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Discussion Starter #1
I own several rifles in .223. They are fun to shoot. I would not shoot a deer with one. I would always choose something larger.

So, I ask myself (after TEOTWAWKI) why would I stake my life and the lives of my loved ones on a round with the following limitations?

- Marginal kill power for humans
- Poor penetration of cover
- Limited range (2-300 yds)

I figure the vast majority of threats after TSHTF will be armed with handguns, shotguns and CQC carbines like .223 or 7.62 X 39. When I'm shooting these bad guys, do I really want to be close enough to them for them to shoot me back? Do I really want to be S.O.L. the minute they duck behind cover? Do I really want to have to shoot them multiple times for a kill?

In Vietnam a sniper and his spotter (one with a .308 and the other with a 30-06) were able to keep a large group of enemy at bay for many days (killing most of them). Why? Because the enemy could never get close enough to shoot back at them with their carbines.

If someone comes barreling up my driveway, guns blazing, I want something that will penetrate the truck and send a clear message "you got the wrong house boys".

I don't mean to offend any AR-15 junkies, as I said I own several .223 semi-autos myself (for my wife and kids and for fun) but I think we'd be well advised to stop playing with plinkers and get some real rifles to do the job when the day comes.

I recently bought an M1A Socom and a .308 bolt action. They're less fun to pack around, more expensive to feed and I can carry less ammo than my .223s, but I think those are compromises we'll have to make to really have the power to do the job if and when the day comes.

DogDoc
 

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Ringin Your Gong From 600
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Seems to kill just fine in the hands of our Marines..... not sure why you dont feel its a good round.... you hit anything you point it at. .308 and bigger gets a bit tricky in a fire fight under stress. Trust me.
But the military is not limited to only the M-16. They have various other weapons to bring in if needed and other means of support at their disposal. They also have multiple-man 'teams', where not everyone here does.

Just a comment, not agreeing or disagreeing with the OP.
 

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well, a rifle in .223 would is good enough to hunt deer with, heck, my dad has hunted deer with his 22 mag rifle and succesfully down a couple with one shot. but to the point. the U.S. military has been using the round for 40+ years. i understand what you say about stoping power and wanting to knock them off before they get to to.

But, do you live in an area where you have 600-700+ yards of open land around your house? if so, not in my opinion, a good BOL. Most likely, anything post SHTF will be close quarters combat. where you'll wish you had that lighter. high capacity fire arm.

however, the choice is yours and i'm not trying to change your mind, just voicing my opinion.
 

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I'm fine with my 5.56 with either 55, 62, 69 or 77 grain bullets. If you don't think the 5.56 can kill or take out a car then maybe you should up that to a good old .45 ACP that has more than enough power to kill or stop a car.

As for range if you can't hit **** with a 5.56 past 200-300 yards then you can't hit **** with anything else either.

I can shoot mine well past where others can and if I want to up the anti then I'll pull out the .308 or .30-06 with AP rounds. They don't extend the range so much as the down range power.

For day to day carry my AR 15 is just fine. Well the 5.45 one.

Carry what you want but don't crap on other people because you can't shoot for ****.
 

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Big guns

You forgot the 50cal sniper rifle. That's a BIG gun and was popular with the military for long shots.

The Russians liked the 7.62mm sniper rifle. NATO seems to like the 7.62mm ammo. Just remember that a caliber has different flavors.

Up close the M16 is fine or a 12ga shotgun with 00 buck. The military used shotguns in Viet Nam. M16's were used for sniping as well.

9mm Luger is used in carbine rifles; Kel-Tec makes a folding carbine. So that would be a good choice since you could use it in a pistol as well. Ruger Blackhawk comes in a 30cal carbine pistol which works good for the M1 Carbine rifle.

It just depends on what you want to do with it. I'd stick with something that uses ammo that is plentiful & affordable.

Right now I see a lot of empty shelves and backordered stuff. People are really stocking up right now and I see the government getting really nervous about it. It won't be long before either guns are outlawed or the ammunition is. Ammunition only has to be declared a hazardous material under OSHA and it will be gone.

:upsidedown:
 

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As with any caliber, the ammunition is the key element.

Standard Military Ball ammunition MIGHT be marginal, depending on what you envision your need. However, Nosler Ballistic Tip .223 ammunition can be devastating.

Granted, it won't perform or have the effectiveness of a .308 or 30-06 round. But, the Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet is much more effective than military ball rounds.

There are certainly pros and cons to the .223 cartridge, but for civilians, there are more options than the standard military ball cartridge.

As for "limited range", exactly what threat do you envision having to contend with past 300 yards? I don't know where you are or what threats you are planning to contend with, but if you think you will need to take shots past 300 yards, I would agree that a .30 caliber rifle would be better suited to the task. Although I think that shots past 100 yards hardly qualifies as a "self defense" situation. But that's just my opinion.

GB7
 

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As for the question of the 5.56 round: if you limit yourself to the full metal jacket round, then you are correct. The Geneva Convention on projectiles was an effort to make them LESS lethal, the thinking of the day was "a wounded man takes more men out of the fight to take care of them than a dead man does", really kind of silly when a high explosive shell can turn you into a red mist, but, oh well.
If the proper rounds are used, I can guarantee a one shot kill with the 5.56. Body armor? there's not many that will defeat a 5.56 round, none that will defeat a round with a tungsten penetrator.
As for shooting deer with one, if you get a properly expanding bullet into a vital area they will go down like a pole-axed steer, and you won't have the bloodshot meat that you get from some of the bigger slugs.
 

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DogDoc

As many of the people who haunt these boards have a very good grounding in firearms, clearly including some of the replies you have received already, let me just tackle a couple of points.

As part of your argument you have made reference to the following incident:
"In Vietnam a sniper and his spotter (one with a .308 and the other with a 30-06) were able to keep a large group of enemy at bay for many days (killing most of them). Why? Because the enemy could never get close enough to shoot back at them with their carbines."

I believe your basic facts are straight as they have come to be reported about this incident. I am among those who don't believe it could havre happened that way. I am not even sure that there is any proof that the sniper team ever reported it that way themselves. But if it did, it wa sa unique situation where a couple of precision shooters caught a force that was less than professional at long range and pinned them down in a rice paddy area. That situation is too unique to be used as an argument for heavy long calibers over the 5.56X45.

Carried to an extreme we would be best served carrying .338 Lapua Magnums but I can tell you that I would shoot better with a rifle, sight, load combination no heavier than 7.62X51. As for even heavier rounds forget it for me, and I have done a lot of shooting over a span of many years, and had the benefit of some terrific shooting instructors and world class ranges.

There are many people that would not be particularly effective with a .300 magnum or a .223 on burst fire. And there are many others who I would not consider engaging even if they only had a .22 magnum bolt gun.

In the end it comes down to the human factor.

But if you get a good shootist behind a top grade. 308, watch out, Katey bar the door.
 

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Forever Vigilant
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Just having a "larger round" is never enough. If you think that you can use a .308, .338 Lapua, .300 Win Mag, .416, or .50 BMG and hold of a force of superior numbers and not have the proper training to do so, you are kidding yourself.

SNIPERS are very highly trained and know how, when, and where to shoot - exactly and precisely - not just in round placement, but what effects it will have overall to the force being engaged.

Without training, I dare to to take one shot with that "larger" round at any well trained unit, especially at anything less than 600 meters. Your ass will get screened, suppressed, flanked, and filled with little .223 caliber holes.

FYI: All Marines MUST qualify with their 5.56 rifles, with distances out to 500 meters (546 yards). The round most certainly has a range well beyond 300 yards.
 

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Modern military thinking is now going backwards in terms of the trend to decrease the caliber of standard infantry rifles. Experiences in Afghanistan have shown that for more open terrain the 5.56 simply isn't good enough.
A trial is currently being conducted by British forces with 7.62 caliber assault rifles in Afghanistan as they feel there is a need for the average soldier to engage hostiles at longer distances.
One of the main reasons for this is that they are facing, almost exclusively, AK fire. While the AK is inherently less accurate it has the potential to cause more damage at larger distances.
 

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Here's my safety Sir
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I was going to respond and comment on this useing my 42+ years experience with this round in both combat and LEO. But I ain't it is a waste of my time. Let the dead speak for it.
 

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Really?
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No offense, but most folks won't be in a situation where armed shootouts will be a norm nor be in a position for long range shots. I can't think of any situation where long range shots are even justified......if you find yourself in a firefight, you have more problems than what caliber you have.........same with a truckful of armed folks, barreling up the road shooting. How do you know they didn't just break into a NG armory and have RPGs or grenades, etc. Shooting from your house puts you at a disadvantage. They can surround you and burn you out or worse.

Nope, PSHTF, my plan is to lay low and look empty.......I will keep the shooting to a minimum and avoid folks at all costs.........any shooting will most likely be at close range, with a SG.
 

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i dont see how you could possibly pick a fight with someone in a shtf situation from 400 yards away unless you are the bad guy and are offensively attacking individuals in order to raid their provisions.

The "enemy" isnt going to be wearing an enemy uniform, and the good guys arent going to be wearing good guy uniforms.

I think people with this mentality are going to be the biggest hazard in shtf situation. I definitely dont want to be shot by some overzealous sniper waiting to shoot the first person who crosses their line of sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't want anyone to have the impression that I believe the .223 can't be a very effective weapon in many scenarios. As I said, I have several and love them. I think they would be very handy in a number of applications. A mini-14 or AR-15 can make a 12 year old or small-frame woman lethal and that's really saying something. The round is light, inexpensive, and accurate and it can, in fact, kill bad guys.

I'm just suggesting that the round has some serious limitations for many very possible scenarios (ie..bad guys behind trees or cars or bad guys at long distance).

Also, the military's choice of .5.56/.223 and 9mm (before anyone gets all excited, know that most of my handguns are 9mm) may not be the best criteria for making our own choices. The military's ends are best met by wounding enemy combatants not by killing them. It costs the enemy more resources to deal with a wounded soldier than a dead one.

I appreciate the points many have made and don't disagree. I'm just suggesting that those commited to survival ought to have more than one tool in their gun safe and ought to be familar with its use so that when the need arises, you'll have the tools you need to protect you and yours.

I worry about the prevalence of the idea that .223 will be "all we need". My hope is that some will consider the limitations of their current tools and consider acquiring other tools that may help to save them should their .223 fail to match their needs.

I have been much influenced by Boston's Gun Bible. I recommend that anyone interested in this question refer to that resource. Boston knows a lot about guns. He says, in no uncertain terms, that if you're only going to have one rifle it ought to be a semi-automatic .308. He, like me, also has several .223s but they aren't his "first and only".


Be safe,

DogDoc
 
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