5.56 ammo where did the first sources come from

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by ugly, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    As the title says I'm curious as to who supplied the first batches of 5.56 and for how long, also at what point in time did we get a domestic production line going.
    I certainly imagine it was bought in from the US originally but once the Vietnam war kicked of evven the Canadians managed to get a production line going so ship south.
    Did we buy Canadia? It would have been with an IVI headstamp if Canadian there are definetly some IVI 71 examples out there.
     
  2. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    As the MOD first purchased AR15/M16s in 1961 it must be assumed that the first batches of commercial ammunition came directly from Remington who were the only manufacturer at that time. Colt took over manufacture of the rifle in 1963 and these early models were made by Armalite/ Fairchild industries.

    info from " The Encyclopaedia of the Modern British Army"1980
     
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Allegedly Remington didnt produce it commercially for sale until 1964, so who actually made the ammo we used in the years before RG domestic production?
    Bearing in mind we had it before then?
     
  4. Probably best to post the question on one of the forums where Tony Edwards (HBSA) resides; he'll probably know the name of the machine operator who made the first round...

    IIRC UK started making 5.56mm almost as soon as the first AR15 procurement.
     
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Cheers, I know Tony and have a few of his books. I will go onto the forum and ask.
     
  6. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    The .223 Rem traces its roots to the .222 Remington, a round popular with benchrest and varmint shooters in the 1950s. When the US military was looking for a new high-speed small-caliber round to replace the .308 Winchester (7.62x51), Remington started with the .222 Remington, and stretched it to increase powder capacity by about 20% in 1958 to make the .222 Remington Magnum. The cartridge was not accepted by the military, but it was introduced commercially. In 1964, the 5.56x45 mm, also based on a stretched .222 Rem case (and very similar to the .222 Rem Magnum), was adopted along with the new M-16 rifle. The .223 Rem traces its roots to the .222 Remington, a round popular with benchrest and varmint shooters in the 1950s. When the US military was looking for a new high-speed small-caliber round to replace the .308 Winchester (7.62x51), Remington started with the .222 Remington, and stretched it to increase powder capacity by about 20% in 1958 to make the .222 Remington Magnum. The cartridge was not accepted by the military, but it was introduced commercially. In 1964, the 5.56x45 mm, also based on a stretched .222 Rem case (and very similar to the .222 Rem Magnum), was adopted along with the new M-16 rifleThe .223 Rem traces its roots to the .222 Remington, a round popular with benchrest and varmint shooters in the 1950s. When the US military was looking for a new high-speed small-caliber round to replace the .308 Winchester (7.62x51), Remington started with the .222 Remington, and stretched it to increase powder capacity by about 20% in 1958 to make the .222 Remington Magnum. The cartridge was not accepted by the military, but it was introduced commercially. In 1964, the 5.56x45 mm, also based on a stretched .222 Rem case (and very similar to the .222 Rem Magnum), was adopted along with the new M-16 rifle.At the request of the U.S. military, Stoner's chief assistant, Robert Fremont and Jim Sullivan designed the AR-15 from the basic AR-10 design, scaling it down to fire the small-caliber .223 Remington cartridge. The AR-15 was later adopted by United States military forces as the M16 rifle

    As the British had by 1964 purchased up to 10,000 AR15/M16 Remington must have been the original supplier
     
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Thanks for the wiki style cut and paste but there is nothing there that answers the question only confirms what has been said with much less typing. 4T I cant find the HBSA forum, any ideas?
     
  8. Tropper have you had a stroke or hit "paste" too many times?
     
  9. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Its actually scanned from my history of Firearms, book, It's amazing what you can do with an Android phone
     
  10. Badly.
     
  11. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    When the .223 was first taken on by the British Army in 1961, the 5.56mm Nato Belgian designed SS109 round did not exist, so it must be assumed that the 223 was produced somewhere, and as at least two ROFs, Radway and Cardiff I think ,had only recently been retooled to manufacture the cancelled .280 round it would not have been to big a problem for these production lines to manufacture 223.
     
  12. I've sent Tony Williams an email with the question. Hope he answers - should be interesting detail.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. As an aside I have somewhere about 20 RG cases from an early production run. The cases are notably different in that they have a distinct coppery colour as opposed to the later normal brass appearance. Did someone have a re-think on the brass mixture and if so why?
     
  14. Did a 7.62mm round fall in love with a .22?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    from a good source;
    "Ignoring the small batches of M193 produced at Radway Green in the late 1960s for development work, regular production of "Round 5.56mm Ball, M193" began at Radway Gren in 1979 with an initial order of 2 million rounds. Production continued through to 1985. The SS109 lookalike was not introduced as the "Round 5.56mm Ball L2A1" until February 1984, and production of the older M193 round continued in parallel for about eighteen months for weapons with the older twist barrels.

    As a rule of thumb, cases dated in the early 1980s and with "5.56" in the headstamp are M193, although both the M193 and L2A1 cases used this headstamp in 1984.

    Regards
    TonyE
    "
    so who made the stuff we used?