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Posted: 3/11/2006 8:54:15 PM EDT
I puchased my first rifle(AR-15 .223) less than a month ago and have put about 400 rounds through it. The rifle is accurate and reliable and i think well balanced for self defence.
I bought the ar-15 mostly for self defence purposes, and feel i have made a mistake on cal. selection. there are a lot forums out there stating how ineffective the .223 cal. has been and is in vietnam and the iraqi war.It seems every one favors .308 and 7.76mm for better kill ratio.

Does anybody here have any first hand experiance with the .223 cal in defence or combat?
Does the ineffectiveness of the .233 cal have to do wih the type of ammo used?
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 8:56:12 PM EDT
87 to 1
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 8:58:23 PM EDT
be prepared for a shitstorm pissing contest

The 308 is a more effective cartridge , however at normal combat ranges 223 is plenty effective it just does not shine shooting through things like walls etc
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:02:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By trojman:
I bought the ar-15 mostly for self defence purposes, and feel i have made a mistake on cal. selection.



For self-defense, a AR rifle is awesome. Inside fragmentation range, the 5.56x45 round will really fuck someone up, and while the 7.62x51 will pack more "punch" for penetration through wood/metal/etc. both are devastating against people inside 100 yards.

In fact, a lot of data on "wound cavities" etc suggest that the 5.56 is particularly effective, and may easily be as good as a 7.62x51 round.



there are a lot forums out there stating how ineffective the .223 cal. has been and is in vietnam and the iraqi war.It seems every one favors .308 and 7.76mm for better kill ratio.



Yeah - a lot of that is intenet bullshit, spewed by people who have no real idea what they are talking about. Some of it is true, in terms of the penetrative power and range of the 7.62x51 over the 5.56x45 - but that's largerly irrlevant from "defensive" purposes inside 100 yards

Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:04:36 PM EDT






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Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:07:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JL7:
87 to 1



Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:09:01 PM EDT
Kill Ratio What kind of internet B.S. term is that?

If you're interested in the study of terminal ballistics. There are some great starter articles posted at the top of the Ammunition forum. The articles are by Dr. Fackler the father of modern terminal ballistics study. You can also get a good start (particularly on the 5.56 cartridge) by reading The Ammo Oracle
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:12:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By trojman:
I puchased my first rifle(AR-15 .223) less than a month ago and have put about 400 rounds through it. The rifle is accurate and reliable and i think well balanced for self defence.
I bought the ar-15 mostly for self defence purposes, and feel i have made a mistake on cal. selection. there are a lot forums out there stating how ineffective the .223 cal. has been and is in vietnam and the iraqi war.It seems every one favors .308 and 7.76mm for better kill ratio.

Does anybody here have any first hand experiance with the .223 cal in defence or combat?
Does the ineffectiveness of the .233 cal have to do wih the type of ammo used?



If you are inside the frag range of 5.56 expect to get fucked up worse than M80 7.62 NATO ball could ever do.

Outside of frag range 5.56 can still rip through vitals down to 12" and make swiss of skull bone passed 500 yards.

7.62 NATO has the edge in barrier penetration and more energy down range which makes it less prone to be thrown off course by wind, branches, and such.

Personally I think the 7.62 NATO is an outdated round. I can beat it in every way with .338 LAPUA for range and barrier penetration. If I dont need those things than the 5.56 gets the job done.

I would only buy a .308 (7.62 NATO) to use in an M1A. Other than that .338 LAPUA and 5.56 are my combo
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:23:30 PM EDT
.338 Lapua is one of the best long range rounds available, it will probably be the first caliber I buy once I finally start reloading. However, I think that's comparing apples to oranges because .338 Lapua requires a longer action and all around heavier rifle than a .308, and this is presuming we're only talking about bolt actions. He may've been talking about FALs, G3, AR-10, etc.

Here's my take on things- within 100 yds consider the target dead no matter whether you shoot it with a 5.56 or 7.62. Beyond that range and I'm amazed at the lack of clear and convincing scientific evidence in the field of ballistics in that there is data to support the effectiveness of each round over the other. It just depends on who you listen to and which reports you read.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 9:36:39 PM EDT
Assuming fragmenting/expanding ammo for either round, and assuming a solid torso/head hit:

One will you VERY dead (5.56x45)

The other will kill you even deader (.308)

There is no such thing as "kill ratios" between .223 and .308. And considering that they are used in different platforms the comparison would be meaningless. The armed forces use the 5.56x45 in light machine guns and rifles/carbines. The 7.62x51 is used in medium-to-heavy machine guns (M240 and miniguns) and in sniping rifles (M21 and M40). The vast majority of people shot with 7.62x51 will be with the M240, and with a fire rate of up to 900 rpm, that person is gonna die.

IF the armed forces fielded M14 to the regular infantryman in the same numbers as the M16, and both were used in the same conditions, then maybe a better comparison about the effectiveness of either could be made. As it is, it's meaningless, since it's comparing apples to kiwis.

The U.S.A saw what the 5.56x45 round did to the Vietnamese, and decided to stick with it.
The soviets saw what the 5.56x45 round did to the Vietnamese, and changed from 7.62x39 to 5.45x39.
Every other "civilized" country that can afford it, has changed from 7.62x51 to 5.56x45.
The round has been used for shooting people throughout the entire planet for over 40 years.

Wonder why?
It's lethal enough.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 10:12:58 PM EDT
.308
5.56

Hmm.....after careful consideration I have decided to give the following advice: don't get hit by either, it would be bad. I get this gut feeling that your weekend will go south if either of these rounds goes through you.

5.56 and .308 have both killed enough people to fill several large states, so let's leave it at that.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 10:15:51 PM EDT
I have been asked the question of "is the 223 an effective combat round" since the early 60's. Since then, my answer has always been pretty much the same...

Look at it like this,

The 308 is a better round, bigger, more effective, more powerful, and with greater range.

The 7mm Magnum is better than a 308.

The 300 Mag is bigger and even better than a 7.

The 338 Lapua is twice as powerful as a 300 mag, and...

The 50 BMG is 10 times more powerful than all of them.

With my little 223 carbine...in less than 10 seconds, I can put 10 rounds into a pie plate at any distance within 600 yards.

If you learn basic marksmanship skills you can learn to do the same. This little rifle can do it's part...can you do yours?

When you can...pick whatever rifle you want to, and you will be very well armed with it!

TC
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:50:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 1:51:20 AM EDT by ColSanders]

Originally Posted By trojman:
there are a lot forums out there stating how ineffective the .223 cal. has been and is in vietnam and the iraqi war.



The .223 is very effective. The Russians liked it so much they tried to design a similar round to it and they have stuck with it.

Don't let a couple of internet commandos scare you about choosing a rifle in this caliber. It's arguably one of the best CQC rounds out there and it has many other upsides as well. Learn how to shoot it and you will be fine.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:09:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TopCatUS:
I have been asked the question of "is the 223 an effective combat round" since the early 60's. Since then, my answer has always been pretty much the same...

Look at it like this,

The 308 is a better round, bigger, more effective, more powerful, and with greater range.

The 7mm Magnum is better than a 308.

The 300 Mag is bigger and even better than a 7.

The 338 Lapua is twice as powerful as a 300 mag, and...

The 50 BMG is 10 times more powerful than all of them.

With my little 223 carbine...in less than 10 seconds, I can put 10 rounds into a pie plate at any distance within 600 yards.

If you learn basic marksmanship skills you can learn to do the same. This little rifle can do it's part...can you do yours?

When you can...pick whatever rifle you want to, and you will be very well armed with it!

TC



You can also shoot a whole hell of a lot more 5.56 than you can 7.62x51. More trigger time means you have the potential to be very accurate . Also since the 5.56 has lighter recoil, faster follow up shots are guaranteed!

So 2 x 5.56 = 11.12MM That's like getting shot with a .44cal.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:20:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By trojman:
I bought the ar-15 mostly for self defence purposes, and feel i have made a mistake on cal. selection.



For self-defense, a AR rifle is awesome. Inside fragmentation range, the 5.56x45 round will really fuck someone up, and while the 7.62x51 will pack more "punch" for penetration through wood/metal/etc. both are devastating against people inside 100 yards.

In fact, a lot of data on "wound cavities" etc suggest that the 5.56 is particularly effective, and may easily be as good as a 7.62x51 round.



there are a lot forums out there stating how ineffective the .223 cal. has been and is in vietnam and the iraqi war.It seems every one favors .308 and 7.76mm for better kill ratio.



Yeah - a lot of that is intenet bullshit, spewed by people who have no real idea what they are talking about. Some of it is true, in terms of the penetrative power and range of the 7.62x51 over the 5.56x45 - but that's largerly irrlevant from "defensive" purposes inside 100 yards




+1, and if you hit vital organs, it doesn't matter what caliber you use. It is important to note that only a hit to the brain (specifically the brain stem) or upper spinal cord is the only guaranteed way to get an immediate stop. The brain stem controls motor functions and breathing, and disruption of those things will always put somebody down. Hitting the spinal cord will sever the connection between the brain and the rest of the body, achieving the same result. Hits to the heart and lungs are acceptable, but will not incapacitate as quickly as a CNS hit. Hits elsewhere on the body are unlikely to do the job, regardless of caliber or ammunition type. Ideally, you'd want to shoot M193 55 grain ball because it fragments more rapidly than M855 ball. Stay away from cheapo ball, such as Wolf, because that stuff doesn't fragment at all due to the thickness of the bullet jacket. Also, the ammo oracle is your friend.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:35:00 AM EDT
So,the 223 VS 308 debate continues.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 3:59:54 AM EDT
There's always the option to use hollow point or other sooper-dooper cop-killing, armor piercing, playground seeking, developed for law enforcement, rounds. (i.e. TAP, Winchester Ranger, etc)
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:10:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BaronFitz:
There's always the option to use hollow point or other sooper-dooper cop-killing, armor piercing, playground seeking, developed for law enforcement, rounds. (i.e. TAP, Winchester Ranger, etc)


Or simple, pointed soft point expanding bullets, which hunters have been using for now over 100 years.

I wonder why expanding bullets were banned from military use by international agreements? Could it be because they work too well?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:29:23 AM EDT
What all of the above folks are missing is that as you walk around your house defending it-as you should-you can carry many more rounds of .223. In Vietnam the average soldier carred 540 rounds. Many carried 1000 and a few that had ran out of ammo in fire fights carred as many as 2000 although that is only a rumor.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:42:45 AM EDT
Your .223 is fine for self defense. Go buy ANOTHER AR in 308 if you want. why? because I like to spend other peeps money. 308 would be better if you go hunting say deer or larger game. you plan on needing long range self defense shots. won't have noncombatants on the other side of the wall. for the added power you get from the 308 you also get more recoil and muzzle flip, more cost, usually more wieght to carry around.

certainly go buy some Hornady TAP ammo with the 75 gr for your 223. keep it in a loaded mag near your rifle you will be ready if the SHTF.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:44:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 9:55:56 AM EDT by txgp17]

Originally Posted By trojman:
Does the ineffectiveness of the .233 cal have to do wih the type of ammo used?

This factor plays a role in every caliber from .22 LR to 50 BMG, although not as much with the 50 BMG.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:11:38 AM EDT
Everyone one know the bigger the round, the more deadly.

Why in the Civil War, with .45, .50, .58 caliber, rifles were so deadly, that if you hit a guy, ANYWHERE, it not only killed him but at least two people near him.

In WW-I, in order to give everyone a sporting chance, they downsized the rounds to .30 cal. This meant that the rounds were so big that they instantly killed the person they hit, but not anyone near them. That's why trenches were used in WW-I and not the Civil War.............................

In WW-II, the first war where there were signifigant numbers of wounded............... Waht they don't tell you is it was because of 9mm, .45, .30 carbine, and 7.92 Kurz. .30-06, 8mm and .303 still continued to kill every person it hit.

They only switched to 5.56 in Vietnam, because they were planning on flooding N Vietnam with wounded, and we know all about medical costs....................

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:18:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 5:23:19 AM EDT by VAhunter]
Originally Posted By wildturkey:
308 would be better if you go hunting say deer or larger game.
you plan on needing long range self defense shots.

My friend, if you find yourself taking long-range self defense shots, you might as well call up Club Fed and make reservations because you are going to be there for a long, long time. Castle Doctrine or no, it's hard to make a claim that there was an imminent threat on your life when you're picking off "bad guys" from 500 yards.

That said, for any realistic purpose, .223 will be just fine. If you're really that concerned go spend $200 for a Mossberg pump and some 00 Buckshot...that's home defense.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:25:26 AM EDT
There are too many variables in terminal ballistics to definitively say 5.56 is greater than 7.62x51. That being said, at distances under 300 meters*the likely maximum distance of combat to occur* 5.56 ball rounds will exhibit better terminal performance than 7.62x51 M80 rounds. M855 has better penetration and lethality than 7.62x51 M80 inside its fragmentation envelope. As long as M193/M855 or defensive JHP rounds fragment, they will remain more lethal/more effective that 7.62x51 M80 ball. A fragmenting 7.62x51 round, like that used by West Germany

will be more effective....Im sure you can figure this out for yourself. Again, 168grn TAP or similar defensive JHP rounds in 7.62x51 will offer superior performance than 5.56 rounds, again this should be self explanintory. While defensive 7.62x51 rounds like Hornady TAP will have more lethality potential than certain 5.56, the cost, weight and recoil can be limiting factors in real combat situations. Like I said, this can be, and has been discussed at naseum with no definitive conclusions as most arguments rely on speculation or bias. There are too many variables to make a definitive conclusion. That being said, M193 and M855 5.56x45 rounds offer superior lethality when compared to 7.62x51 M80 ball inside thier respective fragmentation envelopes. Outside of the fragmentation envelopes and past 300 yards and 7.62x51 is superior, as it is against barriers....so, short answer 5.56 M855/M193 is a more effective short/medium range round than 7.62x51 M80 ball.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:32:02 AM EDT
What it all really comes down to is what you mean by 'Defense Purposes'

If you live on a ranch or compound and your defense purpose is shooting at marauders surrounding you out past 300m, I would choose 7.62 (probably with some sort of scope)
If you mean defending against attacking hordes out in your yard (and you don't have access to an M-60 or M-249) I would choose the 5.56 w/lots of 30rd magazines.
If you mean defending yourself from a lone attacker/burglar inside your house, then I think the choice depends where you live. I live in Texas on 10 acres... way in the back... no one is coming on my property and into my house by accident. I would have no problem using my AR.
If I lived in the city and in an apartment, I don't think I would want to chance a rifle of any type 5.56 or 7.62 shooting through walls hitting innocent people. So I would choose a pistol or something with less penetration.

I think a lot depends on what you are 'defending' yourself against.

As for the ineffectiveness of the 5.56mm .... I notice a LOT of armies around the world have adopted the 5.56mm and if you look close at the photo's/video's of the spokespeople of our enemies, I notice most if not all usually have a rifle propped up behind them which appears to be based on the 5.45mm round.

Just my 2 cents.....

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:37:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ChuckD:
What all of the above folks are missing is that as you walk around your house defending it-as you should-you can carry many more rounds of .223. In Vietnam the average soldier carred 540 rounds. Many carried 1000 and a few that had ran out of ammo in fire fights carred as many as 2000 although that is only a rumor.



That's 27 20-round magazines or 18 30-round magazines. I find this highly doubtful, as the basic combat load today is 6 30-round mags with 6 more in reserve. That gives 180 rounds ready in the vest, with 180 more carried in the pack. The magazine pouches used in Vietnam held 3 mags each, two pouches was the norm, four was the max, making 240 (20-round mags) or 360 (30-round mags) more realistic. It wouldn't make sense for troops 40 years ago to have carried more ammo than troops today, especially when we're talking about a loadout that really hasn't changed much.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:45:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 5:48:27 AM EDT by VAhunter]

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Everyone one know the bigger the round, the more deadly.

Why in the Civil War, with .45, .50, .58 caliber, rifles were so deadly, that if you hit a guy, ANYWHERE, it not only killed him but at least two people near him.

In WW-I, in order to give everyone a sporting chance, they downsized the rounds to .30 cal. This meant that the rounds were so big that they instantly killed the person they hit, but not anyone near them. That's why trenches were used in WW-I and not the Civil War.............................

In WW-II, the first war where there were signifigant numbers of wounded............... Waht they don't tell you is it was because of 9mm, .45, .30 carbine, and 7.92 Kurz. .30-06, 8mm and .303 still continued to kill every person it hit.

They only switched to 5.56 in Vietnam, because they were planning on flooding N Vietnam with wounded, and we know all about medical costs....................





<--- Never was this more appropriate.

In the Civil War you died if hit because of the unsophisticated medical care. You get shot, wound gets infected or they can't stop the bleeding, you die. Furthermore, unless you're saying that all Civil War bullets overpenetrated (penetration of three bodies??), it makes no sense to say what you did. You can't possibly make the claim that CIVIL WAR rifles are more deadly than the M16/AR-15 platform. If that were so, I think we'd see some soldiers in Iraq sporting flintlock rifles.

I suppose that, in order to give everyone a fighting chance in WWI, they also developed tanks, poisonous gases, machine guns, and combat airplanes? As to the trenches claim, it's just wrong and doesn't even make any sense. Trenches developed, among other reasons, because machine guns and mortars created a stalemate requiring each side to dig in its heels.

Furthermore, the claim about more casualties/wounded in WWII is patently false. And even if it were true, it wouldn't be attributable to "weaker calibers." WWI was basically generals sending out entire regiments to charge machine gun nests; of course, they all got mowed down. Consequently, millions died in WWI, decimating the population of Europe to a far greater extent that WWII. WWII, for the most part, did not indulge such foolish tactics to the same extent.

Finally, in re: Vietnam, again this simply makes no sense. Show us one document that says that the intent of the U.S. operations in Vietnam was to merely "flood the country with wounded." The U.S. went to Vietnam to kill VC, not to just wound a bunch of them and then turn tail and leave. It may look this way in hindsight, after political pressure (damn hippies) forced the U.S. to leave, but it certainly wasn't the intent going in. Though Americans took huge casualties in Vietnam, the VC took significantly more...you can thank 5.56 for that.

The fact is you have to consider the whole picture. It'd be great if every soldier could carry .50BMGs and decimate everything that threatened them. But there has to be a balance b/w weight, rate of fire, accuracy, penetration, and tons of other factors. Though a 30-06 bolt-action springfield might shoot through steel manhole covers, a 5.56 to the chest will still ruin your day/week/life.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:46:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 5:47:32 AM EDT by OLY-M4gery]

Originally Posted By VAhunter:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Everyone one know the bigger the round, the more deadly.

Why in the Civil War, with .45, .50, .58 caliber, rifles were so deadly, that if you hit a guy, ANYWHERE, it not only killed him but at least two people near him.

In WW-I, in order to give everyone a sporting chance, they downsized the rounds to .30 cal. This meant that the rounds were so big that they instantly killed the person they hit, but not anyone near them. That's why trenches were used in WW-I and not the Civil War.............................

In WW-II, the first war where there were signifigant numbers of wounded............... Waht they don't tell you is it was because of 9mm, .45, .30 carbine, and 7.92 Kurz. .30-06, 8mm and .303 still continued to kill every person it hit.

They only switched to 5.56 in Vietnam, because they were planning on flooding N Vietnam with wounded, and we know all about medical costs....................





<--- Never was this more appropriate.

In the Civil War you died if hit because of the unsophisticated medical care. You get shot, wound gets infected or they can't stop the bleeding, you die. Furthermore, unless you're saying that all Civil War bullets overpenetrated (penetration of three bodies??), it makes no sense to say what you did. You can't possibly make the claim that CIVIL WAR rifles are more deadly than the M16/AR-15 platform. If that were so, I think we'd see some soldiers in Iraq sporting flintlock rifles.

I suppose that, in order to give everyone a fighting chance in WWI, they also developed tanks, poisonous gases, machine guns, and combat airplanes? As to the trenches claim, it's just wrong and doesn't even make any sense. Trenches developed, among other reasons, because machine guns and mortars created a stalemate requiring each side to dig in its heels.

Furthermore, the claim about more casualties/wounded in WWII is patently false. And even if it were true, it wouldn't be attributable to "weaker calibers." WWI was basically generals sending out entire regiments to charge machine gun nests; of course, they all got mowed down. Consequently, millions died in WWI, decimating the population of Europe to a far greater extent that WWII. WWII, for the most part, did not indulge such foolish tactics to the same extent.

Finally, in re: Vietnam, again this simply makes no sense. Show us one document that says that the intent of the U.S. operations in Vietnam was to merely "flood the country with wounded." The U.S. went to Vietnam to kill VC, not to just wound a bunch of them and then turn tail and leave. Though Americans took huge casualties in Vietnam, the VC took significantly more...you can thank 5.56 for that.

The fact is you have to consider the whole picture. It'd be great if every soldier could carry around .50BMGs and decimate everything that threatened them. But there has to be a balance b/w weight, rate of fire, accuracy, penetration, and tons of other factors. Though a 30-06 bolt-action springfield might shoot through steel manhole covers, a 5.56 to the chest will still ruin your day/week/life.



I'll take not getting it for $2000 Alex...................................... What is sarcasm?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:57:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Originally Posted By VAhunter:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Everyone one know the bigger the round, the more deadly.

Why in the Civil War, with .45, .50, .58 caliber, rifles were so deadly, that if you hit a guy, ANYWHERE, it not only killed him but at least two people near him.

In WW-I, in order to give everyone a sporting chance, they downsized the rounds to .30 cal. This meant that the rounds were so big that they instantly killed the person they hit, but not anyone near them. That's why trenches were used in WW-I and not the Civil War.............................

In WW-II, the first war where there were signifigant numbers of wounded............... Waht they don't tell you is it was because of 9mm, .45, .30 carbine, and 7.92 Kurz. .30-06, 8mm and .303 still continued to kill every person it hit.

They only switched to 5.56 in Vietnam, because they were planning on flooding N Vietnam with wounded, and we know all about medical costs....................





<--- Never was this more appropriate.

In the Civil War you died if hit because of the unsophisticated medical care. You get shot, wound gets infected or they can't stop the bleeding, you die. Furthermore, unless you're saying that all Civil War bullets overpenetrated (penetration of three bodies??), it makes no sense to say what you did. You can't possibly make the claim that CIVIL WAR rifles are more deadly than the M16/AR-15 platform. If that were so, I think we'd see some soldiers in Iraq sporting flintlock rifles.

I suppose that, in order to give everyone a fighting chance in WWI, they also developed tanks, poisonous gases, machine guns, and combat airplanes? As to the trenches claim, it's just wrong and doesn't even make any sense. Trenches developed, among other reasons, because machine guns and mortars created a stalemate requiring each side to dig in its heels.

Furthermore, the claim about more casualties/wounded in WWII is patently false. And even if it were true, it wouldn't be attributable to "weaker calibers." WWI was basically generals sending out entire regiments to charge machine gun nests; of course, they all got mowed down. Consequently, millions died in WWI, decimating the population of Europe to a far greater extent that WWII. WWII, for the most part, did not indulge such foolish tactics to the same extent.

Finally, in re: Vietnam, again this simply makes no sense. Show us one document that says that the intent of the U.S. operations in Vietnam was to merely "flood the country with wounded." The U.S. went to Vietnam to kill VC, not to just wound a bunch of them and then turn tail and leave. Though Americans took huge casualties in Vietnam, the VC took significantly more...you can thank 5.56 for that.

The fact is you have to consider the whole picture. It'd be great if every soldier could carry around .50BMGs and decimate everything that threatened them. But there has to be a balance b/w weight, rate of fire, accuracy, penetration, and tons of other factors. Though a 30-06 bolt-action springfield might shoot through steel manhole covers, a 5.56 to the chest will still ruin your day/week/life.



I'll take not getting it for $2000 Alex...................................... What is sarcasm?



Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:58:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fnforme:
.338 Lapua is one of the best long range rounds available, it will probably be the first caliber I buy once I finally start reloading. However, I think that's comparing apples to oranges because .338 Lapua requires a longer action and all around heavier rifle than a .308, and this is presuming we're only talking about bolt actions. He may've been talking about FALs, G3, AR-10, etc.

Here's my take on things- within 100 yds consider the target dead no matter whether you shoot it with a 5.56 or 7.62. Beyond that range and I'm amazed at the lack of clear and convincing scientific evidence in the field of ballistics in that there is data to support the effectiveness of each round over the other. It just depends on who you listen to and which reports you read.




You're high!

.50 BMG is much better for long range work!

Of course, no one listened to me, but the best long range weapon that should have been used in Afganistan was an ICBM!
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:44:30 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:29:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 8:12:19 AM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By TopCatUS:
With my little 223 carbine...in less than 10 seconds, I can put 10 rounds into a pie plate at any distance within 600 yards.

If you learn basic marksmanship skills you can learn to do the same. This little rifle can do it's part...can you do yours?





You can hit an 8" target at 600 yards with 10 rounds in 10 seconds?

Wow. That's amazing.


What type of rifle/barrel/trigger/optics are you doing that with, out of curiosity?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 8:10:56 AM EDT
5.56 is MORE effective inside 200 yrds.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:34:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By TopCatUS:
With my little 223 carbine...in less than 10 seconds, I can put 10 rounds into a pie plate at any distance within 600 yards.

If you learn basic marksmanship skills you can learn to do the same. This little rifle can do it's part...can you do yours?





You can hit an 8" target at 600 yards with 10 rounds in 10 seconds?

Wow. That's amazing.


What type of rifle/barrel/trigger/optics are you doing that with, out of curiosity?



He's using the Counterstrike-gery commando special, of course. Those rock.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:43:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TopCatUS:
I have been asked the question of "is the 223 an effective combat round" since the early 60's. Since then, my answer has always been pretty much the same...

Look at it like this,

The 308 is a better round, bigger, more effective, more powerful, and with greater range.

The 7mm Magnum is better than a 308.

The 300 Mag is bigger and even better than a 7.

The 338 Lapua is twice as powerful as a 300 mag, and...

The 50 BMG is 10 times more powerful than all of them.

With my little 223 carbine...in less than 10 seconds, I can put 10 rounds into a pie plate at any distance within 600 yards.

If you learn basic marksmanship skills you can learn to do the same. This little rifle can do it's part...can you do yours?

When you can...pick whatever rifle you want to, and you will be very well armed with it!

TC



+1
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:18:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KevinB:
Actually in an anti personnel system .338LM is a better choice.

But this is a great thread for rivalling the stupidest thread ever...



Depends on your application. It is indeed good for sniping at ranges in excess of 800 yards, and it is a better round from that distance on up than .308. The .338 Lapua was intended to fit in neatly between .308 and .50 BMG and to provide better extreme long range ballistics than .308. Either one will do the job given a competent marksman, targets aren't any more/less dead when shot with .338 as opposed to .308.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:20:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 20iner:
5.56 is MORE effective inside 200 yrds.



Yes, when compared to standard US M80 Ball. West German 7.62 Ball (it fragments) as well as JHP and JSP rounds, however, will likely perform better at the expence of increased recoil, increased weapon weight and decreased magazine capacity/ammunition supply.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 3:41:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:

The U.S.A saw what the 5.56x45 round did to the Vietnamese, and decided to stick with it.
The soviets saw what the 5.56x45 round did to the Vietnamese, and changed from 7.62x39 to 5.45x39.
Every other "civilized" country that can afford it, has changed from 7.62x51 to 5.56x45.
The round has been used for shooting people throughout the entire planet for over 40 years.

Wonder why?
It's lethal enough.



I don't think that last argument is a big endorsement for the 5.56x45 round in defensive use.

1.Many countries changed over to 5.56x45 because we gave them a crap load of M16s so they could fight against guys getting a crap load of AKs shooting 7.62x39.

2. Most people in this world are not as big as the average North American or European and thus lessen recoil of the 5.56x45, compared to the 7.62x51, is very desirable.

3. The cost of manufacturing the 5.56x45 is less than 7.62x51. This is an important consideration when the raw materials are bought off the world market. Thus it makes sense to go with a less expensive round.

4. Firing the 5.56x45 in burst or full auto is much more controllable than firing either the 7.62x39 or 7.62x51.

5. More rounds can be carried in 5.56x45 than 7.62x39 or 7.62x51 for a given weight.

Those are the main reasons I believe that the various governments are going to the 5.56x45 round. Do they all make sense for a person who is limited to a semi automatic rifle? I don't think so.

First I don't see the US giving away 5.56x45 rifles to private individuals, or at least not me. Oh they ISSUE them but you can't take your M16 home with you after you leave. PD and Government agencies don't count because the rifles remain the property of the PD or Government agency so they aren't yours.

The second, third and fifth reasons are valid for most of us I think. I appreciate occasional hard recoil form certain firearms, like firing a .68 caliber blackpowder enfield rifle, but for most of use I think less recoil means for range time and more accuracy. Also since the 5.56x45 round uses less material to make it is generally cheaper to acquire.

As for anyone who goes to the range for the day can attest, we carry alot of gear with us when we go. Even if it is just targets, rifle and ammo it adds up. Add it a spotting scope, chrono, rests, something to drink or eat, etc... and anyway to save weight comes into being. So yes the weight of ammo is a consideration.

The fourth reason though doesn't apply to most of us. Though most of us could get a Class 3 weapon, feeding it would just be too cost prohibitive. The other thing is since we aren't likely to have a selective fire weapon means we can't just burst someone to put them down.

The various test shows that m193 and m855 have incredible fragmenting abilities within 200 yds, if they fragment. By if I mean if you have m193 or M855 but many people buy cheap ammo so they can shoot and keep the good stuff at home. Thus we have a variety of 55gr and 62gr bullets that may or may not fragment like the US military rounds. A particular one is the British 5.56 which is underpowered for use in their SA80.

So for the possibility of a non fragmenting bullet most European armies train their soldiers to use multiple rounds to ensure incapacitation. I happen to think this makes sense in the preferred European rounds of 9x19 and the UK's 5.56x45. So what is left is a 5.56x45 that MUST fragment to cause severe trauma in an individual round.

Does this mean that the 7.62x51 is the be all and end all of defensive rounds? No but For a non expanding non fragmenting round I would choose a .30 hole over a .22 caliber hole.

In the end it comes down to shot placement, cover penetration and projectile momentum. Given that I think that a 7.62x51mm round is more effective than a non fragmenting 5.56x45 round. Just get one of each and you'll be covered. So far I have the M1A , an AK and a HBAR. Oh lets not forget for the truly unrelenting zombie coming up the stairs..... .68caliber blackpowder enfield. If nothing else the muzzle report should blow them out of my house. :)
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:22:49 PM EDT
Human or critter...., shot placement is everything!

All you gotta' do is let the air out of em'!!!


For Collateral Damage, the 7.62 x whatever would most likely cause more damage on marginal hits!!
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:19:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bob1984:

Originally Posted By ChuckD:
What all of the above folks are missing is that as you walk around your house defending it-as you should-you can carry many more rounds of .223. In Vietnam the average soldier carred 540 rounds. Many carried 1000 and a few that had ran out of ammo in fire fights carred as many as 2000 although that is only a rumor.



That's 27 20-round magazines or 18 30-round magazines. I find this highly doubtful, as the basic combat load today is 6 30-round mags with 6 more in reserve. That gives 180 rounds ready in the vest, with 180 more carried in the pack. The magazine pouches used in Vietnam held 3 mags each, two pouches was the norm, four was the max, making 240 (20-round mags) or 360 (30-round mags) more realistic. It wouldn't make sense for troops 40 years ago to have carried more ammo than troops today, especially when we're talking about a loadout that really hasn't changed much.





Mostly correct except that most troops carry at least 7 mags because one is in the rifle. Troops do carry more but not 18 that I've seen.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:54:44 PM EDT


I'm assuming (maybe I shouldn't) your talking home defense, if so, an M4 is a lot more maneuverable in a house than a big ass AR10.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:08:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By trojman:
I puchased my first rifle(AR-15 .223) less than a month ago and have put about 400 rounds through it. The rifle is accurate and reliable and i think well balanced for self defence.
I bought the ar-15 mostly for self defence purposes, and feel i have made a mistake on cal. selection. there are a lot forums out there stating how ineffective the .223 cal. has been and is in vietnam and the iraqi war.It seems every one favors .308 and 7.76mm for better kill ratio.

Does anybody here have any first hand experiance with the .223 cal in defence or combat?
Does the ineffectiveness of the .233 cal have to do wih the type of ammo used?



Forums are just that, forums...

To see where any .223 vs .308 argument comes from, look at weapons systems:

1) .308

.308 is used in the M240B (aka MAG-58) general purpose MG, the M-24 sniper rifle, and the USMC sniper rifle. While some units have re-activated M-14s for use as an SVD-type 'designated marksman weapon', these are a distinct minority of the .308 weapons in theatre

2) .223

Used in the M16, M4, and M-249. The most common round fired.

It should be noted that the AK 7.62mm cartridge has absolutely NOTHING in common with the US 7.62x51/.308. It is a slightly wider bullet (.311), a MUCH shorter cartridge (39mm vs 51mm), and a much weaker round than either 5.56 or .308.

However, light weight (62gr and lighter) 5.56 does have performance problems when fired from short barreled weapons (such as the M4)... Most of the '5.56 failure stories' (a) involve iron-sighted M4s, btw...

Also, it is important to notice that (1) M80 .308 ball has a history of weaker wound profiles than .308, and (2) Men have taken multiple 8mm, .308, and 7.62x54R hits, and lived to recieve medals for what they did AFTER they were shot. Drug-addled criminals have taken multiple 12GA SLUG hits from police weapons, and continued to resist.

Accuracy, range, velocity, capacity, and controlability (low recoil) are far more important in a combat cartridge than caliber....
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:16:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 6:27:28 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:
Assuming fragmenting/expanding ammo for either round, and assuming a solid torso/head hit:

One will you VERY dead (5.56x45)

The other will kill you even deader (.308)

There is no such thing as "kill ratios" between .223 and .308. And considering that they are used in different platforms the comparison would be meaningless. The armed forces use the 5.56x45 in light machine guns and rifles/carbines. The 7.62x51 is used in medium-to-heavy machine guns (M240 and miniguns) and in sniping rifles (M21 and M40). The vast majority of people shot with 7.62x51 will be with the M240, and with a fire rate of up to 900 rpm, that person is gonna die.

IF the armed forces fielded M14 to the regular infantryman in the same numbers as the M16, and both were used in the same conditions, then maybe a better comparison about the effectiveness of either could be made. As it is, it's meaningless, since it's comparing apples to kiwis.

The U.S.A saw what the 5.56x45 round did to the Vietnamese, and decided to stick with it.
The soviets saw what the 5.56x45 round did to the Vietnamese, and changed from 7.62x39 to 5.45x39.
Every other "civilized" country that can afford it, has changed from 7.62x51 to 5.56x45.
The round has been used for shooting people throughout the entire planet for over 40 years.

Wonder why?
It's lethal enough.



+1...

As for the current state of 7.62mm-long, it's pretty universally a medium/general-purpose machinegun & sniper rifle round in this day and age... Both on FSU-pattern weapons and ours....

The recoil & weight of the cartridge makes it much more difficult to handle out of an individual weapon, and the weight & size reduce the number of rounds carried. Further, the penetration characteristics can be disadvantageous in certain individual-weapon deployments (MOUT)...

None of these things are an issue firing single aimed shots with a sniper rifle, and a round that is 'uncontrollable' out of a 9-10lb is deadly accurate out of a 26lb belt fed weapon ring-mounted to several tons of light truck, or attached to a 20-some-lb ground tripod, with the vehicle (or the other 2 soldiers on the gun crew) to carry the ammo....

Also, for all the weapon-analyzers out there, remember that the military does not arm Soldiers to go out and fight like Rambo... Alot of folks here allways think 'what round would I use if I was out there alone', and needed to (a) shoot people, (b) penetrate cover, (c) defeat vehicles, and (d) hunt for food...

From an Army perspective, they mass issue a weapon that is very good for shooting people. If you need to penetrate cover and/or defeat vehicles, then you have the AT4, M203, or you can call up a gun truck (M240, M2, Mk19) or an APC, tank, or if it's really bad just call fire.

Much more workable than trying to develop an 'everything rifle' and 'all purpose round'....
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:18:22 PM EDT
If you dump a 30rd clip through your .223 AR....and you still didn't drop the dude, a .308 wouldn't have helped you out at all.

I can not think of a self or home defense situation where 30rnds of .223 would not do the trick.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:20:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By imq707s:

I can not think of a self or home defense situation where 30rnds of .223 would not do the trick.



31 ninjas attacking your house?


j/k. I agree totally.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:21:03 PM EDT
I have zero complaints about the 5.56 in defensive action. If anyone thinks this round is not effective past its fragmentational range then volunteer to stand in front of me past that distance and let me fire one round at them. I guarantee if it dont kill em it will deffinately put them out of the fight and ruin their day. I think alot of the folks on this site overthink these things and forget that this is a bullet, a real live bullet, and reguardless of if it fragments or not, when it hits a body it is going to do damage, period. I have seen enough people killed with this bullet to know it works, so you can read whatever you want, or figure any fragment range or velocity this or twist rate that and I will still be able to effectivly put someone down with one at 600 plus meters, and that is just the fact of the matter. The 7.62X51 might be better but it doesnt realy matter at minute of dead. Learn to fight with what you got, even if it is a 22LR and you will be an effective killer on the battlefield.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:35:49 PM EDT
The 5.56 NATO is fine for a basic rifle platform. There is no argument that the 223 is lethal. The AR15 rifle is light and you can carry a lot of ammo. The AR15 is accurate also.

However this caliber is not designed for shooting thru walls or car doors. In this case the 30 caliber will shine!
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:39:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 6:40:26 PM EDT by DM1975]
Thats what they say but again, I would not in a million years want to test the theory out. I have seen the 5.56 go straight thru a car door and fuck up the guy driving, Seen them shot thru the grill and go thru and fuck up the occupants, same thing with walls. I know, the all knowing ones here say that it shouldnt happen but it does, and it will, true the 308 is better in this area but the 5.56 will still do it too.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:40:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RRA223:
The 5.56 NATO is fine for a basic rifle platform. There is no argument that the 223 is lethal. The AR15 rifle is light and you can carry a lot of ammo. The AR15 is accurate also.

However this caliber is not designed for shooting thru walls or car doors. In this case the 30 caliber will shine!



Between 6 M249s (still .223, but 24" barrel & belts with black-tip AP rounds can be carried) and 2-3 M240s per platoon ('basic' lt inf configuration) take care of that situation
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:58:30 PM EDT
For going through stuff I would take the .308 in a heartbeat.



Mine to be exact!
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:09:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By imq707s:

I can not think of a self or home defense situation where 30rnds of .223 would not do the trick.



31 ninjas attacking your house?


j/k. I agree totally.



31 ? What about that round in the chamber ? You guys DO carry 1 in the chamber and 30 in the mag, right ?
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