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Posted: 7/16/2003 6:08:27 PM EDT
I had a guy in another thread say that Russian 5.45 ammo has "30% better terminal ballistics" than 5.56 ammo. Of course this depends of the ammo being used in both cases, but lets say you compare M193 to the standard military 5.45 round: Even though the 5.45 may have more total penetration and may tumble sooner, I didn't think that it fractured at all, or at least normaly. On the other hand M193 does (at least 80% of the time). What is the case w/ the relative fracturization (probably not a word) of M193 and Russian military 5.45???
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 6:40:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/16/2003 10:03:11 PM EDT by Troy]
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 7:35:22 PM EDT
Troy, I appreciate your informed and straight answers.
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 10:16:28 PM EDT
[url]http://www.ammo-oracle.com/[/url]
Link Posted: 7/18/2003 1:11:51 PM EDT
I still find it amazing that the Russians would go through the trouble of mimicking the features of the 5.56mm without thoroughly studying the bullet in the 'laboratory' to see why it is as effective as it is. But like Troy said, if a 5.45mm came out with a copper-zinc metal jacket instead of copper-steel, it could be designed to fragment and give it better terminal ballistics.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 7:17:10 PM EDT
This topic is highly debateable. AR buffs will tell you 5.56 every time and AK guys will shout right back with 5.45 My standing has always been that I wouldn't want to be on the receaving end of either round. When the 5.56 round fragments it is definately more lethal. However, if the round fails to fragment it is little more than a glorified .22 The beauty of the 5.45 is that it will create it's signature wound cavity at any speed (within reason of course) this is great if you are beyond the 5.56's frag range What would I rather have? Well it depends on what I am using. For an open battle field give me an M-16 or comperable full sized rifle in 5.56. For urban combat I would much rather have a 5.45 Krink than a 11.5"bbl M4. A good thing to consider is that when the Russians were in Afghanistan the mujahadeen thought they were using poisened bullets because of the horrendous wounds caused by the newly introduced 5.45 round. In our recent operations in Afghanistan, operators using the M4 complained of the insufficient stopping power of the 5.56. Rumor has it that the military is considering a 5.56 round that works similar to the 5.45 for use in it's M4s. It would be a step in the right direction IMO but it would also just add more confusion to all the different types of 5.56 out there allready Where does that leave us? Well back to where I started. Both are very deadly rounds. They just work differently.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 8:21:37 PM EDT
they shold of put that friggin tumbler tip on 5.56 ammo along time ago. Works better than plain spitzer profile bullets. And something heavier w/ a thin jacket.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 10:45:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Starvin: This topic is highly debateable. AR buffs will tell you 5.56 every time and AK guys will shout right back with 5.45
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There's really nothing to debate. What Troy said above is spot on. There is no bias there, just facts.
My standing has always been that I wouldn't want to be on the receaving end of either round.
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Can't really argue with that. But if I was having to deal with some crazed nut-case attacking me, then I would opt to use the more effective of the two.
When the 5.56 round fragments it is definately more lethal. However, if the round fails to fragment it is little more than a glorified .22
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Don't forget the 5.56 can still yaw past it's fragmentation range. The 5.45 will never do anything but yaw.
The beauty of the 5.45 is that it will create it's signature wound cavity at any speed (within reason of course) this is great if you are beyond the 5.56's frag range.
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New loads have drastically increased the 5.56's fragmentation range. Some out to 300 yards or more!
What would I rather have? Well it depends on what I am using. For an open battle field give me an M-16 or comperable full sized rifle in 5.56. For urban combat I would much rather have a 5.45 Krink than a 11.5"bbl M4.
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You say above that where the 5.45 really shines is at longer ranges which are past the 5.56mm's fragmentation range, yet you pick the weapons in exactly the reverse order. Why? BTW, the M4 has a 14.5" barrel, not 11.5".
A good thing to consider is that when the Russians were in Afghanistan the mujahadeen thought they were using poisened bullets because of the horrendous wounds caused by the newly introduced 5.45 round.
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I have heard this story so many times in so many forms that I could not accept it as the literal truth. I have also heard versions where they were calling it the equivalent of the "puny" bullet. Who knows where these stories come from and if they are accurate or not. At any rate I would call the 5.45's wounding ability less than "horrendous".
In our recent operations in Afghanistan, operators using the M4 complained of the insufficient stopping power of the 5.56. Rumor has it that the military is considering a 5.56 round that works similar to the 5.45 for use in it's M4s.
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Any lack of effect with the M4 was more a result of using the wrong ammo for the job. In a full size 20" barrel rifle the M855 ammo has generally had a good rep. But when used in short barrel carbines it's velocity drops below fragmentation range faster. Also, the rumor isn't a rumor. We have been using special ammo in M4's now for quite a while. But it wasn't designed to perform like 5.45mm bullets. They are simply heavy match bullets such as the Nosler 77 gr OTM and Hornady 75 gr OTM. They were not designed for the purpose of expanding or fragmenting. But their design just so happened to be very efficient in that regard. Not only will these loads extend the fragmentation range a great distance but it appears the fragmentation that occurs is even more dramatic than with M193 or M855. And the bullets are also much longer, so even without fragmentation, they are still very long when turned sideways travelling through a body. I'd say the equal to any 5.45 bullet when fragmentation isn't present. Far superior when it is.
Where does that leave us? Well back to where I started. Both are very deadly rounds. They just work differently.
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Yeah, both can kill for sure. But I still give the edge to the 5.56mm, especially with the new specialty ammo that's out there. Oh, and let me say welcome to AR15.com. I hope you don't take offense to my critique of your post, but some of that stuff has been debated time and time again here. We try to keep killed off rumors from returning. Hehe. But I in no way meant any of that as a flame or disrespect toward you. But most of us just take ammo very seriously since lives depend on it so we often question rumors and assumptions. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 10:52:02 PM EDT
I looked at my NATO medical handbook, and the 5.56 wound channels look nastier.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:58:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 7:01:13 AM EDT by zhukov]
Please look at the sticky at the top of this page and read the [url=http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=164814]articles by Dr. Fackler[/url] for definitive answers: One more thing about the "signature wound cavity": What exactly is it ? Have you seen the path it takes inballistic gelatin ? What makes it so useful ? The same curved path which could move it into more vulnerable parts of the body could just as easily make it curve away and out of the body before hitting anything vital. It's a crapshoot. Like I said - read the articles...
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:29:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 7:33:58 AM EDT by Starvin]
There's really nothing to debate. What Troy said above is spot on. There is no bias there, just facts.
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No, it's definately debateable, just look at the bitter feud between 9mm and .45. I am of the .45 school and in raw data the numbers arn't behind it. However in pratical application over several wars I believe the .45 has proven itself superior.
Can't really argue with that. But if I was having to deal with some crazed nut-case attacking me, then I would opt to use the more effective of the two.
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Anything short of a CNS shot or a .50bmg isn't going to make much of a difference to a fanatic or chemically altered individual. The different wounding charicteristics (fragmenting or wild tumbleing) won't play that big a part.
Don't forget the 5.56 can still yaw past it's fragmentation range. The 5.45 will never do anything but yaw.
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Yes the 5.56 will yaw but it will tumble on generally linear path. The 5.45's nose deforms causing it to cut a pretty wild path once it enters a soft medium thus scrambleing your innards a better.
New loads have drastically increased the 5.56's fragmentation range. Some out to 300 yards or more!
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I am assumeing you are refering to custom loads or ideal weather which isn't exactly fair to bring into the arguement. To my understanding under average conditions out of a 20"bbl the M193 will only reliably fragment out to about 200 yards, and M855 out to 150.
You say above that where the 5.45 really shines is at longer ranges which are past the 5.56mm's fragmentation range, yet you pick the weapons in exactly the reverse order. Why? BTW, the M4 has a 14.5" barrel, not 11.5".
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Yea that was a bit muddled. Let me simplify. For a full sized rifle give me 5.56 since I can't hit anything reliably more than 200yards out with iron sights anyway. At 16" it's a tossup. In anything shorter give me 5.45 so I won't have to worry about the stopping power of my round if I had to make a longer range shot.
I have heard this story so many times in so many forms that I could not accept it as the literal truth. I have also heard versions where they were calling it the equivalent of the "puny" bullet. Who knows where these stories come from and if they are accurate or not. At any rate I would call the 5.45's wounding ability less than "horrendous".
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Yea they did call it puny, that's why they thought it was poisened. They couldn't figgure out how such a small round could do so much damage. I am yet to hear stories of troops complain of the 5.45s stopping power (though I am sure there are some out there).
Any lack of effect with the M4 was more a result of using the wrong ammo for the job. In a full size 20" barrel rifle the M855 ammo has generally had a good rep. But when used in short barrel carbines it's velocity drops below fragmentation range faster. Also, the rumor isn't a rumor. We have been using special ammo in M4's now for quite a while. But it wasn't designed to perform like 5.45mm bullets. They are simply heavy match bullets such as the Nosler 77 gr OTM and Hornady 75 gr OTM. They were not designed for the purpose of expanding or fragmenting. But their design just so happened to be very efficient in that regard. Not only will these loads extend the fragmentation range a great distance but it appears the fragmentation that occurs is even more dramatic than with M193 or M855. And the bullets are also much longer, so even without fragmentation, they are still very long when turned sideways travelling through a body. I'd say the equal to any 5.45 bullet when fragmentation isn't present. Far superior when it is.
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That's pretty much along the same line as my arguement.
Yeah, both can kill for sure. But I still give the edge to the 5.56mm, especially with the new specialty ammo that's out there.
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I give the 5.56 round the edge not for terminal balistics since I have made it clear I view the two rounds as being equal but different. Rather I prefer the 5.56 because of it's accuracy. A round could set off a small nuclear bomb inside the target but if it never struck home it would be worthless. Fortunately it is not as much a life or death thing for me since my service's offensive rounds start at 20mm [:D]
Oh, and let me say welcome to AR15.com. I hope you don't take offense to my critique of your post, but some of that stuff has been debated time and time again here. We try to keep killed off rumors from returning. Hehe. But I in no way meant any of that as a flame or disrespect toward you. But most of us just take ammo very seriously since lives depend on it so we often question rumors and assumptions.
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Naw, I was expecting a lively debate or I wouldn't have dusted off a half month old post. I don't pretend to be an expert on the 5.56 round as I am still learning quite a bit about it (I have read the ammo faq and read up on the terminal balistics data on several prior occasions for 5.56 5.45 and .308). However I did a fair ammount looking into on the 5.45 before I bought my Sar-2 and I think it is a very underappreciated round, however it's also getting old and could use some modernizing (improved velocity and a thinner jacket for fragmentation, but keep the bubble for that great tumbleing) I just like to keep people thinking. Some folks begin to latch on to something and believe in it dogmatically to their own ruin. The 5.56 has evolved a lot in its service life and I am glad to see the DoD is makeing corrections once again for it's shortcommings. But if we hail the 5.56 as the silver bullet without conceding it's limitations and the potential advantages of other rounds we help perpetuate the distortions popularized by hollywood and the sensational news media (no I am not tring to point my finger at anyone speficically on these forums).
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:46:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Starvin: I am yet to hear stories of troops complain of the 5.45s stopping power
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I find that funny, since the stories I've heard have the Russian troops complaining and wanting to go back to the 7.62. Oh, and I wouldn't consider the 75gr or 77gr to be custom loads. They are a standardized load and are extremely capable. See the BTAmmoLabs experiments tacked at the top of this forum. Frankly, if you're engaging targets beyond 200-250 yds, you need to use 7.62x51. I realize that's not always an option, it's just my opinion.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:40:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Starvin: Anything short of a CNS shot or a .50bmg isn't going to make much of a difference to a fanatic or chemically altered individual. The different wounding charicteristics (fragmenting or wild tumbleing) won't play that big a part.
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I strongly disagree. Let's talk about "stopping power" for lack of a better term. There is a direct link between the probability of crating a devastating wound and the VOLUME OF THE PERMANENT CAVITY produced by the bullet. If no fragmentation occurs, then each bullet will tumble 180 degrees exatcly ONCE to travel base first. The 5.45 has the SLIGHT edge since the bullet is longer and thus creates a minimally larger permanent wound cavity volume. The curved vs. linear path is irrelevant here, as I've said before - the curved path of the 5.45 could just as easily make it curve away from a vital target as towards it. As a matter of fact, if I shoot someone dead in the center of the chest, the curved path would almost guarantee that the bullet would curve away from the heart which I'd otherwise be guaranteed to hit. Personally, I'd like to know that the bullet I shoot keeps going in that direction after hitting someone. Other times, the curved path might make the bullet exit the body after minimal damage. Then again, a shot in the leg might hit the heart or lungs. Statistically, it's a crapshoot since you can't guarantee or predict the angle in inflection. Secondly, the permanent wound cavity produced by a fragmenting bullet SIGNIFICANTLY exceeds taht of a non-fragmenting bullet. Statistically, this is much more likely to create a devastating wound than not. Notice that I said statistically likely - there could always be exceptions, but the fragmentation makes a near miss of a vital organ much more likely into a hit by some of the fragments.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:44:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By brouhaha: I find that funny, since the stories I've heard have the Russian troops complaining and wanting to go back to the 7.62. Frankly, if you're engaging targets beyond 200-250 yds, you need to use 7.62x51. I realize that's not always an option, it's just my opinion.
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Amen! I would assume that you won't hear a similar complaint with the 5.45 as the 5.56. Remember these complaints were because the GI's where making long shots with there M4s. I doubt the AK would even be capable of making the same shots to complain about. [devil] Sorry I could resist the shamless dig at the AKs inherent accuracy.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:53:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ridge: Sorry I could resist the shamless dig at the AKs inherent accuracy.
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Actually, I almost said that myself. How often do you hear about 300yd AK74 shots? What? Never?
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 9:32:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 9:40:40 AM EDT by Starvin]
I allready conceded the 5.56 was more accurate, you need not be condescending, it only serves to lower the conversation from debate to arguement. Also lets not pit rifles against one another because that is a whole nother can of worms. You cut out the part where I said I am sure complaints about the 5.45 by russian troops exist. However you will always find guys that want to go back to "good ol' days." The Army fought .223 tooth and nail. It was the Air Force that adopted the AR-15 first. I'll stand by my claim of the stopping power of 5.45 vs 5.56 against an enraged opponent. If you want to go on cavitation I challenge you to cross reference .308 with .223. [img]http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/Wound%20Profiles/M80.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/Wound%20Profiles/M193.jpg[/img] The .223 creates a larger volume permanent wound cavity than the .308 but I don't think anyone would argue the .223 has more stopping power. Energy transfer (and temporary cavity) is more importent in the short term as it generates the shock to the body. The only way you will get an opponent to drop quickly based off permanent cavitation is from rapid loss of blood. Which still isn't fast:
"A hit to the heart obviously will cause severe blood loss and lead to unconsciousnessand likely death in 10 to 15 seconds" -Pg. 136-137 "The Ultimate Sniper" By Maj. John L. Plaster
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Again in an altered state of mind shock dosn't play as much a part on the target. So anything short of a CNS shot will be largley ignored. The only way you will get an opponent to drop quickly based off permanent cavitation is from rapid loss of blood. Which still isn't fast In the long run a fragmented .223 is more likely to kill the target simply because of the difficulty of removing all the projectile's fragments. But that's after the fight's over anyway. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I try not to over focus on number cruching. Leave that to the MacNamera's of the world. It can be helpfull but it can leave you not being able to see the forest for the trees. I would encourage you to pick up a copy of the "Complete Sniper" if you have not already. The author repetidly refers to his personal experiances with wound balistics in the real world as differeing from what the guys in lab coats are trying to tell him.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 9:40:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By brouhaha:
Originally Posted By Ridge: Sorry I could resist the shamless dig at the AKs inherent accuracy.
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Actually, I almost said that myself. How often do you hear about 300yd AK74 shots? What? Never?
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LOL, I have to agree. Since we are talking about the Russian/Afghan War, I also remember hearing the stories of the Mujahadeen setting up where they could ambush Russian soldiers from a few hundred yards away with .303 caliber Enfield rifles. Evidently they had no problem hitting the Russian troops from that distance and the bullet would penetrate their body armor. But they must have felt pretty safe against the Russian small arms at that distance. Now if the Russians had been using M-16A2's (or A3'S or A4's or whatever) with modern US ammo, I bet their rate of success at engaging targets at those distances would have shot up dramatically. The AK-74 designs are very reliable and cheap. But they sacrifice everything else in doing so. Ergonomics, accuracy, optics and ammo options suck compared to the AR-15/M-16 family of weapons. And one other thing to toss into this debate about 5.56mm vs. 5.45x39mm is the fact that the best performing 5.45mm round is next to impossible to get here. If you are lucky enough to find a few rounds the price is usually ridiculously high. So even if the 5.45 was more effective (which it isn't), it really would be of little use to us since we can't get the good ammo for it anyway. So any point about the 5.45 is rather moot to us considering this. What we have is Wolf, Barnaul and Uly commercial ammo which doesn't use the same bullet design as the Russian military loads. So for US customers I would say the AR-15 and 5.56mm ammo is a much better choice. You have many more options in accessories and ammo choices. With an AK-74 or clone, you are pretty limited. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:08:17 AM EDT
The only reason I made my condescending claim and brought the rifle into the equation is because YOU stated that there hadn't been any complaints about the 5.45 round. Then my rebuttal is to say I'm sure there are probably fewer complaints with the 5.56 up to the effective accuracy range of the 5.45 AK, and that the complaints YOU are referencing are due to the M4s ability to make a long shot that an AK can't. I'd also like to quickly point out that the wound paths that you have posted for 5.56 and .308 are very misleading. Remember we said beyond 200-250 yds for .308. If you compared a nonfragmenting .308 to a nonfragmenting 5.56 or 5.45 than clearly the .308 wins. In addition the .308 would probably or hopefully be issued OTM Match ammo which would produce a much more dramatic wound than 7.62 Ball. I contend that 5.56 is an excellent general purpose round for most combat ranges. When required,the effective deadly range can be increase using OTM match ammo. For bordering ranges and beyond a 7.62X51 with the appropriate ammo is in order.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:17:52 AM EDT
Lets just let it ride. It is very tempting to start a rifle arguement but we are supposed to be focusing on the virtues of the ammunition alone. No need to add confounding variables. The only reason I brought the .308 to the table was to illustrate that it does not leave a very spectacular wound channel and yet has undeiable kill power over the rounds we are debating. My hope was to show that simply compareing cross sections of balistic gel isn't the be all end all of determining a rounds effectiveness.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:37:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 10:39:39 AM EDT by zhukov]
Originally Posted By Starvin: The .223 creates a larger volume permanent wound cavity than the .308 but I don't think anyone would argue the .223 has more stopping power. Energy transfer (and temporary cavity) is more importent in the short term as it generates the shock to the body.
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Again you're directly contradicting established fact - the temporary cavity is not a useful predictor in disabling a person. Tissue is elastic, and the only organs which are an exception are the liver and spleen. As a matter f fact, the 7.62x51 is the same diameter bullet as the 7.62x39. The claim that a 7.62 FMJ has better stopping power has been disproven by the empirical data analyzed after the Vietnam war when looking at the mortality of the AK47.
The only way you will get an opponent to drop quickly based off permanent cavitation is from rapid loss of blood.
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And what mechanism do you believe will cause that more efficiently ? You will be injured by both types of bullets, but the one which will cause a greater degree on injury, with the attendant higher degree of incapacitation is the one I would pick, and that's a fragmenting bullet. I once again point you to the complete set of articles by Dr. Fackler in my previous post. It details a lot of the things I've talked about. He's certainly not a lab coat dweeb, as he spent several years in Vietnam as a combat surgeon and it was his [b]job[/b] to analyze and know about the efficiency of each rifle's wounding mechanism as the director of the Army's Letterman Institute of Research Wound Ballistics Laboratory. I certainly will take his word over anybody else's, unless it's been published in relevant literature and has undergone peer review.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:53:09 AM EDT
I am getting the feeling that you are missing my point. -If you are shooting someone that is in a severely altered state of mind niether the 5.56 nor the 5.45 will rapidly stop him unless it is a CNS shot. Hitting the heart will drop him in 10+ seconds and anything else will take longer. Which means you will prolly end up pelting him untill his body's shock overrides his mind's deathgrip and shuts down. Before the bleeding ever finishes the job. -I never said 7.62x39 was more effective. I said .308 was, even though it didn't cause a large permanent wound channel, indicateing there is more to wounding than the channel. The data I referenced above is also Fackler, it's just easier to view. The website is listed on the picture and is a good read.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:05:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 11:08:30 AM EDT by zhukov]
Originally Posted By Starvin: -If you are shooting someone that is in a severely altered state of mind niether the 5.56 nor the 5.45 will rapidly stop him unless it is a CNS shot. Hitting the heart will drop him in 10+ seconds and anything else will take longer. Which means you will prolly end up pelting him untill his body's shock overrides his mind's deathgrip and shuts down. Before the bleeding ever finishes the job.
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You're statistically more likely to cause a larger wound with a fragmenting bullet, which results in more blood loss, which results in faster onset of hypovolemic shock, which causes said perpetrator to stop in his tracks. So you're left again with answering the same question: Which bullet is likely to cause this effect more quickly and more reliably, not counting follow-up shots ?
-I never said 7.62x39 was more effective. I said .308 was, even though it didn't cause a large permanent wound channel, indicateing there is more to wounding than the channel.
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I know you were talking about the .308. It's just that there's nothing magical about it being slightly longer and faster in comparison to the 7.62x39. Yes, it creates a larger temporary cavity, but not a significantly larger permanent cavity. Thus, I think it's fair to compare the two bullets' wounding ability. Furthermore, look at the sacale of the two diagrams above - they're not the same. A large part of the temporary cavity produced by the .308 or 7.62x39 is likely to not occur inside of the body anyway, unless the hit is from a very oblique angle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:16:58 AM EDT
If you honestly believe there is no difference in wounding between the .308 and the 7.62x39 then there really isn't a point in further debate with you on the subject of wound balistics.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:18:17 AM EDT
The .223 creates a larger volume permanent wound cavity than the .308 but I don't think anyone would argue the .223 has more stopping power. Energy transfer (and temporary cavity) is more importent in the short term as it generates the shock to the body. The only way you will get an opponent to drop quickly based off permanent cavitation is from rapid loss of blood.
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You are using two terms that are relatively meaningless....."stopping power" and "energy transfer". I prefer to think of "terminal performance" as a much better term. Stopping power sounds too much like something that would be uttered by Marshall and Sanow for my tastes. [:D] Energy transfer has [underline]nothing[/underline] to do with terminal performance. It is a meaningless figure that looks good on paper but has little basis in actual application. The next time you shoot a deer with a high velocity round like a .308 or a 30-06, watch to see what happens. If energy transfer was taking place you would expect all those ft. lbs. to "knock" the deer down or send it rolling backwards. Yet that doesn't happen. If you still aren't convinced, walk up to said deer as it's lying on the ground and fire another shot into it. Is the deer physically moved significantly by all of this 2500 lbs of energy? Of course not. Because energy transfer once again is something that looks good on paper but doesn't bear out in actual applications. It's a myth. To take this one step farther, I recently saw a video of a police shooting in Ohio in which state troopers were charged by a knife weilding assailant. There were numerous troopers on the scene and the guy was simulataneously blasted with at least 5 or 6 handguns and a load of buckshot at a distance of about 30 feet. The guy wasn't moved backwards by the energy of those rounds. But he did drop straight down (picture a falling rock) and died. If all of this magical energy was somehow affecting the guy why wasn't he forced backwards? Then there was the video circulating around a year or two ago where this guy in the body armor business was testing a new design that could stop the .308 threat level. He shot his partner who was wearing this armor at point blank range and the vest did it's job and stopped the round. But he soaked up all of this energy yet it didn't even slightly knock him off balance. No doubt the vest dispersed and absorbed some of this energy, but the wearer received enough of it to still be a good example. My opinion is that 2500 ft lbs of energy ramming into something would theoretically be capable of knocking stuff around. But with something as small as a spitzer shaped bullet, there just isn't enough surface area to effectively transfer all that energy. If a door were to hit you squarely with that much force it would send you sailing. But not a .223 or .308 bullet. It's too small and too fast. There are two reliable methods of incapacitating a hostile attacker. One is the CNS hit you mention. The other is blood loss. With that taken into account you want a bullet that is capable of causing the most tissue damage possible. That is why fragmentation is so important. The more tissue damaged, the more bleeding possible. If a direct CNS hit doesn't occur, that's the only other real means to stop a threat. Therefore permanent cavity is more important than the temporary cavity. This stuff about energy and hydrostatic shock don't cut it for me. So other than CNS hits or those causing rapid blood loss, you only have two other options left for dropping an assailant. One is psychological reactions. These are meaningless to the study since they can't be measured. So this has to be put into the "maybe and what if" category. The last is a somehat rare event in which a high velocity bullet passes close enough to the spine of a person or game animal that the shock wave (temp cavity) temporarily disables it. But the bullet path has to be very close and at a high velocity to do this. This doesn't apply to handgun rounds because they are too slow. And it may only be "temporary", so it doesn't mean the threat is stopped. Therefore my conclusion is that CNS hits and those generating wounds sufficiently deep and wide to affect internal blood rich organs and blood bearing vessels are the best and most reliable means of stopping a threat. Everything else fits better in the "maybe and what if" column or the "myth" section. And I have seen some stuff out there (think of M&S) that just plain fits into the BS category. LOL. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:29:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Starvin: If you honestly believe there is no difference in wounding between the .308 and the 7.62x39 then there really isn't a point in further debate with you on the subject of wound balistics.
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OK, I'll bite - what proof do you have that the 7.62x51 FMJ is significantly different in performance from the 7.62x39 FMJ wounding potential-wise ? I'm not talking about effective range here, just the wound that's inflicted if you do get hit.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:43:23 AM EDT
heh heh I can understand your aversion to your terms, I was trying to avoid them but I was comming up short on thinking of good terms to use. I won't argue that the fragmentation cavity created by the .223 will likely cause more bleeding. All I wanted to point out is that bleeding to incapacitation takes a long time relative to the pace of combat. Big thing to remember is that a bullet really dosn't generate that much energy. Remember Newton's third law of motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When you fire a round from a bolt gun the same ammount of energy that propells the round is also transfered to the rifle thus your whole body. As you know bullet proof vests work by distributing the total force of the incomming round over a larger area. Good energy transfer is desireable because you want as much of that stored energy to be expended on the target. This energy transfer generates the temporary wound cavity which imparts shock to the body. This is seen when you hit a sealed jug of water with a high velocity round. That explosion is the caused by the energy wave as it passes through the jug creating more pressure than the jug can contain thus causing it to burst. Problem is people associate energy transfer with knockdown power. What ultimately causes the target to fall is not the energy of the round being transfered to his body. Ultimately I think we are on the same page Chargeing Handle, we are just reading it differently
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:52:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 12:24:08 PM EDT by Starvin]
zhukov: As I was trying to state earlier, this falls into the voodoo magic that can't be explained by wound balistics in gel. Best way to describe it would be a parallel example. Whack somone with an 8lb hammer and you will mess them up. Take a 10lb hammer and swing it faster and you will cause more damage. If the human body was nothing but balistic gel, it would snap right back and the subject would walk away with you. Work bones and different tissues of varying consistancy into the mix and you have a dead test subject. Both hammers will hurt and potentially kill. But the Heavier hammer that is swung faster will do more damage. EDIT:
"It was Sanow's view that rifle bullets having a remaining velocity of more than about 1200-1300fps would cause injuries through temporary cavitation as distinct from wound channel damage. I share his belief that a rifle bullet's cavitation pulse becomes so sharp, so sudden, so violent and so large that it can tear flesh from bone, hemmorrage or bruise blood-rich organs, and even sever vins and arteries. Dr. BRG Kaplan, MD., Has told me that beyond question, the hypervelocity bullets (more than 3000fps) induce significant tissue damage through cavitation, a belief widely recognized in the wound ballistic community. Current concepts explain part but not all of what's happening-too many contradictions and exceptions exist for one pat theory. For instance, I was reliably informed three years ago of a Mideast sniping incident in which a counterterrorist marksman- presumably Israeli-drilled a hostage taker with a .300WinMag, center-chest. Instead of a mere wound channel, the terrorist's entire chest cavity 'was filled with a mush of organs and tissue and blood so convoluted that it looked like Jello,' I was told by an expert on the subject. Much of that damage resulted from a violent, massive cavitation. My personal Observations, too, tend to support the 'There's more happening here than a mere wound channel' opinion. after witnessing more than 30 rifle gunshot wounds, all inflicted by 7.62x39mm rounds at less than 100 yards, i can say beyond any doubt that even the moderate-velocity AK round nearly always inflicts much more than simply wound channel damage." -Maj John L. Plaster "The Ultimate Sniper" Pg.133
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Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:35:23 PM EDT
Good energy transfer is desireable because you want as much of that stored energy to be expended on the target. This energy transfer generates the temporary wound cavity which imparts shock to the body.
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Wrong. That's precisely what I've been trying to argue this whole time. Instead of more arguments, here are some quotes: From "The Shock Wave Myth, International Wound Ballistics Association: "A review of 1400 rifle wounds from Vietnam should lay to rest the myth of "distant" injuries. In that study there were no cases of bones being broken, or major vessels torn, that were not hit by the penetrating bullet." From "Effects of Small Arms on the Human Body": "The kinetic eenergy fallacy is a smokescreen which hides the actual ways in which the projectile interacts with tissue. Authors who use 'kinetic energy transfer' as an explanation of how a projectile causes a particular injury are missing the crux of wound ballistics, as well as spreading the worst kind of misinformation." From "Ballistic Injury": "Temporary cavity, however, is nothing more than a "splash" in tissue. It is the same mechanism that causes the increased turbulence when a diver hits the water sideways. The effect of temporary cavity stretch on tissue is similar to that seen in blunt trauma." From "The ideal police bullet": "1) The only reliable means of stopping the aggression of a determined adversary is by disrupting vital body structures. 2) The heart and major blood vessels are the vital structures of the torso. [....] Such tissue displacement [of the temporary cavity] can be absorbed with little effect by most of the body's elastic tissues." Nowhere have I ever read the the temporary cavity was a significant contributing factor to stopping a person. If that were the case, bullets would be designed to cause a large temporary cavity (which they already do), while ignoring the permanent cavity. Wound ballistics has shown that this thinking is completely out of touch with what's happening in the real world, as all bullets with realiable terminal performance have one thing in common: a large permanent cavity of sufficient penetration depth.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:40:59 PM EDT
Hmm it seems we are stalemated. We have both drawn up conflicting expert oppinion. (Which is suprising, considering most of the time these degrade into personal oppinion shouting matches). Seems even the guys who study this kind of a thing for a living can't come to a uniform conclusion. I'm willing to leave it at we agree to disagree.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:57:16 PM EDT
OK, we agree to disagree. That seems to be a fair statement. But to get back to the original topic of strongmad's thread, the 5.56mm would be the more effective round as far as we are concerned. Again, we only have access to cheap Russian commercial ammo that uses bullets of a different design. So we can't take that kind of ammo and expect it to perform just like the Russian military stuff. Therefore if you are a civilian living in the US, it's a moot point whether 5.45 is as good or better than the 5.56 simply because we don't have access to the good 5.45 rounds. Most of the topics generated in this forum are geared specifically toward our own uses and needs. I have to assume Strongmad was seeking info to help him decide whether or not the 5.45 or the 5.56 was better suited for self defense use. Because of the weapons that are available to us, as well as ammo and other accessories, the AR family of weapons and the .223 cartridge would be much better suited to personal defense roles than the 5.45x39mm. That is especially true considering the geographical location where our butts are parked at the moment. When in Rome...... -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 2:03:35 PM EDT
-Under 150yds I'll take the 5.56 -Over 150yds the edge goes to the 5.45. This round is still going 2000fps+ at 500yds.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 3:40:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 4:02:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 4:04:28 PM EDT by Charging_Handle]
Well said Troy. If I had a choice I would take an AR-15 or M4 for everything out to about 250-300 yards and some of the 75 or 77 gr OTM loaded to mil-specs. It's fragmentation range is definately farther than M855 and M193 either one. And the weapon itself is more accurate and gives you many more options. And if the user knows how to maintain it, it's just as reliable as the AK platform. Out past 300 yards that's where I am gonna seriously start considering picking up my scoped M1A National Match or a good Remington bolt-gun loaded with Hornady 155 gr AMAX or one of the premium 150 gr Ballistic Tips. For CQB distance I have my 16" AR carbine, a Remington 870 and Glock 17 to choose among depending on the task and proximity of the threat. So at least in my arsenal I have no place for an AK-74 when I have these other choices available. I do have an SAR-1 and wouldn't mind having an AK-74 to play around with at the range and for collectability but for serious use it just seems the AR has much more to offer. I just strongly believe the AR-15/M-16 family of weapons are superior to the AK, otherwise I would hang out over on ak-47.net! LOL. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 8:03:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2003 11:59:21 AM EDT by zhukov]
HOW DARE ANYONE DISAGREE WITH ME ? I am the high priest in the Temple of Doctormartinfacklerisacertifiedgenius. He will smote you with his might lab coat. I didn't see the added stuff you added from Sanow and Kaplan: I believe they have been discredited by Dr. Fackler to a large degree. You can choose which camp you're in, but I firmly believe that scientific findings, backed up by reproducable experiments, and having udergone PEER REVIEW are the way to go. Not some hard-to-explain voodoo, or a single instance of an Israeli Sniper. I can smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day for 20 years and still be healthy, but it wouldn't lead me to conclude that smoking is safe. I'll throw in more of my 2 cents: It seems like the discussion is split into two camps. One is the effect of the round after a hit ignoring how long it takes a person to become incapacitated. In that role, I will vehemently defend fragmenting/expanding bullets 'till my dying breath. Then there's the question of instant incapacitation. You would like to ascribe that mechanism to the temporary cavity, but take the source for your information: You've read the book "The complete Sniper". I have not, so I am at a disadvantage and lack that information. However: The sniper will likely use that .308 you were talking about, and is likely to be very accurate. Head shots. Chest shots which probably hit the heart. In that scenario, the target is likely to go down hard and fast. There's no doubt that the .308 is a better choice to go out and touch someone far away. I never said that it wasn't. I just don't think that it's the temporary cavity which is responsible for the instant stop. Shoot someone in the head, and the bullet probably fragments. Even if it doesn't, a brain shot is end-of-game right there. The temporary cavity might even blow the head apart since the pressure can't go anywhere. But would you be less dead even if the head didn't explode? So which bullet would I choose ? I would choose the one which is MORE LIKELY to give me the best performance for a given range, which includes the bullets' likelihood to hit what I'm aiming, the damage that bullet does when it hits something, including the fact that it may not be a "perfect shot". I would not include "instant stop" in that category because it is not quantifyable in a meaningful way. Restricting yourself to anecdotes from a Sniper is also unrealistic for most of us. Even so - I watched "Combat sniper challenge" on some channel recently, and every sniper had a different weapon for long range and short range shots. Long range shots ? M24. No doubt - you're more likely to hit something with that rifle/bullet combination. Guess what they used for sub 200 shooting ? Modified M16's. Besides - the talk was of the 5.56 versus 5.45, not the 5.56 versus .308 for the reasons I've given before. So what if the 5.45 goes 2000fps at 500. If it was only going 1000fps, it would still cause the same permanent cavity. When the 5.56 doesn't fragment, the two are virtually identical in performance. Now the 5.45 might have a flatter ballistic trajectory, which makes aiming easier, which in turn slightly increases the probability of a hit, but then it's only fair to bring the rifle shooting the ammo into question, and I think you'd have to concede that the AR is more accurate than the AK. And as we all know, shots out to non-5.56-fragmenting ranges are very unrealistic for "assault" rifles anyway. According to my calculations, you owe me $0.14. [;D]
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 11:51:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 12:58:44 PM EDT
If you are using 5.56/5.45 whatever as a defensive cartridge, I don't think you will be shooting more than 300 yards. maximum. If it is farther than 300 yards, then it is more like evade than engage. Under those circumstances, M193 or Mk262 Mod1 will fragment and is likely to cause more damage. (under 200 yards M193 still seems to be a good choice) As people above mentioned, even so 5.56 does slightly less damage beyond 300 yards, you are likely to hit better with an AR than an AK, assuming you are well trained in both weaponry. Why I do feel like rehasing everyone has said? [:D]
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 2:06:28 PM EDT
I sometimes get so caught up in the technical side of an argument that I forget the most simple, basic and important things. Pushing aside the .223/5.45/7.62 debate for a moment, let's look at why ammo choices are so important. We all know that any bullet capable of penetrating deep enough has the ability to rapidly stop an assailant if the bullet hits the CNS or severs/ruptures/pokes a hole in a major blood vessel or blood rich organ. Without tumbling, fragmentation or expansion, a hit to a critical structure is still critical. You don't need a fancy bullet to do this or a genious to figure that out. But we don't choose ammo for best case scenarios. Rather we try to choose ammo for the worst case scenarios. Again, a non-fragmenting or expanding bullet that makes direct contact with the aorta and ruptures it is likely to take someone down and out very fast. But we choose fragmenting bullets that dramatically increase the size of the wound channel in hopes of making what might have been a near miss of a critical structure a hit on that structure. Common sense will tell you that the larger the wound and the more tissue crushed/destroyed, then the more likely something needed will get messed up. That's why we choose hollow points or other ammo that delivers improved performance. In the best case scenario we would not likely need this kind of ammo. But rarely do we have best case scenarios, therefore we use the best ammo we can get. So, getting back to the cartridges in question, if you compared the best loads each caliber has to offer, then the most damaging will be the .308, .223 and 5.45...in that order. And at long range the .308 rules. But when we need a smaller, lighter rifle with lots of light ammo, the .223 is a good candidate. Even the best .223 ammo will not offer the terminal performance of a 155 gr .308 AMAX. But we sacrifice performance to gain mobility. And the best 5.56mm is still a better option than the best 5.45mm because in it's performance envelope it is a more damaging round. Plus, it's platform is more accurate and offers much more versatility. If the range is too far for the .223 to effectively handle the problem, you need the .308 with proper ammunition, not the 5.45x39. It's just common sense. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 7:28:54 PM EDT
5.45 v. 5.56: 5.56 rules. Better terminal performance w/i frag ranges, better accuracy at long ranges, and just as good terminal performance at long ranges b/c even though it doesn't have as long as a path in the body b/c it is not as curved, it puts tumbling paths through the parts you are aimed at. Energy transfer/Hydrostatic Shock: BS BS BS. The only time the temporary wound cannel is effective as a wounding mechanism is if you hit a non elastic part of the body (head, kidnys, liver, spleen, full bladder) when the projectile is moving at fast velocities, or if You are hitting a man w a really fast bullet that has a friggin crap load of lead (heavy grain) and a soft point. Given proper bullet construction, when a heavy enough hi-velocity bullet expands rapidly upon impact in a man, it will have the same effect in the man, or a significant part of him, as a good varmit ballistic tip or hollow point bullet has in a chipmunk. This occurs b/c the fragments of lead shower out and hit the walls of the temporary wound cavity, shrapnel the shit out of it, and make the permanent wound channel much much bigger than just the bore of the bullet, rather the permanent wound channel(cavity) ends up as big almost as the temporary wound channel. But you need alot of bullet grain and alot of speed, and you can't carry enough rounds of this type of cartrige or handle it on full auto mode. Hence for assult rifles, we have to rely on a hyper velocity fragmenting medium power cartrige. 7.62 Nato V. 7.62 X39: At close ranges, these two rounds have the same wounding potential IF: they are both FMJ, and both travel through elastic tissues. 308 will probably have an advantage if you hit a non elastic part of the body or a big bone or something and 308/7.62 nato is better for long range shots obviously (both the gun and the round). But, if you are shooting a super fast 150+ grain 308 cal bullet w/ soft point and proper bullet constructin, you can explode a man's abdomen like a wood chuck. Knock down Power: BS BS BS. For every action there is an equal and oppisite reaction. The only a projectile can knock down a target, not just make it fall down or jump in fright etc. is if the recoil felt in the but of a bolt action rifle from which it is fired could knock over something = in weigh to a said target. A bullet has the exact energy coming out the muzzle as a the rifle moving backwards in recoil. THe rifle butt doesn't kill though b/c its weight is greater and hence it is so much slower, and the surface area is greater. If any of you are planning on you handgun providing some sort of knock down power that will some how actually physically knock back an advancing attacker better think again. A gun, especially a hand gun, can't be relied upon to stop an agressor's advance, it can be counted on to hopefully make him loose so much blood when he gets to you that he doesn't have enough strenght to kill you. The same is kind of also true for rifles, but not as bad. The only thing I can think of that could maybe knock over/down a man is a 3 1/2" 1 and 1/4 oz slug out of a 20+" barrel or a 50 BMG Ballistic tip.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 8:51:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By strongmad: 5.45 v. 5.56: 5.56 rules. Better terminal performance w/i frag ranges, better accuracy at long ranges, and just as good terminal performance at long ranges b/c even though it doesn't have as long as a path in the body b/c it is not as curved, it puts tumbling paths through the parts you are aimed at.
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Another convert. Can I have a Hallelujah from the congregation ? Just remember a point I brought up earlier in regards to the curved path of the 5.45 - it's just as likely for it to curve away from vital structures or out of the body altogether as it is to stay inside of your body longer.
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