It depends on the particular model of the rifle, not the caliber it is in.
What model and make is it?
If the rifle is chambered for the .308 Winchester cartridge, then long or short action can safely fire it. Long or short refers to how far the bolt travels when opened. The .308 is typically a short action- the 30-06 and longer cartridges cannot cycle thru a short action, and must be used in a long action rifle.
I fire short in mine
Ruger American Rifle short action calibers (.243 Win, .308 Win, 7mm .08 Rem, 22-250)
.22 short, long, or long rifle rimfire ammunition only.
All 3, but you may find that only the long rifle will cycle through the magazine. These were made for Gambles Stores by Savage.
The rifle will shoot .22lr .22 short, and .22 long. Only .22lr will cycle the action and load the next round. .22 Short and long will function as bolt action only.
The bolt action rifle was invented around the late 18th century and wasnt till ww1 1914 it was widely used and so it wasnt long after this actual bolt action hunting rifles were made so in short early 19th century. However single shot rifles were used long before this.
The patent date should be just in from of the bolt under the rear sight. But only if it is a bolt action!!!!
The 223 is considered a Short Action rifle.