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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a new MP15 Sport. The barrel is stamped 5.56 NATO. After reading some online articles about NEVER using 5.56 ammo in a rifle chambered .223, I am a bit confused. I thought I was getting a .223. From what I have read I should be able to use either ammo in a weapon stamped 5.56 NATO. Anyone have some info on this. Plus, why would S&W market a weapon as a .223 and then stamp the barrel 5.56 NATO? I bought WPA Military Grade .223, FMJ, 55 gn, made in Russia. Is this ammo safe to use in my rifle?
Thanks for any info you may give.
 

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you can shoot 223 in a 5.56 chamber.
YOU can shoot 5.56 in a 223 chamber, I will not.
I bought a 5.56 chambered barrel exactly for that reason.
I don't care for steel cased Russian ammo, it is the only stuff that I ever had trouble with (one of my sons bought it, not me).
 

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Some .223 rifles, like Brownings, that have tighter chambers have issues chambering 5.56 NATO rounds because the NATO round is slightly longer; these rifles are very accurate because of their tight specs. There should be no problem chambering or shooting either round in a barrel marked 5.56. The Russian ammo is probably safe in your gun but I imagine you'll have issues w/ it jamming... the difference in price for better ammo is small, I buy Federal for use in my M&P15 Sport.
 
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Not much to add to this except to say that what Injunbro and Mick have said is spot on. You can shoot 223 or 5.56 in a 5.56 barrel but NOT the other way around. Any time you buy an AR 15, make sure it's a 5.56 so you can shoot either round in it.

As far as the ammo, I also buy Federal. Never had a problem with it, even when I bought it in bulk.
 

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I've never shot any steel-cased/Russian ammo in any of my AR's, but years ago, a buddy of mine did in his Colt Delta-Match HBAR, and after a few hundred rounds of rapid-firing, he started to have serious extraction/jamming problems.....this continued for the rest of the session, and when he got it home and broke it down, the varnish they coated those steel casings with had melted from the heat of rapid firing, and stained the chamber with varnish.....it REALLY gummed-up the action, and he REALLY had to scrub hard to get it all out, took a few cleanings, IIRC.

I dunno if they're still coating them with that gunk, but it'll never come near MY AR's chambers, if I can help it. Get the GOOD stuff (brass), and your AR will LOVE you for it. :D

Federal American Eagle® - .223 Rem. 55gr FMJ 1000/Box - Natchez Shooters Supplies American Eagle® - .223 Rem. 55gr FMJ 1000/Box

Federal Lake City 223/5.56 Nato 62gr Green Tip 900/BOX - Natchez Shooters Supplies Lake City 223/5.56 Nato 62gr Green Tip 900/BOX

Federal Lake City 5.56 62gr XM855/SS109 Green Tip 1000/Box - Natchez Shooters Supplies Lake City 5.56 62gr XM855/SS109 Green Tip 1000/Box

DocZeus
AKA
David
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the good info. I feel better about the gun being stamped 5.56 NATO. At least I know I can use either ammo. I read a lot of reviews on the WPA ammo I bought and they all were very good. Even a couple with the S&W MP15 said they had no problems. I'll try it and see what happens. DocZeus, they don't coat the casings with varnish anymore. I'll post my results from the range.
 

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I just put 1,000rds of 62gr WPA, on full auto, through an AR with no additional lube. I mixed in brass cased M855, Horady TAP, and Black Hills reman. No jams, no failures.

Keep your AR wet with good lube, use good mags, and it should eat what you feed it.


Fir the record, WPA is Wolf Performance Ammo. It is now loaded by Barnual, as Wolf and Tula parted ways.
 

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The 5.56 Nato is just a big brother to the 223. The round is the same except the 5.56 Nato just has more powder in the round . You should be able to shoot both but i personally would shoot both in the gun stamped for 5.56 NATO , i would not shoot 5.56 nato in the 223 stamped gun just for safety measures.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Went to the range today and ran 150 rounds of the WPA 5.56 NATO thru my MP15. First time I had fired it. It ate everything with no problems what so ever. I do need to get used to firing the weapon and the sights. Groups were a little off. The bolt assembly and other parts were what I would call "clean" compared to what my 9mm and .45 Auto look like after less rounds. So far I think I'll stick with the WPA ammo. It's cheep and seems to function very well.
 

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Never mess w/ a system that's working right. Most new autos need to go through a couple of hundred rounds to settle in. It sounds like you're well on your way w/ a great little rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I put 150 rounds of WPA .223 thru it yesterday with no problems. After cleaning, I think it was cleaner than my 9mm or .45 Auto's. Seems like it's good ammo. Had a few good groupings, but still not used to the gun. Thanks for all the good info.
 

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ARs will run dirty, if they are wet. Dry and dirty causes more issues on the range and "down range"....just my experience....I have an M4 (not AR) and I can shoot 5.56 and .223, NATO rounds are loaded to the full SAAMI specs so they go bang when a soldier pulls the trigger. Nor sure about .223....
 
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Check out the site below....

I just bought a new MP15 Sport. The barrel is stamped 5.56 NATO. After reading some online articles about NEVER using 5.56 ammo in a rifle chambered .223, I am a bit confused. I thought I was getting a .223. From what I have read I should be able to use either ammo in a weapon stamped 5.56 NATO. Anyone have some info on this. Plus, why would S&W market a weapon as a .223 and then stamp the barrel 5.56 NATO? I bought WPA Military Grade .223, FMJ, 55 gn, made in Russia. Is this ammo safe to use in my rifle?
Thanks for any info you may give.
What you don't know can hurt you:
.223 Remington vs. 5.56 NATO: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You | | Conservative News, Views & Books
 

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Dimensionally, there is no difference in .223Win or 5.56mmNATO ammunition. The difference is in the chamber itself. A true 5.56mmNATO chamber is larger than a .223Win chamber. Reason is reliability, a slightly larger chamber will digest more different types of ammo used by NATO plus, it will operate better in adverse battlefield environments. Less likely to jam from a bit of dirt,dust or whatever. You have the same thing with .308Win. and 7.62NATO rounds. A true 7.62 NATO chamber can pass a 7.62 No-go Gauge and swallow a .308Win. Field-Reject gauge.

Basically, you can fire 5.56mmNATO ammo in a .223 but, if you have a true 5.56mmNATO chamber you should have it's headspace checked with a set of .223Win. headspace Gauges to be sure it's safe to shoot. If it fails a .223 No-Go Gauge I wouldn't recommend shooting .223 in it. At the least, cases will be stretched too much to reload safely, at the extreme you could see ruptured cases.

5.56mmNATO cases don't stretch as much as thinner commercial .223 ammo does due to being thicker in critical areas.
 

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I did absolutly nothing to my M&P 15 Sport except sight it in just to see how dependable it would be... no oil, no cleaning, nothing. I held it upside down & side ways, etc. I've ran about a case of ammo through it so far. The next hiccup will be the first...I still don't know how long it will take to require cleaning. Great little coyote whacker.
 

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Old Thread resurrected!
Like OP just bought a S&W Sport II 556. Seems 556 ammo is out but some 223 is still available. I know about the different shape cartridge and the different pressures by different methods.
My Question is: What is the difference when you put it to your shoulder and pull the trigger?
 
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Old TThread resurrected!
Like OP just bought a S&W Sport II 556. Seems 556 ammo is out but some 223 is still available. I know about the different shape cartridge and the different pressures by different methods.
My Question is: What is the difference when you put it to your shoulder and pull the trigger?
In general 223 is cheaper than 5.56. The 5.56 runs a bit hotter but not enough that I noticed a difference in recoil
 
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