Like the “45” slang in rap, “223” is another reference to a gun or weapon. More specifically, the “223” comes from the .223 caliber bullets that are used in the very infamous AK47 machine gun. 223 is used to refer to any dangerous and powerful machine weapon. For example:
“You better not be keeping 223s or else!”
“The shooting range allows 223s as long as you have the permits.”
While very popular, the term 223 was primarily used by the rapper, YNW Melly. Melly was a volatile personality that was arrested for murder and homicide back in 2019. He was very violent in his rap lyrics.