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5.56 m855 penetrator in a .223 rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by slash415, Mar 9, 2012.

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  1. slash415

    slash415 Member

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    I just bought a Savage Axis in .223. So far it has been
    an awesome gun to shoot. Today I was at Acadmey Sports, they had a box of m855 penetrators for seven bucks. I was wondering if I could safetly fire these rounds from my Axis?
     
  2. GhostRanger

    GhostRanger Member

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    Not recommended. 5.56x45 rounds have a higher pressure than .223. You "can" shoot them but it puts excess stress on your rifle.
     
  3. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Check with Savage. I have a new Ruger Mini-14 ranch rifle and it's stamped .223 Remington, but the manual and Ruger's web site say all but the target models are both .223 and 5.56.

    I think the real difference between .223 and 5.56 is the 5.56 chambers are cut to allow longer bullets. The maximum pressures are about the same, just specified differently.
     
  4. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    There is another thread about this right now. If you really want to try it, go ahead, it PROBABLY wont damage the rifle. If you experience sticky extraction, or blown primers it is time to stop. The issue is the longer bullets causing overpressure due to engaging the rifling early. I personally would not do it, but your rifle not mine.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=647716

    Edit to add link to thread.
     
  5. GRUMPA

    GRUMPA Member

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    I wouldn't want to use those UNLESS it's clearly stamped on the rifle itself. 5.56 ammo has a different leade in the chamber than a 223, and the pressures are greater in the 5.56 than a 223.

    I have 2 different rifles that can shoot 223 but only one rifle that I can shoot 5.56 with.
     
  6. NOLAEMT

    NOLAEMT Member

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    the official rule is that no, you should not fire 5.56 in a .223 chamber, but from what I have heard, especially in a bolt gun, it is not really a concern.
     
  7. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I found this info helpful.

    Much of the confusion in the pressure differences comes from the fact that NATO rounds are tested for pressure at the chamber mouth or barrel and the SAAMI tests it at the chamber.

    .223 Remington versus 5.56 mm NATO



     
  8. briantf

    briantf Member

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    I've emptied out plenty of XM193 and M855 to get to the LC brass in a couple of Savage 223's. Neither 556 load takes advantage of the chamber difference. You better believe I inspect the brass, I reload it! There is zero indication of excess pressure.

    At $3-4/box when I bought it that was an OK way to get good brass compared to virgin Winchester, not so much at $7/box. Sheesh, you'd think it would be coming down in price!

    I've had factory Federal Fusion 270 WSM so hot I got extractor marks on the casehead, I'm more concerned about that kind of factory foul up than any theoretical "it's possible that....."

    Maybe that Mk262 stuff loaded with 77gr SMK's takes advantage of the long lede, but until then, show me a 223 rifle blown up with M855. Then I might pay attention to all the hand wringers.

    Regards,
    Brian in CA
     
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    In a full sized bolt gun chambered for belted magnums I consider 223 and 5.56 to be the same.

    Just because pressures spike beyond what saami would be worried about in a 223 does not mean they spike beyond what an action proofed for 270wby can handle.

    posted via mobile device.
     
  10. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  11. proven

    proven Member

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    you guys do what you want. this has been covered over and over again, and the general consensus is always to not use 5.56 in a .223 chambered rifle.

    so you say you did and nothing happened? good for you. have you ever had a reciever kaboom next to your face? i haven't and am not going to do something to increase those chances, when both ammos are plentiful.

    i had someone tell me that you could easily fire 5.45 russian in a 5.56....my response to him was the same....good for you, have fun with that.
     
  12. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    I've heard from several reputable sources that the Savage rifles are not chambered to SAAMI spec specifically so 5.56 ammo doesn't cause pressure problems. Finding a rifle chambered to strict SAAMI spec is pretty challenging these days.
     
  13. denton

    denton Member

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    One of my recent consulting gigs was working on an M855 issue at Lake City. That DOES NOT make me a general expert on the issue, but perhaps the following is useful:

    The 5.56 does have a longer leade that the 223. However, you will not jam the bullet in the lands if you load M855 in a 223. That's because M855 has to fit in a standard M16 magazine. The M855 Lake City M855 ammo I have measures 2.250". I load longer than that for my bolt action 223.

    The pressure standards for 5.56 and 223 are indeed different. They are also measured by different methods. Until we dig down through another layer of dirt, we can't say how the SAAMI spec compares with the NATO spec. SAAMI says 55,000 PSI MAP, and NATO says 62,350. But NATO does their measuring at the case mouth, and SAAMI measures in the middle of the case body. The strength of the brass usually creates about a 5,000 PSI difference, which MIGHT account for most of the difference.

    Ramshot's reloading data includes a special section that goes to 62,350 PSI. I'll drop them a note and see if they can shed any light on the issue.

    In my case, I don't care a lot... got a 5.56.
     
  14. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    And that's especially true of rifles with faster twist rates designed to accommodate long, heavy .224 bullets.

    OP, try a few rounds and check the brass for pressure signs.
     
  15. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    Can anyone show me one .223 rifle that has blown up from shooting 5.56 in it?
     
  16. proven

    proven Member

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  17. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    From the second link
    What that says is the poster guessed and MADE UP a completely fictional pressure map.

    again pressure can spike all it wants. short of a case full of reddot you're not going to cause a savage/ruger77/or rem700 ect the slightest distress with a piece of 223 brass.

    17 rem shows us the .223 case head is good for 63K psi all day long.


    Again cite one instance of m855 causing a ,223 bolt rifle any distress at all



    posted via mobile device.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  18. proven

    proven Member

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    ned christiansen's quote is what i would pay attention to.
     
  19. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    i intend to just that, as i have been doing since 1968.

    Show me the kaboom.


    Bingo: Figures sometimes lie and liars often figure.
     
  20. proven

    proven Member

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    haha. cheers, buddy
     
  21. denton

    denton Member

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    Ummmm.... no pressure signs means that you are operating under about 70 KPSI. Sure you want to use that as your guide?
     
  22. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    If you look at the CIP standards for .223 (they are different than the SAAMI standards) they can be directly compared to 5.56 since they use the same pressure measuring method. They specify the same pressure for both, and using the same units (SAAMI pressure for the .223 is in CUP which can't be converted to PSI). The difference is in the leade and freebore of the rifle chamber. 5.56 ammo IS loaded hotter even though the max pressure specified and reached is the same. The longer freebore and shallower leade allow the hotter load to stay within the same pressure limit. Firing that hotter load in a spec .223 chamber with the shorter freebore and more abrupt leade can lead to proof load level pressures. This has been tested and confirmed.
     
  23. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Helotaxi, that's the most concise and logical explanation I've ever seen. And it makes sense. Do you you have any references where we can verify this, or is it all from memory?
     
  24. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Since 1968 i have fired hundreds of thousands of military 5.56mm rounds
    in the chambers of .223 rifles. There have never been any signs of high pressure.

    SAAMI waited until millions of surplus 5.56mm rounds hit the market before making their earthshaking revelation.

    The question here becomes: Would SAAMI lie to you. My answer is a resounding yes. SAAMI has lied before.

    A few years ago SAAMI asked OSHA to revise and consolidate outdated rules for small arms ammunition manufacturing and storage. There was one big problem, SAAMI did this without first consulting the manufacturers.

    OSHA drafted a publication and put it out for comment. For nearly 50 years i've been an EOD guy who has stored and used thousands of tons of explosives of all types, consulted with explosive and propellant manufacturers on problems, and written plans for ammunition storage now used by the military of two nations. To those of us familiar with ammunition manufacture and storage there was nothing earthshaking in the proposed publication.

    The ammo makers had a fit and complained to SAAMI. SAAMI called the NRA and told them the sky was falling and the world as we know it was about to come to an abrupt end. SAAMI forgot to tell the NRA that they asked for the publication.

    The NRA and NSSF, without first reading the proposed new publication, jumped all over OSHA for doing what SAAMI asked them to do. Gunowners got energized, imagined the world was ending and called their congress critters.

    Yes, SAAMI would lie to you.

    Link:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthre...&highlight=proposed+new+ammunition+regulation
     
  25. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Show me the kaboom from using 5.56mm ammo in the .223 chamber of a gun in good condition. Anyone?

    There is one .223 gun i'm familiar with that i would not shoot 5.56mm ammo in; matter of fact i got rid of mine and will never own another one. That is the single shot H@R Handi-Rifle. Some of those guns show pressure signs with commercial .223 ammunition. In 1994, while working close to the H@R plant in MA, i met an H@R gunsmith. i asked a him why their .223 chamber dimensions ranged from huge to extremely tight. It turns out that H@R were re-grinding their reamers.

    Several of my .223 guns were made in Europe in the past 10 years. None of those Eurpoean gun makers warn of using 5.56 mm ammo in .223 chambers.

    i am not recommending that anyone use military 5.56mm ammunition in a .223 chamber. If you don't feel comfortable doing it then don't.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
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