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5.56 Ammo Comparison

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Gridley, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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  2. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    5.56NATO rounds are FMJ so you will not find info on expansion.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  4. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    Perhaps it is not the technically correct method to refer to the ammunition, but it seems to be in common usage. I'm not asking about M193.

    Examples:
    https://www.luckygunner.com/5-56x45-50-grain-barnes-tsx-hp-black-hills-ammunition-50-rounds
    https://www.luckygunner.com/5-56x45-75-grain-bthp-match-hornady-frontier-20-rounds
    https://www.ammoman.com/5-56x45mm-hornady-superformance-55-grain-gmx-81254-20-rounds
     
  5. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    The m193 and many 5.56 rounds effectiveness/lethality is helped by the yaw that is produced, and most pronounced under 100 yards (where extreme accuracy is not needed anyways) which causes significant devastation when hitting flesh.

    You can see below (not my image, but shows what I'm talking about) on m855 projectiles the yaw is greatest initially and starts to stabilize down range. The yaw is a two way street good for damage/lethality on target, but doesn't shoot as accurately as projectiles that doesn't yaw to that extent.

    Maybe someone will come along with more information than me on the subject of yaw.

    Yaw.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  6. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Gun Tests magazine does ammo testing and I found one 2013 article reviewing 21 .223 cartridges by various makers for use in self defense.

    You might actually want to consider .223 self defense ammo even if you have a 5.56 chamber as the .223 is more than adequate at self defense distances for civilians with less flash and pressure. The need for penetration necessary for the military and law enforcement is not as desirable within structures either.

    From what I recall on the subject, TAP by Hornady is consistently a top performer in the tests that I have seen but have not personally tested it myself. Still transitioning from using shotguns to the AR for primary home self defense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  7. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    Yaw does not necessarily mean inaccuracy, provided the yaw angle grows smaller as range increases, i.e., the bullet is dynamically stable. Even with large yaw angles, the center of mass of the projectile still tracks as a point mass. That image you show is not the center or mass, that is just the nose of the bullet.

    All bullets have yaw at launch, some more than others. A .308 168 gr SMK will yaw as much as +/- 1.5 degrees for the first 200 yards, and these are some really accurate bullets, match shooters have used these to good effect from 100 to 600 yards.

    Inaccuracy is mainly caused by eccentric axis of mass to axis of rotation, non-uniform reverse flow at uncorking and non-uniform drag caused by base irregularities
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  8. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    Thanks, I think this is the article you're referring to? https://www.gun-tests.com/issues/25_5/features/remington-round-test-6043-1.html#.XDfDTcRReHs
    The PDF linked at the end has the kind of information I'm looking for, though I wish they'd used something other than water. It was nice that they used more than one weapon for testing... though the published results only seem to be for the Bushmaster.

    Anyone know if something similar has been done since with some of the developments in the last 5 years?
     
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  9. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

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  10. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Yes, that was it.
     
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  11. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Doc GKR has a list of duty rounds that passed the FBI standards when tested by the IWBA. If you Google it you should find it.

    That being said, there are a lot of good effective rounds that don't pass all of the FBI tests. My duty round is the Federal TRU 55 grain hollow point. It's not on the recommended list because of shallow penetration through windshields. I've seen it used first hand on a few occasions and it's definitely an effective rounds against badguys.
     
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  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I'll bet member Hummer 70 has some testing knowledge of this subject. I'm sure a few combat vets on here also have some real world experience with the terminal ballistics of M193 and M855.
     
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    To have a technical question answered correctly here, it helps to use correct terminology. None of that ammo is actually 5.56 NATO; it does not meet the specs. it is .223 Remington.
     
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  14. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    Fine. Please provide the official specification of 5.56NATO, and describe how those items fail to meet the specification.

    I'd say STANAG 4172 would be a good place to start since it is a NATO publication and defines the case dimensions, various pressures, etc... but the only references to bullet composition I could find within it were about barrel wear and penetration.

    Note also that Hornady considers it appropriate to refer to "5.56 NATO" rounds which do not use FMJ bullets:

    https://www.hornady.com/ammunition/frontier#!/

    Now, Hornady may just be going with "common usage"... of course if they expect everyone to know what they mean perhaps it is not unreasonable for others to expect the same thing?
     
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  15. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    Yes, the term "NATO" has been overused when it comes to 5.56x45 ammunition. It is now common to call all 5.56x45 ammo that is loaded to the NATO case pressure standard set by C.I.P. even though the projectiles of the cartridges were not adapted by NATO.

    The outer cartridge case dimensions for 5.56x45 and .223 Remington are identical. Internal case capacity might vary, but I am told that there is significant variation in case capacity between different manufacturers of .223 Rem and 5.56x45 due to variations in case thickness. It is hard to exactly compare the maximum case pressures for .223 Rem and 5.56x45 since the first uses a standard protocol set by SAAMI and the second uses a testing protocol set by C.I.P. and the two cannot be precisely translated. But suffice it to say that 5.56x45 may be loaded to a somewhat higher pressure than .223. Or it may not, depending on who made the ammo.
     
  16. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    If you want to get nitpicky then just grab some M262. I shot a dude with it at 410 meters, map measured, and hit him in the lower abdomen just below the belly button. Took him out of the fight immediately.

    That being said, I've seen plain old M855 void a lot of birth certificates. It wouldn't be my first choice for home defense ammo, but I think people get a little to wrapped around the axle about defensive ammo with 5.56
     
  17. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I keep this in my self defense weapons , and have used it for hunting with devastating effects.! The Ranger version is "bonded " and works better on winshields and a LOT more expensive. Actually the new Ranger version uses the Ballistic Silvertip which has a much better ballistic coefficient and retains velicity much better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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  18. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Which I find ironic since companies rarely try to rip off the 9mm NATO name for any 124gr +p ammo.

    I wish I had that stuff on my tour. Heard great things about the ballistics. But then again there are plenty of people not walking around thanks to M855, so I am fine with that too. Only one experience with the M855A1 and not enough trigger time with that to have a solid opinion. For stateside defense, M193 is good enough on target and the wallet.
     
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  19. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    and

    You should have gone and looked up the 5.56x45 NATO specification for yourself before you asked people to post about particular aspects of it.

    After all, you're the one who came here looking for information about 5.56 NATO and then when you didn't get the pat answer you came looking for you challenged the members to provide the very specification you are inquiring about - and thus presumably already know.

    There is a tremendous amount of knowledge on this site. But you have to be willing to be guided by those in possession of this knowledge if you hope to profit from it.
     
  20. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have gotten the best performance (accuracy and terminal performance) from Hornady 75 grain BTHPM and Black Hills 77 gr SMK. I have never tried soft points.
     
  21. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    I asked about terminal ballistics for a particular chambering. I was told the form I used to refer to the chambering was in fact a full cartridge spec that only allowed for FMJ bullets. As this was not the common usage I'd seen I went and did further research. That turned up the STANAG, in which I saw nothing that required FMJ.

    I then asked if there was some other spec that limited 5.56 NATO to FMJ bullets. Granted, I could have been more polite in my request, for which I apologize.

    I was not looking for a "pat answer", I was looking for data. Some people have been kind enough to provide data.

    Others seem to feel that it is appropriate to be condescending about technical details without providing any supporting evidence... and despite apparently being wrong.

    My initial question *can not* be answered by the STANAG - nor did I expect it to be.

    My thanks to those who provided terminal ballistic data.
     
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  22. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I issue the Ranger 64 gr .223 ammo in our issued-vehicle trunk Mini 14's (Newer models with faster twist rates) and M-4's for the SRT group. (These come in a black box rather than the one with the deer on it.) We have a few older slow-twist mini's that we have in safes in outlying offices for office-ready use, those still get the Ranger 55 gr .223 rounds.

    Fortunately we haven't had to shoot anyone with this round, but should that occur I am confident in the capabilities of the bullet to perform. Our County Sheriff's office also issues them and they have had success stopping crooks with their Mini's/AR's.

    I personally load Winchester Razor Boar XT .223 in my home AR's. These are all copper projectiles that I could use for hunting here in Ca "for the condors" should I choose to. Again, I haven't had to use the RB-XT to defend the castle so I can't give first hand specifics of how the round will perform on a crook trying to kill me, but I have seen gel tests like the one in the video and it looks impressive. (And, in all honesty I hope I never do have to use them, either!)

    Stay safe!
     
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  23. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Due to the Hague Convention of 1899 (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/dec99-03.asp) and its extensions through customary international law, bullets that are designed to fragment into small pieces aka exploding bullets, hollowpoints intended to expand aka flatten by the core of the bullet not being covered by a fmj, are inhumane due to the size of the wound created and cannot be used in warfare. Opinions vary over whether they can be used against non-lawful combatants and these restrictions do not apply to criminal law enforcement within a country.
    https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/assets/files/other/irrc_849_coupland_et_loye.pdf

    The US began using open point bullets in 5.56 (maybe 7.62 and others as I do not know) after JAG officers opined that the primary purpose for these was not to expand for wounding purposes but for accuracy (ballistics improvement) and manufacturing purposes.

    NATO ammo follows the Hague Convention of 1899 as most NATO members are signatories. The U.S. is except to the 4th protocol on ammunition but the U.S. has more or less adhered to it.
     
  24. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    It is perhaps belaboring the point a bit, but a STANAG is NATO-speak for a STANdardization AGreement. There are many NATO STANAGS. These are normative documents that normalize equipment, doctrines, test procedures, etc. that have been agreed to by all member nations of NATO. These documents are intended to ensure standardization of equipment, testing protocols, tactical doctrines, etc, among NATO member nations.

    STANAG 4172 pertains to 5.56 mm rifle ammunition to be used in individual and light support weapons. This document details the properties and requirements of 5.56 mm ammunition that can be submitted to NATO for consideration of adoption. You can read it here if you wish: http://www.skytterlag2.no/filestore/Skytterlag/klepp-filarkiv/Div/556x45NATO.pdf

    This document not only pertains to cartridge dimensions but also chamber dimensions for the 5.56 NATO chambered weapons. Many specifications for physical and technical performance of 5.56 NATO ammunition are precisely given, including accuracy requirements, minimal muzzle energy, chamber pressure, port pressure, trajectory, penetration capacity, primer sensitivity, action time, environmental resistance, fouling, smoke and flash, and bullet pull.

    The exact nature of the projectiles is not specified except for some specific requirements for tracer ammunition and the following statement: Ammunition with all metal bullets shall be free from design features which render barrels unserviceable due to erosion in less than 5,000 rounds. Properly speaking, for a 5.56 mm cartridge to be a NATO round, it has first to have met all the requirements of this STANAG, then be submitted to NATO for testing and ratified by all member nations of NATO. The case head also has to be properly stamped with the NATO head stamp mark which is a cross or cross-hatch within a circle.

    Only a few such 5.56 mm cartridges have actually been adopted by NATO. The most common is the 62 grain steel tip penetrator which NATO designates the SS109 and the US Army calls the M855. Member nations of NATO do utilize other cartridges that have not as yet been ratified by NATO within their armed services. A common example used by the US Army is the heavy projectile 77 grain MK262. A lot of such military grade 5.56 mm ammunition gets called "NATO" whether or not it has been adopted by NATO.
     
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