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.223 rem to 5.56 Nato

This is a discussion on .223 rem to 5.56 Nato within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Originally Posted by 243winxb The Savage Axis barrel is marked "Savage Axis 223 Rem. Caliber." The owners manual has " Use only the correct ammuniton ...


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Old January 19th, 2014, 05:21 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
The Savage Axis barrel is marked "Savage Axis 223 Rem. Caliber." The owners manual has " Use only the correct ammuniton that is stamped on the side of the barrel" . There is more, but you get the idea.
That's interesting. There are several websites that sell the Savage that advertise it as .223/5.56. Possibly I have some false information.



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Old January 19th, 2014, 05:25 PM   #17
 
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I just read it off my Savage Axis 223 barrel & from the owners manual. I would avoid the Nato factory ammo. I shot some in my M16. Its hot. http://www.photobucket.com/M16A1
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Old January 19th, 2014, 07:01 PM   #18
 
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It depends on the 5.56 maker as to what actual headstamp you'll see. There are many.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 12:46 PM   #19
 
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The case length of .223 an 5.56 are the same. The 5.56 length difference is in the leade - that being the barrel space from the case mouth to the beginning of the rifling. You can safely fire a commercial .223 round in a 5.56 chamber. The problem occurs with a military 5.56 round in a .223 chamber.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 12:57 PM   #20
 
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If you have the Ruger American Ranch rifle, it's chambered for 5.56 to begin with.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 02:11 PM   #21
 
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reloading 5.56 brass

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Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
Freakingstang's response in the other thread is the correct one. Go buy a reloading book.

The brass is the same size.

Next, google "leade"
If I size a 5.56 with a 223 die, and then reload powder and bullet to a safe spec from a Sierra manual, is the new round safe to shoot in a 223 only bolt action rifle?
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Old November 20th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #22
 
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Yes. It's the same cartridge dimensionally. The 5.56 is loaded to a higher pressure, and requires a different chamber as a result.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 02:59 PM   #23
 
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Interesting post. Thanks for the technical discussion. I never spent the time to go back to the manuals for the explanation.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 07:33 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dpcompt View Post
If I size a 5.56 with a 223 die, and then reload powder and bullet to a safe spec from a Sierra manual, is the new round safe to shoot in a 223 only bolt action rifle?
Again, the 5.56 and the .223 are dimensionally the same, they even use the same dies. The lead difference everyone is trying to explain is the chamber in the gun not the ammo. And for what its worth I put hundreds of 5.56 rounds through my .223 Ruger American without issue.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 07:52 PM   #25
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TMD, Not true ... there is indeed a difference in chambers but there is also a difference in cartridges. Read this reference: http://rugerforum.net/library/135584...-chambers.html It will explain the differences in detail and dispel the myths noted in this thread.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 06:26 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
TMD, Not true ... there is indeed a difference in chambers but there is also a difference in cartridges. Read this reference: http://rugerforum.net/library/135584...-chambers.html It will explain the differences in detail and dispel the myths noted in this thread.
I guess I should have worded my answer differently. External dimensions are the same and they use the same dies. As for internal capacity, that's debatable. Yes they are spec'd differently but so many ammo company's both here and abroad make brass and loaded ammo and their brass capacities are all over the map.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 07:11 AM   #27
 
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5.56 vs 223

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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
TMD, Not true ... there is indeed a difference in chambers but there is also a difference in cartridges. Read this reference: http://rugerforum.net/library/135584...-chambers.html It will explain the differences in detail and dispel the myths noted in this thread.
When I put an empty 5.56 along side a 223, I see a slight difference in the shapes of the necks in the two cases. Both cases are cut to the same overall length, but again, the necks are a slightly different shape.
The bad news is that I bought 500 5.56/223 cases from Roberts and I think I made a mistake.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 11:46 AM   #28
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TMD, Brass cases are virtually identical for 223 Rem and 5.56 NATO. The significant differences are .... the primers in NATO ammo are peened and the headstamp is different. Other than that, the two cases are virtually identical on the outside. Inside, 5.56 cases are a bit thicker and account for about 1% less case capacity. 5.56 NATO ammo is manufactured in many different NATO countries and is supposed to use the same exact specs .... but I think we all know that doesn't always happen so my internal capacity comment really only applies to US made LC headstamp 5.56 NATO ammo. The difference in the overall cartridges is .... the 62gr bullets used in 5.56 NATO are shaped a bit different and have their ogive located about .040" farther forward. The tip of the NATO bullet (cartridge overall length) is still at the same length as a SAAMI 223 Rem (2.260")

dpcompt, Unfired 5.56 NATO and 223 Rem cases will look and measure identically. Their shape after they have been fired is dependent on the shape of the chamber in the gun they were fired in. If both types of cartridges were fired in the same gun, the spent cases should look and measure the same. Not to worry with your purchase .... once you run the spent cases through a sizing die, they should all come out exactly the same.


There is a third type of ammo that seems to go unnoticed ... US Govt Issued (USGI) M-193 ammo. This ammo uses a 55gr FMJ bullet and is virtually identical to a 223 Rem cartridge with exception of the headstamp. The headstamp includes the 2-digit year of manufacturer and the factory abbreviation just like 5.56 NATO, only it does NOT have the NATO symbol, which looks like crosshairs in a scope (circle with a "+" sign inside .... check 243winxb's post #17 above). A typical headstamp will read "FC 08", meaning Federal Cartridge Co, made in 2008. This ammo can safely be fired from any 223 Rem or 5.56 NATO rifle and is typically sold in a "20 round white box". Other USGI ammo is headstamped WCC (Winchester Cartridge CO). M-193 ammo was designed for the early military M-16 rifles but has remained in production and is still currently available.

BIG MISCONSEPTION .... when you reload 5.56 NATO spent cases, you no longer have 5.56 ammo ... despite what the case head is stamped. You won't see 5.56 NATO cartridges in reloading manuals nor will you see dies specifically for 5.56 NATO. Why? Because they are exactly the same as 223 Rem. You could duplicate 5.56 NATO ammo if you use either a 223 Rem or 5.56 case and a 62gr M-855 bullet seated to a COL of 2.260".

I guess I don't understand how such a minor difference can be complicated by people that don't know or can't read a simple drawing. This is exactly how Internet gun myths get started and propagate. People that don't know end up believing someone's deceptive information then pass it on a gospel to their friends. If you own a 223 Rem rifle, a 5.56 NATO rifle, or reload, you owe it to yourself to get the straight info by reading this reference: http://rugerforum.net/library/135584...-chambers.html

Last edited by Iowegan; November 21st, 2016 at 12:08 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 12:22 PM   #29
 
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5.56 vs 223

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
TMD, Brass cases are virtually identical for 223 Rem and 5.56 NATO. The significant differences are .... the primers in NATO ammo are peened and the headstamp is different. Other than that, the two cases are virtually identical on the outside. Inside, 5.56 cases are a bit thicker and account for about 1% less case capacity. 5.56 NATO ammo is manufactured in many different NATO countries and is supposed to use the same exact specs .... but I think we all know that doesn't always happen so my internal capacity comment really only applies to US made LC headstamp 5.56 NATO ammo. The difference in the overall cartridges is .... the 62gr bullets used in 5.56 NATO are shaped a bit different and have their ogive located about .040" farther forward. The tip of the NATO bullet (cartridge overall length) is still at the same length as a SAAMI 223 Rem (2.260")

dpcompt, Unfired 5.56 NATO and 223 Rem cases will look and measure identically. Their shape after they have been fired is dependent on the shape of the chamber in the gun they were fired in. If both types of cartridges were fired in the same gun, the spent cases should look and measure the same. Not to worry with your purchase .... once you run the spent cases through a sizing die, they should all come out exactly the same.


There is a third type of ammo that seems to go unnoticed ... US Govt Issued (USGI) M-193 ammo. This ammo uses a 55gr FMJ bullet and is virtually identical to a 223 Rem cartridge with exception of the headstamp. The headstamp includes the 2-digit year of manufacturer and the factory abbreviation just like 5.56 NATO, only it does NOT have the NATO symbol, which looks like crosshairs in a scope (circle with a "+" sign inside .... check 243winxb's post #17 above). A typical headstamp will read "FC 08", meaning Federal Cartridge Co, made in 2008. This ammo can safely be fired from any 223 Rem or 5.56 NATO rifle and is typically sold in a "20 round white box". Other USGI ammo is headstamped WCC (Winchester Cartridge CO). M-193 ammo was designed for the early military M-16 rifles but has remained in production and is still currently available.

BIG MISCONSEPTION .... when you reload 5.56 NATO spent cases, you no longer have 5.56 ammo ... despite what the case head is stamped. You won't see 5.56 NATO cartridges in reloading manuals nor will you see dies specifically for 5.56 NATO. Why? Because they are exactly the same as 223 Rem. You could duplicate 5.56 NATO ammo if you use either a 223 Rem or 5.56 case and a 62gr M-855 bullet seated to a COL of 2.260".

I guess I don't understand how such a minor difference can be complicated by people that don't know or can't read a simple drawing. This is exactly how Internet gun myths get started and propagate. People that don't know end up believing someone's deceptive information then pass it on a gospel to their friends. If you own a 223 Rem rifle, a 5.56 NATO rifle, or reload, you owe it to yourself to get the straight info by reading this reference: http://rugerforum.net/library/135584...-chambers.html
Thanks for your reply. I will size them and then I will be good to go.
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 04:42 AM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpcompt View Post
If I size a 5.56 with a 223 die, and then reload powder and bullet to a safe spec from a Sierra manual, is the new round safe to shoot in a 223 only bolt action rifle?
An important thing to consider here. 5.56 military brass cases tend to be thicker and have smaller inside dimensions than civilian .223 brass. Therefore, if you take one of each and load the identical bullet and max allowed powder charge for a .223 in each the 5.56 case will generate more chamber pressure.
The NATO chamber is a compromise. The military needed to downsize the ammunition for logistical purposes. Supply depots needed to be able to store and transport larger #'s of rounds and soldiers needed to be able to carry a larger basic combat load of ammo. To do this they needed to also meet a power factor standard that would pass muster. To load the 5.56 round hot enough to be certified, they had to increase the lead at the front of the chamber to allow enough free bore to allow pressures to drop slightly so they didn't end up with guns blowing up. While this allowed them to load the ammo hot, that super long jump also compromised accuracy to some degree. This is probably why when using .223 data loading the short 55 gr bullets , rifles with NATO chambers do not shoot as accurately as those rounds shoot in a tighter .223 Rem chamber which minimizes yaw as the bullet enters the bore.

Last edited by PaddyD55; November 22nd, 2016 at 05:31 AM.
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