Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 6/6/2001 11:41:08 PM EST
When did the .223 round come out on the market? Also what was the original weight of the .223 bullet used in the M-16. When did the .308 round come out on the Market. Whats Ball and Sitck powder, I heard them talking about it on Tales of the Gun. Didn't they change the powder type used in the .223 round. I am just looking for some insight on the history of the M-16. Six
Link Posted: 6/7/2001 8:05:24 AM EST
the 223 round was originally a special custom round made by remingtion for eugene stoner and the ar15. it was called 222special or custom - circa 1955-57. the original propellant used for the round was changed to the type used in the m14 round as there was so much of it around and the 'old boy's network' (military industrial complex) wanted to use it. the ar15 was a theoretical weapon that happened to work well - a concept that needed to be further developed. but it was rushed into production and fudged with by 'experts' who knew nothing of the rifle. so despite itself and the meddling of idiots that cost lives in vietnam, over a billion in r&d later - it is one of the premiere 5.56 weapons systems to this day. the 308 round was a result of us /nato testing in the late40's - the brits wanted the .280 pederson which is a much better intermediate round than the 308 - the 308 is a really a shortened 30-06 (so if we were germans - it would of been called 30-06kurz!) with a hotter propellant to give nearly identical ballistic characteristics of the 30-06. steve
Link Posted: 6/7/2001 8:57:53 AM EST
As for the .308, Winchester was smart enough to realize that ANY US military round was going to be a hot seller, and attatched their name to it as the ".308 Winchester". Ross
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 9:51:09 PM EST
Come some can tell me what ball and stick powder is. Six
Link Posted: 6/26/2001 7:23:39 AM EST
It means just what it says. With ball powder the powder grains are spherical shaped. With "stick" or extruded powder the grains are sections of a long rod of powder material that are chopped to length. They can be round, rectangular or even I beam shaped in cross section. The shapes do have some effect on the burn time and the completeness of the burn.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 3:34:57 PM EST
For accuracy sake, the .223 BEGAN as an experimental round at Aberdeen Proving Ground in the early 1950's, like around 1952. Experiments were conducted with .222 Remington cases and necked down .30 carbine cases. In the end, a slightly more powerful version of the .222 came to be known as the .222 Special. It was nearly identical to the .222 Magnum which Remington released at about the same time. The .223 is the .222 Special with one or two very minor dimensional changes made by Stoner for reliability of function. Bottom line, Stoner DID NOT design the .223 ammo as so many believe. Neither did Jim Sullivan. It was a result of the APG small arms shop (headed up by my dad), Remington, and to a very small degree in the details, Stoner. Stoner had to convert the AR10 once it became clear that the Army was going to start testing SCHV (Small Caliber High Velocity) weapons in the late 1950's. The rifle that was used for testing the original APG round was a modified M2 Carbine. The round existed before the AR15 existed. It just hadn't been accepted by the military yet and had not been produced commercially. Reference: pages 12-18 of "The Black Rifle", and dad's memory at 86 years of age.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 4:53:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By steve m: the ar15 was a theoretical weapon that happened to work well - a concept that needed to be further developed. but it was rushed into production and fudged with by 'experts' who knew nothing of the rifle. so despite itself and the meddling of idiots that cost lives in vietnam, over a billion in r&d later - it is one of the premiere 5.56 weapons systems to this day. steve
View Quote
The rifle existed as the AR10, which was a .308 designed to compete with the M14. It was scaled down and renamed AR15 to accomodate the new SCHV ammo that was still being tested and perfected. The change to ball powder came at the same time as a reduction in twist rate from 1 in 10" to 1 in 14". These specs had been arrived at by APG as optimum for a 55gr projectile, but the "wiz kids" in Washington changed the specs between testing and production. Another change was deletion of the chromed chamber that Stoner originally wanted. All these changes were to reduce costs. In the end the beancounters killed a lot of people and it ended up costing a lot more money to undo their stupidity than would have been saved had their changes not affected the reliability of the rifle. Training was another of their cost cutting areas, and cleaning was ommitted completely. Never let politicians screw around with the military! None of the guys making the changes were engineers or even avid shooters.
Link Posted: 7/6/2001 4:29:19 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/6/2001 6:19:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By Chuck: Gus -- The Hall Report (circa 1952) was a theoretical study of a cartridge very much like 5.56mm, but this report was ignored completely by Ordnance after it's publication. It was heresy. Hall knew this and included lots of weasel words to keep his job [;)]. We'd still be shooting .30-06 if Ordnance had anything to do with it. In military loading 7.62mm NATO and .30-06 shoot the same bullet at the same velocity, so there's no real difference.
View Quote
The report was NOT ingnored completely by ordnance. The Aberdeen PG small arms shop, headed up by my father, liked what they saw and decided (at fairly great risk to his career) to continue studying the idea. Col. Studler was not amused since he wanted to keep the .308 that we had just finished forcing NATO to accept. Aberdeen is not a developement center, it is a test center, so my dad's research was viewed by some as insubordinate. He managed to get a little funding through "friends" and began developement anyway. They had to make all their own dies and tooling and build their own test rifles and pressure barrels.
The AR15 was a scaled down AR10 and for convenience used the commercial easy to obtain and proven varmint cartridge .222 Remington. The great bulk of .222 Remington rifles used barrels with a 1/14 twist, so ArmaLite just barreled the AR15 with the same twist barrel. There was no scientific testing, the barrel twist had been used for this cartridge for years. Ordnance was still developing the M14 and wouldn't even look at this rifle.
View Quote
Wrong. If that's true, then what exactly was my dad doing from 1951 through 1954? He was the division chief at TECOM (Test and Evaluation Command) and though the .222Rem ended up being the basis for their proposed round, it became the .222 Special when Remington produced ammo to the APG spec for the AR15 (and other competing designs). APG arrived at a spec of 1 in 10", but it was changed to 1 in 14 by McNamara's "wiz kids" after the pre-production testing was complete. APG started out at 1 in 16" with a 40 gr bullet but changed it as testing progressed. Dad has a .222 Rem Magnum bolt action that was presented to him by the president of Remington in appreciation for his work (and for starting with the .222 instead of a necked down .30 carbine round). The .222 Mag was another spin off from this project.
Link Posted: 7/6/2001 6:20:20 AM EST
Damn reply too big - Page 2:
The .222 Remington case wasn't quite large enough to develop the muzzle velocities desired, so ArmaLite and Remington enlarged the case by moving the shoulder forward and created .222 Remington Special. This was the cartridge demonstrated with the AR15 and this same cartridge became, with only minor tweaks, M193 Ball. Remington renamed the commercial .222 Remington Special cartridge to .223 Remington without changing it. This was to eliminate any confusion with .222 Remington Magnum -- Remington just had too many .222s.
View Quote
True except it was NOT Armalite and Remington that redesigned the case. In fact, it was my dad and the Small Arms shop. Specifically, my dad stuck his neck out and submitted the report with his name on it. He was the main driving force. Others that were involved were Dave Perrin (gunsmith that made the dies and test rifles), Bill Davis (an engineer that worked for my dad), Larry Moore (did much of the test firing and was also involved with M14 test firing), and my dad's boss (whos name escapes me right now) for also taking a risk and "finding" the money to carry out the research. If you've ever seen the History Channel's show on the M16, you've seen Bill Davis since he was one of the main interviews besides Stoner himself. The "minor tweaks" you refer to are Stoner's contribution to the final design and had nothing to do with ballistics.
Army metric requirements required a metric caliber. I forget the first one, but 5.56mm was eventually decided on. Needless to say 5.56mm is purely notational, the bullet is .224" in diameter (as is .222 Remington) that computes to 5.69mm. The Army did demand a tightening of the rifling twist from 1/14 to 1/12 to stabilize the bullet in dense, cold air. -- Chuck
View Quote
That change was made at the same time they dumped the ball powder idea in 1966 or so. Dad got transferred back to Aberdeen from Florida in 1963 because of the Cuban Missle Crisis, so he ended up being at APG to help clean up the mess the politicians made.
Link Posted: 7/6/2001 3:47:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/8/2001 7:49:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/8/2001 8:15:24 AM EST by gus]
I intend to do just that (if I can ever get some free time). The 1 in 10 twist was not a spec for the M16, it was the recommendation made by the APG guys at the end of the SCHV developement that led to the AR10 being redesigned as the AR15. They had arrived at 1 in 10 as optimum for a 55gr bullet. At that point, around 1956, the program at APG essentially ended, and my dad was transferred to Egland AFB in Florida where he worked on airborne weapons systems. APG's involvement continued in testing the early AR15 designs and subtle refinements that were made prior to it being accepted. Its acceptence was held up by the Army again since it would directly endanger the role of Springfield Armory as the sole producer of small arms in peace time. General Curtis LeMay liked the weapon and wanted it for use as a perimeter defense weapon for aircrews, but the Army wouldn't budge because "it didn't meet their spec for that role". General LeMay, who knew my dad and his involvement, asked him for help and my dad wrote a new spec such that the CAR15 was the only weapon that could possibly fit the role (in terms of dimensions, weight, power, etc.). When LeMay demanded a weapon that could meet "his" new spec, the Army had no choice but to allow LeMay's initial purchase. If the developement program pissed off the brass, the new spec really got them angry. But, around that time the Army ceased being to sole supplier of arms to all the branches of service, JFK's guys were going to close Springfield, and a lot of the old guys were retiring, so Dad ended up getting promoted to national director of TECOM when he returned to APG in 1964. The timeline of changes that were made to the AR15/M16 in the late `50's/early `60's is something I would need to sit down with my dad and his records to exactly nail down. He wasn't involved except after they figured out something was wrong, he issued a report titled "Improved performance of ammunition for the M16 rifle" or something to that effect in 1966. Davis had been working for Colt by then and my dad's role was more as an administrator until his retirement in 1972.
Link Posted: 7/8/2001 3:46:54 PM EST
Top Top