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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 11/15/2001 1:52:51 PM EST
I keep hearing how a .223 doesn't have enough knockdown power for say a deer. If so why is it the standard for our grunt's? I would think anything proven to be a human killer would be a deer killer. Am I wrong?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:04:42 PM EST
Yes u are wrong. A battle Field is quite different than hunting deer. On the Battle field you must be able to put many rounds down range where in deer hunting you will most likely only get 1 shot. Knockdown power is one of the biggest myths that i have ever heard. High Velocity KILLS period. Also how many deer wear kevlar?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:10:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:14:16 PM EST
Not wrong, just misled. While some consider a .223 too little for deer, its not due to energy or bullet size but rather bullet construction. Most .224" diameter bullets are made for varmit use and have thin jackets with soft lead cores. These explode at the Mach 3 velocities typical with these rounds. While a 10 pound chuck will be dead, a 150 pound deer will have a flesh wound limited to muscle alone.
Typical penetration is about 6".

Now put a purposeful bullet in the .223, like Winchester's 64 gr Power point. Penetration is 14". Over double the varmit bullet and right at the limit of the lowly 150 pound Whitetail. Compare the permanent wound cavity with one produced by a .243/.257 bullet and you will find no noticable difference except the .257 bullets will penetrate about 2" more. Wound channels are so similar one cannot differentiate.

Jumping to the service side. Before 1985, the grunts, joes and flyboys used M193 ammo in their A1's. This was a 55 grain FMJBT moving at 3250-3300 FPS and was deadly due to unintended design flaws, namely the thin jacket.
This is purely unintended as it was a method of assuring stability with a boat-tailed bullet of 55 grains at artic temperatures. Going to the 1:12 twist of the A1 was enough for a flat-based projectile of "normal" jacket thickness. The thin jacket shortened the bullet because lead is slightly more dense than copper and the decreased copper increased the polar moment of inertia allowing a greater gyroscopic stability effect.

The thin jacket combined with a short bullet combined to make this an effective 200 yard combat bullet, moreso than the 7.62 x 51 at identical ranges. This little bullet upon entering a dense medium like water or flesh, yaws or turns 90 degrees after penetrating 4". This yawing is a behavior ALL FMJ bullets have, it being dependent on the absolute length of the bullet. Once the bullet has yawed 90 degrees, it offers more "frontal area" than a 7.62 mm bullet and therefore, causes more damage.

At sub 200 yard velocities, it has enough velocity to cause it to break at the cannelure or crimping groove of the bullet. This creates a diverging wound cavity soon after the maximum damage is done from the yawing effect. The fragments continue to penetrate to a total depth of about 14".

The same effect is had with the newer 62 grain M855 ammo, AKA SS109 bullets except the additional length increases the yaw distance to about 5".

Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:15:34 PM EST
I think of it this way. In hunting (as said above) you want clean, nearly instant kills.

In battle it is (in my humble opinion) better to would. If you shoot to kill, one man drops and the rest move forward shooting. If you shoot to wound, you drop one guy and the two to drag/carry him to safety so you've effectively removed 3 guns from the fight instead of just one.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:30:26 PM EST
so let me see if i got this? a .223 has more range and travels faster than most hunting calibers & tends go straight through with less tissue damage. Where as a hunting cal has a bigger bullet with more knockdown power and tissue damage but travels slower and doesn't have the effective range of a .223? And whats this about keflar?

Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:30:56 PM EST
you guys need to talk to me in more laman's term's.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:35:40 PM EST
so it depends on the grain?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:42:10 PM EST
Here's my translation of all this:

.223 will kill whitetail.

However, should you be a poor shot or happen to pull a shot and impact meatier areas instead of organ areas, you may still kill the animal but you will probably have to track it a bit and you will find a lot of "lost" meat due to the shredded wound cavity produced.

I am no expert, just trying to decipher all the technical advice...
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:46:49 PM EST
I see. If you shot the enemy in the chest area with a .223 "say 64 grain" and he is wearing a keflar vest is he in trouble?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:48:09 PM EST
oh and does the .223 have more velocity than most hunting caliber's?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:50:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jander100:
I see. If you shot the enemy in the chest area with a .223 "say 64 grain" and he is wearing a keflar vest is he in trouble?

I don't believe flak vests in service stop bullets, they are (or at least were in my time in) designed to stop shrapnel.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 2:51:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jander100:
oh and does the .223 have more velocity than most hunting caliber's?

That would be a mostly safe assumption, at least from what I have seen.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 3:09:09 PM EST
cool thanx guys
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 3:15:25 PM EST
The standard military round IS quite effective on both deer and humans at ranges under 200 yards due to its fragmentation/tumbling effect. Armor is quite thin compared to human bodies and most light body armors are easily defeated by 5.56 military rounds before the bullet starts to tumble, regardless of its construction.

I wouldn't recommend one going after deer at 300 yards with military ammo or even the Winchester 64 grain stuff. At those ranges, the standard varmit stuff is quite adequate due to lower downrange velocity.

Link Posted: 11/15/2001 4:40:13 PM EST
Not looking to get slammed here, but, according to the U.S. soldiers in the Somalia fire fight the SS109 was very ineffective compared to the NATO 7.62x51 and the Soviet 7.62x39. Many of them said that they would shoot one of the Somalies two to three times, they would drop to the ground, pick up their weapon and rejoin the fight. There were even quite a few instances of our soldiers shooting women and even they would drop, get back up and continue returning fire. They stated the 5.56 "went right thru em, just like an icepick".
But the guys who were shooting the 60's(7.62x51)would drop them asap. In turn they stated that sometimes just one hit on one of our soldiers with a round from an AK-47(7.62x39)would take them out of the fight. Then the guys shooting the .50 cal's would of course just shred whomever they engaged, thats a given, but it is a bigger round. Bigger round, bigger hole. Due to the velocity of the 5.56 round the hydrostatic shock is deadly, just may take awhile to take effect. These guys would know, they were involved in one of the most intense firefights in U.S. history.
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 4:44:33 PM EST
I posted this link in another thread too. It is a very interesting article about the ballistics wound patterns of military rounds.


Link Posted: 11/15/2001 5:41:39 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 6:55:43 PM EST
Excellent point. I do recall a couple of them stating that they were close quaters but how close who knows. But you point is well taken. I'm set, I have the CAR-15 and have an Armalite AR-10(T) on the way!! Can't wait to shoot that bad boy! I love AR's. Thinking about getting the wife either a Bushy varmiter or the Armalite (T) in .223. What do you think?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 7:39:13 PM EST

Who makes that Powerpoint ammo you spoke of?
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 8:36:33 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 3:09:08 AM EST
5.56mm military ball will leave the same holes in deer that it leaves in men. .22LR can be used to effectively take white tails at all times of the year (if you catch the drift) with enough skill. It's not about energy or velocity.

It's all about damage at depths in the body where there are blood rich organs, or striking the central nervous system. Energy is as easy to measure as it's meaningless. "Knock down power" doesn't exist much below .50 BMG.

High velocity doesn't kill (nor does speed kill when your're driving .) High velocity is just a way to get the bullet down range. High velocity bullet strikes will produce an impressive temporary cavity which is usually pretty harmless.

As you look at the wound cross sections in the link above note that the first 4-5" or so is just a quarter inch hole. Unless there's meat in the target the wound shown in the diagrams has little chance of occurring. Typical 5.56mm bullet wound thru the arm or leg which doesn't strike bone is a 2 band aid affair.

No Army of any of our past or potential enemies cares about their wounded. 2 or 3 guys aren't taken out helping a wounded soldier, they know they'll be shot by their own officers for attempting this. Shooting to wound is ineffective and ammunition is not designed to wound, it's designed to kill. Few non-western armies have combat medics below regimental level.

Remember there are few similiarities between hunting and combat. At best hunting is an ambush against a defenseless foe. This means you should be able to make good shot placement. As Troy notes beyond 5.56mm fragmentation range you need expanding bullets to maximize damage to the target.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 3:29:40 AM EST
Jander, wildlife creatures are toughter that men, thats why a "human killer" its almost marginal for deer.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 5:11:10 AM EST
A good 223 softpoint designed to take deer sized game will do its job as long as you do. Varmint bullets won't work. Winging it in the antler isn't going to work either. Hit the deer in the vitals with a proper .223 projectile at under 100 yards and it'll drop. Statistically speaking, most deer are taken at ranges under 70 yards.

As far as penetration goes, I got a deer yesterday with a 30-06 150 grain Rem power-point - only about 10" penetration, but you could have hid a cat in the hole it left through the internals. A 223 would have dropped that deer on that shot just the same (instantly - it was a frontal neck shot at about 50 yards) but with lower recoil. The lower recoil could in some conditions mean the difference between delivering a speedy second shot or a long tracking exercise, going hungry, etc.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 6:57:27 AM EST
These are all point's well made thank's guy's interesting.

Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:18:58 AM EST
I don't know if it's true or not, but according to "cartridges of the world," tons of deer are poached every year with .22 LR. Shot placement is more important than "knockdown" power, in my opinion.
In my personal experience, the 5.56 did just fine against "soft" targets. We did appreciate the the 7.62 when they were behind moderate cover though. I wasn't in Somalia, but I have often wondered if, in the confusion of the firefight, they may have been mistaking someone grabbing a weapon from a dead/wounded person, for that same person getting back up. In that environment, the bad guys may very well have "all looked the same"
Just my Opinion,
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:37:17 AM EST
Jander: While a .223 can kill a deer, it shouldn't be your first choice. Also, don't get caught up the knockdown power thing. Kinetic energy (MV^2) is never the whole truth. 5.56mm was chosen by the military due in part to its velocity and range, accuracy, and portability. Many large deer in my area can exceed 250 or even 300 lbs. I have taken a few small does (120-140lbs). with an SKS, but would never attempt to take a whitetail deer with a .223, especially at more than 50yds. Yes it can be done, but you would be exposing yourself to many unneccessary variables that you wouldn't face with a larger caliber. Shot placement is the most critical aspect of killing anything - is doesn't matter if you're shooting a .223 or a .375 H&H. I have two deer rifles - one a 7mm-08 (for hunting in the timber where shots of less than 100yds. are common) and a .300WSM for shooting over fields (where a 400yd. shot is not out of the question.) As a hunter, you have a responsibility to take game humanely - you wouldn't want to take the chance of mortally wounding an animal that you have no chance of recovering.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 8:09:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/16/2001 8:39:02 AM EST by Dave_G]

The references to ammunition failure in BHD were confined to Specialist Shawn Nelson, Chalk 2's M60 gunner who had problems with SLAP rounds, and SFC Paul Howe, who Bowden described as carrying a "CAR-15...with a pump-action shotgun attached to the bayonet lug up front" and "the most sophisticated infantry rifle in the world, a customized CAR-15." The rest of the Rangers on the initial air assault were described as being armed with M60s, M249s and M16s.

Bowden's description of SFC Howe's disgust with his ammunition (M855) included the following,

"When the Sammies were close enough he could see when he hit them. Their shirts would lift up at the point of impact, as if someone had pinched and plucked up the fabric. But with the green-tip round it was like sticking someone with an ice pick. The bullet made a small, clean hole, and unless it happened to hit the heart or spine, it wasn't enough to stop a man in his tracks. Howe felt like he had to hit a guy five or six time to get his attention."

In addition to the general description, a close range incident involving Howe was described with similar results.

Since neither Howe, nor any other soldier involved had either the skills, knowledge or time to do an autopsy on any of the Somali dead or examine the wounds of those hit, their descriptions of the nature of the terminal performance of their rounds beyond what the enemy did after being hit, assuming they actually were hit, is invalid.

It has been reported that from 500 to several thousand Somalis were killed and wounded. I would suggest that most fell to the 7.62mm Miniguns on the helicopters, M60s on the ground and M249 rounds.

I would hazard a guess that the performance of the 5.56mm M855 in Somalia can be expected to be repeated where ever it is used again. The 5.56mm/.223 Remington is an intermediate round and it is performing as well as can be expected. If you want a serious round for hunting large, dangerous game, go with a bigger expanding bullet.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 8:17:32 AM EST
LMAO! that's funny crumabn

Link Posted: 11/16/2001 10:31:23 AM EST
Dave G...in Vietnam that was what I saw as well....The 556 is a great wounding round
designed to cause an enemy to tie up three or four soldiers to tend to the wounded
(of course it doesnt apply to those enemies who simply shoot their wounded rather than care for them)..the Comblock 7.62 was a bit more effective..but the US 7.62 aka 308 Win ruled....
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 11:06:58 AM EST
good point Hardwood that's the last thing I want is for an animal to suffer. Now a human that's violates me now that is different.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 11:40:06 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 12:46:12 PM EST
oh the mighty 5.56.
the 5.56 is illegal for hunting deer for good reason, it is a marginal round on medium sized game and has been PROVEN to be marginal. i have shot my share of game (elk, black bear, mule/whitetail deer, javalina, coyotes) and would never use any 22 cal round on anything over the size of a coyote/javalina/jackrabbit if given a choice. when i shoot something i want it to die asap, not run off and die somewhere where it might be lost(or even get me)
i have read enough battle field accounts to have grave doubts about the 5.56 as a man stopper. what is more dangerous, a wounded bear or a wounded man armed with an ak47?
the 7.62x51 has proven itself to me, in combo with the fal it is a hard package to beat.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 1:31:06 PM EST
7.62 isn't as accurate as a 5.56. I'll take my AR over a AK anyday. Damn I'm a poet and didn't even know it.

Link Posted: 11/16/2001 1:32:26 PM EST
I understand the the Winchester 64 gr PP and PP+ were developed specifically for hunting deer (white tail?) in Texas. It apparently works well in Texas.


Several photos of TFR personnel show some of them armed with M4 carbines and some with M16s. Two show carbines with suppressors and two more show carbines with A1 lowers and A2 uppers, but the barrels aren't in frame in either.

True, Bowden is not knowledgeable in the area of firearms, but he was quoting from personal interviews with the participants who would have known the difference. As for the M855 "tungsten core" bullets comment, Lotsa people make that mistake.

The lack of other reports of ammunition failure with M16s and M249s could have been because they didn't have any to speak of or because Bowden chose to write a book about the event in general, not minute details.

Another point on the SAWs. They are high rate of fire weapons. Multiple hits at close range are more likely.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 6:33:34 PM EST
Why yes they do don't they? lol

Link Posted: 11/16/2001 6:48:53 PM EST
It does have enough punch for Deer if the shot is placed correct into the vitals. As far as for the military is is accurate and lightweight. You don't need to kill the enemy when in combat. It will take much more manpower to save the enemies life if only seriously wounded. That takes away more possible soldiers and people to build the war machine.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 9:06:41 PM EST
absollutly right blaze thats the best i've heard it explain yet. plain and simple. but if you put two quick rounds in someones chest in combat they will die real soon unless they are really lucky. as far as deer my man knows about that with the winchester super x's 64 grain.
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 5:13:13 AM EST
Blaze --

No one but the US and a few other western armies cares about it's wounded. The "better to wound" idea is pure nonsense.

Few armies have combat medics below battalion level.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 11/17/2001 10:01:07 AM EST
Those are the one's that would want to wound I would think, the one's fighting us and our allies. Because we do care about our wounded. We just want to "Kill em' All, Let God sort em' out".


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