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View Full Version : AR-15s in other calibers... what's best?


oldrifle
02-19-2008, 12:45 PM
Sorry if I spawn a flamefest here but I searched and couldn't find anything that really satisfied my question. I'm considering building an AR in a different caliber such as .308, 6.5 grendel, etc. I don't even know what others are possible (besides .22LR of course). Which caliber would you guys recommend besides the standard .223/5.56... or if I should just stick to that cal, let me know. I want power, but cost per round is definitely a factor too.

Thanks! :D

thmpr
02-19-2008, 12:54 PM
All around caliber (CQB, Hunting, up to 800 meters or beyond): 6.5 Grendel

Strictly CQB: 6.8SPC

wildcard
02-19-2008, 12:56 PM
It all depends on what you want to do with your rifle.

Practice: .22LR
Short range plinking: 9MM
Short range game: 458 SOCOM
Short - Mid Range: 5.56/.223
Long range: 6.5 Grendel

apbrian112
02-19-2008, 12:57 PM
if cost per round is an issue, either 22lr or 9mm
the other calibers are
-458
-308
-6.5 grendal
-6.8 spc
-450 bushmaster
-5.45
-etc...

oldrifle
02-19-2008, 1:01 PM
if cost per round is an issue, either 22lr or 9mm
the other calibers are
-458
-308
-6.5 grendal
-6.8 spc
-450 bushmaster
-5.45
-etc...

Well I think I will certainly build a 22LR for shooting paper at the range but I want to build something with good short to mid-range penetrability for self defense and from what I've heard from soldiers, .223 doesn't always get the job done.

wildcard
02-19-2008, 1:06 PM
Well I think I will certainly build a 22LR for shooting paper at the range but I want to build something with good short to mid-range penetrability for self defense and from what I've heard from soldiers, .223 doesn't always get the job done.

For self defense where I presume you'll be shooting less than 20 ft, 5.56/.223 will get the job done. Heck, it'll tumble in its target rather nicely way past that but it would be tough for you to claim legal "self defense" in this state.

Rocko
02-19-2008, 1:43 PM
Well I think I will certainly build a 22LR for shooting paper at the range but I want to build something with good short to mid-range penetrability for self defense and from what I've heard from soldiers, .223 doesn't always get the job done.


I would be in question of the soldiers you are talking to, how well there aim is...the 5.56 NATO round might be small but leaves a nasty mark upon impact. Also, if you are talking self defense, you are not gonna shoot one round! 5.56 will get the job done (and do it well) for a defense rifle.

Lon Moer
02-19-2008, 1:47 PM
Get a FAL.:cool2:

frigginchi
02-19-2008, 1:52 PM
this works for me.
http://model1sales.com/images/car16pre762.gif

jandmtv
02-19-2008, 1:54 PM
6.5 Grendel is king! man i want one bad!

J_Rock
02-19-2008, 2:28 PM
No such thing as the "best" round. Only the best for a certain situation.

justincredible
02-19-2008, 3:39 PM
anyone look into building an AR in .243 for hunting i've seen them put out by panther i think.

mymonkeyman
02-19-2008, 3:59 PM
Well if the .223 isn't going to meet your intruder killing needs then you obviously need the .50 beowulf. Just make sure the intruders all stand in a straight line so you only shoot them and don't over-penetrate into your neighbor's head or anything.

Blacktail 8541
02-19-2008, 4:00 PM
308 and 243 will not work on the ar 15 platform. The correct platform for those calibers is the AR10.

emc002
02-19-2008, 4:30 PM
What about 50 Beowulf?

CSACANNONEER
02-19-2008, 5:15 PM
I've got a .22lr, several .223/5.56 uppers and a 50BMG upper. I guess it really depends on what you want to do with it.

C.G.
02-19-2008, 6:46 PM
As others have mentioned, you really need to figure out what you want to do with it. Getting a different caliber upper just to say you have one is probably not worth getting one. Most of the other caliber rounds will cost you more than 5.56.

psssniper
02-19-2008, 7:06 PM
So far with I have these....
.308 Fulton bolt seems sluggish and wont strip off rounds reliably
.50 Beowulf works great, broke the LMT rear sight on the first shot :mad:
6.5 Grendel AA mags SUCK!! I need to bend the lips a bit and get it feeding
.22 CZ upper Dedicated upper works great and is cheap to shoot
.223 got a couple of these, long, short etc. reliable and fun

In my future?
7.62x39 searching for an upper
9mm could be fun even tho I hate 9mm

Linh
02-19-2008, 7:22 PM
The "best for me" is 6.8 SPC in an AR using a gas piston system.

C.G.
02-19-2008, 8:19 PM
\
.50 Beowulf works great, broke the LMT rear sight on the first shot :mad:
6.5 Grendel AA mags SUCK!! I need to bend the lips a bit and get it feeding

9mm could be fun even tho I hate 9mm

My Beowulf broke a DPMS rear sight, but it took about 50 rounds.
I just got some Grendel C-products ss mags and they function well (I did not have any problems with the old mags, though).
I don't hate 9mm so I might get a 9mm upper one of these days.

MT1
02-19-2008, 8:40 PM
6.5 Grendel is my next build as I miss the 800m precision shooting. From everything I have read it is an awesome setup - and Wolf has just announced that they will do steel case 6.5 rounds in the same $6/20 price range as their 7.62x39 stuff so you cheapies can shoot too. :D

emc002
02-19-2008, 9:46 PM
My Beowulf broke a DPMS rear sight, but it took about 50 rounds.
I just got some Grendel C-products ss mags and they function well (I did not have any problems with the old mags, though).
I don't hate 9mm so I might get a 9mm upper one of these days.

Can anyone expand on this? Is it only BUIS that have these issues?

I've been toying with a 50 Beo build with one of my Lauer OLLs, but these comments are giving me pause.

thmpr
02-19-2008, 9:55 PM
Have the ARMS #40L on my Beo with no issues: Over 150 rounds through it.

psssniper
02-19-2008, 10:05 PM
Well heres what my LMT looks like :rolleyes: you can see how the "retainer"? piece just sheared

MT1
02-19-2008, 10:27 PM
Well heres what my LMT looks like :rolleyes: you can see how the "retainer"? piece just sheared

That is a failure from over-torquing, or bad machining on the upper rails or sight causing a pinch point at the top rather than an even clamp. Either way, it's not due to the recoil(just the straw that broke the camel's back)

sb_pete
02-19-2008, 11:09 PM
Self defense? 12Ga buck shot.

In this state there is definitely no such thing as "mid-range self-defense" so you're talking up close and personal. The best option is always shotty. Hard to miss, can't beat the stopping power, less over-penetration probs.

Unless of course, by saying self-defense, you meant a means to defend yourself against bears, in which case the caliber hardly matters - go to the 203 :chris:

C.G.
02-19-2008, 11:17 PM
Well heres what my LMT looks like :rolleyes: you can see how the "retainer"? piece just sheared

In my case it was the through bolt that sheared.

Yes, I probably over-torqued, but how can one over-torque with a nickel? Maybe I should have used a dime.

C.G.
02-19-2008, 11:31 PM
Can anyone expand on this? Is it only BUIS that have these issues?

I've been toying with a 50 Beo build with one of my Lauer OLLs, but these comments are giving me pause.

It comes down to cheap; the Beo does not like cheap optics. My Beo killed a Kobra red dot (the red dot "floated"), PSOP 8 x 42 scope (it looks like it is built like a tank, sort of is, but the rail clamp was out of spec and busted), and I didn't think that the DPMS rear detachable sight was all that wonderfully made.
On the other hand, an Eotech 552 has been doing just fine and seems to be the optic of choice among Beo shooters.

Stavros
02-19-2008, 11:37 PM
I got to shoot a .243WSSM Ar15 and liked it a lot. The upper was from Dedicated technology (http://www.dtechsuperstore.com/WSSM%20page.htm) I wouldn't mind building one, but I heard barrels go quick at over 4000fps. But If i had one I'd prolly just sight it in and use it for hunts only.

MT1
02-19-2008, 11:38 PM
In my case it was the through bolt that sheared.

Yes, I probably over-torqued, but how can one over-torque with a nickel? Maybe I should have used a dime.

According to your avatar, it's all that spinach you've been eating ;)

C.G.
02-20-2008, 7:15 AM
According to your avatar, it's all that spinach you've been eating ;)

Hmmmmmm, spinach!:)

1lostinspace
02-20-2008, 7:42 AM
Well I think I will certainly build a 22LR for shooting paper at the range but I want to build something with good short to mid-range penetrability for self defense and from what I've heard from soldiers, .223 doesn't always get the job done.

That's because they use M855 a 62 gr Steel core bullet made to defeat light body armor not a skinny insurgent, research been shot with 75-77gr BTHP you will find a different story

Look at this test, not many people can take a hit like this and return fire.
Get your self a regular AR and fill it with the right ammo.


75 gr Hornady
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/77grmain.jpg

http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/75_tap_gel.jpg

and here is the 77SMK


http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/77grSMK.jpg

GenLee
02-20-2008, 7:46 AM
7.62x39, Thats what i'm building now, Hits harder and way cheaper to shoot.

1lostinspace
02-20-2008, 7:50 AM
7.62x39, Thats what i'm building now, Hits harder and way cheaper to shoot.

or do that they both kill just fine even 7.62x39 in fmj does not stop people all the time, but you stick some soft points in there and you got a real mess:eek:

oldrifle
02-20-2008, 1:42 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys. At this point I'm leaning towards sticking with .223 and just choosing the right ammo or going with the 7.62x39 conversion. Who makes the best 7.62 uppers?

aplinker
02-20-2008, 3:02 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys. At this point I'm leaning towards sticking with .223 and just choosing the right ammo or going with the 7.62x39 conversion. Who makes the best 7.62 uppers?

All of them suck. No one does chrome lining.

Frankly you're better off just getting an AK if you want to shoot 7.62x39. There still aren't good mags readily available. If that changes (and chrome lined uppers come) then I'll change my opinion.

Cheap 7.62x39 is still inaccurate ammo. It won't make a difference whether it comes out of an AR or AK.

J_Rock
02-20-2008, 3:13 PM
7.62x39, Thats what i'm building now, Hits harder and way cheaper to shoot.

Has more energy yes but worse wounding potential than 5.56.

Sutcliffe
02-20-2008, 3:36 PM
Depending on the task you choose ought to dictate the caliber.

I would like to build a Grendel so I could use it for deer hunting, Home defense and long range target.

C.G.
02-20-2008, 9:26 PM
All of them suck. No one does chrome lining.

Frankly you're better off just getting an AK if you want to shoot 7.62x39. There still aren't good mags readily available. If that changes (and chrome lined uppers come) then I'll change my opinion.

Cheap 7.62x39 is still inaccurate ammo. It won't make a difference whether it comes out of an AR or AK.

What he and J-Rock said!:cool:

1lostinspace
02-20-2008, 9:26 PM
Has more energy yes but worse wounding potential than 5.56.

that's not true 7.62x39 loaded with a V max type round will make a wound cavity that you can stick your head in lol

I would stick with 5.56 what is your rate of twist?

C.G.
02-20-2008, 9:30 PM
That's because they use M855 a 62 gr Steel core bullet made to defeat light body armor not a skinny insurgent, research been shot with 75-77gr BTHP you will find a different story

Look at this test, not many people can take a hit like this and return fire.
Get your self a regular AR and fill it with the right ammo.


75 gr Hornady
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/77grmain.jpg

http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/75_tap_gel.jpg

and here is the 77SMK


http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/77grSMK.jpg

I am told the usage of heavier 5.56 bullets is one of the reasons 6.8 SPC did not make it as a military round.

1lostinspace
02-20-2008, 9:50 PM
I am told the usage of heavier 5.56 bullets is one of the reasons 6.8 SPC did not make it as a military round.

yes this is true. It would cost the military allot more money to change caliber, the heavier BTHP type bullets are killing insurgents as far out as 300 meters+
In scoped versions guys have taken out insurgents out to 700+ but mainly from shot placement.
FMJ bullets 55 or 62 will stop fragmenting when they go below 2700fps after that it simply yaw still causing a huge wound but not anywhere near as frag does. The myth that .223 is not a good stopper mainly come from military guys using a short barrel weapon with hight rate of twist 1:7 with heavier 62 grain ammo against unarmored targets acting more like an icepick.
It lacks the high FPS needed to make a FMJ frag, you hardly ever hear about lack of stopping power in the Nam days due to the fact they were shooting a 55 fmj out of a 20" going over 3250 fps fragmenting out as far as 190 yards, with most shooting taking place under 50 meters it made a real mess.

J_Rock
02-20-2008, 10:15 PM
that's not true 7.62x39 loaded with a V max type round will make a wound cavity that you can stick your head in lol

I would stick with 5.56 what is your rate of twist?

I was thinking FMJs. I run a 1:8

1lostinspace
02-20-2008, 10:26 PM
I was thinking FMJs. I run a 1:8



black hills has a great 77gr I would experiment with that.
if you reload go with Nosler 77 and 24 grain TAC

mason1800
02-20-2008, 10:32 PM
Well 5.56 is good but 5.45 is even better, at least for feeding the rifle. For
plinking a 22lr is nice. But I can just imagine the feeling of feeding an AR and AK both 5.45...must be nice!!

1lostinspace
02-20-2008, 10:43 PM
Well 5.56 is good but 5.45 is even better, at least for feeding the rifle. For
plinking a 22lr is nice. But I can just imagine the feeling of feeding an AR and AK both 5.45...must be nice!!

that would be my last choice in calibers, the military version has an air pocket that makes it yaw violently causing flesh to rip open, unfortunately we Americans have only access to slow thick jacketed inaccurate rounds that will never have any great stopping power, not to mention the steel case.
There is nothing like a match grade American made round.
Here is one of my best groups 5 shots out a scoped AR using 75gr Hornady 25 gr Varget winchester case trim to 1.750 cci 400 primer 1/2 turn Lee factory crimp winchester case out of a 20" Delton free floating built RRA match trigger stag lower

This is at 200 meters and under an inch!

http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/IMAGE_00131-1.jpg

thmpr
02-20-2008, 11:00 PM
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o251/thmpr464/300yards65.jpg

300 yards: 6.5 Grendel (Bipod/Prone Position/No rear shooting pads/1-2 seconds per shot)

16" AA GDMR

emc002
02-20-2008, 11:00 PM
It comes down to cheap; the Beo does not like cheap optics. My Beo killed a Kobra red dot (the red dot "floated"), PSOP 8 x 42 scope (it looks like it is built like a tank, sort of is, but the rail clamp was out of spec and busted), and I didn't think that the DPMS rear detachable sight was all that wonderfully made.
On the other hand, an Eotech 552 has been doing just fine and seems to be the optic of choice among Beo shooters.

Very helpful, thank you!
What kind of stock did you opt for? I presume you used a Heavy Duty Buffer too?

C.G.
02-20-2008, 11:25 PM
Very helpful, thank you!
What kind of stock did you opt for? I presume you used a Heavy Duty Buffer too?

I run an MGI buffer (I got it on a group buy back then and it was a lot cheaper) with modded Ace ARFX stock with a 1" Pachmeyr butt pad. I think the pad may have made more difference than the buffer; regardless, I can shoot my Beowulf almost all day now.:)
Initially I had an A-2 stock and my shoulder looked like someone has been hitting hard with a meat tenderizer after 50 plus rounds.

J_Rock
02-21-2008, 12:56 AM
black hills has a great 77gr I would experiment with that.
if you reload go with Nosler 77 and 24 grain TAC

I run prvi match 75gr mostly. Shoots 3/4 MOA and its cheap(for match ammo)

1lostinspace
02-21-2008, 6:29 AM
I run prvi match 75gr mostly. Shoots 3/4 MOA and its cheap(for match ammo)

I am not sure on the thickness of the jacket but with in 150 yards it should frag and it will kill. Many people have misconceptions about 5.56 you hear all kinds of stupid stuff like oh it does not kill just wound or it has no stopping power.
That's all due to poor shot placement and ammo. You are much better off not wearing a Bullet prof vest and getting hit with current ball ammo, with a vest on your going to have a bad day. Bullet design has allot to due with it.

I have shot the PVRI and fairly accurate so if you have a lot of it then so be it, if your running low give Black Hills a try.

1lostinspace
02-21-2008, 6:39 AM
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o251/thmpr464/300yards65.jpg

300 yards: 6.5 Grendel (Bipod/Prone Position/No rear shooting pads/1-2 seconds per shot)

16" AA GDMR

wow impressive, not bad at all did you reload that round or factory

homerm14
02-21-2008, 6:49 AM
for pure fun and cost affectiveness .22 rimfire.:)

thmpr
02-21-2008, 7:36 AM
that would be my last choice in calibers, the military version has an air pocket that makes it yaw violently causing flesh to rip open, unfortunately we Americans have only access to slow thick jacketed inaccurate rounds that will never have any great stopping power, not to mention the steel case.
There is nothing like a match grade American made round.
Here is one of my best groups 5 shots out a scoped AR using 75gr Hornady 25 gr Varget winchester case trim to 1.750 cci 400 primer 1/2 turn Lee factory crimp winchester case out of a 20" Delton free floating built RRA match trigger stag lower

This is at 200 meters and under an inch!

http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff166/ar15reloader/IMAGE_00131-1.jpg



Nice!!!

thmpr
02-21-2008, 7:37 AM
wow impressive, not bad at all did you reload that round or factory

Reload: 108 Grains Lapua Scenar.

1lostinspace
02-21-2008, 8:54 PM
Reload: 108 Grains Lapua Scenar.


a bit out of subject but you seem to know your stuff so I had to tell someone

So I installed a FCS556 on my 16" with Eotech backed iron sites and the POI was 5" high at 100 meters???:confused: but not a problem dialed in back to 0
I have to admit the muzzle brake / flashfider FCS556 works as advertised.:D rapid fire is dead on and fast!

technique
02-21-2008, 9:25 PM
458 socom...check the wound size for yourself..http://www.458socomforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=483

mcubed4130
02-21-2008, 9:43 PM
If we lived in Turkey - where the government makes it nearly impossible to own an assault-rifle... but shotguns are easier... you could get a AR15 chambered in 410 shotshell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buZLlYOpqQ4

Wonder if the PRK politicians take notes when they visit there...

-M3

1lostinspace
02-21-2008, 11:05 PM
all these large calibers are great and have more stopping power then you really need, for the most important thing is a second and 3rd follow up shot there for I use 5.56 heavy HP with a FSC556 muzzle break/flashhider

jandmtv
02-22-2008, 12:36 AM
i really want that FSC556 but $100? a bit too much!

mcubed4130
02-22-2008, 9:36 AM
Well I think I will certainly build a 22LR for shooting paper at the range but I want to build something with good short to mid-range penetrability for self defense and from what I've heard from soldiers, .223 doesn't always get the job done.

From what I've noted - the sentiment about soldiers saying 556 NATO (223 Remington) - "doesn't always get the job done." - mostly comes from the incidents reported in Mogadishu, Somalia ( Black Hawk Down - before we tucked tail and ran away under Clinton's orders later ) - where soldiers found that hitting the target tribesman w/556 NATO didn't reliably stop the tribesman from shooting back... the soldiers were vastly outnumbered and attempting to conserve ammo doing 1 shot - 1 kill.

It was from that incident that 458 SOCOM was invented as a solution to the issue; but was never adopted by the military. http://teppojutsu.com/458FAQ.htm#_Who_developed_the_.458_SOCOM_Was_it_Tr omix_

All that said... the likelihood of any of us - not actively in the military needing to worry about being outnumbered by 100s or 1000s - and therefore needing to precisely place each shot to conserve ammo - as we are cut off from our ability to get more ammo - is highly unrealistic.

Which is why an AR15 in standard 556 NATO - even living in PRK w/10 round mags - for self defense still works fine - as others have said; double or tripple tap the intruder. And have extra mags in the event the intruder brings his gang of buddies with him. :)

I'll still never forget how fast my reality changed - taking my shotgun class; thinking I had enough ammo with 5+1 w/5 in a carrier... my LEO instructor quickly produced urban scenarios that had me empty and I had to transition to a sidearm or combat load the shotgun - to stay in the fight.

-M3