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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, looking for a little direction, I'm a super bowhunter but not very gun savy.
I recently bought a Ruger AR-556 450 Bushmaster that I use for hunting but would like to possibly get a 223 barrel or something more fun to shoot. Like I said, not an AR guy by an means so what do I need to do to swap that. The optics will stay with the barrel correct?
So theoretically, I could have my bushmaster barrel set up with scope for hunting and swap to the 223 barrel for fun shooting
 

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Welcome to the forum. All you need to get is a complete upper assembly. It will change out with the two pins. YouTube changing the upper. Once you see it, you will see there is nothing to it. The scope on your 450 will stay with the 450 and the 223 upper will need a new scope. Since the scope is mounted on the upper receiver, you can swap back and forth with no loss of zero. Oh, and you will need different mags. 223 and 450 mags, while the same size externally, are not the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perfect, that is what I thought but wasn't completely sure, so next question would be where is the best place to get an upper, and I'm gathering the 223 and 556 are not the same, what would be the best round to have?
 

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welcome to the forum from the Buckeye State ... appears you have some good info ... good luck
 

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I'm new to AR's myself , I believe any make of upper will fit the price is for fit and finish. There is lots of information on the internet about the difference between .223/5.56 , usually AR rifles are chambered for 5.56 and you can fire both .223 is a little cheaper . Also information can be found on barrel twist and bullet grains , my AR barrel is stamped 5.56 1/9 twist so recommended 55 - 62 gr .223/5.56 . I'm no expert so correct me if wrong
 

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I'm gathering the 223 and 556 are not the same, what would be the best round to have?
You are correct. I’m not going to go into to much detail, but I will say it is safe to shoot .223’s out of stamped .556 barrel. Shooting .556 ammo out of a barrel stamped .223 has the potential to lead to a catastrophic failure of the firearm. That said I would purchase a .556 stamped upper, it will open you up to more choices in ammo. A Google search will give a more in depth explanation.

Greetings from the Show Me State.
 

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Greetings from Nebraska.

Greg
 

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The most significant difference between a 5.56 NATO round and a .223 round where it will affect performance and/or safety is with regards to overall length (OAL). The 5.56 round is slightly longer, so the distance from the chamber mouth to the beginning of the rifling is also slightly longer. You can, therefore, fire a .223 round from a 5.56 chamber, but with a 55gr bullet, the OAL willbe short enough that the bullet will have to jump farther before it engages the rifling. That may or may not affect accuracy. If you aren't shooting for precision, the change in accuracy won't be enough to cause you problems.

As for shooting 5.56 rounds from a .223 upper, the rifling on a .223 chamber starts earlier. Because the 5.56 round has a slightly longer OAL, the bullet may actually contact the rifling upon the round being chambered in some rifles. As a result, pressure may rise above safe levels, leading to possible premature wear or actual catastrophic failure. This may not be the case for all rifles, but it is worth considering.

If you aren't planning to shoot varmints at extreme distances, you would be best served by getting an upper chambered for 5.56. It will be more versatile.
 

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The AR is like a gun-Lego set.

Get the 5.56 upper and look for 1-9 twist. This will work with most easy to find bullet weights.

Next do you want 16 or 20 inch barrel length. A 16 is very handy to carry, but a 20 will have more bullet velocity. Don't buy a shorter than 16 inch barrel upper (look up short barrel rifle laws).

If you want a scope, I suggest getting a "flat-top" upper with no front site. If you are good with iron sights, which I like on an AR, get one with a removable carry handle and a mil-spec front sight.

You have many choices to make.
 

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As for shooting 5.56 rounds from a .223 upper, the rifling on a .223 chamber starts earlier. /QUOTE]

It’s not that the rifling on a .223 starts earlier......the two chambers are dimensionally different, by about .125”. Add to it that .556 ammo is loaded to a higher pressure level than a .223, anywhere from 3K to 5K PSI.
 

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.125 "chamber" ah not the chamber. The NATO rifle has a longer leade. Any chamber difference is insignificant as the cases are virtually the same. There's a reason there's only one reloading die. The longer leade is for the longer 62 gr bullets. The 55gr pills will not touch in either leade.
 
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.125 "chamber" ah not the chamber. The NATO rifle has a longer leade.
Your right Kenny, poor verbiage on my part, Leade difference is .125”.
 
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