Reloading 5.56 v .223 Remington What are the differences ?

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  • Reloading 5.56 v .223 Remington What are the differences ?

    HI all,
    I am going to start reloading in a month, and have all my gear, including 223 dies. I am looking at getting a bolt action Mossberg MVP which is factory bored out to take 5.556 as well as .223.

    I have a 223 rifle already, but am planning on keeping this for target work only, so am curious as to what the differences might be with shooting and reloading a rifle with 5.56.

    I have read several articles saying that the two rounds are different, but for the sake of just reloading, will I need to get a 5.56 die, or will the 223 die suffice ?
    What will the effect on brass life be if I have a 556 rifle and use 223 brass ?
    Can I buy 556 brass and other specific equipment for reloading ?

    Is there anything else that I should consider when looking at getting a 5.56 rifle and using and reloading 223 ammunition for it ?
    (working on the assumption that I know very little would be helpful in any replies here, as I have not yet reloaded, but have read some books)

    Are there any articles that I would benefit from reading to gain a better understanding of reloading for this caliber ?

    Thanks in advance

    Cheers

    Broomy

  • #2
    I can see the can of worm's about to escape :lol:



    Side note....I thought the MVP in 5.56 chambering was canned in AUS also the fact that they used AR mag's. ( Not that that mean's much these day's ) as those remmie pump's with AR mag's everywhere. I tried to get one when they were first announced in Aus for the skip gun replacement. But then i was told the above so i didnt bother with it....Then again i am from the wait awhile state

    Comment


    • El-Skippo
      Skip commented
      Editing a comment
      The only Brass i have ever used in my .223's are "Ex-Mil" once fired. I have 2x die set's ( One F/L sizer for just resizing the once fired mill brass ( As it take's a bit of force to size them first time round when ya get them ) Then you gotta remove the Crimp from the primer pocket ..... Number of way's and tool's for that job. I also sort by weight If they are going to be used in my long range .223/Fclass gun ( I dont bother sorting for the skippy gun ) mil brass can very from 1-9 grn's in weight case to case.

      Mil brass is cheap ass and will last you a long time, But the down side is there is a bit more work involved with using them.

      One advantage of the 5.56 chambering, is they would be throated longer then the factory spec .223

    • Omega_Rifles
      Omega_Rifles commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by El-Skippo " post=43532

      Side note....I thought the MVP in 5.56 chambering was canned in AUS also the fact that they used AR mag's. ( Not that that mean's much these day's ) as those remmie pump's with AR mag's everywhere. I tried to get one when they were first announced in Aus for the skip gun replacement. But then i was told the above so i didnt bother with it....Then again i am from the wait awhile state
      No , I belive The Rifle is banned in only W.A for the same reason as the Remington 7615 is banned ... the magazines are AR15 ....and therefore to scary for Western Australia .

      I recently purchased a new Mossberg MVP rifle , and while I have only put 223 through it so far obviously , I believe it is actually stamped for both 223 and 5.56
      http://www.gunemporium.com.au/New-Package-Mossberg-MVP-Varmint-223.html

      No drama's in QLD .

  • #3
    The MVP have been in Australia since at least Feb this year.

    The 5.56mm is a slightly higher pressure cartridge than .223Rem. The difference in chambering is the 5.56 throat is longer. hence stuffing a mil spec M193, M855/F1/SS109 etc may be a tighter fit, and increase pressure further.

    In reality there is SFA between them.

    Broomy you have done well mate.

    Comment


    • #4
      Experts correct me if I'm wrong, but the main difference in terms of safety is that the commercial 223 Remington rounds are 55,000 PSI chamber pressure and the 5.56 military rounds are 65,000 PSI. So the problem is if you have a 223 commercial action it may not be safe to use the military loaded ammunition due to the 10,000 PSI difference.

      There are other minor dimensional differences but I'll leave them to the ballasticians among us.

      Comment


      • plinkingmad
        plinkingmad commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Movealongnothingtoseehere" post=43716
        Experts correct me if I'm wrong, but the main difference in terms of safety is that the commercial 223 Remington rounds are 55,000 PSI chamber pressure and the 5.56 military rounds are 65,000 PSI. So the problem is if you have a 223 commercial action it may not be safe to use the military loaded ammunition due to the 10,000 PSI difference.

        There are other minor dimensional differences but I'll leave them to the ballasticians among us.
        Dead right there mate
        i would never use A/R designed rounds in a bolt gun as the A/R is designed to waste charge in cycling the action
        the second thing i read into this conversation is 223 and 5.56x 45 are the same thing just an imperial measurement and a metric measurement Its the internal charge that is the problem with A/R designed rounds in a bolt rifle
        The next issue with once fired ex military rounds is the fact that the primer was crimped in and waterproofed
        This presents a problem when repriming and the crimp can be a problem to remove properly
        I have only ever seen primers leak with ex military brass due to this and it will do a number on your bolt face when the primer leaks

    • #5
      which bit is cow poo Oddball?
      just to clarify for others.

      Comment


      • El-Skippo
        Skip commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Send-it" post=48476
        which bit is cow poo Oddball?
        just to clarify for others.
        I think i know what Odd ball is saying.

      • plinkingmad
        plinkingmad commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Send-it" post=48476
        which bit is cow poo Oddball?
        just to clarify for others.
        Well?

    • #6
      yeah not having a go at oddball, just wondering for myself also that loaded 5.56 ammo is all good to go in 223 guns.
      just wondered if there was a limiting difference.
      doesn't really seem to be.
      never owned 223 so never really looked in to it.
      just out of curiosity does the nato ammo shoot well in comercial 223 guns? (on average that is)
      or is it a right off?

      Comment


      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Send-it" post=48492
        yeah not having a go at oddball, just wondering for myself also that loaded 5.56 ammo is all good to go in 223 guns.
        just wondered if there was a limiting difference.
        doesn't really seem to be.
        never owned 223 so never really looked in to it.
        just out of curiosity does the nato ammo shoot well in comercial 223 guns? (on average that is)
        or is it a right off?
        I think the first part has already been well and truly answered previously.

        When people talk about Mil 5.56, we need to know there are different types. The old school, Vietnam era 55gn M193, shoots great in most barrel twists. The later NATO 62gn ammo has a hardened steel penetrator. In military parlance it is not Armoir Piercing, but some other jurisdictions seem to get their knickers in a twist over it....
        This 62 gn ammo originated in FN SS109. Our Aussie equivalent ( ish- downloaded slightly, due to higher ambient temps and Aussie propellants) is called F1. The US equivalent is M855, which is painted with a "green tip", to give a visual indicator, to minimise chance of it being used in an old school M16A1. The 62 gn needs a minimum of a 1:9 barrel twist to stabilise, and mil standard is a 1:7 twist. It is 1:7 to stabiliser the tracer variant.

        So, if you use the correct mil ammo in the correct barrel twist rifle, with appropriate throat dimensions, it shoots very well.

        ADI used to sell the 62 gn ammo, but with a non hardened steel penetrator. I don't know what they designated this, and the NRAA crowd never took to it.

        Hope this helps.

    • #7
      To expand on my cow poo comments.

      First of all there are differences in chamber dimensions:

      From Wilipedia

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56×45mm_NATO

      The 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical.[45] While the cartridges are identical other than powder load, the chamber leade, i.e. the area where the rifling begins, is cut to a sharper angle on some .223 commercial chambers. Because of this, a cartridge loaded to generate 5.56mm pressures in a 5.56mm chamber may develop pressures that exceed SAAMI limits when fired from a short-leade .223 Remington chamber.

      Brass Case
      The dimensional specifications of 5.56 NATO and .223 commercial brass cases are identical. The cases tend to have similar case capacity when measured, with variations chiefly due to brand, not 5.56 vs .223 designation. The result of this is that there is no such thing as "5.56 brass" or ".223 brass", the differences in the cartridges lie in pressure ratings and in chamber leade length, not in the shape or thickness of the brass.[46][47]

      Second, crimped or non crimped primer pockets will not be the cause of pierced primers.

      Pressure increases may in the majority of cases be the cause. Pressure may occur if you load develop on a 223 Rem case, which is generally a larger capacity than a 5.56mm case, but you use that load without development in a 5.56 case and pressures may increase.

      Skip, is a good example of the fallacy of your argument.

      I'm on the road, on the phone, if I have missed something out, please bring it to my attention for an answer.

      Comment


      • #8
        The 5.56 Nato has a slighly longer chamber to allow for garbage and poorly formed brass at the shoulders it's only a few thou but some Military stuff will some times not chamber in a 223 Rem chamber . Same thing can happen in 7.62 Nato and 308 W.
        Also it's loaded to slightly higher pressures . What can happen is a shooter could jam the Miltary round into a tight Civilain chamber with bolt caming force and when it fires , hard or no extraction eventuates due to no place to expand and higher pressure in a smaller volume . The likelyhood of a blow up is very remote as the modern gun is proofed above that anyway .
        I have fired 5.56 Military stuff in my Howa 223 and it works ok but I can feel the extra recoil . In the past I have had some Military stuff that would not fit in the chamber . I have ways to fix that . Military ammo is not good sporting ammo anyway but the empty case is good to reload as long as they are boxer primed .

        Comment


        • #9
          or to put it more simply.
          you can fire 223 Rem in a 5.56chambered rifle..
          you should not fire 5.56 in a 223Rem chambered rifle
          you risk having a ruptured breach due to over pressure when attempting to use 5.56 loads in a 223rem chambered rifle.

          (there is nothing stopping you using used 5.56 brass to reload for either 5.56 or 223.

          there was a good link posted early about the history of 5.56 & 223Rem.... it makes for some good informative reading..
          but rule of thumb Nato spec caliber will take both Nato & civilian brass Civilian will not.
          My howa 223 manual specifically states that you risk permanent injury or death if you attempt to use 5.56 Nato spec ammunition.

          The same is not true for Nato 7.62 & 308... these two cartridges are interchangeable

          Comment


          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            Originally posted by ajbeattie77" post=51060
            or to put it more simply.
            you can fire 223 Rem in a 5.56chambered rifle..
            you should not fire 5.56 in a 223Rem chambered rifle
            you risk having a ruptured breach due to over pressure when attempting to use 5.56 loads in a 223rem chambered rifle.

            (there is nothing stopping you using used 5.56 brass to reload for either 5.56 or 223.

            there was a good link posted early about the history of 5.56 & 223Rem.... it makes for some good informative reading..
            but rule of thumb Nato spec caliber will take both Nato & civilian brass Civilian will not.
            My howa 223 manual specifically states that you risk permanent injury or death if you attempt to use 5.56 Nato spec ammunition.

            The same is not true for Nato 7.62 & 308... these two cartridges are interchangeable
            There is no way the 5.56 Nato produces enough pressure over what the gun is already proofed for , to rupture the breach (action) I think they mean a ruptured case which is technically possible in an extreme case but higly unlikely .
            Most modern bolt actions are just as strong as a Military AR15 / M16 is .
            The 7.62 Nato can have the same chamber size issues with 308 W chambers I know I just finished sizing some 7.62 to fit my 308 W chamber . Some of the problem is not always related to actual printed dimentions . it can be related to poorly formed Military ammo that will still fit the Military chamber and jam in under high bolt slam but not the 308 W chamber unless you use excessive bolt caming and that can cause extraction problems . This is why the rims on many Military brass gets damaged on extraction because the round has been jamed in and extraction is sticky , not to mention that full autos are bad anyway . Military chambers are always a bit more generous in size as they don't care about reloading the case so extra expansion is not a worry for one shot and they know the ammo is not always the right size . In a smaller chamber it will produce a bit more pessure but I have never seen a blow up . Modern guns are proofed well above anyway .
            I fired heaps of Military 7.62 Nato in a Parker Hale 308W back in 1968 to 71 but some had to be shoulder bumped just a few thou . In the end I got Bill Marden to ease the chamber to make things easier as I intended to use it in Vietnam but the Army confiscated it , the party poopers .
            The most pressure you would see in a 5.56 Nato would be around 55000 psi and they quote the same for 223 Rem.
            So even if the smaller chamber raises the pressure a bit it is not going to exceed the proof load of 125% 68750Psi in a modern bolt action and the action could take more than the proof anyawy .
            I think they are exaggerating the issue .

          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            Originally posted by ajbeattie77" post=51060
            or to put it more simply.
            you can fire 223 Rem in a 5.56chambered rifle..
            you should not fire 5.56 in a 223Rem chambered rifle
            you risk having a ruptured breach due to over pressure when attempting to use 5.56 loads in a 223rem chambered rifle.
            Rubbish. Why does this keep coming up all the time?

        • #10
          Just pay the money for civilian brass and be done with it. The extra pressure in the 5.6 is to make sure the action cycles properly on auto or rock 'n roll. Personally I don't think it's worth all the worry to buggerise around with ex-mil stuff. As someone said it's all designed to be ejected into the bush.
          JD

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