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.223/5.56mm home defense round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Cesiumsponge, Jun 27, 2005.

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  1. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    The ammo discussion in General Discussions got me thinking on discussing which are among the best self-defense ammunition selections for the .223/5.56mm. I want to obtain some more expensive, home-defense oriented ammunitions for the purposes of home defense, but collect cheaper ammo for range practice. Right now, I don't have much of either.

    I currently have "white box" Winchester .223 45 grain JHP. It was relatively cheap so I am not sure how good it would be. Of course any ammo would be better than none to begin with, but when you are dealing with a life/death situation such as home defense, any edge, no matter how slight, should be taken advantage of in my opinion.

    With that said, would I be best off using a hollowpoint design? I've read some papers and discussions on M193 and M855 ammunition but prefer something that will penetrate walls less (albiet both will penetrate SOME walls no matter what).

    I have heard several recommendations that Federal Premium Varmint P223V "Blitz" 40 grain HP for .223 is excellent stuff since it's fragile and fragments very easily given it's high velocity. However, I can't find any places selling 40 grain ammunition from Federal that matches this description. I'm not sure if anyone knows of a source or it's been nixed from the market. The closest stuff is 40 grain Nosler ballistic tip, which I don't think is remotely similar. Winchester makes what I assume is a similar load as the Nosler, but they call it a 40gr Ballistic Silvertip.

    I want to say the lighter bullets result in a higher velocity which results in greater fragmentation. I try to justify this guess by looking at fragmentation results based on velocity on the M193 and M855 rounds which show higher fragmentation rates at greater velocities.

    Any recommended loads in a proven high velocity lightweight hollowpoint, or am I completely off the track here?
     
  2. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2005
  3. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    My Bushmaster lower receiver is marked CAL .223-5.56mm so I'm assuming its okay to fire both 5.56mm NATO and .223 remington. Upper is Bushmaster too so it'd make sense they pair them up properly before selling it as a whole rifle.

    I just found some stuff called PMC Silver Ammunition 223 Remington 50 Grain Sierra BlitzKing Boat Tail with 3300fps velocity hmm. I see PMC all the time sold as range ammo, but never hear about them as self-defense ammo. Just read that Corbon uses the same Blitzking plastic tipped bullet in their Urban Defense ammunition hmm. Sometimes too much variety can make things harder. :banghead:
     
  4. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Sounds good! Ive only *heard* about .223 only guns, but it sounds reasonable that the 5.56x45mm nato ammunition is loader hotter enought o be a possbile problem in older guns and whatnot.

    Try a search for "Frangible ammo" its metal composites that turns to powder inside a person or after hitting soemthing of reasonable hardness. Dunno how expensive it is or if its even available to civilians though.

    And here i am trying to sound all smart, but i speak truth, i swear.
     
  5. TheDutchman

    TheDutchman Member

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    http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm

    With all do respect to a senior member, the 62 gr 5.56mm ammo that was suggested is the worst possible home defense round. The M855 was designed to penetrate(see ammo oracle) and the terminal ballistics are less then stellar. Hornady Makes a 55 or 60 gr frangible TAP round that would be perfect for home defense do to high fragmentation and low penetration. The Winchester .223 45 grain JHP you have should not over penetrate, however if you choose to shoot it in a auto beware that it has no cannelure to prevent bullet set back.
     
  6. 226

    226 Member

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  7. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Federal Premium 55gr Sierra Gameking.
     
  8. Gary G23

    Gary G23 Member

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    Federal XM-193
     
  9. MoeMentum

    MoeMentum Member

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    I never liked the .223, I would find something in .30 for home defense. For a good cheap home defense gun, take a look at an SKS.
     
  10. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Ah *runs away*

    Yeah, thats why i put the frangible post up. I was thinking he meant a more SHTF situation, and remembering that CTd had that stuff in stock, put up the link without thinking twice, in which the heavier grain bullet would be preferable for the better penetration.

    But he was more home defense orented, in which case your above post is absolutely correct.
     
  11. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

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    :barf:

    I'm changing my signature line because it doesn't matter WHAT question you ask... "Hey, what's the best match .45 for 3-gun?" SOMEBODY's gonna say "don't even bother, get an SKS instead!" :what:

    In HD distances where you are WELL within "maximum fragmentation range", the 5.56x45 will do stellar. I'd feel MUCH safer with that than the heavier, more wall penetrating russian ammo.

    But don't forget, you can get 30 rnd fixed mags and a folding cheap-@$$ stock for the infamous "redneck assault rifle". :neener:
     
  12. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    I dunno. 5.56/.223 makes a huge fireball that you can see even in daylight. In the dark, it might eliminate any chance for a follow up shot. Overpenetration is a huge concern indoors, too. For HD, I'd prefer a 12 ga with an 18" or 20" bbl.
     
  13. Too Many Choices!?

    Too Many Choices!? Member

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    Out to 300 yds nothing beats the .223

    Try explaining the SKS to the police after your ,"good shoot",on the B/G that accidently penetrates your neighbor or their child or the responding officer
    :scrutiny: !
     
  14. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    My main HD magazine for my mini-14 is loaded with Federal 40-grain JHP's, plus a few Hornady 40-grain VMAX to bring the total round count up to 25. (Mini-14 magazines are harder to come by than good AK mags, so I download this one by 5 rounds for spring longevity.) This is the same round that used to be called "Blitz" when marketed to law enforcement agencies, AFAIK. They group about a foot low at 100 yards compared to 55-grain loads (less muzzle climb while the bullet is in the barrel, hence shoots lower) but are close enough at home-defense ranges that this is a completely moot point.

    I saw Sportsman's Guide and/or Cheaper than Dirt selling some of the Federal 40-grain JHP's a while back. If you can't find them, Hornady 40-gr VMAX are essentially the same thing with a plastic cap over the hollow cavity for better supersonic aerodynamics (another moot point at home-defense range).

    The Winchester white box 45-grainers are actually a good choice, as long as you are satisfied with their reliability (the good thing is that you can afford to shoot enough of them to test them thoroughly). I have never had a failure with white-box rifle rounds, but I did have one round (out of a few thousand rounds) of 9mm white-box value pack that apparently had no priming compound.
     
  15. jobu07

    jobu07 Member

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    theboxotruth.com He does some tests with 5.56 ammo and drywall to try to simulate how it would work if you were say, shooting inside. Kinda interesting. That drywall really sends them little bullets a tumbling.
     
  16. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

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    ONLY in California :evil: Both my AR's have flash suppressors and make almost NO flash AT ALL, even at night. MUCH less than a pistol or shotgun.

    Indoors, a 12ga is going to be a big ball of lead and will go through plenty of wallboard before stopping. Many legitimate tests have shown the .223 to penetrate LESS than the 9mm due to it's light weight (55gr) bullet being easily deflected and fragmented.

    I completely forgot to add that I would probably choose TAP or even 55gr Varmint (ballistic tip etc.) for my HD rifle. 55gr so I could keep similar zero with my cheap-0 shooting ammo which is almost always 55gr, but still increase my fragmenting potential on bodies, walls, etc.
     
  17. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    Yeah, and it also nevertheless still went through (a simulated) 6 walls, both sides (12 sheetrocks) and busted the jug of water and imbedded in the brick or at least chipped the brick, IIRC. Using anything other than specially-constructed frangibles from a .223 is *probably* negligent for home defense in a city or suburban setting, IMO, due to the significant penetration from any kind of .223 ammo, other than frangible. A shotgun with something like #4 buck is the best choice in home defense usually. Like the man said, don't want to shoot your neighbors while they're in their homes.

    Here's one quote from boxotruth:

     
  18. Commissar Gribb

    Commissar Gribb Member

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    remember to never shoot at anything that's in front of something you dont want to die/explode/ etc..

    basic gun safety here....
     
  19. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Yeah I tried looking for these Blitz rounds. Someone said they were relabeled as Premium Varmint HP rounds but I can't find a source of either so I'll have to settle with some of the plastic tipped ammo I guess as long as they're still designed to expand properly.

    I'm going to chime in an attempt to steer this thread back on topic which is ammo choice for a given caliber, not what caliber works best given a situation.

    Some of the people here are misinterpreting the results on Box O Truth. SEVERAL types of .223 rounds were used in various tests. The depicted 12 sheet overpenetration of 5.56mm ammunition shown on Box O Truth in the drywall test, he specifically lists that he used an M193 FMJ 5.56mm NATO designated round. The goal of this thread is to attempt selecting a light weight, hollowpoint design for home defense that will fragment very easily, or specifically a frangible round, not a metal jacketed round.

    He later on tests a bullet given to him by a forum member which was cited as a frangible 69 grain exposed hollowpoint lead round according to the website, in which the shooter loaded as a hot round. Look at the images and the setup used. After the 4th drywall sheet (there were only 4), the frangible round had already started to disintegrate as indicated by a large irregular hole on the 4th sheet. It then hit the jug of water and no fragments exited. A further frangible round was tested with drywall stacks, specifically Federal 50 grain, Frangible. It penetrated 8 sheets of drywall and bounced off the ninth.

    Compare 8 sheets of penetration from the Federal Frangible to:
    22 LR HP penetrated 6 sheets
    9MM JHP Federal penetrated 8 sheets
    .45ACP Federal Hydrashok penetrated 7 sheets
    .357 158 grain JHP penetrated 9 sheets.
    In fact, Federal frangible in .223 is comparable to pistol loads in wall penetration. The unidenfitied brand of frangible used earlier that only did 4 sheets penetrated walls less than a 22LR round.

    I found a source of .223 frangible ammo from Ammoman.com. It is listed as USGI AA40 Federal 50 grain frangible reduced ricochet low penetration. The only concern I have is the "low penetration" statement which sounds a bit ambiguous. It could mean low penetration of substrates like walls, or poor performance on live targets...although it'd make little sense to produce ammo with poor stopping performance. Smallest quantity is 500 rnds for $160 so I might have to hold off until I've collected as much information as possible.
     
  20. nickthecanuck

    nickthecanuck Member

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    The big thing that stops me from using my M4gery for home defense is excessive muzzle blast. I think 5.56 is close to 160 decibels out of a 14.5 inch barrel, much louder than a 12 gauge.

    However, if that is all you have or you just really want to use an AR for home defense I would use mk 262 or 75 gr TAP, or xm193 if you don't have a fast enough barrel.
     
  21. Commissar Gribb

    Commissar Gribb Member

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    penetration and stopping power are two different animals. Don't think that because it says "low penetration" that it's going to ping off of flesh leaving a bruise. Anything made of metal and going at that velocity is going to penetrate skin.
     
  22. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

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    Check out AR15.com, they've got buh-zillions of threads covering this. From what's been able to seep into my head, Hornady 75gr TAP is the SD round of choice. The problem is that it doesn't stabilize well in all rifles. Your bushie probably has a 1in9 twist, which seems to be about 50-50 whether it can shoot the 75gr okay. 1in8 or faster, no prob. Slower than 1in9, no way.

    I'm no expert, and I'm trying to rehash a lot of threads. The Ammo-Oracle is a fantastic source, and if you are considering 5.56 then you should read it.
     
  23. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    A rifle may not be suitable at all, dependiong on where you live and what kind of building. Rifle bullets, as you know, can and will go right through drywall, wood, some brick and keep going for several miles. If you should ever have to shoot in self-defense, you are responsible for where every bullet ends up. If it hit's a guy on his commode reading the paper sitting, it's your fault.
    Frangibles I believe are considered to be evil by your ATF. A good varmint bullet, on the other hand, will rapidly expand and will literally explode when they hit nearly anything. Penetration isn't what you want. Stopping the bad guy hurting you or your's is.
     
  24. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Please read my prior post analyzing the results on Box O Truth that someone mentioned earlier. Unless you are firing FMJ out of a .223 like the M193 or M855, the HP and frangible selections for .223/5.56mm are comparable to, or penetrate LESS than pistol ammunitions.

    I try to put up with ARFcom sometimes but at times the informative nature stops and the snobbery and fantasy wargames start. There are a lot of armchair commandos that insist you use a PVS-14 nightvision with a US Optics 20X cowitnessing BUIS on a Colt select-fire NFA M16 illuminated by a Surefire "The Beast" with an IR filter and fire a mixture of M195, M855, frangible, and tracers in a triple magazine cinched setup...and that any other setup is not dependable.

    So far I've got some votes for Hornady TAP, Black Hills, and test results on Federal 50gr frangible looks promising. I'll have to go price shopping on these guys. Evil and being un-PC won't bother me one bit in my selection as long as it isn't illegal. Anything you use in self-defense can and will be painted as excessive and evil by a prosecutor regardless.
     
  25. student

    student Member

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    Anything light and fast will likely do the job and be less likely to penetrate than a slower/heavier .223, remember barrel length is key to velocity which is what can increase projectile frangibility. Personally I wouldn't prefer a .223 for indoor home defense, not because it won't work, but because it is so damn LOUD!!! Thankfully, most people tend to spend far more time obsessing over this stuff than actually having to rely on it, and in most cases any old gun will suffice.
     
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