M-16 performance in Iraq/Afganistan ?


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Harve Curry
June 24, 2004, 11:37 PM
What's the word from our soldiers? Does anybody know if they are still having jams due to the sand, oil collecting the sand ? I heard there was a good dry lube but not widely known about or used.

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AhmuqGB
June 25, 2004, 07:04 AM
never had any problems myself and don't know of anyone that did with the one exception being people that did not maintain their equipment. All weapons require some level of maintenance. The dry lube we had was crap. I forget the brand name, but dust still built up on the weapons and without the higher viscosity of the "wet" lubes less dust had a greater effect of the dry guns. Others may have had different experiences though. My personal recipe was dayly field striping/cleaning, keeping it away from exposeure as much as possible and additional cleaning and lube before any mission. Hope that helps

Blackhawk 6
June 25, 2004, 03:27 PM
Despite what many internet commandos would have you believe, if you maintain your weapon it will perform. This applies to all weapons not just the M-16/M-4. Ten to twenty minuntes per day is all it takes.

Dry-lube is great in theory, less so in practice. I had good luck applying Militec and then wiping the weapon dry(the idea being there would be a microspoci layer of lubricant; seemed to work). I know some others preferred drenching their weapon with lubricant and that seemed to work as well.

Any reports of weapon malfunctions say more about the operator than they do the weapon.

MrMurphy
June 25, 2004, 06:15 PM
Everyone I've talked to who's come back is screaming about getting their hands on several bottles of Militec before going back if they go back.


Daily maintenance does help. Under simulated combat conditions (rainy, muddy, very dirty conditions at Fort Knox) I never had problems with my A2 in my limited (say 600 rounds under those conditions) testing. Under range conditions, I've never seen an AR jam attributable to the weapon.

Keep it clean, it will go bang when you want it to if you have good magazines.


My father had one in Vietnam, first the M14, then the M16, then the M16A1, and eventually the M16A2 (Gulf War) and he says he never had a real jam (serious, not counting the occasional empty bouncing back in to the action or something) until the Gulf War, and even then, only one (he was mostly rear area then, did some message runs of classified material to the front though) due to sandstorms, etc.

Mulliga
June 25, 2004, 09:59 PM
From what I've read, the problem isn't the M16/M4, it's the Beretta 92 (i.e. M9). They seem to have real issues with it - weak 9mm ball ammo, weak mag springs, slide failures, etc. Then again, I know plenty of Berettas (especially here at home) work without a hitch, so who knows?

Then again, that unit that was captured in Nasiriya had most of their rifles jam IIRC. The hero of Jessica Lynch's unit had to use his forward assist every time when assaulting an enemy mortar, essentially turning his M16 into a bolt action rifle. :what:

Then again, they were a back-line maintenance unit. ;)

capt_happypants
June 25, 2004, 11:15 PM
The M4 is a pretty bad platform for long-range engagements using M855 ammunition. There are persistent complaints that it lacks stopping power at extended ranges. The 14.5" bbl limits the fragmentation range to under 100 yards or so.

For close-in work, it does quite well, but if you plan to take shots past 150 yards or so, either load it with the Mark 262 Mod 1 77 gr OTM, or carry a '16A2 or A4.

lbmii
June 26, 2004, 01:25 AM
The Marine Company that my brother was once part of just loves the Barret 50 cal and they want more of them.

Delmar
June 26, 2004, 01:44 AM
weak 9mm ball ammo

Mulliga-has the military changed their load for the 9MM? From what I can find out in Cartridges of the World and a few other sources, Mil-spec ammo is tossing 124 grain FMJ's at 1250 fps., measured 15 yards from the muzzle, which is actually pretty stout for what I see on the factory shelves from Remington, Winchester, Federal, etc.

Mulliga
June 26, 2004, 02:40 PM
124 grain FMJ's at 1250 fps

Yes, but it's still FMJ - as I understand it, ball ammo has poor stopping power compared to modern hollowpoint ammunition - exactly why it is forbidden for hunting deer in most areas.

Delmar
June 26, 2004, 02:56 PM
Oh, FMJ-gotcha;) . In that context, I certainly agree. Of all the "play nice" rules of war, that one is one of the strangest.....

Domino
June 26, 2004, 11:33 PM
The M4 is a pretty bad platform for long-range engagements using M855 ammunition. There are persistent complaints that it lacks stopping power at extended ranges. The 14.5" bbl limits the fragmentation range to under 100 yards or so.

I have heard the same thing quite often. The short barrel does not allow for the .223 cartridge to perform as well as it should. Your getting what, 2600 fps with a 68g bullet? That wouldn't be my personal choice even for close combat. I would rather have an M1 carbine or like a said in one of my other posts, a carbine in 7.62X25 :D . 2000 fps with a 90g .30 cal bullet wouldn't be bad, plus it can still penetrate, but just fantasy I guess. With the complaints of the M4 I wonder if the military will adopt something else for the soldiers behind the lines, maybe the FN P90 like the Saudi's have. Actually, if I was in Iraq I would rather have a RAV02 (http://www.robarm.com/rav02.htm) than an M4. Accurate, modular, and seems tough as nails; plus plenty of mags that were only dropped in the sand once :evil: .

capt_happypants
June 26, 2004, 11:48 PM
The heavy(68 gr and up) match HP loads actually require a much lower impact velocity to initiate fragmentation, which makes them excellent choices for SBRs like the M4 or Colt Commando.

There's some pics of the newer stuff in ballistic gelatin over www.ammo-oracle.com

MrMurphy
June 27, 2004, 01:31 AM
I can personally attest from what I've seen attending several shootings that without good aiming the 9mm FMJ has crappy performance. If you don't hit the heart/lungs or other seriously affecting you stuff, it just goes right through. I saw a guy take 4 9mm FMJ in the leg from about a foot, he drove off seven blocks and limped into a house little to the worse for wear aside from the bleeding. Then again I saw a guy take a 9mm FMJ to the upper chest in a drive-up shooting and two shots hit something vital cause he crawled up onto a porch and expired.

AhmuqGB
June 28, 2004, 07:55 AM
The M4 is a pretty bad platform for long-range engagements using M855 ammunition. There are persistent complaints that it lacks stopping power at extended ranges. The 14.5" bbl limits the fragmentation range to under 100 yards or so.

I've never seen issues with stopping power at range with an M-4. I've seen them used effectively at ranges in excess of 300m (granted that was with optics). The M-4 is not a sniper system and it cannot be the best at everything. For the requirements we(the military) put on it it does an excellent job being a jack of all trades. At range an M24/M21/Barrett will smoke it in performance, but try carrying one of those while clearing a room, or while marching up the side of a mountain in afghanistan. At close range 9mm/10mm/.45 sub machine would out perform it. All in all it is an excellent weapon in my opinion, not saying there are none better out there, but it holds it's own among the best.

Blackhawk 6
June 29, 2004, 09:02 AM
With the complaints of the M4 I wonder if the military will adopt something else for the soldiers behind the lines, maybe the FN P90 like the Saudi's have.

Domino,
Three quick points. One, there are no more lines and consequently no soldiers behind them. Two, having worked with the "best" the Saudi Military has to offer, I would not copy anything they do. If anything they serve as an example of what not to do. Three, while the FN P90 looks cool and scores well on the CDI index, it has very little to offer.

Then again, that unit that was captured in Nasiriya had most of their rifles jam IIRC.

Mulliga,
Those issues existed with every weapon in the unit. See earlier comments regarding maintenance.

The M4 is a pretty bad platform for long-range engagements using M855 ammunition. There are persistent complaints that it lacks stopping power at extended ranges. The 14.5" bbl limits the fragmentation range to under 100 yards or so.

Please forgive the rant.

Let me begin by saying that I appreciate all of the attention the M-4 is getting and the fact that many people want the military to have a more effective rifle. That said, there is a lot of speculation surrounding the performance of this weapon system, most of it founded on fiction rather than fact.

The notion that the M-4 is ineffective is false. I am not sure who the ballistician is that came up with the fragmentation theory, and it may have some merit on paper. The fact is that complaints about the M-4's inability to instantly incapacitate are being reported at all ranges. The most credible reports (read: those from highly-trained special operations personnel) are being reported at much shorter ranges, 25 meters or less. That there is an issue at extended range (in excess of 300 meters) is valid and the Mk262 rounds were developed to correct that short-coming, specifically for the SPR. That the Mk262 performs at least as well and probably better than M855 is fact. That there is room for improvement with regard to the terminal performance of the M-855 is also fact.

Here are a few more facts:
1. The overwhelming majority of the U.S. special operations community uses the M-4, including those who have the latitude to use different weapon systems. Ditto most coalition special operations units.

2. The overwhelming majority of private contractors, the overwhelming majority of whom are former SOF personnel, are using M-4's despite having no tie to the U.S. military.

3. Many SOF units are going to shorter barrels on their rifles.

4. No bullet guarantees instant incapacitation. None. There are a few credible reports of enemy personnel staying in the fight, albeit briefly, after being hit by .50 BMG.

With that out of the way, here are my opinions on the matter:

1. Much of the poor reputation that the M-16A2/M-4 family enjoys is a by-product of the Vietnam War. A combination of M-14 champions and arm-chair commando's have kept the controversy alive. Before a Vietnam Veteran comes and flames me, let me say I am in no position to comment on the M-16 and its performance in Vietnam. If you don't tell me how bad the M-4 is in Iraq and Afghanistan, I won't tell you how good the M-16 was in Vietnam.

2. I love our soldiers. I have spent my entire adult life in their company. To put it kindly, they are prone to exaggeration. "I emptied an entire magazine into him, center mass, and he kept coming," can often be translated into "I fired eight rounds and hit him in the foot once."

3. The majority of soldiers are great people but they are not weapons experts and many have difficulty qualifying with their weapons. Ego, especially when it comes to marksmanship, is alive and well. A number of reported, ineffective hits were probably misses. Question:What does a soldier see when he hits someone at 150 meters and it has no effect? Answer:The same thing he sees when he misses. Who decides whether it was a hit or miss?

(Curiously, the Army and I apparently agree on the last two points.)

4. Prior to 9/11 the population in the Army of people who had actually engaged in close combat was relatively small, to include our special operations units. While we had a number of combat veterans, very few had actually shot a person and witnessed the effects. Very few of our soldiers have shot anything, to include deer. Consequently, hollywood has shaped our perception of how a shot person reacts. Most people understand that bullets do not blow people through walls, but they do not understand much beyond that. Comments like "A .45 will knock a man down," or "Even if you miss with a .50 cal, the bullet passing by can rip a man's arm off," are not uncommon. As a result, when they center punch a person with a 5.56mm at 10 meters and he stands there for five seconds before falling down, they get upset. Time tends to get distorted when your life is threatened and five seconds becomes a minute. I think you all get the idea.

5. I am not a ballistics expert, but my high school biology background and a little reading lead me to believe that the three mechanism for incapacitation would be a CNS hit, loss of blood and shock. Shock is highly dependant on the individual and can not be counted on. That leaves a CNS hit and loss of blood. A bullet to the heart is a bullet to the heart. If you placed your shot correctly, as everyone apparently has, even if it went right through the body the operation of the heart has been disrupted. If you hit something in the heart, it takes time for it to die. If you want it to fall down immediately, you have to hit the CNS and that is hard. Talk to a deer hunter and when you do keep in mind that the deer is not a fanatic bent on killing you.

6. I find it interesting that much of the criticism levied against the M-4 and M-16A2 is not levied against the M-249. It has comparable barrel lengths and fires the same round. I have yet to hear anyone say that the para-SAW sucks beyond a 150 meters despite its short barrel length. Why is that?

Let me reiterate. I do believe there is room for improvement with regard to the terminal performance of the M-4/M-855. It is just not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Hopefuly, the XM-8 makes progress in this regard. I appreciate the concern shown on this and other forums, and I look forward to the day that I am issued a rifle that disintegrates the target with a marginal hit.

Thank you for tolerating my rant.

Jaywalker
June 29, 2004, 10:10 AM
Blackhawk 6: What a great rant! It was literate and logical and didn't claim secret knowledge. Just because we like rifles (or we wouldn't be on this forum) doesn't mean the government wants to spend money to make us happy in our search for theoretical perfection. The government's point of view is that they could spend the same money and get tanks, trucks, artillery, electronics, or whatever, and make a real difference.

Jaywalker

Warbow
June 29, 2004, 10:21 AM
Thanks, Blackhawk 6. Very good post. :)

MrMurphy
June 29, 2004, 10:36 AM
I had one young paratrooper corporal tell me in all seriousness once that a hit in the hand by a .50 BMG would cause your head to blow off from the "hydraulic shock"....... granted, he was probably passing on a story from someone else, but I nearly died laughing. Knowing far more about weaponry, ballistics and actual shootings (having seen the results of about 15-20 at least in person), and having a dad who's a Vietnam and Gulf War vet, and can personally attest what a 5.56mm, 7.62mm or .50 will do to people..... yeah, a finger hit's going to blow your head off your neck? :) I think my dad would disagree, and he was ALSO in the 101st. Or attached at least.

Harve Curry
June 29, 2004, 11:13 AM
Thanks Blackhawk 6,
I think it will be hard to come (if not impossible) up with a 22 caliber full metal jacket bullet that make one shot incapacitating hit. Even a FMJ 30 or 50bmg can't do that, it just goes on through. The bullet would have to be unstable and turn sideways when it hit somebody. Then the trade off is accuracy.
So I wonder what's up with the new cartridge being a 28 caliber. It gives more range to a good shooter, that's it.

But I still have a question about the M-16 action.
Is it more prone to dirt and feeding problems then the enemies weapon? The AK/SKS action design doesn't seem to have these problems.
But the AK isn't an accurate rifle, the SKS's I've shot can be. I don't know why that is, but they are.

Coronach
June 29, 2004, 11:47 AM
Question:What does a soldier see when he hits someone at 150 meters and it has no effect? Answer:The same thing he sees when he misses. Who decides whether it was a hit or miss?:D

Blackhawk 6
June 29, 2004, 11:47 AM
I don't think there is any question that the AK-47 is a more reliable design than the M16/M-4. However, as previously stated, those reliability issues can be eliminated through regular maintenance.

I have not fired the AK-47 or SKS extensively. It is important to keep in mind that the ones encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan are, in many cases, decades old and generally poorly maintained. I would attribute the poor accuracy of the weapon system to the operator. There is a penchant for removing the stock and a general reluctance to use the sights, neither of which contributes to hitting the target. I did, however, encourage both practices with every Afghani I encountered.....

AhmugGB is probably better qualified to comment on AK's.

AhmuqGB
June 29, 2004, 12:05 PM
I worry that we over dramatize the amount of maintenance required to ensure the performance of the M-4.

Blackhawk6:
Ten to twenty minuntes per day is all it takes

I was more toward the 10 min per day mark and never had a problem, and there were days I skipped. :eek: I don't think, even at the 20 min mark like BH6, it is too much to ask in terms of maintaining something that your life depends on. Even with an AK in combat I field stripped it daily and wiped it down. I never want to die from lack of shooting back.

Harve Curry
June 29, 2004, 11:47 PM
Blackhawk6 & AhmuqGB,

How often is the forward assist used?
It's needed right?
thanks, Harve Curry

Mulliga
June 29, 2004, 11:56 PM
Is it more prone to dirt and feeding problems then the enemies weapon?

I've heard this, and I don't really buy it. I see my two friends' ARs running all day long without a hitch, and it makes me wonder - could people on the Internet possibly be wrong? :D

True, they don't pour mud and crap all over their guns, but then again, I've never poured mud on my AK, either. ;)

DMK
June 30, 2004, 08:05 AM
I am not sure who the ballistician is that came up with the fragmentation theory, and it may have some merit on paper. The fact is that complaints about the M-4's inability to instantly incapacitate are being reported at all ranges. The most credible reports (read: those from highly-trained special operations personnel) are being reported at much shorter ranges, 25 meters or less. That there is an issue at extended range (in excess of 300 meters) is valid and the Mk262 rounds were developed to correct that short-coming, specifically for the SPR. Blackhawk6, I take it that you are not a believer of M193/M855's fragmentation performance?

Blackhawk 6
June 30, 2004, 08:56 AM
How often is the forward assist used?

Honestly, it is dependant upon the individual. The Army teaches its use as part of malfuction clearance and that is probably when the majority of soldiers use it. I know some highly competent shooters who never touch it and others who hit it every time they manually chamber a round.

Blackhawk6, I take it that you are not a believer of M193/M855's fragmentation performance?

I have seen pictures of the gelatin blocks that have been shot and read what the experts have to say. I understand the principle and it makes sense. Never having had the opportunity to autopsy anyone I have shot, I'll take their word for it. However, the people I have spoken with regarding M-855 failures tell me it occurred most often at short range. My personal observation was that M-855 did well at ranges 200 meters and beyond. This would seem to contradict the "terminal performance is a function of fragmentation is a function of velocity" theory. If I have time I will try and dig up some accounts.

In the end, I will readily admit I am not the "go to" guy on the subject. I tend to be fairly ignorant when it comes to technical things. I am more interested that there is a picture when I turn on the TV and less interested in how it gets there.

Med 10
June 30, 2004, 08:57 AM
This thread is a good read, lots of logical and well thought out responses. I would like to add that it is possible to get good accuracy out of an AK. My VEPR K is very close to my m-4 in terms of accuracy. I have heard others say that a few of the higher end AK's have good accuracy as well.

FWIW I think the M-4 does a good job of covering all the bases. Not superb at one particular thing, but okay at many. I think the M-4 is ideal for the type of urban combat in Iraq but if I were in the mountains of Afghanistan I would probably want an M-14, but then theres the weight issue. :( there is really no perfect rifle for everything.

Carry on gents.

Blackhawk 6
June 30, 2004, 09:04 AM
DMK,

As promised. I hope the link works. More to follow as time allows.

http://nationaldefense.ndia.org/article.cfm?Id=1167

“When I shoot somebody who is not behind a wall, that is not wearing body armor, I expect them to go down. I do not expect the penetrators to go right through,” Schultz said. “It happened on numerous occasions. I can tell you from my own experience, if you shoot it from 150-200 meters, it works great. Anything within 50 meters, that fast round did not work.”

BeLikeTrey
June 30, 2004, 10:22 AM
From what I understood is....

If you have a pretty accurate rifle the tolerances are quite tight, thus if something gets in the action it is quite a bit more likely to jam. If you make a greater tolerance in your rifle, the accuracy suffers, but you can "throw it in the mud and stomp on it". this is the way it was explained to me. my .02$ (borrowed from another;) )

Bartholomew Roberts
June 30, 2004, 10:24 AM
Remember, before a round can fragment it first has to yaw and begin to turn sideways. If the round does not yaw while it is still inside the target there will be no fragmentation.

IIRC, In M193, up to 15% of rounds can take longer than 6" to yaw or even exit the target entirely. Some of the Sierra heavy match rounds that show good fragmentation also show no yaw in up to 7" of gelatin. On an unobstructed frontal shot, the chances are real good that this round would exit an enemy before it ever yawed.

With M855 (SS109), all the same caveats apply with the additional one of bullet construction. Because bullet construction is more complex (penetrator, lead core, jacket) and military specifications allow latitude in construction as long as it meets accuracy and reliability targets, you can have two different lots of M855 with entirely different terminal ballistics. If the jacket is thick enough, M855 may not fragment at all. Likewise, I've also seen M855 that fragmented at 1,900fps like M193 did at 2,500fps.

MrMurphy
June 30, 2004, 11:16 AM
Shooting from the prone with the sights, an AK can hit a man sized target in the chest all day long at 100-200-250 meters without much problem.

Considering the tactics shown by the Iraqi insurgents, being similar to the Palestinians (point, hose, dive for cover) I'm not surprised at their lack of accuracy. It is not, however, the fault of the rifle. It's not quite as accurate as the M16, but it's not completely inaccurate.


While not an infantryman or even in the service, i ran through Basic for ROTC and treated my M16A2 like crap. Dunked in mud, half submerged underwater going under barbed wire (the pit filled up with water....... Kentucky rains a lot), shot a lot, ground into the sand diving for cover, etc etc etc..... not nice clean range conditions.

Aside from shooting blanks (where the lack of power makes it fail to function a lot) I never had a jam. One time a empty bounced back into the action, took about 2 seconds to clear, I didn't count that. With live ammo, it was totally reliable with proper cleaning, and keeping the ejection port cover closed when not firing. This pretty much matches my dad's experience (who DOES have a lot of combat time, with all of the M16s).

AhmuqGB
June 30, 2004, 11:20 AM
How often is the forward assist used?

I am on the side of using it every time I manually chamber a round. It isn't really necessary, but I would hate to have the weapon fail to fire just because I failed to do something like tap the forward assist.

AhmuqGB
June 30, 2004, 11:43 AM
Here is the account of A 5th group operator that kind of demonstrates the weakness of 855 at closer ranges. As you can see by the account there are some shortcomings at closer ranges. Just to be clear though that's the ammunition and not the rifle.


Pryor first encountered an enemy that was charging out of the room and assisted in eliminating him. Then, without hesitation, Pryor moved ahead into the room and found himself alone with three more enemy soldiers.

According to Pryor, the next two enemies he saw were firing their weapons out of the back of the room at his men that were still outside the compound.

"I went in, and there were some windows that they were trying to get their guns out of to shoot at our guys that hadn't caught up yet," he said. "So I went from left to right, indexed down and shot those guys up. I realized that I was well into halfway through my magazine, so I started to change magazines. Then I felt something behind me, and thought it was (one of my teammates) - that's when things started going downhill."

Pryor said it was an enemy soldier, a larger-than-normal Afghan, who had snuck up on him.

"There was a guy back behind me, and he whopped me on the shoulder with something, and crumpled me down."

Pryor would later learn that he had sustained a broken clavicle and a dislocated shoulder during the attack.

"Then he jumped up on my back, broke my night-vision goggles off and starting getting his fingers in my eyeballs. I pulled him over, and when I hit down on the ground, it popped my shoulder back in."

Pryor said that after he stood up, he was face to face with his attacker. Pryor eliminated the man during their hand-to-hand struggle.

Pryor had now put down all four enemies, but the fight wasn't over yet.

"I was trying to feel around in the dark for my night-vision goggles, and that's when the guys I'd already killed decided that they weren't dead yet."

Pryor said that it was then a race to see who could get their weapons up first, and the enemy soldiers lost. He then left the room and rejoined the firefight outside. When the battle ended, 21 enemy soldiers had been killed. There were no American causalities, and Pryor had been the only soldier injured.

http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/print.php?story_id_key=1689

www4.army.mil/ocpa/print.php?story_id_key=1689 (http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/print.php?story_id_key=1689)

Cosmoline
June 30, 2004, 01:49 PM
Ten to twenty minuntes per day is all it takes.

I don't doubt that at all. But I still find this a per se defect. The AK-47, after all, needs to have twenty minutes of cleaning per month, if even that.

Blackhawk 6
June 30, 2004, 02:04 PM
You and I have differing opinions of what qualifies as a defect. The notion of a "maintenance free" weapon is nice, but I would still be maintain it. If I am going to trust my life to it, I am going to take care of it. That it takes 20 minutes out of my day is a small price to pay for that piece of mind.

AhmuqGB
June 30, 2004, 02:18 PM
I don't doubt that at all. But I still find this a per se defect. The AK-47, after all, needs to have twenty minutes of cleaning per month, if even that.

Cosmoline,
If you only spend 20 min a month cleaning your AK-47 I can guarantee it will fail you when you need it most, Murphy has a way of jumping into your decision cycle that way. Yes, the AK-47 is more rugged than the M-4 in terms of taking abuse, and if all you care about is a weapon that you can abuse, by all means use an AK. I've used both and can say without a doubt that all things being equal you will get a better shot group at range with an M-4. I can also say that I've seen AK-47s that were maintained to the 20min per month standards in the desert(actually they were cleaned more often that that) and the AK-47s had serious performance issues(6-10 failed to fire for various reasons). All machines need maintenance you can't consider an inherent trait as a defect. As for picking weapons by which can take the most abuse, I pick my weapons like I choose my women, not by which can take the most abuse, but by which can get the job done best ;) Ultimately though it does boil down to shooter preference and what you want/need the weapon to do

Cosmoline
June 30, 2004, 03:31 PM
I haven't cleaned my SAR-1 in many months, and it's working fine after a good thousand rounds through it. But you're right that combat conditions in the desert require more care. Still, half an hour PER DAY is clearly excessive. You don't need to put anything like that kind of time into an AK platform. Put simply, most of the crud is blown right out of the action. Nor do you need to knock the magazine on the side of your head to ensure it will function.

Blackhawk 6
June 30, 2004, 04:38 PM
Cosmoline,

In the interest of exchanging points of view, I offer this for your consideration. How do you know that if you were to pull the trigger on your SAR-1 it will fire? How do you know that the very last round that you fired on your last outing to the range did not cause something to come loose, or break a pin or spring? How do you know that after firing thousands of rounds over the past several monthes your weapon has finally become fouled to the extent that it will malfunction? The answer to all of these questions is you don't.

For you, if one of these things had happened it is an inconvenience at worst. A couple of hours of range time lost. For me it may mean my life or the life of a fellow Soldier. The ten or twenty minutes a day I spent on maintaining my rifle had nothing to do with the fact that my rifle was an M-4. It had to do with the fact that I NEEDED it to funtion when I pulled the trigger. I would have done it with an AK-47. I will do it with an M-8. It is the responsible thing to do.

In my line of work, you can do everything right and still get killed. There is no reason not to try and stack the odds in your favor. That twenty-minute nap you blow off maintenance for could earn you a permanent one.

OEF_VET
June 30, 2004, 06:58 PM
That twenty-minute nap you blow off maintenance for could earn you a permanent one.

Hear, Hear! Very well said Blackhawk6.

MrMurphy
June 30, 2004, 07:13 PM
Yeah....... Murphy's Laws of Combat..... "Anything you can do in combat, including nothing, can get you killed"

Stack the odds in your favor. If I was in daily combat or possible (in country, etc) I sure as heck would be spending at least 15 minutes a day to double check my weapon. Regardless of type, AK, Uzi, M4, M16, period.

Cosmoline
June 30, 2004, 07:17 PM
Your points are well taken. However, it seems to me the zero margin for error you face makes it all the more critical to have a weapon which does not need that much care and feeding. Maybe you'd do it anyone, but then again maybe you'd be unable to break down your firearm for days or weeks. Frankly I'd prefer it if our troops were armed with firearms which had as low a failure rate as possible, cleaned or filthy.

DMK
June 30, 2004, 07:34 PM
Thanks for the link Blackhawk6.

It apears to me that if you take it in context, the gentleman in quote you refer to is speaking of M855 fired out of an M249 SAW interestingly enough. Not that should make a lot of difference, just thought it was interesting.

While I have never had to fire a weapon in anger and my only reference to ammo performance is shooting into water or playdough on a nice, peaceful afternoon, I've never been a big fan of M855. I still don't understand how ammo with a steel penetrator core should be expected to make a good anti-personnel round. It seems to me that this round was designed to be a Jack of all trades and masters none.

Das Pferd
June 30, 2004, 09:13 PM
When reading the book Blackhawk Down, the author notes a few complaints of the troops. One that stood out is exactly what the soldier described above, the rounds pass through the BG and dont do as much damage as they shood. The BG is still able to fight without being hit multiple times.

Blackhawk 6
June 30, 2004, 11:08 PM
Cosmoline,

I would agree if reliability was the only factor to be considered. It's obvious you prefer the AK. That's fine, it's a good rifle.

DMK,

AhmugGB posted the story of the 5th Group operator I was thinking of.

444
July 1, 2004, 12:19 AM
Not trying to ruffle any feathers, but I bring this up in every thread like this I read:
"Is it more prone to dirt and feeding problems then the enemies weapon? The AK/SKS action design doesn't seem to have these problems. "
"The AK-47, after all, needs to have twenty minutes of cleaning per month, if even that."

What is this based on ? How do we know how our enemies weapons are maintained ? How do we know how often an Iraqi soldier or a terrorist clean their weapons ? How do we know how often they have a stoppage ? Or...............are these statements based on stuff we have read over and over again on the internet or based on use at a civilian range ?
In every one of these threads I see the reliablility of the M16 disected from every angle. Every cleaning schedule, every lube, number of rounds fired, M4 vs M16A2............................... People demand every detail.
Then someone says the AK is more reliable and no one asks for any of the details.
I AM ASKING FOR DETAILS.
Where did you get this information ?



I realize that there certainly are people who possess this information. I realize there are people on this board that have actually carried an AK in combat and many more that have faced an AK in combat. But most of the time, I don't get the impression they are the same ones making these kind of statements.
It seems that the people that have been there and done it, advocate never finding out just how dirty you can get it.

Joe Demko
July 1, 2004, 12:41 AM
444 makes an excellent point, and one which we have discussed at some length in other threads. After action reports are available on the M-16 series, likewise test data, and so forth. Darned little except anecdotes and buddy stories seems to be available on the AK series. Despite that, I've read posts on this very board making flat statments that the Iraqis/Afghanis aren't having any trouble with their weapons.
Seems to me that it would be a good idea to have something other than buddy stories on which to base statements of relative worth.

Teufelhunden
July 1, 2004, 01:29 AM
I do not expect the penetrators to go right through,” Schultz said.

Admittedly I'm taking this quote out of context, but am I reading that Mr.Schultz is surprised that a round classified as a 'penetrator' is penetrating? :confused:

The one thing you never seem to hear about is when folks are glad for the light cover penetrating capabilities of the M855. Sure, it might zip though some folks that you might then have to address again, but you can also nullify the advantage of whatever pushcart or fruitstand they're hiding behind provides.

-Teuf

mattf7184
July 1, 2004, 02:32 AM
Well, most operators I see over there are using 5.56 ARs....must be a reason.

http://www.isayeret.com/weapons/assault/m16vsak47.htm

Nothing like an AR/AK debate lol

goalie
July 1, 2004, 06:22 AM
I don't doubt that at all. But I still find this a per se defect. The AK-47, after all, needs to have twenty minutes of cleaning per month, if even that.

The guys I ran into in '91 that had those reliable AKs were not too thrilled with our accurate (and reliable due to good weapons maintenance) M16A2s that could actually hit at 4-500 yards.

Then again, I was never fighting in an urban setting, thank God.


It isn't the arrow...............

AhmuqGB
July 1, 2004, 07:45 AM
Then someone says the AK is more reliable and no one asks for any of the details.
I AM ASKING FOR DETAILS.
Where did you get this information ?
.

444,
I've used a chinese AK-47 and russian a AKSU in combat and I've seen AK74s and 47s used maintained and yes even fail in combat. I agree that we hear a lot about the M-4 and it's maintenance "issues", and how the AK-47 can be dropped in mud and picked up and fired etc. I've seen AK 47s that were cleaned about once a mnth maybe twice and they had severe performance issues. I don't think we need to break it down to which weapon can go longer without maintenance though. I will submit this generalization from my experiences for the masses. Of the M-4s and AKs I've used, The weapons that were maintained regularly(read wiped down), none of them had performance issues. Of the weapons I've seen used that were not, M-4s AND AKs they had more performance issues. That may be an over simplification, but it is the only reliable trend I've seen on their performance.

Blackhawk 6
July 1, 2004, 08:18 AM
As has been mentioned before, your rifle is a machine and machines require regular maintenance. We do not buy cars based on which one can go longer without an oil change (at least I don't), we buy them based on whether or not they meet our needs. Mechanical reliability and maintenance requirements are certainly factors, but they are not the only ones.

Also, keep in mind, the battlefield is generally a harsh place. Everything gets abused, both people and equipment. Your experiences with your AR-15 or SAR on the range have little correlation to how the weapon will perform in a combat zone.

Med 10
July 1, 2004, 09:49 AM
How did this thread turn into an AR vs AK thread?

Oh, I know, the armchair commandos finally showed up for the discussion. :rolleyes:

DMK
July 1, 2004, 09:57 AM
How did this thread turn into an AR vs AK thread?
Oh, I know, the armchair commandos finally showed up for the discussion. It apears that they were "called out" by 444. :D

buzz_knox
July 1, 2004, 10:03 AM
When reading the book Blackhawk Down, the author notes a few complaints of the troops. One that stood out is exactly what the soldier described above, the rounds pass through the BG and dont do as much damage as they shood. The BG is still able to fight without being hit multiple times.

You will note that in Blackhawk Down, an incident is documented where multiple rounds from an M60 failed to stop a target. Humans are easy to kill, but hard to stop.

Jaywalker
July 1, 2004, 10:43 AM
Blackhawk 6: We do not buy cars based on which one can go longer without an oil change (at least I don't), we buy them based on whether or not they meet our needs. I have no dog in this fight, having sold my Bushie because it wasn't a bolt-action, but I do have to question this argument. All analogies are suspect, but this one seems to miss the point considerably. Many military items, including the F-4 I used to fly, have been replaced, not because of raw performance, but because of the "oil change" requirements of logistics.

Re the M855 rounds: when they were introduced (from a French design, I might mention - the SS-109, IIRC) in the early Eighties, they were universally hailed as the logical replacement for the aging M193, whose long-range performance was said to be the cartridge's weak point. The longer, heavier bullet retained its energy over longer distance and was able to penetrate a standard helmet at 600 meters (again, IIRC).

This transition took place prior to the general discovery/acceptance of the fragmentation theory of wound effect, so the new bullet was a reasonble choice with the existing knowledge of the time.

There had always been stories of the "tumbling wound effect" of the M193, but I don't believe it had been formally studied (or at least "published") until the mid-Eighties. Those studies seemed to indicate that any FMJ rifle bullet would tumble (and also fragment as a function of the tumble) at least close to the max tumbling (fragementation?) range of the M193. Therefore, even after the studies were published, there seemed to be no good reason to review the M855 decision. Because of limitations of testing capability, we can only assume the correlation of "tumble/fragment" to "incapacitation," but it seems to be a reasonable assumption.

The discussions on wound effect of the penetrating rounds seems to imply that the round did not tumble or fragment within 25 meters, say, and that that could be the reason for observed failures at close range. Is that the case, or is it possible that, as Blackhawk 6 observed, some of the torso hits were not solid at all?

It seems odd that a longer bullet at higher velocity would not tumble/fragment, however; higher velocity and a bullet not yet "settled down" would seem to be more unstable, not less. If it did T/F, it then seems odd that it didn't incapacitate - that would call into question our entire assumption of wound effect.

Jaywalker

Blackhawk 6
July 1, 2004, 11:31 AM
Many military items, including the F-4 I used to fly, have been replaced, not because of raw performance, but because of the "oil change" requirements of logistics.

A valid statement that illustrates the danger of having bean-counters and logisticians instead of warfighters in charge. But that is probably a topic for another time.....

Cosmoline
July 1, 2004, 10:16 PM
I AM ASKING FOR DETAILS.

My information comes from two sources. The first is second and third hand reports from Vietnam and Desert Storm describing our soldiers finding rusted out and beat up AK's that still function fine. The most reliable reports I have personally heard have come from Desert Storm vets simply because that's my generation and I know quite a few people who went over there.

More importantly, I've owned a SAR-1 for several years and have abused it as much as any of my badly-abused firearms. It's been on the rough end of Alaska and is rarely cleaned. I even coated it with lard as an experiment, and it still worked fine. The worst problems I've ever had with it have been a bad round from time to time, because I buy cheap ammo and leave it outside in the rain and snow. I can almost guarantee any AR pattern rifle left in those conditions would have had worse problems. Esp. because of my lazy cleaning routine and because it would have been in ideal rust conditions most of the time. For reliability it's up there with my Mossberg 500.

I'd love to do similar lard-based experiments on an AR, but I'm still waiting for volunteers to let me use their rifles :D

I'll admit I know nothing about desert combat and I hate hot climates. But up here, you couldn't pay me enough to use an AR in this place. A few hard swipes against a tree, a fall down a cliff, or exposure to deep cold and you'd have to strip it down, clean all the wee parts, and start over again. If it even worked anymore. I just don't trust those rifles.

Coronach
July 1, 2004, 11:42 PM
The question of which is more reliable, the AK or the AR is completely moot. It doesn't matter. The question that matters is whether or not the rifle issued to the troops is reliable given the logistical resources and training available to them.

The M16 family of rifles is designed to be issued to a well-trained, literate, and motivated volunteer force sitting at the pointy end of the spear with a reliable supply train backing them up and with competent transportation and logistical support. This means that Joe Grunt not only knows how to service his rifle, but he can rely upon getting enough lube, cleaner and widgets and down time in which to do it. As such, the M16 series can probably be described as reliable enough. If you figure you're just a truck driver and you skip maintenance for a month, you only have yourself to blame.

The AK series is designed to be shoved into the hands of conscript soldiers who are told which end the bullets come out of and not much else, and is likewise designed to be fielded without reliable maintenance and supply support for the trigger puller. Seeing as how the end users seem unaware of what the front sight is even for, I am guessing that these conditions have been met. Since the gun seemingly goes bang pretty often, it would also be described as reliable enough.

Is the AK probably more inherently reliable than the AR? Yeah, probably. But it doesn't matter. The US military's ability to produce trained troops and maintain order and discipline and keep supplies flowing eliminates any (real or imagined) shortfalls in reliability of the M16 series...thus making it 'reliable enough' and also allowing one to reap the benefits of issuing a very very accurate weapon- that being killing bad guys further away than they can kill you. (MOUT, of course, somewhat reduces this advantage)

If all else was equal, one might have a point of he picked an AR over an AK based upon reliability alone. Alas, not everything else is equal. Accuracy, ergonomics, weight (both of weapon and ammo), the range of engagement, and the deadliness of the round in question all vary...and in the end, it probably comes down to personal preference of individual users.

I'm an armchair commando, and I approve this message. ;)

Mike

Mulliga
July 2, 2004, 12:01 AM
Any chance of consolidating every single AR vs. AK thread on the net in pne place? :)

TrapperReady
July 2, 2004, 12:13 AM
Mulliga - Isn't the Internet just one big AR vs. AK argument? I mean, in addition to the porn?

Wildalaska
July 2, 2004, 01:43 AM
As one sage as said, the AK is designed to be used by soldiers who have never seen a flush toilet....

Having used both around Alaska....the verdict is..

Gimme a Lee Enfield :)

Wild10shotsfastoperatingpowerfulammobattleprovenAlaska

mattf7184
July 2, 2004, 02:30 AM
How about an SA80 wildalaska? hehe :uhoh:

JShirley
July 2, 2004, 04:20 AM
CNS hit, loss of blood and shock

Almost right. The three reliable ways to stop any machine are:
Electrical
Hydraulic
Structural failure.

Incidentally, while I have experienced multiple malfunctions from a little sand getting into my M16A4, at this point in my life, I would still choose an M4 in a crisis situation, just because I have by far the most experience with that platform.

I think the M16 is a stupid and outdated design, but cannot argue its ergonomics or accuracy.

John

natedog
July 2, 2004, 04:39 AM
I like these discussions. Fun to talk about, but not really practical. The US would kick but even if our men were armed with 10/22s. Small arms play a smaller role in modern militaries- mostly, it's the airstrikes, bombings, mortars, tohmahawk missiles, etc. that do most of the fighting.

JShirley
July 2, 2004, 04:43 AM
Hooah!

John, former 11C.

444
July 2, 2004, 08:29 AM
"It apears that they were "called out" by 444"

My intention wasn't to "call out" anyone. Nor was it an attempt to start an AK vs. M16 topic.
It is just one of those little pet peaves I have. I have read statements like this thousands of times on the internet, but had never seen them backed up with any kind if evidence. I personally found this thread interesting to hear from people that have actual experience with the AK, in the desert, in combat conditions. I would find it very interesting to see some of the same kind of material on the AK as we have on the M16. I like details. A shooting buddy and I always complain to each other that we never get the details in the "news", gun magazines or whatever. I just like to know where people are coming from.
I know a little bit about the AR15/M16 rifles. I was even issued one in an American Desert (Ft. Bliss). I have also put many thousand rounds downrange with civilian AR15s (over 12k rounds in the last two years). So, I have something to base my thoughts on when it comes to that weapon. But I have no experience with an AK at all. I once owned a civilian version of an AK, but only shot it when clean and in very controlled conditions. I have no doubt that the AK will continue to function when it is dirtier than an M16 just based on the way it is built. But, I still think it would be very interesting to know just how often these third world soldiers and terrorists clean and lubricate their weapons (if at all). How often they experience a malfunction etc. Out of all the film footage I have seen of AKs being used all over the world, I have noticed a couple times, someone having a malfuction while being filmed and also found that interesting.
"Small arms play a smaller role in modern militaries- mostly, it's the airstrikes, bombings, mortars, tohmahawk missiles, etc. that do most of the fighting."
This is another thing I have seen repeated over and over on the internet. I have never been in combat myself, so I don't know. But it seems to me that the fighting going on in Iraq right now is more of the rifle/machinegun vs. rifle/machinegun than it is about bombing, and missles. Somolia seemed to be that way also. How many times have we heard or read about military battles where the enemy was supposed to be "softened up" with an artillary bombardment, only to find out that it had little effect. Gettysburg is an example. D-Day was an example. I was just reading something the other day on the battle of Belleau Wood in WWI where this happened. Something else that has been repeated over and over on the internet is that it seems no matter how high tech things become, in the end it all comes down to a man with a rifle.

OEF_VET
July 2, 2004, 08:57 AM
You can have all "airstrikes, bombings, mortars, tohmahawk missiles, etc.", that you want. However, in the end, it comes down to a simple fact: the only people authorized by God to take and hold terrain are Infantrymen armed with small arms.

High-tech gizmos are are great, but a Tomahawk can't pull gate guard or man a traffic control point. A B-52 pilot can bomb the enemy to hell and back, but that spot on the ground still belongs to the enemy until someone walks up to it and claims it, and I doubt you'll find too many B-52 pilots willing to jump from their planes to do so.

For those who say they'd rather have an AK because they're more reliable without routine maintenance, I think you're missing a major point. That is, whatever rifle you have, your life depends on it and it should therefore be taken care of with the diligence it's due. An Infantryman's rifle and its' ability to go bang are of paramount importance. If a grunt doesn't feel it's important enough to clean his weapon at EVERY possible opportunity, then I wouldn't want him on a patrol with me. By cleaning I don't necessarily mean totally breaking it down and getting it ready for a white-glove inspection. However, it doesn't take a lot of effort to wipe the dirt off with a barbers' brush, break the rifle open, pull the bolt, take a tooth brush to the bolt and run a bore snake thru the barrel. Heck, I could do all that in less than 10 minutes. That can be done when the patrol stops to eat, while your MRE is heating up.



(BTW, the OEF in my name stands for Operation Enduring Freedom. So, I've carried an M-4 in Afghanistan, which is a very dusty desert.)

JShirley
July 2, 2004, 11:32 AM
rifle/machinegun vs. rifle/machinegun than it is about bombing, and missles

Actually, it's my understanding that mortars have been the preferred engagement tool for the distances our troops have mostly been fighting, for some time now. That makes sense, when you consider that the M252 (http://www.hqmc.usmc.mil/factfile.nsf/0/969a278b663f5cbc8525627b006c5d03?OpenDocument) 81mm has an effective range almost 5,000 meters further than the M240B. With an experienced mortar crew and spotter, and a few rounds fired, one can drop a high explosive round that will likely incapacitate everyone within a 50 meter+ radius, in a target smaller than your house.

The M252 can also be easily carried by vehicles as small as a M998 HMMWV, and set up by a 3 man crew in about a minute.


John

RON in PA
July 2, 2004, 11:36 AM
While it is very true that the AK was designed to be used by supposedly uneducated "Soviet workers and peasants" under the worst battlefield conditions and still function the fact of
the matter is that the Soviets spent a lot of time developing an operator's manual for it. Maintenance of the weapon is clearly spelled out. You can obtain English translations by Gebhardt (Paladin). The AK may be abused by third word users, but the original owners were very interested in proper maintenance. As to whether or not the reality of Soviet (now Russian) maintenance matches up to regulations I don't know. Any ex-Soviets out there who actually used the AK/AKM/AK-74 care to comment.

cosmonick
July 2, 2004, 01:57 PM
First off, thanks to Blackhawk 6 and AhmugGB for a lot of well written info.

Now, I’m not trying to hi-jack this thread (in yet another direction), but while we have guys writing here that have combat experience and that are familiar with the weapons currently being used I want to ask a question.

We hear some reports of the effectiveness -or lack there of- of the 5.56 cartridge, but what about the effectiveness of the 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 cartridges? I mean, when someone is hit with a 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 are they incapacitated any faster than with the 5.56? I kind of doubt it, but I never hear any reports about this. I hear one guy say that the 7.62x39 “has a dismal fight stopping record” and the next guy says that it is vastly superior to 5.56. I do understand that each of these cartridges has different ballistic characteristics, so each has their strong and weak points. But in the real world, are you seeing any real difference in how these cartridges perform?

fix
July 2, 2004, 02:16 PM
The Russians have stated that their own 5.45x39 has proven more effective than the 7.62x39.

Harve Curry
July 2, 2004, 02:32 PM
Having no experience at all with shooting people or being in combat, I only know from shooting critters. Coyotes I've shot with a CAR-15 cal 5.56mm using the cheapest chinese ball ammo you can get drop dead in their tracks as long as I hit them in the rib cage forward area. I think it's the high speed and the "hydraulic effect" on the organs even if the bullet does'nt touch vitals. Distance is usually less then 100 yards.
They weigh about 35 pounds. Entrance and exit holes are both about 1/4".

So in my ignorant bliss I would guess that a man being hit would suffer the same as the coyote, unless the bullet hits meat/muscle where there is less water content to the tissue, none to minimal hydaulic effect and the FMJ bullet passes on through.
I think to some degree this would hold true with all FMJ 30 or 50 cal, depends on where your hit and how fast the bullet was going when it hit.
If the bullet got slowed down over distance and became unstable within the target then the damage would be great.
So the new calibers 6.5 or 6.8mm, I don't think will matter about wound size, but a rifleman will be able to shoot farther since the bullet is heavier then the 5.56mm. And still be able to carry almost as much ammunition.

Blackhawk 6
July 2, 2004, 08:35 PM
Cosmonick,

Before I comment,let me point out that my experiece with the terminal effectiveness of 7.62x39mm and 5.54x39mm is extremely limited. I doubt anybody from the convention side of the military is going to be able to offer any significant comments for two main reasons: 1. Interceptor Body Armor has significantly reduced if not completely eliminated gunshot wounds to the torso and 2. The enemy is generally a poor marksman.

AhmugGB has much more extensive expereince. As we have discussed the issue at length, I am comfortable saying, that in terms of terminal performance, there is probably very little difference, if any.

The Russians have stated that their own 5.45x39 has proven more effective than the 7.62x39.

My information is that Russain SOF and several members of the former-Soviet Republic have or are considering returning to the 7.62x39 due to a perception of better terminal performance. Funny how the "7.62 vs. 5.56" is not a uniquely American debate.

MrMurphy
July 2, 2004, 08:56 PM
I understand Mr. Kalashnikov himself never really approved of the 5.45mm switch, he preferred the 7.62, and the Spetsnaz kept large numbers of the 7.62 around long after the switch.

blamgun
July 2, 2004, 11:09 PM
You can debate AK vs AR all day long. If the gun don't go bang every time you pull the trigger, it becomes a fancy club. Then it really doesn't matter which gun you're carrying. And who really wants to bring a club to a gunfight?

If you own any firearm, it just makes common sense to clean them regularly. I understand when the M-16 was first issued to troops in Vietnam, it was touted as a 'maintenance free' rifle. I think that concept was quickly disproved!

Cleaning my guns doesn't really seem to be a chore. As much as I enjoy shooting them, I also enjoy handling, dismantling, and cleaning them. It gives me a chance to closely inspect the works to make sure nothing is broken, bent, or otherwise out of place. If you truly respect and enjoy your weapons, you'll clean them.

VG
July 3, 2004, 08:13 AM
I think the M-4 is ideal for the type of urban combat in Iraq but if I were in the mountains of Afghanistan I would probably want an M-14, but then theres the weight issue. According to after action reports from the 101st ABN and other units in the Anaconda battle, after their first contact they had no targets within the effective range of 5.56 or 7.62 weapons. Ranges were over 1,500 meters - across mountain passes and the like.

They used mortars (each trooper carried two rounds in the company referenced) which created a problem with their close air support. The Canadians had their .50 cal sniper weapons, but the 101st had not yet received theirs.

There is almost no desire to replace the M4 among active duty soldiers. The most significant change in armament among troops fielded in Iraq is the presence of the IBCT - Stryker Brigades. Stryker units have snipers assigned a the company level, and have a seven man sniper team at Battalion level as well. The push to a designated marksman per squad (with higher power optics and/or a 7.62 rifle) is another trend. Even the Cav units, who perform many similar patrol functions to Infantry are starting to get more precision-oriented weapons, although their TO&E does not currently call for Snipers - an Infantry Branch / Armor Branch wrangle, perhaps.

General Schoomaker, originally an Armored Cav officer who later commanded a D boy Squadron, is known for his flexibility and the force will continue to evolve to be more effective. All this information is publically available.

cosmonick
July 3, 2004, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the comments . I have no experience using 5.56, 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 on living things, so I appreciate your input.

Blackhawk 6
July 3, 2004, 11:25 AM
According to after action reports from the 101st ABN and other units in the Anaconda battle, after their first contact they had no targets within the effective range of 5.56 or 7.62 weapons. Ranges were over 1,500 meters - across mountain passes and the like.

They used mortars (each trooper carried two rounds in the company referenced) which created a problem with their close air support. The Canadians had their .50 cal sniper weapons, but the 101st had not yet received theirs.

VG,

You got a hold of some bad information. There were numerous engagements involving small-arms. Mortars did play a significant role, but there was no issue regarding the employment of mortars and CAS.

Trust me.;)

JShirley
July 4, 2004, 02:47 AM
VG,

I also saw the same report last year. It really emphasized how useful the M252 is, as I recall.

There is always an issue with simultaneous CAS and mortar usage, since you don't want your air support flying through the trajectory of the round.

John

VG
July 4, 2004, 08:22 AM
Blackhawk 6:
Equipment wise, our greatest shortcomings were optics and organic or direct support long-range weapons. After the initial fight all our targets were at a minimum of 1500m all the way out to as far as you could see. Our 60[mm] and 81[mm]'s accounted for most of the kills. Next was a Canadian Sniper team with a MacMillian .50 cal [sniper rifle]. They got kills all the way out to 2500m.

The problem with our mortars was there as a 24 hour [Close Air Support] cas cap. And they wouldn't fly near us if we were firing indirect. Even though our max ordnant: [how high mortar rounds arc into the sky] was far beneath their patterns. Something for you and your alo [Air Liaison Officer] to work out. The other problem was the Air Force could never fly in small groups of Personnel, I watched and called corrections on numerous sorties and they could never hit the targets. My verdict is if you want it killed use your mortars. Pay close attention to ti-hz direction of attack your ALO is bringing in the CAS. Every time it was perpendicular to us we were hit with shrapnel. Not to mention the time they dropped a 2,000 lbs [bomb] in the middle of our company, it didn't go off by a sheer miracle I'm sure. [Marine] Cobras and 2.75" [rockets] shot at us. Also, once again, they were shooting perpendicular to our trace. Aviation provided the most near misses of all the things we did.

This was originally a Word doc on the USAIS website when I read it. That's no longer publically accesible but it's quoted widely, and one of the first references I found via google was at: http://www.geocities.com/usarmyafghangearproblems/

The Natick Soldier Center Center AAR powerpoint was copied to: http://www.geocities.com/usarmyafghangearproblems/sld001.htm among other places. I don't have an ox to gore, here.

I know it to be true that General Shinseki did have this and other boots-on-the-ground reports distributed widlely.

Thanks for your service on this 4th of July!
Garryowen

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, or leave their childern free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Concord Hymn

seeker_two
July 4, 2004, 09:28 AM
The question of which is more reliable, the AK or the AR is completely moot. It doesn't matter. The question that matters is whether or not the rifle issued to the troops is reliable given the logistical resources and training available to them.

The M16 family of rifles is designed to be issued to a well-trained, literate, and motivated volunteer force sitting at the pointy end of the spear with a reliable supply train backing them up and with competent transportation and logistical support. This means that Joe Grunt not only knows how to service his rifle, but he can rely upon getting enough lube, cleaner and widgets and down time in which to do it. As such, the M16 series can probably be described as reliable enough. If you figure you're just a truck driver and you skip maintenance for a month, you only have yourself to blame.

The AK series is designed to be shoved into the hands of conscript soldiers who are told which end the bullets come out of and not much else, and is likewise designed to be fielded without reliable maintenance and supply support for the trigger puller. Seeing as how the end users seem unaware of what the front sight is even for, I am guessing that these conditions have been met. Since the gun seemingly goes bang pretty often, it would also be described as reliable enough.

Is the AK probably more inherently reliable than the AR? Yeah, probably. But it doesn't matter. The US military's ability to produce trained troops and maintain order and discipline and keep supplies flowing eliminates any (real or imagined) shortfalls in reliability of the M16 series...thus making it 'reliable enough' and also allowing one to reap the benefits of issuing a very very accurate weapon- that being killing bad guys further away than they can kill you. (MOUT, of course, somewhat reduces this advantage)

If all else was equal, one might have a point of he picked an AR over an AK based upon reliability alone. Alas, not everything else is equal. Accuracy, ergonomics, weight (both of weapon and ammo), the range of engagement, and the deadliness of the round in question all vary...and in the end, it probably comes down to personal preference of individual users.

I'm an armchair commando, and I approve this message.

Mike

Coronach got it in one...:cool:

I've always thought the biggest failing of the M-16 series was in the ammunition. When the Russians went to the 5.45x39 round, they put some research into it and developed the "poison bullet"--a FMJ w/ a hollow tip, steel midsection, & lead "knocker" core that flew straight through the air & tumbled wildly when striking soft tissue. The "poison bullet" was widely respected by the Afghans in combat.

If the US would put a little more R&D into their combat ammo, I'm sure we could come up with better solutions that "light ball" and "heavy ball"...:scrutiny:

As for maintenance: Maintaining your rifle is crucial. But I'd like to have a "margin for error" built into mine for those times when you can't break everything down for a proper cleaning. Like war.

But I don't really care for the super-loose tolerances of the AK, either. While accuracy is mostly the function of the shooter, I prefer to eliminate as many mechanical variables as I can.

AR or AK--the truth lies somewhere between...:cool:

Blackhawk 6
July 4, 2004, 12:17 PM
VG,

I've read the reports you sited and others. I will stand by my original comment, you got a hold of some bad information. It is important to note that several of the units involved in the major firefights were unavailable to participate in the AAR. 1-187th was the reserve and, while they did a commendable job once they were employed, they were not present for many, if not all, of the significant engagements.

JShirley,

81mm mortars were effective but not nearly as effective as the 60mm's. The 60mm mortar was the money-maker, no doubt about it.


I am just trying to clarify, not sharpshoot.

JShirley
July 4, 2004, 03:37 PM
Hokay. Well, reports from sources as available as the Army Times , back in early 02, were reporting problems with units that only had the M224 on access, namely, being outranged by the 82mm.

As well, I can tell you from personal experience that the 60mm is considerably less accurate than the 80. <Shrug> The whole point the introduction of these weapons to this thread was to bolster, is that most kills are NOT made with the rifle.

John

Cosmoline
July 4, 2004, 05:30 PM
Having used both around Alaska....the verdict is..Gimme a Lee Enfield

Can't argue with that! Though I'd take a Mosin-Nagant or Schmidt-Rubin myself. They don't make 'em like they used to. The great WWI and WWII battle rifles were built to survive years of continuous warfare, and even be used as fearsome spears and clubs when the ammo ran out.

Blackhawk 6
July 4, 2004, 07:07 PM
John/VG,

In an effort to minimize the off-topic discussion, please feel free to PM me and I will be more than happy to share some insight into mortar usage in Operation Anaconda.

The whole point the introduction of these weapons to this thread was to bolster, is that most kills are NOT made with the rifle.

There can be little debate that the value of the mortar has been rediscovered by some (the rest of us knew it had value). I can't speak to the exact number of kills attributable to supporting arms (to include mortars) vs. small arms, but I can tell you that there are significant numbers of small arms engagements occuring in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of what is getting more kills, the rifle remains the most prevalent weapon system on the battlefield.

spartacus2002
July 4, 2004, 08:22 PM
Here's an intellectual hand-grenade to throw into the mix:

Looking for a portable rifle with good stopping power? How about an M14 with a bush/scout length barrel? Reliable design, powerful cartridge, accurate.

Geech
July 4, 2004, 11:17 PM
In an effort to minimize the off-topic discussion, please feel free to PM me and I will be more than happy to share some insight into mortar usage in Operation Anaconda.

Could you start another thread somewhere instead? I'd like to read that, too.

KaceCoyote
July 4, 2004, 11:31 PM
Firstly let me state, I'm no soilder or LEO nor do I ever have any wish to be. If it came to that I would do what it takes to defend my country, but that doesnt mean I have to want it to come to that. My information comes from my uncle, who went into the sandbox the firsttime and is back over there again right now.


His opinion, was as follows:

He likes the M16, he has an AR-15 at home he pops coyotes with but he does have his reservations. He loves that its lightweight, and its high rate of fire. However his example of why he didnt like it went something like this, He appreciated everyone nomatter their occupation within the services needs to keep their issued weapon as clean as possible. However at times thats not always possible, if your a mechanic or a surgeon you could feasibly spend 18 hours straight without stop. No time to clean your weapon. The M16 doesnt have much tolerence for the gnitty gritty so when you get 'bushed and you have to fight. Your useless because your rifle has jammed. The M16 is accurate, light and very comfortable but at the expense of reliability and confidence. He expressed a good bit've worry over the reliability of his M4. He's an MP and said he gets to around to cleaning it whenever as soon as he can but there are times where he is doing something that requires his full attention without his rifle doing anything that concerns him.

His solution? He wants to see other 5.56 platforms before he decides if the M16 is really all that bad or if its just an issue with 'modern' rifles. He expressed interest in the SA80, the FNC and some South African bullpup whos name I cannot recollect. As for the 5.56's effectiveness, he didnt think so.

The issue there wasnt so much if the guy he shot was going to die, put any sized bullet into somone's torso and sooner or later they will be rendered combat ineffective. He felt confident with the .308's ability not just to kill somone, but to knock them on their ass and cause massive tissue damage there and then.


Personally, I say we should investigate something between a .308 and a .223. I know it'll never happen but I wonder in my own delusions about something like a .223WSSM, or a .243, or a .270. Why? Why not. I fail to see how a good hunting caliber doesnt make a good killing caliber. In Missouri your not allowed to hunt with anything below a .243. In addition, what about perhaps something like the Dragunov for our guys? A Squad issued sniper weapon thats -very- widely distributed. Wouldnt a .308 Bushmaster with something like a low glare 3-9x42 low light, with an illuminate recticle be effective or am I just being way off base? I'm not advocating replacing snipers at all, merely extending the range a squad can enguage at aswell as offering more flexibility.


On a side note: Why dont we issue M9s widely sorta like the Germans did with their pistols in WW2? I dont see why every soilder shouldnt have a sidearm(9mm vrs .45 wars can wait for another thread so lets just keep it too pistol or no pistol irrespective of caliber.)


God bless Uncle Jimmy. :)

Blackhawk 6
July 4, 2004, 11:57 PM
Kacecoyote, good thoughts. Here is some information you probably did not know.

I say we should investigate something between a .308 and a .223.

Been/is being done. Search for references to the 6.8mm and 6.5mm Grendel.

A Squad issued sniper weapon thats -very- widely distributed.

Also been/being done. Units are issuing M-14's with a variety of optics as Designated Marksman's Rifles. It has not filtered all the way to the squad level yet.

He felt confident with the .308's ability not just to kill somone, but to knock them on their ass and cause massive tissue damage there and then.

Your Uncle is going to be looking fo a long time if he wants a round that knocks people on their ass. It just does not happen.

natedog
July 5, 2004, 02:34 AM
On a side note: Why dont we issue M9s widely sorta like the Germans did with their pistols in WW2? I dont see why every soilder shouldnt have a sidearm(

Pistols are expensive, and the training to shoot one profficiently is costly and time consuming. The pistol (in military circles) is reserved for those who have other jobs that don't involve front line contact, or for the operators of support weapons. The ratio of training and cost to the effectiveness of pistols is very poor.

Tony Williams
July 5, 2004, 03:22 AM
Personally, I say we should investigate something between a .308 and a .223.

See: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Assault.htm

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk) and discussion
forum (http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/)

KaceCoyote
July 5, 2004, 03:26 AM
Thanks Blackhawk, I dont pretend to be anything approaching tactical so I thank you for the corrections. Tony, thanks I'll read up in a moment here. Thanks Natedog, but didnt it work for the Nazis or am I getting the wrong idea?

natedog
July 5, 2004, 03:28 AM
Considering the Third Reich lasted for 5 years instead of 1,000...I'd say "No". :)

KaceCoyote
July 5, 2004, 03:30 AM
Reguardless of that detail. They did "Rawk they world" for a good five years, and for a time its my impression they were the finest combat force in existance man for man...as far as a standard military went.

MAKOwner
July 5, 2004, 04:29 AM
It seems to me (being a keyboard commando) that the answer lies in giving our troops a weapon that is more reliable than the M16/M4, but then continuing to instill in them the importance of maintenance. Why does everyone that says how great the AK is then imply they'd never clean it? I have a couple AKs and I clean them every time I use them and I don't bet my life on their function everyday like a soldier. Somebody here said they'd clean their AK pretty religiously in the combat zone if they were using one, that seems like the ticket... Give our guys the most reliable, yet accurate weapon we can come up with (I'm not suggesting we give them AKs, but something with a similar gas system setup seems ideal...), and still teach them to clean it religiously "just in case". Why settle for "reliable enough" counting heavily on that mainenance, if you could build a bit of a "buffer zone" into the equation?? The money spent on this will be pretty miniscule in the grand scheme of things... I guess the XM8 is purported to be doing exactly that, but perhaps it "fixes" a few too many things that perhaps ain't broke (yet)... Guess we'll see....

Warhawk
July 6, 2004, 01:07 AM
Howdy ... I'm new around here.

I've been hearing about a .270 round for the AR for several months now.

The 6.8 SPC is a reality.

http://web.demigod.org/~zak/firearms/6.8SPC/faq.php

http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=496

KaceCoyote
July 6, 2004, 01:25 AM
Alright well what about the .223WSSM? I know about the 6.8 Grendel but I'm more curious of the calibers above would proove effective manstoppers in the firstplace and secondly if they could work in an AR-15 based battle rifle.


Or yaknow we could go oldskool and just give everyone trap door .45-70s and tell'em to go play. :D

Blackhawk 6
July 6, 2004, 08:22 AM
Thanks for your service on this 4th of July!

In my desire to continue the discussion, I forgot my manners. You, sir, are most certainly welcome.

Correia
July 6, 2004, 02:18 PM
I got to spend the last couple of days with somebody who just got back from a year in Afghanistan. 1st bat 19th SF. He said that they had no real problems with thier M4s the whole time, and they got plenty of use.

AhmuqGB
July 6, 2004, 04:14 PM
Hokay. Well, reports from sources as available as the Army Times , back in early 02, were reporting problems with units that only had the M224 on access, namely, being outranged by the 82mm.

JShirley,
Be careful using quoted materials as your only reference, even from the Army times. Especially when the guy you are quoting to(BH6) was the CDR of the company that had the Times reporter embedded in his company, and was the only CDR to bring mortars into the valley on the initial days and who also had 81mm's co-located with his company when they did arrive. As for 82mm outranging 60mm's, I would say that yes it is physically possible, but in Anaconda and during my 18 months there it didn't happen for 2 reasons.
1) Lack of actual sights for the system precluded them from being used in anything but direct-lay/direct-alignment.
2) The dudes using the 82mm mortars were not trained on the system extensively, basically they know the rounds and the fact that they needed primers and charges to go bang, and that's about it.

Chances are if you read a newspaper article about mortar employment in Operation Anaconda, its about BH6.

JShirley
July 6, 2004, 06:43 PM
I'm sorry. I must have missed the simple sentence where BH6 stated as much. Since one rarely knows personally the person being addressed over a virtually anonymous system, I typically take what should be considered reliable print media over what someone (unknown to me, and with unknown creds) has to say.

Reports I have read- not exclusively from Afganistan- indicate the M252 is the support weapon of choice, when available. Considering that the 81mm has about 2,000 meters more reach, is more accurate, hits a lot harder, and is easier to fire rapidly, that makes sense.

John

AhmuqGB
July 7, 2004, 08:14 AM
Jshirley,
Wasn't flaming ya, just thought it was kinda funny...

Reports I have read- not exclusively from Afganistan- indicate the M252 is the support weapon of choice,

Can you quote your sources for the 252 was weapon of choice? I don't doubt you but I would just like to know the rational used for this. The RED(risk estimate distance) for the 60mm is much smaller than the 81 which in my opinion means 60s are more accurate. They are lighter and an IN unit can carry more rounds(also lighter) than the 81mm. Yes, Bigger is better until you hit the 120mm size, then you start to lose accuracy, but all the SOF and Conventional unit personnel I've spoken with have preferred the 60mm if they were doing any type of movement.

OEF_VET
July 7, 2004, 01:03 PM
Especially when the guy you are quoting to(BH6) was the CDR of the company that had the Times reporter embedded in his company, and was the only CDR to bring mortars into the valley on the initial days and who also had 81mm's co-located with his company when they did arrive.

If you want to hear a good story regarding the employment of mortars during Anaconda, ask BH6 about using mortars and CAS in conjunction with each other to eliminate some AQ. (That was your company, wasn't it, BH6? I know the story was tainted by SGT Daniels' involvement, but the story is still funny.)

The only combat experience I have employing mortars involves calling for some ILLUM rounds at KAF during Anaconda to spot a couple locals after a minestrike killed one of CDR Gulali's soldiers and injured Gulali's brother. We ended up spotting the two guys, one carrying a shovel or hoe, the other packing what was unmistakeably a TM-62 AT mine. However, since we didn't witness them emplacing the mine that detonated, we couldn't engage them. The Canadians eventually fired their coax's to pin them down, but the locals came out to see what was happening, and the two minelayers got away. The best part of that engagement, shutting the airfield down and telling the AF to turn around and go elsewhere until further notice.

AhmuqGB
July 7, 2004, 03:00 PM
OEF_VET,
BH6 told me he didn't think it was funny, then proceeded to tell me two or three stories that had me rolling on the floor laughing, and I don't think he likes SGT Daniels...

OEF_VET
July 7, 2004, 04:17 PM
By funny, I mean the after effects to the two yahoos shooting at his men. They thought they were pretty smart, but they got the chance to meet their 70 virgins, post haste. What they did to his company prior to their demise was most definitely not funny.

No one likes SGT Daniels'. His being in uniform is an affront to all who have honorably worn it over the last 229 years.

Frank

Blackhawk 6
July 7, 2004, 04:33 PM
SGT Daniels::fire:

Funny how my 1SG always found a reason to move my rifle a little farther away every time he was around......

For the record, SGT Daniels had no role in the elimination of that enemy mortar despite what the Army Times reported. So much for "reliable print media."

fix
July 7, 2004, 04:36 PM
Is this 1-187 y'all are talking about?

Blackhawk 6
July 7, 2004, 04:38 PM
TF Rakkasan in Operation Anaconda, of which 1-187 was a part.

fix
July 7, 2004, 04:40 PM
Are you that crazy SOB that played "mortar ping-pong" with the AQ guys on the hill?

If so, please accept my virtual pat on the back. You are a bonafide war hero!!!

OEF_VET
July 7, 2004, 04:47 PM
Yeah, Daniels' had a way of making himself out to be a hero, even when he wasn't involved in the incident. He also told a Louisville paper that he was present for the battle on Roberts' Ridge, and that he was close personal friends with both Roberts' and the AF pararescueman, Cunningham.

I tried prior to OEF to have him busted for wearing a ficticious EIB, but it didn't go anywhere. The chain-of-command let it slide.

Blackhawk 6
July 7, 2004, 04:50 PM
Neither crazy, an SOB or a war hero. I will accept the pat on the back on behalf of my guys. True heroes who received far too little recognition.

"Mortar ping-pong" would be another error on the part of the "reliable print media."

fix
July 7, 2004, 04:53 PM
Well sir, dogface or not, this former jarhead would follow your lead any day.

S/F

rock jock
July 7, 2004, 06:09 PM
Back to the AR dicsussion, does the M855 have a cannelure? I know on the M193 that that particular structural weakness aided significantly in fragmentation.

Blackhawk 6
July 7, 2004, 06:45 PM
Yes it does.

According to the guys with the calculators, if the bullets are moving at the appropriate velocity, terminal performance is the same. Real-world experience (mine and others) seems to contradict the velocity/fragmentation theory.

Regardless, as I have stated previously, I believe the round is adequate.

JShirley
July 7, 2004, 07:53 PM
AhmuqGB,

I'll look through my old emails, and see if I have them saved...though I may not. I've deleted almost all of my .mil addy mail already.

Yeah, one can fire a 60mm a little closer to your own troops, but that's just because the blast is smaller. Those little bastards aren't nearly as stable, though as you mention, the rounds do weigh less.

John

AhmuqGB
July 10, 2004, 04:53 PM
I'll look through my old emails, and see if I have them saved...though I may not. I've deleted almost all of my .mil addy mail already.

No rush take you time, Just curious

VG
July 11, 2004, 07:35 AM
Blackhawk 6 wrote:

You got a hold of some bad information. There were numerous engagements involving small-arms. Mortars did play a significant role, but there was no issue regarding the employment of mortars and CAS.
Sir, the 1st SGT wasn't stating that they didn't have small arms engagements, but that he did not feel there were engagements beyond the range where 5.56mm weapons would be effective, but inside the range where 7.62mm weapons would be effective.

Do I have to elevate my feet?:D

I offered this as a counter to the those who cite the 5.56mm round as a crippling inadequacy of the M16 series weapons and offer the 7.62 NATO as a better solution in all cases.

I think you will agree that line soldiers a. do not have reliability problems with their weapons, because they take care of them, and b. while there is professional curiousity about follow-on systems, there is no significant discussion of fielding a replacement to the M4/M16 among active duty combat units.

The AKM/M16 discussion is simply the longest running internet worm extant. They seldom give adequate weight to the professionalism of our officer and NCO corps. I think y'all are doing just fine, and as a group are without question smarter and better educated than the soldiers of my day.

RLTW

Blackhawk 6
July 11, 2004, 04:00 PM
VG,

My misunderstanding. Thank you for clarifying.

DMK
July 11, 2004, 07:54 PM
According to the guys with the calculators, if the bullets are moving at the appropriate velocity, terminal performance is the same. Real-world experience (mine and others) seems to contradict the velocity/fragmentation theory.
Been thinking about this since BH6 first posted about the experiences with M855 failing at close range yet performing well at 100m+. Could it be that at close range, since velocity is still quite high, these rounds are zipping right through the skinnier folks of the Taliban/Al Queda persuasion before having a chance to make a full 90 degree tumble and fragment? Perhaps at the longer ranges they are slowed enough to fragment or at least tumble a bit before exiting.

I can't put my finger on it, but I vaguely remember reading about some gel block tests where M855 penetrated a little deeper than M193 before fragmenting (which seems to make sense to me since it is slightly heavier).

Blackhawk 6
July 11, 2004, 08:47 PM
DMK,

That certainly seems like a reasonable explanation. The problem is that M855 failures and successes are being experience at all ranges. For every credible report of a success that can be provided at a given range, there is someone reporting a failure.

By way of example, I worked with an officer who was a platoon leader with the 10th Mountain Division on 3-4 October 1993. His longest engagement (according to him) was about 25 feet, with the average being about 10 feet. The weapon was an M-16A2. You would think if there was a propensity for the round to have too much velocity he would have experienced it. This directly contrasts to the report AhmugGB posted.

The issue can never be resolved conclusively. Due to the nature of the engagements and the operational environment, detailed analysis, such as that conducted in law enforcement shootings, can not be conducted. As a result, much of the evidence is anecdotal and many of the people sharing their experience have an agenda. (I suppose this applies to my comments as well, though I do not believe I have an agenda.)

The problem, as I see it, is not the theory about velocity/fragmentation. It is the promises of incapacitation it makes. I do not doubt bullets are fragmenting or failing to fragment per the laboratory tests. What I do doubt is fragmentation equals incapacitation and lack of fragmentation equals lack of incapacitation. Suppose a bullet fragments but hits nothing vital at 8 feet? Suppose I hit a guy in the spinal cord at 300 meters? Which one was better.

In my opinion, the people running around talking about velocities and fragmentation are paying too much attention to what the bullet needs to do and not enough attention to what the shooter needs to do.

DMK
July 11, 2004, 10:42 PM
The problem, as I see it, is not the theory about velocity/fragmentation. It is the promises of incapacitation it makes. I do not doubt bullets are fragmenting or failing to fragment per the laboratory tests. What I do doubt is fragmentation equals incapacitation and lack of fragmentation equals lack of incapacitation. Suppose a bullet fragments but hits nothing vital at 8 feet? Suppose I hit a guy in the spinal cord at 300 meters? Which one was better.

In my opinion, the people running around talking about velocities and fragmentation are paying too much attention to what the bullet needs to do and not enough attention to what the shooter needs to do.
Yea, that's an excellent point BH6. If there's one thing I've learned from the wiser folks here its this: Any firearm/ammo is just a tool, the man/woman is the weapon. Either can fail without warning, be ready to go to plan B.

I'm just trying to be as aware of my weapon systems' capabilities and weaknesses as possible so that I may use them to my advantage.

Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

N3rday
July 13, 2004, 01:36 AM
Just to clarify, yes the M855 will fragment, but it does not fragment as far as the M193.

As far as reliability, direct gas impingement isn't a problem looking for a solution; it's how the rifle was designed to operate. Internet commandos and XM8 nerds will tell you that gas blowing back into the receiver is a huge liability in terms of maintenance and jamming, but really it isn't.

There's my .$02. I didn't bother to read all 5 pages of this massive thread.

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