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    Big boys .458 SOCOM Monster vs the Beowulf

    I agree that the 7.62mm is too big, too heavy and recoils too much to be ideal, but British troops in Helmand are finding themselves ouranged by Taleban equipped with PKMs and Dragunovs in 7.62x54R. In that open countryside, engagements of up to 900m are not uncommon, at which distance 5.56mm is...
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    confused on ballistics

    Given those figures, it looks as if you would do better to zero the rifle at a longer range than 100 yards. If you zeroed it at 150 yards you would only be about half an inch high at 100 and 2 inches low at 200. Zeroing it for 200 yards would give you a maximum height above the sight...
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    confused on ballistics

    Your understanding is correct. You have to imagine two different lines extending from your gun: a straight line for the line of sight, and a curved line to indicate the trajectory of the bullet. Since rifle sights are mounted a few inches above the barrel, the sight line will be above the...
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    PDW article update

    I've recently had the chance to try out some PDWs, so I've duly updated the article on my website:
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    Eurosatory 2008

    I've posted a pictorial report on my website: Enjoy!
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    Did the U.S. Military ever consider...

    I am sure that the 7.62x39 was not for one moment considered for adoption by the US Army. However, as others have mentioned, Special Forces operating behind enemy lines have been interested because they can pick up ammo as they go. IIRC the FN SCAR Heavy, specifically designed for SOCOM, was...
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    Thoughts on the 450 Bushmaster

    As I understand it, the .450 Bushmaster uses .454 bullets rather than the .458 bullets of the .458 SOCOM.
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    .300 Whisper terminal effectiveness

    There are various options described and illustrated in the article on my website Cartridges for Silenced Sniping Rifles. The .500 Phantom is no longer offered.
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    How's the .50 Beowulf coming along? Is it here to stay and safe to buy?

    Wasn't that the .499 LWR? That was tested by the CG anyway, but had reliability problems IIRC. I understand that the reformed LWR aren't offering that any more, at least for the time being. The pic below (from the article More Punch for the AR-15 on my website) shows the .458 SOCOM, .50 Beo...
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    Why doesn't the US issue Mk. 262 en masse?

    The man didn't say - but he was familiar with the 6.8mm Rem and 6.5mm Grendel... The earliest date for LSAT to result in a production weapon is 2015, so don't hold your breath.
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    Why doesn't the US issue Mk. 262 en masse?

    As far as the stocks of 5.56mm are concerned, a year or so back the US was so short of them that emergency purchases had to be made from abroad - I recall orders being placed with Israel. Ammo is getting used up so fast in present circumstances that using up surplus stocks is not an issue...
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    Why doesn't the US issue Mk. 262 en masse?

    I read at least a year ago that the US Army wanted a cheaper version of the MK 262 to be developed, but I've heard nothing since. Its performance is clearly better than the M855 - including after penetrating some types of barrier (but not armour).
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    .280 British

    I'm trying to recall where I read this one - it was probably in Ezell's book "The Great Rifle Controversy: Search for the Ultimate Infantry Weapon from World War II through Vietnam and Beyond" which is the book on this subject. I borrowed from it for the book I wrote with Max Popenker - Assault...
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    .280 British

    Yes, the EM-2 had a 25 inch barrel. It was still a very short gun, of course, because of the bullpup layout. The preferred British calibre was actually .270 (6.8mm) with a lighter, high-velocity bullet, but they developed the heavy-bullet .280 in order to meet the US Army's effective range...
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    What would the Military use instead of Ball?

    "Ball ammunition" simply means the standard military anti-personnel load; i.e., not tracer, nor AP, nor incendiary, nor expanding. Ball ammunition is usually FMJ these days (although it referred to plain lead bullets in the 19th century) but there's no reason why MK 262 (or similar) shouldn't be...
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    What would the Military use instead of Ball?

    I'm sure that some commercial hunting bullets perform very well in terms of combining barrier penetration with expansion, but some will not - it depends on the construction. Edit: Hornady TSWG and ATK Tactical both offer good performance in 7.62mm, but I'm not sure if they're available in...
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    What would the Military use instead of Ball?

    I think it would depend on the circumstances. AP is of course available now for use when required. But in close combat with an enemy who does not usually wear body armour, and where it is important to disable quickly, one of the specialist loads developed for police work would be optimal. There...
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    Assault Rifle article revised

    Yep - the US bought the rights to the High Temperature Propellant from Dynamit Nobel.
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    Assault Rifle article revised

    I've just updated the article with some more info about LSAT gathered at Eurosatory: Here's a pic of the LSAT ammo: an MG belt of plastic-cased, with a sectioned dummy of a caseless round lying on top.
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    The Ultimate Combat Round

    I've just spent some time talking to people on the AAI stand at Eurosatory. They are very interested in developing an intermediate calibre version of the LSAT LMG (c. 6.5mm), and a carbine using the same ammo. If they can meet requirements, the caseless version will prevail (the ammo is much...