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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is time for a confession - I do not own an AR. There, I said it. But, I am willing to make amends if I can get some advice and help.

First, 11 years in the U.S. Marine Corps provided me enough opportunity to shoot, clean, clean again, clean some more, then go shoot and repeat with the M-16/A2 that I I never saw the need nor desire to own one of my own. Ditto for the M-60E3 and the SAW (though I really did like shooting that thing), the Maw Duece would be a fun gun to own but where would I mount it, and the 240 Golf came online just a few years before I got out - I think it has proven itself, but I am still old-school in that I prefer the M-60E3. All that is to bring me to a point in my life where I have noticed that A2 style guns are no where to be found and that means I must have one.

Looking online, there are few choices, but there are some A2 uppers out there, in fact, a complete 20"pre-ban A2 upper can be had for $427 right now. Throw in a stripped lower with kit, buttock, buffer and spring and the whole kit and kabudle would be ~$600. But, it would be NATO 5.56 and I am wandering if there is enough advantage to the 223 Wylde to make the jump.

I reload, and I own zero military brass. Most likely, I will stick with 223 brass and rounds. But for the 223 Wylde (since I want a 20" rifle barrel) I am limited to a SOCOM or heavy barrel. I am thinking of customizing this all the way, engraved barrel (Green Mountain has some beautiful work), engraved receiver with my call sign on it (I spent many years in Mortars so I may have a 60mm mortar engraved on the receiver with my call sign and "Fire for Effect" underneath. I even considered having gold inlay put into the engraving and adding wood furniture but that would make a serious show piece, meaning I have to build two so I can shoot one.

Ideas are abundant but the first decision out the gate is barrel/chamber. The 223 Wylde SOCOM is $100 less than a Government profile 5.56 if I build from ground up, but if I am going 5.56 it makes sense to buy the complete upper and move from there. Since this is strictly for my own personal pride (i.e. I am willing to spend more to get it the way I want it and I have no concern about resale value) the extra weight of the SOCOM is not an issue. Whether or not the wood furniture will fit over the SOCOM is definitely an issue - so anyone with knowledge on that fact please advise.

Otherwise, what is the general consensus? If building and price is not the #1 concern (I do want to keep it under a $grand but it appears that I can build one beautiful rifle on that budget) - what would you do?

1) NATO 5.56, Rem 223, or 223 Wylde?
2) SOCOM, Heavy Barrel, or Gov't profile?
3) Twist rate? 1:8 or 1:9? The complete upper is 1:9.
4) Wood furniture - pros/cons?
5) What other items are a must have on your respective list?
 

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1.Wylde-have 3-reloading doesn't matter-if you have 5.56 brass and run it through your dies,it's .223 specs-
2.Depends what it's for-my 16s and 14.5s are lightweight barrels to swing fast and get on target.
3.1/8-great twist-go to reloading section and see pic of groups I posted-50gr and 77gr-
4.Wood is beautiful on AR-gave my buddy a set for xmas-but no freefloat capability.
5.BCM LPK with a good trigger-POF,RRA,ALG
 

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You've got several choices:

You can build one in the configuration that you want.

or

You can purchase one already made, and just enjoy it for a change.

or

You can get one that's close and modify it however you want.

Check the price of ammo while you're shopping and deciding.
 

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Between the two - I'd opt for the 5.56mm. The reason is that there will be ..223/5.56mm ammo available for years to come, and if the Gun Grabbers get their way, ammo will once again 'dry up'. If standard calibers become hard to find - the exotic calibers will be like finding dinosaurs.

Never fired or owned a .223 Wylde, and it could be 'the cat's meow', but what are you gaining with an odd-ball round? Speaking entirely for myself, a 5.56mm (I own 3) will do anything I need any of them to do at any distance I need them to do it at.

I'd be more concerned with barrel contour - a barrel that will give you the kind of performance that meets YOUR needs, and a barrel twist rate to stabilize the type of bullets you plan to use. I split the difference with my last build and went with a 1-9 twist M4 that shoots my 55 grain FMJs well, and will also handle the heavier 65 grain style.

If I were starting today from scratch, there are a few things I'd do: I would start with a stripped Anderson lower. I saw some Colt M4 "Match Grade" pre-assembled 1-9 barreled uppers for about $175 with handguards, flash suppressor, dust cover, front sight - everything except the bolt group and charging handle. They had the Colt bolt group for another $80. I'd go with a 6 position GI adjustable buttstock. Most any shop you go into has Milspec AR lower parts sets for about $40. I see Government 'take-off' complete A2 rear sights in most Army/Navy Surplus stores for about $20.

Doing this, you'd have a very nice 5.56mm rifle/carbine for under $500. Most places will even install the lower parts for you for free if you buy the lower and the parts set from them. They did it for me and took about 30 minutes to build the entire rifle (even installing a new barrel!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate the replies so far but what I really need is specific information for selecting the barrel. This gun will be 20" barrel with an A2 receiver - these two items are non-negotiable so buying off the rack is NOT an option.

My choice is a complete upper with a NATO 5.56 chambered barrel installed or buy an A2 upper Receiver (stripped) and pick a barrel - in which case I can choose heavy or Gov't profile, and I can get a 223 Wylde chamber. Ergo the first question to answer is: NATO 5.56 vs 223 Wylde - which one and why.

If either, then I could buy the complete upper, it saves time and some money. If the 223 Wylde chamber is the way to go then I have a second choice to make: Gov't profile or SOCOM barrel - which one and why.
 

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Never fired or owned a .223 Wylde, and it could be 'the cat's meow', but what are you gaining with an odd-ball round?
Jim, the .223 Wylde is not an odd ball round, it is the chamber. I don't know how to explain it but here is a link to Wikipedia that might be able to! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Wylde_chamber

4.Wood is beautiful on AR-gave my buddy a set for xmas-but no freefloat capability.
When I was visiting the exhibits at the NRA convention I met a fellow who was showing and promoting his wood AR furniture and he had a free floating wooden handguard. The fellow introduced himself as Boyd (don't remember his first name). I ask him if he was kin to the Boyd's Gunstock people and he said his brother owned Boyd's gunstocks. Well, anyway, here is a link to his wooden furniture with a free floated hand guard: http://woodforar.com/ar-free/ I thought the price was kind of high, but, if I had had the money I would have bought a set.

PlanoAttorney, I would go with the Wylde in 20 inch heavy barrel with 1:8 twist and of course, the wooden furniture!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Never fired or owned a .223 Wylde, and it could be 'the cat's meow', but what are you gaining with an odd-ball round? Speaking entirely for myself, a 5.56mm (I own 3) will do anything I need any of them to do at any distance I need them to do it at.
Jim, if I understand correctly, a 223 Wylde is not a caliber, it is just a modified chamber. Start with a 223 chamber and mill it a little so that the pressures are relieved and the gun can safely fire both 223 and 5.56. I know a NATO 5.56 rifle can fire 223 all day long, and 223 will FIT in a NATO chamber but I think the pressures of 5.56 will destroy a SAMI spec 223 rifle. For some reason I think the 223 Wylde is the best of both worlds though for the life of me I can't understand why.

Keep in mind all the qualifiers - "I think" a lot of things but need information from someone who knows or has at least researched this subject.

I'd be more concerned with barrel contour - a barrel that will give you the kind of performance that meets YOUR needs, and a barrel twist rate to stabilize the type of bullets you plan to use. I split the difference with my last build and went with a 1-9 twist that shoots my 55 grain FMJs well, and will also handle the heavier 65 grain style.
No plans to hunt with this rifle, it is not a competition rifle, it is a "just for me" rifle. Not sure how else to explain it. If I need or want to shoot varmints I would use my Rancher. In other words, weight is not that important although I want to be able to shoot it. If I can't shoot it, it is just a pretty stick.

If I were starting today from scratch, there are a few things I'd do: I would start with a stripped Anderson lower. I saw some Colt M4 "Match Grade" pre-assembled 1-9 barreled uppers for about $175 with handguards, flash suppressor, dust cover, front sight - everything except the bolt group and charging handle. They had the Colt bolt group for another $80. I'd go with a 6 position GI adjustable buttstock. Most any shop you go into has Milspec AR lower parts sets for about $40. I see Government 'take-off' complete A2 rear sights in most Army/Navy Surplus stores for about $20.
Correct me if I am wrong but the M4 upper does not come in an A2 style. I absolutely must have an A2 upper, I do not want an M4 with a screw on carry handle. I cannot explain the reason other than to say it is akin to the blonde vs. brunette debate and in this regard, I simply refuse to date a flat top. (Yes, I see the double entendre.) I am also leaning very much towards wood furniture - I have zero desire to own a collapsible stock. This gun will either be an exact match (well at least as close to exact as the law allows) to my service rifle, or it will be a show quality beautiful version of my service rifle.

Doing this, you'd have a very nice 5.56mm rifle/carbine for under $500. Most places will even install the lower parts for you for free if you buy the lower and the parts set from them. They did it for me and took about 30 minutes to build the entire rifle (even installing a new barrel!)
Now that is something I did not consider, the seller installing my lower kit. Also, this is not a "cost savings attempt." If cost were the deciding factor, the gun store across the street from my office has Ruger on sale this week for $489 and the Smith M&P for $520. Of course both are M4 style, collapsible stocks, etc that simply does not appeal to me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jim, the .223 Wylde is not an odd ball round, it is the chamber. I don't know how to explain it but here is a link to Wikipedia that might be able to! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Wylde_chamber


When I was visiting the exhibits at the NRA convention I met a fellow who was showing and promoting his wood AR furniture and he had a free floating wooden handguard. The fellow introduced himself as Boyd (don't remember his first name). I ask him if he was kin to the Boyd's Gunstock people and he said his brother owned Boyd's gunstocks. Well, anyway, here is a link to his wooden furniture with a free floated hand guard: http://woodforar.com/ar-free/ I thought the price was kind of high, but, if I had had the money I would have bought a set.

PlanoAttorney, I would go with the Wylde in 20 inch heavy barrel with 1:8 twist and of course, the wooden furniture!
Thanks GD, that is the furniture I was looking at myself. I just think it is beautiful and what got me to thinking of just going all out on a show piece.
 

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I too love the original carry handle look and have an Colt AR-15A2 Government Model and I found an A1 upper a couple of years ago and built myself a replica of a Viet Nam era M-16A1 using colt parts on the upper and an Anderson lower with DPMS lower parts kit.
Colt A2.JPG Anderson A1 .JPG

I have nine other ARs with flat tops, with two of them being Wylde's!

Thanks GD, that is the furniture I was looking at myself. I just think it is beautiful and what got me to thinking of just going all out on a show piece.
Ever since I saw that wood AR furniture I have been in lust for it and have been seriously considering melting some plastic on a set!! I might just carry it to the range just for people to look at it!

I would then have to decide on whether to build another AR or change out an already owned one. I did see that Brownell's has an A2 upper for a hundred bucks!!
 

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This gun will be 20" barrel with an A2 receiver - these two items are non-negotiable so buying off the rack is NOT an option.
You probably wouldn't want a stainless barrel, either then. I get that. I have a Rock River Arms National Match (A2 is the only way they come for that competition) but the barrel is stainless. You might check out a NM rifle to see if you can get one off the rack without a stainless barrel. Seems like you should be able to find that. Chambering is 5.56 Nato/.223 Rem.

They have them someplace. Here is a discussion talking about the three types of steel:

https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/Stainless_Steel_vs__Chrome_lined_Barrell/12-460660/
 

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See - even an old dog like me CAN learn something new. I've heard of the .223 Wylde but like I said - I know NOTHING about it. Sounds to me like that would be the way to go.

Of course everything I suggested was along the lines of the M4 (barrel length, detachable rear sight, etc.). It is your rifle and your idea. I've either owned or fired Sp1s, M16A1s, the M16A2s and the M4-style carbines military and civilian. I also like the A2 fixed carry handle uppers and do prefer the longer A2 rifle barrels over the shorter M4 lengths.

I wasn't crazy about the flat-top uppers with the detachable rear sights - but they DO offer the ability to mount telescopic and other sights - where the fixed carry handle A2 doesn't.

You guys and AR wood stocks - some people's kids...... ARs are meant to have GENUINE plastic.
 

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I have been seeing the .223 Wylde mentioned for a while and wondered about it but was too lazy to check it out. This thread got me to looking and I thank the OP and responders. Learned something.
 

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Wylde chamber and 1/8-only way to go...and yes both are available in 20" A1 uppers.
As I noted in an earlier post, I am new to learning about the .223 Wylde. I can see the advantage if you are using .223 ammo in a 5.56 AR; but what advantage does it offer to those that can reload 5.56 spec ammo or uses factory 5.56 ammo?
 

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As I noted in an earlier post, I am new to learning about the .223 Wylde. I can see the advantage if you are using .223 ammo in a 5.56 AR; but what advantage does it offer to those that can reload 5.56 spec ammo or uses factory 5.56 ammo?
You're really not reloading to 5.56 leade specs-your loading powder to 5.56 level.The advantage it offers is the ability to shoot anything that goes into the chamber,without overpressure.I asked RCBS if they could make 5.56 dies-guy asked me if I ever reloaded before:):)I told him I was trying to clear up misconceptions.Maybe you can buy them,don't know.Nosler has a section online-the only difference I've found in 5.56 data vs .223 is the same powder,just more of it.If something gives you a distinct advantage and costs little or nothing extra-why wouldn't you use it?
 

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I've built a good number of AR's using 5.56 chambered rifles, never saw the need or advantage of the Wylde. Of course I load my own ammo, so buying a barrel just to accomodate the whims of commercial ammunition manufacturers was never a concern.
 
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