I wonder who started this myth. I've heard it so many times over the past 17 years from differing sources. This supposed rationale will never die, it seems.
The object of shooting any assailant is to effectively stop them. The same holds true for self-defense. Stop, not necessarily kill, although in war I'll take the stop/kill.
The 5.56Nato was desirable because a soldier could handle a weapon so chambered when the selector switch is set to full-auto, which was untrue for the M14 (7.62Nato) which tended to walk-away. Also some of the first reported terminal ballistics were impressive--a barely stablized 55gr projectile in a 1/14 rate-of-twist barrel--ripping limbs off. We messed this up by improving the rifles "long range" performance by going to a 1/12 and then subsequently to a heavier/longer projectile(62gr M855/SS109) in a 1;/7 twist to improve penetration on helmets at 300 meters. After 75 yards the bullet became a drill losing its "explosive" terminal performance. (see Gabriel Suarez' "Tactical Rifle")
One can never carry too much ammo, even 5.56 Nato. But can you carry 2x or 3x's as much 5.56Nato to achieve the same results of the 7.62Nato? No. And only hits count. For stopping effectiveness we should adopt a projectile with a longer/heavier softnose design OR neck the existing case up to 6mm (80/85/90 gr) which are adequate for smaller spieces of deer and presumably two-legged game.
The 6.8SPC effort seems the right way to go, but it requires more mods to the underlying platform: new upper/barrel, new follower, new magazines. With the 6mm upgrade, only new barrel is needed. Of course this is a nighmare waiting to happen: chambering 6mm projectiles in your 5.56 chamber. It probably wont go into battery and will create weapon-neutralizing jam.
Just a question ... since stopping power is in part a function of energy delivered to the target, is it possible to get better results by just creating a heavier 5.56 round?
I don’t know if “softnose” ammo is a good idea, given the effectiveness of modern body armor, or if it would pass muster with the Geneva Convention. The rest I agree with.
“Because the object of shooting an enemy (in warfare) isnt to kill target, but to wound it. “
But, dead enemy combatants don’t shoot back.