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Old April 17, 2014, 09:10 AM   #1
kyron4
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5.56 ammo safe in Savage Axis .223 ?

I'm thinking of getting a Savage Axis rifle in .223. Can it shoot 5.56 marked ammo ? Can one assume if it says ".223" on the box it's .223 ammo, like WOLF and others ? From what I read people can't seem to agree on this 223 vs 5.56 thing. -Thanks
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Old April 17, 2014, 09:37 AM   #2
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5.56 has a longer case neck that could affect operation. Most 5.56 have military primers that take a stronger hit to ignite. .223 is usually cheaper to buy also ( American eagle .223 vs federal xm193). If it says .223 on the box it's .223 not 5.56. 5.56 is rated by a different pressure system and is a NATO round used by the military.
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Old April 17, 2014, 09:42 AM   #3
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If your barrel is marked .223, don't shoot 5.56 in it. Some military 5.56 have bullets too long for the .223 chamber lead and can cause unsafe over pressures. 5.56 chambers have a longer lead than .223 chambers, so it's safe to shoot .223 in a 5.56, but not vice verse.
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Old April 17, 2014, 09:47 AM   #4
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The 5.56 does not have a longer case neck, it is identical to the .223. A true 5.56 chamber does however have a longer leade to the rifling. Some 5.56 rounds with the ogive of the bullet farther forward can cause higher pressure in a .223 chamber. It would most likely not be an issue with most common 5.56 rounds in your bolt gun, but it is not recommended. And has been said already, there is plenty of affordable .223 ammo which is usually higher quality than mil-spec 5.56 anyway.
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Old April 17, 2014, 09:54 AM   #5
kyron4
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Thanks, so as long as the box reads ".223 " I'm good to go , right ? What about the box that read .223 with (5.56) also on box ?
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Old April 17, 2014, 10:05 AM   #6
Erik M
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I shot 5.56 out of mine. I had a chat with a Savage rep that said 'maybe' and "I'll send up your inquiry" to which I never recieved further reply.It was around the time that they changed the branding from edge to axis though. I talked with the guys at Gunblast who reviewed the rifle and said they shot 5.56 with no issues. All that aside, I'd stick to .223.
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Old April 17, 2014, 06:34 PM   #7
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Savage says no 5.56 in their .223 rifles - https://savagearms.zendesk.com/entri...51-in-308-WIN-.

Full pressure 5.56 ammo reaches that pressure in a 5.56 chamber with the longer lead. Firing full pressure 5.56 ammo in a .223 Rem chamber will result in pressure over the industry rated safe maximum. How far over the industry max pressure, and how much over pressure tolerance your rifle has is something I'd not want to find out. Stick to .223 ammo in .223 marked guns, unless the manufacturer explicitly states they've cut a 5.56 chamber but chosen to mark it .223 (the discontinued Remington 7615P is one example).
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Old April 17, 2014, 07:58 PM   #8
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No http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=545027
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Old Yesterday, 06:32 AM   #9
Cee Zee
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Quote:
Savage says no 5.56 in their .223 rifles
I had a Savage rep tell me it was ok to shoot 5.56 in my .223 once. I told another rep what he had said and that guy went nuts saying absolutely not to do it. I'm sure they are in CYA mode being that strident about it but it still isn't a good idea. You never know what rifle might have been made weak. And if you should have a problem with the rifle blowing up when you were shooting 5.56 you can bet Savage would not be held responsible for the problem.

So the short answer is don't do it.
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Old Yesterday, 09:01 AM   #10
Willie Sutton
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^^

I'm going to be contrary.

If you overstress a rifle chambered to SAAMI .223 dimensions firing milspec 5.56mm in it, it's not safe to shoot commercial .223 in either. No modern firearms work at a structural limit where it could *possibly* make a difference. Not by a factor of 5X or so.

CYA, Lawyers, and tiny tolerance differences in a commercial v/s military specification (which with all due respect rarely means any difference in the metal cut to that specification) aside, the two cartridges are interchangable. If you think otherwise a course in materials science and another in mechanical drawing at your local college would be a good investment in your self education. Strength of steel and how dimensions are drawn on paper before being cut into that steel are the subjects to brush up on.


Yeah I know what Savage says: Savage can CYA all it likes, it does not make the above less accurate. I'd remedy it by not buying a Savage, but that's just me.


"The 5.56 does not have a longer case neck, it is identical to the .223.
A true 5.56 chamber does however have a longer leade to the rifling"



^ Read this. The *ammunition* is identical. A military cut *chamber* has a TINY difference in the freebore before the bullet engages the rifling. Why? So a muddy, sandy, dirty round can chamber in combat. That's all. The military chambers *guarantee* that this TINY difference is present for the purpose of contaminated ammunition reliability. The *ammunition* is not made to another specification. It's measuring with a micrometer and cutting with a chainsaw.


"Thanks, so as long as the box reads ".223 " I'm good to go , right ? What about the box that read .223 with (5.56) also on box ? "

They are the same cartridge. Truly.



Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; Yesterday at 09:10 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:58 AM   #11
briansmithwins
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Quote:
I'm going to be contrary.
And wrong.

556 NATO in a .223 Remington is listed in the 'Unsafe Arms and Ammunition Combinations' document published by SAAMI.

But what does the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute know about firearm safety, anyway?

http://www.saami.org/specifications_...mbinations.pdf

BSW

Last edited by briansmithwins; Yesterday at 10:41 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM   #12
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To "assume" anything ..........can be costly.
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Old Yesterday, 11:18 AM   #13
Tony k
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.223Rem max pressure (SAAMI)= 55,000 PSI

5.56 NATO max pressure (SAAMI)= 55,114 PSI

5.56 NATO max Pressure (European CIP Proofing Method)= 62,366 PSI. The difference is due to a different testing method.

Straight from the most infallable info source on the interwebs, Wikipedia:

"The .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical. While the cartridges are identical other than powder load, the chamber leade, i.e. the area where the rifling begins, is cut to a sharper angle on some .223 Remington commercial chambers. Because of this, a cartridge loaded to generate 5.56x45mm NATO pressures in a 5.56x45mm NATO chamber may develop pressures that exceed SAAMI limits when fired from a short-leade .223 Remington chamber."

Short leade = smaller space. Smaller space = higher pressure for a given bullet/ powder charge combo.

I wouldn't make it a habit of firing 5.56 ammo out of a barrel stamped 223 rem.
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Old Yesterday, 11:21 AM   #14
herrwalther
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In a 5.56 stamped rifle you can shoot .223Rem as much as you would like. In a .223Rem DO NOT shoot 5.56. No reason to risk yourself or your rifle, ammo is reasonably plentiful for both calibers.
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Old Yesterday, 11:25 AM   #15
Willie Sutton
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"And wrong"

Really.

One of the things that I learned at Test Pilot School is that Bumblebees can't fly. They don't have the power to weight ratio needed for controlled heavier than air flight in ground effect, never mind being able to perform out of groud effect hover.

Empirical evidence indicates otherwise......


And:

Millions of rounds of surplus 5.56 shot thru .223's for decades without mishap indicates otherwise as well. Lawyers, naurally, might disagree. Especially SAAMI lawyers. Willie will rely on his observations that Bumblebees do indeed fly, and that .223 and 5.56 are the same for any practical purpose. They were the same for 40 years: Only recently have they been discovered to be different, to the endless amusement of those who have been around the cartridge since the 1960's.

Now: If you're truly worried, have your gunsmith finger-spin a 5.56 chambering reamer into your rifle for a few seconds and forget about it.


Challenge: If anyone can provide a reliable citation here, with reliable evidence based on correctly researched post mishap investigation conducted by a formally qualified forensic material analysis authority, of any modern factory .223 rifle being damaged by shooting properly loaded quality 5.56mm NATO ammunuition, I'll send them $100 by Paypal, and you can have bragging rights. Willie puts his money where his mouth is. Saying "I heard my buddy say" or "I read someplace" isn't going to cut it. Having a formal lab report specifying that there was a material failure in a factory rifle chambered in .223 produced by firing a factory loaded NATO spec 5.56mm cartridge, where neither rifle nor cartridge was defective ab-initio would do. Tell you what, submit your formal evidence here and I'll let three Moderators be the judges as to the quality of the evidence and if they agree, you can carry Willies money home.

Don't spend it yet, because it's not happened..... ever.


Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; Yesterday at 11:40 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 11:50 AM   #16
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^^^ +1

When someone can actually post a link to a real world over pressure event from firing 5.56 in a .223 I'll actually worry about it.
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Old Yesterday, 12:21 PM   #17
DanTheFarmer
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BSW,

I took a quick look at the SAAMI document for which you provided a link. I'm a big fan of going to the definitive source but in this case it might not help.

The document also says you should not shoot 9mm NATO (military) out of a 9mm Luger (Parabellum). Ponder that one.

This looks like a case of one certifying body not accepting the slightly different standards of different certifying body. While understandable, I doubt there is any practical risk of shooting 9mm NATO out of a 9mm Luger or 5.56mm Military out of a 223 Remington.

But hey, who ya' gonna' believe, SAAMI or some internet guy whose says there definitely probably isn't a problem, most of time, most likely?

Dan

Last edited by DanTheFarmer; Yesterday at 12:26 PM. Reason: correction of terminology
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Old Yesterday, 01:05 PM   #18
briansmithwins
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Quote:
The document also says you should not shoot 9mm NATO (military) out of a 9mm Luger (Parabellum). Ponder that one.
I have a semi-auto Uzi and it just doesn't work well with any American 9mm Luger ammo that I've tried. It functions perfectly with European 9mmP ammo.

To get the velocity I see with Euro 9mmP I need to run 9mm +P ammo, which some (American) gun manufacture's advise against using in their firearms.

I don't doubt that there are some weaker American designed 9mm firearms that would be damaged or fail with relatively few rounds of hotter, Euro spec 9mmP thru them.

BSW
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Old Yesterday, 01:22 PM   #19
Cee Zee
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Quote:
Savage can CYA all it likes, it does not make the above less accurate.
The thing is they can still argue it's unsafe if your rifle was built badly and blew out the chamber or the bolt when shooting 5.56. It doesn't matter to them that there is no evidence in the real world of a problem occurring. They live in a lawyer's world and that means skating by on technicalities if you can.
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Old Yesterday, 01:48 PM   #20
Vern Humphrey
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Quote:
If your barrel is marked .223, don't shoot 5.56 in it. Some military 5.56 have bullets too long for the .223 chamber lead and can cause unsafe over pressures. 5.56 chambers have a longer lead than .223 chambers, so it's safe to shoot .223 in a 5.56, but not vice verse.
The shorter lede isn't really a problem. A 5.56 round that is too long for your lede will not chamber -- the bullet will be caught by the rifling. If it chambers, it's safe to shoot.
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Old Yesterday, 03:11 PM   #21
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I am going to call BS on parts of this thread and here is why. This subject comes up time and time again with regard to the 223 verse 5.56 as well as the 7.62 verse 308. Everyone loves to scream SAAMI and here is the SAAMI specifications for the 223 chamber and cartridge.

So shall we just assume that every 223 labeled rifle out there is cut to SAAMI specification? Every 223 rifle chamber looks exactly like the picture? BS on that! Most look nothing like the picture.

OK, took a Colt Sporter target with a barrel clearly labeled 5.56 1:7 and a Remington 700 BDL chambered in 223. Using two identical Remington 223 cases trimed to the same length (not that it matters) and let the rifles seat the bullets. I used Sierra 69 grain match bullets but it matters not. The Remington 700 had more lead than the Colt Sporter Target by at least .005". So spare me the BS. You want to know which chamber has what specs? Pour a casting or actually let the rifle chamber a few rounds and measure them.

Just My Take
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Old Yesterday, 04:43 PM   #22
Willie Sutton
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^^ This.

As I wrote before folks are measuring with a micrometer and cutting with a chainsaw. Normal machining tolerances and reamer wear will more than make up for any differences in the paper specifications. The NATO spec guarantees sufficient leede to allow reliable chambering of dirty ammo within the limits of the specs, and SAAMI .223 specs don't guarantee that. But the actual chamber in your rifles are all going vary, are likely going to be oversized compared to SAAMI specs, and no assumptions can be made about any specific chamber. 5.56MM and .223 ammunition is all going to mike out the same. If anyone can actually *show me* using optical comparison or by careful micrometer measurement any practical difference between Winchester .223 and Winchester 5.56mm or Federal .223 and Federal 5.56mm brass, length wise, with a random sample of 50 cases of each caliber measured and averaged out showing statistical deviations in dimensions, I'll pay the above offered $100 upon formal display of proof. Ditto if you can demonstrate any difference in the dimensions between the shoulder datum point that sets headspace and the ogive of identical bullet profiles, loaded by either of the two manufacturers (chosen because they sell both .223 and 5.56mm marked cases). Pick one of the three challenges I've set forth and prove it, and I'll pay up with a smile.

I suspect I'll be keeping my money...


Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; Yesterday at 04:56 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:16 PM   #23
ugaarguy
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Guys, you can argue that 5.56 NATO is safe in most guns marked .223 Rem, and it might be. However, there is 5.56 NATO ammo like Mk 262 Mod 1 that's walking the line of safe pressure in a 5.56 NATO chamber. Put that in a .223 Rem chamber that's cut to actual SAAMI spec and it WILL be dangerously over-pressure. It only takes one time for someone to get hurt.

Why take the risk when .223 Rem ammo is so widely available?
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Old Yesterday, 10:56 PM   #24
Willie Sutton
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"Put that in a .223 Rem chamber that's cut to actual SAAMI spec and it WILL be dangerously over-pressure"

Citation to support this from peer-reviewed technical data please?

Willie

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Old Yesterday, 10:58 PM   #25
Walkalong
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Just because people do it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Is firing one round of 5.56 in your .223 chamber likely to blow anything up? Not likely. Is continually firing 5.56 ammo in .233 chambers a good idea? No, it isn't. Over stressing a guns chamber over time can cause it to just let loose one day. The question isn't can you do it and get away with it, the question is whether it is a smart practice. I say it isn't. I have 5.56 chambered weapons to shoot cheaper 5.56 surplus in. (Well, it used to be cheap )
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