Colt ever made a ".223" AR-15 that was chambered any differently than a 5.56mm AR-15 needs to find another hobby, because they are not smart enought to participate in this one.

The entire 5.56 v/s .223 "controversy" is silly on it's face for any rifle, never mind a COLT manufactured AR-15 that uses the SAME barrels as military issue.


Now... anyone else other than me ever see a .222 chambered AR-15? That's a different cartridge...


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Old January 15, 2013, 01:50 AM   #9
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.223 and 5.56 are not exactly the same. True, there are not many .223 rifles that shouldn't be used to shoot 5.56, but they do exist.

Colt has made many, many different versions of the AR-15 family over the last 50 years. Many are very different from their military M16 and M4 models. I still would assume all those barrels were rated for both .223 and 5.56, but I won't pretend I know that history well enough to say that for sure.

According to you, anyone who doesn't know the complete history of the Colt AR-15 line isn't smart enough to participate in the hobby of shooting. Well, I guess that includes me: I carried a Colt for my four years in the Marine Corps infantry, I've owned several Colts starting from when I was 18, and I sell them for a living now. But because I can't say for sure that they've NEVER produced an AR-15 style rifle that was chambered in .223 only, apparently I need to find a new hobby and a new line of work, huh?
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Old January 15, 2013, 02:17 AM   #10
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Actually, you DO see AR's chambered in .222. All the time....

...because the original designation of the cartridge is .222 Remington Special.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:51 AM   #11
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Willie, why would you say anyone who doesn's know shouldnt participate in the hobby? That is not an objective fair statement.

I carry a COLT LE6940 as my primary duty rifle and I am very proficient with it. I think it is a legitimate question to ask if a reciever is marked .223 on an older AR-15. I own four black rifles and only one is stamped .223 Definately worth clarification since there is a difference in the two rounds. So happens that my CAR-15 is a lightweight barrel with a lightweight cut out bolt carrier, so I wanted to be sure I was good to go and would not damage the rifle. Now I know thanks to some helpfull folks here!

Glad your not the only one providing info here because in your book, I should not own a gun!
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:41 AM   #12
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I have a Colt CAR-15 that has the reciever marked '.223'. This is an older gun that was purchased in 1990.

I have one too - manufactured around 1981 and I purchased it around 1992 - No forward assist, solid aluminum sliding retractable buttstock, thinner chrome-lined barrel, no sear block and older style bolt carrier that registered lightning-link owners need to make their gun go full auto. That's what I think you are describing.



It says 'COLT CAR-15 Gov't Carbine .223'

- This may be a later model - does it have the heavier barrel?

Do you know if it is ok to fire 5.56 through it? I am pretty sure I have with no issues. I know that guns marked 5.56 fire both 5.56 and .223

No problem - you can fire 5.56 through it all day long.

What do you think an original CAR-15 in excellent condition is worth?

The Colt CAR-15 (which is actually an SP1 variant) in 98% condition would probably sell for between $1,700 - $2,100 in the current market.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:49 AM   #13
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"I have an AR that's marked 5.56 on the receiver". That marking means absolutely NOTHING.
It's what's on the barrel that counts.
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Old January 15, 2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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That's not entirely correct because there are lowers for 7.62 x 39, 9mm, and .45ACP as well.
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Old January 17, 2013, 01:31 PM   #15
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anyone else seen one in .222?

Yes. Several. They were made for export. the.222 is still very popular in Europe. Not to mention the very first Armalites.
One for up for auction right now.
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Old January 17, 2013, 01:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
That's not entirely correct because there are lowers for 7.62 x 39, 9mm, and .45ACP as well
Doesn't matter. If it is a correct AR-15 style lower receiver, then it will fit to any upper regardless.
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Old January 18, 2013, 02:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Anyone who thinks that Colt ever made a ".223" AR-15 that was chambered any differently than a 5.56mm AR-15 needs to find another hobby, because they are not smart enought to participate in this one.

The entire 5.56 v/s .223 "controversy" is silly on it's face for any rifle, never mind a COLT manufactured AR-15 that uses the SAME barrels as military issue.
Anyone who puts out statement like that should find another hobby because they are the ones that scare me the most, snooty, high handed and opinionated and therefore dangerous because they assume and no not check.

Me thinks you need to re-think your attitude (and yes I am willing to be censured for these comments if the moderator thinks I am out of line as I feel it needs to be addressed). I would hope you are censored.

We are here to learn and the OP asked a legitimate question and you should NEVER assume. IT could have a different barrel on it as unlikely as that is and be a 223. Colt may have made 223s YOU did not know about.
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:47 PM   #18
Tucker 1371
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I think this might help clear things up.

Quote:
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 Cartridges

The .223 Remington and 5.56×45 NATO cartridges are very similar, and externally appear the same.* But there are some differences that lie beneath the surface.

The 5.56 case has thicker walls to handle higher pressures, meaning the interior volume of the case is smaller than that of a .223.** This will alter the loading data used when reloading 5.56 brass to .223 specs.

Some 5.56 loads have a slightly longer overall length than commercial .223 loads.*

The Chambers

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.*

A shorter leade in a SAAMI spec rifle creates a situation where the bullet in a 5.56 NATO round, when chambered, can contact the rifling prior to being fired.* By having contact with the rifling prematurely (at the moment of firing), chamber pressure can be dramatically increased, creating the danger of a ruptured case or other cartridge/gun failure.

The reverse situation, a .223 Rem round in a 5.56 NATO gun, isn’t dangerous.* The leade is longer, so a slight loss in velocity and accuracy may be experienced, but there is not a danger of increased pressures and subsequent catastrophic failure.

How serious is the danger of firing 5.56 ammo in .223 guns?* Dangerous enough that the SAAMI lists 5.56 military ammo as being not for use in .223 firearms in the technical data sheet titled “Unsafe Firearm-Ammunition Combinations.”*

ATK, the parent company of ammunition manufacturers Federal Cartridge Company and Speer, published a bulletin entitled “The Difference Between 223 Rem and 5.56 Military Cartridges.”* In this bulletin, ATK stated using 5.56 ammo in a .223 rifle could result in “…primer pocket gas leaks, blown cartridge case heads, and gun functioning issues.”

However, the danger may be lower than SAAMI or ATK suggest.* In Technical Note #74 from ArmaLite, the company states “millions of rounds of NATO ammunition have been fired safely in Eagle Arms and ArmaLite’s® SAAMI chambers over the past 22 years,” and they have not had any catastrophic failures.

According to ArmaLite:

“Occasionally a non-standard round (of generally imported) ammunition will fit too tightly in the leade, and resistance to early bullet movement can cause elevated chamber pressures.* These pressures are revealed by overly flattened primers or by powder stains around the primer that reveal leaking gasses.”

What Do You Have?

So, if you own a rifle chambered for the .223 for 5.56, do you know for which caliber it is really chambered?*

Many match rifles are chambered in .223 Remington (SAAMI specs) for tighter tolerances, and theoretically better accuracy.*

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.

As if the confusion regarding the .223 vs 5.56 chambers wasn’t enough, there is a third possibility in the mix, that is being used by at least one major manufacturer.* The .223 Wylde chamber is a modified SAAMI-spec .223 chamber that allows for the safe use of 5.56 NATO rounds, but maintains tighter tolerances for better accuracy.

Yeah, yeah… What’s the bottom line?

Here’s the bottom line.* If you want to follow the safest possible course, always shoot .223 Remington ammunition.* The .223 Rem cartridge will safely shoot in any rifle chambered for the .223 or 5.56.

If you want to shoot 5.56 NATO rounds, make sure you have a rifle designed for the 5.56 military cartridge.* Shooting 5.56 in a normal .223 Rem rifle can result in bad things.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:55 PM   #19
Dfariswheel
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And as for Colt NEVER selling AR rifles in .223, they did in the late 1950's and early 1960's before the .5.56 cartridge was developed for military use.

Back then the full-auto rifle was called the AR-15 and it was chambered for the Remington .223 cartridge.
It was only after the military decided to buy the rifle as the M16 did they develop the military 5.56 cartridge.
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Old February 3, 2013, 05:37 PM   #20
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.223 vs 5.56

Guys,
Most all/ if not all Military style AR15 rifles that say .223 are in effect 5.56. Including Mini 14's. Not true for Bolt Actions. Found that out shooting Portugese .308 in a Remington Model 7. All Military rounds are overpressured in tight chambers of rifles chambered in Civilian Cartridges. My 700 Remington shot all over the place with 7.62x51, the few rounds I fired. Taught me a lesson. DON'T DO IT.

P.S.
Colt stole the AR 15 from Eugene Stoner when he couldn't meet the contract for the Military. The government wanted Colt to make them. The Air Force was issued the first AR 15's in 1962 and they were semi-auto. We destroyed Bunkers full of M1 Carbines to get the AR 15. Slammed the Blast Doors on the middle of them.

Last edited by coltcollector; February 3, 2013 at 05:43 PM.
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