FMJ just fine out of a rifle for defense?


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AcceptableUserName
February 3, 2010, 11:02 PM
So I'm starting to feel like if I ever needed to use my AR in a defensive capacity, it wouldn't matter a whole lot what I shot out of it much in the same way I feel about the .45 acp, but for different reasons. Speed, accuracy and rate of fire for the AR, sheer bullet size for the .45. Yes, soft point and JHP's probably offer better terminal ballistics, but honestly...by how much? It seems to me 1 or two hits of plain jane 55 gr. fmj at CM is gonna devastate regardless just like a 230 gr. .45 acp hardball gives me no worry whatsoever if it came down to it.


Am I way off base here or what? I'm not disputing that better ballistics can be had with SP and JHP ammo, I am merely asking if the fmj is considered "good enough"?

I'm getting some .223 and .45 acp ammo this weekend, and honestly it's probably going to be FMJ. I'll take 100 rds of hardball over 20 jhp anyday.

Thoughts?

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lopezni
February 3, 2010, 11:05 PM
I dont think so, at close range a fmj is more likely to go through someone. If you want home defense, get a 12gauge with some 3" turkey loads.

shadowalker
February 3, 2010, 11:07 PM
Unless legally required to do so I would heavily recommend against using FMJ in any capable handgun caliber for home or personal defense. Modern JHP offers a significant performance advantage even for 45 ACP and is worth the extra cost.

Not even considering the probably unwanted penetration of 45 ACP FMJ in a self defense situation you are already at a huge disadvantage.

The exception is .380 ACP in which expansion rarely occurs due to low velocity and when it does expand it reduces penetration too much.

Most the time 223 / 5.56 penetrate less drywall than either handguns or shotguns and is a very good choice for home defense.

I wouldn't use FMJ for home defense just because the other choices really are significantly better. 223 / 5.56 is a lot like 9mm and is very dependent on a good projectile.

75 grain TAP or 77 grain Sierra OTM perform drastically better than FMJ in 223 / 5.56. They fragment more reliably and result in significantly larger permanent cavities which translates to stopping the threat faster. A 1:7 or 1:8 twist barrel is preferred, if you have a 1:9 twist barrel it may not stabilize 75 / 77 projectiles so test it first.

M193 and M855 can work but there are much better choices and they have a variable tendency to fragment even within the same lot of ammunition.

Take a look at hornadyle's ballistic report (http://hornadyle.com/_img/hornady_tap_report.pdf) on TAP rifle ammunition.

Al LaVodka
February 3, 2010, 11:08 PM
I am a fan of standard ball for reliability. Penetration too. In a .45 especially though I have a little fancy HP. For .223 I am driven to the .62 gr. FMJ. However, I was convinced that for the fast rifle round, as we're not constrained by the Geneva Conventions, some quantity of JHP was reasonable and today it probably makes up about 30% of my .223 cartridges.
Al

AcceptableUserName
February 3, 2010, 11:13 PM
this is all hypothetical. A rifle will n ever be my go to HD weapon (read: HOME defense, as in inside my house and at practical distances at or less than 20 yds). I am first and foremost a shotgun guy always. And if it wasn't for that, I'd probably buy a 9mm and loaded it with 124 gr JHP STRICTLY, but just for the house. A 230 gr. fmj has a lot more penetration than ppl think, I would venture to say.

I'm saying IF I needed to protect myself from someone shooting at me from 20 yds or more, I feel like, and I'm not saying I'm right here, that I'd be better served with buying, oh lets say 1,000 rds of decent fmj than 250-400 rds of JHP or nice OTM/SP for the same price. Not saying I WON'T buy any of that good ammo, either...just won't put an emphasis on it.


as for saying the .223 being like the 9 in that it does need the right ammo, I agree to a point. I think a lot of velocity helps cover up for the lack of bullet weight. Plus you have a lot more ammo on hand, a LOT more accurately.

C-grunt
February 3, 2010, 11:18 PM
In my experience FMJ works rather well in 5.56. But I have seen what my departments duty ammo (Federal Tactical 55grn HP) can do and its substantially more than what FMJs usually do.

benzy2
February 3, 2010, 11:28 PM
45 ACP FMJ in a self defense situation you are already at a huge disadvantage Yep, need at least a .50" hole to be even close to level playing grounds and even then, might as well go for a slug gun so you get at least a mediocre wound cavity. Lord, now a .45" hole isn't enough. What does it take to stop a bad guy?

nathan
February 3, 2010, 11:30 PM
7-12 yds, the 9 mm Mak round is a great choice as well.

AcceptableUserName
February 3, 2010, 11:31 PM
I would hope he means being at a disadvantage having a pistol vs. a long gun...and the disadvantages the fears of penetration bring with a 230 gr fmj.

Tim the student
February 3, 2010, 11:33 PM
It seems to me 1 or two hits of plain jane 55 gr. fmj at CM is gonna devastate regardless

That has not been my firsthand experience with FMJ .223. If I were you, I would use something else.

Devastation is certainly not the word that comes to mind.

AcceptableUserName
February 3, 2010, 11:36 PM
soft point ammo : does it basically feed like an FMJ, and KINDA expand, like a poor mans jhp i guess? i am on the right path?


im looking at some 55 gr soft point. i wont want to go higher than 64 or so because of my 1:9 barrel.

Shadow Man
February 3, 2010, 11:50 PM
Yep, need at least a .50" hole to be even close to level playing grounds and even then, might as well go for a slug gun so you get at least a mediocre wound cavity. Lord, now a .45" hole isn't enough. What does it take to stop a bad guy?

Benzy2, you missed the first part of his quote where he stated that the concern with using a .45ACP FMJ was overpenetration not lack of lethality. If you're going to quote someone, have the decency to quote everything that applies.

W.E.G.
February 3, 2010, 11:51 PM
Another THR overpenetration rant thread?

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 12:40 AM
yay or nay on these for purpose specified? Remember, barrel is 1:9. So from what I understand, best to stick to 55-64 grain, and I'm buying strictly .223rem for now.

priority - 1. feed/reliability,
2a. Cost
2b. Ballistic performance.



http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/pName/20rds-223-fiocchi-55gr-pointed-soft-point-ammo

benzy2
February 4, 2010, 12:52 AM
Benzy2, you missed the first part of his quote where he stated that the concern with using a .45ACP FMJ was overpenetration not lack of lethality. If you're going to quote someone, have the decency to quote everything that appliesLets look at the post he made again. Here is the sentence in full:
Not even considering the probably unwanted penetration of 45 ACP FMJ in a self defense situation you are already at a huge disadvantageThe way I interpreted the post, the first half that was left out had no relevance to my post or point. I still feel it has no relevance. He was saying that JHP significantly outperform compared to FMJ which I take as meaning what happens to the target. Then he says he isn't considering the penetration of a FMJ. To me that says the on target performance is such a disadvantage, which was and is my point, be it quoted in full or in part.

yay or nay on these for purpose specified? Remember, barrel is 1:9. So from what I understand, best to stick to 55-64 grain, and I'm buying strictly .223rem for now.

priority - 1. feed/reliability,
2a. Cost
2b. Ballistic performance.Buy what you like. Not many people are going to be laughing after getting shot with a .223 at 10 yards, regardless if you are shooting 55gr fmj or not. There may be better rounds out there, but we all draw our own line somewhere. Its all arbitrary to what we personally feel is enough. Draw your own line and sleep well.

C-grunt
February 4, 2010, 12:56 AM
yay or nay on these for purpose specified? Remember, barrel is 1:9. So from what I understand, best to stick to 55-64 grain, and I'm buying strictly .223rem for now.

priority - 1. feed/reliability,
2a. Cost
2b. Ballistic performance.



http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/pName/20rds-223-fiocchi-55gr-pointed-soft-point-ammo
You dont need like 8 mags full of the stuff for home defense. I have one 20 round mag with 18 Federal Tactical in it and 2 30 rd P-Mags full of ball. Then I have another 250 or so unloaded next to several other mags.

If I ever have to reload to one of my 30 rounders full of ball. I think my concerns about overpenetration and what not are out the window.

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 12:57 AM
I wish I'd done more rifle shooting. I'm so clueless when it comes to HPR bullet types and performances.



I'm mostly wondering how good the soft point stuff will feed. That's the main concern. From what I understand, soft point seems like a good middle ground between fmj and jhp.

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 12:58 AM
You dont need like 8 mags full of the stuff for home defense. I have one 20 round mag with 18 Federal Tactical in it and 2 30 rd P-Mags full of ball. Then I have another 250 or so unloaded next to several other mags.

If I ever have to reload to one of my 30 rounders full of ball. I think my concerns about overpenetration and what not are out the window.


I hate using this term, I really really do, but I'm starting a SHTF stockpile. There, I said it. That's the purpose of what I'm buying. The rifle is not and will not ever be an HD weapon.

C-grunt
February 4, 2010, 01:05 AM
FMJ all the way for SHTF.

Hatterasguy
February 4, 2010, 01:12 AM
The good old M193 and M855 have sent a ton of people to their graves.

I don't beleive in buying super expensive defensive rounds. If you do your job and put an M193 round on your target, the target won't know the difference.

With ammo I just buy whatever is the least expensive good quality I can find, right now thats Federal XM193.

Maverick223
February 4, 2010, 01:16 AM
I would not (and do not) use FMJ for any defense gun, nor would I recommend it. That said, for a unlikely SHTF scenario I don't think it matters. Personally I use HP/SP for all of my defense weapons except for the Saiga-12 which gets No. 1 Buck (my go-to HD gun). Speer Gold Dot .380ACP in my Ruger LCP (carry only), Ranger T-Ser. .45ACP+P in my HK USP (bedside gun), Speer 110gr. HP in my .30Carbine (carry rifle for hiking), and Hornady 55gr. TAP in my M17 (this is likely to change to 77SMKs).

:)

stubbicatt
February 4, 2010, 08:10 AM
The dynamic and overwhelming experience of a firefight, and the rapidity of events seem compressed even more than they really are. 100 rounds of ammo is nice I suppose, but if you are lucky enough to get 3 to 5 out the tube by then either yourself or the other guy is likely on the floor bleeding, or both of you.

I suppose it could happen where you have a shootout that requires several magazine changes but this is unlikely at 20 feet.

Choose the bullet with the best available characteristics for your AO. If you are only likely to shoot maybe 5 of them, the price is not particularly relevant, IMO.

CTW
February 4, 2010, 08:17 AM
I wolud stay away from fmj just for overpenetration purposes. With all the good dedicated self defense offerings out there surely you can find one you like. You dont have to have thousands of rounds of it, just a couple mags full.

SaxonPig
February 4, 2010, 09:15 AM
1. Defense of what? I think a rifle is a bad choice for "home use" due to size/handling in close quarters and excessive power in urban areas. For a farm or cabin maybe makes sense.

2. FMJ's best feature is best possible reliability is self-loading actions. Down side is excessive penetration and less shocking power than expanding rounds. If you need penetration go with FMJ. If you need shocking power use expanding bullets.

BTW- Don't think that 45 ACP hardball is a great manstopper. I shot a skinny guy 4 times through the torso with this load and he didn't stop until he bled out. I was very underwhelmed by the stopping power of the legendary 45 ACP at that point.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 4, 2010, 09:33 AM
The problems with using standard 5.56 ball (M193 or M855) are:

1. Fleet yaw
2. Variablility from Lot to Lot of ammunition, particularly in more complex construction like M855
3. Require sufficient velocity (2,500fps-2,700fps) to be effective

You need to remember that for both M193 (55gr) and M855 (62gr) that in approximately 25% of the cases where it does have sufficient velocity, it still fails to yaw or yaws very late. If it doesn't yaw, it does the .22 caliber icepick thing.

Probably less of a concern in infantry style combat; but in any scenario where you are going to be held accountable for the resting place of every round fired, it would make me uncomfortable to use M193 or M855, especially if I had not gel tested both the lot of ammunition and the particular rifle I planned to use it in.

earlthegoat2
February 4, 2010, 09:39 AM
Id think Varmint granades would work well at that distance and not over penetrate at all.

dom1104
February 4, 2010, 10:06 AM
OK Acceptable, out with it.

Admit it. You have gone over to the dark side.

There is only one reason you are trying to throw out decades of improvements in bullet technology and convince yourself that fmj is plenty in your 45 and your AR-15.

You want to have zillions of rounds because you know the end of the world is nigh and you are trying to convince yourself it will be OK.

This is not because you want to save 20 bucks on 1 box of SD ammo, its because you are preparing for the zombie apocalypse!

You have been around long enough to know that HPs are better, but you arent REALLY looking for a box or two, you want to buy a pallet for your bunker :)

Comon, you know I am right, it will feel SO GOOD to admit it. Just say it. Say it. " I am a survivalist." :)

totally just messin with ya. :)

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 10:53 AM
well, closer to the truth at least. I'd definitely like to have some more ammo on hand than what I have. I have the 1:9 twist barrel, so I'm going to stick to 52-69 gr, and I guess just read reviews and buy a bunch. I definitely plan to buy some hp's/otm's.

cz85cmbt
February 4, 2010, 11:05 AM
An fmj out of a .45 does not have good terminal performance, FBI police shooting data place any handgun fmj in poor standing and ballistic gelatin test support this. Whether real world or lab tests both point to fmj not being worth while when modern hollow points exist. .45 acp is a better fmj performer, but better still isn't good. .223 fmj performance depends on design but will often fail to yaw, I would only use it if I had nothing else here's a link it does show which designs are the best performers both fmj and otherwise.
http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm#.223

shadowalker
February 4, 2010, 11:56 AM
This is where reloading is nice, you can load ammunition equivalent to TAP for about the same money as FMJ costs.

FMJ can work in either handgun or rifle, it just may require more hits on the target. I prefer to use JHP or OTM because you don't know you are going to get one hit, let alone more than that.

Art Eatman
February 4, 2010, 11:58 AM
"Defense" to me is basically sorta up close and personal, which means probably no more than a hundred yards or so. To me, 100 yards is definitely up close. Even closer is merely even easier. The FMJ 5.56 I used back in the 1970s came all apart inside a coyote or jackrabbit, close up; so does hunting ammo.

Any other cartridge? Hunting ammo. I'm not there to sing and dance with the dude; I want him to wind up as "plumb ruint".

Pistol? I did okay for reliability in IPSC with 200-grain SWCs in a 1911, so I see no reason why "flying trashcans" wouldn't cycle reliably. Hardball? Where is it written that I'm supposed to shoot once and then stop and look to see if something good happened? I don't figure the chores are done until a once-vertical Hostile is assiduously practicing horizontality.

Zerodefect
February 4, 2010, 12:02 PM
I keep a supply of any 55-70gn fmj 5.56 ammo I ca n find for a good price.

But my first few mags are loaded with Hornady TAP. Chances are extremly slim that I'll need more ammo and reload with my plinking ammo.

I have a 1/7 16" barrel so I use these:
http://www.hornady.com/store/223-Rem-75-gr-FPD/

For a 1/9 just use the lighter ones.

As for the .45, it was desighned for ball ammo and works fine with it. But if your .45 will feed Remington Goldensaber bonded then I would use it. You only need enough to fill your CCW mags. Stockpile ball ammo.

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 12:06 PM
ive notice TAP ammo seems to read "TRAINING" in .223....



why is this?



i will venture a guess and say its because a dept/unit will use the .556 and train with the .223...?


well, ammunitiontogo sells some like that at least...

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 12:10 PM
http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/cPath/24_83_106/products_id/4052

Zerodefect
February 4, 2010, 12:12 PM
Hornady .223 is Hornady 5.56, Hornady's rifle ammo cal list:

http://www.hornady.com/store/Choose-by-Caliber/

shadowalker
February 4, 2010, 12:12 PM
The training ammo is not the same as TAP defensive.

A lot of people used M193 for training and TAP for duty and had to adjust their zero constantly, TAP training is also 75 grain so they don't need to adjust their zero.

Zerodefect
February 4, 2010, 12:15 PM
That round you posted is the training ammo that mimmicks the TAP ammo I posted. It's cheaper and uses regular components, but has similar ballistics so if you get accurate hits traing with that then you should be GTG with the TAP rounds.

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 12:15 PM
there is alll kinds of different TAP for 223/5.56


soft point, hp, frangible/ballistic tip


ill get a variety here and there. it seems like something in the 64 gr range would be optimal out of my gun.



what out of the cheap ammo would you guys recommend?i read stuff about Prvi Partizen making a Colt explode over on the firing line so im avoiding that. Silver Bear perhaps? I don't like that they're not brass cased but how is the stuff otherwise? Good but just dirty? And the Sellier Bellot?


just wondering about that. I know its no substitute. I'll stick To federal and Fiocchi for the ball ammo.

Zerodefect
February 4, 2010, 12:24 PM
I'll buy brass cased Privi, S&B, Brown Bear, etc.....but right now it costs nearly as much as better Federal ball.

So I've been running federal 55grain ammo for plinking. Lucky for me, my Aimpoint is easy to reset zero back to for TAP.

Fonzy1965
February 4, 2010, 12:50 PM
Interesting question. The problem that I see with the question and the answers, in my opinion, is that we are assuming defense ONLY in a home scenario; and although this is probably the most likely case in which most of us will have to make the choice of using lethal force or not, it should not be the only consideration. SHTF, post-Katrina N.O. and LA riots comes to mind. If I'm going to own a rifle it needs to be flexible enough (as a system, gun + ammo) to serve me well thru a variety of situations, and I need to train accordingly. With this in mind I'd say that FMJ is out of the question, except for plinking (Bartholomew makes a good point in this regard, I think) and JHP, TAP and SP should be better options for pretty much any situation in which we may find ourselves in. My Golani eats 62 grs HP Brown Bear and 64 grs SP BVAC like is candy, with very little shift in POI out to 200 yards. Just my 2 cents.

dom1104
February 4, 2010, 01:00 PM
Here is how I do it.

I also have a 1/9 barrel.

20 round pmag in the gun with hornady TAP FPD 75 grain. <the 20 rounder allows me to hang it over the door inside the bedroom closet without it pokin down.>

30 round pmag hornady TAP FPD 75 grain nearby on the shelf.

Gun bag with 6 GI mags with PVRI 55 remington soft points.

So 230 rounds. That... should do it.

As far as the 75 grain not working well in a 1/9, I havent seen it yet, havent shot that ammo past 75 yards yet tho. Seems just as accurate as the 55gr.

Really for home defense, I am grabbing the shotgun first tho. And tossing the 9mm to my wife.

The AR is more a things are REALLY BAD gun.

AcceptableUserName
February 4, 2010, 01:21 PM
I view the AR as a disaster weapon. I'm not a mall ninja, so I try and keep that on the low-key though. It really is a really bad stuff type of deal. I'm trying to build a decent stockpile of stuff to have on hand for any reason. Doesn't need to be a SHTF type of deal. It could be a just general ammo shortage thing.


People say jungle loading is bad, but in that type of scenario that's probably what I'd do, mostly to conserve ammo. I'd go two fmjs to one sp or jhp.

I'm definitely going to invest in some 10 rd mags for plinking and 20 rd mags for utility for the same purpose.

MachIVshooter
February 4, 2010, 01:22 PM
I'm mostly wondering how good the soft point stuff will feed. That's the main concern. From what I understand, soft point seems like a good middle ground between fmj and jhp.

Reliabilty is fine, but accuracy can suffer due to the rather violent feeding of any semi-auto rifle slamming that soft lead point into the feed ramp. With the bullet tip deformed, aerodynamics and stability suffer.

That said, at HD ranges, it's certainly not gonna matter if that tip deformation takes you from 1.3 to 2.4 MOA.

shadowalker
February 4, 2010, 01:27 PM
prvi makes good ammo and if I were going to stock up on commercial ammunition it would either be prvi or IMI and preferably M193.

All weapon and ammunition manufacturers occasionally make mistakes. I know a lot of people who have fired a lot of prvi without any problems. On the other hand a lot of people have had trouble with Federal XM193.

thebigc
February 4, 2010, 01:32 PM
its a rifle most likely anything that gets shot by it will be pretty ruinized regardless of what kind of bullet you have in it.

Shadow Man
February 4, 2010, 01:59 PM
Benzy2, my sincere apologies. I missed the "Not" part. :o I'm sorry about jumping on you like that.

scythefwd
February 4, 2010, 02:03 PM
I'll say fmj is acceptable with one caveat... it has to be made by barnes :) FMJ will punch right through. At HD ranges, it will do it consistently. FMJ will also go through walls. FMJ is used by the military for multiple reasons...reliability, we don't shoot just once, your whole team is shooting, it is outlawed by the Hauge conventions (when fighting another country that signed the treaty) to use anything but fmj and since we don't know when we are going to be fighting another hauge treaty country we use the same ammo in every battle as it makes supply lines easier.

351 WINCHESTER
February 4, 2010, 03:11 PM
Only if I'm shooting a .303 British with a mk7 bullet.

Al Thompson
February 4, 2010, 05:58 PM
For my 1/9 twist, I really like the 55 gr Ballistic Tip. The plastic tip enhances feeding and the bullet comes apart PDQ. For me and my situation (more worried about critters with four legs), that's the round of choice. And yes, I've tested it. :D

Cosmoline
February 4, 2010, 06:02 PM
The only reason 5.65/.223 works "well" in FMJ format is because the bullets tend to blow apart on impact. They fail, in other words. Relying on the tendency of a round to FAIL seems very questionable to me. Unless you have to because of Hague, go with SP's or HP's out of a long gun. The velocity is there to really make them work well. The exception would be for long arms such as slug guns and big bore rifles that are already throwing a very wide projectile and need no expansion.

mljdeckard
February 4, 2010, 06:11 PM
Be a little bit careful.

ARs are great HD guns when using correct ammo. The best option (I think) is a dedicated load like Hornady TAP ammo. Something like say, 55 gr fmj is probably not terrible, but if someone reading this really doesn't know the difference between various military loads, and just thinks that it's all the same, might grab some steel-core M855 ammo and assume that it is unlikely to overpenetrate is making a big mistake. It will shred the target and probably the next house as well.

Hatterasguy
February 4, 2010, 07:28 PM
If your worried about the rounds hitting the neighbors than you need to use frangible's, or bird shot. Something that won't slice through sheet rock and plywood and keep going into the next house.


If you live in an area where thats not a concern than anything will do.

nipprdog
February 4, 2010, 08:52 PM
If your worried about the rounds hitting the neighbors than you need to use frangible's, or bird shot. Something that won't slice through sheet rock and plywood and keep going into the next house.

Or, know what your talking about. ;)

kludge
February 4, 2010, 09:12 PM
For FMJ home defense with an AR use XM193.

jojo200517
February 4, 2010, 10:14 PM
I dont think so, at close range a fmj is more likely to go through someone. If you want home defense, get a 12gauge with some 3" turkey loads.

Those turkey loads will be good for the zombie turkey invasion right?

If everyone looks at the facts, any round that will get the job done and get it done right will most likely over-penetrate standard walls. If you can't live with the thought that in fear of the life and your familys life that your wall might get a hole punched thru it then don't use a gun ok? I value my life and that of my family, and will use what I have to protect us. I don't keep hollow points loaded in the rifles because they don't overpenetrate, I keep them loaded because they have maximum stopping power.

Zerodefect
February 4, 2010, 11:58 PM
5.56mm 55 grain fmj travels at such a high speed, when it hits something it comes apart quickly. It'll still punch through a few walls. But it's not going to go through two walls (one with insulation) across the street into another house and kill someone. That would be unlikely. And if your luck is that bad, you'd probally be screwed no matter what weapon system you chose.

But it really depends. Usually really heavy rounds seem to penetrate houses and such better than zippy light rounds. But lighter 5.56 can zip through hard steel better than the slower heavy rounds.

Thats why the pros are getting dual material body armor. Instead of just steel or plastic, they're using a layer of plastic then a layer of steel in plates. the 5.56 rounds that are good at going through steel get stopped by plastic, and the hevy rounds that go through plastic easy, get stopped by steel. Best of both worlds.

If your really that scared of overpen, your choices are limited to anemic frangible rounds or 5.7x28mm from a Fn PS90. ss195 is specificly desighned to lose energy extremley quick on missed shots and yet possibly be as effective as 9mm.

Xm193 would be a good choice for an AR if your worried about overpen of soft building materials.

Maverick223
February 5, 2010, 12:04 AM
I don't keep hollow points loaded in the rifles because they don't overpenetrate, I keep them loaded because they have maximum stopping power.Exactly. http://forums.nitroexpress.com/images/graemlins/smilies/general/xyxthumbs.gif

Gungnir
February 5, 2010, 12:05 AM
Lessons learned:
1. Sheetrock (drywall) doesn't slow any round down much. If you shoot in the house, walls will not stop any serious round.

2. Twelve pine boards will not stop a .223 round. (3/4" Ponderosa vs. XM193)

3. Shooting stuff is fun.



http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1_2.htm

CA2005
February 5, 2010, 12:22 AM
M855 or M193 will do a number on someone at close range. At close range it will most likely frament, you're good to go with either of these rounds for defense. They will penetrate less than pistol ball in many cases. The velocity and fragmentation makes them much more effective however. The M193 would be your best bet since it lacks the steel penetrator.

mljdeckard
February 5, 2010, 12:27 AM
M855? Are you serious?

Hatterasguy
February 5, 2010, 12:30 AM
The typical house wall is 1/2 ply, 1/2 rock, with some R13 in between, and a bit of sidding on the outside. As the link shows its hardly much of a bullet stop.

CA2005
February 5, 2010, 12:33 AM
M855, yup, I'm serious. It works. I know this first hand.

Maverick223
February 5, 2010, 12:42 AM
M855 [fragments], yup, I'm serious. It works. I know this first hand.Do huh? M855...fragment? You do realize that is specifically designed to penetrate hard stuff...right? :scrutiny:

It breaks in half at the cannelure...sometimes...but the steel core just keeps on going.

Gungnir
February 5, 2010, 12:45 AM
M855, yup, I'm serious. It works. I know this first hand.
Okay then, with that; I'm off to the "What's the best caliber for a sniper rifle" for a dose of reality...;)

christcorp
February 5, 2010, 12:48 AM
I was watching the Outdoor channel last night. A tactical defense program. Can't remember which one. They were talking about people hiding behind objects in their house as protection. Possibly even the bad guy hiding and you wanting to shoot through the object.

They used a refrigerator and had gallon jugs of water in there to simulate items in the fridge. The obviously had the door off so you could see. On one side of the fridge, about 10 feet away, they had a foam target/backstop. On the other side of the refrigerator, they stood about 10-15 feet away. The shot 9mm, 38spl, 40sw, .223, and 12 gauge.

9mm: Hollow Point: Went through left side; through water jug; out the right side; and through the foam target to the back stop.

38spl: Same thing

40sw: Same thing

.223: FMJ went through the same as above, but they lined up 2 water jugs. So it went through the left side; 2 water jugs; out the right side; through the foam target to the backstop. HOWEVER: When they used TAP ammo in the .223, it went through the left side; through 2 water jugs; and then embedded into the right side of the refrigerator and never exited the fridge.

12 gauge: Didn't penetrate the refrigerator with 7 1/2 bird shot at all. 00 buck went through it all. ALL Pellets. Just like the 9mm above, but obviously multiple pellets.

So; when someone tells me that a .223 won't go through sheet rock because it's to small, too light, and too fast; and that it shreds apart, I won't buy it. I saw first hand a .223 fmj go all the way through a refrigerator, including simulated milk and juice bottles inside. And it still would have penetrated someone on the other side of the wall. Obviously the demonstration also concentrated on energy. They were showing a person on the other side. Most of those round going through the fridge probably wouldn't have been lethal to a person another 30 feet away. But if a 9mm hollow point as well as a .223 can go through a refrigerator and hit a person on the other side; I'm sure it can make it through sheet rock. Assuming it doesn't hit a wood stud.

Big Bill
February 5, 2010, 12:53 AM
It was Swat TV - on the Outdoor Channel.

CA2005
February 5, 2010, 02:48 AM
Yes, M855 does break apart and fragment, not as well as M193 but it does perform as mentioned. I'm not one to go into detail, but I've used it and it worked. And yes, the steel core keeps on going. The rest breaks apart. Dead men can testify, if they could talk that is.

Maverick223, have you used it in combat? Trust me, the stuff gets the job done.

Gungnir
February 5, 2010, 03:16 AM
Yes, M855 does break apart and fragment, not as well as M193 but it does perform as mentioned. I'm not one to go into detail, but I've used it and it worked. And yes, the steel core keeps on going. The rest breaks apart. Dead men can testify, if they could talk that is.

Maverick223, have you used it in combat? Trust me, the stuff gets the job done.
Yes it can, it doesn't always, yes I've used it in combat, look for the "British complain about the 5.56mm" thread in general discussion so I don't need to repeat myself, have you?

I can even tell you why it fragments and why at the cannelure (Spitzer tip induces yaw, which provides shear force on the bullet, and it fragments are the weakest point), it's also velocity dependent, and unfortunately using M855 in a home defense situation in most cases is phenomenally stupid. It will leave your house never to return when you miss, and you will miss.

Average American homes with their proximity and construction could lead to that miss landing in your neighbors living room if you're lucky. If you're not the neighbors might have a loss in the family while you're shooting the crap out of your place. Even a 9mm might wind up doing the same, but the M855 is a serious round 3100 fps and 1303 ft/lbs force. As compared with say a regular 9mm (140gr) or 45 (200gr) of 309 ft/lbs and 518 ft/lbs force. The little green pill has more than twice the energy of a 45 and has a steel penetrator in it which is something that neither the 9mm nor the 45 does.

As I posted before go look at the Box O' Truth who were using XM193 not M855 nine inches of pine through and through from the XM193 (not Mil grade, no penetrator, and 55gr not 62 gr), M855 was developed and tested to penetrate a steel pot helmet 1/8" at 600 yards from a 20" barrel. Are you reading me...?

glazer1972
February 5, 2010, 03:20 AM
XM193 or Q3131A would work just fine.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 5, 2010, 09:48 AM
A couple of points:

1. The steel penetrator of an M855 round weighs 4.7gr. It lacks much momentum to penetrate too far on its own (i.e. after it separates from the bullet due to fragmentation IF that happens). The only reason it exists is because it allows the M855 to penetrate a steel M1 helmet at 600m and that was a requirement (M193 could only do it reliably at 550m IIRC).

2. Because of its more complex construction (jacket, penetrator, lead) and the fact that fragmentation is not one of the design characteristics, performance varies from lot to lot based on jacket thickness and other characteristics. One lot of M855 might fragment just fine. The next lot might not fragment even after yawing.

3. Both M193 and M855 need about 2,700fps velocity to fragment reliably and may fragment as slow as 2,500fps. With shorter barrels, you are starting out close to the velocity floor for both rounds.

4. Even under ideal conditions (good construction, sufficient velocity), both M193 and M855 will fail to yaw or yaw too late approximately 25% of the time according to Fackler. If this happens, the round will penetrate very well.

5. Out of all the rounds out there, M193 and M855 are the most susceptible to the fleet yaw phenomenon (meaning it yaws in this rifle; but not in that one, for reasons still not well understood).

Finally, not all 55gr FMJ ammo behaves like M193, and not all 62gr FMJ ammo behaves like M855. For example, the Radway Green SS109 62gr FMJ has a thicker jacket and is less likely to fragment. Swiss GP90 62gr also has the thick, non-fragmenting jacket. Wolf 55gr FMJ also has a thick jacket and does not fragment.

If you are planning on relying on an FMJ round fragmenting to achieve your goals, I highly recommend you test it with the rifle you plan to use it in to verify that this is what will happen. If you can't test it, then the safe bet is to either stick with a round that doesn't rely on fragmentation to achieve its performance or to stick with a round that has a much higher level of consistency during production (open-tip match for example).

christcorp
February 5, 2010, 10:00 AM
Thanks Bill. I watch the channel a lot and can't always remember which program is which. I still prefer to use soft point ammo in anything that goes beyond hand gun velocities. If a soft point can mushroom and stay in tack in a deer, then it will in a human. The only advantage of FMJ in a self defense rifle is cost. But I'm not the type of person that thinks I need a thousand rounds of ammo for a SHTF situation. Do I have a lot of ammo? Yes, but only a very small amount of it is for self defense. The majority is just for the fun of shooting, varmint, plinking, etc... Also, the reason for a large stock, is in case it become hard to come by or too expensive. And finally, as trading material or as an investment. I don't keep ammo like some people. I don't believe in zombies. I don't believe that if I have to protect my house/family from intruders, that I need a bunch of 30 round magazines in a rifle. There are some people who believe that they know scenarios where multiple 30 round magazines might be needed. They're wrong; but there's no way to convince them of that. They will rationalize their threat. Even during katrina type scenarios, that isn't needed. The only time I could imagine such a scenario being possible, would be if you're a small business owner and you are protecting your business against looters.

Anyway, I keep about 50 rounds, per rifle, of SP for rifle protection. I keep about 50 rounds, per pistol, of self defense ammo for protection. I keep about 100 rounds of mixed 00 and 4 buck for protection. After that, I usually maintain a minimum of 500 rounds of ammo per gun. It's for plinking, hunting, fun, or when the supply becomes a shortage. And as I use it for shooting, I restock when possible. And if I have to use FMJ .223 because there is so zombie threat, then I figure it will work. Not as good as SP, but it will work.

Maverick223
February 5, 2010, 11:56 AM
Maverick223, have you used it in combat? Trust me, the stuff gets the job done.Is combat experience now a prerequisite to understanding bullet mechanics and terminal ballistics?

Shadow Man
February 5, 2010, 12:02 PM
Is combat experience now a prerequisite to understanding bullet mechanics and terminal ballistics?

Yup. At least, I have now seen it mentioned twice in the last few days. "No combat experience, butt out!" Horrible attitude.

Trust me, the stuff gets the job done.

You were talking about the 62gr M855 round...trust me, it doesn't get the job done. Not out of every barrel length, not every lot, in every contact with a human medium it is not performing the same...so no, it is not getting the job done. Consistency in ammunition is key, especially in combat. Are there factors that increase/decrease it's effectiveness? Yes, but I shouldn't be handicapped because my issued ammunition type will not perform with the weapon I am currently issued. That...is a problem.

Maverick, you can sweet talk me about terminal ballistics and bullet mechanics all day, I learn a hell of a lot. :D

benEzra
February 5, 2010, 12:11 PM
The typical house wall is 1/2 ply, 1/2 rock, with some R13 in between, and a bit of sidding on the outside. As the link shows its hardly much of a bullet stop.
IF you stick with military FMJ as in that test, yes. Which there is absolutely no reason for civilians to do, IMO, as we are not limited to FMJ.

There are photos from another test floating around THR in which .223 JHP was tested against three wall mockups spaced at room distances. As I recall, 55gr .223 JHP was the least penetrative round tested, and some of the 55gr JHP loads actually fragmented in the first wall and failed to fully penetrate the second. That is less wall penetration than any 9mm JHP I am aware of. By comparison, 00 buckshot went through all three walls.

Candiru
February 5, 2010, 12:18 PM
Not all .223 rounds behave the same. Depending on bullet type, .223 may be the best option for limiting penetration through interior walls. Softpoint .223 has the least penetration of any round in this test: http://230grain.com/showthread.php?t=65428

JEB
February 5, 2010, 12:42 PM
i look at it a lot like hunting. if im after cape buffalo i wand a heavy solid bullet for penetration. if im after deer i want something that will expand and i want both entry and exit holes for faster blood loss and easier tracking if needed. humans are a very light and thin skinned animal and my goal is not specifically to kill them but rather, make them stop whatever they are doing. for this i want maximum expansion and only an entrance hole if possible due to the potential dangers of over penetration.

so to answer the question: while fmj will work, i would opt for a good hp or sp to maximum effect when it is needed most

Gungnir
February 5, 2010, 04:07 PM
Is combat experience now a prerequisite to understanding bullet mechanics and terminal ballistics?
LOL. no not at all, and in general most of the people implying such things have none anyway, and it's posturing used to try to prevent counter arguments. My rant (where I mystically channeled my former platoon sergeant) was about M855 specifically, although I'm not hot on the idea of surplus M193 or commercial M193 copies either.

Back to the OP, and everyone else, test the thing. Internet opinions are worth what you pay for them, after all it's your responsibility both legally and morally if you're HD round hits something unintended, which may include neighbors. You'll never know whether one or the other side is just blowing hot air until you do, and at the end of the day, successfully surviving a HD situation includes legally after physically, surviving physically is a moot point if you're jailed for the next 20+ years on a bunch of charges for killing one of your neighbors, collateral damage is not a defense that's recognized in US courts.

Personally if I lived in a average suburban house with average suburban distances I would not use a 223/5.56 FMJ for home defense, particularly as there are better alternatives.

Maverick223
February 5, 2010, 04:36 PM
Back to the OP, and everyone else, test the thing.+1, and use materials that it is likely to encounter, such as wood, drywall, and simulated flesh (water is a decent, cheap substitute). Remember that you are already having an unlucky day if you have cause to use your rifle...do you feel lucky enough to take a ≈50% chance that a ball round will fragment. :uhoh:

RandyB
February 6, 2010, 12:17 PM
I see no problem with your choices. For what its worth, I carry mags for my AR loaded with 55 grain FMJ, some with 60 grain Nosler Partition, and some M855. In my .45 I carry Gold Dot 230 JHP. If you can hit in the vitals thats what counts most. The rest may increase your odds in stopping an encounter, limiting over penetration, etc. But your choices work for you and I certainly would lose no sleep if that was what I carried.

Zerodefect
February 6, 2010, 12:58 PM
And I thought my Federal 55 grain .223 was useless for defense and plinking ammo only?
part#BP223BL

That's interesting but my first 3 mags will be filled with TAP still.

Mr.Davis
February 6, 2010, 04:14 PM
If you do your job and put an M193 round on your target, the target won't know the difference.
I agree in principle, but that's a big stinkin' IF.

Onmilo
February 6, 2010, 04:49 PM
I think FMJ works well for offense AND defense! :evil:

Mr. T
February 6, 2010, 09:17 PM
From what I understand the .45 ACP may serve you adequately with FMJ because of the rounds lack of velocity; that lack of velocity will allow the bullet to tear tissue more before exiting the body. The .223/5.56 has high velocity just like the 9mm; that being said higher velocity rounds tend to punch through the body without tearing the tissue particularly with the FMJ rounds. The JHP's or SP's will make a dramatic difference at close range compared to FMJ rounds. Shooting someone with a FMJ round at close range will obviously still put someone down, particularly if you shoot them multiple times but you may only need one round if it's JHP or SP. Over penetration is obviously the main concern with using FMJ rounds in HD or CQB situations, which is why police depts./law enforcement don't use FMJ's. Just my opinion.

Maverick223
February 6, 2010, 11:14 PM
From what I understand the .45 ACP may serve you adequately with FMJ because of the rounds lack of velocity; that lack of velocity will allow the bullet to tear tissue more before exiting the body. The .223/5.56 has high velocity just like the 9mm; that being said higher velocity rounds tend to punch through the body without tearhing the tissue particularly with the FMJ rounds.You're incorrect on a few details. The .45ACP will do alright without expanding ammunition (you can basically consider it "pre-expanded"), but I will take SP/HP every time, especially in a pistol. Sgt. York proved this in WWI, but he was undoubtedly an excellent shot too (and I believe that made the difference). Additionally, and more importantly, the higher the velocity the greater the damage. This is of course with the same bullet size, weight, and design, but the average high velocity round will do nasty things within something (or someone) that a low velocity round will not. They often exhibit tumbling, fragmentation, and/or greater expansion (depending upon construction), and they always have a greater energy transfer due to the hydrostatic shock regardless of bullet construction (this shock may or may not increase lethality, but it can greatly improve stopping power). This is why large slower bullets (Trapdoor load for a .45-70) do less meat damage (when used for hunting...I am not condoning cannibalism :p) than a faster round (.30-06 ball), and make larger holes that you can "eat right up to".

:)

CZguy
February 7, 2010, 12:11 AM
Sgt. York proved this in WWII, but he was undoubtedly an excellent shot too

I'm sure that was just a typo and you meant WWI for Sgt. Alvin C York. Or were you referring to Sgt. Melvin G York in WWII? :D (he wasn't near as good a shot.)

Maverick223
February 7, 2010, 12:21 AM
I'm sure that was just a typo and you meant WWI for Sgt. Alvin C York.Yep...changed, thanks for catching that.

:)

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