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Troops left to fend for themselves after Army was warned of flaws in rifle

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posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 09:02 PM
reply to post by roguetechie

I agree with ya in a way.

People expecting carbines to have an effective KILL distance beyond 250-350 meters is silly. Just because you can hit the target, doesn't mean it'll be lethal IMO beyond those ranges.

For open terrain, a battle rifle equivalent bullet is needed.

The M4 doesn't play that part well.

M4 is great for urban fighting. The M4 is great for a pdw. The M4 isn't good for long range shots. With the M4, just because you hit them at a distance doesn't mean you'll disable them.

The rounds that our grandfathers used to KILL at a long range is our best bet.

Why reinvent the wheel!?

posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 03:02 PM
I personally believe that the combination of a round that is designed specifically not to expandccombined with a short barrel is a very poor recipe. You need to either have a decent amount of barrel or a better performing bullet design. Unfortunately the UK and US military forces are stuck with a bullet design that is restricted by the Geneva convention.

I often find it strange that it is illegal to shoot deer in many places with anything other than expanding ammunition because it is considered to be more humane, yet when we shoot at people we can only use FMJ because someone years ago thought the opposite!

posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 11:44 PM
reply to post by ChuckNasty

Umm... because we can make rifles that are MORE lethal while weighing just a bit more platform and ammo wise than the m4/16 series?

Also for those pitching the 416 series .... you are aware that it has very serious carrier tilt issues and is pretty hard on parts itself right? Now the one thing I like about the 416 is it's constant curvature magazine / magazine well... For a variety of reasons this is really the way to go IMHO.

Now as to this whole regressing and ignoring the last 80 years of firearms development.... What has got us in trouble in the first place is ignoring the last 30 years worth of firearms advancement, so ignoring even MORE of the advancement would quite logically make the situation even worse.

While I have respect for the killing power and all around ability to just WORK of the turn of the century full caliber military rifles, the reality is they were based off of a very imperfect and evolving understanding of the new smokeless powders as well as the implications of mass manufacturing technology and standardization on warfare.

In EVERY study since world war 2 that has looked at the sweet spot for lethality for a man portable smokeless powder driven projectile weapon it has been found that a round with a diameter between 6 and 7 millimeters is ideal. In addition to this though you run into the situation where even with the advent of advanced optical sights and ballistic computation abilities on the fly the vast majority of your firefights are going to happen at between 60 and 300 meters. At this range not only is a full caliber rifle sort of a waste, but it also makes using proper combined arms tactics and assaulting techniques in a modern 3 dimensional battlefield all but impossible.

How you ask does it do this? Simple, Over penetration!

I know you're saying to yourself don't we constantly hear stories now of rounds not penetrating enough? Well yes we do, but even more dangerous than that is overpenetration which can mean your belt fed weapons which ideally are providing a supporting base of fire at a right angle to the advance of your maneuver units now has the extremely high and potentially super deadly potential of hosing overpenetrating and ricocheting rounds into other FRIENDLY units also trying to advance on enemy strongpoints!

Now because of the push for what is known as "green" bullets that is currently sweeping western militaries world wide this will actually get WORSE and more dangerous making it even more imperative to equip units with rounds that don't grossly overpenetrate barriers and the surrounding landscape on a regular basis. The reason for this is with the switch away from lead as a major ingredient percentage and weight wise in ammunition and a switch to metals that are nowhere near as soft.... rounds will ricochet even more frequently, and when they do they will fly further while retaining more energy than they used to!

And contrary to many a slogan .... the overwhelming majority of rounds fired in a combat zone do not find their marks no matter how well trained the shooter is! Because of this you have to factor in how big of a danger zone behind your targets your tactical situation and acceptable noncombatant casualty levels dictate!

Also on the subject of "green bullets" if we were to load any of these old rounds with a newly designed "green" bullet you'd see a pretty horrific degradation in their performance if you tried to maintain the current bullet shape and size. This is because pretty much every single one of the acceptable materials to make bullets out of now that we can no longer use lead has a greater than 25% lower weight by volume than lead! A phenomenon known as sectional density and ballistic coefficient determine to a very large level whether and how far a given round will fly in a predictable and accurate manner down range. Because of the deleterious effect switching to a much lighter bullet fill material will have on these rounds if you just switch out the lead for something else you are looking at redesigning the round. Not only that but because of the lower density level of the materials if you want to design a bullet that will perform as well it will have to be LONGER. In making the bullet longer you run into 2 issues.

1. Part of the given specifications of a round is the overall loaded length of the round from bullet tip to cartridge base. If you make a longer bullet you either have to revise this specification upward meaning new magazine wells and a longer action which weighs more and means you have to redesign your ammunition boxes etc etc... it's a mess

2. Option 2 is you can seat the round deeper into the case: Now this has major issues of it's own. For one you can only seat a projectile so deeply while maintaining a conventional projectile design and still hope to have the bullet release consistently and give you good accuracy without spending way too much money on development and custom rounds! The second issue is as you seat the bullet more deeply into the cartridge case you are taking up room that is needed to put the powder in!

As you can see it's not just a matter of dusting off the older cartridges and going to work. That wouldn't work either. What we need is a new cartridge and bullet design that is made to fight the NEXT war not the last wars! Somehow we need to do this without gold plating the SOB to a point where we end up spending 20 thousand dollars a rifle and 5 dollars a round of ammunition to equip our guys!

It can be done... There are several ways it could be done ranging from the technically ambitious to the relatively safe. Really eventually we'll need to get to the ambitious designs, but for the next decade the relatively safe route would work just fine.

What I'd propose for the safe route is pretty simple. We'd start off with a 6.5mm bullet with a .5 mm polymer driving band wrapped around the portion of the bullet we want to engage the rifling. I'm thinking a bullet in the 110 to 130 grain range would be pretty optimal. I'd put this bullet in a steel cartridge case for training rounds and for giving out to our allies en masse, and or for if we need to ramp up production to wartime footing. However there'd be a second polymer or other lightweight case option utilizing a blended powder solution to make up for the loss of volume between the steel case and the polymer case. Ideally for this round we'd want a muzzle velocity from a 16 inch barrel of at least 2750 feet per second though my preference would be as close to 3000 as we can get it while still maintaining an acceptably compact cartridge case dimension AND a peak recoil force that is midway between 5.56 nato and 7.62 nato.*(see note below). Once we have this case we need to put together a rifle and a GPMG to use them in. For a variety of reasons I am NOT in favor of taking anything currently on the shelf, mostly because they're all either designed for the 5.56 overall length or the 7.62 Nato overall length of which our weapon will have a round pretty close to exactly halfway inbetween. Also I just so happen to think that we can do better than warming over 50 or more year old designs yet again to fire a brand new round out of.

If anyone's interested I'll do a quick little writeup of a few options for what I'd like to see my hypothetical cartridge use for rifles, carbines, and GPMGs.

THe one thing that should be noted though... Is nothing I've just suggested here is groundbreaking, untried, or in any way unconventional. The only reason it seems so much different is because I've sat down and put YEARS worth of thought into how you make a round that will have comparable cost to manufacture while tremendously increasing lethality over 5.56 nato while also being able to quite handily take over about 85% of the role of 7.62 Nato without sacrificing true usability or capability versus the older heavier caliber. Much of what I am suggesting comes from extensive reading of material from both sides of the general purpose cartridge movement's research and forum posts etc. Now if you're wondering what I'd do about the other 15% of the 7.62 Nato's capability.... well that's what the new big daddy SDM, Sniper, and big boy MG round would be for, but that's another topic for another day.

(Note on peak recoil: Research is starting to indicate a very very interesting trend where as long as recoil does not go above a certain "threshold value" it can increase quite a bit from 5.56 level without having the psychological and physical effect that battle rifle rounds are known to have. My proposal is that we can and should make a concerted and very organized effort to find out what this "threshold value" is for everyone from the third to ninety third percentile sizes of young Americans. Once we have fixed this value into our institutional knowledge base I really think it could benefit us to design personal weapons with an eye towards making sure the general issue rifle is under the threshold value for a majority of it's users. This in many ways would give our infantry weapons research arm back some of the clarity it has so desperately needed by allowing it to prioritize development within this envelope. Giving us a way to prioritize what technologies are worth paying to get at a given time.)

posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 11:52 PM

Something that many of us have known for well more than a decade.

The M4 has brought consistent complaints about at least three shortfalls: At a 250-yard effective-kill distance, it lacks range; its 5.56 mm round lacks killing power; and the gun requires constant maintenance — cleaning and lubricating — in sandy conditions or is prone to jamming. Soldiers also complain that the magazine dents easily and the springs break.

These complaints have been ignored for far to long. And as far as I am concerned...if it is good enough for the Spec-Ops guys, then it is good enough for the grunt. Anyone who has served any amount of time know that the SOCOM guys get the best of the best. The average grunt nowadays is carrying what the SOCOM guys carried ten years ago. I've never been a fan of the M16/M4 series.

I prefer good 'ol 7.62 NATO/.308 Win.

It gets the job done. Whether punching holes through paper, taking down a deer or taking out a bad guy.

The M4 is an amazing assault rifle, I know, I know -- blasphemy, here is the thing though, it's for CQB urban use in developed areas. It's not for the desert, or huge field engagements.

The M4 is the perfect assault rifle for a SWAT team, not a soldier.

With that said, yeah, an SG would be a much better option, even an H&K G36c, effective range of 800m. Putting soldiers in a flat long range and sandy situation with an M4 is disgusting.

posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 11:34 AM
reply to post by Laykilla

Oh really we should go with the hk g36c?

Oh and it has an 800 meter range? (even though it uses the same ammo AND has a 9 inch barrel! A full 5 and a half inches SHORTER than the m4's barrel! Will the wonders never cease, now German engineering is actually capable of REVERSING the very laws of physics!)

I take it you also missed the part where the German military in conjunction with the fraunhoffer institute acknowledged the overheating issue with ALL models of g36 that makes sights go out of alignment and all sorts of other nastiness happen degrading accuracy to the point where it's all but impossible to hit targets at even 200 meters!

You must have also missed the part where the German military has reduced the effective range of ALL g36 variants to 300 meters! (Which just fyi you can't just use the effective range for a long barrel variant of a gun for the ultra shorty commando length barrel variants... it doesn't work.)

Or what about the part where instead of fixing the MASSIVE and easily exploitable by an enemy issue the German technical branch instead revised the MANUAL. In this revision they have imposed strict limits on how much and how often you can fire your g36. On top of that once you reach a certain round count especially over a short time period the manual tells you you must stop firing the rifle altogether for a set period of time allowing a "proper cooldown period"! In essence the German military, rather than fixing a potentially life threatening issue, has changed the manual so it's soldiers do not DARE complain of overheating rifles! Because now if they complain of overheating rifles they will have violated policies and regulations, and will therefore open themselves up to PUNISHMENT! (As if going into a firefight with a rifle that you can overheat to a point where it's working parts come out of alignment to such a degree that you can no longer aim and reasonably expect to hit even a short distance target isn't punishment enough!)

What is it with this site and people just buying the HK fanboi BS?

Don't get me wrong HK has made some guns that do deserve a massive amount of attention and adulation (hk 21,22,23 series I'm looking at you!) However the 416, g36 series are NOT it! Matter of fact really none of HK's recent offerings live up to their hard earned name in my personal opinion. For example I picked up an HK USP shortly after they came out at my local gun shop shook the gun side to side and heard click clack clickity clackk ackackack.... I needless to say frowned with consternation and set the gun back down SLOWLY (didn't want the piece of trash to come apart somehow and end up having to pay for it... it felt looked and sounded THAT fragile!) SInce then I've picked up several of Hk's recent offerings and every time I've walked away disappointed and quite frankly mystified at the premiums such lackluster weapons command.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 09:04 PM
reply to post by roguetechie

When the M16 came out, it was the new and better weapon. We all know how that turned out. Space age materials and higher velocity/low weight platform...

Whatever replaces the previous weapon almost always fails in its promises.

posted on Mar, 15 2014 @ 05:48 PM
reply to post by ChuckNasty

For vietnam compared to the m14 the m16 WAS the newer and better weapon by an order of magnitude!

Now did elements within DOD go out of their way to make it look bad by changing key specifications creating a rifle that was absolutely GOING to fail? Yes they did... but that has more to do with other stuff.... either way though once the DOD sabotage was cleared out the m16 acquitted itself quite well in vietnam.

If our troops had been forced to carry the big very horrible for jungle fighting m14 in vietnam we'd have had 4 times the casualties we wound up with!

The reality though is ammunition technology has VASTLY improved and this is mainly where we'd be gathering our gains from. We'd end up with a round that is in every way ballistically superior for combat over the horrific m80 7.62x51 round! It can do all this while being lighter, having a much lower specific recoil impulse, and being made out of "green materials" without making huge compromises because it was designed to be made that way from the start!

As far as your denigration of "space age materials" ... all I can say is NONE of my firearms I actually intend to USE have wood furniture anywhere on them. Wood swells, cracks, and is in pretty much every way except cost and ease to work with a horrible choice for inclusion on a precision instrument like a firearm.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 03:03 AM
reply to post by roguetechie

I would disagree with your ascertation that the M14 would have led to mass casualties in Vietnam.

The British fought a number of successful jungle campaigns with an equivalent weapon, the L1A1 SLR (FN FAL). Indeed the Australian SAS used this weapon in some numbers in Vietnam with success.

I don't think that it's the best type of weapon for this environment but it can work.
edit on 17-3-2014 by PaddyInf because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 11:15 AM
Forgive me in my ignorance here, but surely a round, or a weapons lethality is directly proportional to the users ability to hit a target in a critical weak point?

Let me explain my thinking here. If you hit someone directly square in their head with a 5.56, not left or right of centre, but I am talking coring them out like an apple, they are going to die. They are not going to walk, stumble, stagger, or crawl around a corner, because the shooter has just made soup out of the part of their body which controls their ability to do these things.

If a person is hit in the heart with a 5.56 round, they die, because their heart is perforated, or exploded depending on the range of the shot. Either way, that target is not going to be running a marathon any time soon, because the muscle which delivers oxygen to their brain, and their muscles, is not working, due to having holes in it/being destroyed.

If however, you think that people who use these weapons ought to be able to insta-kill their enemies with either winging shots, gut shots, and shots which do not either hit the head , the spine or the heart, then who the hell are you kidding exactly?

In short, surely learning to damned well hit the target in a fashion which results in death, is far more down to the user of the weapon past a certain point, than it is the weapon itself? Am I mistaken here? It just seems like if the shot was really on target, the target would die no matter what size lead was thrown at them?

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by TrueBrit

I suppose technically you are not wrong. However on the modern battlefield in many contacts you are lucky if you even see the enemy never mind get the opportunity to line up a perfect shot. When you are being shot at after running while carrying lots of kit while wearing body armour in high temperatures, you are lucky if you can keep your hands still enough for decent marksmanship.

Trust me, you are happy just to hit a target under these conditions, never mind choosing which part you hit. Added to the way that these guys generally don't just stand there waiting to be shot, but move around, take cover and SHOOT BACK, I don't care how good a shot you are. You will miss considerably more times than you hit.

Therefore I would like a bullet with the ability to cause a lot of damage whether I hit a vital part or not.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by PaddyInf

Paddy ... I've owned FAL's and worked on other people's broken M1a's on more than one occasion. I wasn't saying a .308 battle rifle couldn't be used in jungle fighting (although realistically an AR without the DOD sabotage is really still a better solution and an even better solution would have been an xm177 with a 1:8 twist barrel firing something like the new sierra 77 grain rounds.) All that being said though the m14 is an extraordinarily poor choice for Vietnam. Between it's spear like overall length, full length wood stock which can swell and deform in the moist atmosphere with ease pinching and otherwise impeding the action of the gun, and probably worst of all the very open action that can ingest all sorts of stuff that will foul and otherwise impede the action.

So it wasn't really the caliber that was the issue but the specific firearm which i took issue with.

As far as the whole training people to hit vital areas comment.... That's nice and as a civilian or even law enforcement officer in the US this is in fact the ideal solution. However once you add in armored vehicles and rpg-7's and the like as paddy pointed out you are just happy to be scoring glancing shots.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 01:24 AM
reply to post by roguetechie

Ah sorry bud. My mistake. I don't have any actual experience with the M14 at all so I'll bow down to you on that one.

posted on Mar, 21 2014 @ 09:07 PM
It's all about $$$ the new m4s cost less than 700 ea new and the .mil will try to keep it that way.

They should move to pmags at the very least and a low cost reliable piston design like the stag m8. The 308 is a good round but to keep the weapons and ammo lighter and the most effective the 6.5 round is probably best with much more power and even longer effective distance.

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 12:36 AM
I'm not a fan of the M16/M4 platform I got issued not because the platform was bad but because they were THOROUGHLY worn out, My commercial AR-15 never experienced any of the problems I had in the US Army and we lubed and cleaned it even more meticulously there than I do at home.

I cannot speak about the combat effectiveness of the round first hand since I never had the displeasure to deploy (Had an EFMP, Disabled family member at home) but from what I understand the .300 Blackout is the best replacement round for the AR-15 platform, The stopping power of the 7.62x39mm while still fitting STANAG magazines, Lowers and Bolt Carrier Groups only having to change out the barrel.
It also lends it self very well to being suppressed with the .300 Whisper loadings.

I would not go back to the 7.62x51 because it's too heavy, The Soviet Russians had it right with the M43 7.62x39mm as the perfect combat round, I guess 7.62x35 is close enough for me....Well Actually the Nazi Germans beat them to the punch but regardless...

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 09:39 AM
reply to post by TrueBrit

There is no doubt that htting someone in the head is going to result in the best outcome (for you) but that is not how we are trained to fight. We aim center mass because not only is that where all the vital organs are located, it is also the easiest place to hit a person. This is absolutely the best way to shoot...especially when you aren't one of the special forces types that get all the time on the range they want with as much ammo as they want...those guys are good enough to actually aim for specific parts of a person, everyone else just needs to be good enough to hit them. So, the problem isn't the gun itself, it is the armor piercing round we are forced to use. The closer we are to the guy we shoot, the more likely it is to go straight through them and not do very much damage. Using a larger caliber round will just result in a slightly larger hole...

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 10:13 AM
reply to post by clubberwang

That worries me.

If you are telling me, that the armed forces of a nation as powerful as the US, are not all trained to a minimum standard of accuracy allowing for shot placement under fire, AND are not given adequate range time to hone those skills, then that is very troubling.

It's like the armed forces are made up of a few well trained special ops units, and hundreds of thousands of other people who probably should not be allowed to carry a firearm in a professional setting. That opinion probably aggravates some people, but really! It's a gun, not a pea shooter! This crap is SERIOUS! If a soldier cannot control where every bullet in his weapon goes, then why the hell would they consider themselves ready to actually go into combat? Sounds like a crapshoot to me!

posted on Apr, 15 2014 @ 04:16 PM
reply to post by GrOuNd_ZeRo

Doesn't the 300 Blackout round have the same effective range as a 5.56x45? If not...what are the differences?

The Russians saw the advantages of the 5.56x45 round ---- especially during the early days of the Vietnam War ---- when the powder made the bullet tumble when it hit flesh. They've made the decision to stick with the effective 5.45x39 round, rather than going back to the 7.62x39; basically because of the ease of carrying more rounds for the common foot soldier. Wouldn't this be the same sort of preference for the U.S. DOD....not only to stick with the 5.56x45 round --- but to increase the bullet weight to the present 75 grains [I think]; which I believe that they've changed the bullet to that weight about 3 years ago?

posted on Apr, 15 2014 @ 07:25 PM
reply to post by Erno86

300 Blackout is a 7.62x35 round. It has about the same effective range as 7.62x39.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 05:33 AM

reply to post by clubberwang

That worries me.

If you are telling me, that the armed forces of a nation as powerful as the US, are not all trained to a minimum standard of accuracy allowing for shot placement under fire, AND are not given adequate range time to hone those skills, then that is very troubling.

It's like the armed forces are made up of a few well trained special ops units, and hundreds of thousands of other people who probably should not be allowed to carry a firearm in a professional setting. That opinion probably aggravates some people, but really! It's a gun, not a pea shooter! This crap is SERIOUS! If a soldier cannot control where every bullet in his weapon goes, then why the hell would they consider themselves ready to actually go into combat? Sounds like a crapshoot to me!

Have you ever been in the military? Not asking to be rude oe anything, it's just that actual exposure to the reality of combat would answer your question. As I have said before shooting under the conditions faced in a firefight is very different to shooting on a one way range.

If we only trained to go for head shots we would be training to hit small targets. Hitting small targets neigh on impossible when your breathing is erratic, you are exhausted, adrenaline is messing up your fine motor skills, you can't take a decent fire position due to your equipment and the cover you're in, you have sweat in your eyes and you can barely see your enemy.

Instead we train to hit the biggest part of the target we can see. If we aim for centre mass then any movement caused by the above factors will be minamised because we have a higher probability of hitting at least some part of the target.

Aim small shoot small is a good way to go, but aiming centre mass increases the chances of actually hitting the target. We practice hitting the centre of centre mass.

posted on May, 18 2014 @ 02:52 PM
300 blackout has INFERIOR range to 556 NATO by almost half lol...

Personally I feel like back engineering ultra high pressure steel case technology as well as the whole line of Russian 545 projectiles is a great point to start. From there up sizing the projectile to the 6 to 7 mm known sweet spot and we could easily end up with a cheap round easy to manufacture in the billions which will finally let us allocate adequate training ammo stocks.

From there we build up the rifles and lmg's for our new round ..... I've got some secret sauce there that will give us light modular weapons that will mitigate felt recoil to near 556 levels while resulting in massively lightened lmg's ( current lmg weight is totally insane) with a FULL length barrel!!!!! All while keeping costs out of the stratosphere...... (my secret is using good engineering that is grounded in lessons learned rather than just doing the same old not that great to begin with build in titanium)

Really we could end up with much better stuff if the procurement system weren't broken. And for anyone that doubts me.... ask yourself this.... how were the Germans in ww2 and the Russians and Chinese of today building LIGHTER MG's with exponentially better durability in heavier calibers at fractions of the cost consistently using no exotic materials or by chopping barrels stupidly short?

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