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Old December 23, 2018, 11:32 AM   #1
WheelGunRealGun
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Adequacy of 5.56

Why is it that those who deride the 5.56 as being not powerful enough for defense/duty/military use seem to think that the .45 Auto is an immensely effective round? It’s something I’ve seen a lot, but I was under the impression that 5.56 is so much more effective that it’s not even comparable to a pistol round of any caliber.
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Old December 23, 2018, 02:28 PM   #2
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Why is it that those who deride the 5.56 as being not powerful enough for defense/duty/military use seem to think that the .45 Auto is an immensely effective round? It’s something I’ve seen a lot, but I was under the impression that 5.56 is so much more effective that it’s not even comparable to a pistol round of any caliber.
Comparing Apples and Oranges.
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Old December 23, 2018, 03:01 PM   #3
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My initial reaction is "Again? Why?" That's still good.Do "search" and read all the back threads.Its been pretty well covered.

Based on the responses,I don't accept that its "5.56 vs 7.62x51,and I don't accept its apples and oranges. The myth still gets repeated that the 45 ACP will lift a man off his feet and throw him backwards,and some believe the 7.62 x39 weapons are superior to the 5.56nweapons...though Russia and China have made changes to smaller calibers.

The 30 carbine(110 gr 30ncal at 2000 fps) bounces off frozen Chinese battle dress while the 7.62 x39 is a battle rifle powerhouse (123 gr bullet at 2350 fps)


Its all mostly heresay and emotion based BS by folks who like to argue an opiniom
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Old December 23, 2018, 03:56 PM   #4
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Here are a couple of other imponderables.

Why do so many fans of the 9 mm Luger cartridge for handguns deride the thought of a pistol caliber carbine chambered in 9x19 for home self-defense? As if 9 mm Luger somehow becomes ineffective when shot out of a long barrel with 150-200 fps greater muzzle velocity?

Why do so many people who like both 9 mm Luger and .45 ACP for handguns deride the .40 S&W cartridge because it is a "compromise"? As if a cartridge that makes intermediate size holes and has an intermediate magazine capacity somehow becomes inferior to both 9 mm and .45 ACP.

As for 5.56x45, when it comes to FMJ ammunition its wounding capacity is highly variable. If the projectile tumbles and/or fragments before it exits it can be highly lethal. If not, it might just drill holes no bigger than those that a 22 LR projectile would make. But nobody can argue that 5.56x45 FMJ has killed a hell of a lot of people.

For handguns, lethality pretty much depends on what you hit assuming penetration is adequate. Larger diameter projectiles and projectiles that expand increase slightly the chance that any given hit will damage a critical structure.

With high velocity rifle cartridges many believe that phenomena such as "hydrostatic shock" and "energy deposit" come into play, although from what I have seen I am somewhat skeptical.

IMO if you want a high likelihood of quick incapacitation with a single decent hit, skip the rifle and the handgun and go directly to a 12 gauge.
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Old December 23, 2018, 04:46 PM   #5
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Shoot a pronghorn with a 3000 fps 160 gr Sierra boat tail from a 7mm Ren Mag and hit bone in the shoulder and you will believe high velocity and hydrostatic shock are real. First antelope about 50 years ago.Very messy.
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Old December 23, 2018, 05:36 PM   #6
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Why is it that those who deride the 5.56 as being not powerful enough for defense/duty/military use seem to think that the .45 Auto is an immensely effective round?
Who have you ever heard make that argument? I never have.
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Old December 23, 2018, 05:45 PM   #7
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Shot. Placement.

A very well placed 5.56 or even .17 HMR (in the "Credit Card") can do significantly more damage than a .50 BMG poorly placed shot (in the left pinky).
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Old December 23, 2018, 06:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HiBC View Post
Shoot a pronghorn with a 3000 fps 160 gr Sierra boat tail from a 7mm Ren Mag and hit bone in the shoulder and you will believe high velocity and hydrostatic shock are real. First antelope about 50 years ago.Very messy.
We were talking about the 5.56x45 cartridge. And I have seen, treated, and operated on multiple people who have been shot with it.
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Old December 23, 2018, 07:39 PM   #9
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Comparing Apples and Oranges.
I'd agree in the context of long range shooting, but not in the context of close-in self defense/duty use. The bad guy breaking into your house has the same physiology whether you're using a pistol or a rifle. They're both tools for the same job.

Quote:
Why do so many fans of the 9 mm Luger cartridge for handguns deride the thought of a pistol caliber carbine chambered in 9x19 for home self-defense? As if 9 mm Luger somehow becomes ineffective when shot out of a long barrel with 150-200 fps greater muzzle velocity?
My guess is that they recognize pistol calibers are sub-optimal in any circumstance, but that pistols are used for convenience of carry. If you're going to go to a rifle-length weapon, you may as well take advantage of a rifle's superior terminal ballistics. Also, since JHP/PT handgun rounds are designed to expand and penetrate at a certain velocity, the added velocity might actually cause it to penetrate too shallowly. Again, just my guess.

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With high velocity rifle cartridges many believe that phenomena such as "hydrostatic shock" and "energy deposit" come into play, although from what I have seen I am somewhat skeptical.
I won't even pretend to know what those terms entail, but as I understood it, the thing that makes rifle rounds so much more effective is that the temporary cavity it makes actually imparts permanent damage, and this is something measurable in wounds. I'm no medical professional or ballistics expert, though.
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Old December 23, 2018, 08:07 PM   #10
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pblanc,my experience is with big game hunting cartridges.I doubt you would operate on anyone who had been hit in the big part with a 160 gr Sierra fired from a 7mm Rem Mag.They went to the morgue.
Exit wound the size of a football.Far shoulde and blade blown loose except for some hide and string. Meat jellied,bubbled,and bloodshot up into the backstraps.

I use a .257 now. I don't think any shotgun load can do the massive trauma of a big game high vel expanding hunting load.

If they enter the chest cavity,the heartb and lungs become unidentifiable bloody soup chunks.

I'm not disrespecting your observations.I hope you don't have to deal with what I have seen.
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Old December 23, 2018, 08:48 PM   #11
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For what it is worth, intermediate power high velocity rifle cartridges such as the 5.45x45 and 7.62x39 do not impart permanent damage as a result of the temporary or secondary cavity effect, or if they do they do not do so to any very significant degree or do not do so with any consistency.

If you see the tissue damage that results from these wounds, it is typically limited to tissue that is directly impacted by the projectile or projectile fragments. Any Spitzer FMJ projectile has a tendency to trade ends and tumble after impact, but for the intermediate power rifle cartridges mentioned, this may not happen until the projectile has exited. The 55 grain 5.56x45 cartridge especially has a tendency to break apart at the cannalature when it tumbles, and especially when it strikes bone, and when it does so the fragments can impart extensive tissue damage. But when it doesn't the typical picture seen in soft tissue is a straight hole in which the tissue damage is pretty much limited to the permanent crush injury wound tract.

Obviously, with cartridges of immensely greater power things might well be different. Surgeons typically don't see to many of those gunshot wounds in civilian practice. During the mid to late 1970s intermediate power, high velocity rifle wounds were being seen in greater numbers in civilian practice. Most of these resulted from bring back rifles from Vietnam and some of them found their way into the wrong hands. During a portion of that time I was at the Cook County Hospital Trauma Unit where most of the gunshot wounds that occurred within the city limits of Chicago wound up so we saw a fair number of those.

The surgical dogma that was handed down based on the experience of military trauma surgeons in Vietnam was that all of these high velocity rifle wounds resulted in extensive soft tissue devitalization as a result of tissue stretch in the secondary wound cavity and therefore required extensive debridement. But as time went on, it became clear that this was often not the case, and following this dictum resulted in unnecessarily large incisions and sacrifice of a lot of tissue that turned out to be viable. So the surgical dictum became "treat the wound, not the weapon".

It was found that intermediate high velocity rifle wounds in which the projectile remained intact and did not tumble could usually be quite successfully treated with debridement of a small ellipse of skin at the entry and exit wounds, irrigation of the wound tract with antibiotic solution, and a brief course of systemic antibiotics. Secondary debridement in these cases was not usually required.
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Old December 23, 2018, 09:36 PM   #12
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Why is it that those who deride the 5.56 as being not powerful enough for defense/duty/military use seem to think that the .45 Auto is an immensely effective round?
It might be because that when all fails, when things don't work the way we're promised, a half inch hole is better than a quarter inch hole.
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Old December 24, 2018, 07:08 AM   #13
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5.56 is inadequate. Our troops knew that in, what 65'. It wasn't just the rifle and the climate they were in.
Even today the military is looking for a more effective cartridge. Hence the 6.8, 450 BM and others.

Heck even the 45ACP 1911 and 308 M14 are still used by SOG.

Time to go bark up a different tree. Us squirrels don't care anymore in this one.
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Old December 24, 2018, 02:16 PM   #14
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Heck even the 45ACP 1911 and 308 M14 are still used by SOG.
SOG hasn't even existed for a very long time... Not sure where you got that from.
MARSOC dropped their M45 1911s and went for the G19.
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Old December 26, 2018, 03:30 PM   #15
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Blanket statements about "military" cartridges like the .223, .30-06, and 308 being suitable or "devastating" on various animals, etc. aren't correct unless game-appropriate expanding bullets are shot in them at near-maximum velocities.

We've seen military or hard-cast pointed bullets zip through flesh and just make holes and don't severely blow-out lungs and destroy organs like expanding bullets.

I have some Winchester Deer Season rounds in both .243 and .270 and read glowing reports on game, but haven't gotten any critters with mine yet. With deer season over, it's unlikely that I'll shoot anything with them until next spring...fall.
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Old December 26, 2018, 06:34 PM   #16
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Why do people ask questions that only starts arguments and caliber wars? I don't want to be hit by anything mentioned in the previous comments.
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Old December 27, 2018, 10:33 AM   #17
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More than enough.
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