.223 question


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Skofnung
January 24, 2004, 02:04 PM
Ok. I have an Ar15 type rifle and all things considered, I love the gun. It is very accurate and so far 100% reliable. But...

Long before I bought the rifle, I had read all I could on the effectiveness of the 5.56 round. I talked to two Vets that I know who saw considerable ammounts of action in SE Asia back in the day. After reviewing all of the facts, I found a good deal on a rifle. I also decided to stick with 55 grain "Nato" ammunition (M193 to be exact) over the heavier loadings offered today such as SS109.

I was expecting, with claims of fragmentation in mind, that when I shot a 2L Coke bottle full of water at 100 yards, that it would blow the sucker to smithereens. It did not. It just punched nice, neat (accurate) .22 caliber holes in the bottle. The bottle did not even move. I have repeated this dozens of times, with the same result every time.

Yesterday, I filled a few 20 oz bottles with water and set them on the berm that I have set up on my families property. At a stepped off 50 yards, from a kneeling positon (hasty sling used) I started shooting. One shot per bottle. I thought I missed all three! I walked downrange and lo, each bottle had a nice .22 hole punched right through.

So, my question is thus: Why is the bullet doing this? We all agree that the .223 is not the greatest round in the world, but I would have thought that the bottles in question would at least have moved a little! I have gotten more reaction using a .38 revolver from 50 yards! This, I am afraid, does not inspire my confidence in the round.

Please explain why this is happening.

Thanks

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Harry Tuttle
January 24, 2004, 02:25 PM
it doesn't break at the cannelure, yawl of course and explode
when encountering only light plastic and 6 inches of water

things made of meat will have a different density and
the bullet will undergo a stability change and cause a different reaction

not all "M193" is the same as issue M193

check out :
www.ammo-oracle.com

355sigfan
January 24, 2004, 02:34 PM
Ball ammo in the 223 especially the ss109 loses its ability to fragment fairly early. At around 100 yards it is simply tumbling when it enters a liquid medium. Past that It starting to get fairly ineffective. Use some good softpoint or jacket hollowpoint ammo and you will get the results you want. I prefer Federals 69 grain Boattail match it penetrates 12.5 inches and totally fragments. best of both worlds.
Pat

ProCharger
January 24, 2004, 02:53 PM
Maybe try this on some fruits such as a cantelope, watermelon, pumpkin to get the explosion you are looking for. Also maybe try a caliber such as the 30-06 (i have never shot bottles with water so i dont know what either would do) possibly the same will happen as it did with the .223? Are the rounds you are using a full metal jacket round?

Brett

ny32182
January 24, 2004, 02:57 PM
6" of plain water isn't enough to destabilize the bullet. In much, much thicker ballistic gelatin, M193 travels about 4-5 inches before it begins to tumble, and the subsequent fragmentation is complete at about 8 inches, and the larger fragments continue to penetrate to about 12-14", typically. In ballistic gelatin. 6" of plain water won't even cause the bullet to yaw, nevermind fragment, as you can see. I agree that you'd better dump that pipsqueak right away in favor of a .38spl or shotgun, either one would be much more effective at 100yds.:neener:

Byron
January 24, 2004, 03:02 PM
The best M193 is Lake City. Out of a 20" barrel, you should have up to 175 yards or more as far as the fragmentation. Beyond that, I still do not want to be in its way. The attached link should give some good information for you. http://www.ammo-oracle.com/#heavier Harry Tuttle's points are accurate. Byron

Snowdog
January 24, 2004, 03:05 PM
6" of plain water isn't enough to destabilize the bullet

That would be my belief as well. I would say the it did ultimately destabilize the bullet, but perhaps a hundred yards down range. The effects wouldn't manifest themselves in that amount of water.

Skofnung, next time you're out, try lining up a few of those 2 liters (perhaps three or four deep) and see if there's a difference. I'd guess the first bottle will stick to its old habits, but you'll likely see a significant difference in reaction from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th (reacting to a tumbling/fragmenting 55gr pill).

ProCharger
January 24, 2004, 03:06 PM
turn a bottle on its side and shoot at the bottom.

ny32182
January 24, 2004, 03:15 PM
turn a bottle on its side and shoot at the bottom

I don't think there is any amount of water that will cause .223 to fragment. Its not thick enough to put the required pressures on a sideways-traveling .223 to cause it to break apart. Thats why they shoot into a large drum of water when they need to use a bullet for ballistics matching... water doesn't decellerate bullets fast enough to damage them. The same 'icepick' effect will be seen no matter from what angle you shoot a 2L bottle of water.

I wouldn't expect to see any fruits causing fragmentation either. You need something much bigger and heavier. If its legal in your state, and you feel inclined, you could shoot a deer with one... then you would most likely see some fragmentation, but would ruin a lot of good meat... which is why people don't typically hunt with a fragmenting round.

Derek Zeanah
January 24, 2004, 03:23 PM
You might also want to do some searches over at tactical forums; Gary Roberts is reporting that many of the heaver rounds offer better performance at lower velocities. You're only going to get reliable fragmentation with M193 (according to the Ammo FAQ) at > 2,700 fps which limits the effectiveness of the round at longer ranges. Some of the heavier rounds offer decent fragmentation out of shorter barrels and at much longer distances.

ProCharger
January 24, 2004, 03:24 PM
I know that fruits explode with a rifle such as the 30-06 and i would believe that it would take less effort to turn a .223 into fragments than a 180 grain bullet from a 06.

Here is a video clip from magnum research. Shows a guy shooting at fruit with a .50AE and they literally explode.

http://www.magnumresearch.com/Videos.asp?vid=magshort

MLC
January 24, 2004, 03:35 PM
Try triple strength jello or frozen water bottles.
I second the produce notions as well.

Dave R
January 24, 2004, 03:46 PM
It may just be your ammo selection...

I shoot 1 liter pop bottles filled with water, with my SAR-3 using cheapo Wolf ammo. They DO explode pretty convincingly. And this is with a short barrel.

Might just try a different type of ammo.

Skofnung
January 24, 2004, 05:40 PM
The ammo I use is Federal Lake City XM193 (lot 45 in this case), and from what I understand it is some of the best available on the civillian market. The gun I have is a 20" A2 Bushmaster with no frills.

I have shot bottles of water with larger rifles and they blew up fine. Even 7.62x39 will tear one up pretty bad.

I guess the "icepick" analogy is a pretty good one. It looked like the bullet did not even know it had passed through something... it just looked like I had shot it with a regular .22 LR. Maybe I will try something thicker, like MLC suggested. It is legal to shoot deer with .223 where I live (we have some pretty small ones here) but I doubt I will, I have other guns for that kinda work.

I am just trying to make sure that my main crisis rifle is up to the challenge. The two vets that I spoke to assured me that it (5.56) will do the job if I do mine, that SHOULD be good enough for me, but I am one of those guys that has to test everything for myself.

The bottle thing just took me aback a little.

Thanks for clearing it upfor me.

355sigfan
January 24, 2004, 05:54 PM
I used to shoot milk jugs fill with water for fun at 340 yards (that was all the range I had) and with soft points the 223 exploded the jugs. Ball ammo was less dramatic.
Pat

redneck
January 24, 2004, 06:47 PM
I think you need to try some expanding ammunition.

If you really want an explosion, try some winchester white box varmint loads. Tried them on grapefruit with a friend and they left peices over a 30ft radius when hit from 100 yards.

DougCxx
January 24, 2004, 07:53 PM
Get some of the 52-gr HP stuff. Friends and I used to shoot empty round 1-gallon jugs filled with water; from about 50 yards if you hit them centered they will blow up into a "flower" shape--with pieces of the sides ripped from the opening all the way down to the round bottom.
---------------------------
--->FMJ just don't work good for much, honestly--but the good news is, you can still find a few different 223 commercial (re)loadings cheaply. If you can't get your hands on the HP, then there's a 55-gr softpoint that expands pretty well too.
~

Dave R
January 24, 2004, 10:06 PM
Sko, I may have misled you. It might have been the Wolf HP I used on the 1 Litre pop bottles, not the FMJ. Sorry.

Navy joe
January 24, 2004, 11:13 PM
Ball will never be ideal for expansion. With the .223 it is a fine line between an expanding bullet and one that pretty much explodes with shallow penetration. As to the NATO ball yawing and fragmenting, I think another factor is that today's AR-15s are ludicrously over-stabilizing the bullets. 1-7 and 1-9 twists now, what was the orig. M-16 1-12? Regardless, I'm not standing in front of any of it.

cordex
January 24, 2004, 11:40 PM
I think another factor is that today's AR-15s are ludicrously over-stabilizing the bullets. 1-7 and 1-9 twists now, what was the orig. M-16 1-12? Regardless, I'm not standing in front of any of it.
Nearly impossible to overstabilize so that a bullet will not tumble in a dense medium such as meat. They will

But I'm with you - I'd not like to get hit with any of it.

Navy joe
January 25, 2004, 07:58 AM
I know you can't stabilize it to the point of not yawing in terminal flight, but I think there is an issue of how soon it starts. For example, I have a 6.5 that when slinging 156 gr bullets you can tell is on the edge. Accuracy is great, but every hole in paper is slightly non-concentric, which tells me that the base is orbiting around the axis of flight and probably won't take much to turn it dead sideways. Now 139s from the same gun punch neat holes.

DMK
January 25, 2004, 09:20 AM
I wouldn't expect to see any fruits causing fragmentation either. You need something much bigger and heavier. Would something like Playdough work better? Or would that be to dense?

There's all kinds of recipes on the web to make this stuff from scratch. You could cut the top off some 1/2 Gallon milk jugs or similar sized containers and fill them up.

R127
January 25, 2004, 10:08 AM
5.56/.223 relies on some pretty specific conditions for wounding effect, those conditions may not always be accessible, then it is just the equivalent of a really long icepick. When I reach for a rifle it's for one of two reasons: 1) fun. I just want to do some plinking or target shooting. 2) business. there's something big I need to put down, be that an animal I am hunting for food, a badguy, or giant lizards from Alpha Draconis that are hellbent on world domination. In the first case it matters little what cartridge is used. In the second, a big .30cal bullet traveling near 3,000fps is always really bad news for its recipient, regardless of optimal conditions or planet of origin.

I used to have a Mini-14 way back when high caps were cheap and plentiful. I thought 55gr soft point was good stuff, there may have been better out there. After a while I was disapointed by the performance of the round and now I like .308's. Except... now .308 is looking pretty small, giant lizards again, so I'm starting to eye a .50cal bmg. I may be destined for a muzzleloading cannon at this rate, so I guess it really falls to you to determine your needs and desires. I will say this, .30cal rifles are really satisfying!

Harry Tuttle
January 25, 2004, 01:58 PM
compare / contrast:

http://www.vnh.org/EWSurg/images/Fig13.gif
Figure 13. - .224 Soft-point bullet. This is a typical 22 caliber center-fire hunting bullet
(.224 inches is the actual bullet diameter) fired from the same cartridge as the military M-16

http://www.vnh.org/EWSurg/images/Fig12.gif
Figure 12. - 22 Caliber full-metal-cased (M-16 rifle firing M-193 bullet). This is the
standard weapon of the U.S. Armed Forces, although it is soon to be replaced by a new
rifle using the same caliber and cartridge but with a longer and slightly heavier (62 grain) bullet

standingbear
January 25, 2004, 03:54 PM
varmit loads..try some ballistic tipped ammo...black hills vmax.thatll open up your coke bottle with an audible thunk.i shoot it in both my varmit rifle and my 16" hbar bushmaster on occasion when i know that theres going to be multiple rodents hanging around in close proximity.

Sharpshooter223
January 26, 2004, 08:38 AM
^^ Try the Vmax bullets made for varmits :) They are highly explosive I shoot my .223's at water bottles all the time and it blows the hell out of them. FMJ's soft points and some HP's do the little hole in the bottle effect you speak of :D

cabinetman
January 26, 2004, 01:24 PM
Hi guys.

This reminds me of something that we observed not long ago.

My brother and I were shooting at an old (not antique) duck decoy at 100 yards with his Bushmaster. He was shooting Wolf .223 fmj.

The duck was about 15" long and full scale, made from pine. We set it on a stool and walked back to the shooting bench. My bro set his aim and shot ten times at that duck but it didn't move! We were all laughing our heads off that he missed that target with all ten shots. Weren't we surprised when we went to recover that duck and found ten, neatly drilled holes in one side and out the other. He had hit it every time but didn't even move that duck one iota off that stool! You could literally see right through the thing.

Next, I took aim with my MAS 49/56 in 308 NATO. Two shots and the thing was destroyed.

I can empathise with the troops who were handed these "poodle shooters" in VietNam, especially after they had been exposed to 30 caliber weapons previously. It must have been a shocker. Give me a "real" caliber weapon anyday. I may not be able to slam 30 rounds down range as quick, but I would certainly know when I hit something!

Rome

355sigfan
January 26, 2004, 02:04 PM
I don't think shooting plastic ducks has much to do with stopping power in humans. But then maybe someday I will be charged by a plastic decoy duck.:D
Pat

Bartholomew Roberts
January 26, 2004, 02:40 PM
He was shooting Wolf .223 fmj.

Wolf uses a much thicker jacket than M193 and pushes it at slower velocities, so you don't see fragmentation. Just high velocity .22 holes much as you boted...

Here is a link discussing fragmentation of 55gr FMJ in actual flesh (hunting pigs in east Texas). In some cases, some of these boars weighed out at 245lbs. I've sat down and had dinner with the gentleman discussing the hog hunting and his comments are worth listening to in my opinion.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=179171&w=searchPop

Sulaco
January 26, 2004, 03:15 PM
I did not read all of the responses but water is a pretty sorry way to test ammo. If ammo were designed to "blow up" when it hits water, it wouldn't work too well in flesh. Shoot a dead dog on the side of the road or something and see what you think about it then.

355sigfan
January 26, 2004, 03:49 PM
I did not read all of the responses but water is a pretty sorry way to test ammo. If ammo were designed to "blow up" when it hits water, it wouldn't work too well in flesh. Shoot a dead dog on the side of the road or something and see what you think about it then.

END

Actually water is a fair tissue simulant. After all were made of 70% water.
Pat

Sulaco
January 26, 2004, 05:10 PM
I totally disagree. Water is no different in one area than it is in another. The density differences in flesh are ever-changing. Not to mention bone, cartiledge, veins, arteries, organs, air, etc.

artherd
January 26, 2004, 05:53 PM
Water is a horrible tissue-simulant, almost as bad as a 15" duck decoy :)

355sigfan
January 26, 2004, 06:13 PM
Actually bullets expand about the same in flesh as they do in water. Bone variables and different tissue densities aside. Bullets penetrated 1.5 times in water what they do in ballistic gelatin. I know of a few manufactures that test their ammunition for expansion in water tanks because its cheaper than gelatin and works almost as well.
Pat

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