.45ACP vs. .223? Wut?

This is a discussion on .45ACP vs. .223? Wut? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, before anybody asks why we're comparing .45ACP and .223 let me say, the answer is clear which is a better man-stopper. They're NOT comparable. ...

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Thread: .45ACP vs. .223? Wut?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    .45ACP vs. .223? Wut?

    Ok, before anybody asks why we're comparing .45ACP and .223 let me say, the answer is clear which is a better man-stopper. They're NOT comparable. One comes from a rifle, the other (usually) a pistol. Velocities, energy, range... it's all different.

    The point of this is that I read ALLLL over the internet that .223/5.56 sucks and it's inadequate as a man stopper. Yet everybody RAVES about .45 knocking people over and being the best man stopper. Ok, we all know the hit from the bullet itself doesn't know people down. But how can people think the .45 is the end-all caliber, but then think the .223 lacks power?

    I don't hunt. No interest. But I hear of people easily killing deer with .45ACP and other say .223 isn't enough power for deer. Wut?

    Clearly .223 ballistics blow .45 ACP out of the water. The .223 has MUCH more power. All these stories of one shot stops from .45's in self defense and police shootings and then insurgents in Iraq taking several hits from 5.56 and still alive and kicking. This doesn't make sense. Are they just rare stories that are being told over and over again?

    Obviously, the .223/5.56 is superior to .45 ACP, but why do some people think they way they do? People have so much faith in the big slow .45's, but wouldn't trust their lives to a .223/5.56... Why? I've even read awhile ago somebody stating that the .223 is no more effective than a .40 S&W, hahaha. How they came up with that I don't know.

    As far as .223 vs. 7.62, that's another story. In the end, it all comes down to shot placement. Most of us can place very tight groups with a .223 where a handgun is out of range, especially a .45 at 100 yards. A .45, when shot parallel to the ground hardly reaches 100 yards.

    But that's just one thing that's irritated me for so long, that people seem to think .45's can blow people into pieces, yet a .223 is only effective on rabbits. Yes .45 in handgun standards is a great caliber and .223 is on the lower end for rifle power, but to say it's ineffective?

    This post is just for fun. It's not meant to be a caliber war post, but more or less a post about people mentality about calibers and why they think the way they do.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    So I don't have a .45, but do have a 223 and a 9mm. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of either round, both are extremely lethal when they hit the mark. I don't hunt either, but I assume a shot to the head with a .45 would down a dear and shot to the tail with a 223 would have no effect.

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    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    I use both calibers so they do not not matter to me. I have a .45 semiautomatic pistol from S&W and a 5.56/.223 semiautomatic rifle from RRA.

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I have to admit that thought had crossed my mind as well. I think the 5.56 doesn't get enough credit, and the .45 is awesome, but definitely over-hyped. If I had to pick I would take the rifle any day. I think it's because the .45 just looks so big, because you're thinking in terms of handgun rounds, and the 5.56 looks so small relative to other rifle rounds. Therefore, people think the .45 is the ultimate stopper and the 5.56 is too weak.

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    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peckman28 View Post
    I have to admit that thought had crossed my mind as well. I think the 5.56 doesn't get enough credit, and the .45 is awesome, but definitely over-hyped. If I had to pick I would take the rifle any day. I think it's because the .45 just looks so big, because you're thinking in terms of handgun rounds, and the 5.56 looks so small relative to other rifle rounds. Therefore, people think the .45 is the ultimate stopper and the 5.56 is too weak.
    Exactly!

    I've heard the story from Iraq (again these are hear-say stories from the internet/news) that soldier's had multiple shots of their 62gr 5.56 into an insurgent and they could only bring him down with a 9mm. Really? Now I wasn't there, I've never been in war. I"m not even in the military, but c'mon... I have plently of faith in the 9mm, but that just doesn't sound right.

    The closest to first hand experience I have is from my brother in law. He has served in Iraq twice and is 100% confident in his M4. I never ask him questions about Iraq. I don't want to birng back any bad memories. But knowing what he's seen and what he's done and the fact that he's confident in his M4 is enough for me.

    I love my .45's and have confidence they'd save me, but to be compared to a .223/5.56 is crazy.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    IMO.....you're beating a dead horse here. No comparison. Choose you're tools wisely. Two entirely different animals. What's for dinner?

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    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    IMO.....you're beating a dead horse here. No comparison. Choose you're tools wisely. Two entirely different animals. What's for dinner?
    Oh I know. Like I said, I don't mean for it to be a caliber war. I'm more irritated by the way people think. I was just bored and figured it's be a good discussion. One I'm sure has already taken place.

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    JD
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    I think we're totally mixing apples and zebras. At pistol distance, especially while in Military service where FMJ is used, yes there is a preference for the larger cartridge. At rifle distance, especially longer distances, the heavier 7.62X51 is generally favored. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they'd rather have a .45ACP over a 5.56 rifle at intermediate/close range if given a choice for a primary weapon and if anyone actually stated this I would think them to be a lunatic.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    Oh I know. Like I said, I don't mean for it to be a caliber war. I'm more irritated by the way people think. I was just bored and figured it's be a good discussion. One I'm sure has already taken place.
    The application is what makes one decision better than another. It's no caliber war, it's rifle vs pistol. The intended range will pretty much dictate what you should employ. Hi-velocity in a smaller caliber at close range may approach the same effects as a larger yet slower moving projectile. If you're looking for the quick, clean kill, all you need to do is aim well. Everything else will take care if itself.

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    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    I think we're totally mixing apples and zebras. At pistol distance, especially while in Military service where FMJ is used, yes there is a preference for the larger cartridge. At rifle distance, especially longer distances, the heavier 7.62X51 is generally favored. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they'd rather have a .45ACP over a 5.56 rifle at intermediate/close range if given a choice for a primary weapon and if anyone actually stated this I would think them to be a lunatic.
    Well I don't know them personally, but I've seen it said on other forums, more than once. I think that larger rifle calibers ARE more effective than the 5.56, but to think the 5.56 is so weak it can't outperform a pistol cartridge is just funny. But of course, a hit COM with 5.56 beats a hit in the toe from a 7.62.... but 7.62 has nothing to do with this thread!

    I've actually heard that 5.56 is more effective at close ranges because it still has it's velocity to do it's job. That's why the heavier bullets tend to do better at distance.

    Basically I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the crazy one after reading others opinions on this matter. .40 being just as effective as 5.56? Hahaha...yeah ok.

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    I don't hunt. No interest. But I hear of people easily killing deer with .45ACP and other say .223 isn't enough power for deer. Wut?
    There is some truth to that because of bullet constrution. The 45 has enough mass to stay together and penetrate enough to kill a deer. On the other hand most .223 bullets are designed for rapid expansion or disentergration and when used on deer sized game they will not penetrate deep enough to cause a clean kill. As others have said, shot placement is the key, a poorly placed shot is usless.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    Well I don't know them personally, but I've seen it said on other forums, more than once. I think that larger rifle calibers ARE more effective than the 5.56, but to think the 5.56 is so weak it can't outperform a pistol cartridge is just funny. But of course, a hit COM with 5.56 beats a hit in the toe from a 7.62.... but 7.62 has nothing to do with this thread!

    I've actually heard that 5.56 is more effective at close ranges because it still has it's velocity to do it's job. That's why the heavier bullets tend to do better at distance.

    Basically I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the crazy one after reading others opinions on this matter. .40 being just as effective as 5.56? Hahaha...yeah ok.
    Strictly speaking of combat.....it all depends on how fast you want your enemy to go down. I'll take a .30cal over a .224 any day simply for the shock and blood loss of the larger hole. A 45acp will do just the same under certain circumstances, but it won't do as well as the faster round for penetration through outer gear. This is why I'm saying......define your application.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    To add something here, I can say with certainty the 223 is better choice for humans, or animals. Here what the difference in the 2 are. The energy difference in the two are substantial, with a hot 45 boasting about 450fpe while a 5.56 is about 1100 fpe. subjectivly. Because the 223 is so much smaller and lighter, velocity levels are used to give it an energy boost in rifle cartridge format. Energy is the abilty to do work. Of course, it does not tell the whole story. The 45 acp has mass and momentum on it's side to produce it's energy. They both work great, but use different ballistic vehicles to get to the same place. Due to the greater range potential of the rifle caliber, I would take it any day over any pistol to a gunfight.
    Last edited by glockman10mm; September 13th, 2010 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Mistake on fpe.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I meant foot pounds of energy, fpe, not feet per second, sorry about typo .

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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Hello,

    E = M * V^2.

    This says that energy is more dependent upon velocity than mass.

    However, this does not apply much to handgun bullets at handgun speeds. We must therefore be dependent upon increased mass for "stopping power."

    The 5.56x45 travels at almost mach III. When it was first developed, the bullet yawed and often fragmented inside 100 yards. The wounding potential was all out of proportion to the bullet size.

    After the projectiles started getting heavier and more stabilized with faster rifling to penetrate intermediate barriers, it also started penetrating humans. It was still producing the energy, but it was no longer applying that energy to fragmentation, but rather to penetration.

    I have high hopes for the new MK318 MOD 0 round. Though it's not designed to expand, I suspect it might fragment. It should at least produce a larger shock wave due to the flatter nose profile.

    I stick with 7.62x39 Uly 8m3 rounds. These seem like the best compromise between size, weight, speed, and fragmentation. I also prefer the near-indestructible SKS as long as it's outfitted with a detachable bayonet and AR style sights.

    My sidearm is a 1911 .45 modeled after the MEU(SOC) version.

    If I were to go to an AR15 style rifle, it would be the rifle - not the carbine - and it would be firing the original weight bullets with the original twist.

    That said, I still believe the .30 calibers at the same (or similar) speeds are far superior.

    Josh

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