A recent forum post indicated that BATFE was changing the rules regarding the classification of .223 ammunition as handgun ammo for the purpose of regulating them under tougher rules. The post referenced the following post as proof of this:

“BATF Classifies .223, 6.5 Grendel and 6.8SPC as Pistol Round

BATF and EA Recent Finding.

EA has had to remove our Trident bullets in .223, 6.5 Grendel and 6.8 SPC. The BATF has ruled that all of these cartridges are now pistol cartridges. Since they are now pistol cartridges their construction now falls under the content and construction limitations of the 68 GAC and pistol cartridges.

Currently from other bullet makers like Barnes, solid .223 caliber bullets are still being manufactured and sold . We are working with our BATF IOI person to find out the following,

A) Is Barnes bullets and all other maker that constructs solid bullets in .223 going to have to stop.
B) If not then why do we have to stop since out basic shape and metallurgical content of our PFP bullets are the same as theirs?
C) Since they are now handgun caliber limited how does Magtech solid copper pistol bullets not fall under the 68 GAC as AP?
D) If Solid copper is not considered a violation of the 68 GAC in handgun bullets then it should also be not a violation of the 68 GAC to make EA’s PFP bullets from solid copper as Magtech does.

Those who have T6 ammunition and PFP bullets will be contacted by the BATF to recover any bullets or ammunition that have not been FIRED yet.

I apologize for this inconvenience and hopefully we can get this matter straightened out one way or another.

Jay Wolf
Pr. Elite Ammunition”

The case in question involves one manufacturer of ammunition, Elite Ammunition out of Illinois, who was served a warrant and had several thousand dollars of ammunition confiscated. The reasoning behind the seizure, according to the ATF, is that Elite modified bullets to be mainly brass in composition and fit into a handgun, which would violate regulations pertaining to the manufacturer of armor piercing handgun ammunition. Included in the seizure were .223 rounds as well as several other calibers. The seizure does not indicate a change of any rules regarding the status of .223 ammunition. A call to the NRA garnered the following statement.

“NRA-ILA is aware of and monitoring the situation. If ATF oversteps their regulatory authority, we will take action, but at this time we are aware and monitoring what is happening,” said Rachel Parson, NRA spokesperson.

It appears at this time that the rumor of vast sweeping changes of status to .223/5.56 ammunition have been overstated and what we have instead is a case of single manufacturer who may have stepped too closely to the line of what is permitted under the current regulations. Jay Wolf, CEO of Elite Ammunition currently has a lawsuit pending against BATFE and we may have to await the outcome of that suit before we learn the true facts regarding this case.

While we at Sportsman’s News Magazine are always glad to verify the veracity of any rumors regarding our rights as sportsmen, we do urge anyone hearing any rumors to proceed with a certain level of skepticism, lest we end up crying wolf and ending up with egg on our face.