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Posted: 8/23/2002 7:55:01 PM EDT
Just out of curiosity why do suppose the Military uses the .223? Why not the .308, is it simply a matter of Money, weight, or is the .223 enough, and how far is it effective? Thanks for your input!

Link Posted: 8/23/2002 10:51:41 PM EDT
M855/SS109 is no Varmint load. Neither is the 77Gn Sierra Match King.
Link Posted: 8/24/2002 1:09:46 AM EDT
Firepower and portability, in a nutshell.

.223 is a damn effective round out to about 200 yards and the vast majority of combat engagements happen within this distance and usually much closer. Since a soldier can carry roughly twice as many rounds of .223 as an equivalent weight of .308 this is an important feature, as the same individual can lay down double the rounds or last twice as long before needing resupply.

Full-auto controllability was also a factor since shooting any of the .308 main battle rifles (M14, FAL) on auto was next to uncontrollable, just wasting ammo. Shot to shot follow up is also much faster and accurate with the smaller caliber as well.

Obviously the .308 is a better round in many respects: penetration of cover, longer effective range, etc... But using that argument you could say why not a larger caliber than .308, like the .338 Lapua? I'd make the .308 look positively anemic, punching great big holes in things 1000+ yards away, is less affected by wind, blah blah blah.
But the .338 would be an awful battle round because it's too heavy and powerful for the average guy to tote around and use effectively.

The whole thing is a balancing act since there is no perfect cartridge fore every situation and the military feels the .223 is the best all around. A lot of us here feel the same way. (but we loves dem .308's too! )
Link Posted: 8/24/2002 3:08:03 AM EDT
Thanks that answers my question! I figured it had to something with the weight, makes alot of sense.
Link Posted: 8/24/2002 3:18:03 AM EDT
See the FAQ: www.ammo-oracle.com
Link Posted: 8/24/2002 5:41:32 AM EDT
Having been in the service when both the M14 and M16 were available, I would like to add that the the one thing that impressed me the most was the difference in bullet trajectory. The high muzzle velocity and subsequent flat trajectory of the 5.56 made it far easier and quicker to hit targets especially moving at ranges up to 400 meters. Although the 5.56 reached out quite well at 600 meters, I typicaly would lean towards the 7.62 for longer shots. Of course, humping a M16 is alot easier than an M14.
Link Posted: 8/24/2002 5:46:16 AM EDT
I don't know about you....
But I don't want to be on the receiving end of a .223
Link Posted: 8/25/2002 8:45:46 PM EDT
When I was in the army I was told military rounds like the 5.56 were ment to only injure not kill troops then taking more troops out of service to take care of the injured soldiers.
Link Posted: 8/25/2002 9:30:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By plowboy:
When I was in the army I was told military rounds like the 5.56 were ment to only injure not kill troops then taking more troops out of service to take care of the injured soldiers.



They fibbed to you.
Link Posted: 8/26/2002 6:21:49 AM EDT
Damn' Oh well it wouldnt be the first time. And I belived it for all those years. Thanks Tatjana.
Link Posted: 8/28/2002 3:32:17 AM EDT
Military told me the war was over too. When I got off the bus smokey the bear said "I anit your momma and your momma aint here. Forget what you been told. 80% of you are going to Viet Nam. Have a nice day.". If the dead could talk, there are tens of thousands of VC and Iraq's that would take exception to the statement. The 3000 ft/sec +or- muzzle velocity leaves one heck of a shock wave upon impact which completely hemolizes tissue up to three inches all around it's path. Knock down is not the 5.56 strenght but taking them out is. This is not a 22 and like the shorter statement "You don't want to be on the receiving in.". The velocity also makes the round very prone to tumbling upon richocet as anyone that has ever fired tracers at night fire can telll you. Shoot safely and always do your best to know where the round may end up. Mistake we made in the military was thinking this was a toy round and we found out much differnt.
Link Posted: 8/28/2002 2:30:40 PM EDT
Also the human body is very resilient untill you poke hole in it.
GG
Link Posted: 8/28/2002 10:48:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gun Guru:
Also the human body is very resilient untill you poke hole in it.



After seeing many 5.56 (.223) wound profiles, I believe the word is "blow" not "poke"... : )
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 11:50:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 12:17:19 PM EDT
Maybe it's because we constantly send them around the globe to shoot varmints!
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 3:29:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By plowboy:
When I was in the army I was told military rounds like the 5.56 were ment to only injure not kill troops then taking more troops out of service to take care of the injured soldiers.



I was told the same thing by a recruiter. He was wrong.

Some time ago, the military figured that aimed fire was impossible in a battle, and that a large quantity of small-caliber ammunition had a better chance of incapacitating an enemy than a small quantity of large caliber ammo.
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 5:05:45 PM EDT
I was told this when I was in school at aberdeen proving grounds maryland, there were small arms experts from edgewood that was near by that talked to us about small arms and many other things. I wish I could remember who the instructor was that told me that the 5.56 was less lethal than the 7.62. If any of you have ever hunted much you would know that the .223 is not the most deadly rifle around but it is deadly enough. I often hunt with a .257 weatherby mag if you want to talk about a deadly round this is one bad ass.
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 5:18:17 PM EDT
RIMF Nobody told the war was over but a army small arms expert from edgewood when I was at aberdeen proving grounds did say the 5.56 was very efective and did wound more soldiers thus taking many more out of service. If all that the army was thinking about was kills when they designed a round then they would probably use a larger round or at the least a differant bullet maybe a soft tip type.
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