Ruger SR-5.56VT brand new, piston-driven, (Varmint Target) AR rifle is optimized for total reliability, pinpoint precision and speed to bag small game!
The .223 Remington cartridge is as common as table salt these days. It wasn’t around in my youth. Back then, the .222 bridged the yawning chasm between the .22 Hornet and the .220 Swift. The Hornet, with the .218 Bee, served well enough to 200 yards. The Swift, with the wildcat .22-250, added reach and speed at the cost of noise and recoil. Introduced in 1950 with Remington’s Model 722 rifle, the .222 fired a 50-grain bullet at about 3,150 fps. It proved remarkably accurate and quickly became a darling on the benchrest circuit.
In 1958, Remington trotted out its .222 Magnum. Developed with Springfield Armory for military use in lightweight autoloading rifles, it outperformed the .222 by 150 fps. The Magnum case is 0.15 inches longer overall, and 0.20 inches from base to neck. With 20 percent more capacity than the .222, the .222 Magnum could have had a career in uniform. But it was trumped by the .223, the brainchild of Bob Hutton. At 1.76 inches, the .223 hull is 0.09 inches shorter than that of the .222 Magnum, thus better suited to the AR-15’s action. Capacity is slightly less; these two cartridges deliver nearly identical bullet speeds. Denied a boost from Uncle Sam, the .222 Magnum withered. In service, the .223 became the 5.56mm NATO.