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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 04:09 PM
Number of posts: 12,148

Journal Archives

More scaremongering about centerfire .22's...

Since the ".223 is WAY TOO POWERFUL for civilian use" argument was so glaringly silly, someone has tried the exact opposite argument, basically arguing ".223 is not powerful enough for civilian use, but still should be banned because ZOMG VELOCITY! and its military pedigree" (ignoring the fact that it's based on a civilian varmint hunting cartridge, of course).


After a great deal of hand-waving about military automatic weapons and the military utility of 5.56mm in full auto fire, there are some pretty novel claims. To wit:

"Because of the light weight projectile and very high velocity (3000 + feet per second vs 2600 FPS for the M14) many states prohibit the 55 gr .223 round as a humane hunting round."

Wait, just four days ago, you guys were saying that .223 is too powerful for deer hunting and would tear up too much meat if you shot a deer with it, so it should be banned. Now you say 55gr .223 is too underpowered to humanely kill deer, so it should be banned. Which is it?

If you think 3000 ft/sec is "very high velocity", there are plenty of civilian hunting rifles that can exceed 4000 ft/sec with the same weight bullet, or that can throw a bullet two or three times as heavy as a .223 at 3200+ ft/sec. That's because .223's small case doesn't hold enough powder to match the velocity or energy that a bigger case can produce. For example, a .22-250 Remington can throw a 55-grain bullet (same weight as typical .223) at 3786 ft/sec, or a 40-grain at 4224 ft/sec. By comparison, my 16" AR will launch a 55gr at around 2950 ft/sec, if that.


I also notice you praise .308 (7.62x51mm NATO) as a civilian cartridge. Ummm, guess who developed that cartridge, and for what purpose. And what about .30-06 Springfield, originally designed to kill human beings at extreme range, and capable of exceeding 3400-4000 ft/sec with some loads? Just asking.

"The lightweight projectile and loss of ballistic energy past a few hundred yards making it ineffective for long range target or varmint shooting"

So the #1 varmint hunting cartridge in the nation is useless for varmint hunting. Maybe you should tell these hunters:

http://www.fieldandstream.com/forums/-firing-line/223-vs-22-250 (ummm, yep, that's a hunting site)

Funny thing is, the majority of bolt-action varmint hunting rifles are chambered in .223.


Maybe that is true because .223 Remington is a slightly improved variant of the .222 Remington varmint hunting round introduced in 1950, and is even better for hunting small game than .222 is. Yes, .22-250, .220 Swift, etc. kick .223's butt in terms of velocity and energy, but .223 recoils less, is much cheaper to shoot, and doesn't wear out a barrel like the higher velocity choices.

"making it ineffective for long range target or varmint shooting (although very few people participate in 1000 yard competition)."

Soooo, the #1 centerfire target cartridge in the United States is useless for target shooting, too. Do you see the disconnect there? Heck, there's an entire division within F-class long range target shooting (F/TR class) devoted to .223 and .308:


And how about hits at a mile using a custom bolt-action .223?


Yes, there are cartridges that carry a lot more energy and velocity at 1000+ yards (6.5mm Creedmor comes to mind, or .22-250, or .300 Win Mag, or .338 Lapua Mag), and yes, .223 is also a great IPSC cartridge. But if all you want to do is punch holes in paper out to 600-1000 yards, you can set up a .223 to do it pretty well, and more cheaply than most.

"Also because of its very high velocity it is capable of penetrating an intruder's body and then interior walls and still inflicting lethal injuries after doing so make it less than desirable for home defense."

This is exactly backwards; .223 Remington with civilian jacketed hollowpoints or softpoints penetrates less in both ballistic gelatin and drywall than almost any pistol or buckshot load.

It is less likely to "penetrate and intruder's body and then interior walls" than almost any other round, centerfire or rimfire, with the possible exception of light birdshot. (I say possible exception because 40gr .223 JHP may even penetrate less than birdshot at close range, but I can't find a suitable birdshot test to compare.)

Don't take my word for it. See Roberts G.K., "Law Enforcement General Purpose Shoulder Fired Weapons: the Wounding Effects of 5.56mm/.223 Carbines Compared with 12 ga. Shotguns and Pistol Caliber Weapons Using 10% Ordnance Gelatin as a Tissue Simulant, Police Marksman, Jul/Aug 1998, pp. 38-45.

Roberts even discounts a lot of lighter .223 JHP and SP loadings as not offering *enough* penetration for routine law enforcement use, although I think that in general, the ideal for home defense is a bit less penetration than might be required for LE use. But if you want to know why law enforcement ditched 9mm carbines in favor of .223 for in-home use, there it is.

And for those who don't have access to a university library, or lack the attention span to read a technical-y academic article (minutiae!), see pictures!

"So, what is it good for? For doing what the military specified; firing a large volume of high velocity projectiles at close range to inflict the maximum number of injuries as quickly as possible."

Baloney. Show me the milspec where the military use of 5.56mm was driven by close range effectiveness over larger calibers. If I recall my history, the 5.56mm decision was based more on increasing the likelihood of hits at longer ranges compared to the then-standard M14. You're quoting gun-control-lobby talking points, not military doctrine. At the time, the U.S. military felt that in any engagement with the Soviets, closing to CQB distances would be a disaster, and hence emphasized accuracy and longer range fire. You do remember that the original M16 had a 20" barrel and target style aperture sights, yes? You do remember that the #1 thing on U.S. military planners' minds was the Fulda Gap scenario, not room-clearing, yes?

"It was designed to military specifications for use by infantry soldiers and paramilitary police officers who have been trained in the use of such weapons."

More handwaving. The .223 Remington is simply a modified civilian varmint hunting cartridge, and in non-automatic civilian rifles, it's simply an improved .222 Remington and a less powerful alternative to harder-kicking, more expensive rounds like .22-250, .243 Winchester, 7mm-08, .270, .308, and .30-06. And since it is easier for a novice shooter to learn to shoot a small, light-kicking caliber well than it is a larger one (which is why .223 is so popular as a first rifle), the argument "ZOMG .223 requires moar training than .308!!!" is downright silly.

In the military context, yes, 5.56mm/.223 allows military automatic weapons to put more lead on target at cyclic rate without uncontrollable muzzle climb. That's irrelevant to civilian non-automatics, just as penetration with military FMJ is irrelevant to civilian softpoints and hollowpoints. For civilians, .223 simply means you can shoot a smaller, lighter rifle with less recoil, less expenditure, and less risk of overpenetration than if you were using a full power rifle, all else being equal.

I'll also point out that some say .223/5.56mm is too underpowered for military use, since the military has to shoot through things, etc. Remember when 5.56mm rifles were derided as "poodle shooters" by Col. Jeff Cooper (USMC Ret.) and others? I think there is some merit to the criticism of .223's lack of lethality at range (see Dr. Martin Fackler, et al), but the real kicker is weight, and modern soldiers are maxed out on weight (body armor, radios, NVG's, support for more effective crew-served weapons). Ditching body armor or advanced electronics so they can carry a heavier-caliber rifle that hits harder would be a poor trade.

Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer (thinks military should switch to a more powerful caliber)
http://www.chuckhawks.com/ar_disgrace.htm (way out of date on reliability issues, but has a point about lack of lethality)

"That's what it is good for."

It's good for civilian target shooting, which is why it's the #1 centerfire target cartridge in the United States.

It's good for varmint hunting, which is why it's the #1 centerfire varmint hunting cartridge in the United States.

It's good for defensive purposes while limiting overpenetration, which is why it's overwhelmingly used in civilian law enforcement patrol rifles and why it's the #1 choice of U.S. homeowners for defensive carbines.

Hand-waving about military automatic weapons shooting military full metal jacket ammo has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of .223 Remington as a civilian rifle cartridge. It's by far the most used civilian rifle round, and for very good reasons.

"Yet anyone with a few hundred dollars can walk into Walmart and buy one without training or instruction. There is something wrong with this system."

Just like any other civilian rifle, including those that are far more powerful and more lethal (which is most of them). Of course, you just want to keep as many guns as possible out of the hands of U.S. gun owners, which is why you're fighting so damn hard to outlaw the least misused class of weapons in America.

.223 Remington is the least powerful civilian rifle cartridge in common use (except for 5.45x39mm), but that doesn't mean it's not a great civilian cartridge, and all the handwaving in the world won't change that.

Is this a joke?

Name 3 common centerfire rifle calibers less powerful than .223 Remington. I can only think of one, 5.45x39mm; aside from that one, .223 Remington is the least powerful of all actual rifle calibers.

Do you honestly want to ban all rifles, or is this a joke?

Yep. I thought this post over there was ironic in that vein...

"Another well worn tactic is to run down the rabbit hole of minutea about guns getting into the tiny details of ballistics, terminology and definitions until the whole issue being discussed is lost. "

Ironic when the whole issue being discussed in that thread is a technical examination of why AR-15's are supposedly too powerful for civilian use.

The OP makes technical claims about .223 being more powerful than "conventional" rifles, which based on readily available and incontrovertible sources, is exactly backwards. Yet for them to open their minds enough to even question that claim, and take 30 seconds to test it against objective facts they can easily access themselves (is a .223 really more powerful than a deer rifle?), is like asking a hardcore creationist to read a paragraph on radiometric dating or consider the implications of a feathered coelurosaur.

They can't even go so far as to say "I don't like people owning AR-15's, but claiming they are super powerful is a stupid argument to use", because to question that claim would be to allow other pesky questions in. Like "are they really that rarely misused?", or "how are they really that different from a Mini-14?", or the ultimate badthink, "does going after .223 rifles actually make sense from a violence prevention standpoint?"

I'm hoping that the original poster will have enough curiosity

to actually check those facts. If he's for real, he can easily verify the energy figures, load data, and FBI homicide stats for himself, if he is open minded enough to look.

Interesting that they not only have to be protected from seeing a dissenting position...

they have to be protected from simply knowing that the dissenting position exists, lest they be led astray by such pesky things as verifiable facts.

It's probably for the best. Fraudulent claims like that beginning in the late '80s, and trolling Congress and the President into passing the original "assault weapon" bait-and-switch in 1994, are what destroyed the gun control lobby in the '90s and '00s. Maybe the Special Military Firearms Expert should just keep up the good work.

I won't interrupt this thread with discussion here...

as I respect the rules of this group, but if you'd like to defend your post on its merits, there's a thread in the RKBA discussion forum. I own and shoot a Rock River AR competitively and recreationally, and responded at length here, if you're interested.

Is this for real, or a Poe? Here's some fact-checking...

"The original ammunition of the AR-15 had a 5.56mm (0.223 caliber -slightly larger than a 22) bullet"

Ummm, it's the same diameter as other .22's. The diameter of a ".223 Remington" bullet is 0.224 inch, the same as a typical .22 rimfire. It's called ".223 Remington" to distinguish it from the civilian small-game-hunting cartridge it was developed from (.222 Remington), which was in turn so named to distinguish it from other .22-caliber centerfires like .22 Hornet and because ".222" sounded cool.

"propelled by a massive amount of gun powder"

If you think .223 Remington is super powerful, you have never seen a deer rifle. In terms of powder, I'm seeing about 27 grains of powder behind hot .223 loads, 58 grains of powder behind hot .30-06 loads (deer), and up to 80 grains of powder for .300 Winchester Magnum (deer at longer range, elk, moose).

.223 Remington is the *least* powerful of all common centerfire rifle cartridges. There are a few that are less powerful (e.g. .22 Hornet), but they aren't common anymore.

"the AR-15 was totally useless as a hunting rifle because it would destroy much of the meat of a targeted animal"

This is what initially made me think this was a Poe. Due to its small powder capacity and tiny bullet, .223 isn't typically considered powerful enough to humanely hunt deer. An expert hunter can hunt deer with a centerfire .22, but a humane kill will require excellent shot placement and fairly close range. It certainly won't destroy as much meat as even a low-end deer caliber like .243 Winchester, never mind something like .270 Winchester or .30-06.

Here are ballistic charts for .223 Remington, a .270 deer rifle, a .30-06 deer rifle, and a .300 Winchester Magnum elk rifle. Look at the energy table and get back to me.


And you were in the military, yet never saw a 7.62x51mm cartridge?

"It makes a small hole on entry, but the projectile is unstable so it tumbles when it enters flesh and is designed to make a massive exit wound."

Ummm, *all* pointed nonexpanding bullets tumble in flesh, unless they break apart first. They are spin-stabilized in air, but the spin is insufficient to stabilize them in a denser medium. And it's a .22. Do you have any idea how the exit wound produced by a .30-06 deer rifle with an expanding bullet would compare to the exit wound from a little .223?

"With magazines capable of storing 60 and even 100 rounds"

Dude, standard capacity for STANAG magazines are 20 and 30. Hand-waving about 100-round jam-o-matic boat-anchor range toy magazines when you're trying to outlaw half a billion lawfully owned 11-to-30-rounders is simply trolling.

"and making sure when a person is hit just about anywhere on his body, he will go down and he will not get back up"

Oh, for Pete's sake, it's a fricking centerfire .22. Yes, getting shot with one would be awful, but less awful than other rifle rounds. Scroll back up to the ballistics charts.

"I shudder every time I am reminded that military assault weapons such as the AR-15 can be bought by just about anyone in our country and can thus easily fall in the hands of a homicidal maniacs or home grown terrorists whose objectives are to kill the maximum number of people before they are themselves shot."

And yet they are consistently the least misused of all civilian weapons. Perhaps you should spend less time shuddering and more time Googling. I'll suggest the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Table 20, Murder by State and Type of Weapon as a very enlightening place to start. Here's a summary:

Murder, by State and Type of Weapon, 2013 (FBI)
[font face="courier new"] Total murders...................... 12,253
Handguns............................ 5,782 (47.2%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,079 (17.0%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,622 (13.2%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,490 (12.2%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 687 (5.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 308 (2.5%)
Rifles................................ 285 (2.3%) [/font]

The trend in rifle homicide, 2005-2013 (from FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005-2013, Table 20, collated):

[font face="courier new"] 2005: 442
2006: 436
2007: 450
2008: 375
2009: 348
2010: 358
2011: 323
2012: 302
2013: 285 [/font]

And FWIW, military assault rifles are select-fire; it's the ability to fire in cyclic mode that distinguishes them from ordinary civilian guns. The AR-15 is an ordinary civilian rifle, and AFAIK no non-automatic AR-15 is issued by any military on this planet in the infantry role.

"Whenever there efforts to ban assault weapons, there is always talk about 2nd Amendments rights. However, there are few defenders of the 2nd Amendment who would defend the right of ordinary Americans to own fully functional M1A tanks, or bazookas, or anti-aircraft rockets. And no sane person would defend the right a civilian to possess a tactical nuclear weapon."

If you can't tell the difference between a tank cannon (or a tac-nuke!) and a non-automatic .22 caliber civilian rifle, I suggest you go study the issue a little more before pontificating about what civilians can and can't own.

"So nearly everyone concedes that even 2nd Amendments rights have their limits. The only thing that is at issue here is where do you draw the line between which weapons are allowed and which not allowed."

Exactly. That line is drawn at .51 caliber, automatic fire, and explosives. .22 caliber non-automatics, like AR-15's, are right in the middle of the civilian spectrum. I'd suggest Googling "National Firearms Act" and "Gun Control Act of 1968" to help you understand where that line is drawn.

"They are not practical for hunting and offer no more protection than a standard hand gun, rifle or shotgun."

As to hunting, they are practical for small game hunting, like groundhogs and coyotes. If you change the caliber to something bigger (like 6.8mm) or step up to an AR-10 in .243 or 7mm-08, they are great for deer.

For defense of home, long gun is better than a handgun, as long as you are talking about sheltering in place in a safe room rather than moving through the house to retrieve kids or something (long guns aren't very portable). The two dominant civilian long guns serving in that role in U.S. homes are the .729-caliber repeating shotgun and the AR-15, both in the millions.

"if someone wants a ideal defensive weapon they need to buy a shotgun. It is difficult to miss with shotgun at relatively close range."

I take it that you've never shot an IPSC/USPSA course with a shotgun then. At in-home distances, shotguns have very little spread and have to be aimed just like AR-15's and any other long gun, and you can miss just as easily. The downside of shotguns is brutal recoil (a 12-gauge is fricking .73 caliber, an AR is .22), and effective shotgun loads will penetrate more walls than a good civilian .223 hollowpoint. An AR is also more easily fitted with a light (a vital safety feature for a HD gun), and is more amenable to optics.

"Now some owners of assault weapons say they can and are used for hunting, and based on their descriptions of their activities I don't doubt that this is true. Apparently modifications to modern AR-15 do allow for this capability.

Huh? Modern-looking rifles in larger calibers are widely used for deer hunting, e.g. the Remington R-25 in .243, 7mm-08, and .308. The AR is widely used for small-game hunting, like prairie dogs and groundhogs, and to a lesser extent small hogs.

What you don't seem to understand, however (are you outside the United States?) is that most American gun owners don't hunt. The AR-15 is by far the dominant target rifle in the United States, and also has quite a following in Europe in that role; yes, AR's are popular in continental Europe. Only about 1 in 5 U.S. gun owners hunts, and most also own nonhunting guns for defensive purposes or target shooting.

The AR is the top selling sporting rifle in the United States. Your error is in conflating the broader shooting sports with hunting.

"However, what they won't mention is that there are many other rifles which are manufactured for specifically for hunting which are as good as or usually better than the assault weapons they are using. In addition, most of these rifles are equipped only with five round clips (larger clips are illegal for hunting in many states). Assault rifles which an be use with readily available magazines which hold as many as 100 rounds) could be banned without affecting the ability to hunt.)"

See above; the AR-15 is primarily a target rifle and all-around carbine, suitable for hunting but not powerful enough for deer, and most of us don't hunt anyway.

"In addition, if it proves politically impossible to band assault weapons, we should at least ban high capacity magazine with magazines and clips limited to only 10 or 11 rounds - the number of rounds carried by many handguns. Proposed laws call for a period or maybe 6 months where the government would buy back all high capacity magazines from gun owners. After that period of time it would be a crime punishable by several years in jail to possess such magazines.)"

Typical full-sized handguns have "clips" (sic) that hold 13 to 18 rounds, and you want to outlaw those too.

BTW, you're talking about telling 50+ million citizens of voting age that they need to hand over half a billion magazines or you're going to throw them in prison with murderers and rapists. Given that merely raising prices on pistol magazines in 1994 cost the House and Senate and unseated the sitting Speaker of the House for the first time since the Civil War, how do you think threatening 40 or 50 million households with imprisonment is going to fly? Even if you successfully trolled Congress into passing such a law, law enforcement would not implement it (see Colorado, Connecticut, New York).

Your proposal is absolutely disconnected from reality.

"So assault weapons with high capacity magazines have only one practical purpose, killing multiple people in a very short period of time."

That statement can only be made out of either ignorance, mendacity, or sheer cognitive dissonance. You're talking about the most popular civilian rifles in the United States, yet rifles as a class are the least misused of all weapons.

I own an AR-15 myself, and it serves as a small-caliber target rifle (both for USPSA style competition and recreational shooting) and in the defensive standby role; I own no shotguns and have no interest in them. It is very, very well suited for both purposes, due to the small caliber, light recoil, and (in the HD role) good reserve capacity.

"Why in the world would we want just about anyone in the general public to have access to such powerful weapons."

"Such powerful weapons"? Quick, name five popular centerfire rifle calibers less powerful than a .223 Remington AR-15. I'll bet you can't. I can only think of one, 5.45x39mm. All others I can think of are either rare and obsolete (.218 Bee, .22 Hornet, .17 Remington, .222 Remington) or more powerful than an AR-15.

"If you want to discuss your 2nd Amendment rights, we can also make that discussion about your right own an 68 ton M1A tank equipped a 120mm tank gun, a 50 caliber machine gun and two and second 7.62 mm machine guns. You see the 2nd Amendment isn't about providing access to any and all weapons, it's about where we draw the line."

The line is drawn at .51 caliber (with exceptions for over-.50 shotguns and some sporting rifles), not .22 caliber. The AR-15 is a non-automatic civilian .22, not a fricking M1 tank.

And BTW, the "M1A" isn't a tank; it's a .308/7.62x51mm caliber civilian rifle. You're thinking of the M1, M1A1, or M1A2. You said you were in the military? What nation, and if the USA, what was your MOS and station?

"If you find the time, please check out my blog."

Sure, just as soon as you correct the factual errors in this piece. I can cite sources for every single point above, and will be glad to provide them.

And BTW, I'll keep my AR and magazines, thanks.

(I'm very interested to see whether the thread in the other group corrects any of these bloopers, since making a laughingstock of the gun control lobby doesn't exactly further their cause.)

Bans on modern-looking rifles and magazines *do* target mainstream gun owners, not criminals,

because rifles (modern-looking or not) are the *least* likely of all weapons to be used by "criminals and the mentally ill". Of course, I'm sure you already know that.

Murder, by State and Type of Weapon, 2013 (FBI)
[font face="courier new"] Total murders...................... 12,253
Handguns............................ 5,782 (47.2%)
Firearms (type unknown)............. 2,079 (17.0%)
Clubs, rope, fire, etc.............. 1,622 (13.2%)
Knives and other cutting weapons.... 1,490 (12.2%)
Hands, fists, feet.................... 687 (5.6%)
Shotguns.............................. 308 (2.5%)
Rifles................................ 285 (2.3%) [/font]

The trend in rifle homicide, 2005-2013 (from FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2005-2013, Table 20, collated):

[font face="courier new"] 2005: 442
2006: 436
2007: 450
2008: 375
2009: 348
2010: 358
2011: 323
2012: 302
2013: 285 [/font]

I'm sure you also know that the 32-percent household ownership figure from the General Social Survey is a deep outlier, probably because it involves describing your gun ownership face to face with some stranger from Chicago over the course of an hour and a half interview, and the interview is explicitly NON-anonymous. The holes in the GSS dataset and the resulting skew compared to anonymous polls are, of course, why it's the only household-ownership number that the prohibition lobby likes to cite.

NY had 682 murders in 2012. All rifles COMBINED accounted for 11.

So passing a law to ban a million rifle handgrips that stick out made perfect sense...

And so you choose not to own one, which is your right.

I choose to own them, which is my right.

Your neighbor does not have to understand or agree with your choice to drink alcohol, or use contraception, or have an abortion, or marry your same-sex partner, or watch movies James Dobson disapproves of, or ____, in order for you to exercise your right to choose on those issues; a right means you have the authority to choose for yourself.

There are time/place/manner restrictions on all rights, but such restrictions must be based on strict scrutiny. For example, we require that if you get drunk, you can't get behind the wheel of a car in public---or carry a gun in public, for that matter---but we don't ban alcohol or ban all beverages over 10% alcohol; we just limit its use to adults and set penalties for its misuse.
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