Is the AR-15 a good survival rifle? The simple answer is, “it depends.” The M16 223/5.56mm was original developed as a replacement for the M14 and the 308. The mindset was to develop a lighter rifle and lighter ammo so that soldiers could carry the rifle further and carry more ammo. The drawback, instead of shooting a 150 or 180 grain bullet like the 308 Winchester / 7.62 NATO, the 223 / 5.56mm shot a 55 grain bullet.
Lets talk about some of the pluses and negatives of the 223/5.56mm:
1. To compensate for the smaller bullet diameter and lighter weight, the 55 grain 5.56mm is supposed to “tumble” after it hits flesh. The “tumbling” creates wounds and does quit a bit of damage to flesh.
I see a couple of issues with the “tumble” theory: