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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/26/2005 4:19:26 PM EDT
Okay, I've kinda been stung by the AK bug for the last couple years, but recently got back into ARs and built an M4-gery that I'd really like to use for SHTF scenarios. There are lots of good reviews out there around Winchester, Federal / Lake City stuff, but are you using this as your SHTF load-out?

Honestly, I'm not sure I can see myself plunking down $12 boxes of Hornady TAP 55grain. I see some buying the 70+ grain stuff for $18 - ouch! By the time I buy 300 rounds of this my wallet is going to be really hurting. hinking.gif

To somewhat of a 5.56/.233 ammo newbie, what would you recommend for reasonably-priced Self Defense ammo? With the respect that Win Q3131A has gotten, I've pretty much decided that would be my choice for both defense and plinking. Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:33:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 6:34:28 PM EDT by 223-4me]
For SHTF I use Federal XM-193, but for home defense I use 75 grain Black hills ammo. If you really are serious about using your AR for a home defense role Skimping on ammo is generally not a good idea. XM-193/Q3131a is outperformed by all of the heavy otms, the 68-77 grainers, with the 77/55 grain rounds having the greatest edge.

But dont think XM-193/Q3131a isnt up to the task, both rounds are a great choice over other loadings(excluding heavy OTMs). Just think of it this way,if your life is on the line, dont you want the greatest advantage possible, if you look at it like that the extra few dollars dont seem that bad. I would avoid any Tap loadings under 75 grains. They tend to underpenetrate, as do most any light holow point loadings, which is bad, since they may not reliably reach the vitals, this includes the 55 grain tap you mentioned. Remember OTM is not hollow point, they act and fragment just like FMJ but just with better, and more reliable terminal performance.

A few 30 round mags of 75 grainers really dont cost that much, plus they give a greater piece of mind, but I do keep XM-193 on hand for SHTF as it can really add up once you start buying in the thousands.

Visit www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm for more info on the 5.56
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:09:24 PM EDT
I like to think of SHTF and home defense as two seperate things, though obviously a home invasion could be deemed a small scale SHTF situation itself.

But generally when I think of a real SHTF ordeal, that would involve some sort of regional or national emergency where an interruption in supplies and a break down of society be realized, possibly for an extended period of time. This is where M193 shines. It performs well, but is also afforable, meaning you can stock a large quantity of it.

Home defense on the other hand requires much less ammo. If you have 2-3 full mags worth of ammo and a bit for training from time to time, that's really all you need. There's no point in buying thousands of rounds for general home defense duties. Therefore get the BEST ammo you can find, regardless of price. You're not going to need that much of it.

Loads I find most acceptable for home defense, based on my criteria:

-Black Hills 68/69/75/77 gr OTM
-Hornady TAP 75 gr
-Winchester 64 gr Power Point Plus (or Ranger)
-Federal Gold Medal Match 69/77 gr

My personal favorites among those are the 75 gr loads from Hornady and Black Hills and for 1:9 twist barrels that won't stabilize the 75/77's, I like the Black Hills 68 gr.

I prefer to shy away from 55 gr and under JHP's, SP's and plymer tipped rounds. These are designed more for varmints than larger human critters and in some cases offer inadequate penetration. I want to make sure any home defense round I use has the ability to penetrate to the deepest internal blood bearing vessels and organs, no matter the angle of my shot. Some of those lighter loads can't guarantee me that.

-CH

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:45:40 PM EDT
I wonder, does everyone that use different types of ammo in the same weapon have the zeros written down for that round? The only 2 weights I've put through my carbine are 55grn FMJ and SP, and 62grn FMJ. The 55grn'ers all pretty much shoot to the same POI, but the 62grn M855 is noticeably off at only 50yds. IIRC it shoots to the right about 2" and low, compared to 55grn.

I imagine going from 55grn to 70+ would be somewhat pointless at longer ranges unless you changed your zero.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:48:35 PM EDT
Okay, this is great info.

You guys both have mentioned some good loadings and practical applications.

Another question: I purchased a 1:9 twist 14.5" Bushy barrel with Phantom flash suppressor for 16" legality. Did I goof up? Should I have bought the 1:7 twist to be able to stabilize 75 grainers? After reading some excerpts from the Ammo Oracle I'm thinking yes.

What will happen (or not happen) in regards to performance with Hornady 75 grain bullets for example? Will they yaw or not fragment?

Thanks very much for your responses.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:05:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gastonite:
Okay, this is great info.

You guys both have mentioned some good loadings and practical applications.

Another question: I purchased a 1:9 twist 14.5" Bushy barrel with Phantom flash suppressor for 16" legality. Did I goof up? Should I have bought the 1:7 twist to be able to stabilize 75 grainers? After reading some excerpts from the Ammo Oracle I'm thinking yes.

What will happen (or not happen) in regards to performance with Hornady 75 grain bullets for example? Will they yaw or not fragment?

Thanks very much for your responses.



The 14.5" 1:9 may be very iffy as far as heavier bullets. You can try them and see. They seem to work ok in some guns, but they don't in many. Just don't stock up until you find out. You might find them accurate enough for CQB, but again, the only way to know is to try.

If you are unsuccessful with the 75/77 gr ammo, give the Black Hills 68 gr OTM a try. It's a very good load also and doesn't give up a whole lot to the heavier bullets. And it has no accuracy issues from 1:9 twist.

BTW, any of the 68/69/75 and 77 gr OTM loads will yaw and fragment. The 68's and 75's seem to yaw and fragment fastest though, which is why I favor them over the others. As far as wounding potential, the twist rate has no bearing. Thie issue is just a matter of accuracy. Some bullet weights are too heavy for some twists. The 1:7 will stabilize them all.

-CH
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 12:34:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2005 2:08:46 PM EDT by Gastonite]
Okay, I've decided that with my 1:9 twist 14.5" barrel I'm going to go with Blackhills 68 grain OTMs. When looking at different resellers (Midway, Cabelas) I see two different options. One for "moly" and one without. Should I be going with one or the other? I did notice that the Ammo Oracle seems to kind of frown on Moly. Perhaps I should give it a pass. I'm not missing out on anything am I?

Finally, so I'm not constantly in the habit of re-zeroing, does anyone have a recommendation on a similar less expensive practice ammo that may hit a similar POI as the BH 68 OTM?

Thanks everyone!
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 12:27:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gastonite:
Okay, I've decided that with my 1:9 twist 14.5" barrel I'm going to go with Blackhills 68 grain OTMs. When looking at different resellers (Midway, Cabelas) I see two different options. One for "moly" and one without. Should I be going with one or the other? I did notice that the Ammo Oracle seems to kind of frown on Moly. Perhaps I should give it a pass. I'm not missing out on anything am I?

Finally, so I'm not constantly in the habit of re-zeroing, does anyone have a recommendation on a similar less expensive practice ammo that may hit a similar POI as the BH 68 OTM?

Thanks everyone!



Good choice.

I wouldn't worry about having the moly coating. Just get the regular rounds. They are fine.

As far as practice/training ammo, there's not a ton of difference in POI from CQB distance out to about 50 yards with most ammo. You will see some difference, but for shooting at silhouette targets at CQB distance, about anything will work for that. Now, at longer ranges, you are pretty much SOL. Luckily, a 50 rd box of Black Hills reman can be had for about $18. I like the reman blue box stuff just as good as the new manufacture. It is very good quality stuff. Just buy that. That way you can sneak in some practice at longer ranges too, when you want.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 6:41:15 AM EDT
Thanks, Charging-Handle. I appreciate the info. I've learned a lot on this thread.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 8:03:56 PM EDT
Funny how no one mentions the U.S. standard military round, M855. Actually, as an overall major crisis defense round, it is my preference due to its velocity and penetrating ability. For home defense only, TAP 5.56 if you can get it or BH 75gr - 77gr.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:39:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 10:45:19 PM EDT by DevL]

Originally Posted By safetyhit:
Funny how no one mentions the U.S. standard military round, M855. Actually, as an overall major crisis defense round, it is my preference due to its velocity and penetrating ability. For home defense only, TAP 5.56 if you can get it or BH 75gr - 77gr.



M855 has horrible terminal ballistics outside very close range. One of the worst choices you can make. It has inferior penetration at close ranges you would use it in compared to M193 and its a horrible barrier round due to penetrator/core seperation. One of the worst choices you can make IMO. M855 is the biggest problem our current military 5.56 weapon systems have. Are you happy someone mentioned it now?
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:52:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:

M855 has horrible terminal ballistics outside very close range. One of the worst choices you can make. It has inferior penetration at close ranges you would use it in compared to M193 and its a horrible barrier round due to penetrator/core seperation. One of the worst choices you can make IMO. M855 is the biggest problem our current military 5.56 weapon systems have. Are you happy someone mentioned it now?



Assuming you are right, (and I know that many agree with you, including the ammo-oracle), how the hell did it end up as our most used military round? It is responsible for protecting the lives of our soldiers and our citizens, but it's garbage? With all the other options out there? I've been told it was developed for the SAW, so why the fuck is it good enough for that gun, but not am M4? How was it ever chosen period, for any gun? I just don't understand how a change hasn't been made ALREADY if this is such a problem. It must do something right.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:17:46 AM EDT
It works better in the SAW and in 20" bbl M16A4's than in the 14.5 in M4's due to the extra velocity of the longer bbls.

We ended up with it because it is the NATO standard load.

We ended up with the M9 pistol because it fires the NATO standard load.

Both will work if the end user does his job.

BUT BOTH could be replaced with MORE effective ammunition.

To change the DOD's caliber and/or ammunition for small arms would require alot of time, training and MONEY. Hard to do during the middle of a shooting war, expecially when DOD is having difficulty supplying enough small arms ammunition as it is.

Lucky for us, we can chose what we use to defend ourselves.

For my AR's I use the 75 gr Hornady TAP load for defense. I have some of the NATO spec loads enrt from Hornady (had to sign a waiver for them before they would ship, ok as all my guns are 5.56 chambered). If they are reliable in my rifles, then I will switch to the NATO load, even though I HATE NATO!

As Charging Handle already stated, I also seperate Self Defense with SHTF. For SHTF , I have a stock of Winchester Q3131A and about 3K of IMI M855. After much studying, I now prefer M193 loads for SHTF to M855, but since I already have the IMI M855 in the ammo closet, I'm not about to throw it away

Beat Trash
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 8:39:21 AM EDT
The SAW program ammo had a single design criteria... penetrate steel helmets at 600m+ It does that better than M193. However due to greater mass it has reduced velocity and thus reduced penetration of pretty much all objects out to 100-200m. It was a consideration to use M193 in the M16 and M855 in the SAW. When the M855 became the NATO standard bullet they decided to use a 1/7 barrel in the M16 and go with one bullet for simplicitys sake. That is the ONLY reason it is used in the M16 and M4. They were aware of its drawbacks and chose it anyway to make logistics less complicated. There were ZERO soft tissue terminal effects criteria for M855.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 8:39:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2005 8:43:19 AM EDT by safetyhit]

Originally Posted By B-trash:
It works better in the SAW and in 20" bbl M16A4's than in the 14.5 in M4's due to the extra velocity of the longer bbls.

We ended up with it because it is the NATO standard load.

We ended up with the M9 pistol because it fires the NATO standard load.

Both will work if the end user does his job.

BUT BOTH could be replaced with MORE effective ammunition.

To change the DOD's caliber and/or ammunition for small arms would require alot of time, training and MONEY. Hard to do during the middle of a shooting war, expecially when DOD is having difficulty supplying enough small arms ammunition as it is.

Lucky for us, we can chose what we use to defend ourselves.

For my AR's I use the 75 gr Hornady TAP load for defense. I have some of the NATO spec loads enrt from Hornady (had to sign a waiver for them before they would ship, ok as all my guns are 5.56 chambered). If they are reliable in my rifles, then I will switch to the NATO load, even though I HATE NATO!

As Charging Handle already stated, I also seperate Self Defense with SHTF. For SHTF , I have a stock of Winchester Q3131A and about 3K of IMI M855. After much studying, I now prefer M193 loads for SHTF to M855, but since I already have the IMI M855 in the ammo closet, I'm not about to throw it away

Beat Trash




Not to hi-jack this thread, but isn't all 5.56 originally NATO derived? As long as they are properly sealed, couldn't any 5.56 round "work" as far as NATO spec? Why limit it to only one type of round (M855)? It makes no sense. If XM193 is better overall, and functions better in M4's, then what is the difference as long as it is 5.56?

Edit: Posted this the same time as you were replying, DevL. That answers that. Thanks.
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