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Old December 3, 2012, 12:51 PM   #1
M1Rifle30-06
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.223 vs .45 ACP?

Some say that .223 is just not a good stopper. How does a .223 Hornady VMax stand up to a hornady zmax/vmax .45 ACP +p out of a carbine? Yes, rifles are generally more powerful than pistols, but the .45 is more than double the diameter and weight of the .223

But I hear the Hornady Vmax .223 has explosive wound patterns
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Old December 3, 2012, 01:44 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Based on coyote autopsies after kills with different types of .223 bullets, I know that most any of them make an internal mess. Much more than a .45ACP does on the two jackrabbits I shot.
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Old December 3, 2012, 01:45 PM   #3
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The 5.56 has more then 3x the energy of a .45 ACP +P.
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Old December 3, 2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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Comparing a .45 with a 5.56 is like comparing a pea shooter to a .22. the rifle bullet is in a different league.


.45 165 gr (11 g) Federal JHP

1,060 ft/s (320 m/s)


412 ft·lbf (559 J)


5.56 mm

940 m/s (3,100 ft/s)

1,767 J (1,303 ft·lbf)

Last edited by manta49; December 3, 2012 at 02:33 PM.
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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What is the purpose of said carbine? The two rounds are so vastly different that they cannot really be compared....
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:35 PM   #6
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The hornady V-Max is designed to break up on impact and they impart a whole lot of energy into a target when they do. It will either make a violent exit wound, or it won't exit the target at all.

.223 v-max on a squirrel or prairie dog = exploding prairie dog or squirrel

.223 v-max on a coyote or anything larger, it might not exit but it will do massive internal organ damage.

I don't shoot .45 ACP, but i would trust a .223 more for hunting any day of the week. I don't know that i would use it on something like deer, but the v-max round is a killer in any caliber.
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Old December 3, 2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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No that's not entirely true Alex. The V-Max is designed to have a controlled or at least encouraged expansion while increasing BC thus increasing the effective range.

The external ballistics are determined by remaining energy and velocity of a given round. There are some calibers that are more explosive than others with the same projectile design... just because they are driven faster.

Up close these are likely to expand violently (fragment) with less penetration. Further out you'll likely get more penetration with less expansion. For a .223 the "ideal" performance (or "design center") is probably reached at about 200 yards.

-SS-
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:24 PM   #8
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I guess the purpose would be a truck gun and home defense, and as a general self defense carbine.

I'm a little concerned about the .223's ability to stop an attacker. But if it's better than .45 ACP, then that's good enough
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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There is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet and even your local gun shop about the power of or I should say lack of power of the 5.56.

The rumors are behind the 5.56 in combat in the sandbox at ranges much further then that of what we would encounter during a home defense scenario.

The 5.56 does serious man stopping damage at close range and should never be called weak for human targets at home defense distances.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm a little concerned about the .223's ability to stop an attacker. But if it's better than .45 ACP, then that's good enough
What makes you think .45 is so great? Afterall, it's a pistol caliber, and most pistol calibers suck.
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Old December 3, 2012, 11:49 PM   #11
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For a truck gun, 223. For home and personal defense, either will work. Use the one you have the most confidence in.

Choose a model that fits you and is comfortable to shoot. If it is too long or too short you will not point it naturally. Make sure it is reliable, it has to shoot every time you pull the trigger.

In a defense situation you want your gun to become part of you so you don't have to think about how to shoot it. That takes practice. Lots of practice. If you can't hit your attacker it won't matter what cartridge you have.
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Old December 4, 2012, 01:38 AM   #12
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Would prefer something in the .30-30 class of power for a truck gun but 5.56MM NATO 55 Grain FMJ will work for most things.

In a house though all rifle cartridges a serious over penetration hazards.

Shotgun is the answer for defending the house.
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Old December 4, 2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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but 5.56MM NATO 55 Grain FMJ will work for most things.
WTH? Really? Any reported stopping issues with the .223 and pretty much any other cartridge man has devised has to do with the crappy ass solid and FMJ bullets. Clear back in the day of the .45colt everyone but the military figured out that solid pointy bullets zip right thru things doing very little damage along the way as compared to alternative bullets. .223 with good bullets = good, .223 with crappy bullets equals crappy. FMJ = crappy. Who'd a thunk it?

The .223 and the .45acp kill things in different ways. One uses speed and expanding bullets to open up wound channels the other uses weight and diameter. I doubt you could shoot enough men with carbines at SD distances to accurately figure out which is best given the load was up to the job.
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Old December 4, 2012, 06:30 PM   #14
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I'm surprised, the comment, "a bigger hole is better" hasn't came up yet.
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Old December 4, 2012, 06:39 PM   #15
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this is like asking "whats better steak or ice cream"
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Old December 5, 2012, 12:07 AM   #16
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both have proven very capable. the 5.56/223 has proven it's lethality to a few thousand humans the hard way and 45ACP has done so to millions.

the 45ACP is a heavier bullet(up to 5 times the mass of the standard 223) traveling much slower however those heavy slow movers hit like a Mike Tyson right hook. all that weight has a price however, the effective range for something like deer, even from a carbine is barely over 100 yards.

the 223 however is very light and very fast. it hits, disintegrates and keeps going. a lot of times it's penetration through flesh is it's best feature and saving grace. it's effective range for deer is well into 200 yards and coyote hunters regularly use the 223 at ranges past 300 yards.

EDIT: Vmax explosive wound patterns is a very good analogy. Vmax is designed for varmints; small animals that require very little penetration to reach the vital organs. Vmax pretty much disintegrate on contact and pretty much shreds the soft tissue, light bone and thin hide dropping varmints in their tracks however for larger animals this does nothing mroe than give them a horrible flesh wound with tiny bullet fragments that have little hope of anything making it past a should bone or ribs.
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Old December 5, 2012, 04:44 PM   #17
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Both will work with proper ammunition, but shine in different circumstances. I like them well I have both. Handguns are a great tool, because its hard to conceal a rifle when tucked behind your belt.

I'll take an order of .45 ACP 230 grain HP's, and a side of .223 Rem with just about anything short of FMJ ammo, preferably a 50 gr HP or Ballistic tip or even a Nosler Partition 60 gr.
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:46 PM   #18
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Apologies! Did not see the OP's second post.

Last edited by Revoliver; December 5, 2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 06:56 PM   #19
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.223 vs. 45 ACP Data Point

Don't mean to stir up any trouble here but I did get to carry a 5.56 rifle for 18 months back around 1966. Location was the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
An Air Force sergeant at Pleiku AFB attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself with his AR 15 on my watch. Blew a hole in his side but, he survived and got an early return to the Big BX. Never could get enthused about that round.

He would probably have succeeded if he had taken on some of the black shirted farmers we had in the area who carried 7.62 x 39 rifles. OR if he had used a 1911.
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Old December 5, 2012, 08:49 PM   #20
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WTH? Really? Any reported stopping issues with the .223 and pretty much any other cartridge man has devised has to do with the crappy ass solid and FMJ bullets.
Ah, the 223 doesn't stay in a straight line when it hits.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:33 PM   #21
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In a house though all rifle cartridges a serious over penetration hazards.

Shotgun is the answer for defending the house.
One word. False.

The 5.56/.223 using defensive ammo penetrates much less than 12 ga 00 buck.

That has been proven over and over again, and yet people still see the word "rifle" and assume the round will go through 3 walls, a TV set, destroy the chicken in the fridge, bust out the front door, and kill neighbor Susie while she takes a shower...

I prefer using my 5.56 for defense for the precise reason that it will penetrate less than both JHP pistol rounds and 00 buckshot...

Quote:
WTH? Really? Any reported stopping issues with the .223 and pretty much any other cartridge man has devised has to do with the crappy ass solid and FMJ bullets. Clear back in the day of the .45colt everyone but the military figured out that solid pointy bullets zip right thru things doing very little damage along the way as compared to alternative bullets. .223 with good bullets = good, .223 with crappy bullets equals crappy. FMJ = crappy. Who'd a thunk it?
Let me tackle this one too. While FMJ is not my first choice, 55gr M193 ball ammo is not a bad choice if it is all that you have. The FMJ ammo that has a tendency to make a straight line through a combatant is the 62 gr M855 round. The lighter 55 gr has a tendency to yaw and fragment fairly quickly after encountering a barrier or flesh.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:24 PM   #22
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An Air Force sergeant at Pleiku AFB attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself with his AR 15 on my watch. Blew a hole in his side but, he survived and got an early return to the Big BX. Never could get enthused about that round.
He wouldn't have survived if he had shot himself in the head. The caliber wasn't the issue.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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I like the heavier .223 projectiles. The ones that are like big game bullets in miniature. The 70 grain Speer, 60 grain Nosler Partition, 64 grain Winchester, 75 grain Hornady. I have my AR loaded with 28, 70 grain Speers. I'm forever the optimist and I have a never say die attitude, but if I can't take out the threat with 28 .223 70 grain Speers, projectiles whose wound profile is very similar to and virtually indistinguishable from a 100 grain .243...then I guess I'll have to reload.
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Old December 6, 2012, 01:11 PM   #24
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Any one gets hit with a .223 /5.56 soft point, hollow point, ballistic tip, amax, vmax, varmint grenade and so-on so-forth, at home defense ranges, is going to be in serious trouble.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:13 PM   #25
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Especially since he is likely to have more than one of theose .223 holes in him!
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