In the event of a need for neighborhood/area defense (looting, riots, etc) my go-to carbine right now is a 5.56mm Mini 14 Ranch Rifle with a scope. I live in a typical suburban area, with homes all around, so accuracy is a must (hence the scope). [Note - my Mini 14 is one of the newer ones, and is plenty accurate, so no Mini 14 bashing here, please.]
My concern is that there is also a fair amount of brush, vegetation, and trees in my area. In Vietnam, the 5.56mm got a reputation for being deflected by brush more than the heavier Soviet 7.62 x 39 used by our enemy. Also, the 7.62 got a reputation for better penetration through brush, which could turn cover into concealment.
So, my question is this - do I need something in .30-30 or 7.62 x 39, or is the modern 5.56 (especially in heavier bullet weights like 62gr or 77 gr) up to the task? While I carried the M16 in the Army, I (fortunately) never needed to shoot anyone with it, so I have no firsthand experience to draw on.
My sight lines are limited to 200 yards max, so I see no real need for something like a .30-06 or a .308, though I have considered them - I think there would be too much risk of over-penetration.
Thoughts? First hand experience?