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Buddy says .223 is to wound, is he right?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by winstonsmith, Oct 30, 2003.

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  1. winstonsmith

    winstonsmith Member

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    My bud taylor, Boondock Saints on here, says the .223 is made only to wound. I always thought this was a myth, so please educate us.

    He also states that it "bounces around inside the body" and that "a guy can get shot in the chest and it'll come out his leg"

    Am I insane or is this just... well.. wrong?
     
  2. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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  3. Jhaislet

    Jhaislet Member

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    Well your buddy seems to contradict himself. Any bullet that "bounces" around in the chest and then exits via the leg will obviously cause multi organ damage, thus has a greater potential of a high mortality wound. In close range situations (ie less than 150 meters), I'd rather get shot with a .30cal fmj bullet than a 5.56mm fmj bullet. Most .30cal fmj's will zip right through you, leaving a clean entry and exit wound. Whereas the 5.56mm bullet will literally explode into hundreds of small fragments which shread internal organs.

    The 5.56mm round only wounds when its velocity drops below about 2600fps, where it then turns into a .22 cal projectile. Trust me, this bullet is far from a wounder if it hits its target with a velocity greater than 2600fps.
     
  4. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

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    Does the 30 caliber over 2700fps do the same thing as the 22 caliber?
     
  5. Boondock Saint

    Boondock Saint Member

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  6. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    :confused:
     
  7. Boondock Saint

    Boondock Saint Member

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    the point i was making wasnt that it just wounded you and didnt kill you, but that it would make you innable to fight and it usally would kill you from shock but you could be saved.
     
  8. Jhaislet

    Jhaislet Member

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    :confused: :confused: :confused:
    Im not sure who we're fighting here, but I'd venture to say 99% of soldiers who get shot period will stop fighting and seek medical attention.

    Also, almost every bullet wound will kill you from shock (loose more than 1.5-2 liters of blood and your history). The amount of internal damage directly correlates with the speed of bloodloss. Any bullet tearing a major artery or vein will kill you in less than a minute or two. Direct hits to the central nervous system also are incapacitating. Bullet caliber only really becomes an issue if vital organs or blood vessels are not hit by initial impact (which is very rare given the abundance of sensitive areas when shooting center mass).

    A .223 bullet will kill you in less than a minute, even if its only going say 1200fps, if it hits a major blood vessel.
     
  9. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Despite what is often seen in the movies very few shootings result in people simply dying on the spot. You can look at how the ratio of wounded/kia has changed with improvments in medicine and the rapidity with which care can be rendered to the troops. I really doubt that anyone on the receiving end of either a .223 or .308 will be able to tell the difference.
     
  10. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    I understand what hes saying; though I wouldn't say that the 5.56 was made to "wound", because that delivers the connotation that it was not designed to "kill".

    The 30.06 would create a sizable shockwave that would pulp organs and tissue, better chance of a "Dead-Right-There", if you can paste a property like that to something with an infinite ammount of variables.

    The 5.56 would make you leave a huge blood trail for a minute or so (depending on what and where it hits), and you would be "Dead-Right-Over-There". Does that make any sense?
    :rolleyes:

    I know it said somewhere (maybe ammo-oracle) that after a firefight, a tango shot with large(r) bore rifles (M1's 30.06, M14's .308) would be laying right where he was hit, assuming a solid strike. When a hit was made on a tango with a 5.56, there would be a huge blood trail/swath for maybe 5-25 yards, and the dead tango.

    If the end result is the same, whats another minute?
     
  11. Kor

    Kor Member

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    If you try to research the Pentagon-level reasoning behind most land-battlefield military weapons, in particular small arms and personal weapons, you'll find that they are intended not to create FATALITIES per se, but debilitating/incapacitating CASUALTIES(i.e. wounding rather than killing). There are a couple of reasons behind this.

    The public-relations rationale usually invokes the Geneva Convention/Hague Accords, which assert the basic premise that a uniformed enemy soldier is a basically honorable person who is serving his country just as you are serving yours, and the humane thing to do in combat is not necessarily to kill him outright with something like a dum-dum bullet or poison gas, but to incapacitate him with a wound that removes him from combat yet allows him to recover and return to civilian life after the end of the war. Yes, this does reflect the thinking of a bygone era, and is very difficult to rationalize in an age of racial/ethnic genocide, irrationally fanatical terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

    The other rationale comes from Von Clausewitz' writings and is more strategic in nature, in that an enemy soldier who is killed outright is less of a drain on his army's/country's resources than if he is merely wounded. As Boondock Saint noted, a wounded soldier also takes his buddy out of the fight, provided that his buddy is willing/able to drag him off the front line and patch him up(not something usually seen in Japanese banzai charges, Chinese "human-wave" attacks, or mujaheddin skirmishes). Theoretically, a wounded soldier also drains medical supplies, rations, money and other resources from the enemy nation until he either recovers and returns to duty, or dies. By contrast, if an enemy soldier simply dies outright, all that happens is that his buddies have to dig a grave for him, his CO has to write a letter to his mom afterwards, and the unit drives on and continues its mission. Again, this tends to be more applicable to "civilized warfare" as opposed to current conflicts involving enemies with less concern for their wounded personnel than we would consider normal.

    As far as the weapons/cartridges of the past, they were still intended to accomplish the goal of creating casualties, not fatalities - at the turn of the century(.30-06), military thinking held that you had to be able to do this at ranges of 1000+yds(witness the Boer War), therefore your rifle and its ammo had to be sufficiently powerful for the task, and the greater lethality at close range was just a nice thing to have when the enemy got uncomfortably close. (BTW, during the Spanish-American War, the Filipino juramentados weren't particularly impressed with either our .30-40 Krag service rifles or our military ethics, and usually had to be killed outright at close range with shotguns or .45's - you'da thought we'da learnt better after that...)

    During/after WWII, we still thought we needed a rifle and cartridge that was capable of accurately hitting and incapacitating an enemy soldier out to 600-800yds, hence the M14, the FAL, the G3 and the 7.62X51 cartridge. After studies that indicated that most infantrymen simply didn't bother to shoot at enemy soldiers farther than 300-400yds away, the Pentagon planners decided to sacrifice the long-range performance of the .30-06 for (marginal) savings in weight/material cost realized with the .308/7.62X51 cartridge - yet they just couldn't bear to completely give up the .30-06's effectiveness at medium ranges.

    Given the short-range nature of jungle warfare in Vietnam, the Pentagon planners thought that the M16/5.56X45 would still incapacitate(if not kill) enemy soldiers within short ranges while affording the triple advantages of a lighter weapon, with less recoil, and lighter-weight ammo, which allowed the soldier to carry more ammo/gear, which would allow him to shoot more, or shoot full-auto more accurately, which required him to carry even more ammo...ahem. As originally developed, the rifle and its ammo actually performed pretty well, although later problems would arise with the ammo and with the rifle's maintenance(but that's a whole 'nother can of worms). Vietnam was where the first reports of explosive bullet fragmentation and ricocheting inside the body came about.

    In the later years of the Cold War, the Pentagon planners decided that the 5.56 cartridge needed to penetrate light cover or Soviet helmets/body armor at longer ranges in order to successfully create enemy casualties, so they optimized the rifle and cartridge to fire the 62gr. steel-cored armor-piercing SS109 bullet. In doing so, they caused the rifle/cartridge to lose much of its effectiveness in return for the capability of causing at least a minor wound on an enemy soldier whose armor or equipment would have deflected the previous 55gr. M855 bullet. The M16A2 rifle with its SS109 ammo subsequently became infamous in the Somalia action(q.v. Blackhawk Down) for causing non-dynamic, non-explosive, ineffectual through-and-through wounds on un-armored(possibly drug-fortified) Somalis who would have to be shot 5-6 times before finally collapsing or being incapacitated.

    So, basically, while the end result(enemy casualties) is the same in the Pentagon planners' Big Picture, the grunts with mud on their boots tend to STRONGLY prefer that those enemy soldiers who are shooting at them become Dead Right There, As Soon As Possible; while 30 seconds or 5 minutes may not change the overall result of a battle, it can and does make a difference to an individual infantryman if the guy he shot is still able to throw a grenade or empty his rifle on full-auto before succumbing to his wound...
     
  12. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Some time ago, someone (we'll never know who) pontificated that it was more militarily expediant to wound the enemy instead of kill him. This is a military urban legend. Unless we fight another Western power, none of our enemies is inclined to put the effort into treating the wounded that would make this even a remote possibility. A gunfight is a gunfight, regardless if it's military or civilian. The idea is to STOP your opponent from doing what you don't want him to do.

    The truth of the matter is that people are notoriously hard to stop. The history books are full of stories about men who took multiple hits from every weapon in every era and still managed to continue to function.

    I'd like any of the so called {I]full size[/I] cartridge proponents here to answer one question.

    Why is it that when an American soldier, airman or marine takes multiple hits from the best the enemy has to give, 7.92, 7.62x51, 7.62x39, grenade and shell fragments etc. it's time to award a MOH, but if an enemy soldier is to defiant to quietly lay down and die after one hit from any of our weapons, we need new small arms?

    Jeff
     
  13. Rob96

    Rob96 Member

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    Originally posted by Boondock
    The theory was that it would take two soldiers to cary an injured one, shoot one soldier and take three out of the fight. Funny thing is the 7.62x39 when compared to M193 does a much better job of this. Give this a read.

    http://www.olyarms.com/223cqb.html
     
  14. Delmar

    Delmar Member

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    What it boils down to is not the size of the round, but the experience of the soldier behind it. The government has been downsizing the issue rounds to the soldiers since the civil war. Now, we have a 223 which is so stable that it can make shots at ranges not considered a few decades ago. Problem is the round is so stable that it drills straight through.

    The old M198 could tumble if it hit somebody just right, but contrary to popular myth, they did not "explode". They might even come apart and fragment depending on what they hit, but nothing to count on.

    One of my deer hunting buddies put 7 holes in one deer with one shot using a softpoint-we still tease him about his "kennedy" bullet, but nobody has answer as to why it entered the skull, turned 90 degrees, exited the back of the skull, entered the back-tearing up most of the backstrap :uhoh: traversing through the gutsack, exiting in front of the haunch, entering the haunch, traversing down the back leg, exiting at the knee, and entered the hoof and exited to God knows where. Certainly nothing to count on.

    I for one would want a full sized cartridge of 30-06 or better for long distance, but if its close up and personal, I want something which is going to knock them flat right now. THAT is a tall order for anyone and I don't see anything on the horizon which will do it all.

    Lastly, and I think more importantly, the Government will spend our hard earned tax dollars by the trainload for technology, but gives less than a pittance when it comes to supplying ammo and range time. If you don't have experience with your rifle, you're not as likely to hit what you are aiming at. Duh? IMO, the troops would be at the range twice a month, every month, with a generous supply of ammo and targets so they would know what the rifle is capable of as well as themselves.
     
  15. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

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    Possibly 100 rounds or more from said tango.
     
  16. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    This urban legend just won't go away, will it? One of the things that keeps giving this one legs is that various ignoramuses in uniform spout it as fact.
     
  17. WT

    WT Member

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    It is conceivable that a soldier firing in the prone position could sustain a chest wound, have the bullet run down the body and exit via his leg. The bullet would essentially be traveling in a straight line. Hence some of the stories "you can shoot a guy in the chest and the .223 bullet will turn and exit his leg."

    I would like to see some legitimate US government resources which specifically point out that the .223 round is designed to wound and incapacitate an enemy soldier, but not kill him.
     
  18. goon

    goon Member

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    The "urban legend" as you guys call it was told to me by one of my Drill Sergeants at FLW.
    Yes, they did occasionally yank our chains, but this guy sincerely believed it when he told us that.
    That means that someone believed it when they told him about it.
    I think that it may have been a PR thing at one point in time that has now frimly taken hold.
     
  19. RustyHammer

    RustyHammer Member

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    Dead is dead.
     
  20. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    This is a huge "urban myth."

    There is absolutely no evidence that the services in general and the Army in particular even understood the wound mechanics of the M193 and later M855 projectiles when they were adopted. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence that they did not understand how these bullets wound.

    Further, no one who has ever intentionally gone in harm's way, or sent others there, would ever deploy riflemen with a weapon that was designed to wound the enemy. Notwithstanding the apparent logic, it is just no way to win a war. Patton said it best when he said that no one ever won a war by dying for his country; wars are won by making the other guy die for his country. A wounded enemy can still kill you, and the results usually work out in a manner opposite what's being suggested.

    Finally, take just a moment's look at how our services deal with WIAs. We have by far the most elaborate and expensive systems in place to save lives. There is no country in the world that comes even close -- and very few that even try. So, the logic is upside down. This "wounding" thing works far better on us than on any enemy we have ever faced.
     
  21. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Kor explained it well from both levels of reasoning. The Pentagon brass hats - they don't breathe the same air as you or I - think strategically and the guys in the foxhole think tactically. Two different worlds.
     
  22. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Note: The gun or cartridge itself is not designed to wound - that's where the disconnect is in this conversation.

    What is meant is the shiny seat weenies - the Pentagon planners - prefer a large amount of casualties rather than straight dead enemy bodies. At least it was that way in the 20th century. Who knows, we may be becoming a Mongol horde here in the 21st century.
     
  23. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    He's daft and has been reading too many old magazines. Ask all those people killed by the DC murderers how effective the .223 is. This is the same foolishness the US defence industry came out with when the .223/5.56 was foisted upon the US military.
     
  24. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

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    i don't think the VC had Forrest Gump assisted
    Heliocopter evac to waiting MASH trauma hospitals

    where are the 2 doods going to cart the wounded comrade off to?

    why risk the exposure if he is going to expire anyway?
     
  25. BigG

    BigG Member

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    The wounded mess up the enemy's logistics and provide a moral effect on the civilian population who have to treat the wounded and see them on the street minus a limb or two. :uhoh:

    You can check with General Sherman about whether messing up enemy logistics is an effective strategy. :D
     
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