223 and 5.56 labelling


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montveil
March 6, 2012, 01:02 PM
I have several boxes of ammo that is labeled 223 AND 5.56X45
Am I to assume it can be used in both a 223 and 5.56?

Does this mean I can shoot it in my Handi 223

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firesky101
March 6, 2012, 01:35 PM
Do you happen to have a brand, some more info would help. I would not feed it through a .223 though, if it said 5.56 on it anywhere.

allaroundhunter
March 6, 2012, 01:38 PM
I would hope that it means that it can be fired in either and is not loaded to 5.56 NATO specs. However, since it does say 5.56 I would not shoot it in anything chambered for .223 Rem

brnmuenchow
March 6, 2012, 01:43 PM
I wouldn't run it if you don't have a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle, just to be on the safe side IMO.

crracer_712
March 6, 2012, 01:46 PM
If you shoot it, get it on video and put it on youtube

Hypnogator
March 6, 2012, 02:07 PM
If you shoot it, get it on video and put it on youtube

:what::eek: That's cold, man! :rolleyes:

If it's labeled .223, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot it in a rifle chambered for the .223 Rem. The fact that it's also labeled 5.56X45 is probably done for the idiots who might think that .223 rounds won't work in 5.56mm rifles. :D

crracer_712
March 6, 2012, 02:29 PM
LMAO!!! I know it was!

brnmuenchow
March 6, 2012, 05:18 PM
The fact that it's also labeled 5.56X45 is probably done for the idiots who might think that .223 rounds won't work in 5.56mm rifles.

lol.
Yup. I guess I never looked at it that way... I don't think I have ever had anyone ask me that before.

montveil
March 6, 2012, 06:13 PM
Sellier & Bellot
FMJ/M193
223 Rem
5.56X45
3.6 g 55 grains
4.4 boxer

gym
March 6, 2012, 07:44 PM
This could be a long debate, it's been covered before, try the search feature. You will encounter facts, rumors, and truths on this one.

Perfesser
March 6, 2012, 08:18 PM
When was it manufactured? As I remember, M193 and commercial .223 are basically the same cartridge and M193 is OK to use in civilian rifles. The problem began in the late 80's or 90's with the military loading with heavier bullets, and I think fiddling with chamber dimensions.
My series 183 Mini-14, according to the manual, "is designed to use either U.S. military or commercial". I take that to mean M193 ammo made in the 80's and 90's since the rifle was made before the revised 5.56 started appearing. I would think that the rounds in question would be close to commercial .223 just like my stash of FNM 84 and 87.
Does anyone have the M193 spec sheet handy to check?

jackpinesavages
March 6, 2012, 08:23 PM
I had this debate with the Sportsmans Guide marketing morons.

My rifle/barrel combo really prefers 62 gr. 5.56.

Most of their ads. online list everything as .223/5.56. They responded but really did not care enough to ask what the fuss was about.

jim243
March 6, 2012, 08:32 PM
It will depend on the pressure rating for that rifle. Contact the mfg to find out what the rifle's pressure rating is. 5.56 Nato is loaded to a higher pressure than 223.

Jim

shuvelrider
March 6, 2012, 09:51 PM
IIRC there is a diff in the the chamber diameter due to milspec 5.56 runs a thicker walled case, may have something to do with different NATO suppliers and reliability in functioning. A .223 ( only ) chamber is tighter, thats why the warning of not shooting any 5.56 in them. Been awhile since I read that article.

rcmodel
March 6, 2012, 09:58 PM
5.56 NATO is loaded to a higher pressure than 223.No, it isn't.
NATO measures pressure differently then SAAMI.

5.56 NATO chambers have slightly looser dimensions, and most notably a longer chamber leade to handle long military tracer ammo.

I doubt any firearms manufacture anywhere has chambered a .223 (that isn't a custom tight chambered match rifle) that is unsafe with 5.56 ammo in the last 40 years.

The only guns ever known to cause any problem were a few Remington 40X benchrest rifles, and SAKO Vixen .223 rifles with .222" bores 40+ years ago.


If you got'm and it says .223 on the box??

Choot'm Elizabeth! Choot'm!!!

rc

MrDig
March 6, 2012, 10:13 PM
No, it isn't.
NATO measures pressure differently then SAAMI.

5.56 NATO chambers have slightly looser dimensions, and most notably a longer chamber leade to handle long military tracer ammo.

I doubt any firearms manufacture anywhere has chambered a .223 (that isn't a custom tight chambered match rifle) that is unsafe with 5.56 ammo in the last 40 years.

The only guns ever known to cause any problem were a few Remington 40X benchrest rifles, and SAKO Vixen .223 rifles with .222" bores 40+ years ago.


If you got'm and it says .223 on the box??

Choot'm Elizabeth! Choot'm!!!

rc
That is where most of the debate has arisen, the Military and the Civilian market use different rating systems. It's analogous to metric and standard conversion. But I still hear that I can't shoot one from the other or some such.
Never had a problem with it and I been using 7.62x51 Winchester white box in a .308 for years. It also applies in this argument.

I can still hear my DI telling me "The M16 rifle fires a 5.56x45 millimeter round, that's .223 Remington to all you cousin kissers"
My DI and all the others after him, would not teach me or all the millions of that have been trained since I was, something that would waste their work training us, by telling us to use ammunition that would ruin Uncle Sams Rifles and injure us by doing it.
Why would the military teach new soldiers to injure themselves when the purpose of training new soldiers is to keep them in the battle not take them out of it?

allaroundhunter
March 6, 2012, 11:34 PM
I can still hear my DI telling me "The M16 rifle fires a 5.56x45 millimeter round, that's .223 Remington to all you cousin kissers"
My DI and all the others after him, would not teach me or all the millions of that have been trained since I was, something that would waste their work training us, by telling us to use ammunition that would ruin Uncle Sams Rifles and injure us by doing it.
Why would the military teach new soldiers to injure themselves when the purpose of training new soldiers is to keep them in the battle not take them out of it?

It has ALWAYS been safe to shoot .223 Rem in the AR/M16 family of rifles. However, if a chamber is built to TRUE .223 Rem specs (Match rifle specs), shooting 5.56x45mm NATO rounds is not a safe adventure, and it never has been. It is just that now manufacturers are making the chambers of ".223 Remington" rifles slightly looser, so that when people try to run 5.56 in them there are no bad effects (again, with the exception being true match rifles as rc said).

303tom
March 7, 2012, 01:05 AM
I have several boxes of ammo that is labeled 223 AND 5.56X45
Am I to assume it can be used in both a 223 and 5.56?

Does this mean I can shoot it in my Handi 223
Yes .223 Rem. & 5.56x45 & 5.56 NATO are the same & I shoot them all in my Handi-rifle.

Cosmoline
March 7, 2012, 01:51 AM
I'm still wondering how exactly is 5.56 going to pose a danger in a match rifle chambered in .223. Surely a match rifle will be built on a platform strong enough to cope with a heck of a lot more pressure than either of these variations generate.

allaroundhunter
March 7, 2012, 01:54 AM
I'm still wondering how exactly is 5.56 going to pose a danger in a match rifle chambered in .223. Surely a match rifle will be built on a platform strong enough to cope with a heck of a lot more pressure than either of these variations generate.

It isn't the pressure difference that causes problems. Reread rc's post, he explains it quite well (post #15)

Match rifles are built to tight tolerances for a specific round to ensure greater accuracy, in this case that being the .223 Rem, not the slightly different 5.56x45

Cosmoline
March 7, 2012, 01:58 AM
I did, but I don't see how those dimensional variations could pose an actual safety problem.

awgrizzly
March 7, 2012, 02:08 AM
They'll work just fine. This ta-do about .223 & 5.56 is mostly due to companies not advising to shoot 5,56 because of liability. A .223 is chambered tighter with short leads for better accuracy and a 5.56 is probably mostly chambered to shoot tracers. Longer bullets (like up around 70 grains) may bottom out into the rifling which can raise pressure... but unless there are other issues that shouldn't cause a problem. I've often wondered about this though... how much longer than 2.26" can fit into a magazine.

Jeff F
March 7, 2012, 02:08 AM
I have shot a wheel-barrel full of 55 grain 5.56 out of a Savage bolt action .223 with no ill effects other then shooting out the barrel. I have never heard of a .223 bolt action blowing up shooting 5.56. I'm not familiar with the handi rifle,single shot break action, but am under the impression its a solid little rifle. If it were mine I would shoot a few and check how it ejects the brass and check the brass for pressure signs. I would not be afraid to shoot it. If I saw any thing that looked abnormal I would stop.

allaroundhunter
March 7, 2012, 02:21 AM
I did, but I don't see how those dimensional variations could pose an actual safety problem.

If a chamber has tolerances set for a Match-Grade .223 Rem, then the tolerances can be too tight for the (sometimes) longer 5.56x45mm NATO rounds and cause excess pressure

303tom
March 7, 2012, 09:39 AM
Maybe this will help..........

jim243
March 7, 2012, 12:33 PM
This raises more questions than it answers.

1. Why is there two sets of dimensions so close to each other?
2. Which is the better round to use? 223 in bolt and 5.56 in AR?
3. What is the accuracy difference?
4. Why is there no dies for 5.56 for purchase?
5. Since it takes more work by the mfg to make 5.56 shouldn't surplus ammo cost more than 223? (brass not steel)
6. How much longer or shorter is barrel life using one or the other?

Jim

MrDig
March 7, 2012, 01:15 PM
This raises more questions than it answers.
1. Why is there two sets of dimensions so close to each other?
Jim

Why is a bathroom called a Latrine or a Head in the Military? Why is a hat called a Cover?
5.56x45 is the Military designation for .223 Remington. Like Commode is the military designation for a Toilet.

allaroundhunter
March 7, 2012, 02:19 PM
5.56x45 is the Military designation for .223 Remington. Like Commode is the military designation for a Toilet.

MrDig, there ARE differences between the two. That is why some manufacturers recommend against using 5.56 in their .223 rifles...It is not just the metric vs. standard measurements. Go back and read post #15, rc explains the differences.

allaroundhunter
March 7, 2012, 02:22 PM
1. Why is there two sets of dimensions so close to each other?

Again, rc explains it in post #15:
a longer chamber leade to handle long military tracer ammo.

303tom
March 7, 2012, 10:17 PM
I have a couple of buddies who work at Lake City & they say they run .223 on the same line as the 5.56 NATO............

The Real Wyatt
March 7, 2012, 10:24 PM
Weird Al yankovitch did a cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" titled "Eat It". My recommendation isto just "Shoot It".

Much ado about nothing.

Move along folks ... nothing to see here.

allaroundhunter
March 7, 2012, 10:24 PM
I have a couple of buddies who work at Lake City & they say they run .223 on the same line as the 5.56 NATO............


As well they should. The difference is going to come from the longer tracer rounds. It doesn't require different machinery to make 5.56, just a longer throat than Match Grade .223 rifles are made to handle......this really is not a hard concept

jim243
March 7, 2012, 11:06 PM
5.56x45 is the Military designation for .223 Remington

I don't think so, which came first the 5.56 or the .223, I believe it was the 5.56 so why make a .223???

9mm is 9mm no matter what, so why is 5.56 mm a .223???

And you can't say it was because of NATO since the M-14 was a .308 before it became a 7.62 NATO round (same dimentions).
why a difference in 5.56 and .223???

Jim

jmr40
March 7, 2012, 11:52 PM
Looking at my reloading manuals they show various 30-06 loads ranging from 23,000 PSI up to 60,000 PSI. I own 6 different rifles in 30-06. When reloading they all have different chambers and throats. Bullets seated too far out will load and shoot fine in some guns and not in others. Velocities vary by as much as 50 fps with ammo from the same box which proves that some guns are shooting at higher pressures than others. This is normal.

Despite all the internet gak the 223 and 5.56 are essentially interchangeable. Just like the wildly differing chamber pressures and throat lengths in 30-06 rifles there may be minor differences between different 223 and 5.56 chambered rifles. For all the talk no one has ever presented an example of it ever causing a problem. Most all guns and even ammo now has both 223 and 5.56 stamped on them. Probably 90% of all shooters are unaware of the internet controversey and have been happily using the 2 interchangeably for years with no problems.

I don't have a link to back it up, but on another of these debates someone claimed that SAAMI specs were now officially calling the 2 one and the same. If true, I'd like to see confirmation. It should end the controversy, but probably wouldn't.

allaroundhunter
March 8, 2012, 12:26 AM
Despite all the internet gak the 223 and 5.56 are essentially interchangeable. Just like the wildly differing chamber pressures and throat lengths in 30-06 rifles there may be minor differences between different 223 and 5.56 chambered rifles.

A rifle chambered for .30-06 is designed to handle the longest throat length and highest pressure associated with a .30-06 round.

A match grade .223 rifle is designed to handle the throat length of the .223 round to maximize its accuracy. Since the 5.56x45 and .223 have different throat lengths, this is where the danger can arise.

As rc said, most modern rifles chambered for ".223 Rem" should be able to handle 5.56 just fine because manufacturers know that if they made them all to the tightest .223 tolerance there would be more accidents.

I don't have a link to back it up, but on another of these debates someone claimed that SAAMI specs were now officially calling the 2 one and the same. If true, I'd like to see confirmation. It should end the controversy, but probably wouldn't.

SAAMI still recommends against firing 5.56x45 in a gun chambered for .223 Rem. Even if it doesn't cause a bad failure, it does cause extra wear on the gun that can lead to problems.
Almost a quarter of a century ago, SAAMI recognized potential problems with shooters assuming that the 5.56mm cartridge was identical to the commercially available .223 Remington round. Here is their 31 January 1979 release, with some minor errors corrected:

"With the appearance of full metal jacket military 5.56 ammunition on the commercial Market, it has come to the attention of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) that the use of military 5.56mm ammunition in sporting rifles chambered for Caliber .223 Remington cartridges can lead to higher-than-normal chamber pressures and possible hazards for the firearm, its user and bystanders.

Tests have confirmed that chamber pressures in a sporting rifle may be significantly higher in the same gun when using military 5.56mm ammunition rather than commercially loaded Caliber .223 Remington cartridges, according to SAAMI.

SAAMI points out that chambers for military rifles have a different throat configuration than chambers for sporting firearms which, together with the full metal jacket of the military projectile, may account for the higher pressures which result when military ammunition is fired in a sporting chamber.

SAAMI recommends that a firearm be fired only with the cartridge for which it is specifically chambered by the manufacturer."

That quote taken from thegunzone.com

awgrizzly
March 8, 2012, 01:04 AM
Look folks, the .223 Remington and the 5.56x45 NATO are basically the same cartridge, although some have said the NATO has thicker walls. I personally doubt it, if they do I doubt it makes a spit of difference, but I don't know and I'm too lazy to find out. Suffice it to say I shoot 5.56, but no big deal in that since all my ARs have 5.56 chambers. There may be a difference in loading however, since I read that some NATO are loaded for 3200fps. I don't know, nor care that much... just saying. I don't care because the guns I use are built to the specs of the M16, and since I've never seen the battlefield littered with the bodies of soldiers who's gun exploded I feel secure.

The difference between the two is not in the cartridge but in the chamber. The .223 was designed to have a shorter lead, the distance between the throat and the beginning of the rifling, simply because it's felt that this provides a more accurate rifle. No other differences, like tighter tolerances, matter. The 5.56 was designed with longer leads because they apparently need it for tracers, and since the M16 is an intermediate range weapon accuracy isn't that critical.

On the longer bullet and lead issue... I've not measured the magazine but by eyeball I can't see how a bullet can be much longer than the .223 spec (2.26") because it won't fit in the magazine. I've heard that folks who shoot extra long ammo in competition have to feed the cartridges by hand as they won't fit in the magazine, but these folks pretty much know what they're doing. There's little extra space. When I load 5.56 ammo, the longer bullets, like the 62 grain, have to be seated deeper. Though this can cause greater pressures, it's made up for in the recommended powder load. I think of greater concern than the gun blowing up because you shot 5.56 in a .223 is the potential issue of timing where differences in pressure and burn rate can cause the semi-auto rifle not to cycle properly... shot stroking.

There is a lot of blabber about these things that is exaggerated or blatantly hog wash, but I suspect experts generally avoid setting this straight due to liability concerns. better to just say don't shoot 5.56 in a .223. If your gun blows up it probably was caused by something other than a 5.56... but then what do I know. Folks like RC are who you should listen to, but he already spoke and you're still talking about it.

Hypnogator
March 8, 2012, 02:00 AM
OK, I'll weigh in with my understanding of the difference in the calibers: The specifications for the 5.56mm chamber are a bit looser than for .223, although they nominally are the same cartridge. SOME 5.56mm cartridges that barely meet military specs are a bit long for the commercial .223 chamber.

The result is, that most mil-spec .556 ammo will shoot fine in a .223 chamber, but some produced within tolerance of the .556 but with slightly oversized cases can cause problems. If the cases are at the max spec for diameter, they won't chamber properly in a .223, but if they are at the max spec for length they will chamber, but the mouth of the case jams into the back of the rifling, causing it to grip the bullet tighter and consequently raise chamber pressures, sometimes astronomically.

Target shooters prefer .223 chambers because they're more accurate. MILSPEC .556 chambers are slightly larger which result in poorer accuracy but much greater reliability. My AR-15s are both chambered for .223 Wilde, which has the .223 spec for chamber diameter, but with a slightly longer throat so that 5.56mm ammo won't jam into the rifling. It's almost as accurate as a .223 target chamber, and almost as reliable as a 5.56 chamber.

roadchoad
March 8, 2012, 12:22 PM
5.56 and .223 don't really have a huge pressure difference, it's just the differences in measurement methods that make it look as such.

So, based on all that chamber/leade info, seems to me that any 55gr 5.56 should work in a .223, since the bullet won't be any longer than .223 round, and can't cause a pressure spike. :confused: Go look at pics of different varieties of M855, M856, M193, etc. The loaded cases are all the same length. It would have to be the reduced case volume due to the fact that a longer bullet must be deeper seated in the case, and the additional rifling contact surface of the longer bullet that contribute to higher pressure.

What is the average bullet weight for a .223? Aren't there long 70 grainers out there, that would also exhibit this same situation??

All this discussion seems purely academic. I have seen no reports of actual failure whenever this topic comes up. If anyone can point to one, it would lend some credibility to this debate, or at least one side of it.

awgrizzly
March 9, 2012, 02:04 AM
OK, I'll weigh in with my understanding of the difference in the calibers: The specifications for the 5.56mm chamber are a bit looser than for .223, although they nominally are the same cartridge. SOME 5.56mm cartridges that barely meet military specs are a bit long for the commercial .223 chamber.

The result is, that most mil-spec .556 ammo will shoot fine in a .223 chamber, but some produced within tolerance of the .556 but with slightly oversized cases can cause problems. If the cases are at the max spec for diameter, they won't chamber properly in a .223, but if they are at the max spec for length they will chamber, but the mouth of the case jams into the back of the rifling, causing it to grip the bullet tighter and consequently raise chamber pressures, sometimes astronomically.

Target shooters prefer .223 chambers because they're more accurate. MILSPEC .556 chambers are slightly larger which result in poorer accuracy but much greater reliability. My AR-15s are both chambered for .223 Wilde, which has the .223 spec for chamber diameter, but with a slightly longer throat so that 5.56mm ammo won't jam into the rifling. It's almost as accurate as a .223 target chamber, and almost as reliable as a 5.56 chamber.
No no no, I'm sorry but that's full of errors, even wreckless. The case is not too large for the chamber. The mouth of the case does not jam into the back of the rifling and grip the bullet tighter... that's actually very silly... do you have any idea how long the neck would have to be to do this? I doubt if there is a problem with loose military specs. Any greater looseness in chamber diameter due to loose military specs would not present a danger.

The only issue would be that the bullet (meaning the lead projectile with a point in front) may jam into the back of the rifling in a .223. But even that may not be true, because technical theory and reality are often quite different. Bear in mind that the maximum overall length for the 5.56 cartridge is exactly the same as a .223 Remington. The larger bullet would have to be seated deeper and if the powder charge wasn't tuned to this it could cause high pressures. People would probably only face this in hand loaded ammo.

awgrizzly
March 9, 2012, 02:19 AM
5.56 and .223 don't really have a huge pressure difference, it's just the differences in measurement methods that make it look as such.

So, based on all that chamber/leade info, seems to me that any 55gr 5.56 should work in a .223, since the bullet won't be any longer than .223 round, and can't cause a pressure spike. :confused: Go look at pics of different varieties of M855, M856, M193, etc. The loaded cases are all the same length. It would have to be the reduced case volume due to the fact that a longer bullet must be deeper seated in the case, and the additional rifling contact surface of the longer bullet that contribute to higher pressure.

What is the average bullet weight for a .223? Aren't there long 70 grainers out there, that would also exhibit this same situation??

All this discussion seems purely academic. I have seen no reports of actual failure whenever this topic comes up. If anyone can point to one, it would lend some credibility to this debate, or at least one side of it.
Thank you, common sense alone dictates this to be true. What you say about reduced case space is correct. I decided to load some 55gr Hornady VMax recently using the same powder load as my FMJBTs. It wasn't until I seated the bullets that I realized how much longer they are due to the plastic insert.:eek: As a result I had to seat them so much deeper I have real misgivings about using them. I'm waiting for the snow to melt at the range to test a couple (it's a relatively tame load). Perhaps I should enlist the aid of someone I don't like to shoot the first round! :D

One has only drop a round into the magazine and look at how much space there is in front of the bullet. It should be nearly impossible to get bullets too long for the lead on a .223 unless they are hand fed. But perhaps the diameter of the rounded bullet taper might be a factor. :scrutiny:

303tom
March 9, 2012, 09:48 AM
Time for some more pictures...........

dprice3844444
March 9, 2012, 09:54 AM
nobody will ever notice it from brooklyn,just shoot it

roadchoad
March 9, 2012, 12:08 PM
For fun, I did search for 5.56, .223, and kaboom, explosion, or failure. I noticed a lot of bad .223 ammunition causing failures in both .223 and 5.56 guns, and some 5.56 failures in 5.56 guns, but no 5.56 in .223 failures. Judging by that, I'd say you are more likely to blow up a gun by getting a bad batch of ammo than shooting 5.56 in a .223. Like all things, use your own judgement and don't believe everything you read on the internet.

EDIT: I have since found a single case of 5.56 in a .223 failing. Ironically, these are all AR type rifles.

montveil
March 9, 2012, 12:16 PM
I called H&R and they told me NO 5.56.
BUT my 1 in 9 twist 223 will shoot better with heavier bullets between 62 and 77 grains.
I found that interesting and the previous discussion about heavier bullets being longer does not seem to apply.
Seeing there ARE differences between the 223 and 5,56 and almost all manufacturers so no to 5.56 in a 233 chamber, I'll stick to the 223
Thanks for all the replies

alsaqr
March 9, 2012, 01:24 PM
There is a popular myth that the leade of the 5.56mm chamber is longer because the tracer bullet is longer. Yep, the tracer bullet is longer than the ball bullet but it protrudes no further from the case. Recently a "gun expert" at Rifle Shooter magazine made the statement that the tracer bullet is "almost twice as long" as the ball bullet. Well its not.

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/4615/dsc01331r.jpg

alsaqr
March 9, 2012, 01:47 PM
There are popular SAAMI myths out there:

Myth: US military 5.56mm cases are thicker than commercial cases. Go to Tech, then go to .233 brass weights comparison.

http://ar15barrels.com/tech.shtml

There are at least 10-12 different .223/5.56mm chambers; some are listed here. Go to Tech, then go to Detailed .223 vs 5.56mm reamer.......

http://ar15barrels.com/tech.shtml

A local gunsmith tells me that no current maker produces what it known as a "SAAMI chamber".

roadchoad
March 11, 2012, 12:08 AM
Shot my .223 handi for the first time today, just 4 times since my son and my brother's fiance didn't like the louder guns and they wanted to shoot the 9mm carbine. The two .223 Winchester (3600fps varmint stuff) 45gr factory shells had flattened primers. The two 5.56x45 55gr M193 Malaysian had no signs of high pressure. Take from that what you will.

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