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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Scotland~

With another gulf war around the corner ive been thinking of our poor guys sent out with the dreaded SA80 British bull pup service rifle in .223

Personally my advice would be shoot the first Iraqi you see and nick his AK47 ! Proven rifle and calibre, unlike the SA80.........:eek:

My interest in fire arms has alway been as a hunters tool but since joining a rifle club i've had great fun shooting .303's, Mausers,all sorts and kind of got a soft spot for bolt action militarys now.

Im assuming NATO switched to .223 from 7.62 due to reduced recoil being built in a lighter rifle lets face it most soliders are not gun buff's. Infact im sure i read somewere that a very "small" percentage of men in battle situation are responsible for the majority of enermy "kills."

MY QUESTION IS: if you had the responsiblity to decide on Nato's NEXT calibre.......What would it be and why ????



Englander
 

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Englander,

You will probably find this silly but some of the considerations to switch to the 5.56mm NATO was as follows:

1. Weight of ammo. Basic personnel supply- issue each person 200 rnds.

2. As you pointed out recoil, and ability to hold on point and area targets.

This next one was important.

3. Ability to wound not kill. Reason: It takes two persons on average to carry off one wounded. That is assuming your opponent is civilized and wishes to take care of his soldiers.

If you wound one and two carry him off the field of battle then you reduce the number of opponents you face.

Seems to me that thought process or "civilized warfare" got alot of people killed in the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and WWI.

I.E. American Revolutionary War- Moving formation, All on line, (British) Sniping from cover, guerilla tactics- (American Revolutionaries)

American Civil War- Again, Mass Formations moving towards each other over open ground. Rifle barrels, Fixed positions, accuracy of firearms is extended.

WWI- Trench warfare, open ground frontal assaults against fixed positions.

4. Lighter round is more humane. (As if killing and maiming is humane.)
 

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I would say either a .308 or the 7.62 again, the 7.62 is a great round, and has a range of a good 200+ yards if a soldier has the time (and skills) to do so. As it is, Buzzard1 is right, NATO planned the .223 to be a wounder, not a killer. However, I'm not convinced that our opponents stick to the same regulations that we do, nor do they care about the wounded. America tends to go to war with a much more "ethical" and "moral" stance that do other countries... war is war in my opinion, there is a time for it, and the fastest way to end one is not to fill up field hospitals, but to make enough casulties and impact on their resources that they say uncle. With that in mind, I say that we once again start manufacture of the Garand, see what a bunch of AK's have to say to that :D
 

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Mr. Stanton is correct in his statement. I agree with his thoughts and did not convey that in my previous post.

Selection of equipment for military purpose has some nonsensical excess baggage.

Just as the Geneva convention limits the use of 12.7mm (.50cal) to military equipment and not personell does not mean your opponent won't level a DKSH at you on the ground.

Most who would start wars are unethical too begin with and care not one wit about anyone but themselves and to further their own power and prosperity.

Maybe these so called leaders of nations or movements, and those who authorize the use of force should first meet on the field of battle with swords and pens to decide amongst themselves.

Remember that the use of or threat to use armies is a political instrument and a signal of failed politics.

Most who use armies or are quick to sound the call to arms are those who have no experience with warfare and probably will never experience such. It is easy for them to send others when they do not have to get personal with the ones they ask to risk it all.
 

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The 5.56 round is easier for the grunt off the street to shoot (especially the girls-I probably shouldn't have opened that can), the rifle is lighter, the ammo is lighter and more compact, the rifle in it's current form is as accurate if not more so than the M14. The different variant of the M16 allow several different configurations, from subgun size to battle rifle, with a commonality of function. Maybe the AR-10 is the one after all, but I think the smaller round serves the majority better than the larger. The soldiers who are best at killing often use different weapons, as they are often part of the Special Forces. Just an opinion, I've not served in the military.
 

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From all the scuttle butt flying around it appears there is a real push to go to a 6mm or 6.5 type of round, which I find kind of funning being the Brits were trying this round out first in there SA80's
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand the reasoning behind .223 light weight rifle,ammo takes up less room , and wounding takes up more of the enemy resources than a dead body.

But surely a wounded enemy solider can still pull his trigger and if that's a big curved AK47 clip that that putting our guys at risk ! :eek:

If you want reduced ammo space what about 7.62x39 ?? Not only will it take up less room than 7.62 Nato but more deadly on enemy soldiers and ammo can be found the world over unlike .223

My main problem is our SA80 service rifle, it took years to develop millions of pounds and appears to have had NO input from the poor guys who have to use it !
I know a guy who had to use one whilst being shot at by Irish terrorist's in Northern Ireland. He was not a fan ! His old FN SLR could be used off either shoulder when shooting round both left and right hand corners in urban engagement. But the SA80 is a bull pup with the ejection port to close to your head !

During the recent Afghanistan caper British marines on special ops could be seen on news reels carring AR15 or some thing similar NOT there issue SA80........wonder why ???

If the British Army wanted a short light weight rifle to my mind they should have bought AR15's and saved the tax payer millions apon millions of pounds ! :mad:Instead playing around with a poorly thought out rifle........

I fully agree that "Joe soldier" needs a light recoiling rifle, i know many guys at the club who find the old .303 unpleasant so yes light recoiling but surely as Leadbutt said a 6mm or 6.5 of some description.....??? What about a 7.62x39 based cartridge ?? 6mmx39?? or even 6.5mmx39 ??:confused:

Just an idea like i said im a hunter not a soldier, but it seems to me that all to often these important decisions are taken up on high with out consulting or listening to the guys who are going to be at the sharp end !


Englander
 

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I've used the M14 under somewhat stressful conditions and found it to be a fine weapon. I've also used the M16 in the same conditions and found it to be junk.

If I find it necessary to put a hole in somebody, I want the largest hole possible. I don't care if it kills or wounds, but if it wounds, I want that person to immediately become a non-combatant. The 5.56 doesn't meet that standard, not by a long way.

I realize that the .223 was "thoroughly tested and evaluated" by ballistics experts, and it performed remarkably well using ballistic gelatin. Unfortunately, it performs remarkably poorly on enemy personnel who, unlike gelatin, shoot back. Leave the .223 for woodchucks and rearm the military with a real weapon.

DC
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If the "new NATO cartridge" is to be shared with the French, then their needs to be a 'blank' version for their use.... which will facilitate quicker surrender, and not annoy their enemies so much......

Hey Englander, the U.S. finally gave up and started using a German-designed handgun cartridge (9mm), heck why not go to the Soviet-designed 7.62x39?!?!? Might as well!!!!!

If the military 'had' to have a .22 cal cartridge, should have stepped up to the .22-250, my opinion.....
 

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Inside of 150 yds there is no reason to go to anything other than a standard 7.62X39 - this is the best assault round ever. In a colt type gas system, It can operate easily at 52,000 CUP, making 2685 fps and 2000 FP from a 20 inch bbl.

These rifles should have a 1 in 9 twist, enabling them to fire 60 gr .224 caliber bullets in sabots, traveling at 3350 fps for longer range engagements. These bullets would be cast hard and plated to cut costs, since no jacket is needed.

I have worked extensively with this case and the aforementioned sabots and can tell you that in this case sabot accuracy is not a problem due to the short throats required for the standard 7.62X39 round. Operating pressure for this round is 40,000 CUP, so we need an adjustable gas system as well. I rapid fire them from an SKS at 3470 fps with no malfunctions and the bbl is 40% cooler than with mil spec 7.62X39 ammo. My test sabots are an injection moulded nylon derivative, easily withstanding 400 degrees F, and they leave no residue in the bore.

Production is quite simple. Cases must be slightly belled before seating and crimping a .224 bullet that is pre-seated in the sabot. There is a net savings over conventional 7.62X39 ammo, due to the much cheaper cast and plated projectiles.

So, we would have one rifle on the tried and true Colt design capable of firing:

1.311 125 gr bullets @ 2685 fps (NATO specs)
2.311 123 gr bullets @ 2450 fps (all other specs)
3.224 60 gr bullets @ 3350 fps (NATO specs)

#2 and #3 use the open gas setting, and #3 uses a restricted gas setting. Any 7.62X39 ammo can be fired effectively, and the sabot rounds make it a legitimate 500 yard battle rifle. In close, where your life is at stake, the larger diameter .311 bullets gives a knockdown equal to 2X 45 ACP and way out yonder the .224s shoot flat and make wounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Loader~ If your after longer range what about 6mm PPC ?? Loaded 85gn should shoot flat and also give reduced recoil ??

Mike ~ Just make the French version from rubber ;) that way no body can get hurt...........:p

It seems most of you like me think .22 centre fire is too small for our service rifle..... .25 , 6mm , 6.5mm must be better choices and still keep reduce and ammo volume down.

Still do not like that dammed SA80 i wish our Government would stop mucking about and scrape it !:mad:

Englander
 

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The parent case could probably be used with a 100-120gr 6.5mm case to pretty good effect. I don't know how it would function through the M-16. I know the 6mm version works pretty well and will push a 80-85gr bullet to 3000fps in a rifle length barrel. The 300 Whisper (30x221 Fireball) will nearly duplicate the 7.62x39 in a carbine and would be very versatile if they could get one twist rate to stabilize everthing from the heavy subsonic loads to the lighter 125 gr bullets. The whisper would cover everything a m14 or sniper rifle couldn't in packages from a subgun (supressed or not) to a battle rifle on the existing platform.

The French just need weapons like the old toys with flag that comes out of the barrel when fired, instead of the flag with the "bang" written on it like in the cartoons, they could just use the French battle flag. There you have the ultimate French battle rifle, just pull the trigger and it becomes a surrender signal device. You could probably have a trapdoor in the buttstock for some cheese storage, the magazines could be a wine flask. Perhaps a bayonet that was configured like the old switchblade combs, you wouldn't want them to look less than their best for the news clips.
 

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The 6MM PPC is also a good choice, for all of the reasons you cite. I know some ARs already use this round in competition. Still, we would need to change the COL to use 100 gr bullets to keep the case capacity, and would be back to 1500 FPE and 2600 fps. The 80 and 70 gr 6MMs really don't offer significant advantages over the .223 NATO round.

Logistically there are advantages to using any 7.62X39 ammo in our service rifle. Remember a full power 7.62X39 will drive a 110 gr sptizer 2900 fps, with the same sectional density and BC as a .223 60 grainer. I offer this in case you don't like sabots.:p
 

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DMC
I'm with you, Give me back the M14!!! Mosta the M16's we got were single shot automatic breech loaders that better have a cleanin' rod handy to shoot twice. Folk's were not always impressed enough with bein' shot with it to quit shootin' back soon enough. :mad:
 

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History Channel tonight at 10est. "M-16" Should discuss much of this.

The answer is 'mobility.' The whole 20th century art of war has directed at mobility and away from static defense (forts, etc). Our favorite Rommel canonized it and the russians perfected it. The whole concept went from defending ground with a rifle (generally, a defensive role for infantry) to the offensive, mobile 'assault' role.

Then they figured out what works for your mainstream grunt and gruntette (make it simple, durable and softee/dummy proof (which could be called 'Glockification'). I think the logistics and medical support arguments are true, but overblown and used by McNamara's boys to sell the concept and make it all sound so ingenious.

In essence, everyone gets a improved Tommy gun/STEN/Schmesser and gives up the Garands/SMLEs/M98s to the specialists. Even the russians are using 5.45x39mm now...

Net net, it's probably the right plan, but I'd rather have a Garand, too.
 

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Have you seen that Springfield Armory is producing Garands again?

Charlie,
thanks for the tip on the HC tonight.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Don't forget, the .30 cals are very hard to control in full-auto fire, unless you want to drag around a 22 pound BAR.

I like the analogy with the Tommy gun & Sten, interesting that the Soviets went to submachine guns so much earlier than everyone else. Would rather have a Thompson than an M-16 in an urban environment, I think.
 

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I think that the Russians may be headed the right direction with their 9X39, but for general issue rather than special forces. This round should be reasonably light and low recoil, but a good stopper.

I wonder if this rounds only failling of being a shorter range round is really much of a concern modernly. I would think that most fighting at any distance is now actually fought by crew weapons, and that personal weapons are for shorter range assults and the defense against these same assults.

Fireplug
 

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Fireplug -

As usual, an astute observation. We may be designing the perfect weapon for an era that is slipping past at a rapid rate.

The future may well be assault weapons, and the battle rifle will be history. In that case, we can get rid of gas operated systems, and go with modern recoil operated systems.

I am working with the Ruger P4 (40 S&W)Carbine and Longshot with impressive results. The 16 inch bbl and slow, high energy powder operates flawlessly from 1450 to 1750 fps with 155 gr Gold Dots, or 725 to 1050 FPE. 99% of this energy is developed in the first 13 inches of bbl.

I plan to get a Ruger P9 (9MM Luger) and ream it to 357 SIG, a very easy conversion requiring no other changes except swapping in the 40s integral slide and bolt. This should push 147 gr FMJs to 1650 fps, and 124s to 1850 fps.

So, we have 9 and 10MM assault rifles sitting on the shelf.
 
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