Reconsidering Rule .308 – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)
I can reload, so it is possible have a pile of very accurate 77 grain OTMs reserved for this kind of work as a part of a contingency plan that excludes the use a bolt gun. At 65 cents per round, I would get a pile and not let my stock go below 500 rounds. This is not blasting/training ammo, use the 55-grain bullet for that, but we would need to use up part of the case getting familiar with the round. The barrel twist rate should be 1:8 or better yet, 1:7. If your current upper does not, then get a spare upper with a 1:7 twist 20-inch barrel and leave the scope on it.

The 75/77 grain .223 ammunition would also be a better fight stopper than 55 grain FMJ, as the bullet tumbles and leaves a wider wound channel. And because it is a soft match bullet, there will also be some expansion and fragmentation that typically does not occur with FMJ. This means it can be a dual-use ammunition, for up close home defense ranges and for extended ranges.

Here is a ballistics chart that estimates the trajectory:

An example, .223 Remington 75 grain hollow point match:

The 75 grain projectile performs very well with barrels that have 1:7 or 1:8 twists, and decently well with 1:9 twist rates, but it would be best to use a 68 or 69 grain projectile in 1:9 twist barrels.

Home Defense Ammunition for the AR-15

Consider .223 with Hornady 55 grain Soft Points (found on Type ‘soft point’ in the search box)

For decades, some law enforcement agencies and prison guards used Ruger Mini-14s in .223, and Federal 55 grain soft point ammunition. It is about stopping the attacker as quickly as possible, to avoid getting shot yourself.

If you are using an AR, and especially if you are using an AR pistol, soft point ammunition is the best choice. I do not know what the shipping charges would be, but this ammo is only 0.43 cents per round. It could be a killer deal and could save lives. FMJ is good for penetrating barriers and is the most reliable ammunition for all rifles, yet it is not a good fight stopper. If using FMJ, keep shooting until they are not moving.

The U.S. Army advises double tapping, because M193 (55 grain FMJ) does not always tumble in flesh, and simply zips through the target doing little damage to tissue. Because we hunt out here in Montana, I see what works, and what does not work. Unless the shot placement is ideal, a bigger hole and the additional hydrostatic shock will put them down quicker. I still have a deer heart in my freezer that is an example of a perfectly placed shot. A perfectly placed shot to the heart, spine, or neck would be near impossible if the “deer” was moving, and shooting back at the hunter. Use more gun or a better bullet, or better yet, both.

Ammunition for the AR Pistol

This is an ideal for bullet for the short barreled AR pistols because the short barrels produce very low velocities that this normally soft and fast expanding bullet would hold together at lower impact velocities and will penetrate and expand more reliably than standard soft point ammunition. Buy a sample and see if it reliably cycles in all your rifles in .223 before buying in bulk. Here is one source:

The .223 with Hornady 55-grain Soft Point InterLock® Varmint 500 Rd Ammo Can 223 SP Remanufactured  Softpoint Ammo.

Home Defense Ammunition for the AKM

S.G. Ammo has 124 grain HP Wolf Military Classic that is expanding/fragmenting ammunition for around .52 cents per round. It is the now the famous 8m3 bullet. It is not stated as such in their depiction, yet I can identify it as I am very familiar with this bullet. I’ve shot cases of it. I still have a case of the original Sapsan from the 1990s, advertised as an ‘effect’ bullet. And indeed it is.

Years ago, Guns and Ammo magazine featured this round in a comparative test with soft point ammo, and chose it as their number 3 choice for a defensive round after Lapua, and Winchester brand soft points. It is an explosive round inside of 100 yards. It explodes gallon jugs of water into shreds, whereas FMJ merely punches a hole. If you need to stop the fight quickly with one round, this will do it. If you are using .223, hit them at least 3 times, if not 5 just to be sure. If all I had for home defense was .223, then I’d run out and get soft point ammunition for close-in work.  Some good options:

500 Round Case – 7.62×39 Hollow Point 122 Grain WPA Wolf Military Classic Ammo – Made in Russia by Barnaul – HP Projectile was recently available and for sale at only .52 cents a round.

While this ammunition is at .60 cents/round, .08 cents more than the 124 grain HP Wolf Military Classic, it is a expanding bullet versus a fragmenting bullet. A soft point will penetrate deeper than a fragmenting bullet.  This particular bullet generally will penetrate in ballistic gelatin less than 1 inch before expanding. If the higher cost is not an issue, this would be my top choice.

1000 Round Case – 7.62×39 Soft Point 125 Grain WPA Wolf Polyformance – Made in Russia by Barnaul – SP Projectile.

Bigger Arrows are Better

Get to know all the options and choose the best tool suited for a job and your budget. Limiting ourselves at the onset is limiting our capability and ability to defend ourselves in a chaotic and unforgiving environment. If we do not have the right equipment and skill,  we might not make it through the ordeal for a second chance to get it right.

At the least, fully understand the limitations of your platform and compensate accordingly. 5.56 NATO ball (FMJ) can require a 3 to 1 expenditure of rounds fired on target to equal .30-caliber cartridges in terms of effectiveness, namely, stopping the fight.  M193 (55-grain FMJ) is limited to 100 yards as the energy needed to do damage to tissue diminishes quickly, and its ability delivered to a target at 400 yards falls to less than a disappointing and mostly ineffective 300 foot-pounds at it maximum effective range.  And because its resistance to wind deflection at 400 yards is so low, the bullet is easily blown off course. Therefore step up to 75/77 grain OTM bullets that gets you out to 600 yards. Or better yet, step up to 7.62 NATO, or any other high-powered cartridge. Take note that 7.62 NATO is by far the lowest cost option out there, and most likely will be available when most other cartridges are not.  Do not seek parity.  Strive for an unfair advantage. Bigger arrows are always better.


If all you have is Grandpa’s scoped hunting rifle, regardless of the cartridge it shoots, then you likely have a superior rifle in your hands. Learn how to use it, and use it first if possible.  Do not settle for what is popular or considered good enough.  In the end, it is not the rifle used that is the deciding factor, but the skill of the men who use those rifles that is the most important factor. The .223/5.56 is best suited for maneuver warfare. However, take note that with the U.S Army’s adoption of the new 6.8mm round signals that the modern battlefield has changed.  And like most folks, I am so old and fat, I ain’t gonna be maneuvering anywhere except to the kitchen table, so therefore I plan accordingly.  I would rather be that “one-eyed fat man” with a scoped rifle that outclasses in terms of fire superiority, than a skinny guy with a poodle shooter.
Use your brains to beat youthful brawn.  It may be all we old boomers have left, and it would be enough.