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Suitable .223 round for home defense?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dodging230grainers, Jun 23, 2006.

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  1. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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  2. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    The 45gr. bullet is light for caliber, and is intended for varmint use. I'd recommend instead the Hornady TAP round, which comes in various bullet weights. For indoor use, where you want to minimize overpenetration, I'd go with the 55gr. load.

    For details, go to www.hornady.com, select "Ammunition", then "Rifle" from the pull-out menu next to it. On the next page, select caliber ".223" from the pull-down menu, and you'll see their range of ammo, including three TAP weights at the bottom of the list.

    Alternatively, the Winchester PowerPoint 64gr. JSP has a pretty good reputation in anti-personnel use. However, it might have greater penetration than the TAP load - not a bad thing, IMHO, but if you want to minimize overpenetration, something to keep in mind.
     
  3. JeffreyWarren

    JeffreyWarren Member

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    some input on 223/5.56 as home defense

    I have used a 223/5.56 for one of my home defense weapons since I was 14. With my first being a Mini-14. Then when I turned 17 I traded my well used Mini in as a partial trade for an original HK-91 with either an ART Scope or for close quarters I had a Armerson OEG(?) which gave me both day and night capabilities.
    ( I sure miss that rifle..I kick myself for selling it). It served as "home defense" when I lived in a very
    rural area. Then I bought a CAR-15 which I also had an OEG(?) which I owed up. The CAR did save my life once...or at least ended hostilities one night when I was taking payroll out to my vehicle. I had close to 5 grand in cash in my briefcase. I had an AMT stainless 1911 45acp on my hip. But as I reached the truck of my car. Four kids pulled up and demanded the money. I heard what sounded like a firecracker..didn't realize that one of the "kids" had shot at me until after the fact. I grabbed the CAR out of the trunk and that did the trick. The kids took off as fast as possible. I wasn't about to take a shot at them unless they would have held their ground and kept firing at me. Luckily no one was hurt and the kids were later ID'd and arrested. until the early 90s (selling it for the big bucks so I could buy a Israeli Gahil ARM in 308...which I tricked out into a "Taylor-Made" Gahil (Chuck Taylor used to work at Gunsite and wrote a ton of articles for various gun mags).
    As to using 223 as a home defense weapon. I would check into firing "zones" to make sure you aren't going to penetrate into occupied rooms, and anything else downrange indoors and out. But 223 has show in some reports to have less over penetration then various handgun calibers such as 9mm and up. As for choice of projectiles. Depending upon your circumstances. Very high velocity light weight HP with back up green-tip light armor piecing just in case those you are defending against are wearing body armor ( which is getting more and more common). Of course you should mount a few "bells and Whistles such as a tactical flashlight such as a Surefire. These flashlights not only allow you to ID your target. The high intensity light can temporarily blind the threats as well. Also a good quality laser has a huge psychological effect. Having a red dot dance upon your chest can and has taken the fight out of a criminal. As well as being a good close quarters aiming point. Lastly a day-night optic and/or tritium iron night sights...I prefer to have both. Most important thing is to practice under all lighting conditions. I would still have a sidearm ...just in case. Lastly get a good tactical sling so incase the threat(s) were to get close enough to try to take your weapons. I also have a bayonet for just this reason. If someone were to grab at my carbine. It offers yet another disincentive.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I think that any light wieght high velocity round would not overpenetrate due to severe fragmenting. Like Jeff said, I would keep some ball ammo around incase they are wearing body armor.
     
  5. Balddragn

    Balddragn Member

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    The first 6 rounds in my AR-15 (2nd line of HD) are Glasers just in case I miss. 68 grain after that.
     
  6. pcf

    pcf Member

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    Body armor falls into two general categories when it comes to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington bullets. Either the armor will defeat the round or it will be defeated. There's very little middle ground.

    Soft armor will be defeated by any 5.56 NATO round, and practically any .223 Remington round.

    Hard armor, NIJ III or SAPI equivalent or better, will defeat almost any 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington round. It may not survive multiple hits, but that's a different arguement.

    I wouldn't put "ability to defeat body armor" very high on the list when choosing a round. I've used the round you linked on a few Nutria, very little pentration, generally does not exit. It's great for furbearers, but I wouldn't want to use it on people.
     
  7. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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    I'll think I'll go with the Hornady TAP 55gr@3200fps, which seems to be highly recommended. Any other suggestions?
     
  8. another okie

    another okie Member

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  9. Balddragn

    Balddragn Member

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    xlnt link, thanks
     
  10. thatguy

    thatguy Member

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    I think any rifle is a bad idea indoors. If you own "property" like a farm or ranch that's different. But for "home" defense any CF rifle will over penetrate, deafren you with the report, be clumsy when negotiating close quarters like narrow hallways and a long gun is more easily wrested away if you get jumped in the dark by an intruder.

    There is also the matter of using a military styled rifle. It's not impossible that an anti-gun, overzealous prosecutor or civil attorney hired to sue your butt off could make an issue of it with an ignorant jury carefully selected for anti-gun opinions.

    I have lots of black guns with 20 and 30 round mags but I would never consider using one for indoor home defense. But my experience is that just about everyone here will call me nuts. Do as you think best.
     
  11. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    That's why you have another 29 rounds in the mag.
    Thread drift; currently under discussion here.
     
  12. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Member

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    and before discussing it in that forum go ahead and read the box o' truth.


    i've been using m193 in my (and my fiance's) home defense rifle. this round has very good terminal ballistics, if it over penetrates, there is very little energy left over but there are, of course better rounds out there. i use m193 because it is both reasonably enough priced that i can train with it and effective enough to rely on it. i keep the majority of my mags loaded with m855, though due to the recent shortage of lake city m193.

    i wouldn't worry too much about body armor. it is unlikely that crooks would have armor and if they did, they are REALLY unlikely to have plates that will stop rifle rounds. if they did, you'd probably be screwed anyway as they would probably be well armed, well trained and equipped with things like radios, helicopters, flashbangs, k-9s, a massive and unyielding bureaucracy and badges. you're gonna lose that one.

    i've decided that i'm not going to bother with specialty loads until i get that loading press i've been meaning to get in which case i'll be able to put together a load that should be extremely accurate, reliable and devastating out of my rifle. i'm thinking a 68gr hpbt pushed as fast as is safe and accurate. with my 1:7 twist colt i could probably go as high as 75-77gr.
     
  13. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    at home, I load the Bushmaster with Winchester 55 grain Pointed SP
     
  14. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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    The .223 as a HD rifle is advocated largely by advertisments and mall ninjas. Seriously, when was the last time armored criminals attempted to break into your domicile? More to the point, if that was in any way likely you probably wouldn't seek advice here. For any non armored invader conventional wisdom shows the shotgun to be the prevailing HD tool. Second would be a handgun. The .223 battle rifle is just that, a battle rifle. I know some will claim that defending your home is the jurisdiction of the hardened "operator specific- tactically illuminated - range compensated and suppressed battle rifle". I guess if your home is in Fallugah you might be on to something. Although I'd wager the 12GA gets the point across well there also. Please don't take this to be a hit on the .223 alone. Frankly I think the idea of using a rifle firing a rifle cartridge inside of your home will generally result in shots through walls and unintended targets getting hit. The same would apply to using a big bore magnum caliber handgun. There just isn't much sense in it.
     
  15. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well nobody is paying me money, so I guess that makes me a mall ninja? A light recoiling rifle with a large magazine makes a very nice home defense tool. Here is a test you can do - take some silhouette targets, a shot timer, and a few novice shooters out to the range. Have them do some home defense scenarios with a handgun, 12ga shotgun (loaded with defensive ammo) and a small caliber centerfire rifle like an AR, AK or Mini-14. See which weapons show both the best times and best hits.

    Well, if we are going to make choices based on what the prevailing home defense tool is, we should be discussing whether speed dial, rotary dial, or touch tone is the best for home defense.

    Yes, it is a popular myth even in this thread where people still repeat it after being pointed to several sites where they could see for themselves what the effects of .223, handgun and shotgun rounds are on various intermediate barriers.

    About the only myth with similar popularity is the one that you can feed your rifle any old .223 and it will be instantly stopped by a single sheet of drywall but still stop an attacker - and this is also simply not true. Wolf ammo for example will penetrate like nobody's business - as will the Federal TBBC soft points, and about 25% of the time military ball ammo as well.

    At the end of the day, anything that will stop a 200lb mammal is going to zip right through multiple layers of drywall and still present a lethal threat. However, some rounds will be less lethal than others and a platform that allows you to put the rounds on target will negate a lot of the problem of worrying about misses.
     
  16. ..

    .. Member

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    XM193. Lots of folks use the new Hornaday TAP but it's exspensive and no track record.
     
  17. longhorngunman

    longhorngunman Member

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    I use the Black hills 40gr .223. It uses Nosler ballistic tips and performed very nicely for me in some simulated tests involving drywall. Don't pay any attention to that "rifle ain't appropriate for HD" stuff. I tested 9mm, 40S&W, handguns, the AR, and a 12 gauge shotgun. They all penetrated two sheets of drywall and the only two that didn't penetrate the 1" wood door behind the sheetrock was the BH 40gr and 7.5 12gauge doveshot. 12g Buckshot? Clean through the house. Those who put down the rifle for HD then load up their 12g with 000 buckshot don't know what their talking about;) .
     
  18. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Member

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    okay, once again, everyone should just go ahead and read the box o' truth before they start talking about this topic because alot of stuff is said that just plain ain't so.

    this isn't the place to debate the merits of rifles v. shotguns for home defense or anything else so i'll just add a couple things:

    1. ANY FIREARM/CARTRIDGE COMBINATION THAT IS CAPABLE OF DOING SUFFICIENT DAMAGE TO A PERPETRATOR WILL PENETRATE MULTIPLE THICKNESSES OF DRYWALL.

    2. different people feel more comfortable with different tools, therefore one should pick what one is most comfortable and proficient with.

    that said, the original poster has decided to use a rifle for home defense and that is his choice alone. therefore if you don't have anything constructive to offer in that vein, it won't be productive or polite to post your personal opinions on his personal choice.

    _________________________________________________________


    as far as the actual topic goes, my view (such as it is) is that you should stay away from the really light (<55 grains or so) projectiles because they often won't penetrate deeply enough to get reliable incapacitation. if you use a fmj projectile, be absolutely sure it has a nice, deep cannelure and the jacket isn't too thick. if you use another bullet type, many believe that a cannelure is still helpful as it aids fragmentation but many would rather have expansion. i feel that fragmentation reduces the risk of over penetration better than expansion does. the ammo oracle is a good reference when chosing loads.

    http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm
     
  19. swingset

    swingset Member

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    Ridiculous.

    Not much sense in your rant, either.

    Rifle calibers in home defense are viable and work, which is why professionals the world over are using them, but like every method present compromises both bad and good. But, compared to a six-shot revolver, most seem to think they are a vast improvement. Use what makes you happy, and hope you're only facing 1 guy with no vest.
     
  20. de

    de member

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    For inside house defense I use and taught others to use 7 1/2 bird shot low brass, 12 gauge. At room distances it is devastating. It will shoot thru two layers of dry wall at close range but quickly looses it lethality. 223 or any other (including pistol rounds) is risky with other occupants in the house. I have an A-2 but consider it for outside the house only,unless am cut off from access to my gas operated shotgun. Shooting a rifle inside a house with other occupants is playing with fire. There are better and smarter ways to win such fights.
     
  21. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Hornady TAP 55g is very good ammo and it is what I have for my AR, but all it is a moly coated 55g V-Max.
     
  22. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Less than a handgun, with the right choice of ammunition.

    Actually, no. A lot of people, including me, think a .223 using lightweight JHP's has some rational advantages over both shotguns and pistols. You disagree, that's fine, but don't call us "mall ninjas" for disagreeing with you.

    Show me a military that issues a NON-automatic rifle in .223/5.56x45.

    With the right choice of ammunition (the topic of this thread, after all), .223 penetrates less in building materials than 9mm JHP. I wouldn't use rifle FMJ for HD, but I wouldn't use handgun FMJ for HD either, for precisely the same reasons.
     
  23. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    JeffreyWarren

    Your dissertation was the most interesting reading I have encountered in quite a long time.
     
  24. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

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    Make sure that stuff will cycle in your rifle.

    I tried a box and it wouldn't cycle even in my 20" A2. The pressure curve from what I am told is incompatible with the AR gas system.
     
  25. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    75gr Hornady TAP

    If not available, then 75gr, 77gr, 69gr, 68gr Black Hills, in that order.

    A suppressed SBR AR-15 is an excellent home defense weapon.
     
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