Which is why the 5.56 vs 7.62 argument is invalid. When our forces have gone toe-to-toe with the AK, they've won with the "inferior" caliber. They bad guys wouldn't be more dead with a larger bullet.
During the height of the Iraq War we had requests from commanders in direct combat for M-14s because of the ineffectiveness/imprecision of the 5.56 round at longer ranges/penetrating brick and earth walls/lethality
Great for an engagement at range, but not the weapons platform you necessarily want for house clearing, like Fallujah.
the 5.56 was adopted on the premise that small bullet high velocity max kinetic would be a massive game-changer - and that "every man has a machinegun" would overcome enemies through "dominance". Didn't work that way. Hosing rounds rarely connects and hot barrels fail. The 5.56 in action didn't cause the catastrophic wounds in most cases and more often was easily deflected by obstacles, wind, and at longer ranges lost all meaningful energy to become a hardball .22LR.
Combat takes place up close and at 300m and all places in between. An optimized weapon for infantry combat has to be effective (a fancy word meaning to kill or disable with each shot) at a wide span of ranges, not just house calls. If all you're doing is clearing houses, bring a shotgun.
You will have trouble arguing with my experience - I used an M-14 for a wide variety of situations and found that although it was weighty and long, it always fired when you pulled the trigger, almost always hit what you aimed at, at all ranges, and what you hit died. I carried an M-16 for two days, hated the flimsy little thing, got my M-14 back. (A buddy of mine who served in Vietnam in the army told me that "the M-14 is too heavy". I told him that he should have told me: I'd have detailed a big strong Marine to hold the rifle up for him..)
I spent the next 24 years after that making do with the later variations of the M-16 but it has always amazed me that a country with a history like ours of leading the world in firearms innovation couldn't or wouldn't do better.
By the way, the reasons the AK doesn't give more of an advantage to the people who carry it are that it has a short sight radius, crude sights, a short stock, a goofy safety, and the first selector position is full auto which is next to useless in that weapon. I am not sure how effective 7.62X39 is, since I'm alive after taking one through me. Probably wouldn't be here if that VC had had an M-14, right?
Good post...and as I recall, the 5.56 round was preferred in Nam because it was lighter and the troops could pack more ammo on patrol.
We had M16s on our Swift Boats and they worked fine in our environment.
But now that everyone is coming out with .308 versions, in the M4 platform, not sure the room clearing/close quarters can be used anymore. The .308 has a lot more a$$ behind it, but the last time I checked, going door to door was a mans job. But the way they’re pushing kids thru basic these days, not sure how many qualify as men, as the PC monster has infiltrated.
However, my Noveske Leonidas is wonderful. 12” barrel in .308. Its a masterpiece.