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Old August 20, 2017, 11:04 PM   #26
Jim Watson
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I have a little different recollection on the current crop of US small arms.

We did indeed agree with NATO that our next pistol would be a 9mm, as we insisted on the 7.62, being willing to take no less powerful rifle than .30-06.
Trials were held in and after 1949, giving us the Colt Commander and S&W M39. The High Standard and Inglis Lightweight did not carry through to commercial manufacture. But the US military had enough .45s for the time being.

Fast forward to about 1980. The many .38 revolvers bought as secondary standard and still in wide use by the USAF were wearing out. A gunzine article of the time said that 40% of those sent for repair were rejected as irreparable. The USAF held their own trials and picked the Beretta. This left the Army playing catchup and everything had to be done over. A cynic might think the result was foreordained.
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Old August 21, 2017, 10:05 PM   #27
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"...pushing hard for NATO to adopt our new 7.62x51mm..." No pushing involved. U.S. government said do it or we'll leave NATO.
If that isn't pushing, I don't know what is....
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Old August 22, 2017, 06:12 PM   #28
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Ive seen a number of people pushed against a wall so hard that they were addled for decades.
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Old August 25, 2017, 06:39 AM   #29
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To get back to them point, so you folks think that conventinal, cased ammo will be around in them Armes Forces for at least them next decade? (I don't care if the cases are brass or poly, as long as the basic design is maintained...)
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Old August 25, 2017, 07:58 AM   #30
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Kinda goes back to the 9mm -vs- 40S&W thing.

...at some point when the technology catches up and these rounds provide 2x the power at 25% less weight AND volume, them rounds are gonna take off.
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Old August 25, 2017, 08:37 AM   #31
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Where is the benefit? What are the drawbacks?
Weight would be the prime benefit. That and it would be a big fat porky government contract for someone.

The biggest drawback and showstopping problem with caesless/polymer cased ammo has always been heat: the brass cases act as a heat sink and remove that heat from the chamber. IIRC, the Germans (Federal Republican flavor at the time) developed a gun that used caseless ammo back in the 70's/ early 80's .... the chamber would get hot and cook-off's and runaways resulted..... they redid the propellant to be harder to ignite and then it just melted, really gumming things up.....
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Old August 25, 2017, 08:40 AM   #32
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Ah there it is:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_G11
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Old August 25, 2017, 09:24 AM   #33
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Jim Bob, the 6mm that they were looking at was much heavier than the current 5.56. Weighs. The other considerations you say are valid. Now seriously, in a prolonged firefight, that sounds kind of bothersome. We still are left with a whole lot of drawbacks that I perceive to the program.

The only compelling reason that I can find is that a 6mms round will be far better at killing, which is important.

I believe that we can redesign the 5.56with improved case capacity, New powder, careful bullet design,and mods to bolt, chamber, and magazine. I don't think that we can efficiently create this new design.

Do we still use the phrase pork barrel? Throwing money at a project with a small likelihood of actual adoption still employs people. Sending in progress reports is good enough.

A concern that I have is reliability and durability. It was said earlier that the 1911 pistols literally rattled after years of use. Will these things make a thousand, ten thousand rounds between rebuilds?
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Old August 25, 2017, 10:28 PM   #34
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Jim Bob, the 6mm that they were looking at was much heavier than the current 5.56. Weighs.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you .... if you were referring to the H&K G11 that I linked.... that system was built around a 4.7x33mm caseless round: tiny, even when compared to the current 5.56..... I think it's a fool's errand, myself..... the .mil is having problems with the 5.56x45 precisely because it is too small/light to be ballisticly efficient at distances commonly encountered in Afghanistan and Iraq- the local fuzzy wuzzies can pop off with a Dushka, PKM, a volley of RPGs, or even a few potshots with ancient Enfeilds or Mosins at a patrol from the other side of a valley and then scoot before the tac air shows or is cleared to engage ..... the patrol might as well spit at their attackers as engage with the carbines and 249's they carry with them ..... Terry Taliban doesn't have to win every or even any firefight, he just has to keep fighting and inflicting casualties to "Win" .....
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Old August 26, 2017, 10:01 AM   #35
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The cartridges being consider are not small like the 5.56 Nato. Most will require a AR10 or similar designed rifle. Several are smaller but still require a magwell that allows a OAL of greater than three inches. All will have greater range and be more lethal than the 5.56 Nato round.
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Old August 26, 2017, 11:34 AM   #36
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Jim, I looked up the ones being developed. It seems that they are working on a 5.56 and a ballistically superior six

The 5.56,imo, has nowhere for significant improvement.

Largest possible weight and velocity as well as range, terminal damage, B.C.,carrying weight, age damage, durability,simplicity, just about every advantage that I can think of.

Brass cased ammunition in small arms is the best that we can do, imo. No advantage can be gained on the 5.56 round.

Changing to a cased 6mm round would bring several advantages to the battlefield, but mostly for long range engagement. Far greater effective range. Better terminal effect on some equipment, but not necessarily so on humans. I don't necessarily see advantages in short range combat,100 yards or so. Some changes won't matter. Other changes will possibly be for the worse. Caseless still remains, imo, a truly dumb idea for small arms.
cased ammunition works, and is about as good as it can be.

The hk rounds fed square pellets and bullets from two separate magazines, right? Double the possibility of malfunction?

I'm trying very hard to see this in as many ways as possible. Over and over, all I can see is that the current system is about as good as we can make it. We have tweaked the 5.56for decades and the case for just as long. The metal maybe can be improved, but the idea is sound.

I keep addressing to myself the logistics and procurement of such a change. This isn't about a piece of equipment like an mri machine that can be replaced simply over years, this is more like a mandatory demand to replace every blood pressure device in use within a year.

But there is one good thing. NATO ammo will not go up in price, I think.
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Old August 27, 2017, 02:09 AM   #37
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Since this current "telescoped ammo" hype seems to be born out of the Marines' wish to reduce weight per round, wouldn't it be easier to simply develop a polymer case for existing 5,56 ammo?

(Besides I wonder why weight seems to be such an issue in the first place, in a highly mechanized battlefield that does not strike me as a main concern...)
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Old August 27, 2017, 03:21 PM   #38
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Besides I wonder why weight seems to be such an issue in the first place, in a highly mechanized battlefield that does not strike me as a main concern...
Because the largest current theater of operations (Afghanistan), is not "highly mechanized" .... there are darn few roads to begin with and logistics problems are compounded with increased weight, especially when every ounce has to be flown in....
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Old August 27, 2017, 04:26 PM   #39
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Troops carrying over half their body weight makes weapon and ammo weight a major concern.
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Old August 27, 2017, 07:41 PM   #40
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Less weight = carry more ammo.
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Old August 27, 2017, 09:52 PM   #41
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I have read that men on patrol can haul up to ninety pounds of pack. Every ounce matters.

Medical supplies, water, some things you can't leave behind. You can use titanium and plastics when you can. If we can save a couple grams per round of ammo, it is crucial to some of those missions.
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Old August 29, 2017, 03:29 AM   #42
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OK, thats a point indeed. I was under the impression that even in Afghanistan, most of the work is done with armoured patrol vehicles...
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Old August 29, 2017, 07:28 AM   #43
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Nothing is absolute. The soldiers are driven to assignments and carry packs and belts wherever they go, depends on what they might need. There are men who work deep patrols who might spend several days in the fields. Simply put, people don't march everywhere like they did a century ago but the work itself is still on foot.
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Old August 29, 2017, 09:18 AM   #44
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Jim Watson wrote:
You couldn't specify a government standard toothbrush in five years now.
Through the standard development and procurement process that's probably accurate, but if the leadership of the military and the Secretaries at the DoD were to decide they wanted something specified, it could be done in about 90 days.
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Old August 29, 2017, 09:30 AM   #45
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simonrichter wrote:
Since this current "telescoped ammo" hype seems to be born out of the Marines' wish to reduce weight per round, wouldn't it be easier to simply develop a polymer case for existing 5,56 ammo?
Short answer is, "No".

The longer, more comprehensive answer is that the military has been investigating potential replacement(s) for the 5.56 round since the time I was in graduate school. If the service is going to do something as radical as develop a polymer drop-in replacement for brass why waste the effort on a round that you already intend to replace over the long-term?

The other issue that while polymer cases (or at least hybrid polymer/metal cases) can probably be developed to work in conventional steel barrel firearms, such cases will not offer equivalent ballistic performance to the brass cases they replace. So, while it might be possible to develop a polymer case for the 5.56 round, it would not be capable of delivering the same performance as existing ammunition.

Quote:
(Besides I wonder why weight seems to be such an issue in the first place, in a highly mechanized battlefield that does not strike me as a main concern...)
Ever actually been on a battlefield?

If so, when and where?
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Old August 29, 2017, 10:48 AM   #46
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So, while it might be possible to develop a polymer case for the 5.56 round, it would not be capable of delivering the same performance as existing ammunition.

HDWHIT: I've not heard that before now. Why is that? But maybe they can't be loaded to the same pressure as a brass cased equivalent.
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Old August 29, 2017, 02:21 PM   #47
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Ever actually been on a battlefield?

If so, when and where?
Whether Simon has been on a battlefield or not, he's from Austria ..... people tend to project their own experiences onto unfamilar problems...... warfare, and training for same, in Europe has been centered around mechanized and or motorized units for more than 70 years- there are few people alive there that can remember anything about warfare and training for same before WWII .... Europe is really a small place, with roads nearly everywhere .... indeed, even some of the farm roads and forest roads in what was then West Germany (Hessen and Lower Franconia) in the late 80's to the mid 90's were paved with asphalt or brick when I was there .... I would image they have not stopped doing that ...... mechanized forces hold a huge advantage in such a place ..... Afghanistan is not such a place. Roads are rare, and rudimentary and generally in poor repair where they exist at all ..... where they do exist, they serve to channelize advances ("Advances" ha! ....as if there were a front line!) movement of vehicles, making them easier to attack ..... the ATLPCs* are very necessary ....


*All Terrain Leather Personnel Carriers.....
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Old August 29, 2017, 05:45 PM   #48
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Jim Bob is right. Unless he has trained or studied The current trends, he's going to know his local history of war, or have trained in NATO Euro tactics, and those cold war tactics for the most part didn't involve thousands of soldiers slogging through the mud.

Anyway, war has evolved into something with thousands of facets as our people work out ways to keep the men safer, for example, apcs. Get troops where they are needed, in minutes, in relative safety.

But the one thing that remains an ongoing inescapable fact is that extra weight that has no inherent benefit is a bad thing, even if it's only a pound.
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