Ammunition Question
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Thread: Ammunition Question

  1. #1
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    Default Ammunition Question

    Hey there everyone, just joined the forum. I hope this question isn't a dumb one but I haven't got an answer for it. I know the difference between 223 & 5.56 but when I look to buy ammo online I often see the ammo lable listed as "223/556" so my question is which one is it? The ammo I have purchased online in the past was specifically listed as one or the other but I commonly see ammo sold as "223/556" so I'm not sure which one it actually is. Again I hope this isn't a dumb question but I am curious. Thanks and look forward to the replies.

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    Galactic Effectuator Archie's Avatar
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    The cartridges are dimensionally identical. The major difference is a slight difference in chamber dimension for one of them. This makes one of them dangerous to fire in the other due to potential pressure spikes.

    Forgive me for not keeping better track of this, but I don't have anything chambered in either cartridge.

    From the marking on the ammo box you report, one would understand it can be fired in either chamber. Which would logically suggest it is low pressured enough not to disturb anything in either chambering. Perhaps the 'fine print' on the box or the manufacturer's website could resolve your qualms?
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    "........when I look to buy ammo online I often see the ammo lable listed as "223/556" so my question is which one is it?"

    Not having. to my knowledge, any clairvoyants on this forum, I don't expect any answers that can clarify what is actually for sale by chambering at the other end of the "internet advertisement".

    Give the advertiser a call to verify or ascertain the ammo "headstamping". Otherwise, be prepared for additional inputs in helping you guess.

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    Thanks for the replies fellas. Yea my main concern is that I was looking at purchasing bulk reloads and the picture on the site was just a generic cardboard box that just says 223/556. I'll email the vendor and try and get some clarifications.

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    Maybe this will make it easier. If your barrel is marked 5.56, you can shoot either.

    So if you have a .223 barrel, you have to worry about 5.56, it fits, but you shouldn't

    shoot it.
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    Although the dimensions are almost identical , the .223 Remington and 5,56x45mm NATO still vary in maximum pressure and chamber sizes.

    The maximum and average pressure of various types 5.56 mm NATO go above the maximum test pressure of the .223 Remington . The military extended the projectiles over the years, while the standard for .223 Remington remained the same , it is possible that 5,56x45mm NATO ammunition is not safe to use in weapons chambered for .223 Remington.

    About the .223/.556 issue: Its simply the category name, the heading to cataloque, under which you can find both the .223 and the .556 ammo a dealer has to offer. A specific .223/.556 combined model in one cartridge doesn’t exist.

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    Last edited by ARMARIN; 06-17-2016 at 02:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie View Post
    The cartridges are dimensionally identical.
    Not quite. There is a small but noticeable difference. The neck is slightly longer on a 5.56. Off the top of my head i forget the length difference but comparing them side by side with a .223 it can be seen. You definitely notice it when trimming them mixed with .223 brass.
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    I've wondered the same thing. Through my purchases, I've determined that when it says .223/5.56 it is actually a .223. Of you want 5.56, get the 5.56 NATO, that really is 5.56.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker Texas Ranger View Post
    Thanks for the replies fellas. Yea my main concern is that I was looking at purchasing bulk reloads and the picture on the site was just a generic cardboard box that just says 223/556. I'll email the vendor and try and get some clarifications.
    Just an FYI, be selective with where you get your reloads. I never buy reloads from an individual, unless I trust them with my life. I only buy reloads from a trusted source, such as, Freedom Munitions or Georgia Arms.
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