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Camper #9
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that there are many weapons better suited to close quarters combat than a .556. If however a .556 was all someone had, is there a better loading one could come up with for an in close situ. Are there reliable round or flat nose bullets available for that purpose. Does L.E. have an entry load for the .556? I've even wondered if a Boat Tail loaded backwards would be more effective from 15' than the pointey end. Would it load reliably? :cool:
 

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You mean the 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem round?

Within close quarters combat (<50 yds) anything that will expand rapidly will do and bullet weight isn't important as at that distance anyting will be accurate enough out of any twist barrel...Unless you are referring to sniper shooting then what is rated for your barrel is the only thing to bother shooting...
 

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Son Of Liberty
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I use the same round for everything as it seems to preform well in every aspect, Its a hand load 77grain sierra BTHP. The bullet has a very thin jacket that aids in fragmentation as well as a cannelure that aids in seating and weakens the jacket to again aid in fragmentation. I use Ramshot Tac, but used to use Varget to power it, ill save my weights as they may not be safe in your gun.

The Round I make is a close brother of MK262 military ammo, witch no only gets great long range performance but awesome close range fragmentation.

Sierra sells some 77 grain ammo to the public but cost is pretty high. Tap ammo with the ballistic tip may aid in short range fragmentation, I don't know.

There are frangible rounds that in close range are very devastating, but again I have never shot a living thing with them , just a watermelon, hardly scientific.

I would say use what you got after all, the 5.56 preforms better at close range then it dose at long range anyway. Provided your shot placement is correct I think any of them would give you the desired result.
 

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Camper #9
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. I guess my thoughts were along the line of leaving the most energy inside the target as opposed to having it go neatly through. I didn't know if a more blunt projectile would download the energy more quickly and efficiently. Your heavier HP bullet sounds like a doable project to me. Almost sounds like a windy day varmit load. Sierra's are sometimes a little difficult to find around here, but I'll look.
 

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Any good expanding bullet will work at close range. The problem with most .223 expanding bullets is that they're designed to fragment quickly in small varmints. This sometimes doesn't give enough penetration. Look for bullets designed for hunting. They expand yet hold together. I definately wouldn't try loading boattails backwards. I can see a lot of potential problems with that.
 

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Do not put your bullet in backwards. Definitely a good way to burn the throat of the rifle. The pointed tip in the back will likely blow the gas around the thorat causing erosion quickly. For a little 55gr bullet their is a lot of fast burning powder behind it.

Best bet for close quarters work may be fragmenting ammunition. The primary concern being over penetration.

Besides overpentration, any rifle that has good expansion couple with weight retention (how much of the orignal bullet weight is till together) will do great. A bullet that fragments will do much better than a bullet that does expand much if at all. OF course almost all FMJ stuff gets thrown out. I have found ballistic tips to be great. Best way to check this is to do your own testing. Buy a small box of several kinds of heads and do your own ballisitic testing. I like to use the box of truth method myself with water jugs. After you start seeing some winners, then go hunting with them. Coyote and deer hunting will show how they do. Deer may keep the bullet, but coyote will likely not. Best to disect along the axis of entry and see the brusing and wound profile yourself.

You can also cut the bullet in half and look a bit into it. Thicker copper help with retention. Take a pair of plier and find out how soft and thick the copper is. The softer it is, the less stress damage you see in the copper as it bends. That suede looking lightening of the metal as it start to makes small breaks in the microstructure as it bend. Lead hardness is a picky subject. There is a fine blend between being soft enough to deform and expand to being too soft where pieces break off. Some bullets have special characteristics that make them expand well. For example, high end handgun bullets have specially cast copper jackets with thinner portions that make them separate into the flower petal design.

Take a look around at ballistic gel profiles on the web. Pay close attention to velocities. 14.5 barrel Ar's dont make the velocity 20 or 24" ones do.

when things count, I prefer to have new ammuniton than reloaded one, even though I have not had a single failure to fire yet. At best, keep the cases to 1st reload or new cases. Then pay very close attention to primer seating depth and quality of seating. Be very careful lubing the inside of the case. Test a good portion of the primers in a package to esnure reliability. And weigh each case after reloading to ensure there is powder in there.
 

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Here's my safety Sir
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62gr soft point. i load a bunch for hunting
 

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Son Of Liberty
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Actually testing has show the 62 grain steel core ammo to be the least effective of 5.56 loadings. The only reason it was adopted is to penetrate slightly better then 55 grain, and yes it dose penetrate better, but at a cost of accuracy and actual results in flesh. In my general experiance any bullet with a steel core is less accurate due to the absolute centering of the core, if its not perfect the bullet will wobble and open groups up. Trust me at short range penetration of the 5.56 is the least of your worries, a grain of rice at 2750fps no matter its construction is going to be devastating.
 
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Camper #9
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually testing has show the 62 grain steel core ammo to be the least effective of 5.56 loadings. The only reason it was adopted is to penetrate slightly better then 55 grain, and yes it dose penetrate better, but at a cost of accuracy and actual results in flesh. In my general experiance any bullet with a steel core is less accurate due to the absolute centering of the core, if its not perfect the bullet will wobble and open groups up. Trust me at short range penetration of the 5.56 is the least of your worries, a grain of rice at 2750fps no matter its construction is going to be devastating.
I shoot only 55gr FMJ at this time in my AR's and my new Mini-14's. Whose barrels are now hammer forged and twist @ 1/9. I tried the 62 steel core ss109 years ago and chose to continue stocking 55gr BT FMJ. I think most of us agree, pass thru penetration is the problem, taking half the energy along with it. Will a thin skinned round expand at close range(Highest speed), or does it need to range out a bit to slow down some first?

All rifle calibers(or carbine) can overpenetrate at CQB range. If you are talking about face-to-face, a pistol reigns.
The design of most pistol rounds are what got me to thinking about this. They are designed to transfer power at close ranges, and are usually round or flat. They are rarely pointed like rifle ammo. It is what made me wonder if there was a flat nosed bullet made for the .556. If there was one, it might be a nice round to load at night. :cool:
 

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Son Of Liberty
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Hand gun bullets IMO based on my understanding are a lest effective alternative. In many cases we cant get the power IE speed or bullet length in a hand gun that we can in a rifle. As such the bullet technology has evolved on two separate paths. Hand guns with there velocity and length restrictions have to operate on a low velocity method of lots of weight to make up for the lack of speed. This is generally why the heavier the handgun bullet, the better the effect. We rely on the weight to carry the bullet and the type of bullet to expand and create a larger wound channel, and we do all this while trying to retain as much weight as possible to insure good penetration.


The 5.56 on the other hand we don't want it to retain its weight. we want it to shatter like a wine glass as the speed of the bullet insures the penetration. The wound channel of this round is devastating and although the bullet doesn't become twice its original size the wound channel is often 10 time the original size. Here is a picture of TAP ammo in ballistic gel

Here is what i use 77grain SMK

And the 75 grain tap ammo


Here is a picture of close range hits with several different round, notice the 223/5.56 has the least ammount of bullet pass through


For a great read , check this out, its also where I got the pics and the wound nerds that wrote it up did a great job!
http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm
 

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Use a V-Max round in about any weight available, at close range (50 yds) you will most likely have a through & through, going in like a grape, and coming out like a grape fruit. Now the really light ones, like the 36 grain, and the 40 grain, probably would not exit. I have seen them used on coyotes where there was a tiny entrance hole, but the entire chest cavity was just a bunch of strawberry jelly.
even the full metal jacket boat tail is more than capable at close range, this is what the guys called "The Meat Ax" in the early days of the M-16 in Vietnam. The reason being, that upon impact the bullet would become destabilized, and would tumble. This would cause horrific wounds, the boys loved the black rifle, until it started jamming because the Ordinance Dept. changed the type of powder which resulted in excessive carbon buildup. They were also under the misconception that the "Futuristic" rifle did not require cleaning, so no cleaning kits were ever issued. This situation got a lot of boys killed over there, just another example of brainless Government Bureaucrats screwing things up.
 

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American fearmaker
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Okay! Okay! Fancy ammunition ideas for a .223/5.56 rifle are pretty much a waste of time. Now actually think this through... Why do SWAT teams use M-4 carbines in their operations and what makes their use of the M-4 so effective? Hint for you: It is NOT fancy ammo.

When a SWAT team goes into a room, they are relying on skill, lots of practice under their belts, shot placement and really good tactics. The .223/5.56 caliber M-4 type carbines are not the biggest most effective guns in history. What makes the SWAT team's weapons work best, this includes the 9mm MP-5 submachineguns, is that the officers have practiced repeatedly to deliver fast, well-aimed shots to key areas of the opponent's body. Many SWAT teams practice to deliver the Mozambique style shot system with great speed for close range encounters. After all, if you can deliver 2 bullets to a chest and 1 or 2 bullets into a guy's skull, that receiver of the ballistic surprise is going to have a bad day. So what you do is take your 55 grain boomstick to the range and practice shooting techniques for speed and accuracy. Get a decent red dot sight system, like an EOTech or amber Trijicon Reflex and learn to use it. Speed will come naturally. I personally like the Trijicon Reflex because you don't have to mess around changing dead batteries. You just go to work. The accuracy of the Reflex sight will impress you.
 

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Camper #9
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Use a V-Max round in about any weight available, at close range (50 yds) you will most likely have a through & through, going in like a grape, and coming out like a grape fruit.
I'm thinking more like 10 yds., and maybe more than one target. I'm thinking about having a magazine or two of something to use at night, when you can't see very far. I mean if we had a shottie in the exercise I'd use that, but this is a one .556 gun deal.


Okay! Okay! Fancy ammunition ideas for a .223/5.56 rifle are pretty much a waste of time. Now actually think this through... Why do SWAT teams use M-4 carbines in their operations and what makes their use of the M-4 so effective? Hint for you: It is NOT fancy ammo.

I hear you Heard. What you say makes sense. We aren't swat though. At least I'm not. I won't be part of 15 guys trying to surpise 2 guys, and having the flash-bangs in ahead of me, and a guy with a 12 ga on either side of me, and all of us in good armor. I'd be trying to be a survivor with one good rifle, that shoots a round with a "close range" reputation for going straight through a target. It might kill the bad guy but he might be alive long enough to return the favor, while you try to deal with his friend. I guess what I am just asking, is there a load, or a way to load, that would cover that rumored weak spot.



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So what you do is take your 55 grain boomstick to the range and practice shooting techniques for speed and accuracy. Get a decent red dot sight system, like an EOTech or amber Trijicon Reflex and learn to use it.
I agree sights that let you keep both eyes open are very important. Practice is vital as well, but if it is one vs two, a one shot stop is a must IMO. I'm thinking less than a 1/2 second to shoot twice, if the turn is less than 90 degrees. I've never done it with a .556, but I can with a 9mm carbine.
 

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Consent Withdrawn!
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Sorry, I don't know about LE loads.
Please do not load a bullet backwards...would be an interesting experiment, though.

I'm partial to heavier bullets in the .556, and lighter hunting bullets in the .270 (130 gr.)
I like to load Nosler 69gr HPBT's over H335. They'll expand and tumble, and hopefully won't exit the body and go through the wall behind.
 

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Geronimo!
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Why would you want to really limit yourself to have a mag full of CQC loads when you might have to step out the door and go long range down the street?

I suppose varmit grenades might work great as a CQC only load? ... but again, why?
 
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American fearmaker
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Here's something to think about... When you are talking home defense or personal defense you pretty much need a plan of action that has LAYERS to it. What layering means is that you understand what weapons you will use and when you will be using them. For example:

Let's say that you decide you want to attack me or Dwind. Both of us have a little more experience than the average person. Right off the bat I make the worst case scenario for me to face. I plan for that worst case scenario. My worst case scenario options would be:
A. multiple opponents and/or,
B. multiple opponents who are high on PCP and/or,
C. multiple opponents who are well armed and high on PCP.

Obviously, I would plan my defense around being attacked by a group of bad people who are well armed and high on PCP. Why that scenario? Because it forces me to make extreme plans that will work against ANY group of bad guys. That means that I choose the most effective plan for defense.

Next I look at two items with my defense plan: distance and time. So my defensive plan involves shooting, falling back and using time to my advantage as well. I spread my fight out over a number of yards, obstacles and a lengthy time period. What this means is that from 25 yards on out I will using a rifle for precision shooting. That rifle will be one that is accurate and uses a medium caliber round. The rifle will probably be scoped for enhanced or better accuracy. From zero to 25 yards, I will be using a good 12 guage for my defensive needs. If for some unknown reason my shoulder weapons jam or fail to fire, I'll automatically transistion to my sidearm or pistol. If things get really bad, I go to my sheath knife. If things go beyond sheath knife then we get into hand-to-hand combat. So my layered plan of action is: rifle, shotgun, pistol, sheath knife and then fists. I will spread my combat out over a specific course that I plan to use and it will go for a certain length before I bug out or run out of time. That is what you should be thinking about doing. In your own way.
 
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