Sportsmen also have benefited hugely from numerous variants of the .223 that have been created over the years. All the virtues of the round I've already mentioned were made possible because of ceaseless tinkering and experimentation. There is no better varmint round in existence, and while it is on the light side for deer-size game, with the right bullet--Barnes Triple Shock, Nosler Partition, Hornady GMX, Federal Fusion--it works well. For personal protection, it is nearly perfect. The right bullets (55-grain polymer-tipped ones, in particular) will stop an attacker yet won't over-penetrate, decreasing the risk of hitting an unintended target. Even for long-range work--at least with light or consistent winds--you can stretch the cartridge to 800 yards and beyond. And the fact that it is still economical to shoot and easy to reload is just icing on the cake.