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View Full Version : 5.56 NATO in a .223 Rem chamber....


Renaissance Redneck
11-25-2013, 8:26 AM
.... so this weekend I made a bonehead/rookie mistake. I took my daughter varmint/predator hunting with the Mossberg MVP that a friend had given her. I had her hunting with standard .223 Rem hunting rounds. After the hunt, we "retired" to the range that resides on our hunting ranch location to burn up a bunch of ammunition, and for her to hone her skills with the new rifle.

As I was at one bench bench ripping it up with my AR and Mini-14, she asked me for more ammunition for her rifle. Without thinking, I handed her several 10-round PMags loaded with 5.56 NATO rounds with crimped-in primers. She shot those up in short order. I didn't contemplate my f#@k-up until driving home afterward.

There were no signs at all of excess chamber pressures during the outing. Cases were easy to extract and unharmed, and primers appeared normal (but again, primers were crimped-in).

Given all that I've said, I'm assuming that there would be no damage to the bolt-action rifle under this scenario. And of course the fact that the rifle didn't blow up in my daughter's face was an added bonus! :nuts: :facepalm:

Other than the obvious "you-must-be-certain-you-are-using-the-correct-cartridge-in-your-firearms" comments, does anybody anticipate the possibility of any damage in the abused rifle?

edgerly779
11-25-2013, 8:34 AM
Bolt actions are stronger than semi autos you should be fine.

6mmintl
11-25-2013, 8:38 AM
Internet research is definitely required on this old question again.

La Hire
11-25-2013, 8:41 AM
Mossberg's website says that it is actually chambered in 5.56 NATO (.223 Rem), so I think you should be fine
http://www.mossberg.com/product/rifles-bolt-action-centerfire-mvp-series-mvp-predator/27715

Renaissance Redneck
11-25-2013, 8:42 AM
Bolt actions are stronger than semi autos you should be fine.

That was my thought as well. This thread was probably more of a "confession" and plea for penance for my sins than anything else!

Cheers!

Renaissance Redneck
11-25-2013, 8:45 AM
Mossberg's website says that it is actually chambered in 5.56 NATO (.223 Rem), so I think you should be fine
http://www.mossberg.com/product/rifles-bolt-action-centerfire-mvp-series-mvp-predator/27715

Well, there you go! I didn't actually think of that (stupid and lazy, I know). My Mini-14 is the same way, and even gun shop employees often do not know that fact. Thanks for making me think (or becoming aware?) that I'm a flaming idiot! :D

bubbasks
11-25-2013, 10:32 AM
Yep. MVP is chambered in 5.56. Shot plenty through mine

winxp_man
11-25-2013, 1:56 PM
Problem is 5.56 NATO in .223 Rem chambers. Shooting .223 Rem in 5.56 NATO is fine.


EDITED INFO.

Fjold
11-25-2013, 2:15 PM
Well, there you go! I didn't actually think of that (stupid and lazy, I know). My Mini-14 is the same way, and even gun shop employees often do not know that fact. Thanks for making me think (or becoming aware?) that I'm a flaming idiot! :D

Welcome to the club, we've all been guilty of that at times.

1859sharps
11-25-2013, 2:24 PM
Problem is .223 in 5.56 NATO chambers. Shooting 5.56 NATO in .223 is fine.

you have that backwards.

http://www.fulton-armory.com/%5Cfaqs%5CAR-FAQs%5C556-vs-223-Chambers.htm

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MediaPages/ArticleDetail.aspx?mediaid=316

Well, there you go! I didn't actually think of that (stupid and lazy, I know). My Mini-14 is the same way, and even gun shop employees often do not know that fact. Thanks for making me think (or becoming aware?) that I'm a flaming idiot! :D

The mini was 223 only for a long time. so it depends on what series you have.

winxp_man
11-25-2013, 2:26 PM
you have that backwards.

http://www.fulton-armory.com/%5Cfaqs%5CAR-FAQs%5C556-vs-223-Chambers.htm

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MediaPages/ArticleDetail.aspx?mediaid=316

Crap I'm thinking .308 Win and 7.62x51Nato at the same time.

Thanks for the correction! :D

So yes .223 Rem is fine in 5.56 NATO but not 5.56 in .223 Rem

6mmintl
11-25-2013, 6:13 PM
I do not know where this tribal lore comes from but if your gun is designed to shoot .223 or 5.56 then pressure wise they are design interchangeable, now if you have a "Match chamber" in your .223 you might have some cartridge fit problems only. NO pressure problems, maybe rifling twist bullet weight/stability problems.

That is it, that's all, this issue should be put to rest forever.

jyo
11-25-2013, 7:09 PM
Over the years, I've shot several Ruger Mini 14s and a couple of Ruger #3 single-shot rifles with any ammo that said 223 Rem. or 5.56 NATO on the box---no issues at all. I've also shot various surplus ammo in my Mini 14s that AR type rifles refused to function with...

Mr. Beretta
11-25-2013, 7:17 PM
Yep. MVP is chambered in 5.56. Shot plenty through mine



Same here through my MVP Patrol.

No issues! Love it! :D

ar15barrels
11-25-2013, 7:18 PM
I do not know where this tribal lore comes from but if your gun is designed to shoot .223 or 5.56 then pressure wise they are design interchangeable, now if you have a "Match chamber" in your .223 you might have some cartridge fit problems only. NO pressure problems, maybe rifling twist bullet weight/stability problems.

Full pressure 5.56 ammo is developed in. 5.56 spec throats which are 0.0025" over bullet diameter and longer than Saami spec throats which are only 0.0005" over bulletbutton diameter.
Many "223" chambers do indeed have long enough throats ( thanks to the lawyers) that you can shoot 5.56 ammo through them and not see any pressure signs.
However, if you get a "proper" Saami spec 223 chamber (which you are referring to as a match chamber above), pressure signs will usually be quite notable and often exciting...
Not all 5.56 is full pressure ammo. The us govt specs 55k psi while CIP spec is more like 62k psi.
It goes without saying that a 223 match chamber is even tighter than a proper Saami spec chamber and it would not like full pressure 5.56 ammo either.

Think about how weatherby loads are designed vs standard cartridges.
They use the extra case capacity of the longer throat to increase the case capacity and then load extra powder accordingly.
This same thing happens in 5.56 ammo compared to 223 ammo.

1859sharps
11-25-2013, 7:56 PM
I do not know where this tribal lore comes from but if your gun is designed to shoot .223 or 5.56 then pressure wise they are design interchangeable, now if you have a "Match chamber" in your .223 you might have some cartridge fit problems only. NO pressure problems, maybe rifling twist bullet weight/stability problems.

That is it, that's all, this issue should be put to rest forever.

very dangerous view on things.....

Read AR15 Barrel's comments and stay safe

Metal God
11-25-2013, 9:36 PM
Hey Randall. I have a follow up ?

Why is it in both my reloading manuals . The 223 rem takes a larger max charge then the 5.56 load data . Almost across the board the books say you can put more powder in a 223 case then a 5.56 nato . If the smaller throat/lead in a 223 is whats causing the pressure spikes . why can you put more powder in a 223 . Doesn't more powder mean more pressure , all other things being equal ? But there not equal the NATO chamber has a bigger lead so you should be able to load more powder in the NATO cartridge then the 223 .

Or does it have nothing to do with reloaders and more to do with the factory NATO round . Is the NATO cartridge loaded with more powder then what are reloading manuals say is max ? Aren't the pressures measured different for each of those rounds , 223 in cups and 5.56 in psi and thers' no way to convert one to the other .



I use Sierra and Hornady manuals . I can give page numbers and load data if needed .

hambam105
11-25-2013, 10:24 PM
Do you think some one might have used NATO 5.56 ammunition in a civilian Ruger Mini 14 chambered .223 Remington in the last 35 years? Naw, they couldn't, could they? :beatdeadhorse5:

-hanko
11-26-2013, 5:23 AM
Or does it have nothing to do with reloaders and more to do with the factory NATO round . Is the NATO cartridge loaded with more powder then what are reloading manuals say is max ? Aren't the pressures measured different for each of those rounds , 223 in cups and 5.56 in psi and thers' no way to convert one to the other .
NATO brass is thicker...less room inside for powder.

Ergo, with the same powder weight, the .223 has a lower powder level than the NATO case. With the identical bullets and the same overall length after reloading, the NATO round should have a bit more pressure.

Modern ammo is typically measured with a strain gauge calibrated in psi.

-hanko

LovingTheYear1911
11-26-2013, 6:06 AM
Been there done that. Though not a rifle, I shot 9mm out if my 40 Glock once. All seemed fine and I learned to never put ammo next to each other on the table.

Renaissance Redneck
11-26-2013, 6:28 AM
Do you think some one might have used NATO 5.56 ammunition in a civilian Ruger Mini 14 chambered .223 Remington in the last 35 years? Naw, they couldn't, could they? :beatdeadhorse5:

I have been lead to believe that the Mini-14 was ALWAYS designed for the 5.56, as it was initially hoped it might have military application. I know that my newer Mini was designed for the 5.56. Stamped on the rifle it says ".223 Cal", NOT ".223 Rem". That fact may cause some confusion. The target version is the only one I'm aware of that designed to shoot only .223 Rem.

Though I could be completely wrong!!! ;)

Metal God
11-26-2013, 12:57 PM
I have not started reloading for the AR platform yet but will be starting soon . That's why I'm asking the question . How ever I have loaded 1600+ rounds of 308 with 70% of those being WCC or LC brass the rest is Fed and Rem . I have not done the water test but I do weigh all my brass . My LC was 180-ish , WCC and Fed where/are the same 175-ish and my Rem was 165 but I think that had more to do with there length . All were once fired the Fed , LC and WCC were all way over 2.000 but the Rem was no more then 2.000 and some were 1.995/6/7/8/9 . I think the length had a little to with the Rem weighing a little less . With the same loads the WCC and Fed brass were getting the same velocities . The Rem I loaded a completely different load then the others so I don't have data on those to compare and did not load enough LC for a reliable comparison IMO .

I do know that just because you have cases that weigh the same but different head stamps . That does not mean they have the same internal dimensions . you could have thicker body and less dense head or vise versa and the cases would still weigh the same .

I have heard and believe that not all NATO brass is thicker so the water test would be best to find out your true internal volume .

6mmintl
11-26-2013, 5:08 PM
very dangerous view on things.....

Read AR15 Barrel's comments and stay safe

Having shot thousands' of rounds of nato, commercial .223, match .223, handloads, various AR's, factory bolt guns, custom match rifles in three different std./custom reamers, and among many friends I fail to see where a "Dangerous view" is taking place.

FYI, I have read this info on the internet, but I have experienced it over time and its cautionary thinking only and not reality.

Where are all the factory blown up AR's, or bolt guns chambered for either 223 or 5.56mm nato?

Someone please show me just one rifle originally chambered for either cartridge that failed.

appagohm
11-26-2013, 5:29 PM
Having shot thousands' of rounds of nato, commercial .223, match .223, handloads, various AR's, factory bolt guns, custom match rifles in three different std./custom reamers, and among many friends I fail to see where a "Dangerous view" is taking place.

FYI, I have read this info on the internet, but I have experienced it over time and its cautionary thinking only and not reality.

Where are all the factory blown up AR's, or bolt guns chambered for either 223 or 5.56mm nato?

Someone please show me just one rifle originally chambered for either cartridge that failed.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/02/foghorn/ask-foghorn-whats-the-difference-between-5-56-and-223/

I understand you have been successful at shooting 5.56nato out of a gun chambered in 223 Remington. But a friend of mine almost lost his hand, the hand guards blew off and gave him a gash. 223remington is a great round for hunting and precision shooting, but please be safe about it. Don't go around telling people it's okay to shoot 5.56nato in a gun chambered in .223 Remington.

LBDamned
11-26-2013, 5:37 PM
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/02/foghorn/ask-foghorn-whats-the-difference-between-5-56-and-223/

I understand you have been successful at shooting 5.56nato out of a gun chambered in 223 Remington. But a friend of mine almost lost his hand, the hand guards blew off and gave him a gash. 223remington is a great round for hunting and precision shooting, but please be safe about it. Don't go around telling people it's okay to shoot 5.56nato in a gun chambered in .223 Remington.

the end of the linked article basically agrees with 6mmintl:

"In my experience, after years of not caring and firing both through either barrel, I get the feeling that in the end it really doesn’t matter. Even so, I try to always buy 5.56 NATO barrels."

appagohm
11-26-2013, 5:44 PM
He just wanted to see a picture, and ask if anyone's gun has blown up, link is for the picture, and my friend's gun is an example. Just one example, I have seen many people shoot 5.56 out of rifles stamped .223 without problems, but why risk it, only takes one mistake. .223 wylde barrel or 5.56 nato barrels can shoot both 5.56 and 223.

LBDamned
11-26-2013, 5:48 PM
He just wanted to see a picture, and ask if anyone's gun has blown up, link is for the picture, and my friend's gun is an example. Just one example, I have seen many people shoot 5.56 out of rifles stamped .223 without problems, but why risk it, only takes one mistake. .223 wylde barrel or 5.56 nato barrels can shoot both 5.56 and 223.

I agree and only use 5.56 rifles.

6mmintl
11-26-2013, 7:21 PM
Based upon the picture, it appears that it is a rather dramatic catastrophic failure more representative of a reloaded/hand loaded cartridge/cartridges failure by an inexperienced reloader and maybe using heavy bullets, not factory rounds.

Maybe this discussion now needs to move on to responsible Handloading for each chamber design?

M1NM
11-26-2013, 8:11 PM
Just have it converted to the Wilde chamber and shoot either.

lowdive
12-05-2013, 9:21 AM
be safe. http://www.gundigest.com/ammunition-reviews-articles/223-vs-5-56/3

Bug Splat
12-05-2013, 2:08 PM
Based upon the picture, it appears that it is a rather dramatic catastrophic failure more representative of a reloaded/hand loaded cartridge/cartridges failure by an inexperienced reloader and maybe using heavy bullets, not factory rounds.

Maybe this discussion now needs to move on to responsible Handloading for each chamber design?

Agreed. You will be very hard pressed finding a max pressure factory 5.56 or 223 these days. Because most shooters don't know the difference and shot both out of their guns. Easier to just load to mid-223 specs and be done with it. No lawsuits.

Where you can get into trouble is handloads. This is why you ALWAYS start with a Min load and work your way up. The most common mistake I see with new reloaders is the theory that the bigger bullet, the more powder you need. I have to explain that its all about pressure not velocity. When I get into different case capacity per brand they begin to regret getting into reloading :D