5.56 or .223

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Woody, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Woody

    Woody New Member

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    I can get either in bulk right now for virtually the same price. My barrel is 5.56 Still playing around just watching brass fly. But going to try to get a little more serious and see how good she really shoots. So far I've only run federal 5.56 fmj should I stick with it or mix it up
     
  2. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    See what she will shoot . That way u know what will and what won't run
     

  3. synical

    synical New Member

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    I like your title! I hear so many people say 5.56 wont run in a .223 or vise versa and I tell them its the same thing and they always argue its so funny! I watched a video on youtube the other day about running wolf ammo for cheap ammo. It said just to watch it depending on if you have a barrel less than 20" to watch and see if the carrier is messing up the casing when its ejected. Something about the shortened barrels sometimes have timing problems. If it is stop using it if not keep shooting. Its cheap to shoot but not as accurate as a match load. But good to just play around with.
     
  4. FCross7

    FCross7 New Member

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    They're not the same thing. Close, but not identical. 5.56 has a longer throat and is typically loaded to about 20,000 PSI higher than .223.

    It's safe to shoot .223 in a 5.56 chamber, but not the opposite.

    -Fred
     
  5. Secondhand_Hero

    Secondhand_Hero New Member

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    Fred's right, it's along the same lines as .38 special and .357 mag. Just because you can put a .38 through a shiney .357 Python doesn't mean a bullnosed .38 won't blow up in your face trying to pop out a .357 mag. Sometimes due to munitions being poorly manufactured you can fit something somewhere it shouldn't be but if you're that ballsy why not just bite the top off of an M-40 grenade and throw it at your target?
     
  6. Secondhand_Hero

    Secondhand_Hero New Member

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    And Woody, after correcting that comment, i'd most certainly try other munitions. You'd be surprised just how much of a difference it makes buying better rounds and choosing the round type based on the use. Federals are pretty infamous rounds for jamming, running hot, and going off target. There's plenty worse but Feds are about as lowly of a big brand as you can get. If i may make a suggestion, i'd say to most undoubtedly try your hand with a box of subsonic .223s. They'll get where they're going quickly and efficiently. Perfect for sighting in an AR15. No real need to buy 5.56's for nooby target practice in an AR15, especially FMJ's. .233's will run you a lil cheaper and the subsonics won't run as hot not to mention a lil less kick. If you're sighting in with a good scope from a good distance up to 5.56 for added affect but for close range .223's will work just dandy
     
  7. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    What advantages would jumping back and forth b/w sub and supersonic ammo make when not running a suppressor? Would it not be a hindrance to getting a proper zero when going back to supersonic ammo considering there will more than likely be a shift in POA POI?

    And what's up w/ the 5.56 when shooting out to extended distances and .223 for shorter distances? Isn't the heavier stuff that's designed for distance .223?

    I think we need to reconsider our ammo advise.
     
  8. synical

    synical New Member

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    If you look at the fps and distance on both rounds and the size its the same I have looked it up many times and can not find a difference between .223 and 5.56
     
  9. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    5.56 and .223 are NOT the same. They are NOT interchangeable. .223 is manufactured to SAAMI specs. 5.56 is to military specs. They are different. It is perfectly safe to fire .223 in a rifle chambered for 5.56. It is NOT safe to go the other way. One difference is that the 5.56 spec allows for higher chamber pressures. That doesn't mean that every 5.56 round out there actually yields higher pressures, but they can. The spec allows it. The other difference is that the 5.56 spec allows for loading longer/heavier bullets than .223. To allow for this, the throat of 5.56 barrels are manufactured with a longer leave. The spec for 5.56 calls for a leade of.162, rather than the .085 of the .223 spec. If you load a .223 round into a 5.56 barrel, the bullet will sit farther back from the lands then it was designed for. This is safe, but can result in a slight loss in accuracy. But if you load a 5.56 round with say a 62gr or larger bullet, in a .223 barrel, the bullet will be forced into the lands when chambered. This can result in substantially increased chamber pressures when fired.

    Yes, you can find a gazillion people who say they have fired 5.56 ammo in a .223 gun without any problems. In most cases you can get away with it. Most gun companies over manufacture the gun chambers and barrels to take higher pressures than the specs call for, as a safety margin. But that doesn't mean you can assume they all do, every time.

    To put it simply, it is dangerous to shoot 5.56 ammo in a rifle chambered for .223. Not an opinion. Fact.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  10. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    Sorry Fcross7, I jumped in there before I read your reply. This topic always gets me going, as it constantly keeps popping up. Just like people arguing that 308 Winchester and 7.62x51 Nato are the same. They aren't. Loading any gun with ammunition other than what's it's specifically chambered for is a dicey proposition.
     
  11. synical

    synical New Member

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    yeah paladin I looked up what you are talking about on SAAMI and see what you guys mean now. the 5.56 is simalar in length but thinker in chamber wall and more psi. but thankfully for my AR I have a 5.56 NATO barrell so I dont have to worry! lol
     
  12. jamesb

    jamesb New Member

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    Please read the post below this one you made to make sure you understand. I would hate to see you try and shoot 5.56 out of a .223 barrel and chamber. :(

    YOU CAN'T SHOOT 5.56 OUT OF A .223, BUT .223 OUT OF A 5.56 IS OK.

    EDIT: I see you understand now ;)
     
  13. synical

    synical New Member

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    please review the post above yours LMAO!
     
  14. jamesb

    jamesb New Member

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    No, no, no. Please see my EDIT in the post you quoted :D
     
  15. Chandler51

    Chandler51 New Member

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    I can forward you the email I received from the LWRCI shop stating that they are in fact different, if you'd like.

    EDIT:


    Crap! Got me too. Sorry, bud...I shoulda' read further...
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  16. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    .223 and 5.56mm cartridge cases have the same dimensions.

    There are two popular myths concerning .223/5.56mm ammo.

    1. Myth: 5.56mm military cartridge cases are thicker than .223 cases. i've been weighing .223 and 5.56mm cases since 1968. Go to brass weights at the link and learn that US military 5.56mm cases are not heavier (thicker) than .223 cases.

    AR15BARRELS.COM - Technical Documents

    2. Myth: 5.56mm ammo is loaded to higher pressure than .223 ammo. M193 ball ammo is loaded to 52,000 psi. M855 ball ammo is loaded to 55,000 psi.

    http://www.kmike.com/Ammo/tm 43-0001-27.pdf

    Yep, SAAMI would lie to you. SAAMI asked OSHA to come up with standardized procedures for manufacture, storage and shipping of small arms ammo. When the draft reg came out ammo makers had a fit. SAAMI immediately started attacking OSHA who they had asked to write the reg.

    There are about 12 different .223 and 5.56mm chambers:

    http://ar15barrels.com/data/223-556.pdf


    A good gunsmith tells me that no US maker currently uses a SAAMI chamber.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  17. synical

    synical New Member

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    thank you but I understand now :eek: I did a little reading on it! lol
     
  18. Chandler51

    Chandler51 New Member

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    Yeah...hot button topic. One I doubt will ever be agreed upon by everyone. I'm no gunsmith, but like I said earlier, when I bought my M6A2, the manual did not specify that it was "dual chambered" like my Armalite manual did, so I emailed them. They stated very clearly and specifically that .223 will work in a 5.56, just not the other way around. Others in this thread can go by whatever research they feel confident in...as for myself, I'll stick with what the manufacturer has told me. As far as I know, LWRCI doesn't have a "dog in the hunt" so to speak where ammo is concerned. Just one mans opinion...and again, sorry I didn't read all the posts before pouncin' on ya!
     
  19. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    LOL fully read posts before quoting them as incorrect synical.
     
  20. Paladin201

    Paladin201 New Member

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    You are unlikely to find any manufacturer who will state its OK to shoot 5.56 out of their .223 gun....for a reason. When people argue the point, I always ask them if they would be willing to sign a legal document saying they will personally assume all legal and financial responsibility if something goes wrong due to them telling someone its OK to shoot ammunition out of a gun that it wasn't designed for. Few are.