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And I thought the 5.56 was a bad HD choice...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The_Next_Generation, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Active Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Washington State
    I came across this youtube video a few days ago:


    This guy is suggesting a Mini-14 for home-defense.

    Some guy posted in the comments section saying that the 5.56/.223 would over-penetrate, and be a poor choice for this role. The poster of the video responded saying:

    @AirsoftSeattleReveiw 5.56mm is a faster, lighter constructed round, and doesn't do as well against intermediate barriers as well constructed service pistol JHP ammo.

    It's effectively a "free lunch" in that you get more power, and less over penetration with a 5.56mm

    Did I miss something? Is this true? I always thought/was told most rifle cartridges in general are poor HD choices because they over penetrate, thus putting bystanders at considerable risk.

    Someone set me straight..


    - The Next Generation
  2. MistWolf

    MistWolf Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Dig around this site. Someplace is a video showing how the 5.56, pistol rounds and shotgun rounds penetrate drywall

    The 5.56 is a good HD choice
  3. GregGry

    GregGry Active Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Milwaukee, Wi
    Some bullets in .223 have a tendency to not penetrate very deep due to the fact they yaw/tumble after striking an object. Other bullets fragment, which reduces penetration. Then you have expanding bullets which can also limit penetration.
    Many .223 rounds won't penetrate more in ballistics gel then a hot loaded 9mm/40s&w/etc.

    Rifles such as ar15s have pluses and minuses over handguns in self defense in the home. Most people will shoot a ar15 rifle more accurately. However they are very loud and can have a lot of muzzle flash.
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    There is no "One size fits all" in home defense. At my house, I could use a Barrett .50 and not endanger neighbors--only my eardrums.

    Rabbit-warren apartment building with thin walls? Different deal. Same for rural farmhouse.

    So part of one's thinking must be the tactics and such things as directions for shoot/don't-shoot. I don't know of any useful HD cartridge for which the bullet won't maybe penetrate through a wall.

    As a generality, a 5.56 with a hunting-type bullet of some 50 or 55 grains is less likely to be a problem beyond a wall than most other rifles.
  5. snakeman

    snakeman Senior Member

    May 20, 2008
    the 5.56 will not overpenetrate when loaded with vmax or hp. I load mine vmax with and soft point in my HD carbine. Every 3rd round is a s.p. the rest are vmax. The vmax penetrates about 8" into a coyote and the s.p. pentrates about 14" into a deer so by the time it expands and goes through someone it is slowed way down

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