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.223 vs .308 for CQB

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by neomedic, Oct 19, 2006.

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  1. neomedic

    neomedic Member

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    for plinkering, CQB and maybe home defense, but more for just incase when all hell breaks lose....which is a better caliber???

    .223 or .308
     
  2. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Member

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    In home, I'd say .223 due to less risk of over-penetration, and cheaper ammo, but every other conceivable notion says .308 ... Hunting, long range use, more knock-down power.
     
  3. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    .223, with proper ammo, offers a reduced risk of overpenetration. There are .308 loads like that too, with Hornady's 110 grain TAP being the best example.

    Personally, I use .308 for everything. My only rifle is a .308 FAL carbine, actually. It works just as well at ten meters as it does at two hundred.

    Generally, .223 rifles will be lighter, shorter, and handier for close shooting, but not always. My carbine is shorter than my 870 shotgun, so it's plenty handy.

    I like .308 because of its versatility and the wide range of ammo available for it. It also does a number on vehicles, if you're talking about a (groan) "SHTF" scenario.

    .223 ammo is a lot lighter, though, and it's easier to shoot. Not to mention less expensive for the plinkerin'.

    Best solution? Get both. Not always workable, but it's good to have your options available. :cool:
     
  4. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    At ranges less than 100 yards, do you think 308 is significantly better than 7.62x39?

    I would love to have a FAL carbine, but I already have a VEPR-K in 7.62x39 that is kind of filling the same niche (basically short range defense). I can't convince myself that a FAL carbine would be a significant improvement.

    I have a M1A I can use if distances get longer than 100 yards.
     
  5. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Personally? Yes, I do. Heavier bullets and higher velocities at any range, not to mention better ballistic coefficients. (Note that out of even an eleven inch barrel, .308 still has a bit more than a hundred feet per second velocity advantage over a 7.62x39 from a sixteen inch barrel, firing a heavier bullet to boot.) Factor in quality ammo (JHP, JSP, TAP, etc.) and you've got a pretty effective cartridge. And, of course, .308 is superior when it comes to penetration of barriers, vehicles, etc. It's not that 7.62x39 is any slouch, but .308 is a much better all purpose rifle round. And if you need to make a two or three hundred yard shot, then the .308 wins hands down.

    Comparing 7.62x39 and .308 is kind of like comparing .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Same caliber, much different performance envelopes. Plus, you have MUCH better ammunition choices in .308.

    Remember, though, I've only got one serious rifle, the FAL carbine. It's a bunch of compromises, but I'm happy with it.
     
  6. zahc

    zahc Member

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    My father uses the .223 for (legally) pest controlling whitetails in his bean fields. The results have absolved any doubts I once had about the .223's effectiveness. For anything except perhaps sniper work, go with the .223. Cheaper, lighter, carry more ammo, still a devastating round.
     
  7. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I am having the very same .223 vs. .308 debate, I like the power of the .308 but I also like the low recoil, cheap shooting cost of the .223
     
  8. swingset

    swingset Member

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    CQB is a lousy place for .308. Ever shot one unsupprssed in tight quarters? Too much gun, for an up close and personal gun, IMHO.
     
  9. Loanshark

    Loanshark Member

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    Zahc I'm in Ohio... How do you legally shoot a deer with a .223 in Ohio? I'm not doubting you I'd just like to be able to use my .223 on my folks land...
    Allot easier to hit deer at 150 yards with a .223 than with a 12 guage slug.

    How'd you find out it was legal?

    What has to be done to get away with it?
     
  10. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    They are loud. So are 11.5" .223s. If you KNOW you're going to clear a house, some electronic hearing protection is probably a great idea.

    Or, you could do what I'm planning on doing and getting a suppressor. And maybe an 11" FAL to put it on. :evil:
     
  11. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Member

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    many states/countys have laws allowing for taking of an animal that is a threat/pest to live stock or crops. normal hunting rules dont usualy apply
     
  12. Mumbles_45

    Mumbles_45 Member

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    Yes, but is he using FMJ rounds? I hope not. Not that Neomedic would be restricted to FMJ, but I am and my doubts are far from absolved.
     
  13. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    *sniff* *sniff*

    I smell an argument about 5.56mm fragmentation brewing. Mumbles, what have you done? :D

    For my own use? .308 150 grain soft points. Good balance of penetration and down-range thump.
     
  14. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Know where your friendlies are and use steel core.
     
  15. possum

    possum Member

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    put the rds where they need to go and it will do the trick, trust me!:) .223 is great for cqb, and home defense, .308 would be way to much for shooting indoors. you gotta keep in mind that there are innocent people on the other sides of the walls and in the other rooms.
     
  16. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    My house has brick facing on 3 sides. I figure .223 won't go through that. I am afraid .308 might. I like .308, but I doubt I would go to it inside my house unless nothing else was at hand.
     
  17. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I suspect that most people in this thread, myself included, have had no formal training or real-world experience in CQB. (I don't count M16 range time from prone or fighting positions, courtesy of my rich Uncle, to count for much.) Looking at those folks who kick down doors for a living, it would appear that they overwhelming favor 223/5.56 NATO over 308, for example. I suspect this has little to do with overpenetration issues and is almost entirely due to the speed by which 223 allows followup shots or transitions, relative to 308 or other high-powered chamberings.

    Loaded up with 75gr Hornady laods, the 223 is suitable for just about any use that I can see (short of bear defense) inside of 300 yards. It may not be optimium, but it *will* do just about any job asked of it. It is simply a better 'compromise' round than 308.

    Having said all of that - I'll take an AR15 in 7.62x39 (SP) over either. :D
     
  18. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    The 5.56mm round is superior for CQB work. Lower recoil means its quicker back on target for follow up shots or quicker on transition to additional targets. All things being equal a 5.56mm rifle is going to be lighter and handier than one built for 7.62x51, making it a bit quicker onto target and into the fight.

    There are some guys out there who can shoot 7.62mm guns fast, but the reality is that physics is physics -- no matter how fast a given shooter is with 7.62mm, he or she will be faster with 5.56mm, barring some profoundly strange and unusual physical abnormality or something. You may hear people claim that they (or someone they know, or some hypothetical shooter) can shoot 7.62mm just as fast as they can shoot 5.56mm. You never hear anyone bragging they can shoot 5.56mm as fast as they can shoot 7.62mm. Probably a reason for that.

    That said, "CQB" and "home defense" are two different (though related) things, unless you owe a lot of money to a Colombian drug cartel or something. Odds are you're not going to encounter a half dozen guys with AKs in your living room one night unless you've really been making some significantly bad lifestyle decisions. I'd think either caliber would work for investigating something that went bump in the night, as long as either weapon had a 16" or so barrel (CQB drills with a full-length FAL = downright silly, from personal experience). A good 12 gauge shotgun would probably trump either of them for HD for a lot fo reasons.
     
  19. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Or someone was asleep on watch at the FOB.....:eek:
     
  20. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I guess it depends on how you define CQB; but:

    1lb of weight gives you 30rds 5.56mm vs. 20rds 7.62x51mm.

    As HorseSoldier already mentioned, 5.56 is just flat out faster than 7.62x51. The fact that many 7.62 designs are also ergonomically challenged older designs doesn't help that much; but even in AR10s, there is a noticeable speed difference.

    Penetration is less with 5.56mm - which can be either a good or a bad thing depending on your scenario.

    To me, it seems like it all comes down to whether or not you believe a good shot with a 5.56mm under 100yds will be just as effective as a good shot with a .308. if you do believe this, then the 5.56mm is the clear winner unless better barrier penetration is a requirement.
     
  21. gsgeno

    gsgeno Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  22. Vairochana

    Vairochana Member

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    30-30 Cowboy Assault Rifle: best of both worlds:neener:
     
  23. Grayrider

    Grayrider Member

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    First I want to thank Nightcrawler for saying everything I was going to say before I got to it. Everything he said is correct, and given a quality short .308 caliber rifle that will run any ammo (read FAL) you can certainly get exceptional performance without excessive penetration and recoil, yet you have the option of penetration and lethality at range when needed. This is largely why DSA and Team Spartan LE training are advocating use of the .308 for LE use. .308 TAP will penetrate about 10" and stop, producing a consistent and large wound. If one needs to switch to a round with penetration you are never more than a magazine change away from a caliber that all experts agree is more effective than .223. Using similar logic to that used above by another poster, many people debate the lethality of .223, but none debate the lethality of .308. As modern law enforcement personnel are increasingly faced with criminals using drugs, wearing body armor, or within somewhat fortified structures, it becomes important to have the ability to both stop and penetrate from the same weapon. Clearly .308 can do that, .223 cannot as effectively. It pokes nice holes in things, but afterwards is spent.

    Operator speed? Well that is a matter of training. If you don't think a person can double-tap a FAL as quickly as an AR, you have not been to Team Spartan or with me to the range. Recoil and blast? Please. Blast inside from any short rifle is far beyond what you can withstand and still hear. Noise is not a matter of degree, rather you cross a certain point and the damage is done. Beyond that how loud it is makes no difference. I suspect many people have never discharged a weapon indoors without hearing protection. As for recoil, FALs are soft shooting and with TAP even softer. Again, train with your weapon and recoil will not matter. How many of the same people arguing that .223 is better than .308 due to recoil, are carrying a 45 instead of a 9mm because they want stopping power? Perhaps you can change magazines faster in an AR, but lets see who's gun works better when dirty or has more tiny parts that can fail and take down the weapon. Platform choice has much more to do with reliability to me than how quickly I can change magazines. Of course the question was not ARs versus FALs, rather .223 versus .308. What I am saying about .308 largely applies to any firearm in the caliber, although many semi-autos will not run TAP reliably. Having an adjustable gas system helps. I have seen many ARs choke on specialty ammo as well (for that matter on any ammo after they are fouled).

    I know this is bucking common wisdom to suggest .308 over .223, but a few years ago suggesting .223 over 9mm was bucking common wisdom. Before that suggesting any long gun other than a shotgun was bucking common wisdom for LE CQB use. I limit my discussion to LE/home defense rolls as the military does not need to worry about penetration that much. I think a short .308 wins in that environment without contest, but that is another discussion. I also will not comment on 7.62x39 versus .308, but you can infer that my argument would be similar with the added subject of domestic ammunition availability/options. Mind you I prefer 7.62x39 to .223 given those two choices and only looking at performance.

    John
     
  24. goon

    goon Member

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    Either one would work.
    Up close a .308 would be loud but a short barreled .223 will also ring your ears for days.
    For inside work it isn't like you are going to be sprinting back forth just for the hell of it - what would be the point? The weight of the ammo won't make much difference. If you can carry enough 223 then you can also carry enough .308.
    I like the .308 for its power and versatility. You can always load it down but you can't load a .223 up.
     
  25. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    223, you need lots of rounds, and you need to be light and manuelverable.
    cqb fighting , is very long, very drawn out, and very tiring, especially if doing more than one building at a time.
     
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