Q: Where are the technical notes that used to be located on the website?
A: Over the last few years, Armalite and its parent company, Strategic Armory Corps, have been working diligently to adhere to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) set forth by the U.S. Government. These export controls prevent us from making some technical information readily available to the public via web or any other media.
While we understand that this can be an inconvenience to our customers, we believe that these policies are important in preventing our technical knowledge from getting into the hands of foreign governments and groups that wish to cause the United States or its allies harm. We take the safety of our country and troops very seriously, and appreciate your understanding.
If you have any questions regarding these technical notes, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team so they can assist.
Q: What is a .223 Wylde chamber?
A: .223 Wylde is a specific chamber size originally designed for precision shooting to make the best use of case pressure. 223 Wylde incorporates a longer throat. A longer throat in the chamber allows the shooter to utilize longer length bullets such as the 80 grain HPBT Sierra MatchKing.
What does that mean for 223 Rem and 5.56 Nato (5.56X45)? Your .223 Wylde chambered rifle CAN fire any 223 Rem or 5.56 NATO rounds. The difference between those two rounds is the case pressure, with the 5.56 having the greater of the two. The 223 Wylde chamber was developed to shoot both and achieve optimal accuracy with either.
Q: My rifle doesn’t function properly or isn’t experiencing the accuracy I expect out of it. What should I do?
A: Most technical problems can be resolved by carefully reading the owner’s manual for your firearm. Owner’s manuals for all Armalite firearms can be found in the Library section of our website. If you want a hard copy, just call or email. (See the Contact Us section of our website.) Our manuals are updated as we make design changes or as we receive questions from customers. It’s a good idea to download the most current manuals.
If you still have a problem after reviewing the latest owner’s manual and Technical Notes, thoroughly cleaning the firearm as explained in the manual, and absolutely assuring that your ammunition is not defective, feel free to contact our technical support personnel.
Functional problems must be analyzed as “system” problems. We must consider the firearm, the ammo, the mounting conditions, maintenance schedules, and the shooter.
When you contact us, it’s important for you to have as much specific information about your problem as possible. Information that’s very helpful to us includes:
— Model of the firearm
— Serial number of the firearm
— Sights or scope being used
— Manufacturer and specific type of ammunition being used (including bullet weight)
— How the rifle or pistol was mounted or held (e.g. shoulder fired, bench rested, one-hand firing) and how tightly was it being held
— Approximate number of rounds previously fired from the firearm
— Approximate number of rounds fired since the firearm was cleaned and method of cleaning previously used
— The specific nature of the malfunction or problem encountered.
In order to provide meaningful support to you, we’ll need you to be as specific as possible about the problem. (There’s simply no way to analyze “My rifle doesn’t work.”) Let us help you diagnose your problem.
There are eight steps in the cycle of functioning of any firearm. They are:
- Firing – Pulling the trigger to release the hammer or striker to fire the cartridge, 2. Unlocking – Turning the bolt to release it from the barrel, or (in a pistol, tipping of the barrel to release it from the slide,
- Extracting – Pulling the fired case out of the chamber,
- Ejecting – Throwing the empty case clear of the firearm,
- Cocking – Resetting the hammer or striker so that it is ready to be released to fire the next cartridge,
- Feeding – Pushing the next cartridge out of the feed lips of the magazine.
- Chambering – Pushing the cartridge up the feed ramp and into the chamber,
- Locking – Rotating the bolt or (in a pistol) lifting the barrel so that it is held in place to support the cartridge for the next shot.
Try to determine which step in the cycle of functioning is not being performed successfully and provide that information to us.
In addition to cycling problems, it is possible to have a problem with the firearm’s controls including the safety and the bolt (or slide) stop. If you have a problem with any of the firearm’s controls, describe the problem as specifically as possible.
Q: I want to replace the stock of my Armalite and want to know if it is built with a MIL-SPEC or commercial tube design.
A: Armalite currently uses Mil-Spec diameter receiver extensions (buffer tubes). But, previously we used commercial diameter tubes. We can’t tell what you have without knowing the tube diameter. If you tube has a diameter of approximately 1.145 – 1.147 inches, it is Mil-Spec diameter. Anything else is commercial. Note that there is a tolerance in both Mil-Spec and commercial tubes and stocks. The stock will tend to have a little play in it.
Q: Can a DPMS/POF/KAC/RRA/other brand’s upper be put on an Armalite lower receiver?
A: You can install Colt or high quality components made to military standards to Armalite M15 lower receivers, but Armalite doesn’t recommend it. We recommend that you use Armalite upper receivers for optimal fit, matching to the deep black color of your Armalite receiver, and the basic knowledge that your rifle isn’t totally mixed up.
No other brand of upper receiver fits the Armalite AR-10 family of rifles.
Q: What are the difference between the Armalite tactical and match triggers?
A: The mechanisms are based on the same basic design. The difference is the location and shape of the trigger bow, different weights of pull, and tuning the second stage hook in a manner similar to the M14.
The NM trigger bow is mounted farther forward for better trigger finger placement, while the Tactical Two-Stage trigger has the same bow as the usual single stage trigger of the M-16. The trigger weight of the installed NM trigger is approximately 2 pounds lighter than the Tactical Two-Stage trigger, and the NM trigger is tuned so that the shooter won’t be distracted by movement in the second stage.
The two triggers serve different purposes, so a single standard isn’t practical. While NM triggers are outstanding for match use and for casual shooting, the officials of many Police or Military organizations require a trigger of higher weight.
Armalite may use un-tuned NM triggers as Tactical Two-Stage triggers in standard rifles when supply conditions require.
See the M-15 and AR-10 manuals for more information on our Match triggers.
Q: What’s the difference between Eagle Arms and Armalite?
A: There are normally very few differences. Armalite rifles are the top of the company’s line. They tend to be more up to date and include higher quality parts such as chrome lined barrels. They are produced from selected forging. However, internally, they use exactly the same parts. Eagle Arms rifles are intended to compete with lower priced brands. They are extremely high quality rifles in their own right. Armalite used to use only “Armalite” lower receivers for actual factory built guns and sold “Eagle Arms” as stripped lower and upper receivers. This was to differentiate between the two different warranties. Armalite has a lifetime warranty and EA has a one year only warranty. Armalite now offers “Armalite” stripped lowers for sale.
Q: What are the differences among types of muzzle devices?
A: A “Muzzle Brake” is a device that reduces recoil by redirecting gases rearward. It does not hide or eliminate flash. Physically, it typically contains slots or holes that angle rearward. It may greatly increase noise and blast rearward toward the shooter.
A “Flash Hider” is a device that hides flash from the rear and sides. Physically, it is typically cone-shaped without any holes or slots on its sides. It does not reduce recoil or suppress flash. It merely hides flash. It may increase recoil somewhat.
A “Flash Suppressor” is a device that reduces flash by dispersing hot gases radially outward from the muzzle. Physically, it usually has holes, slots, or prongs that radiate outward completely around the suppressor, (or at least horizontally and upward from the suppressor).
A “(sound) Suppressor” is a device that reduces sound, flash, and recoil by containing and cooling hot gases in a cylindrical canister.
Q: Do you still offer custom colors/camouflaging?
A: We are not currently offering custom cerakote or camouflaging. Considerations may be made on a case-by-case basis for quantity orders.
Q: What is the thread pitch on all of your muzzle brakes?
A: The thread pitch depends on the model of your rifle:
AR-10 = 5/8 x 24
M-15 = ½ x 28
AR-30 = 5/8 x 18 UNF-3A
AR-50 = 1 x 14
Q: Will a sound suppressor affect the performance of my M-15™ or AR-10®?
A: Yes. A sound suppressor will increase the rate of fire, which may increase the rate of some malfunctions and may increase rate of wear on some parts. That’s why our Super SASS has a gas valve to reduce the amount of gas powering the gun when the suppressor is installed. When we manufacture rifles specifically for use with a suppressor, we reduce the size of the gas port appropriately. Please remember that suppressors are NFA controlled items, so please observe federal, state, and local laws regarding their use.
Q: What does LSA stand for?
A: Lubricant, semi-fluid, automatic firearms. It was specifically designed in the 1960s for use on the M-16 rifle.
Q: Does Cryogenic Treatment (Cryo) of barrels help in any way?
A: We have not seen any evidence that it helps. Armalite has frequently been offered cryogenic barrel treatment services, with promised increases in accuracy, life expectancy, and easier cleaning. In each case, we have stated that we would consider the treatment only when provided solid engineering data proving the promised benefits.
In late 1998, an experienced High Power competitor and official of Sierra Bullets, Mr. Kevin Thomas, published an excellent article in Precision Shooter magazine that reported results of a well designed test that confirmed no measurable benefit from the treatment.
Until independent, scientific evidence to the opposite is provided, Armalite will not resort to, or recommend cryogenic treatment.
Q: Why does Armalite offer three types of barrels (chrome moly, chrome lined, and stainless steel)?
A: Each barrel has advantages suited to different uses.
Armalite’s chrome moly barrels have excellent internal surface finishes, and offer excellent accuracy for a reasonable price. Chrome lined barrels offer excellent corrosion protection and longer life expectancy, but are more expensive than unchromed barrels. In addition, the process of electro polishing the barrels, and the chroming process itself, tends to reduce accuracy somewhat. Stainless is easy to process to fine surface finishes, and provides moderate corrosion resistance.
Thus, chrome moly is used for Eagle Arms standard rifles, for good accuracy at a low price. Armalite A2 and A4 rifles, in both .223 / 5.56 and .308 / 7.62 normally are produced with chrome lined barrels for hard service use or use under adverse conditions, with stainless steel as an option. All Armalite match grade rifles, the Ts and National Match rifles, are made with stainless steel barrels for superior accuracy and good corrosion resistance.
Q: How accurate are Armalite’s rifles?
A: That depends on which model you have. Armalite manufactures a wide range of rifles with barrels of different materials and different lengths. Generally, the stainless steel and unchromed barrels are more accurate that chrome lined barrels, but the chrome lined withstand moisture and wear better.
In general, when shooting match ammo from a bench or machine rest in calm conditions, our rifles will shoot the following sizes of 5-shot groups:
–Match grade rifles are guaranteed to have accuracy better than 1 minute of angle.
–Carbines with 16 inch long stainless barrels will shoot better than 1.5 minutes of angle.
–Chromed standard grade barrels will shoot within 2 minutes of angle.
A minute of angle (MOA) is approximately 1 inch per 100 yards of range.
Q: What is “Match” ammunition and how does it differ from “Ball” ammunition?
A: The term “match” is much abused in the world of ammunition sales. too often, it’s applied to whatever a seller has on hand in order to sell it to innocents.
Properly used, the term is applied to ammunition that is assembled from specially produced or selected components to improve accuracy. Specially designed bullets, such as open-tip, especially uniform primers, specially weighed charges of stable powder, and high-quality very uniform cartridge cases are often used in match ammunition.
“Ball” ammunition is similar, but of standard quality, often using less expensive open-based bullets rather than open-tipped. It is ordinarily used for military or police use, or produced for sale at low prices to hobby shooters.
If you are looking for high-quality “Match” ammunition, we recommend the Match Grade line from Nexus Ammo.
Q: How many shots can be fired from a barrel before it has to be replaced?
A: Barrel life will vary greatly depending on the caliber of the rifle, the particular ammunition being fired, the rate of fire, how well and how often the barrel is cleaned, and how accurate the shooter insists the rifle must be.
Shooting tracer or armor piercing ammunition, or shooting the rifle as fast as the trigger can be pulled can ruin the barrel in just a few hundred rounds. Firing jacked lead-core bullets at reasonable rates with good cleaning often will allow a standard grade .223/5.56 or .308/7,62 barrel to last for up to 10,000 rounds with acceptable for police use. Target shooters fire at very moderate rates, but their higher accuracy requirements may dictate barrel replacement at approximately 7,000 rounds. The most intense 5.56 match loads with heavy bullets, such as those used by the Army Marksmanship Unit, may require barrel replacement as early as 2,500 rounds. More conservative loads may remain accurate for over 5,000 rounds.
Because of the variables that must be considered in approximating barrel lift, the barrel of your rifle is considered a wearable item and will be evaluated for warranty on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Do both 7.62 NATO and 7.62×39 cartridges fire projectiles of the same diameter?
A: No. In spite of their similar designations, they do not fire the same diameter of projectiles, their cartridge cases are entirely different, and they are not interchangeable in any firearm. And firearms that fire them have different bore diameters. (7.62 NATO projectiles are 0.308” in diameter. 7.62 X 39 projectiles are 0.311” in diameter.)