The .223 Remington cartridge is essentially the civilian version of the military’s 5.56x45mm cartridge. It is widely used and appreciated by AR-15 shooters for its availability and low recoil, making it suitable for plinking, self-defense, and varmint hunting.

Regarding the types of bullets commonly available for .223 Remington ammo:

  • FMJ (full metal jacket) and HP (hollow point) bullets are the most common. FMJ rounds are popular for range use due to their affordability and reliable performance for target shooting. They reliably feed, fire, and create clean holes in paper targets. For hunting and defense purposes, dependable hollow point or specialty rounds, such as those from Wolf, would be more appropriate. Both FMJ and HP/JHP rounds can also be found with boat-tail design, which improves stability during flight.
  • Bullet weight options are diverse. You can find a wide range of bullet weights in stock, including 55 grain (including M193) and 62 grain (including M855) loaded rifle cartridges, which are commonly available. There are also less popular fringe weights available, such as 77 grain and as light as 35 grain. These different weights cater to various shooting preferences and purposes.
  • Hunters may want to consider specialty bullets like PSP (pointed soft point) and SP (soft point) for improved performance in self-defense or hunting situations. Winchester’s Ranger .223 ammunition is an example of specialized ammunition with these bullet types.

Regarding brass vs. steel-cased .223 rounds:

  • Steel-cased rounds are generally cheaper than brass-cased rounds. While there is some evidence that steel-cased rounds may cause more wear and tear on your rifle’s barrel, the cost savings can often outweigh the potential expenses of barrel replacement or maintenance. This affordability can provide more range time for your money, even considering possible future expenses.

Regarding the interchangeability of .223 and 5.56:

  • Although .223 Remington and 5.56×45 NATO are similar, they are not interchangeable. You can safely fire .223 Remington ammo from a firearm chambered in 5.56×45 NATO, but it does not work the other way around. Firing 5.56 ammunition in a rifle chambered for .223 can lead to catastrophic failure and serious injury. The 5.56 round is loaded at higher pressures than .223, and the lower-pressure .223 chamber may not be able to handle the higher-pressure 5.56 round safely.


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