Forums / Gun Discussion / the .223/5.56 vs other ammunition

3 years 15 weeks ago, 3:27 PM

Builtf0rdtough

Builtf0rdtough's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
903
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
FL, United States

Hear is my question and open debate topic for today. Why is the .223/5.56 round too small to use on deer or like sized game, but used in war and also by police as anti-personnel situations? Im not 100% but I think that the SWAT uses 55gr hollowpoints for their AR's, why do they not work on deer?(or so people say). I was just reading the ARRifleman magazine I bought and they were talking the 5.56 down, basically saying its got no use, as It wont do the job. They were in love with the new 7.62x40, the .300, 6.8SPC and a couple others. Other that the obvious, the grain difference and the actual bullet width/length make a big difference. But it brings me back to the main question...why do we use it for anti-personnel but is so shunned on for hunting with..some states its illegal to hunt with .223. I feel like I need to buy a new rifle to hunt with as they convinced me that my AR is too small a caliber to safly hunt with, or even use as a defensive rifle. LOL my AR was in this magazine, actually kind of cool to see them review my exact model in a big magazine. They called it" not exactly sniper quality, but good enough accuracy to hunt game with". Its a damn AR for crying out loud, not a sniper rifle...thats why people go out and spend 1k+ on a rem 700 and such. Im thinking of just taking my scope off the AR and getting some sort of red dot or reflex instead of an actual scope, and buying a 30-06 or a 273 from wally. Heard some good things about those, good power, really accurate, and CHEAP price but GOOD quality..whats your thoughts on that?

"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy"-Winston Churchill
3 years 15 weeks ago, 3:34 PM

clintlebo

clintlebo's picture


Rank:
General
Points:
2311
Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
land, of confusion, United States
humane taking of game

Built,
I am no expert, but I have been on a hunt or two. I believe the difference is based on the humane kill argument. There has to be an arbitrary line somewhere, and seems the Department of Wildlife choose the .223. When we kill our cows, we shoot them in the head with a .22lr. It works very well. But not everyone is able to walk up the animal and shoot it in the head.
I think in some regulations, they also have a ft/lbs requirement, but that might be old school thought. I just seems to remember some verbiage to that effect. That way they can discount pistol cartridges in a rifle platform.
Other than that, I do not know, but I can ask a Game Warden buddy the next time I talk to him.

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
3 years 15 weeks ago, 3:59 PM

Saint J.M. Browning

Saint J.M. Browning's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
3569
Join Date:
Feb 2011
Location:
The Colony, Texas, United States
BFT

As Clint stated the reason given is humane kill. And this is largely valid. There are many hunters out there now that, well, they're idiots. But the argument about it isn't an effective deer round is wrong. There was a time that the .22 LR was killing more deer than any other round. Let me qualify that I am talking white tail. But shot placement is crucial in this.
I personally would use at least a .243, based on my abilities. But if a hunter can take a moose with an arrow, the .223 can work for deer. If the hunter is up to it.

"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:06 PM

luckybychoice

luckybychoice's picture


Rank:
Secretary of the Treasury
Points:
6795
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
United States
deer

i have shot 12 deer with the mighty.223,dropped every one of them,deer here weigh 180-260 around here,i have shot some big does.Humans weigh about the same.i have never felt undergunned going out in the field deer hunting(okay with my .44 mag pistol i was).The only reason i don't use a .223 here in MN is i hunt shotgun or muzzleloader or pistol now.I would have to go further North to use the .223.,which is a legal round to hunt deer with(did not use to be though).The 12 deer i shot were in Wisconsin when i used to live there,some seasons i could shoot 2 or 3,which i have done.

Don't forget those gun mags want to sell you the flavor of the month and they have to write about something.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:17 PM

Saint J.M. Browning

Saint J.M. Browning's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
3569
Join Date:
Feb 2011
Location:
The Colony, Texas, United States

luckybychoice wrote:
Don't forget those gun mags want to sell you the flavor of the month and they have to write about something.

Good point, LBC. Yeah, that's true too. Either because of sales of because of ego, the writer may be one of those guys that thinks everyone needs an AR-10 or a AR-15 in 6.8 SPC because of the "ineffectiveness" of the 5.56

It's no different with bolt gun hunters either. I've even heard some brainiacs say the .30-06 isn't enough and they need a .300 Weatherby or .300 RUM. Which was probably influenced by a gun writer.

I will say this, and I tend to forget, that different hunters have different hunts. I usually am in the 60-150 yard range, and a .243 would be fine for that. Many eastern hunters hunt in this range or less, and the .223 is OK. But then, if you are talking beanfield shots or other long distance shots as is normal in the west, the .223 shouldn't be considered.

"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:26 PM

Vaquero

Vaquero's picture

Rank:
General of the Army
Points:
5502
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
West Texas

Reason #1 as I understand it.
The objective in the battlefield is to neutralize a combatant. A wounded soldier requires others to aid and transport thus neutralizing several soldiers with one "wound" shot.

A deer would need to be tracked, maybe for miles. No aid for the deer and better than 50% chance you won't find it. I won't hunt a 100 lb+ animal with a .223. I will defend myself from man or beast with whatever I have in my hands.

(in edit) Snipers don't use .223/5.56

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 15 weeks ago, 8:32 PM

ronin1604

ronin1604's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
801
Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
killeen, texas
223/5.56 for deer..

Vaquero wrote:

(in edit) Snipers don't use .223/5.56
This is partially correct. When the military decide to acknowledge the usefulness of snipers in the middle east this time, they realized they needed more " precision" shooters. Hence the birth of the Designated Marksman. These shooters were trained to consistently hit 8" targets in the 600m range. The weapon they used? Accurized M-16's. These were later replaced with reworked M14's.
Also as I understand it, and I could be wrong. One of the main criteria for the military main battle rifle was to have a round that remained super-sonic at 500m.
The biggest issue with people using the 5.56 is that to many people are crappy shots or buck fever gets them and they have poor shot placement. Here the main criteria is the rifle must be center fire. Can the 5.56 take a deer? Absolutely! Would I use or recommend? No.
Just my .02 cents.

__________________ "...He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." - Jesus, Luke 22:36
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:42 PM

Builtf0rdtough

Builtf0rdtough's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
903
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
FL, United States

Where I hunt a 150yd shot would be the longest without a tree getting in the way, all these pine farms etc. most shots are less than 100, even less than 75. I really like my AR, kindof t'd me off reading this mag saying that the .223 isnt a good defensive round.....any bullet is good for denfense..lol. Im thinking even if a damn lion is comming after you, you put a .223 into that sucker, I think hes gonna give it a 2nd thought on continuing his attack on you, as he is a predator, and is not used to getting hurt. As for human defense, your put 10-30 rounds down range, thats enough to scare most people off, and your likely to land some with that many rounds shot...hell the racking of a shotgun is enough to scare intruders...lol a .22 is deadlier than birdshot. The deer here are pretty small...200 is a rare deer here, mostly mid 100's. I recon a neck shot would be best for a .223, and with a 30-06 you could feel more comfortable with a heart/lung shot attempt. What worried me was some stories that a .223 would not penetrate deep enough to hit the heart/lungs in white tail. But I dont know if thats BS or are they talking huge deer in places like michigan, canada, alaska, etc.

"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy"-Winston Churchill
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:48 PM

Saint J.M. Browning

Saint J.M. Browning's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
3569
Join Date:
Feb 2011
Location:
The Colony, Texas, United States
BFT

Yeah, I think you'd be good with that. But it's all about shot placement. Now, like I said, I'm only confident enough in myself to believe that I could go down to a .243 in the conditions I hunt. But I typically use the .30-06 because I don't like walking far for my meat. ;)

And you make a good point, even with whitetail, there are big differences. The whitetail down here in Texas are small compared to the bruisers in Illinois and Michigan. And I heard it's the same in Florida.

"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:50 PM

luckybychoice

luckybychoice's picture


Rank:
Secretary of the Treasury
Points:
6795
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
United States
nope

the 5.56 is a devastating round on soft targets,but there are plenty of posts already on the subject of the round here.The 5.56 was adopted because along with it's excellant performance in soft tissue it is lighter,allowing troops in the field to carry more ammo.The idea of shooting to wound is not the reason the 5.56 was adopted,if that was the case anything above 5.56 would be illegal to use on the battlefield,and the .50 cal could only be used on truck engines because that round was designed to disable vehicles.Or maybe on the battlefield if you see 2 guys carrying one,then time out don't shoot them right? i don't think so.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
3 years 15 weeks ago, 5:02 PM

HampsterW

HampsterW's picture

Rank:
Secretary of State
Points:
7723
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
Cottonwood Heights, Utah, United States
5.56

Like LBC says, 5.56 is most certainly deadly, the round tends to tumble and the hydrodynamic shock it produces on impact is devastating to organs.

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
3 years 15 weeks ago, 5:16 PM

Vaquero

Vaquero's picture

Rank:
General of the Army
Points:
5502
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
West Texas
5.56

http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/ballistics/english-ballistics-chart-...

All arguments are supported (of course).
Still a good source of reference data.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 15 weeks ago, 9:02 PM

Vaquero

Vaquero's picture

Rank:
General of the Army
Points:
5502
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
West Texas
I can't get over this

On the table linked above, the .25 auto has muzzle energy of 63 ft/lb.
Really? samD yer better off swatting the bad guy with your cane!
Got about as much reach too.
No offence to Beretta.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 15 weeks ago, 9:33 PM

Saint J.M. Browning

Saint J.M. Browning's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
3569
Join Date:
Feb 2011
Location:
The Colony, Texas, United States
.25

lol!
Funny, Vaq. Damn, I might re-thing my posture on "any round is capable". 63 ft/lb? I can punch harder than that. That WAS out of a 2" barrel, but that sounds about right for the mouse guns. Definitely have to have HP. I think the expansion still creates a decent wound channel.

"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon
3 years 15 weeks ago, 5:26 PM

Vaquero

Vaquero's picture

Rank:
General of the Army
Points:
5502
Join Date:
Dec 2009
Location:
West Texas
Deer do weird things

Way back me and a guy were hunting along a tree line near a wheat field. A doe (average size, maybe 160 lb on the hoof) strolls by at maybe 40' from us. He pulled his .357 mag pistol and fired.
She bolted, full speed slightly arcing to the right. Made a full circle of about 3/4 mile and stopped and dropped right back in front of us. Field dressing revealed the heart was blown to bits. Perfect heart shot, good penetration and tissue destruction. Deer are like humans on PPC. Totaly unpredictable and unexplainable.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3 years 15 weeks ago, 10:25 PM

HampsterW

HampsterW's picture

Rank:
Secretary of State
Points:
7723
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
Cottonwood Heights, Utah, United States

Oh man i'm cry'n here, that is the funniest thing, you might throw the gun at him, it might hit harder, no disrespect Sam but those are some bad numbers, even my beloved .380 (back up at best) scores better...Anyhoo I nominate that COD 1/11/12

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
3 years 15 weeks ago, 4:46 PM

Reaper308

Reaper308's picture


Rank:
Secretary of Defense
Points:
6226
Join Date:
Jun 2008
Location:
Airstrip One, Oceania
BFT

throw a 300 blk barrel on it. problem sovled

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
3 years 14 weeks ago, 4:09 PM

runawaygun762

runawaygun762's picture

Rank:
Vice President
Points:
8929
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Location:
Richland, MO, United States
.223/5.56 discussion

All the reasons have pretty much been given, but I'm a points whore, so I'll add to it. .223 is legal for deer here in MO now, and I personally think it's a bad idea. You can kill a deer with a .22 LR with great shot placement, but when you consider most hunters probably check the zero of their rifles right before deer season and call it good, my confidence in a humane kill with such a small round is not very high. With larger rounds, you have more margin for error. If a shooter knows well the exterior ballistics of his rifle, knows the capabilities and limitations of his ammo, and can place accurate fire on Bambi, then by all means, use that little gun

As for its use against people, studies after WW2 and Korea showed most combat took place at ranges less than 200 yards, so the ability to make hits at extended ranges fell out of the top of the priority list. Add to that the weight savings of smaller ammo and the reduced recoil, and the varmint round seems like a natural choice. Te 5.56 works very well at close distances of urban combat, but a lot of guys are finding it to be less than ideal (read, garbage) at the more extended ranges found in Afghanistan. Training definitely has something to do with it, but there have been some decent efforts at improving the performance of the 5.56 with the 77 gr MK 262 round, the APLP round, and 5.56 EPR. A Google search will tell you more about those rounds than I could right now.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
3 years 14 weeks ago, 4:56 PM

greg az

greg az's picture

Rank:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Points:
5873
Join Date:
Oct 2009
Location:
New York, NY, Israel

Ronin (think, if not sorry) had some points about shot placement that are different than anything i had heard before, Instead of the "apricot" they talk about shooting the neck.. Read some of the posts.. This sounded strange to start with, but now makes since, and backed by others who have also used the neck for shot placement.. read some of the posts..

Your right about the training issue.. That's what finally swung McNamara over, and guess this was fought hard by the Pentagon..The whole 556 debate was a big part of the early sixties.. Military didn't want to go smaller than the 7.62 NATO.. Which was already a step down from the 30.06..

McNamara, and what are referred to as the "whiz kids" had Kennedy's ear.. Eugene was not getting the results from field testing (least per Mil establishment) He used McNamara's position of sec Defense to tip the scale.

Field tests at Aberdeen were.. so so..the Air Force bought into it but not the Army or Marine Corp.. Eugene, and Mac's argument (valid of course) was that the day of the new recruit having real world experience with rifles, hunting or otherwise was over.. The lighter recoil of the weapons system as well as weight of rifle and ammo was what Eugene used (logic basically) to see his system.. That and the fact that McNamara rammed it down the Generals throats.. I've seen (sure we all have) like three different doc's on this, and their all in agreement.. Stoner was not just a great inventor, but marketer as well..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
3 years 14 weeks ago, 8:28 PM

samD

samD's picture

Rank:
President
Points:
15597
Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States

M1 carbine .30 cal in 1965. Air Force, we didn't want to get bruises or anything. LOL
But I shot a shit load of 30 cal. My buddy & I had our 30 cal (#2 Pencils) so we spent part of the day shooting a 4x4 in half that held up our target. Sorry Mr Range Officer it seems to be shooting to the left. LOL
Of course we each had 2 - 30 round mags black taped to each other.

3 years 14 weeks ago, 8:55 PM

HampsterW

HampsterW's picture

Rank:
Secretary of State
Points:
7723
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
Cottonwood Heights, Utah, United States
Sam, 30rd mags

for an M-1 carbine?

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
3 years 14 weeks ago, 9:06 PM

daisycutter

daisycutter's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
5393
Join Date:
Jul 2009
Location:
Arkansas

`

iyaoyas
3 years 14 weeks ago, 11:28 PM

samD

samD's picture

Rank:
President
Points:
15597
Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States

but that was a long ass time ago...

3 years 14 weeks ago, 11:26 PM

greg az

greg az's picture

Rank:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Points:
5873
Join Date:
Oct 2009
Location:
New York, NY, Israel

That was the first general service banana mag.. I bought a bunch of them (mil surp, not new) when i had my universal M1.. Still lot available..

One of the cool things about the M1.. know that post couple days ago talking about converting ingrams to full auto.. Yep.. M1 is renowned for (stuff better left unsaid)..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
3 years 14 weeks ago, 12:07 AM

Ishootdaily

Ishootdaily's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
4375
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States

M1 WWII issued with 15 round mags...
M2 WWII 1944 converted to select fire and issued with 30 round mags from that point on.

M1, M2, M3 .30 Cal Carbine
M1 semi Auto M2 select Fire 1944 M3 select Fire

though I do think a Sniper Version was kind of pushing it a bit... lol

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
3 years 14 weeks ago, 12:12 AM

greg az

greg az's picture

Rank:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Points:
5873
Join Date:
Oct 2009
Location:
New York, NY, Israel

maybe that was the 3.. i still have some of those magazines around here.. extremely reliable.. Yep the 15 was standard.. original AR's were 20 round..

Sure wish they would work out a deal on those in S Korea.. Cheap, and fun.. loved mine..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
3 years 14 weeks ago, 12:21 AM

Ishootdaily

Ishootdaily's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
4375
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States

Hard to find a real one these days that is in good condition unless your willing to put out $$$ for it though.

Khar Arms is making M1's now.

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
3 years 14 weeks ago, 12:26 AM

greg az

greg az's picture

Rank:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Points:
5873
Join Date:
Oct 2009
Location:
New York, NY, Israel

whats the scoop, are they reasonably priced.. I've given some serious thought to another M1, but can't find one thats half reasonable.. Your thoughts on the Khars appreciated..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
3 years 14 weeks ago, 12:36 AM

Ishootdaily

Ishootdaily's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
4375
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States
Khar M1 .30 Carbine

I've shot Ed's allot and it is actually more accurate than any of the Winchester or Inlands I've shot. I don't care for the Fiber Stock, but we swapped Ed's for a Wooden Stock and I like it allot better now.

You can pick one up at a decent price and it would be a fantastic brush, pest gun too.

I'll take some picks on Jeff's IBM made M1. It is very nice considering it was an issue weapon and has been around and shot for a very long time.

I will say that the Fiber Stock (olive green) is very light making a very light rifle extremely light. Which lends to it's fast transitions from target to target.

Ed picked his up for $400.00 with both stocks a couple of years ago.

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
3 years 14 weeks ago, 12:40 AM

daisycutter

daisycutter's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
5393
Join Date:
Jul 2009
Location:
Arkansas

`

iyaoyas

Who's Online

Guns Lot Activity
Users
Currently Active Users: 743 (0 members and 743 guests)

Users Active within the last 24 hours
daisycutter, Pa Pa Tom, DanO, captmax, jf.chandler sr., tallguy007, LLE, teko52, BushBoy, nobile157
Guns Lot Statistics
Stats Topics: 8,748, Comments: 162,459, Members: 23,517
Welcome our newest member: Hank6046

Recent Activity