Better defensive ammo: .223 JHP or 5.56 NATO green tip?

Better defensive ammo: .223 JHP or 5.56 NATO green tip?

This is a discussion on Better defensive ammo: .223 JHP or 5.56 NATO green tip? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Edit: I should have changed title to just 5.56 NATO, not with the "green tip", but whatever. Also, does the nato cross mean that the ...

View Poll Results: Better defensive ammo

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  • .223 JHP

    27 60.00%
  • 5.56 NATO

    18 40.00%
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Thread: Better defensive ammo: .223 JHP or 5.56 NATO green tip?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array AdBro's Avatar
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    Better defensive ammo: .223 JHP or 5.56 NATO green tip?

    Edit: I should have changed title to just 5.56 NATO, not with the "green tip", but whatever.

    Also, does the nato cross mean that the round is waterproofed? what else does it ensure?


  2. #2
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    An assailant can be said to have a bad day if struck with either.

    The circle with the cross indicates the cartridge is made to NATO standards for the particular ammunition type.
    marcclarke likes this.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Loaded question depends on the weapon it is fired from. The barrel twist, the range and the round it's self. ready for a lot of good reading here you go no pulling punches just the facts. And you will still have question because with the AR/M4 .223/5.56 there are just so many variables .
    So grab a pot of coffee a couple aspirin and read
    The AR15.com Ammo Oracle

    I did not vote the question can not be addressed in that manner.
    Break in to my place and if I get to the AR then you will be shot with a .223 or a 5.56 green red or any one of a few others what ever I grab first you will be just as dead.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    As a DEFENSIVE round, the JHP would be a better choice, as it will be less likely to give a through-and-through wound and be dangerous to anyone beyond your target.
    tkruf and marcclarke like this.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    I agree with Cuda66. JHP would be the better choice for home defense as it has less over penetration possibilities. The green tip (steel core penetrator) will be better if needing to shoot through armor, glass, or other obstructions. So the question is not as simple as black and white.
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  6. #6
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    I vote hp as well, better expansion /performance from the bullet.
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    I didn't vote, but I would say that the NATO round was better because it is cheaper and therefore you can have a lot more rounds to shoot at bad guys. If you are in that shooting mode, I don't think you would be worrying about overpenetration. If you are in a defensive condition with that type of weapon, it's all out SHTF.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Are you sure JHP is a .223 or 5.56 fired from a 1 in 7 or 1 in 9 twist barrel is a good HD round?
    Remember we are not talking about you 9mm, 4o ,45 ect

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    As a DEFENSIVE round, the JHP would be a better choice, as it will be less likely to give a through-and-through wound and be dangerous to anyone beyond your target.
    This is not, necessarily, true. 5.56/.223 rounds historically do not rely on expansion as their primary wounding agent. They rely on yaw (the rotation of the bullet into it's "natural" state of being - tail first) and fragmentation (the round "spinning itself apart" as it yaws through a dense medium, like flesh). If the round "properly" yaws and fragments, there is almost no chance of dangerous over-penetration. Additionally, a round that strikes something other than the target and is sufficiently destabilized loses energy very quickly, relative (or course) to its current energy and momentum. A heavy, stable JHP would therefore (at least theoretically) be more of a post-impact threat than would a lighter, "less stable" FMJ.

    These rounds do not operate like handgun rounds do, and the "conventional wisdom" of handgun rounds cannot be applied. Read the ammo oracle link, and the literature on the modern self-defense (Hornady TAP, et al) to see how these rounds actually operate.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  10. #10
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    Indeed we aren't, Smitty. In many cases, the 5.56/.223 has much LESS chance of dangerous over penetration or "going through walls" than does 9mm, .40S&W, etc. That the 5.56 is inherently more dangerous in over penetration or "miss" scenarios is a long standing (and intuitive) myth. But a myth none the less.
    Fisher10 likes this.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    This is not, necessarily, true. 5.56/.223 rounds historically do not rely on expansion as their primary wounding agent. They rely on yaw (the rotation of the bullet into it's "natural" state of being - tail first) and fragmentation (the round "spinning itself apart" as it yaws through a dense medium, like flesh). If the round "properly" yaws and fragments, there is almost no chance of dangerous over-penetration. Additionally, a round that strikes something other than the target and is sufficiently destabilized loses energy very quickly, relative (or course) to its current energy and momentum. A heavy, stable JHP would therefore (at least theoretically) be more of a post-impact threat than would a lighter, "less stable" FMJ.

    These rounds do not operate like handgun rounds do, and the "conventional wisdom" of handgun rounds cannot be applied. Read the ammo oracle link, and the literature on the modern self-defense (Hornady TAP, et al) to see how these rounds actually operate.
    You saved me a lot of tying. I have been around the .223/5.56 thing for many years JHP in a .223 or 5.56 are about worthless. That said at what distance would you really be using an AR/M4 plat form weapon for HD. I betting never more than 50 meters. At 50 meters you can hit the target with any thing.
    I really encourage those that want facts to read this, while there is always a bit of wiggle room on this subject it covers it very well with facts.
    The AR15.com Ammo Oracle
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty901 View Post
    You saved me a lot of tying. I have been around the .223/5.56 thing for many years JHP in a .223 or 5.56 are about worthless. That said at what distance would you really be using an AR/M4 plat form weapon for HD. I betting never more than 50 meters. At 50 meters you can hit the target with any thing.
    I really encourage those that want facts to read this, while there is always a bit of wiggle room on this subject it covers it very well with facts.
    The AR15.com Ammo Oracle
    Thanks for the link, I learned mire about this ammo in one reading than i have in years.
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  13. #13
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    Okay. Thanks for all the great insight. I'm not talking about close-range home defense though. I'm talking about maybe 50-100 yards (or more)--just theoretically. Like, if I shoot a water jug with a 5.56, it goes right though. If I shoot a JHP .223 at it, it explodes. Just wondering if this is a good comparison to a defensive situation.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array AdBro's Avatar
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    Also, I'm assuming the barrel is 1:7

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Penetration is not an issue for everyone, although for some reason it's alway brought up. Depending on your environment, such as living in a rural area where there is no danger of harming anyone else.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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