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Best Rifle Defense Rounds?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by NODEraser, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. NODEraser

    NODEraser Portland, Oregon New Member

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    I stumbled across the self-defense handgun tests over at Lucky Gunner, and being a numbers and data sort of guy was an immediate fan. Does anyone know of a comparable site that would have some good tests of rifle caliber ammo?

    I really like the way they've set up their tests; although their choice of handguns certainly won't estimate performance for every gun out there, they're probably fairly average for most concealed and defense purposes. Also, having a plethora of data for nerds like me to sort through (penetration depth, expansion size, slow-motion video, before & after pictures, etc) is really nice to make an informed decision.

    If they expanded their tests to include more ammo and calibers, I wouldn't mind buying a few boxes from them for their troubles.
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd think a poly tip 130gr .308 would pretty much cut a guy right in half at "defensive" ranges.
     
  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was thinking any standard cup and core softpoint would be more than adequate, but it would be interesting to see some testing of this subject.
     
  4. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    A word of advise; if your opponent is still standing after he has been perforated with a rifle round...retreat
    PPL, despite 15 years of HD POV combat footage, still make 'getting shot' some sort of mystery
     
  5. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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  6. NODEraser

    NODEraser Portland, Oregon New Member

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    I've seen that page, but I like to see the data and justification as to why a particular round is better than another.
     
  7. Hdshot

    Hdshot Grants Pass Oregon Member

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    450 Bushmaster.
     
  8. bearnut

    bearnut Oregon Member

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    Military forces consider the .308 Winchester to be best all-around cartridge. Also known as 7.62X51mm NATO throughout the world. Ammunition seems to always be plentiful in both commercial production and inexpensive military surplus. Especially good for long range accuracy.
     
    Dyjital likes this.
  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I go for expanding ammo regardless of the caliber or the firearm (handgun or rifle).

    Yes FMJ will do some damage, but expanding ammo will do a lot more damage. In short, if it is good for hunting, then it is good for self-defense - and the converse is true; if I wouldn't hunt with it, then I would not want it for self-defense, unless I had no other choice.

    As for chamberings, it depends on the range and how much ammo you can carry. I prefer the 7.62x39 as it is a decent compromise when it comes to power, recoil and weight - but I also have firearms in 5.56x45 and 7.62x51 to cover my bases.
     
    Dyjital likes this.
  10. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I know the little guys 40-50 grain 223/556 likely will not penetrate enough. Or maybe it will. Not sure, haven't watched a lot of bal gel videos. I can imagine it doing the same thing as it does to little varmint within the body though. The 52 grain varmingeddon rounds annihilate small game. I would think the first couple inches into the would channel may look the same. Shrapnel everywhere, big explosive permanent cavity.

    That and as everyone likes to worry about, they should break up on walls and such. Maybe, I'm not an expert, just what I read.
     
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Mass does help with penetration, but it is not the deciding factor for how the projectile expands - explosively or moderate. That is controlled by the construction of the projectile.

    These guys do some interesting tests, usually including ballistic gel and sometimes barriers (windshield, car metal, etc.):

    https://www.youtube.com/user/GunRunnerz762/videos

    They pretty much just go through the different popular defense chamberings and try different brands and types of ammo with an eye towards how the ammo performs from a terminal ballistics POV.

    My take on it is if you want something that will perform after going through a windshield or a car door, then you will need different ammo than just defending yourself against someone in the woods, or if you are taking a deer.

    Also, there is some real crap out there that purports to be self-defense or hunting ammo just because it is HP, JHP or BTHP or JSP - but the jackets are too thick, the core too hard and/or it uses the wrong materials. That is why I avoid most foreign ammo, especially the Russian and ex-Soviet satellite states ammo. I won't touch Herters anymore after I bought some JSP at Cabelas and found that it had a steel core. Now I check out a number of ballistic gel vids before I buy anything for self-defense.
     
  12. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm indifferent on the topic to be honest.

    All of my JIC mags are kept loaded with milspec green tip. I figure if it is good enough for our guys, its good enough for me.
     
  13. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    We must remember that we - as prepper individuals, people just trying to survive without the help of gov. and society and the infrastructure of "civilization" - we are in a different situation from the military and law enforcement. We can't call for air support, we can't call for reinforcements, we don't have huge amounts of ammo, we don't have fortifications, we don't have armor, we don't have artillery and most of us don't have military training much less combat experience.

    When we shoot someone in self-defense, or when we shoot a game animal for food, we need that shot to be the most effective it can be. We don't have the amount of ammo that is needed to open up on someone with full-auto to keep their heads down while other members of our squad move in on them, or keep them busy while air support or artillery takes them out. Even if we had the ammo, most of us don't have the training or experience, and even if we did, many of us are way past our prime and simply couldn't do the job even if we knew how.

    So when I shoot someone or something, I am going to take careful aim, and I am going to be shooting with the most effective ammo I can buy, even though it costs 50 cents per round instead of 30 cents per round. Also, the military is limited by law, politics and their own budgets to use FMJ projectiles which are less expensive than expanding ammo.

    So no - FMJ ball ammo is not "good enough" for me.

    YMMV

    You make your choice and you pay the price, one way or the other. Personally, I buy the best expanding projectile ammo I can afford - or at least, ammo that is effective expanding ammo, which in my opinion, is much more effective than FMJ ammo.
     
    Steve M likes this.
  14. 2A2Dend

    2A2Dend .. Well-Known Member

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    I've had lists of specifics per caliber saved on my digital device for quite some time.
    If I'm somewhere that happens to have what's on my list that's on sale, it's likely some will accompany me home.
     
    orygun likes this.
  15. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    With all that said will you be carrying different types of ammo for different scenarios?

    IE ammo for direct hit to body mass, ammo for shooting through barriers, ammo for distance shots?

    Just for sake of conversation.
     
  16. Hdshot

    Hdshot Grants Pass Oregon Member

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    The Heretic is correct. NATO rounds are (FMJ) ball because they don't cause as much damage.
    I'm not in the Corps or in the jungle anymore. No ball. Shoot hunting ammo. There are some great bullets being developed all the time. Shot placement is the key.
     
    The Heretic likes this.
  17. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    I had the opportunity few months back to purchase a new rifle. I opted for .308 because of it's versatility across the board with low recoil.

    .308 Win is more powerful than 7.62 due to the wanting to wound a human vs kill an animal.
     
  18. TM-Salem

    TM-Salem Salem Active Member

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    My home defense rifle would be my Marlin 1895SBL 45-70 with my own cast bullets. without expantion they will put a .460 hole through anything on the planet. But I like to have some that will expand pretty good too.
     
  19. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    No.

    I will be using the same ammo for most everything.

    The only different ammo I will be carrying is special handloads I have made for small game - light loads for rabbits and such.

    I do have some special ammo for special purposes that I have collected. API, tracer and such, but it is unlikely I would ever use it in a SHTF situation.
     
  20. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Are they hand loads?

    Care to share the info?

    Seruuosly never gave this a lot of though, so I could invest in some mags full of better choice ammo. Figured it was going fast, could get through light armor, and is fairly inexpensive to gather a bunch.