What a difference a year makes...


July 23, 2007, 06:19 PM
Seems like just yesterday, it was a terrible sin that we were sending our troops to Iraq with the pathetic 5.56, and that we needed to go to the 6.8 or 6.5 ASAP. The .223 wasn't enough bullet to use against underfed amateurs in Afghanistan.

Now, it seems that the military-issue round not only your best choice for home defense, but it's even great for bears!


Can someone please explain to me how the much-maligned .223, supposedly selected by some ignorant paper pusher with no military knowledge in the dark self-defeating days of Viet Nam, has become such a great round? And where can I get some of this new stuff?

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July 23, 2007, 06:35 PM
In expanding versions, .223 is adequate for putting people down. In FMJ, it is inadequate. The military is required to use FMJ.

I see no conflict, really.

July 23, 2007, 06:45 PM
I dont feel like rereading that whole post of why M4s are so offensively ugly and how that makes them poor HD guns, so could you point out the part about 223 being good against bears? You are the one that side tracked the whole thing with the bears. Who mentioned bears? You. Just saying. Whats your deal with bears? First your username and now these strawman arguments revolving around bears?

:) Dont get too offended here, I am 95% joking. But you are the one that brought up bears in that thread.

July 23, 2007, 06:45 PM
Well, the guy who said he'd be happy with it for bear defense -- and also to use it in the home because it would become relatively ineffective after passing through drywall -- was talking about fragmenting rounds, not soft or hollowpoints.

Maybe he'd use softpoints for bear defense. Hard to say.

July 23, 2007, 06:48 PM
To be fair was he talking black or brown bears. If brown it would be the most insanely ridiculous statement ever, but I dont think he was talking brown bears. Heres to shooting brown bears with AR15s. :scrutiny:

July 23, 2007, 08:09 PM
i'm struggling to understand why you'd want to call more attention to that thread Armedbear, given that

a) rockymtn is right
b) he's being civil and high road, while your posts are increasingly shrill and illogical, and increasingly resorting to name calling and changing the topic to all sorts of non-sequiters

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but seriously,

you are.

Art Eatman
July 23, 2007, 09:46 PM
The R&D that's gone into bullets for centerfire .22s is mightily impressive.

The Army's demand, of course, for a bullet that would penetrate the Kevlar helmet at, what, 500 or 600 meters?

Hunters, for a bullet that would work for deer.

Target shooters, going way beyond what had previously been reliably possible for Ma Bell distances.

What folks were saying about the .223 some half-dozen years ago doesn't really relate to today's world. Where the problems arise is the lag time for folks to find out what's been happening--which leads to arguments...


July 23, 2007, 10:34 PM
OK I'll bite. 5.56 sucks according to you. How about we play a game of tag. 10 yds (reasonable home defense distance). I shoot you first with a 77 grn OTM. Then you get to shoot me with whatever cannon you choose. Sounds like you should win this game for sure, what with me using an under powered poodle shooter and all.

July 23, 2007, 10:39 PM
The military is required to use FMJ.

Actually, this portion of the Hague Accord is applicable only to soldiers of "warring" nations. Since the U.S. is not at war with the Iraqi "government", per se, I see no reason why we can't use the expanding ammo. I mean, officially we are fighting "terrorist," right? Hardly an endorsement from their government.

Oleg Volk
July 23, 2007, 10:40 PM

That's an unreasonable argument. No one sane would take even a .22 Short, if avoidable -- but that does not make it a good round for bear or human.

July 23, 2007, 10:53 PM
yeah, that's not "tag" it's Rochambeau (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=roshambo), as in, "I'll rochambeau you for it"

July 23, 2007, 10:58 PM
5.56/.233, .308/7.62x51, 6.5 gren, 6.8 spc, 7.62x39, whatever. Take your pick, use the best ammo available and do your part with shot placement. THE REST IS IRELIVENT. Especially at 4 yards and you coming around a blind corner at me wating for you.

P.S. If were going to start another 5.56 vs. whatever, how about we throw around some actual information instead of the 3rd grade name calling.

July 23, 2007, 11:00 PM

July 23, 2007, 11:43 PM
For someone who LITERALLY has not fired a 5.56x45 in 21 years, could someone school me quickly?

-- Circa 1986-87, what was the standard grain of a 5.56x45?

-- Doesn't the 5.56x45 shoot a significantly heavier grain these days? I seem to have read about 70 grain bullets these days.

I ask because I've been in that camp that would have been very reluctant to use something like a .223 for hunting say-- deer. I do concede and have said as such that it can be used with proper shot placement (EVERYTHING needs good shot placement-- a 30 caliber bullet doesn't magically replace aiming).

When I think about it, it seems that a heavy grain .223 doesn't seem all that much different than a 25-06 in terms of bullet weight (I know that they don't compare in other areas) and 25-06 is being used extensively around here by wives and younger kids as a VERY effective hunting round.

Guys, I am not trying to equate .223 to 25-06. I was just thinking about projectiles and doing a little relative comparision in my head to think it through.

Some of us ole' 30 caliber guys have to do that occassionally. :)

-- John

July 23, 2007, 11:47 PM
jwarren, check ammo-oracle.com for a quick and interesting refresher.

but the short answer is afaik, the "standard" military ammo is still M193/M855 which are 55g/62g respectively. Match ammo is commonly 69, 75, 77, 80, 90 grains. Hunting ammo comes in dang near any flavor you want. My "self-defense" ammo is 100g.

July 23, 2007, 11:51 PM

Interesting. Thanks my friend. I'll have to say that it may well be time for some states to reconsider their laws on calibers allowed in deer hunting. My state requires a mininum of .24 caliber. It seems to me that when you are getting into the 80-100 grain range in a caliber that has been engineered as much as .223, the laws may well be behind the times.

-- John

July 24, 2007, 12:01 AM
curiously, two years ago TN lifted it's ban on them and we're now allowed to hunt deer with AR15s in 223.

however, don't forget that as the weight goes up, the speed goes down, so net energy isn't as dramatically different as it might first appear

July 24, 2007, 12:24 AM
I don't think you got the point of my post.

Since I, like most everyone here and in the other thread has never had to use a .223 or anything else as a man-stopper or a bear-stopper, I don't claim to know exactly what would happen if I hit a bear with one. And I wouldn't try to find out, since there are other rounds out there anyway.

I never claimed I knew whether the military should use the stuff last year, or a few years ago, either.

From what Art says, it may be entirely accurate that the bullets we issued were very poor in combat a few years back, but work really well now. Interesting.

The fact remains that I wouldn't trust that the latest fragmenting .223 FMJ would be a better man-stopper than a .357 at close range, but that the same bullet would be rendered far less damaging to a person than the pistol bullet, once it had passed through drywall. That could be a rather deadly assumption to make, even if sometimes it works.

And it wouldn't be my choice for bear defense, either. Furthermore, hunting and defense are different, BTW.

Ultimately my point was ust this: the .223 is subject to an amazing amount of contradictory hyperbole. Some of that can be explained by what Art wrote. Some of it can't.

Anyone ever shoot an attacking bear with a .223? How'd it go? I'm curious about any real stories.

July 24, 2007, 12:49 AM
increasingly resorting to name calling and changing the topic to all sorts of non-sequiters


I thought the non-sequiturs started when posts veered far away from "why are M4geries so popular", and the name calling started with 000Buck. Don't know what he's saying now; he set my record for a ticket to the Ignore List.

5.56 sucks according to you.

Not what I said. I just wouldn't be eager to use it for bear defense, and I don't think that a rifle works as well for me in my home as a handgun, since the rifle is 3 feet long and doesn't stash in a nightstand or work well if I'm lying in bed. And a .357 is a pretty well proven man-stopper, without having the latest, greatest bullets. Doesn't anyone think a handgun has any purpose?

That doesn't mean I wouldn't use a .223 with soft points for self-defense. We were expecting a riot once. Guess what I loaded up.

you are.

I'm a jerk because I know from experience that a lot of people who buy M4geries do so because of the "cool factor" and wouldn't know what to do with one, and I specifically said that RMT is NOT one of them? I specifically said that HIS reasons for buying the thing weren't the same as theirs.

Whatever dude.

Why are people so defensive about their AR's, if they really just bought them for practical purposes? Geez, I'm not your wife. I don't care why in hell someone bought one. I do, however, think that the current market for the M4gery in particular is not driven in large part by serious marksmen. So sue me. Doesn't mean I don't think YOU can shoot. I'm sure you can. I'm not sure what to do with a bayonet lug that's a bit too far back from the muzzle, but I don't care, either.

July 24, 2007, 12:52 AM
I'm about to never enter the Rifle Section of The High Road Again. There needs to be a sticky; Take your AR Questions to ARF.com.

HERE IS THE REAL DEAL From the mouth of a man, who is Currently holding the Billet of "Infantry Weapons Instructor". I go through more ammo per month than most see in a live time, to the tune of 200k to 500k rounds per month. The Famous 5.56mm, M885-SS109, Penetrator ammo, 62 grain with steel tipped penatrating core ammo, that the US Military uses in Combat and Training, is a 'good round'. There are better rounds on the market. But can they be mass produced with the same cost effectiveness, can they be supplied at the same rate and will they slide through armored plate steel and kevlar like the M885 will?

There was a bit of a gap missing from training in the US Military Pre-Iraq War. The Marine Corps was focused on a 200,300 & 500 yard annual qualification, with a morning of field fire, that was pretty much a waste of ammo and time, good standard, good tradition, good training in a perfect enviroment, good confidence booster... Not enough for 4th Generation Warfare. Now some "special types of warriors" got to do the cool shoot houses and live fire ranges, the Combat Arms community has always done life fire squad rushes, and movement ranges, but everyone wasn't put through a 'combat' 0-50 yard type range, not everyone was trained to engage each target with 2 rounds first, and follow the target to the ground or keep engageing other targets and then reasses.

Introduce a New style of thinking; Combat Marksmanship Program, Extra Marksmanship Program, Civilian School instruction to the Military. Then new programs were developed internally with special names, which has now become Tables 1-2-3 & 4, 1 & 2 are required annual trianing, Tables 3 & 4 are required before going into combat by most units now, the Army has developed similar shooting packages. Each Unit likes to develop thier own shooting package tailored to what they feel is best... which technically right, but we do it.

So now we've effectively retrained our way of thinking to make the most out of the 5.56mm round. Weapons have started to change from the A2/A4 to the M4's, Optics have improved and are more widespread. Training was the biggest issue, not the round have lead the way to "easier kills". Not to mention the Designated Marksman's rifles being spread through out the operateing forces.

Now the question is, if you equiped these finely trained men, who no longer complain as much about the 5.56mm, with 6.8mm or .308's, what would the out come be? Would we put more bodies down, or would we then be haveing issues with limited magazine capacity and recoil?

July 24, 2007, 01:03 AM
Can someone please explain to me how the much-maligned .223, supposedly selected by some ignorant paper pusher with no military knowledge in the dark self-defeating days of Viet Nam, has become such a great round?

There is so much chaff floating around about the 5.56x45, it is hard to find the truth.

At short range, when using ball ammunition, the 5.56 has proved to be a superior stopper to the 7.62x51 - 11% more lethal according to data collected in Vietnam. The reason is pretty well understood. Thanks to a deep canneleur and light fast bullt, the M193 tended to fragment on strikeing the taeget. As was noted, this effect only occurs at around 100 yards or less, depending on muzzle velocity. If you allow expanding ammunition into the mix, the 223 falls far behind the effectiveness of the 308. If you are shooting through material like earth of stone, the 223 loses out to the 308.

The 223 was selected mainly thanks to the work of Donald Hall and his SCHV concept. It was argues that a small caliber, high velocity round could be just as effective at typical ranges as the current full power rifle rounds, but weigh much less, allowing more ammunition to be carried.

A good starting point to understand the evolution of post WWII rifles cxan be found in Ezell's "The Great Rifle Controversy" as well as "The Black Rifle".

Zak Smith
July 24, 2007, 01:09 AM
I do, however, think that the current market for the M4gery in particular is not driven in large part by serious marksmen.
The same could be said for virtually EVERY firearm out there (with the exception of maybe the Tubb rifle). If we're going to set the bar so that "non serious" users (according to "our" standard) are to be discouraged from buying gear they won't use to its potential, then we're going to cut out the vast majority of commercial sales. Heck, I'm happy if someone wants to buy an M4 becuase they look cool, and because they can, even if all they will ever do it shoot tin cans a few times a year.

I find it interesting that the premise of the M4gery thread is that the M4gery was the "in" thing maybe 5 years ago. Since then we've had the SPR phase, the "Midlength" phase, the RECCE phase, and the SBR phase.

Art's and taliv's points are good-- the science applied to terminal ballistics over the last 10-15 years has left us with loads that do work a lot better for defense; and the commercial demand to use the AR-15 platform for all sorts of other applications has netted us some hunting bullets that totally eclipse what was available 10 years ago.

Anyway, guys, let's keep this friendly and productive.

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