The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 27, 2013, 07:03 PM   #1
Crioche
Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Northwest UK
Posts: 36
Enhanced Performance 5.56mm

I was interested to read about the improvements being made to service 5.56mm rounds; especially the M855A1 & Mk.262 Mod 0 / Mk.318 SOST. I'm retired from the Army now, but I still like to keep my ear to the ground.

Does anyone have any feedback from operations as to whether these rounds are more effective on the enemy?

In the UK the SAS have announced they are seeking a 7.62mm rifle, probably a HK417, for their operations. They want a round that kills more reliably than 5.56mm, which I think most soldiers would like!

It makes me ponder whether, if these improved 5.56mm rounds aren't working, we should be looking at alternates such as the 6.5mm; or perhaps even starting from a blank sheet of paper and developing something new.

After all, it isn't like we're short of enemy to try it on.
__________________
Mike
Crioche is offline  
Old March 27, 2013, 11:35 PM   #2
JD0x0
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2013
Posts: 906
Im confused as to why there is no .243 NATO. It uses the same case as the 7.62 NATO but due to firing lighter rounds, has less recoil. It's also a very flat shooting round. Seems like it could be a very effective military round. Better BC and SD than .223 with more energy and penetration potential.

Theres been talk of the 6.8 SPC replacing 5.56 NATO, but I don't really see the point when a militarized .243 Win would perform better an be cheaper to manufacture.
JD0x0 is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 05:09 AM   #3
eodinert
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 44
The 308 is getting used because of its longer range, not because of terminal ballistics.

There is a 77 grain 5.56 round that's working well out of short barrels, too.
eodinert is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 05:58 AM   #4
jason41987
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 19, 2012
Posts: 479
and a .243 would still limit how many rounds a soldier could carry.. id suggest 6x45mm, however ballistics i find are actually worse with that than simply loading 5.56mm with 80 grain bullets which extend the range too through better ballistic coefficiencies

im not sure you can make much improvement than going with a higher BC, more accurate bullet without going to an entirely new cartridge (i really like the 6.8SPC for a great all-around cartridge)
jason41987 is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 08:32 AM   #5
greentick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2011
Location: Deep South
Posts: 159
Here's a 140gr 6.8mm offering from SSA that is supersonic past 1000yds, 500ft-lbs energy at 800yds.

C Products Defense makes a 6.8 steel mag with internal length about 2.305" tho I have seen a post saying the 140gr bergers from SSA would not fit (COAL of 2.300" per SSA).
__________________
NYS expat happily living in the deep South
greentick is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 08:38 AM   #6
greentick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2011
Location: Deep South
Posts: 159
Quote:
After all, it isn't like we're short of enemy try it on
true that
__________________
NYS expat happily living in the deep South
greentick is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 08:40 AM   #7
CTS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: NE Georgia
Posts: 1,070
Quote:
Theres been talk of the 6.8 SPC replacing 5.56 NATO, but I don't really see the point when a militarized .243 Win would perform better an be cheaper to manufacture.
One reason is that the .243 would require a completely different platform due to it's OAL. The 6.8 will fit in the standard size mag well of the M16/M4 so all that would be needed would be barrel, bolt and mag change where the .243 is the same length as the 7.62 Nato and would require the AR10 sized rifle which is heavier, would require a complete replacement of everything they already have in service and defeats the whole purpose of the smaller lighter platform.
CTS is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 08:53 AM   #8
breakingcontact
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 736
Re: Enhanced Performance 5.56mm

Well, first it is way cheapest to engineer some new bullet designs instead of replacing a huge amount of rifles.

Also...aside from anecdotal evidence, is the 556 doing a poor job?

Also while I'm all for tools that keep our fighting men alive, its not necessarily the case that with some whizzbang new round or platform that Iraq and Afghanistan would have turned out any differently.

Its a lousy reality that we go to war with the weapons we have not the weapons we want to have (or even those that are appropriate for that theater).

Would using M16A2 rifles make the round more effective enough?

Suppose if they converted ARs en masse to 6.8 SPC that would still be cheaper than going to a whole different weapon.
breakingcontact is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 04:34 PM   #9
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 6,016
The rifle, and chambering works just fine the way it is used 95% of the time. Soldiers typically are shooting at much closer ranges, well under 100 yards. Military strategy is much different than in previous wars. Today's rifles are more of a SD close range protection weapon, or close quarters weapon. If long range targets need to be taken out air strikes and artillery are more commonly used rather than a frontal assault with rifle squads.

A larger, longer, heavier, more powerful rifle might be an advanage in rare situations, but would be a handicap more often than not.

The older Vietnam era 55 gr bullets are still probably quicker to put down an enemy soldier, especially up close. But the heavier bullets currrently used penetrate barriers and provide a bit more punch at longer range.

I don't see anything else out there that offers a significant improvement over what we are using. Certainly not enough to justify any extra expense. I've several friends and relatives who have spent time in combat in the sandbox since this started. None had any issues with what they were issued.
jmr40 is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 04:55 PM   #10
breakingcontact
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 736
Re: Enhanced Performance 5.56mm

Jmr40 said it pretty well.

Mixing in more dedicated marksmen rifles such as M14s or AR10s (whatever the military designation is escapes me) would be a good solution. Too often people who weren't in the military or otherwise unaware don't understand how layered the battlefield is and there isn't some universal weapon whether we are talking rifles, machine guns, air craft, mortars, armor, mechanized infantry vehicles...there just isn't one best thing.

I also think our obsession with fighting rifles shows are desire to take the fight to the enemy in an old fashioned firefight. Of course firefights still happen, but things are so lopsided that the specific rifles used rarely determine the outcome of the battle. Whether "they' know we are leaving base at 0430 hours due to Intel, have bombs in the road or can escape due to knowing the terrain better and "us" being able to call in air strikes or artillery, having appropriately bomb resistant vehicles and cleared MSRs and a clear knowledge of who and where the true enemy is, these are the things that matter far more in this current mess of a war we are in. Who knows what the next war will bring. But I'm sure there will be people online debating the rifles used.
breakingcontact is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 05:48 PM   #11
Downeast
Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2012
Posts: 19
Heck with the "enhanced" stuff. I just wish I could find some regular 5.56 @ pre-panic prices.
Downeast is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 06:25 PM   #12
CTS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: NE Georgia
Posts: 1,070
I put in 11 years and in no way was I putting down the 5.56x45. I know that it does the job it was designed for. I was just attempting to answer someone's question.
CTS is offline  
Old March 28, 2013, 06:54 PM   #13
SC4006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 332
jmr40 put it very well I think. The 5.56 NATO is definitely adequate for the roles today's military riflemen play. Also, having a new chambering would be a LOT of money and take a long time, because we would be starting from scratch. New rifles (or maybe just new uppers designed for current AR type rifles), new equipment to make the new round, and a heck of a lot of testing, as well as a lot of other things that I didn't even think of.
__________________
Army National Guard Infantry Nov. 2013 - Pesent

They say 5 out of 4 people are bad at math, but what do I know?
SC4006 is offline  
Old March 29, 2013, 01:48 PM   #14
2damnold4this
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2009
Location: Athens, Georgia
Posts: 1,344
The British use a different 5.56 round. The British L2A2 round meets the SS109 standard as does the US M855 but the British round has a much thicker jacket than the M855, is far less likely to fragment and may be less likely to yaw than the M855.
2damnold4this is offline  
Old March 29, 2013, 02:48 PM   #15
Venom1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2008
Location: WI
Posts: 3,026
ha the old get rid of the 5.56 for a 7.62! Why? bullets are bullets are bullets. Fire enough of them in to something it usually dies. 5.56 is lighter per round, quicker to follow up and holds more per mag... IDK why you'd want to get rid of that?

the 6.8 nonsense is never gonna happen. Imagine retooling 95% of our Small arms to fit a round that we don't even have stockpiled? Riiiight.
__________________
E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.- Yeah I can do that.
I guarantee you will know it if a bicyclist hits your house going 1000 mph.
Venom1956 is offline  
Old March 29, 2013, 03:22 PM   #16
breakingcontact
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 736
Re: Enhanced Performance 5.56mm

You mention retooling to not be likely, well how about switching to a totally different rifle? Wouldn't that be even more expensive? Perhaps not on the governments scale.
breakingcontact is offline  
Old March 29, 2013, 04:00 PM   #17
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,090
Quote:
jmr40 put it very well I think. The 5.56 NATO is definitely adequate for the roles today's military riflemen play. Also, having a new chambering would be a LOT of money and take a long time, because we would be starting from scratch. New rifles (or maybe just new uppers designed for current AR type rifles), new equipment to make the new round, and a heck of a lot of testing, as well as a lot of other things that I didn't even think of.
No military round since the advent of the 30-06 in WWII has been an effective people killer.

That's because if you read the actual issue history vs the myth, they went to using the armor piercing machine run cartridge (175 gr) for 80% of the issue (the rest were tracers used to designate a position to be fired on by mortars or machine guns). Stateside the 150 gr was used for training.

An AP round put nice round holes in people, its does not expand. Poke enough holes and people die.

The original 5.56 worked better because it tumbled and cause a different type of wound effect than expanding would while keeping the ability to penetrate barrier (now), i.e. helmet as the foe was to be the Soviets with helmets. To work it has to be on the ragged edge of stability and that was a bullet length and size as well as a velocity aspect.

You strip away the nonsense PR by the army colonel who is in charge of the new rounds and its still and AP oriented round.

When you took away the velocity of the 5.56 in the 55 gr size you also took away both the tumble and the range. That move it to under 100 yds with an M4 (ergo the new normal of 100 is fine). THe M4 was issued because they wanted to fit in vehicles (the army is mobile, the Marines still being infantry kept the 20 inch M16 because they walk).

And its also a myth on the range, if even 51% was under 300 yards (not 100) then 49% of the time you would be screwed if it was over. That also means if the whole shebang winds up at 600 yards you are screwed where if its under 100, a 600 yard capability does not hurt (not quite as handy)

Afghanistan went way over not only the 100 but also the 300 yard nonsense and they had to massively increase the use of 7.62, 300 WM and the 338 Lapua as troops found themselves way outside effective engagement range and they were lobbing not shooting.

The Marines were better off because with their 20 inch issue as that retained the intended 5.56 velocity and they could engage further, but as it was not Vietnam the distances were more commonly 600yds and better.

And you do not have to do a complete change, you can put anything you want that is vastly more effective than the 5.56 uppers on a M16/MR lower.

6.8 or the more effective 6.5 Grendel (better long range terminal effects) would be just fine.

The 77 grain is actually more effective because the dynamic of it return to the tumbling effect of the old 55 gr.

The reality is that the brass does not care, they want to spend the money on the big toys (and now they have no money to spend at all). They give lip service and run a competition every few years because even the dim wits in congress realize they need better but it gets dropped because they ask for the moon instead of a realize 20 or 40% improvement. For a few hundred million they could come out with a vastly improved cartridge as well as carbine.

If they had a carbine that had the ability to change the barrel length (not on patrol, before they went out) then you cold have a rifle suited to the mission. More likely you would be able to have a mix that suited a variety of combat. Most for whatever the threat was (QQB or long shooting) and then some longer or shorter for a village check out or a longer range engagement capability.

The tech ability to improve is there, the will is not. It would be a good time to do so in a lull, but now there is no money that they would not spend anyway.
RC20 is offline  
Old March 30, 2013, 09:13 AM   #18
madcratebuilder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Location: Northern Orygun
Posts: 4,871
The 5.56 has been a man stopper for fifty years. 62gr M855 steel penetrater rounds seem to be up to the task.

The cost of just simply changing to 6.8 would be overwhelming for the armed forces with the cut backs of today.
madcratebuilder is offline  
Old March 30, 2013, 03:43 PM   #19
Achilles11B
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2010
Posts: 595
Hm, I had no idea Army infantry never walked anywhere. I guess all the rifle qualifications I did were just for fun, too, seeing as targets were from 50-300 meters.

Due to the sequester and a truckload of other factors, there aren't too many rounds that do what 5.56mm does as a military round, meaning not just flight and terminal ballistics, but size, weight and cost as well. The answer lies in training. I'll take enhanced shooters over enhanced ammo any day.
__________________
Good equipment will never be a substitute for good training.
Achilles11B is offline  
Old March 31, 2013, 02:34 PM   #20
plouffedaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 3,244
Quote:
I was interested to read about the improvements being made to service 5.56mm rounds; especially the M855A1 & Mk.262 Mod 0 / Mk.318 SOST. I'm retired from the Army now, but I still like to keep my ear to the ground.

Does anyone have any feedback from operations as to whether these rounds are more effective on the enemy?
Here's my gel test of the Mod 0:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRB0LwiNz24

I'd say it's more effective but there are still better 5.56 rounds out there that we're prohibited from using.
__________________
Mrgunsngear's Youtube Channel
Certified Glock Armorer
plouffedaddy is offline  
Old March 31, 2013, 11:19 PM   #21
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,090
Quote:
Hm, I had no idea Army infantry never walked anywhere. I guess all the rifle qualifications I did were just for fun, too, seeing as targets were from 50-300 meters.
An my apologies, I know you guys walk but the shakers and movers think Armored Infantry vs foot. Its been mostly foot in Afghanistan.

With the inability of the M16/M4 to fold the stock, that leaves two ways for a shorter rifle to get in Bradlys, APCs, Hummers and ...... is a Bullpup (not allowed) or a shorter barrel.

Shorter barrel you loose velocity, less effectiveness of the round and well as range.

Agree it works and agreed its the shooter and the tactics first.

My take is that the 6.5 G gives you a more optimum round with very little loss of capacity either in the gun or carrying amount and if its the shooter then effectiveness is indeed multiplied.

I think the foot soldier deserves both a better weapon and cartridge. I would happily give up a B2 or a couple of F-22ss to get that. As we have seen, you can use any airplane as a bomb truck (B52 is still trucking away) but the fight is won by boots on the ground (I follow history, not the papers and that been true since men have been fighting).

I think we could do far better on a cartridge and I know we can do far better on a weapons ergonomics, not just live with what we have.

Worst ergonomics is the AK (can't argue it works), next is the M16/M4 and the best I have handled is the XCR (SCAR included). I am not saying the XCR is the only one, but the layout is right and controls are where they should be as far as intuitive location of the controls and use. Add in a superior round and......
RC20 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:08 AM   #22
trg42wraglefragle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2008
Location: new zealand
Posts: 836
Trouble is the current operating procedures aren't that every rifle man should be a crack shot and take out the Taliban with a single shot, soldiers are trained to suppress the enemy until they can be taken out by a helicopter, fast jet, or artillery.

You watch the videos on youtube, none of them are taking aimed shots, they are just firing in the general direction until something bigger can take them out.

So its pointless giving them a more capable round if they're not even trained to make proper use of the current round, and the current operating procedures requires one to fire a lot of ammo, so having lighter ammo and being able to carry more of it is much more useful than a higher BC bullet that isn't hitting the enemy.
trg42wraglefragle is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 03:33 PM   #23
Venom1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2008
Location: WI
Posts: 3,026
RC20, I understand and respect your opinion but I disagree.

I'd rather have 5.56 then a .30-06 in today's battlefield hands down.
__________________
E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.- Yeah I can do that.
I guarantee you will know it if a bicyclist hits your house going 1000 mph.
Venom1956 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:00 PM   #24
militant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 475
I got rid of all my .223 rifles for two reasons. 1. Ammo prices skyrocketed 2. I cannot leagaly hunt deer with this cartrage in my state. While in sure with proper shot placement the .223 would work in the war field and hunting field, the 7.62x39 makes me feel more confident. I can provide some ballistics gel tests. If I could afford an m4 platform in 7.62, I'd own one. Right now my favorite rifle is my russian sks.
__________________
A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44
militant is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 09:44 AM   #25
Patriot86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2010
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,293
Quote:
You watch the videos on youtube, none of them are taking aimed shots, they are just firing in the general direction until something bigger can take them out.
You still have some people, mainly in the Marines taking accurate shots. Perfect example is during that HBO Documentary "The Battle of Marjah". You had a Marine(or maybe he was SF) that had a Canned-M16A4 with some kind of traditional "scope" putting down accurate fire. Seemed to be getting good effect on target too.

You would think The Military is going to need to do "something" about the M4/M16 in the next few years. I don't think they will find the money for a totally new platform, or a new caliber. The best case I could see would be providing H&K 416 uppers for existing rifles. Worse case is none of the above and things just roll on the way they are for another 10 or 20 years.
__________________
"....The swords of others will set you your limits".
Patriot86 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13212 seconds with 9 queries