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Thread: 223 vs 5.56

  1. #1
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Question 223 vs 5.56

    Im picking my dpms panther bull on friday that ive been paying on for the last 4 months. But now Im wondering. Its a .223 rem cal. not the 5.56 I read that the 5.56 can take the 223 but not vice versa. Also can I expect the same price and availability as the 5.56. Would I be better off changing my mind and going with a 5.56 rifle? Its still not to late for me to change my mind at the gunshop.

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    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    If you want to be able to shoot both, then yes get the 5.56.

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    the other option if you want to take matters into your own hands is to buy a 5.56 complete upper
    Surviving one day at a time with a PhD in Physics.

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    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Default vs

    Whats the difference between the two? Im sure im going to change my mind now and get the more universal caliber. Bear with me ive never owned or shot an AR before. Im only buying it as defense item. Im a hunter at heart but for some reason I think I should have one.

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    5.56 Nato has a maximum case pressure rated at ~63,400psi, while .223 Rem has a max case pressure at 55,000psi. The idea is that since 5.56 Nato has a higher pressure it should not be chambered in barrels rated for .223 rem. I am by no means an expert, but this is the argument I've heard time and again (I personally do not own either upper for my AR15 and that should be taken into effect; I only have a bohica arms .50 bmg upper).
    Surviving one day at a time with a PhD in Physics.

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    Member Alaska Bush Hunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good Point

    Suggest Buy uppers marked 5.56 and 1:9 to 1:7 twist for best results with 63gr bullets and heavier.

    Also take a good look at the 6.8 SPC upper.....good hunting round

    As for AR uppers the Stag is my favorite! They make the S&W MP15.

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    In addition to the max pressure difference of the two calibers, the 5.56 chamber dimensions are different. Specifically in throat and head space. The 5.56 chamber is effective a loose fit for 223 ammo and 5.56 ammo is snug in a 223 chamber. These differences in internal dimensions with the added pressure of mil spec 5.56 ammo make for excessive pressure in the 223 chamber. Generally a 223 chamber is best for handloaded precision ammo and commercial 223 ammo and the 5.56 chamber is best for general duty use with mil spec ammo and works fine with commercial 223 and handloads. I would not ever recommend shooting 5.56, mil spec ammo in any gun chambered for the 223, knowing it is done everyday by someone with no obvious damage. I don't think its a good idea.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    zaxon....hit the nail on the head....I always get a laugh most of the time when I here people wanting to buy a AR and dont know that there is a difference between the two rounds...they just say they are exactly the same...I was ready down the thread to say the exact same thing he said....great job and info....

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowtechshooter View Post
    ....I always get a laugh most of the time when I here people wanting to buy a AR and dont know that there is a difference between the two rounds....
    Remember, you didn't know the difference between the two until someone told you the first time as well....


    Everyone has to start somewhere...

  10. #10
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Smile Thanks

    I got the bushmaster In 5.56 With the removable handle In the 20 inch H-bar with the suppressor.

  11. #11
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum Man View Post
    I got the bushmaster In 5.56 With the removable handle In the 20 inch H-bar with the suppressor.
    Soooooooo, where's the pics?

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    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Default pics

    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Soooooooo, where's the pics?
    This old puter wont jive with my camera. Waiting for a new charger for laptop.srry

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Note there has not always been a difference except the military always had crimped primers.Many 223's are designed to shoot both rounds with no problem.When the 60gr.bullets was started for the military bullet a longer lead was needed and many switched to a 1 and 7 twist. The 223rem was out for the public before the military and other than the crimped primer they were the same round basicly and fired well in Ar's or any other rifle out there.Mini-14's rock Island and others are set up to fire both rounds as well as most single shots I know of.If you rifle states 223 only or 5.56 nato only thats what you should follow but many handle both just fine if you stay with the 52 gr or less bullets.If in doubt you can always ask you gun maker

  14. #14
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Lightbulb shot the rifle yesterday

    I liked everything except the trigger. It was like lightning you never know when its going to happen. I shot a hundred rounds. I cleaned it after 50. I was hitting about 6 inches with it at 100 yards.

  15. #15
    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Default DPMS makes an upper that will shoot both

    Get the upper that is marked for both. The pressures of the 5.56 nato are higher than the rem 223 and should not be fired in 223 semi-auto rifles. My DPMS is marked 5.56 or 223, allowing me to shoot either. If you can't find one marked for either, get the 5.56 and you can shoot either.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

  16. #16
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Ruger states their Mini-14 is good for both

  17. #17

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    Wylde chamber will handle both.

  18. #18
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Default bushmaster

    This rifle is stamped for both on the reciever.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lester View Post
    Wylde chamber will handle both.

    Yep, If you want a great upper in which you don't have to worry about it, look into Rock River Arms... They have wilson barrels with Wylde chambers (hybrid between 5.56 and .223), as well as 1/8 twist rifling... more variety of bullets.

    A buddy of mine is a Distinguished Rifleman, former All-Army shooting team member, and now retired, a regular at Camp Perry. He swears by RRA shooting their National Match model.

  20. #20
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The 1/8 is iffy with light bullets but 52 to 60gr its great

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