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Arming the Troops
Posted by: Dale Franks on Thursday, January 11, 2007

Recently, I've been looking into some of the weapons-related comments coming from returnees from Iraq—mainly Marines, since that's who I have the most contact with.

One thing is clear: The level of satisfaction at the troop level with the M16A3/M16A4/M4 hasn't improved with use in combat. The complaints are the same ones that those of us who served at the pointy end have been making since... well... Vietnam. The same two issues keep coming up.

1) The 5.56x45 NATO round, even with the recent improvements, just can't be relied upon to consistently stop an enemy with a single torso shot. The new, hotter, 77-grain M262 round has a nice flat trajectory at shorter ranges (although it falls off the cliff after 300 meters), and very low recoil, but it simply doesn't do the job of stopping the enemy with...authority. The newer rounds are also spun much faster, making them more accurate, longer-ranged, and stable, but that also serves to prevent deflection and tumbling when they hit tissue, or even bone, leading to lots of through-and-through strikes that don't deliver much energy into the target.

2) The rifle itself requires constant cleaning, both from the nature of the direct impingement design of the gas system of the rifle itself, and from the gummy, gummy dust in Iraq. Don't get me wrong. These rifles aren't nearly as bad as the initial Vietnam-era weapons, where constant cleaning—even in the middle of firefights—was absolutely necessary to prevent the weapon from just locking up. But it's still a significant pain. The direct impingement system saves weight, and cuts down on the number of moving parts, but the drawback is that it takes the expanding gases from the barrel, funnels it through the gas tube, then releases it directly into a tube in the bolt carrier. This deflects the gas into the bolt carrier itself, forcing the carrier and bolt backwards into the receiver. This gas, which is really a very hot aerosol of carbon, copper and lead residue, and other combustion products, is left inside the receiver to cool, harden, and coat the inside of the operating parts of the weapon.

So, there are shortcomings with both the weapon, and the caliber of bullet it uses.

One of the methods being used to make up for these shortcomings has been the rennaissance of the old M14 rifle in 7.62 NATO. Yes, they're pulling those old warhorses out of storage racks, and some units in Iraq are trying to get at least two per squad. And for good reason. Compare and contrast the following:

Kinetic Energy in Ft-Pounds (Muzzle, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 yards)

5.56mm NATO (63 grains @ 3200 FPS): 1432, 1146, 889, 676, 505, 364

7.62 NATO (168 grains @ 2700 FPS): 2719, 2355, 2030, 1742, 1486, 1261

But, there's a drawback to the 7.62 NATO round, too, which causes me to ask, really, after 40 years, isn't it time we came up with a better combat/assault rifle to replace the M16 than its 50 year-old predecessor?

Well, as it happens, we have. The SOCOM community has ordered a new rifle, the FN Herstal Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle, or SCAR. (I work as a contractor for an organization that did some of the Operational testing of the SCAR.)

SCAR rifle variants

The SCAR comes in two versions, the SCAR-L in 5.56 NATO, and the SCAR-H in 7.62 NATO. Each version comes in three variants with varying barrel lengths: Close Quarters Combat (CQC), 9.6"; Assault, 13.82"; and Sniper, 18".

The good points about the SCAR are numerous. The weapons is almost as light as the M16 in the SCAR-L Assault variant at 6.9 lbs (3.5kg), and the SCAR-H isn't much heavier at only 7.2 lbs (3.86kg). The gas system is a "tappet" type closed system in which the excess gas is vented into the barrel, rather than the receiver. The weapon's controls are ambidextrous. There is a 90% parts match between the two caliber versions. Switching barrels is fairly easy, and, because the gas port is at a constant length from the receiver in all variants, a variety of barrel attachments, such as sound suppressors, etc., can be fitted to the rifle without affecting the reliability of the gas operation. You can adjust the length of the stock so that the weapon fits perfectly into you shoulder. Also, in some of the testing, 10,000 rounds were fired through SCARs without cleaning. No M16 ever built could stand up to that kind of use.

The drawback with the SCAR, however, is the calibers in which it comes. If the 5.56 NATO is too light a caliber, the 7.62 NATO is too heavy for an assault rifle. Very good ballistics for single shot, of course, but with a strong recoil that makes it uncontrollable in a light weapon for even short bursts, since the barrel climbs like nobody's business. Even the heavier M14 is uncontrollable in automatic.

So the SCAR is a great rifle, with a bad choice of rounds.

What we really need is a powerful intermediate round with lighter recoil, but longer range. I have always been a fan of the .270 Winchester—or, as its recently devised military round is known, the 6.8mm SPC. It is a little-known fact that the M1 Garand was initially supposed to fire the .270 Winchester, but the then COS of the Army, General Douglas MacArthur, demanded the rifle in .30-06.

The SOCOM guys showed a lot of interest in the 6.8 SPC round, and are using it in Afghanistan, and a 6.8mm version of the current AR15 platform was demonstrated to the Army.

More recently, however, a newly devised round, the 6.5mm (.255 caliber) Grendel round has garnered a lot of attention. While a bit slimmer than the 6.8 SPC round, the Grendel round is significantly longer—although the cartridge itself is a bit shorter and fatter—giving it much better ballistic characteristics, and longer range than the 6.8 SPC.

6.8mm SPC vs. 6.5mm Grendel

The Grendel's felt recoil is only slightly greater than the 5.56 NATO round, and a lot of the SOCOM guys (although not the brass) have raved about it, and like it better than the 6.8mm SPC, especially since it delivers a lot more kick to the target at longer ranges.

At the same time, for shorter combat ranges, where most infantry combat takes place, both the 6.8mm SPC and the 6.5mm Grendel deliver relatively flat trajectories.

While I have a romantic attraction to the tried and true .270 Winchester, I think the 6.5mm Grendel is probably s superior round at longer ranges, and equally good at shorter ranges, making it a better all-round cartridge.

I think that mating the SCAR to the 6.5mm Grendel would be a perfect fit for almost everyone. It would eliminate, for the most part, the need for two separate variants of the SCAR, because it would combine low felt recoil with higher accuracy and 7.62 NATO-equivalent energy dump at all ranges.

Both the Army and Marine brass, however, seem wedded to both the AR15 platform and especially the 5.56 NATO round. But, in 2007, I think it's foolish to keep using weapons and bullets that were invented in the middle of the last century. The improvements in both weapons design, materials, and ballistics argue that we should begin moving to a new platform, and a more effective rifle round.

Moreover, the 5.56mm round came out of a poor tactical concept from Europe: Mass of Fire. The European idea was that soldiers should really deliver mass of fire to an area, rather than accurate, aimed shots at individual targets. The 5.56 was perfect for this concept, because you could carry lots of ammo, and just blast away. But, in the 1980's, all the services began to move back to the idea of aimed fire, and, of course, the current M16 platform won't even fire full auto any more. Guys coming back from Iraq say that you can always tell who is firing from a position because our guys fire aimed, single shots, while the insurgents, with their AK-47s use the old "spray and pray" firing method. A more powerful, accurate, and longer-range round fits in far better with our combat doctrine than the 5.56 NATO does. Mass of fire might be a practical doctrine for Europeans who have never touched a gun for their entire lives, and for whom marksmanship training might be more tedious. But in most—although not all—cases, mass of fire is waste of fire.

The SCAR has already gone through operational testing, three rounds of review and improvement, and has already been approved for use in the field. The 6.5mm Grendel has superior ballistics to the 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, and 6.8mm SPC at all practical ranges—although an argument could be made that the 6.8mm SPC is superior at close ranges. The counter to that argument, however, is that the 6.5mm Grendel is very, very close in performance at close ranges, and clearly superior at longer ranges.

A SCAR in 6.5mm Grendel would seem to me to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. The low recoil makes it effective in short auto bursts during infantry assaults, while at the same time offering the power and range required for sniper use, all in the same rifle—although with a longer barrel for a true sniper variant.

This seems like such an obvious solution to me, I don't see why no one at the top of the military chain of command is interested in making the switch. Yes, there are clear logistics hurdles that would have to be overcome, but surely that can't be enough of a reason to prevent our primary combat implement from moving into the 21st century, can it?
 
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I’m going to make a prediction:

If I drop a framing hammer on my foot, it will hurt.

Here’s another prediction:

For the Army/Pentagon, they will not adopt the Grendel or the 6.8SPC, because nothing will do but that they roll their own from scratch.

Hey, maybe they’ll entirely split the difference and go with 6.66mm.

Won’t that get the 700 Club to writing their congresscritters?!

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
It’s amazing, both the "We don’t need anything new!" insistance, and the politics involved in this crap.

For that matter, they could have done the same thing with the .308 that the Germans did with their 8mm short round: make the bullet lighter, shorten the case and drop the velocity a bit. You’d have a 7.62mm Short with superior power & range to the 5.56, lighter recoil etc. than the .308(awright, 7.62x51).
 
Written By: Firehand
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
The 5.56x45 NATO round, even with the recent improvements, just can’t be relied upon to consistently stop an enemy with a single torso shot.
From what I’ve read, neither can .50 BMG.
The new, hotter, 77-grain M262 round has a nice flat trajectory at shorter ranges (although it falls off the cliff after 300 meters), and very low recoil, but it simply doesn’t do the job of stopping the enemy with...authority.
The 77 gr Sierra bullet was in fact intended for 300 yard shooting in "across the course" competition, but it has won at 600 yards as well(IIRC in the hands of the USMC rifle team).
The newer rounds are also spun much faster, making them more accurate, longer-ranged, and stable, but that also serves to prevent deflection and tumbling when they hit tissue, or even bone, leading to lots of through-and-through strikes that don’t deliver much energy into the target.
The faster spin keeps ’em pointed in the right direction in air, but the scientific research of people like Dr. Martin Fackler shows that it doesn’t reduce tumbling in living tissue, so you are wrong on this.

The 77 gr Sierra is supposed to fragment easier than the old 55 gr and 62 gr bullets, due to its longer length (and consequent increased likelihood of breaking apart when tumbling). However, bullets require a minimum impact velocity in order to fragmant, and absent fragmentation 5.56 just makes tiny holes.

The current M-4, with it’s 14.5" barrel, imples a lower muzzle velocity and consequently a lower range when fragmentation will occur.
The rifle itself requires constant cleaning, both from the nature of the direct impingement design of the gas system of the rifle itself, and from the gummy, gummy dust in Iraq.
Personally, I think the poor quality magazines and the extraction system are more the issue with the M16 series than the direct impingment system.
Compare and contrast the following:

Kinetic Energy in Ft-Pounds (Muzzle, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 yards)
Kinetic energy is a poor indicator of bullet effectivness. Again, refer to the works of Fackler.
For that matter, they could have done the same thing with the .308 that the Germans did with their 8mm short round: make the bullet lighter, shorten the case and drop the velocity a bit. You’d have a 7.62mm Short with superior power & range to the 5.56, . . .
That’s what the commies did, and their 7.62x39 has poor terminal performance. It failes to fragment, and it only tumbles after traveling quite a distance in living tissue, consequently making a small (but deep) wound channel.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
For the Army/Pentagon, they will not adopt the Grendel or the 6.8SPC, because nothing will do but that they roll their own from scratch.
My understanding is that the 6.8 round that is popular won’t pass the Hauge (which we didn’t sign but which we abide by) ’cause it was designed for enhanced wounding.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Don,

Wouldn’t this:
The 77 gr Sierra is supposed to fragment easier than the old 55 gr and 62 gr bullets, due to its longer length (and consequent increased likelihood of breaking apart when tumbling).
Mean the 77gr Sierra doesn’t pass the Hague? And if not, why would we now care if the Grendel 6.8 did?

I was solely referring to the NIH/congresscritters disbursed no pork for it phenomenon.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Wouldn’t this . . . mean the 77gr Sierra doesn’t pass the Hague? And if not, why would we now care if the Grendel 6.8 did?
No, ’cause the 77 gr Sierra (and Nosler, which fragments even better) were not designed to enhance terminal ballistics. It’s a matter of intent. At least, that’s the interpretation of the DOD lawyers.

History seems to support the lawyers: the whole Hauge bullet thing was due to the Germans, French, Russians, et al bashing the Brits for designing hollow point and soft point bullets for their .303, after the original FMJ round nose bullets proved a failure in stopping savages in the late 1800s. Eventually, the Brits followed the Germans in adopting a spitzer type bullet that tumbled on impact, dumped their HP and SP bullets, and signed the Hauge. In fact, I think the Brits really enhanced the tumbling tendency by making bullets with a low-density tip. But as long as the intent wasn’t to enhance wounding, that’s OK. The United States was perhaps the one nation that acted with dignity throughout the whole mess. As a side point, the Indian arsenal at Dum Dum produced soft point bullets—that’s where the term "dum dum" comes from.

Incidently, 5.56 M193 and M855 (Euro SS109) also fragment, just not as well as the 77s. M855 is most iffy on fragmentation. German 7.62 NATO ball fragments, and acts like "giant 5.56". I think that is also true for Norwegian/Swedish 7.62 NATO, which is ironic ’cause the Swedes censored the US for using the 5.56 M193 fragmenting rounds in Vietnam.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
why would we now care if the Grendel 6.8 did?
Oh, and the Grendel is the 6.5. The 6.5 Grendel has better exterior ballistics than the 5.56, 6.8, or even the 7.62 NATO (at least when the 7.62 is fired in a gas gun). I’m thinking of building up a "long range" AR in 6.5 Grendel.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
It is a little-known fact that the M1 Garand was initially supposed to fire the .270 Winchester, but the then COS of the Army, General Douglas MacArthur, demanded the rifle in .30-06.
.276 Pederson, not .270 Winchester. And it wasn’t the first version of the Garand, either.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Don,

I intended to write Grendel & 6.8, not just Grendel 6.8. Sorry.

And I took the statement that "The 77 gr Sierra is supposed to fragment easier than the old 55 gr" to mean it was designed to fragment more. Hence it’s design intent contravening the Hague accords.

Thank you, Tom Perkins
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Tom,

Yeah, my writing you quoted was sloppy on that point, probably because I wasn’t thinking about the Hauge and related legal issues when I wrote it. I said "supposed" because I have no first hand experience with the fragmentation of these bullets, I wasn’t implying anything about the intent of their design.

The 77 gr Sierra and the 77 gr Nosler were both designed as target shooting bullets. They are the best .223/5.56 bullets for long range shooting that can be loaded to fit in the M-16 magazine (my loads using 80 gr Sierras have to be loaded single-shot).

I believe that the Mk262 was designed for use by designated marksmen at ranges where the M855 lacks accuracy. In the past the key to effectiveness with 5.56 was thought to be velocity, and IIRC they even went to bullets lighter than 55 grs to achieve high velocity with CAR15s/M4s, etc. I think it was a surprise that the longer, heavier, but slower long range bullets actually work better.

Aside from the 77 gr Nosler and Sierra, the 75 gr Hornady, the 69 gr Sierra, and the 68 gr Hornady are all good with respect to terminal ballistics, and they are all very accurate and have good exterior ballistics. For low cost bulk purchase, go with M193 ammo (or as close as possible), for example the Federal XM193.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"Also, in some of the testing, 10,000 rounds were fired through SCARs without cleaning. No M16 ever built could stand up to that kind of use."

It is rather doubtful that any weapon in US service will need to stand up to that kind of use.

Ah, deja vu. Back when the M-16 was new, there were endless arguments in every gun/military publication imaginable. Endless statistics on muzzle velocity, kinetic energy, etc. Innumerable pictures of the effects of various bullets on watermelons and gelatin blocks. Heartfelt testimonials to the wondrous properties of, among others, the Springfield ’03, and how poorly all these new-fangled cartridges and weapons measured up. You will understand, then, my skepticism about the whole process.

One of the main objections I have heard, then and now, is that the 5.56 round has insufficient stopping power. Where, exactly, does the data for this come from? I suspect most of it is anecdotal, and probably should be taken with the usual grain of salt(or saltpeter). Personally, I do not think it necessary to have a round that will dismember or atomize the poor sod on the receiving end even if the round only hits him in the foot. I suspect that in the vast majority of cases anyone struck by most any projectile is going to lose interest in continuing to the objective. I have read some derogatory comments, for example, about the capabilities of the Japanese 25 cal. rifle ammunition during WWII, but none from anyone with personal experience.

It is probably a good thing that the M-16 is no longer capable of automatic fire. I have never been enthralled with that capability, considering it to be a wast of ammunition. Firing on semi-automatic is sufficiently fast for all practical purposes, and is, as you say, more accurate. Not to mention the not unimportant issue of wastage. It is more than a little discomfiting to be involved in a firefight, with no possibility of resupply , and hear people saying they are out of ammo, all because they thought it was cool to use full automatic. It is impressive how fast one can go through 300-400 rounds of ammunition when one is properly motivated.

I have used both M-14 and M-16. I have had more maintainance problems with the M-14. The M-16 never gave me any problems, and it is comforting to be able to carry a basic load of 360 rounds without a problem. Unless you are a sniper there is no need for extreme accuracy beyond 300 meters, even in flat, open terrain.

In short, I think any problems with the M-16 are overstated. There is not now, and never will be, a perfect weapon. There will always be malfunctions, and there will always be stories about enemy soldiers that have an entire magazine emptied into them and keep on coming.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I have read some derogatory comments, for example, about the capabilities of the Japanese 25 cal. rifle ammunition during WWII, but none from anyone with personal experience.
The Japanese seemed to question it, since they changed to a 7.7 (or, really, 3 different 7.7s) after their experience in China. I suspect the culprit wan’t the 6.5 (.25") caliber, but the long round nose FMJ bullets. Such bullets performed poorly with the .303 British, the US .30-40 Krag, and probably with the Japanese and Italian 6.5s.

Long (high cross sectional density) round nose bullets tend to go strait without tumbling like spitzer type bullets do. They penetrait deep, but make narrow wound channels. With proper placement, they can take down an Elephant, but with poor placement they can fail to stop a charging enemy.

The data I’ve read from Fackler et al indicates a .30 carbine can work very well with the right bullets. So can any other rifle, from 5.56 mm on up. However, 5.56 requires better bullet selection than 7.62, for example.
I have used both M-14 and M-16. I have had more maintainance problems with the M-14.
I know that among competition shooters, the M-14 breakes more often. This is something that has been reported by the big military shooting teams: since they switched to the ’16 and away from the ’14 (mostly in the 90s), they had many fewer problems, and have to lug around fewer spare parts.
Unless you are a sniper there is no need for extreme accuracy beyond 300 meters, even in flat, open terrain.
Well, I’d prefer a properly set up ’16 over a ’14 for long range.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
It is rather doubtful that any weapon in US service will need to stand up to that kind of use.
So why not just give the troops less reliable weapons. No need to worry about it, right?
Back when the M-16 was new, there were endless arguments in every gun/military publication imaginable. Endless statistics on muzzle velocity, kinetic energy, etc. Innumerable pictures of the effects of various bullets on watermelons and gelatin blocks. Heartfelt testimonials to the wondrous properties of, among others, the Springfield ’03, and how poorly all these new-fangled cartridges and weapons measured up. You will understand, then, my skepticism about the whole process.
For 40 years, combat troops have complained about the weapon as actually used in combat. Apparently, that means nothing to you.
One of the main objections I have heard, then and now, is that the 5.56 round has insufficient stopping power. Where, exactly, does the data for this come from? I suspect most of it is anecdotal, and probably should be taken with the usual grain of salt(or saltpeter).
Because, who cares, really, if the people actually in the shouting and killing people business have full confidence in the weapons they are required to use? Who cares if they are doing all they can to beg, borrow, or steal M14s to use in lieu of the M16?

Dumb grunts. What do they know? Dr. Fackler’s work has laid to rest all of their concerns. If only they were smart enough to read the relevant peer-reviewed journals, the concerns arising from their combat experience would simply evaporate.
I know that among competition shooters...
As if competition shooting has any relevance whatsoever to infantry combat.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
For 40 years, combat troops have complained about the weapon as actually used in combat. Apparently, that means nothing to you.
And if they are given a weapon heavy enough to be effective at one shot one stop more often, they’ll b!tch about the weight.

I love my Mauser .323. I don’t have to carry it much, though. 360 rounds for that mother’d be a drag.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Here’s a divergent thought: Why not just utilize all of the work done by the Russians, and adopt the Com-bloc version of the 7.62x39mm round?

Heck, from what I’ve heard from friends returning from the Sandbox, people pick up AK’s whenever possible. Ammo re-supply is no problem, since that round is available anywhere. The rest of the world seemed to have standardized on it.

It’s NOT an inherently inaccurate round, although at around 200 meters it drops around 3" to 3.5", and at 300 yards it’s dropped 14" to 15". At 400 yards it’s essentially useless, dropping around 4 feet. My wife can consistently shoot a sub-MOA group from a CZ 527, putting three rounds into a clover-leaf at 100 yards. When used in a rifle chambered for the 0.311 diameter projectile (rather than the US-standard diameter of 0.308"), it’s a pretty good shooter. Relatively low recoil, light-weight, etc. On the other hand, the Ruger Mini-30 in the same caliber turns in terrible performance, largely because it’s chambered for the US-standard.

I’ve taken two whitetail deer with the 7.62x39 cartridge, and both were taken with a single shot. That’s about the same size as a human, and almost as thin-skinned.

Put that caliber in your SCAR and smoke it, and we’d have a durn good short-range (less than 300m) combat rifle. Just be sure that it’s a whole lot more accurate than a sheet-metal-receiver AK.
 
Written By: Blackwing1
URL: http://
Question:
Here’s a divergent thought: Why not just utilize all of the work done by the Russians, and adopt the Com-bloc version of the 7.62x39mm round?
Answer:
It’s NOT an inherently inaccurate round, although at around 200 meters it drops around 3" to 3.5", and at 300 yards it’s dropped 14" to 15". At 400 yards it’s essentially useless, dropping around 4 feet.
All in the same comment.

Now that’s efficiency!
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
"For 40 years, combat troops have complained about the weapon as actually used in combat. Apparently, that means nothing to you."

As I said, I had no complaints, nor have I actually met anyone who had a complaint.

"Who cares if they are doing all they can to beg, borrow, or steal M14s to use in lieu of the M16?"

Frankly, I don’t believe it. What is the reason for their alledged preference? I have known people who actually wanted to carry Thompson sub-machine guns, so I am not particularly impressed unless there is some valid reason.

"Dumb grunts. What do they know?"

Do you mind if I take that personally? I used to be one.

As Tom Perkins points out, the M-14 with its ammunition are considerably heavier and bulkier than the M-16 and its ammunition. Having spent time toting both, my preference is for the M-16 for non-recreational purposes. In addition to being lighter, the lesser bulk makes it easier to get in and out of cramped vehicles or other tight spaces, which can be useful. The M-14 also has an exposed bolt, and when there is sand or other debris flying around, which sometimes happens, it can foul the chamber and cause jamming or misfeeding.



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
As I said, I had no complaints, nor have I actually met anyone who had a complaint.
Well now you have.
As Tom Perkins points out, the M-14 with its ammunition are considerably heavier and bulkier than the M-16 and its ammunition. Having spent time toting both, my preference is for the M-16 for non-recreational purposes.
Well for carrying around purposes I suppose I’d prefer the M16 too. For anything else, like fighting, I’d take the M14 any day. I like to stop what I hit.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Well now you have."

Your M-16 must have functioned reasonably well, since you are here to speak ill of it. I am sure the Rman legionaries complained about the lack of stopping power of their gladii(?) as compared to those humongous swords carried by those nasty German barbarians. Medieval knights had varying opinions about the effectiveness of axe vs. sword vs. mace. These are tools, not toys or exemplars of the gunsmith’s art, and they are all the result of tradeoffs and compromise among various factors, including cost. None of them are 100% perfect or 100% suitable for every circumstance, and none of them are ever going to satisfy 100% of their users.

If I ever come across some actual evidence that the M-16 is not an adequate infantry weapon, I will change my opinion. I will agree that the M-14 is probably superior for bayonet work.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Your M-16 must have functioned reasonably well, since you are here to speak ill of it.
Functioning "reasonably well" and being lucky enough to be here to speak ill of it aren’t particularly high standards, Tim. We didn’t use the word "Mattel" when speaking of it without reason.
I will agree that the M-14 is probably superior for bayonet work.
Unlike the M16, the M14 didn’t let them get close enough to require bayonet work.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Mr. Franks:

With either the current M-16 or the proposed SCAR, nobody’s looking for "reach out and touch someone" distances that can be had with the 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win) or the venerable old .30-06. We’re looking at short-range (less than 300 yard) medium-range assault rifles. I’ll agree that the 7.62x39mm is woefully inadequate past 300 yards. But at that range and under, it far surpasses the "heavy .22" that is the .223 cartridge.

Is there one round that can be used effectively for everything? I dunno. But the odds of a one-stop-shot with any caliber that starts with a "7mm" or ".30" (or the proposed "6.5" or "6.8") is going to be a whole lot better than a caliber that starts with a "5mm" or ".22". Heck, the .223 (5.56mm) isn’t even a legal deer cartridge here in Minnesnowta due to it’s proven lack of killing effectiveness.

So I’ll respectfully disagree with your "efficiency" remark with regard to my comment.
 
Written By: Blackwing1
URL: http://
"Functioning "reasonably well" and being lucky enough to be here to speak ill of it aren’t particularly high standards, Tim. We didn’t use the word "Mattel" when speaking of it without reason."

Getting back in one piece is a high enough standard for me. I always thought the reason for using the word "Mattel" was that it used a plastic instead of the traditional wood stock.


"Unlike the M16, the M14 didn’t let them get close enough to require bayonet work."

Now you are getting a little ridiculous. Anyway, I was speaking theoretically.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Could some of the enthusiasm for the -14 in the sandbox(s) come from the fact that hardly anyone is pulling multiday unsupllied foot patrols, which were a fact of life in Nam? When most of the distance you cover in a day is in a Humvee, instead of humping a 70# ruck, a couple extra pounds is a little less noticable.
 
Written By: bud
URL: http://
"When most of the distance you cover in a day is in a Humvee, instead of humping a 70# ruck, a couple extra pounds is a little less noticable"

That is why I mentioned the relative bulkiness of the M-14. The smaller, lighter M-16 would be easier to maneouver in and out of vehicles or to use inside buildings, especially when you are in a hurry.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I believe we do need a new round for our military. And I, being in the military, have absolutely no confidence in the 5.56mm NATO. Back home we used it to shoot squirrels and varmits. Though I have seen deer taken down with .223 rounds at over 300 yds, its not and everyday occasion. In talking with friends coming back from Iraq, the 5.56 is sorely under-powered. The development of the 6.8 and the 6.5 are definitely needed. The 6.8 is similiar in effects to the .243 Winchester, which is noted for excellent down range prefermance. The adoption if either on of these rounds would be a great improvement. Meanwhile, the M16 could use a few revisions of its own; namely, the addtion of a piston system in place of the current gas blowback system in use today. I can speak first hand of the cleaning needed to clear a reciever of lead and powder buildup. SKS and AK rifles that I have fired had little to nothing blown back into the reciever, making them much easier to clean.
 
Written By: Russell
URL: http://

 
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