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The argument over lethality and wounding continues

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by mastiffhound, Mar 20, 2013.


What would you choose?

Poll closed Apr 19, 2013.
  1. 7.62 Nato and .45 ACP

    70 vote(s)
  2. .223/5.56 Nato and 9mm Para

    32 vote(s)
  3. Mixed, 7.62 Nato and 9mm or .223/5.56 Nato and .45 ACP

    71 vote(s)
  4. other(6.8 SPC and 40 S&W for example)

    23 vote(s)
  1. mastiffhound

    mastiffhound Well-Known Member

    From The Firearm Blog:


    The SAS is unhappy it seems with their 5.56 Nato rifles and are lusting after FN SCARs in 7.62 Nato. I see both sides of the discussion, I like my .45 acp handguns for home defense but like the .223/5.56 for my rifles. Of course the SAS and other soldiers are probably shooting at longer ranges than I am. What say you?
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    I can understand the concern, it's not legal for whitetails here, not even the little ones.
  3. Nico Testosteros

    Nico Testosteros Well-Known Member

    I reckon they are the best judges of what fits their needs.
  4. kyhunter

    kyhunter Well-Known Member

    Makes sense to me. Extra range with 7.62 NATO, more punch, bigger holes, better penetration, sounds more effective to me. But i can see the benefits of a 5.56 as well. But for the sense of discussion i think the 7.62 is a lot more appealing for combat.
  5. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    LOL this is just because the current crop of soldiers didn't lug an FAL around the mountains.
  6. Greenmachin3

    Greenmachin3 Well-Known Member

    I'd be happy with M193. Brutal cartridge out of a 20" barrel. It acts like a little grenade.

    M855 is a garbage round in terms of lethality, it's basically awful. I think a poster in the comments said it best. It's the perfect combination of characteristics to make it a poor cartridge. High weight, sturdy construction and low velocity means its reliable fragmentation window out of an 14.5" m4 barrel is a measly 50 yards. Otherwise it's a glorified .22LR.

    Honestly the 110 grain TAP is a pretty tempting choice if I wanted high lethality on humans from a .308 cartridge at moderate range.
  7. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    5.56mm and the M855 and now M855A1 is a good round when used inside its intended ranges: 50-200 meters. But not out to the 300 the Army qualifies at or 500 that Marines shoot at.

    7.62 was not instituted by the US military because at the time the round did not add any extra benefit over 5.56 to justify the added weight. With 5.56, more rounds could be carried than 7.62x39.

    So the solution is to combine something that has the long range/short barrel capability of 5.56 without adding weight, ideally something that can be put in an AR platform. Personally I like the 6.5 Grendal.

    Handgun ammunition is a moot point. Because if you are within pistol range of a target, then something starting with "h" has already broken loose. There were only 2 instances overseas where a weapon was needed and I did not have my rifle but had my pistol. In one I got to my knife first, it was that close of an encounter. The other I didn't need to pull the trigger because they surrendered.
  8. kyhunter

    kyhunter Well-Known Member

    11B idlike to personally thank you. And that is an amazing "story" for those who dont consider these things.

    I say "story" because its a serious encounter many take with a grain of salt. But for those who have lived it they know the real weight of the statement.
  9. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Well-Known Member

    The SAS are some of the best of the best out there. If they say they need it, then I'll trust that opinion. SAS are not run of the mill front liners. They're hardcore. At ranges less than 400 meters the 7.62 Nato does all that the 5.56 does as far as I know (granted I'm partial to the 7.62 Nato with my beloved FALs and CETMEs that I owned well before I ever bought an AR-15[because of Obama]).

    With the 7.62 Nato range, a soldier can engage targets from father out with better results, I think 600 yards would be stretching it but I'm sure there are plenty in the SAS who could pull it off and engaging otherwise irregular forces at that range ought to be pretty intimidating as they try to return fire with the common 7.62x39 which loses a lot of its penetration ability (against solid targets) past 400 meters.

    I was under the impression the military went with 5.56 because they found the mass draftee sources they had could better shoot the caliber in an M-16 then a M14 with a 7.62 Nato. The M14 was a better ultimate performer but the M-16 could be more readily learned and become proficient with, and then add in the lighter weight and greater ammunition carrying ability (on person) the 5.56 won out. Also the M-16 fired full auto better and the military was getting hit with human wave attacks on the regular so it probably made sense to have full-auto as a concern. Now it's guerillas popping in and out of windows or being engaged at long ranges in the open.

    I think today's battlefield is shaping the requirements of the SAS. Regular first line troops will probably stick with the 5.56 as many of them are shooting for the first time in their lives upon joining the military.
  10. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    The Brits 5.56 ammo was notorious for using thick jackets and low velocities. That's probably one reason they don't care for the 5.56.

    IME and IMHO, FMJ just sucks for making critters stop doing what ever it was you shot them for doing. The new (m855A1 & Mk318) 5.56 seems to be a game changer, for US forces. ;)
  11. bassdogs

    bassdogs Well-Known Member

    Back in 1969, the M-14 was still the primary training rifle but we were also qualified on the M-16. Guess I was one of those "mass draftees" and didn't have much experience with stuff bigger than a 22lr. I remember that the 14 kicked pretty hard and the 16 felt like a plastic toy. I qualified expert on both. I also remember laying the sights on a target out to 300 yards and watching the target drop with the ping of the 223 from the 16. It shocked me to see how accurate the 223 was out to that range, and I only shot it a dozen times or so in training. I can also remember the 5 mile marches to the range carrying the 14 [even with no ammo on the belt] compared to the 16. No question which the troops liked. Never felt under gunned with the M-16 and it seems that it has survived the test of time.
  12. kwguy

    kwguy Well-Known Member

    Ehtereon11B has got it right. 5.56 works well within its intended ranges. Especially the 77grain MK262. Within it's frag range, its really good stuff. Getting that performance out to longer ranges would be great, but 5.56 won't do that, so the 7.62 is better at the longer ranges.

    The advantages of being able to carry more 5.56 is also great. Like all threads like those before this, it's going to depend upon the intended usage. There really isn't a "perfect" round. It's all up to the intended application.
  13. Prophet

    Prophet Well-Known Member

    It depends. I think the .223/5.56 is more properly suited for home defensive use so that's what I went with. But for personal defense I went with .45ACP. I believe the military adopted the .223/5.56 with the intention of providing enough ammunition for rapid suppressive use at the expense of cover penetration and lethality (that's what tanks, artillery and air support are for! Assuming it is available...) In my opinion the suppressive fire doctrine is difficult to apply to a personal sidearm that is more likely to be utilized in high stress close-quarters situations than at longer distances, and obviously you're not going to be utilizing arty/air when the enemy is in your face. I think if our military were outfitted with the 5.56/45ACP combo they would likely be more adequately prepared to handle both situations.
  14. John3921

    John3921 Well-Known Member

    As a hunter - and not ever a mil user. I'd think if it was a one shot - one kill situation - I'd want a .308. If it's a suppressing fire, close range lots of bad guys about - then I'd want a lot of bullets. So ultimately I'd think it would depend on the mission profile. Any weapon is a compromise on something, power, range, distance, accuracy, etc.

    I like .30 cal rifles for chasing big game - Like I told my son-in-law (retired army) suppressing fire is not something that comes to mind when chasing elk.
  15. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Well-Known Member

    How about 7.62 Nato and 9mm. 7.62 because of power and range. IMO when it comes to a battle rifle nothing beats 7.62, I'd be happy with either the Nato or x39. Obviously the Nato can reach out longer but the 39 holds its own far better than 5.56. 223 is a wimp round in my opinion but would probably be a more suitable home defense rifle than the rest because of it.
  16. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    I voted based on home and personal defense, not a military or hunting application. I am no longer in the military, and I don't hunt; my guns are for fun shooting ("plinking" and target) and for defense of home, family, and self.
    So, I voted with the 5.56/9mm combination, as I am satisfied with expected performances from each round in available modern loads, and because (when the political climate isn't blowing up) of their ready availability and affordability.
  17. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    US made 5.56mm M193 and M855 ammo is a different breed of FMJ. At velocities over about 2,500 fps those bullets penetrate about 5-7 inches in flesh, yaw and fragment. i've killed a hundred or two wild hogs using the M193 round: The heart, lungs, liver and diaphragm are often badly damaged by bullet fragments. Most of my hogs were killed at ranges <75 yards. Never had one escape wounded.

    Army Colonel (Dr.) Martin Fackler on military small arms wound ballistics:

  18. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Voted 'other'.

    My choice is for the 7.62x39 (SAM7) and 9mm (Glock 17).

    Of course, I am not likely to be engaging anyone much past 200 yards where I live, so I am happy with an intermediate rifle cartridge.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  19. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    My AR (5.56) and a 1911 in .45 ACP would be my choice.... But with defensive ammo available to me, I have no hesitation with using my 9mm, either.
  20. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not constrained by Hague convention by signature or honorary commitment, so I find the 5.56 a very devastating round with modern expanding bullets. I like my 7.62 battle rifles, but there's no question about getting more rounds on target faster with 5.56. And people are not big game animals; You don't need 20"+ penetration, or a bonded bullet that'll punch through a 4" thick shoulder bone to stop a human attacker.

    If I'm forced to do long range anti-personnel work, I have better options than .308.

    For handguns, none of the above. 10mm for me.

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