Is the .223 FMJ worth anything in application?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by aliendroid, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. aliendroid

    aliendroid New Member

    22
    0
    0
    Would the .223 FMJ bullets be good for hunting or home protection in an AR15 if you couldn't get other types of bullets? What other types of bullets are there in .223 that would be better?
     
  2. Moss99

    Moss99 New Member

    93
    0
    0
    I guess if I had to choose between FMJ .223 and Yo' momma insults with a side of a$- gas, I would probably take the FMJs.

    Maybe i'm not understanding the question.
     

  3. aliendroid

    aliendroid New Member

    22
    0
    0
    I get the general feeling from people that FMJs are worthless for use in a real application like hunting or home protection. I'm wondering what others think about using FMJ for hunting and home protection IF one did not have access to buying other bullet types. Also, other than the softpoint, what other bullet is available for the AR15.
     
  4. Moss99

    Moss99 New Member

    93
    0
    0
    Well personally I wouldn't go as far as to say it's worthless but there are definitely better choices for hunting. As far as home protection is concerned it's all about shot placement in my mind, not the weapon or the ammunition it fires. While over penetration may be an issue I wouldn't hesitate to use a .223 FMJ for home protection.

    As far as bullet types there is a plethora of choices; jacketed hollow points, ballistic tips, Vmax, glasers, etc... Just depends on what you're using it for and how much you want to spend. Steel core may be cheap but get ready to use some elbow grease getting your bore clean.

    Try to make sure if your weapon is .223 you avoid 5.56 ammo, as they are a little different in a few ways.
     
  5. aliendroid

    aliendroid New Member

    22
    0
    0
    After reading more into it, it seems that the FMJ is more 'deadly' to a human than a hollow point because it creates more holes to bleed from, but the hollow point transfers more energy into him which may stop him from coming at you. But, if you are shooting an AR15 from 50+ feet away, I'm not sure if him coming at you is much of an issue, so the FMJ should be good.

    correct me if I'm wrong, I'm just gathering this info. I'm no expert.
     
  6. russ

    russ New Member

    1,011
    0
    0
    I believe you can get Hornady TAP in .223, it's made specifically for home/self defense.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,345
    224
    63
    From a hunting perspective- hunting WHAT?

    For varmints (ground hogs, crows, coyotes, feral gerbils, etc) even the FMJ will work- temporary wound channel is bigger than some of the animals- resulting in a devastating wound.

    However, for larger animals (deer, antelope, hogs) IMHO, the .223 is just too small (and not legal in several states) If you DO use .223, an expanding bullet is really called for. Pop a deer anywhere but the head with a FMJ .223, and he MAY die- but it is going to be a half mile away from where you shot him.

    Home defense? Depends on where you are. I would have a hard time REACHING my neighbor's house with a .223. However, if you are in a more urban setting, just about ANY centerfire rifle has a lot of penetration.
     
  8. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

    1,376
    0
    0
    I hand load all my .223 rounds. I do about a 50-50 split between 55 gr FMJ's and the plastic tipped bullets (Hornady V-Max, or Sierra BlitzKing).

    My "theory" is that the FMJ's will do a lot of damage to a body at any range, but unless you hit a major bone or organ, will zip right through at close range, and (maybe) not cause an immediate knockdown.

    I use the Nosler ballistic tip bullets exclusively in my .30-06 for all deer and larger size game. These plastic tip bullets lliterally explode deep internally in a white tail deer. Many times I have not had an exit wound (or had several small exit wounds) and the deer usually drop dead immediately.

    Now, I know the .223 ain't an '06, and I would not hunt deer sized or larger game with with the .223. I have never had an opportunity to hunt smaller game, so I have not "proven" how the plastic tip rounds work in the .223.

    My SHTF thoughts were that the FMJ would be the round of choice for disabling a car full of BG's - assumed good penetration through the car sheetmetal. I think (but do not know) that the V-Max/BlitzKing would be more effective on "soft" targets.
     
  9. bkt

    bkt New Member

    6,964
    0
    0
    Steelcore .223/5.56 rounds (eg: SS109) have more punch to get through things which may be handy for certain applications. Soft-tips are probably better for hunting. Frangible might be better for home defense (but I'd almost never suggest using an AR for in-home defense, though).

    Of course, a garden-variety .223 fmj easily beats having nothing at all.
     
  10. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    427
    0
    0
    Yes, it is. The OP needs to learn more about the impact characteristics of FMJ ammo. The Hague Convention aside, there are good and valid reasons, 'Why' every major army in the world uses FMJ ammo. (And, 'Why' the US military usually does!) ;)
     
  11. i978transam

    i978transam New Member

    2
    0
    0
    One thing I have heard/read about the FMJ is that at high velocities, the bullet will become unstable on impact and start to tumble, and then it will break at the cannelure. The range is limited for this (maybe 150 yards for a 20" barrel, or 100 yards for a 16.5", not sure exactly) but this is just as lethal as a HP. The advantage the hollowpoint (and probably glaser as well) has is that it dumps all of the muzzle energy really quickly into the target.

    Both seem pretty decent too me. Try shooting ~6 or 7 2x4's sometime thoough and you will see how the bullet turns sideways as it goes through.
     
  12. Gus556

    Gus556 New Member

    426
    0
    0
    I have dumped white tail plenty of times with a .223FMJ. Of course these were head shots and at ranges under 70 yards. Unless you are a really good shot, ya prolly should stick to a deer rifle to kill deer or you may only end up walking a blood trail.
     
  13. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    427
    0
    0
    :rolleyes: Is it OK if I disagree with the above remark?

    5.56 x 45mm, 'bullet yaw' is a principal function of: bullet design, weight, and velocity. It is largely dependent on barrel length. Anything shorter than a 20" barrel does NOT seem to produce sufficient yaw to equal or rival the performance of a JHP fired from a similar length barrel. In fact 5.56, 'bullet yaw' is a highly desirable impact characteristic - better, in fact, that using a JHP bullet which generally dispenses energy too quickly, and has difficulty penetrating both ballistic armor or bodies.

    Ain't ever heard nothing about steel/tungsten cored M855 easily fragmenting, though. That's a new one to me. ;)
     
  14. i978transam

    i978transam New Member

    2
    0
    0
    Bullet yaw isn't a function of velocity or barrel length, it's dependant on how well the bullet is axially aligned with the bore. If the bullet starts out not pointing exactly straight down the bore, it will come out crooked as well.

    G21.45:
    You said "anything shorter than a 20" barrel does NOT seem to produce sufficient yaw to equal or rival the performance of a JHP fired from a similar length barrel." So that would mean a longer barrel produces more yaw? Yaw is bad for accuracy, and longer barrels are generally accepted as more accurate, so something doesn't match up with that statement.

    But ya, read through the ammo oracle site that ranger_sxt listed and then go shoot stuff and test it. The 5.56 FMJ is fine in my opinion and experiences, but what do I know? Are there any combat vets on the forum who can give suggestions?
     
  15. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

    8,358
    4
    0
    I'll be your huckleberry!!

    Short summary: M193 and M855 do not yaw reliably. Dr. Fackler has been quoted as saying that 25% of the time, M855 or M193 fails to yaw and/or fragment, even when it has sufficient velocity to do so. Recent research cited by Dr. Gary K. Roberts has demonstrated a phenomenon that may help explain this called "fleet yaw."

    Quote:

    "Fleet Yaw is the other significant yaw issue discovered by the JSWB-IPT. Fleet Yaw is the terminal performance variation caused by inherent variability in each rifle and occurs in all calibers. 5.56 mm FMJ appears to suffer more Fleet Yaw induced variability than other projectile calibers & types. 6.8 mm OTM’s appear to have less Fleet Yaw variations than other projectile calibers & types tested."

    What this means is that two shooters firing the same lot of M855 from their M4’s with identical shot placement can have dramatically different terminal performance results: one shooter states that his M855 is working great and is effective at dropping bad guys, while the other complains his opponent is not being incapacitated because M855 is zipping right through the target without upsetting. Both shooters are telling the truth."
    M193 and M855 show the worst variations in Angle of Attack and Fleet Yaw. If you are using these for home defense, it may be worth your time to verify that the rounds do in fact yaw and fragment in your particular barrel. If you want to minimize Fleet Yaw problems without conducting your own experiments, then ammunition selection can help by either:

    1. Using rounds with thin jackets and consistent production (OTM)
    2. Using rounds that do not rely on yawing and fragmentation in order to be effective

    I would suggest that the phenomena would be caused by something other than the rifle such as the bullet being slightly off its seat due to mishandling or mass manufacturing. A cartridge dropped on the floor could cause the tip of the bullet to become malformed and possibly move the bullet a thousandth or two from being concentric with the case. Considering the speed and rotational values either or both could cause changes in flight and terminal results.

    The Hague Convention prohibiting the use of expanding bullets (which the United States did not sign) entered into force in 1900. The second Hague Convention which prohibited projectiles "calculated to cause unnecessary suffering" (which the United States did sign) entered into force in 1907. NATO adopted the FMJ for the purpose of reducing battlefield deaths. This and the outlawing of gas changed the face of warfare for the civilized world. Commanders had also figured out that a wounded man took a lot more resources than a dead one.

    Back to the 5.56 in the home. It takes about 20 meters for the bullet to stabilize. Laboratory test shoots of gel take place at distances of 10 yds or so and scientists seem to have no difficulty reproducing results at that distance, so it seems there is a fair amount of consistency in what happens under 20m.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  16. Megaton

    Megaton New Member

    111
    0
    0
    Im not sure it would be accurate to say that because the military uses it, it must be good. In war, an injured soldier is in many ways better than a dead one, because that injured soldiers requires other people (as well as medical supplies which cost $$$) to keep them alive.

    Just some food for thought.
     
  17. tomharkness

    tomharkness New Member

    37
    0
    0
    I think that your original point was: Is a .223 any good for hunting with?
    .
    The answer of course is: Maybe. Of course the answer you will get from gun-bigot would be, “if it aint as big as mine, it won’t work!”
    .
    Texas requires only that you hunt with a firearm that is “Center fire”. That means just about anything but a .22 or a .17HMR. (and a few others). Will a .223 work for hunting deer? The answer is, “Yes”. However, just like any other firearm, it is the bullet placement that is important, not the brand of bullet or rifle. My first dear last year was taken with a Kel-Tec P-11… a firearm that many people tell you is not even a firearm.
    .
    If you are planning to sit in a deer stand, half-way up a tree and shoot the “Sniper’s Shot” at game two or three miles a way, go with the .50cal. If you plan on shooting from a deer stand 50 to 100 yards from the feeder, then get a good deer rifle. However, if you like to actually “HUNT”, then the .223 would be just fine for any shot where you don’t need a $400 scope to see what you are shooting.
     
  18. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    427
    0
    0
    Not to start a flame war (Really!) but I've read, 'Ammo Oracle' for many years, now. You have used the term, 'yaw' as a flight characteristic; I used it, perhaps ambiguously, as a synonym for, 'bullet tumbling'.

    I know, for a fact, that the M-4 carbine suffers from insufficient impact trauma. The military's reason - and NOT my own - is that the shorter 14.5" carbine barrel fails to achieve sufficient velocity in order to: go as fast, hiit as hard, or tumble as much as the same M855 ammunition when fired from the standard 20" barrel.

    These are facts that I have repeatedly read about and studied on the internet. I've been particularly interested in this subject and have remembered the facts well because I own and use a Colt 6920LE. I don't think I'm correct about this; I know it.

    Again, didn't mean to start an argument over something this trivial; but, it's just the way it is - OK. And, by the way, I'm beginning to think that the internet can be used to, 'validate' just about any opinion. That's, 'Why' I always look for a number of different sources and references before I'm ready to make up my mind. :)

    IGETEVEN, are you aware that American long range snipers in, both, Afghanistan and Iraq have been using Hornady, 'A-Max' ballistic tip ammo?

    Megatron, The number of casualties really isn't what I'm addressing, here. I was thinking more about: body armor, barricades, and lightly armored positions and equipment.

    Other than this, 'shooting to wound' is a really stupid idea. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  19. bkt

    bkt New Member

    6,964
    0
    0
    My understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is the 5.56 FMJ was adopted by NATO because it was less lethal than a soft-tip or hollow-point. It was very good at injuring someone, which had the advantages of taking them out the fight, risking more enemies to pull and carry that person to safety, and consuming significant enemy medical resources to care for that person.