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Thread: Question regarding 5.56 Nato and .223

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sep 2014
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    Question regarding 5.56 Nato and .223

    Hi Everyone,

    I am interested in getting a 5.56 AR rifle. I have been looking to see what the difference is between the two shells, I have read that the 5.56 has a thicker base and can handle more pressure while the .223 cannot. Also the 5.56 rifle can use both rounds while the .223 rifle cannot handle the 5.56 round.

    Right now I am a bit confused as I am not sure what AR 5.56 to get, I see them advertised as .223/5.56 and even the once fired rounds are described the same way.

    Anyone that has a 5.56 can you enlighten me so I wont be confused anymore? What do I look for when getting one of these rifles?
    I dont want to get an AR .223 since my wife already has one, I want one that has a different round. My .308 is so modded that its really heavy, I want something lighter which I will not mod.

    Thanks..

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    its all in the leade of the chamber. in ar's its not too big a worry as very few are chambered for .223 . most are chambered for 5.56 with some being chambered in .223wylde.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks guys.

    JonB, that article is just what I needed.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    They do have a specific section in some manuals now for 5.56 vs 223. I went with 223 wylde, not found anything it does not like.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy poppy42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    Excellent article! Sums it up quite well !
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Hick's Avatar
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    As a side comment to the excellent article linked above-- not all 5.56 brass is thicker walled than 223. I did a study a couple of years ago where I took as-fired cases from Lake City, WCC and FC (all 5.56 Nato) compared to several different brands of commercial 223 Rem cases. I picked 20 cases at random from each manufacturer, full length sized and trimmed them all so their external dimensions were identical. I then weighed all the cases and determine the mean weight of the 20 from each source. For lake city, I actually measured three sets from different year groups. The heaviest cases were GFL commercial, the next heaviest was WCC. The lake city cases were consistently slightly lighter than commercial cases. This isn't a problem, of course, because it is the chamber, not the brass, that has to withstand the higher pressure of 5.56.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    I dont want to get an AR .223 since my wife already has one If you reload there is NO difference. There are many different chamberings for the AR15, many with the same bolt pattern. Pick one that meets your requirements or perks your interest.
    Whatever!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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