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troung
07 Jan 05,, 22:40
For what its worht I do think the 5.56mm round has worked veyr well in combat. The M-16A1 has highly popular with ARVN troops and the AR-15 was very popular with Kopassus in Indonesia who took it into battle as opposed to the BM-59 and AK-47 during the early and middle 1960s (they used it in action before the UK and USA)...



The Last “Big Lie” of Vietnam Kills U. S. Soldiers in Iraq
August 24th, 2004


At a Vietnam Special Forces base during 1964, I watched a U. S. soldier fire 15 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition into a tethered goat from an AR-15 rifle; moments after the last round hit, the goat fell over. Looking at the dead goat, I saw many little bullet entry-holes on one side; and when we turned him over, I saw many little bullet exit-holes on the other side. Over time, those observations were confirmed and reconfirmed, revealing that the stories we were told on the lethality of the .223 caliber cartridge were fabrications. Those false reports drove the adoption of the .223 caliber cartridge as the 5.56mm NATO cartridge and, ever since, Americans have been sent to war with a cartridge deficient in combat lethality; a deficiency that has recently caused the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.



What is efficient combat lethality? The book Black Hawk Down quotes SFC Paul Howe’s description of SFC Randy Shughart, a soldier who elected to carry the 7.62mm M-14 into the urban battlefield of Somalia in 1993 rather than the 5.56mm CAR-15 (M-16-variant):



“His rifle may have been heavier and comparatively awkward and delivered a mean recoil, but it damn sure knocked a man down with one bullet, and in combat, one shot was all you got. You shoot a guy, you want to see him go down; you don't want to be guessing for the next five hours whether you hit him, or whether he's still waiting for you in the weeds.” [1]



With the wisdom of a combat veteran, Howe describes the lethality necessary for a cartridge in combat—one-round knockdown power.



How did we get from military cartridges with proven one-round knockdown power such as the 30-06 and 7.62mm to the 5.56mm? The journey starts with the term “tumbling.” This term has been associated with the .223 cal./5.56mm cartridge, since early in its marketing as a potential military cartridge to this day. The very word, tumbling, prompts images of a bullet traveling end over end through the human body in 360-degree loops: in reality, it does not move this way at all.



Dr. Martin L. Fackler, COL., USA (Ret.) served as a surgeon in Vietnam during 1968 and, subsequently, pursued the research of terminal ballistics by observing the effects of bullets fired into blocks of ballistic gelatin. In “Wounding patterns for military rifle bullets,” he reports the observation that “all” non-deforming pointed bullets—this included the 30-06 and 7.62mm military full-metal jacket bullets-- “yawed” 180 degrees while passing through the gelatin to exit base-forward; i.e., heaviest end forward. The 5.56mm projectile acted in the same manner with a very precise exception: These rounds “yawed” to 90-degrees, and then fragmented at their weakened serrated band (cannelure) into two or more pieces when fired into ballistic gelatin. However, the 5.56mm projectile does NOT always yaw or fragment. Under field conditions, the probability of these effects is reduced by the following factors:



--The round strikes the target at less than 2700 feet per second. That velocity is reduced by: the farther the range to the target, the greater reduction in velocity; shortened weapon barrel length as is the case with the shorter M-4 carbine; and/or, manufacturing variances in the cartridge.



--Variances in human body thickness and flesh density and consistency.



In those cases, the bullet neither yaws nor fragments and causes only a pencil size hole through the body; i.e., small hole in, small hole out. Neither Dr. Fackler nor anyone else has provided any empirical data or estimate on the incidence of the 5.56mm yaw/fragmentation effect on enemy soldiers. Conversely, since first used by Americans in combat, there has been a consistent observation from the field—enemy soldiers continue to fire their weapons after being hit by multiple 5.56mm bullets; evidently, no yaw/fragmentation effect. Nevertheless, the term “tumble” was apparently derived from idealized yaw action and, as suggested by the following, was chosen in lieu of the word yaw because it would “sell” better. [2]



The book, The Black Rifle, M16 Retrospective by Edward C. Ezell and R. Blake Stevens, “ . . . is, so far as [the authors] could make it so, the truth about the controversial 5.56mm caliber AR-15 (M16)—what it is, what it is not, where it came from, and why.”



Edward C. Ezell, Ph.D., now deceased, was the Curator/Supervisor of the Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC and the editor of perhaps the world’s most famous gun book, Small Arms of the World. The Black Rifle contains one of the earliest characterizations that the .223 cal. bullet tumbled in a brochure produced by Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, Inc. The caption written by the book’s authors reads, “From the first Colt AR-15 brochure, produced in a desperate attempt to interest somebody – anybody - in the merits of the AR-15’s ‘unmatched superiority.’” In one of the three internal brochure illustrations is text reading, in part, “On impact the tumbling action of the .223 caliber ammunition increases effectiveness.” [3]



In 1961, Colt’s did get somebody’s attention. The Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) of the Department of Defense (DoD) was enjoined by the Kennedy Administration to explore how the United States could support a foreign ally in a “limited” war. In the spring of 1961, ARPA’s Project AGILE was implemented to supply “research and engineering support for the military and paramilitary forces engaged in or threatened by conflict in remote areas of the world.” In October of 1961, ARPA provided ten Colt’s AR-15’s to Vietnamese Forces in Saigon to conduct a limited test. The Black Rifle remarks of this test, “The number of rifles might have been small, but the enthusiastic reaction of the Vietnamese and their American advisors alike who handled and fired the AR-15s was just as [Colt’s marketing agent] had predicted.” Armed with these positive results, ARPA succeeded in expanding the Project AGILE study by procuring 1,000 AR-15s for distribution among select Vietnamese units for field-testing. Ezell & Stevens write that this approval resulted in “ . . . saving Colt’s from almost sure financial disaster and also setting the stage for the most influential yet controversial document so far in the history of the already controversial AR-15.” [4]



The purpose of this test, as set forth in, ARPA, “Report of Task 13A, Test of ArmaLite Rifle, AR-15,” dated 31 July 1962, was “ . . . a comparison between the AR-15 and the M2 Carbine to determine which is a more suitable replacement for shoulder weapons in selected units of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF).” The Project AGILE results were summed up, in part, by ARPA as follows: “The suitability of the AR-15 as the basic shoulder weapon for the Vietnamese has been established. For the type of conflict now occurring in Vietnam, the weapon was also found by its users and by MAAG advisors to be superior in virtually all respects to the M1 Rifle, M1 and M2 Carbines, Thompson Sub-Machine Gun, and Browning Automatic Rifle.” NOTE: This study and its recommendations concerned the suitability of the AR-15 for Vietnamese soldiers, who were described by the testers to be of “small stature, body configuration and light weight,” NOT larger stature United States soldiers. [5]



In any case, the report was widely read and some of its components came under serious question, especially those purporting to describe the demonstrated lethality of the .223 caliber cartridge. The following are three such examples from the Project AGILE report:



Example 1. “On 160900 June, one platoon from the 340 Ranger company was on a ground operation . . . and contacted 3 armed VC in heavily forested jungle.. . . At a distance of approximately 15 meters, one Ranger fired an AR-15 full automatic hitting one VC with 3 rounds with the first burst. One round in the head took it completely off. Another in the right arm, took it completely off. One round hit him in the right side, causing a hole about 5 inches in diameter.. . . (Rangers)”



Example 2. “On 9 June a Ranger Platoon from the 40th Infantry Regt. Was given the mission of ambushing an estimated VC Company.. . .



Number of VC killed: 5 [Descriptions of the one-round killing wounds follow.]


Back wound, which caused the thoracic cavity to explode.
Stomach wound, which caused the abdominal cavity to explode.
Buttock wound, which destroyed all tissue of both buttocks.
Chest wound from right to left; destroyed the thoracic cavity.
Heel wound; the projectile entered the bottom of the right foot causing the leg to split from the foot to the hip.


These deaths were inflicted by the AR-15 and all were instantaneous except the buttock wound. He lived approximately five minutes. (7th Infantry Division)”



Example 3. “On 13 April, a Special Forces team made a raid on a small village. In the raid, seven VC were killed. Two were killed by AR-15 fire. Range was 50 meters. One man was hit in the head; it looked like it exploded. A second man was hit in the chest, his back was one big hole. (VN Special Forces)” [6.]



The above “field-reports” are incredulous on their face and some in DoD requested that these results be duplicated scientifically. The Army Wound Ballistics Laboratory at Edgewood Arsenal attempted to do just that. Using .223 caliber Remington ammunition provided by Colt’s representative, they conducted their “standard lethality trials that consisted of measuring the cavitational and other effects of firing at known distances into blocks of ballistic gelatin, and where necessary, anaesthetized goats.” They failed to duplicate the explosive effects reported by Project AGILE. In November 1962, the Army initiated “Worldwide” tactical and technical tests of the AR-15 using U. S. soldiers. Edgewood was tasked to perform further lethality tests using modified .223 caliber ammunition. Ezell and Stevens describe the modifications: “They had modified some 55-grain .223 caliber ball bullets of Remington manufacture by cutting approximately 1/4 inch off the nose and drilling a 3/32-inch-diameter hole about 1/4 inch deep into the lead core of each bullet.” The results? The authors continue, “As it turned out, even the hollow-points failed to duplicate anything like the spectacular effects recorded by the Vietnamese unit commanders and their American advisors, which had subsequently been taken as fact and much used as propaganda.” [7.]



The .223 caliber cartridge was morphed into the 5.56mm NATO cartridge and adopted for the United States Service Rifle M-16 (formerly, AR-15) replacing the 7.62mm M-14. How could such propaganda have convinced the Department of Defense to adopt the .223 caliber cartridge? “All this was inspired by the principle -- which is quite true in itself -- that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper stata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily, and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.”

Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf [8.]



As is usually the case, a judgment based on lies was to adversely affect those at the “pointy end of the spear.” American warriors reported enemy soldiers continuing to close and fire their weapons after sustaining multiple hits by 5.56mm bullets. This happened as early as 9 December 1965 in the official “After Action Report of the Ia Drang Valley Operation . . ..” popularized by the movie and book We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young. The commanding officer of the battalion engaged there, Col. Harold G. Moore, USA, writes of assaulting enemy soldiers being hit by 5.56mm rounds: "Even after being hit several times in the chest, many continued firing and moving for several more steps before dropping dead." [9.]



Later in that war, a similar experience is voiced by Col. John Hayworth, USA (Ret.): “In one fire-fight, I saw my RTO place three rounds [of 5.56 mm] in the chest of a charging NVA regular at 50 yards. He kept firing his AK and never slowed down. At 30 yards, I hit him with a blast of double ought buck. It picked him up off his feet and he didn't get up again.” [10.]



In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the DoD increased the weight of the 5.56mm 55-grain bullet (M193) to 62-grains, replaced some of its lead core with a tungsten steel core, painted the bullet tip green and designated the new cartridge M855. In 1991, the Pentagon sent its warriors to the Gulf War with this new green-tip cartridge. Maj. Howard Feldmeier, USMC (Ret.) was there: “ . . . several Marines commented that they had to shoot Iraqi soldiers 2-3 or more times with the 62-grain 5.56mm green tip ammo before they stopped firing back at them . . ..” That report is exemplified by one of an Iraqi officer who was thrown from his vehicle and set afire by an explosion: “Somehow he managed to hold on to his AK-47. He also got up, still on fire, faced the firing line of Marines and charged forward firing his weapon from the hip. He didn't hit anyone but two Marines each nailed him with a three round burst from their M-16A2s. One burst hit him immediately above his heart, the other in his belly button. [He] . . . kept right on charging and firing until his magazine was empty. When he got up to the Marines two of them tackled him and rolled him in the sand to put out the fire. . . . He was quickly carried back to the battalion aid station . . .. The surgeons told me he certainly died of burns, but not necessarily from the six 5.56mm wounds . . ..” [11.]



In spite of the above “lesson learned,” the DoD dispatched its warriors to combat in Somalia in 1993 with the same flawed “green tip” cartridge as testified in Mark Bowden’s book Black Hawk Down: “His weapon was the most sophisticated infantry rifle in the world, a customized CAR-15, and he was shooting the army's new 5.56mm green tip round. . . . The bullet made a small, clean hole, and unless it happened to hit the heart or spine, it wasn't enough to stop a man in his tracks. Howe felt he had to hit a guy five or six times just to get his attention.”



The Pentagon remained unmoved by that experience of its warriors and continued to send them to war underpowered. On 4 April 2002, I received an e-mail from a trooper in Afghanistan who appeals, in part: “The current-issue 62gr 5.56mm (223) round, especially when fired from the short-barreled, M-4 carbine, is proving itself (once again) to be woefully inadequate as [a] man stopper. Engagements at all ranges are requiring multiple, solid hits to permanently bring down enemy soldiers. Penetration is also sadly deficient. Even light barriers are not perforated by this rifle/cartridge combination.” [12.]



Additional observations of the impotence of the 5.56mm round soon appeared in official and professional publications. In their official briefing “Lessons Learned in Afghanistan” dated April 2002, LTC C. Dean, USA and SFC S. Newland, USA of the U. S. Army Natick Soldier Center reported: “Soldiers asked for a weapon with a larger round. ‘So it will drop a man with one shot.’” In the October 2002 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette magazine, Capt Philip Treglia, USMC reflected on his Afghanistan experience in December 2001 by reporting that, “the 5.56 mm round will not put a man to the ground with two shots to the chest.” Capt Treglia’s men were trained to fire two bullets into an enemy’s chest and if that did not knock him down, they were to shift fire to the head. This is the corrective action implemented for these Marines and many others in the Armed Forces for the impotent 5.56mm cartridge rather than equipping them with a rifle that fired a bullet with one-round knockdown power. And, as Capt Treglia reported, multiple hits with the 5.56mm bullet didn’t work any better in Afghanistan than it did anytime in the past.



In a 3 March 2003 written briefing, LCdr. Gary K. Roberts, USNR recommended to RAdm. Albert M. Calland, Commander, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command that he upgrades his command’s 5.56mm weapons to the 6.8mm cartridge. That briefing, entitled, “Enhancement of NSW Carbine & Rifle Capability,” opens by observing:



Recent combat operations have highlighted terminal performance problems, generally manifested as failures to rapidly incapacitate opponents, during combat operations when M855 62gr. “Green Tip” FMJ is fired from 5.56mm rifles and carbines. Failure to rapidly incapacitate armed opponents increases the risk of U.S. forces being injured or killed and jeopardizes mission success. [13.]



That statement was prophetic.



On 12 September 2003, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq elements of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group engaged enemy forces in a firefight. An insurgent was struck in the torso by several rounds of 5.56mm ammunition from their M-4 carbines (this is the current shortened version of the M-16 Service Rifle). He continued to fire his AK-47 and mortally wounded MSgt Kevin N. Morehead, age 33, from Little Rock, Arkansas. The engagement continued with the same insurgent surprising SFC William M. Bennett, age 35, from Seymour, Tennessee from a hiding place and killing him instantly with a three-round burst to the head and neck. SSgt Robert E Springer, threw away his M-4 carbine, drew an obsolete WWI/WWII vintage .45 caliber pistol and killed the insurgent with one shot. A close inspection of the enemy's corpse revealed that he had been hit by seven 5.56 mm rounds in his torso. Also, in this engagement, these soldiers were provided with a commercially produced 5.56mm round of 77-grain weight vice the 62-grain bullets in use by general-purpose forces. Obviously, the larger 5.56mm round was of little consequence. [14.]



These reports are consistent with my own experience during three tours of duty in Vietnam from the goat incident in 1964 described above to service with the 3rd Marine Division in 1968-69; experience that repeatedly reminded me that this 5.56mm cartridge was nothing more than the full-metal jacket military version of the commercial .223 caliber Remington cartridge. The .223 caliber Remington was and is today commercially advertised and sold as a “varmint cartridge” for hunting groundhogs, prairie dogs and woodchucks. The cartridge is offered with soft point, hollow point, fragmentation, or projectiles incorporating two or more of these attributes to enhance its lethality and assure a “clean kill”: one-round knockdown power on varmints. States such as the Commonwealth of Virginia do not permit it to be used for hunting deer or bear because its lethality—with or without those enhancements--does not assure a “clean kill” on big game. [15] Yet, its full metal jacket military counterpart continues to be issued to American warriors in spite of almost 40 years of Lessons Learned that enemy soldiers continue to fire their weapons and have even killed our soldiers after sustaining multiple hits from 5.56mm bullets.



The lethality of the 5.56mm cartridge, sold on lies, cannot be fixed in truth. It is time the Department of Defense recognizes this “Big Lie” from the Vietnam War and in the names of MSgt Kevin N. Morehead and SFC William M. Bennett replaces this varmint cartridge with one that gives our warriors that critical capability described by SFC Paul Howe above--one-round knockdown power!


The author's 25-year Marine career included service as an infantryman and intelligence officer with highlights of three tours of duty in Vietnam and, ultimately, representing the Defense Intelligence Agency as a briefer to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and other Washington area decision makers. He currently manages MILINET an Internet forum on international political/military affairs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Bowden, M, Black Hawk Down, Penguin Books, 2000, p. 208.


2. Fackler, ML,"Wounding patterns of military rifle bullets," International Defense Review, January 1989, pp. 59-64.



3. Ezell, EC & Stevens, RB, The Black Rifle, M16 Retrospective, Collector Grade Publications, Inc., 1994, p. 98.



4. Ibid. pp.99-100.



5. Ibid. pp.101-106.



6. Ibid. pp. 106-107.



7. Ibid. p. 116.



8. Hitler, A, Mein Kampf. James Murphy, translator. London, New York, Melbourne: Hurst and Blackett Ltd; April 1942; page 134.



9. Moore, Col. HG, “After Action Report, Ian Drang Valley Operation 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry 14-16 November 1965,” dated, 9 December 1965, p. 8.



10. Hayworth, Col. J, E-Mail to author, 23 April 2002.



11. Feldmeier, Maj. H, E-Mail to author, 21 May 2002.



12. Anonymous, E-Mail to MILINET, 26 March 2002.



13. Roberts, USNR, LCdr. Gary K., Brief to RAdm Albert M. Calland, CMDR NAVSPECWARCOM, “Enhancement of NSW Carbine & Rifle Capability” brief, 3 March 2003.



14. Jones, Bruce L., “MILINET: Case Studies in Combat Failures of 5.56mm Ammunition,” 3 November 2003



15. http://www.dgif.state.va.us/hunting/regs/section6.html#legaluse





Maj. Anthony F. Milavic, USMC (Ret.)

Bill
07 Jan 05,, 23:09
A bunch of blah, blah, blah.

A 5.56 will kill just fine, the problem is that some people don't want to die according to your schedule, and will ignore all fire that you direct into them until they run out of blood.

The 5.56 has weaknesses, but 'stopping power'(whatever that is), aint one of em...

troung
08 Jan 05,, 05:27
"A bunch of blah, blah, blah. A 5.56 will kill just fine"

I agree. If the bullet could not kill they would not use it.

And if the US had stuck with the M-14 during Vietnam people would be complaining about that.

"the problem is that some people don't want to die according to your schedule, and will ignore all fire that you direct into them until they run out of blood."

I know that for a fact....

---

As a side note Indonesia's Pindad Arms Company has made a 7.62x45mm version of the FN-FNC (stanard Indonesian rifle nowadays)...

----

Some pics of Indonesian troops with 5.56mm rifles and the one on the bottom is the FN-FNC version....

Franco Lolan
08 Jan 05,, 20:10
"A bunch of blah, blah, blah.

A 5.56 will kill just fine, the problem is that some people don't want to die according to your schedule, and will ignore all fire that you direct into them until they run out of blood."

Isn't it important to have a weapon that will hit enemy, knock him down, and kill him almost instantaneously?

Bill
08 Jan 05,, 20:39
There is no such thing short of a 20mm cannon.

I've heard and read stories of people getting hit by 40mm grenades(that didn't detonate) and kept on coming.

People have been known to take multiple 12ga shotgun blasts or .50BMG fire and keep on coming.

It's all about who you're shooting, more than what you're shooting them with.

Franco Lolan
10 Jan 05,, 02:04
M21, do you prefer an m21 or an SPR? Why?

Bluesman
10 Jan 05,, 03:36
I know the circumstances may be apples and oranges, but I noticed the DC sniper pair had no trouble killing their victims with 5.56mm ammo.

Bill
10 Jan 05,, 06:12
I'm not a fan of bolt-actions for most tactical situations Franco.

So, while any of the various FN SPR rifles have a longer maximum range than the M-21, and indeed better accuracy potential at any given range, the advantadges that the M-21 confers via rapid multiple target engagement(at any range) are inherent to it's action, and that is an advantadge that the SPR- or any other bolt action rifle- cannot match, regardless of magazine capacity.

My 'favorite' sniper rifle is the HK PSG-1 because it combines the accuracy of the all but the very best bolt action weapons with the rapid target engagement capabilities and capacity of the M-21.

Any other questions?

Bill
10 Jan 05,, 06:13
"I know the circumstances may be apples and oranges, but I noticed the DC sniper pair had no trouble killing their victims with 5.56mm ammo."

I've seen enough dead folks with .22 caliber holes in them to know that the 5.56mm works quite well.

lemontree
10 Jan 05,, 10:55
Isn't it important to have a weapon that will hit enemy, knock him down, and kill him almost instantaneously?
Its called the 7.62x51mm NATO.
Just that, with this round the rifle is heavier and you tend to carry lesser ammo, as compared to when one is armed with a 5.56mm weapon.

Bill
10 Jan 05,, 11:02
"DC sniper"

I probably don't have to tell you this Blue, but i REALLY hate those ass-clowns being referred to as snipers.

Bill
10 Jan 05,, 11:03
"Its called the 7.62x51mm NATO.
Just that, with this round the rifle is heavier and you tend to carry lesser ammo, as compared to when one is armed with a 5.56mm weapon."

I would opine that one who carries less ammo is far less likely to foolishly piss it away on useless full auto fire. A soldier who carries only 100rds of ammunition, that soldier is going to AIM.

That's a good thing IMO.

griftadan
10 Jan 05,, 22:02
"Its called the 7.62x51mm NATO.
Just that, with this round the rifle is heavier and you tend to carry lesser ammo, as compared to when one is armed with a 5.56mm weapon."

I would opine that one who carries less ammo is far less likely to foolishly piss it away on useless full auto fire. A soldier who carries only 100rds of ammunition, that soldier is going to AIM.

That's a good thing IMO.

yeah, in vietnam, the average amount of ammunition expended to enemy killed is like 10,000:1 or something crazy like that. i dont know if this pertains to just infatry, but that still reveals the wasteful spray-and-pray tactics used by many soldiers during the conflict. i dont know what the numbers are today for the iraq wars, but if we gave each of our soldiers 120 7.62mm rounds, those numbers owuld drop

Franco Lolan
11 Jan 05,, 00:13
I hope 5.56 works great. I've read many horror stories though. If having less ammo of more potent ammunition makes soldiers aim more and thus become more effective, why not adopt 7.62x51 NATO?

Lol, M21 I didnt even know there was an FN SPR. I was referring to US SPR that is basically m16 with a heavier barrel and 20 rd mag. It fires 5.56. Would you prefer that or M21?

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 02:19
"yeah, in vietnam, the average amount of ammunition expended to enemy killed is like 10,000:1 or something crazy like that. i dont know if this pertains to just infatry, but that still reveals the wasteful spray-and-pray tactics used by many soldiers during the conflict. i dont know what the numbers are today for the iraq wars, but if we gave each of our soldiers 120 7.62mm rounds, those numbers owuld drop"

It was infantry expenditure, and it was something like 260,000 rounds per enemy killed(can't remember exactly off the top of my head).

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 02:25
"Lol, M21 I didnt even know there was an FN SPR. I was referring to US SPR that is basically m16 with a heavier barrel and 20 rd mag. It fires 5.56. Would you prefer that or M21?"

I'd prefer the M-21.

The M-16 'sniper rifle' is used by the IDF, and is called the M-16A2E3. Never heard the "SPR" designator attatched to it.

SPR means "Special Police Rifle", at least in the case of the FN rifles it does.

Regardless, i prefer the M-21 to any M-16 model.

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 02:28
After a little looking, i have determined you were referring to the USN Mk12 Mod0 SPR rifle, an M-16 variant used only by the USN(hence me never having heard of it, lol).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3a/SPRCrane.jpg

I'd still prefer the M-21.

griftadan
11 Jan 05,, 02:42
does anyone have a enemy kill to ammunition used ratio for the iraq war?

Kozzy
11 Jan 05,, 03:51
I've seen 70,000 per kill to as high as 230,000 per kill.

lemontree
11 Jan 05,, 06:06
I would opine that one who carries less ammo is far less likely to foolishly piss it away on useless full auto fire. A soldier who carries only 100rds of ammunition, that soldier is going to AIM.

That's a good thing IMO.
The only way this was ensured was that the units were issued with Semi-auto L1A1 SLRs.
It was found wanting in the jungles of Sri Lanka. So troops filed of the trigger sear to make it auto.

lemontree
11 Jan 05,, 06:15
yeah, in vietnam, the average amount of ammunition expended to enemy killed is like 10,000:1 or something crazy like that. i dont know if this pertains to just infatry, but that still reveals the wasteful spray-and-pray tactics used by many soldiers during the conflict. i dont know what the numbers are today for the iraq wars, but if we gave each of our soldiers 120 7.62mm rounds, those numbers owuld drop
In the 1971 Indo-Pak war the numbers were similar, we did'nt use auto rifles, but semi-auto. Makes no difference.
If ammo conservation is the aim, then re-issue bolt action rifles. To a soldier fighing jungle warfare, you can't dictate the use of his weapon.
- How does he aim and fire in a counter-ambush drill?
- How does he aim and fire in the dark, while sitting in an ambush? The encounter will last for 3-5 seconds, he who shoots first lives, the ambushed enemy will filter away in the jungle faster than you can blink. The soldier will use full auto to ensure max enemy are caught in the fire.

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 07:43
Not all engagements are point blank firefights from an ambush position, you know that lemon.

Besides, in an ambush your mines and MG's will kill the vast majority of enemy troops you take out anyway.

lemontree
11 Jan 05,, 09:13
Not all engagements are point blank firefights from an ambush position, you know that lemon.

Besides, in an ambush your mines and MG's will kill the vast majority of enemy troops you take out anyway.
Sniper,
I know that, we switched over to the 5.56mmINSAS because of the inadequacies of the semi-auto SLR, when the Indian army was in Sri Lanka.
In the changing environment of warfare, we will rarely see classical battles, but more of the anti terror/guerilla warfare type of engagements. Here the troops require the option of using auto mode on there weapons, without worring about ammo wastage and kill to rounds fired ratios. :rolleyes:

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 18:13
"Sniper, I know that, we switched over to the 5.56mmINSAS because of the inadequacies of the semi-auto SLR, when the Indian army was in Sri Lanka."

I will state outright that the inadequacies lie with your soldiers training and discipline, not with the SLR. The SLR is a fantastic weapon that's proven itself time and again in countless conflicts. The only legitimate knocks against it are it's length and heft, not it's ROF, reliability, or accuracy.

"In the changing environment of warfare, we will rarely see classical battles"

In Afghanistan and Iraq US soldiers have often engaged targets with aimed rifle fire at ranges in excess of 500 meters. Both those wars are going on right now. During the first Gulf war, which was the very definition of a 'classical battle', US troops routinely engaged enemy personnel at long range with aimed rifle fire.

"but more of the anti terror/guerilla warfare type of engagements. Here the troops require the option of using auto mode on there weapons, without worring about ammo wastage and kill to rounds fired ratios."

Roll your eyes all you want, but spraying and praying is no substitute for disciplined well aimed fire, regardless of what you or anyone else says.

You spray and pray if it makes you feel better, and i'll take one well aimed shot to hit what you missed 30 times.

If you can identify a target, you can hit it with one round. If you can't identify a target, you have no fuccking business firing to begin with....that's how fratricide happens.

Reading your comments, it reinforces why snipers hold 'regular troops' in such disdain and contempt.

Fire discipline is called fire discipline for a reason. Those who do not practice it lack discipline.

If the enemy is so close and numerous that you feel a need for full-auto, i've a better suggestion for you....throw a grenade.

Fury
11 Jan 05,, 18:40
If you must fight in dense jungles with extremely limited visibilty then a squad armed with submachineguns would be more effective? I don't know it through expirience I've never fired an smg before but compared to assault rifle a squad could carry more ammo and engage enemy using full auto also with grenades.

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 20:19
Excluding crew served weapons, in close terrain nothing beats the firepower of a high capacity 12 Gauge semiautomatic shotgun, but a flame thrower or a grenade.

We don't use flamethrowers anymore, so that leaves just the grenade.

With modern flechette ammunition a 12ga. with a 22" cylinder bore barrel has an effective pattern to 50+ meters, and the flechette ammunition will defeat Class IIIA bodyarmor, which short of the Class IV ceramic assualt plates, is the best that you can get.

With every pull of the trigger at close range an aimed blast will deliver anywhere between 9 and 15(depending on the caliber of the flechettes) projectiles into a single target.

In the 2.5 seconds it takes to fire 30rds from a submachine gun, a 12ga semi-auto shotgun can put anywhere from 84 to 135 armored piercing flechettes downrange.

So if close terrain spray and pray is your thing, or if you actually are laying suppressive fire for a useful military reason(suppressive fire to me is the only legitimate argument for full-auto individual weapons at all), the 12 gauge semi is the best.

In the types of terrain Lemon speaks of conducting his ambush patrols(which sounds very similar to the Panamanian Jungle), all but the machinegunner and grenadiers in a typical squad would be best served with a high-cap Benelli 12ga semi under the 'the more firepower the better' premise.

The key thing is that even in dense jungles(or the moutainous forests of Pennsylvania where i hunt for instance) there are elevation differences and firing lanes through the trees such that one can actually find a firing lane of 200 meters(or farther). If you plan your ambush(assuming an ambush mission) around one or more of those lanes(if you know what you're looking for even in very close dense forests they're there), you can save yourself the 'hassle' of close combat and still effectively perform your mission.

Take advantadge of the terrain by using it to maximize the effectiveness of your assets.

When you stand off even 100 meters it makes the use of pre-planned TOT artillery barrages(ideally), or just standard calls for fire(more likely) far more viable as well, and you can maximize your force's effect by mining the anticipated point of contact heavily.
When you're not near the KZ you can use a hell of a lot more firepower on it. Firepower that's 10s of orders of magnitude more effective than rifle fire.

Things like artillery and mortars. :)

The ***** of it is, that if you're on a terrain oriented mission, and you're ordered to a specific grid for your ambush, you have ONLY the terrain in that one spot to deal with.

What snipers usually have the luxury of is having a force oriented mission, and that may not be the case with Lemon at all, he may very well be stuck with a terrain oriented posture on any given ambush.

The difference between the two is that in a terrain oriented mission you take up a position at X location, and hold it. Point X IS your objective.

In a force oriented mission, your objective is the destruction of enemy forces in and around X, and denying the enemy access to point X, not the actual physical occupation of point X itself.

Why this is such a big distinction is because if you're force oriented you can take up ANY position(in actuality positions) that allow you to interdict location X, thereby finding the best firing lanes to maximize your standoff range.

Either way, you can effectively defend and control point X, but with a terrain oriented mission you have to physically possess point X.

With a force oriented mission, you can be ANYWHERE that you can observe point X and bring it under fire.

Anyway, point is, in a force oriented mission-or in the face of a well trained enemy operating in a force oriented mission, the shotgun is of limited utility- because you strive to create spacing between you and your objective within the limits of being able to observe it(or the enemy is if they're the ones in the force oriented posture).

You can kill the bulk of a whole platoon with mines and mortar fire in a span of 15 seconds and never fire a shot.

I've done it in field problems against US Army units many times(obviously not with live ammunition, this was in field exercises using MILES gear and Hoffman simulators).

Odds are, if it works on US Army Infantry units, it will work on anyone. But we are all bound to our orders, terrain or force oriented as they may be.

I hated terrain oriented missions. Putting a sniper team in a terrain oriented mission is a blatantly stupid waste of assets. Terrain oriented missions are for targets.

Bill
11 Jan 05,, 21:17
For an example of disciplined troops using disciplined fire to great effect in close urban terrain against a MASSIVE enemy force, i would suggest the movie Blackhawk down, particularly the scene where Shughart and Gordon defend Crash site 2.

Take note, no Rangers or Delta troopers fire in any manner other than an AIMED, SEMI-AUTOMATIC fashion, despite close contact against a vastly numerically superior force.

Bowden took great pains to maintain accuracy, and that is made evident by the manner in which those elite troops employ their weapons.

I would suggest that one who observes that US Delta and the US Rangers use semi-auto fire only from individual weapons would be wise to come to the conclusion that it's because that's the best way to do it.

Fury
11 Jan 05,, 21:39
I've wathed black hawk down about three times and its one of the best war movies I've ever seen, somehow that scene where Shughart and Gordon fought stuck into my mind very clear but in the end didn't Shughart or Gordon got cought by somalis? I don't remember the movie showing what happened?

troung
11 Jan 05,, 23:48
Reading Soviet AAR from the Afghan war one realizes that they might have done better on the ground if they had aimed with thier AK-74s rather then banging away on full auto. They only fired on single shot when they were low on bullets from spraying at the enemy. The thought of emptying my AK-74 while a Mujahideen with a Lee Enfield shoots and with one shot puts a .303 through my vest does not sound very fun. Of course both sides for hte most part sprayed and prayed in that war.

Now full auto does have its uses in combat (which is why it is even around in the first place) but as more of an extra (in the west) and such than the preffered way to shoot. The 3 round burst seems to be crap which should be taught to troops and not as a silly setting on the gun itself. Short bursts can be trained into people...

"In Afghanistan and Iraq US soldiers have often engaged targets with aimed rifle fire at ranges in excess of 500 meters."

In Anconda the big killer on the enemy were 60mm M-224 mortars and longer ranged scoped rifles (12.7mm and 7.62mm) or so I have heard.

"If you can identify a target, you can hit it with one round. If you can't identify a target, you have no fuccking business firing to begin with....that's how fratricide happens."

Yeah but there are times when one cannot see the enemy shooting back at them because of dense terrian. From what I read WW2 vets told guys to shoot back at unseen targets because bullets are cheaper then soldiers (or so I have read). I've watched footage of Philippine Marines shooting back with M-60s (short bursts) and M-16A1s (short bursts and single shots) on seemingly unseen MILF guerillas.

Now if people think bullet to kill ratios are big think about artillery to kill ratios. In Operaton Junction City during the Vietnam war it was on the way to several tons of shells (all shapes and sizes of shells) per kill the total of course did not factor out those killed by other ways such as bombs and rifle/mg fire so it would be even bigger in that case...

Bill
12 Jan 05,, 02:52
"Yeah but there are times when one cannot see the enemy shooting back at them because of dense terrian. From what I read WW2 vets told guys to shoot back at unseen targets because bullets are cheaper then soldiers (or so I have read). I've watched footage of Philippine Marines shooting back with M-60s (short bursts) and M-16A1s (short bursts and single shots) on seemingly unseen MILF guerillas."

Ever wondered why fratricide was so overwhelmingly high in WWII?

There you have it.

When i was in Panama 2 US forces mistook eachother for the enemy, and started shooting at eachothers muzzle flashes. Thankfully no one was killed, but that's the exact reason you should ID your target before engaging(noting green tracers coming from the opposing position is reason enough, seeing red tracers ought to tell you something is probably amiss if you're a US soldier.)

This is exactly what happened to Ranger Sp4 Pat Tillman too.

Franco Lolan
12 Jan 05,, 04:44
"(noting green tracers coming from the opposing position is reason enough, seeing red tracers ought to tell you something is probably amiss if you're a US soldier"

Why doesn't the enemy use green then?

Franco Lolan
12 Jan 05,, 04:57
"After a little looking, i have determined you were referring to the USN Mk12 Mod0 SPR rifle, an M-16 variant used only by the USN(hence me never having heard of it, lol).



I'd still prefer the M-21.
__________________
"US Snipers...providing surgical strikes since 1776""


I think SPR in this instance means special purpose rifle. It fire 5.56.
Do you prefer a 5.56 sniper rifle (or 6.8 even[will become available for mk-12 spr])or a 7.62 or 7.66 mm sniper rifle? Why?

Bill
12 Jan 05,, 08:51
"Why doesn't the enemy use green then?"

The enemy does use green. We use red.

Bill
12 Jan 05,, 08:56
The 5.56 lacks the neccesary ballistic performance to be considered even a mediocre sniper cartridge.

7.62 NATO is really the ground floor when it comes to sniping. It's really just a marginal cartridge for sniping in it's own right.

A .30-06, .25-06, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, etc(to name just a few) are much better because of the superior velocity of the projectile. That results in a compressed TOF(less target lead required), increased resistance to wind effects, and a flatter trajectory.

Basicly, the faster the bullet and the higher the BC of the projectile, the better it is for sniping.

Bill
12 Jan 05,, 21:11
"I don't remember the movie showing what happened?"

You know what happened.

Franco Lolan
12 Jan 05,, 21:16
"The 5.56 lacks the neccesary ballistic performance to be considered even a mediocre sniper cartridge."

So you do advocate moving up standard US rifle from 5.56?

Bill
13 Jan 05,, 01:53
Standard infantrymen are not snipers, so you can not go by the fact that the 5.56 is inadequate as a sniper cartridge to make that judgement, but yes, i would prefer to see a larger caliber re-introduced.

I can't help the feeling that we'd have been better off simply adapting the M-1 Garand for use with a detatchable 20rd box magazine and sticking with that. The .30-06 is supremely accurate, extremely powerful, and possesses only moderate recoil.

But....i'm not in charge, lol.

Franco Lolan
13 Jan 05,, 02:25
i'm not convinced by xm-8. still 5.56, and worse: shorter barrel.

Bill
13 Jan 05,, 02:31
Well make no mistake, getting shot through the chest by an XM-8 would kill you more often than not, it's the other limitations of 5.56 that drive my desire for a better cartridge.

lemontree
13 Jan 05,, 06:58
I will state outright that the inadequacies lie with your soldiers training and discipline, not with the SLR. The SLR is a fantastic weapon that's proven itself time and again in countless conflicts. The only legitimate knocks against it are it's length and heft, not it's ROF, reliability, or accuracy.
The average Indian soldier is more disciplined and and trained than most first world armies. The problem was in the changed nature of operations and war senario. As long as conventional battles were faught in Sri Lanka, there was no problem, the problems started once the LTTE was kicked out of static defences/bases and they filtered into the dense jungles.

In Afghanistan and Iraq US soldiers have often engaged targets with aimed rifle fire at ranges in excess of 500 meters.
Afghanistan has open terrain, barren and mountainous, no jungles there. So engaging targets at distances is possible, similar to our Ladhak region.

Roll your eyes all you want, but spraying and praying is no substitute for disciplined well aimed fire, regardless of what you or anyone else says.
The point is, to let soldiers do their job instead of comparing statistics of kills:rounds fired. The completion of the task is what matters.


You spray and pray if it makes you feel better, and i'll take one well aimed shot to hit what you missed 30 times.
You are a sniper, thats your job. Don't confuse your tasks with that of other soldiers.

If you can identify a target, you can hit it with one round. If you can't identify a target, you have no fuccking business firing to begin with....that's how fratricide happens.
Ever been ambushed by a real enemy, try identifing a target then?...
Fratricide happens due to poor battle drills.
Auto fire is suitable for certain desperate situations not all. If it is needed then why deny the use to the man.

Reading your comments, it reinforces why snipers hold 'regular troops' in such disdain and contempt.
This problem in attitude did not effect my troops, and it does not effect the outcome of operations.
Just like fighter pilots calling transport pilots "bus drivers", rather vain.


If the enemy is so close and numerous that you feel a need for full-auto, i've a better suggestion for you....throw a grenade.
Suitable for some battle senarios and not suitable for some.

lemontree
13 Jan 05,, 07:05
For an example of disciplined troops using disciplined fire to great effect in close urban terrain against a MASSIVE enemy force, i would suggest the movie Blackhawk down, particularly the scene where Shughart and Gordon defend Crash site 2.

Take note, no Rangers or Delta troopers fire in any manner other than an AIMED, SEMI-AUTOMATIC fashion, despite close contact against a vastly numerically superior force.


Those unfortunate but brave men were simply trying to save ammo, in the face of the hordes of Somalies. All they had was pouch ammo and overwhelming odds against them, they had to make each round count.

lemontree
13 Jan 05,, 07:20
Sniper,
I agree that aimed and controlled fire is the idea of all training. Those how use it can manage to do wonders. I don't have a link, but during the 1948 Indo-Pak wars, a soldier from the Dogra Regiment (I think), held his post single handedly against attacks with just one bren LMG and 5 magazines. he kept the enemy at bay for a whole day till reinforcements came in.
Is is ideal to get one shot one kill success rate. But you know combat is one place where idealism is the first thing out of the window.

Bill
13 Jan 05,, 07:25
"Afghanistan has open terrain, barren and mountainous, no jungles there. So engaging targets at distances is possible, similar to our Ladhak region."

Panama was all jungle(and very dense jungle at that), and the same is true for the mountainous woods of Pennsylvania, and the thick wooded forests of Georgia. I've trained, hunted, or fought in all those areas, all were close terrain. So yes sir, i am familiar with operations in close terrain.

In the vast majority of infantry engagements full auto fire is a manifestation of fear, poor training, and poor discipline overcoming good military judgement.
Spraying 30rds into a jungle you are highly unlikely to hit anything(as the statistics bear out fully), but you are guaranteed to waste a lot of ammunition to no effect.

Then, when you need the ammunition, you won't have any left, and then you'll be in a real world of shiit.

If you can't even see the enemy, there's simply no point in firing, because they can't see you either.

"The point is, to let soldiers do their job instead of comparing statistics of kills:rounds fired. The completion of the task is what matters."

And i am stating that randomly firing on full auto at a tree line when you can't ID any targets does nothing to further the completion of the mission, because it doesn't. All it does is waste ammunition that you may need when you actually can see your target.

If you're just firing at a muzzleflash, you'll have a higher chance of hitting it in semi-auto fire anyway. Why? Because you have a better chance of hitting any given target with well-aimed semi-auto fire than you'll ever have by firing at it full auto.

"You are a sniper, thats your job. Don't confuse your tasks with that of other soldiers."

I wasn't always a sniper sir, i started out as a leg infantryman, and i felt the same way then(and i was trained the same way then too).
If you want to hit your target, the best way to accomplish that is to aim, and fire a well placed shot(or an aimed double-tap), not to hold down the trigger and zip 30rds all over god's creation, because 29 of those rounds will not hit what you aimed at.
Only the first round is going to go to your aimpoint, and the full-auto recoil impulse is going to affect your follow-through for that first round, making it less accurate too.

Machineguns are different, they have bi-pods(or tri-pods) and are much heavier, making them far more controllable. They also have a much higher ammunition capacity, and do not readily overheat as assault rifles do. When they do, you can swap out the barrel quickly.
Suppressive/Grazing fire is what machine guns are made to do, and it should be left to them to do it.

Trying to do it with rifles in MOST tactical situations is just a waste of time and ammo.

"Ever been ambushed by a real enemy, try identifing a target then?..."

Here we move into one of the few engagements where full-auto fire from personal weapons has some merit.

My team did ambush a live enemy force in Panama, so the answer is yes.(See PM for details)

Breaking an ambush, no, i have never done that under live fire(of course snipers take pride in not stumbling into ambushes to begin with ;)), but i am trained how to do it, and i specifically stated earlier that suppressive fire for an actual military purpose is the only reason for full-auto fire from an individual weapon.

When you are ambushed we were trained to immediately close with the enemy, and to use suppressive fire from your individual weapons to cover your advance while you close the distance. That is an acceptable use of full auto fire, but i would state that you'd STILL be better off with a semi-auto because the LAST thing one wants is to fire off their whole magazine closing with the enemy only to find themselve in close contact with an empty weapon!

You can rapid fire a semi-auto weapon quickly enough to provide credible suppressing fire, and you have the added bonus of still having some ammunition left in your magazine once you've closed the distance and can ID the enemy troops.

Perhaps you prefer your bayonet or sidearm...but that would make you a far braver man than I sir. ;)

"Fratricide happens due to poor battle drills."

And poor fire discipline.

"Auto fire is suitable for certain desperate situations not all. If it is needed then why deny the use to the man."

It's rarely needed, and even when it's needed, if used improperly(as outlined above), it will leave you in a very, very bad situation as a result.

The other instance where full-auto fire from personal weapons is useful is when you're breaking contact with a superior enemy force. You use the maximum amount of fire your unit can generate to simulate a much larger force as you rapidly disengage the enemy.

That's why my spotter had a 120rd dual-drum magazine for his Colt Commando carbine(and an M-203), and why i greatly favored the semi-auto operation of the M-21 over bolt action sniper rifles(and why we both carried 4 hand grenades each).

We could lay a pretty massive amount of fire in a bound and overwatch manuever to break contact, for a two man team.

lemontree
13 Jan 05,, 08:02
Machineguns are different, they have bi-pods(or tri-pods) and are much heavier, making them far more controllable. They also have a much higher ammunition capacity, and do not readily overheat as assault rifles do. When they do, you can swap out he barrel quickly.
Suppressive/Grazing fire is what machine guns are made to do, and it should be left to them to do it.
That soldier just use the LMG on semi-auto mode, he conserverd his ammo and did the task. He got a Mahavir Chakra (2nd highest gallentry award), I think.

Here we move into one of the few engagements where full-auto fire from personal weapons has SOME merit.
Thats all I talking about.


(Operation details edited)
A different but effective SOF type ambush.


Breaking an ambush, no, i have never done that under live fire(of course snipers take pride in not stumbling into ambushes to begin with ;)), but i am trained how to do it, and i SPECIFICALLY stated earlier that suppressive fire for an actual military purpose is the only reason for full-auto fire from an individual weapon.
Thankfully even I have'nt gone through that nightmare, but carried out a number of successful and unseccessful ambushes. But the tales of the survivors is what one learns from. In our north-east jungles and the experience of Sri Lanka. These guys (north-eastern guerillas) know how to lay an ambush, very few survive. The terrorists in Kashmir, however, can't ambush to save their lives, they use to get counter-ambushed more often, so they switched to IEDs.

Most of the ambushes laid by me were on the LOC, for infilterating militants. The time frame for engagement was just a few seconds, as the darkness enabels swift getaways. Hence, it was ideal to saturate the ambush zone with 3 sec of auto-fire to hit the maximum infilterators.

Bill
13 Jan 05,, 08:31
Lemon, check your PM, you've got mail. ;)

Time sensitive...

Are you on IM? I have a few tricks from my days and training that you might find useful on your Kashmiri rebels that i would like to share with you. ;)

Bill
13 Jan 05,, 08:39
"Those unfortunate but brave men were simply trying to save ammo, in the face of the hordes of Somalies. All they had was pouch ammo and overwhelming odds against them, they had to make each round count."

I always told myself that each round should be used like it's my last, because eventually, i'll be right.

I'd hate to run out of ammo knowing that i had started the fight with more bullets then there were bad guys. That would be a lousy last thought.

Bill
13 Jan 05,, 08:45
"Sniper,
I agree that aimed and controlled fire is the idea of all training."

Then we both agree sir. ;)

"Those how use it can manage to do wonders. I don't have a link, but during the 1948 Indo-Pak wars, a soldier from the Dogra Regiment (I think), held his post single handedly against attacks with just one bren LMG and 5 magazines. he kept the enemy at bay for a whole day till reinforcements came in."

That's one hell of a disciplined soldier. It's a good thing too, it no doubt saved his life.

"Is is ideal to get one shot one kill success rate. But you know combat is one place where idealism is the first thing out of the window."

It is a good thing that the machine-gunner you just spoke of resisted the temptation to throw his training out the window when the steel started flying. He displayed a discipline under fire and a tenacity and bravery that all soldiers aspire to.

Let him be an example to us all of what one man using aimed fire, his wits, and his courage can do when faced with overwhelming odds and a 'hopeless' situation.

Officer of Engineers
14 Jan 05,, 05:27
It seems that both the Brigadier and I have stayed out of this and for a very good reason, we're far too remove from the situation.

Both the Cpl and the Capt made very good points ... but both ignores the bigger picture all together.

Just a question to both of you just to let you know where I'm coming from.

When you both are nearly bingo ammo? What's the enemy's ammo picture?

lemontree
14 Jan 05,, 09:06
It seems that both the Brigadier and I have stayed out of this and for a very good reason, we're far too remove from the situation.
Actually Brig. Ray, sir's inputs would be vital, since he was serving during the Sri Lanka ops and would know many details about the difficulties felt by the troops, that I am ignorant about.

When you both are nearly bingo ammo? What's the enemy's ammo picture?
Sir,
The situation would dictate that...
During attack
- In this stage small arms ammo expendature would not be that heavy for the attacker, as most of the firing would be by arty/armr/air/inf fire base. However, the defender would be expending higher amn, both heavy and small arms, in trying to repulse the attack.
- If the attacker has had a bad time and had to launch repeated waves of assaults, then the defender would be on his unit reserve amn (infantry troops in particular). Depending on the layed down scales of 1st line, 2nd line, and unit reserve amn stores.
- Terrain and time of attack would also dictate amn expense.
During defence
- The opposite (of the above) would be applicable to the attacker when he is in defence.

Bill
14 Jan 05,, 15:34
It simply depends on the kind of attack you're facing. Generally speaking, ammunition consumption is extremely high in most modern infantry engagements.

metalbeast
30 Jan 05,, 04:51
I know the circumstances may be apples and oranges, but I noticed the DC sniper pair had no trouble killing their victims with 5.56mm ammo.

Yeah, I read about the same thing too. DC snipers used a .233 caliber gun. Most of the victims that didn't get medical care after 15 minutes of being hit died. I think it is important to note that the .223 bullet was adopted because it came with the AR-15. The US military never explored best cartridges. Instead they explored best 7.62 rounds and now best 5.56 rounds. I heard many stories about US soldiers spraying an area occupied by the enemy without finding any evidence that they killed the enemy the next day. Personally I think the wounded or dead were evaculated or simply they completely missed hitting the enemy. Stories make it seem that the .223 caliber round is a BB round. This may sound strange, but the M16/M4 is too good with accuracy. You have to aim like you are really aiming. It has a very flat tractory, and the bullets don't scatter in automatic mode like the M249 SAW. In full auto fire for M249 the bullets have a more scattering effect. At the extremities of the M249's range, the scattering tracteries is evident. I also hear stories of WW2 battles of US soldiers and Japanese aircraft. Japanese aircraft had 7.7mm machine guns and US soldier was hit multiple times defending an island with anti-aircraft machine gun while not even realizing he was hit.

lemontree
31 Jan 05,, 06:39
It has a very flat tractory, and the bullets don't scatter in automatic mode like the M249 SAW. In full auto fire for M249 the bullets have a more scattering effect. At the extremities of the M249's range, the scattering tracteries is evident.
Wrong example. The M16/AR15 are rifles, while the M249 is a machine gun. The characteristics and requirements of a machine gun are different from that of a rifle.
The 'scattering effect' is known as the beaten zone. A machine gun is an area weapon, and is not mean't to hit point targets as a rifle is supposed to.
There is no way that the beaten zone of the M16/AR15 could smaller than a bipod/tripod fired M249.

Tinkertoys
06 Mar 05,, 07:19
There is no such thing short of a 20mm cannon.

I've heard and read stories of people getting hit by 40mm grenades(that didn't detonate) and kept on coming.

People have been known to take multiple 12ga shotgun blasts or .50BMG fire and keep on coming.

It's all about who you're shooting, more than what you're shooting them with.


If you shot someone with a fifty cal and they did not die, you failed. :biggrin:

-Tink

Bill
06 Mar 05,, 12:10
"If you shot someone with a fifty cal and they did not die, you failed."

I've only read a handful of your posts, and you're already pissing me off.

If you don't have anything constructive to add, kindly shut up.

Tinkertoys
06 Mar 05,, 21:45
"If you shot someone with a fifty cal and they did not die, you failed."

I've only read a handful of your posts, and you're already pissing me off.

If you don't have anything constructive to add, kindly shut up.


Constuctive? What do you get out of telling people what they say is ********, then tell them to be constructive? :mad:

sniperdude411
07 Mar 05,, 01:32
I thought this was an anti-5.56 thread. This whole page was been about what rifles and LMGs are for. But that's what everybody does.

Beaugeste93
07 Mar 05,, 03:13
The only way this was ensured was that the units were issued with Semi-auto L1A1 SLRs.
It was found wanting in the jungles of Sri Lanka. So troops filed of the trigger sear to make it auto.

Didn't they run short of ammo rather quickly? I've never fired an SLR or M14 full-auto but i understand they are almost uncontrollable.

Beaugeste93
07 Mar 05,, 03:21
I thought this was an anti-5.56 thread. This whole page was been about what rifles and LMGs are for. But that's what everybody does.


Good point. Back to the 5.56 bashing.

I can't comment from personal experience, but I grew up hearing dad (a marine) wax rhapsodic about the M14 as opposed to the M16. Marines just can't stand not having a 600-yard-plus capability on their rifles.

I will point out that .223 or 5.56 NATO is illegal for use on deer in most US states because it won't put them down easily. And this is with available hollowpoint and ballistic tip ammo not legal for use in combat.

Before you say it M21, a lot of that is probably because many hunters can't hit anything, but there are definite limitations to the round.

From what I have been reading, in close-range urban CQB combat, the 5.56 is passing through the enemy at high velocity and exiting without "tumbling" or doing much tissue/organ damage. At longer ranges, the "sexy and cool" short barrel M4 doesn't allow the bullet to develop full velocity and thus isn't as effective.
Let the flaming begin...

Tinkertoys
07 Mar 05,, 03:56
Finally, a fellow cop in agreement with me, the ex 'SEAL's' and 'Rangers' were getting to be too much. No offense to you "SEAL's" who cannot remember their class number, it's a dishonor to true SEAL's to claim to be one when you are not.

-Tink

bonehead
07 Mar 05,, 04:17
I do on occasion hunt deer with a .223. We are talking pouring down rain, fog, and dencely wooded areas. Lots of mud. I only do head shots on standing animals, and the max range is less than 50 yards. If I keep to these parameters my sar3 will not fail. I have learned the hard way that deer can go a long way before they eventually die from a heart lung shot. I have shot many other deer with .308 and .270. Absolutely none of them moved more than ten feet after being hit with a heart/lung shot. They also died quickly. ( .308/.270) are "one deer one bullet, no tracking" calibers.
I do not doubt the .223 is lethal. My argument is that it too often does not kill quick enough. When A determined enemy is hit, they know their life is measured in minutes. A wounded and dying soldier is the most dangerous as he feels he has nothing to lose. I, for one, do not want to hit the enemy with a .223 and have him still lob grenades at me for the next fifteen minutes. Nor do I wish to see him still advance after I put the second, third, fourth etc, bullet in him. I'd rather be able to move on to the next threat knowing the last is dead. we have spent nearly fifty making a questional bullet margionally adequate. It is time to start with a better caliber and refine it to be the bullet our troops deserve.
Burn, Baby, Burn.

Confed999
07 Mar 05,, 05:01
Constuctive? What do you get out of telling people what they say is ********, then tell them to be constructive? :mad:
Except you're talking to someone with the experience and credentials to back up what he says. You've allready admited to a lie, the same one where he called BS, and flame baiting.

Tinkertoys
07 Mar 05,, 05:06
Except you're talking to someone with the experience and credentials to back up what he says. You've allready admited to a lie, the same one where he called BS, and flame baiting.


I said I edited the post, leaving out towns, names, exact type of incident, and left the information relavant to the topic at hand. Thats not lying. And DO NOT send me a link to dictionary.com with the definition.

-Tink

lemontree
07 Mar 05,, 05:11
Didn't they run short of ammo rather quickly? I've never fired an SLR or M14 full-auto but i understand they are almost uncontrollable.
You must try it then. It may surprise you, but the modified auto SLR and M14s are more controlable any the AK47 or other 5.56 auto assault rifles. There is considerably lesser jump in these old ladies, that enables quick followup after each (short) burst.

lemontree
07 Mar 05,, 05:15
If you shot someone with a fifty cal and they did not die, you failed. :biggrin:

-Tink
You would'nt say that if you had actually seen any gun shot wounds.

Tinkertoys
07 Mar 05,, 05:18
You would'nt say that if you had actually seen any gun shot wounds.


Notice the big green grin? Of course I haven't seen any bullet wounds......I only worked in law enforcement. Only seen people shot through with Desert Eagle .357's. No, I haven't seen any REAL bullet wounds.

-Tink

Confed999
07 Mar 05,, 05:19
I said I edited the post, leaving out towns, names, exact type of incident, and left the information relavant to the topic at hand. Thats not lying. And DO NOT send me a link to dictionary.com with the definition.

-Tink
Then you must allready know the definition. I'll also begin to assume you've read the rules fully, since I've asked twice.

Tinkertoys
07 Mar 05,, 05:21
Then you must allready know the definition. I'll also begin to assume you've read the rules fully, since I've asked twice.


Dictionary.com does not have porno. But do those little ads at the top for Vicodin and the like count as commercial websites? Just wondering.

-Tink

lemontree
07 Mar 05,, 05:30
Notice the big green grin? Of course I haven't seen any bullet wounds......I only worked in law enforcement. Only seen people shot through with Desert Eagle .357's. No, I haven't seen any REAL bullet wounds.

-Tink
There were no "big green grins". In law enforcement you get to see your share of gun shot wounds, the calibres may be restricted but neverless you are aware that all gun shot wounds are not fatal.
Men have been hit by .50 cal and 14.7 mm and have survived to tell the tale.

Tinkertoys
07 Mar 05,, 05:40
There were no "big green grins". In law enforcement you get to see your share of gun shot wounds, the calibres may be restricted but neverless you are aware that all gun shot wounds are not fatal.
Men have been hit by .50 cal and 14.7 mm and have survived to tell the tale.


It's a post, which was not even a serious one, at that. Suicide bombers have survived, for god's sake. Why is everyone so serious.

-Tink

Bill
07 Mar 05,, 09:33
"I can't comment from personal experience, but I grew up hearing dad (a marine) wax rhapsodic about the M14 as opposed to the M16. Marines just can't stand not having a 600-yard-plus capability on their rifles."

Dad was no doubt a user of the M-16, or M-16A1...and Dad was right, they were about a half a cut above junk. The subsequent M-16A2 and M-16A4 are excellent weapons, and they are fully capable of engaging man sized targets beyond 600 meters with quality optics.

"I will point out that .223 or 5.56 NATO is illegal for use on deer in most US states because it won't put them down easily. And this is with available hollowpoint and ballistic tip ammo not legal for use in combat."

The .223 just plain lacks the terminal performance to be an efficient round for use against big game. BTW, hollowpoints are not illegal for use by military personel.

"Before you say it M21, a lot of that is probably because many hunters can't hit anything, but there are definite limitations to the round."

Agreed. Like all things made by man, the 5.56 NATO is a compromise.

"From what I have been reading, in close-range urban CQB combat, the 5.56 is passing through the enemy at high velocity and exiting without "tumbling" or doing much tissue/organ damage. At longer ranges, the "sexy and cool" short barrel M4 doesn't allow the bullet to develop full velocity and thus isn't as effective."

The primary wounding mechanism of the 5.56mm NATO cartridge is what is referred(erroneously) to hydrostatic shock. The SS-109/M-855 cartridge can be relied on to cause a very traumatic wound in soft tissue(usually), but as always, shot placement is of far more import, and the will to fight in the target is a primary variable that simply cannot be controlled(or even predicted), regardless of caliber.

"Let the flaming begin..."

No flaming neccesary, you laid out your points well, without dismissing counter-arguments. ;)

Bill
07 Mar 05,, 09:34
"Finally, a fellow cop in agreement with me, the ex 'SEAL's' and 'Rangers' were getting to be too much. No offense to you "SEAL's" who cannot remember their class number, it's a dishonor to true SEAL's to claim to be one when you are not."

I would state the same about 'ex US Marshals' that 'have forgotten most things about the law'...

Bill
07 Mar 05,, 09:37
Bonehead:

"I do not doubt the .223 is lethal. My argument is that it too often does not kill quick enough. When A determined enemy is hit, they know their life is measured in minutes. A wounded and dying soldier is the most dangerous as he feels he has nothing to lose."

The problem is that there is nothing you can pack on your person that will kill the enemy without fail.

As i stated earlier.

Bill
07 Mar 05,, 09:40
"It's a post, which was not even a serious one, at that. Suicide bombers have survived, for god's sake. Why is everyone so serious."

Because this is a serious subject, and you have demonstrated that you have about zero information of worth to add to it.

Beaugeste93
08 Mar 05,, 00:14
"I

Dad was no doubt a user of the M-16, or M-16A1...and Dad was right, they were about a half a cut above junk. The subsequent M-16A2 and M-16A4 are excellent weapons, and they are fully capable of engaging man sized targets beyond 600 meters with quality optics.
;)


Dad retired in '87 so he used the A2 also. I won't begin to argue with you on long range shooting and ballistics since I don't have the creds, but I was referring to the effect of the bullet on flesh at 600+ yards. ARs are used heavily in NRA long range shooting with good result, but from what i've read and seen, it just doesn't seem like a hit from a 5.56 at that range will have the desired effect (ie dead target). Please correct me if i'm wrong on this.

Bill
08 Mar 05,, 00:52
"Dad retired in '87 so he used the A2 also. I won't begin to argue with you on long range shooting and ballistics since I don't have the creds, but I was referring to the effect of the bullet on flesh at 600+ yards. ARs are used heavily in NRA long range shooting with good result, but from what i've read and seen, it just doesn't seem like a hit from a 5.56 at that range will have the desired effect (ie dead target). Please correct me if i'm wrong on this."

That depends what you hit.

Hit the spinal column, cranial cavity, or heart, the bad guy will die sure as the sun rises.

But as a general rule, yes, long range engagements are not what the .223 is best at. Beyond about 500 meters the 62gr projectile of the M855 round starts to really lose it's punch.(of course if your target is 500 meters away it's no big deal if he lays there bleeding for a while before he dies).

However, even at 1000 meters the .223 NATO round has more energy than a .380 ACP at the muzzle.

PS: I joined the same year dad got out.

sw55
09 Mar 05,, 02:17
"Dad retired in '87 so he used the A2 also. I won't begin to argue with you on long range shooting and ballistics since I don't have the creds, but I was referring to the effect of the bullet on flesh at 600+ yards. ARs are used heavily in NRA long range shooting with good result, but from what i've read and seen, it just doesn't seem like a hit from a 5.56 at that range will have the desired effect (ie dead target). Please correct me if i'm wrong on this."

That depends what you hit.

Hit the spinal column, cranial cavity, or heart, the bad guy will die sure as the sun rises.

But as a general rule, yes, long range engagements are not what the .223 is best at. Beyond about 500 meters the 62gr projectile of the M855 round starts to really lose it's punch.(of course if your target is 500 meters away it's no big deal if he lays there bleeding for a while before he dies).

However, even at 1000 meters the .223 NATO round has more energy than a .380 ACP at the muzzle.

PS: I joined the same year dad got out.

I have a copy of the Russian answer to the 5.56, in civilian semi-auto version of the AK-74, the Romanian SAR-2 which fires the 5.45 round which is very similar in ballistics (60 grain bullet, a little slower at about 2900 fps). I also have the 7.62 in a SAR-1, and a Mini-30 (deer rifle). Much more kick, and I would suppose any full auto would be impossible to keep on target. More joules of energy and take down power, but the idea was the smaller round could be carried in quantity, and even if you don't kill on the single round hit on the battlefield, you do more dammage because you not only "mission kill" who you were aiming at, but you also drain reasources and further "mission kill" for the other side to save his life, as opposed to a dead soldier ignored by his avenging comrades.

Bill
09 Mar 05,, 07:33
There's been a lot of ongoing debate over the design of various assault weapon cartridges over the years.

A lot of people have advanced the 'wounding is better theory', and it does have some merit.

However, i for my part definitely preferred a weapon that would kill with the highest possible % chance.

Such a weapon exists.

It's called a radio.

sw55
09 Mar 05,, 12:54
Is that to call in the airstrike?
A sat phone, with a laser rangefinder/gps combination would give exact Lat/Long coordinates for anything from a precision guided weapon of many types, all the way up to ICBM thermonuclear strike.... but the targeting phone caller would not live through the latter possibility I suppose.
Isn't the XM-8 new rifle that is going to replace the M-16 possibly going to have a somewhat larger round (smaller than 7.62 Soviet though)? What is the status of that, and the likelyhood that a larger round will be adopted?

lemontree
09 Mar 05,, 13:19
Is that to call in the airstrike?
That too...or arty fire.

Bill
09 Mar 05,, 13:28
The new round is the 6.8mm(i think the case is 41mm in length IIRC).

It is an improvement over the 5.56, but it strikes me as odd that someone felt a need to invent a new cartridge when there are so many suitible existing cartridges that would do the job at least as well.

I highly doubt the new round will be adopted though. It's a long shot.

"That too...or arty fire."

Particularly arty. Much faster than TACAIR, and more readily available.

And if you ask me, more effective.

Officer of Engineers
09 Mar 05,, 13:31
Particularly arty. Much faster than TACAIR, and more readily available.

And if you ask me, more effective.

Hear! Hear! Bravo! Well said! Well said!

Bill
09 Mar 05,, 13:36
The flyboys get all the press, but the Arty does almost all the killing.

sw55
09 Mar 05,, 17:57
The flyboys get all the press, but the Arty does almost all the killing.

I think on friday night at 8:00pm on The Military Channel there will be a special on artillery, modern stuff too. If you have Direct TV you can get The Military Channel, but I am not sure about cable.

Bill
09 Mar 05,, 19:15
Channel 195 on my satellite dish. :)

leib10
27 Mar 05,, 17:28
yeah, in vietnam, the average amount of ammunition expended to enemy killed is like 10,000:1 or something crazy like that. i dont know if this pertains to just infatry, but that still reveals the wasteful spray-and-pray tactics used by many soldiers during the conflict. i dont know what the numbers are today for the iraq wars, but if we gave each of our soldiers 120 7.62mm rounds, those numbers owuld drop

Try 50,000-200,000:1. The worst idea ever was to give American soldiers, who do not have a tradition of conserving ammunition, a fully automatic and controllable weapon that encourages the prodigious use of ammo. I'm glad they deleted the full auto option on the M16-A2.