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Terminal Ballistics of .223 Ammo (with pics)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bartholomew Roberts, Jul 9, 2005.

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  1. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    (Pics from CavReconScout's post on the AR15.com archive server)

    These pics depict the Federal line of .223 ammo and its performance on ballistic gel after pasing through glass, steel, wallboard, heavy clothing, and bare gel respectively.

    I thought they were informative enough to be worth sharing (note for example that a 40gr .223 barely penetrates 1.5" in gel after passing through glass). I also thought it was interesting that their American Eagle FMJ line penetrated 14" after passing through steel; but only 3.5" after passing through auto glass.
     

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  2. MAUSER88

    MAUSER88 Member

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    Thanks, that was kind of eye opening.
     
  3. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Member

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    FMJ and BSP are impressive, but what does BSP mean?
     
  4. 308win

    308win Member

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    I wonder if heavy clothing approximates the resistance of a coyote or groundhog hide?
     
  5. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    So, now everyone who reads this thread will realize what I have known for some time. People who say that the .223 is a poor choice for home defense due to overpenetration have no idea what penetration figures for the .223 actually look like.
     
  6. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup. I think, except (perhaps) for blast, a .308 w/ the right ammo will work just fine, too...
     
  7. Gun Wielding Maniac

    Gun Wielding Maniac Member

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    Hmmm... I think it is important not to get Federal .223 loads mixed up with M193 ball or M855 ball performance. The generalization that .223 will not "overpenetrate" is bound to get someone in trouble. Also, bare in mind the differance in building materials in interior walls... as well as the differance between auto glass and plaster.
     
  8. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Any "generalization" will get a person into trouble. What I'm saying is that if you look at typical penetration numbers for common pistol SD rounds and then look at penetration numbers for common .223 commercial rounds, the .223 SD numbers are in the same range and usually on the low end of the range.

    I wasn't really talking about going through barriers, was pointing out the penetration numbers in bare gel. But if you look at the numbers, it would seem that typical .223 SD rounds are even less effective at going through barriers than common pistol SD rounds.
     
  9. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Thanks for posting that insightful information. ARFcom has good stuff, if you can wade through a lot of the muck.
    Likewise on several occasions I made a direct comparison of pistol and .223 rifle penetration based on results at the informal Box Of Truth website. The trend clearly shows that properly selected .223/5.56mm (ie frangible, hp, not M855 or M193) will penetrate less or on equal footing to traditional pistol munitions on generic walls. Many people are still under the stereotype that all rifles suffer from severe overpenetration to a greater degree than pistols. Perhaps in the case of FMJ ammo, but not all of it.
     
  10. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    what does BSP mean? +1 The tactical BSPs look good whatever they are.
     
  11. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    boattail soft point. I think. ;)
     
  12. Blackhawk 6

    Blackhawk 6 Member

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    Bonded Soft-Point
     
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  13. heypete

    heypete Member

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    I'm impressed that even the el-cheapo American Eagle stuff seems to have very good performance, considering the low cost compared to the "tactical" stuff.

    I would definitely be curious to see how XM193 and XM855 handle in the same media. I have XM193 in magazines here in case I need it...but the pistol and shotgun are the go-to guns.
     
  14. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Member

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    Is bonding where they glue the jacket on? Thx for answer btw. Also, I don't see any copper on the bsps?

    Oh, also the blue stuff is a temporary cavity? How do they make it blue? Exposre to air or something? I expected a proportionally larger permanent cavity from one of those fragmenting rounds.
     
  15. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    As Blackhawk 6 already noted, the BSP stands for "Bonded Soft Point" in Federal literature. Federal uses the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet for their tactical line, though the same bullet is available in 55gr only through their premium hunting bullet line.

    In a bonded bullet, the core and jacket of a bullet are bonded together to resist the tendency of the bullet to shed its jacket on tough barriers like glass. They have used a dye to make the cavity in the gel more visible for marketing purposes.

    I found the pictures pretty interesting. While I've always known that auto glass is hard on bullets, I'd have never guessed it provided better cover than the sheet of steel used in the FBI tests.
     
  16. Rebar

    Rebar member

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  17. 21H40

    21H40 Member

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    Anyone got pics of M193 or M855 rounds?

    I don't exactly get a choice of what I carry, but it works reliably in my old A2. Somehow looking at those pictures, I feel more like the kid with the dorky lunchbox on the first day of school. Man, I wish we could use some of those rounds...
     
  18. VaughnT

    VaughnT Member

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    That was exactly what I have been looking for! Thanks much.

    FYI, after talking with Jeff Gonzales during a CP1 class, I decided to try UMC 45g JHP ammo in my AR. It has a 16" bbl with a 1/7 twist. Jeff brought up that lightweight rounds are being used in-country to minimize penetration through walls, which might get a teammate in the next room killed, and are proving rather effective. In a home-defense scenario, I have very close ranges and people sleeping behind just a few inches of interior wall. As such, I had been looking at the frangible ammo, but can't afford it.

    When Jeff mentioned using a light round, I bought a bulkpack of the UMC stuff and found it to be very accurate and easy to shoot rapidly. I might not have the long reach of a 60g round, but I can't see that far, anyhow.

    I definitely like to see my position substantiated with this test. Thank you very much! :D
     
  19. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Member

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    No pictures of M855 testing, but here is a drawing showing the typical wound profile:

    [​IMG]

    More information at: http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs13.htm (scroll down to the third article)
     
  20. 21H40

    21H40 Member

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    Thanks. I'm still hoping we can figure out how to legally switch to more effective ammo... until it's really ok for soldiers to kill enemies on purpose, I'll hold my breath.
     
  21. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Member

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    Any guesses on how that T223D (40gr) would perform out of a 1:7 x 16" barrel at 100 meters? Colt's "new" old uber-tactical twist rate would spin the snot out of a 40 gr bullet -- but would it disentigrate the projectile?
     
  22. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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    That's interesting. I've heard that too much spin over-stabilizes a bullet, delaying tumbling. But some gut hunch also suggests that it might have too much stress and fragment immediately on contact.
     
  23. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Ammo Oracle says they can throw their jackets off at those speeds. Didn't say its 100% or 0%, but just "can". Also I would fathom that the spinning bullet itself is also like a small flywheel, and flywheels can catastrophically fling themselves apart when the integrity is compromised.

    http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm#twists
     
  24. Agrippa

    Agrippa Member

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    The test rifle on those pages is a Colt M4, 14.5" 1x7 twist. I would guess it must be like shooting heavy 5.56 in a 1x9 twist, some like it, some don't.
     
  25. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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