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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/10/2002 2:11:35 PM EST
From the latest addition of Star & Stripes: By Mark Oliva, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Sunday, August 4, 2002 Soldiers who fought in Afghanistan have some hard-earned opinions about the rifles on which they relied to stay alive. Mostly, they want more firepower. The standard-issue ammunition compounded the problem, they said: The 5.56 mm round shot — a bullet equivalent to that marketed in the States to shoot small vermin — wasn’t effective in stopping al-Qaida and Taliban fighters. “Should be a 7.62 mm, so it will drop a man with one shot,” wrote one soldier. Not all soldiers’ reviews were negative. Pat, a Special Forces soldier who is serving in Afghanistan, wrote the military watchdog group Soldiers for the Truth that “the M-4 with optics and the newer hand guards tends to be a pretty good weapon. Guys can change the optics out depending on the mission, and misfeeds don’t happen too often with good weapon maintenance. The adjustable shoulder stock and assault sling, front pistol grip works well with body armor and different sized guys also,” the soldier said. Army Lt. Col. Robert Carpenter, project manager for the small arms section of the report, said: “Somewhere between the trigger pullers and the maintainers is the ground truth.” Also a factor, he said, are the rounds soldiers use today. Soldiers now use the M-855 ball round, a lighter bullet designed during the mid-1980s with a steel penetrator designed to pierce body armor. But soldiers now find themselves shooting at al-Qaida, an enemy that doesn’t use body armor. Some soldiers who fought in Afghanistan said the small, current-issue 5.56 mm rounds just lack needed punch. The commercially available equivalent to a 5.56 mm round is a .223-caliber — marketed as a vermin round, for killing small game such as rabbits or coyotes, said John Bloodgood, a 19-year Air Force master sergeant with 11 years in tactical units, who also is a private firearms instructor. More effective are .308 bullets — commonly used for large-game hunting and similar in size to bullets used up through the Korean War, he said. “A .308 bullet has almost twice the frontal area of a .223,” he said. It’s not the size but the type of round the military’s using, and shot placement, that determines a bullet’s stopping capability, said Ken Cooper, director of Tactical Handgun Training, a New York state certified law-enforcement pistol-training facility. “The military uses hardball rounds and the effect is less than if soldiers were shooting expansion rounds,” Cooper said. “You can penetrate the human body with little to no effect.” And the debate goes on...why not issue everyone BMG's and be done with it. [b][blue]NAKED[/blue][/b]
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 2:14:44 PM EST
[b]BUT[/b] the Marines will likely be going to use the M4 from now on.. By Mark Oliva, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Sunday, August 4, 2002 It’s smaller, lighter and better suited for modern battles. And it might be headed into the hands of U.S. Marines. Marine Corps officials wrapped up testing two new rifles as a possible replacement to the M-16A2 in stock now: the short M-4 carbine and the M-16A4, an upgraded model of the rifle Marines use now. The jury’s still out, but a decision is expected soon. So far, though, the M-4 is garnering praise from the Marines and looks to be a front-runner. However, some soldiers who fought in Afghanistan have expressed concerns about the M-4, which also is standard issue for U.S. Army infantry troops. Their chief complaints, though, appear to center on the ammunition used, not the weapon itself — and officials have said ammunition types are undergoing review. The M-4 is hardly new to the Corps. Marine Force Reconnaissance units, Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams and Military Police Special Response Teams have been using the weapon since 1999 as a replacement for the MP-5 submachine gun. Corps officials tested the two rifles for more than 18 months. The latest test, held at Camp Lejeune, N.C., wrapped up in July. The rifles were put through the wringer, including shooting at known-distance ranges, live-fire field trials and force-on-force scenarios, said Capt. John Douglas, project officer at Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va. Douglas said the M-16A4 looks and feels much like the M-16A2 but, like the M-4, has component parts. The Corps can buy either weapon of the existing Army contract, Douglas said. “Both weapons have flat-top upper receivers with 1913 Military Standard rails for mounting optics as well as forward rail hand guards,” Douglas said. “All accessories from lasers, lights, scopes, etc., mount to the 1913 rails as a standard mounting platform, allowing tailoring of the weapon to mission, billet, or individual ergonomic preferences,” he said. But even if a new rifle comes, Douglas said, not every Marine will get one. They’ll be fielded only for ground infantry units. The maneuverability, adaptability and ease of operation cause some to favor the M-4 for tomorrow’s Marines. Mike Reissig, a sales representative with Colt Manufacturing, declined to answer questions before test results are released but forwarded a point paper provided by the Marine Corps to Colt Manufacturing. It says the rifle simply is a better fit for the way Marines will be fighting in the future. The weapon, the paper said, is based on a proven design familiar to all Marines, and is equally well-suited for operations in all types of terrain, including use in urban environments. The M-4 has interchangeable sighting systems, add-on vertical forward grips and even a detachable short version of the M-203 grenade launcher. The rifle itself is one full pound lighter than the M-16A2 and 10 inches shorter. The collapsible buttstock is designed to make it more adaptable to individual shooters, a benefit especially in tight-packed urban areas. “This allows the Marine to rapidly shoulder the weapon from a proper fighting stance with combat gear,” the review said. “The reduced barrel length allows the weapon to be more easily maneuvered in restrictive terrain, urban areas, vehicles and aircraft.” There are some drawbacks to the M-4, though. A shorter barrel means reduced velocity and accuracy at long ranges. But it’s unlikely, the Marine review said, that battles would be waged at more than 200 meters. At that distance, the M-16A2’s and M-4’s performance are nearly identical. The M-4, the review concluded, “provides our infantry unit leaders with the ability to rapidly prepare for combat under varying situations, while allowing them to employ the latest in target acquisition technology. Its modular nature allows us to upgrade components as improvements become available.” Home | Shopping | Archives | Print Shop | Stripes Lite Ombudsman | Advertising | About Us | Feedback | Contact Us Careers | Stocks | Press Releases | European Classified Ads © 2002 Stars and Stripes. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer / Web Notice Site Design by LaserNet, LLC.
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 2:19:07 PM EST
I recall someone once saying that 18 inch barrel was the best for a 5.56mm ball round. Why can't the military just say the hell with that stupid treaty and switch to bullets that actually kill people?
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 2:21:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/10/2002 2:21:57 PM EST by Tango7]
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 2:47:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By NAKED-GUNMAN: Also a factor, he said, are the rounds soldiers use today. Soldiers now use the M-855 ball round, a lighter bullet designed during the mid-1980s with a steel penetrator designed to pierce body armor. But soldiers now find themselves shooting at al-Qaida, an enemy that doesn’t use body armor.
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Wrong the M855 (62gr.) is heavier than the previously issued M193 (55gr.).
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 6:45:24 PM EST
I wasn’t going to bother posting this since it just teases you with snippets of information, but since NAKED-GUNMAN has raised the topic, I’ll add it. Below is a slide (number 17) from a presentation prepared by the Natick Soldier Center dealing with “Lessons Learned In Afghanistan”. The link is: [url]www.sftt.org/afghanlessons_files/frame.htm[/url] FWIW [image]www.ar15.com/members/albums/199%2FSlide%252017%2520jpg%2Ejpg[/image]
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