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 Lethality of 5.56 vs 7.62x39
Ermac  [Member]
6/1/2009 12:55:01 AM
Now I hear that the 5.56 is more lethal then the 7.62x39 because when it hits soft tissue it fragments and the 7.62x39 dosen't. But if thats true then that means its more lethal then a .308 or 30/06 because they don't fragment. I'd just like some peoples insight on the subject.
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ezielinski  [Team Member]
6/1/2009 1:42:47 AM
I always heard that the bullet path of the 55gr .223 is irratic upon entry to soft tissue, therefore increasing temporary and permanant cavitaion (i.e. greater MASSIVE wounding potential) versus a 7.62x39 round.
cyrus-the-virus  [Member]
6/1/2009 2:11:39 AM


JamesP81  [Member]
6/1/2009 2:20:59 AM
Originally Posted By Ermac:
Now I hear that the 5.56 is more lethal then the 7.62x39 because when it hits soft tissue it fragments and the 7.62x39 dosen't. But if thats true then that means its more lethal then a .308 or 30/06 because they don't fragment. I'd just like some peoples insight on the subject.


5.56 may be more lethal than 7.62x39 IF it impacts its target at ~2600 feet per second or greater. At that velocity the 55 grain projectile will fragment, doing massive damage. From a 20" barrel (M16) you get reliably fragmentation, last I heard, to about 200 yards or so. From a 14.5" barrel (M4) it's more like ~75 yards. This is why troops armed with M4s are at a great disadvantage out in the open. The M4 was mainly meant to be a more capable replacement for pistol caliber SMGs for close quarters fighting (and it most certainly is). However, if the range is long enough that 5.56 doesn't fragment, then it's less effective than 7.62x39. 7.62x39 doesn't rely on terminal performance, but on the idea that it makes a bigger hole.
Myguitarisaweapn  [Team Member]
6/1/2009 2:49:15 AM
5.56x45 is a reliable man stopper, as above poster stated it causes some pretty vicious wounds when traveling at 2600-2700fps. Where the 5.56x45 is lacking is in in barrier penetration.

Is it more lethal than the 7.62x39? Depends. 7.62x39 actually lacks lethality at intermediate (150-200 yards) because it loses steam faster than the 5.56x45. So basically the 7.62x39 is gonna cause some vicious damage at typical shorter engagement distances, but you'll actually get more lethality from 5.56x45 at longer ranges (if shot from 16" barrel or longer).
Paul-LC  [Team Member]
6/1/2009 9:34:27 AM
http://ammo.ar15.com/ammo/
fearme  [Member]
6/1/2009 4:55:51 PM
Both are much worse than a pointy stick.
22mike  [Member]
6/1/2009 9:02:34 PM
I would rather be hit with an egg than either one...............
aimpointed  [Member]
6/1/2009 9:21:40 PM
I dont want to taste test either
B44T  [Team Member]
6/2/2009 3:42:08 AM
A failure to hit with either one is a failure to stop.
SpacemanSpiff  [Member]
6/3/2009 1:07:41 AM
it all depends upon the specific ammo type and the impact conditions. comparing ball ammo between the two, 5.56 is more lethal. 7.62x39 ball ammo is known to have poor terminal performance.
Model_One  [Team Member]
6/3/2009 1:56:09 AM
Doesn't matter if you're shooting nukes if you can't hit the target.

AK against M16 at close quarters is probably a tie.

But at a couple hundred meters, the M16 wins by default because the AK can't hit a barn door with a bass fiddle past about 50 yards.

Let's do this AGAIN! It's only the HUNDREDTH TIME this debate has been held.
Myguitarisaweapn  [Team Member]
6/3/2009 2:39:52 AM
Originally Posted By Model_One:
Doesn't matter if you're shooting nukes if you can't hit the target.

AK against M16 at close quarters is probably a tie.

But at a couple hundred meters, the M16 wins by default because the AK can't hit a barn door with a bass fiddle past about 50 yards.

Let's do this AGAIN! It's only the HUNDREDTH TIME this debate has been held.


Well at least everyone is agreeing this time.
LuvBUSHmaster  [Team Member]
6/3/2009 11:55:56 AM
Both can kill you deader than shit.

It is all about shot placement.

Anything, with enough force or velocity, can kill you.
ALPHAGHOST  [Team Member]
6/3/2009 11:47:07 PM
both will fu*k you up...
twistedcomrade  [Member]
6/4/2009 8:52:55 PM
Originally Posted By Ermac:
Now I hear that the 5.56 is more lethal then the 7.62x39 because when it hits soft tissue it fragments and the 7.62x39 dosen't. But if thats true then that means its more lethal then a .308 or 30/06 because they don't fragment. I'd just like some peoples insight on the subject.



Many, many thousands of of people are no longer walking this Earth because of these two calibers and these two rifles. Pick which rifle platform you like or another platform, and then buy as many mags and as much ammo as you can possibly afford. BTW, zombies don't care about bullet hole size, you have to hit them in the head.
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