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Let me clarify a question about ammo to use in AR for home defense.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Balrog, Oct 6, 2019.

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  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I had started a thread earlier and don't think I provided enough information.

    I have an AR with a 14.5" barrel with a flash hider permanently welded on so it is not a SBR.

    It has a lightweight barrel profile.

    It has a twist rate of 1:7.

    The intended purpose of this rifle is home/property defense in a rural setting. While I would expect ranges to be short for self defense inside a home, I would like it to be capable out to about 150 yds (which I realize is still fairly short range) against humans and coyotes. I am not too worried about ranges longer than 150 yards because I dont have good enough vision without magnification to shoot further, and I plan to just put a red dot with no magnification on it.

    Ammo choice is not as important as practice, but I figure I might as well maximize my ammo choice since it is as easy to order good ammo as bad ammo.

    Should I just stick with M193 ball (have a lot of that on hand already)?

    Should I pick a bonded JSP?

    Should I use a bullet weight heavier than 55g? Velocity is important for 223/556, and I am already using a barrel that is 14.5", so not sure a slower heavier bullet is a good idea.
     
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  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    With that 1:7 twist I would want to utilize it fully by using a varmint bullet 70-75gr. The heavier bullet should provide the penetration needed on two legged predators even in a varmint design as well as the yotes at longer ranges.

    I guess I would test that out with wet newspaper first but I would still use some hunting type bullet if it were me.
     
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  3. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson Member

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    I'd say to do some testing with various grains and types to find something that you and your rifle can agree on. If your rifle doesn't like a certain bullet weight or brand and that's what you've stocked up on (I've a bit of personal experience here!), you don't want to be shooting 4-8 inch groups at 100-150 yards...
     
  4. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    You'll have to try it all.

    Old rule of thumb was heavy bullet for smaller twist ratio. I.e. 55gr for 1:9 and 62gr for 1:7.

    But real world testing shows it's really down to the individual barrel and rifle.

    So try a bunch, but I wouldn't worry about what you have on hand, as once you get your load, you won't probably use it as often.

    I like all copper right now. Again, I used Hog Hammers by Rem with Barnes TSX bullets (I think) and now SIG HT. I feel a quality copper bullet penetrates and expands nicely in the tests I've seen.
     
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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I wouldn't recommend FMJ. Beyond that I don't think it matters much.
     
  6. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    FMJs are dubious and probably the worst choice unless you’re legally or by policy compelled to use them. They don’t reliably transfer energy and are a over penetration and ricochet hazard.

    My person preference is for light varmint rounds because they transfer energy explosively and have very low penetration. OTOH, I live in a city with people 360 degrees around me.

    I’ve actually had good results with bullets as light as Fiocchi’s 40gr Ballistic tip JHPs even in 1:7 twist rifles, with groups of about 3 MOA. I know that bullets that light aren’t supposed to work well in 1:7 barrels but those are my results.

    If I didn’t live in a city I’d probably be running something along the lines of 62gr blonded JHPs.

    BSW
     
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  7. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I shoot matches with the 75 Hornady HPBT. I also use the same bullet for Coyotes around the farm, and expansion is excellent. This bullet also has some light barrier penetration capabilities. It will penetrate a modern car door, as well as other light barriers such as wood framed walls and hollow cored cinder block. I am shooting it from a 20" barrel, as you note, velocity may be compromised in your shorter tube.

    I would buy a small sample of the 68 gr Hornady HPBT and see what it does in your rifle accuracy wise and on soft and light hard targets you may wish to penetrate. We've had some meth issues in my area recently, including a mistaken address drive by shooting. The homeowner, a retired deputy, engaged the shooters with a Mini-14 and light varmint bullets which failed to penetrate the vehicle. My AR stays at the ready with the 75HPBT, and the M1 is also nearby with real nasty stuff intended for a mechanized threat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
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  8. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    M193 inside 150 yards will fragment reliably. even out of a short barrel. It won’t over penetrate like a bullet designed to hold together. And thus it is more likely to “transfer energy” than any other. Look at the gel tests.
     
  9. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    US M193 will usually come apart into a couple chunks when it breaks up at the cannelure. Not all 55gr FMJs are made the same and the fragmentation is very dependent on bullet velocity.

    Light jacketed varmint bullets will reliably fragment better than FMJs.

    BSW
     
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  10. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    And that is precisely the sort of performance I prefer when the safety of others in and around the house depends on a bullet that doesn’t blast through wall after wall if it misses its target. Far better to choose a second load for varmint hunting if need be than to find another child.
     
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  11. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ive killed enough stuff with 40-55gr "varmint" bullets, to have little doubt they would stop a person. With the 1-7 id probably try 40s, and go up from there if they come apart in flight.
    Ive heard 193s work well, but Ive seen the federal brown box versions dumped into pigs with little or no results, again personally ill take a fast expanding softpoint, or tipped bullet.
     
  12. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I've killed a lot of deer with varmint 22 bullets so no problem on ppl, could not pay me to use a fmj.
     
  13. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    Unless you're on your balcony picking off an army of attackers, I'm not sure that you would see any difference in performance or accuracy at HD ranges. It's all going to do terminal damage and likely exit into a wall, window, or other.
     
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  14. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Balrog, if that were my "HD" rifle ...

    I would find a SP/HP load that it shoots well (no matter the grain-weight) and keep a couple of mags full of that with the rifle.

    If I was also using that rifle for shooting enjoyment until the day, God forbid, that I had to use it for home defense, I would choose HD ammo to match the sights-setting of my regular range ammo .

    ... and that is why I would keep it simple. I would find/develop an HD load that ballistically matches one of the standard milsurp loads, whether 55gr or 62gr.

    JMO ... :)
     
  15. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have an AR in the exact role that you defined.
    I have settled on 62gr Silver Bear HP. They are cheap and available. They shoot great in my Ruger SR556. I stocked up.

    PS
    My rifle has a fixed 3x plus offset irons for inside 25yds, and a good light.
    I have other ARs with electric sights, but didnt want to worry about batteries on this one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I imagine the chance of legally engaging a human at 150 yards in a civilian capacity is pretty slim.

    FMJ’s seem to work fine keeping the coyotes away from the chickens.
     
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  17. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Yep 150 yards is not self defense.

    Just imagine how many humans have been killed with FMJ bullets in whatever caliber.??
     
  18. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Unless they are shooting at you.
     
  19. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I agree chances of any armed encounter are slim, and the more distance, the less likely it is. But as I said, this is in a rural area on a large tract of land and sheriff response time could be 30 minutes. What should I do if someone was to shoot at me from 150 yards away? Ask them to come closer?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  20. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    For coyotes and HD under 150 yards, an inexpensive, plain Jane 50 or 55 vmax will get the job done. I’ve killed thousands of coyotes, and dozens of hogs with them, even a couple deer, some under 20 feet, and some out past 600 yards. In terms of ending conflict quickly, varmint bullets are a better option than a bonded or other specialty penetrator bullet.
     
  21. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    So I guess it boils down to 2 questions...

    Should I go with 55g bullets or something heavier?

    Should I go with a varmint bullet like V Max or a soft point?
     
  22. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Go back to the beginning:) Not being snarky but what do you plan to shoot?. Does it really matter? Seems either one of those will work for whatever
    What ammo do the LEOs Use, What does the Military use?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Three answers for 2 questions:

    1) Really doesn’t matter what bullet weight. Advantages of heavier bullets in this particular application are grossly overstated.

    2) A poly tipped varmint bullet will do more work on the inside, ending conflict faster (and maybe painting less of your walls). Either are sufficient, but one does more in the “target” than the other.

    3) You’re grossly over-thinking this.
     
  24. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    The M193 and M855 are both very velocity dependent. Both of them require a minimum velocity threshold of between 2500 and 2700 fps to reliably fragment, and lose a lot of their effectiveness below this velocity. Both, though particularly the M855, can also be inconsistent and reliant on "fleet yaw."

    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog...et-yaw-problem-improving-rifle-effectiveness/

    From the 14.5 inch barrel of the M4 carbine, both of these rounds are at or near their minimum velocity threshold for fragmentation at 150 yards. Against coyotes and smaller predators, this might not be an issue. If you were concerned about bigger threats, or the possibility, however rare, of having to engage human threats at this range, the performance of these rounds might be "iffy" and inconsistent.

    If you had a supply of the M193 that you wanted to keep for practice and SHTF, you could find some 55 gr Hornady TAP, or any number of JSPs that would probably give better and more predictable performance across your entire spectrum of velocity (range), while still maintaining compatibility with your battle zero (similar point of impact).

    I stockpile M855 and keep a couple mags of the more expensive 62 gr Barnes TSX available for hunting and defense for similar reasons. The Barnes performs much better and much more predictably, and any change in point of impact is negligible at even moderate distances well beyond that which I would consider shooting game, or which would be legally justified as defensive in nature. But it costs $1.25 a round, which is expensive for a 5.56, so I stockpile M855 at .30-some odd cents a round for practice and general SHTF use. It isn't the most effective or consistent stuff, but it is still a high velocity rifle cartridge orders of magnitude more effective than anything you can load in a common defensive pistol round.

    The best choice if you have a 1:7 twist is probably the heavy OTM rounds like the Mk 262 with the 77 gr SMK and the 75 gr Hornady OTM round. If you were going to pick just one round to rule them all, it would probably be one of those.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  25. saiga308

    saiga308 Member

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    trucker long hauling everywhere LOL
    lend it to me i try it out at long range make a video to might not get it back thou ;)
     
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