ammo questions

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by warhawk77, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

    I am confused on ammo.

    What is the diff in .223 and 5.56? Guessing one is military round and cheaper to find surplus ammo?

    Will the cheap steel case 223 hurt my AR15?

    Which is better range/accurate ?

  2. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

    Slight difference, 5.56 is loaded to different pressure levels than .223 some rifles like the Mini 14 are marked to shoot both interchangeably. Some are not.

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member


    Generally, it is safe to fire .223 Remington in a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle, but it is not necessarily safe to fire 5.56 NATO ammunition in a .223

    Remington rifle. This is because 5.56 NATO ammunition is rated for higher pressure than .223 Remington.

    If you have a 5.56 NATO rifle, you can shoot both 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington ammunition safely. If you have a .223 Remington chambered rifle it’s best to stick with .223 Remington ammunition.

    If you want accuracy the .223 Remington can in some cases be a better way to go using factory ammunition and shot in a .223 barreled rifle. Notes\TECH NOTE 74 5.56 vs 223 vs Wylde 090817 Rev 0.pdf
  4. EW1066

    EW1066 Member Supporter

    If your rifle is marked that is chambered for .223 it is not advisable to shoot 5.56 ammo in it. As already stated the 5.56 is loaded to produce higher pressures than .223. The chamber geometry of the .223 is different from that of the 556 chamber. This difference helps the .223 round perform better, but causes the 556 round to reach dangerously high chamber pressure levels. Which could cause a catastrophic failure in a .223 chambered rifle.

    As far as steel ammo is concerned,it is a matter of preference. If your rifle will eat it, it should not be a problem. You will hear many people say it's crap and just as many people say it's just fine. It is really up to you to decide.


    ETA: In the graphic above the critical difference in chamber geometry is the .0427 taper in the 5.56 chamber vice .045 taper in the .223 chamber.That angular difference results in 25 thousandths difference in freebore (less in the .223). The steeper taper in the .223 chamber prevents the bullet from setting as deeply in the chamber when the primer ignites and before the powder ignites. This reduces the volume of space behind the bullet and causes the pressures to rise to unsafe levels.

    Read this for a more comprehensive explanation
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  5. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

    As has already been stated, one of the only exceptions to this rule is the Ruger Mini-14 (except the "Target" Model) that is marked ".223 Remington", but states in the Users Manual that it is safe to use 5.56mm NATO ammunition in the rifle.
  6. warhawk77

    warhawk77 New Member

    Thanks for in the info. I am planning out my AR15 build and I am planning on getting the 5.56 barrel so I could shoot both.

    I saw 223 ammo last night at Walmart 20 for $5 and I know its cheap stuff but it got me thinking.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  7. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

    I shoot the SH*T out of $4 Tula and am more than satisfied w/ it.

    Get a 5.56 or Wyld chambered barrel and be done w/ it.