5.56 in 223 bull barrel?? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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03-19-2012, 21:19
Before ya'll start pulling your hair out YES I know that you should not shoot 5.56 out of a standard 223 barrel.

Okay so here goes, I have a savage model 112, it has the 26 inch bull barrel on it. This thing is huge, over half inch of steel around the chamber... why could or couldn't I shoot 5.56 out of it? I had a 300 win mag with pretty thin chamber walls, so why couldn't I shoot 5.56 out of my 223. Please don't tell me there diffrent sizes and start in about wall thickness and so on, I had a model 12 FVSS when they first came out and before I new any better used to put 5.56 threw it all the time and never had a problem, but now that I"m older and started reloading I under stand alot more about pressures so I don't want to have a bomb in my hands. Any input would be great on this, there's a nice sale on 5.56 at a local store, that's why I'm asking :patriot:

Zombie Steve
03-19-2012, 21:30
Probably be ok. I'd feel better about it in a bolt gun than an autoloader, and it's not like the Savage is going to have a match tight chamber...

Pop a couple off. You reload, so I'm assuming you know what pressure signs look like.

If you notice the bolt handle is hard to lift, you're overpressure. Flattened, pierced or cratered primers... same deal. See what happens to the shoulder - I bet you have more room than you think.

Reb 56
03-19-2012, 21:30
Seems liked you answered your own question since you know about a 5.56 being a higher pressure round and needing more freebore than a .223. I would play it safe and stick with .223 ammo.

Zombie Steve
03-19-2012, 21:32
The big question is... why not just reload some and tune it for that gun? It will still be cheaper than the sale at your local store...


03-19-2012, 21:56
@ zombie steve(love the name btw lol) That's what I'm working on now, but the throat in this barrel is really shallow, I mean I'm loading at a COL @ 2.245 and I can touch rifling at 2.253, but back to the ammo question, (sorry if I posted this in the wrong section) but did I get the wrong info but isn't a max load of say varget(what I'm using) and say Blc2 some times higher than 5.56 nato specs? Sorry for so many questions but one more, what makes one chamber stronger than the other? Shape or size?

03-19-2012, 21:59
As pointed out above it also has to do with the throat of the bore where the bullet is seated. Some .223 barrels are in fact wylde chambered but just know that there is a physical difference in addition to the increased pressure differences.

Definitely just get some good .223 casings and find a good load for it. You can load it up pretty close to 5.56 without missing out on anything.


03-19-2012, 22:09
Thanks guys, I just loaded up 20 rounds with 24.75 gr of varget using hornady #2260 soft point sx, Headed to the range hopefully tommorow, I'll post the results

Zombie Steve
03-19-2012, 22:19
Wow, that is a short leade. Guess I'm used to 700's and their ample freebore. If when you close the bolt and you are up against the lands, it's going to up the pressures significantly. Measure the 5.56 and if it's not over 2.253" OAL (accounting for bullet profiles), then give it a try.

As far as handloads and pressures, I'd have to go look at my Lyman manual. They list pressures. Speer lists the max pressure as well. I'll have to compare.

Zombie Steve
03-19-2012, 22:23
Thanks guys, I just loaded up 20 rounds with 24.75 gr of varget using hornady #2260 soft point sx, Headed to the range hopefully tommorow, I'll post the results

25 grains of Varget and a 55 grain fmj is my range fodder load. :thumbsup: Not particularly zippy, but accurate as I could ever hope for without turning necks and sorting brass and bullets by weight. You are working with 10 more inches of barrel, so I'm sure it's plenty fast from your rifle. Looking forward to pictures of your targets.

03-20-2012, 05:11
Did you call Savage??
I would go by what they say.
The barrel is just one question about the higher pressure, I would be more concerned with the bolt.
Also, it is unlikely that problems will show after one or a few rounds and more likely it will show after some time.
My guess would be with small cracks on the bolt head or something in this line.

03-20-2012, 06:06
Have the chamber reamed to 5.56mm specs.......problem solved!

03-20-2012, 19:52
Went to the range today with my hand loads and boy, I"m sure glad I shot this rifle before I let it go, this thing is awesome!!

first target is cold bore, the second one is on a warm barrel, even tried some "low report loads" I've been working on and they work great too, I had to move the cross hairs to see the holes, my mil dots were blocking them lol



03-20-2012, 20:37
There is a difference if you want to argue. In the real world of rifles shooting no. I own 16 guns in 223 Rem or 5.56 and a couple of Thompson Center Contender in 223. Most are semi or bolt action. I reload for them all. I used to own a real Colt M16 A1 with 14.5" barrel. I reloaded for that too. I simplified the process by trimming my brass to minimum (1.750") over all length. I load on a Dillon by the thousands and I am not going to load 16 different reloads.

Yes the 5.56 is loaded to higher pressures by a different standard than the 223 Remington standard.

I noticed that gun manufactures use 223 Remington on a lot of AR 15 style guns and not the 5.56 NATO and I think that is for PC.

The Ruger Mini 14 is labeled in 223 Rem. Do you think Ruger the gun company thinks no one will shoot 5.56 in their rifles just because it says 223? If some one did do you think it will blow up? You think Ruger want to pay lawyers fees?

I have a Savage 116 stainless steel bolt action rifle that is like your but thinner barrel. If I want to I could shoot 5.56mm ammo in it without any problems.

If you want to shoot 5.56 in your 223 Rem. Savage rifle you can. Take it to the range and do it. You will find it anti-climactic. Savage doesn't like to be sued either!