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 Which Headspace Gauge for 223 Wylde?
97ss10  [Member]
9/17/2012 9:07:46 PM
I decided to check the headspace on my SPR build myself since the "gunsmith" I talked to didn't really seem too confident in his ability to check it. I have a WOA barrel chambered in 223 Wylde but I haven't found an available set of Go/No-go gauges in 223 Wylde.

The question is, can I use 5.56 or 223 Rem gauges and if so, which ones? Any info is appreciated. Thanks!
PFC  [Member]
9/17/2012 9:57:19 PM
Get the SAAMI 223 REM gage set (Go, Nogo, Field).
If you are going to shoot 5.56mm also get a Colt spec max chamber gage.
For several reasons I usually prefer that a new AR passes the SAAMI Nogo gage.
You do not want a new weapon to fail the SAAMI Field gage.
97ss10  [Member]
9/17/2012 11:05:37 PM
I definitely plan to shoot 5.56. I have the 223 SAAMI kit (Go/No-go) on my wish list from Brownell's right now. I was just waiting on an answer for this question first. So I should get the field gauge as well then? Can you explain why that is?

So to be clear, I don't need a 223 Wylde gauge set?

Thanks a lot!
Gamma762  [Team Member]
9/18/2012 1:32:04 AM
Originally Posted By 97ss10:
So to be clear, I don't need a 223 Wylde gauge set?

Changing the throat has nothing to do with headspace, since headspace is to the cartridge shoulder.

Throat design/dimensions is the difference between the different chambers for the most part.
PFC  [Member]
9/18/2012 8:57:45 AM
There is no 223 Wylde cartridge.
The Wylde chamber falls between a 223 REM chamber and a 5.56 NATO chamber and allows either cartridge to be used.
A field gage is the maximum safe headspace for a given cartridge.
The SAAMI Field gage is the maximum safe headspace for 223 REM per SAAMI.
The SAAMI Field gage is also close to the maximum headspace allowed for a new unfired weapon in 5.56 NATO.
The Colt maximum chamber gage is the maximum safe headspace for 5.56 NATO.
You do not ‘need’ a field gage unless your weapon fails the nogo gage.
Which it may fail new/unfired and certainly will sooner or later.
SAAMI sets the recommended specs for chambers and cartridges for civilian ammunition in the US.
The SAAMI website is a good place to start learning about headspace and some of the issues involved.
97ss10  [Member]
9/18/2012 10:56:34 AM
Good info. I'll check out the SAAMI site later tonight before I go any further.

The video on the Midway site makes it look as simple as plopping the gages in there and trying to spin the bolt around. If it spins with the Go and doesn't with the No-go then you're good.

Thanks!
TMoNeE  [Member]
9/18/2012 3:02:38 PM
How common is checking the headspace?... I cant seem to find any good information either way, but I do know that many of the shops around here that build and sell AR's do not have the stuff to do it.
390AMX  [Member]
9/18/2012 4:46:14 PM
Gamma762 ......... +1

Headspace has nothing to do with shooting 5.56 ammo - or not.

The question is, How much leade does your chamber have?.

The Wylde chamber is designed to shoot 5.56 and .223 Rem. ammo.

Headspace tools are different for the barrel fitter and the handloader.

The handloader should look into the Digital Headspace Gauge.
PFC  [Member]
9/18/2012 5:26:00 PM
Originally Posted By TMoNeE:
How common is checking the headspace?... I cant seem to find any good information either way, but I do know that many of the shops around here that build and sell AR's do not have the stuff to do it.


It depends on who you talk to.
A large majority of new components will fall into the safe range, but not all.
Also safe does not necessarily mean desirable.
Personally I like my weapons to start out with tight headspace.
97ss10  [Member]
9/18/2012 7:32:46 PM
How do you actually adjust the headspace on an AR?
PFC  [Member]
9/18/2012 9:40:53 PM
I usually just swap bolts.
If it is a precision build I order the bolt with the barrel.
Gamma762  [Team Member]
9/19/2012 1:47:21 AM
Originally Posted By 97ss10:
How do you actually adjust the headspace on an AR?

You don't "adjust" headspace on an AR.

You can swap parts as previously mentioned. Headspace is determined by the fit of the bolt, and how the chamber is cut referenced to the locking lugs. It's set during barrel making by the finish ream of the chamber referenced to the locking lugs.