.223 in Iraq. Is it working?


March 24, 2003, 08:09 PM
I am very interested in seeing how effective, one way or the other, the .223 is in Iraq. I am not impressed with the round or the AR15M4 in Afganistan, and I do not think it will work well in Iraq either.

I have always thought that the 7.62Nato round would be a lot more effective in the longer range fire fights we seem to be engaged in now.

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March 24, 2003, 08:32 PM
Uh Oh, Here we go... :D

March 24, 2003, 08:55 PM
it's just as effective as in the first Gulf War........ the round gun/ammo combination DOES work. it's more a case of media focus on the low percentage failures/some joker high on drugs or adrenaline(or martyrdom) getting hit with a badly placed through and through, from some guy who THINKS that ammo should produce a one shot stop (or that he's rambo). than a truly piss poor round. Ask a cop they'll tell you that someone that is hyped up on something be it drugs (like most of the fighters in somalia, on Khat) or conviction (if you have noting to live for you don't mind dying) is not going to go down in one shot (esp from FMJ ammo) unless you hit or damage something like his/her heart or spinal column.

as for 7.62 it would be fine as long as the troops are still in a "motorized" state (ie on APCs and other vehicle transport) thorugh the desert. but our troops WILL be engaging in building and fortification clearing actions and the M-16 is a better choice for that. there IS no 7.62 weapon that has the attributes of the M-16 family. Light + select fire+ 7.62 NATO = uncontrollable. and those factors weight and controlable burst/Full-auto fire DO make a difference if you're involved in house to house type combat

and even in the desert we're NOT in a sniping war. if it gets down to the point where it's infantry fighting. most of the "oh this round is better than THAT round" is moot, a supersonic slug is a supersonic slug. war don't mean looking for "one shot stops" THAT is a personal self defense and LEO concern. if such were of paramount importance, or even truly possible (without use of rounds that would endanger the useer as well) the US would have renouced the Hague convention by now and be shooting non-FMJ ammo. fact is if round #1 don't take the fight out of you #'s 2 thru whatever that are following it down range are very likely to.

War is no longer a mass duel between men with guns it is a mechanized slaughter, the meatgrider of the old metaphors, now has a turbocharged 440 where the handle was... Gatling and Maxim's ideas backfired, they made killing masses of men so EASY that the slaughter has overrun our ability to comprehend the bloodshed. arguments of "which can more easily kill a man" do not matter, it's like a medieval archer arguing if Clothyard(36" shaft) Arrows are better than the shorter ones for use from horseback, both are just as effective and enmasse, odds are the average man hit by one got hit by many. Dead is Dead don;t matter if the enemy is killed by one round or a hundred, esp as well supplied as OUR troops are.

Ok i'll go back to my hole now this is a sore spot for me and i had to get it off my chest. it's the subject that pisses me off. not the person posting.

have at it guys

March 24, 2003, 09:04 PM
I am going to second Detritus' rant.

The round works. But it is mox-nix when you are pummeling the enemy with state of the art heavy munitions. The M16 and .223 is only for mopping up (unless you were stupid enough to do that Somalia thing).

The .223 in the M16A2 is an excellent combat round. What it does not kill, it wounds very effectively.

March 24, 2003, 09:05 PM

Is there anything that has been discussed as much as this ?
I guess so, but come on. If you want to know how well it works, ask someone who really knows. I did just that about two weeks ago. I asked a guy who had been a SEAL for 12 years what he thought about the M4 as a combat rifle. He said he thought it was a terrific combat rifle. I can give my opinion, but what good it it ? I have not fired a shot in combat. But this guy has, no speculation, he knows from personal experience. He has been there, done that. I work with a guy who was a Ranger for 10 years. He loved the M4. Again, he knows, he did it.

One problem with these discussions is that many people believe that soldiers are routinely trying to make 800 yard shots. Very few people can make 800 yard shots on a rifle range, let alone under field conditions in combat. The rifle engages targets of fairly close range. Past that range mortors, atrilliary, machine guns, and air power are used to support the infantryman.

March 24, 2003, 09:24 PM
Two most boring theads on gun forums: the 5.56 being completely ineffective and the 9mm vs 45ACP debate.

Here is everything that 99% of us need to know:

1. Getting shot is much more effective than not getting shot
2. If three rounds of 5.56 hits a target in the upper chest, that target is going to do what he is doing much more slowly in the next 24 hours.
3. If someone gets hit in the left shoulder with a 147 Gr 7.62 bullet, he is not going to die instantly.
4. A round of FMJ from an M9 is going to have roughly the same effect as a round of FMJ from a 1911 if hit in the same area.
5. If the US Government cared as much about our boys as it did about meeting NATOs standards, they'd have 55 Gr HPs and 1 in 12 twists.

The debates are great for newbies to read or start the first time they come to a new-to-them forum. But for those that have been around for a while, it gets tired. It really does. And most of those doing the arguing, not talking about this thread in particular, know next to nothing about the rounds actual capabilities, myself included. Those that have been in the field under combat conditions draw their own conclusions. Most think they're effective enough. Those that nearly lose their life, don't think so. Whether it be this war, Somalia, the Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea or WWII. Plenty of American's received Purple Hearts because they were wounded by 8mm bullets in Germany or France. And many Germans were wounded by 30-06 and 7.62x54R.

March 24, 2003, 09:29 PM
i will add that i grew up around the military and untill i moved to texas most of my co-workers, were either serving or Ex-military. i remember this subject comming up during a lull at the job i worked at the Raleigh/Durham Airport in NC. someone asked about the effectiveness of 5.56 Vs 7.62 (when you have to wait an hour for the replacement plane to come in and one of those waiting is both, GI-enraptured, and "educated by TV, the net and movies" [and no it wasn't me] you get all kinds of weird crap asked of the guys who served) the response from the mixed bag of combat vets who happened to be there (2 marines, 2 regular infantry, a retired SF Sargent, and one combat engineer) was laughter....
to a man they thought the question was rather silly. i think one of them even said, "it's not the round or the gun that matters, it's the SOB behind the trigger" in a war where both sides have weapons with the same capabilities (Vs WW2 where one side had bolt guns while the other had the Garand) it's the troops that matter not the gun.

i still think that alot of this "bad results from the 5.56" crap is a hold over from the early days of the M-16. remember many of those who are RUNNING the papers and news agencies are the folks who were in the field getting the stories during the 60's. and with the bad press that the gun/cartrige got in vietnam, many who never actually USED the gun or even saw it in action after the bugs (and stupid politically driven design decisions) got worked out. can not beleive that the gun that "has killed more troops than the flap holster" is a good weapon.

March 24, 2003, 09:29 PM
Two most boring theads on gun forums: the 5.56 being completely ineffective and the 9mm vs 45ACP debate.
Just get a Glock and don't worry about it :D

March 24, 2003, 09:48 PM
Just get a Glock and don't worry about it. :D

Hey, I'm an equal opportunity supporter... I'll just not shoot old HydraShoks. :p


Sir Galahad
March 24, 2003, 11:27 PM
Hey, isn't that one of those assault carton cutters?

I just heard on CNN the U.S. Army has deemed the 5.56mm to be an unmitigated failure. They are rush-ordering .58 caliber 1861 Springfields. They say it will be more cost-effective with ammo since full-auto and burst will not be possible.

March 24, 2003, 11:58 PM
Bad_dad _Brad whats the deal with the comment about somolia?

I just a have a small comment about the M16 a2 they suck in sand and dust. The small amounts of dust and sand that cause that weapon to jam and misfeed is just sad. The clips suck with a little sand or dust in it.

I feel sorry for the soliders in those dust storms with the M16 A2.

I just hope and pray they will fire for them when they really need it.
They sure didn't for us in when we needed them in Somolia. Even with 2 to 3 cleanings a day and keeping them wrapped in our Ruck covers.

and thats all I have to say about that.

March 25, 2003, 12:02 AM
Hey, isn't that one of those assault carton cutters?

Yup! Hi cap too! I think there's about 5 extra blades in there for a total of 12 usable edges. :D

The antis hate the all metal construction - they say it can't be for sporting use with no wood or bone handles and it's a little know fact that Bill Ruger said 'No honest man needs a blade longer 3/4 of an inch.'

Sir Galahad
March 25, 2003, 12:51 AM
And I'll bet those blades are teflon coated! And there's probably a blade glint suppressor on it.

March 25, 2003, 02:09 AM
In a combat situation,I'd be more worried about the reliability of my weapon than the effectiveness of my weapon.(i.e. 223 vs. 7.62x39)

Bruce H
March 25, 2003, 07:27 AM
Yeah and if every soldier carried a Barrett semi auto fifty there would be those who claim them to be underguned.

March 25, 2003, 07:36 AM
I heard on the news this morning that one of the news commentators said he observed the U.S. soldiers having a lot of trouble getting their M16's to work in the sandy environment.

I have seen the .223 gun down very big deer at ranges of up to 200 yards and in no case did any of them run more than 20 yards before they expired and this by the way was out of an original M16 set on sem-auto and the deer were only shot once with one bullet and the ammo was full metal jacketed of 55 grains.

According to a recent article in Shotgun news the current 5.56 military round is actually way less lethal than the Viet Nam era 55 grain pill that yawed to a much greater degree than the current heavier bullet.

March 25, 2003, 07:49 AM
As a bit of anecdotal evidence, I once heard a Warrant Officer in the Australian Army state that (as of early 2002) every time a person has been shot by an Aus. soldier armed with SS109 5.56 and an Aug, the victim has died (just by pure chance of course).


Art Eatman
March 25, 2003, 12:47 PM
There're so many variables in what happens when a person is shot that I repeat for the umpteenth time that there ain't no "One size fits all."

At ranges inside 200 or so yards, the .223 round's bullet is quite destructive to tissue. However, if the wound is to an extremity the "hittee" may well continue to function via adrenalin. If the wound is to center chest or center head, DRT, probably. Probably.

"Way out there", a hit into the heart or head will be quite effective. A hit to extremities or outside the heart/head will be debilitating but not necessarily fatal if medical attention is available.

All the above pretty much holds true for a .308 or .30-'06 with full-patch ammo...Or an AK round, for that matter. Pretty much, I said, not "always". :)


March 25, 2003, 04:02 PM
I don't think there is any question of the effectivness of the .223. Look at what happened with the Beltway Sniper. Even with the very best immediate and professional care, most of those victims were dead. Doctors tried to fix up that boy that was shot in the stomach but too many vital organs were destroyed. I think it is clear that the .223 is a very deadly round.

On another note, the 9mm is also very deadly. I am not going to go into it but it has proven to be as deadly as any decent handgun round. All handguns are under powered so the differance between the 9mm and the .45 is moot. Personaly, I am not sure which is better but I know I would rather have 15+1 of 9mm than 7+1 of .45.

March 25, 2003, 04:08 PM
Okay, I almost posted this on the LAST "Replace the weak M16 with the almighty M14" thread, but it was too long for me to bother.... So here I go...

The idea of "replacing" the 5.56 with a 7.62 because it has a longer range is EVERY bit as short sighted as saying "let's replace all the 7.62's with 50BMG's" because it has an even longer range.

In the military, EVERY military, there are multiple weapons in multiple calibers to fascilitate the completion of a variety of tasks.

Since MOST of your fighting is done under 200 yards, then MOST of your troops get 300 yard rifles.

I do not disagree at all that perhaps 1 man in 10, or maybe even 1 in 5 should have an AR-10, along with the extra training and accessories required to CONSISTENTLY engage and neutralize targets at extended range. But to take away everyone's M16 and give them an FAL because your pet cartridge is the .308 is just not realistic.

Unless you're fighting an enemy 700 yards away that are all equipped with FAL's, then they are just as handicapped as you are. 7.62x39's effective range isn't even as far as the 5.56, so why are we loading down the AVERAGE soldier with a heavier rifle, heavier ammo, and heavier recoil at the expense of 10 less rounds per mag just so EVERYONE has the "theoritical ability" to reach out and touch someone?

It's just not practical.

Maybe I'm a big sissy, but My M1A went full-auto on me once. It scared the begeezus out of me. The first round went where I aimed, the second round hit the top of the target, and rounds 3, 4, and 5... well who knows for sure... they were headed at about a 45' angle upward :uhoh:

Now maybe your 110lb girlfriend likes your semi-automatic FAL, but then again I always considered the M1A's recoil to be mild to moderate on semi-auto too.

March 25, 2003, 04:10 PM
I think The boy lived, and it was the guy at the Ponderosa who didn't pull through. :(
Your point is valid though, depressing as it is. The round works.

I can't wait to see those bastards fry...

CZ 75 BD
March 25, 2003, 04:13 PM
Hey Deadman, why is today Soylent Green day?:uhoh:

March 25, 2003, 04:16 PM
In contrast to the beltway sniper comment:
My wifes cousin and friends were drinking and doing stupid illegal things one night. Somehow, her cousin( a minor) shot himself through the midsection with a (stolen) Ar-15 while in an automobile! They drove to his uncles and he walked into the house on his own and anounced his injury.The round ruptured his spleen, one kidney I believe his stomach was damaged as well. He spent at least four months in the hospital with drains to dispose of unwanted internal fluids. He is 5'5" and rather slight in build. My jaw dropped when made it to my wedding without any signs of disability. I have yet to talk to him one on one re: what bullet and how the hell he managed to pull off shooting himself.
He lives several hours away and we are not close.

dance varmint
March 25, 2003, 04:43 PM
Unless I missed it, no one so far has thrown in the cliched non sequitur, "I don't see anbody volunteering to go downrange and get shot by a .223". No caliber war would be complete without that.

Steve Smith
March 25, 2003, 05:09 PM
CZ 75 BD, all Tuesdays are Soylent Green days.

March 25, 2003, 06:02 PM
Well, there's a whole bunch of dead Iraqis you could ask...

Scott Evans
March 25, 2003, 06:19 PM
There is always room for pursuing good, better or best as opposed to just settling for adequate. We could do better.

March 25, 2003, 06:22 PM
One of the main complaints by U.S. troops were that their rifles were not capable of stopping the determined enemy warriors.

It was in the early part of the last century on the Phillipean Islands when the U.S. was using very powerful .30 caliber military rifles against Phillipean Morrow warriors.

March 25, 2003, 06:28 PM
3. If someone gets hit in the left shoulder with a 147 Gr 7.62 bullet, he is not going to die instantly.

There are many documented cases of people being hit with rounds as large as .50 cal bmg. and surviving. Police reports abound with people shot with 12 Ga. slugs (.70 cal.) who were hit more than once and still survived.

March 25, 2003, 08:08 PM
True. It all comes down to what bullet is fired from a specific caliber. Supposedly some Spec Ops groups in Afghansistan are using Black Hills ammo in 75 grain (I think) because they have been found to be more effective than the SS109 bullet. A normal FMJ bullet won't do much (but ANY pointed FMJ bullet will yaw after impact at sufficient velocities) but, for example, the West German 7.62 would fragment exactly like the M193 5.56 round- and be far more effective in doing so. Also, if it takes two to three times as many smaller rounds as one bigger round to take down the BG then weight and capacity issues become mute. Besides, it still does come down to accuracy and trigger control- no round will do anything if you can't hit your target!
BTW, I like both calibers with the right bullet....

March 25, 2003, 09:19 PM
The 5.56 is proving to be the mother of all cartridges in the mother of all wars that is being slowed down by the mother of all sand storms. This mother of all cartridges isn't to be confused with the mother of all bombs. You can see it in action with the mother of all news coverage on your mother of all television.

Besides, I don't see anyone volunteering to stand down range and let me shoot them with it. The thread is now complete.

March 25, 2003, 10:01 PM
That would make this...

The Mother of all Threads!!

March 25, 2003, 10:37 PM
add to that: you could survive any wound-be it 223 or 30 cal-question is can you function still. Im definitely buying an AR again when funds allow, just for the heck of it-a nice 20incher.and lots of watermelon. :cool:

March 26, 2003, 06:47 AM
Not to side step this particular beaten horse too much -

CZ 75 BD in one market scene in the film Soylent Green there is a sign in a window stating 'Tuesday is Soylent Green day'.

As for having that phrase as a statement, its just a personal comment on where our society is headed (ie 1984/Soylent Green type society).

Now back to the horse whippin' -

Don't forget, the vast majority of military personnel don't know that 5.56Nato is supposed to be nothing more than a varmint round, so the outcry for a calibre change will only ever be from a minority.

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