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Old June 1, 2012, 05:36 AM   #1
rebs
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fact or fiction ?

An ar 15 chambered in 5.56 nato will shoot more accurate with 5.56 brass reloaded ammo than it will with 223 remington brass reloaded ammo, true or false ?
I was talking with a guy at a lgs and he said his colt match target shoots more accurate with 5.56 than it does with 223 rem.
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Old June 1, 2012, 05:50 AM   #2
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utterly false

HIS thingie might shoot better with blah blah blah, but to assume all guns will follow his is ludicrous.

(There can be a dimensional difference between 556 and 223 chambers.)
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Old June 1, 2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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Many rifles will shoot one brand of brass better or worse than another. That doesn't mean that all rifles will shoot better with brand X than with Brand Y. Brass is just another component that can affect accuracy and as with all components what works well in one rifle may not work well in another.
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Old June 1, 2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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While my guns might shoot better or worse with one brand of factory ammo or another they shoot the same with any brand of re-loaded brass. IE one of my guns will not shoot worth beans with Federal but with re-loaded federal brass it is just fine.

Would have to call BS on 5.56 vs .223 re-loaded.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; June 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Language
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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The major difference is in the length of the leade.

The rifling in 556 is further out that in 223.

That is the only significant difference.

Since rifles are built to tolerances (like every mass produced item) they wander around in the allowed tolerances.

A new reamer is larger than a worn reamer.

You start out cutting chambers on the high side of allowable (larger chamber) then replace the reamer when it is worn (and resharpened) and is on the low side (smaller chambers).

Just because HIS rifle likes a particular load, bullet, brass, powder, charge weight, primer, sizing, etc. combination does NOT mean any other rifle will 'like' that load.
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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brickeyee claims this major difference between those two rounds:
Quote:
The major difference is in the length of the leade.

The rifling in 556 is further out that in 223.

That is the only significant difference.
I can think of others, too, that would make any one rifle shoot a given ammo more accurate than another one. One with bullets too small for the bore will typically shoot less accurat than one with bullets larger than bore diameter.

The length of the lead varies only by its angle; it's the slope from bore diameter back up to groove diameter plus a bit for bullet clearance. And shallower angles deform bullets less as they're they're fired into them so they shoot more accurate than shorter leads. Doesn't matter much how long the throat is from case mouth to start of the leade as long as the ammo's pretty straight.
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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as for reloads does it matter if you use 223 or 5.56 brass as far as accuracy given everything else the same, same powder charge, same brand primer, same exact bullet etc.?
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Old June 1, 2012, 04:32 PM   #8
Bart B.
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rebs asks:
Quote:
as for reloads does it matter if you use 223 or 5.56 brass as far as accuracy given everything else the same, same powder charge, same brand primer, same exact bullet etc.?
Yes, it matters if you want peak pressure and case neck tension to be the same. Weigh both types of cases to see the difference. Military brass tends to weigh more and therefore is thicker. With the same component set, that means higher pressure 'cause the case takes up more room in the chamber and neck tension is typically greater. Cut the powder charge 1 to 2 grains going from commercial .223 brass to the military 5.56 stuff and that will probably be OK.

Commerecial .223 fired brass may have its case heads more square with the case axis than military 5.56 brass. That's 'cause commercial rifles typically have bolt faces more squared up than service rifle do. While the difference is small, if you and your rifle perform very good, the difference in accuracy they produce.
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Old June 1, 2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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Bart B.,

Can you explain to me how 5.56 military brass and commercial .223 brass reloaded with the same die/expander ball will have different neck tension? It seems to me that the expander ball will size the inside case neck the same on either piece of brass. Thanks.
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Last edited by Wyoredman; June 1, 2012 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Typo correction
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Old June 1, 2012, 04:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Military brass tends to weigh more and therefore is thicker.
Maybe that's your experience, but it hasn't been mine or that of others. The only way to know is to weigh and compare.

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Old June 1, 2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
An ar 15 chambered in 5.56 nato will shoot more accurate with 5.56 brass reloaded ammo than it will with 223 remington brass reloaded ammo, true or false ?
I was talking with a guy at a lgs and he said his colt match target shoots more accurate with 5.56 than it does with 223 rem.
Quote:
as for reloads does it matter if you use 223 or 5.56 brass as far as accuracy given everything else the same, same powder charge, same brand primer, same exact bullet etc.?
I have never sorted the brass to see, I might have to try that. I load mixed headstamp and shoot them the same way. I can shoot sub MOA with my stock Rock River AR so if there is a difference it can't be enough to notice.

Quote:
Military brass tends to weigh more and therefore is thicker.
That might be true with larger calibers but from what I have seen not so with 223. There is a good thread with 223 case weights and volumes. I will try to find it and post it here.
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Old June 1, 2012, 05:14 PM   #12
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Wyoredman, as arsenal brass can be annealed differently than commercial brass, after a case neck's been sized down and expanded by the ball, it may end up with a different mouth diameter for each type. How much depends on how springy the case neck is. It's not usually very much, but the release force may change enough to effect accuracy. Accuracy's typically better with less release force as it'll have a smaller range. Ammo with a big range of force needed to push the bullet out usually shoots less accurate than stuff with a small range. That's why I used to use a Lyman 310 nutcracker tool to seat M118 7.62 match ammo bullets a couple thousandths deeper; it made a noticable difference at the longer ranges.

Jepp2, I've not weighed .223 and 5.56 brass for years since 1971 when I was the first person on this planet to complete the standard course of fire with service rifles at the Nationals with a rebuilt M16 issued by the USN Rifle team. We used commercial Remington cases to handload ammo with and it was a few grains lighter than the LC military brass we compared it to. And things do change so it's important to weigh brass when changing case make and intending to use the same set of other components.
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Old June 1, 2012, 05:25 PM   #13
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Bart B.,

Thanks for that.

Another question now arises. I have seen it reccomended that when shooting reloaded .223/5.56 ammo in an auto-loader (AR type) a bit of taper crimp be aplied to insure that a bullet does not come out. If a crimp is applied to a reloaded round of 5.56 brass, wouldn't the neck tension then be increased to the same as a .223 commercial brass?

Thanks again.
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Old June 1, 2012, 07:37 PM   #14
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Wyoredman, any crimp on a round of ammo impairs its accuracy. Period. Go to one of the benchrest forums, register then post a thread asking them about crimping case necks onto bullets.

Crimping adds an uneven indentation all the way around the bullet. Expecially if there's no cannelure groove for the crimp to go in. If your bullets are already very good, well balanced ones, why would one want to make the less balanced by putting an uneven wrinkle all the way around them? Crimping also adds more grip on the bullet that's more uneven than neck tension alone. That increases muzzle velocity spread causing greater vertical shot stringing at the longer ranges.

There's more than enough neck tension on regularly sized 22 caliber botteneck cases that hold bullets very well during recoil. .223's and 5.56's don't have much recoil anyway. Even with 7.62 NATO and 30 caliber in service rifles that don't have crimped in bullets do just fine in semiauto fire with a lot more recoil and much heavier bullets.

Except for match and special sniper ammo, military ammo's got crimped case mouths on bullets with a cannelure groove. They're made that way to survive rough handling from arsenal to the weapon at its firing site. MIL SPEC for 5.56 NATO M193 ammo says "The force required to extract the bullet from the cartridge case shall be not less than 35 pounds." The ammo we loaded for our M16's at the 1971 Nationals had a relase force of about 15 pounds without crimping and none of them got set back from recoil while in the magazine. Nor did they set back from loading in semiauto fire.

Last edited by Bart B.; June 2, 2012 at 03:08 AM.
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Old June 2, 2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Doesn't matter much how long the throat is from case mouth to start of the leade as long as the ammo's pretty straight.
Better talk any number of benchrest shooters.

It also is a well known way of reducing peak pressure (556 & Weatheerby's goal in using it).

Adjusting jump to the leade can have a significant effect on accuracy in some rifles, not so much in others (they probably have so many other problems it does not matter).
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Old June 2, 2012, 12:03 PM   #16
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brickeyee, I'm referring to the length of the throat, not where the bullet in a loaded round is relative to the leade where the lands are. Therefore, I don't quite know why I should check with the benchresters about it.
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Old June 2, 2012, 01:33 PM   #17
brickeyee
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Length of throat us fixed in any barrel once the chamber and leade are cut, and a longer jump is known to often produce less accuracy.

The major difference between 556 and 223 is the length of the leade.

It is left longer in 556 to try and limit peak pressure while allowing higher muzzle velocity (the same reason Weatherby used it).

The AR platform is not usually accurate enough to show a great effect from longer jump.

The brass is nominally the exact same dimension, and 556 brass is not appreciably thicker than commercial 223 across the board (unlike with 308).

It is enough of a change that firing actual 556 ammo in 223 chambers is not recommended.
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Old June 2, 2012, 05:10 PM   #18
rebs
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So if I have an accuracy load worked up using 5.56 brass, I can use the same load in a 223 brass it will maintain its accuracy, right ? Or do I need to work up another load because of switching to 223 brass ?
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Old June 2, 2012, 05:20 PM   #19
Bart B.
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rebs, one typically needs to work up a different load when switching between commercial and military brass. Differences may not be much, but you'll need to shoot 15-shot test groups to see any difference.
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Old June 2, 2012, 05:57 PM   #20
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Most of these guys who say things like that that can't shoot worth beans.
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Old June 2, 2012, 06:35 PM   #21
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I just always have assumed that the guy on the other side of the counter from me at a gun shop would be on my side of the counter, if he were as smart as I.
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Old June 3, 2012, 09:05 AM   #22
WESHOOT2
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test then know

Quote:
...I need to work up another load because of switching to 223 brass...
Mebbe.....what does your testing show?
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Old June 3, 2012, 09:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
So if I have an accuracy load worked up using 5.56 brass, I can use the same load in a 223 brass it will maintain its accuracy, right ? Or do I need to work up another load because of switching to 223 brass ?
I would load them up and try them. Like I said earlier I am shooting sub MOA with mixed brass. If you are looking for one hole groups you will need to do a lot more than just sort by headstamp and I doubt you will do it at all with a stock AR.
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Old June 3, 2012, 05:21 PM   #24
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What kind of 5.56 dies is the OP using?? I've never seen any advertised.
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Old June 4, 2012, 05:43 AM   #25
rebs
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I am not using 5.56 dies, I am using 223 dies. My question was about loading either 5.56 or 223 cases. The fellow I talked with said he gets better accuracy when he reloads 5.56 cases compared to 223 cases.
Could this be possible because of the case thickness and volume inside the case ?
Personally I don't see where it should matter if you use 223 cases or 5.56 cases, I just wanted someone else's opinion on this.
I have never seen 5.56 dies either.
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