Which 5.56 ammo for defense?

calebibcalebib Senior MemberPosts: 1,701 Senior Member
I want to pick up some 5.56 ammo for home defense and would like some suggestions. I plan on buying a few different loads to evaluate for accuracy and function. I've used Hornady TAP 9mm in my CZ75 and it functions great and offers good accuracy so I want to try some of that for the AR as well.
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Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    The mag that's seated in my HD AR is full of 60gr TAP (AKA V-max)
    The spare mag mounted on the butt is full of the 62gr Mk318 Mod 0.
    I figure if 30 polymer tipped TAPS haven't resolved the situation, I probably need the enhanced barrier penetration the SOST round can give me
    Mk318Mod0.jpg?t=1245264523
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,829 Senior Member
    I use mostly the 60 grain V-Max, for all my .223 shooting...but then I am loading my own rifle ammo...
    if you're looking to pick something up at the store purely for SD/HD, I would recommend Hornady TAPs...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I use mostly the 60 grain V-Max, for all my .223 shooting...but then I am loading my own rifle ammo...
    if you're looking to pick something up at the store purely for SD/HD, I would recommend Hornady TAPs...

    :agree:
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    Sounds like the TAP has it. :win:
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,941 Senior Member
    No need for anything so exotic - the 55 grain Lake City/ Federal M193 or Winchester Q3131 FMJ loads will tumble and fragment today every bit as well as they did back in 1966. No sense in spending major bucks on the flavor of the week, IMO.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    No need for anything so exotic - the 55 grain Lake City/ Federal M193 or Winchester Q3131 FMJ loads will tumble and fragment today every bit as well as they did back in 1966. No sense in spending major bucks on the flavor of the week, IMO.

    Seriously? Full Metal Jacket? My friend, I love you and idolize you most of the time but THAT right there is absurd! Full metal jacket SUCKs in terminal performance compared to other stuff out there!
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I side with Bigslug on that one, during the Civil unrest and University student fomented riots of the 1980s in the Dominican Republic we were using 55 grain Lake city or SS109 ammo and it was good enough to do the job well.

    FMJ may suck at pistol velocities, but at rifle velocities it will devastate and tumble taking that man out of the fight at least.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I've seen differently. Sorry. Guess I feel like, if there are better options, why settle for less.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,978 Senior Member
    I am going to go with the advice, of those who have the understanding of bullet performance both from the past and what works well currently with the ability to compare the two.
    From a hunting perspective, bullet technology has made some big leaps.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    I saw the results of M193 a long time ago and it does work. I have never seen TAP on organic material but the ideas behind TAP's design regarding penetration and expansion (be it true or what) make TAP my choice. I do remember the new NATO spec load was designed with yaw in mind when in meets material to induce tumbling. Again both will do the job if we do ours BUT I worry about the possible results behind the intened target.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,889 Senior Member
    It does not matter as long as it functions resealable, BGs do not wear bullet proof vests.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,941 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Seriously? Full Metal Jacket? My friend, I love you and idolize you most of the time but THAT right there is absurd! Full metal jacket SUCKs in terminal performance compared to other stuff out there!

    :topic:What's absurd is 5.56 in place of 12 gauge for an HD round, but I figured I'd humor the lad.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    I saw the results of M193 a long time ago and it does work. I have never seen TAP on organic material but the ideas behind TAP's design regarding penetration and expansion (be it true or what) make TAP my choice. I do remember the new NATO spec load was designed with yaw in mind when in meets material to induce tumbling. Again both will do the job if we do ours BUT I worry about the possible results behind the intened target.

    This is similar to what I'm speaking of.

    I don't argue that the FMJ can kill. But we are talking HD or closer instances. I don't want to eventually stop the threat. I want it to stop NOW. Proximity dictates that the effect be fast and decisive. We hope that all rounds be perfectly placed. That doesn't always happen. Especially if you are moving at the time.

    Case in point. It took my team mate 9 rounds of FMJ to stop a bad guy at close range. The BG continued firing the entire time he was being hit and emptied a 6 shot revolver in the process. My team mate had to shoot and move the entire time he was placing shots as the BG was tracking him with the revolver and firing. The round that finally put the guy down was the one in the head.

    Granted the impacts on the BG ranged from his thigh, accross his abdomen and chest, to his shoulder, and finally the head. Fine, I don't expect the thigh and shoulder to be instantly fatal. Or even the abdomen for that matter. But the several that perforated the thoracic cavity should have ended it but they didn't.

    We were fortunate enough to see all the pictures and x-rays from the autopsy reporting. Saw the bullet paths and internal results. I was NOT impressed with the FMJ performance! Neither was my friend as he was being shot at the entire time wishing this guy would go down.

    This instance helped lead the way to better ammo with better terminal performance. We have not had a recurrance of the above poor performance with the current load. Granted, it's not the TAP round, but it is one that expands.

    For close in performance, such as a BG in your house in a life threatening situation.........I want something that expands fast and drastically disrupts the internal function of the threat.

    Just my view and experience. Your's may vary.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    :topic:What's absurd is 5.56 in place of 12 gauge for an HD round, but I figured I'd humor the lad.

    Now we're talking! Make it a slug and I'll kiss ya. :jester:
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,829 Senior Member
    Done a few necropsys on critters up to 160 pounds..I've seen the terminal performance of the V-Max. Essentially, the thing goes in and grenades...I'll take that kind of performance in a fight.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Done a few necropsys on critters up to 160 pounds..I've seen the terminal performance of the V-Max. Essentially, the thing goes in and grenades...I'll take that kind of performance in a fight.

    The bullet checks in ... and the BG checks out!
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    :topic:What's absurd is 5.56 in place of 12 gauge for an HD round, but I figured I'd humor the lad.

    Where exactly did I say that this would be a replacement for my 870 or my 1300 Defender? The AR is primarily a defensive/offensive weapon so why not have the best ammo available to use the gun for it's intended purpose if the situation presents itself, however much one may pray that it never happens?
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I would use a AR-15 for defense, it is handier and lighter than a shotgun and much easier to deploy, add a laser.

    And if it happens, so be it, I will be prepared.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • irondukeironduke Member Posts: 143 Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    The mag that's seated in my HD AR is full of 60gr TAP (AKA V-max)
    The spare mag mounted on the butt is full of the 62gr Mk318 Mod 0.
    I figure if 30 polymer tipped TAPS haven't resolved the situation, I probably need the enhanced barrier penetration the SOST round can give me
    Mk318Mod0.jpg?t=1245264523

    I don't want to change the subject, but what bullet is that? It looks like a BT TBBC with grooves. That is sexy!! Is the Pb bonded to the jacket? If so, that could become my new .224 cal hunting bullet.

    As far as the thread goes, i like the TAP ammo as well. I live in an apartment, and I don't want the danger of over penetration. I want lots of expansion with a soft bullet. I am even tinkering with loads that use the new breed of powdered core bullets to further reduce the chance that an errant shot will get to the next apartment.

    That being said, my primary HD tool is my Mossberg 590A1 12 ga. I've been shooting 00 buck, but I am looking to try some of Remington's HD loads that feature a mix of 4 and 2 shot to reduce over penetration. Along those same lines I would think a heavy turkey load would put a lot of steel on target, without shooting across the breeze way into my neighbor's apartment.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    ironduke wrote: »
    I don't want to change the subject, but what bullet is that? It's the SOST (Mk 318 Mod 0)

    Is the Pb bonded to the jacket? From folks who have cut one in half, it's NOT bonded
    I bought mine here, before they got stupid on the price
    http://www.palmettostatearmory.com/1433.php
    I still think it'd make a good hunting round for the 223. Loaded to the hotter 5.56 specs and that large sold base to ensure penetration
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,941 Senior Member
    calebib wrote: »
    The AR is primarily a defensive/offensive weapon so why not have the best ammo available to use the gun for it's intended purpose if the situation presents itself. . .?

    Keep in mind that I'm utterly bored with discussions of which HANDGUN round is best for defensive purposes - my stock answer being that if if penetrates deep enough, I'm pretty much good to go.

    When it comes to rifles and their higher impact velocities, I look at the grisly effects caused by the "obey the letter of the law and ignore the spirit" design of the modern military FMJ, and then I apply Josef Stalin's words of wisdom - Quantity has a quality all it's own. We generally don't lock and load a rifle in response to everyday bumps in the night, and the only reason we typically HAVE a rifle is to address situations of lawlessness over and above those solved by the removal of one felon from the gene pool. For that kind of immediate action plan, CASES of ammunition are far more comforting than BOXES. If you can afford TAP by the case, more power to you, but at 3200fps, travelling sideways, and then in multiple directions, M193 should be a far more economical way to create the same result.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    We generally don't lock and load a rifle in response to everyday bumps in the night, and the only reason we typically HAVE a rifle is to address situations of lawlessness over and above those solved by the removal of one felon from the gene pool.
    Speak for yourself Slug.:p
    My AR is EXACTLY what I reach for when something goes "bump in the night". If something makes enough of a disturbance to attract my attention, I want something with me that I KNOW can handle whatever the situation is.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "My AR is EXACTLY what I reach for when something goes "bump in the night".

    :agree:

    :win:
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,662 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Speak for yourself Slug.:p
    My AR is EXACTLY what I reach for when something goes "bump in the night".

    Agreed!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    Might not have a fancy name that evokes total body destruction , but what about good ol' Remington 55gr Core-Lokt soft points or Powr-Lokt hollow points?

    Several other brands offer 55gr soft points too.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=1339173831
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=366197
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=1601177543
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=2503181548
    "There are no victims , only volunteers!"
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,829 Senior Member
    Another thing to keep in mind regarding TAPs...quite a few LE agencies use them...this can be handy if you ever wind up defending yourself in court...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Good to know !

    Thanks !

    I tend to like anything that is fielded by a LEA, I agree that it is a better defense.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Zapp BraniganZapp Branigan Member Posts: 108 Member
    A 55 grain .223 bullet at 3200+ fps at close range will destroy anything or anyone you shoot.
    You are worrying over nothing.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,829 Senior Member
    A 55 grain .223 bullet at 3200+ fps at close range will destroy anything or anyone you shoot.
    You are worrying over nothing.

    Tanks? APCs? Oak Trees? Engine Blocks? Dude...it's a hot rod .22 not an artillery piece...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Tanks? APCs? Oak Trees? Engine Blocks?

    Maybe not, but the sound of the BCG in an AR slamming home will send the BG running like a Nancy boy.
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
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