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Posted: 7/3/2002 12:11:15 PM EDT
[url]http://www.sftt.org/dw06262002.html#5[/url] By Maj. Anthony F. Milavic USMC (Ret.) In the name of transformation for the 21st century, the Department of Defense (DoD) is all ears for programs such as the Crusader howitzer, MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and Joint Strike Fighter, while it continues to lend a deaf ear to its warriors on the most fundamental issue in need of change - the 5.56-mm. rifle bullet used by its infantrymen. For over 36 years, Americans on the field of battle have reported hitting enemy soldiers with multiple rounds of 5.56-mm. ammunition and watching them continue to advance while firing their weapons. In spite of these field observations, the DoD is developing its future infantry weapon - the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) - to fire this same impotent cartridge. This deficiency was reported as early as Dec. 9, 1965, in the official after-action report of the Ia Drang Valley battle popularized by the movie and book, We Were Soldiers Once É and Young, by Joseph L. Galloway and Lt. Gen. Hal Moore USA (Ret.). Moore, the commanding officer of the battalion engaged there, writes of assaulting enemy soldiers being hit by 5.56-mm. rounds: "Even after being hit several times in the chest, many continued firing and moving for several more steps before dropping dead." Later in that war, a similar experience is voiced by Col. John Hayworth, USA (Ret.): "In one fire-fight, I saw my RTO place three rounds [of 5.56-mm.] in the chest of a charging NVA regular at 50 yards. He kept firing his AK and never slowed down. At 30 yards, I hit him with a blast of double-ought buck. It picked him up off his feet and he didn't get up again." "They used to kid Randy Shughart because he shunned the modern rifle and ammunition and carried a Vietnam era M-14, which shot a 7.62-mm. round without the penetrating qualities of the new green tip. It occurred to Howe as he saw those Sammies keep on running that Randy was the smartest soldier in the unit. His rifle may have been heavier and comparatively awkward and delivered a mean recoil, but it damn sure knocked a man down with one bullet, and in combat, one shot was all you got. You shoot a guy, you want to see him go down; you don't want to be guessing for the next five hours whether you hit him, or whether he's still waiting for you in the weeds."
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 12:29:58 PM EDT
What a load of horseshit. I haven't seen so many misconceptions and urban legends in one place since I left Assault Web. First off, you can find isolated incidents of people taking rounds of ANY caliber from small arms and still advancing. Second, the section of the book that spoke of Shughart's rifle was suspect IMHO because he was designated a Delta SNIPER...what the hell would a SNIPER be using a 223 for? And why would presumably knowledgable Delta ops be making fun of him for carrying an M14, since either this or a bolt action M40 (or something even heavier like a Barrett) would be the weapon of an Army sniper? Doesn't wash.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 12:52:19 PM EDT
what you say could be true..I dont know about the M14 story..SFTT website sent me this today...found it interesting..as far as the urban legend part about the 5.56 NATO..well To tell you the truth after having examined quite a few gunshot wounds I found the little 5.56 is not a stopper...the 7.62 is a stopper I have been able to somewhat compare wounds from the M14 and the M60 and AK rounds.. I understand the concept of wouding the enemy to tie up four guys to take care of the wounded...in theory your enemy has to actually care for its wounded and that didnt necessarily prove to be the case in Vietnam... It was anyoying to get hits on the enemy only to have them get away and to have the blood trails simply quit.. from what I saw this was probably do to what used to be known as a temporary stretch cavity closing off the wound I have seen this leaking small amounts of serum..we didnt do autopsies so I cant speak of internal damage.. Given the amounts of equipment I had to hump and the terrain along the Mekong tributaries I would of course prefer the M-16 carbine varient...however when a firefight erupted it was the M-60 that in the heavy jungle made things happen.. All equipment can be improved upon and should...our guys should have the best imo.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 1:45:30 PM EDT
In this case, since the AR15/M16 was designed around the .223 round, the improvment you ask for would be to dump the AR line entirely and design a new larger caliber rifle from scratch. And all the associated parts. Not to mention ammo stores. Not a small task. A larger round *may* be somewhat more effective in *some* situations. Improved training on the other hand *will* provide much greater kill ratios in *all* situations. I know where I'd put the cash.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 2:07:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 9divdoc: what you say could be true..I dont know about the M14 story..SFTT website sent me this today...found it interesting..as far as the urban legend part about the 5.56 NATO..well To tell you the truth after having examined quite a few gunshot wounds I found the little 5.56 is not a stopper...the 7.62 is a stopper I have been able to somewhat compare wounds from the M14 and the M60 and AK rounds.. I understand the concept of wouding the enemy to tie up four guys to take care of the wounded...in theory your enemy has to actually care for its wounded and that didnt necessarily prove to be the case in Vietnam... It was anyoying to get hits on the enemy only to have them get away and to have the blood trails simply quit.. from what I saw this was probably do to what used to be known as a temporary stretch cavity closing off the wound I have seen this leaking small amounts of serum..we didnt do autopsies so I cant speak of internal damage.. Given the amounts of equipment I had to hump and the terrain along the Mekong tributaries I would of course prefer the M-16 carbine varient...however when a firefight erupted it was the M-60 that in the heavy jungle made things happen.. All equipment can be improved upon and should...our guys should have the best imo.
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I'm assuming (I Know!,I Know!) that You have had "Eyes on" data about this, and I had always thought it was strange that We(U.S. Armed forces), use a round that Civilians use for varmint sized game. While other countries use a larger round more suited for deer sized game. Since the average Human is closer to deer size than Woodchuck size, I would think that We would want to "Improve the Odds" with a little more punch in Our ammo. I am >no expert<, and do not have "Real World" experience with any wound data, but balistics are balistics and animals(Human or Deer) are animals. I wouldn't like to be shot with [b]ANY[/b] of them!! I just know I would find a .223 round to be marginal on a deer sized animal. I do agree that Our guys should have the best! Tall Shadow
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 3:45:48 PM EDT
I suspect that part of the problem is the high twist rate (1:7) that overstabilizes ball ammunition. That rate is designed to stabilize very heavy bullets. With that much spin, the bullet will drill a nice neat .223" diameter hole in its target. With a slower spin rate, the bullet will yaw and inflict more tissue damage. IIRC, the original ARs had a 1:14 twist that would yaw quickly and do all kinds of damage.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:22:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 9divdoc: as far as the urban legend part about the 5.56 NATO..well To tell you the truth after having examined quite a few gunshot wounds I found the little 5.56 is not a stopper...the 7.62 is a stopper I have been able to somewhat compare wounds from the M14 and the M60 and AK rounds..
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I've seen photos comparing wounds from M16s, M60s and AKs in Vietnam and there is really no comparison---the wounds from the M16s are much much nastier. For the most part, AK and M60 rounds were through-and-through tunnels not that great in width. The M16 rounds, if they hit any bone at all, would create huge wound channels. I've also personally used 55 grain military ball on deer and the results were dramatic. [img]http://album.gunsnet.net/data/rikwriter/full_79_p1688.jpg[/img] That is the result of a gutshot at about 75 yards...and my friend in the picture has NOT YET begun gutting the deer. All that damage was done by the bullet.
I understand the concept of wouding the enemy to tie up four guys to take care of the wounded.
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Well, whoever's concept that is, it is NOT the military's. That is another urban legend, albeit one that is spread by uninformed military trainers as well. There was no intention to wound the enemy to tie up his personell behind the adaption of the 5.56x45 round.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:33:51 PM EDT
I'm assuming (I Know!,I Know!) that You have had "Eyes on" data about this, and I had always thought it was strange that We(U.S. Armed forces), use a round that Civilians use for varmint sized game. While other countries use a larger round more suited for deer sized game. Since the average Human is closer to deer size than Woodchuck size, I would think that We would want to "Improve the Odds" with a little more punch in Our ammo. I am >no expert<, and do not have "Real World" experience with any wound data, but balistics are balistics and animals(Human or Deer) are animals. I wouldn't like to be shot with ANY of them!! I just know I would find a .223 round to be marginal on a deer sized animal. I do agree that Our guys should have the best! Tall Shadow
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You are completely wrong on everything. No other country outside of the third world equips their army with thirty caliber rifles as standard. Even China now has a .22cal cartridge of their own. In the third world you find 7.62x51 and 7.62x39 rifles only because they are cheep cast offs from first world armies who have gone to 5.56mm or 5.54mm rifles. There is NO benefit to using a 7.62 rifle at the present. There are NO problems with 5.56 killing people in combat. Nor is there any problem with range- since it is not normally possible to SEE further than the range of a 5.56mm rifle.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:36:23 PM EDT
One of the guys I used to work with left the USMC some time around 1987 after a 4 or 5 year hitch. According to him, they were taught that the M16 was made to wound and it's far better to wound an enemy than to kill him, for the same reason some now say is urban legend. It makes me wonder if this really is their official position and if this position came to be after it was discovered that the 5.56x45 is not too great on little skinny guys? That being said, when SHTF, I'm still grabbing the AR. Ain't no skinnies in the US! he he
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 4:57:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tall_Shadow: I'm assuming (I Know!,I Know!) that You have had "Eyes on" data about this, and I had always thought it was strange that We(U.S. Armed forces), use a round that Civilians use for varmint sized game. While other countries use a larger round more suited for deer sized game. Since the average Human is closer to deer size than Woodchuck size, I would think that We would want to "Improve the Odds" with a little more punch in Our ammo. I am >no expert<, and do not have "Real World" experience with any wound data, but balistics are balistics and animals(Human or Deer) are animals. I wouldn't like to be shot with [b]ANY[/b] of them!! I just know I would find a .223 round to be marginal on a deer sized animal. I do agree that Our guys should have the best! Tall Shadow
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RE: Ballistic comparisons of 5.56 and 7.62 as varmint and deer cartridges. Varmint hunters use rapidly expanding/fragmenting bullets to inflict the maximum possible tissue damage, even with less than perfect shots, on the target to ensure immediate death and the animal is often or usually left for the vultures. Deer hunters carefully place controlled expansion rounds in order to minimize damage to the meat of the carcass. The meat is then taken home and eaten. Which is more akin to combat? Massive tissue destruction, poor shots, and leave 'em for the vultures or minimum tissue damage, careful shots, and cook 'em for dinner?
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 5:23:41 PM EDT
Which is more akin to combat? Massive tissue destruction, poor shots, and leave 'em for the vultures or minimum tissue damage, careful shots, and cook 'em for dinner?
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Never thought of it that way before... I guess the popularity of the 7.62's in Africa isn't just because they are cheep then [;)]
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