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77 grain .223 a passable enough replacement?

This is a discussion on 77 grain .223 a passable enough replacement? within the M16 AR15 forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; Thanks for the responses. I think all of the 6.x ammo is out for me. I don't want to buy new guns or magazines. I'm ...

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Old April 7th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #16
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Thanks for the responses. I think all of the 6.x ammo is out for me. I don't want to buy new guns or magazines. I'm just trying to standardize. My Colt HBAR 1:7 shoots 70+ ammo like a dream, which lead me to think could I sell my M1A and get by with just the Colt. Like I said earlier, the majority of my hunting is with shotguns.

Would the 77 grain bullets be a man killer at 6-800m? If not, I keep the 308. God forbid it is ever needed for anything like that.

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Old April 7th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #17
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Against an exposed soft target, the results will probably be satisfactory. But put an intermediate barrier in the way and you'll wish you were slinging something bigger. And like they say, when you shoot at someone, they tend to hide behind stuff.

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Old April 7th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by katorga View Post
Could a 77 grain .223 in a 1:7 twist 20" heavy barrel be a passable replacement for a .308? Say a "poor man's .308".

Basically is the 77 grain match .223 ammo good enough?

I have both, but I've always been leery of a round that is illegal to hunt deer with. But the AR platform is so plentiful, so cheap, so expandable, that it really seems to be the winner.
Spec-ops guys use the 77gr open tip match round. What does that tell you?

You can kill a deer with a 22 is you hit him through the eye. Don't judge your self defense gun by some stupid game law. My dad killed a hundred deer with the 223. I remember hearing him say "If they give me one of these to go to war and shoot people who are shooting AT me, I can use it to kill a deer."

I have a 1/7 twist 16" barrel and I load the 75gr Hornady for it. I would grab it in a second without hesitation if the SHTF.......


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Old April 7th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #19
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Or, you could sell your colt, sell the M1A and just get a COLT CM901 (which will be out this summer).

The CM901 is the first AR platform that can use a 5.56 upper and a 308 upper on the same receiver.


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Old April 7th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #20
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My info is a year or so old, but baised on what Blackhawk Operaters told me they prefer the 77 gr. They are shooting people out in the open... Many at distance.

My Delta friends advised me they have gone back to "Green Tip" because of its better penetration through barriers capability. Also the "work" they were mostly doing involved close range engagements, usually indoors, where the SS 109 will still fragment in humans, but it still shoots pretty good through "stuff".

They were also shooting through vehicles, from the inside out many times [think about this], and sometimes from the outside in...

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Old April 9th, 2011, 09:08 AM   #21
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For non barriers nothing is going to beat the MK262 SMK OTM (Sierra match king open tip match)

For barriers, the Marines, special ops etc. are using MK318 Mod 0 it is a non-bonded bullet but still has decent intermediate barrel penetration, it uses "heat stable, flash suppressed powder" and is ideal for SBR rifles.

Read Post #2 for all terminal ballistic reports.

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Old April 9th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jeremy2171 View Post
Put your rounds in the kill box and it don't mater what size they are....

+1. I hunt a lot with both my M1A and my AR15 carbine. Both do the job well.

I have hunted with 77gr MK 262 and it has never failed me either. Flies well and hits hard, seems to do a lot better terminally than say M855.

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Old April 15th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #23
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I wouldn't sell the .308. I've made that mistake before and hated myself for doing that and doing the opposite, passing on a good deal thinking I was saving only to buy the same thing later for more money.

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Old April 17th, 2011, 12:20 AM   #24
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Buy the AR with the 1:7 twist and shoot it. Shoot the M14 also. Find out what each brings to the table for you. Then you can decide which to keep and which to sell.

We can all give you advice, but the reality is, what you need and want to fulfill your "mission requirements" can only be determined by your self by actual shooting.

One option to consider (and shoot) to have a good caliber for deer while simplifying logistics is to get an upper chambered for the 300 Blackout. It uses all the same parts as the 223/5.56 AR with the exception of the barrel. The 300 Blackout is a 223 case necked up to take a 308 bullet. It's also the ballistic twin of the 7.62x39

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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:42 AM   #25
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77 gr makes sense

Here is why I think that it makes sense:

1. I work with our Michigan legislature on gun laws from time to time. The final version of the law is often not what was originally intended, and sometimes even the initial intent is poorly thought out. I teach firearms law at Thomas M. Cooley law school and I tell my students, "Do not try to apply logic to gun law. You will fail, and run the risk of your head exploding." So, the fact that most states require .24 caliber or larger for deer means literally nothing to me. I obey the law because it is the law. However, legislatures are very bad at getting the law to match up with actual conditions in the real world. Politics is the art of the possible and even when we work with smart legislators who know what the facts are, they are often at the mercy of those who don't.

2. I have killed deer with .243 80 gr. with one shot. The key is shot placement. In my opinion, the differences between the two are not significant. Haven't tried the 77 gr on deer. But don't see why it wouldn't work.

3. I spent a week or two each year for five years training Squad Designated Marksmen for the Army as a CMP volunteer. Reports from the field are that their 69 gr and 77 gr rounds do their job on human targets when launched by a competent shooter with good launchers/sights. (AMU manufactured Wylde chambered, match-grade barrels free floated and good triggers. Optics are usually ACOGS.) Deer are roughly the same size as humans. Granted, they can run farther without a heart. But, eventually, they go down.

That said, people with tons more experience than I have, report that the 7.62 (usually 147 gr.) carries further than even the best 5.56 ammo. The Army says that the engagement envelope for the SDMs with good equipment is 600 meters. The ACOGS are usually marked for up to 800 meters. Compared to a fair number of people who are confident out to 1000 meters with a good 7.62. So, you are probably giving up some range by limiting yourself to 5.56.

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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:05 AM   #26
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I use Winchester 64 gr PP. Cheap and I reloaded some home defense ammo for around 30c/round. Nasty stuff.

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Old April 26th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by hammonje View Post
I use Winchester 64 gr PP. Cheap and I reloaded some home defense ammo for around 30c/round. Nasty stuff.
The Winchester 64gr is pretty good deer hunting ammo for a 223. If you must use a 223 for deer.

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Old April 27th, 2011, 12:54 AM   #28
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+1 on shot placement. That is most of the story right there. Think about the situations you might really be shooting under. Unless you are deployed overseas, me thinks you are not shooting at people 600 yards away, ever.

I think in the end, you are fine getting rid of your 308, if it is just a SHTF gun. If you are trying to convince yourself that 77 grain SMKs are as good as 175 gr SMKs at any real distance, they are simply not. But it might be worth thinking about how you really think you might use the gun, even in SHTF.

I was in New Orleans when Katrina hit, and if you had to defend your home for a week, we're talking 5-100 meters. 200 meters max, maybe, but probably not. At those distances, it's not going to matter, 223 or 308, it is going to matter whether you are getting solid hits or not. But what will prob matter more than thinking about what bullets you have in your gun, is just having the gun to begin with--you point an M4 or M14 at a dude starting to walk down your block (at least in America) he will crap in his pants and run the other way.

Not to mention, even in a situation 10x as bad as Katrina, if you shoot someone, you will probably end be facing a jury at some point. While explaining how you were justified in shooting at a human being 100 meters away might be plausible (maybe), a 400 meter shot is not going to be.

Anyway, on to bullet selection. 77 grain is not the ideal .223 combat load. The 77 grain was designed to be the about the longest magazine loadable bullet you could run for shooting in matches. It also happens to fragment and upset more reliably than the steel core m855 stuff, but that is just a coincidence, not a design feature.

77 gr is really sub par on game if you are shooting at oblique angles--even a quartering forward shot on a big buck. It breaks up and penetrates like garbage. Which is great if the first thing it hits is a soft target, but otherwise....

Again, you prob want a bonded bullet for the best of both worlds. I've shot deer and hogs with 62 gr and 64 gr bonded bullets (except the Barnes), they work great and penetrate great. I've also shot deer with plain old 60 grain soft points, which worked well because I had decent shots, but did not penetrate as well.

.223 makes noticeably smaller hole in deer than .243.

You can often find those federal 62 grain bonded loads in bulk, often cheaper than the 77 grain. You just have to be willing to buy a case.

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Old April 28th, 2011, 01:35 AM   #29
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7.62MM no question as to lethality.

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Old April 28th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #30
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When we were augmenting USAMU in training the SDMs, the classes I helped in at Benning the 77 grain match loaded ammo was issued to the shooters. The ammo shoots better groups at 600 when compared to the SS109. In one of the AMU buildings there were a couple of 600 yard targets on display showing the groups shot with the 77s and the other with SS109. The SS109 used the entire black, which is 36 inches, while the 77s shot around the 6 inch X ring, maybe in the 8 inch range. The groups are both 20 shots from their rifle testing machine.

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