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What is 223 Wylde and Should You Use It? thumbnail image

What is 223 Wylde and Should You Use It?

80 Percent Arms   |   Aug 27th 2021

Some of you may have seen this caliber-looking designation around online but be confused by it. Don’t worry, we were at one point too. So what the heck is .223 Wylde right? Is it a barrel, is it a chamber, is it a type of ammunition? We’re here today to answer all of those questions.

.223 Wylde History

223 Wylde is a hybrid chamber designed to let barrels be able to safely shoot both .223 Remington and 5.55mm NATO rounds out of the same barrel without loss of accuracy. Due to the slight differences in throat angle of each respective caliber’s cartridges and the difference in pressure; not much is known about the creator, but it was a gunsmith and engineer from Illinois named Bill Wylde who saw fit to design a chamber to fix this issue.

“What’s this issue”, you say? Well, here’s the thing — you can safely shoot .223 out of a 5.56 barrel without a problem because the Remington round has less pressure that military 5.56 rounds do. The caveat is that you’ll supposedly lose some accuracy but that loss is negligible to the average shooter not doing any precision or competition shooting. If you flip it the other way though, you could potentially have a serious problem.

223 barrels were made to withstand pressure from 223 rounds. 5.56 ammo has higher pressures than 223 does so if you were to shoot 5.56 out of a 223 barrel, the worst case scenario is that you could risk breaking your gun. Not to worry, it wouldn’t blow up in your face but there could easily be other malfunctions due to the excessive pressure the barrel wasn’t designed for — this could wear down internal parts very quickly causing cycling issues or break the extractor.

223 Wylde Pros and Cons

These are the pros and cons to using .223 Wylde designated barrels or rifles. Spoiler alert, you’re going to experience some increases in accuracy and may potentially pay more for it. Generally speaking, it’s hard to find anyone with a bad opinion of 223 Wylde.

223 Wylde Advantages

The Wylde chamber provides additional space so that the throat of a 5.56 NATO cartridge won’t build up excess pressure. Honestly, the 223 Wylde is a solution to a problem that didn’t really exist. But, it does give you that much more leeway with ammo. If you have a 223 Wylde AR15 you could put any ammo through it without thinking twice. Also, there’s no such thing as 223 Wylde ammo.

223 Wylde Disadvantages

There really aren’t any disadvantages to having a 223 Wylde barrel or build. It’s a convenient option for AR-15 owners that shoot both .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO. If you find a good deal for a 223 Wylde complete upper, a 223 Wylde barrel or pre-built rifle, like the Wilson Combat Super Sniper, by all means go for it. Otherwise, the prices surrounding 223 Wylde products might make you think twice.

.223 Wylde Parts

Looking for some .223 Wylde parts? These are some we recommend taking a look at. We like Aero Precision as they’re a staple brand in the gun community that makes high quality parts at affordable prices. Odin Works always makes fun products and they even have a lighter version barrel called the 223 Wylde ULTRAlite if you’re weight savings oriented.

Best 223 Wylde Barrel

If you’re on the market for a new 223 Wylde Barrel these are the barrels we’d consider for ourselves. If you’re on a budget we’d say don’t settle for anything less than Aero Precision. But if you’ve got beaucoup dollars to burn, take a look at Wilson Combat’s offerings.

223 Wylde Bolt Carrier Group

Surprise! There’s no such thing. You can use any standard .223/5.56 BCG when paired with a 223 Wylde barrel. But if you’re in the market some of the best bolt carrier groups that money can buy check these out:

Can 223 Wylde Shoot 300 Blackout?

223 Wylde barrels CANNOT shoot .300 Blackout. Doing so would cause your gun to malfunction and immediately have parts break. A freak accident of the barrel breaking or having an out of battery detonation is not out of the realm of possibility either. While most likely not physically harmful to the shooter if that were to happen, it’s still not a fun thing to experience.

Get started on your next 223 Wylde AR-15 build with 80 Percent Arms!

Are you all about the 223 Wylde? Well we have everything you need to get started on your own 80% AR-15 build to have that 223 Wylde setup! Occasionally, we source our barrels from vendors that provide 223 Wylde barrels but our supply chain is fluid as we have to be flexible to get products out to you, our customer. Check back to see when we have 223 Wylde barrels in stock in our build kits and complete upper receivers. Otherwise, you can still buy the barrel elsewhere and build out your 80% lower receiver first with our Easy Jig® Gen 3!