: H&R Handirifle
: 22 inches
: 1:12 inches
: 24 X
: 50 yards
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technical cartridge drawing
A commercialized military cartridge; the product of competition initiated by the Continental Army Command (1957), seeking a parallel and possible alternative to the then standard 7.62x51 NATO. The developed for firearm was Armalite's (Armalite division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp) AR-15, a Gene Stoner design. The competition produced the 222 Special, 224 Win, 224 Springfield. The 222 Special became the 5.56mm NATO Ball Cartridge M193 (1964), driving a 55gr FMJBT at 3250fps. The ballistics work was done by Bob Hutton. A month later Remington introduced a civilian version: the 223 Rem.
Ballistically the cartridge almost equals the 219 Winchester Zipper of the late 1930s. And although the case was derived from the 222 Rem, to increase case powder capacity the 1.4 caliber neck was shortened .9 caliber. While the 223 retains the 219 Zipper's OAL it does so with .172" shorter brass, resulting in the modern 22 caliber cartridge with the longest exposed bullet length.
The 223 Rem is used as a varmint, small and medium game cartridge; in addition to a plinking cartridge. The case capacity (full case and with a bullet seated .2", in gr of water) is 28.4 and 26.4gr, respectively. In comparison, the 222 Rem is a smaller 25.6 and 23.6grs; the 219 Zipper which provides slightly superior ballistics but at a much lower pressure runs 33.0 and 31.0gr. The other cartridge of the genera, the 222 Rem Mag runs 29.8 and 27.8gr, respectively. These capacities are significantly larger than the 22 Hornet and 218 Bee class cartridges - 14.0 and 19.0 gr; somewhat larger than the 221 Fireball, 21.0gr; and on par with the 220 Russian at 27.7gr; but significantly smaller than the long distance varmint 22-250 Rem and 220 Swifts: 44.7 and 47.7gr (full case).
The 223 Rem Nominal bullet diameter is .224", and will drive 40gr bullets to near 4000fps (3850fps plus); and given a fast twist barrel, 70gr'ers to just over 3000fps. SAAMI list the maximum pressure as 52000 CUP and 55000 PSI (on par with a 25-06, and well above 46000 CUP for the 222 Rem).