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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have been thinking...
Since civilians are not restricted by the Geneva Convention, why should we duplicate ball ammo? Are there better bullets out there that we should be loading that would be more effective than ball ammo?

What would the military be using if they were not part of the GC? What types are more effective than FMJ and why?

As handloaders, we like to have our SHTF/EOTWAWKI ammo and we instantly think to duplicate the M80 or M193/M855.

Where would Accu-bonds, Ballistic tips and A-max's be suitable?

Thoughts?

Please include reasonings for both 5.56 & 7.62 NATO
 

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I think a slug such as a Ballistic Tip or A-Max would be more than acceptable and provide for reliable feeding in a semi-auto...

However, I think most of time cost is influencing the way people are reloading these days.
 

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As handloaders, we like to have our SHTF/EOTWAWKI ammo and we instantly think to duplicate the M80 or M193
Seems like your lumping everyone (reloaders) into a single group.

SMK is a hollow point FMJ that (reloaders) like...

That's hardly M80

Many of (Us) use a Amax type bullet.

I use ball ammo cause it's cheap.

For personal protection, I have some different stuff.
 

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All I load are soft points in the M1A. I've seen what FMJ & HP's do to deer. They go straight through and the deer runs so far & so fast that you never find it. On the other hand SP's at 308 velocities usually do not exit when placed right, but the damage is awesome for sure, clean & quick kills. I have to think that in a SHTF situation SP's is all you want.

ClessK
 

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I brought this up in another thread.

Ball ammo in a 308 is not generally a problem, if unfortunate enough to get hit with a 308, I highly doubt it if the bullet type will matter too much since getting up and continuing the fight afterwards isn't the norm. To answer the question, my choice would be to use a polymer tip 168gr or 155gr bullet like the Hornady TAP load. TAP has awesome terminal ballistics on gelatin and superior to Sierra Match Kings due to more consistent performance. SMK's are hollow points, but because of the small opening, they don't perform the same way every time. Sometimes the open, sometimes they don't.
The 223 is another issue entirely. We've created the M855 ammo to try to accomplish multiple objectives with one light bullet. Unfortunately, due to the small size of the 223 and the bullet construction of the M855, I don't think it accomplishes both the light AP or anti-personnel role very well at at all.
Look at the complaints about the lack of effectiveness of M16's in the field for a while now and the reasoning behind the creation of the 6.8SPC.
If I were to choose a bullet for the AR my choice would be the 60gr V-Max or the 64gr soft point. Both are very effective on tissue and light barriers. Honestly, if you want to penetrate anything heavier, you should be firing a 30 cal round...ball ammo or not, it does the job.
 

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I think a slug such as a Ballistic Tip or A-Max would be more than acceptable and provide for reliable feeding in a semi-auto...

However, I think most of time cost is influencing the way people are reloading these days.
Agreed on both points.

If one handloads for economy, you choose the cheapest bullets/powder. Most times that's surplus bullets and powder which come from the USGI inventory.
If one handloads for match shooting the cost rises because of the cost of match grade components.
If one handloads for personal protection, I would suggest commercial ammo to avoid a potential legal nightmare in court.
 
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tonyben,

I have been thinking along the exact same lines.

I want to create the "ultimate CQB load" without Hague Convention restrictions.

I stocked up on Winchester 64gr softpoints and Sierra 65gr GameKing softpoints in 5.56.

Either one can be loaded up close to M855 velocity and they are boattails with BCs close to the M855, so you can make them track the adjustable sights or say an ACOG reticle pretty close. I think a 65gr GameKing at 3000 fps +/- will put a hurtin on anything, at least as much as a 5.56 can do.

I also want to fool around with powders slightly toward the fast end of the scale, around the Win748 region, to try to get the best velocity/lower port pressure/least bashing of the bolt from a 16" carbine barrel.

Using the same reasoning for the 7.62 I stocked up on Nosler 165gr ballistic tips which have a long track record of great performance.

Now I just need a place to get my loading bench set up.GI7
 

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I am also thinking about a quicker powder for the SOCOM 16, but from what I have read W-W 748 is overly bright in lower light conditions. I think the first powder I try will be IMR 3031. Anyone had experience w/ this powder & muzzle flash?

The opinion of any 30 cal. bullet stopping target would have to come from experience. My experience on game smaller than a man even is that I will not trust a FMJ or HP bullet. According to Sierra their 165 gr. GK was developed for the 300 Weatherby Mag. They didn't want it explode on game so it is pretty tough. Sierra assured me that this bullet would perform in 308 Win. at ranges out to 200 yds. With my MV at about 2700 fps and game under 100 yds. this bullet did not perform as expected. I am sure the game died, but not in the same county it was shot in. I am a fan of Sierra bullets, but the bullet has to fit the application. Sierra's 150 gr. Pro Hunter does a wonderful job and shoots very well.

ClessK
 

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I am also thinking about a quicker powder for the SOCOM 16, but from what I have read W-W 748 is overly bright in lower light conditions. I think the first powder I try will be IMR 3031. Anyone had experience w/ this powder & muzzle flash?

The opinion of any 30 cal. bullet stopping target would have to come from experience. My experience on game smaller than a man even is that I will not trust a FMJ or HP bullet. According to Sierra their 165 gr. GK was developed for the 300 Weatherby Mag. They didn't want it explode on game so it is pretty tough. Sierra assured me that this bullet would perform in 308 Win. at ranges out to 200 yds. With my MV at about 2700 fps and game under 100 yds. this bullet did not perform as expected. I am sure the game died, but not in the same county it was shot in. I am a fan of Sierra bullets, but the bullet has to fit the application. Sierra's 150 gr. Pro Hunter does a wonderful job and shoots very well.

ClessK
That's good info on the Sierras, I wasn't aware of that. Are you referring to the 165 SP GK or the 165 HP GK? The 165 SPs are the best shooting bullet from my Mauser but I haven't hunted with them yet. I'd be sad to learn they don't expand well ( I have a 17.5" barrel.GI8 )
 

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.308: Hornady 150gr. SST (polymer tip).

5.56: Hornady 75gr. TAP. Black Hills 75gr. Match.

My vague understanding of this is that I want a lighter hunting bullet in .308, for more velocity and expansion, but a heavier bullet in 5.56 for more penetration and tumbling.

Bimmer
 

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I stocked up on Winchester 64gr softpoints and Sierra 65gr GameKing softpoints in 5.56.

Either one can be loaded up close to M855 velocity and they are boattails with BCs close to the M855, so you can make them track the adjustable sights or say an ACOG reticle pretty close. I think a 65gr GameKing at 3000 fps +/- will put a hurtin on anything, at least as much as a 5.56 can do.
I don't even know enough about this to be dangerous, but the guys over at m4c.net look skeptically at any 5.56 bullets of less than 70-75gr as man-stoppers.

The worry is that lighter hollow points underpenetrate and don't stop bad guys.

YMMV,

Bimmer
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have been loading 223 with 55gr FMJ's and just started to think about their overall effectiveness if I really needed them somehow. I have about 250 rds of factory LC M193 that I have been holding on to but again wonder if I am stocking nothing more than plinking ammo? I am seriously considering shifting directions in my reloading practices for the 223. I may just start with LC cases, small base sized and go with a heavier ballistic tip, heavier FMJ or heavier soft point.

I suppose the best is the ballistic tip but again, that's pricey. If I buy a box of 100 every pay day, it won't hurt so bad. This won't be ammo I will be shooting anywhere near on a regular basis. I want it to be reliable, so (for me) that means crimping, even if that means losing a little accuracy. I know people can add their own cannelures (I saw it in Handloader magazine once) but if I can find a good heavy bullet with a cannelure, that would be my best option.

I am looking to make good, reliable "when I really needed it to perform" ammo.

For the 308, it seems that I almost can't go wrong with any load above 147 either FMJ, soft point or ballistic tip. I guess the only thing I won't stock is match ammo, altough I really wouldn't know the difference if I was shot in the head with a FMJ hollow point, a FMJ or a soft point. I suppose dead is dead.

I guess what I gather from this discussion is that again, there is no one "do-all" bullet. For a perpared person, it's great to have a good selection of ammo ready and at your disposal when you need it. I guess the most important thing to know is what to use and when to use it.
 

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I don't even know enough about this to be dangerous, but the guys over at m4c.net look skeptically at any 5.56 bullets of less than 70-75gr as man-stoppers.

The worry is that lighter hollow points underpenetrate and don't stop bad guys.

YMMV,

Bimmer
Again this goes back to the Hague Convention issue. The military is only allowed to use FMJ or (now) hollowpoint match bullets. With these restrictions about the best you can do is the 77gr Sierra MK OTM, which is why it's the issued ammo of choice for SDMs etc. If you can't have expansion, the next best you can do is weight.

Civilians aren't limited by the Hague Convention. A real soft point hunting bullet that is designed to expand to a half inch diameter mushroom in tissue will be far better than any FMJ or OTM.

Same with the 7.62. The best the military can do for DMRs is the Sierra 175gr MK OTM (M118LR). If you can't have expansion, go for weight/momentum. I as a civilian would MUCH rather have a 165gr Nosler Ballistic Tip or other good hunting bullet that is going to MUSHROOM.

If one handloads for personal protection, I would suggest commercial ammo to avoid a potential legal nightmare in court.
That is an excellent point.
 

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The M1A and M1's get ball ammo. 30 cal. ball ammo doesn't need to expand to get the job done in that type situation.

I may want to shoot through a vehicle or through a tree and ball ammo is better than expanding ammo for that.

From experience (used to deer hunt with my M1A) I can tell you that my M1A always fed soft point ammo just fine and the accuracy didn't seem to suffer from the small amount of "nose" damage during feeding/chambering.

In 5.56 I'm also loading FMJ ammo. 55 gn. FMG boat tails from Hornady. I don't have any experience with the heavier soft point bullets in that caliber but I know from ground hog hunting days that the lighter expanding bullets make some terrible wounds. I've resigned myself to using more shots with the AR if necessary. Isn't that why I bought all those 30 round magazines?GI6
 

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2336USMC

The bullet I was referring to that Sierra developed for the Weatherby is the 165 HPGK. The 150 & 165 SP's feed a shoot very well thru my M1A's. This combination is on par w/ most of my bolt guns w/ hunting loads.

As for a SP in 308 punching thru something it needs to, block wall, car door, etc. that is not a problem. Any decent handgun round in self defense loading will penetrate a car door. A SP in 308 is tougher than most think. B-tip and the like not so much so.

ClessK
 

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2336USMC

The bullet I was referring to that Sierra developed for the Weatherby is the 165 HPGK. The 150 & 165 SP's feed and shoot very well thru my M1A's. This combination is on par w/ most of my bolt guns w/ hunting loads.

As for a SP in 308 punching thru something it needs to, block wall, car door, etc. that is not a problem. Any decent handgun round in self defense loading will penetrate a car door. A SP in 308 is tougher than most think. B-tip and the like not so much so.

ClessK
 

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I am also thinking about a quicker powder for the SOCOM 16, but from what I have read W-W 748 is overly bright in lower light conditions. I think the first powder I try will be IMR 3031. Anyone had experience w/ this powder & muzzle flash?

ClessK
I would suggest a Vortex supressor. Unless a powder was designed to have less muzzle flash you may always have that issue with a short barreled rifle. Vortex really does an excellent job with killing the flash.

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/Store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=27084
 
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