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Old 02-16-2013, 18:52   #1
China boy
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556 vs 223

I know you can use 223 in a 556 barrel but not the opposite. But does anyone do this? And for what reason?

Are the 223 cheaper than 556?

I heard 233 in a 556 barrel is less accurate. Does anyone think this is true?

I'm just curious.
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Old 02-16-2013, 19:12   #2
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People shoot .223 out of 5.56 barrels all the time. It's not an issue, or even worth worrying about.


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Old 02-16-2013, 19:22   #3
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Here is some reading.
http://www.gundigest.com/ammunition-...es/223-vs-5-56

http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/5-56-vs-223/

From my understanding a true 5.56 chamber is good to go with .223 or 5.56. A .223 Wylde is good to go with .223 and 5.56. A .223 chamber is for .223 and may have issues with 5.56.

Last edited by dkf; 02-16-2013 at 19:24..
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Old 02-16-2013, 20:17   #4
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Originally Posted by China boy View Post
I know you can use 223 in a 556 barrel but not the opposite. But does anyone do this? And for what reason?

Are the 223 cheaper than 556?

I heard 233 in a 556 barrel is less accurate. Does anyone think this is true?

I'm just curious.
I wouldn't shoot anything other what my barrel was made for.
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Old 02-16-2013, 20:48   #5
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Shooting .223 out of a 5.56mm chamber is fine -you may or may not see a difference in accuracy. Alot of folks shoot alot of .223 in ARs cause it's cheaper and has less recoil.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:24   #6
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As others have said, .223 from a 5.56 chamber is fine. 5.56 ammo is fine in a 5.56 chamber or a .223 Wylde chamber. It can have issues in a true .223 chamber, though.

Make sure you check how your BARREL is marked, not your lower. The lower can be marked ".223 Poodle Shooter ONLY," and it doesn't matter if your barrel is chambered and marked for 5.56 NATO.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:20   #7
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Most military 5.56 ammunition is based on US military ammunition, but not all of it is. The 223 Remington was developed for the Armalite AR15 and the 223 chamber was deigned at the same time. The US military had a requirement for the bullet to reliably penetrate a US steel helmet from 400 meters. Colt bought the AR15 design from Armalite. It wasn't as reliable as desired. Colt designed and patented a different chamber design. This dropped the chamber pressure and muzzle velocity of the original 223 Remington ammunition. The answer was to increase the powder charge to reach the original chamber pressure in the Colt designed chamber. On a side note, originally there wasn't a practical method to chrome line a 22 caliber barrel bore. The original design of the rifle did not have a chrome lined barrel. Colt developed and patented a method to chrome line a 22 caliber barrel bore that is different from chrome lining larger barrel bores.

The US military 5.56 ammunition became popular in other countries but other rifle designs do not have the Colt designed chamber. The ammunition that has a higher charge than standard 223 Remington ammunition would often cause problems and some countries have developed milder versions of the cartridge for their rifles.

Note some countries and firearm makers have developed their own versions of pressure reducing chambers that are not exact copies of the Colt chamber but give similar chamber pressures with the same ammunition.

223 Remington ammunition is pressure tested in a commercial chamber. US military 5.56 ammunition is pressure tested in the Colt designed chamber. The ammunition can not be directly compared without testing in the same chamber.
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Old 02-17-2013, 14:11   #8
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I have noticed difficulty in extraction of 5.56 and 7.62 ammo in my bolt action rifles chambered for .223 and .308 calibers. My 5.56 and 7.62 military type semiautos cycle .223&.308 just fine.


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Old 02-17-2013, 15:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmoney890 View Post
I wouldn't shoot anything other what my barrel was made for.
So you wouldn't shoot .38 spec out of a .357 mag?



OP

.223 is more than fine out of a 5.56.
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Old 02-17-2013, 16:47   #10
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.223 Remington is perfectly fine in a 5.56 chamber. Not the other way around though.

People shoot .223 out of 5.56 due to:

Price
Availability
Accuracy
Etc
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Old 02-17-2013, 16:53   #11
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In an AR-15 it will not matter one way or another.
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Old 02-17-2013, 16:57   #12
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In an AR-15 it will not matter one way or another.
Does every "AR15" on the market have a chamber appropriate for 5.56 NATO??
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Old 02-17-2013, 16:57   #13
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Originally Posted by Warp View Post
Does every "AR15" on the market have a chamber appropriate for 5.56 NATO??
It's been a long time since I saw one that didn't.
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Old 02-17-2013, 17:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warp View Post
Does every "AR15" on the market have a chamber appropriate for 5.56 NATO??
Colt has a patent on the modified chamber. The patent has likely expired by now. NATO didn't adopt the 5.56 cartridge until 1980, so it wasn't referred to as 5.56 NATO before then. That doesn't describe the type of chamber, just the fact that NATO adopted the cartridge. Not all military rifles have the chamber that was patented by Colt, even if they use the same ammunition.
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Old 02-17-2013, 18:33   #15
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Originally Posted by GIockGuy24 View Post
Colt has a patent on the modified chamber. The patent has likely expired by now. NATO didn't adopt the 5.56 cartridge until 1980, so it wasn't referred to as 5.56 NATO before then. That doesn't describe the type of chamber, just the fact that NATO adopted the cartridge. Not all military rifles have the chamber that was patented by Colt, even if they use the same ammunition.
I am aware. That's why I asked if the chamber was appropriate for 5.56 NATO (since when people buy 5.56 these days, it's frequently the NATO spec cartridge), rather than asking if it was a 5.56 NATO chamber.

Also the Wylde chamber is why I phrased it the way I did.

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Old 02-17-2013, 20:03   #16
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So you wouldn't shoot .38 spec out of a .357 mag?



OP

.223 is more than fine out of a 5.56.
The chambers on a revolver are in the cylinder, not the barrel.
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Old 02-17-2013, 20:06   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmoney890 View Post
I wouldn't shoot anything other what my barrel was made for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Courtney View Post
The chambers on a revolver are in the cylinder, not the barrel.
True.

But the cartridge identifier is usually stamped on the barrel.
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Old 02-17-2013, 20:48   #18
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I am aware. That's why I asked if the chamber was appropriate for 5.56 NATO (since when people buy 5.56 these days, it's frequently the NATO spec cartridge), rather than asking if it was a 5.56 NATO chamber.

Also the Wylde chamber is why I phrased it the way I did.

Back in 1979 I only remember there being Colt AR15's. Sometime in the mid 1980's I started seeing copies and they were pretty poor quality. I guess the original rifle patents had expired by then. It wasn't until later than the AR15 started becoming popular with match shooters. It was found that the Colt chamber wasn't as accurate as a tighter chamber similar to a bolt a action rifle chamber. The tighter chambers improve accuracy but hurt reliability and require the match ammunition to loaded to a certain level. The other modified match chambers, such as the Wylde were developed to allow higher charges with match loads, and weren't directly aimed at using military ammunition, although the cause and effect are similar. The available barrels and chambers run the whole range. Some of the chambers with fancy names have or had patents. Most standard AR15 barrels and rifles will have the Colt designed chamber.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:53   #19
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Originally Posted by GIockGuy24 View Post
Back in 1979 I only remember there being Colt AR15's. Sometime in the mid 1980's I started seeing copies and they were pretty poor quality. I guess the original rifle patents had expired by then. It wasn't until later than the AR15 started becoming popular with match shooters. It was found that the Colt chamber wasn't as accurate as a tighter chamber similar to a bolt a action rifle chamber. The tighter chambers improve accuracy but hurt reliability and require the match ammunition to loaded to a certain level. The other modified match chambers, such as the Wylde were developed to allow higher charges with match loads, and weren't directly aimed at using military ammunition, although the cause and effect are similar. The available barrels and chambers run the whole range. Some of the chambers with fancy names have or had patents. Most standard AR15 barrels and rifles will have the Colt designed chamber.

Sorry, but where did you get this information? I have never come across anything indicating Colt had a patent on any kind of chamber design for the AR/M-16 platform of weapons, and the only information I can find through Google that backs up your claims are message board posts. Half of those posts were made by you (here on GT), and the other half are worded almost identically to what you have said here, which makes me think it's you posting on other boards with a different name.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:58   #20
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Sorry, but where did you get this information? I have never come across anything indicating Colt had a patent on any kind of chamber design for the AR/M-16 platform of weapons, and the only information I can find through Google that backs up your claims are message board posts. Half of those posts were made by you (here on GT), and the other half are worded almost identically to what you have said here, which makes me think it's you posting on other boards with a different name.
There are government documents full of the information. Originally the cartridge was developed by Remington for Armalite for the AR15. At the time both Remington and IMR powders were owned by Dupont. Remington used IMR-4475 powder. The IMR four digit powders are in chronological order. IMR-4895 was developed in 1941. IMR-4475 was a long time IMR short cut powder developed for machine loading of Remington cartridges.

Right before Colt bought the rights to the AR15, Stoner at Armalite tightened the chamber specs and reduced the chamber throat to try to increase the accuracy. These were the specs that Colt received from Armalite.

When Remington received the first large ammunition contract from the US military. There were many reports of overpressure problems. It was found that Remington never received the tighter chamber specs and was testing there ammunition with test barrels that had the original loose chambers.

When Remington received the tighter chamber specs, Remington claimed they could no longer produce the desired velocity and stay within the pressure specs with the newer, tighter Armalite designed chamber. That started a search for a new powder to use.

Colt did not receive the specs for the original loose chamber as Armalite had changed to the tighter chamber design before Colt bought the rifle design. Colt then designed and patented their own loose chamber design.

A couple of years later it was decided that chamber pitting was the cause of many malfunctions. At first Colt proposed a chrome lined chamber. The military then expressed an interest in a chrome lined barrel bore. At the time there wasn't a feasible method of chrome lining a 22 caliber barrel bore. Colt then developed and patented a method to chrome line 22 caliber rifle barrels.

On a side, chamber pitting was later found to cause problems with Ruger Mini-14 rifles. This prompted the production of stainless steel Mini-14 rifles.
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