Hornady Critical Defense .223 is the V-max varmint round?

After watching some of the videos, people are making comments about it being varmint rounds from the V-max, and not having enough penetration for home defense.

I’m a little new to this so what are your thoughts?


I’ve got poor internet, so what’s your question?
If you look at the Sierra bullet website, they do not recommend match bullets for hunting applications. Some varmint bullets act like big game hunting bullets from short barrels and reduced velocities. Gallon water jugs are cheap. Buy both and do your own comparisons.

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That’s what Hornady bills it as, fast expansion and limited penetration.

Hornady.com » Ammunition » Rifle » 223 Remington 55 gr FTX® Critical Defense®

223 Remington 55 gr FTX® Critical Defense®

Item #80270 | 20/Box
US Patent: 8,413,587

Designed for short-range defensive situations, a new breed of FTX® bullets are at the forefront of the Critical Defense® Rifle ammunition line. The bullet’s patented Flex Tip® not only helps keep the nose cavity free from clogging as it passes through heavy clothing but also helps the bullet expand at low velocities.

Made for SBRs.


My question was is a .223 critical defense round a V-max varmint round, and if so is it good for home protection?

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What bullet weight is each one? Do they show the same muzzle velocity and energy for both of them?
Better yet. Is the velocity still the same for both at distance??

better format.


It looks like a slightly different tip design but if it still expands as fast as the Vmax it is likely to under penetrate at .223 velocities.

I use Vmax bullets in my 300BLK but that bullet was designed for 308 velocities and has much more controlled expansion and better penetration at the slower 300BLK velocities.

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I have the 73 grain of Critical Defense coming in the mail.

It looks like the critical defense goes in around 2,300 feet per second while V-Max goes 3,200 FPS Superformance® Varmint - Hornady Manufacturing, Inc

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I can’t find any reliable gel tests on this round. But I didn’t search YouTube. Every once in awhile you can find a reliable test there. So no idea how it performs. I use Federal Tactical TRU as my inside the house .223 round. It meets minimum FBI penetration standards in controlled testing and has less chance of over penetration than bonded rounds. But all rounds outside of frangibles will easily go through several layers of drywall. Including the critical defense I would suspect.

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Oh okay. So critical defense can be a bad round?

Was typing my response above as you asked. I have no knowledge and can’t find any data so really can’t say. My gut feeling is that the lighter version will most likely under penetrate and your 73gr version may or may not🤷‍♂️

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Are you in an apartment or do you have family members in adjacent rooms? There should be a fire rated wall between apartment units which means two layers of drywall on each side.

I’m in an apartment building. Currently on my floor I believe I’m the only one that occupies one of the apartments.

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What’s your interpretation of bad? Not stopping a threat, or traveling too far and hitting an innocent person?

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Right from Hornady.


Not stopping a threat but also over penetrating .

It would not be (and is not) my choice. Insufficient penetration vs many other options on the market

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Clearly shows the 55gr at 7" penetration is not a good choice for self defense.

Likewise, their own 73gr at 10" penetration, not a good choice for self defense.

The FBI standard for 12" minimum is a good minimum. 7" and 10", not it


I see two ways of approaching it. #1 Use critical defense for home defense, because that’s what the manufacturer implies it’s made for.

#2 If you have a a range where you can shoot gallon jugs of water, try your own informal comparisons.

Research is cheap!!