In-Box Review
5,56x45mm Ammo Belts
Ammo Belts 5,56x45mm NATO (.223" Remington)
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


An ammunition belt is a device used to retain and feed cartridges into a machine gun. Belt-fed systems minimize the proportional weight of the ammunition to the feeding device along with allowing high rates of continuous fire. Belts were originally composed of canvas or cloth, however those designs were prone to malfunctions. Later belts used permanently connected metal links to retain the cartridges during feeding. Modern ammunition belts use disintegrating links. Disintegrating links retain a single round and are articulated with the round ahead of it in the belt. When the round ahead is stripped from the belt and fed into the feed system or chamber, the link holding it is ejected and the link holding the following round is disarticulated.

The 5.56mm Cartridge was officially adopted by the US Army in 1964. It was developed from the .223 Remington in a design competition to replace the 7.62 cartridge as the US military standard. Also called the .223 or 5.56x45mm, this cartridge is now the primary US and NATO military rifle round. US military packaging of the 5.56mm ammunition is in two forms, one for the M16 family of rifles which uses 10 round stripper clips and the other in link belts for the M249 SAW machine gun. Linked 5.56mm ammo comes in 200 round magazines. Belts typically had 4 ball and 1 tracer in repeating pattern connected with steel links.


This review describes one of Live Resin latest additions to their catalogue: Ammo Belts 5.56x45mm NATO (.223" Remington) (LRE-35094). The set is packed in a zip-lock bag with the resin pieces additionally protected between a firm cardboard. The CAD boxart picture on the front shows the 5.56mm belts in detail, while the one on the back displays the possibilities of using this set and states the belts are compatible with all M249 SAWs from Live Resin (LRE-35013, LRE-35085 and LRE-35086) as well as with any other 5.56mm machine guns from other manufacturers.

The kit includes 5 identical casting blocks each carrying two 55-round 5.56mm ammo belts. The belts are cast in grey resin and the molding is really nice. The resin pieces are extremely delicate and a lot of care is needed to clean them from their carrier blocks. Some fragile tips of the cartridges broke off during transport and are almost impossible to repair.

The boxart picture displays the possibilities of using the belts from this set. Although the belts are depicted completely straight, they can be bent, twisted or modified using hot water. Caution and a lot of patience is necessary to get optimal results.

These 5.56x45mm ammo belts look really good. The details are visible under high magnification; both the ammo rounds and belt links are masterfully executed in 1/35 scale. These resin belts, although very fragile, provide a lot more realistic appearance than their flat PE counterparts.


This set includes ten 55-round 5.56x45mm NATO ammo belts. The casting is really good and the details, almost invisible to the naked eye, are very impressively rendered. Although a lot of care is needed to get optimal results with these resin belts, I feel they provide a far more realistic option than the flat PE belts.


Wikipedia 5.56x45mm
Olive Drab website
Highs: Very impressive set; cast really well and featuring impressive details, I think these are so far the only 5.56mm ammo belts on the market.
Lows: Extremely delicate pieces. Some of the belts were damaged in the transport.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LRE-35094
  Related Link: Live Resin website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 24, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright 2021 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.


These do look nice but I'd like to see where someone has already painted and bent them....despite much googling I can't find anyone having used them yet.
SEP 24, 2013 - 07:22 PM
I haven't seen any either. I did bend some 1/35 resin belts before and it is not easy getting a perfect result without a load of patience. However it definitely looks much better than any PE belt available on the market. Mario
SEP 24, 2013 - 09:00 PM
Boiled water make resin parts very flexible, as rubber
OCT 19, 2013 - 11:39 PM

Click image to enlarge
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