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.223 as a sniper round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TheArchDuke, Feb 20, 2007.

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  1. TheArchDuke

    TheArchDuke Member

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    What do you think? Does it have enough speed, range, power, whatever else a good sniper round needs? I know nothing about these things
     
  2. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I wouldn't want to use it as one. Hitting someone a long ways out with only a 55-62gr hunk of lead, especially a center-mass shot, isn't the kind of impact I'd want.
     
  3. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    I'd say it depends on what your definition of sniper is. Would Lee Harvey Oswald have been successful with it, surely. Can it shoot a mile away and have significant energy when it gets there, doubtful.
     
  4. KW

    KW Member

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  5. DReicht

    DReicht Member

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    TX has it pretty much covered. Police sniper at under 100 yards, .223 would be fine but if we're talking 400+ yards I would step up to something much larger. A good AR can shoot out to 600 yards to a pretty good effect, but then again a .308 can easily, and even farther.

    Since I'm assuming we're talking long distance target shooting (400+ meters) I wouldn't use a .223 chambered rifle. Under 400 yards it would be fine.

    .223 Just doesn't have the mass to retain energy compared to something like the .308 or 50 cal. It simply has its time and place, of which long distance shooting isn't one of them.
     
  6. DReicht

    DReicht Member

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    Wow those look really interesting from my skim of that article.
     
  7. funfaler

    funfaler Member

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    Out past @300 yards, the wind has about twice the effect on bullet path as the 308.
     
  8. PaladinX13

    PaladinX13 Member

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    For the law enforcement sharpshooter role, it ought to be okay in the vast majority of circumstances... but for the military sniper role, I'd consider it insufficiently versatile.
     
  9. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    a 70 plus grainer, out of a 26 inch bbl, would do just fine to 600 yds.
     
  10. TheArchDuke

    TheArchDuke Member

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    Thanks for the info everybody
     
  11. g5reality

    g5reality member

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    Sniper Rounds

    I'd use a 7mm, 308, 30-06. They travel farther & faster with better penetration.
     
  12. pete f

    pete f Member

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    'Sniper" ammo brings all sorts of baggage.

    truth be told, there are very very few police snipers who would use a .223, not because they do not like it, but it does not have the punch needed in what are common scenarios. It will deflect a lot on glass. It will not penetrate deeply enough if you have to take a thru the shoulders shot.

    Most are going to use a .308 both for practical and liability reasons.
    A .308 will reliable penetrate glass with enough pop left over to stop the perpetrator. A .223 will not always penetrate the front of the skull AND reliably fly thru from iffy angles or ranges. a .308 to the mellon is going to ruin anyones day. .308's are in wide spread use, there is lots of tactical history of people getting shot with one and being DRT. In today's litigious society, making sure you have used a weapon with precedent is highly desired.

    Even though something like 90 percent of SWAT counter shot are at 65 yards, having the range in the box to reach out and reliablly thump someone at 25 or 400 means the .308 is more likely to be the choice.

    For working snipers, counter terror people, etc, they often jump up to the .300 winmag for the added reach, better ability with 180 grainers and proven one stop hits on a variety of target scenarios.

    WHile .223s are accurate to 400 yards on prairie dogs, much beyond that is a crap shoot, and when you need one shot, one kill, crap shoot is not the term you are looking for. I have personally had 2 PD's fairly hit at long ranges 400 and above, that managed to scramble back in a hole to die in after good hits at that range. jump it up just to the .220 swift or .22 250 an they would not have done that. prairie dogs that are toast at 350 with the .22 250 are walking the thin line when the shot stretches out to 550 and above, 500 is darn hard to do with any gun on a prairie dog, Yet serious snipers in the ITO or ATO are getting hit at 1000 yards on people with .308's and farther too.
     
  13. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    Depends on your definition of "sniper". Short range, I guess .223 could work. Long range, .30-06 or .308 would be better "sniper" calibers.
     
  14. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Pete F speaks the truth.


    It depends on the mission, or your goal. If you're looking to snipe humans within 300m, then the .223 is a good choice. It will ruin their day (and their life). What others have said it true, the .223 is still lethal beyond that. It can kill out to 1000m easily. It can be lethal out to a mile. But that is stretching what the standards are. Most people want a one-shot, one-kill situation where the impact has the power to incapacite the target relatively quickly. That is less certain with the .223 at greater ranges than with the .308.


    If glass is a barrier or a potential barrier, or there's a concern of some type of barrier, than hands down the .308 is better. Because of the little .223 bullet, even at larger grain weights, they shred apart and deform. They don't have the mass of a 168gr or heavier bullet which allows a greater mass to stay together in a larger piece as it penetrates a barrier. The heavier the bullet, the less it will deflect through barriers. Making hit probability much higher.


    Also, people say that the .308 is better in the wind at longer range than the .223. This is fact. However, that's not the right way to say it. The .308 is better in the wind at ALL ranges. So, if you're looking to make a surgical strike even at 150 yards (assuming you have a tack-driving rifle), the .308 will be a touch less affected by wind. And at long range, it is a much bigger difference.


    Finally, the .308 has superior terminal performance than the .223 - period. I'm a huge fan of the .223 and I advocate it a lot; however, a lot of .223 fanatics will not tell you the whole story. They are often comparing high-end match-grade heavy .223 bullets and their improved fragmentation effects with military ball ammunitions in .308.

    If you load a 155gr AMAX in .308, the terminal effects, tumbling and fragmentation as well as penetration is absolutely superior to any .223 on the planet. Massive trauma. So, if you feed the .308 the right bullets, it is more lethal.


    In short, with the .223 at appropriate distances, you're not undergunned. However, I believe the .308 to be the best choice even at short range, yet it retains the ability to reach out and touch someone.
     
  15. ryoushi

    ryoushi Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Short answer: No.

    Don
     
  17. Rem700SD

    Rem700SD Member

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    The primary thing that a sniper has over his enemies os something called ballistic advantage. It's the ability to effectively engage an enemy at a distance where the enemy has a difficult time engaging the sniper.
    The .223 simply does not have a ballistic range that can me optimized by precision engineering, skill, and a scope.

    Dan
     
  18. possum

    possum Member

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    i agree, but otherwise it could fill the slot as a countersniper weapon, but i definetly wouldn't use it as a "sniper rifle" if i had a choice.
     
  19. SniperStraz

    SniperStraz Member

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    LOL! I'd go with the .308. Theres a reason that LEOs and soldiers use it for sniping. They know what they're doing. (if you can afford a Barrett .50 I'll change my vote)
     
  20. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    If you know you've got a clear headshot it's not at all insufficient in the right hands in the right rifle. 1000+ yards at a match is common.

    But how many times is your target going to be standing motionless with nothing in the way?

    With no alternative, you might could make due if you have a really well built rifle with some serious optics, but there's a reason so many snipers use .308s.
     
  21. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    The only niche that the .223 excels in when it comes to "sniping" is in the role of semi-automatic sniper rifles, or SPR or DM style rifles. Which aren't really for sniping.

    Because of the AR platforms inherent accuracy, it is a suitable without needing excessive work to turn it into one, unlike other autoloaders which need a complete overhaul and gunsmithing.

    The key advantage is the low-recoil and high capacity. You have a rifle which can shoot MOA, do so as fast as you can pull the trigger, and during this whole process, you can watch the impacts through the scope without ever losing your sight picture.

    You can't do that with a heavier recoiling cartridge.


    Here's another thing to consider. If you're not planning for a revolution, foreign invasion, mass SHTF, gang warfare/civil unrest/chaos, tyrannical government oppression, guerilla warfare etc....and this rifle is going to have a 99.999999999999% of being a range toy like most everyone else's rifles, the .223 will give you your sniping fix for sure. Cheaper to shoot and accurate. Great to learn on. No recoil and a whole lot more fun. Definitely learn marksmanship skills on that as well as on anything else.
     
  22. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    Spotters usually use an accurized M4 or something similar in close support roles, mine did. Also, that question is answerable by need. Police departments world wide use 5.56mm nato, (and 7.62mm Nato) for sniping as their ranges are far shorter than the typical military sniper. The average sniper range in the military in the real world, depending on theater, is about 100~400M, in the US Law enforcement agencies nationwide are limited to 100 yards for a sniper shot for insurance and political correctness/ legality reasons. So, as a result, and for financial reasons, they oten choose either 5.56mm Nato, or actually, .243.

    In the military sniping community, we use 7.62mm Nato as a standard in most theaters, and now because of super long ranges and the changing needs for a sniper to take out both soft and hard targets, .50BMG, and the newly adopted world wide super sniper cartridge, the excelelnt .338 Lapua magnum.

    Hope this at least partially answers your question.
     

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  23. Eyesac

    Eyesac Member

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    If one says "Sniper round" I definitely don't think .223...
    That said there's many uses for .223 and everone knows you can make some great long distance shots, but if someone told me to pick a rifle for Sniper work, .30 or bigger.

    That's an interesting article by the way.
     
  24. LittleLebowski

    LittleLebowski member

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    Sniper round? I wouldn't shoot a coyote with it after 350 yards or so. I can't believe some of these answers. And yes I served in the military, I know the 5.56 has killed people. Still doesn't make it a sniper round.
     
  25. ATAShooter

    ATAShooter Member

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