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For the sake of argument, 5.7x28 vs 5.56x45 for standard issue round

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MTMilitiaman, Jun 21, 2008.

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  1. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Just because I am feeling feisty I'll play devil's advocate and pose the following question:

    Why would the same arguments applied in support of the 5.56 NATO not applying more so to the 5.7x28?

    Weight: Ammunition for the 5.7x28 is lighter than ammunition for the 5.56x45, as are weapons chambered for the cartridge.

    Controllability: The 5.7x28 produces less recoil, making it more accurate and controllable on automatic fire, as well as making it easier to train new recruits who have limited exposure to firearms before military service.

    The 5.7x28 SS190 round is said to have an effective range of 200 meters, where, IIRC, it is rumored to still be able to penetrate the standard modern infantry helmet (Correct me if I am wrong here.). While there is no disputing that the 5.7mm is less effective than the 5.56mm, there is also no disputing that the 5.56mm was less effective than the round that preceded it, but was still adopted for the aforementioned reasons. Also, the common arguments used to support the 5.56 still apply to the 5.7;"I still wouldn't want to get shot by one," and "shot placement is still key."

    Note that I am not taking this argument to a level of complete absurdity. I am not claiming the same arguments still apply to the .22 Long Rifle, for example. Both the 5.7x28 and the 5.56x45 are marginally effective intermediate rounds with debatable stopping power that nevertheless seems to get the job done with current tactics at commonly occurring ranges.

    The military has already incorporated multiple shots center of mass into its training. There is no reason that same tactics--hammer pairs and failure drills, could not be employed with the 5.7x28mm. There is also no reason the 5.7mm couldn't keep the bad guy's heads down while they were being flanked, and the 5.56mm lacks so much in barrier penetration compared to other common military rounds that there isn't much of it to lose going with the smaller 5.7mm round.

    Additionally, going with the 5.7x28 would allow logistics to be cleared up by allowing the adoption of a handgun and a longarm in the same cartridge, effectively eliminating the 9x19 from logistics. The military would just have the 5.7x28, with larger 7.62x51 and 12.7x99 machine guns providing support from machine guns and sniper rifles.
     
  2. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    I've often looked at the 5.7x28mm round as a true military round, provided one uses it properly.
    People look at the 5.7 and say "that'll never stop anyone". Well, without a headshot, they're right that one bullet will probably not be effective.
    What about two? No?
    Three?
    Four?
    Five?
    I almost guarantee you that five 5.7x28mm FNs will stop a bad guy faster than one or two 5.56x45mms.
    Why? It's been proven pretty much to certainty that multiple hits are the true stopper. Hence why 12 Gauge 00 Buck is so effective.
    Now, is it worth it to fire five cartridges at every bad guy you come across? Maybe not. I think the 5.7mm cartridge weighs somewhere around half as much total as the 5.56 NATO, so it really doesn't look good to have a 5 5.7 shots equaling two 5.56 NATO rounds. The weight is disadvantageous. However, what if you could make the 5.7 lighter? What about more effective? What if you had a 5.7 FN that performed like M193? Wouldn't that be something worth considering?
     
  3. Tyris

    Tyris member

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    Effective range on what? Coyotes?
    The round has ballistics comparable to a 22magnum.

    I think it is unfair to compare it to a 5.56, a more fair comparison in terms of muzzle energy is 9mm or 22mag.

    -T
     
  4. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    The same thing could and has been said concerning the 5.56 vs the 7.62 as well. When the 7.62 was the standard infantry round, people weren't trained in hammer pairs and failure drills. The 7.62 is also much better at defeating barriers and has a much longer effective range than the 5.56. But these advantages were deemed unnecessary given the distances most engagements take place. So is it worth it to use 2 to 4 5.56mm rounds for every 7.62mm round? The military thinks so...
     
  5. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    That's my point. As it stands, the 5.7 ain't much to look at. But stretch it a bit further...
     
  6. mndfusion

    mndfusion Member

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  7. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    the 5.7mm in comparison to the 5.56mm does not offer versatility. In Iraq, sure the engagement ranges I hear about are ranges from 50-100 meters. But what about in Afghanistan where 100-300 shoot outs are more likely? I don't think 5.7 is going to do the job very well.

    Some forces across the world are realizing the forgotten utility of 7.62x39mm and in our military the SF were or are experimenting with 6.xx round, and you're arguing for a much weaker round? :scrutiny:

    The better approach is with what's going on in the LSAT program. Taking the 5.56mm package and shrinking it without sacrificing performance.
     
  8. SimpleIsGood229

    SimpleIsGood229 Member

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    I too agree that the 5.7 is simply not powerful enough. It's a pistol cartridge, really. Barrier penetration would really suffer, for sure.
     
  9. Rubber_Duck

    Rubber_Duck Member

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    Go from 5.56x45 vs. 7.62x39mm -> 5.7x28 vs. 7.62x39? Doesn't sound very smart to me, IMO. I think our troops will STILL be facing the 7.62x39mm.
     
  10. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    That's not the equation. It's this:
    Go from (1) 5.56x45 vs. (1) 7.62x39mm -> (>3) 5.7x28mm vs. (1) 7.62x39.
    If you are using 5.7x28mm, you ain't gonna be using a little 30-round mag or 650 RPM anymore.
    You'll be using a 100-round mag* and probably over 1000 RPM.

    *2 50-round P90 mags weigh the same as 1 30-round M16 mag.
     
  11. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    The 5.7x28 was not needed... There was already the 7.62 Tok, but I guess FN wanted its own round.

    Oooo how I love to stir the pot.
     
  12. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    There's one advantage the 5.7 has over 7.62 Tok (which I, too love, DH): The base. 5.7 FN has an 8.0mm* base (I believe), whereas 7.62 Tok has a base just shy of 10mm. More rounds in the mag for 5.7 FN, which is rather important in the kind of weapon both of those rounds are suited for.
    But you put expanding bullets in the Tok and the 5.7's game is over. O.V.E.R.
    *It's actually 7.95mm. Case head is actually slightly rebated. :barf:
     
  13. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    The 5.7 FN has a very, very small place in certain pistols and SMGs for police or non-infantry units, issued with AP ammo. Anywhere else I see no point for it.

    For replacing the 5.56x45, well you'd be doing a major downgrade from a round that is already marginal. A 5.7 weapon is not usable as a rifle for infantry. It can replace an SMG in those type roles, but not a rifle, and definitely not a belt-fed MG. I see no reason for it.

    IMHO, the ideal solution is something like 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel, or even a 6mm-45mm hybrid. .243 Win or 6mm Rem would also be good, but perhaps too big and powerful.
     
  14. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    5.56 gets a lot of heat for not being enough bullet for the job. 5.7 does a significantly lower amount of damage to tissue than 5.56, so much so that it doesn't hold up to the 7.62 > 5.56 comparison. 7.62 and 5.56 are both rifle rounds and both produce centerfire rifle style wounds, 5.7 crushes less tissue than a 9mm fmj round.
     
  15. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    That I could go with, but it's an entirely different school of thought. More like every soldier a machinegunner than every soldier a rifleman. I think that with training it could work, so long as the soldiers were delivering aimed machinegun bursts rather than using spray and pray tactics.
     
  16. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    You can't legitimately compare 5.7x28 against buckshot; all nine (9) 00 buck pellets in a 2 3/4" 12ga round are unleased at once on a single trajectory whereas you'd have to contend with muzzle rise and convergence time with a 5.7x28 in FA.

    And franky, 00 Buck isn't used much past 50yds for a reason. Even allowing for better ballistics due to projectile shape, you just don't have and retain enough energy in the 5.7x28 to be effective at distance when dealing with combatants who are making effective use of cover.

    Nope; 5.7x28 is a short-range round that does not really compete with 5.56NATO in most any way.
     
  17. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    There is an advantage to the 5.7 as a combat round.
    It is accurate enough and controllable enough to make head shots at reasonable ranges and contrary to popular belief, it is powerful enough to inflict lethal wounds without bursting the combatants cranial cavity like a ripe melon.

    Too bad the weapons available are not living up to the accuracy potential of the cartridge.
     
  18. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    I've owned a FiveseveN and have put many 5.7x28 rounds into living creatures. The 22 hornet makes it look like a pipsqueak. I had to dispatch a large rabbit that took three rounds into the body from about 25 yards and was still trying to crawl away.

    It may have a slight edge over a 22WMR. May.

    I was so disgusted with the lack of performance of the round, particularly given the cost of weapon and ammo, that I will never buy another.

    YMMV
     
  19. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    THAT'S WHAT 5.56MM and 5.45MM ASSAULT RIFLES ARE FOR!

    The whole point to 5.56mm was to allow soldiers to carry more ammo and shoot controllable bursts. If you really want to have a "every body a machine gunner" philosophy then the least that could be done is to teach soldiers to use bursts on the M4/M16 and give them 45rd mags. Many militaries have been teaching soldiers to utilize burst fire for decades.

    The most that could be done is equipping every rifleman with an AK108 5.56mm and 60rd quad stack mags. That's true 2nd generation assault rifle doctrine in full effect.

    And the whole idea of using a smaller and weaker round for whatever advantages is plain old obsolete thinking. The goal today is to shrink existing intermediate or full power rounds into compact packages like telescopic cased ammo or caseless.

    I win this thread. :D
     
  20. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    No, 5.56 and 5.45 assault rifles don't have 100+ round mags and cyclic rates over 1000 rpm. You can't lay down the same kind of sustained fire with them as you can with a standard machinegun. If you could they would be too much of an encumbrance for the average soldier. With a 5.7 it just might be possible however.
     
  21. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    In theory.

    But since the military adopted the 5.56 under that philosophy, the average soldier has been denied automatic fire capability. The M16 is limited to three-round burst, and that capability is rarely used. And by rarely, I mean rarely--as is, almost never. The riflemen are trained to engage specific target with aimed fire, which IMO is a job more suited to the M14 that the M16 was intended to replace.

    The only time I was ever ordered to set my M16A4 to burst was on range exercises where we were all issued enough ammo to just want to get done and go sit down again. Then we were pretty much instructed to dump ammo without regard to accuracy so we could "unload show clear" and leave the firing line. Automatic fire is almost solely to responsibility of the SAW gunner, which I also have experience as.

    I've seen a training video claiming that the average engagement distance in current urban combat is 60 meters. I was told "under 100 yards." An aimed 3 to 5 round burst from a P90 is more than capable of this.

    A very strong case could be made that whatever the typical 5.7 lacks in accuracy or long range stopping power, it makes up for in controllability. When the P90 came out, I read an article that claimed less recoil and muzzle climb than an MP5 with a flatter trajectory and better downrange performance. A 4 to 6 round burst could be deliver with enough accuracy at 50 yards to assure multiple hits.

    The philosophy behind the 5.7x28 is very similar to that originally intended for the 5.56x45.

    The whole point of this exercise is so that those who feel the 5.56 is the end all, be all, infantry cartridge can feel how those of us who supported the 7.62x51, or better yet, an intermediate powered cartridge between 6.5 and 7mm, feel. The arguments are the same.

    Shot placement, controllability, and the weight of the ammo will never be the only factors to be considered.

    Few of us support the 7.62x51, or larger, as the standard issue cartridge. Most of us, esp those of us who have humped with modern body armor and issued gear, understand the importance of weight. Most would support a standard issue cartridge between the 5.56 and the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges, however, and despite modern training in infantry tactics, many still feel the 5.56 is too large a step in the right direction from the 7.62. A happy medium should and eventually must be struck...
     
  22. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Funny, mine sure don't when loaded. The P90 magazines are heavier by far.
     
  23. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Why do people try to make the 5.7 something its not? It was designed to be a short range armor defeating round. And that is what it is good for. It is not a man stoper it was not intended to be a full on infantry round it is not designed to be a varmmit round. Just stop pretending and go with what it was suposed to be. I will never understand why people think it is some sort of mirical round the ballistics on it suck and in anything less than a subgun it wont be all that great for much else.
     
  24. PTK

    PTK Member

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    My PS90 (sbr) is for HD. If 50+ well placed low-flash low-noise rounds don't get it done, well.... I have an AR-15 ready too. :D

    I carry a 5.7 USG. I fully realize that it's a tradeoff of "power" for a lighter handier gun with higher capacity. I don't make it anything it isn't - we're talking between a .22mag and .22 hornet for power levels, something I am perfectly willing to carry - and I do.

    Link to gel tests
     
  25. Matt304

    Matt304 Member

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    The 5.7mm was designed as a close combat round.

    Your argument is in persuasion of using a close combat round in a medium range scenario. This does not work out so well for the military. Better use for a SWAT team.

    Just because you can hold and fire more of them doesn't mean you will be getting the same amount of usefulness. When it comes up against thicker armor, the 5.7 is at a great disadvantage.
     
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