PDA

View Full Version : 5.56x45 vs. .223


BTF/PTM
02-23-2008, 10:46 AM
Ok, so I've been researching rifles since I deifnitely need to add a rifle to my collection at some point. I want something with a lil punch to it just for the fun factor, so I want something more than a 22LR. I don't need a 30-06, nor do I want to pay 30-06 ammo prices for a gun I just shoot once in a while for fun. So I've been researching a .223 per my local gun store's helpful advice. It's a good compromise, I think. Better for long-range target than 22LR, got some kick to it and it's much less expensive than 30-06.

I've been reading up, and I've learned that although a 5.56 gun can fire .223 ammo, the reverse is not always true because of design changes that result in much higher chamber pressures if a 5.56 is fired through a .223 gun that could catastrophically fail the gun.

1) My first question is, is there any noticable difference between shooting a .223 and a 5.56NATO round as far as kick, range and overall fun factor if I'm at the outdoor range shooting at far-away targets? I ask because, if the 5.56 is good for a slightly higher thrill, I could find one of the rifles that can fire both shells.

2) If the answer to my first question is simply that there's no reason to fire 5.56 if I already shoot .223 cuz there's no real difference then this question is null. However, if there IS some added cool factor to shooting the occasional 5.56, what bolt-action rifles do yall recommend that can fire both rounds?

I ask this question with a curosity that's similar to loading a .357 revolver randomly with .38 and .357 rounds. It's quite entertaining cycling through the rounds not knowing which ones will give that extra kick. If the same is true for .223 and 5.56 then I'm definitely interested in adding that extra bit of entertainment into my future rifle shooting.

aplinker
02-23-2008, 10:57 AM
Ok, so I've been researching rifles since I deifnitely need to add a rifle to my collection at some point. I want something with a lil punch to it just for the fun factor, so I want something more than a 22LR. I don't need a 30-06, nor do I want to pay 30-06 ammo prices for a gun I just shoot once in a while for fun. So I've been researching a .223 per my local gun store's helpful advice. It's a good compromise, I think. Better for long-range target than 22LR, got some kick to it and it's much less expensive than 30-06.

I've been reading up, and I've learned that although a 5.56 gun can fire .223 ammo, the reverse is not always true because of design changes that result in much higher chamber pressures if a 5.56 is fired through a .223 gun that could catastrophically fail the gun.

1) My first question is, is there any noticable difference between shooting a .223 and a 5.56NATO round as far as kick, range and overall fun factor if I'm at the outdoor range shooting at far-away targets? I ask because, if the 5.56 is good for a slightly higher thrill, I could find one of the rifles that can fire both shells.

2) If the answer to my first question is simply that there's no reason to fire 5.56 if I already shoot .223 cuz there's no real difference then this question is null. However, if there IS some added cool factor to shooting the occasional 5.56, what bolt-action rifles do yall recommend that can fire both rounds?

I ask this question with a curosity that's similar to loading a .357 revolver randomly with .38 and .357 rounds. It's quite entertaining cycling through the rounds not knowing which ones will give that extra kick. If the same is true for .223 and 5.56 then I'm definitely interested in adding that extra bit of entertainment into my future rifle shooting.

There is really no noticeable difference upon firing, especially if you have a barrel over 16" and a flash hider. The only place you will see a difference is in shooting at distances further than 400yds -- the drop is much, much less.

Out of a bolt-action I wouldn't shoot 5.56 as there is a size difference in the chamberings, which would lead to inaccuracy if you strayed from .223

You will not feel anything anywhere near the difference between 38 and 357

There is only about an 8% increase in velocity.

grywlfbg
02-23-2008, 10:58 AM
milsurp 5.56 rounds are generally loaded a bit "hotter" than commercial .223 rounds for a variety of reasons.

But to answer your question, it used to be that you could buy milsurp 5.56 for a lot cheaper than commercial .223 because there was a lot of it available. Those times have changed however and 5.56 and .223 are about the same price.

If you buy a "NATO" chambered gun you will give up a slight amount of accuracy due to the more loose chamber.

I also recommend reading this:

http://www.ammo-oracle.com/

But if you're looking for a bolt gun, I would say stay w/ a .223 chamber.

ViPER395
02-23-2008, 11:25 AM
30-06 isn't that expensive.

CSACANNONEER
02-23-2008, 11:32 AM
Don't overlook or under rate .22lrs! Everyone needs at least a few of them. They are both inexpensive and fun to shoot. If you want a great shooting single shot 5.56/.223, look in to getting a TC Encore rifle. Then, you can always get different barrels for it. It could be your .22lr, .223/.556, 30-30, 7.62x39, .308, 30-06 and almost anything else all in one package!

BTF/PTM
02-24-2008, 9:27 PM
Thanks for the feedback, guys! I would love a 30-06, as useless as it would be for me to own, if not just for the cool factor. Ah, so many guns, so little budget :(

J_Rock
02-24-2008, 9:32 PM
bolt actions are .223 only because .223 is more accurate than 5.56

EastBayRidge
02-25-2008, 5:49 AM
30-06 isn't that expensive.

Especially if purchased by the crate from the CMP (http://estore.odcmp.com/store/catalog/catalog.aspx?pg=catalogList&cat=AMC) store...