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.223 vs 5.56 - whats the diff?

daturbosix

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some people look for .223 ARs, some want 5.56. what the hell does it matter. i thought they were so similar rounds either gun would shoot either round?
 

02BlueGT

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5.56 weapons can shoot both calibers, .223 weapons can only shoot .223 rounds.
This, they are 99% the same size so they both work, but 5.56 has a higher max pressure (60,000 psi vs 50,000 psi of the 2.23 IIRC) so in theory a 5.56 round could blow out a 2.23 barrel. But in all my research (i had the same question) I have not seen or heard of that happening to anyone, but people do get the rounds jamming in, also some have said that the round could go off out of battery (very bad of coarse), but I've never seen anyone actually have that issue. Also, many people run 5.56 rounds in there 2.23 without issue.

Also, the 5.56 is supposed to have a different primer than the 2.23, the 5.56 primer is less sensitive since the AR's firing pin is "loose" and will tap the primer when the bolt slams forward. (2.23 could cause a double fire in a 5.56 rifle)

There is also a difference in throat length (space between end of bullet and start of rifling), but it is minimal. They now make 2.23 wylde barrels which split the difference in throat and are rated at the pressure of the 5.56 to make a rifle truly "ideal" for both rounds.
 

daturbosix

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Reason I ask is I mistakenly listed my at for sale as a .223, when the interested party found out it was 5.56 he was no longer interested.... IF that's the true reason he wasn't interested, I don't get it
 

NetChemica1

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This, they are 99% the same size so they both work, but 5.56 has a higher max pressure (60,000 psi vs 50,000 psi of the 2.23 IIRC) so in theory a 5.56 round could blow out a 2.23 barrel. But in all my research (i had the same question) I have not seen or heard of that happening to anyone, but people do get the rounds jamming in, also some have said that the round could go off out of battery (very bad of coarse), but I've never seen anyone actually have that issue. Also, many people run 5.56 rounds in there 2.23 without issue.

Also, the 5.56 is supposed to have a different primer than the 2.23, the 5.56 primer is less sensitive since the AR's firing pin is "loose" and will tap the primer when the bolt slams forward. (2.23 could cause a double fire in a 5.56 rifle)

There is also a difference in throat length (space between end of bullet and start of rifling), but it is minimal. They now make 2.23 wylde barrels which split the difference in throat and are rated at the pressure of the 5.56 to make a rifle truly "ideal" for both rounds.
.223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223

It's 5.56 millimeters and 0.223 inches.

Firing a 5.56x45 out of a .223 Remington chamber will never make it detonate out of battery.

The primers are exactly the same. The difference is in military surplus ammunition, which only comes in 5.56 NATO. But just because it's 5.56 doesn't mean it's military surplus.
 

02BlueGT

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.223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223 .223

It's 5.56 millimeters and 0.223 inches.

Firing a 5.56x45 out of a .223 Remington chamber will never make it detonate out of battery.

The primers are exactly the same. The difference is in military surplus ammunition, which only comes in 5.56 NATO. But just because it's 5.56 doesn't mean it's military surplus.
You're right , I wasn't thinking when typing .223.
 

1MEANGT

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I always get AR barrels chambered for 5.56. Safe to shoot both .223 and 5.56 out of. Not the other way around.
 

cobravenom39

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A .223 Remington should not shoot a 5.56, a .223 Wylde can shoot a 5.56 perfectly fine.
That's a good point. Wylde will shoot both, and it's becoming a popular chambering

There's really no external difference between 556 and 223. 556 has much higher pressure, though. 556 is supposed to have a thicker web, but volume tests have shown that most Federal Ammo uses a 556 case, anyhow. ALL 556 has a crimped primer, but alot of 223 does, too. Remington and Winchester are the only ones I know that don't.

The real difference in a NATO caliber comes into play in 7.62x51/308 win. 308 is waayyy hotter than most 7.62x51. Man, when I'm filling up the NATO cases, the powder is much higher on the NATO cases because the brass is thicker.

Loaded up about 2K of 556 between last night and today. I think I like reloading as much as shooting!
 

wolfe

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Reason I ask is I mistakenly listed my at for sale as a .223, when the interested party found out it was 5.56 he was no longer interested.... IF that's the true reason he wasn't interested, I don't get it
Anyone I know would not be interested in a gun listed as a 5.56 and show up and it's a .223. He's an odd bird and has a specific reason for wanting a .233. It will sell.
 

02BlueGT

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:jg:
That's a good point. Wylde will shoot both, and it's becoming a popular chambering

There's really no external difference between 556 and 223. 556 has much higher pressure, though. 556 is supposed to have a thicker web, but volume tests have shown that most Federal Ammo uses a 556 case, anyhow. ALL 556 has a crimped primer, but alot of 223 does, too. Remington and Winchester are the only ones I know that don't.

The real difference in a NATO caliber comes into play in 7.62x51/308 win. 308 is waayyy hotter than most 7.62x51. Man, when I'm filling up the NATO cases, the powder is much higher on the NATO cases because the brass is thicker.

Loaded up about 2K of 556 between last night and today. I think I like reloading as much as shooting!

:werd: about the .308 rounds, the 7.62x51 shoots a good amount softer than the actual .308 even at very similar bullet weights.
 

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