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.223 or 5.56 Hornady TAP FPD and Drywall Penetration

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by lee1000, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. lee1000

    lee1000 Well-Known Member

    I have an LWRC AR15 with a 1:7 twist, chambered in 5.56 and a 16" barrel. I'm looking for some home defense ammo that will not go through my entire apartment complex. I'm looking at 60grn TAP FPD, but I'm not 100% sure if that the right choice for my situation. I don't see myself having to use it at a range longer than 15 yards (I don't own a shotgun and I'm not sure about using that for HD anyways). I've shot 55 gr Centurion at 100m and it groups well. I would of course like to have 5.56 75 gr TAP 8126N for LE but it seems too heavy for my situation. One thing I do like about the TAP FPD is that it has a propellant designed to reduce muzzle flash.

    What do you guys recommend? Please note that I live by myself, it’s my neighbors that I have to worry about.

    Hornady TAP website

    Hornady TAP LE website

    The ammo I'm looking at is:
    223 55 gr TAP FPD SKU: 83278

    223 60 gr TAP FPD SKU: 83288

    223 75 gr TAP FPD SKU: 80268

    LE Ammo:
    223 55 gr. TAP URBAN 83276

    223 60 gr. TAP URBAN 83286

    223 75 GR TAP BTHP 80265

    5.56 75 gr. BTHP W/C T2 8126N

    Thanks in advance for your expertise

    I searched this subject all day on ammo oracle and else where and really didn't find what i was looking for.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  2. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Well-Known Member

    Personal opinion only. I believe anything that will penitrate enough to reliably stop a man will penitrate a wall, likely a couple walls.

    Why not buy a piece of dry wall and cut it into small sections, say 1'x1', and back them together and see what your ammo does at various ranges? You`ll get the best idea that way for yourself and a 4x8 sheet should allow a lot of different ammo to be tested.
  3. meytind

    meytind Well-Known Member

    5.56 is great for not over-penetrating PEOPLE. Like all rounds that will stop people, 5.56 will fly straight through the cheap junk the average apartment is made of. You might have a chance with frangible rounds, but I have heard that when they hit drywall, they act just like FMJ.

    I think a better idea is to identify your most probable fields of fire in the event of a life or death situation. Then, you put a bunch of really dense, multi-layered stuff in between the wall and where the bad guy would be standing in those fields. I'm talking about things like heavy wooden dressers full of clothing, book shelves, etc. That way, any rounds that miss the bad guy impact these buffers and will probably not penetrate into adjacent apartments.
    Good luck, I live in a similar situation and besides the advice I just gave you, all I can say is don't miss.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Click - Results / More info - "View" beside each load to see ballistics gel results.


    You will get the least over-penetration with the 40 & 55 grain TAP.

    The most with the heavier 60 grain.

    Any of the three will stop a human DRT.

  5. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    I think meytind has it right. Harden your walls, don't weaken your SD round.

    I wouldn't want to defend myself with anything that can't penetrate drywall. Heck, you can penetrate it with a sharpened pencil and a rubber band. Humans are tougher than drywall.
  6. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    I like Federal 55gr JHP as a good compromise between fragility and penetration, in a situation like this.

    The lighter weight .223's will fragment on drywall, though they'll probably penetrate two or three walls before doing so. The wounding potential on the back side of even a single wall is significantly less than with handgun rounds, though (which do tend to plug up and keep on going).
  7. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    I chose 55gr. TAP for my .223/5.56 (with 21.5in. bbl), because that is what weight I use at the range, making the trajectory fairly similar (not that it will be an issue in a HD situation) as well as offering plenty of penetration. At one time this was my primary long gun, but it has been replaced and is now my back-up, back-up long gun (after the Saiga-12, and M1 Carbine), so I hope to never have to test it in a real world scenario.

  8. wishin

    wishin Well-Known Member

    This is your best option short of installing a bullet proof barrier.
  9. [Pb]

    [Pb] Well-Known Member

    I also live in cramped apartment conditions- the only thing I could think of to minimize the risk is to aim for upper body/head if I have to defend myself. My neighbors will probably be sleeping, so my hope is that it will pass over them. It's a sticky situation though.

    You are actually in a better position because you are using a 5.56 rifle. With light, hollowpoint bullets, there is less penetration on drywall than with most pistol or shotgun loads that are viable for HD.
  10. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    Check out the Federal Tactical 55 grain stuff. Its what my duty rifle is loaded with. After we did some testing with it I got some for my personal rifle as well. It works really well. My department has never had a failure using this round and they havent heard of one from any other agencies either.

    But even frangible 5.56 will penetrate walls if you miss. make your hits count. Its not who shoots first that wins the gunfight, its who gets good hits.
  11. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    "My neighbors will probably be sleeping, so my hope is that it will pass over them" ---

    IMO if this is a valid concern, you need to re-evaluate your tactics- :what:
  12. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    check out the DRT ammo. they sell it in 9mm 40cal 223 3006 and 308. its pricey but worht it if you live in a tight spaces.
  13. Angleiron

    Angleiron Member

    If your goal was to use the AR for home defense...only...and less than 15 yards it is my opinion that you might want to consider other options. I have an AR, shotgun, and a
    9mm handgun...and I bought all 3 with certain scenarios in mind. The shotgun will always be your best bet in HD, and at 15 yards you are looking at 5" pattern compared to having to be extremely accurate with the AR. The sound of a pump shotgun cycling a shell helps as well in putting an end to things, as there is no confusing as to what comes next after hearing that sound.

    Here was my thoughts in buying what I did;

    AR = 50+ yards
    Shotgun = 0-50 yards
    Handgun = less than 10 yards
  14. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    The best SD ammo for your AR with a 1:7 twist is 75gr. or 77gr. TAP or OTM.
  15. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    One of the things that always concerned me about a shotgun is you have a spread of pellets or shot and a few of them are likely going to miss your target. I feel a lot more comfortable about getting all my shots into center of mass with a carbine than with a shotgun or handgun, no matter what the range. It's better to keep track of one projectile rather than nine. Keep in mind that many police forces use carbines instead of shotguns these days.

    There is also the simplicity of one weapon to learn and use from 0 to 200yds (not that I see ever needing to make a 100y+ shot).

    There are things you need to know and practice to use an AR15 carbine at close range though. For example sight over bore is 2.5". You need to account for this at close range or you will overshoot your target. Under 15y, I aim using the center of the sight post instead of the tip (and the bottom of the reticule on my red dot).
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  16. [Pb]

    [Pb] Well-Known Member

    The only time there would be an issue with overpenetration is if an intruder was already in my room when I woke up. If I fired at head level while laying in my bed 3 feet off the ground, it would pass into the neighbor's apartment around ceiling level- much less likely to hurt someone.
  17. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    I am glad i'm not your neighbor. :uhoh:
  18. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Don't ask me how I know...

    From a distance of 10 feet, 223 Rem with a 55g fmj will pass through 4 inches of newspaper, a whole door frame, the double 2x4 studs behind the frame, a layer of drywall, fly across the room, penetrate another layer of drywall, a 2x4 stud at an angle, turn sideways, 3.5" R-13 batt insulation, 1 inch rigid insulation, 7/8" 3-coat stucco (sideways!!!), across the patio, through the very corner of a 4x4 post, and half way across the back yard to bury itself half way in 3/4" plywood.

    Just don't ask me how I know.

    With a FPD round, it will probably penetrate only 2/3 to 3/4 as much as an fmj. Please don't underestimate a rifle round, even if it's FPD.
  19. Mike128

    Mike128 Well-Known Member


    Interesting website. The made a box with replaceable dry wall sections and shot several types of ammo at it in several calibers. Gives an idea of how a bullet reacts to drywall.
  20. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good test...must have took you hours to set that up just right. :rolleyes: :uhoh:

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