go back to the M14 series rifles. Springfield now makes it in the SOCOM II (and other shortened) configurations - lightweight, synthetic stock, integral Picatinny rail set forward of the receiver for mounting optics/lights, short barrel with a wonderful compensator...MMMMMM. A lot less susceptible to dirt and grit, and it doesn’t crap where it eats like the M16 series rifles...
And it’s in man-stopping .308 caliber...one-shot drops, just like it’s WWII cousin the M1 Garand in .30-06 (although it doesn’t have quite the reach that .30-06 does).
Still...it’s formidable, potent, and a better weapon...IMHO
Check out the Kel-Tec RFB rifle series. .308 battle rifle designed as a bullpup - very, very interesting piece.
If I am not mistaken (and I probably am) part of the military’s “philosophy” behind the adoption of the smaller 5.56 (.223) cartridge was their belief that in most cases in battle it is actually better to WOUND the enemy than to kill him outright because a wounded soldier actually takes two or three people “out of action” (the soldier who is wounded AND one or two others who must tend to him/remove him from the field for treatment). How this works with an enemy who has no respect for ANY human life including those on “his” side is, I suppose, debatable.
Also, it is definitely true that a given weight of the smaller ammo contains more rounds than the .308 or .30-06.
Personally, I like them ALL. My .30-06 rifle is awesome and I really like my new High Standard AR-15 variant too.
I handled one of the new Springfield SOCOM II rifles at the latest gun show and I didn’t think it was all that light. It actually seemed a bit heavier than my AR-15 and it was definitely bulkier. But I do like the .308 for its stopping power. I think in any squad a mix of .308 and .223 would be a good way to go.