Marine: .223 May Not Be Lethal Enough for Civilians

I know that you can see my name in my email address, however, if you don’t mind I would like to remain anonymous for obvious reasons which will become clear in a moment.

Please, allow me to introduce myself. I was a Marine scout/sniper. I fought in Fallujah, Iraq in Nov 2004 with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, Alpha Co, 1st plt. I was in the historical “Candy Shop” skirmish. I was also involved in Afghanistan, Liberia, Djibouti, and a slew of other places many people have never heard of. I know what I am talking about and usually stay quiet on many subjects, but the subject of gun control has me irritated . . .

Recently there have been many arguments that the .223 (or 5.56) is a powerful round that civilians cannot handle or is for military/law enforcement use only. I have a personal story to share to the contrary.

This is a true and accurate account of what happened to me and my fellow Marines in a deadly firefight in central Fallujah, Iraq.

I was sitting on a roof top of a two story building, we were pushing south with other units. Our tactics were to move at night and setup in buildings during the day for the fight. Rarely did we move during the day, and if we did, it was not far. The other Marines on the rooftop with me were spotting targets and eliminating them. I noticed a bad guy, with a AK strapped to his back, run out into the middle of an ally about 100yds from me, produce a RPG and take a knee.

I carried 3 different weapons with me in the Fallujah battle. My M40 bolt gun, my M9 pistol, and a modified M-16A4 with a heavy barrel, better trigger, and a scope. I generally used that last rifle as my primary. It shot a standard 5.56 cartridge, nothing special about the ammo.

This bad guy took a knee and started to aim his RPG at our building. I fired once, hitting him square in the chest. The man stumbled a bit but regained his balance and steadied his weapon. I fired again, again hitting him. But this time, it did not faze him and he was able to touch off that grenade. The explosion rattled the building and injured a Marine below me on the second floor.

The bad guy dropped the RPG once he fired it, got up, and ran down the alley away from me. He still had the AK on his back. I fired again, twice, both times hitting him in his upper thoracic region. He was not phased. My L-T was shooting at him while yelling at his sniper (me) to kill him!

The man started pushing himself up a short wall near the end of the alley way. The wall was maybe 4 1/2ft tall. I decided to take a head shot at about 125yds. I centered the cross-hairs, and squeezed. JUST as the round broke, the man ducked his head, the bullet entered his brain housing group just at the base of the skull, effectively removing the back portion of his dome. I skull capped him.

He stumbled over the wall and fell down behind it, out of my view in the dead space. For a split second, I thought “there…” until I saw him RUNNING away from me, brains leaking from his head! As soon as I saw him, he fell down and did not get up again. It took 5 well aimed rounds to put this guy down. Granted, he was most likely on something, but it still took 4 in the chest, and one head shot to stop this guy. I was not the only Marine to be involved in something like this. Who is to say that an attacker in the U.S. is not “on something?”

Now, is the .223 (5.56) a deadly round? Absolutely! A .22lr is deadly in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. Is it effective? In this Marine’s opinion, no. The .223 is a varmint round, meant to kill targets no larger than a rabbit or coyote. Because of its horrible terminal ballistics and external ballistics, many people build AR’s in other calibers.

The AR-15 can be built in many different calibers that better meet the needs of HUNTERS and target shooters. 6mm, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8lbc just to name a few. Also the AR-10 is .308. The primary reason the military adopted the M-16 in 5.56 is because of the LOW recoil, and amount of ammo that a warrior can carry into battle. The .223 is the smallest the military would adopt at the time.

I have much more info to share, but I know your time is precious and I have other rants to get to. I believe this nation needs to be better informed of the truth, especially if someone believes the .223 is “too lethal” for civilians.

Thank you for your time and attention.