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Whats the effective range of 5.56?

Ive been looking up ballistics of the 5.56 at longer ranges and it kind of seems like an anemic round at longer distances(500+ yards) I dont hunt with my AR15s (or shoot that far even) but im wondering what your guys opinions and experiences have been shooting 5.56 loads out at distances? and what you think the max effctive range is? Someone brought up awhile back that the military uses SPRs out to 800 yards and some hunters ive heard shoot stuff out a ways but It seems a liitle light overall, The ballistics look real similar at 450-500 yards to .22 magnum at point blank ranges.

I think i asked a similar question before but im more curious on if anybody has any specific loads that have shown better ballistics then what ive been seeing?

Im not thinking of really buying a precision rig at the moment but im thinking of building an SPR type upper before next election if its worth it compared to basic general purpose AR15s.


  • I engage steel regularly to 1000y with my 223/5.56 loads.
  • Terminal performance is going to be based on projectile design, and will influence its effectiveness at different ranges. M855 is limited by its ability to fragment reliably, which happens at different distances dependant on velocity, which is relative to barrel length. Once M855 drops below 2700 fps, its terminal effectiveness drops dramatically. Other rounds, such as the 64 gr. Speer Gold Dot (24448), were designed around contract requirement to reliably expand at 200m from a 10.5" barrel. You can reliably make hits out to 600 with a 14.5" barrel, the team guys train to that distance and do it all the time. That doesn't make it the best choice for that task, you would be better served with a 6.5 or a .300WM at that distance or beyond.
  • The important question is: what is your intended goal?

    Manstopper, targets, deer, competition?

    Do you want to punch a hole, or drop an animal?
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