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New standard issue assault rifle?

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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:16 PM
reply to post by Grozny07

5.56mm is a good round when it is matched with the right barrel. The round can do massive damage if it is used with the proper rate of twist and barrel length.

Absolutely correct, but you did not mention round fragmentation range which heavily depends on the barrel length and its twist. We all know that originally 5.56 was designed as a high velocity varmint round, and was modified into a military round.

Its fragmentation effect was created by thinning the copper jacket wall, a lesson learned from the experimentations going back to the early 20th century by Russians and Japanese.

After encounters with the Chinese, it became obvious that Japanese Type 38 6.5X50SR was to mild, and one of the round modifications included a shortened thin walled 6.5 bullet, which was rejected do to its greatly reduced penetration capabilities and increased instability, which essentially is the exact same problems with 5.56.

Japanese went with a traditional 7.7X58 in the end.

Another fascinating historical development which is completely unknown in the West is what was the true mass produced assault rifle in the world, which preceded German MP-43/Mp-44 Stg.44 with its intermediate cartridge by more then 3 decades.

The rifle was a fully automatic, 600 rof Fedorov "Avtomat" assault rifle with a 25 round magazine, it was to be chambered for a dedicated rimless, reduced recoil round designed by Fedorov himself, but do to abundance of Japanese 6.5X50SR it forced the adoption of the Japanese round instead of costly development and manufacturing of Federovs rimless.

The rifle development began in 1906, final version came about in 1911, it was incredibly effective, and unlike BAR of 1918 it weighs only 9 ½ pounds thus falling into the modern assault rifle category rather then intermediate MGs like BAR, Lewis, etc.

Even with Japanese 6.5mm Fedorov experimented with fragmenting qualities of light thin walled bullets, and proposed a mixed load of equally weighted fragmenting and penetrating rounds, thus creating the concept of mixed ammunition feeds.

Even after such clear history of light, small diameter rounds, 5.56 suffers from the same flaws which were known over 50 years before.

M4s various barrels, with lengths of 14.5” to 16” and various twists of 1/7, 1/9, 1/10, all suffer from the same fundamental problem. In order to compensate for the lower muzzle velocity and to increase range, do to rapid loss of energy round fragmentation can no longer be achieved at ranges over 100 yards.

Over 100 yards M4 rounds just make small holes with out the devastating fragmentation effect, thus basically turning M4 into a full auto .22, and just as in Vietnam, it’s the major complaint of US soldiers which use the short barreled M16s.

Some argue that M4s are designed to be used in close quarter combat which takes place under 100 meters, and the 5.56 is sufficiently effective, another fundamental problem is the very same fragmentation/ricochet properties of the round.

Combat in under 100 yards is considered urban warfare, which involves fighting in and around buildings and over paved roads. In such conditions ALL small caliber rounds suffer from the same problem, fragmentation/ricochet.

Both 5.56 and 5.45 are completely unsuited for clearing buildings because they fragment/ricochet all over the place, and pose as much danger to the shooters as to their intended targets.

Good old 7.62mm (both 25 and 39) and 9mm are used to this day to specifically clear buildings, simply because they are more effective then small caliber rounds.

Modern body armor is not an issue with modern 7.62 and even 9mm pistol AP rounds, because all of them defeat all levels of even ceramic composite plates at ranges up to 25 yards.

Using heavier rounds in conjunction with the right length barrel (with a twist of 1:9, as favored by heavier rounds, and a length of 20" ) makes the round adequate.

Adequate but only with in certain parematers. Originally the fragmentation effect of the round was much more pronounced in the early 20” barrels which had 1/14 and 1/16 twist, but the instability required to tumble the round was so great, that the round would deviate from its flight path even when striking a leaf or blade of grass, and in the jungles of Vietnam that meant only LOS fire while almost all of small arms fire was indirect.

A good real life example of that is the encounter between small a NVA recon group and a marine patrol armed with early M1s and M60s, while NVA was armed with SKS/AK-47s and a single RPD.

No forward assist, 20 round mags with weak springs that could take only 16 rounds with out causing certain feed stoppage.

Both forces were moving parallel to each other and were separated by a thick growth of bamboo.

When both forces became aware of each other, startled and uncertain of each other strength they engaged by sporadic fire through the bamboo. Bamboo was tall and thick so grenades were out of the question, and everything counted of sheer firepower.

M16 rounds fragmented immediately upon impacting the bamboo, and all of M16 fire could do is cut a few feet into the bamboo, while only M60s could send lead to the enemy.

At the same time NVAs SKS/AK-47 and a single RPD sent their 7.62X39 rounds straight through the bamboo and effectively pinned down a force outnumbering them 4 to 1.

When M60s began to jam, Marines had no choice but to gather their casualties and pull out, while calling in artillery and air strikes to cover their retreat. In aftermath not a single NVA casualty was confirmed, because even before Marines began to organize their retreat, small NVA group simply began running out of ammo and were pulling out them selves.

Do to effective volume of firepower Marines were receiving, they greatly overestimated numbers of the NVA they encountered, which in turn resulted in needless reinforcements of their positions, and pulled vital resources from areas that desperately needed them at the time.

Unnecessary recon flights, blind artillery fire, bombing missions that only bombed the jungle, all because M16 rounds could not go through some bamboo.

Small rounds do not always mean less damage; the Afghans didn't call the Russian AK-74's 5.45mm round the "poison bullet" for nothing. The shock of a round entering the body at such high speeds is ugly.

While essentially true it’s not entirely correct.

5.56 relies on inherent instability, high velocity and thin jacket wall to tumble and fragment into small pieces, while 5.45 relies on a specifically designed feature which is not as dependent on round velocity.

5.45 bullet has a hollow cone, or as Russians call it “phased center of gravity”
, which upon impact immediately deforms thus causing severe flight path deviation, tumbling and full energy transfer into its target, which allows it to keep its deadly properties at longer ranges and lower velocities.

At the end of its trajectory, 5.45s cone deforms and simply smack through the target with a similar effect of a hollow point round, but on the opposite spectrum.

While hollow points expansion is dependant on its velocity at the time of impact and the density of the material it is hitting, 5.45 deforms but does not have the energy to tumble, thus simply pushing through until it transfers all of its remaining energy.

Currently the deadliest fragmenting round is the German 7.62X51, which is lighter, faster and has a fragmenting grove in the middle of the bullets body, which tears the bullet in two parts when it enters the target, thus effectively turning a single bullet into a bullet that has the effect of two bullets when it strikes its target.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:16 PM
With all of this in mind, all of the above mentioned calibers are obsolete in light of new intermediate, standardized calibers like 6mm and 6.5mm.

They are the future, and combine the best of what’s available today into one universal package.

Going back to the ammo issue, has anyone researched blended metal technology?

Effective but expensive, and will not be mass produced. Special purpose only, and will be used with great success, but again, not on a mass scale.

posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 07:13 AM
reply to post by iskander

Good information iskander. 5.56mm, when used as it should be, sounds dangerously close to violating the Geneva Convention, as does the Russians' 5.45mm.

posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 01:00 PM

I agree with much of what you say here. However, I would suggest 100m does not always equal urban combat. The vast majority of firefights in conventional warfare regardless of environment have been shown to take place under 100m.

The SS109 round currently in use does fragment well at ranges of up to 200m when fired from a 20" barrel. I agree that The 14" barrel of the M4 is probably the reason for the poor combat reports with 5.56mm. Apart from the L22 (whinh has yet to be blooded for real), 20" is the minimum barrel length the British use in a rifle. Hence we have not had the same complaints regarding the round.

In Vietnam the 55 grain M193 round in use was woefully inadequate for a jungle environment. I tumbled badly on contact with just about anything.

posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 05:19 PM

Good information iskander. 5.56mm, when used as it should be, sounds dangerously close to violating the Geneva Convention, as does the Russians' 5.45mm.

Actually they both violate GC. In fact, European 5.56 is manufactured with thicker jackets so they won’t fragment when they tumble.

The difference is that when Russians complained about it after Nam, US announced that fragmentation is an unexpected development side effect which can not be avoided, so in return Russians set out to design a round with specific tumbling requirements, and succeeded.

While it is true that 5.56 is a slightly hotter then 5.45 and carries more energy, 5.45 transfers its energy to the target much better then 5.56, and retains its tumbling capacity much further then 5.56.

So in this situation both US and USSR/Russia violate Geneva Convention, it’s just that Russians chose to do it after Americans refused to stop doing it.


I agree with much of what you say here. However, I would suggest 100m does not always equal urban combat. The vast majority of firefights in conventional warfare regardless of environment have been shown to take place under 100m.

That is absolutely true, but most of that fighting involves firing at targets behind cover, and in most cases if you are on the street and not on the roof you are being ambushed.

Walls, doors, fences, cars, etc, it’s not just firing over a field with clear LOS.

When taking position on a roof to provide cover the range easily extends to 300 yards, and that’s where M16 falls short while SAW and 7.62 reach out.

A2 can not be called a true assault rifle because it’s not able to fire full auto, and 3 round bursts just don’t put enough fire on a target. That combined with 5.56 shortcomings understandably result in an ineffective solution.

When a soldier keeps pumping 3 round bursts into his target and scores a hit or two only to see the guy shoot back or keep running, no wonder we hear complaints about it.

SAW works simply because it puts out an effective volume of automatic fire, and does it accurately.

The SS109 round currently in use does fragment well at ranges of up to 200m when fired from a 20" barrel. I agree that The 14" barrel of the M4 is probably the reason for the poor combat reports with 5.56mm.

All true. SS109 is a Belgian FN development which stabilized 5.56 thus giving it good accuracy with minimal loss of its tumbling/fragmenting effect.

In proper (not M16/SA80s) 5.56 rifles and SAWs, a mixed M855/M885 NATO load is optimal.

Green tips will go through walls, car doors etc, while tumblers will fragment as usual. The problem is that M16/SA80s can’t handle different weight rounds, and suffer from feed stoppages.

I’d like to know how M16/SA80 handle Russian RS-101 5.56 “enhanced penetration” round, which busts a 10mil armored plate from 100 yards, because if they can handle the round it would actually be the best compromise.

Usual barriers like house doors, thin walls, car glass and car doors will no longer be a problem.

Standard issue Russian 7N22 AP is really bad, and currently it’s the best performing small caliber AP round. U12A steel core busts armored plates out to 250 yards, while having one inch grouping accuracy.

7N22s are specifically mixed loaded in RPKs because they allow that extra reach and AP punch from a SAW with out sacrificing accuracy.

Russians have the entire range of 5.45 penetrating rounds; steel core 7N6, enhanced penetration 7N10 and 7N22 AP.

Its 7.62 brother, the 122gr 7N23 AP with the same U12A steel core is what everyone should be watching out for.

Unlike 57-N-231S, 7N23 it’s a real AP round, and will bust ANY body armor plate out to 200 yards.

That means that any AK/RPD will take mixed 7N23 loads and that will immediately create 200 yard kill zone regardless of body armor.

Apart from the L22 (whinh has yet to be blooded for real), 20" is the minimum barrel length the British use in a rifle. Hence we have not had the same complaints regarding the round.

Agreed. From the very beginning of 20” barrels we considered as standard required length for the 5.56 round, and for shortened barrel versions development of a dedicated round was recommended. That still did not happen, thus the obvious and predictable problems.

What’s really ironic is that Fedorov designed an IDEAL assault rifle caliber before WWI.

6.5mm 8,5 gram round with 3140 Joule 860 m/s muzzle velocity is perfect for an automatic shoulder fired weapon.

It’s unreal that it will literally take a century to go back to what was already designed and tested.

Currently both Russians and Chinese are continuing development of 6-6.5 mm rounds, and are planning for a standard caliber conversion.

I don’t doubt that they will either.

posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 06:25 PM
I think caseless aump should be looked into more, didn't Germany make something like that back in the 90's?

posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 01:33 AM

I agree with the mid range cartridge concept. The .270-ish sized round has been demonstrated to be a great compromise between stability, accuracy and size. The only one that I have any real knowledge about (outside the hunting environment) is the 6.8SPC. There have been some strange claims about its' effectiveness by the people marketing it though.

The standard claim tends to be that it provides 4 times the muzzle energy of the 5.56. However tests have demonstrated that in any realistic loadings it is nearer half that. This is still a great improvement over the 5.56mm though with a minimal increase in cartridge size. It is considerably less affected by wind and holds its' energy well. My data shows that it provides the same muzzle energy at 200m as the 5.56mm does at the muzzle. (7.62mm provides this at 400m). This serves well to increase range while still being light enough to carry a reasonable ammount of ammo.

I think these rounds are the way forward to be honest.

posted on Dec, 20 2007 @ 12:10 PM
Im surprised no one has mentioned the masada rifle by magpul. This rifle incorporates all the best features of AR-18, M16, FN SCAR, and HK G36/XM8.

posted on Dec, 21 2007 @ 09:42 PM
reply to post by Fingon

At $1400 per unit I seriously doubt that it will hit big time.

Especially considering the 5th gen AKs, which are still cheap but simply outperform ALL other assault rifles do to its recoil management system.

New modification of AK design - this time with balanced automatic gas driven engine. "Balanced" means that this system has 2 opposite moving gas pistons instead of one. main gas piston drives bolt carrier (via gas rod), secondary piston drives compensating mass (via its own rod) in direction, opposite to bolt carrier. This movement greatly reduced muzzle jump and increased accuracy in full-auto mode.

Unofficially AK-108 which is chambered for 5.56 simply dominated all other competitors specifically because it is so stable in full auto mode, and has such fast recoil recovery while firing successive bursts.

Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt with 2 lugs, balanced bolt-carrier/bolt group to reduce recoil jumping

That allowed for increase of rof to 900 instead of traditional AK 600 rof, which originally was chosen in order to minimize muzzle climb.

Even though the ammunition is expended quicker with higher rof, recoil management allows all that firepower to be accurately placed where it needs to be, and that naturally only increases the effect.

Masada full auto demonstration by a pro, event though it was not really full auto;

Here’s a kid blasting a full mag from AK-105, and notice how he is tough to control the recoil by the guy behind him;

Another good video of a much harder hitting 7.62 chambered AK-103 in full auto.

In tests full auto recoil of AK-103 proved to be better then that of all M-16 modifications.

Notice that these AK shooters are complete amateurs yet they easily handle full auto fire.

Here’s a good clip of an experienced shooter with a conventional 74 blasting accurate aimed bursts from a 60 round mag;

And a purely American point of view on how manageable recoil is of the 100 AK series even in hard hitting 7.62

In the very end of the video the guy sprays from the hip while holding the AK just by the pistol grip.

That really says it all, and it can be purchased on the net for 600 bucks if you know where to look.

This is a good example of why M-16 family is not my cup of tea.

AR-15s typical run down, even while in singe fire mode

Miss fire, clear the chamber, bump the forward assist to force close bolt, bump magazine to prevent feed stoppage, pull the trigger, misfire, repeat, misfire, repeat, catastrophic failure, gun destroyed, lucky if your face is still on.


[edit on 21-12-2007 by iskander]

posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by DaleGribble

I haven't heard of the 5.56x45 (.223 Rem) having any edge over the 7.62x51 (.308 Winchester) as a match round, especially in any sort of wind. Besides, a .30 caliber bullet does more damage as a military round. As a serious sniper round, the .300 Winchester Magnum has replaced the .308. But then again, when the chips are down the all-time favorite still remains the .50 Browning.

posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 10:40 PM
i dont know what you are talking about but this is all the firepower i need

posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 11:06 AM

Originally posted by freedomandliberty
i dont know what you are talking about but this is all the firepower i need

I don't know what you're talking about either, because you didn't enter your youtube ID.

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