ammo for AR-15

ammo for AR-15

This is a discussion on ammo for AR-15 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't know if this is off topic but I was wondering which is better for an AR-15 that can handle NATO rounds, .223 or ...

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    Senior Member Array NECCdude's Avatar
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    ammo for AR-15

    I don't know if this is off topic but I was wondering which is better for an AR-15 that can handle NATO rounds, .223 or 5.56?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array dV8r's Avatar
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    NATO (North American Treaty Org.) is 5.56
    American is .223
    FYI, 5.56 Millimeters is .223 inches.
    The NATO spec calls out a couple of differences than the original Remington .223 round.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Remington


    Most shooters agree that a gun designed for and labled 5.56 is more capable of handling the .223 ammo than vis versa.
    YMMV
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    The answer is that if you have an AR that shoots both and is designed for higher pressures neither one is "better", in as much as it is the same as there is no evidence that shooting .38s out of a revolver designed to chamber .357s is "better" for the firearm. Common sense might tell you that lower pressure means lower ware on the carrier, bolt, etc., but there is nothing definitive that I've seen that proves this or even really suggests it other than it sounds right. Maybe there is something out there, but I haven't seen it.

    Shooting ammo marked 5.56 out of an AR that is designed for the lower pressure of a .223 is bad, just as shooting a .357 out of a revolver chambered for .38s is bad. It may work once, and it may work a couple of times, but every time you expose it to pressures and forces it wasn't designed for it IS going to weaken it. It's no different than guys who hot-load their ammo thinking it's going to make it that much greater.
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    If you're barrel is stamped 5.56, shoot whatever you can find. If it's stamped .223, only shoot .223.
    Last edited by America; August 2nd, 2013 at 05:19 AM.

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    Ex Member Array Manderinobyebye's Avatar
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    I've always used both of those in mine.It's chambered for the 5.56.I don't have a preference.That said i don't use mine for hunting,just recreational.

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    Never seen a .38 special that could shoot .357 magnum.

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    Senior Member Array NECCdude's Avatar
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    I was asking because I had heard somewhere that firing the .223 round would be more accurate than the NATO round. Plus, I believe that the NATO round is always FMJ while the .223 can be either FMJ or JHP. I'm also wondering about which one would be considered a "defensive" round for self-defense purposes. My CHP instructor was saying that you have to be careful of the type of ammo used for self-defense. I did reloading for my 357 at one time but after taking the CHP class I found out that lawyers would question the use of reloads for self defense and could cause you to lose your case should you have to defend your use of deadly force.

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    Distinguished Member Array Dan060's Avatar
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    I can't tell anyone which one to use in an AR.I've got some PMC'S and Remington for mine.So far as myself, if i use my AR to defend myself,it's going to be at my home.If that's the case,i'm not concerned about anything else,other than defending myself and my family.I will use whatever ammo i got.
    Manderinobyebye likes this.

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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ki7rw1 View Post
    I was asking because I had heard somewhere that firing the .223 round would be more accurate than the NATO round. Plus, I believe that the NATO round is always FMJ while the .223 can be either FMJ or JHP.
    They make 5.56 hollowpoints

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but unless you're shooting a very long distance I don't think you'd notice any difference in accuracy using 5.56 over .223, the 5.56 is actually slightly more accurate than a .223 when fired from a 5.56 rifle, but I don't think it would be very noticeable, 223 is a lot easier to find, and often times cheaper. Either one works just fine for the range.
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    This is fairly simple, BUT REALLY IMPORTANT!

    If its stamped .223, ONLY shoot .223 out of it. Dont shoot 5.56 out of it. Heres the thing, a 5.56 shell will fit into your gun, assuming that its a .223. AND THATS BAD. If it didnt fit, you wouldnt have to ask.

    But it will fit in your gun, and YOU SHOULD NOT SHOOT IT.

    If the gun is stamped 5.56, you can shoot either 5.56, or .223.

    If you gun is stamped with both .223, and 5.56, you can shoot either.

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burns View Post
    They make 5.56 hollowpoints

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but unless you're shooting a very long distance I don't think you'd notice any difference in accuracy using 5.56 over .223, the 5.56 is actually slightly more accurate than a .223 when fired from a 5.56 rifle, but I don't think it would be very noticeable, 223 is a lot easier to find, and often times cheaper. Either one works just fine for the range.
    For CQC training, I agree. I dont see any difference in accuracy. As far as long distance shooting goes, I only shot 5.56. Not for any accuracy reasons, its just worked out that way. I got enough long distance shooting in the army.

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    Are they still making .223 and 5.56 ammo? Gosh, I haven't seen any in about 10 months.
    I shoot with a pistol and a Canon. We must all hang together amigos, or we will all hang separately. NRA life member.

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    Member Array America's Avatar
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    They are, you just have to know where to look. Back when I lived in NC the gun shop I went to had massive amounts of .223 and 5.56, sadly they still limited us to 5 boxes a day.

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    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    Are they still making .223 and 5.56 ammo? Gosh, I haven't seen any in about 10 months.
    I picked up a case last month at Shotgun Supply in Anniston, AL. They had plenty and no limits. Also had powder.
    The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".

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    It also depends on what twist and grain. Also, ammo varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Match grade would be more accurate that .223 55g for example. No real answer, it is trial and error to see what works best in your specific rifle.
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