To the "AR15 for HD" Crowd


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Bobson
December 29, 2011, 03:23 PM
Pretty simple question.

Which specific factory load round do you have in your AR mags when they're fulfilling the home defense role? Wondering what's the most popular, and I'm thinking it isn't bulk FMJ like the various military branches issue to the boots on the ground.

As always, thanks for the input and any added wisdom to help me understand your choice. ;)

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CoRoMo
December 29, 2011, 03:26 PM
Heavy Hornady TAP.

kwelz
December 29, 2011, 03:29 PM
75 Grain Hornady TAP.

C-grunt
December 29, 2011, 03:41 PM
55 grn Federal Tactical. Not ideal but its my duty load.

ugaarguy
December 29, 2011, 03:44 PM
Hornady TAP / TAP FPD in whatever bullet weight I can get locally. I used Federal Premium factory loaded with Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets before the TAP became cheaper & more available while the Fed Prem. went up in price at the same time.

When I'm out at my sister's house in a rural area where the rifle may have to switch from HD to dropping a coyote or loose rottweiler before it gets to my niece or nephew I'll keep a mag full of bonded soft point in my back pocket with the ballistic tips in the rifle, or vice-verse.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 29, 2011, 03:49 PM
Anything that I can trust to go bang every time.

With that caliber, I would certainly hate to be on the receiving end, no matter where on my body the bullet were to hit and, no matter WHAT bullet!
:o

Bobson
December 29, 2011, 04:08 PM
Hornady TAP stands out right away. Why do you folks prefer that? First I've heard of it, actually.

Rshooter
December 29, 2011, 04:08 PM
I would advise against bulk FMJ though I have several magazines of this. A TAP is a round designed for police and not the military. It is supposed to help with over penetration and ricochets. It might be more expensive but the advantages outweigh the price difference if you ever need to use your rifle for HD.

SpeedAKL
December 29, 2011, 04:28 PM
FMJ is generally a poor choice for HD due to over-penetration concerns and reduced wounding capability (when compared vs. modern controlled-expansion bullets). The most popular .223/5.56mm bullets, 55- and 62-grain FMJ, rely on yawing/fragmentation in soft tissue to maximize stopping power. Yawing/fragmentation only occurs above a certain velocity, hence some concerns being raised over downrange stopping power particularly when fired from carbine-length barrels. As an additional complication, the 62-grain SS109 bullet in the military's M855 ammo is equipped with a steel core designed to aid downrange penetration. This is fine for punching through military-grade body armor but some military reports have indicated that it can zoom right through soft tissue before significant fragmentation occurs.

So why does the military use FMJ? Treaty considerations. Expanding bullets are prohibited under either the Hague or Geneva conventions (not sure which). Heavier 77-grain Sierra Match King bullets are issued on a limited basis as Mk.262 ammunition. These apparently fragment quicker than M855 and retain more energy downrange.

Rounds like Hornady TAP use heavy bullets coupled with a controlled-expansion soft-point bullet. The effect on soft tissue is similar to modern hunting ammunition and far more potent than FMJ. They are also less able to penetrate hardened barriers. TAP is the most popular brand but several others exist. Some have also used varmint-hunting ammo for defense. Varmint rounds typically use light bullets (<=55 grn) designed for rapid-expansion (i,e. vaporizing p-dogs).

Keep in mind that heavier bullets require a faster barrel twist rate to maximize their accuracy. 1:7 is a good bet.

mavracer
December 29, 2011, 04:36 PM
Lake City M855

Water-Man
December 29, 2011, 04:39 PM
Hornady 5.56 75gr. BTHP T2 TAP 8126N

CoRoMo
December 29, 2011, 04:51 PM
Hornady TAP stands out right away. Why do you folks prefer that?
Because the 'T' stands for Tactical.






But seriously, I use it because the Zombie stuff is still hard to find.






Still kidding. What SpeedAKL said.

Zach S
December 29, 2011, 05:14 PM
75 grain TAP. At HD distances, a 75gr bullet fired from 1:7 bbl wont be any more accurate than one fired from a 1:9.

If you have a 1:9 bbl, you wont notice your groups open up with the 75 pills until the targets are out past HD distances. Although 1:7 is preferred for the heavier rounds, some 1:9 bbls shoot it very well.

Skribs
December 29, 2011, 05:46 PM
Is the .223 TAP better than the 5.56 rounds hornady has?

rjrivero
December 29, 2011, 05:55 PM
Is the .223 TAP better than the 5.56 rounds hornady has?

The .223 is loaded to Rem .223 pressures and the 5.56 is loaded to Nato pressures.

Better, at typical HD range, is a matter of opinion. Personally, I really like Nosler Partition bullets (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/891153/federal-premium-vital-shok-ammunition-223-remington-60-grain-nosler-partition-box-of-20)in this little caliber. I think they are 60gr but they hit hogs HARD.

I guess I'm just not tactical enough to use TAP.....(Hangs head in shame.)

Bobson
December 29, 2011, 05:57 PM
The .223 is loaded to Rem .223 pressures and the 5.56 is loaded to Nato pressures.
Meaning one has higher muzzle and extended velocities than the other? Which is the higher pressure round (and I assume capable of higher velocities)?

rjrivero
December 29, 2011, 06:00 PM
NATO is higher pressure, therefore higher velocity. 62000 psi in 5.56 Nato vs. 55,000 psi for .223 Rem.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 29, 2011, 06:01 PM
I use Hornady TAP 55gr (their VMAX round) or Hornady/Black Hills loads of their 75gr BTHP. The reason I use the Hornady bulllets is because I feel confident they will behave the way they have in dozens of gel shots I've seen and because intermediate barriers are not a big concern for me at home.

wnycollector
December 29, 2011, 06:05 PM
I have my BCM middy loaded with Privi 75gr OTM. After doing some reading over at ARFCOM I ran across Molon's GREAT post on Prvi ammo. Here is an excerpt from that post.

Thanks to the efforts of the esteemed Dr. G.K. Roberts, we now have some excellent information on the terminal ballistic properties of the Prvi Partizan 75 grain OTM load. The same lot of Prvi Partizan 75 grain OTM ammunition that Dr. Roberts used in testing had a nearly identical velocity when I chronographed it from a 16" Colt barrel as noted above.


Privi Partizan 75 gr OTM

Velocity: 2468 fps from a 16" 1:7” twist barrel

penetration in bare ballistic gel: 12.6"

neck length: 0.8”

maximum temporary cavity: 3.2” at a depth of 4.7”

recovered diameter: 0.36”

recovered length: 0.15”

recovered weight: 30.1gr

percentage of fragmentation: 60%


The “ballistic neck” length or initial upset depth is a critical component in evaluating the terminal ballistic properties of a round of ammunition. It is the length that the bullet travels in the body before it begins to upset (expand, yaw/fragment.) Keep in mind that on an average adult male, the surface of the heart is roughly 1.5” below the surface of the chest. Basically, the shorter the ballistic neck, the better.

If you would like to read the whole post here is the link http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/491816_100_Yard_Accuracy_Evaluation_of_Prvi_Partizan_75_grain_Match_Ammunition.html

kenken
December 29, 2011, 06:07 PM
I have some tracers and I believe that is what I would use to 'light up' the bad guy.

kenken

Bobson
December 29, 2011, 06:11 PM
NATO is higher pressure, therefore higher velocity. 62000 psi in 5.56 Nato vs. 55,000 psi for .223 Rem.
And both 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem are safe to fire from an AR15 interchangeably?

I know there's some compatibility for the .308 Win and 7.62 NATO, but I recall hearing that it works one way, but not the other...

rjrivero
December 29, 2011, 06:22 PM
And both 5.56 NATO and .223 Rem are safe to fire from an AR15 interchangeably?

The "textbook" answer is that the 5.56 chamber will handle 5.56 and .223 without issues.

The .223 chamber because it has a shorter leade, can cause pressure spikes with 5.56 ammo. Since the 5.56 is loaded hotter, then you end up with EVEN MORE pressure and that can lead to bad things.

A .223 can be reamed to 5.56 dimentions and then you have no issues.

MistWolf
December 29, 2011, 06:38 PM
NATO is higher pressure, therefore higher velocity. 62000 psi in 5.56 Nato vs. 55,000 psi for .223 Rem.

NATO and SAAMI pressure are not comparable as they are measured using different methods. As the velocities of the two loads are similar with the same bullet weight and case capacity is about the same, they would be similar in pressure. The difference between the 5.56x45 and the 223 Remington is that the 5.56x45 is loaded to make it's pressure and velocity safely in a chamber with a longer leade. The 223 Remington is loaded to make it's pressure and velocity safely in a chamber with a shorter leade. When fired in a 5.56x45 chamber, the 223 loses pressure and velocity

Art Eatman
December 30, 2011, 01:05 AM
Based on performance on coyotes and jackrabbits inside of 100 yards, I don't think it really matters what bullet is used. At ten to at most twenty yards, they all come apart. Over twenty yards? That's attack, not defense.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 30, 2011, 08:52 AM
The 5.56x45 loadings are going to have a higher velocity and slightly less accuracy. For home defense distances, the velocity difference isn't really an issue unless you are using an NFA-length barrel. If you are trying to extend the effective fragmentation range of 75gr Hornady out of a 14.5" barrel to 200m, then it starts making a difference.

benEzra
December 30, 2011, 09:05 AM
Federal 55gr JHP.

Sergeant Sabre
December 30, 2011, 09:14 AM
Federal 62gr Fusion. It's a bonded soft point.

rbernie
December 30, 2011, 09:14 AM
Prvi 55gr SP.

helotaxi
December 30, 2011, 09:49 AM
The 5.56x45 loadings are going to have a higher velocity and slightly less accuracy.Depends on the rifle. You can't categorically make that assertion.

Tirod
December 30, 2011, 10:03 AM
It's typically assumed that overpenetration of stray rounds could injure another family member. I think we're giving away a serious tactical advantage, just to mitigate a risk that may not even exist in that specific scenario.

Since most ammo used is going to penetrate the typical flimsy interior construction of homes built in the last 50 years, accept that and plan around it.

The BG has less incentive if he assumes the homeowner can and will shoot thru barriers. Beats hearing him laugh at ineffective attempts to do it. The KSG shotgun and .50 sabot slugs comes to mind.

BG's wear body armor, at least in the HD threads on forums. Got to meet the worst case scenario, crazed meth heads in armor destroying the doorway to ravage the family.

I was going to add "biker" to that description, these days, they're the hospital staff and legal professionals. They are going to get you anyway. :)

Shawn Dodson
December 30, 2011, 12:03 PM
Mk 318 Mod 0 62gr OTM

It's a good general-purpose cartridge. The unbonded lead core at the front of the bullet fragments. The solid copper base penetrates. USMC issued it in Afghanistan before M855A1 was available.

It can be purchased here - http://usarmorment.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=mk318

SpeedAKL writes: FMJ is generally a poor choice for HD due to over-penetration concerns and reduced wounding capability... An errant 5.56/.223 bullet tends to penetrate fewer walls than centerfire pistol bullets. The reason is because the bullet loses stability and yaws after passing through the first wall. The bullet doesn't strike subsequent walls in a point forward orientation - it strikes them sideways, which slows the bullet more quickly or can cause the bullet to fragment. It doesn't matter if the bullet is FMJ, HP or SP, or solid copper HP. It is one reason why Law Enforcement in general has moved away from 9mm subguns.

I have no problem suggesting M193 55gr FMJBT-WC for home defense.

Yawing/fragmentation only occurs above a certain velocity... The bullet will still yaw. Yaw is not velocity dependent.

Skribs
December 30, 2011, 12:57 PM
FMJ is generally a poor choice for HD due to over-penetration concerns and reduced wounding capability...

Actually a JHP through drywall will clog up, fail to expand, and overpenetrate.

Quaamik
December 30, 2011, 01:15 PM
When useing an AR for HD you really have to ask yourself why your choosing that for HD first.

Is it for precision shot placement if a bad guy has a family member hostage?
Is it out of fear of home invasion form bad guyss wearing body armour?
Is it because your home is remote and you may be forced into a defensive firearm use at longer than normal (defesive) ranges (say 25 - 50 yards or more)?
Is it because you are better with a rifle?

Those need to be answered before you can decide what the best ammo would be.

Destructo6
December 30, 2011, 02:03 PM
Hornady TAP stands out right away. Why do you folks prefer that?
Because Hornandy runs highly effective PR.

There's an FBI analysis of an 11/29/2006 shooting in Pennsylvania that concludes that,
"Results of Hornady 55gr. and 75 gr. TAP
do not satisfy FBI standards for terminal
performance.
and
The performance of the .223 TAP ammunition,
although consistent with manufacturer’s claims,
did not perform terminally as this Police
Department expected.
In case you want to read the report for yourself:
WARNING: Link contains graphic images not suitable for some viewers, view at your own risk.
http://concealedcarryholsters.org/wp-content/files/FBI-Analysis-on-PA-Police-Shootout.pdf

87jeep
December 30, 2011, 02:05 PM
Sig P220 45cal. with Hornady critical Defense, so I can get to my AR-15 with M885. I have no nearby homes so I feel no problem with M885 or anything I want. If I was in a town then a TAP ammo would be used in the AR.... I really do not feel I will need to get to the AR, as a 45cal will take care of any house invasion!

Have heard that 90% of burglars run when you rack a shotgun :)
I sure would!


AR-15 carbine M4A1
AR-15 carbine M4A3
Sig P220ST
Win model 97
+

~Abstract~
December 30, 2011, 02:09 PM
These.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3096/3103927188_b5d12ab68b_z.jpg

benEzra
December 30, 2011, 02:09 PM
Actually a JHP through drywall will clog up, fail to expand, and overpenetrate.
That's true of handgun JHP (heavier, less fragile, far lower velocity), but not .223 JHP, generally speaking.

Plenty of 50-55gr .223 JHP and SP will tend to fragment in two interior walls (four sheets of standard drywall).

LeonCarr
December 30, 2011, 02:16 PM
Winchester Ranger 64 Grain Power Point. Works very well on deer and hogs too :).

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Cecil Sharps
December 30, 2011, 02:26 PM
this is almost as much fun as over thinking a zombie apocalypse loadout.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 30, 2011, 05:09 PM
Because Hornandy runs highly effective PR.

As your own post noted, the Hornady ammo "performed consistent with the manufacturer's claims.". So you can hardly blame Hornady for giving accurate information.

There's an FBI analysis of an 11/29/2006 shooting in Pennsylvania that concludes that,
Quote:
"Results of Hornady 55gr. and 75 gr. TAP
do not satisfy FBI standards for terminal
performance.

FBI standards include test through things like laminated auto glass, which is hard on bullets, and which neither 55gr nor 75gr does well with. 75gr also penetrates poorly through a loaded AK chest rig. If your home has a lot of laminated auto glass or attackers with AK chest rigs are a possibility, it may not be a good option for home defense. For those of us with more mundane threats, the lack of penetration is a feature rather than a bug.

acmax95
December 30, 2011, 05:38 PM
I have Hornady 55 gr V-max's. They were the first non-fmj ammo I found locally and I trust Hornady.

Zach S
December 30, 2011, 05:50 PM
When useing an AR for HD you really have to ask yourself why your choosing that for HD first.
Long story short, long arms are easier to shoot than handguns. I own a rimfire and two pistol caliber ARs, in addition to my 5.56, and as a result I have more rangetime behind an AR15 than I do most of my handguns. And in my experience, the only time the size of the handgun is an advantage would be in seriously confined spaces, such as an automobile, which I do not have inside my home.

Destructo6, you should really have a graphic warning on that link.

Matthew Courtney
December 30, 2011, 10:14 PM
tree oh! ate. Federal Fusion in the house gun, Barnes vor-tx in the truck gun.

kenken
December 31, 2011, 10:16 AM
For HD wont any ammo really work for ya? Most situations are at close range anyway so there is no reason for special, super jelly filled ammo. Use what you can find, as far as ammo is concerned, and put 3 rounds into the bad guy instead of 1. Just sayin'.

kenken

chad1043
December 31, 2011, 10:32 AM
For HD I always wondered why people choose an AR over a shotty. Just wondering? They make some amazing HD loads for shotguns. Just wondering?

nathan
December 31, 2011, 10:39 AM
Any ammo is fine as long you know your backstop is not your next door neighbor's bedroom. Them bullets will go like butter . Grand Jury may not like the end result when presented in court if shzt happens , and you have to defend your sorry a__ to justify using said round in SD.

AK103K
December 31, 2011, 11:12 AM
For HD I always wondered why people choose an AR over a shotty
Easier to load quickly if kept "unloaded". A lot easier to handle/maneuver and shoot with, especially for those who are of smaller stature and recoil shy. In most cases, better options for night friendly sights too.

helotaxi
December 31, 2011, 11:30 AM
Long story short, long arms are easier to shoot than handguns. I own a rimfire and two pistol caliber ARs, in addition to my 5.56, and as a result I have more rangetime behind an AR15 than I do most of my handguns. And in my experience, the only time the size of the handgun is an advantage would be in seriously confined spaces, such as an automobile, which I do not have inside my home.

Destructo6, you should really have a graphic warning on that link.
Not only that, but Clint Smith and many other experts in fighting with guns will tell you that the sole purpose of a handgun in a fight is to fight your way to a rifle.

dev_null
December 31, 2011, 11:33 AM
The "Box o' Truth" tests .223:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot2.htm

-v-
December 31, 2011, 01:09 PM
75 gr TAP as well. Why AR over a shotgun? fewer worries of stray pellets flying past the BG and through the house to strike things I dont want hit, or hitting neighbor's houses.

Waywatcher
December 31, 2011, 02:05 PM
55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips.

Would feel comfortable with almost anything, but these are scary accurate and reliable in mine.

sgtstryker
January 1, 2012, 03:08 PM
I keep the carbine loaded with 55 gr ball ammo, Federal 193. At HD range, no reason to not make an accurate double tap.

dldbrandon
January 1, 2012, 04:37 PM
Here is a great article that goes into great detail about what works and why, in several calibers.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

kfgk14
January 1, 2012, 09:59 PM
55 grain FMJ. If the 60 rounds of it in the Surefire mag doesn't take care of them, I don't know what will.

On the general subject of AR's for home defense:

Call me paranoid, but I don't want to find myself pumping 9mm's into some meth head in a ballistic vest and him still stumbling onward. I'd rather hit him with a wall of 55 grain FMJ that will make it through his vest and kill him. I don't worry about over penetration, I'm out in the middle of nowhere. Anyone within range of getting killed by my rounds going through my walls is up to no good anyway. My home is a concrete block construction, I.E. cinderblocks filled with concrete, then there's wood stacked 6 feet high around the whole house. The likelihood of over penetration is almost nullified and if the rifle over penetrates, the guy is probably in my yard anyway, so he's up to no good. Also, I'm a faster, better shot with an AR-15 than I am with a handgun. The AR can engage someone at longer ranges, which where I am is valuable.

taliv
January 2, 2012, 12:14 AM
remember that what you post on the internet isn't anonymous and may come back to haunt you in the unlikely event you are involved in a shooting

sixgunner455
January 2, 2012, 12:51 AM
I use Winchester Ranger 64gr PowerPoint, because I have several boxes of it that I got an excellent deal on. My friends in the BP tell me that's the load they use as well.

Why the AR over the shotgun? More compact, for one thing. 30 round magazine vs. 3-9. Semi-auto vs. pump (for most defensive shotguns). Low recoil. Accurate way further. Yeah, most defensive shootings are up close and personal, they are in the military, too, and the accuracy is there for if you need it - just in case your shooting isn't the norm. Fast reload back to 30 rounds, or 60 if you got a Surefire mag. Least worry of overpenetration in household building materials of all common defensive firearms.

Reasons to pick a shotgun? If you already have one, or if you can't afford an AR, you can get into a perfectly functional gun for a couple hundred bucks. Or, if you just like them better.

Quaamik
January 2, 2012, 10:35 AM
Zach S and Helotaxi,

You misinterperted my statement.

I'm not asking "why" you choose a AR (or any rifle) for HD. I'm suggesting that the reason why it is being used has a large bearing on what ammo is best for it.

For example: Lets say your home is remote, with several hundred yards between you and a nieghbor (or completely out of sight of nieghbors) and you run a risk where repelling a home invasion may require you to be able to respond to people firing on you from outside your home, possibly from cover. The best ammo for you may not be the best ammo for someone who lives in a 1000 square foot home that is seperated from his nieghbor by 8 feet. In one situation penetration is an asset. In the other its a liability.

jad0110
January 2, 2012, 01:54 PM
Lake City M855

And Lake City XM193 for me. Will it penetrate more than a Hornady TAP? Probably, but likely no worse than your typical slow, heavy 45 ACP slug.

The most popular .223/5.56mm bullets, 55- and 62-grain FMJ, rely on yawing/fragmentation in soft tissue to maximize stopping power. Yawing/fragmentation only occurs above a certain velocity, hence some concerns being raised over downrange stopping power particularly when fired from carbine-length barrels.

While that is true, even carbine length barrels will generate enough velocity at up to 100 yards (maybe even 200 for 55 grain M193) to result in yawing/fragmentation that make many 5.56 rounds such nasty buggers in the anti BG roll. The absolute furthest distance inside my home is about 20 yards (my home is very open) with a realistic distance of 7 to 10 yds, and the drop in velocity at that range is negligible. And as another poster said, if you are shooting much beyond that, most likely you'd better have a heck of a lawyer at your side.

TAP is still the best option though, if you can afford to shoot enough of it through your rifle (and each mag you are going to rely on) to verify reliability. I may switch one day, at least in my primary mag, but for now I'm comfortable with 193s.

Aiko492
January 2, 2012, 04:19 PM
Hornady TAP 75 gr BTHP x 4 mags, always kept loaded-one in my Daniel Defense.

Onmilo
January 2, 2012, 04:34 PM
Usually 52 grain hollowpoint handloads in the 1-9 rifles or 64 grain softpoints in the 1-7 guns because that is what I have the most of.

Sidian
January 6, 2013, 09:39 PM
Priorities when deciding which round to use in an AR for HD:


Training
Training
Training
Shot placement.
Know what's behind the target
Training
Type of ammo.


If and when you get to type of ammo for HD, read this thread for opinions, keeping in mind they are not necessarily fact or real world experience.

68wj
January 6, 2013, 10:25 PM
Hornady 110 VMax :D

762gunr
January 6, 2013, 10:43 PM
TAP but in the lightest bullet you can find. The whole point with home protection is being resonsible for overpenetration. A lighter hollow point will have more FPS and will frag faster than the slower heavier hollow point. Ideally you want a round that explodes on hard contact not drive thru it. People are ass backwards buying heavy for caliber in TAP. My SCAR 7.62 holds 110 grain TAP right now.

browningguy
January 6, 2013, 10:46 PM
Currently my AR for HD has a magazine filled with Black Hills 55 gr. SP. Although honestly I would be happy using any of the SP loads from 55-75 gr.

taliv
January 6, 2013, 11:05 PM
good grief people. if you're going to bump a year old thread, have a good reason

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