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#132248 - 05/07/08 08:13 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: jcurphy]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 423
Loc: Ontario
Quote:
Some might disagree with me on the 9mm,


There is nothing wrong with 9mm at all IMHO. I have this conversation a lot as my issued sidearm is 9mm. I am actually cleaning mine at my desk as we speak.

It all depends on shot placement. I personally can shoot a .45 better than the 9mm so I like to stick to what I shoot best(for the guns I own at least) but a 9mm is easier for most people to shoot as there is very little recoil. A steady aim and a double tap from a 9mm will drop someone just as fast as any other handgun if your aim is true.(assuming he is not wearing plates) People often get in heated debates about stopping power but how many have any real world experience to back it up? personally I would not like to be shot in a vital zone by any calibre, but given the choice I would rather take a .40 to the leg than a 9mm to the chest.

If you can become highly proficient and accurate with ANY reasonable calibre, then you are a deadly force to recon with.

Beware the man with only one gun........

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#132250 - 05/07/08 08:21 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: frediver]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 973
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
The .22 is a given, you need one, rifle, pistol or both.


For what they cost for good ones, I'd say both.

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#132257 - 05/07/08 09:15 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: UTAlumnus]
rly45acp Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 18
Loc: SW Indiana
As stated in my first post: 9mm, 38 Spl, 40S&W or 45acp are all good service cartridges, though these days 38 is best in a backup role. 9mm is universally available in the world today and has recoil tolerated by anyone in good health. Arthritis and other diseases may make any pistol above 22 a task, but unless you suffer from this or similar ailments, a 9 is fine if properly loaded. The new M&P 9mm by S&W may just have the lightest perceived recoil of any service grade 9mm available.

Hydrashoks are about three or four generations old and while they have always been very accurate and fed well in anything I ever used them in, they are not the best choice today. The post pierces tissue prior to the main part of the expanded projectile and as a result the wound profile is considerably smaller than from a comparable hollowpoint that does not have the post. This also causes excess penetration as a result. Additonally, these rounds perform poorly (don't expand, over penetrate) against heavy clothing, such as will be encountered in winter months. Dr. Martin Fackler did research on this phenomenon and published the results some years ago. He also wrote a letter to Federal advising them that this ammunition had increased liability concerns as a result of these tests.

For a 9mm, there are many excellent loads to use today that work against heavy clothing, etc. 24/7. The Speer Gold Dot 147 gr. standard pressure and their 124+P loads, available from either Speer or Black Hills, both offer excellent performance. They expand well and penetrate within the desired parameters (12"-18" in living tissue), with penetration in the 13" to 15" range. This is nearly ideal. These rounds are readily available to non-leo. Another good load is the Remington 147 gr. Golden Saber. If you have access to it, the Federal and Winchester LE-only ammunition is excellent. You can get it in bullet weights/loads ranging from 124+P, 127 gr. +P+, 135+P , and 147 gr. in both standard and +P. Pick the load that shoots best in your pistol, put a couple of hundred rounds of this through it to ensure reliability and then stock up whatever amount you think is prudent/can afford. The LE ammo is not llegal for civilians. This is a manufacturer decision and anyone can carry it if you can find it. Gun shows tend to be a good source.

For snubby 38's, try standard pressure wadcutters. They don't expand, but they cut a 36 caliber hole and tend to follow a straight path, cutting and crushing all along. In spite of their low velocity, they offer excellent penetration. They are excellent for any snubby, but in airweights they really shine due to their lower recoil. Being target loads, they are also very accurate. For something hotter, the Speer 135 gr. +P load was designed specifically for use in snubbies. It gives good expansion and penetration, even against heavy clothing. This is not a good load against auto windshields, but fine for everything else. This load is intended for snubbies. Don't use it in longer barrels as it will overexpand and underpenetrate. Underpenetration will get you killed since the rounds don't get to the boiler room. Black Hills also has an excellent SWCHP designed specifially for snubs. The older Chicago load - 158 gr. LSWC-HP, along with the Hornady 158 gr. JHP are fine for longer barreled 38's. Winchester produced a LE load that still shows up occasionally for longer barreled 38's. It was a 147 gr. +P load. It only performs well in barrel 3" or longer.

For inside a bedroom, a load of #4 shot will probably suffice, but if you must shoot across a house - I have shots in the house in excess of 15 yards, this load simply gives TOO shallow penetration. #4 buck would be better in a house, but it has not proven to be a good load over the years. Shallow penetration prevents the pellets from getting to the boiler room. I no longer prefer a shotgun for home defense, but on those rare occasions I do, it gets low recoil 00 buck. It doesn't over penetrate -- unless you miss and they all are a problem them -- even birdshot. I know a former Gary, IN cop who nearly killed his baby daughter when he had a ND with his shotgun and the shot went right through the wall just above her little body. If I recall correctly, he had bird shot in it. My aunt was killed by an ND from my drunken uncle when I was just a boy and I think he had #6 shot in his old '97 Winchester. The distance was inside three yards and she didn't die instantly, but pretty close to it. But then, she wasn't hyped up on dope either. At that distance, there was no shot spread and penetration was such that she was literally all over the room. These days I have resigned myself that a good 223/5.56 carbine is best, since it has less penetration in a house than shotgun and pistol loads and is far more precise. There are many studies to back up what I say on this, so you don't have to believe me, I'll gladly provide references. It's the real reason most cops have gone to 223/5.56 over 9mm subguns and shotguns -- less collateral damage.

Those who advocate 30-30, 30-06, etc. are correct if they are using it outside a home, but if you think the information I've provided doesn't meet your favorite rifle, I advise you that all of these calibers give excessive penetration from misses (not hits if properly loaded) inside a typical home than the loads I mention above. The 155 gr. Hornady A-Max and 150 gr. Nosler Partition fired in either 308 or 30-06 should not overpenetrate even at contact distances, IF YOU HIT WHAT YOU"RE AIMING AT. If you miss, look out. I think pre-planning and careful consideration of your individual needs/locations will preclude you having to deal with the problems of overpenetration within a dwelling. Our house is set up so that I can safely cover our bedroom door without indangering anyone sleeping in the guest rooms. However, if I have to leave that room, then all bets are off. That's why I prefer to hole up in the bedroom and let the intruder come to me. We rarely have overnight guests, so that is typically not a problem. Your situation may be entirely different and only you can determine what works best for your needs.

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#132265 - 05/07/08 10:07 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: rly45acp]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 423
Loc: Ontario
Quote:
IF YOU HIT WHAT YOU"RE AIMING AT. If you miss, look out. I think pre-planning and careful consideration of your individual needs/locations will preclude you having to deal with the problems of overpenetration within a dwelling.


I stick to .45 ACP, .38 special and 12 ga #4 buck for HD ammo. I can speak from personal experience that a 7.62mm bullet in FMJ will grossly overmatch and pass through a human body at moderate range with considerable KE left on the other side.

Even expanding bullets will pass through and through a large deer from my .30-06 at 150-200 yards.

Unless there was NO other option, I would NEVER use a medium to large caliber rifle cartridge for home defense. MHO

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#132276 - 05/07/08 10:56 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: Taurus]
rly45acp Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 18
Loc: SW Indiana
Please reread what I wrote. I do not advocate using a 308/30-06 for home use. In fact, I specifically warned against it unless you use specific loads. (I would not use it!) I never mentioned FMJ, nor would I. As you state, grossly overpenetrating. M80 Ball will pass through two cement blocks and anyone standing behind them. However, the Hornady 155 gr. A-Max has penetration in living tissue in the same range as many 9mm loads (about 14") and the wound channel is horrific, impressive, or whatever other word you choose, but it WON'T overpenetrate the human torso any more than the best 9mm loads.

Please read this from Dr. Gary K. Roberts. Good info.

http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=001277

Author Topic: LE .308 sniper loads
DocGKR
Ammo Wan Kenobi
Member # 582

Member Rated:
posted 09-19-2006 03:51
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There has been a significant amount of scientific testing yielding repeatable, verifiable, irrefutable factual data rather than mere opinions. For a perimeter role a 5.56 mm AR using appropriate ammunition is probably just fine; it might even be OK as a sniper support weapon as long as shots into vehicles or through intermediate barriers are not a common concern. Having said that, as a LE or military true sniper caliber, as contrasted with DMR or patrol/perimeter applications, the 5.56 mm just does not cut it, as there are far better choices: In a bolt gun, a 16-20" .308 is ideal and if a semi-auto is desired, a 12-16" 6.8 mm is optimal. Night vision capability w/ IR laser designator is an operational necessity; ASA data shows 43% (95/219) of sniper incidents occured at night. Visible lasers are another option that should be strongly considered. Good sound suppressors are also becoming mandatory items.

While snipers like to talk of head shots, there are an inordinate number of torso hits in the law enforcement forensic literature. As posted above, ASA indicates 47% of sniper shots were to the head (104/219), while 53% were to the body (115/219). As a result, law enforcement sniper bullets need to exhibit terminal performance which can consistently induce rapid incapacitation with shots to the torso, as well as the head. If you use a 5.56 mm, what happens when if you have to shoot through a window or into a vehicle, how about if the bad guy has something over his chest--perhaps AK mags? 5.56 mm is suddenly not looking so good:



Superior terminal effects and barrier penetration ability are why .308 dominates LE sniper use; .308 accounts for 74.5% (161/216) of sniper shots chronicled in the ASA data base. Historically U.S. law enforcement and military snipers have chosen the extremely accurate, competition proven .308 Sierra Match King OTM bullets in 168 gr (M852) or 175 gr (M118LR). Unfortunately, the SMK’s have significant terminal performance problems, including very inconsistent behavior, that render them a poor choice for LE sniping. In addition, SMK’s will frequently exit the target and pose a significant downrange hazard to innocent bystanders and friendly personnel. In fact, according to ASA data, 90% of SMK shots have exited the suspect and posed a downrange hazard.



As discussed by both Fackler and Haag, the cause of SMK inconsistent terminal ballistic behavior appears to be associated with the diameter of the hollow point at the tip of the Match King bullet. Match Kings produced in the 1980’s had tip diameters of 0.028” to 0.038”, while recent Match King tip diameters appear to range from 0.012” to 0.024”. The smaller the tip diameter of the hollow point, the more the Match King tends to behave like a FMJ bullet; conversely, increasing the tip diameter enhances bullet upset in tissue. Fackler and Haag both have reported that when the SMK open tip is enlarged to at least 0.055”, the Match King offers consistent expansion and fragmentation with virtually no change in accuracy.

As a result of their mission profile and typical engagement distances, military snipers are less affected by the inconsistent terminal effects of SMK’s than U.S. law enforcement snipers. For law enforcement use, the inconsistent terminal effects of SMK’s can have tragic human and litigious consequences. U.S. law enforcement snipers have two choices to avoid inconsistent SMK terminal performance: Demand that Sierra market specific law enforcement Match Kings with hollow point diameters of at least 0.055” or use a different bullet which offers both acceptable accuracy and more reliable terminal performance. Luckily, several bullets are available which more than meet the requirements of LE snipers. The .308 Hornady TAP loads using polymer tip AMAX bullets offer consistently superior terminal performance compared to standard SMK bullets, although the SMK's are generally a bit more accurate. Are LE snipers willing to trade a slight bit of accuracy to eliminate SMK variability & gain consistently improved terminal effects?



The 155 gr AMAX consistently offers nearly perfect terminal performance characteristics--ideal penetration, good fragmentation, and perfectly placed large temporary cavity. All of the .308 AMAX bullets we are aware of fired in OIS incidents to date have remained in the suspects' torsos; damage on autopsy has been quite impressive and exactly as predicted based on lab analysis. The 110 gr AMAX has a shallower penetration depth with a rounded temporary stretch cavity, while the 168 gr and 178 gr AMAX have deeper penetration than the 155 AMAX, with a more oval, narrower temporary stretch cavity.





Intermediate barriers are a significant issue for snipers. As noted, ASA states 23% (50/219) of law enforcement sniper shots involved intermediate barriers, typically glass. Unfortunately, the SMK is NOT a good barrier round.



Glass barriers are one of the most difficult challenges for LE snipers. OTM bullets like the SMK’s generally exhibit unfavorable fragmentation and trajectory deviation when fired through glass intermediate barriers, resulting in degradation of terminal wounding effects. Despite gunstore commando lore to the contrary, FMJ bullet terminal performance is extremely erratic against glass. Bonded JSP/PT bullets and true AP bullets like M993 are often able to defeat glass intermediate barriers while retaining their mass, although they exhibit very deep penetration in soft tissue and can be counted upon to exit the suspect and pose a downrange hazard. In addition, they are not always as accurate as other bullet designs. PT bullets, like the Hornady AMAX, offer better performance against glass than OTM bullets like the SMK, but are not the equal of bonded JSP/PT bullets or AP bullets. Currently the best glass barrier loads are the Black Hills loaded Nosler Accubond PT, Hornady Interbond PT, Federal Tactical using the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw JSP, Swift Scirocco bonded PT, as well as Barnes Triple Shock; all create similar deep penetrating wound profiles.



-- For military snipers and others needing long range accuracy, the SMK 175 gr OTM is the way to go.

-- For intermediate barrier penetration, the bonded rounds like the BH loaded Nosler Accubond, Federal loaded TBBC, Hornady Interbond, Swift Scirroco, as well as M993 AP are the best choices.

-- At this time the Hornady 155 TAP offers outstanding accuracy nearly on par with SMK’s, as well as more consistent terminal performance, better incapacitation potential and superior performance through glass intermediate barriers than SMK’s; as a result, the Hornady 155 gr TAP using the polymer tip AMAX bullet is the probably best general purpose choice for LE snipers. BH also loads AMAX bullets. The Nosler 150 gr Ballistic Tip PT, Hornady and Nosler 155 gr OTM, Federal 165 gr TRU JHP, Sierra Game Kings, and Weapons Unlimited Hostage Rescue JHP also work well.



If an organization wishes to retain the ergonomic, versatile AR15 system for sniper use without moving to the larger, heavier, more problematic AR10/SR25/Mk11/M110 systems, then the best option is to use an AR15 chambered in 6.8 mm instead of 5.56 mm. Interestingly, for LE purposes, the 6.8 mm potentially allows an agency to use one caliber for all their shoulder fired weapons. Not only does 6.8 mm caliber offer substantially better terminal effects and intermediate barrier penetration capability than 5.56 mm, it is also an inherently very accurate cartridge. In addition, the 6.8 mm was designed and optimized to work effectively in short barrels of 12 to 16 inches in length. The versatility, compactness, potential accuracy, and effective terminal performance of 6.8 mm allows an LE agency to standardize on one caliber and one semi-auto rifle type for multiple uses, including: patrol, entry, perimeter, sniper support, primary sniper, animal control, and personal close protection details. For information on 6.8 mm ammo choices, see: http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=001273
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posts: 2708 | From: Palo Alto, CA | Registered: May 2000 | IP: Logged


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#132277 - 05/07/08 10:58 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: rly45acp]
rly45acp Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 18
Loc: SW Indiana
I recommend actually going to the site, as the photos, images, etc. did not copy.

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#132279 - 05/07/08 11:20 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: rly45acp]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 423
Loc: Ontario
Quote:
Please reread what I wrote. I do not advocate using a 308/30-06 for home use. In fact, I specifically warned against it unless you use specific loads. (I would not use it!) I never mentioned FMJ, nor would I. As you state, grossly overpenetrating.


Oh no rly45acp, sorry.

I didn't mean to appear as if I was arguing a point. I think I quoted the text and went off of my own rant for a while. I love topics on terminal ballistics. In fact I made a career of it so sometimes my mind wanders away and I read things too quickly. Iread you wrong and For that I apologize.

You obviously know your stuff as well.

I only tend to argue when a book tries to tell me something that I know is wrong.

Quote:
If you use a 5.56 mm, what happens when if you have to shoot through a window or into a vehicle, how about if the bad guy has something over his chest--perhaps AK mags? 5.56 mm is suddenly not looking so good:



So many books hype up the 5.56 round but…….
I will fully agree here. I took 5 rounds to put a guy down with a 5.56 NATO. That is something I learned firsthand. I get into a lot of arguments where people try to tell me a bullet will do a certain thing because a book says so. (not you, I mean other people)

But now we are getting waaay off topic. Sorry MichaelJ

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#132283 - 05/07/08 11:44 PM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: MichaelJ]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 814
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
FWIW, as only between 30-06 and .308, I don't think you can ignore the choice of the rifle. If you lean toward a simple, bolt action like a "traditional" Remington 700 or Winchester model 70, then take your pick of caliber. If you want a newer "military" or "tactical" or "assault" style, then your probably looking at .308.

Strictly personal preference, if you going traditional time-tested bolt action, I'd go 30-06, basically for the wide choices of factory ammo loads. I don't think you as easily find the same range in .308, but you may.

I don't want to start a major debate, but I understood that the .308, being shorter in length overall, was better for semi-auto feeds than the 30-06. Full auto in any man portable in either round is a bear to control, either BAR or full auto M-14. Other than that, ballistic performance is darn close. I carried a full auto M-14. No, I could not control it in full auto.

My choice was a Winchester model 70, but then I've had it for 30+ years.

Good Luck Let us know you final choices
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#132286 - 05/08/08 01:16 AM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: bws48]
rly45acp Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 18
Loc: SW Indiana
Taurus, no problem. We're on the same page. I totally agree with your comments above.

bws48 -- I tend to agree. Both of my hunting bolt guns are 30-06. I can build a 308 lighter due to the action length, but when I need extra oomph, I like the case capacity and ability to use longer, heavier bullets in the '06 case. Probably splitting hairs here in comparing the two, but I've always had a soft spot for the 30-06. Nothing fancy, no magnum name, but it works and works well. Mine too are pretty old. Well, at least one of them. I got it just after I got out of college in the early '70's.

I had some time on a full auto M-14 too way back when. Can't control it. A waste of ammo, barrel gets way too hot and you have nothing but noise to show for it. I did like the ability of the M-14 to hit things when something was between me and the "target" though and 7.62x51 gave me that in spades over the (back then) M193. Didn't like carrying it though. But then a friend of mine's father carried a BAR all over Europe in WWII and that kind of puts things in perspective.


Edited by rly45acp (05/08/08 01:22 AM)

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#132288 - 05/08/08 01:43 AM Re: Caliber Choices. [Re: rly45acp]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
The army sere instructors have studied this stuff to death, and have chosen the .22 rimfire semi-auto pistol as the ideal sere weapon.
http://www.sererescuesog.addr.com/USRSOG-Firearm.html

Whenever the unarmed folks ask which firearm to acquire, many of the responses seem to assume that the new gun owner will immediately acquire the skills and tolerances necessary to cope with 12 gauge pumps, high-capacity 9mm semi-autos, and military caliber long arms. Bad assumption. This sort of introduction to firearms is analogous to taking a new skier to the top of a black diamond trail and shoving him off, expecting skills to develop on the way down. Good way to discourage a new skier. It is easy to short-shuck a pump gun, easy to make an unloaded -gun error with a semi auto, easy to become gunshy with 30 caliber turnbolts. Folks new to firearms should start with wysiwyg weapons-.22 is a great place to start-revolvers - you can see the cartridges; single shot .22 rifles-there is no cartridge in battery unless you pick one up and put it in the chamber. Single and double barrel shotguns are immune to the mechanical failures of the magazine-fed weapons. If the new gun owner is bitten by the bug, he or she can easily move up to the larger bore/larger capacity weaopons as they develop the skills. I love the discussions, too-but we should try to be aware of the audience, and allow them the same, sensible introduction to firearms that miost of us had as kids-
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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