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AR-15 Rebarrel/Conversion

dpmuledpmule Member Posts: 6,672 ✭✭✭✭
edited April 2016 in Ask the Experts
Have any of you fellows had any experience or know someone who has rebarrled an AR-15 to a .17 Remington?

An inquiring mind wants to know.


Mule

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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    dpmule,

    Sure, I've done several in fact. Makes for a great varmint rifle and coyote killer from hell. Don't expect to save hides if you use the VMAX bullets like I do.

    The 25 grain VMAX combined with Norma 202 powder nets you about 4050 fps which is lethal on any of the varmints including but not limited to prairie dogs, wood chucks and coyote.

    Best.
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd be sure of accurate feeding and correct as necessary.
    On an auto pistol round I developed in the 70-80s, 17 cal bullets were very fragile to load and easily damaged. I got about 3200 FPS out of a 6" barrel. There was only one bullet which was hp.
    Read Ackleys' articles on 17 cal vs wild burros and other large animals.
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    dpmuledpmule Member Posts: 6,672 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have had a .17 Remington in a 700 BDl since 79/80. It is responsible for the demise of many a bobcat, coyote, fox, and multiple magpies used to to check the zero [:D]

    Just recently saw that I could get a Shilen match grade barrel and bolt to convert one or more of my AR's to .17, just didn't know of any one local who had done it. Seems like pretty painless conversion.

    Will make another toy in the toy box that Grandson and Grandpa have to play with[:D]


    Mule
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by dpmule
    I have had a .17 Remington in a 700 BDl since 79/80. It is responsible for the demise of many a bobcat, coyote, fox, and multiple magpies used to to check the zero [:D]

    Just recently saw that I could get a Shilen match grade barrel and bolt to convert one or more of my AR's to .17, just didn't know of any one local who had done it. Seems like pretty painless conversion.

    Will make another toy in the toy box that Grandson and Grandpa have to play with[:D]


    Mule


    If the Shilen barrel has the gas block, and barrel extension already installed and head spaced(I imagine that is why it comes with the bolt too), it will be real easy. I am sure they would use an M4 style feed ramp on the barrel extension.
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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    dpmule,

    Unlike simply switching 5.56 or .223 barrels, switching cartridges and calibers can involve adjustments to the feeding and gas block systems. This should go without saying or having to revisit this idea in order to cover the topic thoroughly. Not every activity with an AR15 is simple like an erector set since some of these changes actually involve real gunsmithing and knowledge of how systems work. This is not necessarily just a plug and play idea.

    The two points above are cases which involve knowing how to adjust feed ramps, M4 in this instance, and being able to ascertain the diameter of the gas hole in the barrel in conjunction with the right gas block which will properly run the entire action of the rifle. Most of the gunsmiths I know who work with the AR15 system on a daily basis have lists and charts which have been constructed from a ton of experience. Most of us also keep notebooks which are full of detailed instructions and drawings which we use when working on the huge variations in diverse projects.

    In essence, be aware that you might need to polish the M4 ramp in such a way as to enhance feeding. Also be aware that the standard gas hole may need to be adjusted to run the system properly. Start small and work your way up.

    Best.
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    dpmuledpmule Member Posts: 6,672 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nononsense
    dpmule,

    Unlike simply switching 5.56 or .223 barrels, switching cartridges and calibers can involve adjustments to the feeding and gas block systems. This should go without saying or having to revisit this idea in order to cover the topic thoroughly. Not every activity with an AR15 is simple like an erector set since some of these changes actually involve real gunsmithing and knowledge of how systems work. This is not necessarily just a plug and play idea.

    The two points above are cases which involve knowing how to adjust feed ramps, M4 in this instance, and being able to ascertain the diameter of the gas hole in the barrel in conjunction with the right gas block which will properly run the entire action of the rifle. Most of the gunsmiths I know who work with the AR15 system on a daily basis have lists and charts which have been constructed from a ton of experience. Most of us also keep notebooks which are full of detailed instructions and drawings which we use when working on the huge variations in diverse projects.

    In essence, be aware that you might need to polish the M4 ramp in such a way as to enhance feeding. Also be aware that the standard gas hole may need to be adjusted to run the system properly. Start small and work your way up.

    Best.





    Dually noted, plan to print this off when I get home. I didn't figure it was plug and play, the idiosyncrasies are what I was hoping this thread would bring out and possibly save me making beginner and possibly costly mistakes in the convert. Still seems worth while to have another caliber that is fun. You also don't have to share ammo if you have something different [:D]

    Mule
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Enquiring mind- Find out before drilling the gas port if the AR feeding is too violent on current bullet tips.
    Test feed by releasing bolt lock and examine bullet nose for distortion.
    You may want to leave out the gas system for best accuracy.
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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    dpmule,

    quote:Find out before drilling the gas port if the AR feeding is too violent on current bullet tips.

    That's the point of working on the geometry and polishing of the feed ramp, to determine how a particular bullet feeds without damaging the nose of that bullet.

    quote:You may want to leave out the gas system for best accuracy.

    Then what's the point of using the AR15 platform?

    None with your suggestion. He can just as easily use a lever rifle or bolt action or even a break action single shot instead if the gas system is left off. Useless.

    Best.
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes of course, that was inferred but not explicit.
    Ammunition may chamber well but in many if not most semi and full autos the bullet strikes the upper chamber wall on the way in.
    The kinematics of instant centers would need to be examined to predict feeding details. As this is impractical, I suggested a conservative empirical approach. M4 feed ramps may not solve the issue and manual operation or bolt action and single shot may be necessary for best accuracy. If someone else has successfully done it, all to the good but
    given the delicate 17 HP bullets I dealt with 35+ years ago, There wasn't much tolerance for handling and accuracy was poor.
    The violence in feeding of AKs would certainly distort 17 cal bullet tips.
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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    First of all you're making this far more complicated than it really needs to be. Getting an AR15 to feed is not a problem it just takes a little examination and make some judicial decisions about how to polish and where. The M4 feed ramps DO solve the problem and there is no need to complicate it any further. You DO NOT need to run a semi-auto system as a single shot to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

    And, what's even most important, the AR15 and AR10 systems can be made to be very accurate, 1/4 - 1/2 MOA accurate, when the gunsmith knows how to make those rifles. We're not talking about kitchen table assemblers but real gunsmith who know these systems and how to achieve accuracy during manufacturing and assembly.

    quote:If someone else has successfully done it, all to the good but
    given the delicate 17 HP bullets I dealt with 35+ years ago, There wasn't much tolerance for handling and accuracy was poor.

    Herein lies the problem, we're not talking about 35 years ago, we are living and discussing in the second decade of the 21st century! The 17 caliber bullets that we use now are by far better than those which were available 35 and 40 years ago. This includes both the hollow points and the tipped bullets, factory or custom made.

    Secondly, if you had read my first post you would realize that yes indeed, I have made the .17 Remington work in the AR15 platform. Not only that but a couple of other .17s and .20s as well. So I have found the solutions to feeding and accuracy. I have the experience to address this question and answer it completely without all the sideline detours which you want to add.

    quote:The violence in feeding of AKs would certainly distort 17 cal bullet tips.

    That really doesn't matter now does it since we're discussing the AR15 and not the AK.

    dpmule: I'm locking this at 10 posts. If you need more information or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Thanks!

    Best.
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