223 Ballistics & effectiveness - Pt 2 of 2




Here are some published results fired at 10 feet from a 16” 1/7 twist:

Roberts GK: “The Wounding Effects of 5.56mm/.223 Law Enforcement General Purpose Shoulder Fired Carbines Compared With 12 ga. Shotguns and Pistol Caliber Weapons using 10% Ordnance Gelatin as a Tissue Simulant.”. Wound Ballistics Review. 3(4):16-28, 1998.

Bare Gel:

Load

Lot #

Vel

Pen cm/in

TC max diam (cm)

RD”

RL”

RW gr

% Frag

Black Hills 68 gr JHP

504041253

2615

30.8cm(12.1in)

9.0

0.39

0.23

31.5

53.6%

Fed 69 gr JHP-BT Match 223M

29B-0445

2646

37.4cm (14.7in)

10.0

0.40

0.19

27.5

60.2%

Win 69 gr JHP-BT Match S223M

31LE61

2758

30.1cm (11.9in)

8.5

0.36

0.16

17.5

74.6%

Through Interior Wall w/Gel Block positioned 10 cm behind wall:

Load

Lot #

Vel

Pen cm/in

TC max diam (cm)

RD”

RL”

RW gr

% Frag

Black Hills 68 gr JHP

504041253

2939

27.0cm (10.6in)

8.0

0.49

0.27

36.8

45.9%

Fed 69 gr JHP-BT Match 223M

29B-0445

2637

30.3cm (11.9in)

10.0

0.39

0.32

40.2

41.7%

Win 69 gr JHP-BT Match S223M

31LE61

2758

30.1cm (11.9in)

7.0

0.34

0.16

14.1

79.5%

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The terminal ballistics of the 68 grain BTHP are inferior to that of the 75 grain BTHP. When fired from a 16” barrel, the 68 grain BTHP will have an effective fragmentation range of 65 yards, whereas the 75 grain BTHP fired from the same barrel length will have an effective fragmentation range of 115 yards or more. The maximum temporary cavity in 10% ballistic gelatin produced by the 68 grain BTHP when fired from a 16” barrel measures 3.5”. The maximum temporary cavity of the 75 grain BTHP fired from a 16” barrel runs over 5”. The 75 grain BTHP also penetrates slightly deeper than the 68 grain BTHP; 12” for the 68 grain BTHP versus 12”-14” for the 75 grain BTHP
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Q:

I understand if we talk about a 16"+ barrel length and the maximum temporary cavity that would perform a lot more better than a soft point, but if we talk of SB in 223/5.56 like a 12.5-10.5 SB it would/should be better since you don't have to worries about the frag point.

A:

A 75 grain 5.56 TAP load will fragment out to ~100 yards from an 11.5" barrel. A 12.5" even further. There has never been a successful LE shooting or civilian self defense shooting in the borders of the United States in the past 50 years that has exceeded the range a 12.5" barrel will maintain fragmentation with 5.56 TAP. Consider that in your ammo and barrel length selection. Also past that range the 75 grain bullet will still yaw and present a full 1" profile as it tumbles and produce an almost identical wound to an AK-74 round at ranges past the fragmentation range.
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I shot my first deer this year. I used my RRA Predator Pursuit with 1 in 8 twist and 75 grn TAP LEO. (Not the 5.56x45, but the red box .223 load).

The doe was approx. 175lbs. before dressing and was standing 373 yds. out according to my Leica laser range finder.

The bullet struck her 2" behind her left front shoulder and exited through part of her right shoulder. It demolished the lungs on the way through. She was DRT. The bullet performance was pretty impressive.

I would not use any .223 round to take shots that were not very clean. Broadside or neck shots are all I would be willing to take with this round
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I've been using my SIG 556 (16" barrel and 1:7 Twist) to take out some of the reproductive members of my local feral hog population with great success using both Hornady 5.56mm NATO TAP T2 75 grain BTJHP and Privi Match .223 75 grain BTJHP.

Have shot 12 hogs up to over 500 pounds in the last four months.

Normal POA-POI has been right behind the shoulder for a double lung shot.

Each hog was shot once, and no hog made it further than 75 feet.

Range has been from 75-150 yards.

Lungs were toast in every case.
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I am loading Hornady 60gr Vmaxs for Varmints. They are extremely effective inside 250 yds. Beyond 250 yds they are not quite as "explosive" yet still very effective. Most importantly they are very accurate.

Bushmaster Predator 20" 1-8
223 w/Hornady 60gr Vmax
Loaded to 3,000 fps
Accuracy is easily sub MOA out to 300yds. I have broken .5 moa with this load.
I have shot @ 500 rounds of this load and plan to load 1,500 more over the winter.

Black Hills loads an equivalent load commercially.
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I've killed five deer with five rounds of .223. All from 16" barrel. First 4 from a Bushmaster, fifth from Noveske.

1 doe with a 68 grain OTM Black Hills at 20 yards. Doe bolted and ran 15 yds into a tree and was down. Both lungs completely scrambled rolled out like so much pink scrambled eggs. The heart was shredded into finger sized petals. Only small frag exited. On the range, it groups very well.

1 large buck with a 55 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw at 20 FEET - 1.5" hole bored through both lungs and recovered under opp side skin. Perfect textbook mushroom. Buck ran about 20 yards and was down. Oddly two broken ribs under the ENTRANCE wound. On the range, mediocre accuracy.

1 medium sized buck with a Win 64 grain PP to the neck at 100 yards. I wasn't as impressed as the buck was. Slug exited out the same side of the neck just a couple inches from the entrance wound shedding it's jacket at the exit. Didn't even break the spine. Go figure. Still dropped in it's tracks. On the range, mediocre accuracy.

1 small buck hit in throat from straight on with 60 grain Nosler Partition from Black Hills at about 30 yards. Buck fell backwards and was down. Penetration about 17" and tremendous 3-4" diameter wound channel the first oh 6-7 inches through front of throat. On the range, mediocre accuracy - maybe 2" 100 yard groups.

Past Saturday late afternoon, a 6pt while still hunting along a north GA ridgeline in the Chattahoochie National Forest. One Black Hills 77 grain OTM into the front shoulder/neck junction at about 40 feet dropped him literally in his tracks. Bullet did not exit. Under the skin at entrance wound was a quarter sized hole into the chest cavity that broke shoulder bones. Chest cavity full of blood but I did not get a good look at lungs and heart. This has been an insanely accurate load from my Noveske N4 Recce upper, well under MOA.
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Hornady 55 grn V-Max 50+ yards full frontal shot dead center of chest where neck joins the body. Heart and Lungs were taken out, the base, jacket and lead fragments were recovered fron inside the stomach.
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Seven whitetail deer. #1 shot with a 55 grain hollow point, bullet fragmented, deer ran 60 yards, hardly any blood trail.
#2-#7 were shot with 62 grain bonded federals, and have never taken a step. As the deer ranged from 125 to 175 lbs. I have yet to recover a bullet. Complete pass through. Ranges from 70 yards to 250 yards
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We've taken 4 deer including an 8 point (~140#) this November with 16" & 20" weapons using 75gr hornady, both SAAMI .223 (black hills) & 5.56 TAP versions. All one shot, quick kills. Trust me, the 75gr hornady performs "in real life" just like it does in gel. Put the round into the chest cavity, preferably broadside, and it's meat in the freezer.

As a side note, Federal TBBC is a MUCH better barrier round than the new .223 "Gold Dot", particularly through glass. Yeah TBBC is less accurate, but it holds together much better.

75gr 5.56 Hornady TAP for general use and 62gr Federal TBBC for barriers are absolutely the best combination for this caliber.
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Best barrier penetration 223 loads - DPX by CORBON or Bear Claw
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Look into Corbon DPX in 62gr or if you reload load some 62 or 70 grain Barnes TSX to the Mk262 recipe. It is a far better round than either of the 2 mentioned in this thread. Using a round you hope will fail, ie fragment or yaw, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Your conclusions are correct and are backed by gary Robert's research
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The cannelure isn't required, but it is definitely an important component in good fragmentation. You're also smart to be looking at the heavy bullets, as they have a greater rearward weight (that makes them yaw faster and thereby frag better).

As for which are technically better, that's anyone's guess. The components to consider other than the two above would be the jacket thickness and the lead core hardness. I suppose one could squeeze that info out of manufacturers, but in the end any commercial bullet of 55 grains or more with a cannelure is a good choice. Just load 'em as hot as you can get 'em to maximize the frag range.
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a 1:9" twist is needed for the steel-core 62gr bullet used in the M855 military loads, because that bullet is as long as most 70-grainers.) For normal lead-core jacketed bullets, a 1:9" twist will let you shoot up to 73gr bullets. Since most .223 Rem shooters prefer bullets in the 50-73gr range, a good "do-it-all" solution is a 9-twist, unless you're a Highpower competitor.
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Data for the M193 throws a lead core 55 gr. FMJ-BT bullet with a canalure and exposed lead base at 3,250 fps at a chamber pressure of 52,000 psi.

The M855 delivers a 62 gr. FMJ-BT with a steel penetrator in front of the lead core. It also is an exposed lead base design and has a muzzle velocity of about 3,100 fps with a chamber pressure of 55,000 psi. So it does have a bit hotter chamber pressure.

The M855 produces 1326 ft. pounds of energy at the muzzle. The M193 produces 1288 ft. pounds of energy at the muzzle. So the M855 produces a bit more energy than the M193."
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