Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nutnfancy videos: AK vs. AR

Last week, I was in a sporting goods store looking for a good set of compact binoculars for my bag. While I was there, another customer struck up a conversation with me as I played with various versions of BARSKA field glasses.

Initially, I thought the guy to be a cop based upon his appearance and the manner in which he carried himself. As it would happen, he was a Marine, and volunteered that he was an armorer.

Another customer wandered in and started talking to the clerk behind the counter. He was seeking .223 ammo. The store was out of stock, and the clerk said that he had no idea when it would be in. The customer said it wasn't a big deal as he had recently purchased several thousand rounds of 5.56x45 at a gun show.

The Marine's ears perked up, and asked if it was really 5.56x45 that he had bought. The guy said that is the way it is labeled. He asked if the guy had tried to fire any of it yet, and the response was "no".

The Marine Armorer wanted to know what he was going to be firing the ammo from. The response was a civilian post ban AR-15.

The Marine urged the guy to have his weapon checked by a competent gunsmith before firing the 5.56x45 from the weapon. He went on to explain that .223 and 5.56x45 are NOT the same caliber, although they are very similar. Military weapons can fire both .223 and 5.56x45 without suffering any malfunctions, but a civilian weapon may fail catastrophically due to overpressure when firing 5.56x45.

He went on to explain that the situation is easily remedied by having the head space adjusted.

To be quite frank, this was news to me, and I've done some digging around as well as asked a guy I know who used to build AR platform weapons before California went crazy back in the 80s.

A fairly succinct explanation can be found on Wikipedia (not the best reference for something as critical as your life) but it seems to echo what I've read elsewhere.

If any of you out there have any thoughts, please give us all the benefit of your experience.

Shadow, a friend of mine, has been ill of late and has been stalking about the web while he has been stuck in bed. He sent me a number of links to videos hosted on YouTube.

A guy calling himself "Nutnfancy" has a series of videos up there covering everything from first aid kits, to the age old argument regarding the AK vs. AR rifles. Very nicely done, with a lot of good information.

AK-47 vs AR-15 Part1, by NutnFancy

There are many videos from Nutnfancy. Start with the one above, and refer to the "More From Nutnfancy" column on the right of the YouTube page to see all of his offerings.


Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Wish I could be of help here, BrotherMan..
As is, I'll await more succinct minds as that which I possess-- and it'll STILL be over me head!
But, ca va-- some day I'll know who to head to to answer my ineptitude-- AND to take up ARMS with...

UNITED, Brother...


[Thanks, as always, for the enlightenment...present AND future.]


Bitmap said...

A 5.56x45 chamber has a longer throat than a .223 chamber.

Yes, firing 5.56x45 in a .223 chamber is not a good idea. I've seen primers blown completely out of cases before (as in "the primer fell down in the lower and was rattling around") but I've never seen or heard of a rifle actually blown up from it. I suppose it could happen.

You don't adjust headspace in an AR. You run a 5.56x45 reamer or a .223 Wylde reamer into the chamber, which changes the throat.

The only AR upper anyone will ever adjust headspace in is some match uppers without chrome lined chambers and bores. The very high end barrels like Krieger may be short chambered a little on purpose so the headspace can be set to the minimum. Those rifles are not intended for use with 5.56x45 and most people that have them only use handloads made for their rifle.

When you buy and AR or a complete upper or barrel for one look for 5.56x45. I think RRA use the .223 Wylde which will also work with 5.56x45.

Catman said...

Wow, thanks for the info Bitmap!