.223 vrs 5.56 for my AR carbine


November 28, 2008, 03:54 PM
Hi folks!
yes, Im still new to the AR club, so try and be nice :)

Ive got a DPMS Sportical. it came with 2 mags, factory made I assume.
those mags only accept 5.56, they wont take .223's.. kind of a bummer.

I did buy a Brownells 30 rd mag and it accepts both .223 and 5.56..

so I have a couple questions:
what exactly are the differences between 5.56, and .223?

what will preform better, and in what way?

If I remember correctly, the sportical has a 1/9 twist, 16in barrel.

thanks, ip.

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November 28, 2008, 03:59 PM
those mags only accept 5.56, they wont take .223's.. kind of a bummer.
Not true. They will take .223. A magazine cannot tell the difference between the 2 rounds. 5.56 has thicker brass which reduces its powder capacity. It is therefore loaded higher pressure. 5.56 tends to have higher velocities. You're 5.56 chamber can handle both .223 and 5.56 so for your regular plinking, there is no significant difference.

November 28, 2008, 04:03 PM
Here's an earlier thread.


November 28, 2008, 04:07 PM
In a nutshell


No problems, dimensions are effectively the same

Chambering and shooting

.223 in a 5.56 OK
5.56 in a .223 NOT OK

November 28, 2008, 06:13 PM
thabnks everyone!

cbrgator... actually yes, the mags can tell the difference.. they have been in my hands and I have tried to load them... it is extremely difficult to load .223 into the DPMS factory mags, to an extent that I was afraid Id cause damage to something... way too tight, I bout had to JAM them into the mag, after jamming 3 rds in, I decided against it, and it was equally difficult to remove them (PMC .223)... so YES, it is true bud... but thank you for the clarification of the difference between the two cal's!

wonder9, thanks, Ill go check that thread!

everallm, thanks, I know that much.. im after a bit more specifics now, thanks again!


November 28, 2008, 06:28 PM
Both 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem will work fine in your DPMS and magazines.

I'm glad to see newcomers to the AR15 world. A short couple years ago, I was in the same boat. :D

November 28, 2008, 06:29 PM
Sounds like the .223 ammo was too LONG for the mag.

That's just a function of the bullet used in that particular load.

I'd be very surprised to hear that any .223-marked ammo with 55 grain (or lighter) bullets gave any trouble in an AR-15 type of rifle.

November 28, 2008, 06:50 PM
grant, as for that brand (PMC), no it wouldnt hardly load into the mags, but was smooth as butter in the brownells! 5.56 loads in all of the mags just fine.
I havent tried different .223 in the DPMS mags yet, just because of the first try with PMC.. mabey Ill get a pack of wolf .223 next weekend and try them out in the DPMS mags..

W.E.G. there has been no problem with the bullets in the gun, so long as I put the right bullets in the right mag..lol it was Im positive, as you said, there was obviously a difference in the OA length.. I work on a CNC machiene 50 hrs a week (Nakamura WT-150) so I have access to Calipers and micrometers all the time, Im thinking about going and gettin a few different brands of .223 and 5.56 to measure.. could tell alot, aswell as the awnser to my problem with the mag issue. as Ive learned, a couple thoudsands of an inch can make a major difference in the work of making thing fit!

November 28, 2008, 07:16 PM
My bad, I was replying to your original post. I didnt see your follow-up.

Thats strange that they would load fine into one brand of mag, but not the other. Its probably just an issue with that brand of ammo. I wouldnt worry too much about it.

November 28, 2008, 07:44 PM
It is definitely a problem with the magazines. Look for USGI mags or Pmags... if you can find em.

AR-15 Rep
November 28, 2008, 09:38 PM
The length of the round should be the same. I think it could just be a bad mag with a very tight tolerance, or the round may be the problem. I would like to see the measurements on both the mag and the rounds in question.

November 28, 2008, 10:08 PM
I have a new DPMS Sportical too. It came with the standard D&H 30 Round Magazines. I've loaded 3 Types of .223 in them (Wolf, Remington, & Hornady) with no problems.

Are you pressing the rounds in from the top or trying to slide them in like a pistol mag? They should just be loaded from the top by pressing down.

What brand of ammo are you using?

November 28, 2008, 10:09 PM
Hm... I'll tell you what... how about I just take that pesky AR off of your hands for you :p

Either one should work in a DPMS, as long as you have a rifle in 5.56. If it's in .223, stick with that.

November 28, 2008, 10:10 PM
What grain of bullet are your .223's? I would wager that they are too long. Probably some 75 grainers.

November 28, 2008, 10:14 PM

Plus 1. I kind of forgot about that. If you're using heavy .223 projectiles, there's the possibility that they might be too long to fit in an AR magazine.
Try some XM193 or other standard size ammo if that turns out to be the problem.

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