Confused about "best" .223/5.56x45mm amm - HP or SP?

This is a discussion on Confused about "best" .223/5.56x45mm amm - HP or SP? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was wondering what type of high-end ammo you guys stock-pile for your ARs? I know lots of people have a TON of FMJ around, ...

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Thread: Confused about "best" .223/5.56x45mm amm - HP or SP?

  1. #1
    Member Array Mass-Diver's Avatar
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    Confused about "best" .223/5.56x45mm amm - HP or SP?

    I was wondering what type of high-end ammo you guys stock-pile for your ARs? I know lots of people have a TON of FMJ around, but I'm looking to a buy 1,00rounds of high-end (but readily/commerically available) .223/5.56 ammo. What have you guys choosen for the high performace stuff?

    For some context, I'm a strong beliver in using the most effective ammo available. For example I never carry ball in my 9mms just to save a buck. While I'm happy with the choices I've made with my handguns, I'm much less knowledgable about rifle rounds and could use some help.

    From what I've heard and read, the .223/5.56 works great in close where it fragments, but once you start to get out past as little as 100yds or so the bullet may not fragment (or not even break in two) which makes the round a lot less deadly. I've also heard this problem is made worse with short barrel ARs, like my BM M4 with its 16" barrel. Whenever this has come up (either at the range or the 'net) people always seem to point out this is a problem more for soliders stuck using FMJ ammo than for civillians.

    So, if my goal is to keep my bullets fragmenting at longer distances/slower speeds should I choose a HP, a BT, or a SP? I'm not really concerned about under penetration[as a trauma nurse I've seen many times the damage that even a handgun round can do after passing through a car door), instead, what I want is fragmentation at a longer distance that with an FMJ.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!


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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Boattail will be more ballistically efficient than the other two. The HP will open up quicker that either. The bullet design will dictate if the wounding mechanism is fragmentation or controlled expansion.

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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mass-Diver View Post
    I was wondering what type of high-end ammo you guys stock-pile for your ARs? I know lots of people have a TON of FMJ around, but I'm looking to a buy 1,00rounds of high-end (but readily/commerically available) .223/5.56 ammo. What have you guys choosen for the high performace stuff?

    For some context, I'm a strong beliver in using the most effective ammo available. For example I never carry ball in my 9mms just to save a buck. While I'm happy with the choices I've made with my handguns, I'm much less knowledgable about rifle rounds and could use some help.

    From what I've heard and read, the .223/5.56 works great in close where it fragments, but once you start to get out past as little as 100yds or so the bullet may not fragment (or not even break in two) which makes the round a lot less deadly. I've also heard this problem is made worse with short barrel ARs, like my BM M4 with its 16" barrel. Whenever this has come up (either at the range or the 'net) people always seem to point out this is a problem more for soliders stuck using FMJ ammo than for civillians.

    So, if my goal is to keep my bullets fragmenting at longer distances/slower speeds should I choose a HP, a BT, or a SP? I'm not really concerned about under penetration[as a trauma nurse I've seen many times the damage that even a handgun round can do after passing through a car door), instead, what I want is fragmentation at a longer distance that with an FMJ.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    Well for starters ball ammo is for practice and last choice defensive rounds

    You are talking high end ammo for your 223. Well, what type of twist rate is your barrel and then you can choose bullet weight from there.

    Fragmentation is deadly but so is the 223 through an animals or foe's skull at 400 meters.

    A shorter barrel would reduce velocity and fragmentation, correct!

    Go with an HP or "roll your own" with varmit bullets, get some hot powder and get a 18 or 20 inch barrel for more velocity.


    If want to buy the stuff well then go for varmit specific loads when shopping
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Any of the plastic tipped HP types should do well for you. Pricey, but what you want is what they offer, IIRC.

    Austin

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    Member Array RD62's Avatar
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    Normally I would direct you to the Ammo-Oracle, but it doesn't appear to be working properly. Look at tactical forums and the terminal effects forum, there is a stickied thread on 5.56 duty ammo with test results and reccomendations for different twist rates and situations like barrier penetration etc. Good luck.

    -RD62

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Ill respectfully you purchace a couple of cases of ammo ( cheap milsurp or loaded same ) and shoot it up . Then and only then match your poa-poi to your rifle . The .223 or if you want to say 5.56 is a lot like the 9mm in that you shoot them in the boiler house , and do that till they fall down your gonna be ok . any other standard is prarie dog hunting on humans and dont count on that being a good idea lol .
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    Member Array rathos's Avatar
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    Cabelas sells 55 grain v-max for 115 for 250 rounds. If you are looking for accurate deadly stuff I would say go for that. I have seen only one wound with v-max ammo and that was a 17hmr, blue the guys scapula out. I wouldn't want to see what it would have been like with a .223...
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    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Some rather extensive research and testing documented over on AR15.com indicates the Boat Tailed Hollow Points in the 77 and 75 grain weights are the best anti-personnel rounds available. However, you do have to test them in your gun, as they don't necessarily stabilize in all barrels with a 1:9 (or slower) twist.

  10. #9
    Member Array Hume's Avatar
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    I prefer hollowpoints. Weight is up to you and your rifle. I recommend Hornady TAP ammo. I bought some from Midway, but at about $20 a box it will be a pretty penny to stockpile 1k. I keep a couple of boxes on hand for unexpected but pressing social agenda. The next step down, but good quality, is Black Hills in the blue box. The trouble is finding it now. Mine is from 2002. It is accurate out of most barrels. As stated above, you will have to test from the bench to see what works best for you and your rifle. FWIW, I think reliability is more important than accuracy in an AR. If you can keep them in a four inch circle from improvised field positions out to 200 yards, you are doing well. If it is within six, I will still let you walk with me. Just make sure everything cycles smoothly.

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    For the faster twist barrels like my Bushmaster Varminter I use Black Hills 75 Gr Match HP. I tried 4 different loads and this is the one my weapon liked the most. It will shoot 1/2 inch groups with it at 100 yards.
    Life member NRA since 1983
    I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II in a Crossbreed SuperTuck. My wife carries a Walther PPS .40 w/Crossbreed holster.

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    New Member Array ceraldi's Avatar
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    Cor Bon DPX in 62gr look up test results on google. I have 2 mags of this loaded up in mine for HD/SD.
    Its pricey but if you want the best.....

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    New Member Array ffhounddog's Avatar
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    I have Hornady .223 62 grain Barrier rounds in my go to mags. I reload whatever bullet is cheapest at the time uselly 55 grain because out to 200 yards POI is not that much of a difference. This might change because the wife wants a AR and I am in the middle of loading 6000 rounds of 55 grain FMJ practice ammo for us. Should last us until next March/April. After than might get some 60-70 grain and just reload those. Think is I bought a ton of 55 grain ammo and bullets from 2002-2006 and that is what I have. I have 1000 Hornady and 3000 M855 as back up as well.

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    I stockpile (and carry) Hornady's 75gr 5.56x45mm NATO pressure TAP ammunition. It's the finest Duty/SD ammunition available for a 5.56mm. It's accurate and has the best terminal ballistics by far (extreme fragmentation at long range even out of carbine barrels while still penetrating 12"). If you're an LEO you can buy it directly from Hornady for $0.56/round. If not, it will probably cost you $1/round (or more) on the net, if you're lucky enough to find it.

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    Member Array tigs40cal's Avatar
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    1:9 twist I'd say 55gr to 62gr hp. The77gr mk Black hill and75 gr Tap I've been told by people that know are the best for when the SHTF. But the mid range may be more accurate with 1:9 twist
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    Member Array tigs40cal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoFan View Post
    Some rather extensive research and testing documented over on AR15.com indicates the Boat Tailed Hollow Points in the 77 and 75 grain weights are the best anti-personnel rounds available. However, you do have to test them in your gun, as they don't necessarily stabilize in all barrels with a 1:9 (or slower) twist.
    +1 here if you have a 9:1 twist you may be better off with 55gr to 68 gr. HPs
    Be armed or be a victim

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