5.56 Bullets

5.56 Bullets

Reloading your 5.56 ammo comes with several benefits. Firstly, reloading affords you an in-depth understanding of your firearm and its operation, enhancing your shooting precision and overall safety. Secondly, it is cost-effective in the long run, especially for frequent shooters, as it can significantly reduce the cost per round. Lastly, reloading gives you the freedom to tailor your ammo to fit your specific needs.

AR-15 Bullets in 5.56

The 5.56 bullet, part of the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, was originally designed for military use, offering a balance of range, accuracy, and terminal performance. Its popularity has since spread to civilian use, particularly among AR-15 owners.

5.56 bullets are almost always Full Metal Jackets (FMJ). Among the military, FMJ bullets are favored for their feeding reliability and deeper penetration through helmets and armor. Besides, they are cheaper to produce. However, if you're an AR-15 owner looking to hunt, you should consider .223 bullets that are not FMJ. Polymer tip bullets, for instance, offer rapid expansion upon impact, while soft-point bullets provide slower expansion with controlled fragmentation.

Choosing 5.56 Bullets for Reloading

5.56 reloading bullets typically weigh 55, 62, and 77 grains. Each weight carries its own advantages.

55-grain 5.56 bullets are the standard for 5.56 rounds in the M193 variant. These bullets offer a high velocity and flat trajectory, making them a prime choice for target shooting. 55-grain bullets, being lighter, perform best with a slower 1:9 twist rate.

62-grain 5.56 bullets, found in the M855 variant, incorporate a steel penetrator tip over a lead core, enclosed in a full metal jacket. This design makes them perfect for penetrating light barriers. A 1:7 or 1:8 twist rate often provides the best performance.

77-grain 5.56 bullets are the heaviest of the bunch. They may not be as fast, but they pack more punch upon impact. Their added weight also makes them less susceptible to wind drift, leading to greater accuracy at longer ranges. In short, they're an excellent choice for precision shooting and long-range applications. These bullets are typically paired with a 1:7 or 1:8 twist rate.

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Is the .223 and 5.56mm bullet the same?

.223 and 5.56 bullets have the same diameter of .224 inches. However, since 5.56 bullets are part of the 5.56 NATO military round, they almost always use FMJ bullet design that doesn’t expand. On the contrary, .223 bullets, part of a civilian .223 Rem cartridge, come in different designs, from non-expanding match-grade hollow points to polymer tip bullets.

What is the best grain bullet for 5.56?

For general target shooting and plinking, many shooters prefer 55-grain bullets due to their high velocity and flat trajectory. If you're looking for better penetration or shooting through light barriers, 62-grain bullets might be your best bet. For precision shooting and long-range applications, 77-grain bullets, with their greater resistance to wind drift and higher impact energy, could be the ideal choice. Also, know your barrel twist and consult a twist chart.

What is the best 5.56 bullet for deer hunting?

When hunting deer, you want a bullet that offers sufficient energy transfer and rapid expansion upon impact. In this case, a good option might be a soft-point or polymer-tip .223 bullet (not 5.56 FMJ) in the heaviest weight your rifle can accurately shoot. Remember, it's essential to check local laws and regulations that may ban hunting deer with .223/5.56 ammunition.