Why Preppers Use 223 Ammo For Self-Defense

The .223 Rem ammo is one of the most common centerfire rifle cartridges in the world, which also means that it’s some of the best ammo on the market. Although widely used as a sporting and hunting cartridge, .223 is also quite popular as a home defense round. This is because the cartridges are efficient and versatile. You can use .223 Rem cartridges for any situation or problem. With bullet weights of 35-90 grains, the .223 is ideal as a good all-around ammo. While it is popular for varmint hunting, plinking, range training, competition shooting, and small to medium game hunting, the rounds can also be used for self-defense. They also offer a good blend of range, velocity, and penetration power.

Versatility of .223 Rem Ammo

The reason behind the versatility of .223 cartridges is because they contain more powder than other types of cartridges. For example, the .22 LR cartridge has less powder. Furthermore, despite its relatively heavy build, the .223 can still travel at higher velocities than most other cartridges, which basically means that it can deliver a lot more power on impact. They can, for example, puncture through lead pipes and other similar materials, creating neat entry and exit points at the same time.

Aside from their versatility, it’s also worth mentioning that .223 Rem cartridges can deliver 90 grain VLD’s at approximately 1,000 yards. Furthermore, thanks to extensive customization, .223 Remington ammo can match the accuracy of more advanced cartridges when used in a good rifle.

Current Specifications

The standard .223 cartridge uses a .224-inch diameter boat-tailed bullet in a rimless, bottle-necked case. The bullet measures 1.76 inches in length with the overall length of the round is 2.26 inches.

Standard factory loads range in weight from 35 to 85 grains. However, the most common is the 55-grain bullet. It uses a small rifle primer and has a max pressure of 55,000 PSI.

Other Features

The .223 can create relatively large wound channels, and this is because of cartridge’s tendency to tumble upon impact. There’s also the fact that .223 cartridges have hydrostatic shock, which helps to increase their overall performance and power. In terms of performance, .223 Remington cartridges do offer a lot of range and power.

These features make the .223 cartridge an ideal option for a homeowner or hobbyist, but aside from pure performance, .223 rounds are also easy to store around the house. The light weight means there is hardly any recoil. Soft point and hollow point rounds will stop any intruder without the fear of collateral damage.

Furthermore, thanks to their popularity, acquiring .223 Remington cartridges is also relatively easy to handle and quite affordable. Even during a bad situation, you’ll have an easier time finding .223 rounds over other types of ammo.


Since 9/11, the sale and use of ARs has skyrocketed. People fear for their homes, personal safety, and the threat of terrorism. Hobbyists have also learned that the military-style rifles can be fun to shoot.

Collateral Damage

Gun owners often express concern about rounds that will over-penetrate.  That concern is one reason why many choose handguns over rifles. The truth is that handguns are just as lethal. Choosing the correct ammo is the key to staying – and keeping your family – safe.

Experts talk about different types of bullets and how they impact a target. Ballisticians use terms like “temporary wound cavity” and “hydrostatic shock.” The important thing to know is simple: the amount of energy shot into a target determines the damage. Novices often think full metal jacket rounds are the best for home defense. The truth is that FMJ bullets tend to go straight through a target, often causing collateral and property damage. If you’ve shot a bad guy, there is a chance that he might bleed to death – eventually. Soft Points and Hollow Points expand and fragment upon impact. The round tends to stay inside the target rather than passing through. Therefore, SP and HP rounds are more likely to stop the target.

Bullet Types and Weights

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

The Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) is the most common type of ammo because it’s easier to manufacture and less expensive than other rounds. Standard bullet weights of FMJ ammo in .223/5.56 NATO are 55 and 62 grain.

Hollow Points (HP)

Hollow Point (HP) ammunition is most often related to personal and home defense. The cost of a hollow point is higher than an FMJ but is more effective for defense.  The ballistics of an HP are like an FMJ, only lighter.

Soft Points (SP)

Soft Points (SP) a popular type of home defense ammo. Law enforcement often use .223 SP round for accuracy when on patrol. The expansion of an SP is superior to an FMJ but has more control than the HP. The ballistics of SP ammo are excellent, particularly when paired with a boat-tail design.

M855 “Green Tip”

M855 ammo is often referred to as “green tip” because of its appearance. The round has a bad reputation with some factions as it is considered an armor piercing round. The White House claims that the round and its lethal abilities should be banned from the public. People may be misled by the development of this round. It is not new by any means and has been used in warfare for decades. The main difference is that the M855 uses a steel core rather than a soft lead core, allowing it to penetrate through steel and armor.


Boat-tail is a feature often seen in FMJ ammo. It refers to the hard metal casing around the bullet which looks like a boat. The main benefit to using a boat-tail for an AR is the easy assembly and protection against damage that could affect long range performance.

Best Self-Defense Ammo

Federal Ammunition: LE Tactical TRU 55 Grain SP

Federal LE Tactical TRU is a Soft Point round with the expansion capabilities of a Hollow Point (HP). This ammo was developed specifically for semi-automatics include the AR-15. The soft point offers excellent weight retention and penetration. It is ideal for home and personal protection. It is also an excellent choice for those on patrol.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,241 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 55 Grain
  • Soft Point
  • Steel Casing
  • Berdan Primer

Prvi Partizan Ammunition: Soft Point 55 Grain

Prvi Partizan produces 400 types of ammunition, making it one of the biggest ammunition manufacturers in the world. The company is known for manufacturing high quality cartridges for military and civilian use. They specialize in rare and unusual ammo.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,248 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,283 ft lbs Muzzle Energy
  • 55 Grain
  • SP Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Remington Ammunition: JHP Cartridge 45 Grain JHP

Remington .223 ammo is a versatile round that serves well as part of your varmint hunting arsenal. The brass casing has non-corrosive characteristics which allows you to spend time stalking your pesky prey without fear of damaging the ammo or your weapon. The JHP offers reliable expansion, accuracy, and a flat trajectory.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3550 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,259 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy
  • 45 Grain
  • JHP Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Federal Ammunition: Premium 165 Grain Nosler Ballistics Tip

Federal Premium tops our list for the best .223 ammo for varmint hunting. This new production ammo is designed for maximum reliability and performance. Hunters have been using Nosler Ballistics Tip Hunting bullets for nearly 25 years. These bullets are precision-made to provide the utmost quality and accuracy with every shot. The heavy jacket and polycarbonate tip prevent bullets from deformation during firing and remain intact at extreme velocities. Simply put, this is one hard hitting round that will get the job done.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,282 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy
  • 55 Grain
  • Nosler Ballistics Tip Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Speer Gold Dot 64 Grain SP

Speer Gold Dot is one of the highest rated brands for home and personal defense rounds. The ammo is chemically bonded to guarantee accuracy and consistent weight retention. The .222 64-grain Soft Point is also a top choice with law enforcement.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,000 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,279 Muzzle Energy
  • 64 Grain
  • Soft Point
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Federal Premium Law Enforcement: Sierra GameKing 55 Grain BTHP

Federal LE Tactical created this .223 Remington specifically for law enforcement in urban areas. The boat-tail hollow point shoots straight and hard, with high accuracy.  This round is ideal for home and personal defense, range training, and tactical exercises.

Ballistics Info:

  • 3,220 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 1,266 Muzzle Energy
  • 64 Grain
  • Boat-tail Hollow Point
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer


The .223 Remington cartridge has proven to be an adaptable, reliable and accurate caliber with loads ranging from lightning fast varmint rounds, to ammo suited for range training, self-defense, precision marksmanship, and tactical sharpshooting. Aside from the .22LR, .223 Remington ammo may be the most versatile round on the market. Because it’s also an inexpensive ammunition, the .223 should be in every shooter’s armory.