8 years 24 weeks ago, 12:02 AM
223 Remington vs. 5.56x45--Chambering and Throat Considerations
Should you be worried about shooting 5.56x45 milspec ammo in a .223 Remington? The answer really depends on your chamber. 5.56 x45 ammo is intended for chambers with longer throats. If you shoot hot 5.56x45 ammo in short-throated SAAMI-spec chambers you can encounter pressure issues. The new long-throated 'Wylde' chamber allows safe use of military ammo. Wylde chambers are quite common in Rock River guns. Other manufacturers, such as Fulton Armory, offer modified "match chambers" with extended throats that allow safe use of 5.56x45 ammo in .223 Remington rifles. For a complete discussion of the .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45 question, read this Tech Notice from Winchester, and this GunZone Commentary by Dean Speir. Without belaboring the point, we'll repeat the official SAAMI position: "Chambers for military rifles have a different throat configuration than chambers for sporting firearms which, together with the full metal jacket of the military projectile, may account for the higher pressures which result when military ammunition is fired in a sporting chamber. SAAMI recommends that a firearm be fired only with the cartridge for which it is specifically chambered by the manufacturer."
For long-range match purposes, long, high-BC bullets are favored for their ability to buck the wind. You'll want at least a 1:8" twist to shoot the 77gr and 80gr MatchKings and 80gr Bergers. To shoot the new 90gr pills, a 1:6.5" is recommended, though a true 1:7" will work in most conditions.
Overall, what twist rate is best? For varminting we like a 12-twist. The slower twist will give you a bit more velocity, and minimize the risk of jacket failure at high rpms. For general use, an 8-twist barrel will let you shoot the excellent 77gr and 80gr Sierra MatchKings and nearly all varieties of non-tracer milsurp ammo. We'd only select a 1:7" or faster twist barrel if we had a need to shoot the 90gr VLDs.
Barrel Twist Rate 1:14" 1:12" 1:9" 1:8" 1:7" or 1:6.5"
"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.