Stopping power of the AR platform

This is a discussion on Stopping power of the AR platform within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am looking for a military style rifle to complete my small arms collection. I was looking for an AR style rifle, but have read ...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 35

Thread: Stopping power of the AR platform

  1. #1
    Member Array chiboxer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    397

    Stopping power of the AR platform

    I am looking for a military style rifle to complete my small arms collection. I was looking for an AR style rifle, but have read many horror stories in recent weeks of how underpowered the 5.56mm/223 round it. One of the worst concerned a Marine detachment in Iraq having to shoot a BG 10 times COM to incapacitate him.
    My question then is this, how reliable a man-stopper is the 5.56mm round at distances less than 100 yards? What kind of ammo do you recommend for SD/HD situations? I have years of experience with pistols and shotguns, but my experience with rifles is limited. I would sincerely appreciate it if anyone could help me out on this one.
    Si vis pacem, parabellum

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,249
    The ammo oracle for 556 and .223

    Read through this. It will give you some info into what exactly the different ammuntions are, what they do, what the military is using, etc.

    One of the bigger problems I think is that the vast majority of our military is using M855 which is a steel cole bullet speced out by NATO that is designed for piercing light armor. The problem is that it just passes right through "soft" targets like underfed, drugged up terrorists.

    There are so many flavors out there available to you, that I think you should be able to choose a good bullet that will perform much better against what you are likely to be shooting at. I would look more at law enforcement applications of the .223 or 556 and see what their results are.

    On the other hand, I havn't read any reports from the BG's on the receiving end of our military hailing how they will be victorious because we use the 556 ammo.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kommie-fornia-stan
    Posts
    6,998
    The AR platform performs relatively well...it also comes in many calibers: .308 (AR-10), 6.5 SPC, 9mm, and even the rare .50...I don't think anyone wants to turn this into a caliber war.

    So is your question about the platform? or about caliber?

    If caliber is a concern, have you considered a shotgun? If you "need" multiple shots (a la semi-auto), there is the Benelli M-series Super 90 that is both semi-auto and pump.

    In either case, two words: shot placement. While there are the anecdotes like you listed above (and I'm not disagreeing with you, as I have seen it happen too), there are just as many cases as the 5.56mm getting the job done. There are no magic calibers.

    Shoot what you can afford...
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

  5. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Fayetteville, AR
    Posts
    13,687
    Personally, I think there are way to many misconceptions about a lot of things....including calibers, rifles, shotguns, and a bevy of other things in this world. Mainly, one has to look at the circumstances under which the pros and/or cons are portrayed. With so much information (or disinformation) at our fingertips these days, it would seem awful hard for one to make decisions based solely on what one hears or sees. Deep down inside, we know we can make things a lot simpler in terms of our choices. All we need to do is ask ourselves........would I want to be on the receiving end of that firearm? Would I live to walk away if I was shot with a 5.56 FMJ as opposed to being shot with a HP at 75yds? Should I spend the rest of my days wearing body armor? Should I load my magazines to full capacity? Or will six or ten be enough? Is the bad guy wearing armor, or are they on drugs? The point I'm trying to make here is that your choice of armaments, calibers, bullets and all that other stuff should account for less than half of the big picture. You, your mind, and you abilities are what brings down the enemy, and your firearm choices are just an aid. Make your choices for the environment and circumstances where battle will be done. Everything else is trivial. Fight to live.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member
    Array SleepingZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    ne
    Posts
    1,737
    AR-15 in a 5.56 will do extensive damage with soft point bullets. I once took my 223 coon hunting with FMJ loads, and shot a coon at 75 yards in the head, and it blew his head open. So much for saving all the hide.

    If you had to shoot a person in COM with a 223 loaded with soft points I could not imagine a situation where the BG could survive 1 shot.

    In foot pounds of energy that would be like receiving 4 shots from a 40 cal. handgun. OUCH


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

  7. #6
    Member Array Davensquirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    79

    Some History

    Practice Practice Practice and lots of Head Shots will solve the problem. Also I don't know if they have controlled a problem called Hydrostatic Shock, this at one point was an issue with the military were-as the bullet was traveling at such a high rate of speed (3255fps) and basically would vaporize upon striking even a leaf, however when it did hit a bone upon entering it would pulverize the entire bone to a consistancy of mashed potatoes.

    The military was dealing with this during the 60's through the 80's, however your post pointed out that it took more than 10 rounds to drop the BG. This information can only suggest that the Ammo most likely was of steel core and toned down quite a bit still hard to believe that all 10 shots missed vital organs and bone to allow th BG to advance. There has to be more to the senario, but that is just one therory.
    Dave
    I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy.

  8. #7
    Member Array Uechi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    West Central, FLorida
    Posts
    123
    Very interesting discussion. If I have no choice and I'm being shot at I would rather be shot at by someone with a 5.56 or 223 who can't make accurate bullet placement then a expert marksmen with a 22LR. Caliber is important but accuracy and your brain are what gets the job done.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Leavenworth, KS
    Posts
    592
    Here's a pretty good article that was published in Infanry Magazine a little while back.

    "Small Caliber Lethality, 5.56 Performance in Closs Quarters Battle"

    http://wstiac.alionscience.com/pdf/WQV8N1_ART01.pdf

    Biggest take aways:

    FINDINGS
    1. No commercially available alternatives perform measurably better than existing ammunition at close quarters battle ranges for exposed frontal targets.

    Interestingly, the one 7.62mm round that received the full evaluation,
    the M80 fired from the M14 rifle, performed in the same band of performance, which would indicate that for M80 ammunition at least there appears to be no benefit to the larger caliber at close quarters range.

    2. Shot placement trumps all other variables; expectation management is key. Though this should produce a “well, duh!” response from the experienced warfighter, it cannot be emphasized enough. We try hard to inculcate a “one-shot, one-kill” mentality into Soldiers. When they go to the qualification range, if they hit the target anywhere on the E-type silhouette, the target drops. The reality is that all hits are not created equal – there is a very narrow area where the human body is vulnerable to a single shot if immediate incapacitation is expected.

    3. Field reports are accurate and can be explained by the phenomenon of bullet yaw. Shot placement aside, why is it that some Soldiers report “through and-through” hits while others report no such problems, despite using the same weapons and ammunition? The phenomenon of bullet yaw can explain such differences in performance.

    Unfortunately, projectiles impacting at different yaw angles can have significantly different performance, particularly as the projectile slows down. Consider the two photos on this page. In the first (Figure 6), the bullet impacted at almost zero yaw. It penetrated deeply into the gel block before becoming unstable. In a human target, it is very likely that this round would go straight through without disruption – just as our troops have witnessed in the field. In the second photo (Figure 7), the bullet impacted the gel block at a relatively high yaw angle. It almost immediately destabilized and began to break, resulting in large temporary and permanent wound cavities. Our troops have witnessed this in action too; they are more likely to report that their weapons were effective.

    Hits to the center mass of the torso may eventually cause incapacitation as the target bleeds out, but this process takes time, during which a motivated target will continue to fight. While projectile design can make a good hit more effective, a hit to a critical area is still required; this fact is borne out by the Medal of Honor citations of numerous American Soldiers who continued to fight despite being hit by German 7.92mm, Japanese 6.5mm and 7.7mm, or Chinese or Vietnamese 7.62mm rounds. A more realistic mantra might be “One well-placed shot, one-kill.”
    It really is a pretty good read and well worth the time. The report deals exclusively with issue ammo, but it does a good job of explaining some statements concerning 5.56 effectiveness.

    Chuck
    homo homini lupus est

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    texas
    Posts
    15,093
    I have several AR 15's and an AR10,but in close SD home ranges I will go to a shotgun first,9 00 buck with each trigger pull or 1 oz of lead trumps pretty much everything,unless he's wearing a vest,then ya shoot the Elvis area
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,745
    Mohammed and Malvo never had to shoot any of their victims more than once.
    The .223/5.56 is plenty lethal within its design limitations. If you are shooting a lead core bullet at ranges where impact velocity is above 2700 fps or so it is quite effective. When range increases to the point that the bullet is below its frangible threshold you are basically hitting the target with an ice pick. The bullet will still do a good bit of damage but wont be nearly as effective.
    Out of my Hbar rifle I would expect good terminal performance out past four hundred yards. Out of my carbine with an eleven inch barrel and long flash hider I would not expect that performance beyond about sixty yards. Using M855 I would cut those estimates by about half. It is a matter of using the right tool for the job.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  12. #11
    VIP Member
    Array goawayfarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Fork Union, Virginia
    Posts
    2,681
    Ball ammo just won't stop critters.........use a soft point or a hollow point.

    I was having some problems with foxes killing some of our chickens. So I set up an ambush one night. I put a fresh chicken carcass, on one our fences, where the miscriant was coming out of the woods to get to the barns. I attached it to the middle strand of barbed wire & also attached a drink can with a couple of pebbles in it (a make-shift bell). I put a baby monitor outside the barn, where when the can was shaken, by anything pulling on the carcass, it would alert me.

    About 2am I hear the can being shaken......& I'm off with an AR to dispatch said critter. I get outside & am about 100yards from the carcass. I had a Surefire light mounted to the AR, that's why I picked that rifle to use. I put the gun up, pushed the button for the light & see two eyeballs shining back at me..........'Eureka! HE'S MINE!' I think to myself......I press the trigger & the eyes disappear.....I run closer & get a bad feeling. I find the chicken carcass & a couple of drops of blood, which lead off towards the barn.... I'm now getting a worse feeling......I follow the trail to the bush hog on one of the tractors in the barn.....& there are the eyeballs staring back at me!.....Only problem......It's our cat!

    The shot I made was literally perfect......I hit him right in the center of his chest. The bullet exited near his shoulder blade. It left a small hole in & a slightly larger hole going out (the bullet had started to tumble). It didn't hit anything vital. The cat survived & today, you would never know he'd ever been shot.....He just hates the sound of gun fire now..............

    I learned a couple of things......Get a BIGGER light & Use hollow-points! (...although the cat's glad I was using ball ammo).....
    Last edited by goawayfarm; March 8th, 2009 at 09:14 PM.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    866
    Great story!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,108
    I say if anyone has any doubts about the .223 and stopping power, just ask the federal Agents in Miami involved in the gunfight that took place there; also go ask the Los Angeles police officers who borrowed the AR-15s from the local gun shop during the bank robbery there.

    Personally, my defense loads for my AR are 55 grain ballistic tips; if you have any doubts about the ARs ballistic performance, hit somebody in the chest with one of those at 100 meters and see what happens......
    "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

  15. #14
    Member Array chiboxer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    397
    So, in essence, it's not a matter of the 5.56mm round itself but whether you have it loaded with the proper ammunition? For my needs, I can't imagine having to engage a threat at more than 50 or 60 yards or so. What HP ammo do you recommend?
    Si vis pacem, parabellum

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,108
    like i said, ballistic tips are hard to beat; they are extremely accurate because the plastic tip enhances the ballistic coefficient; when it hits flesh, the plastic tip causes massive, explosive fragmentation.
    "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

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Do you really have enough stopping power?
    By Sig35seven in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: July 21st, 2010, 09:59 PM
  2. Stopping Power
    By mauser1959 in forum Defensive Books, Video & References
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: March 11th, 2010, 07:13 PM
  3. Stopping Power
    By ErikGr7 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: January 8th, 2009, 01:21 AM
  4. Stopping Power
    By crzy4guns in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: March 31st, 2008, 08:44 PM
  5. Stopping Power Of Ammunition
    By Auta in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: November 18th, 2006, 11:48 PM

Search tags for this page

.223 soft point stopping power
,
ar 15 .223 stopping power
,

ar 15 stopping power

,
ar stopping power
,
ar-15 killing power
,
ar-15 stopping power
,
ar15 stopping power
,
killing power of ar15
,
stopping power ar 15
,
stopping power of ar 15
,
stopping power of ar-15
,
winchester 64 gr power point deer
Click on a term to search for related topics.