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Thoughts on 5.56 vs. 7.62mm weapons and ammunition.

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posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:42 AM
I am a brand-new member, and just signed on today, when I stumbled onto an old POST, dated 02-23-03, re: Say bye-bye to your old M16.

There was a heated discussion between two BANNED members, discussing the virtues of the M16A2 (in 5.56 mm) versus older weapons, like the M16A1 (5.56mm) , or larger caliber weapons like the M1-Garand (30-06) and the M14 in 7.62mm. The banned member, Mad Scientist, who I believe is the person that initiated the thread, claimed the M16A2, with its' 3-round burst mode, and 5.56mm caliber ammunition, to be superior to the older weapons and larger calibers.

Another banned member, Dragonrider, argued directly against Mad Scientist's position on almost every point. I believe Dragonrider's position and arguments, were right-on and more accurate.

I was curious as to why the banned member, Dagronrider, was banned from this website's forum. I hope it wasn't for anything he said during that particular discussion. He was obviously more knowledgeable and experienced than his adversary in the discussion. Everything Dragonrider said was essentially true and accurate. The other banned member, Mad Scientist, made several claims that were NOT correct or just plain inaccurate.

Most 30 caliber rounds developed for military purposes, such as the older Springfield 30-06 and the 7.62mm NATO calibers, are ballistically superior to the 5.56mm ammunition of the M16, especially at ranges over 250 meters. I also agreed with Dragonrider's arguments that the M14/M1 Garand, or their modern equivalents, like the Springfield SOCOM 16 (7.62mm), or the Russian AK-47, in 30 caliber, are superior to the latest models of the M16, i.e. M16A2 in long-distance shooting. However, that doesn't mean the M16 is not an effective, reliable combat weapon.

Like Dragonrider, I don't much care for modern M16A2 or later models. I believe a knowledgeable, well-trained soldier, can be much more effective with an M16A1 rifle vs a M16A2 model. As a soldier, whose life is on the line, I want to be the one who decides whether I need full-auto or semi-automatic mode of fire. There is a time and place for everything, and soldier's don't need to be second-guessed by politicians and engineers, with weapons like the M16A2, with its 3-round burst mode. Also, Dragonrider, is absolutely correct about the U.S. Army NOT properly training soldiers in marksmanship. I know this first-hand. The marksmanship training during the Vietnam Era was far superior to what I saw in the mid-to-late 80s. The U.S. Army got away from using realistic, man-sized silhouette targets that fell down when a shooter hit the target. The paper targets that were introduced in later years, after the Vietname Era, are worthless for teaching good marksmanship! I also have to agree with Dragonrider that the American soldier, of today, is not given an opportunity to be as good a marksman, because of inferior training materials and equipment. Compared to soldiers of the Vietnam Era and the mid 1970s, the modern U.S. soldier, does not get to fire his or her weapon nearly as much--I saw this first-hand too. I fired infinitely more rounds (form both pistols and rifles) and throwed many more live grenandes during training in the early-to-mid 1970s, than I ever did as a soldier in the mid-to-late 1980s. This really bothered me! I hated those new paper targets too. I often wondered if some DUMB-ASS OFFICER, trying to get commendated for a COST-SAVING IDEA, came up with the idea of those worthless paper targets vs. the wonderful, electro-mechanical pop-up/shoot-down targets of the Vietnam Era. Our young men and women deserve the best equipment and training and I think they are betrayed by the new doctrine and methods. Our troops need more target practice, and they need to go back to Vietnam Era ranges and equipment. Computer simulations and multi-part paper targets are a step backwards in the arena of marksmanship training. It is not something to rush through or skimp on.

Getting back to ammunition and weapons issue. The M16 is fine for close combat inside cities or in a thick jungle. The M16A1 version of the weapon eliminated most the drawbacks of earlier versions. If it was properly maintained, it was reasonably reliable. However, for combat over wide distances, like that in Iraq and Afghanistan, the M16 is not a suitable combat weapon, against weapons, using 30 caliber ammunition. American soldiers, would be much better served with weapons in 30 caliber, that are vastly superior in the 300-1000 meter range. I wouldn't want to be in combat with any 5.56mm based M16, in places like Iraq, Afghanistan or Korea, againist an enemy using 30 caliber based weapons--that would give the enemy a distinct advantage. Even in Serbia, enemy snipers in the mountains or hi-rise buildings, using 30 caliber weapons and ammunition, made hundreds of kills against soldiers and civilians at ranges from 400-1000 meters. An M16 with 5.56mm ammunition could never have accomplished that feat.

I believe American soldiers and marines deserve to be supplied with 30 caliber weapons in long-distance combat environments. An Armalite AR-10 based 30 caliber weapon would be fine, or any of Springfield Armory's M14 based weapons like the M1A and its variants, like the SOCOM 16, SCOUT 16, or the even the M14 itself, would be infinitely more suitable for combat in areas like Korea, Iraq or Afghanistan. This would give our young service personnel a better fighting chance in those enviornments. Even an FN FAL based 30 caliber rifle, like the SA58, or any of its equivalents, would be better than a 5.56mm based M16 at long distance shooting.

I am a patriot, and U.S. Army veteran of both the Vietnam Era, and the 1980s. I have used many types of firearms since the late 1950s--a period of over 46 years. I try to be fair and objective on issues, and hope I was in this thread. I like the M16A1 rifle. I think it is a fine weapon, However, I would prefer a 30-caliber weapon like Springfield Armory's SOCOM 16 over the M16 in a combat environment. Especially, if it was capable of both semi and full auto firing modes. Of course, the SOCOM 16 does not have a full-auto firing mode, but I would still prefer it to an M16. I would feel safer with a weapon that allows me to engage the enemy out to 1000 meters. Mostly, I wouldn't want to be at the mercy of an enemy, at that range, who is using 30-caliber or larger based weapons. The old adage, it's better to be safe than sorry, applies.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 07:11 AM
Welcome Smoking Gun.

I would rather have a something in a 30 cal. to go into combat with. "Bigger hole makes more souls" or for those social problems that could arise.

Sometimes members get in to pissing contest with eachother and get the hammer.

Welcome and thanks for your service.


posted on May, 24 2005 @ 07:27 AM
Here ya go...this is one of the best weapons and ammo sites out there...

look through the forums section...

You can view without being a member, but to be a member you have to provide and confirm an email address that is tracable to you or the account holder. Such as, .gov, .mil or .edu domains, stuff like that.....
Yahoo, hotmail and others like that are not accepted...I don't know why, but theyre not.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 08:41 AM
sup Smoking have you had thoughts on the 6.8 ammo or at least about the new improved m14 rifle.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:28 AM
Welcome to the Forum, SmokingGun.

I have very little expertise with firearms. Just wanted to add that I fired both 5.45 and 7.62 mm versions of the Kalashnikov (AK-74 and AK-47, respectively). The latter had hell of a kick, some really brutal recoil. The former was a very smooth ride, including full auto. In essense, your argument is correct -- at large distance or some other circumstance, 7.62 does have an advantage. But it's a pain (literally) to fire.


posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:37 AM
one of those versions, the FN FAL, with a 30 round magazine, and plastic not sure whos seen it, well anyway, ill get a link, its name is the DSA-58OSW

basically a FN-FAL clone, but its updated..looks pretty snazzy, and would be along the lines of something id personnally like, its a 7.62mm which means good penetration, with a M16's ammo capacity, only problem youd get here is weight and recoil

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:08 PM
After WWII, Ordnance Corps determined that very few engagements occured further than 400yds. Those that did, utilized the abundance of artillery and mortar support, not to mention rudimentry close-air, to close with the enemy. This was one of the main reasons to go with a reduced power caliber (no need for a 1000yd cartridge, when a 500yd cartridge will do).

The M14 came from the idea that a magazine fed weapon was MUCH superior to the Garands enbloc clip. Unfortunately, we did go with the M14 rather than the FN-FAL, an overall better (but FORIEGN) weapon. The mid-50's saw another call for a smaller, lighter weapon that could engage to 500yds. Eugene Stoner took the operational idea from the Swedish Lungemen, and adapted it into the AR10 series, then later into the AR15 series.

After the Air Force adopted it for their base security airmen, the Army became more interested in the design. The rest is small arms history...

Now, my opinions? The M16A2 series is not perfect, but only due to the twist rate and bullet weight, all else is the worlds best combat rifle.

The M855 ammo uses a steel core penetrator, with a total weight of 62 grains. This is up from the M185 cartridge of 55 grains. The trouble with heavier bullets (and especially AP types), is that they must be spun quite rapidly to remain stable during flight. When they impact flesh, they are spinning too fast to go off other words, they drill right through with little damage. Somalia and Iraq have proved this out ( I just returned from Iraq,and saw first hand the minimal damage of our ammo in the bad guys).

The best, and very simple fix, is to return to the 55gr bullet, slow the twist rate to 1-11" or 12", and replace the gas tube/direct impingment with a piston/op-rod assembly (that's my contribution to improvements!). The lighter bullet in a slower twist, will result in a still very accurate round, with terminal ballistics of an upset bullet tumbling through flesh...nasty and a sure killer.

There is no need to go to the 6.8 Rem. No need to go to a whole new weapon system. No need to use larger caliber rifles in conjunction with the M16. We still have direct access to artillery and mortar support, with immediate and accurate close-air if needed, so long range personal arms still are not needed....and I can carry a #load of ammo.

Just my $.02

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:32 PM
check out the 6.5 which is very impressive the more your read into it, superior to 5.56 at all ranges, comparable (slightly less powerfull) than 6.8 at short ranges but superior to it at longer ranges, it's said I'm not sure on teh specifics I'll dig up an old article that past 400-500 yards it's superior to 6.8 (in terms of stopping power) and comparable to 7.62. I think over all it's the way to go and could over take both 5.56 and 6.8 and give 7.62 a run for it's money on everything except extreme ranges 900+ yards.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:46 PM
Ballistics (PDF)

6.8 spc and 6.5 grendel field reports

another 6.8/6.5 comparo, havent’ read this one yet

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:54 PM
I don't much about the army...I'm getting indoctrinated into more of the policing side of things, so let me tell you what I've learned.

1. Yes, most engagements happen at short ranges. The need for long distance shooting tends to be minimal.

2. The M16 is X pounds of garbage, in any form. I'll get to that part later.

3. While recoil is certainly an issue, it does NOT outweigh stopping power. Ever.


4. The 5.56 is great against folks in body armor, but against your average banger off the street, you might as well be using an icepick.

To explain-

Firstly, most LE firearms engagements occur at thirty feet or less, eg. when there is line of sight. I imagine there is comparable distances in urban environments. I haven't heard much about snipers, but bombs, bursts of full-auto fire, yes. From what I've heard second or thirdhand, there isn't much need for the long distance fire.

Secondly, I hate the AR15 in any form. It's mostly personal quibbles, but a lot of it stems from things such as the workings of it- crappy mags, pickiness about ammo, the way the receiver is built, weight, and the direct gas impingement system. The Canadian army used a FAL knockoff way back when, and I heard it was pretty good. Just judging by the specs on the AR15, I'd take a G36 or FN F2000 over it any day.

Thirdly, I loathe the 9mm cartridge. May it die a horrible death, for it is a blight on anyone it is issued to. Officers way back when realized this early on. Unless you get someone in the head, heart, or spine, there's a chance that they'll keep going. Hell, even if you DID hit them in the heart, they had fifteen seconds of life left to rob you of yours. That's plenty of time to empty a pistol into you. Now, I'm not comparing the 5.56 to the hated 9mm, but the principle is the same: you want the bad guy to eat it on the first shot because often that's all you have. Nowaways, officers are usually issued .40SW. It's a solid round, and the first shot usually subdues a suspect in a satisfyingly permenant manner. In addition, recoil isn't a huge issue with the .40 .

What is encountered abroad right now tends to be unarmored, ill-equipped fighters. So why is the army still using the 5.56 if they know this? After the North Hollywood fiasco, some counties in LA issued officers the M16 as a precaution agaisnt something like that ever happening again. The logic seemed simple enough- it's an army gun, it'll go through body armor, it's got a bigger magazine than a shotgun and a lot less recoil.

Boy, did they ever regret that.

Against your everyday banger, the M16 proved almost useless. It wasn't putting them down, a pain in the ass to use, had no sphincter factor, it was overpenetrating and officers hadn't been trained to use it. The shotgun is probably the most lethal weapon you can get in close quarters. It's got spread, it doesn't overpenetrate, and best of hear someone rack a shotgun, you KNOW they mean bussiness. Plus, the shotgun was simpler to maintain and the most effective weapon at common ranges.

Me, I'm not a big fan of light rounds like the 5.56. I'd say that the 6.8 or 7.62 would make much more effective rounds, just based on stopping ability. But, hey, what do I know, right?


posted on May, 25 2005 @ 12:39 AM
Energy Comparison at 600 Meters
5.56 NATO 6.8 SPC 6.5 Grendel 7.62 NATO
Energy (ft lbs) 308 440 831 745
Bullet (gr) 77 115 144 147


6.5 could even feasibly replace 7.62 and cut down on logistics and expenses, we would only have one general infantry caliber for both riffles and light (under .50 cal) machine guns. It even states in that article that is has very good results against Armor targets in non armor-piercing rounds, it’s like I said the more you read up on this caliber the better and better it sounds, too bad 6.8 isn’t being blown completely out of the competition due to it being the special force’s pet project and it has some favorable ballistic numbers under 300 yards although the 6.5 is a lot stronger than 5.56 and would get the job done and has the added long range benefit over even 7.62 and would even be favorable to scrap both 5.56 and 7.62 for both performance and logistical reasons.

oh god, I'm turning into a panderer here, I just get some ad money for this now shouldn't I, heck you should here me going on about Blended mental bullets those make my mouth water, lol.

posted on May, 25 2005 @ 07:13 AM
What would be handy is that a single rifle shoots 2 kind of bullets.It has special magazines which are accomendate the different rounds. Say it would have a good cqb round and a round for longer distance.When selecting a different caliber the barrel automatically adjusts. I guess these kind of weapons wont be seen for a long time.

posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:19 PM
Well, 5.56 is lighter than a 7.62, and in vietnam, a soldier with an M-14 and 100 rounds of ammo weighed about 17 pounds, for that weight, a soldier with an M-16 could carry 280 rounds. YOu can carry nearly three times as many 5.56 rounds than 7.62. the funny thing is, it takes about 3 times as many shots to nix a guy (just speculation) so whats the tradeoff?

posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:48 PM
no, the 5.56 is better than the 7.62. 5.56=.223 remington and i have an AR that uses this round and it is accurate as well as potent. i have seen it put nearly nickel size hole in 3 inch thick steel. Thats using FMJ BTW. the Ak has a tendency to be less accurate and overheat, but it is extremly reliable in all weather, i knew a guy who had one that was rusted shut and he took his foot and kicked the bolt open and it fired with out mis-firing, impressive.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:13 AM

the trade off is in supressive fire, try to supress anybody with a mere 100 rounds and your not going far, while 200+ rounds gives you a good shot at it, and supressive fire is a reality of modern day warfare and tactics which isn't likely to be done away with soon. which is why 6.5 and 6.8 is a real merging of the best aspects of 5.56 and 7.62 and little of their weakness. both 6.5 and 6.8 are light enough to carry a decent amount of ammo (about 200 should be just about the same as the 280 5.56) and if they start making composite and light weight casings for these bullets they may be able to carry the same amount.

5.56 is nowhere near as good as 7.62, it's doesn't have the same stopping power with out a rather lucky shot (direct head shot or at least 2 shots to the heart/center mass) while one 7.62 to the gut would take you out of the fight. but it give you enough ammo to keep your enemies heads down and allow you to set up a better shot while they are not shooting back at you or give you a better chance for some kind of retreat to a more preferable position.


my little chart on my previous post didn't come out as I plan, let me give it another shot:

from :

energy/velocity ( from 20 inch barell)

5.56 (77 gr.) Muzzle 2750/1293 * 300m 1957/655 * 600m 1341/308 * 900m 1012/172
300 rounds 9 lbs.

6,8 (115 gr.) Muzzle 2700/1860 * 300m 1916/938 * 600m 1313/440 * 900m 1001/256
300 rounds 11.5 lbs.

6.5 (123 gr.) Muzzle 2600/1848 * 300m 2102/1206 * 600m 1666/758 * 900m 1314/471
300 rounds 11.5 lbs.

7.62 (147gr.) Muzzle 2700/2379 * 300m 2051/1373 * 600 1511/745 * 900m 1138/423
300 rounds 13.8 lbs.

Like I said the advantage the 6.8 has over 6.5 under 300 yards is minimal compare to the advantage the 6.5 has past 300 yards which surpasses even 7.62 after certain distances. It can feasibly replace both 5.56 and 7.62 for small arms with significant gains over both and overall better performance over 6.8 with it minimal muzzle-300 meter advantages just think of the logistical advantages this could bring about.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 10:07 AM
Wouldnt the 6.5 and 6.8 mm bullets get advantages that they are made with more modern tech? Would the 7.62x39 improve if it was say redesigned with current tech?

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 10:45 AM
what do you mean if the 6.5 and 6.8 would be made with more modern tech?

6.8 Spc and and 6.5 grendell have been conceived and developed in the last 3-5 years. They are made to be stronger and more potent than 5.56 while maintaining a similar weight and dimensions relatively. and also have little recoil like 5.56 and a similar trajectory to 5.56 so that you do not have to retrained every single grunt on the new rounds, they should instinctily pick up the new quirks after a few rounds. and once they switch to the composite casings that they have been talking about for the last few years the weight of the ammunition should be extremely close to modern brass 5.56 ammo.

while 7.62 has a heavy kick no matter what you do as far a I know, and changing to composite casings might cut down on the weight a bit but not as much as 6.8 and 6.5 and you still have the considerable kick from the 7.62.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 12:29 PM
I love my Yugo SKS, 7.62 x 39.!

Ammo is only .10 a round. Very little kick back, though it lacks on accuracy at farther targets. I would not trade my 7.62 for a 5.56. Just my preference.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 02:58 PM
I ment if the 7.62 was made and designed more modernly. Not just weight reduction.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:07 PM
While it's true the 7.62 has more punch, i think it is less accurate than .223 and apparently the russians thought so too because they ahmbered ak-74 in .223.

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