.223 or 5.56mm

This is a discussion on .223 or 5.56mm within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I got a new Ruger mini 14 in .223. What is the major differences in the 5.56mm compared to the .223. Is it safe to ...

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Thread: .223 or 5.56mm

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    Member Array MichiganCCW's Avatar
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    .223 or 5.56mm

    I got a new Ruger mini 14 in .223. What is the major differences in the 5.56mm compared to the .223.
    Is it safe to shoot both in my ruger m14?
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    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    No if the barrel says .223 only you CANNOT shoot 5.56 through it. But a 5.56 barrel/chamber will accommodate .223.
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    Ex Member Array IndianaSig's Avatar
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    The Mini-14 TACTICAL will accept either.
    Last edited by IndianaSig; August 4th, 2013 at 03:13 PM.

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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    A .223 will safely shoot .223 ONLY. YOU CAN insert a 5.56 shell into a gun chambered in .223 BUT DONT DO IT, AND CERTAINLY DONT SHOOT IT! It is not safe, and could ruin either your gun, or YOURSELF.

    A weapon in 5.56 will shoot either 5.56, or .223.

    Theres a bunch that goes into to an explanation, but first and foremost remember what I posted above.

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    Ex Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
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    Can one of you Administrators or Mods post a sticky on the issue of chambering .223 verses .556? = I'm sure this has been covered to the detail that covers it.
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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    5.56 NATO is a more powerful round made primarily for military use and if I am not mistaken ( I am not a ballistics expert) a slightly longer round than a .223. Has to do with size and pressure generated by the ammo.
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    Visit Page 13 of your owner's manual. Ruger could be a little more clear, but they are very specific about using .223 ONLY if yours it the Target version.
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    Member Array synx's Avatar
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    The answer is found in this article.

    The significant difference between the .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO lies in the rifles, rather than the cartridges themselves. Both the .223 and 5.56 rounds will chamber in rifles designed for either cartridge, but the critical component, leade, will be different in each rifle.

    The leade is the area of the barrel in front of the chamber prior to where the rifling begins. This is where the loaded bullet is located when a cartridge is chambered. The leade is frequently called the “throat.”

    On a .223 Remington spec rifle, the leade will be 0.085”. This is the standard described by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc. (SAAMI). The leade in a 5.56 NATO spec rifle is 0.162”, or almost double the leade of the .223 rifle.

    A shorter leade in a SAAMI spec rifle creates a situation where the bullet in a 5.56 NATO round, when chambered, can contact the rifling prior to being fired. By having contact with the rifling prematurely (at the moment of firing), chamber pressure can be dramatically increased, creating the danger of a ruptured case or other cartridge/gun failure.

    The reverse situation, a .223 Rem round in a 5.56 NATO gun, isn’t dangerous. The leade is longer, so a slight loss in velocity and accuracy may be experienced, but there is not a danger of increased pressures and subsequent catastrophic failure.
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    That^

    The cases are dimensionally the same. 5.56 typically uses a longer bullet (thus a longer COL) and is loaded to higher pressures. It's the shorter leade of the .223 barrel design that causes the issue.
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    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    No if the barrel says .223 only you CANNOT shoot 5.56 through it. But a 5.56 barrel/chamber will accommodate .223.
    This is the bottom line of the issue. Check the barrel stamp.

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    Of Course do your own checking but, if you have a new production Mini 14 the Ruger RANCH is .223 & 5.56 NATO

    The Ruger Tactical is .223 & 5.56 NATO

    The Ruger TARGET is .223 Only
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    No if the barrel says .223 only you CANNOT shoot 5.56 through it. But a 5.56 barrel/chamber will accommodate .223.
    This is true of almost all rifles, but not the Mini-14.

    Quote Originally Posted by StormRhydr View Post
    A .223 will safely shoot .223 ONLY. YOU CAN insert a 5.56 shell into a gun chambered in .223 BUT DONT DO IT, AND CERTAINLY DONT SHOOT IT! It is not safe, and could ruin either your gun, or YOURSELF.

    A weapon in 5.56 will shoot either 5.56, or .223.

    Theres a bunch that goes into to an explanation, but first and foremost remember what I posted above.
    Again, not so for the Mini-14.

    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Visit Page 13 of your owner's manual. Ruger could be a little more clear, but they are very specific about using .223 ONLY if yours it the Target version.
    Correct! The Target model is the only Mini-14 with this limitation.

    Quote Originally Posted by lchamp View Post
    This is the bottom line of the issue. Check the barrel stamp.
    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Of Course do your own checking but, if you have a new production Mini 14 the Ruger RANCH is .223 & 5.56 NATO

    The Ruger Tactical is .223 & 5.56 NATO

    The Ruger TARGET is .223 Only
    As Smitty and QKShooter have pointed out, the Mini-14 TARGET model is .223 only. All other .223 Mini-14's are designed for, and will safely accommodate, 5.56mm NATO. Doesn't matter if it's old production or new. Read your manual.
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    Member Array MichiganCCW's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info. There is excellent knowledge available on this site.
    Mine is a ranch rifle, .223.
    .223 only
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganCCW View Post
    Thanks for all the info. There is excellent knowledge available on this site.
    Mine is a ranch rifle, .223.
    .223 only
    If yours is a .223 Ranch Rifle, it IS NOT .223 only. 5.56 is fine in it. READ YOUR MANUAL.
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    Regards,
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    Kilowatt3 likes this.

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