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just curious,. how come the US military didn't use the .308 win?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by noob_shooter, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. noob_shooter

    noob_shooter member

    This round totally defeats the .223/5.56, 6.8 spc and is still a short action type round. So why not?

    Too heavy? costly?:confused::confused::confused:
  2. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you know this.. they did and still do as the slightly modified 7.62 NATO round in machine guns, designated marksman rifles, and sniper rifles. The M14 rifle is in that caliber for the relatively short time it was in general issue before the M16 took over.

    The main reason it was replaced by the 5.56 as far as I know was weight and recoil. A soldier can carry a lot more 5.56 rounds in a a lighter rifle than in a 7.62 caliber M14. Also, an M14 is difficult to control on full auto where an M16 is much better in that regard.

    The trade off was effective range and penetration.
  3. WYcoyote

    WYcoyote Well-Known Member

    It does, M14.
  4. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Both,,,too heavy and costly.

    Too heavy for a man to carry much ammo and too costly (more powder, lead, copper, brass)

    They do/did use the 7.62x51 NATO (308 Win.) alot, just not for long in an infantry carbine/rifle.
  5. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    they did and still do.

    the M14 was the US Service rifle for a few years and is currently used as a sniper rifle , .308 is still used in machine guns, and the US bolt action sniper rifles are .308 i believe
  6. They did, for a few years, in the 1960's. The M14 replaced the M1 rifle for general use, and was augmented by the same round in the M60 machine gun. This was done in conjunction with NATO countries, who also adopted the 7.62x51 (the military designation of the .308 variant). When Viet Nam escalated, the Army sought a lighter rifle that could be trained on more easily, and Armalite introduced the AR-15, which was already adopted in limited use by the Air Force. The army put it to tests, liked it, and adopted it to replace the M14 for regular issue to the troops. The M14 was still in use, but most were warehoused, some still in use by our NATO assigned troops, and some guns were given to other countries as "foreign aid". The rest is history. 40 some years of use of both the M16 and M14 has led the Army to continue to seek the perfect battle rifle. As you stated, it shoots further and harder. BUT, it is harder to train troops with, is heavier (as is the ammo), and is not as easy handling as the M16. The M14 is NOT an effective FULL AUTO machine, as it climbs too fast in recoil, and walks off the target too fast. The M16 is more controllable in full auto, and the soldier can carry lots more ammo for the 5.56. They each have their place, and maybe we need BOTH on the battlfield, much like the .30 Carbine and .30 M1 rifle were in WWII and Korea.
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    Because there isn't a 7.62 rifle that my 110lb female soldiers can train to use quickly and effectively. 5.56 on target is better than 7.62 that misses.

    And don't underestimate the effectiveness of the 5.56. I assure you, it does the job just fine. At ranges past a few hundred yards, it actually penetrates armor BETTER than 7.62.
  8. -v-

    -v- Well-Known Member

    .308 is basically too much cartridge for the battle-field realities.

    Since WW1 (Yes, World War One) it was observed that nearly all battlefield engagements took place under 300 yards. It made little sense to have a cartridge that could kill a man at 1000 yards, when the farthest any infantry man would be shooting is 300 yards. (Snipers, machine gunners, and others who would be expected to engage at ranges farther than 300 yards are naturally exempt)

    As others stated, it made sense to have a lighter and more controllable cartridge for the shorter range. It is cheaper to manufacture and your average infantry man can carry up to 3x as much .223 as he can .308. Lethality wise, the .223 is lethal enough, while the .308 does hold the edge in overall lethality.
  9. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    Isnt it the US military sniper teams now use 300 Win Mag caliber? ( sorry for deviating from the OP)
  10. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Some do...as well as the 338 Lapua.

    But the "run of the mill" sniper weapon is still a 7.62x51mm.
  11. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    weight, cost, recoil, unnecessary overkill

    1) weights twice as much which is a lot when you're transporting pallets and even when you're packing it in on foot

    2) costs twice as much to produce, and much of that is in the wasted brass

    3) recoil isn't compatible for today's military. unlike militaries of yesteryear, many of our Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, etc. did not grow up tilling fields and instead work administrative jobs. makes more sense to have everyone using the same weapon system

    4) the .308 is overkill for close combat, and we all know that shot placement is more important than caliber (provided both do the job). the 5.56 is just more efficient for so many reasons.

    Having served for several years and deployed to Iraq twice, I can tell you the 5.56 and the AR15 are adequate to do the job. They best improvement would be to allow hollowpoints.
  12. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    Obviously the .308 does NOT totally defeat the 5.56 or 6.8 SPC. The Army obviously doesn't accept the same criteria, and chose to use something different - since 1968.

    Tactical battlefield use of weapons has shown since the 1930's that .30 caliber battle rifles with 800m range are not the best tool to use. Even with battle rifles, soldiers won't shoot at targets beyond 400m, require being shot at repeatedly by the opposing force to be hit, and are out of the fight when wounded as effectively as when dead. The general staffs of quite a few armies all chose a light weight intermediate caliber assault rifle pattern as more effective.

    These reasons make the soldier more effective on the battlefield. It is not delivering massive amounts of deadly force, it's about incapacitating them and their command structure. It's why the Army has a wide variety of weapons that are much more versatile and larger than rifles, and ways to deliver them on something other than a pair of boots.

    It's a very narrow view to focus on .30 caliber when professionals determined otherwise 60 years ago. The .308 doesn't totally defeat any other caliber, it's a complementary resource on the battlefield that provides greater depth.

    By the way, only 5,000 M14's are on contract to supplement the Army in SW Asia, it's about 1 per squad. It's all they think they need.
  13. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Well-Known Member

    Even though this is bordering on being a topic that is beat to death, I must say there are some really good replies here. Tirod, yours especially hits the nail on the head. Especially this bit:

    I'll have to remember that line for whenever someone comes around bemoaning the use of 5.56 versus 7.62 in America's armed forces. (To be clear, the OP is not doing so here, but I'm sure it's coming sooner or later.)
  14. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    Actually, they are begining to use it more in Afgan.
  15. eye5600

    eye5600 Well-Known Member

    But perhaps not Afghanistan according to persistent rumors and at least one recent report.

    A closer reading suggested it's more a problem of harassing or sniper fire than long range unit engagements. There are supposed to be a few guys in every company with longer range weapons, but realistically, every soldier who is being shot at would like to be equipped to fight back effectively.
  16. Jaws

    Jaws Well-Known Member

    +1. But the problem is that none of those professionals found the 5.56 to be the answer. They all asked for a true intermediary round, 6.5-7mm, that can do both carabine and general purpouse machine gun job.
  17. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    Sorta like the 280 British which was propounded at the time the army mistook its decision to adopt the 7.62 NATO. :confused:
  18. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    Do you have any reputable source that says that female troops were part of the consideration?

    The M16 was adopted in 1963, and I don't know that "women in combat" was an issue of much impact on weapons design. I'd be fine being proved wrong if any reputable historian has knowledge proving that's the case, but lacking that it sounds suspiciously like the usual "ha, them .223/9mm/etc. are for wusses and ladies 'cuz they can't handle a real man's gun." chest-beating.
  19. Check out the weight of the M14, or FAL, then check out the weight of the M16A2. I think if a 110lb female SOLDIER can carry and shoot an M16A2, then 90% of them could handle an M14 or FAL equally well. The other 10% could be dismissed during basic training.
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    How many rounds of 7.62 NATO can a C5A Galaxy hual?

    How many rounds of 5.56 NATO?

    47 percent more is how many.

    Ah ha!


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