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Ok so I have 2 firearms I'll consider using for home defense. I have an XD45 and the XCR of course. My general consensus from the forum is that the 5.56 round is reliable to 'tumble' or fragment apart provided the proper velocity; one way to eliminate that problem all together is using hollow points. Now for my question. What 5.56 round is good for home defense? Quite often I hear people talking about using a pistol or shotgun for defense but the wife isn't all that comfortable with the pistol and for personal reasons doesn't want me to have a shotgun. She however loves the XCR almost as much as I do so I want her to be comfortable and safe with it. If I can get some feedback with ammunition to use it would be much appreciated.
 

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My "inside the house" choice is my Krebs 7x65x39. Short, good short range round, and dependable. My first magazine has a "mix" of specialized ammo to light up the night. Next mag, if needed, is loaded with standard ball with two rounds tracer. Oh yeah, hint, load the first two or three rounds as tracer. When you see a tracer do your mag change.
 

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Hornady TAP, Corbon DPX
 

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Hornady TAP, Corbon DPX
What he said.Don't think you need a hollowpoint.There are many excellent choices,and one of the biggest misconceptions about 5.56 ammo.It's actually a pretty good fight stopper with expanding ammo.anything with a ballistic tip or a soft pint will be better than standard ball ammo.That solid Copper DPX bullet is a hammer on deer,and will have better penetration than a hollowpoint.
 

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Aren't you guys worried about over penetration? I think a shotgun would be the way to go in a suburban home defense scenario. I have a nice 20 ga. 870 with various loads for that purpose. Why 20 ga.? Easy to handle and it is not too much gun for my wife or daughter to use. Just my :2cents:
 

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Aren't you guys worried about over penetration? I think a shotgun would be the way to go in a suburban home defense scenario. I have a nice 20 ga. 870 with various loads for that purpose. Why 20 ga.? Easy to handle and it is not too much gun for my wife or daughter to use. Just my :2cents:
Supposedly 5.56 doesn't penetrate common household building materials as much as you think. Less than a shotgun in many cases according to some study I read a while back that I believe was conducted by the FBI.
 

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Aren't you guys worried about over penetration? I think a shotgun would be the way to go in a suburban home defense scenario. I have a nice 20 ga. 870 with various loads for that purpose. Why 20 ga.? Easy to handle and it is not too much gun for my wife or daughter to use. Just my :2cents:
A few tests have shown most 5.56 variants to be less dangerous after penetrating a wall than a 9mm or other pistol round would be (don't have a chance to find a reference to post right now).

And it might be enlightening to take a shot at a couple of panels of drywall with that 20 gauge and see what happens.
 

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I use a magazine loaded with Barnes 50gr Varmint grenades . i.e. powdered zinc cores, low penetration
 
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you might actually want to stick with a fragmenting bullet like the TAP. less penetration in walls than dpx or sp's
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well thanks gentlemen for answering my question. Once again you all have saved the day!
 

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Personally I use a 45g varmint tipped reload. Explosive fragmentation on gelatin and flesh but pathetic penetration through drywall.
 

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Have to support a local company, TAP all the way around! But any of your varmint tipped rounds are about the same for a couple bucks less a box. It's common sense but whenever I refresh my HD ammo I always make sure to buy at least one box for test firing. It's pricey to shoot but it's peace of mind that your firearm will eat it.
 

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According to the above link, M193 goes through pine boards and drywall like crap through a goose. Shotgun penetration seems to depend more on the load.
Totally accurate observations, but birdshot isn't very good at stopping people, and that spread of buckshot that penetrated the fourth wallboard in their test is just scary. I don't think I really want to go shooting in my home with something that can spread to a four foot pattern AFTER penetrating walls while still carrying lethal energy.

I'll take the TAP or DPX over the 12 gauge any day.
 

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Most "non" gun people (or "those" guys that work in a gun shop) have a misconception that shotguns are great for home defense because all you have to do is point it at the noise in the dark and pull the trigger, you just can't miss.

I feel more comfortable shooting 5.56 with the proper ammo (not M193) in my house than I do shotgun. Quality tactical loads for a shotgun are going to penetrate good. I guess one of these days I need to build a wall and shoot it to really see what happens for myself. Might be an interesting test. More importantly, use the newer ammo that may not be covered in the tests at the link above.
 

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I'd heard SWAT Teams actually went away from the MP5 because of over-penetration issues with 9mm vs 5.56.

I was going to recommend TAP as well, though those reloads Mickey is talking about sound interesting. I've got Frange rounds that I'd heard DG was using for awhile as they are deadly on flesh, but disintegrate against harder targets.

At Blackwater they did a little test with a couple vehicles and cinder blocks. 5.56 55Gr ball didn't fare too well against any medium. It'd punch through the door of the car but that was about it. Against it cinder block it would chip it. 62Gr GT did better but not much. 7.62x39 did way better against the car and chewed through cinder blocks. They were trying to make a point about using a vehicle for cover, and how using a building for cover may be "fleeting".
 

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I'd heard SWAT Teams actually went away from the MP5 because of over-penetration issues with 9mm vs 5.56.
I have heard that as well. Got it first hand from a SWAT team commander that had been doing it for over 20 years for a decent size city.

As for the frange rounds, I would like to see some testing against ballistic gel dressed in clothes. I would worry that they would loose too much energy against denim or coats.

I was very impressed with the 115gr that I use for hog hunting (Hornady TAP). Rounds went in and destroyed the internals with no exit wound. I am going on a guided hunt in 2 weeks and may be using a new 6.8 gun with a hammer forged barrel. I look forward to shooting it.
 

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My "inside the house" choice is my Krebs 7x65x39. Short, good short range round, and dependable. My first magazine has a "mix" of specialized ammo to light up the night. Next mag, if needed, is loaded with standard ball with two rounds tracer. Oh yeah, hint, load the first two or three rounds as tracer. When you see a tracer do your mag change.
You gota fire extinguisher mounted on that 7x65x39 rifle?
 
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