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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a Deputy Sheriff and carry a Bushmaster shorty carbine in 556/223 at work. It has the 14.5" barrel that is thicker than normal with a 1/9 twist. It is pretty much up to us what we carry for duty ammo. Right now I'm carrying 55 gr. Federal ballistic tips. Does anyone have any information on what ammo my gun could shoot that has a good track record of stopping attackers? Could I shoot heavier than 55 gr. bullets out of this barrel and be ok? I'd like to use 62 gr. or heavier SP, HP, or ballistic tip bullets if the gun will stabilize them.

Thanks
 

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Motown7.62,
I have 16" V-Match & 24" Varminter Bushy rifles. The ballistic tips give great accuracy out of the Bushy's 1X9 twist, but will yield very poor terminal performance on an assailant. It immediately blows up with little penetration.
The heaviest bullet I have used successfully in the Bushy so far is the 69 gr. Sierra MatchKing (MK). The 69gr. MK is stable out of the Bushy 1x9 twist to 600 yds., extremely accurate, and has given very good terminal performance. I finally received some of the heavy 77gr. Mk262mod1 Black Hills ammo and will test it in the 1X9 twist next week. The heavy-for-caliber 77gr. Sierra MK is best suited to 1X8 or 1X7 twist barrels. But so far, reports indicate that most 1X9 twist barrels have shot the 77gr. MK well. The Mk262mod1 round is currently being used by the military for extreme accuracy in target rifles and greatly enhanced terminal performance in the field.
Will post links to the info you need to knowledgably select duty ammo.
HTH,
Carey

Go here:http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=208

Go here: http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=237

Go here:C:\Documents and Settings\carey lei...Pictures\Cops vs_ AK-47 Video on Metacafe.htm

Different loadings: (L-R)

Mk262mod1 Black Hills 77gr. Sierra MatchKing (MK) w/ cannelure
Sierra 69gr. MatchKing (MK) (handloading)
Federal 55gr. Trophy Bonded Bear Claw
M193
M855
Nosler 55gr. Ballistic Tip (handloading)

Click to enlarge:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
leid,

Thanks a lot for the help! I appreciate it. Looks like I will be changing my ammo here shortly to something heavier.
 

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Forget opinions. You need to go to the source; Tactical Forums and Lightfighter Tactical Forums.

5.56 mm duty loads, DocGKR, Tactical Forums

Only after proper foundational and ongoing repetitive refresher training, cultivating warrior mind-set, and ensuring weapon system reliability do you need to worry about ammunition selection. Most folks would be far better off practicing with what they have, rather than worrying about what is "best". As long as you know your what your weapon and ammo can realistically accomplish, it is all just a matter of training and shot placement. If you need to delve into the arcane subject of agency ammunition selection, below are the state of the art choices in .223/5.56 mm:

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For general purpose combat use with 1/7 twist barrels from 0 to 600 yards, I would choose one of the combat proven 5.56 mm (ie. 5.56 mm NATO pressure loads, not .223 SAAMI pressure loads which run about 200 f/s slower) heavy match OTM loadings: either the Hornady 75 gr TAP (#8126N) using the OTM bullet w/cannelure or the equally good 77 gr Nosler OTM w/cannelure loaded by Black Hills, followed by the 77 gr Sierra Match King OTM-which, while exceedingly accurate, offers slightly reduced terminal effects. If your expected engagement scenario is at more typical LE distances, say out to 200 yards, then the .223 SAAMI pressure loads are fine. The experimental BH loaded 100 gr OTM exhibits impressive fragmentation, even at relatively low velocities, however, their trajectory is like a rainbow-definitely for use under 150 - 200 yards.

NOTE: For general purpose LE use, if stuck with 1/9 twist barrels, the heavy 70+ gr match OTM loads are not universally accurate in all rifles and the 69 gr SMK OTM, the 68 gr Hornady OTM, the Winchester 64 gr JSP (RA223R2), or one of the new Federal 64 gr TRU (223L) JSP, Hornady 60 gr JSP, or Nosler 60 gr Partition JSP's are the best choices to most likely run accurately in the majority of 1/9 twist rifles. You are screwed with 1/12 twists, I would probably choose the 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load (Tactical--LE223T1 or identical Premium Rifle--P223T2) in order to ensure adequate penetration.

If routinely engaging vehicles, the only LE .223 loads which effectively penetrate automobiles are the 62 gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical (LE223T3) and the similarly performing 55 gr Federal bonded JSP load. While not bad choices, neither the new Hornady 60 gr “barrier penetration” JSP nor the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullets were quite as effective as the proven Trophy Bonded Bear Claws against glass in our testing. None of the OTM bullets, even the heavy 75 - 100 gr loads, offer good performance through automobile glass. FWIW, contrary to what many believe, 62 gr M855 FMJ also is not very good against glass. For military use, the M995 AP is the best choice for vehicles and glass.

If a short barreled 5.56 mm weapon, such as the Colt Commando, LMT/Crane Mk18 CQBR, HK416, HK 53, HK G36C, etc… is used with a 1/7 twist barrel, the 75 gr Hornady OTM, 77 gr Nosler OTM, 77 gr SMK OTM, and 100 gr BH OTM loadings offer acceptable performance, as do the LE Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's and the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet; for LE with a 1/9 twist, stick with the Fed 55 or 62 gr Tac bonded JSP's or the 60 gr Nosler Partition JSP bullet. Remember, with barrels under 14.5”, the effective engagement distance is significantly reduced compared to the longer barreled carbines.

(Note: We are in the process of testing the .224 Barnes TSX all copper bullets--it looks like they may have good potential; if these preliminary results hold true through the conclusion of testing, then they will also be on the recommended list)

Whatever projectile is used, it is best with a cannelure to prevent bullet set-back in semi-auto/auto weapons. Also, be cautious with the exposed lead on the JSP designs. Often they will run great for up to 200-300 rounds, but then mysterious feeding failures will begin as a result of lead build-up on the feed ramps. I have personally seen this occur with a variety of JSP's including 55 gr, 60 gr, and 64 gr in a recent LE training course. As soon as FMJ or OTM was substituted, all the feeding failures ceased.

Be sure to watch your ammo storage conditions. Temperatures above 150 deg F will degrade the powder and cause pressure spikes. Hint: Think locked metal conex containers in the mid-east, car trunks in the southern U.S., and storage areas near heaters in the northern U.S.

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Most LE agencies around here use the Hornady 75 gr TAP OTM, Federal 55/62 gr bonded Tactical JSP, or Winchester 64 gr JSP (it is on the state contract and is VERY inexpensive)--all have worked very well in actual officer involved shootings. I carry the Hornady 75 gr OTM (SAAMI load) in 30 rd mags and a few 20 rd mags of Federal Tactical 62 gr JSP for barrier situations.

Do short barrel 5.56 mm carbines have some limitations? Yes, especially beyond 100 yards, but BFD…learn what they are, train, and drive on. For LE urban work with lots of entries and mounted work I use a 10.5” LMT CQB-R w/Aimpoint and Noveske KFH because, despite the ballistic compromise, for the mission it is the best choice. For GP/Patrol I carry a 16” with a 3.5x TA11 ACOG (the S&B 1.1-4x Short Dot would be an equally good or even better choice) -- pick the right tool for the job.

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Mk262 using the 77 gr SMK OTM is built as premium quality ammunition intended for precise long-range semi-auto rifle shots from the Mk12. It is great for its intended purpose and in the military is the best currently readily available option to increase terminal performance with all 5.56 mm carbines. But Mk262 is NOT necessarily the best choice for LE or most military combat use from carbines (Mk18, HK416, M4, FN Mk16 SCAR-L), as Mk262 has demonstrated poor intermediate barrier performance, the inconsistent yaw cycle exibited by all SMK’s, incomplete water proofing, fragile shelf-life in extreme temperatures, and high cost.

As articulated by recent military testing, what is urgently needed is a JAG approved, law of land warfare legal, environmentally robust, thermally stable combat rifle load with improved terminal performance, yet without the need for the 600+ meter precision accuracy of Mk262 in the Mk12. Such a carbine combat load needs to have a crimped and sealed primer, sealed case mouth, cannelure, acceptable accuracy out to 300-400 meters coupled with good soft tissue terminal performance (early consistent yaw, good fragmentation, at least 12 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue, along with being “blind to barriers” and not suffering terminal performance degradation through intermediate barriers--especially automobile windshields & doors, and common structural walls.

Until recently this goal seemed impossible, however the 01 June 2006 Marine Corps RFI (http://www.cbd-net.com/index.php/search/show/1087257) for “Barrier Blind” ammunition has yielded several very promising options from industry that appear to effectively address this issue.

At this time, given the current ammo choices available via the military supply system, I prefer to load my mags with mainly Mk262Mod1 and if available, a couple of mags of M995 AP for barriers and some M856 tracer (or TB74 dim trace) for marking targets.
 

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Motown,
The assailant in the video was found to be wearing multiple layers of body armor. He was shot several times within seconds of opening fire on his first 2 victims. But due to "center-of-mass" training, it was ineffective. Instead of going down, the assailant turned on his shooter killing him.
Best of luck,
Carey

Note: Almost forgot to add something of importance. The Nosler 60gr. Partition loading did not prove to be especially accurate in any of 3 proven-accurate 1X9 twist Bushy rifles. The 69gr. Sierra MK loading beat the 60gr. Partition hands down when used in the 16" Bushy 1X9 rifle with sub MOA accuracy at 100yds. Observed terminal performance of both rounds was good, but the 69gr. Sierra MK was again clearly the better of the 2. I standardized on 69gr. Sierra MK use in everything from a suppressed 10" Colt 1X7 to the 24" Bushy 1X9. It is my choice for my purposes. But there are several excellent ammo choices available today. You are fortunate to have the luxury of choosing which ammo loading will work best for you in your particular Bushy rifle.
 

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We use Winchester Ballistic Silvertip and in the one shooting we have had with it, it performed superbly. ~35 yards, entered the head, fragmented, and never came out the other side. The x-ray really showed how well it performed. It is a hunting round but we find it accurate enough to use in all our AR's (16", 10.5", and supressed 10.5" with cans). We've been issuing it for 4-5 years now and love it.

Admin likes it because there is little chance of overpenetration and hitting bystanders (unless they miss of course), yet works great on armor and the likes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to buy a box of several types of ammo you guys specified and take them to the range to see which one cycles and shoots the best out of the Bushy. I'm gonna start with 62 gr. and go up from there.
As far as training, I've got that down. I carried M16A1's, A2's, and an M203 while serving as a field MP in the Army. We trained just like mechanized Infantry and I became very proficient with the M16 weapon's system. I can still shoot the wings off a fly with it, so to speak.
 
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I think a simple no nonsense answer is any Nato spec SS109 round for threats that such as those that may be wearing body armor and Hornady 75 gr Tap for average duty use. Just my opinion on the subject.
 

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Motown,
I just finished testing the Black Hills 77gr. MK262mod1 OTM ammo in 16" and 24" Bushy 1X9 barrels. Groups were stable & sub MOA @100yds with both rifles.

HTH,
Carey

Edit: Had the opportunity to field test 69gr & 77gr OTM Sierra ammo in the 16" & 24" Bushy 1x9 barrels. 9 shots taken at ranges of 25-169 yds. on whitetail in the 130-160lb range. Exit wounds ranged from 2.5" at 25yds. with the 24" to 1.25" at 169 yds. using the 16". All rounds fragmented and exited.
 

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cuzin582 said:
I think a simple no nonsense answer is any Nato spec SS109 round for threats that such as those that may be wearing body armor and Hornady 75 gr Tap for average duty use. Just my opinion on the subject.

Agree 100% My "carry" loads also. I load my 20- and 30- round mags , with both M855 "Green Tip" and the 75 gr. TAP. alternating the rounds up the mag stack. Handles any contingency well.

JWB
USAF2 '68 - '90
 
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