View Full Version : 5.56/223 ammo

November 18, 2012, 11:14 AM
roughly 3 years ago i purchased a ar15 type rifle, it sat in the back of the closet untill just recently, the lower is a superior arms s-15 cal 5.56mm, the only identifaction i can find on the upper is dpms 223 1-9, it is a stainless(?) bull barrel aprox 24 inches in length, as measured from the front of the magazine well to the end of the barrel, it is equiped with a primary arms 4.5X14 scope with an illuminated reticle,

(1), i have to assume this to be a .223 ammo only gun. correct?
(2) will i have to purchase a new upper to enable me to shoot 5.56?
im going to get started in reloading and was thinking that surplus ammo might be a good place to get my cases
(3) i paid $500 for this gun from the original owner because he said it was broken because it chainfired, i can verify that it did, and it needs a good thourough cleaning, .. my 10 years in the marine corps as an 0317 leads me to believe it was a dry bolt seizure. did i screw myself by purchasing this firearm?
(4) the only way i know to clean an m16 is with clp, and i am out, is there another commonly used acceptable cleaner that is as good?

November 18, 2012, 11:37 AM
(3) i paid $500 for this gun from the original owner because he said it was broken because it chainfired, i can verify that it did, and it needs a good thourough cleaning

If this is truly the case, I would remove that fire control group from that gun IMMEDIATELY and dispose of it. Replacement parts are cheap, albeit in high demand lately.

Just scrub it out like you did in the Corp...

Metal god
November 18, 2012, 12:17 PM
Hey how's it going ?

1) if it is stamped 223 on the barrel I would only use 223 ammo .

2) yes but you could contact DPMS and ask if you can fire 5.56 out of there heavy bull barrels

3) I would also Recommend changing out the FCG . The problem is most likely the diconect or the hammer . A FCG is about $40

4) CLP all the way baby :D

November 18, 2012, 01:25 PM
If you are out of CLP, just to buy more. It's got to be the most readily found gun cleaner on store shelves today.

November 18, 2012, 06:49 PM
The rifle has sat for a while, so I guess my first question would be- Do you have any attachment to the rifle?

Even with the malfunction, that's a pretty good price. And, the time you spent as a 0317- I trust your assessment of the reason it had a runaway- that's a cheap fix anyhow. Replacing the whole upper would be an option, although a costly one. However, a cheaper route might be to see of a Gun Smith in your area could ream the chamber out to .223 Wylde. That would enable you to fire both .223 and 5.56. As modular as AR's are- I think that would be the least expensive option as long as you're happy with the rest of the rifle. The next least expensive step would be to have the barrel replaced, you might even get a bit knocked off the price if you let the person doing the swap keep the old barrel.

What in particular do you see yourself doing with the rifle? 24" is kinda on the long and heavy side and not the most agile, but it does make for a nice range/not-much-walking varmint rifle. I personally see it as being under scoped, but that's just my preference/opinion.

Gary L. Griffiths
November 18, 2012, 06:54 PM
Another vote for having the chamber reamed to .223 Wylde.

OTOH, unless you're planning to shoot surplus 5.56mm ammo in it, why bother? Since you're planning to reload for it, you can use 5.56mm brass, loaded with .223 data. :cool:

November 18, 2012, 08:35 PM
Truth be told, its probably easy to find a FEW recipes called "service rifle data" or something similarly euphamistic, but finding a ton of 5.56 recipes requires work.

November 19, 2012, 09:02 AM
Here's a recipe for home made CLP (http://home.comcast.net/~dsmjd/tux/dsmjd/tech/eds_red.htm) called Ed's red. Mobil1 engine oil is a excellent lube for the AR.

You could try replacing the FCG's disconnector, it's the most common cause of uncontrolled fire. A 24" sounds like a precision rifle, you may want to replace the FCG with a quality two stage.

November 19, 2012, 04:12 PM
im not sure what a .223 wylde is, and i field stripped the rifle last night, it was not the bolt that was frozen, but the firing pin, took about 20 minutes to pull the cotterpin out in pieces, followed by needle nose vice grips to get the firing pit out, this weapon was never cleaned!!!! the bolt carrier group is now in a bucket of diesel fuel to hopefully soften up the carbon, definatly going to need a firing pin and a cotter pin

I have no sentimental attachment to this firearm, its main purpose was for plinking, however it has been pulled out of the closet for another purpose, coyotes. as the population has swelled dramatically in the past few years, and we are starting to see some wild hogs, if i can get it to shoot correctly, i have no doubts of its coyote ability, however hogs i am not sure, ranges should be under 300yds on both, and shot from under my carport

Metal God, doing well Sir, Yourself?

i will try the recipe for clp, thank you Sir!

Sweet Shooter
November 19, 2012, 04:29 PM
If this is chrome-lined and has a chrome-lined chamber I would not re-cut the chamber. It could get messy. Hand load for it exclusively, shoot .223, or swap out the bbl.

I personally don't think it's a problem shooting 5.56 in a .223 from experience but I would not give that advice out loud on the internet.

It sounds to me like you'd benefit shooting heavy for caliber .223 varmint loads anyhow, given your intended use.

Pull some pipe cleaners soaked in chlorine-free brake cleaner through that firing-pin channel.


Metal god
November 19, 2012, 05:21 PM
I'm good thanks

Seeing how it was the BCG you may want to take the extractor out and make sure the inside of the bolt is not all screwed up .

You can shoot both 223 and 5.56 out of the 223 wylde chamber . I believe the wylde chamber has a little more lead or free bore then a 223 but a little less then 5.56 . The heavier the bullet is the longer it must be . The longer free bore gives you more room for the extra bullet length . It's my understanding if you have a 223 chamber a little on the tighter side .The bullet of some 5.56 NATO rounds can be touching and or slightly pushed into the rifling of the barrel causing a presure spike when fired . The Wylde chamber keeps this from happening . Thats my basic understanding of the 223/5.56 chambering issues .

November 19, 2012, 06:08 PM
Sounds like you got a good deal even though the maint issues, I'd keep the bull barrel if its still good, may not be ideal for you, but I'd say its a keeper. Just shoot .223. .223 is widely available so I wouldn't worry with the 5.56. Sounds like a good coyote setup or something along those lines.

November 20, 2012, 03:19 AM
Sweetshooter, I don't think he's got a chrome lined bore/chamber. The way Whiskeyrunner describes it, I don't think DPMS made one chromed in 24" length- could be wrong.

Anyway, I wouldn't imagine anyone charging you more than $120-$140 at most to pull the barrel and touch it up to the Wylde chamber specs.

November 20, 2012, 03:55 PM
just got off the phone with dpms, what i have is a slick side bull 24, its a stainless barrel and not chrome lined, the gentlemen on the phone said it was designed for .223 only, however any commercially available cough cough cough round will chamber and fire without issues.

where is the best place to get an fcg and firing pin etc?

Metal god
November 20, 2012, 04:42 PM
PSA or Midway USA has FCGs ( fire control groups )at good prices

You can find BCG ( bolt carrier group )all over the place CTD, Midway , Cabelas etc . What tends to be harder to find is good quality less expensize ones .You can find them from $130 to $350 . The firing pin is part of the BCG . here is a repair kit , you can find just the firing pin here as well

This is a good Complete BCG for the price http://www.midwayusa.com/product/690248/daniel-defense-bolt-carrier-assembly-mil-spec-ar-15-223-remington-matte?cm_vc=subv1145235

Make sure what ever BCG you get has a Properly Staked Gas Key and is chrome lined and pass a thorough Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) test this should insure you get a quality BCG