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Old 11-28-2008, 09:23 AM
weswood weswood is offline
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Default Military to Civilian amm0

As long as I can remember, the 5.56 Nato caliber's civilian equivalent is the .223 Remington. A friend has been telling me it will also fire a .223 Swift, which I've never heard of. He insist this is a real popular hunting round. I've hunted a lot, but I'm not a fanantic, I have only hunted once since my father died 11 years ago. I've never heard of a .223 swift.

Also, just to check my memory, a 7.62 Nato is also a .308 Winchester?

Just because I'm on the side of angels doesn't mean I am one.
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:40 AM
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O'Borg O'Borg is offline
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I'm in no way a gun expert, but a bit of Googling turned up a Wikipdeia cartridge comparison table
According to that, .220 Swift is the same bullet size as .223 Remington, but the case is longer so they're not interchangeable.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:25 PM
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pmulcahy11b pmulcahy11b is offline
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Originally Posted by weswood
Also, just to check my memory, a 7.62 Nato is also a .308 Winchester?

Yes -- and no. The same is true for 5.56mm NATO and .223 Remington, some military loadings of 9mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, and a few other rounds. Military rounds are loaded to different specs than civilian ammo -- they're often hotter, propellant-wise, and bullet weights are usually different. Many civilian firearms can be damaged by military ammunition. Some civilian rounds won't cycle in a military weapon.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:56 PM
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From what I remember, since it's been a while since I've dealt with a .22...... the .22 Swift was NOT, repeat NOT listed as a .223 Swift. It's a round suitable for a .22 rifle. And while it can be used for hunting, you won't usually be hunting anything very big. Coons, squirrels, rabbits...stuff like that are usually the targets for a .22 Swift.

Unless they've upped it to a .223 Swift now, and made the round itself bigger, I just don't see the .22 Swift being usable in anything designed to take a 5.56N round. Yes, the bullet itself would work in the barrel, but the round wouldn't work in the chamber.

Mind you, this is information from 6 or so years ago, so things may have changed since I last looked.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:34 PM
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Brother in Arms Brother in Arms is offline
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.223 Remington is not identical but can be safely fired in 5.56X45mm rifles. Both cartridges use the same diameter projectile .224 and have almost the same exterior dimensions the big difference is the leade in rifles chambered for the 5.56x45mm. It is shorter than that of .223 chambered rifles. The brass is also thicker in the 5.56X45mm than in commercial .223 ammunition which makes cartridge case capacity less but the 5.56X45 is actually proofed at higher chamber pressure than .223. So Basically military 5.56X45mm ammo could excessive chamber pressure in a .223 rifle depending on the leade of the barrel particular rifle. Chambers of some rifles are being cut today that can accommodate either round. The difference in chamber pressure for the 5.56X45mm Max is 62,367PSI, .223remington max is 55,000.

the .223 cartridge is actually the parent cartridge of the 5.56X45mm and .222 Remington was the parent of the .223 they actually stretched a .222 casing to create a .223 so it is not interchangeable with it. All 3 cartridges have the have the same bullet diameter .224. The .220 swift actually uses the same diameter bullet as well but its cartridge case is longer than the .222 and .223. So its not interchangeable. I wouldn't try to shoot a .223 out of a rifle chambered for .220 swift either. luckily its an older cartridge and not that many rifles are chambered for it. Ammo for it inst terribly common In fact only a couple domestic manufacturers sell loaded ammo for it and not all of the time due to its very low popularity most people who own a .220 swift reload for it.

.308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm also use the same .308 diameter bullet...and like the 5.56x45 the brass of the NATO cartridge case is thicker allowing for less cartridge capacity. However the chamber dimensions of a 7.62x51mm rifle can be longer than on a commercial .308 rifle. So while the rounds may be identical before firing they won't be after. The 7.62x51mm case will be longer the shoulder datum line for each cartridge is in a different location. Though the 7.62x51mm ammunition is likely loaded to lower chamber pressure 50,000 PSI pressure than commercial ammo 62,000 PSI. So the commercial ammo is likely to be hotter, and have thinner cartridge case walls so if fired in the longer chambered 7.62x51mm chamber the thinner case will have to stretch farther and could fail. Shooting 7.62X51mm out of a .308 chambered rifle shouldn't be a problem as it won't have to stretch as far and is actually thicker cased than .308, also its loaded to fairly moderate chamber pressure.

Paul also made a good point some military ammo is the same dimensionally but may be loaded to much higher chamber pressures....a good example is some of the Czech made sub machine gun ammo....while many people think, its safe to fire in a CZ-52 ( i don't because I have seen many cracked slides and frames) few think its safe to say fire in any Tokarev because its lock up and metallurgy are not as strong. In general this ammo is like ++ P. While I don't know what the ammo was loaded for Bulgarian head stamp 10(factory)52(year) ammunition blow a a CZ-52!

Bullet weight is another factor to consider as well. With 7.62x51mm M80 ball is 146 grain which is the standard it has a lead core and copper jacket.Old school M59 ball weighed 150.5 grains so average 145-150 is typical. There are heavier grain bullets for 7.62x51mm M118 Special ball (for sniping) is 173 grains and M118 long range (product improved M118 SB) weighs 175 grain. That is about max for military ammo....now civilian .308 is a different story all together! I have seen .308 diameter bullets from 110 grain all the way up to 220grain for the .300 win mag. Now most .308 are between 125 grain and 180 grain though. These heavier commercial bullets are loaded with more powerful powder charges and will have likely have higher chamber pressures than NATO ammo.

These are examples so I hope that answered some of your questions....I know I may have muddied the waters a bit. But basically what Paul said is true. Yes and no.

Brother in Arms
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