.223 myth?


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JudgeHolden10
January 24, 2014, 11:35 PM
I am not trying to start an argument about the terminal effectiveness of the .223. I am, though, interested in trying to determine the source of what may or may not be an Internet myth.

Almost every time that I've read a thread about the .223's effectiveness, someone says something along these lines: "The military designed the round to wound people so that others would have to carry the wounded person to safety, keeping three people from fighting instead of one."

My question is this: has anyone ever seen a credible source for this comment? A government publication? A high-ranking military officer's comments? Anything?

I am not interested for any particular reason (I shoot mostly handguns and shotguns) except that I see that line repeated ad nauseum online.

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Welding Rod
January 24, 2014, 11:38 PM
It was going around long before the internet.

Casefull
January 24, 2014, 11:41 PM
It is bs and it started long before the internet. It might be an excuse for the ineffectiveness of the round in many situations.

Double Naught Spy
January 24, 2014, 11:43 PM
You have two different issues going on. First is the issue with the design of the .223 round. It was not designed to wound. People may claim that it was, but you can't find any ball ammo designs from the military that actually state this.

The second issue is whether or not it was stated that a wounded person requires more people to deal with them than a dead person. I don't know where you would find that actually written down. I do know people who were in the military that learned that bit of information and other information that was wrong as well (such as you can't shoot a .50 BMG at people). However, as learned in several wars now, many of our enemies place less of a value on the lives of soldiers than the US does and will opt to leave their wounded in place. The only people who seem to regularly care about our wounded are the Allies and we are willing to risk the lives of lots of additional soldiers to recover a single wounded or even dead soldier. That it is our perspective on how we care for our people does not mean it is the perspective of our enemies. Strangely, the enemy seems to have no interest in designing bullets that just wound despite the fact such ammo would be effective against us because of how we care for our people.

Also, you forgot the part of the .223 wounding myth where it is said that the bullet is designed such what when it hits bone, to crawl up the bone, doing tissue damage along the way.

Something to consider and ask yourself, just how is it that the bullet of the .223 differs (in ball ammo) from the ball ammo of other calibers. It really doesn't other than the fact it is scaled proportionately for the caliber...keeping in mind that we are talking about the original 55 gr. ball ammo used when the caliber was introduced into battle in the 60s.

Tommygunn
January 24, 2014, 11:44 PM
We've had discussions about the "wounding" ballistics of the AR-15's round before. I recalled my father (a Korean War vet) talking about the military developing a round that was intended to primarily wound rather than kill in order to bog down the enemy's logistics.
Other people have discounted this. Some claim other cultures are not so concerned about helping the wounded so they would not be greatly effected by the tactic ... and I think something has been made from the concept of shot placement. Any shot that merely sideswipes a body is unlikely to have much effect irregardless of caliber....while if it goes through the heart it's very likely to kill even if it is a small bullet.
IIRC the most commonly presented theory behind why the 5.56mm. is because while it remains a moderatly effective round it is light and soldiers can carry a lot more of it than .308 or .30-'06, and even more than .45-70.
Aside from that the army likes having only one caliber (or as few as possible) since it simplifies logistics.
The "wounding" theory may be only a theory, in short -- but it is an old one.

KNO3
January 24, 2014, 11:53 PM
Here's a link showing balllistics gel getting hit at 210 yards with Hornady 223 53 gr V-max http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCqmclsRQmM

Looks deadly to me.

rcmodel
January 24, 2014, 11:56 PM
The military didn't design the .223/5.56mm round.
It was a culmation of several attempts to provide a lighter weapon that could be used more effectively in combat.
And win a military contract where there wasn't one.

See 'histoy' here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M16_rifle#History

During the Vietnam war, the first M16 with the slow twist barrel and 55 grain bullet proved to be devestating to anyone hit with it.

Later on,, developments in the cold war dictated the need for more penetration to defete Russian body armor at the longer ranges expected in a Europein ground war.
So, to appease NATO, the rifling twist was increased, and a heavier 62 grain bullet with a 'penetrator' tip was introduced as the M16-A2, and the M855 cartridge.

This move brought on better penetration, and less leathality due to the 'too stable' bullet.
One of the requirements was to penetrate a standard GI steel helmet at several hundred yards.
Thats not 'designed to wound' in my book.

See this about that:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.5645mm_NATO#SS109.2FM855

At no time was wounding rather then killing a consideration to anyone in the decesion making process.

The M16 was designed to kill decisevly.
And it did just that, until NATO got involved in it.
And the barrels got shorter, giving less velocity on top of that.

Thats my story, and I'm sticking too it!

rc

Ron James
January 25, 2014, 12:07 AM
I have heard that nonsense, usually by individual's who have no ideal of what they are talking about. It sounds good so they repeat it as if it was gospel. In the military you shoot at people to kill them, if they are only wounded, shoot them again. Does that sound terrible? it should, because war is terrible. No country issues cartridges just to wound the guys on the other side, they issue cartridges that will end the argument in a very final way. Yes, I've been there and done that. :eek: The 5.56 resulted in the final peace of 10s of thousands of NVA. I believe the North Vietnamese admited to losing 600.000 KIA's, at the end they were drafting { their version of the draft ) 14 and 15 year olds and sending them south.

LRShooting
January 25, 2014, 12:10 AM
Its a comment that seems to us to be made by a journalist or some similar type of person who wants to scare or make people feel negatively towards the 223. I mean, if thats the case, then was the 50 bmg made so that it took a bunch of people to pick up the pieces? What about the pistol rounds that don't penetrate deep, but stop the assailant? Its kind of like the newtown shooting which they used to try and really knock off the Ar-15 and variants because it looks like a mil weapon. Its all a bunch of bull to me. Thats just one guy's opinion though.

HammsBeer
January 25, 2014, 12:15 AM
The effectiveness of the .223/5.56 is dependent on velocity for fragmentation. The typical velocity needed for fragmentation is around 2500-2700 fps. Below frag velocity it may still tumble but looses effectiveness. So the faster the bullet leaves the barrel, the longer the range it stays above frag velocity. Barrel length plays a big part in muzzle velocity to maximize a .223/5.56 effective fragmentation range.

For instance, a 20" M16 shooting m193 at 3200 fps might fragment out to 200+ yards, and a 14" M4 at 2800 fps might only fragment out to 100 yards. This isn't absolute, but just plugging some numbers into a ballistics calculator as an example.

d2wing
January 25, 2014, 03:38 AM
Vietnam vet here. Shoot to wound is not and never has been US military doctrine. Nobody in his right mind would shoot not to kill. However, it was said of the Vietcong that they did so to attract more targets and to take more men out of the battle. I do not know if that part is a myth but I do know they it is definitely not our doctrine. Although some persist in repeating this falsehood. As far as the M-16, it was designed to kill. Early failures were corrected and in spite of criticisms by some has proven itself for nearly a half century. I always liked the M-14 but I did not have trouble with the M-16. I do know first hand of guys that did in those eRly days.

moxie
January 25, 2014, 07:45 AM
Another Vietnam vet here.

In war, everyone shoots to kill and they use the best weapon they can find to do that job. Period. Shooting to wound is sheer absurdity. Anyone who has ever been shot at understands this.

waffentomas
January 25, 2014, 08:12 AM
My drill instructors told us this in boot camp. But they never told us to wound, or kill, per se, only that if you happened to wound, it takes them (and us too) extra troops to remove the wounded the field. Killing and wounding is a byproduct of war itself, a byproduct of locating, closing with and destroying the enemy, and "repelling the enemy's assault by fire and close combat, sir!"

Ks5shooter
January 25, 2014, 08:34 AM
Thanks to all responding Veterans for their service...Don Biddulph... 2nd vice commander American Legion post 194 S.A.L. "For God and Country"

Lj1941
January 25, 2014, 09:28 AM
I was told the same thing in BCT in the US Army many years ago.

kBob
January 25, 2014, 09:56 AM
I think the confusion comes from the use of the term "wounding potential" and "wound capability" which WERE terms used in early requirements and wants by the USAF and later the US Army.

These terms were missinturpeted by folks as meaning the round/ rifle was meant to "Only Wound" The terms were meant however to say the services wanted a rifle/ round that wound cause the same amount of tissue damage when shot the same place in a body.

In direct personal face to face discussions with Dr. Martin Fackler formerly of the US Army Wound ballistics lab and proponent and instigator of the gel studies that now seem so popular he explained to me that those terms were meant to indicate that a round was wanted that would give identical performance in flesh as the then current 7.62 NATO and US .30 M2 ball.

If that wound resulted in death or not was not an issue other than they wounds of the base rounds and the new rounds should have the same effects.

Does anyone believe the US M67 or M80 7.62 Ball round or the US M2 .30 ball round were designed to "Only Wound?"

During basic AIT and service in a line unit I heard all sorts of un informed BS..... The M-16A1 rifle is the "tumble gun" and its bullets tumble through th air toward the target, the AK and the RPD can use our 7.62 ammo but we can not use theirs (and an Infantry E6 but two years out of Nam claimed to have done so.....until I handed him a dummy 7.62 round during an AK orientation class.....) the wounds from an M14 were ineffective and looked "like a cleaning rod had been shoved through the enemy with little effect" and yet the same two guys that maintained this (and admitted to never using an M-14 or seeing it used) claimed than a single hit from an M-60 GPMG was much more devastating than a hit from an M-16A1 (same velocity and twist with the same ammo as the M-14 BTW)

I even had officers convinced it was some sort of "trick" that I could hit a kneeling an target 3 out of five times at 100 meters with a 1911 A1 pistol and like the definition of Max effective range would seem to indicate (that range at which the average trained user can keep at least 50 percent effective hits on target) keep all hits on a kneeling man target at 50 meters with any functional 1911 A1 in the inventory of our company. I even once had a Captain and his first Sargent try to get their unit out of qualifying with the 1911A1 by insisting that the last time they had tried that the ammo they were using was falling to the ground before reaching the target or bouncing off the card board cut outs (I traded them some ammo for the suspect can and observe their shooting....no problems with the ammo or guns but they were all lousy shots and ten minutes with some of the enlisted folks had them shooting minimum scores.) My own unit when I arrived had half the 1911A1s "red tagged" as non functional......and all but two were simply not assembled properly (the Armorer told me he was ordered to red tag them for shipment to depot or replacement rather than trying to fix them)

I frequently ran across guns that "expert" NCOs and Officers claim were broken that were simply improperly assembled and or had parts lost during cleaning, frequently parts they were NOT authorized to take out in the first place.

Fire arms knowledge among the folks in the military was much like firearms knowledge on the internet.....suspect ....only the fact that the speakers wore combat decorations, stripes or brass or silver made them harder to ignore.....but no less wrong.

(rant mode off)

BTW having your head chopped off is a wound.......think about it.....

-kBob

gdcpony
January 25, 2014, 12:51 PM
The design of the 5.56 is to hit. PERIOD. In the battlefield you want a reliable rifle that hits. The rifle is designed to balance those two features. The round for the rifle is a reflection of where that balance is chosen to exist by the parent military.

The AK does one and its round is a reflection of its purpose. It is- and it pains me to admit it- more reliable in field conditions than the AR type. The down side is that while some may exist, a truly precise AK is not the norm. It is a shorter range weapon. Therefore the 7.62x39 is a perfect match for it. Large bullet, little case, trajectory like a rainbow. That is all fine as it is expected to be used within a shorter range. It does its job very well too within that.

The AR was balanced towards the precision side. I don't know of very many people who who dare make the case that we don't have the more precise weapons. Whatever it's downfalls (must be maintained), it hits. So they coupled it with a round that supports that purpose. Lower recoil, quicker AIMED follow on shots, flatter trajectory, and an increased effective range benefit the 5.56.

Terminal performance for the 5.56/.223Rem is limited by rules. The current bullet is designed to penetrate upon impact. To do this it must stay together. That means that if it only encounters soft tissue it may do just that. No fragments, many times not even tumbling. This leaves a smaller wound channel. It is not a joke when they say not to hunt with surplus ammo. Not many critters out there wearing interceptor vests. The bullet just passes through. Same can happen with a human not wearing any protection too. That is probably the source of this rumor. An enemy struck not perfectly with one of these may even still fight.

Now, the highly frangible bullets I like for hunting would blow apart on a helmet. Now, you have a guy wearing body armor being "bullet proof" to your ammo. That could be worse than a wounding shot with penetrating ammo. As much as I bemoan the bullets we use, there is a reason.

That reason is not to wound. It is to hit, penetrate, and incapacitate the target. Killing is fine, great in fact, but swift incapacitation is key. We do that as much through training (much more training than our adversaries) on where to place out shots. Most Marines now know the first stage in their required marksmanship course Table 2 Qual: Head Shot!

SSG Scott
January 25, 2014, 02:13 PM
Read this article. It covers the original effectiveness of the 5.56 round, how its performance was significantly degraded and why.

http://www.tactical-life.com/magazines/special-weapons/in-praise-of-the-m16-rifle/

From, "In Praise of the M-16 Rifle" by Chuck Taylor:

"The third problem, however, dealt with a less obvious issue: stopping power. As presented by its designer and used in the early combat tests, the “XM16” had utilized a 1-in-14-inch rifling twist with the effect that its bullets were barely stabilized. Upon contacting anything its bullets would destabilize and tumble, causing fantastic wounds and excellent stopping power, even with FMJ military ammo.

The problem was that the Army and Marines weren’t the only organizations who intended to use the M16. The US Air Force had plans to replace their aging M1 .30 caliber carbines with it as well. In the process, they discovered that in sub-zero climates (where the USAF had a number of installations), a 1-in-14-inch twist would not stabilize bullets well enough to meet US military accuracy specifications and requested assistance from Springfield Armory (then a US government installation).

Incredibly, there was no one individual in charge of the US military rifle program and an unknown technician arbitrarily authorized a change in rifling twist to 1-in-12 inches, not just for USAF rifles, but for all M16s. The result of this amazing decision was a 40-percent reduction in the weapon’s wounding effect, and thus it’s stopping power, due to increased bullet stabilization.

Throughout its use in the Vietnam War (1965 to 1972), and again in Grenada and Panama, complaints about poor stopping power continued to be heard. And even more incredibly, instead of correcting the problem, the US Army (who handles all small arms development for all the US armed forces), further exacerbated the problem in 1983 with the adoption of the 1-in-7-inch twist M16A2.

To utilize the longer, heavier (SS109) 63-grain 5.56mm bullet, it needed to meet emerging 5.56mm squad automatic weapon requirements (eventually evolving into the M249 SAW), a more rapid twist was needed. However, this had the effect of reducing (by perhaps an additional 20 percent) the M16’s stopping power even more. By the time it had been used in Operation Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the number of stopping power complaints had reached epidemic proportions. Even Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists have publicly scoffed at the M16 (and its M4 variant), claiming that they had no respect for the weapon."

MistWolf
January 25, 2014, 02:15 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M16_rifle#History[/url]

During the Vietnam war, the first M16 with the slow twist barrel and 55 grain bullet proved to be devestating to anyone hit with it.

Later on,, developments in the cold war dictated the need for more penetration to defete Russian body armor at the longer ranges expected in a Europein ground war.
So, to appease NATO, the rifling twist was increased, and a heavier 62 grain bullet with a 'penetrator' tip was introduced as the M16-A2, and the M855 cartridge.

This move brought on better penetration, and less leathality due to the 'too stable' bullet.

Wiki has this wrong. The 55 gr bullet fired from a 1:14 twist is less stable but in the air. Going to the 1:7 twist has no affect on stability of the upon impact of a body. In fact, one of the problems with the early 55 gr load was that it's instability on impact was unpredictable. Sometimes it would tumble through the body, sometimes it wouldn't. The reality is, in order to keep the bullet stable when transitioning from air to soft tissue, the RPM would have to be incredibly high. The M855 was an early attempt by the military to create a bullet to promote instability on impact with soft tissue. But it was developed for the velocities achieved with the 20" barrel. When they switched to the 14.5" barrel of the M4, they started seeing a marked reduction in effectiveness due to the loss of velocity.

Bullet shape is what determines stability on impact with soft tissue. Bullets with long pointy noses and boatailed bases want to swap ends when they hit. Long, round nosed bullets tend to track straight. Hunting bullets are designed to track straight for deeper penetration and to keep the mushroomed front pointed in the right direction


One of the requirements was to penetrate a standard GI steel helmet at several hundred yards.
Thats not 'designed to wound' in my book.

At no time was wounding rather than killing a consideration to anyone in the decesion making process.

The M16 was designed to kill decisevly.

This. The "a wounded guy needs two buddies, a medic and a St. Bernard with a brandy keg to carry him off the battlefield" story is just a myth invented by bored barracks rats while rodeoing a floor buffer

RussellC
January 25, 2014, 02:23 PM
I think it was Recoil magazine where I read an article, talking about fighting in Iraq: They ignore .223, respect .308 but fear 50 BMG.

I always heard the "wounding" myth concerning round ball ammo, I figured it was more likely it just functioned through full auto weapons better?

They stopped the draft just before my time came...I did have a draft card. Close, very close! I doubt the VC picked up their wounded.

Russellc

SSG Scott
January 25, 2014, 02:32 PM
JudgeHolden10, opinions are like *******s: Everybody has one, and they all stink. However, I would classify Chuck Taylor as an expert. And that's what you wanted, right? Information from a reputable source? :cool:

Float Pilot
January 25, 2014, 02:46 PM
I too was told the same BS story by my instructors upon entering the military. Along with a bunch of other BS stories being retold by semi-literates, like the M-16s being made by Mattel toys.
Having been a match shooter, big game hunter and student of history before entering the service, I often found myself in the forward leaning rest position after trying to correct them.

As for the wounding versus outright killing on the battle field, that argument ( theory ) arose in the 1800s at the upper management levels. It long predates the Vietnam era.

You will find that when the British went from the large diameter Peabody-Martini, Martini-Henry & Enfield Martini ammunition to the .303 caliber Lee Metford in 1888, the same argument arose about killing power, wounding power and the disruption of enemy forces through attrition and loss of morale.

In the US Military the argument re-arose during the 1898 Spanish American war, when the killing / wounding power of the 6mm Lee Navy and the .30 cal US Army ( 30-40 Krag ) was questioned. Col Theodore Roosevelt actually did some field analysis of wounds created by both those cartridges to support their use.

tuj
January 25, 2014, 05:17 PM
There has been a trend towards smaller, faster rounds both East and West; look at the AK74 and the 5.45x39mm cartridge. The reasons for the most listed tend to be more ammo capacity per soldier and per magazine, less recoil, and more accuracy in rapid fire.

To the OP's rumor, I heard it too, although I can't remember exactly where but it was in a book somewhere.

Supposedly according to what I've read, the initial reports from the first 1000 M16's sent to Vietnam for Special Forces and 'Advisers' were of devastating wounds from the 5.56 round, including photographs that were classified until the 80's. It was thought at the time that the 1:14 ratio twist imparted some sort of instability that created these wounds, but the reality was that any bullet that is pointed will tumble in flesh because the center of gravity is aft of the center of pressure.

Finally, the result of the concerns of the Pentagon over potential performance of the ammo in arctic conditions and manufacturing difficulties, lead to a switch from the IMR stick powder to WC846 ball powder which metered better in high-production facilities, but created higher chamber pressures and resulted in dirty residue which would eventually jam the 'self-cleaning' gun.

A close friend of mine's brother was killed as a direct result of his M16 jamming in Vietnam.

JudgeHolden10
January 25, 2014, 05:59 PM
This has been the most lively thread that I have started. It's informative. Thanks, all.

BoilerUP
January 25, 2014, 06:38 PM
How the heck does somebody quantify "stopping power" simply by a bullet's stability factor?!?

Its been a half-century now...bullet and propellent design has moved forward just a wee bit in that time. We now have Mk262 and Mk318 ammunition that can maximize the terminal effects of the 5.56 round out of a given weapon system, well beyond basic 55gr or even 62gr ball ammo.

SSG Scott
January 25, 2014, 07:43 PM
Yes, but the 62 grain capability has been reduced by the 1:7 twist. Faster bullet spin=More stability and better accuracy, but less inclination to yaw upon impact. Instead it punches right through the target, goes out the other side with minimal damage. In the early days of the M-16 and the 5.56 round, you got max damage from a small round and could carry more ammunition than you could with the 7.62.

Now you carry lots of ammunition, have a heavier bullet, but pretty much get the damage capability of a .22LR

It's simple.

Vietnam: 55 Grain bullet fired through 1:14 twist = Less stability, less accuracy and more damage to the target.

Today: 62 Grain bullet fired through a 1:7 twist = more stability, better accuracy and less damage than was obtained with the 55 grain bullet fired through the 1:14 twist.

Bottom line: The military traded terminal ballistics IOT achieve better accuracy and ammunition compatibility with the M249 SAW.

Carl N. Brown
January 25, 2014, 09:36 PM
Wounding to tie up personnel hauling wounded off the battlefield might be a by-product or even a tactic, but I don't believe I have seen evidence it was a deliverate design standard for any "ineffective" round like the .30 Carbine or .223. The lighter recoiling rounds may have been designed to increase hit probability for personnel not trained extensively to use heavier hitting rounds like the .30-06. The carbine round was deliberately designed light to allow a light rifle with web sling which matched the weight (5+ pounds) of a .45 1911, holster, pistol belt, ammo pouch and 3 loaded magazines.

Byron
January 25, 2014, 10:46 PM
I was a grunt with the 4th Inf Div 68-69. The 16's we had was a 1 in 12 twist.The round the M193.It killed and killed well.This myth about taking three men out is just that.In a bad fight one has to continue the fight and tend the wounded later.That sounds cruel but if the myth was correct, the casuaties would have been enormous.Besides I was in the Central Highlands with nowhere to go.

MistWolf
January 25, 2014, 11:33 PM
Yes, but the 62 grain capability has been reduced by the 1:7 twist. Faster bullet spin=More stability and better accuracy, but less inclination to yaw upon impact. Instead it punches right through the target, goes out the other side with minimal damage. In the early days of the M-16 and the 5.56 round, you got max damage from a small round and could carry more ammunition than you could with the 7.62.

Now you carry lots of ammunition, have a heavier bullet, but pretty much get the damage capability of a .22LR

It's simple.

Vietnam: 55 Grain bullet fired through 1:14 twist = Less stability, less accuracy and more damage to the target.

Today: 62 Grain bullet fired through a 1:7 twist = more stability, better accuracy and less damage than was obtained with the 55 grain bullet fired through the 1:14 twist.

Bottom line: The military traded terminal ballistics IOT achieve better accuracy and ammunition compatibility with the M249 SAW.

Studies have been done that show the difference in the twist does not change the RPM of the bullet enough to affect the stability/instability of the bullet hitting soft tissue, whether you're talking about a 1:14 twist, 1:7 twist or even a 1:5. As I stated in an earlier post, bullet shape influences bullet stability when it transitions from air to soft tissue, not rifling twist

stressed
January 25, 2014, 11:39 PM
SO is it twist or shape for wounding potential?

d2wing
January 26, 2014, 12:15 AM
In support of what other vets said, training NCOs often said things that were highly suspect and not very factual, and of course rumors were reported as gospel. I learned to be very skeptical of what anyone says when it comes to guns and that is why some of you drive me nuts with some of your ignorant claims. Like overstated accuracy and effectiveness of stuff proven not to be a 100 years ago or more. And highly imaginative Hollywood or backwoods scenarios about such things.

mtrmn
January 26, 2014, 12:25 PM
In support of what other vets said, training NCOs often said things that were highly suspect and not very factual, and of course rumors were reported as gospel. I learned to be very skeptical of what anyone says when it comes to guns and that is why some of you drive me nuts with some of your ignorant claims. Like overstated accuracy and effectiveness of stuff proven not to be a 100 years ago or more. And highly imaginative Hollywood or backwoods scenarios about such things.
As fun as it can be sometimes to hear some of this stuff, I must pretty well agree with this post. If someone spouts off some drivel on the internet, then it gets repeated until the end of time regardless of whether it's truth, fiction, or a mixture of both.

dvdcrr
January 26, 2014, 01:18 PM
Same 3 chords second verse same as the first.

orionengnr
January 26, 2014, 01:31 PM
Wiki has this wrong.
Gee, first time I've ever seen that happen. :rolleyes:

nathan
January 26, 2014, 01:46 PM
The ones propagating the myth was of course those old timers who hated the idea of a smaller varmint caliber. The 5.56 with its high velocities were lethal when it hit flesh, it wil fragment on impact and cause massive tissue damage, blood loss and death follows. If it didnt fragment, then it will cause poke holes like any gunshot wound and death follows.

d2wing
January 26, 2014, 03:20 PM
I remembered this morning that wounding by the VC often refers to booby traps of many kinds to injure if not kill us. Also they shot to kill and their goal was to kill as many of us as possible because they knew they would win the war of attrition politically. But still they understood the value of wounding tactically and politically. They understood that folks back home would be upset to see vets missing limbs or disfigured.

HexHead
January 26, 2014, 03:59 PM
There has been a trend towards smaller, faster rounds both East and West; look at the AK74 and the 5.45x39mm cartridge. The reasons for the most listed tend to be more ammo capacity per soldier and per magazine, less recoil, and more accuracy in rapid fire.


Actually, the AK74 came about during the Soviet's time in Afghanistan and their displeasure with the 7.62x39 round's performance there. The Afghani's were too thin for the bullet to tumble effectively and it often just passed through them.

The Soviets drew upon the British's experience in both A'stan and WWI with their wooden core .303. About the top 1/3rd of the 53gr 5.45x39 bullet is hollow, and it has a lead base, all enclosed by the jacketing. When it strikes, the tip deforms and it begins to tumble within 2.5" vs the 6.5" the 7.62x39 needed. Even just an arm strike would entail tumbling.

It's a really nasty round. Unlike our 5.56 which creates one wound channel, the 5.45 creates three wound channels as it corkscrews through the body. The Afghanis called it "the poison bullet" because if it didn't kill immediately, the patient would die within a couple of days from gangrene, because they couldn't find the bullet inside the body.

nathan
January 26, 2014, 04:31 PM
Thats why i choose the 5.45 caliber as my SHTF . I like the .22 magnum liked recoil of this caliber and besides its wounding capability is lethal indeed. Thanks for the explanation.

Spade5
January 26, 2014, 04:33 PM
I did one tour in Army infantry 70-71 down in III corp. The first half of my tour was with a line company and the second half in recon.

I never saw an NVA up close but saw a few VC. We never had a harrasment mission when I was with a line company but it appears that the VC often tried to mess with our heads. I used to say that it would be days of pure boredom interlaced with moments of shear terror.

Quite frankly I do not remember which ammo we carried and never thought to look at my 16 to see what the twist rate was. I didn't even know what that meant. My weapon looked worn out and it was a closed superssor with a forward assist so it wasn't an early model.

Our mission in recon was to gather intel and avoid contact. After all there were only 12 of us. Strealth and speed were our main weapons.

I can say with absolute certainty that a VC came around the corner of a narrow trail and at a distance of about 30 feet I put a round in the left side of his chest. He looked down I guess to see if he was hit then proceeded to raise his AK to fire. I had a failure to eject so I couldn't do an immediate follow up shot. He turned and started to run away as my 60 gunner came up on my left and let loose on him. I can't say he wouldn't have dropped from the wound but he certainly had enough left to try to run away from that 60. I didn't mind one bit that he was peppering me with hot brass.

That is all I have to say about that.

MistWolf
January 26, 2014, 05:33 PM
http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/postimages/40052-MilitaryAssaultRifleWPcopy.jpg

stressed
January 27, 2014, 12:29 AM
DP.

stressed
January 27, 2014, 12:33 AM
Actually, the AK74 came about during the Soviet's time in Afghanistan and their displeasure with the 7.62x39 round's performance there. The Afghani's were too thin for the bullet to tumble effectively and it often just passed through them.

The Soviets drew upon the British's experience in both A'stan and WWI with their wooden core .303. About the top 1/3rd of the 53gr 5.45x39 bullet is hollow, and it has a lead base, all enclosed by the jacketing. When it strikes, the tip deforms and it begins to tumble within 2.5" vs the 6.5" the 7.62x39 needed. Even just an arm strike would entail tumbling.

It's a really nasty round. Unlike our 5.56 which creates one wound channel, the 5.45 creates three wound channels as it corkscrews through the body. The Afghanis called it "the poison bullet" because if it didn't kill immediately, the patient would die within a couple of days from gangrene, because they couldn't find the bullet inside the body.
Uh, the Soviets where in Afghanistan in the 80's, the AK74 came about in 1974.

Detritus
January 27, 2014, 01:10 AM
Originally Posted by HexHead
Actually, the AK74 came about during the Soviet's time in Afghanistan and their displeasure with the 7.62x39 round's performance there. The Afghani's were too thin for the bullet to tumble effectively and it often just passed through them......


Originally Posted by Stressed Uh, the Soviets where in Afghanistan in the 80's, the AK74 came about in 1974.

Exactly, design of the 5.45x39 came noticeably before the soviet afghan adventure.

and even with the early 5.45 projectile being severely tail heavy, and therefore logically having an expectation of faster "upset" (on-set of tumbling) upon testing this was shown to NOT be the case. and in fact it's terminal performance/wound characteristics are pretty dang close to duplicating 7.62x39

Ya think maybe the soviets had the same Idea we did, lighter ammo type with same "wounding potential" as the round(s) they wished to replace?!

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