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"Small Caliber Leathality" or Why .223 Doesn't Suck

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Blind Bat, Nov 18, 2008.

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  1. Blind Bat

    Blind Bat Member

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    I was cleaning my office at work and I came across this article from WSTIAC Quarterly. It reports the results of a .556 caliber leathality study done by the Army due to complaints that soldiers in Afganistan and Iraq were experiencing problems with BGs taking multiple hits up close and still able to fight back.

    Enjoy:
    http://wstiac.alionscience.com/pdf/WQV8N1_ART01.pdf

    (I suggest you right-click/save because it's almost 1.5MB.)
     
  2. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Yep, that little pill does a number on flesh, way out of proportion to its size.
     
  3. japaneezy

    japaneezy Member

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    The real reason that the 5.56 round they are using aren't penetrating is because they are using FMJs... the Hague treaty (which the US subscribes to) will not allow our soldiers to use the increased stopping power of the hollow point, expanding, or frangible ammo that we civilians currently enjoy for home defense and hunting.
     
  4. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    The real reason we are getting these reports is one of a few reasons:

    A) The soldier/marine missed but thinks he hit the bad guy.

    B) The soldier/marine did not get a good COM hit.

    C) The soldier/marine doesnt really understand human physiology and has unreal expectations of what a gun should do to a person due to movies.

    D) Some people by the grace of god survive things they shouldnt.
     
  5. jackdanson

    jackdanson Member

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    Agreed.
     
  6. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    I know for sure our troops have taken multi hits from 7.62x39mm and survived.

    How come we don't hear about 7.62 being a weak round?

    I also could have sworn I read another pdf file that was stating how 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO shared similar lethality at up to and around 150 meters or so in Iraq.
     
  7. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Posted by Gary Roberts on Tactical Forums almost two years ago:
    See: "Infantry" Magazine article re 5.56 ballistics
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I wouldn't hunt human-sized game with steel-core, 62 gr 5.56. BUT, there are distinct advantages that the military has with this ammo that we don't. Particularly automatic fire. You are much more able to get multiple hits with real assault rifles with auto or burst. While I have my doubts about dropping a 200 lb mulie with one, I doubt they would run very far after three. Also, in combat applications, there is a legitimate need for rounds that will shred the average car. This need is much more remote in civilian applications. I'm not a sniper or designated marksman. I'll put my faith in several hits of 5.56 rather than wish I had something bigger and more difficult to control. I certainly don't wish I was training my female soldiers to shoot M-14s or even AR-10s.
     
  9. woodfiend

    woodfiend Member

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    "I know for sure our troops have taken multi hits from 7.62x39mm and survived."


    Of course, 7.62x39 has horrible terminal ballistics. It makes a good hole, but no explosion or expansion, providing it's FMJ.
     
  10. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    I dislike the fact that we're using bullets designed to penetrate helmets out to 800 meters for CQC.
     
  11. drgrenthum

    drgrenthum Member

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    did i read that report right.....two well aimed shots are better then one well aimed shot? You dont say.....Very good deduction sherlock

    I wonder how much that study cost us.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If they want lethal, they should go back to 1/12 twist and 55 grain bullets.

    Part of the whole problem now, if there is one, is the 1/7 barrel makes the 63 grain ammo too stable to tumble and break at longer range!
    Or out of 14.5" barrel M-4's.

    rcmodel
     
  13. camslam

    camslam Member

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    All things considered, I wouldn't want to be shot with any size of bullet, not even a lowly .22.

    That being said, why is it so difficult for people to at least accept that getting shot with a bigger chunk of lead, versus a smaller chunk, is probably less healthy for you.

    The arguments that go back and forth over .223 vs 7.62, 9mm vs .40 or .45, birdshot vs buckshot, etc...

    I know there are many variables that affect shooting and being shot, but all things considered, it is usually worse for the human body to be hit with bigger chunks of lead, versus smaller.
     
  14. Freelance Tax Collector

    Freelance Tax Collector Member

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    Yes, although I believe that the DOJ ruled that in actions in the 'war on terror' we can use HP, frangible, etc. ammo anyway. I think most troops don't just because of logistics, but I know for a fact that there are certain units that do.
     
  15. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    The problem is decreased velocity, not rifling twist rate.

    The bullet yaws but penetration resistance (a factor of velocity) is insufficient to cause substantial fragmentation, which is needed to increase wound trauma.
     
  16. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    Some guy at my club said the troops are putting .308 barrels on their rifles because .223 is so weak. A little part of me died right then.
     
  17. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    Deer Hunter, I'm not sure I'm on board with your friend. There's more involved than just replacing the barrel.
     
  18. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Yea, .308 or 7.62x51mm won't fit the magazine or mag well. The Upper wouldn't take the pressure, The bolt face is all wrong. Etc etc.
     
  19. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    I think The Deer Hunter knows this, which is why it made him so sick.

    Don't worry man, stupid people give me headaches too.
     
  20. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    I think it's not so much that people don't accept it (generally speaking, anyway), as the fact that any cartridge used for combat service is by definition going to be a compromise and trade off. Besides just the obvious issue of basic load of ammo a guy can carry, there are other issues like recoil and trajectory that effect how fast and how reliably guys can put rounds on target, etc

    Use of JHP ammo is very tightly regulated by JAG, and normally reserved only for specific SOF units doing specific missions, even though our opponents mostly are not lawful combatants who are compliant with the laws of land warfare, etc.
     
  21. Rifleman 173

    Rifleman 173 Member

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    Around the world it is not unusual for our military people to be attacked by hostile enemy personnel that are stoned out of their minds. In the Arabian world it is hashish. In the Orient heroin and opium smoke is the common pre-combat drug of choice. So there you are, armed with a .223/5.56 boomstick trying to drop a spaced out Haji or communist soldier. Guess what? Unless you put a bullet through your enemy's head, that piece of crap tiny little bullet isn't going to do the job. I saw one instance where multiple head shotss were needed in Viet Nam to drop an enemy soldier. To really drop an enemy soldier who may or may not be drugged up for combat, you need a decent bullet with a decent diameter and weight to its construction. 7.62 NATO works well for most shooting situations which is why the military has brought back the M-14 rifles and are now supplying the new 7.62 NATO SASS sniper rifle system to as many squads as possible. There is even talk about dumping the M-4/M-16 rifles completely and going back to the 7.62 NATO shooters for as many soldiers and Marines as possible.
     
  22. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    They brought 7.62x51 DMRs into service for a specific role.

    The problem with 7.62x51 was always that it simply does not work well for most shooting situations. It has utility for certain missions on the battlefield, but as a general service cartridge was pretty much a flop.

    There's talk of anything and everything up to 40 watt phased plasma rifles, but no one with any actual authority to make a decision is calling for 7.62x51 coming back for general service. Nor are any serious researchers, ballisticians, and others working on R&D, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  23. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Are you folks trying to assert that you have to disrupt the centeral nervous system or a major bone structure to stop someone who isn't in their right state of mind (or very determined)? Forget shot placement, Hollywood proves that any rifle that looks at least a little evil will blow a bad guy across the room and he won't get up!
    I hear the 50bmg has more stopping power, maybe we should issue select-fire M82s to everyone. That would be easier than changing to more effective ammo to comply with that agreement we never signed.
     
  24. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    rcmodel is onto something here; the origional ar's had a 1/14 twist for the 55 grainer, barely stable at all, and when it did hit flesh, tumbling began instantly.
    Very ouchy. Some of those early reports from Viet nam with this setup where very gruesome. but who bi@$ched about them? The Airforce, which gave us the AR in the first place. They pantygriped that in supercold weather temps, if the flyboys had to ditch and drop out into survival mode, that the 1/14 ar twist was not accurate enough for them, and what they wanted to accomplish. I guess that was to be able to hit a snowshoe rabbit for food at 300 meters, apparently the stability was pretty much zero , in cold temps approaching or going below 32 degrees. So the army Switched to a 1/12, and the rest , is history.
     
  25. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Yes, they are getting the new sniper rifle to as many snipers as possible.

    I aluded before, and I'll be more specific now,

    I have petite female soldiers in my squad. I can absolutely assure you, their mission is critical in this war, and they do it as well as anyone else. I do not wish for one second they had any rifle other than the M-4/M-16. They are not physically capable of mastering that rifle, certainly not in full-auto fire. I retrained one of my female soldiers in the simulator, and her rifle score jumped from a 23 to a 38. (expert.) We did room-clearing last weekend, and she led my squad through the whole kill house successfully. NO OTHER SQUAD DID THIS. She's 5'1" and about 100. Now try making her do the same jobs with an M-14 or AR 10. There's a reason we have kept this rifle longer than any other rifle in the history of the Army. More people can do the job better with it than any other. It doesn't matter how powerful the bullet is if they can't hit the mark with it. Three SS 109s on the target is better than a whole M-14 magazine OFF the target.
     
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