AR15 AR-15 ammo test: Lehigh Defense Controlled Chaos .223 in bal…

The AR-15 is becoming more common for home defense than ever before. In this video I explore another promising self-defense/home defense rounds made in .223 Remington, the Lehigh Defense “Controlled Chaos” 45-grain fragmenting hollow point, part #05220045S. The test barrel length was 16″.

The bullet has two wounding mechanisms; it’s a fragmenting round (like M193) combined with a solid caliber-diameter bullet. The idea is to get the massive temporary cavity caused by a rifle, which gets magnified and turned into permanent damage by the fragmentation, combined with a deeply-penetrating base bullet that can penetrate the vital organs (if, of course, your aim is good enough).

I used genuine professional organic 10% calibrated ballistic gelatin to determine the penetration and expansion characteristics.

Note: I’m not making any claims for these videos other than that these are the results I achieved, in my own testing, from the stated pistol(s). I have no intention to make a blanket endorsement or indictment of any product, only to review and report what I found in a given instance. Obviously it is incumbent upon each individual to conduct their own research and make up their own mind about which defensive ammunition is best for their own purposes, in their own firearms. Also keep in mind that individual firearms can be persnickety; my AR15 may feed a particular round consistently whereas your AR15 might not work as well with those rounds, so — please conduct your own testing before trusting any particular ammo.

The standards I use to judge bullet performance are the standards established at the 1987 and 1993 Wound Ballistics Conferences, and subsequently adopted by the FBI. You can read more on these subjects in my blog articles, including:

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33 thoughts on “AR15 AR-15 ammo test: Lehigh Defense Controlled Chaos .223 in bal…”

  1. Please please please do a side by side comparison of this round, DRT 62 grain, and 79 grain. Would also be cool to see what they do at close range out to 200 yards

  2. I have a 1:7 twist 16" barrel.  Have heard sub 55 gr is unsuited for this twist rate and may cause fragmenting in flight.  Also, how do bullet weight factors vary between a 55gr 5.56 vs. a 55gr .223?

  3. Great video, and it looks like a very viable self defense round. Just wanted to put a thought out there about potential repercussions from a legal perspective, and that potential keeps me from purchasing this ammo. My understanding is that in many self defense shootings, the assailant or his relatives (if the assailant is dead) end up suing the citizen who defended himself. It's a whacky world… but attorneys look for any element to strengthen their case, and in this case they may claim that the citizen's intent was not to simply stop the assailant, but the intent was to kill. There are many discussions on that stop vs kill topic and I don't really want to go there… but an ammo round described as "Controlled Chaos", or "Zombie ..anything" could be fodder used against the shooter as evidence he wasn't simply trying to stop the assailant. My point is that bullet performance isn't the only factor to consider when choosing a self defense round – we need to think about how what we have chosen may be used against us in court, if it comes to that.

  4. Thanks for the insightful review of the Lehigh Defense CC .223 review. May I suggest a darker back drop such as inserting a black piece of paper behind the block to show the cavity better.

  5. How do you think this would do in a sbr? And to the shotgun vs ar for home defense, the ar has less recoil, holds more rounds, and has similar kenetic energy it also has less chance of over penetration (it seems counter intuitive) but a small light bullet travelling really fast receives more resistance when striking an object. The impact of a bullet has two main parts, the energy transferred to the target and the level of resistance met by the projectile. Think of a motorbike hitting a wall traveling 150 mph, and compare the effect with a F150 hitting the wall going 80. the truck is far more likely to smash through the wall.

  6. How about a handgun in 5.7 hollowpoints lol pdx1winchesters if they make um.prob be a nightmare in courtroom though. im just thinking scientifically for  what would be the most effective possible.

  7. You are a great resource. Thank you for your efforts. You never mention how far away you are from the block and why you chose the distance. Is that part of the FBI specification?

  8. Pros of AR15: 

    1 – Lighter than shotgun 
    2 – Shorter/more maneuverable 
    3 – Less recoil, easier to keep on target, better chance to stop home invader
    4 – Basic iron sights very accurate 
    5 – 30 rounds on tap to stop any home invader
    6 – Easy to attach flashlight/laser, improve accuracy, reduce misses, increase target ID

  9. amazing vid, I would have never thought a 50gr. bullet could cause so much damage wow thx again 🙂

  10. This was probably the most amazing damage from a 223/556 I have ever seen.  Seriously more and more impressed with Lehigh Defense every time I see another ammo test.

  11. That should pretty much stop anyone dead in their tracks… and the light recoil and accuracy compared to a 12 gage seems pretty ideal for home defense.  As for over penetration… 00 buckshot presents significant over penetration risks… times 9!

  12. I have to ask why all the damage up front on this round was seen as a good thing, but on the RIP round it was dismissed as being too shallow to be of worth? I agreed with the review of the RIP, so I'm wondering why this round doesn't get similar treatment? Thanks!

  13. Can you test some Federal Fusion or Winchester Ranger (The 5.56 variety with the Nosler bullet, also known as ZQ3313) ?

  14. Agree, both have merits.  12 gauge is simpler in its operation, easier to clear jams, buckshot is just mighty powerful.  AR15 is generally ligther weight, easier to add on optics to make aiming easier, less recoil.  Both are good.  

  15. I'm not sure how I feel about these types of bullets that frag like crazy in the first few inches then leave a little piece of the base intact just so they can say the round makes 16"+ penetration…. What good is that last 6-8" if it has the terminal performance of a .22lr? I think I would like it better if the whole bullet fragmented in the first 12" and called it well and good ….. With a stretch cavity like that who needs that tiny extra damage tract left by the base? What are your thoughts?

  16. Are you going to test the new G2 Research R.I.P. bullet? It actually seems like it would perform fairly similar to this one, if it lives up to the advertising hype.

  17. Before watching your videos i have never heard of Lehigh Defense, but I gotta admit they are putting out some very nasty bullets. I'm a big fan now!

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