posted on Oct, 28 2010 @ 08:47 PM
I personally think 5.56 gets a bad rap regarding knockdown power. I've personally seen it destroy a human being efficiently.
The proof is in the pudding basically, it was adopted in the late 1960's. If it was inferior it would have been replaced by now. Also, everyone
should be aware that there are certain differences with military ball ammunition and civilian defense and hunting rounds. Military ammo is designed
not to fragment, its designed with a steel penetrator over a lead or tungsten (for the new "green" ammo) core. Its designed to punch through light
armor and as such needs to retain its mass behind the steel bit to effectively defeat armor. Once it hits a hydraulic target it begins to yaw, or
spin along its vertical axis, which causes a lot of damage. Many exit wounds associated with military ball ammo, the bullet exits backwards or
Civilian ammunition is designed to perform more traditionally. Its designed to deform and expand inside a hydraulic target, and transfer as much
energy as possible from the round into the target causing the maximum amount of trauma.
The major problem with 5.56 ammunition in the circles I run are not stopping power, but its tendency to over penetrate. While jacketed hollow point
ammo will expend energy in a target reliably, and usually slow down significantly before exiting, FMJ ball is likely to exit a target at lethal
velocity causing a threat to anything behind the intended target. This is referred to as "background damage". Its a fairly serious issue with
military ROE's and police policy, as the guy behind the threat may just be some bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Federal and Hornaday both market "Tactical" rounds designed to defeat soft body armor and reliably fragment in a hydraulic target, giving maximum
wound trauma and minimal risk of background damage. These apparently work, as all LE guys I know in special threat teams tell me that they have
switched out their pistol caliber carbines for short barreled 5.56 systems, most using Federal T-3 ammo.
5.56 is a highly reliable man stopper within its effective range, obviously its not intended for long range shots past 600 meters. A 7.62 or .30
caliber magnum weapon would be a better choice at long range, but for a grab and go fire superiority rifle, I'll go with my AR-15.