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308 v 223 v 30-06 v 243 v 7.62x39 v 5.45x39

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by OneShot!, Jun 15, 2007.

?

Best Round for Military

Poll closed Jun 18, 2007.
  1. .223

    27 vote(s)
    16.9%
  2. .243

    22 vote(s)
    13.8%
  3. 7.62x39

    27 vote(s)
    16.9%
  4. .308

    85 vote(s)
    53.1%
  5. 30-06

    12 vote(s)
    7.5%
  6. 5.45x39

    9 vote(s)
    5.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. OneShot!

    OneShot! member

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    Which is the best round for military use? Please note that this poll is not limited to US military, but military in general around the world.

    Currently, US is using .223. There have been proposal for .243 due to its remarkable trajectory and slightly more power. 30-06, however powerful, was discontinued from the United States Army, and I dont think any army has it in use, but for some Police use in old rifles in the developing nations. Nevertheless this is not to under-estimate the power of the cartirdge. It is still very popular in the hunting arena. 308 is being used for sports and military use in many countires. 7.62x39 or the Ak47 round is in my opinion the most used round in the world because it equips Russian and Chinese army, and many para military forces in other countries. Now, the 5.45x39 (which is used in AK74 or the SMG AKSU74) is relatively a newer cartridge developed by the Russians, and is being used by the Russian special forces. It has more range and better in target hitting compared to AK47 round.

    My vote is for 308 for its power. Critics argue the recoil issue, but a well trained soldier should not have problem with that. It has good efective range and trajectory. My second choice is 7.62x39 for power in shorter range fire fights, and third would be a tie between .223 and 5.45x39 since they are both very similar- it will all depend on the weapon I am using rather than the bullet.

    Now I invite your comments.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  2. Anteater1717

    Anteater1717 Member

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    We need 6.8 special and 6.5 grendel for options.
     
  3. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    You're comparing apples with oranges.

    The full-power rifle/MG rounds - the .308 (which ought to be 7.62x51, the military version) and the .30-06 (and the 7.62x54R, which you missed out even though it is very much still in service) are the best for long-range use in support MGs and sniper rifles.

    The lower powered 5.56x45 (again, not exactly the same as the .223), the 7.62x39 and the 5.45x39 are much better for shorter range rifles as their lower recoil permits more controllable automatic fire, and the lighter ammo means that the soldier can carry more of it.

    Nobody uses the .243 as a military round - it's almost as big and heavy as the 7.62x51 and still has too much recoil for auto fire.

    The 6.8x43 Rem SPC and 6.5x38 Grendel are better compromises than any of the above. The 6.5's ballistics are just about ideal for a general-purpose military round.

    You'll find all the assault rifle rounds and contenders written up HERE
     
  4. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    You can't really use any of the rounds listed for everything. .223 in a general purpose machine gun would do nothing but put you at a disadvantage; .308 in an 11" barreled carbine for tankers would be a flame thrower. 5.45mm won't make much of a sniper rifle round, and .30-06 is going to be hard to control in full auto.
     
  5. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    I love the 243 and at one time DSA made an FAL in it. It will do far more in
    all ways than the 223 and trajectory on an 85g 243 easily glides past the 308
    w/o the associated recoil and still carries plenty of energy downrange....but
    I'm a stubborn intermediate cartridge oldtimer and picked the 7.62x39.
     
  6. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    DSA still makes FAL rifles in .243. Call them to see about ordering.
     
  7. Old Time Hunter

    Old Time Hunter Member

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    I would have picked the .30-06, but realized it was more for nostalgia reasons than anything else. The .308 can do the same, except when you get to heavier bullets. The rest are for wimps.
     
  8. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    I had no idea that 90% of the US Army, as well as almost all of the NATO forces, consisted of wimps. :what:

    Oh well, the Russian Army uses the 5.45mm, so presumably they're even wimpier. On the other hand, the Chinese are standardising on 5.8mm, which must mean that they are more manly than the Americans. Hmm. It makes you wonder how the Allies won WW2, since the German 7.92mm was bigger in calibre than the Allied ammo. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    "Military use" is a fairly broad category. The military uses pistols, PDWs, submachine guns, rifle, precision rifles, general purpose machine guns, and heavy/mounted machine guns. One caliber will not suit all of those purposes.

    Second, minor variations in the terminal effectiveness of different rounds (say .308 v. .223 for example) do not win wars. Most enemy soldiers are not killed by small arms fire anyway and of those who are, the difference in .308 v .223 would likely be too small to measure.

    Wars are won by logisitics and logistics rewards the smallest possible round you can fit into an effective package. I guarantee you that the PDW is not an accident nor is it intended to be a secondary weapon forever. The whole purpose of the PDW is to see if an even smaller round can be sufficient for small arms since most fights happen within 300yds anyway.

    If you look at it from a logistics standpoint, then it is simple. Here is a rough example (with totally made up numbers). Let's say .30-06 is a slayer. For every round that hits the enemy, it kills them dead without fail; but you only get 10 rounds of .30-06 for one pound and your soldiers only hit 75% of the time. Now let's say that 5.45x39 only kills 50% of the time; but you get 30 rounds for one pound and your soldiers hit 80% of the time. You've got 2,000lbs of cargo space. Which one is going to get you the most bang for the buck?

    What might make sense on a personal level, doesn't always apply well when scaled up. My personal choice would be 6.8 or 6.5; but given the choices I would go 5.56 for general infantry issue. 7.62x51 doesn't give you enough of an increase to justify the extra logistical load. .243 is neat; but has almost all of the same logistical load as .308, so why even step down if you are going that route?
     
  10. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge Member

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    Personally, I would like to see a rifle in .308 become the standard infantry weapon. The round is accurate and can do the job at long range and would be effective at short range as well. Seeing as how our military may be deployed from anywhere from the arctic to the dessert to some rat hole city, this (at least to me) seems important.....it is about as 'do-all' a cartridge as it comes.
    It is my understanding that part of the reason that the military went to the 5.56 mm round was to save weight so the average G.I. could carry more ammo....the 'spray and pray' ideal was prevalent then. I'll take an aimed round any day over sending a bunch of bullets downrange in hopes that one might hit something.
    I shoot both the .223 and the .308. I like the .223 for hunting varmints, and in some states it is illegal to use on big game. How can one expect a round like this to be effective on a hyped up human, esp. in it's FMJ military form? Also, there is the problem of wind shift at longer ranges with aimed fire.
    Just MHO..........FWIW
     
  11. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    I was pretty much thinking what Bart said. But I say there is something to having at least one soldier in the squad with a .308/ .243 or .30-06 LR rifle. The .243 is just a necked down .308 and would not help much logistically for the soldiers on the ground.
     
  12. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    Like we used to say in the Army.

    Weappons depend on theater.

    But I will say that the Armed forces do extensive testing on what works and what doesn't based on many peramiters. And seeing that 7.62 Nato, and 5.56mm Nato are still in use world wide, as is 7.62X39mm, they are the best military rounds. You can go ANYWHERE (ther is a conflict) and get ammo of all three kinds no problem.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I think the British .280 family of the 1950s had a lot going for it. More range than the 8x33 or 7.62x39 seen in German and Soviet use, less recoil and weight than .303 or .308. Probably the first 7x43 version would do fine, later marks were just souped up to try to catch US interest, but we were set on the .308/7.62 so as to maintain .30-06 ballistics.

    I don't think the complicated EM-1 and EM-2 bullpups were the best platform, how about a scaled down FAL, Tony?
     
  14. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I didn't vote

    That's why.

    For an all purpose caliber, the 6.5 Grendel takes the cake. It gives you the best of all worlds. It gives up little in CQB, but at longer ranges is superior to all of the ones listed. Better armor penetrating ability then all of the others. Slightly heavier than .223 but lighter then the others. It has a wide variety of bullet weights from 95-144gr. Better ballistic then all of the others and less recoil than the majority of the larger cals.
     
  15. Blackhawk45

    Blackhawk45 Member

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    Hey fellas. First post here on THR so thought I'd say hello first.

    Agree with what mostly has been said. 5.56, 7.62x39 & 7.62NATO can be found most anywhere. I would not be against the idea of a new "medium" caliber that could do most of what all three can. But if I had to pick what was in use I'd vote for the 7.62x51.
     
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I would very much like to see some test results on AR-10s, M-240Bs, etc configured and tactical tested.

    If the advantage of smaller cartridges is that they have less recoil and are easier train, um, persons of all gender and body types, the .243 should be a great compromise. Re-tooling existing 7.62 NATO weapons shouldn't be very difficult. FN probably has already tried all of these things.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    If you have an army, you don't have to "find" ammunition, you make it, so that does not matter.
    The problem in most of these discussions is that there are a lot of things any existing army needs worse than a new caliber to change to.
     
  18. Dr.Carbine

    Dr.Carbine Member

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    I've always wondered why the military didn't look at some other commercial cartridges when they wanted something smaller and lighter than the .30-06 and .308 rounds. What about the .250 Savage and .257 Roberts? Would they have been any good? According to the ballistics tables, they look very competitive with the .223 and the 7.62x39.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  19. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Uh

    The truth is in the middle. I think the current trend is good. General carbine round with the 5.56, and then some designated marksman with something a bit bigger.
     
  20. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The .243 is not now nor has it ever been a military round. Nor has it ever been considered for military use. It's a hunting round. There have been 6mm military rounds, the 6mm Lee for example, but not the .243.
    "...FN probably has already tried..." FN is a commercial manufacturer of military firearms. They don't do much cartridge R&D.
    "...see some test results on AR-10s..." The real AR-10 was tested with other than 7.62NATO chamberings in the mid 50's. A few of 'em were made in 7.62 x 39 for Finland. There was another chambering too. A 7mm(not Mauser), I think.
     
  21. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    I voted for .223 & .308/7.62. Both rounds cover just about any scenereo.
     
  22. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    cast my lot with the 7.62x39...

    Even though I don't own one personally I still feel from the experience I have had with it both with friends and when I was in the Army that it is a superior round for what its designed purpose is.

    the 223 was based off a varmint round...nuff said...even though you can count some of them bassids over there AS varmints....but regardless...

    the 308 is near and dear to my heart and would be my choice in a SHTF situation with the selection of my personal gear...given the choice, I would go with the x39 still.

    The 30-06 would be good for a DMR rifle. I am sure that it could make a serious comeback given the chance.

    The 243...I dunno...wouln't hurt to let it go out in some trials, I think.

    The 5.45 was a copy-cat done by the reports done by the Viet Cong that went to the USSR during the Viet-Nam war...

    MTCW
    D
     
  23. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Not an expert here, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that Hezbollah pretty well faught the IDF to a stalemate last year.....and I'd assume it was with 7.62x39 AKs, RPGs and IEDs.

    They used Iranian missles, but these seem to have been deployed strictly as part of their terror campaign against civilian targets.

    Others know better and can chime in, but I'm pretty amazed by what a determined & disciplined "gang" can do with so little.

    Off course the fact that the IDF demonstrated a lot of restraint and Hezbollah showed zero respect for the lives of their fellow Habs (as they hid behind women and children) played a large role. The extreme bias in the media coverage and UN was a huge factor as well.
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Thank you for the refresher on who FN is.

    The discussion is to ask if the .243 should BECOME a military round.

    There are commercially produced AR-10s in .243, and it is entirely feasible that every major small-arms manufacturer experiments in a variety of calibers. To state that FN wouldn't even try is understating their status in the industry.
     
  25. KINGMAX

    KINGMAX Member

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    I have always like a AK47 for a combat weapon.
     
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