.223 and 5.56 Nato........Not the same.

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by TnShooter83, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Guest

    Just letting some of you in on why I don't like to buy a used .223 rifle.
    And the difference.

    .223 Remington, and NATO 5.56 are not loaded to the same specifications.
    Each will fit in the others chamber, and fire.

    BUT...The NATO 5.56 is loaded at a HIGHER PRESSURE than the
    Standard .223. Now when you got to buy your next USED .233
    exp. Winchester, Remington, Savage, ect.....

    Ask what they have been shooting in it for ammunition.
    Time, and time again, I get the answer. "The military stuff"
    I know not all the military surplus is NATO, but depending on were they got it, where it was made, and when it was made.....You don't know.
    And most likely they don't know.

    Most Military type Auto's like the AR-15, Bushmaster, ect are built to fire the 5.56/.223 NATO safely but I refer to the owners manual, or call the manufacture to be sure.
  2. That is some great info for the new AR/.223 shooter thanks for posting!!!

  3. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    .223 will safely chamber and fire in a 5.56 chambered rifle, but not visa-versa. 5.56 chambering is the way to go!
  4. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Guest

    I honestly like the .223 chamber more.
    Tolerances in the 5.56 seem to fit a little more loose.
    As the 5.56 is chambered more for automatics, where higher fire rate is used. The looser tolerances also help with less feed problems due
    to built up powder residue.

    In the .223 they are tighter, which in returns helps everything from accuracy, to less case failures.

    It's not that I don't like the 5.56.
    It is a great ammunition.
    I'm a bolt action fan....So you can say I'm biased to them.
  5. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    If you're looking for an all-purpose gun, the 5.56 is better, but you're correct, the .223 is a little tighter and probably a bit more accurate. If you're not going to be using a micrometer to measure your groups, then 5.56 is fine. ;)

    I'm surprised you (or rather the idiots you speak of) are able to chamber a 5.56 in a bolt-action .223
  6. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Guest

    I've NOT done it.
    I know people that have...and it fits.
    The cases are the same measurements.....


    As for groups you are right you'll need a micrometer to measure the differences. Typically your stock .223 will consistently shoot better groups
    than the 5.56. Recently I've seen some REAL shooting 5.56 but they
    a lot of after market parts. I was pretty impressed for a Semi-Auto.

    Consistency is the forgotten part of accuracy......It did it once....can it do it all the time?
  7. Apparently the Ruger mini 14 is rated for BOTH.

    And - point taken about buying a used .223 rifle. Best thing to do for a used rifle is to take it to an armorer or gunsmith and have 'em inspect it - they'd be able to tell if the barrel is shot out.
  8. griff30

    griff30 Member

    I had a Bushmaster that refused to reliably fire .223, I had to buy match grade 5.56 Feck, sold it after so many feed problems and stovepipes.
    Recently got a PLR16 that was stove pipping every other round and FTF, constantly forward assisting the Special Olympics of guns, then I looked at my father in law and asked him what ammo he brought, .223 or 5.56, he said "same difference, is what the Walmart guy said." I pulled out some matchgrade 5.56 filled the mags and didnt have a problem.
    I could fire reliable all day with the 5.56 but the .223 was constant FTF!
    The Kel Tec site says it fires either, it dont.
  9. So many people just don't seem to understand this fact. Good post.