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5.56/.223 home defense ammo suggestions

As the title states, I was wondering if you gents had any suggestions of some good home defense ammo for my Colt LE6920.

A variable that might make a difference is that I live in a house opposed to an apartment or duplex. My closest neighbors are about 20 yards away. The rest of my immediate neighbors are roughly 30-50 yards away. I live on about 1/3 of an acre plot in a suburban neighborhood, so I highly doubt that I'd ever need to send a long range shot to defend my property. So, any ammo intended for accuracy at long ranges are probably not needed (unless it's also good for CQC).

I received a couple boxes of Speer LE Gold Dot Duty Ammo (.223 64gr) and Federal Fusion (.223 62gr) yesterday. I plan to try a box of each tomorrow at the range to make sure that either of those choices and my rifle will get along. I'm not even sure if those choices are appropriate for home defense ammo, but I figured that I had to start somewhere.

Any suggestions and input would be greatly appreciated!
 
20 yards away in suburbia is no place for any .223. Any 223 round will go through an assailant, if you hit him, through your wall and through your neighbors walls too. Hell you could hit your neighbor from 600 yards! All you need is a cheap shotgun, 12 gauge or even 20 gauge.
 
20 yards away in suburbia is no place for any .223. Any 223 round will go through an assailant, if you hit him, through your wall and through your neighbors walls too. Hell you could hit your neighbor from 600 yards! All you need is a cheap shotgun, 12 gauge or even 20 gauge.

Where did you get this information? It is false. The .223, with no small number of ammo choices, will penetrate FAR less in typical home construction materials than just about any other firearm/ammo combination. IIRC, it actually penetrates fewer sheets of drywall than 00 buck from a typical 12 gauge. It certainly penetrates less than common pistol/ammo choices in those materials.

Claudel, google for "the box of truth" and/or .223 penetration tests. I don't care much for the .223/5.56, but I suspect that you'll find what you're looking for with bullets no heavier than 55 grains. The 63+ grain bullets typically have thicker jackets and more robust construction, meaning they tend to hold together better and thus penetrate better as well. Avoid bullets/loads marketed for varmint hunting. Most will have extremely thin jackets, and aren't suitable for use on anything larger than a coyote because they won't penetrate enough to reach the vitals.
 
Drywall? I wouldnt rely on drywall as a determining factor. Any firearm will blow through sheets of non laminated drywall, and thats fine if you only consider your own house. The problem is the range beyond your last wall. Consider this, someone busts a window to get in and you grab an ar, shoot At the guy and miss. That very fast projectile now has one barrier between itself and a neighbor 20 yards away. Unless you have concrete construction you will most likely hit your neighbors house, car, dog whatever. And that's if you only fire once. An AR is a weapon so sure it will work but is it a smart choice in a suburban environment?
 
I would use a pistol with Frangible Ammo .Will break apart and not ricochet.Best for the environment you mentioned .
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Where did you get this information? It is false. The .223, with no small number of ammo choices, will penetrate FAR less in typical home construction materials than just about any other firearm/ammo combination. IIRC, it actually penetrates fewer sheets of drywall than 00 buck from a typical 12 gauge. It certainly penetrates less than common pistol/ammo choices in those materials.

Claudel, google for "the box of truth" and/or .223 penetration tests. I don't care much for the .223/5.56, but I suspect that you'll find what you're looking for with bullets no heavier than 55 grains. The 63+ grain bullets typically have thicker jackets and more robust construction, meaning they tend to hold together better and thus penetrate better as well. Avoid bullets/loads marketed for varmint hunting. Most will have extremely thin jackets, and aren't suitable for use on anything larger than a coyote because they won't penetrate enough to reach the vitals.

This, is my understanding. Buck will penetrate and 5.56 will fly to shreds when it hits a lot of things.

That said ... Though tempting to use, it is a deafening round inside a house or car without hearing protection - and in a self defense situation, you won't be wearing. I don't use .357 SIG or 7.62 Tok for SD for the same reason.

It is a personal call.


AA
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
A .300 BO upper - which you should have anyway - is a potential answer, but that round may well penetrate better! Yet it can be subsonic... Good ... and at 220 grains, may tumble and not penetrate!


AA
 
Claudel, google for "the box of truth" and/or .223 penetration tests. I don't care much for the .223/5.56, but I suspect that you'll find what you're looking for with bullets no heavier than 55 grains. The 63+ grain bullets typically have thicker jackets and more robust construction, meaning they tend to hold together better and thus penetrate better as well. Avoid bullets/loads marketed for varmint hunting. Most will have extremely thin jackets, and aren't suitable for use on anything larger than a coyote because they won't penetrate enough to reach the vitals.

Thanks for the info! I definitely google that.

Drywall? I wouldnt rely on drywall as a determining factor. Any firearm will blow through sheets of non laminated drywall, and thats fine if you only consider your own house. The problem is the range beyond your last wall. Consider this, someone busts a window to get in and you grab an ar, shoot At the guy and miss. That very fast projectile now has one barrier between itself and a neighbor 20 yards away. Unless you have concrete construction you will most likely hit your neighbors house, car, dog whatever. And that's if you only fire once. An AR is a weapon so sure it will work but is it a smart choice in a suburban environment?

From what I've researched, generally, a .223 HP or SP penetrates less than a 9mm from a handgun.

I would use a pistol with Frangible Ammo .Will break apart and not ricochet.Best for the environment you mentioned .

I have pistols covered. But, I don't always have my carry gun on my person when I'm at home. So, if someone breaks in and the bad guy is between me and my pistol, then I want to have retreating to my AR as an option.

This, is my understanding. Buck will penetrate and 5.56 will fly to shreds when it hits a lot of things.

That said ... Though tempting to use, it is a deafening round inside a house or car without hearing protection - and in a self defense situation, you won't be wearing. I don't use .357 SIG or 7.62 Tok for SD for the same reason.

It is a personal call.


AA

A buddy of mine has permanent hearing loss from firing an AR outside with ear protection (more than likely, he wasn't wearing it properly though). I also know military vets who have claimed to have been in indoor firefights without protection on and managed to come out of it without any hearing loss.

At the end of the day, I'd much rather lose my hearing than lose my life.
 
Not sure what the twist is on your AR, but if you are looking for something that is pretty much guaranteed not to overpenetrate, plain old Winchester White Box 45 grain hollow point varmint ammo is explosive as can be when it hits something. The trade-off, of course, is that you may want a little more penetration on Mr. Bad Guy than what you can get out of it.

But if your barrel twist shoots it okay, and you truly want an explosive round, take a look at it. It is like a grenade on varmints. I can't see any kind of penetration issue through a house wall ever being a problem with it.
 
Not sure what the twist is on your AR, but if you are looking for something that is pretty much guaranteed not to overpenetrate, plain old Winchester White Box 45 grain hollow point varmint ammo is explosive as can be when it hits something. The trade-off, of course, is that you may want a little more penetration on Mr. Bad Guy than what you can get out of it.

But if your barrel twist shoots it okay, and you truly want an explosive round, take a look at it. It is like a grenade on varmints. I can't see any kind of penetration issue through a house wall ever being a problem with it.

I would think that at roughly 3000fps a soft point or hollow point that is so rapidly expanding as to be almost explosive, even with extremely shallow penetration is going to cause so much hurt and bleeding that whoever is on the receiving end will not think about continuing to cause the problem.

Honestly, over the years I have heard so many claims of excessive penetration or not enough that before I believe the claim I am going to be like the guy from Missouri, "show me" Years ago I fired a military 38 special round at an old tire and all it did was bounce off and make a little scuff mark. I was showing my son the power of a 30-06 and popped a 3 foot section of railroad tie standing on end. From about 50 feet it slowly fell over and penetration as I remember was about 3-3 1/2". Certainly not nothing like the pick them up and throw them back 5-6 feet like in the movies.
 

OkieStubble

The Men Who Sniff at Goats
Drywall? I wouldnt rely on drywall as a determining factor. Any firearm will blow through sheets of non laminated drywall, and thats fine if you only consider your own house. The problem is the range beyond your last wall. Consider this, someone busts a window to get in and you grab an ar, shoot At the guy and miss. That very fast projectile now has one barrier between itself and a neighbor 20 yards away. Unless you have concrete construction you will most likely hit your neighbors house, car, dog whatever. And that's if you only fire once. An AR is a weapon so sure it will work but is it a smart choice in a suburban environment?


So why do the SWAT officers in my department, use .556 SBR's on building entry in houses and apartment complexes, when serving warrants on the daily? Are they not worried about over penetration @mroe21877?

@Claudel Xerxes, Either, or...



Look at the extreme disintegration of the bullet in the first video, in just only ballistic gellatin.
 
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simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
So why do the SWAT officers in my department, use .556 SBR's on building entry in houses and apartment complexes, when serving warrants on the daily? Are they not worried about over penetration @mroe21877?

@Claudel Xerxes, Either, or...



Look at the extreme disintegration of the bullet in the first video, in just only ballistic gellatin.

I don't have a .223, and the only time I've shot one was in the military (I'm more of a .30 cal. guy), but I'd listen to what Rob says. There must be a reason that SWAT went from H&K MP5 9mm to SBR .223.

Although I'm interested in what the next LE fad will be.
 
“Long range shot to protect your property” is a concept you should never, ever consider as a valid course of action.
Unless you’re shooting a varmint or maybe a squirrel or rabbit. A .223/5.56 isn’t a great choice for any of them.
 

simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
Drones. :) Oh, and Electro-Magnetics.

I've heard about that. Is that akin to using pepper spray as a precursor to a baton or firearm? Looks good to me, if your department has the resources to purchase them, but then you may have to use a firehose to cool them down. ;)


As for home defense I'm no good on recommending a .223 round...I still use a .357, loaded with 158 grain soft cast lead SWC hollow points in .38 Special +P, a 1911 with 230 grain Gold Dots, and a 12 ga. pump loaded with reduced velocity, low recoil 00 buck. Oh, and a Colt .38 snubby loaded with the same .38 loads.

Also have a lever .30-30 handy for coyotes, but the nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away and I'm careful on how I take a shot.
 
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This, is my understanding. Buck will penetrate and 5.56 will fly to shreds when it hits a lot of things.

That said ... Though tempting to use, it is a deafening round inside a house or car without hearing protection - and in a self defense situation, you won't be wearing. I don't use .357 SIG or 7.62 Tok for SD for the same reason.

It is a personal call.


AA

Deafening? Try a 22-250 inside the cab of a '66 chevy pickup...without getting the muzzle all the way outside the cab. I'm surprised I didn't rupture my eardrums.
 
So why do the SWAT officers in my department, use .556 SBR's on building entry in houses and apartment complexes, when serving warrants on the daily? Are they not worried about over penetration @mroe21877?

@Claudel Xerxes, Either, or...



Look at the extreme disintegration of the bullet in the first video, in just only ballistic gellatin.

Thanks, Rob. I can't seem to find any of it available anywhere though.

“Long range shot to protect your property” is a concept you should never, ever consider as a valid course of action.
Unless you’re shooting a varmint or maybe a squirrel or rabbit. A .223/5.56 isn’t a great choice for any of them.

If there's a societal collapse and there are evil doers trying to get me, then I would think that a long range shot could be a very valid course of action. It's very unlikely that I'll even need to use a firearm in self-defense, let alone use only my off hand because something happened to my dominant hand, but I still plan and train for such an encounter. I'd much rather be prepared, then to encounter something that is totally unknown and not know how to make an appropriate plan of action.
 
Wow have an opinion around here and get roasted. Do whatever you want. However, I wouldn't compare highly trained Leo's or mil with the average Joe homeowner. I've shot 17hmr varmint polymer tip rounds clean through 2x4 target stands- you don't get much lighter than 17. Same goes for cheapo 223 ammo. Ive seen guys at my range put 223 through pressure treated 2x8's.

In my old house I would have grabbed whatever was closest, including my AR, as I had a couple thousand feet of trees on most sides of the house. In a development though I would think twice. Like I said before, my concern is the shot that gets out if the house, because it will hit something, and in a development it could very well be a neighbor's house, or a neighbor.
 
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