12'' Barreled .223 Wylde Chambered AR15

.223 Wylde – Chambering Your AR-15 With The Best Of Both Worlds [Review]

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Determining the better option between the .223 Remington and the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges is an ongoing debate in the firearms community. Some prefer the .223 Rems, some go for the stronger 5.56x45s. But if you pick one your AR can’t safely or accurately shoot the other, or can it?

Enter the .223 Wylde chamber, a hybrid rifle chamber that carries a rather simple design. This design allows safe and precise shooting of both .223 and 5.56×45 rounds – giving you the best of both worlds.

Summary of the .223 Wylde

  • The .223 Wylde is a hybrid chamber designed by Bill Wylde of Chicago, Illinois.
  • This hybrid chamber can fire both .223 Remington and 5.56×45 NATO ammo with safety and accuracy.
  • The .223 Wylde Chamber carries a tighter dimension. This allows for better seating of both .223 Remington and 5.56×45 NATO rounds.
  • The .223 Wylde chamber lets both .223 and 5.56×45 NATO rounds perform equally well.
12'' Barreled .223 Wylde Chambered AR15
12” Barreled .223 Wylde Chambered AR15 with Elcan Specter Scope, Magpul UBR Stock, and MIAD Grip.
Photo by Threedi via Flickr.

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A few good .223 Wylde Barrel options

18-inches .223 Wylde Stainless Steel QPQ Barrel
  • HP/MPI tested
  • QPQ Corrosion Resistant finish
  • Feature a nickel boron coated extended M4 feed ramp extension
$219 Shop Now
16-inches .223 Wylde BA Hanson Stainless Steel Midlength AR-15 Barrel
  • 416R stainless steel barrel
  • Feature a nickel boron coated extended M4 feed ramp extension
  • Include a pinned lo-pro gas block
$245 Shop Now
PSA 18-inches Rifle-Length .223 Wylde
  • 416R stainless steel barrel
  • Low-profile gas block
  • Includes Magpul sight set and lower build kit
$529 Shop Now

Brief Background of The .223 Wylde

Until the 5.56×45 NATO was developed in 1972, the .223 Remington (to know more about these rounds, check out this side-by-side comparison on the .223 Remington and .308 Winchester cartridges) was the standard, intermediate cartridge for the United States Army. Both the .223 Remington and 5.5×45 NATO are powerful cartridges. The two are favored by civilians and the military alike. 

One difference these two cartridges have is their leader. This is the distance between where the bullet rests and the point at which the rifling engages. This little difference means the 5.56×45 NATO cartridge produces higher pressures compared to the .223 rounds. As a result, the 5.56×45 ammo is superior in terms of velocity. 

Size-wise, there isn’t much difference between the two. However, there’s a catch, it’s safe to fire a .223 in a 5.56×45 chamber, but not the other way around. In further detail, the 5.56 NATO round won’t have enough room to stretch its legs in a .223 chamber. This can be a problem as it may quickly create too much pressure, making it unsafe to fire, and may even cause catastrophic failure.

Sure, you can get an AR-15 chambered for 5.56x45s and still be able to load it with .223 Rems, but the accuracy can be a deal-breaker. This is where the .223 Wylde provides a better solution.

.223 Remington Cartridges
.223 Remington Cartridges. Photo by Rudy via Flickr.

When Bill Wylde of Illinois developed the .223 Wylde chamber he solved the issue between firing .223 and 5.56 through the same chamber with a few simple yet effective engineering adjustments. The result is a design that allows you to accurately and safely fire both rounds.

The .223 Wylde chamber is engineered with a leade angle and external dimensions based on the 5.56×45 NATO rounds, but with a leade diameter that caters well to the .223 Remington. Technically, this design gives it a chamber where the gas expansion becomes tight and controlled due to the smaller leade diameter of the .223 At the same time, it can also safely fire a 5.56 because of its leade angle and length.

Accuracy

Accuracy is one of the strongest selling points of the .223 Wylde. As mentioned previously, shooting .223 rems on a 5.56 NATO is relatively safe, but the 5.56 NATO may not offer the same accuracy as a .223 chamber. The .223 Wylde chamber, on the other hand, is specifically designed to allow both ammo to be safely fired with decent accuracy.

This design efficiently splits the differences between .223 and 5.56 chambers, even allowing you to shoot the higher pressure 5.56×45 NATO ammo with even better accuracy than what a standard 5.56 chamber offers.

Ammo.223 Chamber5.56 NATO Chamber.223 Wylde Chamber
.223 RemingtonAccuratePotentially accurateAccurate
5.56x45 NATORisky, not recommendedAccurateAccurate

Performance

When it comes to performance, the .223 Wylde chamber is quite impressive. It fires both .223 Remington and 5.56×45 NATO rounds with great accuracy. It is also less prone to failures related to feeding and ejecting rounds. It’s safe to say that this hybrid chamber cycles better.

Additionally, the .223 Wylde provides higher chamber pressure capable of handling hotter loads. This is due to its tighter and taller chamber barrel design. Capping off is another factor that adds to the chamber’s spot-on performance.

Wrapping Up

.223 Wylde chamber brings you the best of both worlds at an additional cost.

For rifle owners who can’t decide between the .223 Remington and the 5.56x45mm NATO, choosing a .223 Wylde chamber may be the best option. The .223 Wylde is designed to safely and accurately fire both rounds. It also comes with a tighter dimension that easily allows for better seating of both .223 rems and 5.56 NATO.

In terms of accuracy, the .223 Wylde is nothing short of remarkable. It is designed to easily feed and eject any round you load it with. The chamber will surely make shooting a breeze.

Price-wise, going for a rifle that is chambered with the .223 Wylde can set you back a couple of hundred bucks. But in the end, we’d say that the extra splurge is worth it. Whether you are an average shooter or a seasoned pro, the .223 Wylde chamber, indeed, is a “Wylde” choice making the most out of both .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.

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