Skip to comments.Big Bullet Blues [5.56mm round stopping power inadequate. Study says aim higher and fire two]
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.
There must be a treaty against using dum dum's.
And we always play by the rules.
Meanwhile, the Marines have "discovered" all those M14's that went "missing" a few years ago and are busily refurbishing and reissuing them...
I say give em all M14 receivers in hopped up metal or fiberglass stocks.
That'll fix em.
Hah! You beat me to it by a few seconds...:)
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.
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?
Would this be a good time for someone to post a Garand or BAR picture?
Deja vu all over again...........
Skinny people live longer.
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?
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.
I hear that Dog.
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
Ehh... how bout switching to hollowpoints?
Interesting. Have a link or doc's?
AR-10 modified for 3 round burst
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.
"Would this be a good time for someone to post a Garand or BAR picture?"
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.
That's called the AR-10.
Geneva Conventions of 1924, IIRC...
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.
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.
See link above. The USMC DMR is based around a recycled M-14.
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.
How about 22LR hollow points, no recoil, and you can kill at 100 yards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interesting, did not know that. They probably learned the same lesson, but actually did something about it.
Is one of them SMOKING????
For Shame !!!
How about NO?
HOLLOWPOINTS WILL NOT PENETRATE BODY ARMOR OR BUILDINGS.
Or just shoot em twice...
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.
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.