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Caveat.....I've read Doc Roberts post on duty 5.56 loads ad naseum and spent way too much time on google....soooo....

5.56 has all but dried up locally.  And what I can find on the web is fairly expensive.

I recently built a 10.5" AR and in the quest for an appropriate defensive load have found that, based on research,  heavier bullets are better and can pull double duty in my SPR.  The issue is all the data I've found/read/watched on youtube utilizes the 5.56 loads.  I can find 75gr PMC OTM rounds locally for fairly cheap (under 20 bucks a box) but they are 223 and not 5.56

Am I just overthinking this whole thing?  Do I loose a ton of effectiveness by using 223 in lieu of 5.56 in typical sub 200 yard ranges?

Thanks in advance.

Original Post

For max effectiveness, it’s about expansion/fragmentation velocity threshold for the bullet you are firing, the muzzle velocity of that bullet out of your gun, and the distance of the threat. For example, 75 gold dot (a .223 loading) was designed with consideration for SBR’s. 1950 FPS is the expansion threshold for the round per the Speer rep I spoke with.  Out of a 10” barrel, you’ll probably maintain 1950+ to at least 100 yards, but not likely to 200 yards. If you want to go with PMC I’d see if they are loading with the Hornady T1 75 grain BTHP and find out its expansion velocity  and figure what distance you’ll likely achieve that velocity with your short barrel.  

Also, if you want a 5.56 load that performs well out of SBRs (at least at close range) Federal’s 62 grain tac bonded is available online for 1.10 per shot (not sure if that’s within your budget).

Available here: https://www.bonefroggunclub.co...al-bonded-xm556sbct3

 

.223 pressure loads will work well.  OTM rounds may not be the best choice for defensive use. Gold Dots are my personal go to round, LE223T3 and Winchester Ranger 64gr bonded are also good.
Where you will lose more effectiveness is with the 10.5" barrel.
11.5" is a better minimum, and 12.5" is likely the ideal compromise if you are running suppressed and doing work past interior distances.
If you are not running suppressed, I can't think of many reasons to go less than 14.5".

@Community Member posted:

.223 pressure loads will work well.  OTM rounds may not be the best choice for defensive use. Gold Dots are my personal go to round, LE223T3 and Winchester Ranger 64gr bonded are also good.
Where you will lose more effectiveness is with the 10.5" barrel.
11.5" is a better minimum, and 12.5" is likely the ideal compromise if you are running suppressed and doing work past interior distances.
If you are not running suppressed, I can't think of many reasons to go less than 14.5".

With the gold dots are you running the 62gr soft point or 55gr?  

@Community Member posted:

Our duty ammo is Federal LE223T3 62gr .223, for both our patrol 14.5" and swat 10.5" rifles. It's been an excellent performer in both barrel lengths in multiple OIS events.

That's our duty load as well.  I'm guessing I'm trying to reinvent the wheel here and will just stick with one ammo type.  I'm thinking this will work in my SPR as well so I need to stop overthinking this.  

Post Car:

My load is the 62 gr Gold Dot. I use it in my BCM 11.5" patrol rifle, my Noveske 12.5", and my 16" Noveske.

It performs exceptionally well both terminally and when measuring group size in each of those carbines. I have been impressed with its performance on vehicles, auto glass, and "bullet resistant glass" when I had the opportunity to evaluate performance against those barriers across the three barrel lengths.

FMJ, generic 55gr soft point, and green tip generally failed against those barriers, or exhibited significantly diminished performance after defeating the barrier. Barrel length didn't play a large role in the results.

@Community Member posted:

Post Car:

My load is the 62 gr Gold Dot. I use it in my BCM 11.5" patrol rifle, my Noveske 12.5", and my 16" Noveske.

It performs exceptionally well both terminally and when measuring group size in each of those carbines. I have been impressed with its performance on vehicles, auto glass, and "bullet resistant glass" when I had the opportunity to evaluate performance against those barriers across the three barrel lengths.

FMJ, generic 55gr soft point, and green tip generally failed against those barriers, or exhibited significantly diminished performance after defeating the barrier. Barrel length didn't play a large role in the results.

Thanks you for the intel.  It certainly helps with which direction I'm going to go with this setup. 

Just a heads up...

If you qualify for ExpertVoice, you can order directly from Federal.

I just placed an order for some Federal Fusion - 200 rnds 62gn 223 / 200 rnds 170gn 30-30 / and 100 rnd .357

They tend to sell out quick, but if you sign up for the notifications, they also tend to come back into stock fairly often (seems like every 2 weeks or so they restock).

Just an option for you if you are trying to find some ammo.  They also have Sierra MK in stock.

@Community Member posted:

How are those 77gr Sierra's? I was thinking about ordering some for a more "long range" rifle I'm building.

Next time they restock I'm going to get a bunch of 9 mm and some more 223. 

I've not shot the federal 77 grain sierra yet, only the nosler 77's because nosler is local here and I used to be able to get them cheaper through shootersproshop . I've heard really good things about the federal load, so I figured i'd give them a try. The fusion 62's are my go to for a HD load, due to the info in DOC GKR's sticky thread. My daughter shot her first deer with one last year at 120 yards, and that deer didn't take two steps. 

@Community Member posted:

I've not shot the federal 77 grain sierra yet, only the nosler 77's because nosler is local here and I used to be able to get them cheaper through shootersproshop . I've heard really good things about the federal load, so I figured i'd give them a try. The fusion 62's are my go to for a HD load, due to the info in DOC GKR's sticky thread. My daughter shot her first deer with one last year at 120 yards, and that deer didn't take two steps. 

I'll probably just order some of the 77gn Sierra's next time to try out.

I like the 62gn Federal Fusion.  I have used it for Javelina hunting and it worked very well.  It is also in my HD loadout (along with Speer GD).  

@Community Member posted:

I just looked at the expertvoice price...wow. Even through them it's crazy expensive compared to before all this kicked off.

I may have to fall back on the Basil Plumley / Sam Elliot plan: If I need more, it will by laying around.

The Federal Fusion? Pre Mass Hysteria, one box of Federal Fusion 223 was running about $20 a box locally. You could find it on sale sometimes for about $17 a box. So these prices don't seem too bad to me.

In order to get the discount pricing you have to go through Federal's little question and answer thing that they make you do. Otherwise the prices show much higher.

@Community Member posted:

The Federal Fusion? Pre Mass Hysteria, one box of Federal Fusion 223 was running about $20 a box locally. You could find it on sale sometimes for about $17 a box. So these prices don't seem too bad to me.

In order to get the discount pricing you have to go through Federal's little question and answer thing that they make you do. Otherwise the prices show much higher.

I did the Q/A; maybe I'll have to look again.

@Community Member posted:

The Federal Fusion? Pre Mass Hysteria, one box of Federal Fusion 223 was running about $20 a box locally. You could find it on sale sometimes for about $17 a box. So these prices don't seem too bad to me.

In order to get the discount pricing you have to go through Federal's little question and answer thing that they make you do. Otherwise the prices show much higher.

I wasn't even able to see any prices whatsoever from Federal, apparently my qualifications expired. I'm really disappointed by that, since it's already been a couple days since I applied for a renewal; and if these are the same guys that used to handle Spyderco's discount program, it took around 2 months for them to approve me the first go around.

Last edited by Community Member
@Community Member posted:

I wasn't even able to see any prices whatsoever from Federal, apparently my qualifications expired. I'm really disappointed by that, since it's already been a couple days since I applied for a renewal; and if these are the same guys that used to handle Spyderco's discount program, it took around 2 months for them to approve me the first go around.

I just renewed mine a few weeks ago (through ExpertVoice) and it was done the next day.

A bit of a sidetrack, found this on their site when I went to sign up on expertvoice.

WHAT INFORMATION WE COLLECT

All Users

When you use our app, we collect personal information about you (including name, telephone number, email address, username, password, and your location) (“Personally Identifying Information”) when you sign up for the app, create a profile, or communicate with us through the app. We may collect personal information that you make publicly available, such as if you make a comment on another user’s feed.  We may use technology such as GPS to determine your location.  We may access the camera and photos stored on your mobile device.

We may also collect certain information about your use of the app or your mobile device, such as your unique device identification numbers, the type and version of your mobile device’s operating system, your device’s IP address, or the name of your mobile carrier. Except as otherwise explained in this Policy or as may be prohibited by law, we may combine this information with your personal information.

@Community Member posted:

What he said. I THINK the MSR has a slightly slower velocity... But not much. 

I've only run regular Fusion out of my AR's with 0 problems. 

same here as far as the fusion goes.

As far as the prices on expertvoice go, I've not found any of federal ammo they have for sale on expertvoice cheaper anywhere else, even pre wuhan flu.

I buy alot of stuff off expertvoice, and in almost every case I pay less than what I pay from online retailers. Maybe not alot, buy less is less.

@Community Member posted:

Just got a restock notification for 62gr fusion on Expertvoice. I was on the website trying to add to cart in less than 3 minutes, already sold out.

What are the thoughts on 55gr ball through a 10.5 upper?

Yeah, it goes fast.

Midway has 62g Fusion in stock for @$22 but there is a $5/box rebate up to 5 boxes.  Makes it $17 / box.   Not too bad if you don't mind doing rebates. 

**EDIT - just saw they are limiting you to 3 boxes **

Last edited by Community Member

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