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ideal .223/5.56 ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by cemjr, Nov 25, 2010.

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  1. cemjr

    cemjr Member

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    Here's my question, I would like to build a round that is the hardest hitting (for self defence), that I can also practice with. My AR has a 1-7 twist 16" barrel. I'm thinking if all I pratice with is 55gr fmj and then there ever came a need to use my rifle for it's intended purpose it may perform completely differant. Can I build a round that won"t " break the bank" that will accomplish this?. I thinking the weight of the bullet would be the most important factor. Thanks in advance for the input.
     
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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  3. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    That above would be a good choice or even heavier. The longer heavier rounds will yaw more consistantly and usually fragment more reliably at lower velocities. They also retain velocity longer down range so their effective range is farther out.

    A 55 grn hollow point would also be a good choice.
     
  4. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    What are you expecting to defend yourself against that a 55gr bullet at 3200 fps or so won't take care of?
     
  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    The 55 gr M193 ball round has been getting the job done, and doing it quite well for 60 years now. :)
     
  6. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 Member

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    In my opinion, you're really asking for two different things. For me, I'll practice with what I can get cheapest; 55 or 62grn. For defense, heavy Hornady TAP work quite well. Of course, they're too expensive to practice with.

    That said, I'd have no problem with using a 55 or a 62grn for defense, though I'd prefer to go with the heavier bullet.
     
  7. cemjr

    cemjr Member

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    I realize 55grn is adequate and cheepest, but isn't heaver, harder hitting and therefore better. Since I can load whatever I want , is there heavier bullet that is reasonably priced ?.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Not necessarily.

    I would take a 55 or 60 grain plastic-tip like the Nosler Ballistic-Tip, or Hornady V-Max over any heavier FMJ military style bullet.

    They are designed to explode or mushroom violently in tissue, and Attila the Hun would be DRT if shot with one at SD distance. They will also greatly reduce the risk of over-penetration and collateral damage to innocent victims in the next house over.

    Thats why cops & swat teams use them.

    See this for ballistic gel tests:
    http://www.hornadyle.com/products/detaile159.html?id=130&sID=73

    There is no reason to use FMJ military ammo, unless you are forced too by the military.

    rc
     
  9. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yep! That will do it too.
    And I used 55 gr SP for about 25 years.

    They are cheap enough to use for all-around plinking / blasting / and SD.

    I just prefer the plastic-tip bullets anymore because they are so darn accurate in all three of my rifles.

    rc
     
  11. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    My "won't break the bank round" is a Montana Gold 55gr FMJ-BT that I buy by the case from MG and shipped to my door. 26 gr of Varget makes it go fast enough and Wolf/Tula .223 rifle primers are inexpensive and reliable.

    I make my rounds for 16 cents each and they're just as good for Target as they are for SD although I think my Sig 229 will fill that role long before I need to go to the AR.
     
  12. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    The way I see it, I need to practice with the ammo I'm going to use at a critical moment.

    I guess I don't see the sense in practicing with the "cheaper to make ammo" and then switch to something totally different for SD/HD.
    Yes, you're firing the same rifle, but any seasoned reloader knows how differently loads can react from each other.

    I need to as accurate as I possibly can be when that critical moment occurs.

    That's just me, you may see it differently.
     
  13. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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  14. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    The most effective SD loads from a .223/5.56 are heavy OTM bullets such as the 75 grain Hornady or the 77 grain Sierra or Nosler OTM. They have very thin jackets and disrupt quickly and violently and also have increased weight for greater penetration than a similarly constructed lighter bullet. (Since your AR is a 1/7, it is also very likely that the heavier bullets will be exceptionally accurate for you)

    The Hornady 75 grain TAP is constructed with their OTM bullet and is widely accepted as an exceptional SD round for the caliber. Obviously it would be a very expensive round to shoot a lot of. I buy the bullet as a component by the hundred or six hundred--it's not as cheap as a 55 grain FMJ, of course--and load enough of an analog round to know how it feels and works. For bulk shooting, I use the cheaper Montana Gold 55's mentioned above. The difference in feel and point of impact within SD distances between a 55 and 75 (or 77) grain bullet in a semi-auto 223 is negligible.

    So I can train in bulk with the 55's; stay familiar with my SD round by reloading an analog with the same bullet; and have one of the very best SD rounds available in my caliber of choice loaded for an actual SD event.
     
  15. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I handload the hornady 55 grain SP's and I'm confident the would perform in a self defense situation. They are also cheap enough to use for blasting/plinking/practice ammo. I run'em with IMR-4895 and they do really well.
     
  16. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    True. Different bullet/load combinations can make a difference of several inches at 100 yards. But I thought we were talking about self defense here, not sniping.
     
  17. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    SD?

    What kind of self defense are we talking about here? HD gun, bug out gun, or are you going to war?
     
  18. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    We should all prepare for the onslaught of Obamites and Obots.
     
  19. Mule

    Mule Member

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  20. cemjr

    cemjr Member

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    I knew I could count on the THRers for some good feedback !. Mule, thanks for those links, that's what I had in mind. Thanks also to those who gave other links. As to the question of a .223/ AR15 as a self defence weapon, my pistols will fill that roll inside the home or for close quarters ingagment. I own an AR not to "go to war" it's in case someone brings the war to me! I wanted to build a round that would perform close to the same , while target shooting or shooting BGs @ 100-200 yrds .
     
  21. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    For A War

    I would get some military ammo & rebuild it if it didn't preform to spec or at least load several with FMJ (body armor) & have some varmint rounds for your picked shoots (head shoots).

    If you have to bug out, I would just take the FMJ,s & run.

    My 2 cents.
     
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