The following are my italicized responses to some common AR-15 Questions that I am frequently asked.
Q – Is the .223 Remington round and the .556 NATO round the same?
A – No. While they might appear similar, the .223 Remington is loaded to lower pressures and velocities than the .556 NATO round.
Q – Can I shoot the .223 round out of a barrel stamped .556?
A – Yes.
Q – Can I shoot the .556 round out of a barrel stamped .223?
A – No.
Q – What’s the main difference between the A1, A2 and A3 receiver?
A – The A1 receiver has a carry handle with the rear sight built into the handle. It requires a tool for adjusting and is adjustable for windage only. The A2 receiver has a carry handle with the rear sight built into the handle. It is finger adjustable in increments for windage and elevation. The A3 receiver is a flat top receiver with no carry handle. It has a Picatinny rail mounted on the top for attaching optics.
Q - What is twist rate?
A – Twist rate is how long it takes the bullet to make 1 full rotation in the barrel. As an example a 1/9 is 1 full rotation for every 9 inches of barrel.
Q – What is the military version of the AR-15 rifle?
A – The M16 rifle.
Q – What are some of the advantages of an AR-15 rifle?
A – They are flexible, accurate, reliable, have a proven performance record and have parts that are readily available
Q – What is the ideal barrel length for an AR-15 rifle?
A – 16 inches.
Q – Why are iron sights important?
A – Iron sights are often the primary sighting system and offer the quickest method to acquire a target at short distances.
Q – What size magazine is best and how many magazines should one have?
A – The 30 round magazine is best and one should generally have a minimum of 10 magazines. Check your local area laws regarding magazine capacity limitations as 30 round magazines are no longer allowed in some states.
Q – What’s better, plastic or railed handguards?
A – They are both good. Plastic handguards are there to cover the barrel to prevent you from burning your hands. If you’re a minimilist and do not want to add accessories plastic is the way to go. Railed handguards also prevent you from burning your hands but have the added benefit of rails to allow the quick attachment of modular accessories such as flashlights and foregrips. If you like adding accessories, then railed is the way to go.