The AR15.Com Ammo Oracle

History and Basic Design of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Performance of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Terminal Performance of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

.223 and 5.56 Ammunition Testing

Selection of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Ammunition recommendations from the authors of the AR15.com Ammo-Oracle.

Purchase and Storage of .223 and 5.56 Ammunition.

Legal questions.

Miscellaneous .223, 5.56 and Other Ammunition Questions.

Ammo Oracle

Q. What if I want more punch? What should I move up to from 5.56mm?

If you are looking for more effective terminal performance you probably have to move up to 7.62 NATO or a 12ga shotgun. In 12ga, the Choke #00 "Precision Bonded" Buckshot appears to be among the best performers. Brenneke slugs are a good choice when penetration through intermediate barriers is required. Moving up to a 16-18" rifle chambered for 7.62 NATO might be a good alternative--as long as ammunition is carefully selected for optimal performance. In 7.62 NATO, the bullets with the best terminal performance include plastic tip bullets such as the 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and 155 gr Hornady AMAX (they have dramatic fragmentation and usually maintain 13-15" of penetration in gel testing), as well as the 165 gr Sierra GameKing softpoint. Obviously, any of these combinations will be better for defeating barriers--particularly windscreen autoglass--than 5.56 mm, and accordingly should be more carefully deployed with an eye towards indoor overpenetration.


5.56 LC'00 (left) and 7.62 NATO Hirt (Right)