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 .223 Wylde headspace issue
RictusGrin  [Member]
12/8/2006 2:03:27 PM EST
I just put together an upper with a barrel chambered in .223 Wylde and I don't know what to think about the headspace. My concern comes from the fact that the bolt will seat on both the SAMMI GO and NO-GO (1.470) gauges with no resistance at all. This is true with 4 bolts and 3 carriers when used with this barrel, and only one other AR of 4 will seat on this NO-GO gauge and it is a true 5.56 chamber. It barely seats with a good smack on the carrier. I don't have a "Field" gauge handy. The ejector and extractor have been removed from the bolt for testing.

Does anyone know whether I am correct in thinking this barrel has exessive headspace, or is there some issue with the Wylde chambering just not gauging the same as a standard .223? I would like to have some input before I contact the manufacturer.

Thanks.
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AR15barrels  [Dealer]
12/8/2006 4:56:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By RictusGrin:
I just put together an upper with a barrel chambered in .223 Wylde and I don't know what to think about the headspace. My concern comes from the fact that the bolt will seat on both the SAMMI GO and NO-GO (1.470) gauges with no resistance at all. This is true with 4 bolts and 3 carriers when used with this barrel, and only one other AR of 4 will seat on this NO-GO gauge and it is a true 5.56 chamber. It barely seats with a good smack on the carrier. I don't have a "Field" gauge handy. The ejector and extractor have been removed from the bolt for testing.

Does anyone know whether I am correct in thinking this barrel has exessive headspace, or is there some issue with the Wylde chambering just not gauging the same as a standard .223? I would like to have some input before I contact the manufacturer.


Without a field gauge, it's not possible to determine if your barrel has excessive headspace or not.
Having said that, you certainly have LONG headspace for a brand new barrel to eat a no-go gauge.
Checking with multiple bolts was prudent thinking as it proves the barrel to be the common denominator.

Have you seen my Headspace Info compilation?
There is no specific issue with the 223 wylde vs other variants of 223/5.56.
You use the same headspace gauges when checking any chamber in the 223/5.56 family, but the military specs just run longer than SAAMI specs do.

You might also find my 223/5.56 chamber reamers comparison interesting...
RictusGrin  [Member]
12/8/2006 5:13:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR15barrels:
Without a field gauge, it's not possible to determine if your barrel has excessive headspace or not.
Having said that, you certainly have LONG headspace for a brand new barrel to eat a no-go gauge.
Checking with multiple bolts was prudent thinking as it proves the barrel to be the common denominator.

Have you seen my Headspace Info compilation?
There is no specific issue with the 223 wylde vs other variants of 223/5.56.
You use the same headspace gauges when checking any chamber in the 223/5.56 family, but the military specs just run longer than SAAMI specs do.

You might also find my 223/5.56 chamber reamers comparison interesting...


Randall,

Thank you. The information you provided was surprising to me, and interesting, too. If I understand correctly, the Wylde reamer is larger than any of the 5.56 reamers in just about every way. That's how it looked at first glance, anyway. The M249 looks to have very long headspace, and I've never had one kaboom.

If you care to comment, would you suggest that I bring the issue to the manufacturer at this point, or am I probably good to go until I run a Field gauge through the chamber?

Now to order a Field gauge.

Thanks again,

John
AR15barrels  [Dealer]
12/8/2006 5:43:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By RictusGrin:
Thank you. The information you provided was surprising to me, and interesting, too. If I understand correctly, the Wylde reamer is larger than any of the 5.56 reamers in just about every way. That's how it looked at first glance, anyway. The M249 looks to have very long headspace, and I've never had one kaboom.

If you care to comment, would you suggest that I bring the issue to the manufacturer at this point, or am I probably good to go until I run a Field gauge through the chamber?


Ah, but the MOST IMPORTANT dimension from an accuracy standpoint is the throat diameter just forward of the neck.
THAT is where the Wylde shines above the 5.56.
The rest of the dimensions being oversized just make it more reliable.

Put a field gauge into that barrel before you bitch to the manufacturer.
Even after doing that, a NEW barrel really should at least be SNUG on a no-go and I would prefer that it would NOT close on a no-go at all.

Everyone talks about the 5.56 chambers being longer than 223 chambers in the headspace, but it's just not true.
The 5.56 DOES have a longer maximum length, but the minimum length is very similar to 223 and the ACCEPTABLE RANGE of chamber length is HUGE compared to SAAMI specs.

Last I checked, the military does not re-use their brass, so the headspace being long does not really matter as long as the firing pin protrusion is long enough and the primers are crimped into the case.
RictusGrin  [Member]
12/8/2006 5:59:29 PM EST
Awesome information, Randall.

I'll order a Field gauge, and if it works, no worries. I'm still a bit uncomfortable with the obviously long headspace, but I'll soon see if it's as bad as my paranoia tells me it is. I am hoping I don't have to tear this thing down and go through the whole return and wait headache...again.

Well, I learned a bit through this. Thanks for the help.
AR15barrels  [Dealer]
12/8/2006 7:03:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By RictusGrin:
I'll order a Field gauge, and if it works, no worries. I'm still a bit uncomfortable with the obviously long headspace, but I'll soon see if it's as bad as my paranoia tells me it is.


While you are waiting, take some aluminum foil and cut out little discs the size of the headspace gauge head.
Foil should only be a couple thousandths thick.
You likely have a micrometer to measure with.
Add up layers of foil until the barrel will NOT accept that no-go gauge.
Then measure the thickness of the foil shims it took to reject the gauge plus shims.
That will give you a real good idea where that barrel is at.
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