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Old February 18, 2011, 02:33 PM   #26
Longdayjake
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I know that I will get a lot of flak for mentioning this because of the love for the 6.8, but I really don't think that it deserves to be the military's next main cartridge. I personally believe that it is a great breach gun. It serves close quarter combat purposes perfectly. What it will not do (with fmj ammo) is meet the 2000 feet accuracy test. Because of the low BC FMJ bullets in the 6.8 it most likely wont reach out to 666 yards (2000 feet) before it goes subsonic. If by chance it does reach out that far it won't have much remaining energy. If our military only fought in Iraq, the 6.8 would be pretty close to perfect. However, because we have to fight in areas like Iraq as well as the long range engagements of Afganistan we need something that can do short range as well as long range. The 7.62 is an obvious choice because it can do both just fine. However, it is large, heavy, and may over penetrate indoors. It would be ideal but my opinion is that it is impractical. I personally have no problem with sticking with the .223 other than it really isn't a great long range caliber either. Though it can reach out there it doesn't really carry any energy with it because of its light bullets. I personally think that the 6.5 Grendel would meet close range, long range, and lethality requirements but I seriously doubt that the government will ever accept it as their choice so my guess is that the new platform will be stuck at .223 and it will be adopted for a few months and then abandoned because it isn't that much better to justify the cost of changing over. Oh wait, thats what happened to the SCAR. In other words, it ain't gonna happen.
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Old February 18, 2011, 02:42 PM   #27
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I was not preparing a doctorial thesis, Im reading an article and relating it to my own experience.

If you believe whatever hay thats fine, if factually your correct on the basis of how the information was gather thats fine too.

However dont think for one minute that the military has ever done a review without some slant given to it to support the prevailing political winds and political correctness.

But for the sake of this conversation lets assume its unimpeachable written in stone verifiable fact.


The fact remains that not all those troops surveyed have 20+ years of experience, the fact remains that many of these troops may never have fired a round in anger or even have been allowed to have rounds due to political considerations.

If 5.56mm is the end all, be all for you great, enjoy. If your heading to Afganistan and you get some real world experience you may or may not end up agreeing with me but I tend to think the first couple of engagments and youll probably see things differently.

All I know is when I should have dropped the BG on two occasions I didn't and not because I failed but because the round failed and because of that I have no use for a round that cannot as a general rule penetrate a thin mud wall.
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Old February 18, 2011, 04:01 PM   #28
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If 5.56mm is the end all, be all for you great, enjoy. If your heading to Afganistan and you get some real world experience you may or may not end up agreeing with me but I tend to think the first couple of engagments and youll probably see things differently.
First, I do have real world experience with the 223/5.56. I used it in combat as and infantryman in SE Asia (2/502st Inf 101st Abn, '67-68).

I used it (in a bolt gun) as a LE Counter-Sniper, I've taught Sniper Schools using the 223 (for LE), instructed SWAT Teams (we called them CIRT), using the 223. I've shot competition with the 223/5.56 (High Powder including 1000 yard matches).

I feel the short comings (light bullets) have been addressed, as well as the sights on the M16 systems (better adjustable sights on the post M16A1).

In my 20 years in LE and 25 years in the military (RA & NG) I've had quite of bit of interaction with soldiers and police officers regarding the 223/5.56. The consensus is, its a good, reliable and effective weapon.

I'm presently in the process of being hired as a police mentor in Afghan (assuming I don't blow the medical) in which along with the M9 (Beretta) I will be carrying the M-4. Based on my 44 years using the 223/5/56 I do not feel I will be under-gunned.
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Old February 18, 2011, 04:19 PM   #29
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Kraig -

First thank you for your service.

Second being a sniper means in general your set up in some area even if only very briefly and I know your not using the M4 for sniper duty and you didnt claim to either.

I can speak for guard or reserve or anyone but myself and a small collection of current AD and a few retirees and the people I have met in my duties.

I am relating my experience and my absolute disgust that I feel let down by this round in the theater of combat I was in. I want our guy to have the best and I am tired of people accepting 5.56 as some sort of death ray laser because it is shot out of a military AR. - its hogwash.

I am sure we can line people up on bith sides of the fence and have a nice disagreement and settle little.

The bottom line for me is two BGs should have been dropped and stopped and someone else might have to pay the price because of the actual performance of the round when I shot it at the time I shot it.

I wasnt in Vietnam so I have no leg to speak from but I would think that you probably had some people who wanted a M14 and not a M16 because of the larger round size.

I appologize for assuming you had no real world experience and offer you a virtual cup of coffee by way of appology.

When you get to Afganistan if you need anything look me up here and I will see what I can do to make it happen for you... I still have friends over there and I can do whatever I can do.

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Old February 18, 2011, 04:38 PM   #30
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The fact remains that not all those troops surveyed have 20+ years of experience, the fact remains that many of these troops may never have fired a round in anger or even have been allowed to have rounds due to political considerations.
Only soldiers who had participated in at least one firefight with an M4, M16, M9 or SAW during their last deployment were eligible for the survey.

As far as time in service, most soldiers surveyed (61%) had between 1-5 years in uniform. Nineteen percent had 11-20+ years in service.

One issue with the methodology was that soldiers interviewed were only from Big Army -- quantified differences in perspective with SOF units would have been interesting.
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Old February 18, 2011, 04:43 PM   #31
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Thank you for the correction HorseSoldier.

I stand corrected.
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Old February 18, 2011, 04:51 PM   #32
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Third, the military has made the decision to stay with the 5.56 M16/M4 series until a break through in weapons development happens. Simply put, no new rifle offers enough benefit to justify spending the billions to develop what is essentially the same thing we have with a few tweaks.
The Army recently announced new trials to replace the M4.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/0...eased-021411w/

That's not to say the M4 won't win this latest competition, but it will face some stiff competition from the SCAR and ACR and even the Colt CM901.

The M4A1's evolution will continue while these trials are ongoing. After a winner is selected, then the brass will decide if the M4 will remain in service or if it will be replaced by the winner of the trials.

So there's no concrete commitment to the M4 and the Army is actively looking to replace it if they find a suitable replacement.
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Old February 18, 2011, 04:53 PM   #33
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But kraigwy, That's not what the internet says!

First off, I get that you were a soilder, and then a sniper, and then a cop, and will soon be returning to training others, but you only have 4500ish posts... where are your internet credentials.

On a more serious note. I have found Mr Stuart's posts to be well thought out and often times very informative. Though the respect from some random poster on the internet means next to nothing, Mr Stuart has earned mine.

From the Military Times Article:
Quote:
An Army-commissioned study released in 2006 by the Center for Naval Analyses said 20 percent of soldiers recommended a larger bullet to increase lethality.
Doesn't the above quote indicate that 80% of soilders DIDN'T reccomend a larger caliber? And since when is 20% considered a majority? And I highly doubt that the study asked EVERY soilder, therefore the above should read: "20% of Solders POLLED".

From Post #22 (written by BGutzman)
Quote:
Lastly in regards to (80%) of the troops are not complaining. Just because 80% of the troops didnt write a letter or whatever complaining doesnt mean they arent unhappy with 5.56mm. How much of the US population overall votes on anything? Its the same thing in the military, 20% is a pretty significant number when you realize how much it takes to get some people to even take a stance.
Just as above, the numbers of soilders satisfied came from a study where soilders were polled. The 20% is not the percentage of the military that complained to congress critters, but rather 20% of the polled soilders.

I believe that the 20% cited comes from table 2 (page 16 of 50) from the Soldier Perspectives on Small Arms in Combat Study performed by the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA).
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:00 PM   #34
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As noted by .22l, 80% don't think they need a change and that's a commanding majority. You'll never have 100% agreement on anything, and getting 80% to agree that the 5.56mm is adequate is impressive.

Now, if the survey showed that 80% thought the 5.56mm lacked in lethality that would be news worthy.

20%, not so much.
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:10 PM   #35
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It's time for a change to a more potent round than the 223. The longer it takes to put someone down, the more time there is for that someone or someone else to put you down. When they transitioned us (USMC) from the M14 to the M16, I was honestly happy to have a lighter weapon, but I had serious doubts about the effectiveness of the round. Now that the same wimpy round is being shot out of shorter barrels, it's even less effective than it was before. My opinion would be to have something that at minimum could move a 100 to 120 grain bullet at least at 2800 fps. That sounds like a 260 Remington or a 6.5 Swede. Great range and ballistic coefficient and it wouldn't kick much, so the city boys and ladies would be able to handle it.
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:17 PM   #36
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I'm sure there have been rare times when the 223 round failed and the 308 would have done better. But has anyone ever bothered to calculate how many lives would have been lost by staying with the 308 because soldiers ran out of ammo. Or because they could not shoot it as well.

I'd say the 223 round has saved more soldiers lives than it has cost. There are tradeoff's with everything. Let's just issue 50BMG rifles to all the troops.
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:18 PM   #37
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Lets look at it another way:

Anyone who had done any hunting what so ever, knows that an animal hit, even in the heart-lung area are instantly put down. Normally when hit in that area, they hump up and then run 20+ to even 100 yards or further.

That's regardless of the caliber used.

Fairbairn address this regarding handguns in his book "Shooting To Live", based on his involvement in 600+ shootings.

Personally I would rather see the funds that would other wise be spent on choosing another weapon or ammo, deverted to better marksmanship training.
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:21 PM   #38
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Personally I would rather see the funds that would other wise be spent on choosing another weapon or ammo, deverted to better marksmanship training.
Amen to that
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Old February 18, 2011, 05:31 PM   #39
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Anyone who had done any hunting what so ever, knows that an animal hit, even in the heart-lung area are instantly put down. Normally when hit in that area, they hump up and then run 20+ to even 100 yards or further.
I agree, but it would be nice for the round to survive impacting a poorly put together mud brick wall.
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Old February 18, 2011, 06:31 PM   #40
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I don't know about the 6.5 Swede in action (if it saw any) but I know both the Italians and the Japanese found their 6.5MM rounds wanting, especially for machine gun use. They developed larger rounds-7.35 Carcano, 7.7 Japanese, but the pressures of wartime kept them from fully implementing a changeover. I confess I haven't followed the development of the 6.8 at all, but it seems to me historically that 7MM-7MM Mauser, e.g, is as small as you can go in bore diameter and still have an effective all around cartridge. And having been a front line soldier I give great credence to others who are and listen to them carefully.
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Old February 18, 2011, 06:39 PM   #41
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I don't know if moving to a different caliber will actually make a sufficient difference. Larger bullet to increase lethality? The bullets don't matter much when you can't hit your targets.

This came up in a round about way in this thread
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...+accurate+fire
with this video dealing with Marines who were pinned down by "accurate fire" by a "sniper." Pretty much every Marine in the video had ACOGs and the position of the sniper was known, yet nobody could hit him. The distances being fired were within the capability of the guns, ammo, and troops, but they failed to hit their targets.

Fortunately, they got help from some other Marines who fired a ground-to-ground guided missile that completely missed the correct compound and hit another several hundred yards away, hitting civilians.

If we do move to a larger caliber, how is that going to affect the carrying capacity of each soldier. They won't be taking as much ammo and if they end up like Kilo Company in the above article, the cries to conserve ammo will come much quicker and as evident in the video, the help they requested may not turn out to be any help at all.

So more rounds of smaller ammo or less rounds of larger ammo. You have tradeoffs either way.
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Old February 18, 2011, 11:50 PM   #42
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The debates have been going on for a few decades!

The long and detailed debates prompted a more detailed look the premise of replacing BOTH the 7.62X51 and 5.56 NATO rounds for light infantry. The results of the study are presented at http://shootersnotes.com/battle-rifle-cartridge/

The study concludes that 90 grain bullets from a cartridge with the volume of the .22 PPC or 107 grain bullets from a 6 mm BR size cartridge would do the job. The price paid is a moderate decrease of number of cartridges carried compared to the 5.56. Both options would have a greater number of cartridges per pound than the 7.62X51 NATO,
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Old February 19, 2011, 02:08 AM   #43
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I use to say the same thing that the 223 is too week to be used by the arm forces, But a fully automatic in 223 is an extreemly good weapon, but you just have to use up more ammo. When they went to the three round burst, they really killed the effectiveness or the AR. Close in on fully auto does the job every time, that is how the gun was designed. Just don't grab the barrel.

For effective kills at ranges greater than 150 yards you need heavy bullets in the range of 130 grain to 150 grains. It mantains suffecient energy to take down the target more times than not. But, it needs more gun powder as any reloader will tell you. That means you need to be shooting a cartrage the size of a 30-06. More bullet weight more gun powder less of them that you can carry. Sorry they will not fit into your AR or even your M-14. This was tested over a 100 years ago, that is why they came out with the 1903 Springfield. Well that was good for WWI and WWII but not for jungle warfare. The problem is that the idiot generals are still fighting the VC out in a desert eviornment and it is not working.

Let's see the the AK's are using a 123 grain bullets and we are using a 62 & 69 grain bullets. What part of stupid do the boys with the stars on their shoulders not understand? Let's break out all the old 1903 Springfields and have the troups learn how to shoot, I am sure a lot of deer hunters would be willing to help or just give the troups each a 50 BMG and this whole thing would be over in a matter of weeks.

There is nothing wrong with the AR it is just being used wrong.

Jim
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Old February 19, 2011, 02:48 AM   #44
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Kraig

Thank you also for your service. Please take a 1911 or FNP-45 with you. This is a different enviornment than the jungle you fought in before. If you are only in the cities the M-4 should be OK. If you have to travel in the desert then see if you can get your hands on a M-14.

Good luck and stay safe.
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Old February 19, 2011, 10:44 AM   #45
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Quote:
This came up in a round about way in this thread
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...+accurate+fire
with this video dealing with Marines who were pinned down by "accurate fire" by a "sniper." Pretty much every Marine in the video had ACOGs and the position of the sniper was known, yet nobody could hit him. The distances being fired were within the capability of the guns, ammo, and troops, but they failed to hit their targets.
I watched this before a while ago and it only ****** me off. It only cemented my beliefs of having at least 1 trained long range marksmen with a scoped rifle with each squad.

I mean out of all those marines not one had a precision marksman rifle or even a mortar tube?
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Old February 19, 2011, 10:47 AM   #46
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Someone mentioned that a lot of the Soldiers for the survey were non-combat arms. or that the non-combat Soldiers are typical the ones who get in firefights.

I'm not bashing on the Army at all, however maybe it could take a lesson from the Marine Corps. Taking their old M16A2's and putting rails on them with an Aimpoint mounted on the rail would perhaps explain a few things. Maybe they should stop mounting ACOGs on top of the carry handle? From what I've seen out here, the terrain is in no way, shape, or form 'Aimpoint-worthy.' Marines that are not 03's carry an M16A4's with an ACOG. So do the junior Marines. The SOST round seemed do resolve most complaints about the 5.56 amongst Marines.

Just my humble opinion though.
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Old February 19, 2011, 11:16 AM   #47
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I don't know about the rest of y'alls; but, my a AR has 5.56 NATO on the barrel. I though our our choice of a battle rifle cartridge was part of an international agreement and not subject to unilateral change by one nation. Didn't we swap our 1911's in on 9mm's for NATO standardization?
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Old February 19, 2011, 12:29 PM   #48
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This is what's so stupid about the government.

Quote:
During the second phase, the weapons will test fire approximately 700,000 rounds. The weapons will be graded on their physical attributes and features as well as their compatibility with existing Army accessories. Other areas of consideration include accuracy, reliability and durability, according to a PEO press release.
They don't need to do any testing at all! All the evidence is already out there for what guns and calibers work.I swear,they're idiots sometimes.
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Old February 19, 2011, 04:05 PM   #49
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I don't know about the rest of y'alls; but, my a AR has 5.56 NATO on the barrel. I though our our choice of a battle rifle cartridge was part of an international agreement and not subject to unilateral change by one nation.
Really? NATO has fielded two service rifle cartridges in its history, and both of them were imposed by the US. With 5.56mm we let NATO church it up a bit with an open competition, but caliber wasn't really open for debate.

Quote:
Didn't we swap our 1911's in on 9mm's for NATO standardization?
Korea tanked the money for the program, but the US military was looking to get rid of 45 ACP 1911s for a 9mm replacement in the late 1940s, before NATO standardization was even up and running and a definite idea.
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Old February 19, 2011, 05:39 PM   #50
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Here is a good article
http://www.rifleshootermag.com/ammun...310/index.html
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