The Imperial Firearms Advisor digs out an article about soldiers in the field pointing out what actually happens when you try to shoot bipedal, humanoid lifeforms with a bullet designed to kill squirrels, not to mention the cost in soldiers’ lives on our side that inevitably follows. Apart from actual, real-life observations from the battlefield, they’re backed up by weapons testers at home who reach the same conclusions as they do.
And, of course, they’re all shot down by some glorified, desk-jockeying REMF at the Pentagon who just happens to like the 5.56 which, obviously, outweighs everything that actual soldiers and assorted other experts have to say on the matter.
As you read this gold pheasant’s sneers, you can almost see him adjusting his monocle while putting a band-aid on a paper cut and writing himself up for a PH.
Now, I won’t even pretend to be an expert since I’m not and, furthermore, I know for a fact that there are a lot of you LCs who’ve forgotten more about firearms than I’ll ever learn, and I don’t want to insult your intelligence. I will, however, take the liberty of offering my own humble opinions based on what little experience and learning on the subject that I do have:
“The 5.56 is much lighter, allowing you to carry three times as much ammo”, he says, which is undeniably true. I can say this with certainty, because I’ve had the “joy” of carrying both the 5.56 and the 7.62 on my person and there’s no denying that you can cart around a whole lot more of the lighter round. Which is great. If you’re headed for the range where the paper targets AREN’T armed with 7.62 and AREN’T shooting back. Sadly, this is rarely the case in the field, but perhaps the REMF would take the initiative of persuading our enemies to behave in such a fashion? Preferably from a forward position?
Having the capacity to fire off three times as many rounds as the enemy isn’t going to do you a lot of good if said enemy needs five to seven shots before he agrees to lay down and play “Dead Haji.” Particularly not since he has a reasonably good chance of getting a single shot of his 7.62 to hit home while you’re busy making tiny little holes in him.
Thank G-d for the fact that the Hajis, as a general rule, are lousy, undisciplined shots. It’s not something that you should use as a given when doing your research trying to find the “optimum round”, however. Sometimes they do manage to hit, and ONE SINGLE American soldier dead that didn’t have to be is TEN TOO FUCKING MANY, if you ask me.
He defends the varmint round further by saying that vast personal ammo reserves are critical since our young soldiers, inexperienced and bumbling as they are, basically can’t hit a barn door at ten paces under combat conditions, so clearly they need more pellets.
Gee thanks, you pencil-pushing piss-mug. That’s the sort of commentary from far behind the lines that is bound to endear you to the troops. Granted, there’s some truth in it. When you’re young and suddenly find yourself in a very scary and life-threatening situation for the first time, you’re likely to forget a lot of the stuff you learned in training. Actually, you’re pretty much certain to. It’s human nature, and it doesn’t only apply to combat.
But then you get better. If you survive. Which you WON’T if you can’t get that pesky asshole shooting at you to lay down and stay down, which he’s unlikely to do unless you manage to convince his body that it’s past its expiry date. Spraying tiny, non-lethal bullets all over the landscape is only going to annoy him. Sure, since your bullets are so much lighter than his and since you, as a result, have three times as many of them as he does of his, you can keep his head down longer than you normally would be able to before you run out. At which point he’ll shoot you dead with one shot of his dreadfully heavy and cumbersome “inferior” round.
Simplified, I know. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t ever win a single battle and it’s yet another testimony to the outstanding training and abilities of our soldiers that we do, given that they’re fighting rifles with glorified slingshots. But it should give you an idea of why REMF’s “argument” is nothing more than so much bullshit.
“Spray and pray” isn’t a viable battlefield doctrine. It’s fucking suicide against a disciplined and well-trained foe.
Now, I realize full well that there are those that love the M-16 and will defend it to death if they have to, so have at it. There’s no accounting for taste. But if you ever gave me the choice between carrying a G3 and 100 rounds of 7.62 or an M-16 and 300 rounds of 5.56 into battle… Well, I know what I like and I’ve fired both, and I belong to the “old school” that believes in making sure that your enemy goes down and stays down the first time you manage to hit him. A wounded enemy can still fire back, and it’s not much consolation to me or my loved ones when I’m dead that at least I managed to wound my enemy three times before he shot me dead with one shot.
P.S.: The Imperial Firearms Advisor suggests 6.8mm as a replacement and I won’t say anything for or against it, having absolutely no familiarity with it. All that I’ll say is that it’d be an improvement. But then again, almost anything would be an improvement over a varmint rifle. Yes, our enemies are varmint, but they’re substantially bigger and tougher than your average prairie dog.
And they shoot back.