.223 As A Defense Round

This is a discussion on .223 As A Defense Round within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Somebody you're talking to is a FOOL,The 223/556 round is devestating on the Human body,And I have first hand knowledge with that round,within 300 meters ...

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Thread: .223 As A Defense Round

  1. #16
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    Somebody you're talking to is a FOOL,The 223/556 round is devestating on the Human body,And I have first hand knowledge with that round,within 300 meters it is awesome,within H.D.range it is perfect rifle round,you can get a fragmenting round,so you don't get over-penatration.
    Quote Originally Posted by Diddle View Post
    Question - I have seen it stated on numerous sites that the .223 is useless as a defensive round. The typical response is "it's hardly bigger than a .22"

    My question is this, if that statement is true why does the military use .223 / 5.56 NATO rounds? The local Army Depot (Richmond KY) ships literally tons of this to troops over seas. Somehow I feel I am getting bad information from well intending individuals.

    Education please?

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  3. #17
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    What a memory,"Skinnies",Thanks 10thmtn.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    The military FMJ needs high velocities in order to fragment upon tumbling. The problem is that the shorter barrels do not produce the higher velocities. That is compounded by the use of faster twist rates, which were needed for the heavier (and thus longer) bullets, which the military wanted for better barrier penetration - these bullets tend to be more stable. In Somalia, the 5.56 did tend to zip right through the skinny drugged-up militia fighters, leaving ice pick-like wounds that would not quickly stop them unless a vital area was hit. They were so skinny, that the bullets would tumble only after they had already gone through.

    As civilians, all these issues can be easily avoided by the use of a JSP or a JHP.

    While 5.56 is fine (as is .223), I still prefer a .30-something for serious work.

  4. #18
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Well thank you very much for the good information. I figured what I was told and over hearing was likely fodder. I simply did not make sense.

    Thanks for your time and patience.
    Diddle
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  5. #19
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    Anothr Party Heard From

    In my past experience, DAMHIK, the 5.56 "NATO" standardized round does way more damage then anyone would wish on their worst enemy.

    I've seen X-rays (in motion) of tests on cadavers (and yes, we still do them, but I didn't say that). You see the round enter the body just missing a major artery, (not a lot of damage, yet), then, in the second frame, with the hyper-static shock wave (that's the partial vacuum the round's wake leaves behind as a "good night kiss," ripping out not only the artery, but everything else in a 6 inch radius.

    Now considering that this was an early Nam era test, the barrel was probably 18 or 20" inches, and the bullet was probably 42gr. FMJ, so we're seeing the effects of about 3100 fps velocity. With the M-4's shorter barrel, it's probably more like 2800 fps. I still really don't want to get into it's way.

    And now with the civilian, JHP heaver rounds (60 or so grns.) a good head shot at 200 meters or so would probably pulverize the entire cranial vault and then some.

    So, even though the barrel diameter is the same of a .22 long rifle, its like night and day.

    BTW, we used to use silenced .22 Colt woodsman as "quiet take-out" weapon, with the shot placed up close to that soft spot just behing the ear. Does a great job of making "Brain Soup"
    "Western civilization didn't make all men equal,
    Samuel Colt did"

  6. #20
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    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Check these links -

    Pat McNamara's thoughts on the 5.56x45mm -

    "I did a lot of R&D at my old Unit but regrettably was never part of the 6.8 test group.

    I have no strong opinions or empirical data that lean one way or another. I will tell you however, and you will have to read between the lines on this one, I do not have an issue with the current 5.56.

    On numerous occasions I have generated positive results with the current load and was personally never put in a position that forced me to question my rifle or caliber (using good ammo BTW)nor were any of my team mates with whom I've deployed.

    Apologize for the vagueness of this answer."


    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
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    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    The .223 fragments so quickly (dissipating all it's energy) that it is actually one of the safer in-home rounds to use. In my training and experience, .223 will -usually- not penetrate 2 pieces of sheet-rock. Which means it enters the wall, but does not exit the other side. Sounds pretty good to me.
    I like the .223 for home defense, but claiming it won't penetrate 2 pieces of sheet-rock is bull. Two of us put pieces of sheetrock on either side of foam target backers on multiple target stands and the rounds consistently went through at least 4 pieces of rock and 2 4" pieces of target foam. What was interesting is that the heavier bullets through the Mini 14 quickly tumbled after going through only 1 piece of sheet-rock+foam, presumably shedding a whole lot of velocity as they passed sideways through the 2nd piece of sheetrock. I just wish we had a way to chrono the bullets on exit w/o endangering the chronograph.

    Edit: at least if you're gonna make a claim like that specify the bullet weight/construction given the vast differences in those two variables in this caliber. FTR, the rounds we used were 60+ gr FMJ and softpoints.
    Last edited by nedrgr21; February 18th, 2012 at 11:49 PM.
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  9. #23
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    5.56 M193 penetrated 12 sheets of 5/8" sheetrock/wallboard - that would be 6 interior walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    I have read that small high velocity rounds are safer for home defense because they are less likely to fully penetrate walls and end up in a neighbors house. That they expend all their energy on the immediate target instead of passing through.

    Michael

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    I came across this article in Guns & Ammo....

    When using rifle ammunition with projectiles designed specifically for personal defense, such as Winchester’s new .223 PDX1 loadings, fragmentation is assured. Bullets striking an intruder will separate into smaller, lighter pieces and—most likely—not overpenetrate and exit the body as errant shrapnel. All of the energy generated will then be transferred into the target. If the round fired is a miss and hits only wood or drywall, the projectile will break apart into smaller pieces—while these are still dangerous, their potential for injury, or penetration of additional walls, is much less than a pistol bullet or buckshot pellet. Many SWAT teams are using M4-type rifles, and overpenetration, when your teammate may be on the other side of the wall, is a major concern.

    Is .223 the Best Home Defense Caliber? - Guns & Ammo

  11. #25
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    Dispel all the rumors and prove it to yourself by enrolling in a defensive carbine course.

    Most are either two or three days for a couple hundred bucks plus ammo. It's definitely worth the time and money!
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Better not stand on the other side of dry wall when a .223 is being fired at you, it will not end well for you. It also will go through car doors very well.
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  13. #27
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    I once shot a coyote in the back of the skull at very close range with a .223. The 55 grn SP didn't even exit, disintegrating inside. Of course, the coyote was dead as a doornail, so purpose served. I restricted its use to varmits.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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  14. #28
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Regarding the use of a carbine vs a shotgun for home defense, and the issue of over-penetration...

    Fragmentation with a rifle bullet can NEVER be assured. IF the bullet fragments in the case of a miss, then yes indeed, it will likely penetrate fewer walls than a buckshot pellet. If it does not fragment, however, you are looking at a 55 gr bullet at ~ 3000 fps, vs a buckshot pellet of ~ 60 gr at ~ 1200 fps.

    From the testing over at Theboxotruth, it would seem there is less risk of overpenetration with buckshot, vs 5.56 FMJ. Exotic 5.56 will give you different results, of course.

    I use #1 buckshot, which is slightly smaller and lighter than 00 buck. From a defensive position in my bedroom, an errant pellet would need to go through two interior walls (both sides) and an exterior wall before posing a risk to a neighbor. Unless they are standing outside, it would then need to go through glass or an exterior wall of their own home. I'm pretty comfortable that such risk is very minimal - and again, that would only be in the event of a miss.

    Carry on...
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  15. #29
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    Simple: Do not use 5.56 FMJ or "barrier blind" loads if overpenetration is a concern.

    From Dr. Roberts: 5.56 mm Duty Loads - M4Carbine.net Forums

    In those situations where intermediate barrier penetration is not a critical requirement, for example LE urban entries or long range shots in open conditions, then OTM, JHP, and standard JSP loads can offer acceptable performance. For 1/7 twist barrels, the Hornady 75 gr OTM, Nosler 77 gr OTM, and Sierra 77 gr SMK OTM are all good choices. The experimental BH loaded 100 gr OTM exhibits impressive fragmentation, even at relatively low velocities, however while capable of shooting out to 600, it is optimized for 200 and under. If stuck with 1/9 twist barrels, the heavy 70+ gr loads are not universally accurate in all rifles and the 69 gr SMK OTM, the 68 gr Hornady OTM, the Winchester 64 gr JSP (RA223R2), the Federal 64 gr TRU (T223L) JSP, Hornady 60 gr JSP, are likely to run accurately in the majority of 1/9 twist rifles. Again it is critical to keep in mind that the above loads fail to offer adequate penetration through intermediate barriers.

    I'm currently using the 75 gr. Hornady OTM for home defense since I live in an apartment, and I swap in the 55 gr. Speer Gold Dot when I have my rifle in the car with me since the Gold Dot does very well through barriers.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Just as JHPs do not always expand, so don't frangible bullets always break apart. And relying on the tumbling/fragmentation of a rifle bullet as a way of minimizing over penetration risk is not wise in my view, since that also cannot be guaranteed.

    Personally, I would rather bet on the unchanging fact that a 60 gr shotgun pellet at 1200 fps will always have less momentum and sectional density, compared to a rifle bullet. Using #1 or #4 buckshot reduces the risk further. I would not venture less than #4 buck, because you then risk poor penetration in the BG.

    For apartment dwellers, I'm not sure there is a really good answer, aside from "don't miss." Anything that will penetrate to the vitals on a BG is also going to go through a few layers of sheetrock.
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