.223 Wylde vs 5.56 Barrels: What's the Difference and Which is Best?

.223 Wylde vs 5.56 Barrels: What's the Difference and Which is Best?

Posted by STNGR USA on Dec 16th 2022

What's the Difference Between .223 Wylde vs 5.56 Barrels? Which Barrel is Best?

Howdy folks, it's Rick Barrett. And in this video we're gonna talk about the difference between a 5.56 barrel and a .223 Wylde barrel.

Now to start with a .223 Wylde is not a .223 Remington. They may sound similar, but as we get into specifics, you will see that they are two completely different things.

What Can You Shoot Out of .223 Wylde and 5.56 Barrels?

Comparing Bullet Cartridges: .223 Remington vs 5.56 NATO

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the barrels and why one is different than the other, let's identify the difference between a .223 Remington cartridge and a 5.56 NATO cartridge. Keep in mind that there's no such thing as .223 Wylde ammo. .223 Wylde is a chambering only, there are no .223 Wylde bullets.

First up is the .223 Remington cartridge, which is a civilian cartridge. This means it has decreased chamber pressure and when it comes to bullet weight options, it's very limited.

This is in contrast to the 5.56 NATO round which was designed for the U.S. Military. So there are differences in bullet weight and substantially more chamber pressure.

.223 Remington Ammunition (L) and 5.56 NATO Ammunition (R). Image from ShootingIllustrated.com.

Now that we've talked about the differences between the two calibers, let's take a look at this following image and we'll get a better understanding of the differences between .223 and 5.56.

As you can see in this image, the .223 Remington cartridge is slightly smaller than the standard 5.56 NATO cartridge. The throat of the 5.56 bullet is slightly longer than that of the .223 Remington bullet.

Image from Moriarti Armaments

It is perfectly fine to fire a .223 Remington round from a 5.56 barrel, but you should not fire a 5.56 NATO round through a .223 Remington barrel. This will only cause pressure issues and in worst case scenarios it will cause your barrel to explode.

What is a .223 Wylde Barrel? What's It Good For?

So what are we gonna do? On one hand, the .223 Remington is more accurate. And on the other hand, the 5.56 is more powerful. Well, somebody stepped forth to solve this problem, and his name is Bill Wylde. Hence the name of the barrel, .223 Wylde.

Mr. Wylde came up with the concept of creating a chamber that was capable of handling both the 5.56 NATO round and the .223 Remington round. In other words, the .223 Wylde barrel is capable of handling those hotter 5.56 NATO rounds without the accompanying pressure problems as well as handling the .223 Remington bullets that give you much better accuracy.

Why Would You Use a .223 Wylde Barrel?

So I know you're saying, "But I can shoot .223 rounds out of a 5.56 barrel. What makes the .223 Wylde so unique?"

While it is true you can shoot .223 Remington through a 5.56 barrel, it's not chambered for it. So you're losing a little bit of the performance that you would get out of the .223 barrel. The .223 Wylde barrel gives you the best of both worlds.

The .223 Wylde barrel gives gun enthusiasts the ability to use both 5.56 and .223 without having to worry about a loss of performance with either. And if there's one thing that all gun owners can appreciate it's the added versatility.