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Bear Creek Arsenal Blog

What is a .223 Wylde?


To some, this may seem like an easy question but it is one that we hear regularly in our customer service department. Because we hear this question so often we decided to take a moment and explain what .223 Wylde is and why it matters.

First a quick history lesson:

The .223 Remington was designed by Remington Arms in 1962. It was adopted by the US Army as an Alternate Standard with the Colt M16 rifle. The .223 ranges from 40 to 85 grains with 55 grains being the most common load. It is a rimless, bottle neck case type with a bullet diameter of .224 inches and an overall length of 2.26 inches. The chamber throat for a .223 Remington is shorter than what you would find in a 5.56 NATO.

The 5.56 was derived from (Not identical to) the .223 Remington cartridge. Using the .223 Remington as the base, FN Herstal designed the 5.56x45 NATO cartridge. The cartridge, while being similar to the .223 Remington, has 2 major differences; First is has a longer throat in the barrel and second, it is rated at a higher pressure. The brass case is the same on both the .223 Remington and the 5.56x45 NATO.

So, what is all of this .223 Wylde stuff?

Though it is widely known that you can safely fire a .223 Remington in a 5.56x45 Nato Chamber you cannot safely fire a 5.56x45 Nato cartridge in a .223 Remington chamber. The .223 Wylde chamber was developed by Bill Wylde as a way to be able to safely fire both .223 Remington and 5.56x45 NATO cartridges in the same chamber while making some much-needed improvements. He was able to take the best of both worlds and make what some people consider a better chamber.

The .223 wylde chamber combines the shorter throat of the .223 Remington chamber with the ability to handle the higher pressures of the 5.56x45 NATO safely. The shorter throat of the .223 Wylde also increases the accuracy of the 5.56x45 NATO by giving the bullet more stability as it gets to the rifling grooves sooner.

Though there is much more we could say on these cartridges and chambers, we hope this helps to give you a better understanding of why .223 Wylde was an important advancement in chambering and why you should consider this for your next .223/5.56 build.

What is 5R Rifling?


Conventional rifling uses either 6 or 4 symmetrical lands and grooves to stabilize the bullet. Each of the lands (the raised portion of the rifling) are directly opposite one another. The grooves are opposite of one another. The majority of barrels are conventionally rifled. The military and most machine guns also use conventional rifling.

5R is an improvement over conventional rifling by changing the shape and configuration of the lands and grooves. As effective as conventional rifling is, 5 R is an improvement in a couple different ways: 

  1. Conventional rifling has sharp 90-degree corners from the top of the land to the bottom of the groove. 
  2. Conventional rifling has lands and grooves opposing one another. 

5R rifling improves this by using 5 lands and grooves over the even numbers which puts lands opposite of grooves. The transition from the top of the land to the groove is sloped.

5R reduces projectile deformation as it passes through the bore during the firing. By placing the lands opposite of the grooves, the bullets are no longer squeezed on opposite sides so that the projectile stays uniform instead of squeezing material into the grooves. More uniform projectile means better accuracy.

By sloping the transition to the groove, the barrel becomes much easier to clean. In a conventional rifled platform, these corners have a lead buildup and other superheated materials left after shooting. Cleaning brushes and patches have a tough time reaching these corners as they are very small. By sloping it, cleaning brushes and patches are more effective to get to the deposits for a better cleaning. A cleaner barrel means more accurate.

Conventional rifling has been used for many years and will continue to be a mainstay of most firearms. Though conventional rifling has proven to be very accurate for many years, 5R is considered an upgrade for those looking for additional performance. These improvements make it a great option for competitive shooting.

Nitride vs. Stainless Rifle Barrels


Whether you're purchasing a brand new AR-15 or building your own, it is important to know
the kind of barrel that is right for your intended usage. Many current and prospective owners of
this popular rifle have been asking themselves the difference between a nitride finish versus the
standard plain stainless steel or chrome. To help you make an informed decision on which is
right for your next AR-15, here are some of the pros and cons of the two barrels.

This is a new barrel technology that increases surface hardness, fatigue and corrosion resistance of steel making it significantly more durable than standard stainless steel. Unlike the chrome lined barrels which are less accurate due to increased internal dimensions, a nitride barrel offers maximum barrel life while maintaining dimensional and shape stability. Therefore, nitriding is just as good as chrome-lining but without the accuracy disadvantage. A nitride finish also increases lubricity (better for rapid fire and subverting corrosion) and cosmetic appeal.

Stainless steel
A stainless steel barrel, also known as a match barrel is a major category for AR barrels that is not chrome lined in the bore or chamber. It provides increased accuracy at longer ranges perfect for hunting or sporting activities. Its primary disadvantage is that it is more susceptible to damage due to corrosion and wear, although these factors are minimal when using the rifle under normal operating conditions.

Now you have a better understanding of nitride vs. stainless steel AR barrels and what will work
best for your needs. Bear Creek Arsenal offers a wide selection of precision firearms,
accessories, and key AR components at the best prices. Visit or call
919-777-0675 for more information. Place your order today!

3 Facts about Rifle vs. Pistol Shooting



Whether you're new to shooting or just looking to broaden your horizons, it is important to evaluate the various nuances that make shooting a rifle versus shooting a pistol so much different. Here are three facts that can help you decide which weapon might be best for you. 

For protection and speed, the pistol offers fast, efficient shooting. A pistol is lightweight and holds more bullets, allowing you more maneuverability to avoid danger. Plus, you can shoot in rapid succession instead of stopping to reload after every few shots. 

A handgun is light, which also makes the recoil that much greater. This can cause your well-aimed shot to fly way off target. If you need accuracy at a distance, go with the rifle. A rifle is heavier and also has multiple points of contact with your body that can be used for increased control. 

All things considered, the same caliber bullet acts differently in a rifle than it does a pistol. If you want some real power and use the same ammunition in both weapons, your rifle shot will travel further and provide more power. This is due to the length of the rifle's barrel, which allows the bullet extra time to gather speed. 

If you want to learn more about the differences between rifle shooting and pistol shooting, visit us at or call 919-777-0675 and talk to one of our experts. We manufacture precision firearms and barrels for your shooting needs.