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.223 - 5.56 nato
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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 03:35 AM
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camotruck
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I should know this ...   If I have 5.56 NATO, and  fire it from my AR 15 stamped 5.56.  I can then reload it using my .223 reloading dies to .223 levels and then shoot it in both my 5.56 and my .223.

 

The only thing keeping me from shooting the 5.56 in my .223 is the longer throat needed for the 5.56 and it's higher pressures.

 

Is that right?  I darn sure that's right just looking for conformation



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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 05:54 AM
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woodsman777
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FRom ATK/Federal

http://le.atk.com/pdf/223VS556.pdf

 



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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 02:19 PM
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Irish Bird Dog
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more of the same: 


    News
    Law Enforcement    News and Press Releases    Details
News and Press Releases
.223 Rem VS 5.56mm   Paul Nowak 5/4/2001 .223 Rem VS 5.56mm

There are a lot of questions about these two cartridges. Many people think they are identical - merely different designations for commercial and military. The truth is that, although somewhat similar, they are not the same and you should know the differences before buying either cartridge.

  • The cartridge casings for both calibers have basically the same length and exterior dimensions.
  • The 5.56 round, loaded to Military Specification, typically has higher velocity and chamber pressure than the .223 Rem.
  • The 5.56 cartridge case may have thicker walls, and a thicker head, for extra strength. This better contains the higher chamber pressure. However, a thicker case reduces powder capacity, which is of concern to the reloader.
  • The 5.56mm and .223 Rem chambers are nearly identical. The difference is in the "Leade". Leade is defined as the portion of the barrel directly in front of the chamber where the rifling has been conically removed to allow room for the seated bullet. It is also more commonly known as the throat. Leade in a .223 Rem chamber is usually .085". In a 5.56mm chamber the leade is typically .162", or almost twice as much as in the 223 Rem chamber.
  • You can fire .223 Rem cartridges in 5.56mm chambers with this longer leade, but you will generally have a slight loss in accuracy and velocity over firing the .223 round in the chamber with the shorter leade it was designed for.
  • Problems may occur when firing the higher-pressure 5.56mm cartridge in a .223 chamber with its much shorter leade. It is generally known that shortening the leade can dramatically increase chamber pressure. In some cases, this higher pressure could result in primer pocket gas leaks, blown cartridge case heads and gun functioning issues.
  • The 5.56mm military cartridge fired in a .223 Rem chamber is considered by SAAMI (Small Arm and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) to be an unsafe ammunition combination.


Before buying either of these two types of ammunition, always check your gun to find what caliber it is chambered for, then buy the appropriate ammunition. Most 5.56mm rounds made have full metal jacket bullets. Performance bullets - soft points, hollow points, Ballistic Silvertips, etc. - are loaded in .223 Rem cartridges. Firing a .223 Rem cartridge in a 5.56mm-chambered gun is safe and merely gives you slightly reduced velocity and accuracy. However we do not recommend, nor does SAAMI recommend, firing a 5.56mm cartridge in a gun chambered for the .223 Rem as the shorter leade can cause pressure-related problems.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 02:52 PM
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Paul B
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Which came first, the chicken or the egg, or in this case, no pun intended, the 5.56 NATO or the .223 Rem? If the NATO round was first, why in bloody pluperfect hell didn't they just chamber the .223 with the same leade? :confused: It's a simple matter to fix. Just have a gunsmith use a 5.56 reamer and set up the chamber for the NATO round. About the only change to the chamber would be the lengthening of the leade. I guess this way they can sell more factory ammo and keep us peons from using milsurp ammo which would cost less. :shameon:

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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 03:11 PM
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Irish Bird Dog
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I think it is a non issue for all guns OTHER than the AR family (& similar types) which should be chambered for the 5.56 leade thus allowing them the luxury of using either type of ammo in a pinch ie if the sh*t hits the proverbial fan. 

Those OTHER guns would most likely be used for target or hunting purposes and have no problem using .223 Rem cases as they may more likely be using handloads for accuracy & not want to shoot Milsurp stuff anyway.  I wouldn't rechamber my non AR (ie bolt or SS) varmint rifle to the 5.56 leade.

Those who use their AR's for target and accuracy could still load the 5.56 brass to their specs too in order to utilize the long leade chambering or use .223 Rem brass and tailor their loads to make them accurate with the longer leade. 

The CAUTION here is to make sure your AR is chambered for the 5.56 leade B4 using Milsurp type ie 5.56 ammo in it.  Some AR's are chambered for .223 REM so check before using.:thumbs:



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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 03:43 PM
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camotruck
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Thanks,  I was unaware of the thicker case walls in the 5.56, and smaller case capacity.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 22nd, 2010 09:21 PM
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PD-Hunter
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I've been loading .223 using both military and commercial brass for years, but I aways reload using .223 specs. I shoot them in my varmint rifle and AR15 and never have a problem. I don't purchase 5.56 ammo, or .223 for that matter, I always reload.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 12:06 AM
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The reason I was asking is because Cheaper Than Dirt has Mill Surp  5.56 on sale 1,000 rnds for $350 plus shipping, and as a reloader y'all know their gonna get resued one way or another.  Now that I have them as they get shot I'll load them back to .223 spec. 

with the smaller case cap. can I reload to an average .223 load or do I need to start lower because of the smaller case capacity?



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 Posted: Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 02:48 AM
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I don't know if anybody has noticed, but Bushmaster's Patrolmans carbine is marked ".223/5.56mm".  Does anyone have another brand that is so marked??

I have fired military brass reloaded to GI specs in my Mini 14 with no ill effects.. Are the warnings I have heard about doing so a lawyers input or?? :confused:

Comments??



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 Posted: Thu Sep 23rd, 2010 03:44 AM
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Irish Bird Dog
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my Bushmaster AR15 rifle is marked 5.56/.223 Rem on the bbl & a fellow shooter has a DPMS A4 with a bbl marked .223 Rem only. Can't comment on any other AR's.



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 Posted: Fri Sep 24th, 2010 10:40 PM
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All our little black rifles (DPMS, S&W, Stag, Sig, Ruger) are stamped 5.56 NATO. (except the ones marked .308) My Savage .223 is marked .223/5.56NATO.

30-06 User...Our Mini-14 eats 5.56 and .223 and begs for more. The only down side of the 5.56 in the mini-14 is the brass have about 4 seconds hang time and travel 15 feet to the right. Right past the tarp laid out to catch brass. I can't tell any difference between factory and reloads at the range.

Last edited on Fri Sep 24th, 2010 10:41 PM by Hillbilly



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 Posted: Fri Sep 24th, 2010 11:00 PM
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Hillbilly wrote: All our little black rifles (DPMS, S&W, Stag, Sig, Ruger) are stamped 5.56 NATO. (except the ones marked .308) My Savage .223 is marked .223/5.56NATO.

30-06 User...Our Mini-14 eats 5.56 and .223 and begs for more. The only down side of the 5.56 in the mini-14 is the brass have about 4 seconds hang time and travel 15 feet to the right. Right past the tarp laid out to catch brass. I can't tell any difference between factory and reloads at the range.


When I go to the range with my Mini, I get as far as I can to the far fight side of the line because the shooter 2-3 tables away gets a brass shower if I don't...:wink:

I've run, in addition to handloads, lots of Radway Green SS109 through my Mini-14 without a hiccup...:thumbs:



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 Posted: Sat Sep 25th, 2010 01:39 AM
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Oh no, Radway Green. We had a lot of that stuff on Fort Bragg in...2006 I think it was. It was a terrible lot, jammed like crazy in our rifles.

I have heard that all current manufacturers are cutting 5.56 chambers these days regardless of what they stamp on the barrel. The exception would be 223 target bolt actions. Not sure how true that is but it makes sense, lots of cheap 5.56 surplus out there right now from the shortage panic last year.



 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 03:47 AM
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Paul B wrote: Which came first, the chicken or the egg, or in this case, no pun intended, the 5.56 NATO or the .223 Rem? If the NATO round was first, why in bloody pluperfect hell didn't they just chamber the .223 with the same leade? :confused: It's a simple matter to fix. Just have a gunsmith use a 5.56 reamer and set up the chamber for the NATO round. About the only change to the chamber would be the lengthening of the leade. I guess this way they can sell more factory ammo and keep us peons from using milsurp ammo which would cost less. :shameon:

Paul B.


The 5.56 and the .223 were born as the same cartriges, with the exact same dynamics.

The 5.56 of 1965 was using a bullet of some 50-grains weight, still plenty comon in the .223.

The US mil., in it's finite wisdon (I DO mean "finite", not "INfinite") has since decided to make what was a fair moderate range anti-personnell cartrige into a long-range and anti-vehicle cartrige with some light armor piercing abilities (the Tungsten Pennetrator of the green-tip NATO round), which has reduced it's already limited ability to inflict serious damage to a human being in combat.

The modern use of 60+ and 70+ grain bullets, nearly 50% heavier for the same diameter, has forced a much longer throat leade in order to not "harm" the basic cartrige by extreme deep seating raising pressures unacceptably making it unusable.

The same effect would be if/when loading .308 7.62 NATO with bullets of 225+ grain weight, roughly 50% heavier than their 147grain "standard".

As far as I understand, the 5.56 was the "original", just the same way the T-65 cartrige was the "original", adopted first by the US Mil. as the 7.62x51mmNATO cartrige, then later, released by it's creator Winchester, as the .308 Winchester. I'd bet there was a "test cartrige" designation for 5.56 before it was adopted, don't know what it was. It was developed FOR the millitary, adn THEN, the identical cartrige was marketed to civilians, then, the millitary has greatly altered it's use of the cartrige, moving it away from the civ. cartrige. They WERE one and the same, at one time.

 

Any actual SAAMI pressure difference between the mil. and civ. cartriges is so small as to be moot IMO.

I do not recall the 5.56/.223 off the top of my head, memory says it is not vastly different situation from it's bigger brother. The pressure differnces specified between 5.56 and .223 are not enough to make any bones over, consider them the same.

Last time I checked, 7.62 is supposedly 58,000CUP, .308 is 60,000CUP, 2,000CUP is minor, virtually irrelevant, at this pressure level. 3.3%

The pressure increase caused by jamming an over-long 68gr 5.56 round into the rifling of a .223 is going to far exceed the specified pressure difference in the cartriges.

I have great doubts there'd be any trouble firing original 1960's (or 1970's) 5.56 in a .223 chamber, untill they went to up-scaling the bullets to try to make it an 800-yard sniper and anti-truck cartrige.

And, yes, I've seen USAF "propoganda" video about how the green-tip NATO round, in a SAW, "out-penetrated" 7.62 NATO BALL (lead-core, FMJ, non-armor-piercing) out of an M-60. Test firing was done against an old S.A.C. "Peacekeeper" vehicle, 1/4" steel plate armor. No, they did NOT test compare it to 7.62 Armor Piercing..................... I was an AF Security troop, 13 years, M-60 gunner for about 3, M-249 SAW/AR gunner for about 2, then the fun ended as I made too much rank to carry a M.G. :sad:



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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 04:00 AM
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camotruck wrote: Thanks,  I was unaware of the thicker case walls in the 5.56, and smaller case capacity.

It's not a HUGE difference.

I don't shoot/load .223, I DO .308, and use GI brass almost exclusively. The difference, in case weight, is about 10 grains of brass heavier, that isn't a lot of brass, now, distribute that arround the case.

The difference in my loads is maybe 2 grains of gunpowder less, for equal velocity, that's against 45-50 grains of powder. 4%...............

Probably about 1 to 1.5grains in the 20+ grain charges found in .223.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 29th, 2010 12:27 AM
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camotruck wrote: The reason I was asking is because Cheaper Than Dirt has Mill Surp  5.56 on sale 1,000 rnds for $350 plus shipping, and as a reloader y'all know their gonna get resued one way or another.  Now that I have them as they get shot I'll load them back to .223 spec. 

with the smaller case cap. can I reload to an average .223 load or do I need to start lower because of the smaller case capacity?

Camo, I don't know what brand that is but you might want to check to make sure they are boxer primed. Every once in a while I'll come across a Berdan primed 5.56 case when scrounging range brass. I don't remember the brand but they are out there. Also a case with a little anchor on the headstamp and a red primer sealant that has a flash hole so small that my decap pin gets stuck. In other words do your research before counting on reloading. RD



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