5.56 versus .223 rounds?

5.56 versus .223 rounds?

This is a discussion on 5.56 versus .223 rounds? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Pardon a newbie question, but if I have a rifle with a 5.56 size barrel, which I know now can accept .223 cartridges as well, ...

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Thread: 5.56 versus .223 rounds?

  1. #1
    Member Array AlDente67's Avatar
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    5.56 versus .223 rounds?

    Pardon a newbie question, but if I have a rifle with a 5.56 size barrel, which I know now can accept .223 cartridges as well, is there any reason to pick up a box of ammo of one over the other? Let's say my store has both (fat chance), which would you choose and why?

    What if it is just Tul?


  2. #2
    Member Array Naufragia's Avatar
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    If I'm merely target shooting, I'll pick up whichever is cheaper (which is almost invariably .223) for my AR.

    For self-defense I usually just buy Winchester Ranger .223 60gr partition. (That's not necessarily a recommendation; just what works for me.)

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    Member Array lokalmotive's Avatar
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    I've got both in my stock. I personally don't take preference based on what's printed on the box. They'll both work so I just buy what is available when I can find it and afford it, especially in this current time.

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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    I don't buy any steel cased, but that's just my preference. Buy whatever is cheaper for the range.
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    Member Array ZOMBIEvs42's Avatar
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    i have no problem with steel cased ammo, unless i leave a round chambered in a hot barrel and it it cools before i shoot it again itll stick but other than that no out of the ordinary issues.
    weekend pre-apocolypse nomadic warrior, leather duster and all.

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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    5.56 is a slightly bigger bullet and as such will have slightly more kinetic energy. Unless you are trying to fight a war or have a gun battle there is no reason to buy it since it is always more expensive. However, there is nothing wrong with buying a couple thousand to keep in your closet for SHTF. Because in that situation you would be fighting a war or having a gun battle.
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    Ex Member Array heatherr855's Avatar
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    Around here,there isn't a lot of different brands.I'v been able to find some 223's and 556's.It's mostly remington and pmc's.I went to shoot yesterday,was going thru my ammo and found an older box of 556's,it had 8.50 on the box.Doubt i will see that price again, any time soon.

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    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausty View Post
    5.56 is a slightly bigger bullet and as such will have slightly more kinetic energy.
    No... The difference between .223 and 5.56 isn't the kind of projectile they're loaded with. 5.56 brass has slightly thicker walls and is loaded to higher pressures than .223. It is the higher pressures of the 5.56 that generates more velocity than .223 with any projectile loaded.

    If the price was the same and I had the choose between Federal M193 5.56 ammo and Federal American Eagle .223 (55gr), I would pick the 5.56. When velocity is high enough, the .224" bullets (used in both .223 and 5.56) fired will usually tumble and fragment in flesh. The higher the velocity, the greater the effect on target. There really isn't that huge of a difference in velocity, but 5.56 gets my preference for a SHTF stash. 5.56 is usually loaded to meet military specifications which might mean a crimped in primer and primer sealant.

    If you're just buying ammo to shoot at the range, it doesn't matter. Either way, it isn't something to lose sleep about. Paying an increased price for 5.56 may not be justifiable when .223 does the job.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    Yes, granted I failed to cover the higher powder charge but the 5.56 projectile is larger by a few grains.
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  11. #11
    Member Array AR15VSCoyote's Avatar
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    As long as your baby is chambered in 5.56, than you can shoot .223.

    Get either, if you can......

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array KoriBustard's Avatar
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    The NATO 5.56 is a slightly "hotter" round than the Win .223 and will have a higher muzzle velocity. However, there is no difference in bullet size or caliber. Also, both 5.56 and .223 are available in 55 and 62 grain as well as various jacketing options. However, a rifle with a 1:9 barrel twist is optimized for stabilization for a 55 grain bullet (M193) (though you can find 1:7, and even 1:12 in older rifles) yet they can certainly fire a 62 grain (M185) round. You will find that 100 yard zero will differ slightly and your 300 yard zero will differ more so for a 62 vs. a 55 grain round. Note that all 5.56 rifles can fire .223 but not all .223 rated barrels can fire 5.56.

    I tend to fire the cheaper .223 at the range (all 52 grain) and reserve 5.56 for "other purposes" (but also stay with 55 grain).
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    You guys are right. I just looked it up.
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    Member Array SIG_guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausty View Post
    Yes, granted I failed to cover the higher powder charge but the 5.56 projectile is larger by a few grains.
    Disagree, the 5.56mm nato has no bigger projectile than .223 remington. Both can be had with the kost common 55gr through 69gr bullets. You can find some of that fragnible ammo in the 45 gr weight as well for both 5.56mm and the .223. Like fisher 10 stated the difference case wall width and pressure.

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    Ask and ye shall receive here!
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