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Educate me on the .223 caliber..useful for HD?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by psyprofessor, May 29, 2009.

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  1. psyprofessor

    psyprofessor Member

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    Been thinking of getting an urban rifle... and I noticed that Wally World has plenty of .223 in stock. How effective is this caliber? For home defense of 7 yards....... or out in the field at 100 yards? Is it worth investing on this caliber?

    How is it different from .22lr or .22 mag?
     
  2. LoneStarWings

    LoneStarWings Member

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    Well, it's a lot more effective than just about any handgun caliber, for starters.

    It's different than the .22LR in that the casing houses a lot more powder, and therefore fires the bullet at a much higher velocity. At close range it will fragment and yaw, making it well suited for defensive purposes, I suppose. It will not penetrate as well as .30 caliber rifle rounds, but that is not necessarily a bad thing in close quarters.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    I don't know, but the .223 round has a very good reputation for HD, as the 12ga., not as much power, but will penetrate body armor better than a shotgun.

    It'll be way different than a .22lr or .22 Mag. because it's a centerfire rifle round, not a lower powered rimfire. And this is not saying that a .22 isn't bad for HD, but only as a last resort.

    I'd pick up a .223 rifle than a .22 for HD any day of the week.

    My humble $.02
     
  4. LoneStarWings

    LoneStarWings Member

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    Yeah, the .22LR velocities are going to be in the 1000 ft/s range, whereas the .223 is going to fire a similair sized bullet at 3000 ft/s. The added velocty makes a big difference.
     
  5. psyprofessor

    psyprofessor Member

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    Just to clarify....

    Does it have more stopping power than a .45 handgun at close range?
    Would you prefer a .223 over a SG for home defense?
     
  6. RatDrall

    RatDrall Member

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    Hornady TAP

    [​IMG]

    http://www.hornadyle.com/products/more_detail.php?id=72&sID=73&pID=2

    Yes, it has much more power, and both the .223 and .45 are close on the decible scale for noise. Just don't get a rifle with a short barrel and muzzle break, they're much louder.

    I'd be fine with either a shotgun or rifle for HD.
     
  7. LoneStarWings

    LoneStarWings Member

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    .223 vs. .45? It's been discussed at length here:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=422203

    If we're talking about ballistic tipped .223's vs. JHP .45's, I'd think the .223 would be more devestating to most targets. But overall, I think they're probably petty similair in their effects at close range, especially if you compare FMJ to FMJ.

    At 100 yards? No question...... .223.
     
  8. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    1) If available, I'd rather use my AR instead of my 1911 in just about any situation. Rifles are for fighting. Handguns are for fighting your way to a rifle.

    2) I use my AR for HD. My Mossberg 590 stays in the safe.
     
  9. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    It's an awesome round for urban use. I would much prefer it over any handgun caliber. There really is no comparison.
     
  10. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    .45ACP is ~400 ft-lbf of energy.
    .223 Remington is ~1200ft-lbf of energy.

    I'd take the rifle calber any day of the week, for home defense.
     
  11. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    Really, I'd keep my AR beside the bed and a 590 in a closet (but not in a safe).

    Sorry, let's not get off topic.
     
  12. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    That is a bit hard to answer...stopping power? It depends upon a lot of variables including but not limited to: shot placement, bullet construction, velocity, distance, and the type of target (does it need to penetrate a barrier/obstacle first?). Technically the .45ACP has a greater knockdown...I calculated it's Taylor Knockdown (henceforth referred to as TK) value as 13.0 for an average hollowpoint. I calculated a similar round of .223 to be 5.7. Both were Remington loads (neither would be choice for defense) and are very common (more info available upon request), and more importantly I had the loading info for Remington right beside me and I'm lazy. ;)
    So the stopping power of the .45ACP is technically more than double that of .223. What does that mean? Exactly nothing. While I would take a .45ACP bullet over a .223, I would take a rifle in .223 over a .45ACP pistol. I think the .45ACP has a edge in sheer thumping capability, but the .223 is certainly better than "half as powerful". In short...don't take a knife to a gunfight...or a pistol to a rifle fight. :D
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  13. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    He didn't ask about energy...only stopping power...not necessarily the same results, and I agree the .223 wins for range (50yds is about all for a pistol, and 100yds for a .45ACP carbine).
     
  14. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    Maverick223,

    Are you saying that the .45 is a more effective man stopper than the .223?? :scrutiny:

    You cant be serious.
     
  15. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    Lets put it this way, do you see 22lr or 22mag used in 1000 yd matches?

    22lr effective range, maybe 50 to 100yrds, but lets not kid ourselves here we're only talking about something that only starts out with something around 100 ft lbs (depending on barrel & load) of energy at the muzzle and loses it fast. It can kill beyond that but it's dropping fast at this point.
    223/5.56 on the other hand is deadly out to something around 600 yds or more (very very deadly to 200-250 yds) and starts out with something like 1200-1300 ft lbs of energy (again depending on barrel & load) and will go right through most body armor.

    Note: These ranges can be argued about till the cows come home and are open to opinion
     
  16. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Not necessarily always, but at short range I think it holds an advantage in a carbine. It also has the ability to penetrate obstacles better than a smaller caliber. I would hands down take the AR or mini14 over a 1911, if that is what your asking. And the TK value is much higher, so technically it is a better stopper...but I think TK values are overrated and often lie...
     
  17. noob_shooter

    noob_shooter member

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    .223 is plenty good for HD. I just prefer an AK 47 instead
     
  18. 06

    06 Member

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    Your question was: is the 223 a good HD round. My answer is absolutely yes. BUT-and a big BUT, there are other factors to consider. where will that round go when you miss or it passes through-remember, you are inside your home. Is it as easily maneuverable as a handgun? Will a much cheaper weapon do the same job-a 500 Mossburg or 870?? Will a slower traveling much heavier pistol round have more "knock down" power?? For HD I keep an old S&W tactical 12 gauge shotgun close by. But,(there goes that but again) I keep a handgun even closer and an SKS not far from it. That covers the spectrum of HD for me. I have 7 rds of OO buck shot, 16 rds of pistol, and 60 rds of '39. That should well take care of most any problem. If given the chance and time the heavier rifles/pistols can be brought into the scenario. wc
     
  19. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Wait, which wally world is this your speaking of?:evil:
     
  20. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Mine is...:D
    [​IMG]
    I wish I could find a handgun this maneuverable. :neener:
     
  21. john paul

    john paul Member

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    i haven't found .223 in walmart in months
     
  22. Arbor

    Arbor Member

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    I thought this was an interesting read, and should answer some of your questions.

    .223 Penetration
     
  23. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Its a very good home defense caliber. Just dont use varmint hunting rounds or military surplus M855 (has green tip usually) and you should be fine. The varmint rounds wont penetrate enough and the M855 might penetrate to much.

    A good soft point of around 55-60 grain should be good. Even better are the "tactical" rounds or ones designed for defense like Hornady's TAP rounds.
     
  24. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    TKO Value is of limited usefulness. It mainly favors mass and diameter rather than energy as it was created to calculate effect on dangerous game species. It takes into account that the .30-.378 Weatherby and the .458 Win has similar muzzle energies, but one is clearly more useful for Cape Buffalo. In such situations, the TKO Value is more useful than energy alone.

    Clearly, here, this is not the case.

    The .45 has a good reputation for being effective, for an automatic handgun cartridge. But it is still an automatic handgun cartridge. Even from a carbine, the damage it produces is significantly less than the .223.

    It has to do with the fact that most tissue is elastic enough to absorb shock occurring under a certain velocity threshold (around 2000 fps), without permanent damage. With handguns, all that matters is the depth and width of the permanent wound channel, that is, tissue displaced by the bullet itself. The .223 is a whole different animal. It has enough velocity to damage tissue for several inches beyond the path of the bullet. This means that with the .45 you have an expanded projectile diameter of .65 to .85 inches, in most cases, and a penetration of 11 to 14 inches. The .223 is going to penetrate about the same, but is at distances experience in home defense, is going to yaw and fragment, and tissue displaced not only by the projectile and its fragments but also by the shock forces they produce are going to be damaged. So while the wound channels are of equal depth, the largest .45 wound channels are going to be an inch in diameter at the most, even out of a carbine, while the width of the wound channel produced by the .223 is more than likely going to be several inches.

    The .223 is orders of magnitude more effective than the .45. Never forget that handguns are handguns, and rifles are rifles.
     
  25. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    Psyprofessor,

    .223 is a commonly known round that is plenty adequate for home defense with the right bullet. Just look at what the US military and all the other NATO countries are using. If the round wasn't capable of putting people down in urban environments, it wouldn't be used. Theirs is loaded to a slightly higher pressure (it is 5.56mm NATO and not .223 Rem), but it's practically the same.

    This is a centerfire rifle cartrdige. Much more powder behind it than a rimfire cartridge like .22 LR or Mag.
     
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