5.56/.223 Defense Ammo

This is a discussion on 5.56/.223 Defense Ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't know to much regarding defensive rounds with rifle calibers. I will be acquiring my first AR in the near future and would like ...

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    Member Array beni's Avatar
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    5.56/.223 Defense Ammo

    I don't know to much regarding defensive rounds with rifle calibers. I will be acquiring my first AR in the near future and would like your opinions on what could be used as defense ammo. Is there any ammo that is more effective indoors? How about outdoors? Is a heavier bullet weight recommended?

    The rifle I am getting is a M&P 15 Sport

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    I like the hornaday TAP and corbon DPX.

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    sgb
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    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

    # Winchester 64gr JSP (RA223R2)
    # Federal 64gr TRU (223L)

    Both would be good choices for your rifle that should be fairly easy to locate.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    A rather sizeable SO here in CentFL uses: Speer Gold Dot 64gr. GDSP

    dan

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    sgb
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdsumner View Post
    A rather sizeable SO here in CentFL uses: Speer Gold Dot 64gr. GDSP

    dan
    Another excellent choice though it can be hard to find available.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    A good read: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

    Personally, I'm running 55gr Barnes TSX's, either Federal's Vital-Shok line or Barnes VOR-TX.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    Quote Originally Posted by beni View Post
    I don't know to much regarding defensive rounds with rifle calibers. I will be acquiring my first AR in the near future and would like your opinions on what could be used as defense ammo. Is there any ammo that is more effective indoors? How about outdoors? Is a heavier bullet weight recommended?

    The rifle I am getting is a M&P 15 Sport
    I just got this one and its pretty sweet its my first rifle as well. Just put a red dot on it and took it out to the range. Man its sweet.

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    Nothing terribly wrong with basic FMJ for defensive use. Unlike the heavier rounds, 5.56 tends not to overpenetrate people, although sheetrock & stucco walls such as we have here in the desert are a different matter. If cost is an issue - and some of those sexy rounds are nearly a buck a shot - I'd look at the frangible stuff.

    Not that I don't take my own advice, but I've got handguns and a shotgun as first-line home defense arms. If things get so bad that I need to turn to the ARs, overpenetration will more likely be a hope rather than a concern.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    For a while one of my ARs was an old CAR15 with a 1:12 twist barrel so I mostly used 55gr JSP, 50gr HP, or a 55gr poly tipped load of one kind or another. I got rid of that barrel but still have a lot of that ammo stockpiled and I still have confidence in it. A lot of my spare magazines are full of FMJ or alternating FMJ/tracerFMJ/tracer
    Try not to screw up so bad they name the screw up after you. (Station 15 saying)

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    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beni View Post
    I don't know to much regarding defensive rounds with rifle calibers. I will be acquiring my first AR in the near future and would like your opinions on what could be used as defense ammo. Is there any ammo that is more effective indoors? How about outdoors? Is a heavier bullet weight recommended?

    The rifle I am getting is a M&P 15 Sport
    Since the rifle that you are getting has a 1:8 twist barrel, I would not go too light on the bullet weight.

    A more fragile bullet would be much better for civilian self-defense in an urban environment. Less chance of missed shots penetrating into nearby homes, better odds the bullet will stay inside the bad guy and not exit and harm anyone nearby.

    The Hornady VMAX is well known for its explosive impact that can cause horrific wounds. Black Hills loads the heavy 60 gr VMAX for the 223, and it would thus make a great choice for your rifle's twist. Black Hills ammo is known for its superb accuracy. Muzzle velocity is 3,100 fps, which is going to mean a very high impact velocity out to 200 yards. Certainly at close quarters, it would be absolutely devastating causing massive damage to internal organs.




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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Not that I don't take my own advice, but I've got handguns and a shotgun as first-line home defense arms. If things get so bad that I need to turn to the ARs, overpenetration will more likely be a hope rather than a concern.
    This is my HD go to list as well. But if/when I need my AR, I use the M855 (Green Tips).
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    75 grain Hornady TAP out of a Stag M-4.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post
    Since the rifle that you are getting has a 1:8 twist barrel, I would not go too light on the bullet weight.

    A more fragile bullet would be much better for civilian self-defense in an urban environment. Less chance of missed shots penetrating into nearby homes, better odds the bullet will stay inside the bad guy and not exit and harm anyone nearby.

    The Hornady VMAX is well known for its explosive impact that can cause horrific wounds. Black Hills loads the heavy 60 gr VMAX for the 223, and it would thus make a great choice for your rifle's twist. Black Hills ammo is known for its superb accuracy. Muzzle velocity is 3,100 fps, which is going to mean a very high impact velocity out to 200 yards. Certainly at close quarters, it would be absolutely devastating causing massive damage to internal organs.




    .
    Varmit loads are a poor choice for use against Human antagonists, much as is bird shot in shotguns.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    RKM
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    Yes, Varmint rounds have little penetration. They'll make a NASTY entry wound though.

    I have my AR loaded with 75gr TAP. It's probably the most recognized civilian SD ammo available for the AR platform. Almost any 77gr OTM rounds from Black Hills is also a good choice. And if you must simple 55gr FMJ will do the trick. I'd stay away from light rounds, under 55gr. 55gr FMJ is the minimum I'd go for SD. And stay away from green tip ammo, unless you're expecting a raid of armored criminals. It could happen... Maybe keep some on hand, but I wouldn't keep it as your primary load ;)

    The Federal TRU 64gr stuff is nice as well, from what I read and see on the internet.

    For self defense purposes, ignore barrel twist, as you won't be defending yourself from any further than 100 yards, hopefully. If you are, I'd rather just have a 7.62 rifle. People blow the whole heavy 75-77gr bullets in slow twisting barrels out of proportion. 1:9 will stabilize one just fine. If you're going for accuracy at very long distance, then yes, you want a heavy bullet with a 1:7 twist, but for SD, you can shoot your 77gr rounds out of an old 1:12 twist barrel all you want. Try that at 100 yards, you may have some ugly holes in the target... or not on the target. You may hit the target of the guy sitting on the bench next to you. I have no problems at 100 yards with 75gr TAP in my 1:9.

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    Member Array beni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    For self defense purposes, ignore barrel twist, as you won't be defending yourself from any further than 100 yards, hopefully. If you are, I'd rather just have a 7.62 rifle. People blow the whole heavy 75-77gr bullets in slow twisting barrels out of proportion. 1:9 will stabilize one just fine. If you're going for accuracy at very long distance, then yes, you want a heavy bullet with a 1:7 twist, but for SD, you can shoot your 77gr rounds out of an old 1:12 twist barrel all you want. Try that at 100 yards, you may have some ugly holes in the target... or not on the target. You may hit the target of the guy sitting on the bench next to you. I have no problems at 100 yards with 75gr TAP in my 1:9.
    Thanks. Being new to rifles I don't really know too much about what was meant by 1:7, 1:9, or 1:12 or how it related to bullet weight. But from what I gather so far it seems I could be served well with rounds in the 55 to 75 gr area.

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