difference in .223 wylde and 5.56

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by widowmaker, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. widowmaker

    widowmaker New Member

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    Would someone take the time to explain to this old guy the difference between the .223 Wylde , the .223 , and the 5.56 .
    I have friend that insists the .223 Wylde is the ONLY way to go for ground squirrel shooting.
    I don't know enough to argue the point or even to agree with it.
     
  2. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    From Wikipedia:

    The .223 Wylde is a proprietary rifle cartridge chamber with the external dimensions and lead angle as found in the military 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and the 0.2240 inch freebore diameter as found in the civilian SAAMI .223 Remington cartridge. Rifles with a .223 Wylde chamber will typically accept both .223 Remington and externally slightly larger 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition.



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  3. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

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    Wylde chambers have a reputation for being quite accurate with both 5.56 and 223.

    Wylde chambers since they are designed from the beginning to also chamber 5.56 will always be strong enough to take 5.56..
    Not all 223 chambers can say the same ( though most can, the pressure differential is small than most seem to think)
     
  4. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    This is interesting. I noticed the other day that Ares Armor has upends in 223 Wylde. They said the same thing, that it'll take both 223 & 5.56. That particular upper was also less than $400. They seem to be making a pretty good product. If I were to build/buy one right now, I'd seriously consider a Wylde. If for no other reason than it has a cool name.
     
  5. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    There are other variations of the match chambers , depending on make but those work the same. Makes for a better shooter over all of standard ammo and make a far better match grade or wylde chamber.
    Heres a page that covers the size variations- http://ar15barrels.com/data/223-556.pdf
     
  6. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I thought that the pressure problems arise because the NATO chamber length, throat leade length, and diameters on the 5.56 are slightly longer, and wider than on the SAAMI 223 dimensions. Resulting in the potential for the neck of case over crimping as the round went into the chamber, and/or the bullet being seated against the rifleing. Both of which typically result in higher than normal pressures in any firearm.

    The NATO spec brass is also thicker, which could exacerbate the problem with mil spec rounds in a SAAMI chamber cut at the minimum dimensions.

    Any action or barrel that is built for the 223, should easily handle the design pressure increase seen with the 5.56, if there aren't added issues caused by a short/tight chamber. The action components are the same, and the barrels are the same alloy, with typically the same finishing process.

    The Wylde chamber dimensions overcome this by keeping the SAAMI chamber dimensions but the throat dimension of the NATO chamber.

    At least that is what my research indicates. I could be wrong though



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  7. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    I think jigs-n-fixture explained it to a T !....................
     
  8. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    5.56 will shoot all the 223/556 rounds. It's the ultimate 'versatility' option. Ideal for the 18" and under, chrome-lined, HD AR with a 1:7 - 1:9 twist. (1:8 is the perfect twist IMO, but 1:7 or 1:9 can be plenty acceptable for 95+% of shooters).

    223Wydle is more of a precision round designed for target shooting and varminting. Most practical Wydles will boast 18+" SS barrels and a 1:8 twist. These guns are typically set up with spendier stocks, $100-250 triggers, and high grade optics to accomodate the shooter. So it just depends on how you want to set up your rifle. Any AR can be a decent varminter (yes, even the $600 Wally World specials). The right setup depends on your budget, what else you'd like the rifle to do, the distances at which you're shooting, bullet weights in question, etc.

    The world of AR's can be an endless rabbit hole. The affordable stuff you see on the surface is pretty decent, but as you descend it can get pretty amazing...and amazingly expensive.
     
  9. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with what you posted, though not sure how it refutes anything in my post which gave the man a correct yet short answer to his question.

    Often i find this to be the most useful approach for most users.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  10. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Jigs and Sweeper have made some excellent and correct points.
    5.56 NATO Ammunition should NOT! be shot in a "True" 223 Remington Chambered weapon!
    But 223 Remington Ammunition can be fired safely and is also accurate in the 5.56 NATO or Wylde Chambered weapon.
    There are several reasons some mentioned above. Lets start by saying that Military Spec. Ammunition to and including the 5.56 NATO ammunition is hotter ( More Preasure!) than most commerical ammuntion.
    Then as mentioned the 5.56 NATO Chamber is designed for the addititional preasure. This is done by the "Lead" in the Chamber prior to the begining of the Riflings. *Or a Chamber that fills up with gas before the round contacts the riflings.(Lands and Grooves) While the True 223 Remington Chamber has very little if any lead.
    By the 223 Chamber not having the lead not only with the higher preassure of the 5.56 NATO Spec. ammunition. If the 5.56 ammunition is fired in the 223 Remington Chamber the preasure is also higher being a military spec round but the bullet is almost already in the riflings causing the preasure to even spike more. Then if the casings of the 5.56 ammunition with it's possible thicker brass is crimped even more into the cannula of the bullet when the bolt closes. This causing the preasure to even increase more to an unsafe level! "So it is simple" do not shoot 5.56 ammuntion in a "True" 223 Remington Chamber.
    However, Bill Wylde designed the Wylde Chamber for match competition and matches like the National Matches at Camp Perry Ohio where they shoot military spec ammuntion for the competitions. Mostly Lake City 5.56! So with that said the Wylde Chamber is simply a tightened, tuned up 5.56 Chamber with closer tolerances to increase accuracy for match competition. The Wylde Chamber can shoot 223 Remington ammuntion as all 5.56 NATO ammuntion and does it very well! Here is an xray of the chambers. Notice that the Lead on the 5.56 Chamber and little if any on the 223 Remington Chamber. 223 on the Left and 5.56 on the Right!

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  11. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    The more I read about this, it seems more and more odd that everybody doesn't simply switch to a Wylde chamber. There doesn't seem to be any drawbacks.
     
  12. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    clr8ter,

    The reason is a lot of companies manufacture (ARs and M-4 type ) Rifles for military contracts. Which specify the Mil-Spec 5.56 NATO chamber. That is why when you see a Wylde Chamber in a rifle it is normally in the Match, Target and Varmint Rifle series weapons. And another main reason would be inventory costs and the fact there could be some mistakes made if barrels were to get mixed up for a Military Contract. The other reason is when a company orders barrels from their supplier they normally have to order a minimum order of 250 barrels at a time of any one specification. So most all of the 10" 14" and 16" inch barrels ordered by the companies are compatible to both commercial as well as military contract weapon production and have the 5.56 NATO Chamber. Maybe that will help explain why the do not just go across the board with the Wylde Chambers. For precision shooting the Wylde Chamber is superior normally! Of course we are talking about 1/2 to 1 1/2 MOA difference in the two chambers with a quality barrel if the correct ammunition is selected that that particular rifle likes.
    For example I have a Rock River Arms 20" Stainless Steel Varmint Rifle with the "Wylde Chamber" and it will on occasion shoot a 1/4" and always a 1/2" MOA Group at 100 Yards using Federal P-223 E 55 gr. Ammunition. That is when I am having a good day on the Bench!

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  13. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Yeah, that makes sense, you have a point. DARE I wonder why the military doesn't also go to the Wylde?:D
     
  14. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    There are drawbacks. Almost all Wylde barrels are SS...which isn't ideal for weight or heat tolerance under rapid fire. Like I said, Wyldes are typically set up for varmint/target specific rifles.

    A mostly milspec AR15/M16 in 223Wylde with a 1:8 twist would be pretty cool. I'd probably build one up if I found the right parts for the right price. But there's also something to be said for the forgiving tolerances of a chrome-lined 5.56 when it comes to high volume shooting. Better a survival gun be pretty accurate and absolutely tough and reliable than absolutely accurate and reasonably tough and resilient.

    There's a bit more tolerance ('slop', if you like) in the 5.56. It concedes a minimal (often inconsequential) amount of accuracy, but that seems a small sacrifice for greater reliabilty in less than ideal circumstances.

    5.56 wins for no-frills versatility. A varmint/target specific AR would be best served with 223Rem or 223Wylde barrel.
     
  15. bradam

    bradam Member

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    Really? It is just best to have both. IMO :D
     
  16. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In 1968 i had my .222 Sako re-chambered for .223. Since then i've fired hundreds of thousands of 5.56mm US military ball rounds in .223 chambers with no ill effects. i would not do that with a new .223 US made rifle because chamber dimensions are now all over the place. There's a race to the bottom when it comes to labor costs. The vast majority of .223/5.56mm barrels are not chambered by qualified gunsmiths. It's done by hourly labor. The chamber you get depends on several factors including the condition of the reamer. Some chambers are very tight; others are huge.

    Years ago, after a bad experience with a gunsmith who ruined an expensive new rifle barrel, a tool and die maker friend made me two reamers; one to .223 spec and another with a slightly longer leade. i chamber and headspace my own barrels.

    Beware of Lake City military ammo. Much of the stuff was rejected by military quality control folks. Some of the cases have long necks. If that long case neck jams into the leade pressure is going up.
     
  17. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Is there a specific reason the wylde barrels are stainless? Why couldn't they simply be made from regular barrel steel? On the rest of that stuff, you have a point.
     
  18. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    That's simply the market they're geared toward...heavier, slow-fire, precision setups.


    They probably could, but then that's eating into that same manufacturer's 'milspec' type product line. This just in: most manufacturers would prefer that you buy two or three products from them instead of one. Personally, I think 1:8 ought to be the standard for AR barrels. It's the most pragmatic choice. But it currently runs a distant third place.

    You might be an amazing shooter. But if you're not, you might overthinking the issue at hand. My precision rifle is a 16" 1:8 SS BCM. The case could be made that I'd be better off with a 20" barrel, a 223Wylde, etc...but I can't honestly say that my skill exceeds the potential of that rifle...so what's the point?
     
  19. bradam

    bradam Member

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    "I have a dream".:)
     
  20. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I'm just trying to get a full grasp of the whole thing, since I don't know much about it. It just seems surprising, because manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon with sillier things before. Seems they'd take any opportunity to advertise better accuracy, or something.