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New SR556 best ammo to feed it?

This is a discussion on New SR556 best ammo to feed it? within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I know my new SR556 says 223/556 ammo.....and I see there are different specs for the 2 rds...which is the preferred round?...


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Old February 23rd, 2013, 08:55 AM   #1
 
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New SR556 best ammo to feed it?

I know my new SR556 says 223/556 ammo.....and I see there are different specs for the 2 rds...which is the preferred round?



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Old February 23rd, 2013, 09:00 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reagan View Post
I know my new SR556 says 223/556 ammo.....and I see there are different specs for the 2 rds...which is the preferred round?
The 556 round is the NATO standard round. It is a "hotter" round with slightly larger dimensions than the .223 round. Some ARs cannot fire the 556 round. The SR556, just as its name implies, can fire the 556 round. So it is up to you.

There are lots of discussions around concerning various rounds that work well with the SR556. Me, I shoot my range's reload .223 rounds and I have never had one single jam. The benefit of shooting 556 in my opinion is simply the fact that sometimes cheap 556 surplus ammo is available. In my area our range does high quality and relatively inexpensive 223 reloads, so that is what I shoot.

Hope this helped.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 09:04 AM   #3
 
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Sure did help, much thanks!
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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I have an AR with a Spikes Tactical lower and a DTI upper. It's the standard DGI system though that isn't really important to your question. Yours obviously will shoot both 233 and 5.56 with the 5.56 being the preferred round. .223 can sometimes be found cheaper and you'll notice the difference in power and report. Some say the 223 is dirtier. I haven't noticed that. Steel cased like TulAmmo or Wolf. Those are definitely dirtier and you should clean your rifle if you shoot them before shooting brass cased again.

On my rifle I had major jamming problems and frequent gas ring breakage until I replaced the standard BCG with a Spikes Tactical nickel boron BCG. Now it reliably shoots whatever I feed it.

Hope this helps.

One other note: Some 223/5.56 ammo is steel cored (not the case, but the bullet). This was designed to be armor piercing. Many ranges won't let you shoot steel core ammo as they say it damages their back stops. Wikipedia has an article on the different AR rounds to help you identify which rounds are steel core by their number designation. M855 is steel core and there's another popular round that is steel core as well. These are good rounds, though the M855 is a lower powered round. But if you have no place you can shoot them, you're SOL. I bought 1,250 rounds of steel core before learning my lesson. Most steel core is green tipped, but not all. Range masters will often ask to see your ammo and give it the magnet test. If the magnet sticks to the bullet, it's steel core. Just something to watch out for. Even my local outdoor range won't allow steel core. I don't know why, but they don't.

Happy shooting!

Here's a good link. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56%C3%9745mm_NATO

Last edited by jlh820; February 23rd, 2013 at 05:14 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 10:03 AM   #5
 
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Thanks...the link was great!
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 10:38 AM   #6
 
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If you want bullseye/varmint where pure accuracy is more important, go with a 55 grain .223. It seems to like them. Other than that, shoot what you can find and just enjoy. It doesn't really like heavier grain regardless.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:16 PM   #7
 
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I've found my SR556 eats anything I feed it reliably. However, I do tend to stay away from the cheaper steel cased stuff. For accuracy, as noted above, the 55 grain works best for me. The 1:9 twist on the SR556 seems to be a less stable with anything above 62 grain at further distances. I like to range and plink close with 55 grain 223, then change over to some distance firing with XM193 55 grain, or XM855 62 grain. For home protection, I use some 75 grain 223 Hornady TAP in a few mags set aside for that. I'm not concerned about 100+ yard shots with that stuff and instead prefer the stopping power and non steel core of the heavier grained TAP.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:43 PM   #8
 
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NATO 5.56 ammo is spec'd hotter than .223 ammo. Commercial .223 ammo comes in a much wider variation of bullet weights and speeds since it could be shot in bolt action, single action or even hand guns. Military rifles are designed to fire the ammo it was designed to work with. Usually NATO since WWII.

The SR556 will happily fire any NATO ammo and has a 5.56 chamber. If you look on the head stamp of the ammo, look for the NATO mark,(a circle with a cross inside it.) That means the ammo was made to NATO specs with a NATO inspector on site. Minimum NATO bullet weight is 55 grains. The max I'm aware is 62 grains. The SR has a 1:9 twist barrel which will stablize those weights. Shooting commercial .223 ammo in an AR should be done with a level of caution.

Any .223 spec ammo is suspect of being true 5.56 NATO spec. It also might be too light and not have the strength to cycle an AR (not just the SR). Its something you'll have to *carefully* experiment with.

Just because it's a 'military' design or manufacture doesn't mean you can put anything and everything in it. There are many Garand and M1A guys who will tell you that.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:51 PM   #9
 
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Great information folks, thyank you for sharing. I learned alot tonight reading this information and links.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 11:39 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike12 View Post
NATO 5.56 ammo is spec'd hotter than .223 ammo. Commercial .223 ammo comes in a much wider variation of bullet weights and speeds since it could be shot in bolt action, single action or even hand guns. Military rifles are designed to fire the ammo it was designed to work with. Usually NATO since WWII.

The SR556 will happily fire any NATO ammo and has a 5.56 chamber. If you look on the head stamp of the ammo, look for the NATO mark,(a circle with a cross inside it.) That means the ammo was made to NATO specs with a NATO inspector on site. Minimum NATO bullet weight is 55 grains. The max I'm aware is 62 grains. The SR has a 1:9 twist barrel which will stablize those weights. Shooting commercial .223 ammo in an AR should be done with a level of caution.

Any .223 spec ammo is suspect of being true 5.56 NATO spec. It also might be too light and not have the strength to cycle an AR (not just the SR). Its something you'll have to *carefully* experiment with.

Just because it's a 'military' design or manufacture doesn't mean you can put anything and everything in it. There are many Garand and M1A guys who will tell you that.
Thanks and now I have more questions...been going round & round online with the ammo specs....some say Milspec (556/223) some clearly say 556 Nato, some like Federal AE (223/556) but even on the Federal site don't say NATO...
Am I being too picky?
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Old February 24th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #11
 
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In my opinion, yes. I've put over 1200 rds through my SSR without a hiccup running various 223 and 556. I just avoid the cheap steel case stuff.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 11:57 AM   #12
 
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I have not found a .223 or 5.56 mine won't eat.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #13
 
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"Thanks and now I have more questions...been going round & round online with the ammo specs....some say Milspec (556/223) some clearly say 556 Nato, some like Federal AE (223/556) but even on the Federal site don't say NATO...
Am I being too picky? "

Some might say 'picky', I would say 'searching for knowledge and truth before making a decision'. Your call, you know what you're doing.

Google the NATO spec. It calls for specific bullet weights and speeds. Cracking the specific powder, bullet, etc isn't easy so reloading exactly match NATO original loads is usually out of the question.

Usually military ammo is labeled or identified with a letter like "M198" or such on the box. There is probably a half dozen different choices for 5.56 calibers in the military, usually for different purposes or results. That gives you some lee way in using civilian fodder.

Can you shoot non-NATO configuration ammo in your AR? Your AR has a 5.56 chamber so you're good there. As others have said it should work. But when I reload I try to stick as close to NATO limits as I can. That's just me.

NATO ammo isn't 'match' grade. It's pretty good but if high accuracy is your goal you've got some work to do.

All this depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your AR. Plinking,just trying to make noise, training?
Target comp?
Hunting?
Social Work?
All different ammo choices.



Those are 3
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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike12 View Post
"Thanks and now I have more questions...been going round & round online with the ammo specs....some say Milspec (556/223) some clearly say 556 Nato, some like Federal AE (223/556) but even on the Federal site don't say NATO...
Am I being too picky? "

Some might say 'picky', I would say 'searching for knowledge and truth before making a decision'. Your call, you know what you're doing.

Google the NATO spec. It calls for specific bullet weights and speeds. Cracking the specific powder, bullet, etc isn't easy so reloading exactly match NATO original loads is usually out of the question.

Usually military ammo is labeled or identified with a letter like "M198" or such on the box. There is probably a half dozen different choices for 5.56 calibers in the military, usually for different purposes or results. That gives you some lee way in using civilian fodder.

Can you shoot non-NATO configuration ammo in your AR? Your AR has a 5.56 chamber so you're good there. As others have said it should work. But when I reload I try to stick as close to NATO limits as I can. That's just me.

NATO ammo isn't 'match' grade. It's pretty good but if high accuracy is your goal you've got some work to do.

All this depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your AR. Plinking,just trying to make noise, training?
Target comp?
Hunting?
Social Work?
All different ammo choices.



Those are 3
Again, thank you much! I could be pesky when seeking knowledge....thanks for sharing, you all.
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