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Thread: 5.56 in 223 Savage bolt rifle.

  1. #1

    5.56 in 223 Savage bolt rifle.

    I just finished putting together a 223 Savage for my 10 yr old. I have some 5.56 55 gr FMJ ammo. Only factory stuff I could find. I know the difference in throating of the 223 and the 5.56. These are 55 bullets. I will measure the distance to the ogive tonight to verify they are not being jammed.

    Do the same 5.56/223 issue exist in bolt guns that everyone is so concerned about for the ARs? I am shooting this to just sight the rifle and have a few fired rounds to set the headspace on my dies. I will reload everything from that point on using my existing LC brass.

    Thanks, Tim

  2. #2
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    thomae's Avatar
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    Please do a search. There are numerous, well, at least several, threads on this exact question and they go on and on. There are people with strong opinions who have weighed in on different sides of the issue. Search and you shall find.
    Confido autem verificare

  3. #3
    Paid Member thermaler's Avatar
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    You have something like Federal Lake or NATO surplus? I have several AR's and have used surplus stuff, my opinion is because of the thicker cases I'd be a little careful with the ball stuff being a hot load in a thicker (smaller volume) case. I stay away from anything non-brass and lacquer-coated. Shouldn't be too hard to find out if your rifle/barrel can chamber 5.56 I would think. I've had very good results with PRVI partizan stuff, IMO one of the best of the "bargain-basement" class of surplus ammos which I've grouped through my AR almost as well as v-max. My guess is you'd be fine with a plain-jane 55 gr fmj--but I'm no expert and do not own a savage bolt-action 223.
    Shooting--it's like high-speed golf

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by thomae View Post
    Please do a search. There are numerous, well, at least several, threads on this exact question and they go on and on. There are people with strong opinions who have weighed in on different sides of the issue. Search and you shall find.
    Well the search engine doesn't work like it used to. I tried "5.56 ammo" and "5.56 in 223 chamber" and didn't see anything on the topic that matched before I posted my first post. I went back and to search other topics I have posted and couldn't even find them.

    I have seen this discussion multiple times and never bothered to read it because I am not a AR fan and typically never mess with Mil-Spec 5.56 ammo. I just can't buy any local 223 rounds because of the hoarders. The difference seems to be the pressure difference of the 5.56 being higher than the 223 by 7,000 psi or so and that the 5.56 is typically throated much longer. Well I have measure the distance to the lands with 52 gr Bergers in this factory 223 chamber. The bullet barely stays in the case, maybe 0.150". There is no way that a 55 FMJ is going to be jammed in this chamber.

    If pressure is the issue, them how does a 223 Wylde allow one to shot 223 or 5.56 in the same barrel. I have seen this done by several people with no issues (key word) yet.

    I will just load up some LC brass I have laying around to set and fire a couple of loads to sight the rifle and get a headspace measure so I can adjust my dies.

    Tim

  5. #5
    tiny68

    I have two AR rifles and a Stevens 200 .223 with a heavy 26 inch barrel, I used an empty case that was resized just enough to hold the bullet in place for these tests. With the test case and the bullet seated long I chambered the case in each rifle and measured the overall length.

    My Stevens 200 has a throat very close in *length to my AR15s, I fired Federial and Lake City M193 ammunition in my Savage/Stevens 200 and measured the base of the case for excessive expansion. The base of the case and a visual inspection of the primers were good with no signs of excess pressure.
    (* throat diameter and angle vary with these chambers)

    NOTE: I have been reloading for over 45 years and have always inspected my cases during work up loads and out of habit when putting them back in their plastic cases. And I consider myself a safe reloader, my practice reloads in my AR rifles are a lower pressure than rated factory .223 chamber pressure for 100 yards or less.

    Here is what I know from researching the subject.

    A short throated .223 has a throat length of .0250
    An AR15 has a throat length of .0500
    A Wylde chamber has a throat length of .0619
    A target chamber on a Savage has a throat length of .0566 (I believe this is what I have, see link below)

    HOLLIGER ON .223/5.56 CHAMBERS
    http://www.radomski.us/njhp/cart_tech.htm

    Nothing is written in stone, I have fired M193 military 55 grain ammunition in my Stevens 200 BUT did so after checking the throat and the cases for signs of excess pressure. I have not tested the newer M855 military ammunition with it heavier bullet, so all bets are off on that ammo.

    Also in the past the military has waived chamber pressure limits on some production runs of military ammunition in order to meet velocity requirements. Meaning the chamber pressure can exceed standard military pressures for the 5.56.

    Below is a cartridge case being fired at normal chamber pressures, the red and yellow areas are the high stress points.



    Below is an exaggerated example of over pressure and cartridge case base expansion, you measure this with a set of vernier calipers or a micrometer. Also you will see brass start to flow into the ejector button on the bolt face and shows up as a circular ring on the base of the case. (easiest to see and the first sign of a pressure problem)



    Below is the best information I have found on the subject to date and is a good read.

    NOTE: Standard rated chamber pressure for the .223 is 52,000 cup or 55,000 psi in a short throated rifle, normally these rifles have a 1 in 14 to 1 in 12 twist. My Stevens 200 has a 1 in 9 twist and a longer throat, I have read that many of the newer .223 rifles have chambers big enough to fit a Company Lawyer in to prevent Court cases.



    5.56 vs .223 What You Know May Be Wrong
    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/5-56-vs-223/

    As I said I reload my AR and .223 rifles, below was a five gallon bucket full of .223/5.56 cases that are being cleaned, inspected and resized/reloaded for feeding my hungry .223/5.56 rifles.



    When my fingers stop bleeding from removing the crimped primer pockets with hand tools I have two more buckets to process. (just kidding but I do have sore fingers)



    Bottom line, fire one round and check for, hard bolt lift, flattened primer, ring on base of case from ejector button, measure base expansion before and after firing. NOTE: military 5.56 cases are made of harder brass and the base web area is thicker, if you see any signs of pressure with military ammunition then STOP immediately.

    Primers and Pressure Analysis (see photo)
    http://www.accurateshooter.com/techn...sure-analysis/

    Below are military 5.56 cases on the far left and right, in the center is a .223 case and it has a thinner web area around the flash hole.










  6. #6
    tiny68

    Visually reading cartridge cases for pressure signs is guesswork at best, you have variations in primer cup thickness and hardness. The one pressure sign I see used a lot at http://www.accurateshooter.com/ is the mark left on the base of the case by the ejector button. This is the first place you will see the brass start to flow and a sure sign you have exceeded the pressure for that brand/type of brass.

    Below were fired in an AR15 and are over pressure signs, not to be confused with high port pressure or over gassing on a AR and brass swipes on the rear of the case. Pay close attention to your primers and for the circular ring indicating brass flow. And note that these signs will be fainter on military brass because it is harder. So again if you see the circular ring STOP IMMEDIATELY and wait for some .223 ammunition.

    Last edited by bigedp51; 02-01-2013 at 12:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Paid Member rjtfroggy's Avatar
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    Now you did it big Ed has been awakened.
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  8. #8
    tiny, bided is on the $$ good information on savage chamber and about the ammo, 5.56 vs 223.

    I haved the asked the same, what I found helpful was:

    1. sharpshooter responded that savage cuts their 223 bit longer than a pure 223
    2. other users have reported that they have shot many hundreds of 5.56 rounds through their factory savage 223 without any issues.

    If you are in doubt or want to confirm what you have, just cast your chamber and measure.
    newbie from gr, mi.

  9. #9
    Per Savage: Savage rifles chambered for the .223 Remington are designed exclusively for use with .223 Remington ammunition. Use of 5.56x45 NATO ammunition is not encouraged or endorsed, and use of said ammunition in ANY Savage firearm chambered in .223 Rem will void the warranty.

    END OF DISCUSSION!
    I've come to believe that everyone should have to pass a simple common sense and I.Q. test before they're allowed to own a gun.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Stockrex View Post
    tiny, bided is on the $$ good information on savage chamber and about the ammo, 5.56 vs 223.

    I haved the asked the same, what I found helpful was:

    1. sharpshooter responded that savage cuts their 223 bit longer than a pure 223
    2. other users have reported that they have shot many hundreds of 5.56 rounds through their factory savage 223 without any issues.

    If you are in doubt or want to confirm what you have, just cast your chamber and measure.
    There are also throat gauges to measure the throat length but they will cost you approximatly $100.00 smackers. This is why I used the cartridge and bullet test to compare my chambers.

    As you can see below the military 5.65 throat is twice as long as a SAAMI "guideline dimension" .223 chamber throat.




    I know I'm safe for the end of the world or a Zombie invasion and using my stash of 5.56 M195 military ammo, and my unlimited supply of reloads. (that's less than 1/3 of my brass below) ;-)



    My ammo is loaded with 24.7 grains of H335 and the proper Zombie bullet for watching "The Walking Dead" Sunday nights on AMC.

    Last edited by bigedp51; 02-01-2013 at 04:33 PM.

  11. #11
    Let me emphasis again that I am wanting to fire 3-5 rounds to zero a scope and have some fire brass to set the headspace but the bump on my sizer die. I will reload all my own from that point own. I wish I could just run to WM and by a box of 223 Remingtons...

    I will just load up a couple and use it to get the gauge set right.

    Thanks for the discussion on the matter.

  12. #12
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    Let us know how it turns out.

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