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DaGoose
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Posted: 3/3/2010 10:55:01 PM
Don't know if this is the right place for this or not. Mods feel free to move if need be.

The pdf looks to be a well written piece.

Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer
http://defensetech.org/wp-content/uploads//2010/03/Snow-Patrol.jpg
Okay, time for a deep dive into the tactical. The point of departure is this paper by Army Maj. Thomas Ehrhart, Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-​​Kilometer (.pdf), written last year at the Command and General Staff College, that says fighting in Afghanistan has exposed the fact that American infantry are poorly equipped and trained for long range firefights.

In Afghanistan, the infantryman’s “weapons, doctrine, and marksmanship training do not provide a precise, lethal fire capability to 500 meters and are therefore inappropriate,” Ehrhart says. Unlike on the streets of Iraq, where firefights were few and were typically fought under 300 meters, insurgents in Afghanistan skillfully use the wide open rural and mountainous terrain to stretch the battlefield. The following excerpt sums it up pretty well:

“Comments from returning non-​​commissioned officers and officers reveal that about fifty percent of engagements occur past 300 meters. The enemy tactics are to engage United States forces from high ground with medium and heavy weapons, often including mortars, knowing that we are restricted by our equipment limitations and the inability of our overburdened soldiers to maneuver at elevations exceeding 6000 feet. Current equipment, training, and doctrine are optimized for engagements under 300 meters and on level terrain.”

There’s a lot to unpack in this paper, the author gets into the relative merits and disadvantages of the 5.56mm round, reliability of the M4, the rifleman’s standard ACOG site, basic training, adding more marksmen to the squad and even the shortcomings of the standard issue magazines (Magpul gets a real big shout out for their PMAG M4 mag replacement). He concludes that only with significant changes to training, doctrine and weapons will infantry be able to engage targets out to 500 meters.

“In the table of organization for a light infantry company only the six –M240B 7.62-mm machineguns, two– 60-​​mm mortars and nine designated marksman armed with either 7.62-mm M14 rifles or accurized 5.56-mm M16A4’s rifles are able to effectively engage the enemy. These weapons systems represent 19 percent of the company’s firepower. This means that 81 percent of the company has little effect on the fight. This is unacceptable.”

I’m going to get into a number of these points throughout the week, but first off, I want to get into Ehrhart’s description of meeting engagements in Afghanistan and the standard U.S. tactical response. “The enemy travels light and employs supporting weapons from standoff, to include mortars and medium machineguns. Faced with these conditions, the modern [U.S.] infantry attempts to fix the enemy with direct fire and use supporting assets to kill the enemy,” he writes.

Supporting assets is either artillery, if in range, or more commonly air strikes. My question, can U.S. troops be provided enough organic lethality that they can overmatch the enemy with both direct and indirect fires without having to wait for air strikes? Prompt air support might not always be available and the infantry must have the weapons to overmatch the Taliban.

The Soviets in Afghanistan ran into the same tactical challenge. Read accounts of Soviet infantry firefights in Afghanistan in the 1980s and you’ll see they invariably hauled their AGS-​​17 30mm grenade launcher with them on most every dismounted operation, particularly in the mountains. It was cherished for its high rate of fire and nearly 1,700 meter range.

I know this gets into another important point the paper raises, which is an overly encumbered infantryman trying to run down Taliban light fighters. Yet, at around 50 pounds with tripod and ammo, the whole package was relatively light and mobile; it could be broken down into manageable parts. Soviet infantry valued the AGS-​​17 so much they built a special harness that attached to the assistant gunner’s back so that if they ran into a firefight he would drop down on his stomach and the gunner would mount the grenade thrower to his back and begin firing. The AGS-​​17 became the weapon around which the squad or fire team was organized, much like the light machine gun in U.S. and western armies.

U.S. infantry do not have a comparable weapon. The Mk. 19 40mm launcher weighs 73 pounds (the AGS-​​17 gun weighs 37 pounds), and that’s just the gun, add another 20 pounds for the tripod and then ammunition and you see why it’s typically mounted on vehicles. The weapon also has a bad reputation for rattling itself apart during sustained use.

The Soviets learned pretty quickly in Afghanistan that high rates of fire were vital. Lessons from Afghanistan led them to mount auto-​​cannon on their BMP infantry fighting vehicles, BTR wheeled vehicles and they rushed lots of ZSU 23–4 quad anti-​​aircraft guns to theater. The Soviets had lots of towed, rapid fire anti-​​aircraft guns organic to their infantry units and these were liberally placed about combat outposts in Afghanistan.

Another U.S. shortcoming in the small arms fight is the lack of a GPS guided mortar round. Only now is the Army developing a GPS round for its 60mm and 81mm mortars, and they have yet to reach the battlefield. With a 60mm mortar and GPS guided rounds, American infantry would be ale to accurately target Taliban fighters on the next ridgeline, and even behind it.

The American military, and particularly the Army, has been “platform focused,” doctrine and weapons development has focused on crews fighting a mounted weapons system, be it a tank, Bradley or what have you (the Army plans to spend $7 billion over the next few years to develop a new armored fighting vehicle to add to its massive fleet of armored fighting vehicles). The future of irregular conflict will predominantly be small-​​unit infantry fights, a fact the acquisition community has not grasped. It’s about time they did and begin fielding lightweight, highly accurate and lethal weapons that are easily carried by the infantry.


Taking Back the Infantry Half-​​Kilometer (Part 2)
http://defensetech.org/wp-content/uploads//2010/03/SOF-in-Af.jpg
So that paper we linked to and wrote about yesterday, Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-​​Kilometer, is generating some major heat, particularly down at Special Operations Command (SOCOM), we learned today.

The paper, written by a student at the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Leavenworth, that’s the one for the Army’s best and brightest officers, says the infantry’s standard small arm (the M-​​4 rifle) cannot engage the enemy in Afghanistan where most firefights occur past 300 meters. This is due to an ineffective round, the 5.56mm, and inadequate training. The paper was written last fall, but has really been making the rounds just in the past few weeks.

I brought the paper up this morning during a roundtable discussion at the Pentagon with the folks from Program Executive Office – Soldier. Col. Doug Tamilio, program manager for Soldier weapons lethality (this guys weapons knowledge is unreal), said it was a very good paper, although he thought some of the conclusions were a bit out of context. Tamilio has made it mandatory reading for his shop, particularly after spending a few days down at SOCOM and hearing the splash the paper has made there.

“He’s right, the fight in Afghanistan is longer… But you’ve got to go back to where soldiers are today. Can a soldier engage beyond 300 meters accurately? The answer is probably not.” Most soldiers coming out of basic training can’t shoot expertly, except for the few sharpshooters. “It takes a while to become an expert at shooting at ranges beyond 300 meters,” he said.

But PEO Soldier is focused on equipping, not so much training. So what is PEO Soldier giving the infantry to take back that half kilometer?

To begin with the 7.62mm M-​​14 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR), a modern version of the venerable M14 rifle, Tamilio said. Long a favorite of Navy SEALS and other special ops units, the Army is now distributing two EBR 14s per rifle squad to get more range and lethality. Soldier feedback so far has been very positive, he said. A team is in Afghanistan right now collecting feedback from soldiers and putting together a report to brief to Congress.

The other weapon that’s gained favor with foot soldiers in Afghanistan is the Mk. 48 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), a 7.62mm version of the SAW that is used by SOCOM but the Army is now buying. Soldiers are leaving behind the 5.56mm SAW and taking the 7.62mm version with them instead, he said.

“The fight in Afghanistan has probably shown us that 7.62mm, in certain aspects, is needed and required,” he said. Soldier preference for the EBR 14 and the Mk. 48 SAW backs that up.

But moving the entire rifle squad to the heavier round is a bigger question for the Army infantry school at Fort Benning to wrestle with, Tamilio said. Until now, the policy has been that in a 9-​​man squad the Army would keep the 5.56mm round across the squad. “We’re starting to think of a mix within our squads.”

The question then becomes do you need a 7.62mm in every type of fight? Is it the right round for close quarters urban firefights? These are the questions the Army is grappling with, Tamilio said. He wasn’t ready to say the Army should move to the bigger round across the board.

PEO Soldier is trying to provide a “modular” capability to the rifle squad, where they can mix and match weapons for different missions, said Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller. That’s a concept borrowed from special operations, where they have a big closet full of weapons, tailored to specific missions, that they can choose from. The paper’s author referred to this preferred approach as the “arms room concept.”

The focus right now is on the three Afghanistan surge brigades, he said. “We’ve gone to them and said here is some additional capability we have in our closet that hasn’t been fielded… we can’t field it to the whole Army. But I can give you an increased capability so you have a little more kit in your kit bag to adapt to that environment.”
JohnInPA
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Posted: 3/12/2010 3:19:42 PM
Lets face it Big Army just won't spend money for the right ammo for ground pounders like you guys.
Makes me sick to see the troops have to scounge for M262 Ammo (77gr 556) and 7.62 SAWS.
Being from the Vietnam era we have seen this before with no cleaning kits for the M16
Take a look at what the Army Marksman Unit is using at camp Perry and get this technology
to the guys doing the fighting !
Madcap72
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Posted: 3/12/2010 3:35:24 PM
[Last Edit: 3/12/2010 7:15:15 PM by Madcap72]
Originally Posted By Grendelizor:
Originally Posted By Forest:Another strawman argument. NOBODY here has said a specific caliber with win wars. However changes in caliber can reduce OUR casualties, while increasing theirs. The warfighters have asked for more range & better terminal performance because the fast movers or helos are not always available (or meet the ROE).


Thank you, Forest, exactly.

Cartridge technical abilities is a major factor in this discussion, but there's also an intangible factor called confidence or morale, on which I seem to remember Erwin Rommel placed great importance.

You want the enemy to respect the capabilites of your small arms. When they're receiving return fire, you want them to go, "Oh, shit!" and not, "Oh, well. . . ." And you want your troops to feel they've got badass weapons.

We'll issue Madcap72's army a fleet of . 204 Rugers, no, a fleet of .17 Remingtons, and see if he still feels the only thing that matters is a "shit ton of ammo."

John


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| 6.5 Grendel + AR15 = The Ultimate Hunting Machine |


I had a M-16a2 in Iraq and never felt under gunned.

ETA the best part about your .204 Ruger joke is that it would give an advantage to inexperienced soldiers shooting intermediate ranges (2-500 yards) due to it's extremely flat trajectory

Former11BRAVO
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Posted: 3/12/2010 8:10:50 PM
Originally Posted By JohnInPA:
Lets face it Big Army just won't spend money for the right ammo for ground pounders like you guys.
Makes me sick to see the troops have to scounge for M262 Ammo (77gr 556) and 7.62 SAWS.
Being from the Vietnam era we have seen this before with no cleaning kits for the M16
Take a look at what the Army Marksman Unit is using at camp Perry and get this technology
to the guys doing the fighting !


Amen!

It's discouraging that after all these years simple, relatively easy to fix issues (like this - which are getting our guys killed) have yet to be sensibly addressed. Any of the fixes proposed here would be better than none!

It's just one more thing about our .gov (in general) that makes me want to smash things! The people who truly deserve the best available - who risk the most: their asses on the line, everyday - are the ones who get screwed . . . every-fucking-time!

And guys like us - who love them dearly . . . who want to see them have the tools they need to get the job done and get home safely - are left to fume (and cry when we read the toll) . . . with no real options other than to rage and bitch amongst ourselves.

In Afghanistan, that half-K is a real killing field and controlling it is paramount. Yet, once again, history repeats itself and our people are left out to dry . . . told that high-tech (air-support, et al) will be their savior. It's sickening.
"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." - John Adams (1735-1826)


Gunwritr
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Posted: 3/12/2010 9:58:36 PM
Originally Posted By Former11BRAVO:
Originally Posted By JohnInPA:
Lets face it Big Army just won't spend money for the right ammo for ground pounders like you guys.
Makes me sick to see the troops have to scounge for M262 Ammo (77gr 556) and 7.62 SAWS.
Being from the Vietnam era we have seen this before with no cleaning kits for the M16
Take a look at what the Army Marksman Unit is using at camp Perry and get this technology
to the guys doing the fighting !


Amen!

It's discouraging that after all these years simple, relatively easy to fix issues (like this - which are getting our guys killed) have yet to be sensibly addressed. Any of the fixes proposed here would be better than none!

It's just one more thing about our .gov (in general) that makes me want to smash things! The people who truly deserve the best available - who risk the most: their asses on the line, everyday - are the ones who get screwed . . . every-fucking-time!

And guys like us - who love them dearly . . . who want to see them have the tools they need to get the job done and get home safely - are left to fume (and cry when we read the toll) . . . with no real options other than to rage and bitch amongst ourselves.

In Afghanistan, that half-K is a real killing field and controlling it is paramount. Yet, once again, history repeats itself and our people are left out to dry . . . told that high-tech (air-support, et al) will be their savior. It's sickening.


sorry to say but the Army killed the SDM-R program.....
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RedFalconBill
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Posted: 3/12/2010 10:15:48 PM
Originally Posted By Gunwritr:
sorry to say but the Army killed the SDM-R program.....


Yup, and replaced it with what David?

Combat Arms could use the addtional range time.
imortal
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Posted: 3/12/2010 10:53:11 PM
[Last Edit: 3/12/2010 10:53:44 PM by imortal]
I tend to side on the side of the 6.5 Grendel. I know all the 6.8 fanatics are starting to chomp at the bit, but give me a moment. The 6.8 is a bit better than the 6.5 close in- I am not arguing that point. However, BOTH rounds are much better than the 5.56, and the 6.8 is only marginally better if you add 5.56 and 7.62 on the comparison board. However, the 6.5 does start to edge out the 6.5 in the distance role, to the point of overshadowing it full range. Problem is, that does not matter much to the guy carrying the 14.5" M4. Or does it?

I am a fan of a single cartridge system. Not since the M16 first arrived in Viietnam have wee ever managed to attain this. I like the idea of the 6.5 as the standard round because it can be useed better in machine guns for long range fire better than the 6.8. At 800 meters, the 6.5's BC is really showing, and it catches up to the 7.62x51 on the power scale. I propose a family of new firearms:

16" AR assault rifle/ stadard rifle
20" SPR/DRM rifle
24" SA Sniper rifle (when needed- not a universal sniper rifle)
20" IAR (LWRC style- replaces/suppliments the SAW at squad level) (using 25 round magazines or 50 round drum)
...and... a 6.5 grendel machine gun, built along the lines of the M-249 (to allow belt or magazine/drum use), to replace the M240 (and the rest of the SAWs) in the platoon MG role, as well as on vehicle mounts. The 6.5 MG could be fielded with twice the strength that the M240 currently is.

The benifits to this? The 6.5 recoils considerably less than the 7.62, meaning the MG will be much lighter. Using magazines or drums as well as belts allows for interchangable ammuntion, simplifying supplying the infantry platoon. The problem with the whole 6.5 v 6.8 ballistics argument is that it is too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Either of them is a damn sight better performer than the 5.56. Yelling at which is a little bit better in one area overlooks obvious benifits in others.
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Gunwritr
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Posted: 3/12/2010 11:06:47 PM
Originally Posted By RedFalconBill:
Originally Posted By Gunwritr:
sorry to say but the Army killed the SDM-R program.....


Yup, and replaced it with what David?

Combat Arms could use the addtional range time.


Depends upon the unit.......some have M4s with M68CCOs
some have M4s with ACOGs and some have M14s.

A friend spent the first 7 months of his tour in Iraq as a DM with
a Aimpoint topped M4 and then they received M14s from another unit.

3rd ID still has their SDM-Rs but they are probably getting pretty worn at this point.
When they wear out that is it for them.
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Posted: 3/13/2010 5:35:49 PM
A couple of thoughts on this,

Regardless of how much better you or I feel our favorite 6.x round might be in combat the military isn't going to make a change over, at least not in the near term.

Mk262 isn't perfect, might not be a good as 6.x or 7.x but it's a better choice than M855 for Afghanistan (or maybe anywhere else)

Changing to Mk262 wouldn't require new uppers or mags so it wouldn't be as complex as a caliber change and therefore just might be saleable to the powers to be.

Without improved marksmanship training, it doesn't really make any difference, if you can't hit it with Mk262 you probably won't hit it with 6.x or 7.x and obviously if you can't hit it you certainly won't kill or injure it.



Madcap72
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Posted: 3/13/2010 8:17:35 PM
[Last Edit: 3/13/2010 8:18:53 PM by Madcap72]
Originally Posted By QuicksilverJPR:
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
6.8 and 6.5 have nothing on fire and maneuver.

5.56 was designed to allow people to carry a shit ton of ammo to spray out so a maneuver element can get around to the pinned enemy and shoot them in the side.

Or have Helo's attack.
Or have fast movers drop bombs
Or have a fire mission from mortars or arty
Or use the up guns
Or Use a Spectre
Or launch a missile from a Predator


People who think their pet caliber are going to win the wars really are short sighted. Letting troops grow their claws back out and giving them more support is the answer. Especially for ranges over 300 yards where WE have the advantage.


You have a very flawed logic path here...

Similar overall ammo weight, similar overall ammo quantity of ammo carried, and far better lethality in the same exact platform as the 5.56. If you combine that with better marksmanship training, how is that not a good thing?


Fire and maneuver is flawed logic?
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Posted: 3/13/2010 8:46:21 PM
What about a compromise between the 14.5" M4 and the 20" A4? Maybe an 18" barrel? Still relatively compact but long enough to deliver an efficient velocity. Best for all environs?

The proposed various calibered uppers *could* be addressed by an 18" barrel and using either 77gr Mk262 or the elusive 70gr Barnes X bullet "brown tip".
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Combat_Jack
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Posted: 3/13/2010 9:23:23 PM
[Last Edit: 3/13/2010 9:31:08 PM by Combat_Jack]
Issue more M240s and drop the plates when on foot patrol to carry extra ammunition.
I did the math, you could shoot Marx and Engels while the Manifesto was unpublished and still smother Hitler in his crib.
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Posted: 3/13/2010 9:29:28 PM
Originally Posted By NE223:
A couple of thoughts on this,

Regardless of how much better you or I feel our favorite 6.x round might be in combat the military isn't going to make a change over, at least not in the near term.

Mk262 isn't perfect, might not be a good as 6.x or 7.x but it's a better choice than M855 for Afghanistan (or maybe anywhere else)

Changing to Mk262 wouldn't require new uppers or mags so it wouldn't be as complex as a caliber change and therefore just might be saleable to the powers to be.

Without improved marksmanship training, it doesn't really make any difference, if you can't hit it with Mk262 you probably won't hit it with 6.x or 7.x and obviously if you can't hit it you certainly won't kill or injure it.


It is not a "phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range" and will not help me get my first star...

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Posted: 3/13/2010 9:29:50 PM
I'm terribly disappointed in what the Army calls marksmanship training.

I train on my own with weapons that are as close to what I was issued as I can get.

I learned the basics of marksmanship from my dad's 1966 copy of the Guidebook for Marines, and apply them to the training I recived from the Army.

I know too many Soldiers who need to work on their shooting skills, but you can lead a horse to water...
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RedFalconBill
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Posted: 3/13/2010 9:38:34 PM
Originally Posted By doubleclaw:
I'm terribly disappointed in what the Army calls marksmanship training.

I train on my own with weapons that are as close to what I was issued as I can get.

I learned the basics of marksmanship from my dad's 1966 copy of the Guidebook for Marines, and apply them to the training I recived from the Army.

I know too many Soldiers who need to work on their shooting skills, but you can lead a horse to water...


I could tell you some stories about marksmentship at Campbell and Bragg, among the line units, but I do not want to start s sh*t fest on top of this sh*t fest.
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Posted: 3/13/2010 10:27:24 PM
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Issue more M240s and drop the plates when on foot patrol to carry extra ammunition.


They are working on an m240L which uses titanium to lighten the weight of the weapon to under 20 pounds.

I'd prefer to keep the plates. Heavy, yes.

Start issuing out more SDM-R rifles. Simple solution.

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Posted: 3/13/2010 11:22:00 PM
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Issue more M240s and drop the plates when on foot patrol to carry extra ammunition.


They are working on an m240L which uses titanium to lighten the weight of the weapon to under 20 pounds.

I'd prefer to keep the plates. Heavy, yes.

Start issuing out more SDM-R rifles. Simple solution.



I've not been deployed but a lot of guys I know said they would rather not have plates while on foot, and use them in vehicles.

Understood about the Ti 240, I've seen stuff about that. And yes, more SDMs would be good. An ARF friend says people he shoots out to 900 yards with the MK12 lay down and stop breathing. Sounds good to me.
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ziarifleman
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Posted: 3/13/2010 11:37:01 PM
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
An ARF friend says people he shoots out to 900 yards with the MK12 lay down and stop breathing. Sounds good to me.


Impossible!
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Madcap72
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Posted: 3/14/2010 12:51:42 AM
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Issue more M240s and drop the plates when on foot patrol to carry extra ammunition.


They are working on an m240L which uses titanium to lighten the weight of the weapon to under 20 pounds.

I'd prefer to keep the plates. Heavy, yes.

Start issuing out more SDM-R rifles. Simple solution.



I've not been deployed but a lot of guys I know said they would rather not have plates while on foot, and use them in vehicles.


Use plates in the now giant armored vehicles, and NOT use plates when outside of the giant armored vehicles?

What do these "lots of guys" do?
Combat_Jack
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Posted: 3/14/2010 4:14:27 AM
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Issue more M240s and drop the plates when on foot patrol to carry extra ammunition.


They are working on an m240L which uses titanium to lighten the weight of the weapon to under 20 pounds.

I'd prefer to keep the plates. Heavy, yes.

Start issuing out more SDM-R rifles. Simple solution.



I've not been deployed but a lot of guys I know said they would rather not have plates while on foot, and use them in vehicles.


Use plates in the now giant armored vehicles, and NOT use plates when outside of the giant armored vehicles?

What do these "lots of guys" do?


Move primarily by foot and helo.
I did the math, you could shoot Marx and Engels while the Manifesto was unpublished and still smother Hitler in his crib.
Madcap72
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Posted: 3/14/2010 4:44:20 AM
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Move primarily by foot and helo.



Sounds like a great MOS....
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Posted: 3/14/2010 9:35:28 AM
Why not just stick with 5.56 as the standard. And send some Grendel uppers/mags/ammo to the troops in the Afgan mountains?

Are they useing hybrid steel and polymer plates yet?
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Posted: 3/14/2010 10:37:18 AM
Tag
The opinions above are my own and do not represent any entity.

Combat_Jack
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Posted: 3/14/2010 1:25:40 PM
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Move primarily by foot and helo.



Sounds like a great MOS....


Not sure if you're being a smartass, but if you want to get technical they are 11, 13 and 18 series.
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Posted: 3/14/2010 6:24:09 PM
Originally Posted By NE223:
Mk262 isn't perfect, might not be a good as 6.x or 7.x but it's a better choice than M855 for Afghanistan...

Changing to Mk262 wouldn't require new uppers or mags so it wouldn't be as complex as a caliber change and therefore just might be saleable to the powers to be.

That's all true, but it seems unlikely to happen.

Without improved marksmanship training, it doesn't really make any difference...

Yup. Neither the Army nor the USMC trains for engaging targets out to 900 meters with the M4 carbine or M16 rifle. Plus, the issue optics are somewhat less than adequate for such long range shooting.

Here are a couple of ideas from a Special Forces veteran, which could be implemented immediately, at no additional cost:

Have the troops put a 600 meter elevation on their back up irons or irons depending on if they have carbines or A-2's and keep the 300 meter zero on their M-68's. If the contact is mid range, blast away with the 68 sight. If the contact is at longer distances, use the irons and blast away.

They can also issue the troops magazines full of nothing but good old tracer. I have had great luck with tracers out of carbines with DM's to about 500 meters on point targets. They do burn out pretty quickly though and are damn hard to see in bright daylight.

DocGKR
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Posted: 3/15/2010 2:18:15 AM
[Last Edit: 3/15/2010 2:19:44 AM by DocGKR]
How about this, simple, logical, expedient, and proven plan:

For existing 5.56 mm carbines, IMMEDIATELY adopt ATK MK318 Mod0 (or the original bonded TOTM variant) or Black Hills 70 gr Optimal "brown tip".

Likewise, IMMEDIATELY adopt ATK Mk319 Mod0 for 7.62 mm rifles and carbines and procure more Mk17 SCAR-H's or the greatly improved KAC SR25 EM2's (or similar LaRue OBR) to replace all the ancient M14's currently in service.

When improved terminal performance and intermediate barrier capability is required out of short barrel weapons, use 6.8 mm.

If an 8" barrel PDW style weapon is desired use 6x35mm.


If an all new rifle is adopted to replace the M4/M16 series, pick an optimized ideal caliber that is not restricted to the AR15 magazine well––something like the 7x46mm, one of the FN 7mm's, or a product improved .280 as the British originally recommended post WWII.






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