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Big Bullet Blues [5.56mm round stopping power inadequate. Study says aim higher and fire two]
Strategy Page ^ | Feb 2, 2007

Posted on 02/02/2007 12:23:59 PM PST by John Jorsett

Troops from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are still complaining about the "inadequate stopping power" of the 5.56mm round used in the M-16 family of assault rifles. Last year, the army did a study of current 5.56mm M855 round, in response to complaints. Troops reported many reports where enemy fighters were hit with one or more M855 rounds and kept coming. The study confirmed that this happened, and discovered why. If the M855 bullet hits slender people at the right angle, and does not hit a bone, it goes right through. That will do some soft tissue damage, but nothing immediately incapacitating. The study examined other military and commercial 5.56mm rounds and found that none of them did the job any better. The study concluded that, if troops aimed higher, and fired two shots, they would have a better chance of dropping people right away. The report recommended more weapons training for the troops, so they will be better able to put two 5.56mm bullets where they will do enough damage to stop oncoming enemy troops. Marines got the same advice from their commanders. But infantrymen in the army and marines both continue to insist that the problem is not with their marksmanship, but with the 5.56mm bullet. Marines say they have used captured AK-47 rifles in combat, and found that the lower velocity, and larger, 7.62mm bullets fired by these weapons were more effective in taking down enemy troops.

The army study did not address complaints about long range shots (over 100 meters), or the need for ammo that is better a blasting through doors and walls. The army had been considering a switch of a larger (6.8mm) round, and the Special Forces has been testing such a round in the field. But a switch is apparently off the table at the moment. The army report was not well received by the troops, and there is still much grumbling in the ranks over the issue.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
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1 posted on 02/02/2007 12:24:02 PM PST by John Jorsett
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To: John Jorsett

There must be a treaty against using dum dum's.

And we always play by the rules.


2 posted on 02/02/2007 12:26:19 PM PST by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: John Jorsett

Meanwhile, the Marines have "discovered" all those M14's that went "missing" a few years ago and are busily refurbishing and reissuing them...


3 posted on 02/02/2007 12:26:40 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: John Jorsett

I say give em all M14 receivers in hopped up metal or fiberglass stocks.

That'll fix em.


4 posted on 02/02/2007 12:26:49 PM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: Spktyr

Hah! You beat me to it by a few seconds...:)


5 posted on 02/02/2007 12:27:21 PM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: siunevada

Yeah, but such rounds won't penetrate cover or armor AT ALL, which outside of any treaty, makes them pretty much useless on the modern battlefield.


6 posted on 02/02/2007 12:27:39 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: John Jorsett

I can't remember for sure but wasn't this an issue that was pointed out BEFORE making the decision to go to the 5.56 round instead of the 7.62?


7 posted on 02/02/2007 12:28:43 PM PST by Domandred
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To: John Jorsett

Would this be a good time for someone to post a Garand or BAR picture?


8 posted on 02/02/2007 12:28:48 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: John Jorsett

Deja vu all over again...........


9 posted on 02/02/2007 12:29:39 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: John Jorsett

Skinny people live longer.


10 posted on 02/02/2007 12:29:48 PM PST by battlegearboat
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To: John Jorsett
The 5.56 round is obsolete. They are developing even smaller rounds with a velocity of 4,000 fps. But they are for shots at 100 yards or less. Beyond that..I agree.. 7.62mm.
11 posted on 02/02/2007 12:29:57 PM PST by ExtremeUnction
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To: John Jorsett

338 lapua


12 posted on 02/02/2007 12:30:33 PM PST by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: John Jorsett

Are Iraqi's any more slender than NVA or Viet Cong infantrymen? I'm sure that this is indeed a problem, but didn't Army Ordnance shelve it's immediate plans to go to a new 6.8 mm infantry rifle?


13 posted on 02/02/2007 12:30:33 PM PST by Tallguy
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To: siunevada

Indeed there are. Exploding, mushrooming, and other bullets that cause "unnecessary harm and suffering" are not banned under international treaty. Oddly enough, silencers and flash suppressors are also restricted, and I have no idea why. That's why we need one of those microwave guns fast. Just wholesale cook the bastards.


14 posted on 02/02/2007 12:30:55 PM PST by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: doorgunner69

I hear that Dog.


15 posted on 02/02/2007 12:31:13 PM PST by battlegearboat
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To: John Jorsett

6.8spc bump.


16 posted on 02/02/2007 12:31:29 PM PST by Armedanddangerous (Master of Sinanju (emeritus))
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To: John Jorsett

There is a REASON why 30 caliber rounds were the mainstay of the battle field during the two largest wars. AR10 and M14 bring firepower when needed.

Oh and by the way .... long range is not 100 meters.... more like 300 meters. Out there, you really do want some heavy lead.


17 posted on 02/02/2007 12:31:49 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: siunevada
There must be a treaty against using dum dum's...

Yes there is - it's called the Geneva Convention and the signatories have to use 'full metal jacketed' ammunition so that it doesn't 'mushroom' on impact. Of course Al Quaida is not a signatory but it doesn't matter - we are and will will continue to comply...

18 posted on 02/02/2007 12:32:03 PM PST by Friend_from_the_Frozen_North (Temps were down to -40 Fahrenheit (now 30 Above); guess ALGORE is right - we have been Warmin' Up!)
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To: rlmorel
Behold, the USMC Designated Marksman Rifle. Look familiar? It should...

T"he United States Marine Corps Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR, NSN 1005-01-458-6235; more formally the United States Rifle, 7.62-MM, M14, DMR) is a semi-automatic, gas-operated rifle chambered for the 7.62 × 51 mm NATO cartridge. It is a modified and accurized version of the M14 rifle built and utilized solely by the United States Marine Corps (USMC)." USMC DMR

19 posted on 02/02/2007 12:32:08 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: rlmorel
The 5.56 is the wrong bullet for this war. We are taking longer shots at clear targets. The 7.62-51 is the right cartridge for these shots. However, in a clearing operation of a building the M-16s small size is a plus, and at close range it is very lethal and carries 30 rounds in each magazine. I would think that a platoon would need a mixture of both weapons to be the most effective.
20 posted on 02/02/2007 12:32:54 PM PST by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash and proud of it, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist, Iconoclast)
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To: ExtremeUnction

Would it be feasible to re-bore the M4 and M16 to use 7.62mm?

If not, just give our guys more .50cal sniper rifles, just with shorter range scopes.


21 posted on 02/02/2007 12:33:49 PM PST by wastedyears ( "Gun control is hitting your target accurately." - Richard Marcinko)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Garands (not the later development we know and love as the M14) have two big problems - extremely limited magazine capacity and they tell the enemy when you're out of ammo. Not good.

The BAR is a good design, but it's really too heavy to use in anything but the SAW role.


22 posted on 02/02/2007 12:34:04 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: John Jorsett
5.56mm not getting the job done... maybe that's why 2 of these guys are holding M14's...

23 posted on 02/02/2007 12:34:21 PM PST by verum ago (The Iranian Space Agency: set phasers to jihad!)
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To: wastedyears

That would be no - the problem is the lower receiver on the AR-15 series rifles. The mag well won't take 7.62x51 rounds, so you have to get a new weapon (the AR-10T) if you want the Armalite in 7.62 NATO.


24 posted on 02/02/2007 12:35:13 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: John Jorsett

Bump! ;-)


25 posted on 02/02/2007 12:35:28 PM PST by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: John Jorsett
No more aiming center mass??

Ehh... how bout switching to hollowpoints?

26 posted on 02/02/2007 12:36:19 PM PST by wizecrakker (Trying to behave)
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To: Spktyr
"...the Marines have "discovered" all those M14's ...and are busily refurbishing and reissuing them..."

Interesting. Have a link or doc's?

27 posted on 02/02/2007 12:36:46 PM PST by muleskinner
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To: Spktyr; wastedyears

AR-10 modified for 3 round burst


28 posted on 02/02/2007 12:37:21 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: Spktyr
If it were me I would be looking at some 7mm calibers. The best mix of range, accuracy, and stopping power.

Can be loaded in short chamber cartridges and would be only a slight trade-off in weight for carrying lots of ammo.
29 posted on 02/02/2007 12:37:41 PM PST by Beagle8U (Thompson / Hunter 2008)
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To: cpdiii

The 30 caliber has been doing it right for 104 years. My old 1903 Springfield bolt action with competition sights is my most accurate open sight weapon I have. The M-14 is also an extremely accurate weapon. The Marines know what they are doing.


30 posted on 02/02/2007 12:38:23 PM PST by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash and proud of it, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist, Iconoclast)
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To: Mr. Lucky

"Would this be a good time for someone to post a Garand or BAR picture?"

Yes !

Having shot an M-14 on full auto at a machine gun shoot, it is definitely grabbing a tiger by the tail, but I'm guessing the troops would be disciplined and use rapid semi-auto fire. A 30 round mag wouldn't hurt the M-14 either.


31 posted on 02/02/2007 12:38:44 PM PST by Veeram (why the does the left HATE America ?)
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To: wastedyears
Would it be feasible to re-bore the M4 and M16 to use 7.62mm?

That's called the AR-10.

32 posted on 02/02/2007 12:39:08 PM PST by HiJinx (Ask me about support for our troops!)
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To: siunevada
There must be a treaty against using dum dum's.

Geneva Conventions of 1924, IIRC...

33 posted on 02/02/2007 12:39:18 PM PST by null and void (<----- Shocked and odd...)
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To: Domandred

Yes, it was. The 5.56 round is intended to wound an enemy soldier, not kill him, and to be light enough that a soldier can carry a lot of ammo with him.

The 5.56 was intended to be used in a war of attrition against the might of the Soviet Union. A dead enemy soldier consumes little to no enemy resources (if the enemy is someone like a Western country or the Soviets); a wounded one takes three people out of battle, at a minimum - someone has to haul him back to the aid station or hospital, someone else has to patch him up, and a third person has to nurse him back to health. Not trivial concerns when your anticipated enemy is the Soviet horde.

Thing is, we ended up NOT fighting the Soviet hordes, and instead fought people who *didn't* care about their wounded. Might as well just kill the enemy combatants as all wounding will do is let them continue to try to fight or take you with them.


34 posted on 02/02/2007 12:39:22 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: wizecrakker

A hollow point on a 5.56 round .... at least the military round, is not that effective. The existing round is designed so that much of the weight is the rear of the bullet. When combined with a slow twist rate, this creates a situation where the round is designed to tumble. The length of the 5.56 during a tumble is greater than the surface area of a hollow point in the same size round.


35 posted on 02/02/2007 12:40:03 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: muleskinner

See link above. The USMC DMR is based around a recycled M-14.


36 posted on 02/02/2007 12:40:23 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: siunevada
Federal - 45 cal. ACP 230 grain Tactical Hydra-Shok JHP would cure what ails 'em.
37 posted on 02/02/2007 12:40:42 PM PST by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Jane Fonda was type cast in the movie "Klute")
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To: Friend_from_the_Frozen_North
There must be a treaty against using dum dum's...

Yes there is - it's called the Geneva Convention and the signatories have to use 'full metal jacketed' ammunition so that it doesn't 'mushroom' on impact.

The Russians got around that with their 5.54mm round: it has a hollow nose cavity under the jacket. Looks like a solid, ball round, but the thin gilding collapses and it acts like a hollowpoint after impact.

38 posted on 02/02/2007 12:41:07 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: John Jorsett

How about 22LR hollow points, no recoil, and you can kill at 100 yards.


39 posted on 02/02/2007 12:41:27 PM PST by agincourt1415 (The Sum of all Fears: Democrats running the war or trying to run away from the war on terror.)
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To: Beagle8U

Yes, 7.62mm is a 7mm that works fine.

That said, anything we adopt would *HAVE* to become a new NATO standard, and getting the rest of NATO to agree on a new caliber when there's already one that effective in the catalog would be difficult to impossible. It's one of the things stopping 6.8 SPC adoption.


40 posted on 02/02/2007 12:41:58 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: doorgunner69

The Russians appear to have mostly given up on the 5.45mm round for now and continue to issue 7.62x39 for their domestic forces. 5.45 now appears to be limited to SMG-type use.


41 posted on 02/02/2007 12:42:57 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: John Jorsett

I own one gun - an SKS which uses the 7.62 rounds. I bought 1,000 rounds but only have about 940 left. ;)

It packs a pretty good punch and I am shocked at the accuracy I was able to achieve with the adjustable sights and no scope.

It's amazing what you can get for $105.


42 posted on 02/02/2007 12:43:37 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Nazism was in 1938.)
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To: John Jorsett
It's the 62gr M855 matched with the 16" M4 barrel that's causing these problems more than just the 5.56 alone.

I think XM193 in my 1x8.25 twist 18" barrel is best all-around, but if the US military must stick with their huge stockpile of M855 they oughtta try using it from a 1x7 twist 24" barrel and see what happens.

... Or just go back to .308 Winchester and forget all about this 'twist/grain/bbl length' baloney.

43 posted on 02/02/2007 12:45:15 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: RobRoy

Point of info - what you're using shoots the 7.62mm x 39mm round. The 7.62mm NATO round is 7.62x*51*mm. Considerably more powerful.


44 posted on 02/02/2007 12:45:21 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr
The Russians appear to have mostly given up on the 5.45mm round for now and continue to issue 7.62x39 for their domestic forces.

Interesting, did not know that. They probably learned the same lesson, but actually did something about it.

45 posted on 02/02/2007 12:46:04 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: verum ago

GASP!!!!!!

Is one of them SMOKING????

For Shame !!!

<\sarc>


46 posted on 02/02/2007 12:46:13 PM PST by fishtank
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To: wizecrakker

How about NO?

HOLLOWPOINTS WILL NOT PENETRATE BODY ARMOR OR BUILDINGS.


47 posted on 02/02/2007 12:46:46 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: All

Or just shoot em twice...

Semper Fi,
NYLeatherneck


48 posted on 02/02/2007 12:47:16 PM PST by NYleatherneck (It ain't a World War until the French surrender.)
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To: Spktyr

Which means mine has even a lower muzzle velocity. I do like the low recoil the guns design offers. Virtually none, actually.

I'm no gun nut so I gotta ask, what ever happened to the .226 (I think)? Wasn't that basically a .22 with a pointier bullet and a couple of lbs of gunpowder in each cartridge? ;) I heard the deadly part was the muzzle velocity.


49 posted on 02/02/2007 12:48:24 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Nazism was in 1938.)
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To: doorgunner69

Actually, it was apparently driven by economics as the major factor. Converting everyone over to 5.45 would have cost the Russians more money than they had, considering that they had literal mountains of 7.62x39 sitting around in depots and their *entire* infantry logistics system was built around that round.

Their experiences in Afghanistan also lead them to that conclusion, but it seems that they'd made the decision prior to the end of their time there.


50 posted on 02/02/2007 12:48:54 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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