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The .223 Remington is a cartridge with almost the same external dimensions as the 5.56×45mm NATO military cartridge. The name is commonly pronounced either two-two-three or two-twenty-three. It is loaded with a 0.224-inch (5.7 mm) diameter jacketed bullet, with weights ranging from 40 to 90 grains (2.6 to 5.8 g), though the most common loading by far is 55 grains (3.6 g).
While the external case dimensions are very similar, the .223 Remington and 5.56×45mm differ in both maximum pressure and chamber shape. The maximum and mean pressures for some varieties of the 5.56 (different cartridge designations have different standards) exceed the SAAMI maximum for the .223 Remington, and the methods for measuring pressures differ between NATO and SAAMI. The 5.56 chamber specification has also changed since its adoption, as the current military loading (NATO SS-109 or US M855) uses longer, heavier bullets than the original loading. This has resulted in a lengthening of the throat in the 5.56 chamber. Thus, while .223 Remington ammunition can be safely fired in a rifle chambered for 5.56×45mm NATO, firing 5.56 ammunition in a .223 Remington chamber may produce pressures in excess of even the 5.56 specifications due to the shorter throat.