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.223 REM: The All-Purpose Ammunition

.223 Ammo

The .223 Remington cartridge has been in use for over 50 years and has earned a reputation as an all-purpose ammunition. If you love hunting, target shooting, competition shooting, or are a member of the armed forces, you’ve likely used or at least know about .223 Remington rounds. 

The utility of these cartridges can be understood through the history of the ammunition, along with its similarities to other rounds that may be familiar. 

A Brief History of the .223 Remington 

The history of the .223 Remington cartridge starts with .222 Remington cartridges. The .222 Remington was the first rimless .224 cartridge made commercially in the U.S.  

In 1950, developers created the .222 Remington cartridge. The cartridge had no parent case and was originally designed for varmint hunting. However, it also became popular among those who competed in benchrest shooting competitions.  

When firearm manufacturers like ArmaLite began experimenting with lightweight high-velocity calibers, they started with the .222 Remington cartridges.  

To meet the velocity and penetration requirements of the Continental Army Command, ArmaLite asked for help from Remington. Remington and Armalite created the .222 Remington Special with a longer case body and shorter case neck than the standard .222 Remington. 

In 1964, the military redesignated the .222 Remington Special as the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and adopted it for use in M16 rifles. In the civilian world, in 1965, SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute) certified the cartridge. The bullet became known commercially as the .223 Remington cartridge. 

.223 Remington Applications 

When it comes to home defense, varmint hunting, and tactical use, .223 Remington rounds are popular centerfire rifle cartridges. These rounds are also great for medium-range and long-range target shooting.  

Survivalists, campers, and others who spend a lot of their time in the wilderness often favor the .223 Remington round. The cartridge is reliable and accurate. 

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The .223 Remington has an expansive selection of hunting and target rounds. In addition, the rounds have a light recoil that makes this rifle cartridge standout. 

Most U.S states don’t allow the use of .22 centerfires in hunting medium game because of their insufficient killing power when used at long range. However, many hunters have found the .223 Remington is suitable for hunting whitetails. Because of its velocity, it can drive the bullets deep enough to cause fatal tissue damage.  

The key to using a .223 Remington on larger game is to keep the impact velocity high. Shooting at a distance of 150 yards makes the velocity drop below the level needed for dynamic bullet expansion. 

.223 Rem Ammo

Target shooters love .223 Remington rounds because they’re one of the least expensive cartridges on the market, which makes them ideal for those gun owners who like to go to the range regularly.  

The rounds are also used by competition shooters in the Service Rifle category or 3-Gun Shooting matches.  

The .223 Remington has also been the preferred cartridge for many competitive long-range shooters when they use their training rifles rather than their actual match guns.  

Relying on inexpensive but effective cartridges like .223 Remington in training rifles allows competition shooters to extend the life of match barrels as well as brings down the cost of practicing. 

Another reason that competition shooters load their rifles with .223 Remington rounds is that the rounds, despite their relatively small size,  have enough noticeable recoil to help the shooter train for recoil management.  

If you own a semi-automatic rifle, like an AR-15, .223 Remington rounds are an ideal choice because you can easily fire a hundred rounds or more in a single trip to the gun range due to their affordability. 

For tactical usage, 5.56x45mm NATO rounds are the primary ammunition used by the U.S. military and NATO forces. However, while they’re fairly similar to .223 Remington cartridges, these rounds aren’t exactly the same as .223 Remington ammo. The NATO round is loaded to a slightly higher pressure. 

Parting Shots

There are plenty of reasons to choose .223 Remington cartridges and that’s what makes them so popular. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, an avid target shooter, or a varmint hunter, you’ll either use or have used these rounds. They’re highly effective for shooting in all but medium or big game. 

Because they’re inexpensive rounds, target and competition shooters tend to favor these rounds for practice, both in semi-automatic rifles and bolt-action rifles. If you’re trying to decide what round to use, make sure the .223 Remington cartridge is at the top of your list. 

FirearmPricesOnline.com has a great selection of .223 Remington rounds for shooting enthusiasts who love to hunt, compete or spend an afternoon at the gun range.  

“Rem Man”

-Remy Williamson

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