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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start, I've seen the another threads about the differences between barrels and chambers made for .223 vice 5.56. I also know that the SL8-1 is stamped on the side of the receiver as being ".223 Rem". Also, the SL8 manual says you can use either .223 or 5.56x45, which implies that the actual chambering might be 5.56.

So my question is: does anyone know, for sure (no guessing), what the SL8-1 barrel is chambered for? Any markings on the barrel itself? My own barrel is cut down and any original markings are long gone.

TIA.
 

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Just wondering - why are you second guessing the manual?

And... are you an NRA member? There is a very detailed article on the differences between .223 and 5.56 in this month's American Rifleman edition.
 

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I emailed HK germany asking this question & got no reply

The USA manual says .223 or 5.56
The NZ manual that came with my rifle says .223 rem

Barrel says .223 rem

on balance of opinion I shoot .223 rem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Just wondering - why are you second guessing the manual?

And... are you an NRA member? There is a very detailed article on the differences between .223 and 5.56 in this month's American Rifleman edition.
Because I had a problem shooting 5.56 ammo in mine after it shot fine with .223. The failures implied headspace problems so I'm trying to figure out if the dimensions of my US made bolt are off, so getting a G36 bolt could fix it, or whether the chamber is actually .223 and I shouldn't even try shooting 5.56 in it.

I don't think that I've gotten my American Rifleman yet for this month. I'm not trying to start a discussion on the differences between .223 and 5.56. I'm really just looking for the definitive answer to one simple question. Is the SL8-1 chambered in .223 or 5.56? Thanks.
 

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FYI - SL8 'target' barrels are nothing more than G36 barrels that don't go through the same profiliing to build them into mil-spec G36 shape.

I.e, those very same mandrels that are used to form the chamber and rifling on the G36 are used for the SL8's, and they are all 5.56mm NATO spec.

I don't get why there's so much question about .223 vs. 5.56, and YES, I have read the NRA mag this month. It's good for precision bolt guns, but the G36 and SL8 were never designed with those kinds of tolerances in mind.

I've personally shot about 5k rounds of mil-surplus 5.56 in both M855, M856, and M193 out of my SL8 barrel without any issues AT ALL.

Don't sweat it, guys; dispel the mystique, willya?
 

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Because I had a problem shooting 5.56 ammo in mine after it shot fine with .223. The failures implied headspace problems so I'm trying to figure out if the dimensions of my US made bolt are off, so getting a G36 bolt could fix it, or whether the chamber is actually .223 and I shouldn't even try shooting 5.56 in it.

I don't think that I've gotten my American Rifleman yet for this month. I'm not trying to start a discussion on the differences between .223 and 5.56. I'm really just looking for the definitive answer to one simple question. Is the SL8-1 chambered in .223 or 5.56? Thanks.
The American Rifleman mention was just an aside, I know it isn't specifically related to your questions.

But - in reading the SL8-1 manual, it has in a couple of locations that .223 or 5.56 ammo are acceptable. It also mentions that as long as you stay under SAAMI maximum loads (which both commercially available .223 and 5.56 will be) you'll be fine.
 

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5.56 is larger and has higher chamber psi than .223
you can shoot .223 in a 5.56 no prob.
do not shoot 5.56 in a .223 could be bad will cause very high chamber pressure.


SL8,ARs,Sig,some AKs most mill stuff is 5.56 so it is ok for .223 and 5.56
the .223 in theory will not be as accurate bullet has longer jump to rifleing pressure and twist not perfect like shooting 22lr in a gun meant for 22mag. I have had real good luck with good .223 in my sl8.... So just fire what you like in a Sl8 just do not mix up ammo in your old bolt gun.

HK put the .223 on it as part of importing to the US it is 5.56
 

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Here is the short of it:

Military brass cases are heavier (thicker walls and webs) than commercial cases. If you were to use a reloading recipe for a .223, the reduced case capacity could result in a higher loading density and increased chamber pressure with same powder charge.
 

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From my personal weapon:

The weapon has "Kal. .223" stamped on the plastic receiver. The manual states "Caliber .223 (5.56mm)". The manual then goes on to state that "The HK SL8-1 semiautomatic rifle is a caliber .223 civilian sporting arm based on the G36 rifle..."

In the ammunition section...

"By using ammunition with match bullets (like Sierra 62 grain Match King #1410) or other match grade ammunition the HK SL8-1 will achieve the best level of accuracy.

If used, handloaded ammo should not exceed the maximum gas pressure specified by the C.I.P. and SAAMI for the cal. 223 Remington (5.56 x 45mm NATO). Follow the instruction of propellant and bullet manufacturer."

So isn't that just clear as mud?
 

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I bought my SL8-1 back in 2006, and always shot 223 out of it. Since the ammo catastrophe, I've been trying to find cheap 62gr factory loads and kept seeing 5.56, so I ended up checking my manual today. Indeed I saw the passage that you guys have been referring to, but still I proceeded to search forums to see if someone had actually shot 556.

I think the bottom line is, if the gun is stamped 223, nobody wants to risk it first. If the gun were stamped 556, I think people would shoot everything (223 and 556) without any question or need for a thread.

I have never heard of a single incident where 556 in any 223 chamber (bolt, semi, falling block, etc) caused a serious failure. Has anyone??
 

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Don't worry about it. I have shot tons of ss109 and heavier mil spec 5.56 out of mine no problems. I have even found sone 55gr that shoots well. I think they put the KAL. .223 on their to make it a little more import friendly. Go shoot and enjoy it. Save your brass and reload it ......... or give it to me ;D
 

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Even the Sig states .223, and both are designed for SS109. I've reloaded a small pile and found nolser 64gr bonded and 52gr to work very well. I find SS109 not to be a great round in these rifles loaded anywhere near military spec. I keep shooting the 556 as I have a nice stash of bullets and IMI 62gr.
 
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