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Old March 7, 2011, 12:52 PM   #101
Longdayjake
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So, which one is the wrestler and which is the pig?
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Old March 7, 2011, 03:22 PM   #102
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I have to admit that not all of us here have had an infantry background or experience. So we have other ways of looking at the situation. My background was artillery. My son's was tanks. And you should know that the purpose of artillery is to add dignity to what would otherwise be a common brawl.
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Old March 7, 2011, 05:14 PM   #103
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44AMP, I have heard that same theory for years. I also think it's accurate.
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Old March 7, 2011, 05:35 PM   #104
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I was an infatryman for nine years. As much as I hate to get into this discussion I think there are a lot of myths and non-issues floating around this thread. Personally, I have not had a problem with 5.56 stopping power, but I believe anything worth shooting is worth shooting 5 times or "until it is no longer a threat" in ROE terms. Here is my two cents:

1. Training soldiers to use a new rifle is a big non-issue, especially since all the main competetors (SCAR, 416, ACR, etc) are set up the same as the M4/M16. Semi-auto rifles are some of the simplest rifles to learn. Look at the differences between the radios and night vision devices soldiers use now compared to what they used when the M16 was initally fielded. Heck, I'm pushing 40 and am typing this on an iPhone. Anybody reading this on a computer they bought when the M16 was first adopted? Today's soldiers will learn a new rifle very quickly.

2. Ammo weight is not a problem with a slightly bigger caliber. If you look at the weight of a basic load of 5.56 and the same amount of 7.62 you would be only adding a couple of pounds at the most. Maybe the weight of one grenade. Carrying ammo may be the one thing soldiers don't complain about.

3. NATO compatability is a joke. No one I know has ever needed to rely on NATO for ammo, nor would they. It is far from standardized anyway. I have shot Aussie ammo 5.56 that was so weak it barely cycled the bolts and POI was way below our zeros. I have also shot Czech SOF ammo that was so over-pressured it destroyed two of our M4s the first time we tried it. All this was on the same firebase.

4. Cost should be the last concern when discussing changing rifles and ammo. The cost of these are a tiny little fraction of DOD's budget. It would probably cost less than one general's staff for a year to outfit the entire Army with new rifles and switch ammo calibers.

Last edited by Rob3; March 7, 2011 at 05:50 PM.
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Old March 7, 2011, 06:53 PM   #105
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2. Ammo weight is not a problem with a slightly bigger caliber. If you look at the weight of a basic load of 5.56 and the same amount of 7.62 you would be only adding a couple of pounds at the most. Maybe the weight of one grenade. Carrying ammo may be the one thing soldiers don't complain about.
210 rounds of 5.56mm loaded in 7 USGI magazines weigh right at seven pounds.

200 rounds of 7.62x51 loaded in 10 USGI M14 magazines weighs 16 pounds.

(And is also bulkier and more of a problem to lug around when you start talking about strapping that ammo to an individual soldier in an effective, accessible manner.)
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Old March 7, 2011, 07:00 PM   #106
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I could cosign on giving each fireteam's rifleman a SCAR-H or EBR, though.
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Old March 7, 2011, 07:09 PM   #107
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Good point HorseSoldier. I didn't realize it was that much of a difference.
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Old March 7, 2011, 07:12 PM   #108
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There is virtually nowhere vehicles dont accompany troops now days so the whole weight of the ammo thing is really a mediocre excuse at best.
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Old March 7, 2011, 08:53 PM   #109
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There is virtually nowhere vehicles dont accompany troops now days so the whole weight of the ammo thing is really a mediocre excuse at best
We have to be prepared for every AO.
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Old March 7, 2011, 09:43 PM   #110
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I can think of lots of places that vehicles don't accompany troops. Places and missions in Iraq, in Pakistan, the P.I., and in Afghanistan. Actually, quite a few other places for that matter.

I also notice that most of my guys equipped with SCAR-H are pretty limited on the ammo load they can hump.

As HorseSoldier noted, going to 7.62 x 51 more than doubles the weight you have to carry. I note a lot of casual assumptions concerning Soldier load in this and other threads.

Every ounce counts on when fighting on top of an 10,000 foot high ridgeline...or walking miles up a rock face...or humping through the jungle...or moving to contact across desert hardpan, city blocks, or palm groves at temperatures exceeding 130+ Fahrenheit.

Two fallacies that I see continuously repeated in these discussions are that:

1. Issuing 7.62 weapons to our guys will somehow result in a magical improvement in distance marksmanship and a quantum leap in hits & effect against the enemy ("One shot...One kill").

2. We are somehow being out gunned by generally expert enemy riflemen operating from well outside of our range fan.


Both ideas are quite simply a bunch of B.S.
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Old March 7, 2011, 10:01 PM   #111
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Of course there are places vehicles dont go but should we choose to we have options, other than built up areas, helos can cover almost any terrain unless your really pushing altitude.

Further options such as 6.8 mm would add little overall weight. Its easy to put blinders on and say we cant this and we cant that.... Its horse hockey, we could if we chose too.

We have too much mobility and techology to say can't anymore.
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Old March 7, 2011, 10:11 PM   #112
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Chindo
Quote:
2. We are somehow being out gunned by generally expert enemy riflemen operating from well outside of our range fan.
Thats true in some places. Snipers seem to be the biggest problem in our current AO, theyve already taken a close friend of mine and one of our terps. Since then I feel a little inadequate with my M4... unless of course Im gunning then the ol .50 makes me feel a little better
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Old March 7, 2011, 10:15 PM   #113
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Odd

I just discovered reading FM 3-33-9, table 2-2 that the M16a1 is only 1/4 inch longer then the M4 with the buttstock closed (30 vs. 29.75 for the M4).

The M16a1 is 3 inches shorter then the M4 when the M4s buttstock is extended.

I would have thought the M4 would be shorter.

As short as it is, the A1 still got caught in wait-a-minute bushes.
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Old March 8, 2011, 12:36 AM   #114
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How can that be possible when the M16 barrel is 5.5" longer than the M4?
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Old March 8, 2011, 07:10 AM   #115
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Interesting observations about ammo standardization, Rob 3.

My son reported that they were issued with British made 7.62 linked ammo (my son the tanker). He said it had a higher proportion of tracers but made no other comment. The US and the British actually use a lot of the same weapons but I somehow think it is just inadvertent standardization. It never seems to work when we try to do something like that. However, the truth is, there has been a lot of sharing of weapons and ammunition over the past hundred years and even before then, there were instances of foreign designed weapons being adopted. This is as true for larger caliber weapons as it is for small arms. In WWI, for instance, the allies eventually standardized on the 75mm French artillery caliber, even though, in our case, we used three different guns for it.

Actually, if you think about it, using a cartridge that weights more will not double the weight the soldier carries, it will only increase the weight of the ammunition. But that's splitting hairs and he's already going to carry all he can anyway.

This reminds me of a treatise written in the 1790s about ideas for reforming the army (the British army--we were trying to do without one then). The writer makes reference to Roman soldiers carrying such a heavy load but they were used to it because of the constant wars. He then goes on to make comments about the sort of men they had in the army then. It could have been written yesterday.
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Old March 8, 2011, 09:07 AM   #116
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The Combat Load of the Soldier has been a serious discussion since the 1930's. Things haven't improved at all with modern design and light materials. Please note the transistion to the M16 doubled the round count carried. That's the real world circumstance, moving back means pounds, not rounds. You don't get to keep the round count up, there's a limit to what the soldier carries. Being in green doesn't make you a supermachine, crikey, it's still a 125 pound 22 year old kid under all that gear, and he's carrying at least 80% body weight.

Those who need to get up to speed should try it. Load up with 80 pounds of gear and keep it on for twelve hours mowing the lawn, grilling on the deck, taking a walk with the kids down the rail trail; don't forget to put two pounds on your head.

Two weeks of that, you might be able to walk up six flights of stairs without stopping. Yes, you can get used to it, what that means is you got back to some semblance of normal - carrying 80 pounds of gear. You will still be lumbering along slow as dirt compared to someone in sandals and one chest pouch.

Vietnam was no different, we wore body armor, carried lots of ammo and defensive gear, rations, water, helmet, radio, some had NVG's, definitely binos in cooperative terrain, ad infinitum. The American Soldier isn't alone, modern Tier 1 armies all suffer too much gear in the field because they can afford it logistically. That doesn't mean you carry it every step on the way, but it's hard not to consider contingencies. The other guy keeps coming up with new ones.

Again, you don't switch to every soldier carrying a .308 to improve things, when the entire reason we dropped it was the newer weapons actually do.
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Old March 8, 2011, 09:49 AM   #117
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Quote:
PIGMAN
It is a good thing the Army kept some of those obselete M-14 rifles in their inventory.
Yep, those old piston driven 7.62mm M14s are doing a fine job as EBRs.
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Old March 8, 2011, 09:59 AM   #118
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It's all a matter of perspective and agenda...

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.
I'm sure that "fact" was put there to help prove the need for something "bigger" but all you have to do is turn that around. What it really says is that 80% of the troops were happy with the 5.56mm round. Typically, an 80% approval rating is considered pretty damn good!
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Old March 8, 2011, 11:44 AM   #119
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Getting to be more repetitive commentary than actual discussion, for all that there has been good discussion.

I have no doubt that this will come up again. Review the thread and think on it some...
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