Maximum Effective Range 5.56 vs 7.62x39


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GlockFu
December 16, 2011, 09:26 PM
I don't want to start another debate on which round is better as I know there are already tons of them. I keep getting conflicting information on which round has the longer effective range. I'm doing another AR build and want to build it with the intent of greater effective range as I already have short AR 5.56 builds. So will a 5.56 or 7.62x39 give me the farthest effective range?

(I know there's other calibers that will go further more effectively but these are the two calibers I'm choosing from because of costs)

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mljdeckard
December 16, 2011, 09:53 PM
I would rather try to hit things at distance with a 5.56.

Robert
December 16, 2011, 10:03 PM
7.62x39 is pretty similar to 30-30 if that helps.

Put a good 20" barrel on an AR as well as a decent float tube, does not have to be railed, and you'd be surprised how far out you can reach. I have made hits on a torso sized steel target at 600y with a rifle set up like that using a 3.5x ACOG. Now that is really pushing the outer limits but it can be done.

NG VI
December 16, 2011, 10:08 PM
No question. Between the two, 5.56. Only one of those calibers is being used in any kind of marksman-oriented role, and it isn't the x39mm.

And I would say, even though you've ruled out others over cost, if you're willing to put up with the miscreant antics of the x39mm in the AR platform, and are interested in range, might as well go with the 6.5 Grendel.

rori
December 16, 2011, 10:10 PM
Just get a loading book and look for yourself. I believe the 30cal wins hands down.

4thPointOfContact
December 16, 2011, 10:10 PM
Well, according to the Field Manual,
M16 has and Maximum Effective Range for Point Targets of 550 meters and 600 meters for Area Targets.
M4 has a Maximum Effective Range for Point Targets of 500 meters and 600 meters for Area Targets. Both are mathematical formulas.

As for the Soviet round, I can't find any published numbers, but I do seem to remember 300 meters being mentioned as being the maximum range where the energy of the cartridge was expected to produce lethal hits. (and That's just a SWAG)

ACP
December 16, 2011, 10:12 PM
A 16" carbine will shoot M855 out to about 90 meters and M193 out to about 140 meters fast enough so the bullet fragments, which is what causes the devastating wounds in a 5.56. They need to be cooking along at 2700 fps or so to do that. Add another 50 meters for a 20-inch barrel.

I'm sorry, I am not familiar with the 7.62x39.

C-grunt
December 16, 2011, 10:15 PM
With the Mk12 being widely fielded there have been many enemy killed at 600+ meters with the 5.56. I know my DMR was accurate enough out to 800ish meters to make effective hits if the shooter was up to the task.

C-grunt
December 16, 2011, 10:20 PM
Plus I believe the standard mil load x39 goes subsonic around 550 yards. It was specifically made for combat at 300 meters or less and it does that range pretty well.

mshootnit
December 16, 2011, 10:23 PM
Here's food for thought: What if you took a quality semi auto and put a 20" match grade barrel with free floating handguard and match trigger. Then you put a Leupold MarkIV tactical scope on the rifle with BDC turrets. Then what if you had it chambered in 7.62X39 and worked really hard at load development to accurately squeeze every ounce of velocity and energy you could get with that 123 gr bullet. How would this compare to 5.56? I think it would fare pretty well in terms of retained energy and terminal performance. And I have not a clue what the max velocity would be but I would be hoping for 2500

rori
December 16, 2011, 10:45 PM
OK my most recent Sierra loading manual gives a 125gr spt bullet 2300 fps and an AR 15 3100 with a 55gr bullet. I'll take the much heavier bullet every time. Also the 30 is legal for deer most everywhere while the 223 isnt.

303tom
December 16, 2011, 10:50 PM
The 5.56 NATO is better at range...............

proven
December 16, 2011, 10:51 PM
effective range for what? two legged targets, 5.56 is your answer.

Z-Michigan
December 16, 2011, 10:53 PM
Several different ways to look at this:

1) Subsonic transition - what distance does the bullet go subsonic, which is the effective limit of accurate fire? Roughly 450-550 yards for x39 and perhaps 600-800 yards for various 5.56 loads.

2) What's the distance where the bullet retains a useful amount of energy or momentum? x39 will be slightly greater than most 5.56 loads, but only slightly.

3) What range can you realistically hit something with factory ammo? Typical x39 ammo has low to middling accuracy. 5.56 ranges from middling to fairly good (Black Hills Mk262 for example). 5.56 also has a much, much flatter trajectory which makes distance estimation less critical. I would say that beyond 100 yards I expect the shooter using a typical 5.56 load to shoot more accurately than someone with a typical x39 load. (Now, if comparing best handloads with expert shooters, the difference might be very small.)

4) What is the overall platform accuracy? This isn't really apples to apples, but if you compare a quality 5.56 AR to a typical x39 AK, the AR will generally be somewhat more accurate. Though not necessarily as much as you would think, especially if comparing a good AK like a Saiga.

If you want greater range in an AR15, I would look at 6.5G and 6.8 SPC in that order. Possibly also 6x45 and 6.5 MPC. The 300BLK would also have some benefit over both 5.56 and x39 on the retained energy side, but not on the trajectory side (and definitely not compared to 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 SPC).

GlockFu
December 17, 2011, 12:04 AM
I'm talking about medium to larger targets so yes, 2 legged targets fall within this range.

I know the 5.56 has more range but out 600-800yrds, is it really going to do any damage? My question is effective range. Does 5.56 still win in effective range?

JohnnyK
December 17, 2011, 12:10 AM
who would really want to shoot that far with either one? I'd go with .50 bmg at that range... I've seen videos comparing 5.56 vs 7.62 x 39 at 100 yards and the 5.56 will only go thru 1 side of a cinder block not the whole thing... 7.62 x 39 will go completly thru the cinder block and have enough left to kill a person on the other side (of course depending on shot placement) 7.62 x 39 has much more power... 5.56 is more accurate each has pros and cons...

mljdeckard
December 17, 2011, 12:16 AM
Yes, it will be effective at that range. Out past a few hundred yards, 5.56 penetrates armor better than 7.62. I never have any question about the effectiveness of the bullet at that range, only my ability to hit with iron sights. And the 7.62x39 runs out of gas a lot faster than a 5.56.

And no, I wouldn't pull out the .50 for ranges like that. If you can't hit it with a .308 within 1000 yards, you won't hit it with a .50 either.

Z-Michigan
December 17, 2011, 12:47 AM
I know the 5.56 has more range but out 600-800yrds, is it really going to do any damage? My question is effective range. Does 5.56 still win in effective range?

There have been a few recorded kills (single aimed shots) at 600-800 yards with an M4 or SPR in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the exception, and generally have been made by absolute expert shots. Something like Mk262 can still be lethal at those distances, with a mixture of skill and luck. It's not going to be reliable, or even in the same class as a .308. In comparison an aimed single shot of 7.62x39 isn't even likely to hit anything beyond 500 yards due to trajectory, transonic instability and wind drift, though it should be about equally effective if you somehow do manage to get a hit.

If you actually need to shoot at 600+ yards, or even 400+, you really need a .308 or another more powerful distance cartridge (most of the common hunting cartridges like .270, 7mm Mag, .30-06, etc. etc.).

GlockFu
December 17, 2011, 01:03 AM
I don't need to shoot out past 600 or even 400 yards, I am just trying to decide what my build will be with the goal of having the most effective range between these two calibers. I already have close range builds and have another stripped lower so I figured I'd make this one for distance.

Robert
December 17, 2011, 01:33 AM
Get you a nice brisket and hand it on a target stand out at 400 or 600y and have a go at it and see which does better. That would be some real world testing I'd be interested in. At those ranges I believe you'd have a better chance of hitting the target with the 5.56.

Anytime I get a brisket it never makes it past the smoker...

mljdeckard
December 17, 2011, 01:54 AM
(I just bought one to smoke for an upcoming Christmas dinner. :)

R.W.Dale
December 17, 2011, 02:07 AM
Here's food for thought: What if you took a quality semi auto and put a 20" match grade barrel with free floating handguard and match trigger. Then you put a Leupold MarkIV tactical scope on the rifle with BDC turrets. Then what if you had it chambered in 7.62X39 and worked really hard at load development to accurately squeeze every ounce of velocity and energy you could get with that 123 gr bullet. How would this compare to 5.56? I think it would fare pretty well in terms of retained energy and terminal performance. And I have not a clue what the max velocity would be but I would be hoping for 2500

I built that rifle. Only it was a 26" shilen barreled bolt action. Look at my threads from around four years back for more details.

It shot good out to the longest range I shot it at which was 300m and with higher BC bullets such as the 125g nosler carried a great deal more energy than 223 over that distance.

I guess it really comes down to what its supposed to be effective at.

I've killed deer with a x39 out to 280 yds but I limit myself to 200 w a 223

posted via tapatalk using android.

Matthew Courtney
December 17, 2011, 03:14 AM
If you look at factory loads with higher BC bullets, you will see that past 3-400 yards, the 7.62x39 has lost enough energy that it has less than a .223, and the .223's fly flatter with less wind deflection, but which bullet will expand or tumble to effectively turn the energy into a serious wound? Since we cannot be sure of bullet performance, I opt for the higher probability of hits with the flatter shooting .223.

Ar180shooter
December 17, 2011, 03:21 AM
IMO both rounds are equally effective within 300 yards. Out to 600, the .223/5.56 has the advantage.

**BAC above .08 for this post. Please disregard if nonsensical.

wanderinwalker
December 17, 2011, 10:25 AM
Here's food for thought: What if you took a quality semi auto and put a 20" match grade barrel with free floating handguard and match trigger. Then you put a Leupold MarkIV tactical scope on the rifle with BDC turrets. Then what if you had it chambered in 7.62X39 and worked really hard at load development to accurately squeeze every ounce of velocity and energy you could get with that 123 gr bullet. How would this compare to 5.56? I think it would fare pretty well in terms of retained energy and terminal performance. And I have not a clue what the max velocity would be but I would be hoping for 2500

What you just described is probably 95% of the rifles on the line at a Highpower match, and nobody uses the 7.62x39. (Well, OK, most of them are Service Rifles in .223 anyway, and they're A2s not flattops.) Magazine length 75-77 grain .223 loads work OK out to 600 yards, though longer, sleeker bullets are better. Anybody shooting a .30-caliber past 300 yards is looking at longer and heavier bullets than the 123-125gr bullets the Russian short usually drives. Typical are 168gr .308" match bullets for the .30 shooters, though you can do well with a 155gr Palma bullet, and a 175 is superior on a windy range.

Better than either would be a 6mm or a 6.5mm cartridge, but at that point you're looking at reloading to make it viable (or paying exhorbitant prices on factory ammo! :barf: ).

ETA: Just took a quick look and ran the numbers through a ballistics calculator. Drive a 125gr Nosler Ballistic Tip (.366 BC) at 2500 fps and at 300 yards you have 940 ft-lbs of energy and a drop of 21" (7-MOA) from a 100 yd zero. That's not bad considering the low recoil level.

Loosedhorse
December 17, 2011, 10:54 AM
The maximum range at whch a user can be expected to place one on a man-sized target? Or the maximum range at which it can still cause a casualty?

The Army said (somewhere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M18_Claymore_mine)) that 58 ft-lb of energy is needed in a projectile to cause a casualty on an unarmored target.

A 62-gr. bullet must be going at least 650 fps for that; a 123 gr bullet, over 460 fps.

I can't find ballistics tables that go out far enough to tell me at what distances these bullets slow to these speeds. Suffice it to say, the bullets for both guns remain lethal well past the distance at which they can be accurately aimed (by most shooters).

floorit76
December 17, 2011, 11:01 AM
Kinda reminds me of the 17hmr, 22wmr debate. A small fast flatter round vs. a larger heavier slower round. Your more likely to hit it with one, but more likely to kill with the other. If you are comfortable with your ability to lob the heavier round onto targets at long ranges go for it. But to be effective you first have to hit the target.

mshootnit
December 17, 2011, 10:23 PM
Once I sat down with an Arsenal milled 7.62X39 16" barrel carbine. At open sights with typical wolf ammo 123 gr 2360 fps, I started banging away at a buffalo sillouette which was out there at 500 yds. At that range the bullets I recovered were opened up and mushroomed to back to about 33% of their length, and they made an audible BANG. At that range. I think obviously still lethal at 500 yds.

GlockFu
December 18, 2011, 01:32 AM
Thanks for everyone's input. It sounds like 5.56 is the way to go since I am definitely not good enough to lob my bullets into a target. Next question...

What would be the best weight bullet and twist rate for this same goal with a 20 inch barrel?

Robert
December 18, 2011, 01:41 AM
I like my 1:7 barrel. I use mainly 55 and 62gr bullets but could go up to 77gr or even 80s if I wanted to. Some people seem to think that a 1:7 will over spin 55gr bullets but I have never had an issue. Some of the very, very light might have issues.

Z-Michigan
December 18, 2011, 01:42 AM
Best bullets are the 77gr Sierra Matchking, 77gr Nosler match HP, and 75gr Hornady BTHP. (The Hornady 75gr AMAX would seem like a good choice but apparently can't be loaded to an AR15 magazine length.) Those are all similar high quality bullets with high BC's for a .224 bullet, and can be loaded to work with an AR15.

You can buy commercial ammo using these from Black Hills, Hornady, and some others. I think Federal has a 77gr BTHP load but it may not be quite as hot as the others.

You want a 1/7 or 1/8 twist for those bullets.

If you are stuck with a 1/9 twist barrel, some will shoot the 75-77gr bullets above and some won't. If yours won't, the 68-69gr BTHP bullets from Sierra and Hornady are your best bet. Black Hills, Remington, and I think Federal offer loaded ammo with those bullets.

Ignition Override
December 18, 2011, 02:26 AM
Glock Fu:
A friend and coworker retired from the NAVRES on the Navy Marks. Team.

As for rifle/shooter potential, I knew him for a while before learning that he set an AR record, at both 200 and 600 yards. Have no idea whether it was with his Bushmaster, the match bullet weight(s) or 'rifling ratio'.
He won over a dozen M-1 Garands (one being a Navy M-1), among other gun prizes.

my762buzz
December 18, 2011, 12:28 PM
Another consideration:

2 American manufactured loads

150 grain 7.62x39 loads with an exit velocity of 2300fps
at 750 yards 1110 fps and 411 ft pounds of energy

125 grain 7.62x39 loads with an exit velocity of 2400 fps
at 725 yards 1100 fps and 336 ft pounds

henschman
December 18, 2011, 10:17 PM
If you're comparing apples to apples and looking at the standard surplus ball ammo that both caliber rifles end up shooting most of the time, the 5.56 is easier to hit with out past 300m because it has a flatter trajectory and doesn't tend to tumble as soon. Whether it is actually "effective" once it hits the target at the farther distances is another matter... it gets most of its "effectiveness" from bullet fragmentation, which generally doesn't happen past 150m on a 14.5" carbine or 300m on a 20" rifle. I suppose it's pretty much the same for the 7.62x39 once it loses enough energy, out past 300m or so... except it's just punching a little .3" hole.

With hand loads and different bullet types, you can effectively reach out to a lot farther distances with both calibers.

proven
December 18, 2011, 10:30 PM
henschman, are you saying that an m4 "generally" isn't effective past 150 yds?

henschman
December 18, 2011, 10:38 PM
No, I'm saying standard surplus ball ammo generally doesn't fragment in a "soft" target after that distance. Whether punching a .22" hole through the target is "effective" enough for your purposes would depend on the application.

C-grunt
December 18, 2011, 11:48 PM
Even if the round doesnt fragment they still will usually yaw wich increases wounding significantly. Either rifle isnt going to be hugely effective out past 300 yards but it still will put a hole through you.

my762buzz
December 19, 2011, 12:08 AM
it gets most of its "effectiveness" from bullet fragmentation, which generally doesn't happen past 150m on a 14.5" carbine or 300m on a 20" rifle.

Out of a 20 inch barrel, M193 reaches the lowest tumble threshhold at 2500 fps at 200 yards.

Z-Michigan
December 19, 2011, 12:32 AM
2 American manufactured loads

150 grain 7.62x39 loads with an exit velocity of 2300fps
at 750 yards 1110 fps and 411 ft pounds of energy

125 grain 7.62x39 loads with an exit velocity of 2400 fps
at 725 yards 1100 fps and 336 ft pounds

What are these loads and who makes them? The distance to 1100fps suggests much higher BC's than I'm used to seeing for x39 bullets, and the starting velocity for the 150gr is higher than anything I've seen before for 7.62x39.

my762buzz
December 19, 2011, 12:38 AM
What are these loads and who makes them? The distance to 1100fps suggests much higher BC's than I'm used to seeing for x39 bullets, and the starting velocity for the 150gr is higher than anything I've seen before for 7.62x39.

Corbon readthe exterior ballistics tab on each page

http://www.shopcorbon.com/CORBON-Hunter/7.62x39-150gr-CORBON-Hunter-JSP/HT762X39150-20/300/Product


http://www.shopcorbon.com/Self-Defense-JHP/762x39-125gr-CORBON-Self-Defense-JHP/SD762X39125-20/100/Product

Z-Michigan
December 19, 2011, 01:27 AM
Thanks. I ran their numbers through a ballistic calculator and they appear to be consistent. HOWEVER, I think it should be noted that the exterior ballistics they are claiming need to be considered based on their test altitude - 3450ft for the 150gr and 3300ft for the 125gr. That makes the long distance performance look dramatically better than it would be at sea level, where most people make comparisons. I realize they are in South Dakota at roughly those elevations, so that ammo may perform as stated at their home range and for anyone using it at the same or higher altitude, but ALL ammo will show greater long distance numbers if you calculate its ballistics at 3450ft instead of at sea level. At sea level both loads lose almost 100 yards of supersonic range, and of course their drop at any given distance becomes a bit greater as well. They are also listing a 20" barrel for the 150gr and 18.5" for the 125gr, while most people evaluate 7.62x39mm based on the most common 16" barrels - but at least they aren't doing the 24" SAAMI test barrel game that most other companies do, so some credit is owed.

Z-Michigan
December 19, 2011, 01:35 AM
Incidentally, a 5.56 Mk262 type round (77gr at about 2750fps) would still be at 1116fps at 1000 yards if you calculate it at 3450ft altitude. Go up to 8000ft altitude like you might see in the 'stans and it's retaining 1268fps at 1000 yards.

Beck
August 4, 2012, 07:45 AM
The problem with the 7.62 x 39 isn't the round per se, but the the firearms chambered for it and the poor design of most cheaply had ammo made for it. Ever since I bought a Ruger Mini-30 in 1989 I've been a fan of the 7.62 x 39 through extensive testing and research. Back then I could only find one decent bolt gun chambered for it... a Sako with 20-inch barrel. There are a few more bolt guns chambered for the x39 out there now and I'm interested in acquiring one again.

My Mini-30 is all tricked out and about as accurate a Mini as you'll find, but the round can do better in a serious bolt action with a longer barrel... and good ammo. One of my fav loads is a 122 gr hollow point by Hanson. With the Mini-30 I can hit well within an 8-inch plate all day at 300 yards with lethal velocity. And I can do better than that with a decent boat tail round or something like the 125 gr green-tip Nosler spitzer rounds once loaded into x39 brass by Darrell's Shooting Supply out of Illinois. I love my Mini, but if I'm going to try to hit anything 400 yards and beyond it's not going to be with the Mini, and certainly no SKS or AK. But imagine what a good load can do in a stable bolt action with longer, heavier barrel that would do this caliber justice. Then you're closer to a fair comparison of these two rounds.

Regards

JShirley
August 4, 2012, 10:23 AM
IIRC, the M16 has an Army-described effective range of 550 meters, and an M4, 500 meters.

I'd call the 7.62x39 350 meters.

John

meanmrmustard
August 4, 2012, 10:59 AM
Are we talking effective range to kill, maim, or paper punch?

556- I've used it on deer up to and including 188 yards, pass through.
7.62x39- 125 yards, through and through. No farther shots available.

Paper punching can be done however far you'd like, just gotta hit stuff.

As for use against evil doers: I was always told that, in some cases it was better to wound the enemy than to kill. Wounding takes several of your enemies off the field, unless of course they leave their wounded to bleed. :fire:

JShirley
August 4, 2012, 12:11 PM
some cases it was better to wound the enemy than to kill. Wounding takes several of your enemies off the field, unless of course they leave their wounded to bleed

The first known instance of this explanation was some years after the 5.56x45mm was fielded, fwiw.

John

winfried
August 4, 2012, 03:03 PM
Hi All, I follow threads here at random. Not sure what you people call "effective range".
At 500m 7.62x39 has a Vel of 363m/s and a kinetic energy of about 53mkg a flight time of .992seconds, mid range trajectory elevation is about 1207mm and will penetrate about 2.9mm of mild steel.
The .223 at 500 has a velocity 485m/s, a kinetic energy of 42mkg, a flight time .73seconds a maximum elevation of 654mm and will penetrate about 3.7mm mild steel.
These 7.62x39 values are for East German ammo with copper plated steel jacket bullet and olive greeb laquared steel cases with velocity variations of between 706 and 711m/s which is excellent.

Russion ammo (steel jacket and steel case both copper plated) are about 20m/s faster
but lesst consitant.

Czech ammo was the fastest (of similar appearance as the russian)with about 40m/s faster than the East German type, but much less consistant.

Yougoslav ammo with brass cases has no boat tail and is for long distance the worst and to be avoided for another reason.

Regards

WAH

winfried
August 4, 2012, 03:06 PM
Hi John, no that outlook that a wounded soldier takes three soldiers out of combat to look after him goes back at least to 1870 and possibly much earlier.

Regards

WAH

meanmrmustard
August 4, 2012, 10:47 PM
The first known instance of this explanation was some years after the 5.56x45mm was fielded, fwiw.

John
Oh yeah? Didn't know that...

It makes sense, the theory of it, and I would think that thought would have crossed soldiers minds since projectile weaponry had been used.

JShirley
August 5, 2012, 01:43 AM
Not sure what you people call "effective range"

In my case, "you people" (that phrase is usually associated with pejorative comments in the USA, btw) are United States military sources. As I said previously.

The US Army says the M16A2-4 has a maximum range of 3600 meters. Effective range against a point target in these rifles is 550 meters, and against an area target (troop concentration, for example) is 800 meters. Understanding the description makes it clear that the US military believes the projective is dangerous to at least 800 meters, but that, in currently fielded rifles, hitting an individual (enemy combatant) target past 550 meters is unlikely.
Here's (https://rdl.train.army.mil/catalog/view/100.ATSC/434948EB-8945-4C25-9389-B33B4927856C-1308726234899/3-22.9/chap2.htm#1) the table in question from FM 3.22-9.

ColdDayInHell
August 5, 2012, 01:48 AM
The 5.56 is a proven long distance round. The bullet stabilizes better than the 7.62x39. The AR-15 is also more accurate than MOST AK's. The 5.45x39 is another nasty round capable of serious wounds. The 5.56 wins hands down over 300 yards.

JShirley
August 5, 2012, 02:09 AM
Hi John, no that outlook that a wounded soldier takes three soldiers out of combat to look after him goes back at least to 1870 and possibly much earlier.


Winfried, as a historian, I do like to offer evidence to back up my assertions. I am still looking for the source I referenced (I wrote about it here, but it turns out it's hard to find a single post using "carry", "wound", or "5.56x45mm" out of 15K here. :o). I am very interested to see your source.

John

jason41987
August 5, 2012, 03:49 AM
just looked at the ballistics charts to compare military loads between the 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm, and after a couple hundred yards the 7.62 drops like a rock while the 5.56mm keeps going, delivering superior accuracy with more power due to the better ballistics coefficiency.. was pretty interesting to find and i honestly expected the 7.62mm would have a clearer advantage much further out... and also compared 5.45x39mm and found the same result as with the 5.56... kind of makes you realize why no ones really using the 7.62x39mm and most militaries have switched to 5.56 or 5.45 by now

as for ballistics.. if you want my honest opinion about them... a handgun relies on expansion to deliver more damage to a target... bullets that mushroom out reliably tend to be the more damaging to a target.... as for high powered rifle cartridges (.308 class), hydrostatic shock delivers devastating wound cavities that tear up the insides of a target...
but with these mid-range cartridges the bullet isnt big and fat enough to rely on expansion, really isnt powerful enough to rely on hydrostatic shock either... so for these its all going to come down to superior placement

all of that being said... id rather go for the more accurate round thats going to have the flatter trajectory, and sufficient penetration downrange because if you want to stop someone or something with either of these rounds youre going to have to rely on placement which is aquired through skills obtained with practice

----

on the note of the 5.45x39mm rounds, the russians understood exactly what i said... that it wasnt going to be able to expand like a pistol round, and didnt have the energy for hydrostatic shock that full size rifle cartridges offered.. so they designed a bullet that was hollow in the nose, heavier in the rear so that upon impact the nose would crush and slow down the tip of the bullet, and when the nose is slower than the base itll de-stabilize and start flipping end over end and if i had to rely on any of these cartridges to "do the job", id rely on the 5.45 over either of the others not because of its trajectory, or its kinetic energy, but because the bullet itself is designed to make up for the short-comings in mid-range calibers

----

but on topic... id trust the 5.56mm over the 7.62x39mm at just about any range

JShirley
August 5, 2012, 04:18 AM
It has often been suggested that a decision was made to equip US troops with a weapon that tended to wound rather than kill, and that this led to the adoption of the M16. The history does not bear this out.

From the 1968 Report of the M16 Rifle Review Panel (http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a953110.pdf).

Following the procurement of the initial quantity of weapons, the Air Force included 19,000 new AR15 rifles in its FY 1963 budget. Before the request reached Congress, the final report from the Advanced Research Project Agency test of 1,000 ARI5 rifles in Vietnam was published. It reported the AR15 rifle to be an out-standing weapon with phenomenal lethality. (pg C-14)

Frankford Arsenal conducted an investigaticn of bullet configuration in 1963 in order to determine the best design for achieving aerodynamic stability with maximum lethality (pg D-20)

At the beginning of 1968, a survey was conducted of service members armed with the M16. Reliability issues were noted, but Particularly desirable qualities were its high rate of lethal fire and light weight (D-83)

Most men armed with the M16 in Vietnam rated this rifle's performance high; however, many men entertained some misgivings about the M16's reliability. (E-16)

I have seen a suggestion that the M16 produced wounds rather than death against the enemy, but the first instance I'd seen of this was years after it was used. There was never a deliberate strategic decision to field a "less lethal" rifle. The big question was reliability and range.

John

WardenWolf
August 5, 2012, 05:36 AM
The 5.56 obviously wins for maximum effective range. Of course, if you're instead going for short to mid-range knockdown power, the 7.62x39 wins when used with a good bullet.

ccsniper
August 5, 2012, 06:13 AM
I have never had the chance of shooting any of my x39 rifles real far, but I have seen accurate rounds out to 500 yards from a friend shooting his Chinese SKS. Here is a vid of a mini 30 being shot to 420 yards getting hit after hit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4SVwSGPLOc&feature=plcp

and an SKS he seems to "kentucky windage" up to the target
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pkhhDyvYp4&feature=plcp

I honestly believe that if the shooter does his part, the rifle, any rifle is most likely up to the task.

henschman
August 5, 2012, 12:16 PM
It is interesting to note that the standard issue 55 or 62 grain 5.56 has a nearly identical trajectory to the standard issue 147 grain 7.62x51 round out to around 600 yards. The 7.62x39 drops off a lot faster.

meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 12:52 PM
Either 5.45 and 5.56 aren't worth a hill of beans if penetration is a concern. I've used all three, and the 7.62 flat out punches, but drops like a rock at distance.

lemaymiami
August 5, 2012, 03:34 PM
As usual I enjoyed the back and forth on this issue (even if some of the technical stuff got past me...). When I qualified with M16 all those years ago the course did include silhouettes at 500 meters (and you had to hit them if you wanted that "expert rating"). If I remember correctly one of the original requirements that Mr. Stoner way trying to meet included that whatever caliber was used - the round had to penetrate both sides of a standard G.I. helmet (the tin pot style - this was years before kevlar helmets) at 500 meters. The original Stoner rifle met those standards just fine (and the original M16 was a heck of a lot easier to shoot expert with than the M-14 I had in basic, 1968...).

winfried
August 6, 2012, 03:34 AM
The 5.56 obviously wins for maximum effective range. Of course, if you're instead going for short to mid-range knockdown power, the 7.62x39 wins when used with a good bullet.
Hi Warden wolf, there is no such things as knockdown power. Nerver ever.

WAH

winfried
August 6, 2012, 03:53 AM
Winfried, as a historian, I do like to offer evidence to back up my assertions. I am still looking for the source I referenced (I wrote about it here, but it turns out it's hard to find a single post using "carry", "wound", or "5.56x45mm" out of 15K here. :o). I am very interested to see your source.

John
Hi John, glad to meet a historian jhere, but I am only an amateur.

As far as quoting a source, my knowledge does not come from recent internet search. An example to find my original source of knowledge that thearth is round (more or less) I could say nothing else but that I learned that in school.

I am actually german speaking and can read such books as Thierbach GESCHICHTER DER FEUERWAFFEN (1886), Boeheim Waffenkunde, und Hans Delbrueck GESCHICHTE DER KRIEGSKUNST (3 Volumes published between 1905 and 1922)
As a result of changed tactics of the 1870/71 war between France and Germany, the development of smokeless powder and magazine rilfles, around the time of the Thompson LeGarde tests, european nations did investigations into the required kinetic energy to disable an enemy soldier and arrived at values of only 4mkg (the russions as the lowest) the germans and the english as 8 and as 20mkg, but I am speaking from memory only and may have the figures reversed. Never mind that for the present discussian.
The fact is, that all were interested in three things, high penetration (at close range obviously) accuracy over a distance the avarage soldier could see a target and have a chance to score with open sights and finally maximum range a wound could be inflicted. The latter was the reason why all better known military rifles had sight to a 2000m or 2000 yard range.

An excellent source is also THE TEXT BOOK OF THE BRITISH ARMY 1929, but my own book has been lost.

Nearly forgot WOUND BALLISTICS by Beyer Published by the surgeon General of the US Army which can find on the internet, or you could come and vist me and read my personal copy of this book with my name in gold embossed on it. (actuially with my nickname on it) Oh well.

I am going to start a thread "who invented the revolver?" like to see you "put your foot in it" as a historian. :-))

Regards

WAH

winfried
August 6, 2012, 04:04 AM
Either 5.45 and 5.56 aren't worth a hill of beans if penetration is a concern. I've used all three, and the 7.62 flat out punches, but drops like a rock at distance.
The 5.56 has a higher penetration against solid mild steel with about 10mm at close and the 7.62x39 of only 8mm would prove you wrong, but it all depends on the test setup and actual cases observed.

Regards

WAH

JShirley
August 6, 2012, 12:52 PM
Winfried,

Thanks fof the reply. If you do find the source material, my fiance or sister in law could translate it for me. :)

John

jason41987
August 6, 2012, 03:26 PM
i think the whole idea of 5.56 being to wound people is just another myth circulating around the M16 to try to hurt its credibility, usually from the .308 fanboys saying the 5.56 is to wound, the M16 is unreliable, theres a list.. in reality the 5.56 has killed as many as any other military round and is probably the most widely distributed round around the world... and i know people will claim the 7.62x39mm is, but outside of small terrorist groups, very, very few major militaries still use it as most have switched to 5.45 or 5.56 for good reasons

winfried
August 7, 2012, 04:18 AM
Jason you are right all the way. If you ga back to when the AR16/M16 were introduced, people ingnorant on ballistics such as Cooper who promoted "the heavy go slow high know down power" issue could not and still dont admit the potential of the .223.

Few people can hold a .308 full auto to a point, most people can do this with a .223. Shot to t recovery at 100m is about 1 sec scoring body hots, more than twice that with a .308.

A .308 cartridge is exactly twice the weight of a .223 and a soldier can carry twice as much ammo.

Withe use of silencers a .223 is ideal and due to the higher velocity the location of the shooter is near impossible.

Regards

WAH

winfried
August 7, 2012, 04:25 AM
Hi John, I do really do not have the time, I am presently working on the second edition of a book (probably 800 pages), planing of extracting parts of a book out of copy right, designing some electronic circuits, getting my life together (after I nearly lost all in a messy divorce) and making tools and starting silencer manufacture again. And the odd research as problem crop up or when my assistance is required by a shooting incident.

I am sorry I do not have the time. The reason I am actually here is that I am trying to find misconceptions I have to address in my book. One of them is that jnow people start to wory avout recoil energy which is next to the f- facoor the most useless value in ballistics.

Regards

WAH

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 06:15 AM
The 5.56 has a higher penetration against solid mild steel with about 10mm at close and the 7.62x39 of only 8mm would prove you wrong, but it all depends on the test setup and actual cases observed.

Regards

WAH
Not talking close. I should've specified. I haven't notice better penetration PERIOD on steel with 556, mostly just craters.

Solid copper bores a pretty hole through whitetails past 150 yards though.

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