1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

.223 lethality

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tcsnake, Apr 4, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tcsnake

    tcsnake Well-Known Member

    Will a single well placed .223 round to the upper body of a homosapien Consistently kill said animal? note that I use the word "consistently", as it is well known to myself and many other shooters that there is no round that guarantees death in any living creature.

    Im currently working on a Scout-rifle project with a LTR in .223 and would like personal opinions of the effectiveness of this round against humans. those of you with millitary experience are of particular interest as the .223/5.56 has been a standard round for most of you, I'm also interested to know if barrel length plays a role in the round's effectiveness.

    Thank You
  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Of course it will kill. But lethality and "stopping power" are not necessarily synonymous.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  3. DIM

    DIM Well-Known Member

    gut-shot will kill as well only few days later, usually from the infection, you could probably kill an elephant but it will not drop on the spot, for that you will need something in 40 - 50 calibers. Just like Lone Haranguer mentioned there are differences in stopping power usually it relates to the force of projectile which it carries, which is proportional to its speed and weight, so comparing 55 grain and 80 - 90 grain bullets for 223 the stopping power is different, that's why military switched to 1:7 twist rate to keep combatants down, compare to Vietnam era where 1:14 was used, finally another reason for military to adopt 6.8 mm SPC
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    IIRC, the "Washington Sniper" did pretty well with a .223 on homo sap.
  5. Kentucky_Rifleman

    Kentucky_Rifleman Well-Known Member

    There is no comprehensive answer to your question.

    How "well-placed"? a .223 through the heart will consistently kill human beings. A .223 in the upper torso can be deadly or not, it just depends on what organs are struck, bullet path and deflection, amount of yawing, etc.

    Perhaps the simplest answer is:

    The U.S. Armed forces command believed that the advantages offered by the .223 made it the best combat cartridge available at the time of its adoption. Lately, our military experiences in Afghanistan have at least some commanders in our armed services re-thinking the effectiveness of the .223.

    Ask 10 people here, and you'll likely get 10 answers, all different, and some of them diametrically opposed.

    In the end, you'll have to make your best decision based on your research (including what you read here) and which opinions you choose to listen to.

  6. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    Sure, it will probably kill consistently. It just may take some time.

    Sorry to be "that guy" but there are lots of other threads here on that may give you more info.
  7. DIM

    DIM Well-Known Member

    did the DC "sniper" had bullets with shifted center mass? those don't usually travel in the straight line upon the impact.
  8. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    Locally, when the cops shoot somebody with their rifles (AR type in 5.56) they die. Usually one round is all that's fired, what with it being an urban environment and all.

  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    wild animals have a will to live that when mortally wounded that far outstrips that of human beings.

    A 55grn sp through the heart lungs of such a critter of similar size results in death typically much sooner rather than later
  10. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    COM, as in heart or really close to it. Will work.

    Trusting 1 round to kill effectively is gambleing unless its a head shot. COM hits don't allways kill quickly. Luck deos have some say in the matter.

    0-300yds, I have no problems relying on 5.56. I'll stick to SSA 70+gn rounds for defense with 16-20" barrels.

    When In doubt= 6.8spc 110gn SSA
    Long range AR15 (400+)= 6.5 Grendel
  11. NG VI

    NG VI Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I understand the question.
  12. hoodfu

    hoodfu Well-Known Member

    I remember watching the news coverage at the time, and they had on all of these experts who said a "real" sniper used 7.62 or bigger. It all seemed silly seeing as that kid (the father didn't do much or any of the shooting, it was all the kid) was able to kill so many people with one shot of the .223.
  13. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    Umm, didn't the D.C. "sniper" take most of his shots at under 100 yards?
  14. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    At what range? Using what ammunition? It depends. The D.C. murderers were mostly shooting between 50 and 100 yards (one may have been slightly over 100, and that victim lived, IIRC). That's a big difference ballistically from 200 or 500.

    .223 is the least powerful of common centerfire rifle cartridges, but it *is* a rifle cartridge.
  15. mystery

    mystery Member

    hit any homosapien with a 30-06 and UP centermass (in the sternum bone) and it will die.
  16. DIM

    DIM Well-Known Member

    Shifted center mass bullets:

    Some designs of FMJ rifle ammunition inflict more destructive gunshot wounds than others. Not all FMJ bullets contain a simple lead filling, 5.56mm NATO FMJ ammunition has a much thinner jacket than others. As a result the bullet may yaw and fragment by fracturing along the cannelure, as the result a tail-heavy FMJ bullet which yaws violently after hitting the target, creates more destructive gunshot wounds than standard spitzer bullet.
  17. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    In 1989, Jamie Martin Wise was shot squarely in the torso with a .223 bullet fired by an Alexandria, VA, police sniper. Wise staggered slightly, and the hostage that Wise was holding by the neck with shotgun pointed at head, broke free and ran. Wise then shot and killed Cpl. Charles Hill, racked the shotgun and wounded SWAT officer Andrew Checlchoski before he was finally stopped by a hail of police bullets.

    The .223 bullet nicked a vertebra in Wise's spine and cut his aorta. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1182280.html
  18. Offfhand

    Offfhand Well-Known Member

    Post from above:

    "wild animals have a will to live that when mortally wounded that far outstrips that of human beings."

    Try telling that to battlefield medics.
  19. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    I have talked to veterans of recent wars that have used the M16A1, M16A2 and current M4. They are happy with them. This is (happy) with the combination of weight, quantity of ammo carried and general effectiveness.
    Barrel length effects velocity. Higher is better.
    The previous poster who mentions a change in barrel twist rate is mistaken. The twist rate was changed to allow heavier/longer bullets to be used. The was done to make the rifle compatible with the M249 SAW rounds and vice versa.
  20. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    There are many things that can affect the answer to this question.

    As a soldier, I do not have the benefit of hollow-point ammo, but I DO have the advantage of automatic fire. As a civilian, I have more say in what I will engage, and where I will engage it. As a soldier I don't. Ac a civilian, I can load up with ammo with much more likely stopping power, like Hornady TAP.

    If I were hunting game, I wouldn't want to shoot the animal REPEATEDLY if I didn't have to. I would much prefer to knock it over with the first shot, and not NEED a follow-up shot. As a soldier, if I have engaged a target, I will most likely be able to shoot it repeatedly. Your purpose is a bit vague, in its intention and application. We really don't know what you will be using it for, by whom, or against whom.

    As for the DC sniper, I won $50 when I most correctly guessed the profile of the shooter at my place of work. Male, older than 30, socially disillusioned, either denied entry into the armed forces or discharged from the armed forces under other than honorable conditions. I drew this conclusion because he was using a bullet that is not really a sniper round, but one which those who are 'wannabes' with no real background might use for sniping anyway. He WANTED to be a killer but couldn't make the show. He was shooting at targets of opportunity who were unaware of the threat and not shooting back. He could let them go if the shot wasn't ideal. (That he had a juvenile accomplice was irrelevant to our pool, no one guessed that twist.)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page