223 (5.56) Ammo
.223 Remington ammunition and 5.56x45 NATO are closely related and sometimes interchangeable cartridges depending on the firearm they are to be used with. Manufacturers typically offer guidance on this point. In general, the 5.56 NATO ammunition the military uses and is for sale to the civilian market operates at higher pressures than .223 Remington ammo. Most, but not all, AR-15s are chambered for 5.56 NATO and can fire both types of ammo.
Many loads in both calibers follow the M193 or M855 standard, both of which are military specifications. M193 ammo typically fires a 55 grain full metal jacket bullet at 3,240 feet per second, while M855 ammo fires a heavier 62 grain FMJ bullet at about 3,100 feet per second. These common standards are very helpful when sighting in your optics and you'll find both cartridges in-stock and available in cheap bulk packs here at Widener's
Certain specialized loads deviate from these common standards. Competition grade .223/5.56 ammo fires a heavier bullet (most commonly a Sierra MatchKing) in the 77 grain range to provide better stability and more predictable trajectories; varmint loads, on the other hand, fire light 30-40 grain bullets at very high velocities to produce lethal fragmentation against pest animals.
One of the most sought after range loads for this caliber is Lake City ammunition, which is produced by Federal Premium Ammunition at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri. LCAAP production is typically excess from government contracts and is popular due to its military origins and high quality.
Wolf Gold 5.56x45 62 Grain FMJ M855 – 20 Rounds$19.15
Manufacturer Wolf Condition New Bullet Weight 62 Grain Bullet Type Penetrator Use Type home defense, plinking at the range Casing Type Brass Quantity 20 Ammo Caliber 5.56x45mm Manufacturer SKU M855 Primer Type Boxer Magnetic Yes UPC Barcode 645611610462 Cost Per Round 95.8¢ per round
While there is no gold in this 5.56x45 cartridge, it does feature a metal even more precious to handloaders – brass. That’s right, this is Wolf ammo you can actually reload!
But it’s still magnetic, because this is M855 ammunition. Each round’s 62 grain bullet conceals a steel spike in its tip, giving it a far greater likelihood of penetrating sheet metal over several hundred yards. It’s not armor piercing per se, but still far more suitable for engaging armored targets or cast aside car parts. And although this is an M855 round, its muzzle velocity is more comparable to an M193 at 3,250 fps. Make sure your barrel twists at 1:9 or 1:8 to get the best accuracy out of this round’s slightly heavier bullet!
This round’s brass case is discolored around the neck because it has been heat-treated for superior suppleness, but not subsequently buffed out. (It may say 223 Rem on the headstamp, but it is indeed 5.56x45.) Wolf’s primer is a non-corrosive Boxer to prevent rusting or frustration at the reloading bench.
IMI 5.56x45mm 55 Grain FMJBT - 30 Rounds$29.00
Manufacturer Israeli Military Industries Condition New Bullet Weight 55 Grain Bullet Type Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Use Type plinking at the range Casing Type Brass Quantity 30 Ammo Caliber 5.56x45mm Manufacturer SKU IMI556x45mm55FMJ Primer Type Boxer UPC Barcode 556x4555FMJIMIS Cost Per Round 96.7¢ per round
If you desire high-quality performance in your AR-15 rifle, these IMI 5.56 rounds will give you excellent accuracy and smooth feeding. With one of these boxes, you’ll get 30 rounds that use full metal jackets and a boat tail bullet. IMI is a military contractor in Israel that produced rounds for their military so you know you're getting rounds that will deliver good ballistic performance and reliable feeding/ejection. In other words, these 55-grain bullets will meet your high standards.
Many gun owners choose to load military surplus ammunition because it delivers a higher level of consistency and performance. If you demand the best for your rifles, order a few boxes of these military surplus rounds.
Developed for accuracy and consistency in military rifles, the 5.56x45mm is one of the most commonly-loaded cartridges in the world. Used by numerous nations, including Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, this round has a reputation for outstanding accuracy with manageable recoil. While it is similar to the .223 Remington, it is a different and separate cartridge.
No failures after the first thousand rounds. Very clean when I compare it to alternates in same price range. Great grouping at 100 yards but cannot get less than 4 " groups at 200 yards with a Leupold rifleman scope and AR 15s in a bench vice, but I think this is more operator and scope related. I feel it is a great target round for the price and highly recommend it. JHB
Review by JHB (Posted on 3/3/2016)
IMI 5.56x45 62 Grain FMJBT M855 – 30 Rounds$30.00
Manufacturer Israeli Military Industries Condition New Bullet Weight 62 Grain Bullet Type Penetrator Use Type home defense, plinking at the range Casing Type Brass Quantity 30 Ammo Caliber 5.56x45mm Primer Type Boxer Magnetic Yes UPC Barcode 814326020020 Cost Per Round $1.00 per round
Looking for good meat and potatoes AR-15 ammunition? Then you’ve come to the right place: Widener’s! We’ve got 5.56x45 by IMI, which is Israel’s primary small arms ammunition manufacturer. They are ISO 9001 certified, they load to NATO specs, and they’re every bit as dedicated to high quality as so crucial a facet of Israel’s national security demands.
This is M855 ammunition. Its 62 grain bullet has a full metal jacket to ensure jam-free feeding, as well as a boat tail to help decrease the amount of drag it creates in-flight – crucial for accurate long-distance shooting. Beneath the bullet’s jacket sits a steel penetrator tip, which is there to facilitate more reliable passage through a variety of urban barriers including sheet metal. This bullet will attract a magnet!
IMI carefully loads non-corrosive primers, clean-burning propellant and new production brass cases, and they subject everything they turn out to intense inspection and testing. And at 30 rounds to a box, you’ll have exactly what you need to load a mag right up to its brim!
Hornady Frontier 5.56x45 62 Grain FMJ – 20 Rounds$21.85
Manufacturer Hornady Condition New Bullet Weight 62 Grain Bullet Type Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Use Type plinking at the range Casing Type Brass Quantity 20 Ammo Caliber 5.56x45mm Manufacturer SKU FR260 Primer Type Boxer Magnetic No UPC Barcode 090255711516 Cost Per Round $1.09 per round
Are you looking for good target shooting ammunition for your AR-15 – or any other rifle that can run 5.56x45 through its chamber? Then put the hounds back on their leashes and call off the search. You are now looking at Hornady Frontier ammo!
This round sports an FMJ bullet. It’s the simple kind of design you want for target shooting, becase terminal ballistics don’t really matter much when all you are shooting is paper. (Still, we wouldn’t pass on FMJ ammo for self-defense simply because it cannot expand in soft tissue.) This round’s 62 grain bullet is the same weight as the M855, although it hasn’t got a steel penetrator tip. The nonmagnetic bullet thus offers comparable ballistic performance to the penetrator – 3,060 fps out of a 20” barrel – and makes an effective way to train .
These cartridges are loaded at the US government’s Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Their military grade brass cases are drawn to consistent dimensions and remain supple over the course of several successive handloads. Their sensitive primers won’t rust out your barrel, and their propellant is formulated to minimize residue buildup.
Hornady Frontier 223 Rem 55 Grain HP Match – 20 Rounds$25.15
Manufacturer Hornady Condition New Bullet Weight 55 Grain Bullet Type Hollow-Point (HP) Use Type match or precision shooting, plinking at the range Casing Type Brass Quantity 20 Ammo Caliber 223 Remington Manufacturer SKU FR140 Primer Type Boxer Magnetic No UPC Barcode 090255711349 Cost Per Round $1.26 per round
This Frontier label 223 Rem ammunition by Hornady is great for all the long-distance shooters out there. It showcases the Nebraskan master’s HP Match, which is basically 55 grains of nothing but accuracy-enhancing features.
The HP Match’s swaged lead core is highly uniform, and doesn’t possess air pockets that could impact its balance. Its AMP jacket is drawn with virtually zero runout or variations in its wall thickness. The HP Match is also extremely sleek, from its narrow meplat to its secant ogive geometry to its sloping boat tail.
This round’s HP Match bursts out of a 24” barrel at a velocity of 3,240 fps. So well-balanced and streamlined a bullet exhibits a G1 BC of 0.254, and can be counted on to remain supersonic beyond 700 yards. Whether you’re shooting targets or varmints, so flat a trajectory is certain to come in very handy.
The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant loads this AR-15 ammo. Widener’s customers who can’t get enough brass are sure to find a good use for this ammo’s new production cases, which are visibly annealed and long-lasting. Lake City’s military-grade primers, propellant and loading practices deliver reliable performance however you shoot!
Hornady Frontier 223 Rem 68 Grain BTHP Match – 20 Rounds$25.85
Manufacturer Hornady Condition New Bullet Weight 68 Grain Bullet Type Hollow-Point Boat Tail (HP-BT) Use Type match or precision shooting, plinking at the range, varmint hunting Casing Type Brass Quantity 20 Ammo Caliber 223 Remington Manufacturer SKU FR160 Primer Type Boxer Magnetic No UPC Barcode 090255711387 Cost Per Round $1.29 per round
The American frontier is gone, but Hornady Frontier keeps going strong! This is the 223 Rem ammo you want to chamber when accuracy is key – grouping tight shots through paper, or landing a single bullet clean between a gopher’s peepers.
Hornady utilizes their industry’s most advanced loading equipment and protocol when they piece together a Frontier load. This American-made ammo’s brass cases are military-grade, and you can see by their annealing that they’re poised to reload several times. This ammo’s primers are also military-grade, which promotes consistent ballistics along with its uniform propellant charges and bullet weights.
Each bullet is Hornady’s accurate BTHP Match. It features its manufacturer’s Advanced Manufacturing Process jacket and a form-fitted swaged lead core, both of which enhance in-flight stability to ensure the meplat is always pointed at its target. The BTHP Match’s secant ogive profile, boat tail and narrow hollow point meplat all decrease in-flight drag to flatten trajectory. Zero in at 200 yards and you can expect only 7.5” of bullet drop at 300!
The BTHP Match’s hollow point doesn’t affect terminal ballistics by creating expansion. The impact of a 68 grain bullet alone ought to take care of most varmint hunting and self-defense applications, though.