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Thread: Cast AR-15 Upper build

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Cast AR-15 Upper build

    About to get my armor's kit soon so I can start building ar's. Tossing the aide around of building an upper specifically for shooting cast .223 or 5.56. trying to get the most I can out of it. Meaomg I want the best accuracy I can squeeze out with case along with functioning the bolt . Not sure on the bullet yet.
    If y'all where to do this what would y'all do ?
    A wise man will try to learn as much from a fool as he will from a master, for all have something to teach- Uncle Iroh
    MS Army Guard 2016-2021

  2. #2
    Boolit Master fastdadio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfdog91 View Post
    About to get my armor's kit soon so I can start building ar's. Tossing the aide around of building an upper specifically for shooting cast If y'all where to do this what would y'all do ?
    I would choose a larger caliber more suited for hunting deer or pigs, and one that is easier to cast for. I'm quite biased towards the 350 Legend in the AR platform.
    Deplorable infidel

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I do not understand why people want to always change what someone wants to do. He specifically stated he wants to use .223 /556. I have no idea what Meaomg is or means but I get the idea he is not open to changing calipers. Wolfdog is all about the 223. I am also interested in this thread because I would also like to shoot cast out of mine, with bolt operation and accuracy.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    For use with the 223/5.56 cartridge in ARs new M16/M16A1 and original AR 15 barrels are available from Brownell's with 12" twists for a reasonable price. Many cast bullets of up to 70 gr can be used in those with upwards of 2300 fps giving reliable functioning and acceptable accuracy. It's the barrel and twist my shooter AR has on it. If you really want the best for cast bullets in an AR then consider a 14" twist 20" or longer barrel. That will stabilize cast bullets of .693 or less length w/o problems and very useable accuracy can be attained upwards of 2600 + fps.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Mp NATO 73gr is pretty much built for this purpose. I've had good luck with it powder coated and shot from a 1:9 mid length. I had to remove the buffer weights and open the gas port a few thousands to get it to cycle reliably with a 4198 ish powder at 2300-2400 fps. It's much easier though to get a carbine gas length to cycle. No port alreation needed.

    You are going to want to heat treat your bullets to 18ish bhn. Using a hard alloy that was already 18bhn as cast did not work well. Alloy has to be both hard and malleable. CWW will easily heat treat to 18.

    I spent about 2.5 years on and off on this project. The MP Nato gave me about 2-3 inch groups at 100 yards, which is way better than the LC and IVI military ammo I have used.

    Even though I recommend the MP nato, I ended up going with the NOE 62 fn. This was after way more load development than I ever would do again. I was able to squeeze 1.5 inches in a 10 shot group. So just work with the MP Nato is my advice. Or something heavy in the 70s.

    Oh and if you are still struggling to cycle, they make light weight bolt carrier groups. I bought one, used it for a bit, but found I could cycle with the regular group after I did some load dev work.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also. Don't use FC primers, at least the standard ones. They like to slam fire.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    armor's kit why? All you need is an upper clamping block. Barrel nuts are flats for a wrench now. Many have tried the 223 cast, few have succeeded. Any 30 cal based on 223 case works fine and is much easier. My BO carbine gets 2" @ 100, 145gr PB, 2k fps and uses 1/3 the powder. GCd goes much faster. Heavier bullet bucks the wind better. Many reasons against light 223 bullets. If I want fps and long range I go to 308W. But it's your, do as you wish.
    edit: loaded 70gr for GKs 243s, those darn SMALL bullets are hard to handle. Fumble fingers can't do 55gr 223.
    Last edited by popper; 06-24-2022 at 01:46 PM.
    Whatever!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    sundog's Avatar
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    Wolfdog91, since you specifically addressed cast in a .223 AR15 upper..., what Larry wrote. Twelve twist, 14 'mo betta'. I recently assisted a friend put a White Oak Armament 12 twist .223 on an upper. The NOE 225-55-FN, GC and PC, was a winner right from the git-go. I think that's all that's been put through it so far. He's still testing for best loads. But, wow! Great reason for getting to shoot a lot.

    Now, what Nobade said about the 7.62x40WT (12 twist) and the 300 Ham'r (15 twist) is spot on. I have some personal experience with each using cast. Just a matter of matching up a boolit and powder and shooting until you find a load the gun likes. Another great reason for getting to shoot a lot!

    On a side note. All this 'stuff' floating around about banning AR15s is nothing but a bunch of 'stuff' coming out of the mouths of gun hating no nothings with respect to firearms.

    Everyone now repeat after me, "ban the AR15." No, ban evil people!
    It ain't rocket science, it's boolit science.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master MarkP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastdadio View Post
    I would choose a larger caliber more suited for hunting deer or pigs, and one that is easier to cast for. I'm quite biased towards the 350 Legend in the AR platform.
    I would second a 350 Legend or do what Larry G suggests.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    I really like my 350 Legend with the 35-200 cast boolit. I got 223 while waiting for 350 Legend brass as I could get 223 brass by just forgetting to zip my range bag. I built a 1 in 8 Wylde for J words but it's easy to change barrels and this is a great thread!
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    A shorter barrel may serve you well here, it will help limit how fast the bullets are scooting. Twist rate charts will help you determine what will give you better stability/accuracy https://gear-report.com/what-does-ra...-is-twist-rate

  11. #11
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    Using cast in all five AR calibers I shoot, the AR-15/5.56/cast takes nothing special. (1-9 twist is fine)
    See https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...=1#post4472544 (100yds)

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Another vote for a 1:12 or 1:14 twist barrel. Green Mountain sells them; looks like they currently have the 12 twist M16A1 barrel in stock. They occasionally make a run of the 14 twist M16 barrels.
    I have one of their 12 twist barrels. I've shot cast in 9 twist barrels too, but the 12 or better yet 14 twist allows higher velocity, which makes the powder selection and charge weight less of a balancing act. 1:9 twist generally works better around 1800 fps; 12 or 14 twist allows 2300-2400 fps. That is with lubed bullets; powder coated probably allows a bit more velocity.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    1:9 twist generally works better around 1800 fps
    Please see Post#30 (Earlier String).
    Standard Armalite Carbine
    Twist is 1-9
    Note velocity

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    Please see Post#30 (Earlier String).
    Standard Armalite Carbine
    Twist is 1-9
    Note velocity
    That picture is really hard to read, it looks like a magazine clippings ransom note.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    Sorry... my cryptic notes

    Std Armalite AR-15/Carbine/16" (7.5" to gas port) 1-9 twist
    59gr SAECO #221 mould when cast w/#15 alloy (nothing harder)
    Lyman Gas Check / Sized .225" / ALOX'd to shoot
    Accurate 2495/20.9gr
    OAL: 2.245"
    82%fill / 97% burn
    32,802 psi/2,485fps (actual via LABRADAR)
    CCI-41 primers
    100 yds
    Last edited by mehavey; 06-25-2022 at 02:26 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Stopsign32v's Avatar
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    I understand you want to cast for .223 but I suggest you instead just go to casting for 45 ACP.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    Please see Post#30 (Earlier String).
    Standard Armalite Carbine
    Twist is 1-9
    Note velocity
    That's why I said "generally."

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    tja6435's Avatar
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    When you look at 350L vs .223 Rem load data, the powder weight usually favors the .350L a little, but I’ve found it much easier to cast and shoot accurately with. Starline has 250x 350L brass for about $82 shipped. I use a brass catcher with my .350L rig
    8500' Wet Mountain Valley, Colorado

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tja6435 View Post
    When you look at 350L vs .223 Rem load data, the powder weight usually favors the .350L a little, but I’ve found it much easier to cast and shoot accurately with. Starline has 250x 350L brass for about $82 shipped. I use a brass catcher with my .350L rig
    My first 99 pieces of 350L brass were hard won. I bought a diaper for mine right away. I still lose a couple when I forget to put it on. Which I do but the price drops to $.27 when you buy 1000.

    i got the 223 cycling this afternoon, think I'll go look at Green Mountain.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    For use with the 223/5.56 cartridge in ARs new M16/M16A1 and original AR 15 barrels are available from Brownell's with 12" twists for a reasonable price. Many cast bullets of up to 70 gr can be used in those with upwards of 2300 fps giving reliable functioning and acceptable accuracy. It's the barrel and twist my shooter AR has on it. If you really want the best for cast bullets in an AR then consider a 14" twist 20" or longer barrel. That will stabilize cast bullets of .693 or less length w/o problems and very useable accuracy can be attained upwards of 2600 + fps.
    Thank you
    A wise man will try to learn as much from a fool as he will from a master, for all have something to teach- Uncle Iroh
    MS Army Guard 2016-2021

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check