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View Full Version : Is there a .223 round suitable for suburban home defense?


perdurabo
04-07-2011, 17:24
This had to have been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything with search. This is a question for those with real world experience (QPs/Soldiers/door-kicking LEOs). No boxoftruth links please :)

Is there suitable .223 ammunition for suburban home defense?

We have a couple handguns and a 12 ga hanging around for the usual home defense tasks, but I also have an AR and while I was packing mags full of WWB, I figured I might as well pack a couple mags that could be usable during a home invasion or similar non-SHTF scenario.

Does .223 ammo for this scenario exist? One that won't gravely endanger, I understand there's never a guarantee, my kids or neighbors? The Internet makes mention of Hornady TAP ammo in HD situations, but I don't know the qualifications of these people and I'm frankly pretty new to the .223 round.

Advice, thoughts, & corrective actions appreciated.

The Reaper
04-07-2011, 18:06
M193 or its clones should do just fine.

It will penetrate less than a 9mm, in my experience.

TR

koz
04-07-2011, 20:38
The Barnes bullets are great for HD - Black Hills makes a 50-gr Barnes TSX round. The 50gr TSX penetrates less than the 55gr TSX

LINK (http://blackhillsammo.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/black-hills-5-56mm-now-available-commercially/)

mbwatson
04-07-2011, 22:05
I've been on the SWAT team here in Abilene, TX since '93 when we were using MP-5's. When I become the assault team leader about '03 we followed the trend to M-4's based partly on the horrendous over-penetration of the 9mm round. We conducted our own ballistic trials and chose the Winchester .223 ballistic silvertip in 55 gr. The round functions flawlessly and the plastic polycarbonite projectile fragments excellently in both ballistic gel and bodies. We experienced zero overpenetration situations. The round remains effective for exterior short to medium range engagements. We just ensure that each operator has at least 2 - 3 mags of green tip in the event of a subject who has barricaded positions, which greatly reduce the effectiveness of the ballistic tips. Here is a link to the specific ammunition:

winchester.com/products/rifle-ammunition/supreme/ballistic-silvertip/Pages/default.aspx

I hope this info helps. And as you already know, the best way to avoid overpenetration and colateral damage are well placed "center mass" hits! Best of luck to you.

Just to add, not trying to belittle your knowledge but essentially the "ballistic tip" is Winchester's "tap round" so I am sure Hornady's tap round would be equally effective. I have a buch of those personally myself but have not duplicated the same exhaustive tests that were conducted with the ballistic tips.

perdurabo
04-07-2011, 22:38
Thank you, thank you gentlemen -- very helpful info from all of you!

How is drywall penetration between 9mm ball vs. 9mm JHP vs .45ACP JHP?

I've been using Speer Gold Dots in my handguns (.45ACP & .380ACP), because that's what the local PD & SWAT folks use (or did, last I checked).

I've done a few pen tests with handgun loads and they often don't match what the boxoftruth results are (no offense to him, there's always a lot of variables), so I take those with a grain of salt.

mbwatson: I was stationed at Dyess 94-96, I hear the drug problem's gotten a lot rougher since then. I feel for your job.

mbwatson
04-08-2011, 00:51
From our tests, 9mm JHP, especially Speer gold dot, is a great improvement over the ball. Speer gold dot, Remington golden saber, Winchester Ranger SXT or any other reputable high quality hollow point, expandable anti-personnel round is about the best your are going to get really, in any caliber for mitigating over penetration and colateral damage aspects.

Stick with that; concentrate on your front sight post, maintain awareness of your target foreground and backstop and you will be successful in a lethal force encounter.

Great to hear from a former Dyess airman. I have a great relationship with the base both in police matters and military related. They always bend over backwards to assist and I try to return the favor in my treatment of the troops out there.

If I can be of any assistance don't hesitate to drop me a line and if by the chance that I don't answer in a timely fashion, I'll PM you my email address.

Mark

Merc78
04-10-2011, 13:01
Try this site. They test rifle, handgun, and shotgun rounds on all types of surface to see penetration.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm

perdurabo
04-10-2011, 14:13
Try this site. They test rifle, handgun, and shotgun rounds on all types of surface to see penetration.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm

Please read the first post in this thread which explains that I wanted real-world advice from those with real-world experience, and specifically, not boxoftruth links.

The Reaper
04-10-2011, 19:50
Try this site. They test rifle, handgun, and shotgun rounds on all types of surface to see penetration.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm

First read the thread, to include the OP, then post.

TR

Streck-Fu
04-13-2011, 09:50
Advice, thoughts, & corrective actions appreciated.

This is a question that I am trying to answer as well and have been searching here off and for a little while.

Much of the information seems contradictory to the point that it seems no matter what you use, make sure you hit your target.

Some people state that the M193 is fine and does not overpenetrate while other information (Fakler, specifically) is quoted as saying that it is a poor choice.

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

For the opposite side of the coin, there is this summary how the TAP failed to stop a suspect after several shots as it lacked effective penetration.LINK (http://concealedcarryholsters.org/wp-content/files/FBI-Analysis-on-PA-Police-Shootout.pdf)

It seems that there are enough people that have successfully used a variety of .223/5.56 while others have seen it fail. In a home defense situation, I would hope to not miss at that range but with the conflicting information and accounts available, for now, I am sidelineing the AR a defensive choice and am staying with my 12g loaded with Federal 00B w/flight control.

Based on the information in this thread (http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11179&highlight=Fackler), I would like to locate some RBCD ammo before relying on the AR for home defense.

The Reaper
04-13-2011, 12:08
There is no magic bullet, though the RBCD/LeMas is very good.

Shot placement is key.

TR

Merc78
04-15-2011, 18:52
My apologies. I just read the thread title. Wont happen again. ;)

Iraqgunz
04-16-2011, 21:25
Reaper,

Have there been any documented shootings with the LeMas ammo? I searched around and couldn't find anything concrete.

The Reaper
04-16-2011, 21:38
Reaper,

Have there been any documented shootings with the LeMas ammo? I searched around and couldn't find anything concrete.

I have been present for a couple of dozen shootings with the LeMas on live tissue.

TR

Iraqgunz
04-16-2011, 21:47
Are you referring to the USSOCOM testing? In your honesty opinion do you htink that this round is truly worthwhile? Just curious because there is very little information out there about it.

I have been present for a couple of dozen shootings with the LeMas on live tissue.

TR

The Reaper
04-16-2011, 22:02
Are you referring to the USSOCOM testing? In your honesty opinion do you htink that this round is truly worthwhile? Just curious because there is very little information out there about it.

AFAIK, USSOCOM has never shot live tissue in ammunition testing. They seem to prefer Jell-O.

You might try the Search button here for LeMas info.

TR

koz
04-17-2011, 13:52
IraqGunz - here's a good thread / bit of info on LeMas.

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11179&highlight=lamas

Iraqgunz
04-17-2011, 17:00
Actually I did read that a while back. I just haven't been able to find any new(er) stuff or too much more about it. I haven't seen much in the internet world about it actually being issued and used except for a few departments.

IraqGunz - here's a good thread / bit of info on LeMas.

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11179&highlight=lamas

tom kelly
04-21-2011, 15:09
Just two words:.......SHOT PLACEMENT.......tom kelly and of course trigger control, no spray & pray, Last but not least, TAKE LESSONS, from a competent instructor, Preferably one who has been in combat & on the receiving end of hostile fire. e g Paul Howe conducts a very professional instructional course on this subject...use the search button, sign up, pay the required fee. and Listen and Learn. You; may think it is expensive to attend this course in Texas, But what is your life worth? TK out.

MonkeyMan
04-30-2011, 22:03
During most of the 1980's, and all of 1990, I was a Customs Special Agent, and a member of SRT, once established at Fort Benning. Circa 1990 our Agency was involved in a warrant execution near San Diego, in conjunction with DEA. At the time, Customs issued long guns were Styer Augs (.223). DEA's were Colt SMG's (9mm). Upon execution of the warrant, the occupant immediately initiated fire on the Agents, who, naturallly, responded in kind.

I don't recall the total nmber of rounds fired, and I wasn't there, but I know I was advised that all of the 9mm (147 gr. W.W. Silvertip) rounds fired by DEA Agents totally penetrated every interior and exterior wall they were directed at, while none of the .223's fired by Customs Agents exited the structure at all. At the time, we were using .40 gr. HP's, but I can't recall the manufacturer.

EPILOGUE:

The occupant was eventually hit in the femoral artery with a .45 round fired from a Sig P-220 by the Customs Agent (whom I'd known since the Border Patrol Academy) telling me the story, thereby ending the dispute (temporarily). On scene paramedics were able to revive the subject, and he recovered to sue the Government, and make a segment of 60 minutes, as DEA's informant had signifigant "issues," AND, . . . it was the wrong house.

"There endeth the lesson(s)" - which are multiple.

alelks
03-16-2013, 11:34
These guys do a lot of testing.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot4.htm

:lifter

The Reaper
03-16-2013, 14:50
So I just want to be clear here, but if I have a 9mm handgun and fire it at a wall, it would likely penetrate the wall moreso than a .223 fired from an AR-15?

Based on my experience with 9x19 and 5.56x45 Ball , yes.

Any of the M193 or lighter, high-velocity rounds should come apart pretty quickly in construction materials.

TR

Team Sergeant
03-16-2013, 17:15
These guys do a lot of testing.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot4.htm

:lifter

LOL, I love his last comment:

Moral of this lesson:
Don't get in any gun fights with buffalo hunters. There ain't no such thing as cover.

MR2
03-16-2013, 17:45
Don't get in any gun fights with buffalo hunters. There ain't no such thing as cover.

Did someone say Beowulf?

alelks
03-16-2013, 19:45
LOL, I love his last comment:

Moral of this lesson:
Don't get in any gun fights with buffalo hunters. There ain't no such thing as cover.

And that's why I have a 308 Larue instead of a 5.56. :lifter

Why go through the door when you can shoot through the walls?

Razor
03-23-2013, 00:39
I think I had read or watched something like this regarding armored vehicles, regarding vehicles armored to withstand weapons like AR-15s, where they'll have say two layers of armor, spaced apart at certain areas, so if the projectile does manage to penetrate the first layer, if it's the type that loses energy quickly, the second layer will stop it.

That concept applies to much larger projectiles, too.