Why would you get a .223 vs. 5.56?

This is a discussion on Why would you get a .223 vs. 5.56? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am kind of wondering why a gun manufacturer would produce a .223 rifle instead of a 5.56. I suppose it would be a bit ...

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Thread: Why would you get a .223 vs. 5.56?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Why would you get a .223 vs. 5.56?

    I am kind of wondering why a gun manufacturer would produce a .223 rifle instead of a 5.56. I suppose it would be a bit cheaper, but the flexibility to use two different types of ammo, to me, would more than justify a slight difference in price.
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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    Found on another forum........

    5.56mm runs at higher pressures and .223 has a slightly tighter chamber. You can shoot all the .223 you want out of a 5.56mm chamber. You should NOT shoot 5.56 out of a .223 chamber- a touch less room, higher pressure, you're asking for trouble.

    .223 is generally a chamber used for accuracy/hunting purposes- the slightly tighter throat gives less jump for the bullet before it contacts the rifling. 5.56x45mm is usually a defensive type rifle or just something for plinking- not that they aren't accurate, but that the rifles set up where accuracy is the first purpose will get a .223 chamber.

    Generally, you have to look to find 5.56mm ammunition; from what I've seen, it's mostly milsurp ammo. .223 ammo is more prevalent. Therefore, there's not that huge a worry of getting a bunch of ammo you can't use if you have a .223 rifle, but if you want flexibility, go with a rifle chambered for 5.56.
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    I would not. Unless I was shoot a 20 inch 1 in 12 chambered for .223.
    Accuracy is dependent on what round your are shooting with what barrel.
    .223 55gr 20inch barrel 1 in 12
    5.56 62 gr 16 inch barrel 1 in 7
    5.56 55 gr 20 inch barrel 1in 12
    Work out very well start mixing them up you lose accuracy and penetration depending on range.
    Another advantage to an AR platform quick swap out of upper and you have a different weapon
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    MJK
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    Also consider the .223 Wylde, which was specifically designed to safely shoot both rounds.
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJK View Post
    Also consider the .223 Wylde, which was specifically designed to safely shoot both rounds.
    That was more or less a transition that came about as the move to 5.56 was happening. You are correct it is safe for both as the 5.56 is.
    You saw it in sporting rifles .

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Quite a few 233 expanding hunting rounds do not do well with the 1 in 7 twist rate. Some of the bullets aren't constructed tuff enough to stand up too that fast of a twist.
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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    the .223 is has a shorter Leade, also called throat. This is the area of the barrel where the bullet sits BEFORE it contacts the rifling. A 5.56 is a touch longer, causing pre-firing contact with the rifling when chambered in a .223. This causes elevated pressures when firing. Also, 5.56 has thicker case walls than .223, which reduces case volume. When loaded to .223 specs you will experience much higher pressures,combine that with increased pressure from the pre firing rifling contact, and you have a potential catastrophe. The solutio, buy a 5.56 chambered rifle and be able to shoot both, or buy a .223 and just shoot .223 ammo. Also, as previously mentioned, the .223 wylde is an option. The wylde is essentially a rifle with a throat long enough to accomodate both rounds safely without affecting accuracy of either.
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Quite a few 233 expanding hunting rounds do not do well with the 1 in 7 twist rate. Some of the bullets aren't constructed tuff enough to stand up too that fast of a twist.
    The 1 in 7 16 inch barrel is not designed for the lighter .223. It is meant for the 62 Gr 5.56. Many will shoot them in a 1 in 7 nothing wrong with it but accuracy will suffer.,
    and you may not get the tack down you expected.
    This is a common reason the AR is getting a bad rap wrong ammo in the setup.
    When I get my hands on true m195 .223 55gr I swap out an upper to the old 20 inch 1in 12 and the thing shoots great.
    Some of the bolt action shooters I know load custom 54gr .223 that do a good job of punching holes in paper.

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    If a pack of zombies starved for human flesh were coming at me and I had a .223 only rifle and just some 5.56 ammo - I would go ahead and take my chances with the higher pressure.
    But, I would not do it otherwise or just for kicks.
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    New Member Array Ramsey's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the .223 Wylde chambering is still very relevant--it's a more accurate compromise which allows you to shoot 5.56 through a chamber accurized for .223. Friend of mine got a rifle chambered that way specifically for this reason.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    If a pack of zombies starved for human flesh were coming at me and I had a .223 only rifle and just some 5.56 ammo - I would go ahead and take my chances with the higher pressure.
    But, I would not do it otherwise or just for kicks.
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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Gun manufacturers make them because people will buy them. Not everyone cares that a 5.56 chamber is available, and that's perfectly OK. Just so long as people are buying guns and taking their kids shooting.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    There is a way to solve the issue.... get a 1-n-9 " .223 rifle, and a 1-n-7 " 5.56 rifle, get the appropriate ammo for each and go have fun.
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    I'd just get the .556 and call it a day. Seeing that a .556 will use the .223 all day long anyway. If I'm wrong in that please elaborate, cause that's what I've been doing with my S&W Sport since day one.
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    BAC
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    I'd likewise just pick a 5.56 chambered rifle. However, the Wylde chamber has done pretty well when done correctly (looking at you, RRA). Noveske's stainless steel barrels use a similar concept to the Wylde chamber, and I'd never feel bad sending them a check. Good folks out there.
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