Which Calibers SHOULD our Military be using?


Mark IV Series 80
December 29, 2002, 04:38 PM
Which Rifle calibers should our Armed Forces be using?

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December 29, 2002, 04:58 PM
Which calibers?



December 29, 2002, 06:49 PM
Ulterior motive

I just wanna see the price of .308 ARs drop! :D

December 29, 2002, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by DMK
Ulterior motive

I just wanna see the price of .308 ARs drop! :D

it's a good motive. I put down .223 (assuming he meant 5.56 NATO), .270, and .308. They're all very good, especially if used/deployed properly.

December 29, 2002, 07:37 PM
7mm Kurtz, or 7 mm-08. Should be a 7 mm with a muzzle velocity of 2850-2900 with a 140 grain bullet. Would be well flatter than the 223 past 300 yards, and hit like a train on people at any distance.

December 29, 2002, 07:46 PM
7.62 and 5.56 are fine by me. I just wish they'd give me a SAW instead of the full-auto M-16 that I carry now.

For pistol caliber I'd stick with the .45 ACP.

December 29, 2002, 08:20 PM
Complicated question... Many believe the 7.62 in the sniper role should be replaced. 257 Weatherby would ideal or even the 270 Weatherby. The 6-284 has certainly proven itself in long range competition.

For the grunt, I don't know... something a little bigger than the 223. Maybe something like the 6x45 which is a 6mm in a 223 case. Still could carry just as much ammo but leaving a bit bigger hole. Would function in all roles where the 223 does with different barrels and a bit of tweaking.

For handguns, I'd certainly prefer a 45 ACP for most purposes. And supressed 22 pistols are still very handy. ;)

December 29, 2002, 08:40 PM
I had trouble choosing. I think the biggest problem our troops
have with our current cartridge selection is that we take one
round and try to make it work in all senerios. I think the .223
works great at short to intermediate ranges. Flat shooting,
low recoil, carry lots of ammo. Just the thing for close in fights.
.308 or 25-06 would make more sense in the desert or mountain
areas. The interchangable upper idea makes a great deal of
sense here. If not, similar weapon systems like the ar-15 / ar10
idea may work better. We have the logistics in place for .223 and
.308 already and heaven knows they take enough of my tax
money to buy a few extra rifles. You wouldn't take a mini-van
on the race track and an indi-500 car just won't get the
family to disneyland - why make one rifle do everything?


December 29, 2002, 09:13 PM
The ideal assault rifle cartridge would have the superior ballistics of the 7mm or 6.5 mm bullet, with a short OAL.

In other words, the 7mm-08! Far superior to the .223 in all respects, and it even has the edge on the .308.

Andrew Wyatt
December 29, 2002, 11:47 PM
I think the Army should have two types of units, light and heavy.

Light infantry get red dotted .223 squirtguns(and M249 saws) (noncombatants also get .223s)
heavy infantry get Ar-10s with ACOGS. (and .308 caliber SAWs)

then, you'd have guys who can go and clear houses and whatnot, and guys who can run around and shoot afganis at 500 yards and whatnot.

I voted for .223 and .308.

December 30, 2002, 12:04 AM
I am both amazed and yet..the cynicist within me is not surprised at the current polling results.

It reflects a decided bias towards the .223 and .308 based upon familiarity and less upon ballistic performance.

In terms of ballistics a 6.5mm round is suitable as both a sniping round and as an infantry round.

The sectional density of the 6.5mm round allows for the superior penetration and performance at the same time it is lighter and has less recoil than the .308

The 6.5mm round if made with identical bullet construction as the M855 round will have greater penetration and wounding ballistics than the .223 round.

December 30, 2002, 01:25 AM
Not Listed!


7.62X39MM case necked down to 6MM.

90% of .243 Winchester Power out of a round a bit lighter than 7.62X39MM.

December 30, 2002, 12:45 PM
6mm PPC. Yes..it is a necked down 7.62x39mm round but it has been blown out so there is no taper. A round used for semi-automatic rifles needs some taper to the case to insure reliable extraction.

Ballistically the 6mm PPC is outstanding.

Other good alternatives would be a 257 Roberts which is nothing more than a 7x57 round necked down to take a 25 caliber bullet

December 30, 2002, 01:06 PM
Hehehe... 2 guys said 45/70Govt. :D

Covering fire with a 45/70Govt is heavy cover.

December 30, 2002, 01:09 PM
I never claimed to be a ballistician, but for a service round I'll take a popular, hard-hitting, and easy to obtain round like .308/7.62 over a wildcat necked-down anything anyday.


December 30, 2002, 06:14 PM
In either a .308 case (6.5-08, aka .260 Remington)

Or to keep it light and in an AR or AK platform, put the 6.5mm bullets in a 7.62x39 case, such as the popular IHMSA 6.5x39.

December 31, 2002, 12:31 PM
.223 (submachine gun)
.308 (general battle rifle)
.22lr (training aid & silenced applications)
.50BMG (long-range sniping)

December 31, 2002, 11:08 PM
There should be a choice of "other" to make it interesting.
If you have to go for a one size fits all round it could be something in the vein of the new short magnums. Lots of power for the size, so you could carry plenty. Maybe a 6.5 with a little more case capacity the the 7.63 x 39, but less than the .308.

If you want seperate long and short range how about 7-08 for long and .50AE for 100 yards or less. Should be pretty effective with a 14-16 inch barrel.

December 31, 2002, 11:46 PM
Ballistically speaking computor model says 6.8 mm 120 grains at 2700fps does it and can be fired in existing platforms with existing case head size(.223). I say convert uppers to .50 Tromix (or whatcha call it) and blow the bad guy in two. I think the third worlders would have more respect.:neener:

January 1, 2003, 08:56 PM
I'm in the 308 or 243 camp. The virtues of the 308 have been talked about enough, so I'll let it rest.

Don't over look the humble 243. Plenty fast enough to punch body armor, the 6mm bullet is not a slotch power/penetration wise and the round is darn flat shooting. If the bullet mass is around 80 grains, it will do the job well past 300 meters.

Art Eatman
January 1, 2003, 09:47 PM
Seems to me that a lot of this is putting the cart before the horse: "Gee, we've got this slick rifle package! Now, what will be our philosophy about its use?"

I keep reading that there would be less of the WW II massed armies vying over a large area. More "brushfires" and small-unit actions.

What sort of weaponry would be most useful in air-mobile small-unit actions, in open country? To a great extent, I see this as what's going on in Afghanistan, albeit not all that well thought out. And, when one reflects upon Somalia and Afghanistan, it looks like something more potent than a .223 is needed.

Seems like 6mm to 8mm bullets are most useful. The issue is then dealing with recoil, and the weight of a probable need of a "combat pack" of ammo.

From a military standpoint, absent the sniper-rifle category, a semi-auto in something near the 6.5mm or 7mm in a .308Win-sized case would work. It would be quite controllable in firing, and would be quite human-effective to at least 500 yards.

Seems to me that in a jungle-type environment, ranges would generally be more like the Nam. However, in an ideal military structure, fire suppression during a radio call to ground or airborne artillery would be the primary tactic. In other words, M16s and better commo/support.

$0.02, Art

January 1, 2003, 10:47 PM
None of the above (calibers).

Ideal caliber will be about 6mm, and fire aprox 100 grn round in the 2900-3000 fps region, from an AR-sized platform. This round will be considerably smaller than current "main battle rifle"/sniper/GPMG rounds.

This round will perform without undue recoil for the typical grunt, and match ammo and platforms will enable accurate long-range use.

(Incidentally, the Chinese have come to a similar conclusion.
http://www.sinodefence.com/army/individual/rifle_88.asp )

January 2, 2003, 08:02 AM
While the .223/5.56 isn't a bad round I do think it needs to be replaced. As far as the stories of Somalis not going down, keep in mind that we killed quite a few over there and no caliber will kill or even knock someone down anywhere near 100% of the time (even the powerful cartridges of WWI and WWII wounded far more than they killed). It does have the advantage over the .308 when it comes to full-auto in a light rifle and carriabilty. However, at longer ranges (as in Afganistan) it is far from ideal and the perception of being underpowered is a disadvantage (psychologically it is important that the troops have confidence in their equipment). For that reason I vote for a new cartridge that splits the difference between a .223 and .308 maybe tending closer to the .223 (I actually voted 7.62x39 since there was no such animal in the poll and the Commie round is somewhat more powerful than the 5.56 with slightly better range yet is well suited to full-auto and is very carriable).

I agree that multiple calibers to specialize in different needs would be best but that isn't really the way the military does things. True, currently the 5.56 and .308 are officially stocked and in some cases troops can be outfitted with M14s but it is rare. For all practical purposes the military likes the one size fits all approach with the 5.56/M4.

For sniping I said .270 just because I like it's flat trajectory, it is more powerful than the .308 used for that now and it has a longer range. I'm sure there are other good choices, some maybe better, but I choose this since I know more about it than some other choices.

I also listed the .22lr. I understand from my reading that in Vietnam snipers and some others sometimes used .22 rifles (especially suppressed .22s) for some close in sniper missions. Currently, the Israeli Defense Forces uses Ruger 10/22s for some jobs. It is quiet, even in non-suppressed set-ups, and using sub-sonic rounds and suppressing it would make it almost impossible to figure where the shot came from. A .22 can certainly kill so I think this would be a useful addition.

January 2, 2003, 12:21 PM
I vote .223 but also note that mil-spec ammo should be used (M913 in 5.56MM). Lighter ammo, carry more ammo, effective out to 200 meters or so (combat efficient), ballistic coefficient equal to .243 calibur. Yaw and framentation very good.


J Miller
January 2, 2003, 07:48 PM
OK, Disclaimer time. I have never been in the military. So my opinions are based on what I have seen, done, read, and the conversations I have had with combat vets.

I voted for the 308 (7.62 NATO).
I voted this way because it is a proven battle rifle round. It will do the job when it is used by riflemen that can shoot. It is easily acquired anywhere in the world, everyone makes it.

My second comment is this. I believe that with the exception of the squad machine gunner, all rifles should be semi-auto ONLY!
And I believe that our military troups should be taught marksmanship. The spray and pray technique with the M-16's is wastefull and useless. As for the M-14 or other rifle being a big heavy weapon, yes it is. But if a soldier is so small they can't be made fit enough to cary it, then they shouldn't be in combat.

I grew up with footage of the military action in VietNam on the TV news every night. The one scene of the US soldier behind a wall putting a fresh magazine in his M-16 then holding it up over his head and emptying the magazine still is imprinted in my minds eye. As an early teenager I though it was wrong then, I still think it was wrong.

OBTW, I think we should ditch the Berreta M whater and go back to the 1911A1 too.

January 2, 2003, 08:19 PM
I think we had it right, with the 308. Stupid move going to 5.56.

Glock Glockler
January 3, 2003, 12:02 AM
Battle Rifle - .260 Remington
Assault Rifle - 6.5mm Glockler:) It's a 7.62 Russian necked down to a 6.5mm pill weighing 120gr going as fast as you can push it.

Hey, G98

How fast could you get one to go out of a 16-20 inch barrel?

January 3, 2003, 01:32 AM
They already use the 270 Weatherby for sniping duties.

January 3, 2003, 02:05 AM
Man, I've seen some crazy things in this topic! 270 Wtby for sniping? Never seen it, never even heard of it, and I try to follow this game pretty close;)

Ladies and gents, if the USG fields a round, you can guarentee it will be commercially successful. So all this stuff about how the 308 is already available so we may as well use it, yada yada, is bunk. The 30-40, 30-06, 308 Win and 5.56(223) were all created for the military and went on to be successful commercial rounds. What makes you think that something new and better would not be? This 6.8mm round will fly commercially if it is adopted by the USG. I guarentee it. That being said, I don't think it's an all purpose round. It's too light for GPMG use. Something like 7mm-08 would be better, but now you're talking an AR-10 sized rifle.

I think that standardizing on the bore of 6.8mm would be a good start. You can field this 6.8x45 thing for the AR series of rifles for general infantry use with about a 120gn bullet, you can field a 6.8x51 for the GPMG and sniper use, with about a 155gn VLD type bullet. How about a Lapua D46 style FMJ for the 6.8mm MG load? Then your MG ammo might just be useful for your snipers. S/F.....Ken M Scout-Sniper Platoon 2/24

January 3, 2003, 02:08 AM
A high school friend of mine was a Marine sniper and his lightwieght gun was a Model 70 in 270 Weatherby, I'm not exactly sure about the gun model, I'll see him next week. He said the ammo they used was hot even for that round.

January 3, 2003, 12:10 PM
.45 ACP

January 3, 2003, 12:14 PM
Forgot to add 1000 rounds of .22lr with a scoped, bull barrel pistol in aircraft and navy survival packs.

January 3, 2003, 01:20 PM
I would vote for .308. Heck, the .223 is so INEFFECTIVE in making a clean-kill that my state will not allow it for deer hunting.

Chris Rhines
January 3, 2003, 01:50 PM
The 6.5 Christopher II, of course. (Perhaps I should rename that cartridge...)

- Chris

Glock Glockler
January 3, 2003, 03:14 PM

Have you even figuered out what the 6.5mm Christopher II is? You don't think that the 6.5mm Glockler is powerful enough, so do you want a Czech 7.62x45 necked down to a 6.5mm?

Also, I gather this is for your assault rifle caliber, what do you want to use for your battle rifle caliber?

January 3, 2003, 04:03 PM
I am a really big fan of the 6.5 x 55 cartridge. I think a medium sized, but high power round like this would be a good solution.

July 17, 2003, 10:27 AM
I've read recent reports from troops in Iraq that said that their .223 rounds where actually quite effective as long as the BGs were hit COM or in the head. I think that .223 bullet design has finally come of age with the advent of the 75gr and 77gr OTM bullets that some of our units are using. Heck, Black Hills is even developing a 100gr round. I've read the review of this load over at AR15.com and its ballistics were pretty impressive.

I wouldn't look unfavorably on an upgrade to a 6.5mm bullet, but it seems like we would be moving on from the .223 just as we were getting it right...

July 17, 2003, 11:07 AM
.223 and .308

Why? Ammunition is already available almost anywhere. Main rifle should be chambered in .308. Carbine sized rifles for close quarters in .223. If it has to be one or the other, then .308.

July 17, 2003, 11:43 AM
None of the above. Something like the 6mm SAW, but I have some specific cartridge diameter and downrange performance preferences which it may or may not fully meet.

A 6 or 6.5mm for rifle and GPGM, .50 BMG for big stuff, and a SMG & PDW in the same caliber (Maybe like .40 S&W if we could get it to shoot accurately more reliably instead of as flukes!). Simplifies the supply lines, TO&E, and squad organization. No more of this SAW-MINIMI or whatever/M60/FN MAG or whatever mess of TWO different GPGMs being deployed as they are now.

We can beat the performance of the 7.62x51, especially at longer ranges, without being much bigger than the okay 5.56 NATO. That one's great, but we now have one rifle caliber, two MG calibers (one duped w/rifle), one primary PDW caliber, and a FIFTH caliber for the SOCOM pistol.

Have things really improved much since Korea and the "problems" the M14 was supposed to "solve"?????

July 17, 2003, 01:35 PM
i voted .308 only because .260 Remington wasn't there. i think it would be the perfect round for a combat weapon. i'd love to see an H&K G36 or the new XM8 (whatever its going to be) in .260 Remington. somewhere around 100grain bullets at 3000 fps-ish from a 20 inch barrel. perhaps a bull-pup. probably not ideal for all situations but the best compromise for an all arounder in my opinion.


July 18, 2003, 02:42 PM
Andrew wyatt, I like your idea but I think that the guys that do the close in fighting should have something that will leave a little bigger hole, so I voted for .30 Carbine. It doens't have the range of the .223, but for close up, it should hit a little harder.

For longer range troops, the .308 is the way to go. Maybe we could use the M14 again? Whatever we'd use, if it's a .308 is should be Semi auto only...

July 18, 2003, 04:02 PM
6.5 PPC, yes 6.5 PPC. Watch the press, you will be soon hearing more about this special round....

July 18, 2003, 04:29 PM
I think the 5.56 Nato round is ideally suited for the role of our military general purpose rifle/carbine.

July 19, 2003, 03:01 AM
I love the .243, but if you are going to use it; why not a .223 since it's already a standard? If you want more umph, then 308. So I voted for 3:

.22LR (subsonic, will give a good snipering job; also SWAT seems to like the Ruger 10/22 as does the Israeli military :D )

.223 (Just an ok round to me, I'd say out to about 175 yards, it's ok. past that, I start to question it.. but flat.. not enough umph

.308 Good umph. I think that 200-500 yard range is well covered by this.

.50Cal BMG should be next in line.:D

Who voted 45/70?? Awesome. :cool:

July 19, 2003, 03:23 AM
I saw potential in the new .223 WSSM for a nice semi-auto, imagine the power... Colt should definatley look in to making an ar-15 chambered for 223 wssm :evil:

July 19, 2003, 10:00 PM

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