5.56mm

5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Rem)

 

The .223 is used for law enforcement applications, largely because some agencies fear the over penetration of the .308 round in hostage type situations. The .223 generally splinters on impact, allowing almost no excess penetration that could possibly hit innocents, such as hostages. But with this fragmentation and lack of penetration comes a necessity for more precise shot placement, leaving almost no room for error. The .223 has a small temporary wound channel (Stretch cavity), requiring almost a direct hit on the spinal stem in order to get "lights out" on a target. The lighter .223 bullet is very susceptible to the effects of wind, which really limits its long range potential. While it is possible to achieve acceptable accuracy at 600 meters on a calm day, it is to risky on the windy days to really consider this round for military sniping purposes. Due to the lack of penetration and lack of energy, the .223 should only be used in very rare circumstances and only on head shots. There is more then one instance when a target has been shot with a perfectly placed center mass shot, and it failed to incapacitate him.

Note: In order to stabilize the 69-gr. Bullets and heavier, the twist on the rifle barrel needs to be at least 1:8"

Recommendation: only use the .223 within 100 meters and only take head shots if at all possible. If the .223 is all that your unit has in the way of a sniper rifle, be sure to keep in mind the limitations of the round.

 

Ballistics: Some possible rounds and their ballistics have been listed below.

Military Applications

Federal Gold Medal match - 5.56x45mm NATO (.223) 69gr 3000fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

100y

91m

200y

183m

300y

275m

400y

366m

500y

458m

600y

549m

700y

641m

800y

732m

900y

824m

1000y

915m

+14.9

+26.6

+32.5

+31.3

+21.2

Zero

-35.6

-87.7

-160

-256

Energy - (Muzzle: 1380 ft-lbs.)

1135

925

750

600

475

375

295

235

195

170

Wind Drift (Inches) - 10mph Crosswind

.9

3.7

8.7

16.3

27.0

41.3

59.5

82.2

109.2

140.0

 

Law Enforcement Applications

Federal Premium - 55gr Sierra Gameking BTHP 3240fps

Bullet Drop (Inches)

50y

46m

100y

91m

200y

183m

300y

275m

-0.3

Zero

-2.7

-10.8

Energy - (Muzzle: 1280 ft-lbs.)

N/A

935

670

465

Wind Drift (Inches) - 10mph Crosswind

N/A

1.3

5.8

14.2


Other Sniper Calibers