Time to Get Wylde

Time to Get Wylde

The AR-15 community has recently seen a new chamber making its way through the market. Here, we’ll answer a few questions you may have so you can make an educated decision when buying your next barrel.

The .223 Wylde

Designed by Bill Wylde of Greenup, Illinois, the .223 Wylde is a proprietary rifle cartridge chamber that is used in the AR-15 barrel. As such, it is not ammunition, but rather it is the actual chamber, which determines what type of ammo can be shot. Rifles with an AR .223 Wylde chamber usually accept both 5.56x45 NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. The external dimensions and lead angle of the .223 Wylde are the same as what is found in the military 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. Its 0.2240-inch free bore diameter is the same as that in the civilian SAAMI .223 Remington cartridge.

A common misconception is that the differences in chamber dimension between the .332 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO mean that the cartridges themselves also have different dimensions – this is, however, untrue. Despite the chambers’ varying dimensions, the cartridges used in them have identical dimensions. It’s important to remember, though, that the cartridges are loaded to different pressure levels (the greater one is the 5.56). The .223 Wylde chamber allows for the safe use of both pressure levels while also increasing accuracy potential across the range of potential pressures.

In developing the .223 Wylde chamber, Mr. Wylde intended to create a chamber that allowed for the accuracy of the .223 cartridge while avoiding the functional reliability and pressure problems incurred by the 5.56x45mm NATO military ammunition in many AR-15s.

The heavy 80-grain (5.18 g) bullets commonly used in the Sport Rifle Competition shoot well with the .223 Wylde, which has become one of the preferred chambers for the contest. A number of rifle manufacturers who sell “National Match” configuration AR-15 rifles, barrels, and upper receivers also use the .223 Wylde chamber, so it is truly growing in popularity.

Clear as mud right? Good!

Wylde Barrel Q&A’s

Okay, here is the down and dirty.

Question: Can I swap out my old 5.56 barrel and use one of these .223 Wylde Barrels?


Question: I am pretty good with my old 5.56 what kind of accuracy can I expect?

Answer: .223 Wylde Barrels with the right ammunition should out perform your basic 5.56 NATO easily.

Question: The barrel says “.223 Wylde” on it and I know you are not supposed to shoot 5.56 ammunition in a .223 barrel, can I use my 5.56 NATO rounds?

Answer: Yes. They can be used safely.

Question: Can I use a Wylde barrel with all my other AR15 parts?

Answer: You bet!