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Old October 21, 2012, 12:05 AM   #1
Meeteetse
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5.56/.223

We have all read the posts and seen the questions about the differences between the 5.56 and the .223 and I have come to the conclusion that a 5.56 chamber can shoot either and a .223 chambered gun should stick to .223. I have been looking for some bulk ammo for practice.

Having said all that I have a question. I just received an e-mail from a well known retailer describing bulk ammo for sale. Some of the ammo is Lake City and all of the ammo is described as "5.56/.223 NATO". I believe the ammo is 5.56 and I probably won't use it in my bolt gun but I know it would work in my AR and my Mini-14


What do you all think?? Is the ammo 5.56 or is it .223?
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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I would have to say if it's lake city and has the nato markings it's not 223 .
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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Some of the ammo is Lake City
If it's from the Lake City arsenal, it is 5.56 NATO. They don't make 223 ammo. If it is reloaded LC brass, it could be loaded to just about any spec.
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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The fact that they and many others are labeling their guns and ammo as 5.56/223 is further proof that they are just 2 different names for the same thing.
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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I take it to mean it can shoot each....

I was in the military when we changed from M16 A1 weapon/ammo and started using the A2. Shooting A2 ammo in an A1 was not allowed....
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Old October 22, 2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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I was in the military when we changed from M16 A1 weapon/ammo and started using the A2. Shooting A2 ammo in an A1 was not allowed....
That's for a different reason. The M16A2 has a tighter twist to the rifling in order to keep the heavier (62 grain) bullet used with the A2 stable. It will also shoot the lighter (55 grain) A1 bullets. However, the M16A1 rifle with it's looser twist doesn't shoot the heavier A2 bullets that well.

Either way, the military zeroes the weapons at 25 m. You can't have one zero procedure for the M16A2 firing a 62 grain bullet and another proceedure for firing a 55 grain bullet. Considering you are trying to hit a rather large circle, I am not sure it would make much difference, but it's the military after all.
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Old October 22, 2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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It was done as a "safety" measure...we could, and did fire A1 ammo in the A2s and there was plenty of A1 ammo for training and qualifying.
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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Meeteetse,

It is most likely 5.56 NATO. You need to contact the manufacturer of your bolt action rifle and ask them if it can shoot 5.56 NATO. I know that the CZ 527 Varmint can shoot 5.56 NATO and .223 REM, I asked them. I also asked Browning if their bolt gun can shoot 5.56 NATO and they said "no".

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Old October 22, 2012, 10:28 PM   #9
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Contacting the manufacturer is a good idea.

I recall Ruger stating several years ago that any of their guns chambered in 223 were OK to fire 5.56 rounds in, not just the mini-14.

You could also have it throated to handle the 5.56 loads. There is an intermediate chamber, the "wylde"(?), combining the tighter 223 chamber with the more open 5.56 throat, allowing better accuracy than typical 5.56 guns, and still safe to shoot the 5.56. I believe the throat is the main difference that could affect pressure/safety. Throating is fairly simple to do.
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Old October 23, 2012, 07:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
The fact that they and many others are labeling their guns and ammo as 5.56/223 is further proof that they are just 2 different names for the same thing.
It's the ammo seller using that 5.56/.223 label, not the ammo manufacturer.

There is a difference, nato brass well be thicker and have lass volume than .223 brass. 5.56 chamber has a longer leade. 5.56 well normally run higher pressures.

For all practical purposes they are the same with minute differences.
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Old October 23, 2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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What do you all think?? Is the ammo 5.56 or is it .223?
I would think 5.56 is listed first for a reason.

Isn't there a general rule of thumb against using cartridges other than what is actually stamped on the gun?

Example - one can shoot .38 Special in a .357, but not the other way around. Same deal for .44 Special/.44 Magnum.

My thinking would be that .223 is a secondary caliber that can be shot in a 5.56, but the other way around is not recommended
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