Savage Axis 223

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by damende53, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. damende53

    damende53 New Member

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    I am getting a Savage Axis .223 and have not been able to find any information on whether or not it can handle 5.56 ammo.
    If anyone has any information or thoughts on this subject please let me know.
     
  2. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Why don't you call Savage? Or drop them an E-Mail? Besides that, I have always been under the impression that if it's marked "223", no 556 allowed. If it's rated for 556, it will be marked as such, and not 223.
     

  3. sandog

    sandog Member

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    Bolt action .223's are generally just that, chambered for .223. Firing a 5.56mm round in your Axis is not gonna blow up your rifle, but the slightly higher pressure of the 5.56 and more pressure increase due to the 5.56 round being fired in a chamber with a shorter leade might result in blown primers and gas coming out the back of the case into the action. Stick with .223 in the bolt action.
     
  4. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    There is NO difference between the .223 Rem. & the 5.56 NATO !...................
     
  5. infidel686

    infidel686 New Member

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    My friend had one and shot some 5.56 through it. We hat to beat the bolt open with a soft face hammer because the case expanded too much. I wouldn't do it to my rifle.
     
  6. trigger643

    trigger643 New Member

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    Yep. I used to believe that, too.


    Identical ammunition, in this case Lake City M855 from the same lot.

    Here was my personal and unintentional experiment with 5.56 out of a .223. The rounds on the left were fired from a .223 chambered AR15. It consistently blew the primers. The rounds on the right were fired from a 5.56 chambered AR15. Same day, same ammo, two different chambers. .223 ammunition functioned without issue through both rifles.

    Remedy: Ream the .223 chamber.

    I have never had this issue with any Savage chambered in .223 (I've owned 3), or any other bolt gun I've owned with the exception of a .223 Weathery which exhibited indications of over-pressure when shooting 5.56.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    For a synopsis and commentary of the SAAMI Bulletin "Unsafe Arms and Ammunition Combinations Technical Data Sheet" (1/1979, revised and updated Summer 2007), see:

    http://www.thegunzone.com/556v223.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  7. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    If you intend to hunt with the rifle not accepting 5.56 ammo is not a big deal. Most of your soft point ammo is .223.
     
  8. JCS53

    JCS53 That looks like it hurt Lifetime Supporter

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    I had an Axis .223 and it said .223 only on the barrel.....
     
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    best recommendation is to use the ammo that is marked on the firearm, unless the manufacturer suggests alternate ammo options.
     
  10. damende53

    damende53 New Member

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    Savage 223 vs 556

    Thanks to all. That SAMMI info definitely does indicate a different in casing size. So yes I can see that as a problem.
    So from the information offered here...Why chance it. It will be used mostly for varmint hunting in any case.
     
  11. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Probably a wise choice. But, if I'm not mistaken, there ARE some bolt guns chambered in 5.56, right? I do not know if that savage axis is one of them...
     
  12. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    Yes, your (new) Savage Axis 223's chamber will handle the pressures of 5.56. What the chamber won't handle is the shell's casing after firing. The 5.56 will want to expand more in the 223 chamber and become stuck due to higher pressures built up. Now, if you go to any good gunsmith and have them ream out the chamber to proper 5.56, you'll never have any problems with shooting either round.

    With a 223 chamber, you're limited to max 55-62gr, while a 5.56 chamber you can go up to 77gr.(longer bullet) for a larger variation of finding the best ammo accuracy for your new rifle, especially if you reload. The rifle's magazine will be your limiting factor at this point, for which grain of ammo you'll be able to use. If ammo won't load due to bullet/shell length, then you will only be able to hand load each round singly into chamber.

    Another limiting factor in your rifle's accuracy between shooting 223 or 5.56 is the barrel twist. If you have a 1/10, 1/12 twist, you'll be better off shooting the lighter 40-60gr ammo. While a 1/7, 1/8 will handle 55gr to the heavier 77gr rounds easier, but each barrel is different according to lengths and ammo type used. So think real hard if you want to re-ream out your chamber to 5.56 because you may not have a good barrel twist to accommodate the ammo you want.
     
  13. Salvo

    Salvo New Member

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    I would just shoot .223 ammo and let it go at that.
     
  14. infidel686

    infidel686 New Member

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    The 5.56 is longer due to the bullet not being set as deep. but the real difference is higher pressure loads in the millitary rounds. This is essentially the same as over charging a load.
     
  15. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Where ?......................
     
  16. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    The ammo itself is not the entire story.
    "The 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical.[41] 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 commercial chambers. Because of this, a cartridge loaded to generate 5.56mm pressures in a 5.56mm chamber may develop pressures that exceed SAAMI limits when fired from a short-leade .223 Remington chamber."

    This is one reason I have a CIP chamber. I shoot quite a bit of surplus 5.56 from over the years and it is no issue with the CZ527 varminter. If there was no difference, why would the Wylde chamber have come out in the U.S.?
     
  17. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    I shoot surplus 5.56 NATO in my Handi-Rifle with no problems what so ever !..............
     
  18. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    223 rifles/ammo is set to SAAMI pressure standards,whereas 5.56 Military style ammo can have higher pressure standards. The cases are almost identical in size,but most 5.56 cases are slightly thicker than 223 cases. If you shoot 5.56 ammo in a 223 with a tight chamber,chances are,you will have high pressure spikes in the rifle.
    In a bolt action rifle,chances are you will only have blown primers,expanded primer pockets,or a sticky bolt. In extreme cases,you can have case head separation,cracked bolt head,or damage to the extractor/ejector.

    The chamber has no bearing on the weight of projectile that can be fired from the weapon. The barrel twist will regulate what weight of bullets the barrel will stabilize. I shoot 75 grain bullets out of my 1-9 twist Savage,and up to 80 grain bullets out of my 1-8 twist Rock River AR-15.

    I have over the years fired thousands of 5.56 rounds out of 223 chambered rifles without any problems,but I always did it knowing that I might have to replace a broken part if the pressure got too high every once in a while.

    That said,the Savage Axis is an entry level firearm,and isn't built as stout as their standard line of rifles,I'd probably stick with 223 ammo with that firearm.
     
  19. bradam

    bradam Member

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    Check out page 157 in Hornadays 9th edition handbook of reloading. SAAMI maximum pressure for the .223 is 55,000 psi. The 5.56 nato is 60,000 psi. "Firing 5.56 nato (higher pressure) in a 223 Remington (shorter throat) rifle can cause pressure related damage that could lead to injury." Better to be safe than sorry. It is good to have opinions from people on this forum but at the end of the day one should follow the guidelines in the Handbooks of reloading til their own experiences dictate otherwise. IMO