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Thread: Self Defense Ammunition question

  1. #1
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    Self Defense Ammunition question

    So,

    Until now,

    I've just kept my "serious mags" loaded with duty ammunition, usually 55 grain ballistic tip of some type.

    (mostly 55 grain corbon blitz king, with a bit of 55 grain remington ball. tip, and even some honrnady redtip shit that I aint too sure about)

    BUT... I'm kinda re-thinking now that my "duty" is refocused (god, family, country, and not that badge).... so i get to choose.... I'm wondering if I shouldn't go heavier on the weight.

    Maybe 75 gr BTHP?

    All of my rifles are 14.5's and I'm kinda wondering if, being a home defense weapon, heavier might not be better.

    Thoughts??

    -E
    "It is only the warrior who chooses pacifism. All others are condemned to it."

    "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."
    Dangerous Freedom over Peaceful Slavery.

  2. #2
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    Self Defense Ammunition question

    I can’t think of any plastic tipped cup and core .224 bullets that I’d choose for a self defense role. Those are designed for violent fragmentation in varmints.

    They definitely won’t over-penetrate, but I don’t consider that enough of a benefit to outweigh minimal penetration.

    I’d trust a ~55 grain Sierra GameKing more than a BlitzKing.
    Last edited by grizzman; 05-17-22 at 11:42.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzman View Post
    I can’t think of any plastic tipped cup and core .224 bullets that I’d choose for a self defense role. Those are designed for violent fragmentation in varmints.

    They definitely won’t over-penetrate, but I don’t consider that enough of a benefit to outweigh minimal penetration.
    Yeah, I kinda meant 5.56/.223. Sorry.
    "It is only the warrior who chooses pacifism. All others are condemned to it."

    "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."
    Dangerous Freedom over Peaceful Slavery.

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    Both the 64 (now 62) and 75 gr G. D. are accurate, bonded and shot reasonably close to same POI as m193- couple inches at 100 yds.
    The 77 gr OTM is very accurate, rates well as a “stopper”, but isn’t bonded/barrier blind.

    I run all of the above with confidence.
    A true "Gun Guy" (or gal) should have familiarity and a modicum of proficiency with most all firearms platforms.

  5. #5
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    I'm running 77 gr OTM for home D. But a bonded bullet certainly has some advantages if trouble is beyond the confines of your house.

    We shot some 87 gr factory OTM into jell jugs 2 weeks ago, and they were impressive in our unscientific test. I shot an 85gr match burner into a single jug last weekend and it looked good, but i didn't really have deep enough of the gel to make a good assessment cuz I only had 1 jug available.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entryteam View Post
    Yeah, I kinda meant 5.56/.223. Sorry.
    .224" diameter bullets is what's loaded into .223 Rem/5.56 NATO.

    Heavier is not necessarily better, particularly for home defense, as the advantage of better ballistic coefficient doesn't really play in; nor are you using an SBR, so there's minimal advantage there with the longer dwell time. However, the rounds you have listed are certainly going to be considered by most to be substandard for any kind of duty/self-defense use, as they are not designed for barrier blind use.

    Obligatory copy/paste:

    Only after proper foundational and ongoing repetitive refresher training, cultivating warrior mind-set, and ensuring weapon system reliability do you need to worry about ammunition selection. Most folks would be far better off practicing with what they have, rather than worrying about what is "best". As long as you know your what your weapon and ammo can realistically accomplish, it is all just a matter of training and shot placement. I would much rather go into battle with a guy who practices 15,000 rounds a year using generic 55 gr FMJ out of his old M16A1 than with some guy that has the latest state-of-the-art ammo and rifle, but only shoots 500 rounds a year. If you need to delve into the arcane subject of agency duty ammunition selection, below are the state of the art choices in 5.56 mm/.223:

    ------------------------------

    For LE Patrol use, where there is a high incidence of potential engagements around or involving vehicles, ammunition that is able to effectively penetrate intermediate barriers, particularly vehicle glass is critical. The best LE 5.56 mm/.223 loads for intermediate barrier penetration using 1/9 and faster twist barrels are the 5.56 mm Federal 62 gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (TBBC) bonded JSP (XM556FBIT3) and 5.56 mm Winchester 64 gr solid base bonded JSP (Q3313/RA556B) developed for the FBI, along with the outstanding new Black Hills 5.56 mm 50 gr TSX loading. The Hornady 5.56 mm 55 gr GMX is another acceptable option. Note that these are all true 5.56 mm loads that require a real milspec 5.56 mm chamber, not a SAAMI .223 chamber--be sure to check with an appropriate gauge or reamer. Most other acceptable LE barrier blind loadings are at .223 pressures, including the .223 55 & 62 gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical loads (LE223T1 & LE223T3), along with loads using Nosler 60 gr Partition JSP, Remington 62 gr Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded JSP (PRC223R4), .223 Federal 55 gr TSX (T223S), .223 Horn 55 gr GMX, and the .223 Speer 62/64 gr Gold Dot JSP's (and identically constructed Federal 62 gr Fusion JSP and Federal XM223SP1 62gr Bonded JSP). The Speer 75 gr Gold Dot JSP and Swift 75 gr Scirocco bonded PT are also good choices, but usually require a 1/7 twist. Note that the Barnes all copper TSX bullets are great projectiles and offer good penetration through barriers, however, when first hitting a laminated automobile windshield intermediate barrier, most TSX bullets exhibit less expansion than bonded JSP’s, as the Barnes jacket either collapses at the nose, the jacket "petals" fold back against the core, or the "petals" are torn off; this results in a caliber size projectile configured a lot like a full wadcutter, leading to deep penetration. If running 1/12 twist barrels, stick with the BH 50 gr TSX, Fed 55 gr TBBC, Fed 55 gr TSX, Horn 55 gr GMX, or Speer 55 gr Gold Dot. NONE of the fragmenting 5.56 mm OTM bullets, even the heavy 75 - 100 gr loads, offer acceptable performance through automobile windshield glass. Contrary to what many believe, M193 & M855 FMJ are not very good against glass; the best military 5.56 mm load against glass is 52 gr M995 AP, followed by the 62 gr Mk318 Mod0 OTM and 70 gr Optimal "brown tip" OTM.

    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.

    For longer range engagements using precision weapons like the Mk12 SPR or DMR rifles with faster 1/8 or 1/7 twist barrels, one of the combat proven 5.56 mm (ie. 5.56 mm NATO pressure loads, not .223 SAAMI pressure loads which run about 200 f/s slower) heavy OTM loadings are a good choice: the Barnes 70 gr TSX (Optimized "browntip"), Hornady 75 gr TAP (#8126N), Nosler 77 gr, or the Sierra 77 gr Match King (Mk262 Mod1) and 77 gr Tipped Match King.

    Short barreled 5.56 mm weapons, such as the Colt Commando, Mk18 CQBR, HK416, HK53, HK G36C, etc… offer advantages in confined spaces. With SBR’s it is best to stick with the barrier blind loads recommended above, although the heavy OTM's suggested for long distance shooting will also work. SBR's can run into rotational velocity issues with some loads, so it is generally best to select faster 1/7 twist barrels whenever possible. Remember, with SBR’s, effective engagement distances are significantly reduced compared to the longer barreled carbines.

    Keep in mind, that with non-fragmenting bullet designs, heavier bullet weights are not necessarily better, especially at closer ranges and from shorter barrels. As long as penetration and upset remain adequate, it is possible to use lighter weight non-fragmenting bullets and still have outstanding terminal performance. With fragmenting designs, a heavier bullet is ideal, as it provides more potential fragments and still allows the central core to have enough mass for adequate penetration. In addition, heavier bullets may have an advantage at longer ranges due to better BC and less wind drift.

    Whatever projectile is used, it is best with a cannelure to prevent bullet set-back in semi-auto/auto weapons. Also, be cautious with the exposed lead on some JSP designs. Often they will run great for up to 200-300 rounds, but then mysterious feeding failures will begin as a result of lead build-up on the feed ramps. I have personally seen this occur with a variety of JSP's including 55 gr, 60 gr, and 64 gr in LE training courses. As soon as FMJ or OTM was substituted, all the feeding failures ceased.

    Be sure to watch your ammo storage conditions. Temperatures above 150 deg F will degrade the powder and cause pressure spikes. Hint: Think locked metal conex containers in the mid-east, car trunks in the southern U.S., and storage areas near heaters in the northern U.S. Also be cautions of leaving a round in a very hot chamber; besides the obvious danger of a cook-off, the powder can also be damaged by the heat, leading to dramatically increased pressures when the round is eventually fired.

    A large SWAT team in this area had a failure to fire from an M4 with Hornady TAP ammo during an entry--fortunately no officers were hurt and the suspect immediately threw down his weapon when the carbine went click instead of bang. After the incident was concluded, the team went to the range and expended the rest of their carbine ammo and had one additional failure to fire. This same team had 3 Hornady TAP rounds fail to fire in training a couple of years ago. When Pat Rogers was teaching a class at a nearby agency, there were 5 failures to fire using Hornady TAP ammo. In all 10 cases, there appeared to be good primer strikes, but no rounds fired. On analysis, the ammunition had powder and checked out otherwise.



    However, despite what appeared to be good primer strikes, two problems were discovered. First, when accurately measured, some of the primer strikes had insufficient firing pin indentations. The failed round from the potential OIS incident had a primer strike of only .013"—the minimum firing pin indent for ignition is .017". In addition, the primers on the other rounds were discovered to have been damaged from repeated chambering. When the same cartridge is repeatedly chambered in the AR15, the floating firing pin lightly taps the primer; with repeated taps, the primer compound gets crushed, resulting in inadequate ignition characteristics--despite what appears to be a normal firing pin impression. Once a round has been chambered, DO NOT RE-CHAMBER IT for duty use. Do NOT re-chamber it again, except for training. This is CRITICAL!!!

    ------------------------------

    Many LE agencies around here used the Hornady 75 gr TAP OTM, Winchester 64 gr JSP (it was on the state contract for very low cost), and similar Fed 64 gr JSP TRU load (223L)--all have worked well in actual officer involved shootings against unobstructed targets. However in the wake of the serious terminal performance failures by non-bonded .223 64 gr JSP's due to inadequate penetration into the criminal's Toyota Tundra truck in the July 2010 CHP OIS incident in Oakland, quite a few agencies here switched to general issue of Barrier Blind loads like the 55 & 64 gr Gold Dot loads, along with the 55 & 62 gr TBBC loads that previously saw more limited use.

    Do short barrel 5.56 mm carbines have some limitations? Yes, especially beyond 100 yards, but BFD…learn what they are, train, and drive on. Despite the ballistic compromise, for LE urban work with lots of entries, the 10.5-12.5” BCM, Colt, Centurian, LaRue, LMT Mk18/Commando style weapons w/Aimpoint RDS's are the best weapon types for this mission. For GP LE Patrol use, properly built AR15's like the 14.5-16” BCM, Colt, LMT, LaRue, Centurian carbines with Aimpoint RDS's and 3x magnifiers in quick detach flip mounts like the LaRue LT649 are superb choices (quality variable optics like a S&B 1.1-4x Short Dot, NF 1.1-4x, or Trijicon 1-4x are also good options) -- pick the right tool for the job.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defaultmp3 View Post
    .224" diameter bullets is what's loaded into .223 Rem/5.56 NATO.

    [/I]
    Oh... I thought you were intentionally poking at me for not stating, explicitly, my caliber in the first post. My bad, sir!

    Just trying to be a good citizen here.

    Thanks!

    -E
    "It is only the warrior who chooses pacifism. All others are condemned to it."

    "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."
    Dangerous Freedom over Peaceful Slavery.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijin View Post
    Both the 64 (now 62) and 75 gr G. D. are accurate, bonded and shot reasonably close to same POI as m193- couple inches at 100 yds.
    The 77 gr OTM is very accurate, rates well as a “stopper”, but isn’t bonded/barrier blind.

    I run all of the above with confidence.
    I have 62gr GD and 77gr Black Hills OTM in my serious use guns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Entryteam View Post
    Oh... I thought you were intentionally poking at me for not stating, explicitly, my caliber in the first post. My bad, sir!

    Just trying to be a good citizen here.

    Thanks!

    -E
    Could start by putting ammo related discussions in the ammo related forum.

    https://www.m4carbine.net/forumdispl...ic-Information
    Let's Go Brandon!

  9. #9
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    I usually stick with this as a general guide.

    https://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Se...mozTocId998203


    “If barrier penetration is NOT an important factor AND your rifle can stabilize them (minimum 1:9 twist rate):

    Hornady 75gr OTM loads
    Nosler 77gr OTM loads
    Sierra 77gr SMK loads

    If barrier penetration is NOT an important factor AND your rifle can't stabilize the heavy 70+ grain bullets:

    Sierra 69gr SMK loads
    Hornady 68gr OTM loads
    Winchester 64gr JSP (RA223R2)
    Federal 64gr TRU (223L)
    Hornady 60gr JSP

    If your rifle is 1:12 or slower twist rate or can only shoot lighter-weight bullets:
    55gr Federal bonded JSP load (LE223T1 or P223T2)
    Barnes 55gr TSX/TAC-X
    50gr TSX loaded by Black Hills*

    If barrier penetration IS an important factor:
    62gr Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (TBBC) bonded JSP (XM556FBIT3)*
    64gr Winchester solid base bonded JSP (Q3313/RA556B)*
    50gr TSX loaded by Black Hills*
    Speer 55 & 64gr Gold Dot JSP (5.56)*
    Federal 62gr Mk318 Mod0 (T556TNB1)*
    62gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical (LE223T3)
    55gr Federal bonded JSP load (Tactical––LE223T1 or identical Premium Rifle––P223T2)
    Swift 75gr Scirocco (usually requires 1:7 twist)
    60gr Nosler Partition JSP
    Remington 62gr bonded JSP
    Federal 55gr TSX (T223S)
    Speer 55 & 64gr Gold Dot JSP (.223)
    Federal 62gr Fusion JSP (Same construction as the Gold Dot)”

  10. #10
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    Coming from ARFtard, that's actually not a terrible set of recommendations.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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