Bye to the .556 round?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by seafarer1939, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. See the Yanks are starting to introduce a new rifle for close quarters with a 0.68 round.
    Saw it on the future weapons programme and it stops everything in it's path.
    There has long been speculation re.the 0.556 having not much kinetic energy and it seems a person once shot by the M16 turned around and looked at the chap who shot him not knowing he had been shot!
    Another armourer once told me the tumbling bullet was made out to be more than it was,you need a round that will knock someone down.

    I don't know why we went for the 0.556,top long range accuracy is not paramount any more,close quarters seems the mode of most engagements nowadays and you need to put a man down not drill a hole through him.
    Just my take and probably wrong in a lot but seems the Yanks have decided to have more stopping power,will we follow?I doubt it.
    Who has the advantage if an AK47 tears your arm off with a round and a SA80 drills a hole thru you?
    Guess I need a combat expert to put some slant on this as apart from being an ex-armourer,I have no experience on combat.
  2. I think you mean the 5.56mm round old timer?( or the .222" in old money)(or 7/32" if you prefer).

    Though a 0.556" small arm round would be pretty awesome. I once fired a "4 to the pound" muzzle loader with a bore close to that. Trust me, you would'nt want to do it all ^_^; day.
  3. The original doctrine behind the use of 5.56mm rounds was that if you can injure an enemy combatant as opposed to killing him/her outright, you place a greater pressure on enemy resources both on the FEBA to extract their casualties, as well as on all their rear echelons to treat them. It supposedly has a more damaging effect on enemy morale, as well a a more desirable crippling of their supply and evacuation chains, which is useful when your enemy outnumbers you, a the Reds did.

    The move to 6.8mm is fuelled by a feeling that 5.56mm is inadequate against the modern body armour used by modern combatants and that, as we're fighting unconventional wars without the classic 3rd generation scenario, there's no conventional rear echelon to screw up. In short, the enemy is now more use to us dead than wounded.
  4. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    There was nowt wrong with the 7.62, that stopped things pretty succesfully.
  5. The original intention had been a 4.85 mm round but the US Army then took the AR15/18 (to be the M16) into service for Vietnam. Also of course the SA80 was developed through the 70s and first issued in 1985; at that time the theory; and possibility; of the current Asymetric warfare was nothing but a seed.

    Not a criticism but your take is a little simplistic. Yes an AK47 fires a larger round (also larger than the current Russian 5.45mm x 39 round) but the AK 47 is wildly inaccurate when compared to the SA80 (not that that makes a jot of difference when you are hit!). They are horses for courses and whilst, in my opinion, the A2 (and associated ancils) is a good bit of kit, Chalky has hit the nail on the head. Here it is the kinetic energy and construction of the round that is important and the SS109 round was always thought of as a better round than the US copy but the newer M855 has the same "bullet" but a higher velocity (KE). My understanding is that there is an even newer round with a heavier bullet attached now being used in Afg and Iraq. Definitely a worthwhile subject for a debate, along with the utility of MMG in relation to Tp/Pl level tactics.


  6. Where to start…

    Firstly you mean 6.8 SPC not .68… a .68" round would have a recoil that would bust your shoulder.

    The 6.8 SPC is only in use by SOCOM IIRC in the States with no further roll out envisiged. It's not the be all and end all. It's terminal ballistics are not too stellar beyond 300m. 6.5mm Grendel is a better all round solution.

    5.56 lacks kinetic energy? Stand 600m away and tell someone with a 5.56 rifle that. You'll end up with a terminally bad headache.

    There is no such thing as 'knock down' power. You kill a target by hitting something critical, brain, heart, spine.

    'Knock down power' only exists in Hollywood movies. If a 7.62mm round had enough kinetic energy to knock a target off it's feet, it would do the same to the guy shooting it. Newtons Laws are immutable.

    7.62 will go through you just as readily as a 5.56. If you're hit by a 5.56 you will be very well aware of that fact.

    No need for long range accuracy? Tell that to the people fighting in the sandy places.

    An AK47 round does not 'tear your arm off' and it is a very poor round for accuracy.
  7. Don't get Oil Slick started on guns. Trust me. Remember Sledgehammer. This is his 21st Century incarnation...
  8. Sorry!not for the first time have I mixed up the dec points.I was happier with fractions and half crowns etc.Getting old I guess but you know what I meam Cheers.
  9. How come then there is a half inch round in common use? Is the threshold for broken shoulder somewhere between 0.5" & 0.68"?

    How come then the Lee Enfield .303 had such a massive kick compared to the 7.62mm SLR (I've shot both, and felt the difference) when the size of the round and the muzzle velocities don't account for the difference?

    Isn't the beauty of the Kalashnikov it's ability to fire a variety of rounds?
  10. got to go back to my early days with weapons when I was informed by my instructor that slow muzzle velocity as in the Webley .38 or.45 would be preferable as a stopper than something that would punch holes in someone.Now I'm perfectly willing to be contradicted,you then have to contradict the then said practices,but times and opinions move on.
    I have in front of me the handbook for an AK47,it states quite clearly that the round will take a limb off if hit in a joint,take the incident of those armed robbers in LA the police could not touch them as M16 would not penetrate armour.
    I think you may have picked it up wrongly,most battles are fought in house clearance and short quarter[US marine handbook] anything at 600 yards is for the snipers.
    Not my opinion as I don't know just what the Yanks say and it rings true to me.
    For example why does some of the US Forces still charge into a house with a Thompson sub? not for the weight but they know it will blast someone apart.
    As said apart from old weapons I have no experience,just asking a question.
    The AK does not have to be accurate thats why it was produced,sold,copied etc in the millions and it does not jam.....period.
  11. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  12. The original concept of the 5.56 [.223] was the fact that the ammo for it is comparitively lightweight compared to the previous .30 calibre ammunition
    that had been around for decades in various conflicts.
    And the thinking as someone said that the casualty sustained by 5.56 will cause others to detract from fighting --not really true!!

    At the moment the Army is changing to .338 for sniper rifles
    the 5.56 max bullet weight is 80 grains --not enough to bring a man down permanently [unless hit in a vital area] its range is useable out to 500 metres and the SA 80 is quite accurate for all its failings!!

    A 6.5mm round isn't new [.264] lots of variable loads available its also close to the .270 round .

    As for the russian AK well it is a very reliable weapon and it has been chambered for 7.62 and also 5.56mm . It has a unique action and is variable fire options ----auto or single -------in auto it can stay on target during sustained fire [gets a bit hot but doesn't refuse !!]

    Stopping power as mentioned is varied by bullet weight ---- calibre is usually the common factor and a .45 bullet at 250 grns will stop anyone up to 30 metres.vital area hit or not!!

    :nemo: :nemo:
  13. A couple of points just for pedantry...

    There are .5" and larger weapons about, even a few rifles (as opposed to big tripod-mounted machine guns) - I've seen one chambered for 20mm cannon ammunition - but they're *heavy* and so are their ammunition: to fire them you lie down, brace carefully and get ready for a sore shoulder, and you don't fire too many shots. Good for long range sniping, not a lot of use for CQB.

    The dit that 5.56mm is meant to "wound rather than kill" is absolute Horlicks. Thirty years ago there was a campaign to ban it as "too lethal" compared to the nice friendly "hardly hurts at all" 7.62mm NATO it was replacing: lots of hysterical wails about how these "tumbling bullets" would inflict "unnecessary suffering" and so on. (Overstated, but that's life). An infantry weapon is designed to put the target down quickly, wounded or dead: but if you win the battle and there are enemy wounded all over the place, now they're *your* problem to rescue, treat, feed and medevac, so deliberately designing an underpowered weapon doesn't look like a good idea. (Plus, "wounded but not dead" also may include "...and still shooting at you")

    "Stopping power" is basically a myth. The much-vaunted .45 handgun was roundly condemned by the US Medical Corps in a 1944 after-action report: the casualties they treated and bodies they tagged hadn't been reliably stopped by .45 bullets, and their (reasonably informed) view was that a smaller-calibre, higher-velocity bullet was more likely to get through to perforate something vital instead of making a big, ugly wound that stopped short of the really vulnerable bits. (Not many people paid attention: after all, a bigger bullet *must* be better, right?)

    I'll stop there before I start looking like a sad gun nut with no life :rambo:

  14. I hit you with ANY high velocity round in a joint and it will shatter your joint… period.

    M16 won't penetrate armour? Level III armour that will stop a 5.56 round will also stop 7.62 NATO

    US Special Forces don't use Thompsons for house clearance, (it dissapeared from the US inventory nearly 50 years ago), they use Colt Cammando's, (cut down M16's in 5.56), or MP5's, (9mm).

    AK's do jam, and accurracy in a 'good' example is at best 4-6 MOA. With that sort of accuracy, you'd be hitting a man sized target by more luck than judgement at 300yds. That's not much better than a Brown Bess. By comparison, out of the box an M16 turns in about 2 MOA and the SA80A2 is even better.

    Accuraccy. Modern 5.56 rifles are more accurate than an SLR in 7.62. The SLR was never a particularly accurate rifle.

    The M16 dominates the National High Power Matches at Camp Perry each year and has driven the 7.62 M-14 out of contention.
  15. Entry wounds…


    The much vaunted .45

    The AK-47

    The 'it will pass straight through and only wound you' of legend 5.56

    And 7.62 NATO
  16. What's missing so far in this trainspotting type thread is a discussion on the physical nature of the round itself.

    The Geneva Conventions require military rounds to have a hard copper jacket around the soft lead bullet. A softer lead only bullet deforms (ie. flattens) more readily on impact and fragments more easily. This means it transfers most or all of its kinetic energy to the target, causing greater wounding.

    The Geneva Conventions require the copper jacket to reduce this happening, meaning the bullet imparts less of its kinetic energy to the target and is more likely to keep going and pass through the target's body. Because it imparts less kinetic energy to the target it is, in theory, or more humane round.

    Note that police forces are not bound by the conventions so can shoot their own citizens with unjacketed bullets if they wish!

    Also, remember that the human body is mainly water so a high velocity round on striking the body can create a shock wave that travels throughout the body and cause wounding to organs not directly affected by the bullets track.

    Everyday's a schoolday! :thumright:
  18. I would have to say to you oil slick (with all due modesty of course ) that I hit a couple of fellas with an oriental disposition at a 1000 meters with a GPMG -7.62, and by fjuck they certainly flew through the air ,and bounced with it.I preferred not to go and inspect my handiwork to identify what had caused this rather dreadfull Ariel ballet for they had far to many friends and relatives disguised as rocks for our wee squad to deal with. Anyway we were doing the rather famous British strategic retreat at a rapid rate of knots, whilst running we all of course managed to whistle in tune with perfect pitch and great gusto "A life on the Ocean wave".
    Conversely I have seen men drop like stones when hit with a single round of 7.62.
    The moral of the story is Great gusto did it for me.
  19. Thankyou to both Janner and Bergen for explaining why I had emboldened the tla SLR. I note a lack of direct response on my three points from Oil Slick.

    Oil Slicks graphical representations of single bullet trajectories were interesting, but I noted that in all but the instance of the frangible bullet, the initial widening of the wound occured at around 10", so your target would have to be either quite fat or not standing up to make best use of these characteristics. I also noted the lack of mention of any materials of differing density (eg bones) along the trajectories shown, and as all the fat people I know claim to have big bones, I can only assume these traces were made using ballistic jelly, and whilst they may be of some use in understanding the physics of how bullets travel in jelly, they do not appear to be representative of real life (or real death). I much prefer the imperical anecdotal evidence of bindu
  20. Shoot someone moving and they will indeed go arse over tit, no dispute, but it's mostly their own inertia when their leggies go to jelly that will ensure that.

    What we were discussing was the much vaunted myth of 'knock down power', the claim that some rounds are so awesomely powerfull they will blow someone running at you off their feet and half way across a room… well Newton does not lie and if a .45 pistol could do that, the recoil would shatter your wrist.

    Good shooting and carry on zapping sand people with bad attitudes :thumright:

    Now back to terminal effects…8)

    Test dummy wearing a vest and a steel plate being shot at point blank range with a .50 cal, 100% energy transfer…

    And some 30mm for comparison

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