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Effective range on a .223 AR?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by ThatOneGuy1231, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. ThatOneGuy1231

    ThatOneGuy1231 The great northwest Member

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    I've shot my .308 bolt gun out past 500yds on multiple occasions. Is an AR capable of being accurate at this range? How about effective?

    I know that there will be a significant amount of drop (both in velocity and POI) but how much?
     
  2. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    The short answer is yes, and actually there isn't very much drop 5.56 is pretty flat-shooting.

    The long answer is kind of. Military ball ammunition (m855/ss109) does not have enough velocity to reliably fragment at 500 yards even out of a 20" barrel. It is significantly better than the old M193 but it still does not make it to 500 yards. Even so, holes are holes and a non-fragmenting round can kill you just as dead as a fragmenting one. Fragmentation just means it has a slightly higher chance of damaging something vital. Good center of mass hits will still yield positive results.

    ALSO, as a civilian (or LEO, specops, or some defense contractors) you may have access to better ammunition. 75gr Hornandy TAP, 77gr Black Hills mk 262, and other high grain bullets make for very effective rounds. Not only do they greatly increase the reliable fragmentation range compared to m855, but even at lower velocities (farther away) they will quickly yaw and yield terminal ballistics similar to the soviet 5.45x39 cartridge. Be advised--you may not want to use this ammunition if you have a 1:9 twist rate barrel. 1:7 is necessary to reliably stabilize these rounds.
     
  3. usmc

    usmc oregon Active Member

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    the maximum EFFECTIVE range is about 500 meters. it simply doesn't carry enough energy or create a large wound channel.yes you can kill someone if you hit them. the average man's chest is 18 inch.if you have any wind its a crap shoot.but on that note ,injuring enemies is the fastest way to tie up 4 guys with one shot. so in that respect it might do well.
     
  4. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    I don't really fly that particular airplane, if there is a threat I want it taken out and not still shooting back at me. All large wound channels do for you is make it somewhat more likely to hit something vital. If you don't hit anything vital they might bleed out marginally more quickly but that is all. In the end shot placement is what matters more than anything. Don't get me wrong, larger wound channels are definitely better, I'll take any advantage I can get. This is why I recommended using things like 75gr Hornandy TAP if you are building a long range precision rifle that will yaw quickly and create much larger wound channels even when they don't fragment.

    You are right about the wind though, 5.56 is pretty easily affected by it.

    Also, for OP, I found this chart for m855 in a real quick google search. Only goes to 400 meters but it should give the general gist of m855 ballistics.
    m855dropduring25meterze.jpg