"Small Caliber Leathality" or Why .223 Doesn't Suck


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Blind Bat
November 18, 2008, 06:31 PM
I was cleaning my office at work and I came across this article from WSTIAC Quarterly. It reports the results of a .556 caliber leathality study done by the Army due to complaints that soldiers in Afganistan and Iraq were experiencing problems with BGs taking multiple hits up close and still able to fight back.

Enjoy:
http://wstiac.alionscience.com/pdf/WQV8N1_ART01.pdf

(I suggest you right-click/save because it's almost 1.5MB.)

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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 20, 2008, 12:10 AM
Yep, that little pill does a number on flesh, way out of proportion to its size.

japaneezy
November 20, 2008, 02:54 AM
The real reason that the 5.56 round they are using aren't penetrating is because they are using FMJs... the Hague treaty (which the US subscribes to) will not allow our soldiers to use the increased stopping power of the hollow point, expanding, or frangible ammo that we civilians currently enjoy for home defense and hunting.

C-grunt
November 20, 2008, 06:45 AM
The real reason we are getting these reports is one of a few reasons:

A) The soldier/marine missed but thinks he hit the bad guy.

B) The soldier/marine did not get a good COM hit.

C) The soldier/marine doesnt really understand human physiology and has unreal expectations of what a gun should do to a person due to movies.

D) Some people by the grace of god survive things they shouldnt.

jackdanson
November 20, 2008, 11:29 AM
The real reason we are getting these reports is one of a few reasons:

A) The soldier/marine missed but thinks he hit the bad guy.

B) The soldier/marine did not get a good COM hit.

C) The soldier/marine doesnt really understand human physiology and has unreal expectations of what a gun should do to a person due to movies.

D) Some people by the grace of god survive things they shouldnt.

Agreed.

Evil Monkey
November 20, 2008, 11:45 AM
I know for sure our troops have taken multi hits from 7.62x39mm and survived.

How come we don't hear about 7.62 being a weak round?

I also could have sworn I read another pdf file that was stating how 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO shared similar lethality at up to and around 150 meters or so in Iraq.

Shawn Dodson
November 20, 2008, 11:48 AM
Posted by Gary Roberts on Tactical Forums almost two years ago: MAJ's Dean and LaFontaine's Infantry Magazine article entitled, “Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56MM Performance in Close Quarters Battle”, in the September-October 2006 issue suffers from ignoring significant amounts of data collected by the JSWB-IPT. MAJ’s Dean and LaFontaine also show a strong prejudice for and an over-reliance on the flawed ARL computer calculations to determine “lethality”. Nonetheless, the article is better than expected based on previous erroneous information publicly released this past summer by the Army on the JSWB-IPT findings.

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p.26 “Wound Ballistics (JSWB) Integrated Product Team (IPT) was eventually able to conclude that: (1) there were no commercially available 5.56mm solutions that provided a measurable increase in CQB performance over fielded military ammunition”
Anybody who has seen the actual data from some 10,000 test shots collected by the JSWB-IPT at 3-10m, 100m, and 300m distances or who has read the original 331 page final draft report dated 12 April 2006, knows that this statement avoids the factual truth. The clear and unequivocal best performing cartridge in the JSWB-IPT was 6.8 mm. In addition, several other 5.56 mm loads performed better than current M855. This was validated by other recent military and law enforcement agency (LE) testing—all of which repeatedly have demonstrated that 6.8 mm offers the best terminal performance of ALL assault rifle calibers tested to date. Of course MAJ’s Dean and LaFontaine know this, as the JSWB-IPT remarked that: “The 6.8 mm projectile had a near optimal balance of MASS, VELOCITY, and CONFIGURATION to maintain its effectiveness, even at a lower impact velocity.”

p.28 “Unfortunately, after that work had been completed and static firings of a wide range of calibers and configurations of ammunition were under way (see Figure 1), the IPT discovered that results were still not consistent.”
The Figure 1 photo is interesting, as it illustrates some of the 53 systems in eight different calibers: 9 mm, .45 ACP, 5.45x39 mm, 5.56 mm, 6.8 mm, 7.62x39 mm, 7.62x51 mm, and .30-06 that were studied by the JSWB-IPT. The quote is also informative, as it proves that the JSWB-IPT did indeed conduct substantial testing on calibers other than 5.56 mm. Yet why do MAJ’s Dean and LaFontaine want to ignore thousands of test shots from calibers other than 5.56 mm when discussing the IPT findings? Because the results were “inconsistent”??? Perhaps instead it is because calibers other than 5.56 mm were deemed to be superior, as demonstrated when the JSWB-IPT wrote: “The best performing systems emphasizing tissue damage, on the average, in this study were of larger caliber than 5.56 mm.”

p.29 “Static CQB Analysis methods measure real damage in gel, but have difficulty translating that damage to results in human tissue.”
While this is the position taken by ARL and PM-MAS, most other wound ballistic researchers do not ascribe to the ARL “dynamic” Wound Task Assessment (WTAI) methodology; many researchers, including Dr. Martin Fackler, former director of the Army Wound Ballistic Research Laboratory and progenitor of modern wound ballistic research, have strongly criticized the flawed ARL computer modeling and statistical manipulation. In fact, virtually every noted wound ballistic researcher and facility in the nation DISAGREES with ARL's methodology and conclusions

In addition, the comment on p.29 is not accurate based on the significant amount of data collected by LE agencies when analyzing their officer involved shooting (OIS) incidents. There is great value in the use of appropriately gathered and interpreted surgical and/or post-mortem data. Gene Wolberg's San Diego PD analysis of nearly 150 officer involved shootings was the first study to begin using such protocols, but other LE agencies, such as the FBI and CHP, that have strong, scientifically based ammunition terminal performance testing programs have conducted similar reviews of their shooting incidents with much the same results--there is an extremely strong correlation between properly conducted and interpreted 10% ordnance gelatin laboratory studies and the physiological effects of projectiles in actual shooting incidents.

On the other hand, over the past 20 years, ARL has NEVER published any information in peer reviewed journals or demonstrated to the wound ballistic research community any correlation of their “dynamic” WTAI computer simulation “lethality” methodology with actual shots into living human tissue.

p.29 “The JSWB IPT began work to standardize test protocols among the participating agencies to allow results to be compared.”
This is true…and the test protocol that was found to be correct, valid, and became the agreed upon JSWB-IPT “standard” evolved from the one first developed by Dr. Fackler at LAIR in the 1980’s, promoted by the IWBA in the 1990’s, and used by most reputable wound ballistic researchers, including the FBI BRF and CHP for the past two decades…the main folks who object to this standard are ARL and PM-MAS.

p.29 “The IPT was ultimately able to determine a reason for the differences.”
While this first sentence is true, the remainder of this paragraph is not. The apparent differences in 5.56 mm performance were obvious on viewing high speed video of the projectiles’ flight paths from muzzle to impact and noting the differences in yaw behavior. Discovering this had NOTHING to do with the ARL “dynamic” methodology which uses the flawed computer simulated “virtual human target” (ie. a naked man with his hands at his sides standing directly 90 degrees frontal to the shooter).

As touched upon by MAJ’s Dean and LaFontaine on p.31, Angle-of-Attack (AOA) variability at impact can substantially affect wound severity; this factor is more prevalent with certain calibers and projectile types. JSWB-IPT testing demonstrated that 5.56 mm projectiles are highly susceptible to AOA variations, particularly when using full metal jacket (FMJ) loads such as M193 & M855. For example, with 5.56 mm FMJ, at higher AOA’s, for example 2-3 degrees, bullets had a shorter neck length (NL) and upset rapidly, thus providing adequate terminal effects; at low AOA, like 0-1 degree, the projectiles penetrated deeper than ideal prior to initial upset (ie. long NL) with significantly reduced terminal effects. Note that OTM’s were less susceptible to AOA variations than FMJ. Other calibers were less susceptible to AOA variations than 5.56 mm; the 6.8 mm proved to have less AOA inconsistencies compared with other calibers tested.

Fleet Yaw is the other significant yaw issue discovered by the JSWB-IPT. Fleet Yaw is the terminal performance variation caused by inherent variability in each rifle and occurs in all calibers. 5.56 mm FMJ appears to suffer more Fleet Yaw induced variability than other projectile calibers & types. 6.8 mm OTM’s appear to have less Fleet Yaw variations than other projectile calibers & types tested.

What this means is that two shooters firing the same lot of M855 from their M4’s with identical shot placement can have dramatically different terminal performance results: one shooter states that his M855 is working great and is effective at dropping bad guys, while the other complains his opponent is not being incapacitated because M855 is zipping right through the target without upsetting. Both shooters are telling the truth…

p.30 Graph labeled “Figure 3”
There were in fact better performing 5.56 mm loads than M855 in the JSWB-IPT testing and 6.8 mm clearly performed best of all. The “Figure 3” graph is misleading at best and is an example of scientific dishonesty at worst. It uses needlessly complex calculations, skewed graphing, overzealous mathematical averaging, and poor statistical manipulation to obfuscate important differences between test samples.

p30. “1. No commercially available alternatives perform measurably better than existing ammunition at close quarters battle ranges for exposed frontal targets.”
This is NOT true, as clearly proven by the JSWB-IPT test data. The JSWB-IPT listed the Effective Damage Rankings (EDR) of the 53 different systems tested; 6.8 mm systems (including 20”, 16”, and 12.5” barrels) dominated the testing, taking 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th places. The best performing 5.56 mm system was Mk262 in 7th place. M855 out of a 20” barrel managed to squeak into 10th place. Despite MAJ Dean’s and LaFontaine’s assurance to the contrary, 5.56 mm M855, especially fired out of shorter barreled weapons like the Mk18 and M4 is not a wise choice for CQB. If you need a barrel shorter than 16”, 6.8 mm is a better CQB option than 5.56 mm. In fact, in assessing the end-users request for weapons with increased incapacitation potential, as well as their desire for more easily maneuvered weapons, the JSWB-IPT declared that, “The 6.8 mm performance observed in this test suggests that an intermediate caliber is the answer to the trade-off balance issue.”

p30. “2. Shot placement trumps all other variables; expectation management is key.”
Wound Ballistics is the study of the projectile-tissue interaction. The goal of terminal ballistic analysis in respect to individual soldiers and Marines is to determine the projectile that is most likely to rapidly physiologically incapacitate a dangerous opponent across multiple potential engagement scenarios and through common intervening intermediate barriers. The study of Wound Ballistics does NOT address such topics as training and marksmanship. It is was shocking to read that the MAJ’s Dean and LaFontaine feel one of the most important finding of the JSWB-IPT testing was to urge “proper shot placement”. ANY projectile is lethal with proper shot placement, even an anemic rimfire .22 LR. Shot placement has been a recognized component of incapacitation since mankind first began to kill for food and defense; pierce the charging woolly mammoth in the foot and it gets mad, hit it in the heart and it dies. This is a centuries old function of training and is NOT a revolutionary new finding of the current JSWB-IPT testing. To make such a comment is ludicrous in the context of terminal ballistic testing.

p32. “ Further, we currently cannot control yaw within a single type of ammunition, and all ammunition displays this tendency to some degree.”
Gee, there is a simple solution here--let’s just pick a combat load that exhibits minimal AOA and fleet yaw characteristics to eliminate this potential variable. Of course, as noted above, that immediately rules-out most 5.56 mm ammunition, especially FMJ loads like M193 and M855, as these show the WORST variations of AOA and fleet yaw. On the other hand 5.56 mm OTM and bonded bullets exhibit less yaw variability. Of course the caliber that demonstrated the LEAST yaw variability in the JSWB-IPT testing was 6.8 mm; too bad MAJ’s Dean and LaFontaine forgot to mention that in their article…

p32. “The technique of engaging CQB targets with controlled pairs--two aimed, rapid shots as described in Chapter 7 of FM 3-22.9--was shown to be significantly better than single aimed shots (see Figure 8).”
Please…this is NOT a wound ballistics revelation, but purely a training issue. It is a well known training technique taught for many decades in virtually every firearm training curriculum for law enforcement and military personnel. AGAIN, like shot placement, this is a training issue; it is clearly NOT a new finding of the JSWB-IPT testing and has nothing to do with terminal ballistic testing. To pretend otherwise is asinine.

p32. “Soldiers and leaders everywhere should take heart from the fact that despite all the myth and superstition surrounding their rifles and ammunition, they are still being provided the best performing weapons and ammunition available while the armaments community works to develop something even better.”
It is hard to take heart or remain silent when being force-fed such “limited truths”…

See: "Infantry" Magazine article re 5.56 ballistics (http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=001325#000000)

mljdeckard
November 20, 2008, 12:00 PM
I wouldn't hunt human-sized game with steel-core, 62 gr 5.56. BUT, there are distinct advantages that the military has with this ammo that we don't. Particularly automatic fire. You are much more able to get multiple hits with real assault rifles with auto or burst. While I have my doubts about dropping a 200 lb mulie with one, I doubt they would run very far after three. Also, in combat applications, there is a legitimate need for rounds that will shred the average car. This need is much more remote in civilian applications. I'm not a sniper or designated marksman. I'll put my faith in several hits of 5.56 rather than wish I had something bigger and more difficult to control. I certainly don't wish I was training my female soldiers to shoot M-14s or even AR-10s.

woodfiend
November 20, 2008, 12:43 PM
"I know for sure our troops have taken multi hits from 7.62x39mm and survived."


Of course, 7.62x39 has horrible terminal ballistics. It makes a good hole, but no explosion or expansion, providing it's FMJ.

Deer Hunter
November 20, 2008, 12:57 PM
I dislike the fact that we're using bullets designed to penetrate helmets out to 800 meters for CQC.

drgrenthum
November 20, 2008, 02:18 PM
did i read that report right.....two well aimed shots are better then one well aimed shot? You dont say.....Very good deduction sherlock

I wonder how much that study cost us.

rcmodel
November 20, 2008, 02:29 PM
If they want lethal, they should go back to 1/12 twist and 55 grain bullets.

Part of the whole problem now, if there is one, is the 1/7 barrel makes the 63 grain ammo too stable to tumble and break at longer range!
Or out of 14.5" barrel M-4's.

rcmodel

camslam
November 20, 2008, 02:40 PM
All things considered, I wouldn't want to be shot with any size of bullet, not even a lowly .22.

That being said, why is it so difficult for people to at least accept that getting shot with a bigger chunk of lead, versus a smaller chunk, is probably less healthy for you.

The arguments that go back and forth over .223 vs 7.62, 9mm vs .40 or .45, birdshot vs buckshot, etc...

I know there are many variables that affect shooting and being shot, but all things considered, it is usually worse for the human body to be hit with bigger chunks of lead, versus smaller.

Freelance Tax Collector
November 20, 2008, 02:45 PM
The real reason that the 5.56 round they are using aren't penetrating is because they are using FMJs... the Hague treaty (which the US subscribes to) will not allow our soldiers to use the increased stopping power of the hollow point, expanding, or frangible ammo that we civilians currently enjoy for home defense and hunting.

Yes, although I believe that the DOJ ruled that in actions in the 'war on terror' we can use HP, frangible, etc. ammo anyway. I think most troops don't just because of logistics, but I know for a fact that there are certain units that do.

Shawn Dodson
November 20, 2008, 03:34 PM
Part of the whole problem now, if there is one, is the 1/7 barrel makes the 63 grain ammo too stable to tumble and break at longer range!
Or out of 14.5" barrel M-4's. The problem is decreased velocity, not rifling twist rate.

The bullet yaws but penetration resistance (a factor of velocity) is insufficient to cause substantial fragmentation, which is needed to increase wound trauma.

The Deer Hunter
November 20, 2008, 08:18 PM
Some guy at my club said the troops are putting .308 barrels on their rifles because .223 is so weak. A little part of me died right then.

Dr_2_B
November 20, 2008, 10:08 PM
Deer Hunter, I'm not sure I'm on board with your friend. There's more involved than just replacing the barrel.

jpwilly
November 20, 2008, 10:17 PM
Some guy at my club said the troops are putting .308 barrels on their rifles because .223 is so weak. A little part of me died right then.

Deer Hunter, I'm not sure I'm on board with your friend. There's more involved than just replacing the barrel.

Yea, .308 or 7.62x51mm won't fit the magazine or mag well. The Upper wouldn't take the pressure, The bolt face is all wrong. Etc etc.

Deer Hunter
November 20, 2008, 10:50 PM
I think The Deer Hunter knows this, which is why it made him so sick.

Don't worry man, stupid people give me headaches too.

HorseSoldier
November 20, 2008, 10:59 PM
That being said, why is it so difficult for people to at least accept that getting shot with a bigger chunk of lead, versus a smaller chunk, is probably less healthy for you.

I think it's not so much that people don't accept it (generally speaking, anyway), as the fact that any cartridge used for combat service is by definition going to be a compromise and trade off. Besides just the obvious issue of basic load of ammo a guy can carry, there are other issues like recoil and trajectory that effect how fast and how reliably guys can put rounds on target, etc

Yes, although I believe that the DOJ ruled that in actions in the 'war on terror' we can use HP, frangible, etc. ammo anyway. I think most troops don't just because of logistics, but I know for a fact that there are certain units that do.

Use of JHP ammo is very tightly regulated by JAG, and normally reserved only for specific SOF units doing specific missions, even though our opponents mostly are not lawful combatants who are compliant with the laws of land warfare, etc.

Rifleman 173
November 20, 2008, 11:08 PM
Around the world it is not unusual for our military people to be attacked by hostile enemy personnel that are stoned out of their minds. In the Arabian world it is hashish. In the Orient heroin and opium smoke is the common pre-combat drug of choice. So there you are, armed with a .223/5.56 boomstick trying to drop a spaced out Haji or communist soldier. Guess what? Unless you put a bullet through your enemy's head, that piece of crap tiny little bullet isn't going to do the job. I saw one instance where multiple head shotss were needed in Viet Nam to drop an enemy soldier. To really drop an enemy soldier who may or may not be drugged up for combat, you need a decent bullet with a decent diameter and weight to its construction. 7.62 NATO works well for most shooting situations which is why the military has brought back the M-14 rifles and are now supplying the new 7.62 NATO SASS sniper rifle system to as many squads as possible. There is even talk about dumping the M-4/M-16 rifles completely and going back to the 7.62 NATO shooters for as many soldiers and Marines as possible.

HorseSoldier
November 20, 2008, 11:50 PM
7.62 NATO works well for most shooting situations which is why the military has brought back the M-14 rifles and are now supplying the new 7.62 NATO SASS sniper rifle system to as many squads as possible.

They brought 7.62x51 DMRs into service for a specific role.

The problem with 7.62x51 was always that it simply does not work well for most shooting situations. It has utility for certain missions on the battlefield, but as a general service cartridge was pretty much a flop.

There is even talk about dumping the M-4/M-16 rifles completely and going back to the 7.62 NATO shooters for as many soldiers and Marines as possible.

There's talk of anything and everything up to 40 watt phased plasma rifles, but no one with any actual authority to make a decision is calling for 7.62x51 coming back for general service. Nor are any serious researchers, ballisticians, and others working on R&D, to the best of my knowledge.

DoubleTapDrew
November 21, 2008, 12:10 AM
Are you folks trying to assert that you have to disrupt the centeral nervous system or a major bone structure to stop someone who isn't in their right state of mind (or very determined)? Forget shot placement, Hollywood proves that any rifle that looks at least a little evil will blow a bad guy across the room and he won't get up!
I hear the 50bmg has more stopping power, maybe we should issue select-fire M82s to everyone. That would be easier than changing to more effective ammo to comply with that agreement we never signed.

rangerruck
November 21, 2008, 12:14 AM
rcmodel is onto something here; the origional ar's had a 1/14 twist for the 55 grainer, barely stable at all, and when it did hit flesh, tumbling began instantly.
Very ouchy. Some of those early reports from Viet nam with this setup where very gruesome. but who bi@$ched about them? The Airforce, which gave us the AR in the first place. They pantygriped that in supercold weather temps, if the flyboys had to ditch and drop out into survival mode, that the 1/14 ar twist was not accurate enough for them, and what they wanted to accomplish. I guess that was to be able to hit a snowshoe rabbit for food at 300 meters, apparently the stability was pretty much zero , in cold temps approaching or going below 32 degrees. So the army Switched to a 1/12, and the rest , is history.

mljdeckard
November 21, 2008, 12:18 AM
Yes, they are getting the new sniper rifle to as many snipers as possible.

I aluded before, and I'll be more specific now,

I have petite female soldiers in my squad. I can absolutely assure you, their mission is critical in this war, and they do it as well as anyone else. I do not wish for one second they had any rifle other than the M-4/M-16. They are not physically capable of mastering that rifle, certainly not in full-auto fire. I retrained one of my female soldiers in the simulator, and her rifle score jumped from a 23 to a 38. (expert.) We did room-clearing last weekend, and she led my squad through the whole kill house successfully. NO OTHER SQUAD DID THIS. She's 5'1" and about 100. Now try making her do the same jobs with an M-14 or AR 10. There's a reason we have kept this rifle longer than any other rifle in the history of the Army. More people can do the job better with it than any other. It doesn't matter how powerful the bullet is if they can't hit the mark with it. Three SS 109s on the target is better than a whole M-14 magazine OFF the target.

HorseSoldier
November 21, 2008, 01:22 AM
They pantygriped that in supercold weather temps, if the flyboys had to ditch and drop out into survival mode, that the 1/14 ar twist was not accurate enough for them, and what they wanted to accomplish.

?

1-12 twist was ordered by the Army, not the USAF, after cold weather testing. 1-14 failed to yield sufficient accuracy for a general issue service rifle that might theoretically see service in a Russian winter (or at least repelling Russian troops in Norway and Alaska). I don't think any aircrews in the USAF except the rotary wing (enlisted) guys even carry ARs.

I'm not sure how many 5.56mm rounds have actually been fired in anger at temperatures below zero, though . . .

C-grunt
November 21, 2008, 01:32 AM
Iraq can get pretty damn cold. It also snows a lot in Afghanistan.

TRGRHPY
November 21, 2008, 02:31 AM
One of the major problems which was pointed out in some after action reports was the heavy use of drugs by enemy. Like the street guy on pcp, the enemy was taking shots that the brain wasn't registering. Is that a fault of the bullet design that merits a change in cartridge, or a unique situation for the territory alone where there should be intelligence passed on to the troops regarding this possible situation?

Jim Watson
November 21, 2008, 09:19 AM
If the .223 is so bad, why did the Russians go to the 5.45mm and the Communist Chinese a 5.8mm? The smallbores must have some advantage the armies aren't putting out on the internet.

Still 2 Many Choices!?
November 21, 2008, 10:56 AM
Yeah the small calibers do have something going for them, its called "logistics" LOL ;)!

Still 2 Many Choices!?

Vern Humphrey
November 21, 2008, 11:03 AM
You are much more able to get multiple hits with real assault rifles with auto or burst.

No. You are far less likely to get hits with full auto or burst fire.

In actual combat, full auto or burst fire substitutes for actual aiming. Aimed fire is what gets hits. Without hits, you have nothing.

Still 2 Many Choices!?
November 21, 2008, 11:09 AM
Mr. Vern, you forgot to add the exceptions to said rule:

1. Unless you are at "bad breathe distances",

2. If that auto gun comes standard with two or more of the following features:
a. Fed from linked ammo belts
b. Has bipod attatched as a standard piece of "kit"
c. Is crew served
D. Said auto gun is attatched to a vehicle...

Still 2 Many Choices!?

Vern Humphrey
November 21, 2008, 11:16 AM
A full auto belt-fed weapon mounted on a bipod, tripod, or vehicle can be highly effective. Hand-held weapons should not be used full auto, regardless of the range.

ccsniper
November 21, 2008, 11:31 AM
how is this not locked?

SnakeLogan
November 21, 2008, 12:52 PM
Even the article admits that the only way to instantly drop someone is a hit to the CNS which is why I don't understand why people use ARs as their go-to weapons for home defense. I love my AR, but the odds that I hit a bad guy's spinal column when I am COM are very slim.

Shawn Dodson
November 21, 2008, 01:13 PM
In actual combat, full auto or burst fire substitutes for actual aiming... In actual combat automatic fire is used to suppress enemy activity while friendly elements manuever to gain a position of advantage.

The M-14 was an attempt to make every soldier an automatic rifleman - in essence, providing what amounted to an M1 Garand and a Browning BAR in a single package. The 7.62x51mm cartridge is a relic of WWI trench warfare in which the enemy was engaged at great distances across "no man's land." It evolved from the 7.62x63mm (30.06) cartridge. 7.62x51mm has a use, but not for general issue assault rifles used in close-quarters and fast actions.

Cheers!

Vern Humphrey
November 21, 2008, 01:20 PM
In actual combat automatic fire is used to suppress enemy activity while friendly elements manuever to gain a position of advantage.

Full automatic fire from hand-held weapons is poor suppression.

After all, would you be suppressed merely because the enemy is making a lot of noise?

Suppressive fire is killing fire. You suppress the enemy by killing the guy next to him, thereby convincing him you'll do the same to him if he sticks his head up. If you don't kill the guy next to him, you don't convince him.

30mag
November 21, 2008, 02:02 PM
The real reason that the 5.56 round they are using aren't penetrating is because they are using FMJs

umm.. FMJs are the best PENETRATORS.

Did you mean that they aren't expanding?

Shawn Dodson
November 21, 2008, 02:36 PM
After all, would you be suppressed merely because the enemy is making a lot of noise? If the enemy is behind good cover and you have to maneuver to kill him, you pour automatic fire at him. If he's smart, and you should expect him to be, he'll hunker down to keep from being hit by any of the bullets that are landing around him. By keeping him preoccupied with not getting shot then it allows others to maneuver against him and kill him.

30mag
November 21, 2008, 04:23 PM
Funny that your presumption of your enemy being smart ends up with him dead.

mljdeckard
November 21, 2008, 06:17 PM
Vern, again, specifically in my soldiers' situation, they will have a very difficult time getting hits at all with an M-14. I train my soldiers with semi-auto fire only. The only time they will ever FEEL burst fire is in combat when I tell them to switch it to burst. (If at all.)

d2wing
November 22, 2008, 06:47 PM
I agree with Shawn. In 'Nam one of charlies tactics was to hit very fast and close in heavy cover then run like hell when we returned fire. The faster you could return fire the sooner he ran, which was a good thing because then he wasn't aiming at you. Suppressive fire is very important, because if you stand around waiting for a good target someone will put a bullet in you unless he is ducking for cover himself. Another reason why the M16 is a good choice. Unfortunately they were not considerate enough to to stand there so we could shoot them when we got ready. In my opinion when you need an M14, you need a M60 more. Which was my weapon of choice in convoys.

7.62X25mm
November 22, 2008, 07:09 PM
"I know for sure our troops have taken multi hits from 7.62x39mm and survived."


Of course, 7.62x39 has horrible terminal ballistics. It makes a good hole, but no explosion or expansion, providing it's FMJ.

Yeah but . . .

122 gr bullet running about 2,300 fps, and developing 1480 fpe is going to ruin most of your day.

It's highly effective at the ranges for which it's intended -- 300 yds. And it penetrates what needs to be penetrated, like car bodies, windshields, and structural walls.

100 Million AK-47's have been produced. There must be something to it.

Caliber Wars -- we can go back and forth on this forever. AND, I can strenuously argue either side.

:D

Google: Results 1 - 10 of about 210,000 for 7.62x39. (0.05 seconds)

2.
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223NATO or 7.62X39 which is better?: I personally own an SKS and love it, but when I was in the service I used the .223.
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HorseSoldier
November 22, 2008, 07:27 PM
100 Million AK-47's have been produced. There must be something to it.

The Russians also coined the phrase about good enough being the enemy of better (or is it best?) -- and they (and several of their fellow fraternal socialist workers' paradises back in the bad old days) gave AKs away by the literal ship load.

I'm not sure which nations that ended up adopting the AK or its offspring for military use selected it after any sort of open competitive testing. The Sig 550 series and the Galil (at least in Israel and some of the other nations using it) were. I'm drawing a blank as far as a more standard pattern AK, though there may be some nation that picked it as the best available from an open field of competitors.

mordechaianiliewicz
November 22, 2008, 07:50 PM
The truth is this. In modern combat, in a Western Developed Nation's Armed Froces, you don't just have guys with rifles, and pistols. You have guys with crew served weapons, heavy machineguns, grenades (both rocket propelled, and hand thrown), armour (often), and the ability to call in air strikes. You also have all manner of intermediate explosive ordnance. You have many options that are far more powerfull than any rifle with which to kill your enemy.

That being said, here is THE list:

7.62x39mm, 8x33 Kurz: These rounds didn't have very good ballistics, and there were better rounds in terms of ballistic coefficient, velocity, penetration, and stopping power. But, these were first generation rounds mated to first generation Assault Rifles. Over time, there have been alterations to these rounds (well, 7.62x39 moreso) to make them more anti-personnel lethal, especially the Yugoslavians, who ripped off the Brit .303 concept of a lighter weight tip. But, though the lethality can be increased by changing bullet construction to promote yaw, not much can be done to increase range, penetration, or ballistic coefficient. That being said, with the 7.62x39mm, you atleast do have a 120-130gr bullet flying at you, which within 200 yards works roughly as well as a .30-30.

7.62NATO, 7.62x54R,8mm Mauser, 7.7Jap, 6.5Swede,7.5Swiss (there are so many here): All of these cartridges are the old guard. They were great at penetration, range, a few had ballistic coefficients that still are hard to match. But, they were as has been pointed out, designed for a battlefield where your closest contact to the enemy might be watching a small figure fall out of view after a shot meant to go 700 yards. In the mechanized warfare world prevelant since WWII (really since the Spanish Civil War), these cartridges are antiquated simply because of the fact there can't be an easily controlled "switch," and it makes more since for a soldier to load up 300-400 rounds on him, than 50-100 when he is moving around, as opposed to the static conditions of WWI trenches. The fact that intermediate cartridges took as long as they did can be largely stacked up to military bureacracy and fuddy duddy-ism.

.223 Remington, 5.45Combloc, 5.8 Chinese: These "New Guard": cartridges are simply the result of refinements of the concepts learned in WWII, and the early 50s. .223 is a bad ass cartridge, as are 5.45 and 5.8 in terms of inparting yaw, and fragmentation. They are capable of inparting damage way out of proportion to their size... provided they expand properly. Provided they yaw when they are supposed to. A lot of that is dependent on bbl length, bullet weight, twist ratios. But, it comes down to mating the right cartridge to the right rifle. Sometimes, this has been done properly, other times, it has been done poorly.

Ultimately though there are only 3 truths on this subject:

#1.) You can't put rifles into a vacuum. In a vacuum, I am going to say a 6.5 to 8mm full power cartridge in a full blown semi-auto battlerifle is the best thing everrytime. But, that isn't the case. You have many factors. Basically, the other weapons available to the infantry.

#2.) There is comparison all day long between rifle cartridges, but the main thing is rifle vs. pistol. All rifles impart far more power than a pistol cartridge. All are rediculously deadly compared to pistol cartridges, and from that standpoint it is virtually impossible to go wrong with a rifle cartridge.

#3.) Never forget that it isn't just a round. It's the launching platform as well. A cartridge might be great, but not used in the right weapon. And vice-versa.

elmerfudd
November 22, 2008, 08:02 PM
Terminal ballistics aren't half as mysterious as some would have us believe. Generally, kinetic energy, frontal area, bullet construction and momentum will determine what kind of damage a bullet will do and if you've got more kinetic energy, frontal area and momentum, then you've always got the potential to do more damage with the right bullet construction.

The 7.62x39 has more of all three than the 5.56. If it doesn't do more damage, it's purely the result of a poorly designed or inappropriate bullet. Likewise the 7.62 NATO has more potential than the 7.62x39 and a .50 BMG with a frangible bullet would leave you looking like you were put through a blender.

BHP FAN
November 22, 2008, 08:08 PM
....and then you end up in Afghanistan,and you're back to shooting at that tiny figure who is sniping at you with a sixty year old Enfield,from six hundred yards away,and you're trying to reply with your 5.56 rifle.This is why every squad should have a designated marksman,armed with an M-14,who can reply in kind.

black_powder_Rob
November 22, 2008, 08:48 PM
can rapid (well aimed) single shots count as suppression fire? what about 3 round burst? Suppression fire does not mean full auto... just sayin.

d2wing
November 22, 2008, 09:42 PM
The main problem with the Ak in my experience is that you can't hit anything with it. You can debate all day about terminal ballistics. The 7.62x39 is a good round up too a couple hundred yards if you could hit anything with it. It has great penetration compared to the 5.56. The M16 is, in my experience with both, far superior in accuracy. Besides my combat experience I have hunted deer with both too. The 7.62x39 has enough killing power for deer in reasonable range with soft points, but the accuracy in both SKS and AK's has been very poor. Scopes are of little use on them because they group so poorly. I will take my hands off the keyboard and back away before I type something you won't like.

jackdanson
November 22, 2008, 10:03 PM
Hand-held weapons should not be used full auto, regardless of the range.

That isn't true, pistol caliber SMGs are quite effective at short ranges in FA. Furthermore if I was clearing a house/very close range with no chance of potential "innocent" casualites I would rather have FA than not. A burst of three at close range is substantially better than one. I'm talking under 7 yard range, by the way, not 25 yards, etc.

sortie
November 22, 2008, 11:30 PM
Three SS 109s on the target is better than a whole M-14 magazine OFF the target.


Um... the accuracy of the first round isnt affected by recoil

HorseSoldier
November 22, 2008, 11:40 PM
It is if you're trying to engage multiple targets.

mljdeckard
November 23, 2008, 01:23 PM
And if your soldiers are too small to handle an M-14 properly at all in the first place.

Quickill
November 23, 2008, 02:29 PM
And if your soldiers are too small to handle an M-14 properly at all in the first place.

Now I don't want to cast dispersions on any female or smaller stature person in service to the military or law enforcement, but I hate this type of logic.

I don't believe that we should downgrade our weaponry, ammunition, anything; just so a small percentage of our population can play along. I had always thought that the military or LE was designed to filter out those that could not handle that job and place them where they could best support those that could.

Again, I am not trying to put anybody down but, I think we should give the soldier or police officer the best tools available and if not everyone can handle them effectively, tough, your not cut out for the job, that's life.

HorseSoldier
November 23, 2008, 02:59 PM
I don't believe that we should downgrade our weaponry, ammunition or anything just so a small percentage of our population can play along. I had always thought that the military or LE was designed to filter out those that could not handle that job and place them where they could best support those that could.

Even if we ignore the various aspects of the 7.62x51 round that make it far from ideal for a service rifle cartridge downrange on actual battlefields, the unsuitability of 7.62x51 for intensive training aimed at producing high levels of skills for CQC range shooting (where almost all combat actually takes place) is not just limited to tiny female soldiers. I've done lots of training days where I shot 500+ rounds of 5.56mm, in some cases for days on end, and there isn't a whole lot of decline in training value from the beginning of the day or week to the end of it (or if there is it's not based on the weapons being fired, but on the heat or physicality of the training events, etc.).

Most of the guys who advocate 7.62x51 as a service rifle cartridge have never fired 500 or more rounds per day through their "main battle rifles" or whatever. On a couple of occasions, I have done flat range training with 7.62x51 guns shooting those kinds of round counts doing various combat marksmanship drills, and the simple reality is that however much of a hairy chested manly man you are about recoil when touching off that first round, your shoulder eventually gets turned into hamburger and the weapon system itself starts detracting from the training value.

We live in a world of finite resources, including range time, and that means it's going to be much harder to build shooting skills and muscle memory to employ the weapon effectively (again, ignoring the aspects of the round itself that limit its effective employment) when you can't get as much out of a training/range day.

If each dead or incapacited bad guy is the end result of a chain of events starting with target acquisition, leading to target engagement, and ending with terminal ballistic effects of the bullet(s) on him, the data from the real world is that the last part isn't the weak link in the chain. Poke a hole or two in a guy's thoracic cavity and he tends to check out of the fight, whatever size those holes are. Actually getting the holes punched in his chest in the first place is the weak point -- and adopting a caliber to fix a less broken part of the equation that is guaranteed to worsen the really broken part is just a big (and literal) step backwards.

SlamFire1
November 23, 2008, 03:09 PM
A friend of mine, a Vietnam vet, his son is in Iraq. I met his son. Son is a "Battalion Scout Sniper".

Son stated that he does not like using the .223 on targets more than 100 yards away, because "they don't stay down".

He is very positive about the effects of the 308, out to 200 yards, which is the limit in a big city.

The .223 sucks so bad that the Army is issuing 77 SMK's, a hollow point bullet, to increase the lethality of the round.

Back in the 60's, the proponents of the .223 were declaring the round was decapitating VC’s. Go read this in the 1964 Gun Digest.

Bigger is always better, the real issue is whether smaller is as good as bigger.

HorseSoldier
November 23, 2008, 03:20 PM
The .223 sucks so bad that the Army is issuing 77 SMK's, a hollow point bullet, to increase the lethality of the round.

Mk 262 is not a hollow point round, it's an open tip match (OTM) round with a standard, full-length lead bullet that features a pinhole in the nose because the jacket is applied base-to-nose rather than the more usual nose-to-base.

Also, Mk 262 is not in general issue use at all, even in SOF units most of the 5.56mm ammo being shot is standard green tip.

Quickill
November 23, 2008, 03:20 PM
HorseSoldier

I was not trying to insinuate that only "manly men" can handle training or recoil and the like. I was simpley trying to state that it should not enter the equation. I think 7.62 NATO has it's limitations as does 5.56. I simply wish to say we should look for what works best. If you start with that, the rest will work out.

Unfortunately, we never even try to look for the best, just "what works".

SlamFire1
November 23, 2008, 03:27 PM
Some here should remember how many times during the Vietnam war, the military said “the tide is turning”, “light is at the end of the tunnel”, “victory is at hand”. Didn’t we loose that war, too?

CONCLUSION
Soldiers and leaders everywhere should take heart from the fact
that despite all the myth and superstition surrounding their rifles
and ammunition, they are still being provided the best performing
weapons and ammunition available while the armaments
community works to develop something even better

http://wstiac.alionscience.com/pdf/WQV8N1_ART01.pdf

What a wonderful self serving summary. Here are two Major General Wanabee’s writing just how wonderful are the current issue arms and ammunition. What do you think would happed to MG Wannabees if they, representatives of the Army, put something out in public release that said “Snuffy, your ammo is garbage, and nothing can improve it” ?

I don't think it would have gotten published for one thing.

Don’t believe anything put out by the military industrial complex.

Float Pilot
November 23, 2008, 03:57 PM
the Vietnam war...Didn’t we loose that war, too?

No we did not. It was won on the battle field. It was surrendered by a Democrat congress and a bunch of pro-commie aggitators.

If you read the writing of all the communist leaders from the north (the enemy) they will affirm that they were on the ropes and crushed as an effective fighting force.
They were very surprised by how effective the communist backed protest, implanted red journalist and cowardly politicians in North America and Europe saved their bacon.

black_powder_Rob
November 23, 2008, 04:37 PM
My caliber is smaller than yours! :neener:

Paladin_Hammer
November 23, 2008, 04:38 PM
The simple fact of the matter is that in most states it wasn't all to long ago that the .223 Remingtion cartridge was BANNED for use in hunting White-tail deer because conservation departments nation-wide found the round lacked sufficient power to drop a deer in one shot. The newer, heavier rounds just barely meet standards to do so. Ask anyone who ever served in Veitnam, the 5.56 isn't a killing machine, its an accuracy machine. Hell, I haven't met a guy at the VFW in Kearney, MO, who said he thought he could kill someone with the 5.56 without hitting a vital part.

The real reason we are getting these reports is one of a few reasons:

A) The soldier/marine missed but thinks he hit the bad guy.

B) The soldier/marine did not get a good COM hit.

C) The soldier/marine doesnt really understand human physiology and has unreal expectations of what a gun should do to a person due to movies.

D) Some people by the grace of god survive things they shouldnt.

Thats got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

First off, MISSING with a 5.56? Maybe if the guy never shot before, but Marines and Army grunts these days are held to a high standard with their rifles. This isn't the day of the M1 Carbine, and these aren't AK-47's. Their M16s and M4s. These rifles are used in competitions all over the states because its hard NOT to hit something.

Second, a "good hit", you probably mean one to a vital. I'd like to see anyone in the face of danger stop and think about the shot he's making. Generally, you get your rifle on target and shoot.

Thirdly, you compare our men in Iraq and Afghanistan to kids? These guys don't go through over 6 months of training to think that their rifles have Hollywood's physics defying bullets in it. These aren't morons, their soldiers. You should think a little better of them.

Fourthly, getting shot in the body and having the bullet go straight through you IS NOT something you should survive, grace of god or otherwise. You shoot anyone in the body with a rifle caliber .303, .308, .270, or other caliber bigger than .22 (by at least .05 inches), and they WILL go down. The heavier bullet means it can store more energy, which in turn causes greater injury to the target upon impact. It's simple physics. If I threw a pen at you, you'd be a little agitated. Now, if I threw a rock at you, you'd bleed or have a broke bone. If I hit you with a car doing 40 mph or more, you'd probably be dead. Just use your common sense.

The reason you don't hear high praise of the .223 at Veterans Associations is because in combat, your best hope of getting a killing shot is to place one in the head or heart (or other vital organ). The reason it was unavailable for hunting purposes for years is because it lacked sufficient energy and mass to drop a deer in one shot if you didn't hit vitals.

The 7.62x39mm has been used for hunting since its appearance in the North American market because it retains the energy and has the mass to kill, within its ranges (usually that is 100 meters to 150 meters, depending on the weight and powder load). The reason the .270 Winchester is such a better killer is because it bullet's weight is enough that once combined with speed is enough to break bones and stop hearts upon impact. Hell, I shot my first buck with a .270, in the NECK, missed every vital part in said area, but the shear force of the round hitting the deer caused the wind pipe to rupture and tear open. I hunt with the 7.62x39 now (damn the price of .270), and I've got one doe, a shot to the upper back, the bullet missing the spinal cord directly (a little low). However, the hit itself causes the poor things back to break, and upon inspection I found that I'd broke a rib and that in turn cut into its chest organs, making the process of getting the organs out a real pain in the ass. But it did the job.

I've never seen anyone bring down a deer with a .223 in one shot who didn't end up chasing it all over the place. It can be done, but your pressing the limits of the cartridges design by using heavier bullets.

Vern Humphrey
November 23, 2008, 04:43 PM
can rapid (well aimed) single shots count as suppression fire? what about 3 round burst? Suppression fire does not mean full auto... just sayin.

Rapid, well-aimed single shots are the best suppressive fire. The trick is to understand the target -- I used an exercise where I would have my NCOs put out C-ration boxes in a tactical layout, then have two poles, one on either side of the target area, marking the limits.

A squad would take position and guide two assistant instructors as they raised or lowered a strip of Engineer tape on the poles, forming a horizontal line. When the troops agreed there could be no enemy below that line, they did the same with another tape. The troops signaled when they agreed there could be no enemy above that line.

For troops in a tactical position, the two tapes are very close together. We would then fill the "box" formed by the two tapes and two poles with rapid, but aimed shots.

Once troops learn to visualize things like this, defining a target area, and methodically shooting it up, their combat effectiveness goes way up.

black_powder_Rob
November 23, 2008, 05:00 PM
yep Vern, used the same tactic when playing paint ball. thats why i posted my original coment. ;)

HorseSoldier
November 23, 2008, 05:50 PM
Thats got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

The four points he raised are a pretty accurate summation of reality, actually.

First off, MISSING with a 5.56? Maybe if the guy never shot before, but Marines and Army grunts these days are held to a high standard with their rifles. This isn't the day of the M1 Carbine, and these aren't AK-47's. Their M16s and M4s. These rifles are used in competitions all over the states because its hard NOT to hit something.

Accuracy even among very well trained troops drops to next to nothing when it's done for real under life and death stress with rounds coming in as well as going out.

Second, a "good hit", you probably mean one to a vital. I'd like to see anyone in the face of danger stop and think about the shot he's making. Generally, you get your rifle on target and shoot.

"Good COM hit" = "Good center of mass hit" = "one to a vital."

The idea is that through sheer repetition and extensive training you build muscle memory and instinct to get guys to make fast shots at the target's COM/thoracic cavity. With any caliber this is the best compromise of speed, accuracy and terminal effects.

Thirdly, you compare our men in Iraq and Afghanistan to kids? These guys don't go through over 6 months of training to think that their rifles have Hollywood's physics defying bullets in it. These aren't morons, their soldiers. You should think a little better of them.

The guy whose post you're replying to is a soldier.

Having also been one for 15 years, I can personally say you'd probably be surprised what soldiers think on a lot of things. In regards to this particular topic, I can say I've met lots of guys whose pre-combat expectations of weapons performance and experience of real traumatic injuries are limited to Hollywood and video games. I've also met some guys with combat tours (who weren't in particularly gunslinger-ish duty positions) whose expectations and experience weren't much different.

Fourthly, getting shot in the body and having the bullet go straight through you IS NOT something you should survive, grace of god or otherwise. You shoot anyone in the body with a rifle caliber .303, .308, .270, or other caliber bigger than .22 (by at least .05 inches), and they WILL go down.

Actual evidence from the battlefield would indicate this simply is not true. As C-Grunt said, people can sometimes be bizarrely and remarkably hard to kill.

The key to doing so is actually having the mindset, tools, and ability to put multiple rounds into the target and inflict however much trauma is needed to kill them or take them out of the fight. Anything else goes back into those unrealistic expectations of weapons performance (which can apply to .30 caliber firearms just as easily as 5.56mm ones).


The heavier bullet means it can store more energy, which in turn causes greater injury to the target upon impact. It's simple physics. If I threw a pen at you, you'd be a little agitated. Now, if I threw a rock at you, you'd bleed or have a broke bone. If I hit you with a car doing 40 mph or more, you'd probably be dead. Just use your common sense.

Pretty much every study conducted in the last several decades has actually concluded that wound ballistics are only partially related the simple physics, so the examples are pretty provided are pretty irrelevant.

The reason you don't hear high praise of the .223 at Veterans Associations is because in combat, your best hope of getting a killing shot is to place one in the head or heart (or other vital organ).

For whatever reason(s), actually one tends to mostly hear complaints about the M16 and its ammunition from Vietnam era guys (and not all of them -- mostly just guys who were there when the M16's reliability issues were going on), and very little complaint about either from guys who've carried the weapon and ammo in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 7.62x39mm has been used for hunting since its appearance in the North American market because it retains the energy and has the mass to kill, within its ranges (usually that is 100 meters to 150 meters, depending on the weight and powder load).

Military issue 7.62x39 ammunition has a well documented reputation for poor wounding potential and inadequate terminal ballistic performance.

I've never seen anyone bring down a deer with a .223 in one shot who didn't end up chasing it all over the place.

I suppose our perspectives may be different since I don't know many people who've hunted deer with 5.56mm, but do know several who've killed or critically wounded jihadis with single hits to the torso from 5.56mm carbines.

d2wing
November 23, 2008, 09:44 PM
On November 8th I made a one shot kill on a 14 pt buck, 240 lbs with my .223, 55 gr psp. A short 40 yard trail. I tried to post pic but am having trouble with that.

mljdeckard
November 23, 2008, 10:39 PM
I would never tell my soldiers. female and petite or otherwise, to shoot anything ONCE. I would prefer that they not engage it at all. That's why we take infantry escorts. I would prefer that they call in indirect fire. But the reason they carry a rifle at all is in case they DO need to use it, and when that happens, it better be one that they can use effectively.

If we switched back to a heavy battle rifle, we would have to revert to older rifle training programs, basically what the Marines are doing now, extending training, costing more, and then you would have a whole generation of soldiers complaining about how much better they could shoot with the M-16, and how much they hate carrying the new rifle.

Soldiers will always complain. It's what they do.

"I don't believe that we should downgrade our weaponry, ammunition, anything; just so a small percentage of our population can play along. I had always thought that the military or LE was designed to filter out those that could not handle that job and place them where they could best support those that could.

Again, I am not trying to put anybody down but, I think we should give the soldier or police officer the best tools available and if not everyone can handle them effectively, tough, your not cut out for the job, that's life."

My soldiers aren't playing anything. They are among the best in the world at their job. You are glad they are doing it. The reality of this army, this war, this globe, and this enemy, is that we need people who can get paid for what they do from the neck up. NOT JUST THE NECK DOWN.

M&PVolk
November 23, 2008, 11:57 PM
The .223 is an effective cartridge. The 7.62x39 is an effective cartridge. The .223 has a clear advantage in weight and trajectory over the 7.62, while the 7.62 has a small edge in "stopping power" and penetration.

Also important in the discussion is delivery method. The AK is reliable as the sun coming up in the morning, but any hit beyond 100 yards is pure luck or spray and pray. The AR platform is more finicky, but a good hit at 300 yards or more is completely reasonable.

If I am assaulting a vehicle, heavily wooded area, or tiny space, give me the AK...for anything else, I will prefer the AR.

For all the cartridge arguing going on, both of these rounds are lethal and effective, pick the platform you like the best and go with it.

Al Thompson
November 24, 2008, 01:24 AM
You should think a little better of them.

Your arguing with "them". I agree with almost all Horse Soldier is posting. :)

Lucky
November 24, 2008, 03:22 AM
I'm no expert either, but I read Fackler (expert) say that the Stockton California shooting proves 7.62x39 is not one of the most effective calibers, while it proves 12ga buck is one. He even says military FMJ bullets are purposely less lethal, which everyone agrees they are, and the side-benefit (oft stated elsewhere) is that wounded require more resources than dead.

But isn't the point irrelevant? There's a lot of posts talking about lethal and survivable. Do people really worry about 'killing'? Or do they just want to make the other guy stop what he's doing, right now. That might be a harder standard to measure, but it sure makes more sense to me. You could put cyanide on your .22LR if you wanted to 'kill'. A sniper who posts elsewhere said he'd seen people shot COM at a distance with 5.56 and they did stop, but then started again after a bit. While people 1st-hand seen shot with 7.62x51 stopped and did not resume their activities. His sample size was small, but sure makes sense.

For the dual reasons that it more accurately describes the consequences intended, and it sounds more academic, I think writing 'stopping' or such is better than 'killing'.

And +1 for not wanting to be shot with anything at all.

C-grunt
November 24, 2008, 04:51 AM
Thats got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

First off, MISSING with a 5.56? Maybe if the guy never shot before, but Marines and Army grunts these days are held to a high standard with their rifles. This isn't the day of the M1 Carbine, and these aren't AK-47's. Their M16s and M4s. These rifles are used in competitions all over the states because its hard NOT to hit something.

Second, a "good hit", you probably mean one to a vital. I'd like to see anyone in the face of danger stop and think about the shot he's making. Generally, you get your rifle on target and shoot.

Thirdly, you compare our men in Iraq and Afghanistan to kids? These guys don't go through over 6 months of training to think that their rifles have Hollywood's physics defying bullets in it. These aren't morons, their soldiers. You should think a little better of them.

Fourthly, getting shot in the body and having the bullet go straight through you IS NOT something you should survive, grace of god or otherwise. You shoot anyone in the body with a rifle caliber .303, .308, .270, or other caliber bigger than .22 (by at least .05 inches), and they WILL go down. The heavier bullet means it can store more energy, which in turn causes greater injury to the target upon impact. It's simple physics. If I threw a pen at you, you'd be a little agitated. Now, if I threw a rock at you, you'd bleed or have a broke bone. If I hit you with a car doing 40 mph or more, you'd probably be dead. Just use your common sense

Ok first off just to let you know, my screen name stands for Charlie company Grunt. I got that because I spent my 4 years active duty in the Army in 2nd platoon C company 1/30 Infantry Battalion 3rd Brigade 3rd ID.

I was a SAW gunner during the initial invasion into Iraq and saw my fair share of combat there. During my second tour in 05 I was stationed at FOB Normandy near the Iran border. Only a few firefights there as the insurgents got their butts kicked big time when they tried that crap. LOTS of IEDs though. Most of my Command staff, ie 1st Seargent, CO, LTs and what not came from the Ranger Batts. My last 1st Sgt was with the 10th mntn unit that rescued the guys from the wholw Black Hawk Down fiasco. I NEVER ever ever heard anyone say anything about the lack of lethality of the 5.56. -in my unit-

Hell, in 05 we even had a SF group on our FOB with us. I got to know them as we played video games together. All of them carried M4s and !!!gasp!!!:what: Beretta 92s. Well one guy did have a nice 1911 and the sniper had a sweet custom 300 win mag. I asked them about there load outs and what they have experienced and you know what they said?

"If your aim is good, it doesnt really matter what you use. We use the M4 because its light, accurate and can be replaced easily if damaged. The Berettas are accurate and hold a lot of rounds. If Im low on ammo I can get some from your unit."....This is coming from some bad a** dudes right there. Scary good.

Now to tell the truth, before I went to combat I was a big skeptic of the 5.56. Hell I even went further and said we should all be shooting 7mm Rem Mags. After my experiences out in the desert I am a HUGE 5.56 fan. That doesnt mean I dislike the 7.62. In 05 I was a Humvee gunner as well and preferred the M240B even over the .50 M2.

C-grunt
November 24, 2008, 05:17 AM
As to my last statement in my original post about some people being extremely lucky and living through things they shouldnt, I have a story.

One night during my 05 tour we were out on patrol. My platoon was attached to a tank company at the time. Our convoy was Abrams, Bradley, Bradley and another Abrams at the rear. Keep those big boys up front. So the Iranians, I mean insurgents, decide its a nice night for a ambush via a nice suicide carbomb and RPG combo.

We are cruising along when a farming flatbed truck drives right up to the front of the lead tank and explodes. Luckily for the tank commander and loader who were out of the hatches a little bit, this suicide carbomber didnt know what the hell he was doing. All the bombs were just placed in the flatbed of the truck therefor the blast wasnt focused or contained. It destroyed the truck but did little damage to the tank or nearby buildings.

Well after the big explosion the driver side door of this twisted, burning truck opens and old Johny Jihadist jumps out. This guy is completely burned and still smoking a lot. He decides his work isnt very fun anymore and starts walking away. As you can imagine the tank commander is not to happy with mr car bomber so he quickly shoots him with his M4. Guy drops DRT. Shot to upper back.

While this is going on there is insurgent #2, we shall call him Mr. Lucky, in hiding in the palm grove to the right with his RPG. He firs it at the tank but misses high. The rocket went over the tank and hopefully flew return to sender back into Iran.

Well my buddy Mac, the gunner of the 1st Bradley (who is now SF), and the tank gunner decide to fire back with the coax as Mr Lucky is high tailing it through the thick palm groves. They lose sight of him through the thermals and assume he has made a getaway.

So I get out of my Bradley with my squad and clear the surrounding area. Now the guy we named Mr Lucky earlier wasnt named that because he got away. No he earned that name by being the only guy I have ever seen take a GOOD COM shot with a rifle round and survive. Being he was shot with a M240C (coax version) that round would be the venerable 7.62. The round entered his back just below his right shoulder blade and exited right near his left nipple. I dont know how he survived that shot, but we found him roughly 30 minutes after he was hit and he survived.

Sometimes a mix of a little strong will, higher power and maybe a little luck can go a long way.

Evil Monkey
November 24, 2008, 05:44 AM
Holy crap at C grunts story.

Some one is gonna come up and post "yeah he was lucky, most people would die, that example was the exception."

People never quit I swear....

vanfunk
November 24, 2008, 06:23 AM
Fourthly, getting shot in the body and having the bullet go straight through you IS NOT something you should survive, grace of god or otherwise. You shoot anyone in the body with a rifle caliber .303, .308, .270, or other caliber bigger than .22 (by at least .05 inches), and they WILL go down.

Huh? I am very pleased to say that this statement is elementally and completely untrue. Four of my family members served in WWI, two in WWII, ALL of them had the misfortune of being on the wrong end of German 8mm machine gun fire, ALL sustained COM wounds, ALL survived. None of the men were high on anything, save for adrenaline and perhaps, trench coffee brewed in a helmet. I can also tell you that it was not through the grace of God, or that of any deity for that matter, as these gents were dyed-in-the-wool heathens.

7.62mm NATO, nor any main battle cartridge, is not the mythical Hammer of Thor that it is often reputed to be. My family's story is not unique by any means either, as hundreds of thousands of vets can attest to as well.

Just my $.02

vanfunk

Beagle-zebub
November 24, 2008, 08:22 AM
I am very pleased to say that this statement is elementally and completely untrue. Four of my family members served in WWI, two in WWII, ALL of them had the misfortune of being on the wrong end of German 8mm machine gun fire, ALL sustained COM wounds, ALL survived. None of the men were high on anything, save for adrenaline and perhaps, trench coffee brewed in a helmet. I can also tell you that it was not through the grace of God, or that of any deity for that matter, as these gents were dyed-in-the-wool heathens.

That's a good account.

People hit in the heat of battle, from the stories I have sought out or otherwise heard, often times don't feel it at all, and invariably don't feel it the way people caught completely off guard (like back in the world) do. My friend's father was an SF medic, and thus got work in some ER in some Northwestern city like Portland, and the guy's experiences were that people who'd been shot reported being surprised by how much it hurt. I've read at least one account in which the person says that the bullet felt burning hot.

In combat, though, when the adrenaline is flowing, all sorts of crazy stuff can happen--one of my favorite stories is a guy who got passed a BAR on either Iwo Jima or Okinawa (while the regular BAR-man grabbed an idle 1919), and started firing away; after the firefight, he noticed one of his hands was burned like crazy on the palm-side. When he'd taken the BAR he was being passed, he'd unthinkingly grabbed it by the hot barrel, to which he was completely oblivious at the time.

That said, I've not heard much first-hand testimony that leads me to question the effectiveness of 5.56 NATO.

benEzra
November 24, 2008, 09:16 AM
Also important in the discussion is delivery method. The AK is reliable as the sun coming up in the morning, but any hit beyond 100 yards is pure luck or spray and pray.
Haven't shot AK's at range much, I take it?

An AK with crap ammunition will keep every round on a B21 target at 200 yards, slowfire; a good AK with good ammunition will stay on a basketball at that range. If someone is missing COM shots at 150 yards with an AK, it's because of the shooter, not the platform, and that individual would probably miss just as well with an M4.

d2wing
November 24, 2008, 02:11 PM
I differ with you greatly on AK accuracy. I have owned several and not one
could consistently group basketball size at 100 yards, much less 200. Maybe 50 yards. This is also the case on a recent military channel show. I am an Army qualified expert shot and NRA certified instructor. I currently own a Saiga version. I agree that it is a good weapon at close range and mass assault but accurate it is not. Hitting a basketball at 200 yards is not a high standard but it is exceptional for an AK in my experience and many others.

gregormeister
November 24, 2008, 02:38 PM
re-instate the 30-06, re-instate the 30-06, re-instate the 30-06...O.K. I'm done...

Lucky
November 24, 2008, 04:21 PM
Don't forget things like Autonomic dysreflexia that can happen when a bullet misses the spine but passes by it close enough for the wake to knock the neurons funny and the subject loses control of limbs. Probably not something to try at home but I've known a person who was subjected to a quick blow to the spine and they experience brief paralysis. So it seems any bullet that can penetrate a person and leave a wake will be able to knock a person down, and it's not unreasonable to suppose the bigger bullet with a bigger wake could be further from the spine and still have effect.

But if the bullet doesn't do the aforementioned things to cause permanent stoppage it probably doesn't make much difference.

elmerfudd
November 24, 2008, 07:46 PM
I differ with you greatly on AK accuracy. I have owned several and not one
could consistently group basketball size at 100 yards, much less 200. Maybe 50 yards.

If that's the case, then you're doing something wrong. I have owned 7 AK's and fired several others and every last one would shoot much better than basketball sized groups at 100 yards. My worst one, (MAK90), fired about 8" groups at 100 yards and I dumped it because of that. All of my remaining AK's, (4 Saigas, 1 PSL, 1 SAR3), will group under 3 MOA with their preferred ammo and under 6 MOA regardless of what I feed them. That's fairly typical AK accuracy.

If anyone would like me to, I'd be willing to meet sometime at the Tacoma Sportsman's Club and demonstrate either basketball sized groups out to 200 yards or 6 MOA groups, (about the same thing). I can guarantee those. If you want the 3 MOA groups I'll have to bring along the quality ammo and skip the morning coffee.

Using handloads and allowing the barrel to cool between shots, I've gotten fairly consistent sub 2 MOA groups out of my S308.

M&PVolk
November 24, 2008, 10:58 PM
Your experience differs greatly from mine, but I have a much smaller sample size. I have only shot two different AK's, one woody, one all synth and tricked out. Full auto would be a requirement to hit anything at 200 yards. They were very inaccurate. That said, the two others I know who have AK's seem to agree that my experience is the norm, not the exception. They love them, but believe them to be close quarters only.

Again, not hating on the AK at all, just stating that the AR and AK are two TOTALLY different rifles when it comes to accuracy and effective range.

elmerfudd
November 24, 2008, 11:41 PM
Again, not hating on the AK at all, just stating that the AR and AK are two TOTALLY different rifles when it comes to accuracy and effective range.

This is true, but not to half the extent that people make it out to be. In my experience, a typical M4gery made by Bushmaster, Olympic or one of the other reputable makers of lower end AR's is also about a 3 MOA weapon. Unlike the AK however, they usually have excellent iron sights and excellent scope mounting provisions and that means that the average shooter can make use of that 3 MOA, or should be able to anyway. The truth is I see plenty of AR shooters firing basketball sized patterns at 25 yards, but just like with the AK, that has nothing to do with their rifles. A smoothbore musket shooting a properly patched ball will shoot basketball sized groups at 50 yards, (they'll actually do somewhat better), so anytime someone tells you a rifled bore won't shoot better than that it means there's either something wrong with the rifle or the shooter.

The AR also has some features which really lend themselves to accurization, so it's no great feat to achieve 1 MOA out of an AR. Getting that kind of accuracy out of an AK would require a dedicated build by a talented gunsmith.

MartinS
November 25, 2008, 12:15 AM
http://www.gunsnet.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-66124.html

Scroll down to the post by YODA!#1:


C.E.Harris Quoted )
Approximate Extreme Spread for 10-Shot Groups, Estimated from
Measured Radial Standard Deviations, (assuming MR as .9xRSd and
ES as 3xMR) NRA Master gunners in favorable conditions adapted
from U.S. Army APG data, AMSAA Technical Report No. 440 , May 1987.

________7.62x39____5.45x39____5.56x45____5.56x45
________USSR PS___USSR PS___US M193___US M855
RANGE:___AK-47_____AK-74_____M16A1_____M16A2
(metres)
100_______4.8________3.5________2.7________2.7
200_______9.6________7.0________5.5________5.5
300______14.4_______10.5________8.9________8.6
400______19.6_______14.9_______12.8_______11.9
500______25.0_______19.6_______17.6_______16.0
600______30.6_______25.5_______23.0_______20.4

And just below.

Funderb
November 25, 2008, 12:42 AM
that was a fantastic article! I can tell that some of the posters of this thread did not read at all, or in any form the article before posting.

Wow, that is cool.

Kurt_D
November 25, 2008, 12:54 AM
rcmodel is onto something here; the origional ar's had a 1/14 twist for the 55 grainer, barely stable at all, and when it did hit flesh, tumbling began instantly.
Very ouchy. Some of those early reports from Viet nam with this setup where very gruesome. but who bi@$ched about them? The Airforce, which gave us the AR in the first place. They pantygriped that in supercold weather temps, if the flyboys had to ditch and drop out into survival mode, that the 1/14 ar twist was not accurate enough for them, and what they wanted to accomplish. I guess that was to be able to hit a snowshoe rabbit for food at 300 meters, apparently the stability was pretty much zero , in cold temps approaching or going below 32 degrees. So the army Switched to a 1/12, and the rest , is history.

No, rcmodel missed it completely. Twist rate has NOTHING to do with terminal balistics. I'm not going to dig up the formulas (I've seen it posted on AR15.com with actual numbers), but basically it takes way more rpm to stablize a bullet in water (most of human tissue) than air. A great deal more than even 1:7 can produce.

Facts are: 1) the 55 gr M193 fraged because of high velocity + thin jacket walls = the bullet couldn't hold up to the pressures as it yawed through flesh.
2) 55 gr doesn't always yaw consistantly.
3) drop the velocity below ~2600 fps by a short barrel or long range and the bullet doesn't frag.
4) the 62 gr ss109 bullet yaws and can frag too.
5) the 62 gr is slower than 55gr, shortening the fragmentation range. Multiply that effect by the use of shorter barrels and longer ranges. Notice most reports of M855 not being effective is from guys using M4 vs. M16.
6) 62 gr ss109 is even less consistant about yawing and fragmentation than it's 55 gr counterpart, and vary not only from lot to lot but from bullet to bullet.
7) the 77 gr SMK OTM used in MK262 is very consistant in yawing early in flesh and frags at a lower velocity than the other two bullets.
8) the 77 gr OTM has more mass to frag and, like the Russian 5.45x39, is a very long bullet with a air pocket in the tip.

source: http://ammo.ar15.com/ammo/project/term_tighttwist.html

Shawn Dodson
November 25, 2008, 12:08 PM
Lucky writes: Don't forget things like Autonomic dysreflexia that can happen when a bullet misses the spine but passes by it close enough for the wake to knock the neurons funny and the subject loses control of limbs

Blunt Trauma Concussion of Spinal Cord as Mechanism of Instantaneous Collapse Produced by Centerfire Rifle Bullet Wounds to the Torso

Why does a felon (or a large game animal) instantly collapse after being shot in the torso with a centerfire rifle bullet when the speed in which this occurs is obviously too quick to have been caused by substantial blood loss?

The reason is most likely due to the diameter of the temporary cavity produced by an expanding centerfire rifle bullet, combined with the location of the temporary cavity within the body. The temporary cavity produced by an expanding .30 caliber rifle bullet ranges between 7-9 inches in diameter, which is about the diameter of a volleyball. Violent displacement of such a large mass of tissue within the thoracic or abdominal cavity can cause the spinal bones to collide forcefully against the spinal cord, disrupting nerve transmissions and causing instantaneous flaccid paralysis, in which the felon (or animal) drops in his tracks like a rock.1 The effect is indistinguishable from a shot that physically severs the spinal cord. Once the felon (or animal) is down, the effects of blood loss take over and a complete loss of consciousness may occur in a matter of seconds.

The location of the temporary cavity is an important component of this mechanism, especially with large game animals. A shot that impacts and penetrates low in the chest of an animal may not have the same effect as a shot that hits the middle or upper chest closer to the spinal column. This explains why some animals instantly collapse, and why others might run until blood loss finally brings them down.

The temporary cavity produced by common combat handgun cartridges, even high-velocity loads like MagSafe, is too small to produce this effect. Handgun bullets simply cannot duplicate the wounding effects of centerfire rifle bullets.

For comparison purposes, an expanding .223 Remington bullet produces a temporary cavity that is approximately 5 inches in diameter, and the high-velocity (1700+ fps) MagSafe .45 ACP Defender handgun bullet produces a baseball-sized temporary cavity slightly less than 4 inches in diameter. Although the temporary cavity of the 223 cartridge can produce blunt trauma concussion of the spinal cord, the effect is less reliable because it is highly dependent on shot placement and the location where the temporary cavity is formed in the body. In 1989, an Alexandria, Virginia police officer was killed when a .223 bullet failed to quickly incapacitate a felon who was high on PCP and cocaine, and holding a 12 gauge shotgun to the head of a civilian hostage. According to the police report, the bullet "...struck [the felon's] back in the center of his torso, grazed a vertebrae, severed the aorta, penetrated his right lung and liver, and exited his body in the right abdominal area." As he fell to the ground, he fired a shot from his pump-action 12 gauge shotgun directly into the face of a nearby SWAT officer killing him. He was able to pump the shotgun’s action and wound a second officer before he was finally stopped.2 (The second officer committed suicide a couple of years afterward as a result of the incident.)

Endnotes

Fackler, Martin L., M.D.: "Incapacitation Time." Wound Ballistics Review 4(1), Spring 1999; 4-8.
Walts, Earl, Lt.: "Report on the Special Investigation of the March 22, 1989 Incident at 316 Hopkins Court." City of Alexandria, Virginia; April 3, 1989; 12 pages.

benEzra
November 25, 2008, 12:16 PM
Your experience differs greatly from mine, but I have a much smaller sample size. I have only shot two different AK's, one woody, one all synth and tricked out. Full auto would be a requirement to hit anything at 200 yards. They were very inaccurate. That said, the two others I know who have AK's seem to agree that my experience is the norm, not the exception. They love them, but believe them to be close quarters only.
I would suggest that the problem there is either lack of experience with AK sights, improper muzzle support, poor trigger technique, a supremely defective rifle (or most likely) a self-fulfilling expectation of inaccuracy.

My cheap Romanian SAR-1 with the cheapest crap-awful Norinco ammunition will keep every shot on a B-21 target at 200 yards. Wolf 122-grain Wolf JHP (not known for accuracy either) will do considerably better.

BornAgainBullseye
November 25, 2008, 12:20 PM
I have owned 2 romanian AK's one was a SAR-1 and the other I built from a Romanian G parts kit. From a rest or prone supported I can put 30 holes in a paper plate at 100 yards per 30 round mag. Can somebody tell me how that is luck or spray and pray???

Art Eatman
November 25, 2008, 12:53 PM
The thread's subject is small-bullet lethality, not about 7.62s...

benEzra
November 25, 2008, 01:08 PM
Sorry, Art...

Getting back on track, there are really two separate questions here.

(1) Is 5.56x45mm 62gr FMJ (as currently issued) an adequate round for military infantry use, and if not, (a) are there any better performing FMJ's in that caliber, and (b) do the alleged shortcomings of 5.56x45mm justify a change to a larger caliber?

(2) Are 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington civilian JHP's and SP's adequate for general civilian defensive and law enforcement use?

To me, the answer to question (2) is unequivocally yes. (1) is much more subjective, IMO. But .223 JHP/SP are consistently good performers in gelatin and have proven so in actual police use as well.

hank327
November 25, 2008, 01:53 PM
IMO, I think the military would be better off going back to the old M193 55 grn FMJ round. It has a higher muzzle velocity and is more likely to yaw and fragment than the current 62 grn round. IIRC, the current round was developed to increase the 5.56mm ability to defeat body armor and helmets at an increased range than the M193. The rifle used at the time was the M16A2 with a 20 inch barrel and not the current M4 with its stubby 14.5 incher. So it's not surprising that the resultant loss of velocity has resulted in a decrease in lethality especially at anything over close range. So why not return to the M193 which has had a pretty fair reputation when compared to the 62 grainer? Especially since the likelyhood that we will be fighting body armored infantry is basically zero these days.

Does anyone know what the Marine's experience has been with the standard 62 grain FMJ out of their M16A4s? I would think that they have had significantly better results with that rifle.

SnakeLogan
November 25, 2008, 02:25 PM
Don't forget things like Autonomic dysreflexia that can happen when a bullet misses the spine but passes by it close enough for the wake to knock the neurons funny and the subject loses control of limbs. Probably not something to try at home but I've known a person who was subjected to a quick blow to the spine and they experience brief paralysis. So it seems any bullet that can penetrate a person and leave a wake will be able to knock a person down, and it's not unreasonable to suppose the bigger bullet with a bigger wake could be further from the spine and still have effect.


Which is why I believe the bullet's temporary cavity should occur late (approximately where the spinal column on the average BG is).

HorseSoldier
November 25, 2008, 02:53 PM
IMO, I think the military would be better off going back to the old M193 55 grn FMJ round. It has a higher muzzle velocity and is more likely to yaw and fragment than the current 62 grn round. IIRC, the current round was developed to increase the 5.56mm ability to defeat body armor and helmets at an increased range than the M193.

If we were going to switch, I'd think we'd be better served by going to the 77 grain Mk 262 (or a downgraded mass production version -- every guy with a gun doesn't need sniper rifle precision and match grade ammo). Either 55 grain or 77 grain without the steel core penetrator gives up some ability to penetrate cover as well as armor, though.


Does anyone know what the Marine's experience has been with the standard 62 grain FMJ out of their M16A4s? I would think that they have had significantly better results with that rifle.

I'm not aware of any studies translating theoretical fragmentation ranges and all that into an actual variation in battlefield lethality between 20", 14.5" and shorter barrels used by different end users.

Though this lack may reflect the fact that most engagements in Iraq are occurring at extremely close range (if I remember right, a USMC study found that average engagement range was 31 meters). Also, firefights usually aren't subject to definitive CSI sort of study and reconstruction, so lethality at longer range is going to be a fairly murky topic in most cases.

Which is why I believe the bullet's temporary cavity should occur late (approximately where the spinal column on the average BG is).

This assumes that the bad guy you're shooting at is upright and advancing directly at you in a pose similar to a ISPC paper target. Actual engagements involve major variations in target posture (i.e. prone, crouched to use cover, etc), direction of engagement can be pretty close to anything in terms of both horizontal and vertical relationship between shooter and target, and actual angle of attack of the bullet hitting the bad guy can vary (and result in dramatically different ballistic effects, as the paper in the link points out).

elmerfudd
November 25, 2008, 03:18 PM
(2) Are 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington civilian JHP's and SP's adequate for general civilian defensive and law enforcement use?

To me, the answer to question (2) is unequivocally yes. (1) is much more subjective, IMO. But .223 JHP/SP are consistently good performers in gelatin and have proven so in actual police use as well.

Actually, I'd reverse your answer. I'm not a big fan of the .223/5.56, but I think it is better suited to the infantryman than the civilian. Soldiers have fully automatic weapons and have to carry their ammunition with them and the 5.56 is both lightweight and very controllable on full auto.

As a civilian however, I don't have access to full auto and I can't envision any firefight I would ever be in which would require more than a couple of mags. So for me, those two issues, which are extremely important to the military, are incidental.

Ringtail
November 25, 2008, 10:28 PM
I am not a soldier, have no combat experence and cannot comment on the combat effictivness of the 5.56mm cartridge. I also have the greatest respect for the service and scarifice of soldiers in every branch of the service. However, mijdeckard,s comments earlier in this thread reminded me of an experince recently at a rifle qual that changed my opinion of the M16 and 5.56 cartridge.

About 30 solides were qualifing with the M16A2, there were 14 rifles for qualification and one M249 SAW for familiarization firing. These soliders had all been through basic training and many had been deployed to Iraq, some had been over there more than once. During the exercise I made several observations that were, at the very least, eye opening.

Of the 30 or so trying to qualify, 3 shot expert, one shot high sharpshooter, and the rest shot marksman or were unable to qualify at all. The target was the standard 25 yard reduced target. I observed many soldiers that didn't know how to adjust the sights on their rifle. One individual couldn't get any evelation adjustment out of his front sight because it was broken. When I suggested that his back sight had plenty of elevation in it to get him in the black he declined my advice, had his sgt. tinker with the sight and eventually failed the qual because his rifle wasn't zeroed. Another solider was unable to zero his rifle because his 25 yd. "groups" were so large it was impossible to find the center and make a useful sight adjustment.

To be fair these soliders were part of an engineering bat. Even so I was suprised at the lack of enthusiasm for rifles and marksmanship. Even more surprising to me, when it came time to break out the SAW, no one wanted to try it out. Maybe after you shoot one enough the new wears off, but these guys didn't have that much collective trigger time on a SAW.

I don't want to sound critical and I have been intentionally vauge with the details, but if you can't shoot an M16 you probably can't shoot any rifle. I can only imagine what the outcome would have been if these guys had been trying to qualify with an M1 or M14. I would also not want to the the person in the Army responsible for training 1000s of new recruites to a minimum standard of marksmanship. If I was that person the M16 would be the only rifle I would want. I don't know how they did it back in the day of the M14, but in this modern age we live in marksmanship doesn't seem to come naturally to a lot of people including cops and soldiers.

If the M16 and 5.56 round are lacking in combat effictivness there must be another reason it is still in service after over 40 years. Only hits count and it seems to me that the modern solider needs all the help he can get when it comes to putting rounds on target.

kcmarine
November 25, 2008, 11:16 PM
Hm... can't we end this argument by issuing the 6.8 or something? I mean... that'd shut the 7.62 (39 or 51) devotees up... and we could keep the M16A4...

HorseSoldier
November 25, 2008, 11:24 PM
To be fair these soliders were part of an engineering bat. Even so I was suprised at the lack of enthusiasm for rifles and marksmanship.

In a lot of duty positions, it can be hard to build real competence with weapons if your only training is what the military says you need. (It's also possible to be downright phobic about weapons and get by okay in some jobs, strangely enough.) This has gotten better in the last few years, though it sounds like the unit you observed was not where it needed to be yet.

Even more surprising to me, when it came time to break out the SAW, no one wanted to try it out. Maybe after you shoot one enough the new wears off, but these guys didn't have that much collective trigger time on a SAW.

Did the guys who shot the SAW have to clean it? ;)

Ringtail
November 25, 2008, 11:41 PM
HorseSolider,

If that was all that held them back, they should have taken a turn on it because they wound up having to clean it anyway. :)

C-grunt
November 26, 2008, 04:23 AM
I think we should switch to a heavier grain bullet. Its not that I dont think the M855 is good, because it is, I just believe a 70+ grain bullet would be better. They tend to have better on target ballistics and would be more lethal at longer range in my opinion.

A large portion of the Army, including most of my division (3rd ID) didnt have the M4s. We had mostly M16A4s and the only ones, for the most part, that had the carbines were officers, tankers and people in special roles (ie snipers).

Hell a good many of the Marines I happened across had M16A2s still.

C-grunt
November 26, 2008, 04:29 AM
If we need to replace any weapon in the inventory its the SAW. Each one has its own little quirks that the gunner learned to keep it running. Mine hated being squeaky clean and didnt like under 5 shot bursts. Once I learned my SAWs quirks in 03 it ran great. We did a live fire exercise and I went through 3 boxes, 200 rounds each, in about two minutes with only one malfunction. My team leader said if I could lay down good suppressive fire he would help me clean it afterwards. Aimed 100 round bursts was pretty good suppressive fire.

Al Thompson
November 27, 2008, 02:31 AM
Still lots of 16A2s in rear units. :) I see'em everyday.

alsaqr
November 27, 2008, 06:47 AM
IMO, I think the military would be better off going back to the old M193 55 grn FMJ round. It has a higher muzzle velocity and is more likely to yaw and fragment than the current 62 grn round. IIRC, the current round was developed to increase the 5.56mm ability to defeat body armor and helmets at an increased range than the M193.


+1

I often kill hogs with a .223 and the M193 ball round, sometimes very big hogs. Have killed dozens of hogs with that round: Most were bang flops. My aiming point is always the same; low behind the shoulder.

You are exactly right about the yawing. Whether or not the bullet hits a rib, it penetrates about 5-6 inches, turns sideways and breaks apart at the cannelure.

When the bullet breaks apart, the fragments shred the lungs and heart. Often the diaphram and liver are also torn by fragments. Usually the only recognizable part of the bullet is the flattened nose. The bullet expends all of its energy within the body of the animal.

At ranges in excess of about 200 yards from the 22 inch barrel of my CZ rifle, much of the bullets magic is gone: While the bullet still yaws, it does not fragment as much as it does at closer ranges.

d2wing
November 28, 2008, 02:27 PM
As a recent convert from 30-06 and 7mm for deer hunting to an AR15 in 5.56/.223 I appreciate all the good info here. I am happy with the results useing 55 gr psp ammo on deer.

AAtkinson
January 30, 2010, 12:42 AM
Hello all,
Im new to this and realize this is an old thread but Ive been doing some reading in various forums on the comparisons between .223 and 7.62x39, as Im trying to decide between the two in a Saiga... I just finished reading this which may be of some interest...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2004/08/the_last_big_lie_of_vietnam_ki.html

Maverick223
January 30, 2010, 12:49 AM
AAtkinson, welcome to THR, but I would highly recommend that you start a completely new thread rather than revive one that is long dead such as this one.

FWIW, I would choose the 7.62x39mm because it is an AK, this is not to suggest that the .223Rem/5.56NATO is inferior in any way, just my preference for this particular platform. In most other platforms I generally I prefer the .223, due to logistics (magazines, et al), and many other platforms were designed with this American cartridge as a standard chambering and later modified to accept the 7.62x39mm (conversely the opposite is true with respect to the AK platform).

:)

52grain
January 30, 2010, 10:07 AM
There is a very good discussion of this in Alexander Rose's American Rifle. Originally, the AR-15 had a 1:14 twist and some of the early prototypes produced by Colt were even slower. The unstable bullet caused massive wounds- which were worse than the 7.62 NATO. The cult of accuracy forced a faster twist rate so that the gun could be used accurately at longer distances. Also there was some research by the Army that showed that wound severity had more to do with velocity than bullet weight or caliber.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 30, 2010, 10:42 AM
There is a very good discussion of this in Alexander Rose's American Rifle. Originally, the AR-15 had a 1:14 twist and some of the early prototypes produced by Colt were even slower. The unstable bullet caused massive wounds- which were worse than the 7.62 NATO. The cult of accuracy forced a faster twist rate so that the gun could be used accurately at longer distances.

To the extent that Alexander Rose or anyone else suggests that the twist rate is responsible for whether a spitzer bullet upsets in flesh, they do not understand basic principles of science and are horribly wrong.

Recommended reading on this subject:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=449255&highlight=twist+upset
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=382884&highlight=twist+upset

RedLion
January 30, 2010, 12:40 PM
It is time the Department of Defense recognizes this 'Big Lie' from the Vietnam War and in the names of MSgt Kevin N. Morehead and SFC William M. Bennett replaces this varmint cartridge with one that gives our warriors that critical capability described by SFC Paul Howe above——one—round knockdown power!

I'm pretty sure the author of this article will never be satisfied with any .308 or larger round because no bullet can provide "one round knockdown power".

alsaqr
January 30, 2010, 01:05 PM
To the extent that Alexander Rose or anyone else suggests that the twist rate is responsible for whether a spitzer bullet upsets in flesh, they do not understand basic principles of science and are horribly wrong.

Bingo!!!

The guy is talking trash.

RebelRabbi
January 30, 2010, 01:09 PM
This article infers that the 7.62x51 and the 5.56x45 are EQUAL in Terminal Performance. That is perhaps the most ignorant statement I have ever read on this subject.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 30, 2010, 01:18 PM
This article infers that the 7.62x51 and the 5.56x45 are EQUAL in Terminal Performance.

The article states that the 7.62x51 M80 round is in the same band of performance as the tested 5.56 rounds, which seems to be correct. However, the article states they did not test any other 7.62x51 (such as the M118LR 7.62x51 or any commercial 7.62x51).

In any case, the more interesting part of this article is the stuff they omitted. Check out Shawn Dodson's post of DocGKR's comments on that.

lopezni
January 30, 2010, 10:24 PM
What they need to do, if they want to stay with the 5.56. Go to a bullpup design, like the rest on NATO. The MSAR, made in Pennsylvania, offers a rifle with a 20" barrel that is around 3" shorter than the M4. I think they should develop a cartridge around a 80gr 6mm bullet. It could offer a bullet with more energy than a 5.56 and a higher BC. They won't though, so...

Maverick223
January 30, 2010, 10:30 PM
What they need to do, if they want to stay with the 5.56. Go to a bullpup design, like the rest on NATO.Amen...long bbl...short OAL, all in a BP package full of tasty goodness...what's not to like?

:)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 30, 2010, 10:56 PM
What they need to do, if they want to stay with the 5.56. Go to a bullpup design, like the rest on NATO. The MSAR, made in Pennsylvania, offers a rifle with a 20" barrel that is around 3" shorter than the M4. I think they should develop a cartridge around a 80gr 6mm bullet. It could offer a bullet with more energy than a 5.56 and a higher BC.

+1 and +2, yeppers.

HorseSoldier
January 30, 2010, 11:28 PM
The bigger problem is detecting a target, positively ID'ing him as a bad guy, and getting hits on him in the first place -- and 308 doesn't help with any of that (and actually hinders the last if you look at multiple shot strings).

A longer barrel helps with ballistics of current .mil ammo, but rather than a new weapon, we could get pretty much the same effect by fielding ammo designed for optimal performance out of a 14.5" barrel, instead of shooting ammo built for 20" barrels through carbines.

Mr. T
January 31, 2010, 04:35 PM
Dear Japaneezy, I've got news for you our boys have been using BTHP's for awhile now in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's why they're so hard to come by in the civilian market right now.

Mr. T
January 31, 2010, 04:42 PM
Ballistic Energy is what you need to look at. Yes the 5.56 NATO round will rip flesh and yes it can kill people...but so can a .22 LR...can't say I'd necessarily want to take a .22 LR to war -- but then again it would be better than nothing. Some bean counter named McNamara made the decision to go to the 5.56 NATO back in Viet Nam and our military hasn't looked back since. If the troops had their choice in weapon calibers I would wager that most would select something in the .243 to 6.8mm range, or maybe even .308 range. One thing a smaller caliber does allow our troops to achieve is fire superiority at an economical price. But other than that it is not the most effective caliber our military has ever selected. Just my 3 cents worth.

Shadow Man
January 31, 2010, 04:46 PM
I've got news for you our boys have been using BTHP's for awhile now in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's why they're so hard to come by in the civilian market right now.

Really now? I was aware of BTOTM (Boat Tail Open Tip Match) and while they bear a similar resemblence to BTHP, they are a far cry from HP's. Not having shopped for HP 5.56x45mm rounds lately, I couldn't comment upon their availability.

However...Maverick was right; I would welcome a new thread about this, because this one is long, long dead, and I don't look forward to having to wade through 5 pages of posts to add anything useful to this conversation. So, AAtkinson, feel free to start a new thread along these same lines, and welcome to THR.

Mr. T
January 31, 2010, 04:52 PM
A buddy of mine works for Federal Cartridge Company and he says that the military has been buying the BTHP's up big time. I don't know if the regular G.I. is getting this stuff but I do know that the Spec. Ops boys are using them. The BTOTM doesn't have the scribing that the BTHP's do typically so you don't get the same "Mushroom" effect that you would out of a typical BTHP; at least that's what I've been told.

Zerodefect
January 31, 2010, 05:18 PM
The newer 5.56 77gn OTM's do work well out of a 16" 1/7 barrel. I'd feel better using that than M855.

The 5.56 is plenty for 200 and less. The heavier 110gn 6.8spc might be a better choice. But I don't think that 5.56 is weak. 6.8 is more powerul, but is it more effective than the new 77gn OTM rounds? I'm not sure. Also the 6.8 has to go faster than 2600fps to work well.

As for the Ak's 7.62x39 the holdover required to get on target at 100 and 200 yards is 2 times more than the Ar's 5.56, thats crazy. Trying to get an optic to stay in place on an Ak is an exercise in futility. I have alot of trouble shooting an Ak. To me the Ak and its round are rubbish for anything past 70 yards.

As for 7.62 in the FN Scar heavy, Larue OTM, Ar10 etc, is it really needed? there is more than one way to skin a cat when the baddies are 300+ yards away.

Mr. T
January 31, 2010, 05:29 PM
Yeah I agree with you Zero Defect maybe something in the .30 cal range. Personally I like the .338 Lapua or maybe even the .408 Cheytac.

Shadow Man
January 31, 2010, 05:54 PM
Well, I don't want to call your buddy a liar, so I'll just say that I've never seen any BTHP's in theatre, and I personally wouldn't want to use them. Natives in both areas wear very heavy articles of clothing, one group to keep the heat out, the other to keep it in, and I'd be very concerned about a HP prematurely opening on that thickly weaved material.

d2wing
January 31, 2010, 08:00 PM
One concern is running out of ammo. If you were out on patrol and at M14 or
M16 rate of fire, would you rather have 80 rounds or 200 if you got caught in a prolonged battle or seige or multiple engagements without resupply. A rifle with ammo is much better than a plastic club. No question the 7.62 is more powerful and has a greater effective range. Also an M16 is better if you have to shoot out of a confined space or ackward position.

benEzra
January 31, 2010, 10:01 PM
Well, I don't want to call your buddy a liar, so I'll just say that I've never seen any BTHP's in theatre, and I personally wouldn't want to use them. Natives in both areas wear very heavy articles of clothing, one group to keep the heat out, the other to keep it in, and I'd be very concerned about a HP prematurely opening on that thickly weaved material.
I've heard quite a few people refer to the Mk 262 Mod 1 77-grainers as "hollowpoints," unaware that the fact that it has an open tip doesn't make function like a true hollowpoint. Sounds like a really good load.

http://www.gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satellite/IMO_GA/Story_C/Black+Hills+Mk+262+Mod+1

Shadow Man
January 31, 2010, 10:05 PM
I've heard quite a few people refer to the Mk 262 Mod 1 77-grainers as "hollowpoints," unaware that the fact that it has an open tip doesn't make function like a true hollowpoint. Sounds like a really good load.

I've heard that the surgeons say a wound with a Mk 262 Mod 1 looks like it has been made by a 7.62x51, not a 5.56x45. If I'm using a 5.56 platform, I prefer the Mk 262.

Casefull
January 31, 2010, 10:29 PM
My son is in the army and shoots the 5.56 SAW and the 240 mg which is 7.62. He says the ammo is obviously heavier and the 7.62 is also a little heavier than the smaller saw. He also says the 5.56 jams all the time( I do not know if this is typical) The larger 7.62 works very well he says. He shot 38 out of 40 in qualifying and his buddy who was company champ shot 39. They both had jams that cost them 1 point. They had new colt m4's. He likes the m4. If I was deployed I would want my rra 308. The damage the 30 caliber 150 g bullet does on most materials is just plain better than the 55g 5.56.
I do not find the recoil that much worse...Although my daughter who shot 5.56 in the air force would probably notice the extra recoil.

Maverick223
January 31, 2010, 10:33 PM
I've heard quite a few people refer to the Mk 262 Mod 1 77-grainers as "hollowpoints," unaware that the fact that it has an open tip doesn't make function like a true hollowpoint. Sounds like a really good load.Well technically they are HPs (even if not designed to expand), but they certainly aren't standard grunt ammunition. I am considering getting some, but fear that they won't properly stabilize in my 21.5in. 1:9in. twist barrel.

:)

noob_shooter
January 31, 2010, 10:45 PM
The real reason that the 5.56 round they are using aren't penetrating is because they are using FMJs... the Hague treaty (which the US subscribes to) will not allow our soldiers to use the increased stopping power of the hollow point, expanding, or frangible ammo that we civilians currently enjoy for home defense and hunting.

why not? it's a war isn't it? I was watching Snipers on some channel a while ago and one of the US sniper used a frangile/exploding 50BMG to dispose of 2 enemies behind a brick wall...

Gungnir
January 31, 2010, 11:37 PM
The real reason that the 5.56 round they are using aren't penetrating is because they are using FMJs... the Hague treaty (which the US subscribes to) will not allow our soldiers to use the increased stopping power of the hollow point, expanding, or frangible ammo that we civilians currently enjoy for home defense and hunting.
why not? it's a war isn't it? I was watching Snipers on some channel a while ago and one of the US sniper used a frangile/exploding 50BMG to dispose of 2 enemies behind a brick wall...

This is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin... :banghead:

Shadow Man
February 1, 2010, 04:27 PM
why not? it's a war isn't it? I was watching Snipers on some channel a while ago and one of the US sniper used a frangile/exploding 50BMG to dispose of 2 enemies behind a brick wall...

That was not explosive or frangible ammunition. It was called a Raufus Round, and it was designed to provide greater damage when making anti-material shots. EOD guys find them very useful for long-range mine disposal. Like all things military, they find other uses for them (like anti-armor TOW rounds being used to take out buildings).

And yes, it is a war, and while rules in a war seem kind of misplaced, the US follows the Hague Convention, which outlaws the use of certain kinds of ammunition, regardless of what you see or hear on TV, or hear being gossiped about at the range or gunstore.

Maverick223
February 1, 2010, 04:42 PM
why not? it's a war isn't it?Like it or not, we are an example for other nations, and as a respectable nation, we must maintain a policy to uphold the laws of war in hopes that others will follow.

:)

happygeek
February 2, 2010, 07:11 PM
I read the Wikipedia article on terminal ballistics awhile back, and was wincing the whole time I read it. I'm no doctor and couldn't tell you much of anything about wound channels, but I dang sure don't want to get shot with even a .17 rimfire. One guy who shall remain nameless was saying one time that if he ever got shot in the butt that he'd want to get shot in the leg too, just so he wouldn't be in the aid station for a bullet in the butt. I told him I'd want to get shot in the plate, and with something smaller than 7.62. Heck, I'd want to get shot in the MRAP, if I ever got shot, God forbid.

Another co-worker who shall remain nameless was mocking my M4orgery in 22LR one time. I asked him "if it's so ineffective, can I shoot you in the leg with it?".

In my un-expert opinion, I'd say there's about zero chance of the Army going to something like the 6.8 anytime soon. Logistics alone pretty much rule it out.

Shadow Man
February 2, 2010, 08:11 PM
In my un-expert opinion, I'd say there's about zero chance of the Army going to something like the 6.8 anytime soon. Logistics alone pretty much rule it out.

Yuuup. Similar to how the .276 Pederson was rejected because of the large stockpile of .30-'06 already on hand on the eve of war. We won't change calibers because we already have a massive reserve of 5.56x45, and since there's a war on, we'll keep ordering more 5.56x45. Don't expect to begin to see things change until the war winds down.

happygeek
February 2, 2010, 09:30 PM
If the Army does take the SCAR-L up in any numbers, the transition would be a lot less rocky, since it uses the same ammo and even the same mags.

By the way, what kind of mags does the SCAR-H use? FAL mags, M14 mags, or doe it take it's own completely new mag?

Shadow Man
February 2, 2010, 10:14 PM
Fairly certain the SCAR-H uses its own propritary magazine. I could be wrong, but, it doesn't look like any standard 7.62x51mm magazine I've seen. Unless it's the AR10/SR25 style magazine...that's possible.

Maverick223
February 2, 2010, 10:17 PM
Fairly certain the SCAR-H uses its own propritary magazine.Near positive that you are correct WRT the 7.62x51mmNATO variant, however the 7.62x39mmCommie variant of the SCAR-H is proposed to have AK-47 magazines for picking up enemy magazines/ammunition behind enemy lines (< I couldn't make this up).

:)

Shadow Man
February 2, 2010, 10:36 PM
however the 7.62x39mmCommie variant of the SCAR-H is proposed to have AK-47 magazines for picking up enemy magazines/ammunition behind enemy lines (< I couldn't make this up).


Logistically, that makes sense for the SF A and B teams that operate for long periods without resupply. IIRC, Knights Armament was supposed to produce a weapon that functioned just like an M-16 but used AK mags. Project fell through though :(

Maverick223
February 2, 2010, 10:57 PM
Logistically, that makes sense for the SF A and B teams that operate for long periods without resupply.It certainly does for SF; absolutely none for the average grunt, but that isn't the purpose of this particular rifle per my understanding.

:)

Shadow Man
February 2, 2010, 11:18 PM
It certainly does for SF; absolutely none for the average grunt, but that isn't the purpose of this particular rifle per my understanding.

But you know how it is Maverick; the HSLD boys get a new toy and the pounders bitch and moan until they get it, and then some previously good firearms manufacturer will modify it for civilian sales, promise it this year at this price, and deliver it three years later at twice the original cost and completely ruin any decent reputation they had while the THR-ers sit back, laugh, and endlessly debate AR vs. AK, 9mm vs. .45, and whether adding Magpuls AFG to your rail system makes you a mall-ninja. :D

Maverick223
February 2, 2010, 11:34 PM
Very true Shadow, complain till they get it, then realize they have no need for it/don't know how to utilize it properly...then us civvies get it, and complain how it doesn't make us into Chuck Norris like advertised. :D

Mr. T
February 3, 2010, 01:05 PM
Shadow Man -- I stand corrected just talked to my buddy at Federal and he said that they were BTHP's but that they were "Match Kings" not meant for hunting, because they weren't scribed. I recollected wrong, but he did say that the military is using this particular bullet because it's more effective. In particular the 69 grain round. I don't know this personally, I'm getting it second hand.

MTMilitiaman
February 3, 2010, 03:14 PM
I particularly like the part where the 5.56 is penetrating because we are using FMJs..

Humph-hehe. That's just silly.

Shadow Man
February 3, 2010, 06:30 PM
Shadow Man -- I stand corrected just talked to my buddy at Federal and he said that they were BTHP's but that they were "Match Kings" not meant for hunting, because they weren't scribed. I recollected wrong, but he did say that the military is using this particular bullet because it's more effective. In particular the 69 grain round. I don't know this personally, I'm getting it second hand.

No problem sir, I know that I in no way am aware of every loading used right now, and it is very possible that some of the other HSLD units are using hollowpoints, so I would have been very willing to learn.

Tirod
February 3, 2010, 11:12 PM
.50 Cal on troops not being copascetic? Au contraire, my official education in Bldg 4 - IOBC 4-83 is to use the .50 on their web gear and equipment. If they happen to be wearing it, too bad. GC/Hague experts who preach the rules to others should at least have been there, done that. Mine were, did, and taught us the working rules, not something read off paper. I passed on what I learned.

Small calibers came out of the pre-WWII studies the Germans first started - which discovered most troops don't shoot over 400m, and they get a 87% hit rate in combat. Further studies by most other major armies found the same - but some had to be dragged kicking and screaming to implement it. The Germans developed the 8mm Kurz, because the logistics of their war wouldn't let them use a newer caliber. It would be enormously expensive to rebarrel or even reequip millions of troops. Nonetheless it could save valuable resources in powder and brass.

As the studies progressed, smaller caliber - smaller weapon - less recoil, more accuracy, an increased tendency to fire more, and to implement that, full auto capability. And more ammo. Net effect, more bullets flying, they will hit something more often. You don't have to like the logic, but the results are there. Smaller calibers are more effective, the soldier is more effective, the army more effective.

Taking a giant leap backward to issuing a .30 is not likely. The few M14's brought back to service go to trained snipers targeting larger caliber weapons. Get real, the AK in no way created any sort of increased standoff. .50 calibers are being used, too - on one man targets. Perhaps those distressed about that could read Maj. Plaster's article on the anti-sniper war in Iraq. Please loosen your bloomers before sitting down to read it. Confirmed kills with .50's are common.

But even an M14 is bulky - hard to deploy from a HMMV, more difficult to carry in third world countries, especially in urban fighting. Newsflash, the building code doesn't have 30 ft roadways or 36" halls. Public egress doors aren't always swing out, don't even suggest fire code, or as so recently demonstrated, earthquake resistance. It's not the local Mall.

Those who advocate a return should at least be doing what they recommend - carrying a .30 battle rifle all day, every day, and shoot 500 rounds a week, no less.

I actually tried it both ways. I know what works better. Hunted with a HK91 for 25 years, all the while carrying the issue M16 in the Reserves. Full battle rattle for two weeks, done it. Hump the HK three days, butt is kicked. Heavy weapons are an infantry squad leaders special nemesis, he has to work them around all day long to spread the load. For those who claim, toughen up or get out, guess what? You deal with what you have - discrimination is illegal, duh? It's America, not the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Even short females have a right to defend their country, unlike many who thump their hairy keyboards and never served.

Note it carefully, the majority who support the 5.56 in this thread are vets. Think about it.

Shadow Man
February 3, 2010, 11:24 PM
I'm actually fairly confused about the point you are trying to make here Tirod...5.56x45 can and will kill people and vets are around to prove it? 7.62x51mm weapon systems are heavy? Over the years, as technology improved, we advanced to using a lighter cartridge with better effects/range/ballistics ad nauseum than the originial musket ball? .50BMG rounds are used to kill people? And the real kicker...(paraphrasing here) "If you aren't current or former military, don't comment about what we do, you have no idea."

Most of us on this forum understand everything you said without having to have it printed out in front of us...jeeze.

Honestly...I have never been asked about the legality of using an M82A3 on personell, and I damn sure never looked an officer in the face and said, "Well, sir, I was shooting for his highly effective military issue belt buckle, but I was unaware that it was wrapped around a human at the time..."

HorseSoldier
February 3, 2010, 11:37 PM
Well technically they are HPs (even if not designed to expand), but they certainly aren't standard grunt ammunition.

Mk 262 has, literally, a pin hole in the jacket at the nose. If there's any actual hollow behind the pinhole, I'm pretty sure it's a manufacturing issue -- definitely not any part of the design.

That was not explosive or frangible ammunition. It was called a Raufus Round, and it was designed to provide greater damage when making anti-material shots.

Mk 211 (Raufoss) ammo does contain explosive filler. This is a PITA stateside, because that makes it a dud producing round and means I used to get issued WW2 vintage API ammo to support sniper training with.

.50 Cal on troops not being copascetic? Au contraire, my official education in Bldg 4 - IOBC 4-83 is to use the .50 on their web gear and equipment. If they happen to be wearing it, too bad. GC/Hague experts who preach the rules to others should at least have been there, done that. Mine were, did, and taught us the working rules, not something read off paper. I passed on what I learned.

There's no legal basis for the "shoot their equipment" myth, though God knows it's been handed out like gospel from generations of drill sergeants (mine included). Doesn't surprise me to hear things on the O-side are equally uninformed.

When I was a Bradley gunner, I could legally tear up dismounts with 25mm HE any time the target warranted it without any silliness about aiming for their canteens. I could also get our tankers to do the same thing to them with 120mm rounds, get our 120mm mortars to drop rounds on their heads, and in a perfect world whistle up 155mm rounds to also kill them. How any of that is at all legal when you've got to aim at the guy's belt buckle and magazine pouches with a .50 caliber machinegun makes zero sense.

Shadow Man
February 3, 2010, 11:42 PM
Mk 211 (Raufoss) ammo does contain explosive filler. This is a PITA stateside, because that makes it a dud producing round and means I used to get issued WW2 vintage API ammo to support sniper training with.


Well, I stand (sit) corrected, HorseSoldier, thank you. I also, apparantly, cannot spell "Raufoss". It sounds Swedish...:scrutiny:

ARose
February 13, 2010, 07:32 PM
Hi all,

I'm the author of American Rifle: A Biography and I happened to notice that there was some criticism directed towards me on p.5 of this forum, namely that I was "talking trash" because (apparently) I argue that "to the extent that Alexander Rose or anyone else suggests that the twist rate is responsible for whether a spitzer bullet upsets in flesh, they do not understand basic principles of science and are horribly wrong."

I hope you won't mind if I take a little space here to discuss the allegation.

First, let me say that if I had argued that then the posters (Bartholomew Roberts and Alsaqr) would be completely correct in remarking that I was "talking trash." Unfortunately, I argued no such thing.

As I point out repeatedly in the book, there's no single factor that determines the extent of target damage, either today or in the past. Twist rate, to be sure, is one factor, but by no means the deciding one. Much depends on what organ is hit, its density, the kinetic energy of the projectile, the shape and construction of the projectile, the amount of fragmentation along primary and secondary vectors within the target, velocity of projectile, distance to target, the degree of yaw, etc. etc. Basically, a whole ton of stuff -- as everyone on these forums no doubt already knows. Ballistics is a very complex science, in other words.

Anyway, I hope that clarifies matters a bit. If you're interested to know more, read the book! (Of course, I have to say that . . . )

Best regards to all,
Alex Rose

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