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RAAC response about shooting 5.56 in your 223 Saiga

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I am just posting this because I couldn't find a definitive answer. 75% of the people say to go ahead and shoot 5.56 out of the Saiga 223, but I wanted to know forsure if it was ok.

 

I sent RAAC an email and this was their response

 

Hi David,

 

You can shoot either commercial ammo or the 5.56X45 ammo in your .223.

 

Clyde Woods

Sales & Marketing

RAAC

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That's reassuring, thanks! I just got a few boxes of 5.56 and it's nice to have a definitive answer. Many people here use it with no issues but it's nice to hear it from the source.

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

 

 

 

 

Are you sure about this? From what I understand the difference is in the chamber and not the bore.

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No I am not 100% certain. I am relaying information that was given to me by a good friend who has tons of experience with this sort of thing. If he is wrong or mistaken, it will be the first time. That being said, I am certain that the projectiles are a different size and that the 5.56 will not engage the rifling as much as the .223.

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i have shot a lot of 5.56 in mine. never noticed an accuracy differences. dont know about the bullet size but the shots hit the same spread. this might be noticeable at longer ranges but at 150y or less, its no different in mine.

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Well, it's not always the best source but Wikipedia has this:

 

Difference between 5.56 and commercial .223

 

"The 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges and chamberings are similar but not identical. Military cases are generally made from thicker brass than commercial cases; this reduces the powder capacity (an important consideration for handloaders[12]), and the NATO specification allows a higher chamber pressure. NATO EPVAT test barrels made for 5.56 mm NATO measure chamber pressure at the case mouth, as opposed to the location used by the United States civil standards organization SAAMI. The piezoelectric sensors or transducers NATO and SAAMI use to conduct the actual pressure measurements also differ. This difference in measurement method accounts for upwards of 137.9 MPa (20,000 psi) difference in pressure measurements. This means the NATO EPVAT maximum service pressure of 430 MPa (62,366 psi) for 5.56 mm NATO, is reduced by SAAMI to 379.21 MPa (55,000 psi) for .223 Remington.[13] In contrast to SAAMI, the other main civil standards organization C.I.P. defines the maximum service and proof test pressures of the .223 Remington cartridge equal to the 5.56 mm NATO.

 

The 5.56 mm NATO chambering, known as a NATO or mil-spec chamber, has a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 Remington chambering, known as SAAMI chamber, is allowed to have a shorter leade, and is only required to be proof tested to the lower SAAMI chamber pressure. To address these issues, various proprietary chambers exist, such as the Wylde chamber (Rock River Arms)[14] or the ArmaLite chamber, which are designed to handle both 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington equally well. The dimensions and leade of the .223 Remington minimum C.I.P. chamber also differ from the 5.56 mm NATO chamber specification.

 

Using commercial .223 Remington cartridges in a 5.56 mm NATO chambered rifle should work reliably, but generally will not be as accurate as when fired from a .223 Remington chambered gun due to the longer leade.[15] Using 5.56 mm NATO mil-spec cartridges (such as the M855) in a .223 Remington chambered rifle can lead to excessive wear and stress on the rifle and even be unsafe, and the SAAMI recommends against the practice.[16][17] Some commercial rifles marked as ".223 Remington" are in fact suited for 5.56 mm NATO, such as many commercial AR-15 variants and the Ruger Mini-14, but the manufacturer should always be consulted to verify that this is acceptable before attempting it, and signs of excessive pressure (such as flattening or gas staining of the primers) should be looked for in the initial testing with 5.56 mm NATO ammunition.[18]

 

It should also be noted that the upper receiver (to which the barrel with its chamber are attached) and the lower receiver are entirely separate parts in AR-15 style rifles. If the lower receiver has either .223 or 5.56 stamped on it, it does not guarantee the upper assembly is rated for the same caliber, because the upper and the lower receiver in same rifle can, and frequently do, come from different manufacturers - particularly with rifles sold to civilians or second-hand rifles.

 

In the more practical terms, as of late 2009 most AR-15 parts suppliers engineer their complete upper assemblies (not to be confused with stripped uppers where the barrel is not included) to support both calibers in order to protect their customers from injuries and to protect their businesses from litigation following the said injuries."

 

 

 

 

It can't be much of an issue with Saiga 223's since so many here use 5.56 military ammo and report no troubles at all. If it truly was a .223 chamber I'd think someone would have had some issues by now.

 

 

 

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

 

Are you confused with a 5.45x39?????????

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Borrowed from Ammo Oracle at Arfcom:

 

556cham.gif

 

5.56 Nato and .223 Remington both use a .224 diameter. Russian 5.45X39 uses a .221 diameter projectile.

Edited by Ronswin
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I called my buddy and apparently it was only certain rifles that it matters on. Saiga's aren't one of them, I just assumed it was all .223's. Oh well, live and learn. That is what this forum is for.

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

^ this is not accurate. both ".223" bullets and "5.56mm" bullets are the exact same diamter. The measurements are nominal, i.e. we call them by a convenient name and not by an exactly precise measurement. .223 remington is the commerical cartridge, 5.56x45mm is the nato adopted round, ergo the metric designation rather than an inch measurement.

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

^ this is not accurate. both ".223" bullets and "5.56mm" bullets are the exact same diamter. The measurements are nominal, i.e. we call them by a convenient name and not by an exactly precise measurement. .223 remington is the commerical cartridge, 5.56x45mm is the nato adopted round, ergo the metric designation rather than an inch measurement.

 

Hey, I already admitted I didn't know WTF I was talking about. I am obviously confused here. I was trying to help out but was misinformed by a friend, and confused between the 5.56 and 5.45. Give me a break.unsure.gif

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Coolness... this means I may get a Saiga .223 for competition instead of an AR. I'd rather keep as much of the same ergonomics as possible, less chance of muscle memory going to the wrong weapon under stress.

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

 

You're listing the specs for the lands of the barrel, not the bullet its self. (Sort of like how almost all 30 caliber rifles are called 7.62mm when they're usually firing a 7.82mm bullet. They're going by the size of the lands and not the size of the bullet. Russian 7.62mm is not 7.82mm, it is 7.92mm so that's something you may want to consider even though the lands are still 7.62mm, hints 30 caliber)

 

.223, 5.56, and many other rounds all use the .224 caliber bullet. FN correctly did the name for the .224" in metric when they called it the 5.7mm.(5.7x28mm)

5.7mm is the true size of the 5.56 bullet and the .223 remington bullet.

 

There's many cases where the name of the round in no way reflects anything about the actual size, so also watch out for that. Sort of like how you have 45acp, 45 colt, and 45-70 all using different sized bullets. .451 for 45acp(sometimes .452, usually only cast), .452-.454 for 45 colt, and .458-.459 in the 45-70. You also have the 460S&W magnum, which you would think would be a .458 at least, while it's actually still a .452 bullet, as well as the 460 rowland and 450 bushmaster.

 

Lets not even get started on the 38 caliber world, it's even worse.

Oh, and the 44 magnum actually being .429".

Edited by Tombs

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RAAC has a confusing website.

I copied this info..

 

The Saiga is auto-loading rifle and comes with a hunting buttstock and forend. The Saiga product line of rifles is intended for hunting big and medium-sized game under different climatic conditions. These rifles are manufactured by Izhmash where the world reknowned Kalashnikov (AK-47) was developed and manufactured. They are available in several calibers: 7.62 x 39, .223 Rem and 5.45 x 39. The Russian Dragunov skeleton buttstock with an adjustable cheekpiece is also available.

Available in Black only.

Model Caliber Barrel Length Magazine Capacity Weight w/o Magazine

Saiga (7.62) 7.62 x 39 16.3", 20.47" 5 or 10 RD magazines 8.4 lbs

Saiga (.223) 5.56 x 45 16.3", 20.47" 5 or 10 RD magazines 7.9 lbs

Saiga (5.45) 5.45 x39 16.3", 20.47 5 or 10 RD magazines 7.8 lbs

 

I wonder how the barrel is set-up? .223 rate of twist or 5.56 ?

Anybody know?

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I asked this question before and people acted like i was so stupid. I had people tell me that it is chambered for 223 and that a 556 round could cause the gun to explode and kill me and everyone around me.

 

You CAN shoot 556 in the 223 saiga.

 

f you look at all the paperwork that comes with your saiga rifle in 223 it will always list 556 first and the the 223 in brackets. I have heard people say that they stamp it 223 because 223 is a "sporting/hunting" round and 556 is more military-esque. My inference is that the Russians use the metric system and therefore they make it in 556 but put 223 because they are importing to the US where we use the English system. Either way the Saiga is made to use 556 and anyone that says it cant or shouldnt is probably not informed and repeating what some "knowledgable" gun shop employee told them.

 

I am glad someone brought this up. This is great info for people that are unfamiliar with guns and the different chambers, bores, etc. I know that when I got my first rifle (saiga 223) I was not sure and i got lots of conflicting information. Hopefully someone getting a new gun will find this thread and help them get the correct info

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Created an account just to share a couple of links. First to an article that is well worth reading all 4 pages, then to a site that offers a ".223/5.56? gage" that is the only difinitive way to determine if you have a .223 chamber or a 5.56 chamber.

 

http://www.gundigest.com/223-vs-5-56

 

http://www.m-guns.com/tools.php click the pic of the 5.56 reamer and the .223/5.56? gage to read more.

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It is slightly smaller and won't engage the rifling as much as .223 will. 5.56=.2188972 or .219. Therefore, accuracy will suffer and you may even see some keyholing further downrange. That being said, it won't hurt the rifle.

That's funny, since all my manuals say both use a .224" (5.70mm) bullet!

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Actually, 556 it's slightly longer than a223 and is a hotter round. 223 was designed with Bolt action precision rifles in mind. The 556 was designed to operate at higher pressures to compensate for the mechanism of self loading rifles. Using a 556 in 223 chambered rifle that is not rated 556 can result in up to 15,000-20,000psi OVER that of 223.

Edited by poolingmyignorance

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The biggest difference in the two chambers is the leade length. The NATO chambers have a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 only guns generally have a SAMMI chamber, and dont have to support the higher pressures the 5.56 brings with it, and have a shorter leade length.

 

The cases are identical in dimensions, but differ in the pressure ratings and leade length.

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Okay, so what you guys are saying is...

 

I can run .223 in any gun labeled 5.56 and 5.56 in any .223 gun (when it's approved as being safe by the manufacturer) but, I cant run .223 or 5.56 in my Saigas chambered in 5.45 or 7.62x39?

 

It's a damn conspiracy to make us by more guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I don't think there's any US manufacturer that makes a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle that is only marked as .223 Rem. US manufactures are typically explicit about the chamber dimensions, even if it is to say ".223 Rem / 5.56 NATO", using the Ruger Mini-14 as an example.

 

A lot of foreign manufacturers export 5.56 NATO rifles that are marked as .223 Rem, due to many foreign countries having import restrictions on military calibers. I don't believe it's a US-specific restriction.

 

The Saiga .223 barrels come off the same assembly line as their 5.56 NATO AK-101/102 product. AFAIK, all .223 AKs are in fact chambered in 5.56 NATO, as all of them are produced on assembly lines intended for both military and civilian export.

Edited by mancat
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I don't think there's any US manufacturer that makes a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle that is only marked as .223 Rem. US manufactures are typically explicit about the chamber dimensions, even if it is to say ".223 Rem / 5.56 NATO", using the Ruger Mini-14 as an example.

 

A lot of foreign manufacturers export 5.56 NATO rifles that are marked as .223 Rem, due to many foreign countries having import restrictions on military calibers. I don't believe it's a US-specific restriction.

 

The Saiga .223 barrels come off the same assembly line as their 5.56 NATO AK-101/102 product. AFAIK, all .223 AKs are in fact chambered in 5.56 NATO, as all of them are produced on assembly lines intended for both military and civilian export.

Agreed. I doubt Izhmash would waste the time to have two separate chambers for one product. Its easier to label and market one rifle as .223 for nations that have restrictions rather than invest time and tooling to have one actually chambered for .223 only, when they are offering the AK in the 101/102 format with a NATO designation.

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My only complaint would be the gas system! I have not shot .223 out of mine but my 5.56 brass is moving so fast that occasionally it tears the space time continuum and ends up in another place or time? That and the AK dent, the marks on the rear trunion from the bolt and carrier (the bolt doesn't receive all the force but sees its own weight force) I now have a buffer installed but an adjustable or proper gas system would have been nice. Once my year is up it will probably be converted and I will make an adjustable system just like the s12 knob. Works fine with the buffer, will probably buy the Wolff spring as well.

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Billybob, almost all AKs will smack the rear trunnion.

 

I used to use the Wolff extra-power spring in my Saiga for shooting 5.56, but found that it caused occasional short-stroking and double-fires (hammer wouldn't catch disconnector) when shooting lower-powered .223, so I removed it and put the factory spring back in, and the rifle returned to 100% reliability.

 

I do have the XP spring as a complete recoil assembly, so I can swap it in if I'm going to shoot a lot of 5.56 or hotter .223 loads, but for now I'm leaving the factory spring in.

 

Yes the Saiga slings brass into the next county, but frankly I'd rather have that then a rifle that won't extract after dropping it in a puddle of muddy water. Case extraction on most AR rifles is, to say the least, disappointing and not confidence-inspring, but it's great if you're a reloader. Most of the .223 AK rifles seem to be tuned to operate with the least amount of gas possible.

 

Another option for you is the Valmet ejection port buffer - you can still find these for sale online. It clips onto the dust cover and acts like an AR brass deflector. You can make your own as well.

 

http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/16781-valmet-ejection-buffer-works-great/

Edited by mancat

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Meh with the bolt buffer in there I might leave it as is!

 

Where did you get the complete spring assembly? As I shoot more 5.56 as its available cheap and often.

 

Does the Wolff slow down the brass issue at all?

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