Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/18/2002 9:07:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2002 9:13:28 PM EDT by middleman]
I just finished reading the book "Black Hawk Down". Probably 4 or 5 times throughout the book, some Ranger or Delta was muttering to himself about how he would shoot the Sammy multiple times with his M4 carbine and they wouldn't go down unless he hit their spine or brain. The new (at the time) penetrator ammo (I'm assuming it was SS109) was going right through the enemy like an icepick. I'm not dissing the AR, I've got three Bushmasters myself and love'em but this sort of story does not give me great confidence in CQB situations like this. This debate is old news given that the military accepted the tradeoff in calibers 40 years ago and decided it was acceptable. But, if you read the book, did your opinion on the relative killing power of the AR change?
Link Posted: 3/18/2002 9:20:00 PM EDT
This has been discusse dseveral times here. To give you the short version :

At the ranges the combat took place the 14.5" bbl had enough velocity to fragment properly and do what the gun was designed for. The sammies, being very malnourished really dont have enough tissue for the bullet to perform properly. Lastly, they were mostly high as a kite from eating khat, the local drug of choice down there. Basically similar to shooting someone on PCP, they will keep coming because thier bain won't tell them they are dead.

If I missed any major points I am sure others will chime in!!

Link Posted: 3/18/2002 9:25:07 PM EDT
Remember, the M4 has a 14.5" barrel. Velocity is going lower than a 20" barrel, and all the 5.56 round has going for it is VELOCITY. As many tests point and prove out, the 5.56 (M193 or M855) lose the spectacular fragmentation effect past 125 yards (approx) due to the velocity dropping below 2700fps--and this is out of a 20" AR. That means that a 14.5" M4 firing M855 is going to be MUCH less effective at the same range. A quick calculation tells me that the M855 round in the M4 is not going to have the highly lethal fragmentation effect much past 65 yards.

IMHO, the problem is not the round. The problem is the combination of the short barrel length and lost velocity potential. This is the same reason I tell most people that a M4 may look "cool", but you are trading off a great deal of effectiveness.
Link Posted: 3/18/2002 9:43:26 PM EDT
Those M16A1's worked damn good in "We Were Soldiers"

It was just a movie, so I don't know how well they actually performed. The character Gibson played said something like "m16's, those are supposed to be pretty good." or something. Plus the m16a1's in the movie NEVER jammed. It was a pretty cool movie, even though it had NOTHING to do with this topic......
sorry.....

Just thought I would share how positively that movie displayed the m16.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 4:31:22 AM EDT
As others have stated, it was a combination of things.
SS109 was designed to work from a 20 barrel. Someone forgot to see what kind of effect the drop in velocity the shorter barrel of the M4 would have on it. Add in the fact of the sammies being thin and high and it makes things a little tough.
From what I have seen, M198 works much better from M4 barrels due to it achieving higher velocities and maintaining the velocity longer. On a side note, I havent heard any complaints out of ashcanistan about any weapon problems. Has anyone else heard anything?
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 4:38:39 AM EDT
Being "thin and high" didn't seem to save many skinnies from the 7.62 NATO. I'd feel much more confident with a weapon/cartridge not dependent on the relative physical condition of its human target.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 4:46:33 AM EDT
There's also something in the book about a Ranger cutting loose with an M60 and the BG taking several hits before going down.
I blew the front leg almost clean off a deer, tore up his lungs and heart, and he still ran 100 yards !
Sh*t happens
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 10:52:36 AM EDT
IIRC, the only guy complaining was the Delta guy Howe. My personal swag is, after reading the book a couple of times, that Howe had an unrealistic expectation of the effectiveness of firearms. In short, all else being equal, I believe he would have been just as disappointed in a larger caliber. For instance he complains that a Somali wouldn't go down unless you hit the heart or head; well, guess what, you need to destroy the CNS or circulatory system to get an immediate stop and a circulatory shot isn't always immediate.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 11:16:31 AM EDT
Middleman, the Search key is only a click away There is a lot of info on this particular issue here.

Francisco, since Howe was the only operator who had been cleared to talk on the operation, his role was very large in the book. The opinion with the TFR vets i have talked with is that the relations between D guys and Rangers were portrayed too narrowly. The view was strictly from Howe. The guys i have spoken with say the relations were much closer and the D guys truly tried to teach/help the Rangers where they could, since they could understand the Rangers were not as experienced as they were.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 11:55:21 AM EDT
I'm reading the book right now and tell you the truth that stands out because he is the *ONLY* one complaining. The Rangers didn't seem to be having that problem, and they were using the same ammo. I'd expect Howe wasn't hitting nearly as much as he thought he was - combat is not like the range.

BTW I do remember them pointing out the M60 (they indicated using SLAP rounds) required many bursts into a man before finally stopping him.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 12:40:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

BTW I do remember them pointing out the M60 (they indicated using SLAP rounds) required many bursts into a man before finally stopping him.



Which is why 7.62 and 5.56mm SLAP's have been abandoned in favor of the full bore Norwegian made M993/4/5/6 series tungstin cored AP. SLAP is now only made for the .50's which had no problem in Somalia, their ability to shoot through concrete block walls was actually highly thought of. You get hit by a 300grn .30cal tungstin projectile at a high percent of 4400fps you are goint to either go down or loose large pieces of your body or both, no matter what kind of drugs you are using.

Course anyone who tried to make the various "fleshette" rifle programs over the last 3 decades work would have told you that the rifle caliber SLAP wasn't going to work very well as a anti-personnel weapon from the begining.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 1:07:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By middleman:
I've got three Bushmasters myself and love'em but this sort of story does not give me great confidence in CQB situations like this.



That's why in CQB I would choose a shotgun with either 00 buck tatical loads, or #4 buck loads. Those have the best stopping power.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 1:27:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:
I'd expect Howe wasn't hitting nearly as much as he thought he was - combat is not like the range.




Amen to that!
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 1:44:58 PM EDT
All,

The inherent weaknesses vis-a-vis the SS109 round versus individuals at close range are a proven statistic...much to the changrin of DOD.

Penetration with the round is fantastic; heck, one can split a Kevlar helmet open at 400 yards with this ammo, providing that a) you'd want to shoot that far with a 5.56mm weapon, and b) you'd opt for a head shot over a much more likely "center mass" hit.

Generally speaking, rounds that can penetrate THAT well probably aren't the very best for creating a temporary stretch cavity - the very thing that causes incapacitation in people.

As the Geneva people (or was it during the Hague Convention?) decided to ban the use of soft-point or "dum-dum" ammo from combat, as it was "too uncivilized" for land warfare, the M193 was the best substitute for a good, solid hollowpoint round -at least in that caliber.

What was lost on many was the conversion from the M193, and how good (for FMJ ammo) that round was at ranges of 250 yards and less.

So what do I pack in my AR? Well, unless I have to shoot through a dump truck or something, I'll stick with Lake City M193 ball. But I keep a mag of SS109 handy...just in case???

Additionally, I firmly believe that an AR with 5.56mm hollowpoints (TAP's, or Blitz by Federal) is a MUCH better choice for CQB than a 12 gauge shotgun, in areas such as:

1) Pinpoint accuracy
2) rapid reloading capability
3) quicker follow-up shots
4) capability of instant transition from short to medium/long range shooting.
5) more rounds per basic load (carried), and in weapon.

Here's something to try at the range. Borrow a Trijicon Reflex sight, mount and boresight it to your AR, and go through a CQB (or IDPA-style) course. Trust me - you'll never have more fun, at least on your feet.

Again, just my two cents.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 2:02:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AndyTN:
All,

The inherent weaknesses vis-a-vis the SS109 round versus individuals at close range are a proven statistic...much to the changrin of DOD.



You are right it is PROVEN it performs just like M193 - very effective against soft targets.



Generally speaking, rounds that can penetrate THAT well probably aren't the very best for creating a temporary stretch cavity - the very thing that causes incapacitation in people.


NO what you need it PERMANENT cavity and the M855 does this just as well as M193. Temporay cavity is not important - UNLESS you hit an inelastic organ like the liver or brain.

Please consult the RESEARCH done for the DOD by Dr Martin Fackler.

You can see the difference between M193 & M855 in these diagrams by Dr. Fackler www.firearmstactical.com/pagea18.htm
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 2:08:18 PM EDT
Well, I see that we have the beginnings of the ever-present debate between the Fackler School and the Marshall school.

One believes the permanent stretch cavity causes incapacitation, while the other believes in the shock effect of the temporary cavity building to incapacitation.

To me, heck - I believe Marshall's findings. If you like Fackler's - hey, it's a free country.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 6:33:58 AM EDT
Personally, I think the Facklerites have done a great job of explaining why Marshall should be given the same credit as any other professional gunzine writer when it comes to ballistics; but temporary stretch cavity does play a part in the wounding effectiveness of M193 and M855 according to Fackler.

Based on my reading of Fackler, the temporary cavity caused by these rounds is important because it contributes to the permanent cavity. The whole mechnism for wounding relies on the round yawing and fragmenting at the cannelure. When this happens, smaller rips and tears are made in muscle and organs exposed by the temporary stretch cavity.

There is also a big difference between temporary stretch cavity in a handgun (what Marshall is arguing) and temporary stretch cavity caused by a rifle (what we are discussing here). Fackler argues the temporary stretch cavity caused by a handgun is irrelevant because a handgun bullet doesn't have enough velocity and energy to cause muscle tissue to expand beyond the limits of its elasticity (i.e. one the bullet passes through, the tissue around he permanent cavity snaps back into place undamaged).

Even Fackler acknowledges that rifle rounds DO have the energy to create damage through temporary stretch cavity because the greater velocity of rifle rounds can cause tissue to stretch past the point of its elasticity (it tears instead of snapping back into place, increasing the size of the permanent cavity)

To quote Fackler:


The temporary cavity stretch, its effect increased by perforation and weakening of the tissue by fragments, then causes a much
enlarged permanent cavity by detaching tissue pieces.



However, I don't think this supports Andy's suggestion that the M855 has a reduced stretch cavity. Fackler's documentation of temporary stretch cavities of 5.56mm shows that M855 and M193 are practically identical. home.snafu.de/l.moeller/military_bullet_wound_patterns.html


Forest: I'm reading the book right now and tell you the truth that stands out because he is the *ONLY* one complaining. The Rangers didn't seem to be having that problem, and they were using the same ammo.


From what commentary I've seen from the Rangers, most of them were carrying standard M16A2s with 20" barrel - which tends to lend support to velocity and failure to yaw being a factor of some kind - although I think a lot of the shooting took place at ranges where even the 14.5" barrels should have made 2700fps easily enough.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 6:48:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2002 6:48:58 AM EDT by Forest]

Originally Posted By AndyTN:
Well, I see that we have the beginnings of the ever-present debate between the Fackler School and the Marshall school.


Well the difference Fackler was a battelfield surgeon and put men back together after getting shot, later he runs the US Army's Wound Ballitic Lab and write the the chapter on Bullet Wounds for the NATO Emergency Surgery Manual. All his data is published and his studies are peer reviewd.

On the other hand Marshal has ZERO credentials and has NEVER published data or source.



One believes the permanent stretch cavity causes incapacitation, while the other believes in the shock effect of the temporary cavity building to incapacitation.


This shows a TOTAL lack of knowledge of Dr. Facklers Work. Fackler's work indicates the only thing you can count on is PERMANENT cavities/wound channels. "Shock" is made up, and 'Temporary Cavities' usually don't cause any harm (unless the organ in not elastic i.e. the liver).



To me, heck - I believe Marshall's findings. If you like Fackler's - hey, it's a free country.


Yep you are free to be ignorant....
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 6:54:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bartholomew_Roberts:
Personally, I think the Facklerites have done a great job of explaining why Marshall should be given the same credit as any other professional gunzine writer when it comes to ballistics;


Really?? How is that charlaan Marshall give any credit ? What scientific study has he ever published on the subject? What research? (BTW I have his book it is not RESEARCH by any stretch of the imagination).


but temporary stretch cavity does play a part in the wounding effectiveness of M193 and M855 according to Fackler.

Based on my reading of Fackler, the temporary cavity caused by these rounds is important because it contributes to the permanent cavity.


The Temporary cavity is ONLY IMPORANT For the 5.56 rounds or the West German 7.62 round for all other it is USELESS.



Even Fackler acknowledges that rifle rounds DO have the energy to create damage through temporary stretch cavity because the greater velocity of rifle rounds can cause tissue to stretch past the point of its elasticity (it tears instead of snapping back into place, increasing the size of the permanent cavity)


Better re-read Fackler. He seems to make 3 points on 'Tempory Stretch Cavities' they are

1) They are generally NOT important

2) Exception #1 is if you hit a relatively inelastic organ (i.e. the liver or brain).

3) Exception #2 is if the round fragments so the fragments tear the walls of the temporary cavity (i.e. M193/M855 and West German 7.62)
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:13:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By middleman:
I just finished reading the book "Black Hawk Down". Probably 4 or 5 times throughout the book, some Ranger or Delta was muttering to himself about how he would shoot the Sammy multiple times with his M4 carbine and they wouldn't go down unless he hit their spine or brain. The new (at the time) penetrator ammo (I'm assuming it was SS109) was going right through the enemy like an icepick. I'm not dissing the AR, I've got three Bushmasters myself and love'em but this sort of story does not give me great confidence in CQB situations like this. This debate is old news given that the military accepted the tradeoff in calibers 40 years ago and decided it was acceptable. But, if you read the book, did your opinion on the relative killing power of the AR change?



The time of day when the operation took place was the time of day when all of the "Skinnies" as they say were high on ?COT? I think they called it. They were dead they were just to stoned to know it.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 7:20:12 AM EDT
Do you often go around arguing with people who agree with you?


Really?? How is that charlaan Marshall give any credit ? What scientific study has he ever published on the subject? What research? (BTW I have his book it is not RESEARCH by any stretch of the imagination).


I said he should be given the same credit as any other professional gunzine writer. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment, since I don't really consider most gunzines as anything more than glossy catalogs full of advertising copy.


The Temporary cavity is ONLY IMPORANT For the 5.56 rounds or the West German 7.62 round for all other it is USELESS.


That's what we were discussing right? The performance of M855? If you want to nitpick, its not even important for all 5.56 rounds - its only important for those that show fragmentation - which isn't necessarily all SS109 ammo.


Better re-read Fackler. He seems to make 3 points on 'Tempory Stretch Cavities' they are

1) They are generally NOT important

2) Exception #1 is if you hit a relatively inelastic organ (i.e. the liver or brain).

3) Exception #2 is if the round fragments so the fragments tear the walls of the temporary cavity (i.e. M193/M855 and West German 7.62)



Why do I need to re-read him? Other than #1 did you say something substantially different from what I said and I missed it?
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 9:13:46 AM EDT
I read the book a while back and I am still not sure the SF ops were using M4 Carbines as we know them in 2002 (14.5” bbl). I got the impression that they were using carbines (CAR-15?) that may have actually had 11.5” barrels with the long flash suppressors. I don’t know this for sure but it would at least partially explain the “ice pick” through and through wounds made by the M855.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 9:29:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2002 9:32:07 AM EDT by NoCompromise]

Originally Posted By DonSchultz:
A quick calculation tells me that the M855 round in the M4 is not going to have the highly lethal fragmentation effect much past 65 yards.



How did you calculate that?
I know there is a loss in velocity but I've never heard it to not fragment beyond 65 yards.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 9:59:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bartholomew_Roberts:
Do you often go around arguing with people who agree with you?



Only when I don't follow what they are saying <G>.

I'll agree with 'Marshal' being in the same league as GUNZINE writers - I misread what you wrote and thought you were putting Dr. Fackler in the same catagory - my mistake.



If you want to nitpick, its not even important for all 5.56 rounds - its only important for those that show fragmentation - which isn't necessarily all SS109 ammo.

That is correct (same goes for all 55gr .223).


Why do I need to re-read him? Other than #1 did you say something substantially different from what I said and I missed it?


When I read this:


Fackler argues the temporary stretch cavity caused by a handgun is irrelevant because a handgun bullet doesn't have enough velocity and energy to cause muscle tissue to expand beyond the limits of its elasticity ....
Even Fackler acknowledges that rifle rounds DO have the energy to create damage through temporary stretch cavity because the greater velocity of rifle rounds can cause tissue to stretch past the point of its elasticity



I got the impression you were trying to represent ALL rifle rounds cause dammage due to temporary cavity. I don't recall him mentioning the muscle tissue, just the inelastic organs. I read into it you implied tempory stretch cavity was important when Fackler indicates that is often non the case with most hits from bullets. I guess its another case of Forest reading more into it than was written - sorry to have 'taken issue' with it.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 10:22:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BMANSAR15:
I read the book a while back and I am still not sure the SF ops were using M4 Carbines as we know them in 2002 (14.5” bbl). I got the impression that they were using carbines (CAR-15?) that may have actually had 11.5” barrels with the long flash suppressors. I don’t know this for sure but it would at least partially explain the “ice pick” through and through wounds made by the M855.



The 14.5" barreled carbines had been in use for some time with special operations units before Somalia. From what i have seen, the carbines were a mix of the first M4 models, some flattops and possibly some with thin A1 profile barrels( Colt Model M653).
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:03:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2002 12:39:35 PM EDT by AndyTN]
As this is my last post on this issue, I think I should begin by defining what the word "incapacitation" means:

Webster's defines the word "incapacitation" as
"1 : to make legally incapable or ineligible
2 : to deprive of capacity or natural power : DISABLE."

Please notice that the verb form of this word (incapacitate) is NOT a synonym for the word "kill."

Now, how does a permanent wound channel do this, and do this (in many cases)instantaneously upon bullet impact?

Answer: it doesn't. Incapacitation from a bullet strike is caused by the body(brain) reacting to something...it certainly isn't a wound channel created by a 55, 62 or even 230 grain bullet. So what does cause it?

The only thing that can cause this (sometimes) instant incapacitation - massive shock to the brain caused by a great deal of nervous tissue being violently disturbed - is the damage due to velocity and mass striking/penetrating a water-based human body which results in a temporary stretch cavity.

I agree with you that Marshall is a magazine writer, and inasmuch as a lay person can, has done his best to document police and civilian shootings in hope of determining (for everyone) what rounds work the best. I can't, and won't, argue over Fackler's points. He's a MD, and has spent years in forensic science as you described. Marshall, in my very humble opinion, has done an admirable job in regards to his documentation of police shootings for the last 20 or so years. Do I believe his findings are as statistically sound as possible? Yes. Do I believe that his partner's (Sanow) formula to predict effectiveness is correct? No, I don't.

As I stated in my previous post, I believe in a lot of what Marshall says. And, as others have posted in this forum, so does Fackler to a certain extent. I even agree with most of his points. I just don't buy ALL of Fackler's arguments - the main one being the denial of what the temporary stretch cavity does in relation to incapacitation.

Again, to each his own. Forest, if you want to accuse others of ignorance, but will believe that Dr. Fackler is the ONLY truth in forensic science, then do so. Like I said before - it's a free country.

In closing, if you still have doubts that shock effect plays a role in incapacitation, smack yourself in the shin with a baseball bat (remember to try to equal over 1,000 foot pounds of energy in your swing). This will create a temporary stretch cavity (behind what's left of your shin bone, of course) and I can guarantee that the strike will incapacitate you. All without a wound channel.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 1:59:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AndyTN:
a lay person can, has done his best to document police and civilian shootings in hope of determining (for everyone) what rounds work the best.


No he hasn't. He has never released his 'data' and his sources. Nothing is verifiable. He has been PROVEN to fabricate data. Even the 'medthodolgy' he espouses to use to collect data is SEVERLY flawed.

Thus any conclusion he draws - or you draw from his writings are completely suspect and invalid.




... I just don't buy ALL of Fackler's arguments - the main one being the denial of what the temporary stretch cavity does in relation to incapacitation.


Quite simply because it can't be proven - even in a few places where it MAY have occured... It is not a consistant phenonmina. Thus it is highly suspect - remember people have died due to non-fatal wounds just because they paniced themselves to death - I wouldn't use that to 'prove' a .25 cal has stopping power (Marshal does). Many times in the heat of battle/combat adrenalin won't allow you to feel such 'trauma' or 'shock' - you should not be depending on it to stop anything.


Dr. Fackler is the ONLY truth in forensic science, then do so.


Fackler is the only one using SCIENCE - Marshal is pulling stuff from the thin air - what he does can NOT be considered science since it does not follow scientific methodology.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 5:28:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2002 5:47:53 PM EDT by IZZY]
High on Khat/Cot/Qat/Qhath? (All various pronounciations)

Heck no!

Trust me dudes, I have chewed Qhath, and been around others who were doing it...in a country where it is legal. (Not in the U.S. and I'm not Arab)

At most it is like Caffiene, like taking too many cups of coffie or smoking a Cuban cigar.
It does not make you superman, it's not Cocaine or Methamphetamine. (the traditional western millitary drug).

I don't have too many explanations for the experiances of that soldier. I'll take the man at his word and say the soldiers were not droping. But that can be because of Natural adrenaline as well.

After a miniute or so after a non fatal hit, that hormone kicks in and a determined attacker can only be stoped with a central nervous hit, (Spine, brain) or a slow bleed to death... which in combat must seem like forever!

Anyhow I think a lot of the misinformation comes from the old tales of the Morro Wars. Opium was not the culprit. Opium, Heroin, and Morphine put you to sleep. (Like Morphus...the greco-Roman god of sleep...or for you sci-fi dudes remember "the Matrix" :))

The real action taken was a tight and wet leather pouch sewn on the testes of the worior, as the leather dried it shrank, and the pain relased enough adreniline to make them fight like madmen and take multiple hits from weak handgun calibers...simple human chemistry/ biological reaction turned into a nightmire! :D

If coffie was discovered today I'm sure that "black South American Cociane" would be banned for sure.

Top Top