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Old December 6, 2011, 10:06 PM   #26
Jo6pak
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Yes, the 5.56 NATO will be replaced...eventually. But I'll have alot more grey hair when it happens, and it's replacement probably hasn't even been designed yet.
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:43 PM   #27
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Any replacement will have to ditch the AR magazine. It needlessly limits cartridge OAL. Longer cartridges must be allowed.
The cartridges already exist. Pick any 308, 270, 3006 in semi auto

Now the military cartridge does as well but the 6.5 or the 6.8 meet the bill quite nicely in the 5.56 magazine length. Lots of ammo has proven to be more better than smaller more accurate long range amounts (3006 was sighted out to 2500 yards for insanity sake!)

6.5 is more overall better, 6.8 if they decide to limit it a bit more. Just fine until they manage to get something to target over the horizon that a grunt can carry.
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:47 PM   #28
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I think with better bullets, ie the 77 grn SMKs used by our SDM, you'll find the 223/5.56 will be with us a long time.
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:51 PM   #29
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Unlike the 5.56 the 9mm is not controversial.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha etc..........

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you'll find the 223/5.56 will be with us a long time.

True but sad.
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Old December 6, 2011, 11:12 PM   #30
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I don't think there is anything wrong with the 5.56 as long as there are several semi and full auto 7.62's around

In WW2 a fellow and one other person killed 50+ germans in a surprise attack on some barracks. They were primarily using a Thompson. Not a bad weapon to have around.
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Old December 7, 2011, 12:07 AM   #31
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We're already testing the next ammo, and it won't be a cartridge as we know it.

What "controversial" issues does the 5.56 have?

Not enough lethality - but frankly, that's not modern warfare. We stepped away from DRT massive lead bullets to small jacketed ones to shoot them more often and get more hits on the battlefield. Since human soldiers and existing terrain are most likely going to stay the same, it's 3-500m max, and recoil less than 35 pounds. That means, small bullets, and dealing with the enemy not shooting back - which isn't Dead Right There instantaneous kills. You can't even get that with the .50BMG, so stop trying.

Not enough cartridge length - so, eliminate the cartridge. Now, it's not a problem.

A sealing chamber that doesn't need an expanded brass case to do it - ok, no brass, allow gas pressure to act as the counterpressure. Like how gas pressure on the piston behind the AR bolt balances the pressure of the case against the face, have the bolt seal by using pressure to do it.

Failure to extract - with no brass case, there's no failure, period.

Failure to feed - which is caused by magazine design. The best magazines aren't complicated high pressure spiral spring powered, curved double stack columns feeding into a straight mag well. What's with that, no wonder the AK is a reliable feeder, and the AR took 40 years to get a magazine that works - the Pmag. So, make it a straight column with clock spring power that exerts the optimum pressure regardless of the number of loads in the stack.

Jams - caused by long cartridges that point too high and then don't chamber, blocking the bolt travel - use a short fat round that doesn't hang up against the gas tube, and is sufficiently tapered to funnel into the chamber. With a shuttle bolt that operates in a vertical plane, it can slope enough on the leading edge to finish pushing a slower round into the chamber.

Not being able to have the optimum bullet shape - pretty much a no brainer now, it isn't held by the case neck, and can be just exactly as long as needed for the 300-500m normal window of infantry combat.

The Army already has enough prototype weapons to run exercises in Battalion strength, and SOCOM is already signed on to help test. Since the brass case is gone, ammo weight 40% less, which means 40% more rounds per pound issued. That's 40% more firepower, and hits go up by the ratio 40% more ammo provides. That's results.

Most of the historically challenged keep reaching back and suggesting a cartridge that already exists, when the track record of adoption is to accept something that didn't exist AT ALL before. Wake up, what we're going to get isn't currently used anywhere or even given a name outside a few test labs. It's named after the program that created it - LSAT.
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Old December 7, 2011, 01:24 AM   #32
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Caseless ammo would be good... but it still has a lot of challenges to overcome. While I'm sure it's possible to overcome some of them, whether it's financially feasible is something else... and they still haven't solved the heat problem. See, brass acts like a heat-sink... it takes heat with it when it goes. When caseless systems fire, the heat has nowhere to go, and so it stays in the gun. This means higher temperatures in the chamber, faster, and higher temperatures in general. Higher temperatures mean more cookoffs, more wear... in fact, heat's just not that great a thing to have in a gun, period. If there is one thing that kills the idea, it will be this.
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Old December 7, 2011, 06:41 AM   #33
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Weren't we already using caseless ammo back in 1776?
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Old December 7, 2011, 10:09 AM   #34
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Why is heat a problem? Full auto MG's with linked belts of 250 rounds deal with it. On a burst fire infantry weapon, that's been dealt with by holding the bolt back and leaving the chamber open.

Colt already has a prototype that fires close and open bolt, when it hits a predetermined temp it switches over on it's own. Submachine guns mostly fire open bolt.

Worried about the bolt chambering and moving the sight picture? The LSAT uses a shuttle bolt that reciprocates vertically, and the mechanism isn't high mass.

Since there's already video of LSAT's firing full auto with 100 round belts on youtube, I think the engineers were more than aware of the heat sinking and addressed it. Is it being said they're a bunch of morons and don't have a clue?
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Old December 7, 2011, 12:00 PM   #35
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Of course I didn't suggest that they were morons. Come now, we know better than to post stuff like that around here... or we should. Engineers get paid to try to solve problems. That doesn't mean that perfectly good engineers can't set out to solve a problem and fail - or fail to come in within their allotted budget. Spend some time working with engineers and you'll discover they're just as human as the rest of us... trust me.

However, I did not pick the heat issue out of the air. I did some reading back on caseless ammo several years ago, and I remember that being one of the points of criticism. Based on what I read about LSAT yesterday, they're working on coating the current crop of caseless ammo with a heat-insulating material which should help alleviate the problem of cookoffs. Hopefully it won't simultaneously cause ignition issues - I doubt it will, primers can be setup a multitude of ways I imagine.

I would like to point out that a video on Youtube of an MG firing 100 round belts is nothing to celebrate. Yes, they have a functional system, this is good. But there is a lot we don't know about how such a performance effected the internal parts of the gun, or how much more expensive the gun might be to protect it from the rigors of that exercise. They might have it all figured out, but we don't know that.

Don't get me wrong, I would like to believe my brother and the rest of the Marines will get handed these things next year, and that they work beautifully. Those guys are good shots, and it makes me giggle to imagine them with weapons that could fire a three-round burst before the recoil hits them. It'd be just as good to imagine that I could go out an buy firearms that work on the caseless system in 5 years from now. I suspect that if LSAT is going to make any contribution in a real way, it will be the polymer cased ammo they're developing alongside the caseless. The only problem with that is, if they sell the military on one, we might as well kiss the other goodbye. They're not about to adopt, purchase, train, distribute, and support a totally new weapons system and then do it all over again 10 years from now when they get the caseless stuff worked out.

Still... I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old December 7, 2011, 04:16 PM   #36
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It'd be just as good to imagine that I could go out an buy firearms that work on the caseless system in 5 years from now.
70 years ago, the German army developed and tested caseless ammo. It didn't work.

35 or so years ago, Daisy marketed a caseless ammo rifle. It didn't work.

About 10 or so years ago, the US military tested caseless ammo. It didn't work.

Without a major change in technology over the next 5 years, it probably won't work then, either.

Actually, the US military tested, adopted and used a caseless ammo service rifle. In 1803.

Albert Einstein said "I do not know what weapons will be used to fight World War 3, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones". So, who knows what the future holds? Plasma rifles in the 40 megawatt range?
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Old December 7, 2011, 04:23 PM   #37
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Read that the extended ranges in Afghanistan and being taken under fire with the 14.5 mm guns and RPGs is leading thought to longer range explosive type weapons like the Carl Gustav. Playing around with various rifle rounds like the 6.8s, 308s, etc. might not be enough oomph for a place like that.

But then when we fight someone in a tight place it will be back to light and lots of round guns - like the 5.56.
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Old December 7, 2011, 04:28 PM   #38
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That's sort of the tone I wanted to convey. I WANT it to work, I HOPE for it to work, I WISH it would work, but I'm not holding my breath. There are a lot of hurdles to jump before it goes anywhere... and yes, my 5 year figure was a bit optimistic, wasn't it?

The fact is that a case of any material, not just brass, provides a lot of convenience, strength, and cleanliness to a system that is built around burning stuff. The success of a caseless system is totally dependent on the work of chemists... if they can make it the right density, burn clean, burn at the right rate, not too sensitive to moisture, not prone to cook-offs, etc... then the rest of the team can move ahead. If the right material isn't to be found... then it's an exercise in futility.
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Old December 7, 2011, 04:30 PM   #39
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The 5.56x45 will be with us, albeit possibly tweaked, until a revolution in small arms develops like guided rounds, explosive rounds, or energy weapons.
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Old December 7, 2011, 08:21 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Scorch
70 years ago, the German army developed and tested caseless ammo. It didn't work.

35 or so years ago, Daisy marketed a caseless ammo rifle. It didn't work.

About 10 or so years ago, the US military tested caseless ammo. It didn't work.
Well, actually they probably "worked", they just had too many drawbacks and too few advantages to displace conventional cartridges.
Just like the Wankel engine works but hasn't displaced the conventional piston engine even after over 40 years of existence.
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Old December 7, 2011, 09:02 PM   #41
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Nothing personal Mogog, but I would replace it in a heart beat. 10 years for a war we can not win, over 5,000 soldiers dead and how many wounded?? And having to sneak out with our tails between our legs. And how much money has this cost the US??
And this is the M16's fault how?
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Old December 7, 2011, 09:24 PM   #42
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Yes it's the M-16's fault, pick up a M-249 SAW and you will see the difference.

Jim

Even the Russians know a good gun when they see it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCoFvH8zQYI
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Old December 7, 2011, 09:28 PM   #43
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I saw the cassless tested 12 years ago at Stennis space center in MS on the range. The guys I talk to were not having any problems with it. Personally I like the 300 whisper, It has performed wonderfully for me. but like always to each his on.
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Old December 7, 2011, 10:53 PM   #44
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It's a nice 22 bullet, I have 2 AR's and it is a nice varmint round just not heavy enough IMHO for serious wet work. Yes it works, but losses too much punch at long range.
That has nothing to do with your previous post and a poor assessment of the capability of the cartridge based on nothing. I would add that more than 100,000 Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Jordanians and Sauds would disagree with you and agree with me.

If they could.
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Old December 7, 2011, 11:03 PM   #45
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I would add that more than 100,000 Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Jordanians and Sauds would disagree with you and agree with me.

What??? They don't use the 5.56. If your talking about them being shot with it, I think your after action reports are way off. Reminds me of VN and General Westmoreland's BS. Are you counting ears?

Jim
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Old December 7, 2011, 11:06 PM   #46
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How many of those people were actually killed by small arms fire, as opposed to IUDs, suicide bombers, and air strikes?
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Old December 7, 2011, 11:28 PM   #47
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Ask me in 21 years and I'll tell you. Maybe.
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Old December 7, 2011, 11:48 PM   #48
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Talk to a Marine, they tell you they know how to shot, and shot place means everything.

I think it comes down to mastering your weapon and being the best killing machine possible with it, and stop looking for cheap excuses why you cant kill the enemy.
Agree to a point... I am a Marine. Afghan Vet. When they weren't juicing on medicinal Adrenaline, one or two shots would take them down. When they were juicing, you had to hit bone... and that's with 7.62 as well.

Our training adapted after our initial visit to Afghanistan. "Field fire" was changed to teach us one shot in the pelvis, one shot in the chest/head.

The Marine IS the weapon... the rifle is just a tool.
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Old December 7, 2011, 11:53 PM   #49
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And I would add that if you want to talk about the REAL controversial cartridge... Let's talk about the 9mm for military use.

Switching from the 1911 was a mistake. Seen 3 shots to the chest do nothing to deter an attack.

My buddy's unit was part of the test phase of the Springfield XD/XM? and S&W M&P's for the replacement contract that was again, mistakingly awarded to Beretta.
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Old December 8, 2011, 12:02 AM   #50
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Do pistols really see any combat action? Aren't they last ditch weapons worn by people who are not generally expected to see combat just in case they need to defend themselves?
In the grand scheme of things, our officers could wear Browning Buckmarks and it would make no significant difference in our wars.
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