Ballistic Tips VS Hollow Points


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Ben86
January 16, 2012, 02:09 AM
I am trying to decide whether I should invest in some ballistic tip ammunition or hollow point ammunition. This is for my 5.56/.223 AR and for use in a HD role. I want to replace my soft point ammo because I realized after finally shooting some that the soft point deforms quite a bit because of the way the AR eats its ammo. I'd like something with a sturdier tip that still expands.

I am considering Hornady TAP ballistic tip or Winchester PDX1 hollow points.

If anyone can paint a comparison of the performance of hollow points vs ballistic tips I would really appreciate it. Does one generally expand more than the other?

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briansmithwins
January 16, 2012, 05:02 AM
I might shoot Winchester if it was free, but I'd think about it first.

Ballistic tips are JHPs, they have the hollow filled with a plastic piece that improves the ballistics, provides material to expand the JHP, keeps the hollow from clogging with wallboard or cloth, and makes for easier feeding since the bullet profile resembles a FMJ.

As the guy said: What's not to like?

BSW

willypete
January 16, 2012, 05:16 AM
Why don't you just use some M193 clone ammo?

ETA: I recently asked myself a similar question about ammo for HD. Here's a resource regarding 5.56 ammo that I found to be very helpful. Happy reading!

http://ammo.ar15.com/ammo/project/term_expanding.html

helotaxi
January 16, 2012, 10:34 AM
I would base my choice on expansion and penetration alone. Unless your home is the size of a football field, the tip of the bullet getting lightly deformed during feeding isn't going to affect anything. Hollowpoints are also likely to get damaged. The problem that I've had with hollowpoints is that they tend to snag and fail to feed where a softpoint has a little spot on the tip smooshed but feeds just fine. Protected points work just fine, but they also can get the tip deformed slightly during feeding. It usually isn't enough to affect accuracy (neither is the deformity on a softpoint or hollowpoint) as the heel of the bullet is more important to accuracy. None of the accuracy issues matter at HD range, anyway. Choose a bullet that is 100% reliable in feeding and has good-> excellent terminal performance.

303tom
January 16, 2012, 11:25 AM
Hollow Points.............

helotaxi
January 16, 2012, 12:56 PM
^^^That's informative...

dagger dog
January 16, 2012, 05:50 PM
Hornady loads their TAP 223 ammo with the VMax ballistic tips.

willypete
January 16, 2012, 07:22 PM
^^^That's informative...

Isn't it though? I spent quite a while reading and learning. Love fonts of information like that!

helotaxi
January 16, 2012, 07:59 PM
Hornady loads their TAP 223 ammo with the VMax ballistic tips.
Some of them. Others are loaded with their 75gn match BTHP and 62gn SP.

willypete
January 16, 2012, 08:12 PM
Regarding the Hornady ammo, seems like the Match stuff would be the better deal. Should be a bit cheaper than the TAP, same bullet (75 gr BTHP) and you can get the Superformance stuff which is about 140 fps faster. I don't know if it's flash suppressed, though.

Jaymo
January 16, 2012, 08:17 PM
M193 ammo. 1 in 12" twist barrel.

Art Eatman
January 16, 2012, 10:55 PM
Unless you have a helluva big home, home "defense" is pretty much up close and personal. Even out in the yard, likely no more than ten to twenty yards or thereabouts? "Defense", not "assault" or "attack".

Anyhow, inside of fifty or so yards, I don't see what difference it makes as to the particular ammo. Most anything, including purely-hunting ammo, will create a world of hurt and be effective. I've never seen much difference in performance on jackrabbits and coyotes, anyhow, regardless of the sort of bullet.

Note that I'm deliberately leaving "over-penetration" out of my comments.

LiquidTension
January 16, 2012, 11:10 PM
I would not use M193 simply because it penetrates much more than something like a 64gr Power Point. While my first concern is ending the immediate threat, a little foresight could save heartache later on. There's a good chance that your bullets will go through your attacker, then they have to end up somewhere....

pabst_20
January 16, 2012, 11:20 PM
ballistic tips are way better for maximum damage.

willypete
January 17, 2012, 12:49 AM
This post:

I would not use M193 simply because it penetrates much more than something like a 64gr Power Point. While my first concern is ending the immediate threat, a little foresight could save heartache later on. There's a good chance that your bullets will go through your attacker, then they have to end up somewhere....

Immediately after this post:

Note that I'm deliberately leaving "over-penetration" out of my comments.

Cracked me right up.

To answer the longer quote: you think you're going to hit with every shot? It's been demonstrated again and again that misses are more of a threat to bystanders than overpenetration, and that penetration is what's necessary to down an assailant.

Anyway, as has been noted, within home defense distances, most every wounding mechanism inherent in every type of ammunition will be able to effectively occur. You want fragmentation with M855 and a 14.5" bbl? You'll probably get it when shooting across your living room. Same goes for "heavy" HPs or SPs out of similar length barrels.

Basically, when it comes down to home defense with a .223 carbine, hitting what you aim at and being able to practice and ID your target are more important than worrying about ammo type.

Ben86
January 17, 2012, 02:23 AM
Basically, when it comes down to home defense with a .223 carbine, hitting what you aim at and being able to practice and ID your target are more important than worrying about ammo type.

That seems to be a useful nugget of knowledge.

I know I am splitting hairs here, but one naturally seeks the ideal tools for the job.

From what I can tell there is no definite answer as far as hollow point vs ballistic tip, because some are designed for rapid varmint killing and some for defense and barrier penetration. I think I'll just go with whichever one I can find the best deal on. ;) I am partial to the ballistic tips because I think they provide more positive feeding with less damage to the bullet tip. They also look nicer (irrelevant I know).

Unless you have a helluva big home, home "defense" is pretty much up close and personal. Even out in the yard, likely no more than ten to twenty yards or thereabouts? "Defense", not "assault" or "attack".

I agree. But, my humble abode is out in the middle of no where and I take my AR with me sometimes when wandering around the acres of woodland surrounding my house. Even so I do doubt a genuine case of defense would erupt from a threat even more than 25 yards away. Unless I stumbled on a meth lab. Gotta watch those meth zombies.

quartermaster
January 17, 2012, 07:39 AM
Why not get a box of each and do some testing. Shoot into some wet news papers to check expansion and consider getting some construction debris and shoot through some sheetrock and plywood, etc., which would simulate home walls and check for penetration and over penetration.

You wouldn't be guessing by doing this.

Art Eatman
January 17, 2012, 09:39 AM
Hey, I could use a Barrett .50 and not endanger a neighbor! :D

Just my eardrums. :D:D:D

I'd likely go with whatever load was the most reliable for feed and extract/eject.

Tirod
January 17, 2012, 11:14 AM
At the short ranges, soft points won't be sensationally inaccurate. A shoot at 100 yards will demonstrate that.

As for penetration, there are plenty of circumstances where you do want it. It's the LEO liability concept that impedes some shooters considering it. Apparently they have innocent bystanders stacked against every wall of the house. Think about it - if you're really practicing Home Defense, the first weapon in your hand will be the CCW pistol in your holster you carry. After the third shot, it's likely over 85% of the time.

Then you can start thinking about where your external security failed.

Waywatcher
January 17, 2012, 11:18 AM
Either will do. I would prefer a 55 Nosler Ballistic Tip, because my rifle shoots them well. (Sub MOA)

I'd also feel fine with a 75 grain BTHP from Hornady.

gamestalker
January 17, 2012, 01:14 PM
My best accuracy has been with HP's. I've shot a lot of everything out there and those seem to produce the most consistent groups. But bearing surface is another factor in bullet accuracy too.

jhnrckr
January 17, 2012, 02:16 PM
i shoot ballistic silvertips and have had spectacular results on game. the tip does not deform in my AR but the jacket always gets scored up pretty good prior to going bang and there is probably nothing you can do about that

michael5446
January 17, 2012, 02:54 PM
does anybody make a shotgun upper for the ar? :)

LoonWulf
January 17, 2012, 05:52 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoSXJ4QuicU :D

Maverick223
January 17, 2012, 07:08 PM
While I have no doubts that either would work well for the stated purpose, I choose to use 55gr. Hornady TAP as my primary load, and keep some of the cheaper 45gr. Winchester HP as an emergency supply/varmint control. I'm confident that I can make first rounds hits with either...or my target ammo, and that's what really counts.

I chose the 55gr. TAP as my primary load because I was impressed with the terminal ballistics and its trajectory closely matched my standard plinking load (55gr. FMJ). IMO loss of a little penetration (a trait that I value, rather than try to avoid) is worthwhile for the zero retention (which isn't likely a concern at HD ranges, but one less thing to think about if an unexpected circumstance arises).

Whatever you decide, just make sure that it is utterly reliable and consistent.

:)

WVRJ
January 17, 2012, 08:40 PM
I've tried both,no big accuracy difference between HP's and ballistic tips.I finally settled on the 60 gr Nosler in my AR.It has a cannelure and is always under the magic MOA.Tried one on a whitetail a couple of weeks ago and it worked as it should.There are a lot of really great bullets out there for the 223 and doing the research is the fun part.

Jeff F
January 17, 2012, 09:51 PM
Most of these hollow point match bullets are not designed to expand. They behave more like FMJ.

Maverick223
January 17, 2012, 10:29 PM
Most of these hollow point match bullets are not designed to expand. They behave more like FMJ.I suppose that they behave somewhat like M193, but that isn't typical performance for a FMJ round either. At any rate the 5.56/.223 OTM tend to deform and fragment nicely, whilst maintaining good penetration, and are better in most any respect when compared to most any FMJ projectile. IMO they compare better to a good SP bullet or the like.

:)

Kachok
January 17, 2012, 10:47 PM
That is a trick question, some HPs are not designed for targeted expansion, others are. I load BTs for all my hunting rifles, they have nasty expansion, and open every single time, though in the .223 cal they are designed for varmint hence have much higher fragmentation and less penatration then my .264/.277/7mm and .30 cal versions. Optimum termanal performance on humans is aprox 14" penatration don't expect varmint bullets to reach that.

2ndtimer
January 18, 2012, 02:42 AM
Why don't you try a couple boxes of these:
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/fiocchi-ammunition-223hvb50-remington-hornady-polymer-3650-rdbx-p-110280.html
The price is unbeatable and I have had good accuracy in my bolt guns, and reliable functioning in my M&P 15 Sport. Realize that price is for a box of 50, not 20, and they are 40 gr Hornady V-Max bullets that chronoed 3650 fps out of my 26" barrel 700 SPS Varmint.

JoeMal
January 18, 2012, 10:40 AM
Why don't you try a couple boxes of these:
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/fioc...-p-110280.html
The price is unbeatable and I have had good accuracy in my bolt guns, and reliable functioning in my M&P 15 Sport. Realize that price is for a box of 50, not 20, and they are 40 gr Hornady V-Max bullets that chronoed 3650 fps out of my 26" barrel 700 SPS Varmint.I've had great luck with these out of my Savage 25 also. Very accurate and feed as they should. For SD, I might look into a larger grain bullet, but who knows...I'd think twice if I was shot with one

2ndtimer
January 19, 2012, 03:39 AM
Quote:
Why don't you try a door if you are loading couple boxes of these:
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/fioc...-p-110280.html
The price is unbeatable and I have had good accuracy in my bolt guns, and reliable functioning in my M&P 15 Sport. Realize that price is for a box of 50, not 20, and they are 40 gr Hornady V-Max bullets that chronoed 3650 fps out of my 26" barrel 700 SPS Varmint.

I've had great luck with these out of my Savage 25 also. Very accurate and feed as they should. For SD, I might look into a larger grain bullet, but who knows...I'd think twice if I was shot with one
I just thought for SD, overpenetration might be a concern. I figure a 40 gr V-Max at 3400+ fps would most likely stay in the target and not endanger non-targets in the next room (or next door, if you are loading 62 gr penetrators). I have watched some You Tube videos of guys getting two hogs with one shot at 100 yards or more, demonstrating that the .223 Rem is capable of some surprising penetration with the right bullet. ( I think they were shooting 55 gr SP of some kind)
But I am with you, Joe. I certainly wouldn't volunteer to take a 40 gr V-Max from a .223 to try to demonstrate how ineffective they are!

happyret65
January 19, 2012, 10:35 AM
Ballistic Tip if you are hunting for meat. Never had a bad experience on a deer kill with a ballistic tip. If you don't care about how much meat you take home or drag - use a bronze tip (pure meat ruining kill!)

Maverick223
January 19, 2012, 01:39 PM
^The OP is asking for recommendations regarding a home defense (HD) role...I certainly hope that he isn't worried about saving the meat. ;) :uhoh:

Ben86
January 19, 2012, 10:31 PM
^The OP is asking for recommendations regarding a home defense (HD) role...I certainly hope that he isn't worried about saving the meat.

Eww...I'm not a cannibal. :p

I think I'm going to go with ballistic tips. I thought about picking up some Hornady Z-max bullets, but I'm worried that could come back to haunt me in court or something if I have to use them in defense. (them being "zombie" bullets and all)

Does anyone have a list of what various police departments carry in their patrol rifles?

JoeMal
January 19, 2012, 10:35 PM
es anyone have a list of what various police departments carry in their patrol rifles?These are relatively new...I would be surprised if you could find any substantial data regarding this. Good luck though....I'd be interested to know, too

Maverick223
January 20, 2012, 12:22 AM
Ben, the Hornady Z-Max are just rebranded 55gr. V-Max cartridges (likely loaded to TAP specifications, but I don't know that for certain). I, too, would be leery of using it specifically for HD, despite the low probability that it will be used against me, it simply isn't worth the risk IMO. That said, 55gr. TAP works great for me, it is reliable, consistent, accurate, and retains a trajectory very similar to my target ammunition, so I'd not be a bit worried about it's performance (even if it is loaded to Varmint, rather than TAP specs., which includes a flash suppressant). I do know that TAP is preferred by several LE agencies, but I don't know precisely what projectile weight they prefer (I'd bet on either 55 or 60gr. BT).

:)

hirundo82
January 20, 2012, 11:20 PM
I just thought for SD, overpenetration might be a concern. I figure a 40 gr V-Max at 3400+ fps would most likely stay in the target and not endanger non-targets in the next room (or next door, if you are loading 62 gr penetrators). I have watched some You Tube videos of guys getting two hogs with one shot at 100 yards or more, demonstrating that the .223 Rem is capable of some surprising penetration with the right bullet. ( I think they were shooting 55 gr SP of some kind)

The issue is balancing penetration vs over penetration. I wouldn't use any type of varmint bullet for HD-- they are too likely to blow up in the first couple inches and not reach the vitals. I use M193 in my HD rifle as an apartment dweller

From what I've seen reading after-action reports, 75gr Hornady TAP seems to be a popular law enforcement load.

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