Skip to comments.Army, Marines rate weapon success
Posted on 07/13/2003 2:53:59 PM PDT by demlosers
click here to read article
screw the Hague... I packed hydra-shoks in my M-9 (first two round in the mag were FMJ fer "appearances") and thank God I did... they worked well when I needed 'em...
You've got a Masteba ? How do those things work ? They look a little too weird for me.
7.62 is really the wrong answer to just about any problem the military has these days. Like the 9mm, the only reason it is around is due to legacy issues. There are reasons those cartridges have been dumped in various times and places. We don't need to move backwards, we need to move forward.
6.5 mm is the way to go. Longer effective range than the 5.56, flatter shooting, and the bullets are a bunch heavier. This answers all of the concerns that the folks in combat haved raised (besides the lube issue, and that is independent of what rifle our forces use). I don't think that it would be too hard to put a 6.5 mm upper on an M-16 lower, but that doesn't much matter - for what Uncle pays for rifles (a couple of hundred bucks), I say to just buy brand-spanking-new rifles and mags. Since all soldiers are familiar with handling and sighting in on M-16 variants, keep the same look - but beef up the caliber. If I were in charge, I would put the M-4's sighting system on all of these new rifles.
And .45 is the way to go in combat, since you are restricted to FMJ by treaty. Hollowpoint 9's are fine, but the military can't use them. And if you could use hollowpoints, why wouldn't you want to use a .45 cal. "flying ashtray" anyway?
You are probably better off with a .40, and some modern non-NATO militaries have in fact adopted it (Australia comes to mind). Most of the cartridge capacity and ballistic performance of a 9mm, a fair portion of the size and weight of a .45, and more down-range energy than either 9mm or .45. The .40 splits the middle pretty damn well for a human-killing cartridge.
That we use either .45 or 9mm at all is primarily a legacy of previous wars, and the engineering assumptions that went into both of those cartridges is a century old. One thing to remember about the .45 was that it was originally marketed as a ranch pistol for plugging critters before it was adopted by the US military. There are certain biases evident in the design of both the cartridge and the pistol as to its original intended purpose that make it sub-optimal as a combat cartridge. The 9mm has better engineering parameters for the purposes of a combat cartridge, but nonetheless suffers from being a bit smaller than what is probably optimal for spanking determined monkeys.
According to Jane's Infantry Weapons 1976:
The M219 is (was, thankfully) normally issued as a left hand feed gun. However in some vehicles the gun must have a right hand feedand there is a conversion involving 11 stages which allows the change. Similarly, regardless of the direction of feed, the charging assembly, which is a handle and chain, is normally on the left of the receiver but can be changed over to the right.
I had forgotten about those chains. Busted several. I hated the M219.
Back in 61, when I was about 12, an Armalite sales rep staged a demonstration for our county sheriffs department at the local police range. Since my father was the state Hi-Power expert, he was invited to observe, and I got to go along.
The AR-15 was employed on a cinder wall, and blew it apart. I got to shoot it because the sales rep was trying to sell it on the fact that it had light recoil, as compared to the M-1. One trick he used was to place the butt against his chin and fire single shots.
The sheriff was underwhelmed. These were the days when police departments still cared what the citizens thought of them, and EVERYONE was a combat vet. A series of the 5.56mm rounds, impacting on a soft target, at ranges of 100 yards or less, tends to separate the target into large, soggy pieces. Blowing a felon apart in the middle of downtown was considered bad form, back then.
The Air Force, however, under Curtis LeMay, were the first to adopt the Armalite, for the SAC Air Police, during the early part of the JFK love affair with the Green Beanies. LeMay was hot to get funding, was jealous of what he considered undue attention being paid to what he considered a bunch of muddy, smelly snake eaters, and loved the latest Buck Rodgers toys. He wanted to show that zoomies could crawl thru the weeds with the best of them.
The Army adopted the Mattie Mattel because attempts to teach doggies how to shoot, without actually spending time snapping in, and further time living, eating and worshiping the great God, Rifle, were a failure. The current issue weapon, the M-14, required that the rifleman be comfortable with shooting. Instead, with the M-16, there was the quickshoot training, where the troopies were taught to replace aimed shot placement with suppressing fires, (spraying the area in hopes of a hit, witness the duplex round as another such attempt) by walking down a path and blasting away on full auto at pop-up targets.
The ARVNs got them next, when even the Five-Sided Square finally determined that the average dink was too small to handle a surplus M-1, and that the M-1 carbine cant kill very well.
Well into Da'Nam, The Corps liked the idea of being able to shoot thru a palm tree and kill the man behind it.
The polite, Democratic, fiction that the 16 was meant to wound and not kill, thus occupying 3 more caring individuals and burdening the logistics, is just that, fiction. An M-16 will rip a man to bits with one burst, at 75 meters. At 750 meters, you're just going to piss him off. Any wounded the VC, and later the NVA cared for, were most often injured by shell fragments. Care of the wounded is contingent on access to prompt medical treatment. Too often, mercy to the wounded is a bullet in the head. A man who has been gutted like a fish can live a surprisingly long time, and will scream every second of the rest of his life. Tactics indicate that whoever goes after him will get shot. Traumatic injuries often will not allow the injured man to politely bleed to death, and shock is not always a reliable anesthetic. When you add to the equation that if the Other side gets hold of him, they will see how long They can prolong his suffering, like sticking his wedding tackle on a twig several feet away, or peeling him like a banana, a bullet now is not such a bad offer.
The M-14 can be fired dry. This is not such a bad thing in the desert. The '14 is, however, too large for your average half-starved "freedom fighter."
Until the Geneva Convention is ignored, and frangible bullets are allowed, the 9mm will remain a joke. I watched a Spook who decided to bring his 9mm Swedish "K" gun on a snoop and poop in the Weeds. Events were that he emptied a full mag into a really P.O.d dink, who was about ready to gut the spook with a knife when a 12 Ga. loaded with dimes removed a big piece of meat and Mr. Charles went down...
If you have to let a bad guy, who you have seen approaching for the last week get within 100 meters to be able to put him away, there is something wrong with your weapon.
Criminal Number 18F