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Thread: .223 remington and that old 5.56x45 nomenclature debacle

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    .223 remington and that old 5.56x45 nomenclature debacle

    This means the distance the rifling begins from the end of the case mouth in a 5.56 chamber is longer than it is in a .223 Rem. chamber. Erring on the side of safety, you can always shoot .223 Rem. ammo in a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle, but should only shoot 5.56 NATO ammo in modern, bolt-action .223 Rem. rifles—never in .223 semi-autos.

    from here,
    https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...23-remington/#

    At the same time the accepted differences are the following.
    1. chamber pressure is measured differently for military cartridges, thus numbers are higher for 5.54x45
    2. lead/throat is much longer for 5.56 because those pesky tracer rounds are like really long and would be inside the rifling on a standard .223 chambered rifle..

    Some have said that a 5.56x45 chamber doesn't always provide optimal accuracy with .223 cartridges.

    But for me the personal kicker has always been from savage customer support, when I first asked them if a savage in .223 will do well with that pesky 5.56x45 ammunition I was told that the rifle would hold together fine the first few shots but would quickly start getting really loose and come apart by the end of the first magazine,, a 4 shot magazine rifle here...

    I know that the chamber issue is the real thing to consider as SAAMI considers 5.56x45 a non existent round and merely a relabeled .223 Remington and loading data is identical. But CIP is supposedly only loading .223/5.56x45 to 5.56 nato standard.

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  4. #4
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    I wonder if you got a Tech at Savage or a stock boy. Pressure difference between the two rounds is generally around 5k difference. If that will blow up a gun I don't want to be around it with factory ammo because it will come apart eventually.
    I might have bought some 223 or 5.56 at one time but I don't remember why since I have had a press since the late 80's. Load to your gun's specs.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    It's the heavier M855 bullets (the green tip 62 gr bullets) that require the longer throat of the 5.56 milspec chamber. Firing M855 in a SAAMI spec 223 Remington chamber will raise pressure but not to the level that 4 rounds will destroy the rifle.........MT Gianni is probably right.....was a stock boy.

    The SAAMI MAP for the 223 Remington is 55,000 psi. There is no SAAMI MAP for the 5.56 NATO cartridge. M193 5.56 NATO had a military MAP of 60,000 psi but with the advent of M855 which has a MAP of 62,000 psi the MAP of the M193 was also raised to 62,000 especially post 9/11.

    Note; psi's are peizo-transducer for SAAMI MAPs and case mouth transducers for 5.56 MAPs.

    If you have an AR with a 5.56 chamber then you can fire any 5.56 or 223 ammunition in it. If you have a bolt action with a 5.56 chamber the same applies.

    If you have an AR or a bolt action chambered in 223 Rem then you should shoot 223 and 5.56 ammunition (factory or milspec; M193) loaded with up to 55 gr bullets. Those older ARs and older Bolt guns probably have a 12" twist and won't stabilize the heavier bullets anyway. Be advised there is now commercial 223 Rem ammunition that is loaded with 62 gr and heavier bullets which should probably not be used in .223 chambered rifles.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    This is directly from the Savage website FAQ'S....
    -----------------------------------------
    What is the recommended ammunition for my firearm?

    Savage Moderator
    7 months ago Updated

    223 Remington – 1 in 7” twist
    69 grain and above

    223 Remington – 1 in 9” twist
    Federal 69 grain Sierra Match King BTHP
    ----------------------------------------
    Savage does offer a bolt guns in 1 in 9 twist.

    The 69 MK'S I loaded for my AR are magazine length. I don't see any reason they won't work well in the Savage.

    And at risk of being wrong, I dont think the 62 gr M855 would be any longer then the 69 gr Sierra Matchking. To the tip maybe, but not the ogive. I would have to measure with my comparator to be sure.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 10-09-2017 at 09:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I gots da fast twist savage axis 2 in .223 shoots 62 grain tsx awfully well, clover leaf groups at 100 from a rest.

    Cant really see how that would create a chamber throat issue that a 62 grain lead core fmj in a 5.56 would..

  8. #8
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    M-Tecs come up with an interesting link. Will have to finish reading that when i get time.

    As mentioned, the .223 pressure is measured differently then the 5.56.....with the 5.56 being measured at the case mouth. How would the .223 pressure vary If it were also measured at the case mouth?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckshotshoey View Post
    M-Tecs come up with an interesting link. Will have to finish reading that when i get time.

    As mentioned, the .223 pressure is measured differently then the 5.56.....with the 5.56 being measured at the case mouth. How would the .223 pressure vary If it were also measured at the case mouth?
    Not by much. Dr. Oehler ran a test demonstrating that.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Savage Hog Hunter in .223 with a 1-9 twist , it shoots Hornady 68 gr. HPBT Match bullets very well. It hits the rifling at 2.377 and I seat at 2.330 because that works well in the mag.

    I also have some Spanish military 5.56 ammo with the 62 gr. bullet , it has the NATO stamp on the head. The OAL runs about 2.253. I pulled a bullet and measured the length that the bullet hits the rifling, it was 2.450. That's about .197 jump.

    The 62 gr Spanish has a sharper ogive but the 68 gr. Hornady is a longer bullet.

    Dave

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Savage 110 and when I was given some 500 rounds of 5.56 ammo from China, I was informed they were ok to use in my 223. The very first shot I knew something was not right the recoil was different as was the loud crack of the shot, when the shell was removed from the rifle the primmer had leaked and fell out of the shell. I pulled several of the rounds down and found 27grains of some fine powder and a 55 grain full jacket projectile. I have since pulled all rounds and reloaded them with 23 grains of the powder removed and replaced the same projectiles, they now shoot well and are doing just over 3100 fps. I will never again fire ammo that is not marked as 223 in my Savage. Regard Stephen.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The funny part of it is, even the Chinese conscripts in their military don't want to use their Chinese ammo.


    ALOT of the impetus is the whole chamber throat lead issue. Its funny to consider that when talking about NON INCENDIARY/ TRACER ammo in 5.56x45 cases. The .223 Remington boys have been using 60-90 grain bullets safely for years now. I have a suspicion that anything less then 80 grains is a moot point, similar to DEWC or HBWC.

    Another funny thing is that the American reloading data has everything loaded to .223 Remington levels, merely compensates for the slightly thicker 5.56 case. Others have said repeatedly that American companies load commercial 5.56x45 to .223 Remington levels.

    But stuff with that annoying nato mark, I knows will be the real stuff...

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    http://closefocus.com/556-x-45-nato-223-remington

    One of the more interesting, it has various proof levels listed, and shows the CIP, with external source listing in the foot notes, as being the SAME for .223 Remington and 5.56x45.. besides the fact that both cartridges are tested in identical methodology under CIP.

    Im still trying to hunt down some linkage to where its shown commercial companies load 5.56x45 DOWN to .223 Remington levels BESIDES RELOADING MANUALS.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteshaver View Post
    .......Another funny thing is that the American reloading data has everything loaded to .223 Remington levels, merely compensates for the slightly thicker 5.56 case. Others have said repeatedly that American companies load commercial 5.56x45 to .223 Remington levels...
    The reason is the manuals load to SAAMI MAP pressure specifications for the .223 Remington. The SAAMI MAP for the 223 is 55,000 psi. All factory 223 ammunition I have pressure tested is at or under that MAP.

    5.56 NATO is not a SAAMI cartridge ergo there is no established SAAMI MAP. There is a NATO specification (EVAP) for it though. The psi of numerous M193 (the 55 gr FMJ) ammunition lots made before 9/11I have pressure tested measured from 53 to 60,000 psi. Post 9/11 some lots run as high as 65,000 psi. The velocities run pretty consistent at 3150 - 3300 fps out of the 21" test barrel. The variation in psi is simply different lots of powder used to achieve that velocity. It is a myth to believe every round of commercial ammo will be at the SAAMI MAP or that every round of milsurp 5.56 NATO will be at the EVAP MAP.

    Several lots of M855 (62 gr Green Tip) pressure tested run 60 t0 63,000 psi.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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    Boolit Master
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    The fun continues, most companies simply do not want to discuss it. Cooper in Montana was real nice and said that because they don't make AR platform rifles, they wouldn't discuss it. Not a big issue for me their. They make nice rifles, but for that price level I want a cute 5'5" Swedish girl to carry it around for me.

    A lot of shooting magazines on the internet sum the difference as being a person can simply hit a .223 Remington rifle with a .223 Wylde reamer and instantly be able to shoot 5.56x45 safely. A few suggest similar results just using a regular 5.56x45 reamer in a .223 rifle.

    Makes the whole "chamber pressure" based on MAP of each separate cartridge a little more murky. As ALOT of the pressure issue comes from longer bullets in 5.56x45

    But I have yet to find someone who can even explain how these two cases, if loaded with the same bullet will be able to create a longer cartridge for the 5.56x45.

    Meaning if you put a 80gr berger VLD into a .223 Remington case and into a 5.56x45, how can using identical case length, seating depth make one longer then the other?

  16. #16
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    By "longer" those knowledgeable in the topic (there are a lot who aren't) are referring to the length of the freebore section of the throat; the length between the chamber mouth and where the leade begins. The 5.56 NATO Spec or "Wilde" chamber has a longer freebore than a SAAMI spec .223 Remington chamber.

    It's the same basically as if you shoot Weatherby ammunition in a Weatherby rifle with the Weatherby chamber all is well. However, if a custom rifle is chambered with a shorter standard SAAMI spec 300 Win Mag freebore and you shoot Weatherby loads safe in the Weatherby chare then the pressures will sky rocket in the custom chamber.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteshaver View Post
    The fun continues, most companies simply do not want to discuss it. Cooper in Montana was real nice and said that because they don't make AR platform rifles, they wouldn't discuss it. Not a big issue for me their. They make nice rifles, but for that price level I want a cute 5'5" Swedish girl to carry it around for me.

    A lot of shooting magazines on the internet sum the difference as being a person can simply hit a .223 Remington rifle with a .223 Wylde reamer and instantly be able to shoot 5.56x45 safely. A few suggest similar results just using a regular 5.56x45 reamer in a .223 rifle.

    Makes the whole "chamber pressure" based on MAP of each separate cartridge a little more murky. As ALOT of the pressure issue comes from longer bullets in 5.56x45

    But I have yet to find someone who can even explain how these two cases, if loaded with the same bullet will be able to create a longer cartridge for the 5.56x45.

    Meaning if you put a 80gr berger VLD into a .223 Remington case and into a 5.56x45, how can using identical case length, seating depth make one longer then the other?
    Larry explained the "longer", but I can you many who shoot the heavier longer bullets in AR15 long range shooting seat those bullets out as long as their chamber throat will allow and single load them as they don't fit the magazine then. You can't seat them out as much in a sporter 223 chamber so the AR15 with the NATO chamber will give you a higher velocity because your bullet isn't loaded down into the powder capacity of the case and you can safely get more powder in them.

    Weatherby cautioned about when chambering other rifles then theirs about the freebore. Winchester went kind of a different direction when they came out with the 264 Win Mag. That long 160 grain bullet wasn't loaded into the powder capacity because it was a two diameter bullet. The portion in front of the case mouth was a smaller diameter then the full diameter shank in the case. The nose thus fit up into the bore without touching the lands.

    That 22 NATO bullet that Mihec made the molds for seats too deep in the case in order to chamber in a standard 223 chamber and isn't such a good candidate for it as it is in the AR's.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    By "longer" those knowledgeable in the topic (there are a lot who aren't) are referring to the length of the freebore section of the throat; the length between the chamber mouth and where the leade begins. The 5.56 NATO Spec or "Wilde" chamber has a longer freebore than a SAAMI spec .223 Remington chamber.

    It's the same basically as if you shoot Weatherby ammunition in a Weatherby rifle with the Weatherby chamber all is well. However, if a custom rifle is chambered with a shorter standard SAAMI spec 300 Win Mag freebore and you shoot Weatherby loads safe in the Weatherby chare then the pressures will sky rocket in the custom chamber.
    So, accuracy aside, all one would have to do is ream the .223 throat a little longer, then the 5.56 would be fine in a .223 chamber?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckshotshoey View Post
    So, accuracy aside, all one would have to do is ream the .223 throat a little longer, then the 5.56 would be fine in a .223 chamber?
    Personally I wouldn't mess with reamering a good 223 chamber. If you have a bunch of the NATO ammo first thing I'd do is marker pen up the entire bullet and gently chamber it and carefully extracted to see if it touches the bullet anywhere. If it doesn't you're good to go. If it does seat bullet on another one and marker it up likewise and do the same as before. You'll reach a point where it's okay and we're not talking a whole bunch. More then likely the first one won't show any marks.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Personally I wouldn't mess with reamering a good 223 chamber. If you have a bunch of the NATO ammo first thing I'd do is marker pen up the entire bullet and gently chamber it and carefully extracted to see if it touches the bullet anywhere. If it doesn't you're good to go. If it does seat bullet on another one and marker it up likewise and do the same as before. You'll reach a point where it's okay and we're not talking a whole bunch. More then likely the first one won't show any marks.
    Naturally I wouldn't mess with a good chamber. It was a rhetorical question.

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