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Old September 22, 2013, 09:53 AM   #1
Rikakiah
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Subsonic .223?

Yeah, downloading a .223 to subsonic basically takes all the fight out of the round. I've heard some say it basically becomes a .22. However, how accurate is that? Does it still have decent ballistics and accuracy?

I've been disappointed with my .22. I got it used and am thinking maybe the previous owner didn't love it enough. I get around 2+ inch groups at 50 yards, which is pretty poor, in my opinion, and makes something like squirrel hunting unthinkable.

Could loading subsonic .223 in my Daniel Defense be a solution? Or would the bullet still completely obliterate small game, or have unnatural characteristics (unstable, etc)?
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Old September 22, 2013, 11:12 AM   #2
tahunua001
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if you have a fast twist rate and a short barrel it probably won't do nearly as well as standard velocity. slow twist and longer barrel would probably see less drastic change. however it does not basically make it a 22. the 223 is a 22 regardless of velocity. just like 22TCM, 22-250, 5.7x28 and all those other 22s that do not become a bigger bullet just because of the velocity that they are pushing. now if you are saying that they basically become a 22LR that is not true though it does greatly decrease the power. most 22LR ammo is between 34 and 40 grains and is almost always soft lead or plated which does not equal the same thickness as a standard bullet jacket. most centerfire bullets are between 55 and 62gr though they can be had as low as 40 grains or as high as 78 grains and are usually jacketed lead alloys. a 78 grain can barely be pushed above subsonic speeds out of a 223 anyway but it still packs a lot more whallup than a 38gr standard velocity 22lr.
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Old September 22, 2013, 11:57 AM   #3
JD0x0
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If you have a fast enough twist you can load heavier bullets. If you're not using 70-90grain bullets, then yeah, it's pretty much a fancy .22LR with jacketed and pointy bullets, which have slightly better ballistic coefficients.
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Old September 22, 2013, 11:58 AM   #4
Rikakiah
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Well yeah. I should have been more specific. By .22, I meant a basic 40gr .22LR. Assumed a 55gr .223, as I figure that's pretty standard for a comparison.

So ina 1:7 twist barrel, I should pretty much forget a light subsonic bullet? However, if I just want something quiet, a heavy bullet could work, although I'm sure that would make soup out of rabbit and smaller. Possibly still valid for bobcat, maybe coyote not too far away?

I guess this opens up 2 desires...
1: is there a load combination for a .223 to take small game without obliterating them?
2: is there a load combination for subsonic, suppressed to take medium-small game (coyote, etc)?
Both assuming a 1:7 barrel.
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Old September 22, 2013, 12:23 PM   #5
Willie Lowman
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Subsonic .223 is a tecnical way of saying "doesn't work"

You won't get the kind of accuracy you are used to from that DDM4 with drasticly underpowered mid weight bullets.
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Old September 22, 2013, 01:19 PM   #6
JD0x0
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While I don't have any actual evidence of this, I don't think any subsonic bullets would destroy small game (maybe with the exception of 900grain+ big bore stuff)
At subsonic velocities, you don't get the hydrostatic shock, which is what gives the .223 it's killing power. You likely wont get much, if any, expansion from a bullet. Subsonic bullets essentially do what most pistol rounds do. They pencil a hole, about the size of the caliber, in the target. (slightly bigger hole, if the bullet expands) Heavier bullets are used in subsonic loads because it carries more momentum to the target and allows the bullet to penetrate as much as possible, because that's the only way you're going to get damage. If the bullet doesn't penetrate, it probably means it hit a bone, stopped, and didn't do much damage.

Terminally, a subsonic .223 will essentially do what a subsonic .22LR does, if you happen to have bullets with better sectional densities than the .22LR, then you'll get a little more penetration, which wont matter, if .22LR can already pass through your intended target. Likely the same damage will be caused, unless the .223 happens to yaw.
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Old September 22, 2013, 02:30 PM   #7
Rikakiah
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So would a heavy (77-78gr) bullet basically be what I'm after, since they barely push supersonic?

Would it still have enough punch for coyote? If so, that might even be more ideal as it sounds like it would leave less pelt damage.
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Old September 22, 2013, 03:05 PM   #8
JD0x0
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A 77-78gr bullet fired from .223 with a 'normal' load shouldn't be 'barely supersonic'
2750fps is a realistic velocity from a 24'' barrel with that weight. Subsonic is usually around 1080fps depending on atmospheric conditions. Even from a 16'' carbine, a 78grain bullet shouldn't even be close to trans sonic, from the muzzle.

And yes it should be more than enough for a coyote at reasonable ranges. There are people who take yotes with the .22WMR which has about twice the energy of 22LR but only about 1/4th the energy of a factory loaded .223
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Old September 22, 2013, 06:45 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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Wuz I gonna download a .223, I'd try some slow-burn pistol powder. 2400 is sorta dirty, but it's very forgiving. In that little case, I'd start with may be five grains and work toward maybe ten. Subsonic, the trajectory would be similar to a .22 rimfire.

Some .22 rifles group well with anything in the way of ammo. Others can be very persnickety. I tried about a dozen different brands/styles/weights in a 10/22 before discovering that it really liked CCI QuickShok. Went from 2- and 3-inch groups at 40 yards down to one inch.
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Old September 22, 2013, 07:55 PM   #10
allaroundhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikakiah View Post
So would a heavy (77-78gr) bullet basically be what I'm after, since they barely push supersonic?

Would it still have enough punch for coyote? If so, that might even be more ideal as it sounds like it would leave less pelt damage.
"Barely push subsonic"?
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Old September 22, 2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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Those heavier. slow bullets won't give much expansion on coyotes and they are more likely run off wounded rather than die on the spot.
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Old September 22, 2013, 09:31 PM   #12
Rikakiah
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Just inferred the heavier/near subsonic from the earlier post. I'm really just bored and this is purely academic at this point. I'm basically just getting a feel for the limits of what to expect or what "can" be done. Once my suppressor finally comes in and I start reloading, I'll get more into ballistics tables (and getting people's specific load recommendations) for what's more ideal.

And I've got no qualms about sticking to supersonic, even suppressed, if that's what it comes to. I'm not of the thought that I HAVE to shoot a certain load if it's obviously ineffective.
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Old September 23, 2013, 07:44 AM   #13
Art Eatman
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My FFL guy is quite busy selling and installing suppressors. In testing ARs with regular ammo, the dB reduction is quite noticeable.
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Old September 23, 2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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I would sell my poor shooter .22 and get some sort of better .22 myself...

Brent
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Old September 23, 2013, 10:42 PM   #15
Rikakiah
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Re: Subsonic .223?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogdogs View Post
I would sell my poor shooter .22 and get some sort of better .22 myself...

Brent
That's really the ultimate plan. Actually, trying to see if I can get a replacement barrel as the few other owners of this rifle I've read about report it's really rather accurate (not exactly match grade, but adequate for critter hunting).

Was just hypothesizing about other options as my want list seems to have more dollar signs than is healthy.

And Art, that's what I've heard in my research, too, which is really good enough for my needs. I've got a suppressor in-bound for my .22 (or replacement), too, so that can be my "Hollywood quiet" gun if I just want to punch some paper (not sure that would have the oomph for even a squirrel at subsonic).
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Old September 23, 2013, 10:50 PM   #16
Art Eatman
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Head shots with .22 CBs work just fine on squirrels. They don't upset the neighbors with undue noise, either.
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Old September 25, 2013, 12:28 PM   #17
lscraig
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Head shots with .22 CBs work just fine on squirrels. They don't upset the neighbors with undue noise, either.

+1 They work on stray cats too. Same head shot applies.
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