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I don't remember who I'm swiping this image from.

.22 on the left, .223 on the right

“His most commonly used personal weapons are the Vietnam era M16 automatic rifle in .223 caliber;… a Government issue .45 caliber automatic frame re-chambered for 9mm ammunition with a replaceable barrel to convert it to .223 caliber ammunition; and a 4-shot derringer in .223 caliber (Thus, he needs to carry only two types of ammunition.)”
-Concerning the Punisher, from “The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.”

Every once in a while, when discussing the AR-15 rifle, people will say “it’s basically a hot loaded .22”. That sort of statement may be what led to things like the above passage, which was obviously not written by anyone who has handled either round before (and that was written well before we all started consulting Uncle Google and Auntie Wikipedia).

While it’s true that the .22 is roughly the same diameter as the .223, saying that the latter is just a beefed up version is kind of like saying that what they use on NASCAR tracks is just a slightly better tuned version of your mom’s sedan. The .223 has a longer, heavier bullet which is pushed through the air by a great deal more powder. About the only similarity they have as cartridges is diameter of the round.

I understand why people do spread this particular statement, specifically because the AR-15 is often used by spree shooters, though that’s more likely because of the rifle’s ubiquity and brand recognition than because of it’s lethality. The point being made is that there are more powerful rifle rounds by far and that your average hunting longarm has a damn sight more oomph than the AR does.

But in so doing, I think people making this statement err on the side of providing bad information rather than putting things in proper perspective. You sure as hell wouldn’t be able to just swap out barrels and turn a 9mm into a .223. And I can’t imagine trying to fire a derringer in .223.

Though I have to admit, this would be kind of cool to see someone make.

Though I have to admit, this would be kind of cool to see someone make.