A rifle is the preferred firearm for hunting, target practice and home defense of many gun owners.
One of the most popular rifles in the United States is the AR-15 due to its accuracy, ease of use and customizability with aftermarket parts.
However, one of the most significant talking points for AR-15 owners isn’t about the firearm at all. It’s all about the type of round they can use.
Two popular ammo types untrained eyes can mistake at first glance are the 5.56 NATO and the .223 Remington. However, there is a serious difference that you need to know, especially if you choose to use this firearm for home defense.
Knowing Your Cartridge and Chamber Type Matters.
If you’re a new owner of an AR-15 or thinking about purchasing one, you may not be as well versed in the world of ammunition as longtime rifle owners.
Knowledge of ammunition is especially critical in the case of AR-15s that use 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington cartridges as they look similar. However, as you dig into the difference between these two shells, you will start to see the differences, which can cause significant issues for your firearm.
Shooting Illustrated writer, Philip Massaro, pointed out the biggest difference between these firearms is the pressure limits in the cartridge. The .223 Remington cartridges are held at a lower pressure than 5.56 NATO rounds.
The pressure difference is why you can fire 223 Remington cartridges out of AR-15 with a 5.56 NATO chamber but not vice versa.
A dangerous pressure spike from a 5.56 NATO firing from an AR-15 with a .223 Remington chamber could cause your firearm to fail or cause a possible injury.
A 5.56 NATO chamber has a slightly longer throat to accommodate more power from the cartridge.
While there are pressure differences, these contrasts don’t equal one round being superior to another. Either type of bullet will work in a self-defense situation, and both are considered the most versatile AR-15 rounds.
Other Considerations for Self-Defense
When it comes to self-defense, the best firearm is the one you can use to protect yourself and your family. Whether you’ve heard an AR that uses 5.56 NATO is better than a .223 Remington or vice versa, you need a firearm you can access in a pinch and handle with ease.
The critical thing to remember is to never use 5.56 NATO rounds in an AR-15 made for .223 ammunition. This can result in the failure of your firearm to work when you need it most.
Make sure you are stocked with the correct ammunition to defend yourself and your family. Get regular practice at the range with your rifle to make sure you have a good handle on its accuracy and recoil before you have to use it in a crisis.
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