I've long been a proponent of M193 for 16" carbines. I have some ARs which have never seen anything but Federal M193.
After many years of feeling comfortable with the wounding mechanism of the cannelured 55 grain fmj projectile, I have begun to wonder if I would be better off with some of the newer generation "tactical" projectiles, such as the Hornady TAP.
The 62 grain version of the TAP looks great, and I found some chrono results online for this round out of a 16" barrel. They clocked right at 2700 fps, which is fine, although I wonder how much more velocity I'll lose out of my pet 14.5" AR. I wouldn't mind staying with the 55 grain slugs, although a slightly heavier softpoint in the 60 to 62 grain range is appealing to me. I won't be shooting any of the very heavy stuff, which I know has its fans.
Federal Tactical Bonded looks great, too, although there is no way I'm paying 2 bucks a round for .223 ammo. The TRU stuff- I'm avoiding it, based upon comments I found online about it.
Primarily, my use would be home defense, but there is a possibility I may have to use this ammo to punch through auto glass. A crimped/staked primer is a must. Just one less thing to worry about.
Your thoughts/experience/ammo recommendation are welcome.
Ive been using the 62gr Fusion for a while now in 14.5"/16" and am leaning tword it or the GMX/FTX in either 55gr or even the 50gr for my 11.5" pistol. There seems to be a growing following for the monolithic style bullets. Probably like yourself, I have gathered quite the supply of M193 over the years. Thats pretty much out of the question with some of the newer rounds although you can catch them on sale now and again... Im also not sure if any of these come available staked. You would think that somwhere along the line, it would have been maybe requested. Who knows on the availability though.
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Fed Tactical Bonded @ $0.60/Round
I'm a big fan of the Gold Dots, but they are pricey. Another good option is the Federal Fusion rounds @ ~$0.80/per.
I typically don't rely on AR-15.com for anything, but this ammunition analysis has been compiled by some very respected people in the industry, including our very own Molon.
Link to .223/5.56 section
Check it out.
Have you looked at the Federal Lake City 5.56mm 62 Grain MK318 MOD 0 SOST ammunition?
Designated as MK318 MOD-0 the round was designed as a barrier defeating round with superior penetration and better ballistic stability when shooting through glass, car doors and other barriers where other rounds simply bounce off. It was engineered after the Marine Corp identified issues with the M855 round. MK318 utilizes a 62 grain open tip boattail match bullet with a lead core and reverse copper jacket creating the open tip.
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Federal Fusion 62gn. and Federal Tactical Bonded agency overuns/rejects for defense for me.
I have about 200 rounds. After that it's 193 and 855.
My 11.5 SBR is loaded with Hornady TAP 223 REM 62gr TAP Barrier. Where I live its very urban, so I wanted the barrier blind aspect. I also got them for like 44cents a round on a closeout deal.
Dr. Roberts copy and paste from M4C.
"This was more suited to LEO applications, but it's an interesting read nonetheless
"For LE Patrol use, where there is a high incidence of potential engagements around or involving vehicles, ammunition that is able to effectively penetrate intermediate barriers, particularly vehicle glass is critical. The best LE 5.56 mm/.223 loads for intermediate barrier penetration using 1/9 and faster twist barrels are the 5.56 mm Federal 62 gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (TBBC) bonded JSP (XM556FBIT3) and 5.56 mm Winchester 64 gr solid base bonded JSP (Q3313/RA556B) developed for the FBI, along with the outstanding new Black Hills 5.56 mm 50 gr TSX loading. Another acceptable 5.56 mm loading is the Speer 55 gr Gold Dot JSP; the Federal 5.56 mm 62 gr Mk318 Mod0 (T556TNB1) is also a potential option. Note that these are all true 5.56 mm loads that require a real milspec 5.56 mm chamber, not a SAAMI .223 chamber--be sure to check with an appropriate gauge or reamer. Most other acceptable LE barrier blind loadings are at .223 pressures, including the .223 55 & 62 gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical loads (LE223T1 & LE223T3), along with loads using Nosler 60 gr Partition JSP, Remington 62 gr Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded JSP (PRC223R4), .223 Federal 55 gr TSX (T223S), and the .223 Speer 55 & 64 gr Gold Dot JSP's (and identically constructed Federal 62 gr Fusion JSP and Federal XM223SP1 62gr Bonded JSP). The Swift 75 gr Scirocco bonded PT is also good choice, but usually requires a 1/7 twist. Note that the Barnes all copper TSX bullets are great projectiles and offer good penetration through barriers, however, when first hitting a laminated automobile windshield intermediate barrier, most TSX bullets exhibit less expansion than bonded JSP’s, as the Barnes jacket either collapses at the nose, the jacket "petals" fold back against the core, or the "petals" are torn off; this results in a caliber size projectile configured a lot like a full wadcutter, leading to deep penetration. If running 1/12 twist barrels, stick with the BH 50 gr TSX, Fed 55 gr TBBC, Speer 55 gr Gold Dot, or Fed 55 gr TSX. NONE of the fragmenting 5.56 mm OTM bullets, even the heavy 75 - 100 gr loads, offer acceptable performance through automobile windshield glass. Contrary to what many believe, M193 & M855 FMJ are not very good against glass; the best military 5.56 mm load against glass is 52 gr M995 AP, followed by the 62 gr Mk318 Mod0 OTM and 70 gr Optimal "brown tip" OTM.
In those situations where intermediate barrier penetration is not a critical requirement, for example LE urban entries or long range shots in open conditions, then OTM, JHP, and standard JSP loads can offer acceptable performance. For 1/7 twist barrels, the Hornady 75 gr OTM, Nosler 77 gr OTM, and Sierra 77 gr SMK OTM are all good choices. The experimental BH loaded 100 gr OTM exhibits impressive fragmentation, even at relatively low velocities, however while capable of shooting out to 600, it is optimized for 200 and under. If stuck with 1/9 twist barrels, the heavy 70+ gr 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), the Federal 64 gr TRU (T223L) JSP, Hornady 60 gr JSP, are likely to run accurately in the majority of 1/9 twist rifles. Again it is critical to keep in mind that the above loads fail to offer adequate penetration through intermediate barriers."
- Dr. Roberts "
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For my 6720 16 inch and 6920 14.5 and 10.3 inch all with 1/7 barrels, I keep six mags loaded with Black Hills 5.56mm 77 Gr OTM.
I have a 6721 with a 16 inch 1/9 barrel. I'd like to have some Black Hills 5.56mm 62 Gr Barnes TSX, but it's so expensive that I haven't convinced myself to buy it yet, so I keep a few mags loaded with XM193 for that.
I keep my HD carbine and a few spare mags loaded with Speer 64gr Gold Dots. Any scenario that extends beyond that will need to be M193.
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Federal Fusion would be an excellent choice for your outlined needs. It uses the same projectile as the Gold Dot load, and the "MSR" version has sealed and crimped primers. Being a bonded bullet (which the Hornady 62gr "Barrier" projectile is not), it will do well through glass. It expands reliably all the way down to 1800fps IIRC, so I know a lot of folks have chosen it for their 11.5 inch and shorter SBRs where they have found it maintains good muzzle velocity.
It's also the most widely available and least expensive bonded .223 round I know of, with Palmetto selling it for around .50 cents/rd recently. Even when not on sale, I've found it for around $16-$18/box on store shelves.
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I have only loaded Hornady TAP 62gr in my Colt 16" AR for home defense.
It seemed to group well out of my Colt 6920 and it was 100% reliable in feeding and I have never had much trouble finding it in my local stores or on line.
I am running a 6 year old Colt 6920 with BCM's GI style mags and an Aimpoint Comp M3 optic. Works for me....YMMV.
I did some fairly comprehensive testing of the (then) 64 grain Gold Dot load, and that’s my round of choice for law enforcement purposes. Based on my own experiments, it provides excellent penetration through windshield glass and automotive sheet steel with no point of impact deviation. When that particular load (or the current 62 grain version) wasn’t available, I purchased a stock of the 62 grain Fusion based on the report that the bullet was the same as the Gold Dot.
In gelatin testing I’ve seen, the Gold Dot bullet also starts expanding within about 1 inch and produces good cavitation and, unsurprisingly, good penetration—unlike some of the plastic-tipped bullets used in various loads.
For close in personal defense, though, my magazines are loaded with Hornady 75 grain For Personal Defense (FPD). Although my testing was some years ago, the FPD load produced significantly higher velocities than the 75 grain TAP load.
I don’t have any velocity figures for 14.5" barrels, but these are the figures for the 64 grain GD.
16": 2769 fps / 1090 ft-lb
11.5": 2507 fps / 893 ft-lb
My estimate is that out of 14.5 inches it would run about 2650 fps.
It’s also reasonably accurate in my testing. The below group was fired with the nonmagnifying Leupold “Prismatic” sight.
“... try not to shoot any friendlies ….”
Any of your bonded 55 or 62-4 gr rounds will do better than M193.
If what has been posted several places on the web is correct M193 requires ~2700 fps to fragment. Assuming a 50m zero that gives you an effective range of ~325M....well beyond 99% of HD duties.
The 55gr TSX I use in my HD 11.5" has an effective range of 200M assuming the same as the threshold for expansion is 1700fps. I would assume most of your bonded HP are the same.
I really want to try the gold dots as someone post some interesting data that suggests I could expect 2500fps from my SBR, but I have yet to order it.
M193 is still the round I stock up on but for HD there are much better choices out there....at least IMHO
Sigfreund's data is what I was referring to, the other 62gr offering I tried WIN Razorback was slower by a wide margin and the Hornady 77gr(?) BTHP ran around 2300fps.
And federal's load data suggests the .223 version of the Fusion is faster than the MSR version.
As noted above, I got 2507 fps from a 11.5" barrel with the 64 grain Gold Dot. I do not know how the velocity of the current 62 gr. GD compares, but probably a smidgeon higher.
Added: I see we were posting at the same time.
“... try not to shoot any friendlies ….”
Sigfreund, do you have velocity numbers for the Hornady 75gr from a 11.5" barrel
This is a good tip, a more affordable alternative to the Black Hills TSX and Speer Gold Dot.
I wonder why they make the Fusion MSR with a lower muzzle velocity (2750 fps) than the Fusion (3000 fps).
The MSR is tested by Federal from a 16 inch barrel while the Fusion is tested from a 20 inch barrel. If you look at Molon's testing of Fusion and MSR, MSR has a higher average velocity when both are tested from the same barrel length.
Molon's results from a 14.5" Noveske N4 Barrel
Federal 62gr Fusion MSR: 2681 fps
Federal 62gr Fusion: 2610 fps
Not personally. I chronoed only the GD and M193 from an array of different barrel lengths. I thought I had data for the Hornady 75 grain loads, but evidently I was relying on how much the FPD and TAP loads penetrated and fragmented in soaked newsprint.
When Hornady first came out with the TAP line, I got one of their data books (2004). According to their data, the 75 grain TAP ran 2361 fps (17 fps S.D.) from an 11.5 inch HK model 33. They recorded 13 inches of penetration, retained weight of 49 grains, and “maximum performance range” of 75 yards.
Out of a 14.5" SIG model 551, the 75 grain TAP velocity was 2518 fps (S.D. 22 fps); 11.75" penetration, retained weight of 37 grains, and maximum performance range of 125 yards.
The Hornady data book also contained a comparison report from Dr. Roberts with the following statement about various 223 Remington loads.
“For 1 in 9" or faster twist barrels, the Hornady 75 gr TAP load appears to reliably provide the greatest potential to physiologically incapacitate an aggressor of all currently available 5.56mm/.223 loads. In addition, the Hornady 75 gr TAP is the first .223 bullet which the authors have tested which exhibits adequate terminal performance when fired out of barrel lengths shorter than 14.5 inches.”
The 75 grain TAP did not do so well through automotive windshield glass, however. This is one of a series of shots through the windshield of a 1976 pickup into a witness sheet of cardstock. The large lower left hole is believed to have been made by the base of the bullet, while the upper right hole was probably made by the tip. Other holes may have been made by glass.
By comparison, two Gold Dot shots showed minimal bullet fragmentation through the witness card. (The scattered small holes are probably glass.)
I evidently don’t have a photo of the GD bullet that was recovered from the water-soaked newsprint pack that backed the witness card, but the bullet drilled straight through with good expansion and no sign of tumbling. Its recovered weight was about 29 grains. The first GD shot went through ~8 inches of newsprint and out the back window of the pickup.
M193 through the windshield:
Through double wall sheet steel of pickup bed.
64 grain Gold Dot
Hornady 75 grain TAP didn’t do well through double wall sheet metal:
Sample sizes of one or two do not prove much, of course, but I found them interesting.
Hornady 62 grain Barrier through pickup wall.
“... try not to shoot any friendlies ….”
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I'm heavily invested in Fusion MSR for SD 223 ammo. I would prefer 5.56 pressure but for the price its not worth any bonded soft point round in 5.56 when I can get the MSR at PSA for 50 cents a round, which they drop it down to fairly regularly.
It shot under an inch out of my RR ATH, and even out of my m4s seems to shoot very well, accuracy wise.
It is supposed to perform well even in short barrels, and through barriers which are both of interest to me in 223.
That said, TAP has always performed very well and seems "hot" even in 223 which I really like. However when I can get Fusion at 50 cents it always gets the green light.
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