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Thread: 223 vs 5.56 X 45 mm

  1. #1

    Default 223 vs 5.56 X 45 mm

    HI all,

    So I bought a new 223 for varmit and general plinking thinking that with all that army surplus ammo that's on the market target shooting would be cheaper since I dont reload.
    But I went to the local hardware store and asked for some 223. There's a gun nut that works the gun counter there and he said, "Nope were all out, got 5.56 but no 223" and went no further in trying to sell me the ammo.
    Now the question pops into my head, "Is there a difference when it comes to shooting 5.56 through a 223?". I thought I knew the answer and went to the local outfitter here in town. Asked for 223 and this place is really more of a clothing store and the person behind the gun counter brings me cheap (which I like) 5.56 x 45 mm ammo out to the counter.
    Now Im really asking myself, is there a difference?
    So, to all of you in the know, "Can I shoot 5.56 x 45 mm through a 223 bolt action sporting rifle"?
    Thanks for all the help and insight in advance.

  2. #2
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    5.56mm is the equivalent of .223 inches and YES the 5.56x45 is .223 caliber. From what my son tells me, 5.56x45 loads have hotter powder than .223 loads = increased chamber pressure. If your firearm is marked as ".223" it may not be able to handle the pressures of 5.56 rounds. He says you can shoot .223 rounds in a rifle chambered in 5.56, but not 5.56 rounds in a .223 chamber.
    My son also said that your sporting rifle "probably" is not able to shoot 5.56

  3. #3
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    Well, I have shot a lot of 5.56x45 through my Rem 700V chambered in 223. Most of the difference is the 5.56 has a thicker case to prevent damaging the cartridge causing a malfunction during battle conditions. If reloading, the 5.56 case should be charged with less powder to get the same pressure because the volume is less. A normal bolt gun will take anything an AR will and probably more.

  4. #4
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    If a bolt gun, you are probably safe. Another aspect to the 5.56 vs .223 is the over all length of the cartridge. "Some" 5.56 have longer OALs than a normal 223.

    Run on over to AR15.com and I'm sure you'll find the topic beaten to death. Milspec 5.56 is absolutely loaded to higher pressures than most .223.

    If you have a bolt gun, you would want to check the chamber throat length vs the 5.56 ammo you have. In an AR15, you "might" not have and problems.

  5. #5
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    What kind of gun did you buy?


    http://ammo.ar15.com/ammo/

  6. #6

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    Savage Model 16 Bolt action.

  7. #7
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman1979 View Post
    Savage Model 16 Bolt action.
    I would stick with .223 ammo, please see link above for all the answers to all your questions about .223/5.56.

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