Big Beard Presents: Bullets and Barbecue-Ep 3 223/556 and Chuck Roast Burnt Ends


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Pit Barrel Cooker Website

Errors and corrections:

It’s police your brass not case your brass. Wife pointed it out and for some reason I’ve been saying case your brass since I started gathering the supplies for reloading.

Prep what the show is:

Caliber: 223 remington and 5.56 NATO

History of the caliber.

The 223 round is the civilian equivalent of the 5.56 NATO round. You’ll hear a lot of arguing over this but they are the same round the only true difference is the PSI. In the civilian world SAAMI(sporting arms and ammunition institute) rules the day with what the maximum avg pressure for the round is allowed to be. Going on from here out I’ll touch on the SAAMI pressure when it comes to the round breakdown section. In the case of the differences between 223 and 5.56 NATO it’s as simple as 55000 psi for SAAMI and 61600 for NATO. NATO was established by the US military.

The second difference is the chamber of the rifle itself. Specifically how the throat is cut. A barrel chambered for 556 has a longer lead than the one chambered for the 223. This doesn’t really make a difference in modern bolt action rifles but when it comes to a semi auto it can cause issues.

The round itself was designed in 1963 going hand in hand with the US request for a small caliber high velocity rifle. Here’s the parameters set by the army for this contract:

  • .22 Caliber
  • Bullet exceeding supersonic speed at 500 yards
  • Rifle weight 6 lbs
  • Magazine capacity of 20 rounds
  • Select fire for both semi-automatic and fully automatic use
  • Penetration of US Steel helmet one side, at 500 yards
  • Penetration of .135″ steel plate at 500 yards
  • Accuracy and ballistics equal to M2 Ball ammunition (.30-06M1 Garand)
  • Wounding ability equal to theM1 Carbine

Ultimately this request lead to the development of the Armalite 15 rifle. Or more commonly known today as the AR-15.

How the round breaks down (weight, casing, powder and such)

SAAMI-55000 psi

Bullets weigh from 40-85 grains. For most people who just go out and shoot at steel targets bullet weight doesn’t really matter. For precision shooting/hunting it gets more important. Another thing that should be noted is that some guns like some weighted bullets more than others.

My guns in the caliber. (a range report)

I have 2 AR-15 style firearms. One is a Smith and Wesson MP 15 sport. Another is a built by me ar “pistol”

Movie/famous guns in the caliber.

Planet Terror- Aka the chick with the gun leg. That was a Bushmaster that shoots 223.

Basically any war movie you’ve watched dealing with Vietnam or onward. Between the common appearance of the M16 and the M4 Carbine you’ve seen it in a ton of places.

Magnum Research .223 pistol- other than AR pistols(basically a rifle without a buttstock) it’s the only handgun I can find in the 223 caliber. This is mainly a rifle round.

Story connected to the firearm

The scary black rifle and my wife’s first experience shooting one.

Meat choice: Barbecued Chuck roast (or as I like to call it poor man’s burnt ends)

Style of cooking(low and slow, high heat, normal grill etc)

Low and slow is how this one goes. I’m cooking mine in my pit barrel cooker with charcoal.

Recipe: (length, serving size, seasoning, cutting, serving, saucing)

1 or 2 (or as many as you feel like you can fit) chuck roasts

I usually use the chuck roast exclusively for these poor man burnt ends.

Get your smoker running (or offset your coals/heat in your grill) I usually apply some of my barbecue rub to it but a straight up salt, granulated garlic and pepper rub will suffice since most of your flavor will come from the saucing later. I use olive oil or mustard to coat the meat before hand. It gives the spice rub something to hold onto.

How long you cook this is all on you. I usually smoke mine for 2-3 hours then pull it, dice it, toss in sauce and throw on high heat for another 20ish minutes.

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