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5.56/.223 for Home Defense?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BluedRevolver, Aug 18, 2014.

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  1. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

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    I would like to start using my AR15 carbine Colt LE6920 for home defense. I don't enjoy practicing with my shotgun and in a high pressure situation I'd much prefer having 30 rounds semi auto with light recoil.

    What's the best 5.56/.223 load for home defense that meets FBI standards? As in, penetrates between 12 and 18 inches?

    I hear some say that the 5.56/.223 does not have good terminal performance and is not powerful enough and shouldn't be trusted for self defense. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  3. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    IMO, it is more effective at stopping a threat than bullet from the typical home defense handgun. I've taken a number of training courses on handgun, shotgun, and pistol, all developed around personal defense. A rifle is at the top of the food chain, in my opinion.

    That being said, I wouldn't discount a shotgun just because of the recoil. A number of reduced velocity loads are readily available (which results in reduced recoil).
     
  4. xbxb

    xbxb Member

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  5. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    I prefer .223 for urban/indoor work too. Mine is loaded with these:

    http://www.hornadyle.com/products/rifle-ammunition/223-remington/55-gr-tap-urban

    The contrary factors you're facing is you want to have enough penetration for quick incapacitation with out over penetration. You can't get both. Based on my own personal experience I tend towards the lightweight, rapidly expanding/fragmenting side of the compromise.

    With .223 out of a rifle you're looking at 1200-1300ft-lbs of energy, while .357 Magnum gets you into the 700s. As for terminal performance, .223 light jacketed bullets are what the local PD uses in their rifles. Typically, one shot stops the action.

    BSW
     
  6. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Hornady TAP and Winchester PDX are made specifically for this
     
  7. zfk55

    zfk55 Member

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    5.56 with 12 to 18" penetration?? As in....... penetrates your bedroom wall, the bathroom wall, the exterior wall, the neighbor's exterior wall, his bathroom wall, his bedroom wall etc. ?
     
  8. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    ^^ Fragmenting rounds will go through all that? Just wondering.
     
  9. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    It is definitely possible to get a bullet that does exactly what you are looking for while minimizing over-penetration.

    There are basically two types of bullets for 5.56 HD use, those that fragment to wound and barrier-blind bullets that use controlled expansion (often bonded bullets or copper solids) to wound. If you are in an HD situation, you probably want the fragmenting rounds.

    Barrier-blind is specifically made to go through barriers and perform as much as possible like it was a direct-shot in the open. These are ideal for LEO and so forth who may have to shoot through walls, car doors or windshields, other cover, etc. They want the bullets to stay in one piece and then do the job once they get to the target.

    Fragmenting rounds basically just come apart and can inflict very nasty wounds. I should clarify by fragmenting, I am talking primarily about the new breed of open-tip-match bullets that are often heavy for caliber, NOT lightweight varmint rounds. The best of these crop is in the 60-70s grain weight. Hornady's TAP 75gr BTHP T2 is one of the top choices. T2 is the 5.56mm pressure loading, there is also a standard 75gr BTHP TAP @.223 Rem pressure. Both would be great choices for HD.

    As you can see under the "Gelatin" tab at the bottom, it completely fragments going through plywood which is what you want in apartments, etc.
    http://www.hornadyle.com/products/rifle-ammunition/556-nato/75-gr-bthp-t2-tap

    You can compare that to some of their products which have "Barrier" in the name.
     
  10. CWL

    CWL Member

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    You're comparing apples vs. oranges.

    The FBI minimum of 12-18" penetration is only for handgun cartridges.

    5.56 is tested differently under their CQB carbine protocol. That involves longer ranges and penetration of various objects, including body armor.

    Here's Hornady's marketing literature which describes FBI protocols for handguns and carbines. -They suggest various loads of their polymer TAP ammo (of course) for urban use of 5.56. http://www.hornadyle.com/assets/site/files/Hornady-LE-Military-Application-Guide.pdf

    Me? I would be using my supply of SS109 ammo, but that's 3rd behind .45ACP and 12ga reduced-recoil 00 buck.
     
  11. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

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    If this is the case, why do many hold the .357 Magnum in high esteem of being able to incapacitate an attacker, but the .223 is considered by many of these same people to be inadequate for incapacitating an attacker? I know it's apples and oranges and one's a handgun caliber and one's a rifle, but the point still stands.
     
  12. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Just look up the 1986 Miami shootout. The Perp with a mini 14 nearly took out 8 FBI agents.
     
  13. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    all depends on wall construction,whether your in an apartment complex,suburbs,or house is in the boonies.if in an apartment,heavy stuff might go through the walls to apt next door causing collateral damage.choose carefully.
     
  14. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    The .357mag is held in high esteem as a wonderful stopper "for a handgun."
    That qualifier may only be three words, but it's an undoubtedly important qualifying statement.

    No handgun round (without getting into mega-magnums like S&W 460&500, Ruger 480, etc...) holds a candle to rifle and shotgun loads.

    Now as rifles go, the .223/5.56 ballistics are hotly debated, especially as compared to the 7.62x39.
    I don't weigh in on those for HD use though. The nod goes to shotguns loaded with Hornady 12ga #4 buckshot in my house.
     
  15. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Good evidence is that sub-machineguns are falling out of favor for PDW and SBRs for CQB.
     
  16. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    Most of the complaints with 5.56/.223 involve FMJ ammo. They also involve perception which is not particularly reliable because it includes hits and "hits". I remember I shot a squirrel 4 times with my .22 and was amazed it didn't die sooner. Upon inspection, turns out I had 1 hit and 3 "hits". Had it gotten away, my perception would have been that I shot it 4 times and still didn't kill it, thus .22LR sucks. I wouldn't have known I missed 3 times. By the nature of modern combat with an insurgent force capable of disappearing into the mountains or down an alley and blending into the general populace, you don't always get to find out whether you hit the guy or "hit" him. .357 made its name with police action where you usually do get to figure out and document the aftermath as they are either caught on the spot or end up in a local hospital.
     
  17. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

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    I have an Arsenal SGL20 in 7.62x39 that I have countless thousands of rounds through and am well practiced, but from what I understand most FMJ 7.62x39 has a history of just punching straight through tissue without doing much damage or expending much energy. And the only reliably expanding/fragmenting 7.62x39 I've seen testing on was the Hornady SST, but it tends to overpenetrate a lot more than the .223 tests I've seen. And the Russian steel cased hollow and soft points seem to vary wildly in performance
     
  18. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Lightweight, high-speed, fragile for caliber loads will tend to produce high damage in tissue, but minimal penetration in structural materials. Many .223 loads will be close to ideal for home defense.

    Slow, sturdy, heavy for caliber loads will tend to have less dramatic results on tissue but deep penetration in structure. Handgun loads will usually be less effective against attackers, but more dangerous to bystanders through overpenetration of the target or penetration of mulitple walls in case of a miss.
     
  19. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    At what range are you going to be 'defending your home'? Personally, I want something quick to grab and easy to swing in confined spaces, if I'm defending within a room or inside the house. At ranges up to 15 feet, a 9mm, .40S&W or .45 auto will all do the trick, there's enough energy in any one of them to drop an attacker who isn't hyped up on crack or crank. If they are, then even a .223 won't stop them immediately. I'd still prefer a shotgun in close quarters over a rifle. Better chance of a hit without having to take the time to aim, and a greater amount of immediate damage, wherever you hit. Shooting someone with a high velocity round in close quarters will most likely create a complete penetration hit, even with a fragmenting or high-expansion round.

    Now, if the perp is shooting at you from the end of your driveway, heck yeah, pull out the AR and bang away. Even better would be the .308
     
  20. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    What about good old 5.56 XM193? They are FMJ's, but light enough and fast enough I expect they would yaw if they hit a soft target (massive tissue damage), and disintegrate if they hit something hard like a wall.

    You better have hearing protection for everyone in the family, including the dog.
     
  21. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    itll work. itll work. but youll have to make some adjustments. major adjustments

    the tactical loads listed here already are hard to find and expensive. Yes you want penetration as much as you can, but if your inside of a house or worse and apartment, you need only so much penetration.

    do some research online with the various search engines on ".223 remington" and "deer hunting" "coyote hunting". look at the pictures that come up. Some of these low weight 55 grain softpoints make some god awful damage to coyotes at 130 yards, as in "hey hank, why does this coyote only have one front shoulder?"

    but then the question of "barier" penetration in your home pops up. thats interesting. the biggest barriers would be the washer/dryer/washing machine/ gas stove. the couch too.

    but a 4-6 inch barrelled .357 magnum utilizing a 158 grain jsp at 1100 fps doesnt seem to notice those things from the few youtube videos ive seen.
     
  22. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    The biggest barrier (perhaps the only real "cover" in the whole house unless you have a safe) would be a bookcase.
     
  23. BluedRevolver

    BluedRevolver Member

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    I guess my main question with this thread is if I'm not going with adequate incapacitation with as few rounds as possible. I plan to shoot until the threat is no longer a threat, but the .223/5.56 bashing on it's ability to stop an attacker gives me pause.


    I live in a rural area, but I have 2 children, so over-penetration is a concern. That is part of why I'm attracted to the idea of a fragmenting .223/5.56 that has less risk of overpenetrating than buckshot or a handgun round.
     
  24. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Spend some time shooting predators and varmints with the right type of load and you will have little doubt of the 223's potential as a defense load.
     
  25. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Unfortunately, this isn't the best argument for human HD/SD applications.
    1. Animal body structures are far different than humans.
    2. Animals that you'd typically shoot with 5.56/.223 are far smaller than humans in terms of mass. Dramatic physical damage to a 40-lb coyote doesn't mean it'll do the same thing to a 200-lb attacker.
    3. Animals don't shoot back. If hit, whether mortally or just wounded, they tend towards immediate flight. An angered intruder or drugged-out whacko may not respond the same way as a varmint.
     
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