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Lexustech48
06-21-2012, 9:38 AM
So I have a question. Match grade ammunition is great for accuracy, but is it the best for defending yourself? With so many choices for ammunition, does match ammo mean its the best ammo period? Or is it simple the best for target shooting?

J.D.Allen
06-21-2012, 9:46 AM
Need more info. What weapon platform? If you are referring to a pistol, it is recommendable to use a modern high quality JHP. These are generally not referred to as "match" grade ammo...

Nevermind, just realized this is in the centerfire rifle forum...still need to know the specific platform

Lexustech48
06-21-2012, 9:59 AM
My bad. Specific platform is AR style rifles (5.56 and .223), but also for .308 (bolt or semi auto). My question could be for any cartridge though. I keep seeing all these really expensive match grade ammo online and can't help but wonder if its the best ammo period, or just really really really accurate for paper.

Untamed1972
06-21-2012, 10:03 AM
Need more info. What weapon platform? If you are referring to a pistol, it is recommendable to use a modern high quality JHP. These are generally not referred to as "match" grade ammo...

Nevermind, just realized this is in the centerfire rifle forum...still need to know the specific platform

^^^What he said.

The military doesn't use match grade ammo (well except for snipers) for combat. When shooting man sized targets you generally dont need sub-moa accuracy unless you're a sniper taking headshots from 500+yrds. For combat purposes you just need to be able to get rounds into about a torso sized area. Standard ammo will do that all day long. Match-grade ammo is just that.....it's for ultimate accuracy primarily for competition, or where extreme precision is required.

For handgun ammo & personal defense, you would likely never be engaging a target from a distance where it would make a hill of beans difference.

Untamed1972
06-21-2012, 10:08 AM
My bad. Specific platform is AR style rifles (5.56 and .223), but also for .308 (bolt or semi auto). My question could be for any cartridge though. I keep seeing all these really expensive match grade ammo online and can't help but wonder if its the best ammo period, or just really really really accurate for paper.


There is a VERY noticable difference in group sizing with match grade ammo vs. standard ball. Was shooting .308 last week. Put down a few rounds of milsurp ball at 100yrds and was getting maybe 2" groups. Switched to match and was instantly under an inch. Best group of the day was 3/4" @200yds.

But unless you're sniping people from 100yds or more I doubt you'll be using a .308 bolt gun for personal defense. What match ammo also gives you in practice is consistency of performance which helps the shooter better assess where they need to improve. With less consistent ammo you may not be sure if you are the problem or the ammo.

As for 5.56.....you should be able to put standard ball ammo on a man-sized target out to a few hundred yards.

mif_slim
06-21-2012, 10:13 AM
For defense, you wont be shooting anyone pass 20 yards....and thats pushing it. Its more like 3-7 yards. Anything outside of that and your in for a lot of explanation in court. For that distance, I rather be looking for bullet construction then match ammo.

Agent Tikki
06-21-2012, 10:36 AM
under 100 yards 2 moa ammo is fine, look for ballistics, ie penetration, expansion, retention characteristics.

jsipe007
06-21-2012, 10:44 AM
Personally, I would never go to match ammo for HD. I'd pick standard ball first. This reason being that i shoot tons of standard ammo through my ar-15 but very little match ammo. Match ammo is a precise load, true, but a lot of match ammo is steel case and I wouldnt trust my life to steel case ammo. Id rather go for something I know will shoot and cycle reliably.

Dhena81
06-21-2012, 10:48 AM
Personally, I would never go to match ammo for HD. I'd pick standard ball first. This reason being that i shoot tons of standard ammo through my ar-15 but very little match ammo. Match ammo is a precise load, true, but a lot of match ammo is steel case and I wouldnt trust my life to steel case ammo. Id rather go for something I know will shoot and cycle reliably.

:facepalm:

zfields
06-21-2012, 10:56 AM
Personally, I would never go to match ammo for HD. I'd pick standard ball first. This reason being that i shoot tons of standard ammo through my ar-15 but very little match ammo. Match ammo is a precise load, true, but a lot of match ammo is steel case and I wouldnt trust my life to steel case ammo. Id rather go for something I know will shoot and cycle reliably.

I can only think of one modern caliber that has steel cased match grade ammo, and its pretty rare to see people using it.

Untamed1972
06-21-2012, 11:00 AM
Personally, I would never go to match ammo for HD. I'd pick standard ball first. This reason being that i shoot tons of standard ammo through my ar-15 but very little match ammo. Match ammo is a precise load, true, but a lot of match ammo is steel case and I wouldnt trust my life to steel case ammo. Id rather go for something I know will shoot and cycle reliably.

Huh? Yea.....I think not so much.

Lexustech48
06-21-2012, 11:10 AM
Cool that's what I figured about match ammo. Lol I once heard someone say "personal defense" past 100 yards is picking a fight. :)

jsipe007
06-21-2012, 11:22 AM
Hornady steel match... Herter's steel match... those are just a few I see on the shelves of Sportsman's Warehouse. I've never looked into the price of brass cased match ammo since its so damned expensive. So maybe I should revise my post to say that "brass case match ammo is too expensive for me to shoot on a daily basis but I have looked into steel cased match ammo; I wouldn't use that as home defense rounds though."

Here in Reno, a box of Hornady steel match ammo is $22 bucks for 50 rounds. Damn inexpensive for match ammo if you ask me.

That being said, I would still turn to ballistic tip or FMJ for HD. I know my rifle cycles those bullets reliably and they have plenty of stopping power.

Cheaper than dirt sells Hornady Steel Match ammo for around 18 bucks for 50 rounds.

Untamed1972
06-21-2012, 1:20 PM
Hornady steel match... Herter's steel match... those are just a few I see on the shelves of Sportsman's Warehouse. I've never looked into the price of brass cased match ammo since its so damned expensive. So maybe I should revise my post to say that "brass case match ammo is too expensive for me to shoot on a daily basis but I have looked into steel cased match ammo; I wouldn't use that as home defense rounds though."

Here in Reno, a box of Hornady steel match ammo is $22 bucks for 50 rounds. Damn inexpensive for match ammo if you ask me.

That being said, I would still turn to ballistic tip or FMJ for HD. I know my rifle cycles those bullets reliably and they have plenty of stopping power.

Cheaper than dirt sells Hornady Steel Match ammo for around 18 bucks for 50 rounds.

Well that's the thing.....match ammo is not intended for plinking perse. Its for when extreme accuracy is required or desired.

If you're shooting in a precision rifle match.....it's the difference between winning and losing. If you're a sniper it's the difference between a "one-shot-one-kill" headshot at 500+yrds and missing completely.

But as I said before, even for practicing and gaining skill at precision rifle work it has it place in providing consistency so you have a solid baseline from which to judge and improve your skills. But precision rifle work/practice is also not a "high round count" activity either, you're not doing full mag dumps at 50yds. In an hour of precision shooting you might only shoot 20rds, so the cost is offset by the lower volume, but the data gathered from consistent ammo performance is priceless.

jsipe007
06-21-2012, 1:51 PM
I understand what you mean. If I were to shoot match, I'd prefer to reload my own rounds, so I could tailor my round to my rifle. The steel match ammo in my opinion, isn't something I would keep on hand. My friend did buy a box to sight in his ar-15 and it worked very well for him; his rifle is almost dead on at 200 yards. All the avid match shooters I know load their own ammo since they find store bought ammo to be either inconsistent, too expensive, or not tailored to their rifles.

I feel I may be further shoving my boot up my A**, maybe I should quit while Im not too far down... :P I immediately incorretly assumed the OP was refering to cheaper match ammo. My thought is if you spend the money on a nice, good rifle, you should feed it properly (no steel cased crap). Yes there are plenty of commercial brass match loads available and most are very high quality.

anymoose
06-21-2012, 2:49 PM
What about the weight and the affect on a target?

Does 72gr match grade have advantages in defense vs standard ball type ammo?

Legasat
06-21-2012, 2:59 PM
I would hesitate to use a rifle for Self Defense. Better to use a handgun, or even better, a shotgun. A rifle round could go right through your assailant, and the next 6 houses behind him. Just sayin...

anymoose
06-21-2012, 3:16 PM
I would hesitate to use a rifle for Self Defense. Better to use a handgun, or even better, a shotgun. A rifle round could go right through your assailant, and the next 6 houses behind him. Just sayin...

Your potential situation isn't everyone's.

ETA- I also fail to understand how a rifle round would go through a person and 6 houses. Average rifle penetration on gel is what? 15" more or less?

Maybe .50 BMG, in which case I agree, probably not the best HD round.

Untamed1972
06-21-2012, 3:28 PM
What about the weight and the affect on a target?

Does 72gr match grade have advantages in defense vs standard ball type ammo?

At what range? There is not one simple answer. Inside your living room....it ain't gonna matter. At 500yds.....it's a different story. But then you get into optimal barrel twist rates for different weight bullest etc for accuracy, the also bullet expansion/framentation characterists upon impact and so on.

Standard military 5.56rd is 62gr I believe.

If you wanna talk using a rifle for personal defense you need to more clearly define the parameters of your potential engagement. Home invasion vs. SHTF urban warfare in the streets, etc?

anymoose
06-21-2012, 3:33 PM
At what range? There is not one simple answer. Inside your living room....it ain't gonna matter. At 500yds.....it's a different story. But then you get into optimal barrel twist rates for different weight bullest etc for accuracy, the also bullet expansion/framentation characterists upon impact and so on.

Standard military 5.56rd is 62gr I believe.

If you wanna talk using a rifle for personal defense you need to more clearly define the parameters of your potential engagement. Home invasion vs. SHTF urban warfare in the streets, etc?

I was just expanding on OPs question out of curiosity. I use 62gr M855 at the range, and it's what I keep stocked for SHTF.

MrPlink
06-21-2012, 3:43 PM
'308 for SD? Against what?

anymoose
06-21-2012, 3:49 PM
'308 for SD? Against what?

Could be bear or mountain lion

Untamed1972
06-21-2012, 3:56 PM
Could be bear or mountain lion

At 10yds or less that would be "personal defense".

At 50yds or more that's called "hunting" :D

Pete1979
06-21-2012, 4:07 PM
The US Military's sniping rounds for the 5.56 (223) and 7.62 (308) both use Sierra Matchking bullets. They are not recommended for hunting as they are not designed to expand and retain weight but Humans are a bit more fragile than say Elk or Black Bear.

Dhena81
06-21-2012, 5:44 PM
I would hesitate to use a rifle for Self Defense. Better to use a handgun, or even better, a shotgun. A rifle round could go right through your assailant, and the next 6 houses behind him. Just sayin...

Of course the bullet selection is critical I wouldn't make a blanket statement that .223/5.56 is bad for HD. In fact a high speed FMJ lead core 55 grain .223 is a better choice than anything else. It won't over penetrate or retain its weight through tissue or drywall like any handgun cartridge or defensive shotgun load and will do plenty of damage.

emac08
06-21-2012, 5:58 PM
For defense, you wont be shooting anyone pass 20 yards....and thats pushing it. Its more like 3-7 yards. Anything outside of that and your in for a lot of explanation in court. For that distance, I rather be looking for bullet construction then match ammo.

I think you hit the nail in the coffin with this one.. match ammo not needed for close quarters. I think bulk plus some other back up weapon would be best.

anymoose
06-21-2012, 6:07 PM
For defense, you wont be shooting anyone pass 20 yards....and thats pushing it. Its more like 3-7 yards. Anything outside of that and your in for a lot of explanation in court. For that distance, I rather be looking for bullet construction then match ammo.

if someone is in my backyard with a gun and refuses to drop it while approaching my house, i dont see why i wouldnt be able to defend myself from 50 yards away.

stix213
06-21-2012, 6:10 PM
I'd use whatever ammo you've proven runs reliably the most in your gun. When you're talking about hallways distances, the difference between a few MOA won't matter. Reliability will be what matters.

If you think you're going to have legitimate self defense needs at hitting out past 200 yards, I think you need to reevaluate.

-hanko
06-21-2012, 6:43 PM
Personally, I would never go to match ammo for HD. I'd pick standard ball first. This reason being that i shoot tons of standard ammo through my ar-15 but very little match ammo. Match ammo is a precise load, true, but a lot of match ammo is steel case and I wouldnt trust my life to steel case ammo. Id rather go for something I know will shoot and cycle reliably.
:confused:

Such as which match ammo?

-hanko

-hanko
06-21-2012, 6:48 PM
if someone is in my backyard with a gun and refuses to drop it while approaching my house, i dont see why i wouldnt be able to defend myself from 50 yards away.
Might be a bit of a stretch to convince a jury you were in grave danger of physical harm or death from 150 feet away.

Slightly different question...how did the actor get in the back yard?...basic security starts with lighting and, perhaps, a best friend who can bark like crazy a long time before you even know what's going on. My own home is at least 100 yds or so from each of the four property lines...my early warning system can/will/does alert me to stuff well outside those borders;).

-hanko