Best 5.56 rounds for civilian self defense

Best 5.56 rounds for civilian self defense

This is a discussion on Best 5.56 rounds for civilian self defense within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Any suggestions on the best loads for us civies to keep loaded in our AR's for self defense. My rifle will have a 16 inch ...

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Thread: Best 5.56 rounds for civilian self defense

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Best 5.56 rounds for civilian self defense

    Any suggestions on the best loads for us civies to keep loaded in our AR's for self defense. My rifle will have a 16 inch barrel.

    Just wanting to know what to buy once I get the new DPMS.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!


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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    "Best" is going to be determined, in part, by your barrel's rifling.

    The Hornady 75-grain TAP (not TAP FPD) is generally regarded as the "best" load for 5.56mm. Unfortunately, it almost always requires a 1:7 barrel.

    Other rounds to consider are Federal's 64-grain and 55-grain TRU. The 64-grain round should stabilize in a 1:9 barrel and the 55-grain round certainly will.

    Some friends tell me the FBI adopted the Winchester Ranger 60-grain Nosler Partition round. I have no experience with it, but I have heard nothing but good things. It may also be worth a look.

    Also, be prepared to drop some money. Some of these rounds can run $1/round or more. Factor in 20 rounds to zero you iron sights (+20 more for an optic) plus whatever you plan to keep on hand for social work and you can get some big numbers fairly quick.

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I really like 55 grain Ballistic tips; if you have ever seen what one does to a coyote, you would agree......

    I have 500 rounds that I keep on hand for a rainy day, so to speak. They are superbly accurate rounds and they hit like a truck.

    My weapon is a DPMS 16" carbine with a bull barrel and an Eotech.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    Personally, I stock the Hornady TAP 60 gr in my carbine, or Black Hills 68 gr JHP.

    Matt
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    TAP, V Max or A Max.

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    45gr JHP's for most everything.

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    If you have a 5.56mm chamber, M193 ammo will be great. Better than that but quite a bit more expensive would be the TAP .223 75 grain BTHP. You will not get adequate penetration (unless you are shooting varmints) with any of the V-Max or A-Max type bullets from my understanding. There is a lot of ballistic data and just info in general over on ar15.com The best would be the Hornady TAP 5.56mm 75gr BTHP but they are not "available" for civilian purchase. The .223 TAP will do the same thing as the 5.56mm, just not as far. For instance maybe the max distance the .223 will fragment reliably is 50-75 yards, where the max the 5.56mm will fragment might be more like 150-175 because of the extra velocity. There's my two cents...

    Austin

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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aus71383 View Post
    If you have a 5.56mm chamber, M193 ammo will be great.
    I have to disagree. M193 hardly falls into the heading of "best," nor would I call it "great" though it certainly can be adequate. It lacks the reliable and/or dramatic terminal performance of other loads. Many of those loads have already been mentioned.

    M193 (or equivalent) is good for practice or to stockpile for SHTF. However, to select M193, when it is within your ability to use one of the better loads, is unwise.

    FWIW, Hornady 75-grain TAP (LEO) is availble from G & R Tactical, one of the forum's sponsors.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    My Bushmaster prefers Blackhills 75 gr JHP and shoots it quite well. What surprised me is while shooting at a 3/8 inch gong at 260 yards it burns a .40 caliber hole through it where my 45/70 just dings it. I could understand it if it was GI ammo with a steel core but it's just lead jacketed hollow point. It also bucks the wind better then a 300 gr 45. Works great on Coyote also. It's what I keep loaded in extra magazines on top of my safe for emergency keep the democrats away ammo. I've got 275 rounds loaded in magazines ready to go. Right next to 60 rounds of .308 for my M1A.
    Life member NRA since 1983
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    "It lacks the reliable and/or dramatic terminal performance of other loads."

    Show me.

  12. #12
    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig 210 View Post
    "It lacks the reliable and/or dramatic terminal performance of other loads."

    Show me.
    Fair enough. (My emphasis added):
    “In 1980, I treated a soldier shot accidentally with an M16 M193 bullet from a distance of about ten feet. The bullet entered his left thigh and traveled obliquely upward. It exited after passing through about 11 inches of muscle. The man walked in to my clinic with no limp whatsoever: the entrance and exit holes were about 4 mm across, and punctate. X-ray films showed intact bones, no bullet fragments, and no evidence of significant tissue disruption caused by the bullet’s temporary cavity. The bullet path passed well lateral to the femoral vessels. He was back on duty in a few days. Devastating? Hardly. The wound profile of the M193 bullet (page 29 of the Emergency War Surgery—NATO Handbook, GPO, Washington, D.C., 1988) shows that most often the bullet travels about five inches through flesh before beginning significant yaw. But about 15% of the time, it travels much farther than that before yawing—in which case it causes even milder wounds, if it missed bones, guts, lung, and major blood vessels. In my experience and research, at least as many M16 users in Vietnam concluded that it produced unacceptably minimal, rather than “massive”, wounds. After viewing the wound profile, recall that the Vietnamese were small people, and generally very slim. Many M16 bullets passed through their torsos traveling mostly point forward, and caused minimal damage. Most shots piercing an extremity, even in the heavier-built Americans, unless they hit bone, caused no more damage than a 22 caliber rimfire bullet.”

    Fackler, ML: “Literature Review”. Wound Ballistics Review; 5(2):40, Fall 2001
    To summarize, the man who has done more research on the M193 round than anyone else, who has seen its performance not only in the laboratory but on the battlefield, is of the opinion that M193 delivers subsandard performance roughly 1 out of 6 times. That is not reliable where I come from.

    Having seen both M193 and 75-grain TAP shot into gelatin (which is, admittedly, not a person), I can say the difference is significant. Sorry, no pictures or cool diagrams. You will just have to take my word for it.

    If M193 were my only option, I woud be fine with it. But if I were unconstrained in my choice, as the OP is, M193 would be nowhere near the top of my list.

    YMMV.

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    I am pretty much relegated to lighter weight bullets for top accuracy - 55gr since my Galil has a 1 in 12 Rate Of Twist.
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  14. #14
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    75 grain TAP
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aus71383 View Post
    If you have a 5.56mm chamber, M193 ammo will be great. Better than that but quite a bit more expensive would be the TAP .223 75 grain BTHP. You will not get adequate penetration (unless you are shooting varmints) with any of the V-Max or A-Max type bullets from my understanding. There is a lot of ballistic data and just info in general over on ar15.com The best would be the Hornady TAP 5.56mm 75gr BTHP but they are not "available" for civilian purchase. The .223 TAP will do the same thing as the 5.56mm, just not as far. For instance maybe the max distance the .223 will fragment reliably is 50-75 yards, where the max the 5.56mm will fragment might be more like 150-175 because of the extra velocity. There's my two cents...

    Austin
    Extra velocity???? I am thinking that the 2 rounds are basically identical, I am under the impression that one of the calibers can shoot both cartridges. Am I wrong here???


    Z
    An ounce of lead is worth 200lbs of cop.

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