Suitable .223 round for home defense?


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dodging230grainers
June 23, 2006, 05:08 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=786532

Would that round be suitable for home defense, considering its light weight and high velocity, not to mention the fact its a JHP? Would those factors greatly reduce the risks of over penetration in a rifle caliber?

45gr@3600fps

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Preacherman
June 23, 2006, 06:08 PM
The 45gr. bullet is light for caliber, and is intended for varmint use. I'd recommend instead the Hornady TAP round, which comes in various bullet weights. For indoor use, where you want to minimize overpenetration, I'd go with the 55gr. load.

For details, go to www.hornady.com, select "Ammunition", then "Rifle" from the pull-out menu next to it. On the next page, select caliber ".223" from the pull-down menu, and you'll see their range of ammo, including three TAP weights at the bottom of the list.

Alternatively, the Winchester PowerPoint 64gr. JSP (http://www.winchester.com/products/catalog/cfrdetail.aspx?symbol=X223R2&bn=1&type=12) has a pretty good reputation in anti-personnel use. However, it might have greater penetration than the TAP load - not a bad thing, IMHO, but if you want to minimize overpenetration, something to keep in mind.

JeffreyWarren
June 23, 2006, 06:42 PM
I have used a 223/5.56 for one of my home defense weapons since I was 14. With my first being a Mini-14. Then when I turned 17 I traded my well used Mini in as a partial trade for an original HK-91 with either an ART Scope or for close quarters I had a Armerson OEG(?) which gave me both day and night capabilities.
( I sure miss that rifle..I kick myself for selling it). It served as "home defense" when I lived in a very
rural area. Then I bought a CAR-15 which I also had an OEG(?) which I owed up. The CAR did save my life once...or at least ended hostilities one night when I was taking payroll out to my vehicle. I had close to 5 grand in cash in my briefcase. I had an AMT stainless 1911 45acp on my hip. But as I reached the truck of my car. Four kids pulled up and demanded the money. I heard what sounded like a firecracker..didn't realize that one of the "kids" had shot at me until after the fact. I grabbed the CAR out of the trunk and that did the trick. The kids took off as fast as possible. I wasn't about to take a shot at them unless they would have held their ground and kept firing at me. Luckily no one was hurt and the kids were later ID'd and arrested. until the early 90s (selling it for the big bucks so I could buy a Israeli Gahil ARM in 308...which I tricked out into a "Taylor-Made" Gahil (Chuck Taylor used to work at Gunsite and wrote a ton of articles for various gun mags).
As to using 223 as a home defense weapon. I would check into firing "zones" to make sure you aren't going to penetrate into occupied rooms, and anything else downrange indoors and out. But 223 has show in some reports to have less over penetration then various handgun calibers such as 9mm and up. As for choice of projectiles. Depending upon your circumstances. Very high velocity light weight HP with back up green-tip light armor piecing just in case those you are defending against are wearing body armor ( which is getting more and more common). Of course you should mount a few "bells and Whistles such as a tactical flashlight such as a Surefire. These flashlights not only allow you to ID your target. The high intensity light can temporarily blind the threats as well. Also a good quality laser has a huge psychological effect. Having a red dot dance upon your chest can and has taken the fight out of a criminal. As well as being a good close quarters aiming point. Lastly a day-night optic and/or tritium iron night sights...I prefer to have both. Most important thing is to practice under all lighting conditions. I would still have a sidearm ...just in case. Lastly get a good tactical sling so incase the threat(s) were to get close enough to try to take your weapons. I also have a bayonet for just this reason. If someone were to grab at my carbine. It offers yet another disincentive.
Hope this helps.

C-grunt
June 23, 2006, 06:58 PM
I think that any light wieght high velocity round would not overpenetrate due to severe fragmenting. Like Jeff said, I would keep some ball ammo around incase they are wearing body armor.

Balddragn
June 23, 2006, 07:23 PM
The first 6 rounds in my AR-15 (2nd line of HD) are Glasers just in case I miss. 68 grain after that.

pcf
June 23, 2006, 07:35 PM
Body armor falls into two general categories when it comes to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington bullets. Either the armor will defeat the round or it will be defeated. There's very little middle ground.

Soft armor will be defeated by any 5.56 NATO round, and practically any .223 Remington round.

Hard armor, NIJ III or SAPI equivalent or better, will defeat almost any 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington round. It may not survive multiple hits, but that's a different arguement.

I wouldn't put "ability to defeat body armor" very high on the list when choosing a round. I've used the round you linked on a few Nutria, very little pentration, generally does not exit. It's great for furbearers, but I wouldn't want to use it on people.

dodging230grainers
June 23, 2006, 07:54 PM
I'll think I'll go with the Hornady TAP 55gr@3200fps, which seems to be highly recommended. Any other suggestions?

another okie
June 23, 2006, 08:23 PM
www.theboxotruth.com

Balddragn
June 23, 2006, 08:48 PM
xlnt link, thanks

thatguy
June 23, 2006, 09:00 PM
I think any rifle is a bad idea indoors. If you own "property" like a farm or ranch that's different. But for "home" defense any CF rifle will over penetrate, deafren you with the report, be clumsy when negotiating close quarters like narrow hallways and a long gun is more easily wrested away if you get jumped in the dark by an intruder.

There is also the matter of using a military styled rifle. It's not impossible that an anti-gun, overzealous prosecutor or civil attorney hired to sue your butt off could make an issue of it with an ignorant jury carefully selected for anti-gun opinions.

I have lots of black guns with 20 and 30 round mags but I would never consider using one for indoor home defense. But my experience is that just about everyone here will call me nuts. Do as you think best.

ctdonath
June 23, 2006, 10:53 PM
It may not survive multiple hits, but that's a different arguement.That's why you have another 29 rounds in the mag.
I think any rifle is a bad idea indoors.Thread drift; currently under discussion here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=206589).

chopinbloc
June 24, 2006, 07:01 PM
and before discussing it in that forum go ahead and read the box o' truth.


i've been using m193 in my (and my fiance's) home defense rifle. this round has very good terminal ballistics, if it over penetrates, there is very little energy left over but there are, of course better rounds out there. i use m193 because it is both reasonably enough priced that i can train with it and effective enough to rely on it. i keep the majority of my mags loaded with m855, though due to the recent shortage of lake city m193.

i wouldn't worry too much about body armor. it is unlikely that crooks would have armor and if they did, they are REALLY unlikely to have plates that will stop rifle rounds. if they did, you'd probably be screwed anyway as they would probably be well armed, well trained and equipped with things like radios, helicopters, flashbangs, k-9s, a massive and unyielding bureaucracy and badges. you're gonna lose that one.

i've decided that i'm not going to bother with specialty loads until i get that loading press i've been meaning to get in which case i'll be able to put together a load that should be extremely accurate, reliable and devastating out of my rifle. i'm thinking a 68gr hpbt pushed as fast as is safe and accurate. with my 1:7 twist colt i could probably go as high as 75-77gr.

Mannlicher
June 24, 2006, 10:05 PM
at home, I load the Bushmaster with Winchester 55 grain Pointed SP

rockstar.esq
June 24, 2006, 11:55 PM
The .223 as a HD rifle is advocated largely by advertisments and mall ninjas. Seriously, when was the last time armored criminals attempted to break into your domicile? More to the point, if that was in any way likely you probably wouldn't seek advice here. For any non armored invader conventional wisdom shows the shotgun to be the prevailing HD tool. Second would be a handgun. The .223 battle rifle is just that, a battle rifle. I know some will claim that defending your home is the jurisdiction of the hardened "operator specific- tactically illuminated - range compensated and suppressed battle rifle". I guess if your home is in Fallugah you might be on to something. Although I'd wager the 12GA gets the point across well there also. Please don't take this to be a hit on the .223 alone. Frankly I think the idea of using a rifle firing a rifle cartridge inside of your home will generally result in shots through walls and unintended targets getting hit. The same would apply to using a big bore magnum caliber handgun. There just isn't much sense in it.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 25, 2006, 08:32 PM
The .223 as a HD rifle is advocated largely by advertisments and mall ninjas.

Well nobody is paying me money, so I guess that makes me a mall ninja? A light recoiling rifle with a large magazine makes a very nice home defense tool. Here is a test you can do - take some silhouette targets, a shot timer, and a few novice shooters out to the range. Have them do some home defense scenarios with a handgun, 12ga shotgun (loaded with defensive ammo) and a small caliber centerfire rifle like an AR, AK or Mini-14. See which weapons show both the best times and best hits.

For any non armored invader conventional wisdom shows the shotgun to be the prevailing HD tool.

Well, if we are going to make choices based on what the prevailing home defense tool is, we should be discussing whether speed dial, rotary dial, or touch tone is the best for home defense.

Frankly I think the idea of using a rifle firing a rifle cartridge inside of your home will generally result in shots through walls and unintended targets getting hit.

Yes, it is a popular myth even in this thread where people still repeat it after being pointed to several sites where they could see for themselves what the effects of .223, handgun and shotgun rounds are on various intermediate barriers.

About the only myth with similar popularity is the one that you can feed your rifle any old .223 and it will be instantly stopped by a single sheet of drywall but still stop an attacker - and this is also simply not true. Wolf ammo for example will penetrate like nobody's business - as will the Federal TBBC soft points, and about 25% of the time military ball ammo as well.

At the end of the day, anything that will stop a 200lb mammal is going to zip right through multiple layers of drywall and still present a lethal threat. However, some rounds will be less lethal than others and a platform that allows you to put the rounds on target will negate a lot of the problem of worrying about misses.

..
June 25, 2006, 09:00 PM
XM193. Lots of folks use the new Hornaday TAP but it's exspensive and no track record.

longhorngunman
June 25, 2006, 10:05 PM
I use the Black hills 40gr .223. It uses Nosler ballistic tips and performed very nicely for me in some simulated tests involving drywall. Don't pay any attention to that "rifle ain't appropriate for HD" stuff. I tested 9mm, 40S&W, handguns, the AR, and a 12 gauge shotgun. They all penetrated two sheets of drywall and the only two that didn't penetrate the 1" wood door behind the sheetrock was the BH 40gr and 7.5 12gauge doveshot. 12g Buckshot? Clean through the house. Those who put down the rifle for HD then load up their 12g with 000 buckshot don't know what their talking about;) .

chopinbloc
June 26, 2006, 01:52 AM
okay, once again, everyone should just go ahead and read the box o' truth before they start talking about this topic because alot of stuff is said that just plain ain't so.

this isn't the place to debate the merits of rifles v. shotguns for home defense or anything else so i'll just add a couple things:

1. ANY FIREARM/CARTRIDGE COMBINATION THAT IS CAPABLE OF DOING SUFFICIENT DAMAGE TO A PERPETRATOR WILL PENETRATE MULTIPLE THICKNESSES OF DRYWALL.

2. different people feel more comfortable with different tools, therefore one should pick what one is most comfortable and proficient with.

that said, the original poster has decided to use a rifle for home defense and that is his choice alone. therefore if you don't have anything constructive to offer in that vein, it won't be productive or polite to post your personal opinions on his personal choice.

_________________________________________________________


as far as the actual topic goes, my view (such as it is) is that you should stay away from the really light (<55 grains or so) projectiles because they often won't penetrate deeply enough to get reliable incapacitation. if you use a fmj projectile, be absolutely sure it has a nice, deep cannelure and the jacket isn't too thick. if you use another bullet type, many believe that a cannelure is still helpful as it aids fragmentation but many would rather have expansion. i feel that fragmentation reduces the risk of over penetration better than expansion does. the ammo oracle is a good reference when chosing loads.

http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm

swingset
June 26, 2006, 03:21 AM
The .223 as a HD rifle is advocated largely by advertisments and mall ninjas.

Ridiculous.

There just isn't much sense in it.

Not much sense in your rant, either.

Rifle calibers in home defense are viable and work, which is why professionals the world over are using them, but like every method present compromises both bad and good. But, compared to a six-shot revolver, most seem to think they are a vast improvement. Use what makes you happy, and hope you're only facing 1 guy with no vest.

de
October 27, 2006, 09:22 PM
For inside house defense I use and taught others to use 7 1/2 bird shot low brass, 12 gauge. At room distances it is devastating. It will shoot thru two layers of dry wall at close range but quickly looses it lethality. 223 or any other (including pistol rounds) is risky with other occupants in the house. I have an A-2 but consider it for outside the house only,unless am cut off from access to my gas operated shotgun. Shooting a rifle inside a house with other occupants is playing with fire. There are better and smarter ways to win such fights.

Lone_Gunman
October 27, 2006, 10:09 PM
Hornady TAP 55g is very good ammo and it is what I have for my AR, but all it is a moly coated 55g V-Max.

benEzra
October 28, 2006, 12:01 AM
But for "home" defense any CF rifle will over penetrate
Less than a handgun, with the right choice of ammunition.

The .223 as a HD rifle is advocated largely by advertisments and mall ninjas. For any non armored invader conventional wisdom shows the shotgun to be the prevailing HD tool. Second would be a handgun.
Actually, no. A lot of people, including me, think a .223 using lightweight JHP's has some rational advantages over both shotguns and pistols. You disagree, that's fine, but don't call us "mall ninjas" for disagreeing with you.

The .223 battle rifle is just that, a battle rifle.
Show me a military that issues a NON-automatic rifle in .223/5.56x45.

Frankly I think the idea of using a rifle firing a rifle cartridge inside of your home will generally result in shots through walls and unintended targets getting hit. The same would apply to using a big bore magnum caliber handgun. There just isn't much sense in it.
With the right choice of ammunition (the topic of this thread, after all), .223 penetrates less in building materials than 9mm JHP. I wouldn't use rifle FMJ for HD, but I wouldn't use handgun FMJ for HD either, for precisely the same reasons.

nitesite
October 28, 2006, 12:02 AM
Your dissertation was the most interesting reading I have encountered in quite a long time.

LoadedDrum
October 28, 2006, 12:14 AM
Make sure that stuff will cycle in your rifle.

I tried a box and it wouldn't cycle even in my 20" A2. The pressure curve from what I am told is incompatible with the AR gas system.

Zak Smith
October 28, 2006, 12:55 AM
75gr Hornady TAP

If not available, then 75gr, 77gr, 69gr, 68gr Black Hills, in that order.

A suppressed SBR AR-15 is an excellent home defense weapon.

ChristopherG
October 28, 2006, 01:28 AM
Must admit I'm an 870 man myself (in the house; outside I'll load as heavy a bullet as my .223 twist rate will handle, as Zak suggests), but I'm curious if anyone is familiar with this 50 grain frangible-tipped stuff being sold by Eric at ammoman.com:

sixgunner455
October 30, 2007, 04:10 AM
AR carbines are great home defense weapons. Not what a person absolutely "must have". "Most people" could get by adequately in real life with a model 10 S&W and a single-shot 20 guage for most of their shooting and defensive chores. That AR is more efficient to actually shoot that those simple old guns, though. More ammo, quick reload, low recoil for fast follow up shots = accurate rifle power applied to the target. I like it.

But I never sneer at what another person decides is right for them to use in this role.

RockyMtnTactical
October 30, 2007, 05:14 AM
No, not that particular load... it's a varmint bullet. Though the .223 is a great HD round if you have the correct loading.

http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=185

ALL CREDIT FOR THIS ARTICLE BELONGS TO TROY. I'm merely putting it in the content archive since he's been very busy.

Okay, for the folks who haven't read all the data which explains WHY (and I'm not going to re-hash that here for the hundredth time; if you want the "why", read the tacked posts and all related links), I'm going to break it down.

First, a few points:

5.56 vs. .223 loads. A "5.56" load means that the round is loaded to "military" pressures, which exceeds SAAMI's safe rating, and generally means from 120 fps (75-77gr bullets) to 200 fps (55gr bullets) additional muzzle velocity. AR-based rifles with "5.56" or Wylde chambers can fire this ammo safely. More muzzle velocity means a longer fragmentation range, so 5.56 loads are more desirable. Having said that, you are almost always better off using a better-performing bullet in a .223 load than a lesser-performing bullet in a 5.56 load.

Generally, Open-Tip Match (OTM) bullets, also called Jacketed "Hollow-Point - Boat-Tail, Match" (JHP-BT Match) or Boat-Tail Hollow-Point, Match (BTHP Match) bullets, are the most reliable performers, as the consistancy in construction required for match accuracy also results in consistant terminal ballistic performance.


Okay, from best to worst:

1. Loads using the Nosler 77gr or Hornady 75gr OTM bullet. While these bullets may be slightly less accurate *in some rifles* than the Sierra MK, they offer better wounding capability. These bullets maximize terminal ballistic performance AND they extend fragmentation range over other loads, and even provide *some* fragmentation range from 10" barrels. These bullets require 1:8 or tighter twist barrels, though they may work in SOME 1:9 barrels.

- Hornady 75gr TAP (5.56 load)
- Hornady 75gr TAP or TAP-PD (.223 load)
- Black Hills loads with 75gr Hornady (.223)
- (no known factory load using the Nosler bullet)

2. Loads using the Sierra 77gr MK. Like all MK bullets, this one doesn't start to yaw until it passes through several inches of flesh, resulting in a longer "neck" area of the wound profile, and thus being rated slightly lower than the Nosler or Hornady bullets.

- Black Hills Mk262 Mod1 (5.56, cosmetic seconds are available)
- Black Hills 77gr Sierra loads (.223)
- Federal 77gr Sierra (.223)


77grain MatchKing OTM in calibrated ballistic gelatin. Note the long "neck" before fragmentation begins.


3. Loads using the 68gr Hornady OTM. Note: barrel length needs to be 14.5" or longer; these will not have enough velocity to fragment from a 10" barrel and only a couple of yards from an 11.5" barrel. 1:9 or faster twist required.

- Hornady 68gr Match (.223)
- Black Hills 68gr Hornady (.223)

4. Loads using the 69gr Sierra MK. Note: barrel length needs to be 14.5" or longer; these will not have enough velocity to fragment from a 10" barrel and only a couple of yards from an 11.5" barrel. 1:9 or faster twist required.

- Federal 69gr Sierra (.223)
- Black Hills 69gr Sierra (.223)

5. Loads using Trophy-Bonded Bear Claw bullets. The 62gr performs a bit better than the 55gr, but the 62gr bullet is ONLY available in the LEO-only Federal Tactical line. As a bonded-core bullet, these are excellent in situations with an intermediate barrier, and are the #1 performers when having to shoot through glass. Note: these soft-point bullets have an exposed lead tip and cannot be rechambered more than a few times. May not feed reliably in some rifles.

Federal Tactical 62gr TBBC (.223)
Federal Tactical 55gr TBBC (.223)
Federal Premium 55gr TBBC (.223)


6. Loads using the Winchester 64gr PowerPoint bullet. Note: these soft-point bullets have an exposed lead tip and cannot be rechambered more than a few times. May not feed reliably in some rifles. 1:10 or faster twist required.

- Winchester Supreme PowerPoint Plus (.223)
- Winchester Super-X PowerPoint (.223)


7. M193-class ammo, 55gr FMJ-BT bullet. True M193 ammo will be sealed at the bullet and primer, will have a crimped primer and bullet, and is a 5.56 pressure loading. 1:12 or faster twist required.

- Lake City M193 (genuine surplus M193; no longer available)
- Federal XM193 (seconds) or XM193PD (thirds)
- Winchester Q3131 (seconds)
- Winchester Q3131A (manufactured by IMI)
- IMI M193
- PMC, '98 and earlier
- South African M1Ax in battlepacks

8. M855-class ammo, 62gr FMJ-BT bullet with mild steel penetrator in the nose. True M193 ammo will be sealed at the bullet and primer, will have a crimped primer and bullet, and is a 5.56 pressure loading. 1:10 or faster twist required.

- Lake City M855 (genuine surplus M855; no longer available)
- Winchester M855 (genuine surplus M855; no longer available)
- Federal XM855 (seconds) or XM855PD (thirds)
- Canadian IVI (genuine surplus M855; no longer available)
- British SS-109


This list should give you an idea of what is preferred, and in what order. Obviously, many of the loads at the top are quite a bit more expensive than the loads further down (though the TBBC loads are by far the most expensive), but if you're looking just at performance, then this should be your guideline.

I might not have gotten every load out there, but you should be able figure it out if there's a similar load that I didn't mention.

ETA:

Loads To Avoid

Anything loaded with a varmint bullet; all varmint bullets in this caliber will underpenetrate from all guns. This means NO VMax bullets (including TAP loads), NO Nosler/Combined Technologies "Ballistic Tip" bullets, and so on. Varmint bullets were designed for animals no larger than 60 lbs., with the lighter bullets being designed for even smaller animals. They are NOT combat bullets, regardless of marketing to the contrary.

Any frangible bullet load. Frangible bullets are designed for short-range training, where shooting standard bullets at reactive steel targets would be (more of) a safety hazard. Usually, they are made from powdered lead or tungsten alloy inside a gilding metal jacket. They are designed to disintegrate when striking steel plates, but they are NOT designed to (nor do they accidentally) fragment in flesh.

"Armor Piercing" bullets. It is incredibly unlikely that anyone outside of the military will be able to put their hands on a single round of TRUE AP ammo in 5.56, as M995 AP ammo is a speciality item that is rarely issued to anyone but SOCOM troops, and then only on SAW belts, and only when specially requested for a specific mission. It is very expensive and in short supply, and it was designed primarily to disable equipment, NOT for wounding. Since the bullet will not fragment, it is a poor performer with regards to wound profile. This would hold true for any all-steel core or solid copper bullet as well.

Last Updated :: 4/11/2006 9:41:33 AM MDT

Mr. T
December 30, 2008, 04:48 PM
I would have to say that if the .223 is all you have, then it is the best weapon for home defense. Personally I prefer a 20 guage Remington 870 youth model loaded with double 00 buck. It's light weight, very maneuverable and in interior CQB like situations it's absolutely lethal at those close ranges. If you don't think the 20's enough gun, then go to the 12 guage; either way you have a very lethal, very effective weapon that will be less likely to over penetrate the target, yet be almost instantaneous in incapacitating them. If you're in the country where you might have to take someone down at distance, then the rifle would be more appropriate, but if you live in a town or city, I would have to recommend the shotgun.

Mr. T

possum
December 30, 2008, 05:03 PM
The .223 as a HD rifle is advocated largely by advertisments and mall ninjas.
I totally disagree, and there are many people that have been at this alot longer than i and they would have to disagree with you as well. Ie Zak Smith......
I am a sgt in the army infantry, not a mall ninja, but i have been wanting to apply....

OP,
look into the TAP line by Hornaday, they make good stuff. Rounds are consistent from shot to shot, less flash in low light conditions, and they are made for teh exact purposes that you want them for.

possum
December 30, 2008, 05:07 PM
Frankly I think the idea of using a rifle firing a rifle cartridge inside of your home will generally result in shots through walls and unintended targets getting hit.

for you and the many others here that believe the above i advise that you check out Rob Pincus' video from Personal Firearm Defense, titled "Combat Focus Shooting and Home Defense Tips."
he does a mock up of rooms and a hallway, and uses different rounds, out of different systems and you get to see the results for your self. the TAP 5.56 did among the best. out performing and penetraing less than the handgun rounds.

when was the last time armored criminals attempted to break into your domicile? More to the point,
It matters not what the BG is wearing, it is about choosing the best tool for the job at hand.

benEzra
December 30, 2008, 06:11 PM
I would keep some ball ammo around incase they are wearing body armor.
JHP penetrates Kevlar just as well as FMJ at rifle velocities.

I think any rifle is a bad idea indoors. If you own "property" like a farm or ranch that's different. But for "home" defense any CF rifle will over penetrate
Not the case IF you are using the right ammunition. .223 JHP's of moderate weight penetrate less in both building materials and ballistic gelatin than most 9mm JHP. Just don't use FMJ unless you have masonry exterior walls and/or no neighbors in the line of fire.

My own personal preference is Federal 55-grain JHP, which tilts toward the shallow penetration side but IMO is still sufficient. I don't personally consider 69- or 77-grain loads necessary for in-home use, though I certainly see where LEO's would want a bit more penetration, and I respect the opinion of those who prefer the heavier loads for HD as well.

deafren you with the report
A .223 with a civilian-length barrel (16" or greater) and no muzzle brake is no louder than a 9mm and less loud than a .357, although the rifle will be a bit boomier (more bass and longer pressure pulse).

12 Gauge, 18" barrel.........................161.5 dB
.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18" barrel.......155.5 dB
.30-30 in 20" barrel.........................156.0 dB
9mm..........................................159.8 dB
.357 Magnum..................................164.3 dB
.45 ACP......................................157.0 dB

(Data from here (http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml).)

Yes, a .223 fired in an enclosed space is EXTREMELY loud and can cause hearing damage. The same is true of any defensive-caliber centerfire pistol or 18" barreled 12-gauge. Just don't use a rifle with a brake or a sub-16" barrel.

clumsy when negotiating close quarters like narrow hallways
Can be, but no more so than a shotgun, and that's a good argument for adjustable-length M4-style stocks on a long gun (IMO). My own house is not large (1300ish square feet), but the spaces are plenty wide to move freely with a carbine, although you'd have a bit of trouble with something longer. Practice also helps.

LEO's and military do fine moving with long guns in very close quarters, even bulked up with vests and gear that you or I won't be wearing in our homes.

a long gun is more easily wrested away if you get jumped in the dark by an intruder.
I'm not convinced of this one. Retention positions can be used for both.

There is also the matter of using a military styled rifle. It's not impossible that an anti-gun, overzealous prosecutor or civil attorney hired to sue your butt off could make an issue of it with an ignorant jury carefully selected for anti-gun opinions.
Less of a problem now that more Americans own "assault weapons" than hunt, IMO. And given the number of departments now issuing non-automatic civilian AR-15's for general patrol, your local prosecutor can't really bash AR-15's anymore without shooting himself in the foot with the PD.

I have lots of black guns with 20 and 30 round mags but I would never consider using one for indoor home defense. But my experience is that just about everyone here will call me nuts. Do as you think best.
You're not nuts, by any means. One should use whatever he/she is most comfortable with. But those who choose small-caliber carbines are not nuts, either.

I'm curious if anyone is familiar with this 50 grain frangible-tipped stuff
I suspect that is training ammunition for indoor ranges (it goes to powder when it hits steel). This won't necessarily penetrate less in wallboard than a regular .223 JHP, because wallboard probably won't shatter it like steel would. Terminal effects could resemble either FMJ or a super-lightweight varmint bullet, depending on how fragile that particular frangible is.

Rifleman 173
December 30, 2008, 08:10 PM
PRACTICE is the key to successfully using ANY FIREARM.

Practice a lot with a pistol and you're golden for home defense. Practice with a rifle a lot and you're golden for home defense. Practice with a shotgun for home defense a lot and you're golden there too.

Pick your firearm. Develop your home defense plan. Practice a lot with your firearm of choice and you're probably going to succeed when others fail. Also overlap or layer your plans of defense and plan to transition back and forth from firearm to firearm. Practice what you plan too.

In other words, come around my house with evil intentions and you will be met by a grumpy old man packing a rifle that is backed up by a handgun that is backed up by a good sheath knife. I know which directions I want to shoot with my rifle and which directions or reasons I would use my handgun. Get too close and the knife comes out if needed.

Anybody who limits themselves in using firearms limits themselves in their plan of defense. Firearms are tools and you need to remember to pick the right tool for the right job.

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