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knutsen24 01-22-2012 01:58 AM

New to the firearms world.....
 
Can someone please tell me the difference between .223, 5.56 and 5.56 NATO? I just put my first AR together and I'm trying to learn as much as I can without moving to fast on this. I got everything (in pieces) but the lower receiver on trade from a buddy. So, I got to put it together which went great and knowing how the pieces work together is a bonus too. Anyway, thanks in advance for any help.

Quentin 01-22-2012 02:00 AM

5.56 and 5.56 NATO are the same and hopefully you bought a barrel chambered in that. It also will fire .223 but a .223 barrel shouldn't be used with 5.56.

knutsen24 01-22-2012 02:05 AM

So how do I find out what barrel I have? Should it be marked? I don't remember seeing anything. Thanks.

knutsen24 01-22-2012 02:06 AM

Oh yeah, all I have shot is .223 so far. Isn't there better deals on bulk 5.56 ammo than .233?

dragunovsks 01-22-2012 02:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knutsen24
So how do I find out what barrel I have? Should it be marked? I don't remember seeing anything. Thanks.

It should be stamped on the barrel or in the case of a complete rifle like mine stamped on the lower receiver. Mine is stamped 5.56mm (.223 cal.) so both can be fired in it.

If its not stamped on the barrel, then contact the location where you bought it and find out.

lunarmanathome 01-22-2012 02:46 AM

Uh - 5.56 can fire .223, not advised for the other way around. There are pressure issues

Quentin 01-22-2012 05:25 AM

You have to look at the barrel, hopefully the caliber will be marked, maybe under the handguards. Some barrels aren't though, my Wilson (ArmaLite) isn't. If that's the case contact the manufacturer as dragunovsks said. Of course the lower's caliber markings won't help since you said it's a separate unit.

75370 01-22-2012 05:57 AM

The .223 is designed for less Freebore, .025, therefore it builds pressure faster than the 5.56 chambering. If you have a .223 chamber than stay with that, or your 5.56 ammo will start popping primers and swelling cases.
The 5.56 is designed for .057 freebore and has about 5,000 psi more than the 223.

Forgot to mention that Freebore is the distance your bullet travels before engaging the leades and then the rifling, the sooner a round engages these the faster the pressure spikes.
That's why the NATO round can tolerate the pressure, it has more room for the pressure to expand.
That's why the Weatherby magnums work, they have alotta freebore.

winds-of-change 01-22-2012 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knutsen24 (Post 684712)
Can someone please tell me the difference between .223, 5.56 and 5.56 NATO? I just put my first AR together and I'm trying to learn as much as I can without moving to fast on this. I got everything (in pieces) but the lower receiver on trade from a buddy. So, I got to put it together which went great and knowing how the pieces work together is a bonus too. Anyway, thanks in advance for any help.

I can't help you with the ammo question but I am impressed you are "New to the firearms world" and put together an AR!!

Jpyle 01-22-2012 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by winds-of-change (Post 684943)
I can't help you with the ammo question but I am impressed you are "New to the firearms world" and put together an AR!!

Come on WOC...try it you'll like it. ;)


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