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?
Not really. There was a time when people with combat experience would have told you standing in tight formation with other soldiers and using discipline/volley fire was the only correct way to fight.
You're basing your argument on experience in a conflict that has nothing to do with current ones. Korea was not like WWII, Vietnam was not like Korea, Desert Storm was not like Vietnam, etc......
The absurd ROEs you had to endure cost more lives than your issued weapons ever did. Not much has changed on that front. No doubt you served with people in the 60s who pined for their Garand and thought your M14 was crap. There are always weapons platforms that are better suited for certain applications. That, in itself, does not nullify the 5.56mm. There is not one that can do everthing.
There are and have been enough combat veterans with ideas and people with investment capital out there to come up with the solution. Strangely, that's yet to occur and it's not due to the lack of people listening.
The point of the 7.62x39 vs the 7.62x51 is fallacious, at best. Wound placement, medical attention, and time are bigger factors than the caliber. A .22 killed RFK. Reagan was hit by a .22 after it richocheted off his vehicle and nearly bled out.
5.56 green tips require 10” of bodymass to dump their energy. Shot placement is key. Not so much with the 7.62.
I’ll take the AR-style 5.56 any day. Great rifle.
Spray-and-pray typically isn’t possible with a 3-rnd burst until the chamber is hot, in which case it works just fine. If the firer is pulling the trigger so fast that the chamber heats up the weapon kindly obliges and goes full auto.
The AK-47 is the spray and pray weapon.
Army blurbs claim that the 5.56 with a the newer 70 grain bullet is killing people at 5-600 yards with excellent accuracy. But there's a problem. Seems to be that if you miss the kill shot, the wounds can be sustainable and the bad guys keep shooting. If they are behind even minimal cover, the bad guys are pretty safe, especially at longer ranges. That's in the open. In any kind of vegetation, the 5.56 is easily deflected and the M16-M4 series is indeed a bear to keep clean and yes, it is still reported jamming when most needed. And yes, troopers do buy and mount aftermarket parts to improve reliability.
Tests are underway with 6.5 and 6.8 ammo, with very impressive results. BTW, seems Army marksmanship has improved 1000% since the spray and pray tactics of Vietnam. In regard to "light weight:" by the time the Army finished modifying the original M16 to the point where it would sort of work most of the time, its weight difference with an M14 became less obvious. The big weight saving was due to the 5.56's much lighter weight, so a soldier can carry many more rounds. Also, there's no more "spray." Three round burst on auto.