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.

56 Responses to “Arming Our Troops With Poodleshooters”
  1. LC Draco Comment by LC Draco UNITED STATES

    First…

    And I would rather have carried a 7.62 wpn vs the 5.56 M16A2 in the box. Just as I would rather have had the .45 (preferably Colt, Kimber or HK) vs the .9mm (Walther P99) I carried.

  2. juandos Comment by juandos UNITED STATES

    Well correct me if I’m wrong but this very same complaint of the 5.56 vs 7.62 back about 35 years ago if memory serves…

    There was an old saying back then that I believe still holds: “Bigger hole makes more souls“…

  3. Unregistered Comment by Perro Malo UNITED STATES

    I’m thinking that the 5.56, and it’s 3x ammo concept was somewhat viable in the ‘Nam where oft times the “pray and spray” were the only shots you got as you fired into dense jungle where you couldn’t really see your enemy. However when there is a clear field of fire it’s a vastly inferior round. Not only doesn’t it have the knockdown power of a 7.62 but at ranges of 200 yds with any kind of wind it’s as useless as a BB gun. I’ve tried ‘chuck hunting with 56 grain HPs at that range on a scoped, bull barrel rifle that’s bipod rested and missed more shots than I care to admit to. But change up to a 7 mm mag or a .308 and they go down like ducks at a shooting gallery.

    By the way:

    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.

    Isn’t this essentially what John (I served in Viet Nam) Kerry did?

  4. Unregistered Comment by Larry Brasfield UNITED STATES

    Nobody is comparing the 5.56 projectile velocity to the contenders’, so kinetic energy delivered to target seems to be entirely overlooked here. I do recall that higher muzzle velocity was claimed for the lighter rounds. Not hard to believe that a propellant with higher energy density might allow that while still retaining the benefits of less weight per round. The damage depends less on the bullet diameter than the extent of the shockwave with enough intensity to destroy tissue.

  5. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    Not hard to believe that a propellant with higher energy density might allow that while still retaining the benefits of less weight per round.

    Not hard to believe at all. It’s physics and you’re right.

    However, the reports from the front as well as extensive testing at home seem to suggest that the total energy delivered on target still doesn’t compare well with other rounds.

    Not to mention that I don’t personally care how many theoretical joules are delivered if they don’t result in the target assuming ambient temperature, and the poodle round definitely doesn’t have an impressive track record there.

  6. Unregistered Comment by Useless UNITED STATES

    I suspect that this is an issue that is comming down to money. The jarheads are going ahead with evaluations with new rounds, as well as letting their guys wear the new Dragonscales balistic armor (which is proven to be better than the US Army stuff). The US Army is probably the slowest to change certian things that they are wedded to, and face it, they think that they can address this with training over an effective weapons platform. The US has been playing with the idea of a new weapons system for the last 10 years and so far has nothing much better on the horizon. I have to wonder how much the NATO standard is also part of the issue here, since the .223 round has been blessed by the stoic an measured folks at the UN who don’t want us to really kill anyone anyway….

    Bastards. I can’t wait for some day to come when they develop exploding rounds that blow the target to pieces. No doubt some blue hatted douche bag at the UN would poo-poo such brutality.

    Fuckers never been in a fire fight (not that I have, but if and probably when I do, I’m not going to stop with one goddam round anyway)

  7. MCaN Comment by MCaN UNITED STATES

    I assume we are following the rules of war, which (last I read) prevent the usage of hollowpoint or other, similar, ammunition (correct me if I’m wrong). Because of this, the rounds just go through the targets rather than transfer the energy into the target. Though the round DOES have higher energy, it is less effective in transferring said energy into a human target. (Blast those required Engineering physics classes)

  8. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    The US Army is probably the slowest to change certian things that they are wedded to, and face it, they think that they can address this with training over an effective weapons platform.

    I’d have to disagree there. My native army was much slower to adopt to new, fancy ideas, which I’m sure is one of the major reasons that we clung to the 7.62 rather than following our American allies in their sudden love for rounds that won’t really hurt anybody too bad. That and the fact that we could fire that round from the G3 as well as our slightly rebuilt and re-barreled German “Spandau” MG42 (yes, they do actually sound like ripping canvas. I LOVE that sound).

    Sometimes gov’t inertia is a good thing.

  9. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    I assume we are following the rules of war, which (last I read) prevent the usage of hollowpoint or other, similar, ammunition (correct me if I’m wrong). Because of this, the rounds just go through the targets rather than transfer the energy into the target. Though the round DOES have higher energy, it is less effective in transferring said energy into a human target. (Blast those required Engineering physics classes)

    You’re right, and it’s an excellent point. I always thought it mildly ridiculous that I can blow a goblin breaking into my home to smithereens with a JHP round, but I can’t do the same in the field to a fucking haji sawing off the heads of children.

    Which, I suppose, is why pretty much everybody in my unit back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth had a small file packed away with their personal belongings. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t because of a need for field manicure.

  10. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    I must disagree Emperor.

    While I admit that the REMF in the article has a piss poor argument, that’s his fault for lack of real life experience and debate skill, not the fault of 5.56mm.

    You over emphasize the role of caliber and under emphasize the role of bullet dynamics and construction.

    Is 7.62×51mm more powerful than 5.56×45? You bet. It also has a longer effective range. However the current military-issue 7.62mm ball ammo doesn’t fragment well at all, which results in it leaving a 7.62mm hole clean through.

    Better 7.62mm bullets provide great fragmentation, but the military does not, and for legal reasons is not allowed to use such [yeah yeah I know it’s a bullshit law, don’t blame me, I’m not the one that forces the military to follow it].

    Let us compare that to 5.56mm M193 FMJ, which was used in Vietnam. M193 fragments very well, leaving a wound that is several [4-5, depending] inches in diameter, which actually does more damage to the target than current issue 7.62mm FMJ.

    Notice something about the Vietnam war and the M16? There were many complaints about the M16 in that war, but pretty much all of those complaints were about jamming due to several mistakes made by the army in the redesign of the AR-15 into the M16. I’ve never heard a single Vietnam combat vet [and I know, and am related to many of them] complain about the stopping power of the Vietnam era M16 and M193 ammunition. They went bang, and when they hit, they put Charlie down.

    Let us fast forward from 1968 to 1993, Operation Continue Hope, Somalia. This is the first case I can find where people complained about the stopping power of the M16/5.56mm. Throughout the battle of Mogadishu American soldiers encountered problems putting down targets.

    What changed?

    Several things, for one the United States military, for mostly political reasons, had changed the standard 5.56mm round from the M193 which had served so well in Vietnam to SS109/M855, a NATO-standard Belgian designed round. This round was designed for enhanced penetration, not fragmentation. Having a partial steel core, thicker jacket, shallower cannelure and lower velocity.

    The result? A round that has less fragmentation potential, but works very well at punching holes in Soviet issue helmets.

    And that isn’t the only thing that changed. In Vietnam the M16 had a 20″ barrel, allowing for 5.56mm to produce the high velocities it needs to be effective.

    In Somalia many soldiers were armed with short barreled CAR-15s, with either 14.5″ or 11.5″ barrels.

    Why is that important? One word: Velocity. A bullet needs both a good design, and velocity to fragment.

    When fired from a 20″ barrel, M193 would fragment, and thus inflict serious damage out to 150 yards.

    When fired from an 11.5″ barrel, M855 would fragment out to only 9 yards.

    You want to find the cause of the stopping-power problems that were reported? That’s it right there.

    The bad news: M855 is still in use as the standard-issue 5.56mm round.

    The worse new: The most common personal small arm in service in Iraq now is the M4 carbine, with a 14.5″ barrel, and thus a very short M855 fragmentation range.

    A much better 5.56mm round currently in limited service is the Mk262, which fires a 77 grain bullet designed for range and fragmentation, not penetration. Mk262 produces some of the most deadly wounds I’ve seen in a military rifle round. When fired from an M4 it fragments out to 145 yards, and to 210 yards out of a regular M16.

    Mk262 is in service with SOCOM, and they’ve are very happy with it. That’s good enough for me.

    Also, I must object to you implying that 7.62×39mm is more powerful than 5.56mm. It is not. 7.62mm does NOT fragment, ever, period. It always leaves a nice clean hole that is easy to patch up.

    7.62×39 Soviet and 7.62×51 NATO are NOT THE SAME THINGS. 7.62×39 has proven to be one of the least effective combat rifle rounds in history. Want proof? Consider the fact that in the battle of Mogadishu, over 60 American soldiers were shot [many multiple times!] with 7.62×39. Fewer than ten died from those wounds.

    Now that is a round that doesn’t kill people effectively.

    Now before you start trying to stone me for defending 5.56mm, let me make it clear that I support it being replaced in military service. It’s forty years old, and technology has developed a lot since then. Better rounds are out there that we should be using.

    That better round is not, and will never be 7.62×51. It is even more outdated than 5.56mm and in all currently allowed [due to the JAGs office] forms it is less effective in combat than 5.56mm.

    6.8×43mm SPC is a possible replacement… I don’t like 6.8mm SPC, it doesn’t offer that much over 5.56.

    I do like 6.5×38mm Grendel, it has over twice the effective range of 6.8mm SPC, and better fragmentation and wound effects. This is the round I would put into service if it were in my power.

    But that isn’t going to happen. The army just doesn’t have the budget. Changing the caliber you use isn’t a simple matter of changing the barrel. On the M16 you have to replace the entire upper receiver and bolt to fit either 6.8mm or 6.5mm. You also have to replace the magazines. Doing this costs almost as much as buying new rifles… so you might as well buy newer, better rifles than the M16… such as the SCAR-L.

    The Army does not have the budget for that.

    Want to blame someone? Blame congress.

    Also, 5.56mm isn’t a squirrel round as you imply. I’ve taken deer and wild boar with 77-grain 5.56mm, and it worked perfectly.

    I can already hear the shitstorm incoming on my position from the .308 Freaks™ for my heresy, but before you start throwing stones, tell me how many combat veterans you have asked about this face to face, and then explain to me why SOCOM, who can get just about any small arm they want, have not readopted 7.62×51 for their standard rifle caliber.

    *crickets*.

  11. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    I’d have to disagree there. My native army was much slower to adopt to new, fancy ideas, which I’m sure is one of the major reasons that we clung to the 7.62 rather than following our American allies in their sudden love for rounds that won’t really hurt anybody too bad.

    There are thousands of VC, NVA, Taliban and Republican Guard who would like to call Bullshit on that statement.

    They would like to, but they were unavailable for comment… Calling a shallow hole in the dirt home tends to cause that.

  12. MCaN Comment by MCaN UNITED STATES

    I was merely pointing out that the FMJ rounds we use (to my knowledge) do more damage (generally) with greater size rather than higher velocity. I’ve not tested either, but if I’m shooting at someone in my house (or the immediate vicinity) I would choose the larger caliber, as range is pretty much irrelevent. Just, mho.

  13. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    I was merely pointing out that the FMJ rounds we use (to my knowledge) do more damage (generally) with greater size rather than higher velocity. I’ve not tested either, but if I’m shooting at someone in my house (or the immediate vicinity) I would choose the larger caliber, as range is pretty much irrelevent. Just, mho

    Not really true… FMJ rounds fragment incredibly with proper design adn sufficient velocity. Fragmentation causes more damage per foot pound of energy than anything else [expansion, tumbling, shock, etc].

    Bigger bullets would always be better, except that the bigger the FMJ bullet, the more velocity you need to get it to fragment.

    It isn’t possible to get those velocities out of 7.62mm bullet.

    Also, there comes a point of diminishing returns with recoil and weight, the larger you make a bullet.

    Optimal is, based on my years of both research and hands on tests, around 6.5mm.

  14. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    Slight correction: It isn’t possible to get those velocities out of 7.62mm bullet in a realistic combat rifle.

    More sleep, less caffine, more sleep, less caffine.

  15. Orion Comment by Orion UNITED STATES

    I wuz gonna say something but after reading the expertise being bandied about here on all sides, I’m going to take an ancient piece of advice:

    Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

    Orion

  16. MCaN Comment by MCaN UNITED STATES

    Be that the case, I concede the point. Erronious bases are not a good place to debate from.

  17. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    Stone you, Murdock? The fuck I will!

    That’s one of the reasons I throw stuff like this against the wall to see if any of it sticks. Because I know that I only know what I know and that there’s a shitload of people reading this site, from all walks of life, who can either agree with me or clue me in to something I didn’t already know.

    That last bit is important. If I just wanted to be agreed with I’d just write it on a Post-It and stick it on the refrigerator.

    I’m not wedded to the 7.62×51, it just happens to be a round with which I’m intimately familiar and which has a damn fine track record, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end-all and be-all. If I believed in that, I’d be arguing in favor of living in caves because it served our ancestors so well ;)

    Now, you raise some excellent points in your post, so I’ll just pick a few. There’s no arguing that stopping power depends on joules delivered on target, that bit is pure physics. Mass and velocity along with penetration.

    And it’s a trade-off. Sure, it’s optimal to have a round that is fast, heavy and that doesn’t penetrate once it’s in your desired target. That’s the ideal solution. You can design a round that does just that, but it’ll only work if you have a clear shot and your target isn’t wearing any sort of body armor.

    Sadly, the enemy rarely agrees to stand up in the open like that, so you need some penetration as well.
    So we could go with AP ammo, but that would, as you so correctly point out, just leave a nice hole clean through your target which only works really well if you happen to hit something vital on the way, which is a whole lot harder in real life than on a gun range.

    It’s a trade-off. You can’t have the ultimate in both at the same time, and that’s why I love the 7.62×51 so much. Not because I think that it’s the best round that will ever be made, I’m not that naive, but because of my personal and obviously limited experience. It’ll go through almost anything and it’ll leave a mark. But it’ll also go straight through an unprotected enemy leaving nothing but a hole which, again, won’t do you much good unless you hit something that he really doesn’t want a hole in.

    I’m all about getting the most bang for the buck and I’m open to all suggestions, and the current 5.56 just doesn’t fit the ticket. It’s crap unless you find yourself in just the right situation, which you rarely ever do.

    So what is keeping us from going back to the M193 and 20″ barrel? That would seem to be a step forward to me, although I still believe that we’re long overdue for a more radical change but that, as you note, costs money and that’s hard to get out of Congress unless it happens to be a railroad to nowhere or midnight basketball in California.

  18. Unregistered Comment by tweell UNITED STATES

    My beef with this Perfumed Prince is his claim that our soldiers need the small round to spray and pray. Excuse me? When we had poorly trained draftees, that may have been partially true. It is definitely not the case today, and our troops have been working on their accuracy a lot more lately. After all, we can’t be shooting the women and children the brave Al-Queer are hiding behind.
    What a lying SOB.

  19. Unregistered Comment by Montana Infidel UNITED STATES

    Want to see more dead enemies? Take your kids out shooting and do it often, they are the ones that will be fighting the Religon of Pus in the future. A “Nation of Riflemen” placing their bullets with impunity where they aim will get the job done regardless of caliber. One bullet, one dead jihadi.
    But if I had my druthers it would be a bull-pup style weapon with a full 20″ barrel and .243 ballistics.

  20. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    So what is keeping us from going back to the M193 and 20″ barrel? That would seem to be a step forward to me, although I still believe that we’re long overdue for a more radical change but that, as you note, costs money and that’s hard to get out of Congress unless it happens to be a railroad to nowhere or midnight basketball in California.

    A few things… M193 is a better round than M855… decent penetration with great fragmentation [as was proven in Vietnam]. But we currently use M855 because of politics [you just knew that was coming].

    M855 is the standard NATO round… designed by Belgium [I’m not kidding…], it was adopted in the United States due to political pressure to step in line with the rest of NATO when they decided to mess up a previously effective caliber. Also worries in the top brass that newer Soviet body armor would make M193 ineffective had a small role in it, but pressure from NATO was the biggest reason.

    At this point the political world is a little different… We are no longer as tied to NATO as we once were and thus a change to a new round might be possible without causing too many temper tantrums outside of Europe.

    But, at this point that would cost a lot of money… Our entire GI Ammunition industry is currently geared to making M855 and all that tooling costs a boatload to change, and once more the Army just doesn’t have that money at the moment.

    Another issue is the current ammo shortage… you’d think that would make changing the standard issue round easier, but it actually makes it harder. Changing back to M193 would mean retooling and some retraining, which not only costs money, but also costs time [and even more money, if you want it done quickly]. Time spent retooling is time not spent making ammo… Which at this time could cause critical ammo shortages throughout the military [we’re already running a multi-million round deficet]. Not a good thing in a time of war.

    Of course, we could always open new ammo plants, rigged to make whatever round we want from the start… then once those come online and start filling the ammo supply up away from the E and towards the F, take the other plants offline for retooing… But that would cost, again, money.

    Also, if we were going to change to a new round, it would be better to go with Mk262 rather than M193… M193 is very effective, but Mk262 has proven even better… no, it has proven to be just plain awesome. SOCOM has put it to a lot of good field use and was pretty much overjoyed with it.

    But, once more, that costs money.

    As for barre length… That has more to do with the type of combat we face. In urban warfare a longer rifle barrel is not an asset [unless you need that longer barrel to actually kill the enemy… but you see my point]. The shorter the barrel, the faster you can react around corners, and the easier you can move through buildings.

    The short barrel on the M4 has caused a whole host of problems, only a few of which have been lethality related [well, directly lethality related…]. It also, due to the shorter gas tube length, reduces the length [time wise] of the gas impulse to the bolt carrier, and as a result does not always provide enough energy to reliably cycle the action.

    It also causes the weapon to overheat much faster, to almost ridiculous levels.

    That said, not everything about the M4 is bad… I must admit that it handles better than any other rifle I’ve yet delt with.

    Basically, what would be best would be a weapon that could produce more effective wounds, with a more reliable, and cooler action, in an M4 size and shaped package.

    This is why I suggest Mk16 SCAR-Ls [that’s Mk16, not M16], with 14-16″ barrels, either firing Mk262 5.56, or if possible 6.5 Grendel in the 120-grain OTM class.

    One must keep in mind that Mk262 fired from a 14.5″ barrel actually makes a slightly better [well, for our guys] wound than M193 would out of a 20″ barrel… That’s how far our bullet designs have come.

    But either one would be a massive step up from M855.

    This also isn’t to say I have something against full size rifle barrels. It’s just that there are times when they’re called for and times when they’re not. a 20″ barrel would be great for the mountains of Afghanistan, but a 14″ would be much more practical for the cities of Iraq.

    That’s what I like about the Mk16 SCAR, with just a screwdriver, any idiot can change the barrel on it from a 14″ CQB barrel to a 20″ Marksman barrel… or the other way around… or to any other barrel made for the weapon. Compare that to the M16 [or most other 20th century weapons] where it would take an trained armorer half an hour to do the same. Also, the SCAR doesn’t have to change its receiver to be converted to either 6.5 Grendel or 6.8mm SPC.

    Modular, adaptable, reliable, accurate, lightweight… It’s a benchmark that all future rifles will be compared to.

    And, of course, it would cost money the military does’t have to upgrade to it service wide.

  21. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    One of my favorite sayings about M855:
    Using a Belgian bullet in American rifles to fight a war in Germany against the Russians… Now THAT is multiculturalism for you.

  22. Agent Orange Comment by Agent Orange MALAYSIA

    A nice resource on bullet wound profiles:
    http://matrix.dumpshock.com/raygun/basics/navframe.html

  23. Agent Orange Comment by Agent Orange MALAYSIA

    Sorry, here’s the correct link:
    http://matrix.dumpshock.com/raygun/basics/pmrb.html

  24. Unregistered Comment by bradley UNITED STATES

    sorry im late to the thread, but please listen.

    1. military types will understand what “meeting the standard” means. 5.56mm meets the standard. it isnt the weakling you think. our troops deserve better, though. REPLACE THE 5.56MM.

    2. the M-16/AR-15 design is excellent and well thought out. do not be surprised when the next US rifle looks a lot like an AR. the AR’s accuracy, sights, ergonomics, modularity, flexibility and controls (remember the lefties. they ARE 10%) are superior to the M-14. my GI M-16A4 was indestructable. no snapped buttstocks, no fouling jams, no bent barrels, no broken anything. ever. the M-16 has been dead reliable since the early 80s. by the way, a cursory glance at the M-16A2/4 reveals that it was for damn sure not made for spray and pray. Most of the anti-ARs cite 35 year old hand me down stories and have never bothered to put an AR through its paces.

    ill stand up for the rifle any day, but the chambering has got to be upgraded.

  25. Unregistered Comment by bradley UNITED STATES

    Sadly, the enemy rarely agrees to stand up in the open like that, so you need some penetration as well.

    ah, penetration.

    and then read it all, as they say.

    my personal experience has yielded that M855 5.56mm ball will chew through metal objects like trucks and washing machines extremely well. as the link suggests, penetration through stone and ceramic type media is not as impressive.

  26. juandos Comment by juandos UNITED STATES

    Some interesting stuff here folks…

    Agent Orange and Bradley, thanks for the informative links…

    Recently A&E ran, “Combat Diary: Lima Company” in which members of Lima company in their bloody adventures found that the terrorist towel heads were using adrenaline and meth to keep on fighting even after being shot…

    Wouldn’t basic physics in the relatively close quarters combat of city fighting dictate the bigger round (more kinetic energy) be more useful than a smaller, lighter round though it may travel a bit faster?

  27. LC Ranger 6 Comment by LC Ranger 6 UNITED STATES

    4.73 X 33 caseless is the future. We need to break the strangle hold of ammunition manufacturers and gun manufacturers and their lobbiyists and get this gun in the hands of our soldiers.

    That being said, Murdock has execellent insight into the 5.56 round. And correct me if I’m wrong here Murdock, but I believe the 5.56 round also has a tendancy to follow bones once inside the body doing much more extensive damage than a 7.62 which tends to just punch a hole or shatter the bone in the line of fire and keep going.

  28. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil UNITED STATES

    Murdock, minor point about the Mk 262 round - it requires a faster rifling twist (1 in 7″) in the barrel than either the current M855 (1 in 9″) or the M193 (1 in 10″) for optimum projectile stabilization, due to the heavier weight and longer projectile; so to convert fully to the Mk 262, about 3 in 10 of the current launchers would have to be rebarrelled. Which would mucho sucko, logistic wise.

    If the politicians are absolutely wedded to the idea of the M-16 platform, and you are gonna re-barrel anyway, go with a big, fat, nasty round. The possibilities are endless - I have test fired a converted M-4 that used a .223 case blown out and necked up to .338 calibre - 200 grains at 2400 fps. That one had me drooling…

    The basic AR-15 platform as designed by Eugene Stoner, was a marvel. Unfortunately, the Air Force (lead agency in it’s original procurement) and the Army (ammo supplier to the world) screwed up the round used to the point that the horror stories started coming from the jungle (jammamatic, keep it squeeky clean, etc.), forcing redesign after redesign of the rifle.

    Another small point about the platform itself - the basic M-16. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you can’t just shoot the bastards (have to capture for intelligence, not quite enough excuse, that sort of thing). Have you EVER buttstroked someone with a -16? You usually end up with two unattached pieces that are just fucking useless for everything.

  29. kbarrett Comment by kbarrett UNITED STATES

    Errmmmm … H&K dropped the caseless G-11 rifle because of fouling problems and cook-offs. The caseless round ain’t ready for prime-time yet.

    I’ll pimp for a 6.5~mm round … either an AR refurb like the 6.8 or the 6.5 Grendel, or a necked-down 6.5-.308 with a better rifle built around it … maybe an AR-10 with a gas-rod?

  30. AyUaxe Comment by AyUaxe UNITED STATES

    You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned “pray and spray”. Let’s see, who’s more effective–Alvin York (http://www.alvincyork.org/Diary.htm is worth a look, as is the 1941 Gary Cooper movie) or a guy like John Kerry? Only when fielding untrained, unskilled fighters would an army prefer quantity of ammo over quality. Even the nearly overwhelming mass assault of Rourke’s Drift was won with discipline and marksmanship (and I’ll wager, lots of praying, but no spraying). I don’t know, but strongly suspect that the USSR’s switch to 7.62×39 was also driven by their untrained customer’s need to have lots of ammo to hit relatively few targets. I hope someone at the Pentagon will get a clue from the superior performance of the newer short magnum cartridges (take a look at the ballistics for 7mm and .300 wsm on Winchester’s site–never thought I’d dis 30-06, but facts is facts) and get our soldiers loaded up with something that packs like a 7.62×39 and shoots more like a .308 or 8mm. Of course, their’s still no substitute for shotguns and something like a greasegun (.45) when housecleaning is in order. As cheap and simple as the latter were to make, can’t imagine any reason every combat soldier shouldn’t have one. They need to ditch the .9mm sidearms accordingly.

  31. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    I’ve read my share of Fackler, watched the debunking of Marshall and Sanow, fooled with a certain amount of ballistic test medium, conversed at length with the likes of Bob Enewold, handloaded more ammunition than I care to think about… and also shot enough animals of different sizes and species with various calibers to fill a dump truck. I’ve also observed terminal ballistic effects at close hand including participation in necropsy and autopsy.

    Here’s my $0.02: I would never trust a .223/5.56 NATO to reliably put down anything larger than a coyote.

    Period.

    Elmer Keith said it best: Big bullets let in a lot of air and let out a lot of blood.

    We had the answer a long, long time ago, but like the progression from .45 Colt to .38 Long Colt to .45 ACP to 9mm and now back to .45 ACP, we have to keep learning the same painful, bloody lessons again and again.

  32. Unregistered Comment by LC Wes, Imperial Mohel UNITED STATES

    Here’s what I find interesting about the Imperial Tech Advisor’s posting: it was based on a June 7th CBS News report by Armen Keteyian, who was shocked - shocked! - to learn that American soldiers have been complaining about the alleged lack of lethality of the 5.56 round, and that we were sending our troops into battle with inadequate weaponry and ammunition.

    Of course, that debate - over both the 5.56 and the “poodleshooter” M-16 rifle - has been raging for what, forty years now? With no end in sight, judging from what I’m seeing here.

    So where the hell have Armen Keteyian and C-BS been on this issue for the past few decades? More importantly: Why is this such a burning issue for CBS now?

    From the original article, reprinted (along with a link) at Kim DuToit’s website:

    (CBS) As American troop casualties in Iraq continue to mount, concern is growing they may be outgunned. That includes new questions about the stopping power of the ammunition that is used by the standard-issue M-16 rifle.

    Does the tone of Keteyian’s lede sound familiar to anyone? For the last couple of years the media has been howling that (to paraphrase) “As American troop casualties continue to mount, concern is growing that they have insufficient body armor to protect themselves” and “That includes new questions about the quality of the body armor that they have.”

    And again: These aren’t “new” questions, Armen!

    Shortly after the U.N. headquarters was bombed in Baghdad in August 2003, a Special Forces unit went to Ramadi to capture those responsible.

    In a fierce exchange of gunfire, one insurgent was hit seven times by 5.56 mm bullets, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian. It took a shot to the head with a pistol to finally bring him down. But before he died, he killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded seven more.

    “The lack of the lethality of that bullet has caused United States soldiers to die,” says Maj. Anthony Milavic.

    Yes, Armen, we’ve all heard the stories. Next you’ll be telling us that the M-16 is a better varmint rifle than a fighting weapon, right?

    Milavic is a retired Marine major who saw three tours of duty in Vietnam. He says the small-caliber 5.56, essentially a .22-caliber civilian bullet, is far better suited for shooting squirrels than the enemy, and contends that urban warfare in Iraq demands a bigger bullet. “A bullet that knocks the man down with one shot,” he says. “And keeps him down.”

    Read Armen Keteyian’s Reporter’s Notebook

    Milavic is not alone. In a confidential report to Congress last year, active Marine commanders complained that: “5.56 was the most worthless round,” “we were shooting them five times or so,” and “torso shots were not lethal.”

    In last week’s Marine Corps Times, a squad leader said his Marines carried and used “found” enemy AK-47s because that weapon’s 7.62 mm bullets packed “more stopping power.”

    I think I know where Armen is going with this, if he ever gets to the point…

    Bruce Jones is a mechanical engineer who helped design artillery, rifles and pistols for the Marines.

    “I saw the tests that clearly showed how miserable the bullets really were in performance,” he says. “But that’s what we’re arming our troops with. It’s horrible, you know, it’s unconscionable…”

    …and yep, it’s all Bush’s fault. Our troops aren’t properly trained or equipped for the mission, with defective equipment, and we just sent them out to DIE in this illegal war for oil! Waaah!

    Seriously, do you think Armen Keteyian and the Rathergate Network really give a rat’s ass whether or not our soldiers are equipped with weapons that actually, you know, kill the enemy? (Especially what with all the wailing and gnashing of media teeth over the ones we actually do manage to kill.) And do you think C-BS would look favorably on spending tens of millions of dollars on replacing or converting every M-16 and M-4 in the inventory to something that shoots a bigger, more effective round?

    I’d say the answers to both those questions would be: no.

  33. NCLivingBrit Comment by NCLivingBrit UNITED STATES

    4.73 X 33 caseless is the future. We need to break the strangle hold of ammunition manufacturers and gun manufacturers and their lobbiyists and get this gun in the hands of our soldiers.

    Didn’t they can the G11 after a lack of interest and cook-off issues?

  34. Unregistered Comment by LC Wes, Imperial Mohel UNITED STATES

    For my money, I actually liked the M-16A2s I was issued when I was in the Army; they’d long since cured the jamming problems with it (although you do have to keep it clean, like anything else). And the AR-15/M-16 family of rifles seems to me to be a lot more accurate than the Kalashnikovs, or at least I can shoot it with a lot more accuracy. (Between the sloppy tolerances and short sight radius, I’ve never been able to hit the broad side of a barn with any of the AKs I’ve fired.) If I could justify blowing a thousand bucks on a single firearm, I’d buy a heavy-barreled AR-15 in a minute.

    On the other hand, when I served (late 1980s) there were still a fair amount of lifer sergeants and officers from the Vietnam era, all of whom, while acknowledging that the bugs had been worked out of the M-16 design, still distrusted the 5.56 round. One day on a firing range, I made a remark about how heavy the M-60 I was shooting was. My company first sergeant (who’d served in Vietnam as a door gunner in a Huey) told me that I’d be glad to have a ‘60 in a firefight because anything I hit with it would stay down…which wasn’t always the case with the M-16.

  35. bigdicksplace Comment by bigdicksplace UNITED STATES

    I’ll make this simple.
    I can kill anything or anybody I want up to 600 yards out, with one round.
    One, I can hit what I aim at with an M16.
    Two, and a huge one.
    Pick up and carry around 210 rounds of 5.56 for a few hours, then do the same with 7.62 or whatever poison you prefer.
    I’ll take the 5.56mm everytime.

    That’s six years in the US Army Infantry talking by the way.
    Until you’ve humped it for endless miles, and fought with it through out the night and into the next day, you’re simply guessing and don’t know shit.
    I always find it humorous how “the experts/consultants” have never fucking once done the shit they claim to be experts on.
    Fuck them.
    Leave well enough alone.

  36. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    No, Wes, I don’t. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind what See-B.S.’ motives for running that article are, but I’m not interested in their motive. I already know that the only thing different between them and al-Qaeda is that See-B.S. journalists don’t strap explosives to themselves.

    What I care about is the point and, in this case, they’re right. They’ve inadvertently raised a valid point in their never-ending quest to promote the cause of terrorists to get back at the administration that they hate more than anything in the world. That’s actually pretty funny when you think about it. After all, if this little hit piece of theirs actually succeeded in bringing about much needed changes in our main battle rifle, they’d end up hurting the terrorists that they adore.

    Now, back to the topic at hand: How to get a better rifle. I don’t care if the frame is based on the AR-15 design or the German G3 design, all I care about is whether it’ll reliably make enemies dead or not.

    Sure, I’m biased, and I’ll make no bones about the fact that I’m suspicious of all the bells and whistles and complexities in the AR-15 frame. I like simplicity, particularly in something that I need to keep me alive under impossibly nasty conditions. The less fancy features, the less crap that can go FUBAR when it meets the real world which, as we know, is a messy, fucked up place hell-bent on making our lives miserable.

    Which is why I like the simple design of the G3 or the AK-47 so much. Sure, neither of them have all of the features that their counterpart has, but you can bury either of those suckers in a sand dune for weeks, dig them out and take a piss on the action to get the gravel out, and they’ll shoot just as well as the day they left the factory. You can use them as clubs in close combat, hammers for banging in nails and tent poles when bivvying and they’ll still shoot every time you pull the trigger.

    But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love the modularity of the AR-15 design, because I do. You can dress those suckers up like flippin’ Barbie dolls or you can choose not to and still have a weapon.

    Surely we can combine simplicity with the option to accessorize? Best of both worlds?

    As to caliber, I’m wide open to suggestions. I love the .308 because I know it works, but I’m not stubborn enough to suggest that it’s the only thing that ever will. We’ve come a long way since that round was designed and surely some of what we’ve learned can be put to good use in designing an even better one?

    All I’m saying is that the 5.56 isn’t it. There’s a reason why our troops are scrounging AKs from off of dead terrorists as well as there’s a reason why the American troops I met and worked with during my undistinguished service in the Cold War overseas would have sold their mothers to swap their BB guns for our G3s. I know, I know, the plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data”, but I also know you’d be a fool to ignore the preferences and actions of the people on the sharp end of the spear, no matter what your observations in sterile labs far behind the lines seem to tell you.

  37. Unregistered Comment by doc Russia UNITED STATES

    LC Wes;
    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. While I am not disagreeing with the idea that the press is trying to use this issue to smear Bush, I would add that there is a valid concern that needs to be addressed and discussed. If letting CBS try to smear Bush is what it takes to upgrade our troops with newer rifles, then fine.

    MurdocktheCrazy;
    That is perhaps the most comprehensive defense of the 5.56 that I have ever read, and it was well done. I agree with many of the facts that you putr forth, and agree with your conclusion that a 6.5 Grendel would likely be the best bang for the buck.
    However,
    I see a basic flaw in your reasoning. You go to great lengths to point out that what the 5.56 needs is a better slug, but using a 7.62×51 negates needing so much care about what type of slug the round is in the ammunition.
    The fact of the matter is that across all variables, cover, armor, range, drug use, shot placement, slug type, barrel length, twist rate, the 7.62×51 is a more lethal round.
    Personally, I would prefer to have an M14 over an M16 in combat. I would also prefer to have a .45 instead of a 9mm.
    Now, is it possible that the 7.62×51 is a little bit of overkill? Yes. In fact, I would argue that the caliber of the 7.62 NATO has passed the point of diminishing returns, and that perhaps the 6.5 Grendel would offer the ideal balance between volume of fire and efficacy of fire.
    The M16 is not a reliable rifle. Sorry, but I have been issued several ones at different units, and while there may be some very god ones out there, I generally found them to be very sensitive to dirt and debris. They often will misfeed if not kept immaculate. They also cannot be loaded with the full 30 rounds in a mag, lest you want to doublefeed your first chamber (remember; they were not designed for 30 round mags). This is an issue beyond caliber. The design is simply less ideal than an operating rod mechanism with a better extraction system.
    Both problems can be fixed rather readily with changing the uppers on the current AR platform.
    Keep the old uppers for training and for REMFs, but give the combat troops a 6.5 Grendel upper with an op-rod, and watch what happens.

    As a sidenote, and an illustration of how training matters, the US Marines also found that the 5.56 wasn’t doing the job effectively, so they switched tactics:
    They just started making head shots. Which, if you think about it, maximizes the firepower at their disposal. This is the only instance where having more rounds at the expense of stopping power is a real benefit, since you are relying upon shot placement for the efficacy of the round, and not the absolute energy transferred.
    How this came out was that the military found a bunch of jihadis shot through the head, and they wondered if it was not execution-style. Investigation revealed the truth.

  38. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    Hey Emperor!

    This is fun! Let’s kick a couple more cans of gas into the campfire and see what happens!

    ;-)

  39. Unregistered Comment by doc Russia UNITED STATES

    BigDicksPlace;
    So, you have fought with an M-14 and an M-16?
    Funny, I remember tales of guys in Vietnam trying to hold on to their M14s since they could shoot
    through

    the trees the bad guys were using as cover.

  40. L.C. Rowane Comment by L.C. Rowane UNITED STATES

    I still agree with Gen. Patton; The Colt .45 and the M1 Garand are the best combat firearms to ever be put into the hands of the troops.

    Duty, Honor, Country
    (in THAT order)
    Rowane

  41. L.C. Rowane Comment by L.C. Rowane UNITED STATES

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?
    New weapon

    I found it online a while ago and was sorta curious.

  42. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    Quote Bradley:

    the M-16/AR-15 design is excellent and well thought out. do not be surprised when the next US rifle looks a lot like an AR. the AR’s accuracy, sights, ergonomics, modularity, flexibility and controls (remember the lefties. they ARE 10%) are superior to the M-14. my GI M-16A4 was indestructable. no snapped buttstocks, no fouling jams, no bent barrels, no broken anything. ever. the M-16 has been dead reliable since the early 80s. by the way, a cursory glance at the M-16A2/4 reveals that it was for damn sure not made for spray and pray. Most of the anti-ARs cite 35 year old hand me down stories and have never bothered to put an AR through its paces.

    The M16A4 is a great rifle, full size AR-15s/M16s don’t have many problems.

    It’s the shorter barreled [and thus shorter gas tube] M4 and other such carbines that have the real reliability problems, due to the shorter gas impulse.

    A good rifle platform should work reliably with both short carbine barrels and full size rifle barrels. That is one of the main advantages the Mk16 SCAR has.

    Quote LC Wil:

    Murdock, minor point about the Mk 262 round - it requires a faster rifling twist (1 in 7″) in the barrel than either the current M855 (1 in 9″) or the M193 (1 in 10″) for optimum projectile stabilization, due to the heavier weight and longer projectile; so to convert fully to the Mk 262, about 3 in 10 of the current launchers would have to be rebarrelled. Which would mucho sucko, logistic wise

    Not true, all 5.56mm small arms in current US service [M16A2, M16A3, M16A4, M4, M249] or planned future service [Mk16, Marine IAR] already use a 1-7″ twist barrels. They’ve used that twist since the 1980s when we adopted M855, the reason being that in order to be able to fire M856 tracer [the tracer version of M855] a weapon has to have 1-7″ rifling. Every 5.56mm US small arm from the M16A2 onward has had a 1/7 twist.

    Some cobweb filled corners of the military [mostly Air Force Lawn Enforcement] still use M16A1s, but those have 1-12″ rifling, and don’t even work with M855, which is currently the main service round. So going to Mk262 won’t change that situation.

    A 1/9″ twist has never been used by the US military, only the US civilian market.

    While it’s possible that some SOCOM/Specialist units might have procured civilian AR-15s with 1/9 barrels, that would only be a handful of rifles. Those rifles are already planned to be replaced by the 1/7″ twist Mk16 SCAR, so the point is moot.

    Quote LC Wil:

    Have you EVER buttstroked someone with a -16? You usually end up with two unattached pieces that are just fucking useless for everything.

    Bullshit, I’ve seen things done to AR15s and M16A2s that would make FALs and Garands beg for mercy, and they still kept working.

    I have NEVER, EVER seen an M16A2-A3-A4 that was broken into ‘two unattached pieces’. If you have some proof of such a thing, please post it.

    Quote AyUaxe:

    I hope someone at the Pentagon will get a clue from the superior performance of the newer short magnum cartridges (take a look at the ballistics for 7mm and .300 wsm on Winchester’s site–never thought I’d dis 30-06, but facts is facts) and get our soldiers loaded up with something that packs like a 7.62×39 and shoots more like a .308 or 8mm. Of course, their’s still no substitute for shotguns and something like a greasegun (.45) when housecleaning is in order.

    Oh gawd, so much bullshit in one single paragraph.

    Short Magnums are NOT fit for military service, they never will be. Any service rifle round would also have to work in open-bolt fired belt fed machineguns, and Short Magnums CANNOT be reliably fed in open-bolt weapons.

    We’re trying to make things more reliable, not less!

    As for ‘packs like 7.62×39′, anyone who has ever had to ‘pack’ 7.62Soviet knows it’s very impractical, due to its case taper.

    And anyone who honestly thinks shotguns are best for CQB needs a reality check. Shotguns pack a nice punch but they cannot be safely used in CQB around friendlies and or civilians, buckshots fan out pattern sees to that. Want to use slugs? Then why not just use something like .50 Beowulf, at least it offers the same platform as your service rifle, high capacity and box magazines.

  43. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    Welcome, Doc!!!

    And once again, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your graduation. My loss, and I promise to make it up to you one day.

    And Moriarty, you’re right. This is FUN!

    Everybody else, read the two links Moriarty supplied. One pro-AR and one anti-AR. I’ll defer to their expertise since I don’t have a fraction of their experience with that design. Sure, I’ve shot it, but I haven’t slept with it for months and months on end like I have with the G3.

    One common thread in the pro-AR camp that I can’t help but notice is the “it works wonderfully well if you treat it right!”

    I won’t argue. Everything does.

    But the G3 worked wonderfully well even if I abused it to the point where my Sar’ Major, had he caught me in the act, would’ve ripped my guts out. Through my nostrils. Yes, you should always treat your rifle as well as conditions allow. See that? “As conditions allow.” Unfortunately, conditions don’t always allow, particularly the kinds of conditions that you’re likely to encounter when your life depends on the reliability of your weapon.

    If you have the time, energy and tools to spend an hour cleaning out your rifle, by all means do so. It’s a Good Thing and your baby deserves it. But if you DON’T have it, the damn thing had better go “BOOM” when you need it to anyways. Save the “its your own damn fault for not properly maintaing your weapon” for chewing new assholes in recruits back home, because it’s not going to impress anybody at the funeral of the buddy who got his ass blown away while trying to clear a jam.

  44. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    An interesting bit of trivia, germaine to the “you can carry more “5.56 than 7.62″ point:

    In WW2, the workhorse of the Swiss military was the K31. The Germans trained with the ‘98 Mauser at a standard range of 100 meters. Swiss doctrine demanded a standard range of 300 meters. The Swiss practiced to a degree unknown in the rest of Europe, with marksmanship as their national sport. (One source compares the yearly Swiss national marksmanship to the US. If it were held in the US, Camp Perry would host over two million competitors!)

    The Swiss also trained extensively in shooting up and downhill and understood the nature of mountain travel and warfare. For mountain troops, the standard loadout was 48 rounds of ammunition per soldier. It was held that this was more than enough ammo to accomplish anything that needed to be done.

    Switzerland, it should be noted, supplied the Allies with arms and material and stood as a thorn in the side of the Nazis, yet was the only country in Europe that the Axis chose not to invade.

    BTW, Swiss K31s are now widely available for under $200. I’ve yet to see one that wasn’t wonderfully accurate. (For those interested in a more modern interpretation, you’ll have to wait a month or two.)

  45. bigdicksplace Comment by bigdicksplace UNITED STATES

    Doc, read the whole thing twice before you blow your foot off next time. You’ll walk straighter.

  46. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    Quote Doc Russia

    The fact of the matter is that across all variables, cover, armor, range, drug use, shot placement, slug type, barrel length, twist rate, the 7.62×51 is a more lethal round.
    Personally, I would prefer to have an M14 over an M16 in combat. I would also prefer to have a .45 instead of a 9mm.
    Now, is it possible that the 7.62×51 is a little bit of overkill? Yes. In fact, I would argue that the caliber of the 7.62 NATO has passed the point of diminishing returns, and that perhaps the 6.5 Grendel would offer the ideal balance between volume of fire and efficacy of fire.

    I agree with almost every word, that has basically been my point all along.

    What angers me is when people imply that 5.56mm us ‘useless’ or even ‘harmless’… That’s bullshit, it kills people, it has been killing people for forty years and is going to keep killing people like it was designed to.

    But there are better options… Both 5.56mm and 7.62×51 are on opposite sides of the optimal bell curve… Something in the middle would serve our soldiers much better. That’s why I think 6.5 Grendel is one of the best things to come along in decades.

    Also Quote Doc Russia:

    The M16 is not a reliable rifle. Sorry, but I have been issued several ones at different units, and while there may be some very god ones out there, I generally found them to be very sensitive to dirt and debris. They often will misfeed if not kept immaculate. They also cannot be loaded with the full 30 rounds in a mag, lest you want to doublefeed your first chamber (remember; they were not designed for 30 round mags). This is an issue beyond caliber. The design is simply less ideal than an operating rod mechanism with a better extraction system.
    Both problems can be fixed rather readily with changing the uppers on the current AR platform.
    Keep the old uppers for training and for REMFs, but give the combat troops a 6.5 Grendel upper with an op-rod, and watch what happens

    I agree, mostly. I’ve never had many problems with full sized ARs/M16s, but the carbines have given me headaches. However both must be kept clean. A well trained soldier should keep his weapon clean… but damnit sometimes there just isn’t time and you need to be able to abuse it a little without it biting you on the ass. Besides, the M4 sometimes doesn’t work very well even when it is kept clean.

    That’s why I support the Mk16 SCAR as a new service rifle across the board. It was designed to be piston driven from the start, and better reliability in dirty environments was one of the requirements in its design. It is also more modular than the AR-15, somewhat lighter and almost as accurate, and doesn’t care what length barrel you stick on it, it’s about the best tradeoff out there.

    Quote Rowane:

    I still agree with Gen. Patton; The Colt .45 and the M1 Garand are the best combat firearms to ever be put into the hands of the troops.

    Oh brother… the M1 Garands time is long past, wake up and smell the combat reality. Anything that can’t accept detachable magazines and only holds eight rounds has no hope on todays battlefield.

    As for the XM-8, it’s a bullshit weapon with a bullshit ad campaign by HK. It will NOT be the next service rifle, period.

  47. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    national marksmanship competition

    PIMF.

    (Hey, waitaminute… what happened to preview?)

  48. Unregistered Comment by Gunny UNITED STATES

    The NATO 7.62 kills fast. The 5.56 will kill but not as fast. We will never return to 7.62 for many reasons, not the least of which the recoil gives some people the ouchies. I spent far too much of my lifetime using them and helping others to learn and would happily return to a .308-type round but since I no longer have to worry, it’s best left to the chairborne commandos. Caliber wars, gotta love ‘em.

  49. Unregistered Comment by doc Russia UNITED STATES

    BigDickPlace:
    You compared carrying the two types of ammo.
    Certainly you also have experience comparing the two types of terminal effects.
    Otherwise, you are assigning value only to how light the rounds are.
    The fact is that you can kill anything you can hit out to 800 yards with an M14. The M16A2 is only rated out to point targets at up to 550 yards, not 600 as you imply. Additionally, after about 200 yards, the .308 retains more kinetic energy (KE=1/2MV^2)than the .223 fired from even a 20″ bbl. At closer ranges, a .308 will punch through a lot of stuff that stops a .223.
    If ammo weight is the end all, be all of what a battle rifle needs, then we should issue all the troops with thousands of rounds of .22 short for combat.
    6 years in army infantry really does not make you an expert. It gives you insight, but if all you have done is hump a 16 in training, then you have little of that. I spent a tour in the Marine infantry, and have shot and carried both the M16 and the M40A1. In my medical training, I have seen the documented effects of the 5.56 NATO, the 7.62 Soviet, and the 7.62 NATO. Trust me; the wound characteristics of what I saw of the three are significantly divergent.
    weight is not the only parameter to consider.

  50. 3FgBurner Comment by 3FgBurner UNITED STATES

    Yer Maj,

    “Spray and pray” isn’t a viable battlefield doctrine. It’s fucking suicide against a disciplined and well-trained foe.

    Please note that the aforesaid REMF’s name is “Sprey”.

  51. Unregistered Trackback by CDR Salamander UNITED STATES

    The 5.56 mm belly button…

    Time to pick at it again. I can’t believe I am linking to a CBS report, but this is about one of my favorite subjects. Guns -…

  52. Unregistered Comment by The Almighty Mattski UNITED STATES

    As an old Jarhead, I have to throw another one on and relate a couple of tales I am aware of regarding 5.56 vs 7.62:

    Our Master Sergeant informed us of this one, and it’s something he had personal experience with. One of the things that happens to a weapon before it is approved by DoD is to bench fire it at Aberdeen at a stretched canvas 1000yds downrange and see what kind of grouping you get. The M1 Garand left a grouping about three inches in diameter. The M-14 left a grouping about 5 inches in diameter. Like to know what the M-16 left?

    At 1000yds, the M16 will not penetrate the canvas.

    Also, as one who studied the Soviets very closely when they were the primary opponent in the world, I did a lot of reading on combat capabilities of Soviet small arms. (I was an AmTracker, and we’d heard that certain rounds are not so much as slowed down by our aluminum “armor” and found that was often the case!) At any rate, and this is one of the tales that made me think “Uh-Oh” when this whole WOT began, was the story of a Soviet convoy that had been ambushed in a pass in Afghanistan.

    The Mujehadin blew the lead vehicle and the tail vehicle in the convoy. Because the pass was so narrow, none of the other vehicles could move. The Soviets took up a defensive position with their AKMs, which were really just Aks that had been downgraded to M16 status, and fired up into the hills to get the Mujahadin. The Mujas had old bolt action Nagants and Enfields, some almost a hundred years old in the 1980s, firing great big old rounds with ranges of 800-1500yds.

    The Mujahs sat up there for three days, totally out of range of the AKMs, and took their damn sweet time killing Every. Last. One. of those Russian troops.

    I personally hated the M16 and had a deal with some buddies of mine in the armory: if the balloon ever went up, my M16 card would conveniently get lost and a new card would be issued to me for an M14. I was in the HQ section of vehicles and we had a mix of M60s and M2 .50 cals, so ammo wouldn’t have been a problem (though I would have LOVED to have had a Barrett, if only to fire one round). I was in a vehicle; I didn’t give a damn how much the rounds weighed. Weight wasn’t a problem. And even if it was, screw the weight - GIMME RANGE!

    Semper Fi, and get our troops the good shit,
    Mattski

  53. 3FgBurner Comment by 3FgBurner UNITED STATES

    Ah, yes, Rourke’s Drift…

    Comment by AyUaxe
    Even the nearly overwhelming mass assault of Rourke’s Drift was won with discipline and marksmanship (and I’ll wager, lots of praying, but no spraying).

    No spraying - not with single-shot Martini-Henrys. On the flipside, when someone gets hit with a .577-450 (.58 Snyder round bottlenecked down to .45 projectile), they know it. I’ve been around the things in reenactments, and just having the blanks fired over your head hurts.

  54. bigdicksplace Comment by bigdicksplace UNITED STATES

    Doc, reread my original comment again please.
    Later on, maybe you and I can see who’ll pee the farthest.

  55. Unregistered Comment by MurdockTheCrazy UNITED STATES

    Quote Gunny:

    The NATO 7.62 kills fast. The 5.56 will kill but not as fast.

    That’s a lot of bovine chips.

    The permanent wound cavity for an M193 or Mk262 that fragments has many times the volume of a 7.62×51 wound. Larger wound cavity = more damaged tissue = faster bleeding = faster death.

    Now of course it always takes someone a long time [combat wise] to die from blood loss. A better kill is one that takes out critical organs the body needs to function.

    But even that doesn’t ensure a quick kill.

    In the real world damaging most organs in the human body won’t kill someone much faster than simple blood loss from the wound would.

    There are only three targets in the human body that, when destroyed, will eliminate the threat significantly faster than plain blood loss: The brain, the spinal cord and the heart.

    Even a direct hit on the heart will not instantly kill someone. Blood has momentum, and will keep moving for a few seconds on its own. Even after blood flow stops, there is still going to be a fair amount of oxygen available to the cells in the body.

    It’s not a lot of time, but it doesn’t take long to empty and AK-47s magazine either.

    So just how is a 7.62 going to kill someone faster than 5.56? Is there some effect I don’t know of that causes people shot in the lungs with a 7.62s brain to explode like those aliens in Mars Attacks?

    The only sure-instant-kill [or near enough] is a shot to brain pan, and in that case it doesn’t much matter if said person is hit with 5.56, 7.62 or 155mm Howitzer, all of those will do more than enough to the jello that is Hajis brain.

    Now, all of this assumes the person being shot was less than 250 yards away.. Beyond that and 5.56 stops fragmenting, and then 7.62 does leave a larger wound volume… But again we’re back to causing Haji to bleed to death, which always takes time. If you shooting at someone 200 yards away, you’d better be trying for a headshot to start with, which again makes the point of what caliber moot [unless you get out to insane ranges like 1000 yards… But that’s what snipers, artillery and JDAMs are for, not service rifles].

    .

    .

    Doc Russia… I agree with you that 7.62×51 has more range [which is why I want something in 7.62×51, or a caliber near it for Marksman/Sniper/GPMG use], and that ammo capacity isn’t the end-all-beat-all… However that doesn’t mean large amounts of ammo don’t have their place.

    Much of the ammo used in infantry tactics these days is used for suppressing fire. Now before everyone starts screaming ‘SPRAY AND PRAY IS STOOPID!’, I suggest you take your Prozac before you make fools of yourself.

    Suppressing fire is not spray and pray, it is simply keeping your enemy pinned down, so that if it shows himself [to attempt to shoot at you, or to maneuver], he will be hit by the suppressing fire already being laid down.

    This tactic has been used since World War One, anyone who argues against it is a jackass that should be kept ten miles from any military facility or decision.

    The simple fact is that the side which carries a larger amount of effective ammunition can [if they use tactics that can be learned in any half-assed infantry training] keep their enemy pinned down longer, thus allowing them to maneuver around their opponent and chop them to bits.

    Now obviously, large amounts of ineffective ammunition won’t do much good… it has to be able to actually kill that stupid bastard who decides to stand up despite the suppressing fire, if it can’t, the enemy will just shrug off any losses it causes and overrun their attackers.

    Anyone who doesn’t believe in the power of suppression fire needs to read up on the Falklands war, especially the battle of Goose Green.

    I by no means think 5.56 is an optimal combat round… There are better rounds out there, such as 6.5 Grendel, which provides much better range and stopping power while still being light and small enough to provide effective suppressing fire. 5.56 is very good at suppressing fire, but only just good enough at killing people to be used in combat. 7.62 is almost the opposite… Great range, and lots of power [even if its lacks effective fragmentation in JAG legal forms], but it’s way too heavy and way too big to be effective for suppressing fire in a combat rifle.

    Anyone who thinks we should use 7.62×51mm for a standard service rifle round does not understand modern combat. Anyone who thinks 5.56mm isn’t due for replacement with something a bit more powerful needs a CAT scan.

    /rant.

    Sometime later today or tomorrow I’ll start the real education, with independent terminal effect ballistic gel tests, charts and even a little second-grade math. Maybe even a few real life wound photos.

    Don’t be late class, and bring a notebook, there will be a test.

  56. Agent Orange Comment by Agent Orange MALAYSIA

    Murdock:
    The West Germans used to make 7.62×51mm NATO rounds that fragment, by making the bullets with thinner cannelures.

    7.62x51mm NATO: West German vs American

    Do you think this design should be adopted?