556 and 223 are two different cartridges used in firearms. While both are popular choices for rifles, they differ in terms of bullet size, velocity, and energy. The 5.56x45mm cartridge is slightly larger than the .223 Remington cartridge and has a higher velocity and energy, making it a more effective choice for long-range shooting. However, the .223 Remington is more commonly used for hunting and has a lower recoil, making it a more accessible option for beginners or those with smaller frames.
What is the Difference Between 556 and 223?556 and 223 are two cartridges used in firearms, with some similarities and differences:
- Bullet size: The 5.56x45mm cartridge has a slightly larger bullet diameter (5.7mm) than the .223 Remington cartridge (5.56mm).
- Velocity: The 5.56x45mm cartridge has a higher velocity, typically around 3,000 feet per second, compared to the .223 Remington cartridge which has a velocity of around 2,800 feet per second.
- Energy: The 5.56x45mm cartridge has higher energy due to its larger bullet size and higher velocity. It delivers around 1,300 foot-pounds of energy, while the .223 Remington delivers around 1,100 foot-pounds of energy.
- Pressure: The 5.56x45mm cartridge has higher chamber pressure, which can make it unsuitable for use in rifles chambered for the .223 Remington cartridge.
- Use: The 5.56x45mm cartridge is primarily used by the military and law enforcement agencies for long-range shooting, while the .223 Remington cartridge is more commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.
Why Does the Military Use 556 Instead of 223?The military uses 5.56x45mm cartridges instead of .223 Remington cartridges for a few reasons:
- Terminal ballistics: The 5.56x45mm cartridge has a higher velocity and energy, which means it is more effective at longer ranges and can penetrate armor more effectively than the .223 Remington cartridge.
- Barrel Twist: The 5.56x45mm cartridge requires a faster barrel twist rate than the .223 Remington cartridge, which allows for stabilization of longer and heavier bullets.
- Consistency: The military uses 5.56x45mm cartridges to maintain consistency in their ammunition supply chain, as it is a standardized round used by NATO and other military organizations around the world.
- Compatibility: Military rifles are designed to handle the higher chamber pressure of 5.56x45mm cartridges, which makes them unsuitable for use with .223 Remington cartridges.