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Old March 2, 2011, 07:02 PM   #76
HorseSoldier
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I read somewhere awhile back that the initial range of 50% of all engagements in Afghanistan is greater than 500 meters..... making the M-4 pretty much a noisemaker useful for keeping the enemy's attention while supporting fires are called in...... which apears to be what they were doing here.
For engagements at 500+ meters, any individual weapon is just going to be a noisemaker -- going back to the acquistion/positive ID and engagement problems I talked about up thread. People who have never fired at targets at 500, or have only done it when the target was paper and not trying to avoid being hit, just don't grasp the enormity of the dilemma in making those kinds of shots on two way ranges. If you can even spot a bad guy, does he stay still long enough for you to put the sights on him and hit him? If you can line up your sights or optics, does your physiology allow you to make the shot, with your blood pressure and heart rate jacked up and the adrenalin flowing?

It's about like telling NRA Highpower shooters that their course of fire will be random exposure times on pop up targets at unknown ranges, the range will also be populated with no-shoot targets, and just for the fun of it their course of fire starts with a guy in boxing gloves beating on them for 15 seconds before they jump on their guns and start shooting their course of fire. To keep it fun, a guy with a paintball gun will occasionally put rounds in the ground near them, or just shoot them in the back.

There are a lot of guys who shoot at the highest levels in that sport who probably wouldn't manage any hits at all under those conditions . . . not unlike troops in contact in the real world, who are obviously dealing with even greater stress under even less ideal conditions.

As for the video clip itself, the only major difference in terminal ballistics for all the rounds those guys fired with their rifles and carbines is that if it was 308 they'd have been less able to return fire because they'd have exhausted their basic load quicker. Same deal (though not as badly) if they'd had 6.8 Rem SPC or 6.5 Grendel or whatever else.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:42 AM   #77
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Even in 1920 it was recognized that even an automatic rifle was pretty useless beyond 500 yards and individual riflemen did not have the firepower to make a difference at that range. That's why the army has other weapons, you know.
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Old March 3, 2011, 09:03 AM   #78
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Okay, so American troops can't hit anything with their rifles beyond 500 yards/meters and half the engagements in Afghanistan are beyond that distance (caliber not mattering).

Are the Taliban hitting targets beyond 500 yards/meters?...the same Taliban that are noted by several folks to be poorly trained.
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Old March 3, 2011, 09:19 AM   #79
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I'm surprised only a few people, if any, suggest the 7.62x39 round.

I love that round.
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Old March 3, 2011, 09:31 AM   #80
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It's about like telling NRA Highpower shooters that their course of fire will be random exposure times on pop up targets at unknown ranges, the range will also be populated with no-shoot targets, and just for the fun of it their course of fire starts with a guy in boxing gloves beating on them for 15 seconds before they jump on their guns and start shooting their course of fire. To keep it fun, a guy with a paintball gun will occasionally put rounds in the ground near them, or just shoot them in the back.
You forgot to saddle them with 70lbs of armor/gear and a helmet, just to make it interesting.
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Old March 3, 2011, 10:14 AM   #81
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Quote:
Quote:
It's about like telling NRA Highpower shooters that their course of fire will be random exposure times on pop up targets at unknown ranges, the range will also be populated with no-shoot targets, and just for the fun of it their course of fire starts with a guy in boxing gloves beating on them for 15 seconds before they jump on their guns and start shooting their course of fire. To keep it fun, a guy with a paintball gun will occasionally put rounds in the ground near them, or just shoot them in the back.
You forgot to saddle them with 70lbs of armor/gear and a helmet, just to make it interesting.
To level the playing field just a bit more:
1) Non Match ammunition.

2) Little to no contact with their families for months. (and the stress that goes along with that)

3) they have to live in cramped spaces eating the same food day in and day out.

4) Every so often the competitor has to be told a good friend has died, but that it can't affect his performance.

5) Their highly refined equipment has to be aged 20 years, with unknown levels of maintenance.

6) 1 or 2 times a day, all competitors have to load up 80 -90 pounds of gear on their back and climb a mountain, and then head back down (that jerk with the paintball gun will pop up at random)

7+) Ad nauseam.

It’s almost like range time is NOTHING like combat... WHO KNEW!

~Matt

Also, this necro post keeps coming back from the dead, does anyone have a holy amulet or possibly some sort of silver based projectile system?
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:10 AM   #82
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Are the Taliban hitting targets beyond 500 yards/meters?...the same Taliban that are noted by several folks to be poorly trained.
The reporter in the video I referenced took a round......

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I'm surprised only a few people, if any, suggest the 7.62x39 round.

I love that round.
.... and it did not penetrate his body armor ..... not sure of the caliber, but it is a pretty safe bet that it was a x39...... I'll bet Mr. Lepore is glad the Taliban are using AK's and not their Grandfather's Enfields: the .303 bullet is still packing over 1,000 lbs of energy at 500 yards, almost 3x that of the 7.62x39....

Mr. Lepor ran for Congeress (MA-9) but lost in the primary last year. On his campaign site he has some remarks on a video re: frontline soldiers equipment..... http://vimeo.com/12624734 .... something to the effect that the guys that never left the wire had better equipment than the guys he was patrolling with every day...
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:48 AM   #83
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What? A flat range isn't like combat? But what if it rains a little, that's still pretty extreme, right? And if I have on my 5.11 pants, multi-cam baseball hat, and an AR with more attachments than a brigade OPORDER, people will think I'm an operator, right? And this goatee makes me look pretty badass too, right?
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Old March 3, 2011, 12:08 PM   #84
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Rob, you forgot the sunglasses.... See?
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Old March 3, 2011, 01:00 PM   #85
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The reporter in the video I referenced took a round......
Which was likely the result of blind luck more than aimed fire. There were enough guys standing around immobile and partially exposed, that anybody who was capable of making an aimed hit on the running reporter in the chest should have had no trouble making more hits.

The fact that none were made and that the RPG guy stood there and casually loaded the RPG in the same spot the reporter got hit without taking any effective fire suggests that either the person who made the hit on the reporter got insanely lucky or he wasn't around after that hit.

Quote:
not sure of the caliber, but it is a pretty safe bet that it was a x39
If the area that RPG impacted is any indication of where they were taking fire from, that is an unlikely shot for a 7.62x39. The RPG travels about 125yds per second. Look at the video around 4:20- see how long it takes from firing to impact? I show the RPG fired at 4:29 - and with the camera moving around it is difficult to see what is going on; but the impact isn't until 4:44.

Even with an arc, that means that the target area is a long way off and likely beyond the range where individual aimed fire is going to have much effect.
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Old March 3, 2011, 02:37 PM   #86
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Okay, so American troops can't hit anything with their rifles beyond 500 yards/meters and half the engagements in Afghanistan are beyond that distance (caliber not mattering).

Are the Taliban hitting targets beyond 500 yards/meters?...the same Taliban that are noted by several folks to be poorly trained.
For the most part, no, they're not. Blast enough rounds at a piece of terrain and you may hit something (as per the reporter that caught a round in the clip), but it's not very effective. But the bad guys have learned that the alternative of closing up the distance -- to effective gunfighing range for either side -- results in them coming out on the losing end most of the time. And a lot of those guys aren't true believers, they're just local schmoes getting paid to shoot at Americans, so popping rounds off at nuisance range is a pretty good way to collect that paycheck.

(There are, obviously, some very notable exceptions to that.)
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Old March 4, 2011, 01:04 PM   #87
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This is the report the Army came out with in 1959 - and they were pretty freshly experienced with Korea and WWII less than 20 years back.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...d-weapon-1959/

Basically, the .30-06/.308 hampers the average soldier - what he/she needs is better optics (now standard, Aimpoint just shipped the millionth,) and more ammo for the random hit. If you have two opposing forces, the one with twice the ammo has a decided advantage; if there's less recoil, they shoot more often and more accurately; twice the ammo fired in an engagement by one side will directly increase the number of hits up to 50% more.

The side with more soldiers hit has less troops in combat shooting, loses ground, and can be more easily flanked and defeated. Therefore, if you have less ammo, you lose.

The Soviets had already accepted and fielded intermediate caliber automatic firing guns, issued to most soldiers. The Germans had been successful with them against us. We knew it, the handwriting was on the wall, increase the amount of ammo fired in combat, and at least keep the same accuracy - or start taking a lot more hits. Firing bigger bullets doesn't make up the difference.

50% of engagements over 500m, ok, that's NOT by AK fire. It's a crew served weapon, the Russian .50 and others. We respond with our crew served weapons. We also added a few more refurbed M14's. What's happening now is exactly what we should expect - ambushes, organizing larger scale attacks on smaller units, IED's, and a move back into the city.

The rumored long distance sniper war in the hills isn't working at all, and isn't an AK equipped Talibani picking off an M4 equipped soldier. That fantasy largely exists in the mind of those who don't understand the reality and cherrypick examples to reinforce their personal prejudices.

Applying the .308 as the new combat caliber means dropping 15 pounds of other gear, please tell us what. Plus, it won't be carried with as much ammo, so we actually lose advantage by going to it universally. It's not supported by research on combat since 1917, and would be contrary to known human factors.

There's nothing gained even if it could stop insurgents DRT. You still have the same problems of seeing one, and then accurately hitting one. Since the measured odds of doing that are less with major caliber weapons, there's no justification.

The side who shoots more ammo has the advantage, measured and proven. It's not deer hunting or a day at the range, it's combat, and only one in one hundred now gets that training. Big change from one in ten back in the sixties. The message is getting drowned out by a sea of misperception and video gaming.
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Old March 4, 2011, 01:52 PM   #88
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Firing a tank gun is very much like playing a video game (but not loading one). Kids today are will primed for stuff like that.

Be that as it may be, the thing to do with all weapon systems, is to engage the enemy at the greatest effective range. One of the things being argued about here, whether you realize it or not, is what the effective range is. In this case, for small arms. Note however, that the effective range may be limited by a number of factors, some human, some technical and no doubt, some weather related. The human factor of being limited by the ability to actually see the target and also to accurately estimate the range, is to some extent compensated by the lavish issue of optical sighting equipment enjoyed by the armed forces at the moment. But they still need to allow for other factors like the wind and the difference in elevation of the target and the shooter, not to mention movement of the target. Effective range is also limited by whatever limitations there are with the sights, although that tends to be more of a problem with larger caliber weapons. For instance, the 120mm gun on the M1 tank had a greater effective range than could be sighted, so the effective range was actually only as far as the sights went, if you follow me. And finally, after all that, there is the matter of retained energy at a given range and that is also an issue with weapons of any caliber except for explosive rounds.
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Old March 4, 2011, 02:02 PM   #89
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The side who shoots more ammo has the advantage, measured and proven
The side with guys and gals trained to hit at a distance need less ammo and can be very deadly. Check out whole units of specially trained marksmen and snipers from the civil war to today.

Further spraying and praying for a hit was proved very unsuccessful ie vietnam as a generalized statement.

It is also factual that US units dont usually even train that often with live ammo so exactly when are they supposed to train to the level needed to take advantage of a larger cal or scopes or whatever tech we may have to help.

Units I have been in went to the range once or twice a year and even pre deployment to Afganistan we worked way more on tactics than actually shooting.

IMHO troops should be at the range two or three times a week for several hours a day for three or four months before deployment and they should be trained on a weapon not based on the 22 caliber but rather almost anything else thats larger. Yes, I know Im dreaming but my experience with 5.56 is anything but reassuring and I will leave it at that for today.
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Old March 5, 2011, 02:31 PM   #90
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The side with guys and gals trained to hit at a distance need less ammo and can be very deadly. Check out whole units of specially trained marksmen and snipers from the civil war to today.
Not really.

The place where snipers earn their pay is shooting from ambush, where the target is unaware they are there (or unaware the enemy can reach out and touch them at that range) and so their behavior is not the same as on a two way range. Once the other side figures out they're taking effective fire, behavior usually changes and even with much better training and much better equipment, sniper effectiveness drops off towards the same success rate as regular riflemen. Still better, given those improvements in training and gear (assuming the gear is relevant for the engagement in question), but much less successful.

Quote:
Further spraying and praying for a hit was proved very unsuccessful ie vietnam as a generalized statement.
I guess that really depends on how you define "success." Did it improve shots/kill ratios? No. Did it often mean the difference between maintaining a perimeter or being overrun by the other side? Yes. Did it sometimes mean the difference between inflicting some casualties on an enemy you couldn't acquire and positively ID versus not killing any of them at all? Yes.

No matter how screwed up the American economy gets, I cannot see a situation where, for our military, bullets will ever be more expensive than trained soldiers, so by some logics, spray and pray was a very successful approach in that war.

Quote:
Units I have been in went to the range once or twice a year and even pre deployment to Afganistan we worked way more on tactics than actually shooting.
It depends on the unit you're in, but for Big Army I agree that there is a significant problem there. It's gotten better with some stuff from the SOF side of the house trickling out, but Big Army has been slow to adopt and adapt on that topic, and when they do they manage to make "fixes" that fundamentally make their approach less sound (i.e. the Short Range Marksmanship program, or the retarded "SPORTS" acronym I still cant' kick out of my Joes' heads for better clearance techniques no matter how hard I try).

But that's not anything to do with 5.56mm as a service rifle round and actually if we went to anything heavier you'd have a rise in cost per round from the $0.25 or so per round the government pays for M855 (or did in 2008 when I got out), meaning either even less live fire training, something else getting shorted, or an increase in budget.

Quote:
IMHO troops should be at the range two or three times a week for several hours a day for three or four months before deployment and they should be trained on a weapon not based on the 22 caliber but rather almost anything else thats larger. Yes, I know Im dreaming but my experience with 5.56 is anything but reassuring and I will leave it at that for today.
I agree on something along the lines of the training program you are talking about, but it costs money. In the SFG I was assigned to, deploying companies all went through our SFAUC class or SFBCC class (for the support units) before going over across the water. For the team guys that was several weeks of training with daily trips to the flat range evolving into daily runs through the shoot house and culminating in an extensive FTX done with simunitions and all sorts of bells and whistles. Just in terms of ammunition it represented more ammo for one company of 80 or so guys for one training event than a light infantry battalion gets for a year.

And it really put a fine edge on the shooting skills those guys had, as well as more general CQB skills, mission planning, etc etc etc. And for the price tag involved, it had better.

Big Army could do the same sort of thing -- it would just need to commit to the idea of spending anywhere from five to ten times on training than it does for each battalion going downrange. (To do the same sort of intensive training would cost more for conventional units simply because you're starting at a lower ability level, and so would need one or more "zero weeks" just to purge bad habits, get people confident on their weapons, and remove anyone who simply could not get confident with them -- and there are plenty of them floating around in the military.)

That just means that, in turn, the US Congress either needs to find that money somewhere or needs to increase the tax burden on the American taxpayer to cover it. Whether either of those is politically feasible under our current system of government and pattern of financial mismanagement at the federal (and state) level is a good question.

So, stepping off the soap box -- as for 5.56mm, I have found it to be a reliable fight stopper. Your mileage may, and apparently has, varied, but I personally remain a firm believer that the thing that needs fixing is not the arrow, it's the indian and his bow. Better training and better optics for acquisition/PID/engagement are where we need to spend our money. Sinking funds into a new caliber or new service rifle with existing technology simply won't give us any significantly quantifiable improvement.
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Old March 5, 2011, 04:47 PM   #91
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For the most part, no, they're not. Blast enough rounds at a piece of terrain and you may hit something (as per the reporter that caught a round in the clip), but it's not very effective. But the bad guys have learned that the alternative of closing up the distance -- to effective gunfighing range for either side -- results in them coming out on the losing end most of the time. And a lot of those guys aren't true believers, they're just local schmoes getting paid to shoot at Americans, so popping rounds off at nuisance range is a pretty good way to collect that paycheck.

(There are, obviously, some very notable exceptions to that.)
Judging bythe video, sure enough, if you blast enough rounds you may hit somebody, even if it is the complete wrong compound with a guided missile.

So it is a bit hard to put much stock in the claim that soldiers want a bigger caliber. A lot seem unable to handle what they already have. A larger caliber isn't going to change their shooting performance.
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Old March 5, 2011, 06:45 PM   #92
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A friend of mine has a theory, which may or may not be accurate, but makes sense on the face of it.

He says the majority of our kids today (meaning our young troops) grew up with video games and movies and TV being their only exposure to guns, shooting, and the terminal effects of bullets.

In the games, you hit a bad guy, they go down, often spectacularly. When they get into combat and see that real life isn't quite like the games, the first thing they do is question the weapon. And since it is virtually ingrained in our culture that bigger is better, more is better, they voice a desire for a bigger (and expectedly more effective) gun.

I would expect that is where the 20% figure in the survey comes from.
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Old March 5, 2011, 08:31 PM   #93
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I think a whole lot of troops would like to hit the enemy with 7.62 rounds. Now, whether they want to carry around a 7.62 loadout, and learn a new weapon system is a different topic altogether!

The 5.56 does the job, well enough, most of the time. (It sucks being the exception. )
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Old March 5, 2011, 10:22 PM   #94
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I seen on the news a while back they were doing a poll in iraq if our troops would rather have the ak or the m4 it was 50 50. Half the troops there said they would take the ak for its reliability in the sand.They said the ranges they were shooting at that the accuracy advantage of the m4 didnt really matter.Most fire fights are 300 yards or less. I think a piston m4 in 6.8 would be nice. It would be an advantage in power and reliability.
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Old March 5, 2011, 11:04 PM   #95
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I'm building a 6.8, I won't argue it could be better. What I do question is why we need to move the existing piston out of the bolt carrier and put it on the barrel. It's been tested more than once in the last five years, and remains the same - the DI system doesn't clog up with gas residue and is not the source of stoppages. It's not where the piston is, it's not gas residue, and there isn't anything more to the AK being "reliable" except constant repetition by uninformed posters. Soldiers using the AK get jams,too.

The AR doesn't have tighter tolerances, or tightly fitted parts, what it has is a tight fisted, stingy government who won't spend money on replacing parts, issuing lube, or proper marksmanship training. The AK doesn't have uniquely designed parts that are inherently resistant to corrosion, or loose tolerances that allow dust to keep from jamming it, or even a decent amount of power and accuracy. The .30-30 is better. What it has is a strong spring and heavy bolt to force rounds chambered, and an excellent magazine design.

This is the whole point of the vaunted AK reliability, and you can see the proof in one example - a 7.62X39 conversion of an AR15. Feed ammo through a dogleg magazine into a straight mag well, it's the real jammomatic. A reliable magazine is the ultimate Holy Grail item for that combination. What the AK has is a great magazine, the rifle, it's ok. What the AR has is a great lightweight action, the magazine, it's just ok. The change to the PMag should be a major hint.

Another is that any government who can make an independent decision about which firearm to purchase doesn't choose the AK. Their delegated experts choose something else. Not even China has issued it since 1995. The biggest area of AK activity and adoption is YOU, shooters in the US, based largely on price alone. Certainly the rumors of it's reliability aren't justified by the constant posting of disappointed owners unhappy with it's lack. There's even long lists of incompatible parts and which importer/kit builders to avoid like the plague.

For a foolproof, nearly indestructible, and utterly dependable weapon to have any "don't buy from these guys" recommendations is evidence enough the gun suffers a lot with poor assembly and a lack of how to make it run right. Obviously, a $400 AK isn't the best example of the breed.
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Old March 6, 2011, 07:55 AM   #96
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I think that any argument about kill ratios of rounds fired and so on is an example of false economy. That argument has been made before when bolt actions were is use. Anyone want an M4 with a magazine cut-off?

It is true that militarily elite units existed in the past in some armies that valued highly marksmanship and fieldcraft. Nearly always they were named rifle units. They had rifles when ordinary troops has smoothbores. The differences tended to decrease when all troops has rifles but the elite status of rifle units and their kind of thinking continued, in some cases to the present day. They were different not only in the use of rifles but, in a way, also in the status of the private soldier, sometimes referred to as chosen men. The moral is, they were anything but ordinary right from the beginning. Ordinary soldiers were, well, just ordinary. I can't imagine an army were everyone is above average.

It takes a lot of people, mostly ordinary people, to run the army. On a basketball team, there are high scorers and not so high scorers. If you got rid of the ones that didn't score so well, you wouldn't have much of a team left.

The army, however, is more flexible than we give it credit for and there are options in place for equipping soldiers with various degrees of ability. Even the basic infantryman is likely to have optical sights and even combat soldiers who are not infantry do, too. Then there are the designated marksmen and even snipers. I think they pretty much have all the bases covered, although you will find lots of things written by people who seem sore that the army didn't do things exactly the way they would have.
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Old March 7, 2011, 09:08 AM   #97
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I came to the same conclusion as the Army and bought a LR 308.
It is a good thing the Army kept some of those obselete M-14 rifles in their inventory.
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Old March 7, 2011, 09:55 AM   #98
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Same conclusion? So you bought your LR-308 to go with the 40 AR-15s you already have?
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Old March 7, 2011, 10:02 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by jimbo686
One other thing about that video reinforcing some of the points HorseSoldier and Tirod have been making, take a look at the Marines firing in that video. These are Marines, who still receive instruction and qualify on 500m ranges. Look at some of the firing positions and support being used - for the most part, it is good; but there are a couple of instances where guys are using positions that don't strike me as being very stable for engaging someone at over 500m.

Personally, looking at that video, I have a hard time seeing a point in it where I think "Now right there, if that Marine had a 6.5/6.8/6mm PPC/7.62x51 rifle with good accuracy, it would have made all the difference in how this played out."
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Old March 7, 2011, 10:54 AM   #100
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The Army refitted 5,000 M14's and added them to the 100,000 M16's and M4's already there. Small change. They already have crew served weapons in the units, it was the small foot patrol who needed a portable one man weapon with 600m effective range. Why? Because Haji can't shoot his AK accurately over 300m, and went to using old .50 cal Russian machine guns and locally made copies of the Enfield shooting .303.

We're talking a hand filed copy of a turn of the century bolt action. That's a serious threat we should then reequip our soldiers to respond to? We need to buy 100,000 SCAR H's to shoot back at a .303 plinker? No way he accurately puts rounds on anything at 600m, he's just trying to harrass and interdict.

Don't forget, he gets about 12 x 30 back at him for his 5. Odds are, we will get luckier than he will. To make sure, add in the SDM who is targeting him with a proper long distance scope, and he not only can't move away safely, he's pinned down. At that point, air, artillery, or another sniper within a mile can assist.

Long term, I see a laser designating small rocket with thermal sighting be developed. Until then, the LAW and other small rockets have found a new purpose in battle, and the airburst 20mm grenade launcher is already earning some respect.

All the money to downgrade our fighting capability with 100,000 SCAR .308s is better off spent adding one practical, long range weapon to enhance our fighting ability. That's what the battle experts are doing - adding one old M14, a grenade launcher, some LAWs, etc. Not screwing the pooch making each soldier carry a heavier weapon they won't shoot much, less ammo, and having less combat power.

I played both side of that street for 22 years, hunted with a HK91, trained with an M16. M16 wins humping full battle rattle. HK hit the road. It is very much caliber specific, move up in caliber, you actually get less effective. No Army is made up of hundreds of thousands of trained snipers. Only 10% of ours is even Combat Arms. The rest need personal protection devices, not main battle rifles to lug to the copier, trip over at their COMMS station, or have strapped to their back in triage.

Whatever job you are employed at RIGHT NOW, think about how to carry a weapon, and what you would want on a daily basis. Well, you HAVE, CCW carriers, a sample cross section of both genders and most walks in life, all report they generally drop big calibers and large frames as bulky and unnecessary. Same factors for any Army, a CW3 in a maintenance shop or Major out checking mess fac's in the field don't want or need an M14. The M4 is about more than they want already, and with HMMV's as transportation, a chest holster with handgun preferred. Easier to get to and use dismounting, then a subgun to clear the street if necessary.

One in one hundred have served, 99 don't have a clue.

Horsesoldier, this is a great tag team match. Arguing with the Infantry is like wrestling a pig, everybody gets dirty, but the pig likes it!
tirod is offline  
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