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.223/5.56 self-defense ammo?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by cowboy1964, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Looking for recommendations for .223/5.56 SD ammo for a 1:9 twist barrel. Probably 69gr would be best? I like Cor-bon's stuff but it's very pricey (not sure they even make anything in 69gr). I want something with reliable expansion/fragmentation as I'm not concerned with punching through plate steel, etc.

    Also, the rule of thumb for testing ammo in a pistol is 200 rounds. What about with an AR? How many ball rounds would you put through a new AR first to verify basic functioning of the gun before testing the SD ammo?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  2. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010



    Aug 22, 2009
    Black Hills makes both a 68gr. and 69gr. Match (read open tip) round. Different bullet types but both work very well in 1:9 twist barrels. In fact most manufacturers will say the 69gr. bullets are as big as you can go and get proper stabilization with the 1:9 twist. Some of the 1:9 barrels will work with larger rounds but it varys from different individual rifles. I called Black Hills quite awhile back and asked which load to shoot out of my Bushy Shorty. They said either one of the above.
    Can't remember why but the gentleman I spoke with recommended the 68gr. round. Very accurate, hard hitting rounds. Popped a couple of coyotes that were eating a friends chickens on his farm. Shoulder shots on both. DRT. Through and through wounds. Nasty exit wounds and lead and copper throughout the wound track. Keep a couple of mags loaded for my Bushy. It would be my go to round if anything went bump in the night. Ammo to Go has some right now. Not real cheap but not near as expensive as the Cor Bon. Good stuff. Hope this helps.
  4. Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  5. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I've been told in more than a couple of AR armorer classes, by a couple of manufacturers, that specific heavy 75-77gr bullet loads should be checked for accuracy and performance in specific AR's with 1:9" twist rates, to confirm whether or not specific loads will deliver the desired accuracy in specific weapons.
  6. OgenRwot

    OgenRwot Politico

    Apr 2, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah once you get up over 60-62 grains you're gonna need to go faster than 1:9, it wont stabilize that heavy of a projectile. 1:8 is fine but 1:7 is going to be more readily available.
  7. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I got lucky with my Match HBAR with 1:9" twist. It stabilizes rounds I've tried from 55gr to mid-70's and has delivered fine accuracy with all of them on the 100yd range.

    I've seen other unfavorable bullet weight/twist rate combinations exhibit pretty erratic accuracy & performance in as little as 50yds.
  8. :goodpost:

    Just tryin' to make things more difficult aren't you?

    I've always wanted to add a Colt to the 5.56 collection, liked the ones we had about 40 years ago. :supergrin:

    I guess it's time to use the sights and test the Barnes 62gr, Hornady 68/75gr at distances more than 25ft.

    Bob :cowboy:
  9. subscribing.

    For now I'm using M855 Win Ranger. Its the only m855 I've found recommended for HD. I like the barrier(wall) penetration capability.
  10. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    68 - 69 grain OTM's shoot just fine out of 1:9 barrels. I haven't tried anything over 69, but many say 75's shoot / stabilize just fine.

    My preference is Sierra's 69 grain Matchking (SMK) over Varget for my 16" barrel AR's. Black Hills makes this load commercially (not sure about what powder they use). Damn accurate, and if it performs half as well on 2 legged varmints as I've seen on 4 legged varmints, it will do the job nicely. Same results as Deadeyeguy on yotes.
  11. SIGShooter

    SIGShooter Hucklebucks

    Jan 25, 2005

    Black Hills 69 Gr. BTHP

    I zero the weapon to Army standards. I ensure proper functioning of at least 100 rounds. I make sure the weapon will hold the zero during this functions check.

    I would test the same amount of ammunition in the rifle of your choosing especially if you are going to have multiple types of ammunition for the one rifle. IMO, I would stick with one HP round and one FMJ round. Switching between ammunition of different weights and profiles will throw your zero off.

    One of the things I have done…

    I mechanical zero every AR I have.

    Take each rifle to the range and zero it with M855 ball ammunition.

    I make note of the amount of adjustments I have made to the sights.

    I will take my primary SD round and zero that. Making notes as to the change in adjustments from my M855.

    I know that from my M855 to my MK262 I have to move 1 click right and 1 click up. If I switch back to M855 I simply adjust 1 click left and 1 click down.

    Mechanical zero: Bring front sight post flush with base. Rear sight is moved all the way to the left and then back to the right while counting the clicks. Once you've reached the farthest you can go, divide by 2 (Odd numbers round up by one) and then that's the amount that you move back to the right.

    This should be the base of your zero. You can always go back to mechanical zero no matter what. It never changes. Make your adjustments off of your mechanical zero for your ammunition. If you use two different types (M855 and MK262) make you adjustments for the second round off the M855. You can't ever go wrong.
  12. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Howdy. :wavey:

    As far as tryin' to make things difficult?

    Well, there's only one way to be sure, you know? :supergrin:
  13. How does MK262 fare my m855 within 50-100 yds. I've always considered it more for longrange and since its so heavy I've never tried it my in 1:9
  14. SIGShooter

    SIGShooter Hucklebucks

    Jan 25, 2005

    Out of my Colt LE 6920, 16" Barrel, 1:7 twist…

    25 Meter Military Zero target…

    I had a deviation of less than 1/8" in adjustments. Now that's 25 meters.

    At a hundred yards, without my book here, I will guess around 2 inches difference. Now the MK262 is considered "match" ammunition as opposed to the M855. Again, the differences are a guess right now. I am not at home and don't have my dope card with me. Also, every M4 I have is different in the realm of accuracy and zeroing.

    There is negligible differences in accuracy between the MK262 and Hornady TAP 75 Gr. BTHP ammunition that I have tested. For my zero, I didn't have to adjust anything when I used the TAP as my primary round instead of the M855.
  15. SIGShooter

    SIGShooter Hucklebucks

    Jan 25, 2005
    One thing I would like to add…

    I have had M4s with a 1:9 twist rate. I was able to get about 3 inch groups at 200 yards when I used BH 69 Gr. BTHP ammunition.

    Again, every rifle is different and I am by no means an expert in the realm of long range shooting. I just know how my rifles shoot.
  16. SS,
    Thanks I was talking more on the lines of terminal ballistics for SD/HD
  17. SIGShooter

    SIGShooter Hucklebucks

    Jan 25, 2005

    Ahh…I gotcha now.

    I'm not a ballistics expert however, I do think that the MK262 would do a better job (Especially MK262 MOD1) in wounding/killing. Better fragmentation, deeper penetration and better accuracy on target (As long as you have the time to take a well aimed shot). It has been stated that the MK262 is not a good hard barrier penetrator, however I do not see myself having to punch through car windows and doors. If that ever did come to fruition, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

    There is a website you can go to where they did some really good testing of the ammunition. I can't remember if it's or…Something like that. Gary Roberts is the one who did the tests.
  18. hurley842002


    Nov 18, 2009
    Littleton, Co
    Unless you live in a mansion or something, Most common HD ranges shouldn't have a noticeable affect on heavier bullets out of a 1:9 twist barrel. I would buy some Hornady 75 grainers, find the longest distance in your home you would likely have to shoot from, and see how well they do.
  19. So you disregard yaw factor within bullet types.

    What if "home" defense includes my entire property? I didn't say close qt'ers or i'd be using my pump.
  20. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    Feb 6, 2000
    Not always. For example out of 8 1/9 twist guns I have tested with 75 grain TAP (556 load) only one gun did not stabalize the round. (Bushmaster Patrolman carbine.)