British soldiers also complaining about 5.56mm NATO


The British troops are also calling for a switch to something better than the 5.56x45mm NATO. The Telegraph reports

A survey of more than 50 servicemen who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan concluded that the 5.56mm calibre rounds used by British soldiers ‘tailed off’ after 300 metres yet half of all Helmand firefights are fought between 300 and 900 metres.

The study, co-written by Nicholas Drummond, a strategy consultant and ex-Welsh Guards officer, described British soldiers’ rifles as “not much more useful than a peashooter”.

The Ministry of Defence told the newspaper the 5.56mm calibre rounds used by United States and other Nato allies are “proven to be both accurate and powerful.”

Typical government response.

Many thanks to RootMan for the link.




Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Matt Groom

    Very interesting. I like the 5.56, but not for engagements beyond about 200m! Here in Central FL, you don’t encounter distances like those found in the Midwest, or in Afghanistan, except in swamps and marshlands. The only place I can shoot for over 500 meters around here are fire breaks and roads.

    The 5.56 may have been fine in Vietnam and in modern urban combat, but one of the strategies the Mujaheddin used against the soviets was long range fire with Lee-Enfields. It makes AK fire much less effective, it’s hard to use Mortars in mountainous terrain, and Artillery support (especially for the Soviets) is almost non-existent. I guess they’re up to their old tricks.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Do the Brits have a designated marksmen in their squads, armed with a 7.62 NATO gun, or not?

  • http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/ Sven Ortmann

    They still have the LSW afaik – a long barrel + bipod 5.56 SA80 with 4x sight. It’s good for about 400m.

    I personally don’t think that combat at 300+ metres is very important. The infantry doesn’t need to be effective beyond 400m – at least not most of the infantry.
    Enemy infantry isn’t effective beyond 300-400m as well, and Western infantry should be able to call in fire support or to move if it spots enemies at 400-600m. Plus there are stills some snipers.

    The range issue is an optimization problem. Longer-ranged weapons are heavier (by about 1-2 kg) and need heavier ammunition. That additional weight is intolerable on long patrols.
    So they could solve their range-related problem, but their next complaints would be about the excessive weight that slows them down (even more than today).

  • Elijah

    They had a decent cartridge to switch to. The 7×43.

  • CMathews

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_marksman

    Seems they use a more refined version of the L86A2 LSW as their Designated Marksmen Rifle. Still based on the 5.56 NATO round.

    The Brits are listed a little further down on that page.

    Seems that they would follow suit with their NATO bretherin and build a 7.62 NATO rifle. Maybe that news hasn’t made it to their side of the pond yet. But, I certainly think the L86 rifles look neat.

  • jdun1911

    It is kind of amusing that 50+ British service men/women are complaining about the 5.56 when they are issued one of the worst rifle that is current in service.

    The 5.56 has no trouble hitting and killing people at over 500+ meters. You can ask all the dead insurgents and Taliban.

  • Lance

    Proves that the M-14 and if the British where smart they reissue L1A1s for troops in Aftghanistain. 7.62 NATO is key for open battle fields.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Lance, that is what I was thinking. I am sure they have a lot of FALs in in cosmoline.

  • jdun1911

    That bring an interesting question. What is the avg distance engagement in Afghanistan?

  • http://towhichireplied.com ErnestThing

    I thought part of the reason the 5.56 was adopted was because most of the engagements were taking place within 300 meters. If most of their fighting it taking place beyond 300 meters, the 5.56 loses all its advantages.

    Dust off the m14s?

  • Whatever

    They are fighting at distances of more than 300 meters? I thought that was when you kept shooting with your pea-shooter to keep the enemy’s head down while you called in artillery on them.

    Something is seriously wrong when the military is using million dollar anti-tank missiles to take out lone snipers. What happened to mortars? Even a 60mm mortar has a range around 2000 meters.

    It’s laughable that the article suggests the 7.62 AK round is more effective at ranges beyond 300 meters. Also from what I’ve heard, the word marksman would never get used to describe the Taliban.

  • El Duderino

    I agree that there is no single perfect infantry weapon in existence. One problem is accurate rifle fire beyond 200m in a firefight scenario (not sniping), where the enemy is firing back, is almost unheard of. 7.62x51mm or the new crop of “bigger than 5.56mm” cartridges won’t change that. 147gn @ 2700 fps vs. 62gn @ 3000 fps is moot when you miss (I am aware these are not the velocities at 200m+). There is no defense against a concealed sniper with a .303 Lee-Enfield who is dialed in from 300m+ — again the caliber of your weapon is meaningless.

    Most of the time, the purpose of a combat patrol is to detect the enemy and bring in something bigger and better to create an “unfair” fight — armored vehicles, indirect fire, rotary or fixed wing support. Unfortunately it seems that dropping a 500 pound laser-guided bomb or even a 95lb 155mm shell to wipe out a sniper or fighting position has gone out of vogue. Expecting a small patrol to wipe out the enemy themselves is not tactically sound and will always lead to excessive casualties.

    BTW I was a USMC infantryman and later a forward observer/tank gunner in a USMCR tank company. There’s my perspective.

  • Mike

    Have the British forgotten the lessons they taught the Germans at Crete?

  • El Duderino

    Whatever: “Something is seriously wrong when the military is using million dollar anti-tank missiles to take out lone snipers. What happened to mortars? Even a 60mm mortar has a range around 2000 meters.”

    I’m not aware of a million dollar anti-tank missile. Yes tens of thousands, I think the Hellfire is a couple hundred grand. Unguided shoulder fired rockets are much less, IIRC an AT-4 was about 1200 bucks in the 1990s. I am a bit out of date. Problem with mortars is it is very difficult to hit man sized targets with one before they figure out they are being ranged with mortars and get the hell out of Dodge. At 900m give me a Mk19. At 2000m a TOW missile would work great.

  • prodromos

    So what if they change to 7,62 NATO and in one (out of 10) sustained close combat engagement find out that they need twice the ammo that they allready carry?

    I think the answer is mix caliber platoons .
    Designated marksmen and half the machine gunners (MK48) with 7,62X51
    And all the rest with 5.56 .

  • rootman

    Can you have too much range and power assuming a similar platform?
    “Average” range of engagement does not mean much when you need to hit something farther away than the average or penetrate barriers. 5.56 is not as good as the better options.
    This is not a hard one to solve. We all know what the solution is…
    6.5×39 or something equal..

    http://www.65grendel.com/gallery/65G_Energy_16_458.gif

  • Burner

    I haven’t heard anyone who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan actually like the 5.56 round. The thing I keep hearing is that it makes tiny holes in the enemy and keeps going. I know at least one infantryman who is issued the M14.
    Also call BS on the engagements past 300 yards.

    US should switch to 6.8 SPC with piston AR uppers and get it over with. UK should just pay other countries to fight for them. It will be safer for the Nanny State’s young’uns. :)

  • Fred

    Golly jee wizz! 50 whole service members! That’s almost half a company!

    I’m sure that if you asked more guys you’d probably still get a similar answer, but that’s not a really big sample. (Can’t help it, I have a stats class four days a week this semester)

  • Komrad

    There are going to be issues with any weapon system you can come up with. The 5.56mm is accurate, light, controllable, and you can carry lost of ammo, however it is not particularly powerful, and has limited range. The 7.62 is accurate, hard hitting, and can reach out several hundred yards, it is also heavy, not very controllable in rapid fire, and soldiers would have limited ammo carrying capacity. A 6.8 has the benefits of both as well as their problems. A mixed squad would complicate logistics and each soldier would be hampered by different problems. If we all used .22s we would have massive ammo capacity and controllability but almost not stopping power. 12 ga have great stopping power but no real range or ammo capacity. .50 BMGs have great range and stopping power but no ammo capacity or controllability. Any weapon you come up with will have numerous advantages but the disadvantages will be just as numerous.

  • http://www.msn.com Ermac

    It sounds like they probably need a designated marksman.

  • Mike

    During Operation Mercury….the German airborne invasion of Crete, the German Fallschirmjäger or Luftwaffe Airbone faced the longer-ranged .303 SMLE’s with an assortment of weapons, most were equipped with the compact short-ranged 9x19mm MP-40. The British were able to cut the elite Fallschirmjäger to ribbons with accurate long range .303 fire. After their experience on Crete, the Luftwaffe developed the FG-42 select fire optically sighted battle rifle that chambered the full power 7.92 x 57mm Mauser cartridge.

  • SpudGun

    From the footage I’ve seen from Afghanistan, there seems to be a penchant for the enemy to shoot at British patrol vehicles from a long way away (300m+) with RPGs.

    The British then shoot back with the truck mounted .50 cal, whilst the rest of the squad just watches, because they know their 5.56mm bullets won’t even come close to the enemy.

    Calling in air strikes is a last resort because a) they’re not always available, b) huge bombs can kill civilians as well as enemy combatants and c) British troops are constantly paranoid about being bombed by US pilots.

    In these circumstances, you can see why the soldiers get frustrated by the limitations of the bullet.

  • Flashman

    Afghanistan is 7.62 NATO country. Full stop.

    Frontline British infantry with combat experience regard the LSW as such rubbish that’s only useful serving as a tentpole. It’s on par with that lump of French gaspipe issued to American troops in WW1 – the Cauchaut.

  • Flashman

    On a related note, this Mike’s comment about Crete sparked a connection:

    I’ve a long-time interest in the French Indochina [Viet-Nam] war. Photos of French troops [paratroopers in the main] at Dien Bein Phu commonly show them to be equipped with M1 carbines and Mat49 smg’s.

    These short-range weapons [100 yards max effective?] would surely be poorly effective under the conditions prevailing during that battle where 200-300-400 yard early engagement ranges were commonplace. Imagine if the French had M1 Garands.

    Another thought – Afghanistan is more like Korea – where heavy, hard-hitting, long-range rounds in the form of the US .30 cal and British .303 proved themselves, as if any proof were needed. More than ever I am convinced that frontline infantry in Afghanstan need, require and deserve a .30cal/7.62 class of rifle.

  • jdun1911

    Again I’ll ask, does anyone know the avg distance of engagement in Afghanistan. I prefer it from a military source instead of throwing random numbers out.

    The US Marine stated that the effective range for the M16 20” barrel is around 550 meters but can go up to 800 meters (area). The AK that the Taliban are using has an effective range of 400 meters but can go up to 800 meters (not going to hit anything with a crappy iron sight even at 400 meters).

    What you can assume by this is the Taliban must get close enough for them to hit accurately with the AK. It’s not like they are super duper accurate Mr. Taliban. Their AK’s barrels has worn out or degraded to a point where they must get close enough for them to do any real damage to US troops.

    It is not impossible to hit targets over 800 meters with the AR15 in 5.56 config. In fact I have posted the 850+ yards video many times on this blog. Granted he did have a match rifle and using hand reloads.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B9NkQldeu0&feature=related

    Travis Haley from Magpul Dynamic has no problem taking out Iraqi insurgents at range that appear to be over 400 meters with his AR15. These are real life engagement documented on video and not some wide assertions.

    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142&Itemid=39

    When I was active in target shooting over 10 years ago, I could get 5 shots in the size of a US quarter (1” in diameter) with my AR15 A2 20” non-chrome barrel using hand reloads at 300 yards. So the 5.56 is at least capable of hitting the target at that range without much difficulties from a marksman.

    Sven is right that there really is no need to give normal infantrymen a caliber capable of going over 800 meters unless the guy is an excellent shooter. It’s not like every US troops is Mr/Ms Accurate. Give them a caliber like 7.62x51NATO that weights three times as much as a standard 5.56 in hope that he could score that one 800+ meters moving target is counter productive.

    For those that live in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia or near it. Every months NCRR held high power rifle match up to 1000 yards at Blackwater. The next one will be at Oct.31. It is open to the public.

    http://www.ncrr.net/index.php?option=com_jevents&task=icalrepeat.detail&evid=13365&Itemid=66&year=2009&month=10&day=31&uid=ab246d1b0b5dcf4e581473028160f40f

  • http://anothergunblog.blogspot.com mike w.

    If range is the issue why not go with longer barrels instead of the M4?

  • Matt Groom

    “I haven’t heard anyone who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan actually like the 5.56 round.”

    I fought in Iraq in 2003 as a USMC Artilleryman. I only witnessed one direct hit with a 5.56 round on a hostile fired from an M-16A2. Range was about 75m. He jumped a wall and charged our convoy, “Allahu Akbar!” Screamin’ like an idiot. I turned to look, some one in convoy fired one shot, center mass. BANG! Plop. He hit the ground face first. Legs up, then relaxed. He was dead before he could unclench his fists. I had heard stories about how the 5.56 wouldn’t kill people worth a damn, but I’ve seen it drop someone like a stone…. at 75m.

    According to the fine folks at Ammo Oracle, the 5.56 earns its lethal properties due to fragmentation induced by rapid yawing and a thin jacket by virtue of high velocities. When it drops below 2700 FPS, your fragmentation properties disappear, and the thing reverts into a long, heavy .22 magnum projectile. 5.56 is for ranges under 300, and a few beardees waiting in ambush 600m out with .303’s is a serious threat. The Taliban are not so stupid as to think they can engage with AKs on FA at 500m. The smart ones are going to use marksmanship at some point, and only the smart ones survive.

    A .224″ projectile with a better BC, such as we’ve seen with the Mk. 262 Mod. 1, would make hits at longer ranges easier, but it might not improve the wounding potential at those distances enough to make a difference. In Afghanistan, you’re going to need DMs with .308’s.

  • Simon_The_Brit

    Sadly the UK Government have flogged the L1A1’s to third world dictatorships in Africa or destroyed them.

  • Jim

    Have we considered that the Taliban might not be exclusively using AK-47s? I don’t see why they couldn’t get their hands on a scoped hunting rifle or Dragunov, which would give them a significant edge on the 5.56 armed British.

  • Bill Lester

    prodromos wrote:

    “I think the answer is mix caliber platoons .
    Designated marksmen and half the machine gunners (MK48) with 7,62X51
    And all the rest with 5.56.”

    Much like a certain army to the east has done for a few decades with the short range AK-47/-74 and the scoped SVD. Every infantry squad has a powerful and fairly accurate .30 caliber rifle.

    The need for hard hitting, long ranging rifles isn’t limited to Afghanistan or the steppes of Russia. City fighting can have shots in excess of 200 yards. The 5.56 doesn’t have much steam beyond that range, even when fired from an M-16 length barrel. I recently re-read an American Rifleman article by the late Chuck Karwan about his combat experiences with the M-14 in Vietnam. As much of a proponent of the M-16 as he was, he always tried to have 2-3 M-14’s/M-21’s among the 16-20 soldiers that usually composed his platoon. Pretty much the same ratio as the Russians and their AK/Dragunov mix. I don’t know what the availability of M-14’s and M110’s is like, but the Army and Marines should have one of either weapon in every infantry squad.

  • jdun1911

    Jim, for the sake of augment, Mr. Taliban has a brand new super duper Dragunov rifle with a standard Russian Optic. The Dragunov isn’t an accurate rifle but that is for another discussion.

    Mr. Taliban needs to understand the difference between factory and match/hand reload ammo. Factory ammo are inconsistent from one cartridge to the next. A 180 gr factory bullet might not be 180 grn. It could be 175 grn, 176 grn, 179 grn, 183 grn. The powered grn in the casing will be different. You get the idea. So he needs to know how to reload accurately with match grade bullets or go to the internet to order match grade ammo (I find this unlikely). Factory ammo aren’t good for long range shooting.

    Mr. Taliban needs to understand how to judge the target distance accurately. If he judged the target distance wrong well he’s going to miss it by a mile.

    Mr. Taliban needs to understand windage. If he judged the windage wrong well he’s going to miss it by a mile.

    Mr. Taliban needs to understand the proper way to hold the rifle correctly because there no freaking bench and bench equipments in the battle field. He is SOL.

    Mr. Taliban needs to understand how to use his scope. He must be able to read Russian because Russian scope has Russian markings.

    Mr. Taliban needs to understand how to lead a moving target because bullets don’t travel at light speed. Depending on the range it take a certain amount of time before it hits its destination. By then the target might be gone (or haven’t got there) if he misjudge the lead time.

    There are more but those I listed are the basic. It is harder then ssound.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      jdun1911, I agree with you regarding the SVD rifle and training – they lack it – hence Matt’s experience. And they cannot buy the level of training modern 1st world countries can afford.

      I think the real issue is not if a terrorist misses 99 times with his enfield, but if he has the potential to hit once. In the allied nations, and rightfully so, we don’t accept any numbers of odds of enemy killed vs. our men and women killed. We mourn every killed American and British and German, Australian and all the casualties of the other allied nation. They are more than happy to sacrifice 100 of their men for one dead enemy. They need to be denied every opportunity.

      I think this issues really evokes emotional response from those of us sitting at home and thinking about the troops over there being under fire and out of range of some blood-lusting lunatic fanatic who is fighting for nothing more than to return his country to the stone age.

  • Ken

    jdun1911, I hope the taliban dont read “The Ultimate Sniper”….lol

  • Fred

    Plus there are countless amounts of Enfields and Mosins all over the country there. The first time I took direct fire in Afghanistan the bad guy was shooting from 800+ meters. Missed my position by around 50 feet, and it was 0200 (dark as hell) and we couldn’t find him, but as soon as the Apaches were over head he came to his senses.
    Regardless, they’ve been fighting for a while, and they know that an old bolt action rifle has its purpose.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Fred, I did not realize you had been over there!

  • UraniumHead

    Jdun1911, criticizing the ability of insurgent snipers based on western standards of sniper marksmanship (one shot, one kill; at any range, in any condition) is grossly underestimating how effective such attacks can be.

    To start with the first criticism, the lack of Dragunov rifles. The SVD has been in production for over forty years, and has been exported to numerous countries. Hell, pretty much all of the countries north of Afghanistan are former Soviet republics, all of which would have the SVD in their arsenals. It is no stretch of the imagination for sympathetic groups to smuggle these rifles into Afghanistan.

    It doesn’t even need to be the SVD. It is a well known fact that various factions in Pakistan provide support to fighters in Afghanistan. Pakistan produces and issues a variant of the 7.62×51 G3 rifle. The G3 is certainly capable of acting in an improvised sniper role, especially if an insurgent is able to aquire one of the claw-mount scope rigs.

    Second, yes the SVD is not the most accurate rifle in circulation, but it certainly is not the worst. Yes, the ammunition the insurgents have available is usually of marginal to shoddy quality. But as stated above, these snipers do not need to meet western standards to be effective. Yes, an American sniper must be qualified to hit a target in the chest at 1000+ yards. The insurgent is successful if he hits an opponent at 400-500 yards in the torso. He really only needs a rifle that is shooting 4-5 MOA, if that.

    A western sniper wants to kill his target in the cleanest and least obvious manner possible. The insurgent wants sow chaos and confusion among a patrol or other unit, so efficiently killing a target is of secondary importance to disrupting his opponent’s forces and showing the local populace that the occupying troops are not in control of the situation.

    Also, the SVD scope is a very intuitive system (it has to be, considering it was developed with half-educated Soviet conscripts in mind). The reticule consists of a series of vertically stacked chevrons, and there is a small pictogram in the lower left of the scope consisting of a series of shrinking boxes. Each box corresponds to the height of an average sized person at a given range, which in turn corresponds with a chevron (compensating for bullet drop). Given five minutes of explanation even the illiterate can understand it (If the person fits in the biggest box use the top chevron, the next biggest box use the chevron just below that, etc).

    There are also plenty of people fighting in the Afghan insurgency qualified to give that information, especially Chechans and Uzbeks that have likely had experience in their homelands with the SVD.

    Even with a non-compensating scope or even iron sights it would be very simple for an insurgent to stake out a local thoroughfare or regular patrol route and fire a few shots to figure-out where his bullets are striking in the target zone, then use “Kentucky Windage” when firing on passing targets.

    Lastly, don’t underestimate the quality of our opponent. While they most likely have not had any formal weapons training, an insurgent that has survived a decent length of time in the field is going to pick up at least basic marksmanship. Also, as stated above, there are many foreign fighters who do have experience either fighting in other insugencies or formal military training who are involved on the Taliban side.

    Also, I believe it would be naive to think that insurgent groups have not set-up their own “sniper schools” in their strongholds. Even a half-trained sniper is so valuable in assymetric warfare that the Taliban could not afford to at least try to crank out a few. Yeah, it would be an insult to say that their training is even a pale shadow of that given by western (or Russian, or Chinese, or…) armies. On the other hand, with a few weeks of training it is definitely possible to take someone with some natural aptitude towards shooting and get them to the point where they could hit a man-sized target at 500 yards, or even beyond.

    It must be stated again, one cannot judge the effectiveness of insurgent tactics or strategy by the standards applied to conventional militaries. A conventional military’s objective is to destroy the enemy’s ability to wage war. An insurgency’s objective is to make an engagement too costly (whether in men, money, or morale) for a conventional force to continue operations. To give a graphic example, a conventional force seeks cut the head off a snake in decisive action. An insurgent force seeks to bleed the snake to death through a thousand paper cuts.

    The insurgents do not want to militarily defeat the NATO forces. Rather their goals are primarily divided among: showing the Afghan population that NATO forces are not in control of the country, showing the NATO forces that any attempt to stamp out this insurgency would be costly and possibly futile, and providing avenues to continue their operations and expand their influence (such as recruitment, securing outside funding and support from sympathizers, and creating internal revenue from such sources as the drug trade). None of these goals require the Taliban to actually win any major victories, they just need to outlast those who are trying to extinguish them.

    “Sloppy” sniper attacks might not actually accomplish any conventional tactical or strategic goal, but they intimidate the Afghan public, cost NATO forces men and material (and more importantly, force them to continue costly combat operations and disrupt reconstruction efforts), and lastly show supporters that the insurgency is alive and well.

    Oh, and in regards to the earlier comment of the effective range of 5.56 being 550 meters. If I recall correctly, effective range is not calculated based on the retained energy of the cartridge, it is based on its ballistic drop. So whatever range a cartridge drops below a specified point is considered the effective range. With earlier calibers the bullets dropped below the point long before they lost enough energy to inefficiently incapacitate an enemy. The 5.56 on the other hand, due to how light 5.56 bullets are, starts with a lower amount of energy from the muzzle compared to earlier cartridges. Additonally, the light bullets shed energy at a very fast rate. Thus the wounding capacity of a 5.56 bullet becomes marginal before it has reached the trajectory based “effective range”. To abbreviate it, effective range is a measurement of practical accuracy, while the concerns about the 5.56 center around its retained energy at range.

    Apologies to all for the rambling.

  • Jim

    Forget about rambling, Uranium; that was an intelligent, well thought out and well informed summation of the situation. I think that the mindset of never underestimating the enemy (particularly when they are a grubby, foreign irregular force of a different faith) is the first and most valuable tool in overcoming such an enemy. The Afghanis are quite obviously capable of inflicting great damage on our troops, as evinced by the numerous dead and huge financial expenditures.

    It is hardly for us to consider on paper whether the average Afghani can reach out and touch someone at 500+ yards, particularly when reports of troops in the field confirm those fears.

  • El Duderino

    UraniumHead, your “effective range” comment is 100% correct. .50 BMG ball (not SLAP) from an M2HB has an effective range of 1800 meters — you can bet your sweet butt it has killing power to there and beyond. Contrast that to the M9 9mm pistol which has various effective ranges noted but 50m is often listed; this has nothing to do with bullet drop but is the reasonable limit considering iron sights and a typical shooting stance. 9mm will kill just fine at 50m — a 115gr JHP @ 1230 fps at the muzzle is still over the 1000 fps mark at 50m.

    Bringing this back to my earlier post, 5.56x45mm is great if you want to carry a lot of ammo and pin the enemy down until something bigger and better arrives. It’s not a magical one shot one kill cartridge.

    It is the dream of military leadership to have their troops in the field deliver accurate fire when fired upon — it’s just not common with all but the most highly trained. This phenomenon is noted all the way back to the Civil War with statistics to back it up, not just anecdotal evidence. It’s what led to the development of the “assault rifle” in the first place, the Germans figured most engagements are under 300m and if no one is aiming all that much, give them a large magazine and let ‘em fire bursts in the enemy’s direction. Afghanistan is not burst fire country!

  • Brad

    Most of the important points have been touched upon, but to summarize…

    1) Heavy supporting arms, artillery and air support, are not always available due to the factors of guerrilla war in mountainous terrain. The enemy may disengage before support arrives, or the enemy may be mixing among civilians. So anti-guerrilla forces need intrinsic arms able to destroy the enemy at any likely range of engagement.

    2) The people recruited to fight for the Taliban have lived in a region of constant warfare going on three decades. Not only are suitable arms saturating the area, but a built up experience of successful mountain tactics has as well. So there plenty of long range weapons and the willingness to use them at range, such as the SVD sniper rifle and PKM GMPG, and there are also many RCL anti-tank weapons.

    So for UK forces the simple short term solution is, at the squad level employment of the L-7 GPMG as the squad LMG, despite it’s weight. At the company level bring the old Carl Gutav 84mm RCL rifle back in place of ATGM.

    For any combatant in Afghanistan, I can’t help but think the old American M-18a1 57mm RCL rifle would be invaluable, especially if teemed with modern cheap and portable laser range finders and ballistic software. I think Brazil still makes the old 57mm RCL. Such an infantry weapon would be more useful than the more typical 60mm mortars and .50 caliber anti-material rifles.

    Some might say the 84mm Carl Gustav III is a lighter and more modern weapon than the M-18a1. But the fact is the Carl Gustav is compromised for anti-tank warfare and can’t match the sustained rate of fire, or range of the old 57mm M-18a1.

  • Flashman

    Like UraniumHead and Brad said. I have a son serving with the British forces in Afghanistan as an infantryman.

    Yes – the 5.56mm is accurate and effective *within its limits* in a spectrum of combat situations *most often* inside the 200-300 metre maximum range.

    But – and it’s a big But. If Terry’s being engaged at anything beyond that distance then dominating the firefight often comes down to the actions of these players: the 7.62 NATO GPMG, the Carl Gustaf and the Big 50.

    [I think it’s a somewhat specious argument to benchmark what bells-and-whistles AR10’s can score on static, visible targets on the shooting range using handloads with realistic 5.56mm firefights in Afghanistan. But obviously one’s individual mileage must be expected to vary.]

  • subby

    The firefights are completely onesided. They take a few potshots and before chopper support arrives or coalition forces move in on their position. They run away and blend into the civilian population. Our enemys aren’t stupid.

    With their close range optics. They are a reactive force and will always be on the defensive. Save having a sniper and his rifle in every patrol, theres no way to combat such attacks.

  • http://gear-nerd.blogspot.com Boris

    “These short-range weapons [100 yards max effective?] would surely be poorly effective under the conditions prevailing during that battle where 200-300-400 yard early engagement ranges were commonplace. Imagine if the French had M1 Garands.”

    The standard weapons of the french paratroopers there were the MAS-36/39 paratrooper rifle (folding stock, bolt action, 7,5x54mm caliber) ans the MAT-49 SMG (folding smg, 9mm NATO). Some MAS-49 were also used (Semi-auto version of the 36), and the standard automatic rifle was the MAC 24/29 at that time, sporting a 25rds mag, 7,5x54mm caliber. Officiers were issued the M1A1 folding stock Carbine.

    The MAS-36 was a pretty decent long-range rifle, and is still used by french snipers as the FR-G2. But keep in mind that the vietnamese were using a russian strategy : lots and lots of people running towards a position to take it over by number, so most of the fighting was done around 100 to 200m on a target-rich environement. Bolt action rifles would not be effective there.
    So they mostly used light, short range weapons, allowing them to dispatch more ennemies in close quarter battle.

  • Fred

    2004-2005, Army Engineer unit.
    I’ve noticed you’ve posted some content passed on by another Fred in the past, so you may be getting me confused with somebody else though.

    As for my experience over there, I was issued a Colt manufactured M16A2, no optics or any toys besides a buttstock magazine pouch. Did I ever really feel out gunned? Not really. I had a 20″ barrel and I’m a damn good shot, so chances are I’d hit him before he hit me, and the 5.56 is designed to function best out of a 20″ barrel, and that Colt was the most accurate self loading rifle I have ever fired, with or without glass. I was confident that I could multiple rounds on target with a pretty good rate if I needed to, and I’ll take several hits with a 5.56 over a hit and a bunch of misses with a 7.62 any day of the week.
    On the other hand, I did lust after the M14’s some of the infantry grunts had. Not so much for the stopping power or anything, just for the extra sexy points.

    Now as for the dumb haj who shot at me that dark night in the tower, if he’d been in the range of our thermal scope and not hiding in a village like a pussy, between my good ol’ 20″ rifle and my tower partner’s SAW, he’d have been smeared across the landscape.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Fred, nope, I get to see everyones email address (if I did not I would be very confused ;) )

  • Groot Mamba

    Get a 20mm Neopup for the extended ranges. It will frag when it makes contact. You will also use less ammo to pin the enemy down or kill the enemy. While you wait for air support you would have fired so much ammo that it would have made no effect.(with 5.56)

    The 20mm will swing it in your favour. Plus if they turn and run, you can keep on fragging them. You don’t have to call for an airborne cannon when you have 20mm HE rounds from either the Neopup or NTW config

  • Don

    I am curious, do any of our guys in Afghanistan still use the M14? I know it’s a bit heavy but it has always been my favorite battle rifle.

    -Don

  • SeanN

    i did 16 months as an infantryman in afghanistan’s paktika province (10th Mountain Div, 3rd Brigade, A co 2/87) and in our experience the majority of our contacts were 300+ meters. one of the other commenters is dead-on; you patrol so that you can find the enemy and leverage larger assets against them (arty, air, mortars). the problem in afghan is that they are fully aware of our tactics, so they’ll pour on the fire from anywhere between 300-800m with AKs, RPKs, RPGs, and a surprising number of dragunovs, actually, for about 1-5 minutes, and then run away knowing we can’t pursue because we’re carrying 70+ pounds of gear while they’re rabbiting around with an AK and three mags, taking off before we can get those assets on target. the caliber size isn’t really an issue; in the few short range contacts (between 10-150m) we had, when we hit people, they dropped. i think the 5.56 is adequate as a round; our larger problem is with our tactics and our overall weight.

  • jdun1911

    It just absolute amazed me the lack of knowledge posted about 5.56 on this thread. It’s like hitting my head on the wall.

    You got Travis from Blackwater in Iraqi taking out multiple targets over 400 yards with his AR on video yet people still thinks that the 5.56 beyond 200 yards drop like a rock or bounce off the skin at that range.

    In that video there were over 200 insurgents trying to storm the building that was guarded by less then 30 Blackwater people and Marines. They never reached the compound ground. They were picked off. Over half of the attackers were either killed or captured. Only one Marine got injured and it was from a random stray AK-47 bullet that hit his shoulder. He made a full recovery.

    If you’re live anywhere near South East Virginia or North East North Carolina, I suggest you take part in the NCRR high power rifle match this weekend. These marksmen shoot 5.56 from their AR up to 1000 yards.

    http://www.ncrr.net/index.php?option=com_jevents&task=icalrepeat.detail&evid=13365&Itemid=66&year=2009&month=10&day=31&uid=ab246d1b0b5dcf4e581473028160f40f

  • prodromos

    That 20×42 light grenade , with its flat trajectory , makes alot of sence . I could use that in 20-400yards , much more than the 40mm .
    If every weapon in my scuad had a 20×42 underbarrel grenade launcher , i could launch imidiately supresive fire . But that weapon Neopup that Groot says……………….no . I prefer a milcor MGL (M32) , with 40mm grenades and a special sight . 20mm for the rifleman ,40mm for the grenadier .

  • Brandon

    I agree with the mixed squad idea. The M16 platform is ideal for this IMO. Issue 30 cal uppers (7.62, 6.8SPC or 6.5 Grendel) so units can carry what suits the mission, and train a couple more Designated Marksman.
    I’m not sure if it’s correct, but I’ve read that the 5.56mm doesn’t tumble past 100M. The author of ‘Sniper One’ (which is a good book) says the British SA-80 doesn’t suck as much as it used to.
    And yes, the M14 is still in use. The Marines issue it for their designated marksman occasionally.

  • El Duderino

    How ’bout a shoulder-launched heat-seeking and/or laser guided high velocity mini-missile with a small HE warhead? Say a range of 1000m. Allow the operator to select “hot” targets to lock onto. Better yet, put a magazine of 5 or so on the thing and bleed off a tiny bit of the launch gasses to cycle the weapon. Great anti-sniper tool. Even if each missile was 50 grand it would be cheaper and more effective than indirect fire (well okay mortars would be cheaper) or air support.

    Science fiction you say? Hardly. Let’s field it by 2015.

  • Groot Mamba

    Hi Prodromos
    What you say is true. The 40mm has its place and so does the Neopup platform. Direct, flat line -of site fire(there must be a shorter word for this)
    of the Neopup is killer. The designer himself showed me the 40mm head in all forms. The 40mm packs a punch. No denying that. The 20mm is not there to replace any combat weapon from 5.56 to 40mm. It gives the best of both worlds.However. The 20mm projectile is a very good start for battle fields today: It’s here and ready.

    It will be easier to engage the threat with the 20mm even beyond 400m(Neopup that is). We are doing test on this and will compile the video early next year. For Iraq the 20mm x 42 will work well if one engage barricaded targets up to 400m. Here one must hit a window quickly before the sniper spots you. You can use HE. SAPHI or phosphor rounds

    Open fields like the Afghan..different story. The mortar is a big bomb and is a sniper killer. Use a mortar when you can.The Neopup is a portable HE solution.The Neopup allows you to shoot faster to target with threats at extended combat range than the 5.56: it has more effect with non direct hits. You will know that somebody is shooting at you when the 20mm goes boom!

    In rocky terrain the shrapnel is less than a 40mm but it is a better place shot closer to the threat. One shot next to a threat behind a rock and he will either be hit or start running. It will work well for patrols to brake an ambush..

    Let me know what you would like to see in a promo video

    Take care

  • Bill Lester

    jdun1911 wrote in part:

    “It just absolute amazed me the lack of knowledge posted about 5.56 on this thread. It’s like hitting my head on the wall. You got Travis from Blackwater in Iraqi taking out multiple targets over 400 yards with his AR…”

    1) Just because someone is shooting doesn’t automatically mean they’re “taking out multiple targets.” I’m sure Travis Haley sent more than a few Hajis to paradise but don’t assume one shot, one kill. They could have been killed by any number of weapons, as I’ll get to in a minute.

    2) An accurized AR with a fully adjustable, high powered optic is not the same as a rack grade M16 or M4 mounting no optics, a red dot or 4x ACOG.

    3) IIRC Travis has stated he used match grade Mk262 ammo, not service grade M855 found in the vast majority of infantry rifles. There’s a big difference between the two in long-range accuracy and wound ballistics. One of the pluses to being a civilian contractor as opposed to the average grunt bound by ill-conceived military law requiring him to only use M855 FMJ.

    4) With all due respect to Travis, how many of those 100+ Hajis were casualties before his team was flown in by chopper? IIRC, Travis asks about at least one JDAM being dropped by Marine air as he arrived. It’s unlikely the fighters would drop just one bomb and go home when friendlies are in contact. There was a .50 BMG mentioned at one point in the video as well. I think we can all agree precision 500lb+ bombs or a .50 cal. rifle will have greater impact on an enemy than any 5.56mm round. There’s also the question about what transpired during several breaks evident in the video. ANGLICO Marines were mentioned at one point. Was the camera turned off as the good guys took cover from more Marine air or artillery impacting close to their position? I don’t know.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Who is Travis?

  • Bill Lester

    Travis Haley, currently the CEO at Magpul. He was involved in a 2004 firefight that involved a small number of Blackwater contractors and U.S. Marines against a reported force of a couple hundred Hajis. What made Travis so well known was that when he had his own company and website, he posted a camcorder video shot during the engagement. It shows him firing at numerous bad guys at quite a distance.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Bill, ah, I know those videos – I did not realize he was the CEO of Magpul.

      (Yep dates are wrong).

  • Bill Lester

    Steve,

    On a totally unrelated matter, the date displayed for our respective posts this morning is Nov. 1st. Unless I slept through Halloween, that’s just a bit off. :-)

  • Big Daddy

    If you study infantry combat since the beginning of combat the same issues always come out, the same for thousands of years.

    Study 20th century combat and the lessons learned no matter what battlefield conditions are the same issues come up. The people that try to solve the problems do so in a manner that includes cost. By adding cost into the factor you already limited yourself. By making cost a high priority you have just caused the death of many soldiers and that’s what has happened with every decision made by every country who did so.

    A rifle like the ones issued with the 5.56mm round works OK out to about 200M but with a full 20″ barrel. Take the barrel down and what you have is a weapon that does not have the same killing ability out to that range. By cutting down the barrel you made the weapon useless. The 5.56 was designed for longer barrels. The 7.62×39 was designed for short barrels like the German’s did with their 7.92. So either we keep the 5.56mm and go with a bullpup so we can keep the 20″ barrel or we get a round that works better out of a short barrel. Like the 6.8mm. For those who like the 6.5mm Grendel all the data I read says it’s better with the longer barrel and out of a short barrel the 6.8mm is superior.

    Even if we did adopt the 6.8mm we still need a weapon that can take out not only the enemy at longer range but destroy their cover. Nobody talks about that. The 5.56 cannot destroy cover. One of the greatest things the BAR and Garand did was that they tore up any cover the enemy was using. A volley from a simple rifle squad was devastating. A modern squad cannot do that with 5.56mm only.

    So we need a SAW in 7.62×51 and to make the rifle squad even more deadly a marksmen with a weapon also in 7.62×51. The 40mm grenade launcher is a good weapon but does not do what a volley of 7.62 rounds can do to the enemy hiding behind something. A GPMG tears it apart.

    I also think another weapon the infantry squad or platoon should have is a dedicated anti-material weapon. Again the 40mm is fine but limited and not a man killer. The Barrett XM-109 25mm was a great idea and the Chinese picked up on it with their version in 35mm. The 40mm is more like a light mortar the XM-109 was a direct weapon that could have been deadly on a battlefield shooting directly at enemy positions, like a .50 cal M2 is.

    So what is needed by our small infantry units is a good mix of overlapping weapons systems that support each other under many different situations. Plus we need weapons for troops who do not face the prospects of combat everyday.

    We need to keep each weapon simple. In another word the do everything mentality has to go. Yeah great idea to be able to fire both belt and magazine for the SAW but you added cost and weight onto the weapon. Eventually everybody said take it off to keep it lighter and easier to maintain. Even to the point of adding very expensive titanium bipods and again going with a shorter barrel making an already questionable weapon useless. A 17 pound peashooter, the same weight as a PKM GPMG. Who has the advantage? It seems to me the advantage goes to the Russian equipped infantry squad with their AK, RPG, SVD, PKM weapons. And if they are fully Russian Equipped they also have some other really deadly weapons to add to that including a LAW type thermobaric rocket and grenade launchers for their rifles.

  • jdun1911

    Bill Lester,

    Did you saw the video where his partner confirmed that he took out a lot of targets at a very short time. It was also confirm on AR15 a few years back.

    Second where did I say that I assumed one shot one kill. If you read my past post here you will find that I suggest you keep shooting until your opponent is out right dead. Also I’m not saying that he killed over 100 combatants. I’m saying on that video that he took out enemies combatants with 5.56 at over 400 yards.

    I’m not sure that he was using matchgrade ammo. It doesn’t look like it but for the sake of augments let assume it is. Does it make a difference other then an improve accuracy? It still 5.56 and matchgrade ammo unlike standard military factory ammo tends to be way under-power.

    This whole entire pointless augment is about the vast majority of people believing that the 5.56 drop like a rock and bounce off people skin when it goes past 200 yards is ridiculous. I put two videos showing otherwise.

    The vast majority of PSD in Iraq used 5.56. They are not in the military and not limited to 5.56 or AR15. So you have to wonder why these PSD people that are better trained and probably have more combat experience then the avg. GI using an inferior caliber. It’s not like the can’t afford it. They were getting paid a lot of money for their time in Iraq.

    Steve,

    Travis Haley was a former blackwater PSD that went to Iraq at the height of the insurgency. He is now working for Magpul Dynamics and got two training videos out called Magpul Dynmaics: The Art of the Tactical Carbine: I and II. He also post on AR15.com in the Magpul industry board under the screen name Magpul Dynmaics.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      jdun1911, thanks for the info. I saw part of the Art of Tactical Carbine a while back.

  • jdun1911

    UraniumHead,

    For the sake of augment let assumed everything you pointed out in reference to super duper Taliban training, super duper G3 (which is very bad in the accuracy department), or whatever super duper rifle that you think is accurate.

    Now let’s use brutal logic. Why isn’t there more dead GI coming back from Afghanistan in body bags. You would expect that boat load and boat load of dead soldiers coming back if the Taliban are good shooters, have better small arms and our is inferior, right? What is the kill ratio in Afghanistan? 1000 to 1 100000 to 1? So something is wrong here. Why are we killing a lot more of them then they are killing us. CAS can’t account for all of it?

    Here is another brutal fact. The AR15 that our troops are using is much more accurate then what the Taliban are using. In fact is the most accurate mass produce auto loading rifle every made.

  • Bill Lester

    jdun1911,

    No I haven’t seen any videos beyond the one so widely circulated about two years ago. If you can post a link, I’d be appreciative.

    As for the one shot, one kill comment I may have gone a bit beyond what you intended. But your post I referenced does imply a belief that the 5.56 is a 400 yard cartridge. I’m sorry but it really isn’t. Punching holes in paper isn’t the same as stopping an enemy combatant in his tracks. The bullets speak for themselves. Much beyond 200 m, 5.56mm Ball doesn’t do much more than poke tiny holes even when fired from 20″ barrels. It no longer fragments and exhibits poor tumbling characteristics.

    You must not be aware of why the Mk262 cartridge was developed. It was designed to improve both long range accuracy and wound ballistics compared to M855. Much like choosing a JHP over FMJ in your handgun, the BTHP used in Mk262 significantly increases 5.56mm lethality to at least 300m.

    As for civilian contractors using 5.56mm weapons, they’re primarily involved with personal security. Read that as short(er) range engagements. At closer ranges, the 5.56 does pretty well. I’d be very surprised if anything approaching the long range battle fought by Travis Haley & Co. in 2004 had occurred before or since. PSD’s also work closely with coalition troops. It only makes sense to have common ammo, magazines, parts, etc. I know someone who spent a year in Iraq and confirmed there was a lot of interplay between Big Army and PSD’s. Finally, with companies like Blackwater/Xe hiring former U.S. military trained on and comfortable with the M16/M4 is it any wonder most equip themselves with similar weapons? (Not that I haven’t seen more than a few photos posted online showing PSD’s armed with AK’s and “Krinkovs.” One of the PSD’s my friend met in Iraq carried a Sterling SMG. While very popular among PSD’s, AR-based weapons are not universal.)

    Please don’t think I’m a 5.56 basher. Not so. My own personal SHTF carbine is a 5.56mm Arsenal AK. But I use bonded core SP’s and don’t expect to engage anyone much past 200-250 yards.

  • Brad

    jdun1911

    The excellent kill ratio of American infantry in Afghanistan is most likely the outcome of three factors: a preference for night operations that exploits American night vision and excellent communication and navigation systems, use of bulletproof body armor, and outstanding medical trauma services. With advantages like that the American infantry had better be kicking ass.

    To determine the quality of Taliban guerillas, a better comparison would be to judge how effective they are compared to Iraqi insurgents. I think it would be a safe bet that American forces would greatly prefer a firefight with Iraqi insurgents to a firefight with Taliban. Certainly the Taliban forces are mostly ill-trained peasants who spray and pray with rusty old Kalashnikovs. But even so it is foolish to ignore the crusty veterans who salt the Taliban and who take pride in the old Afghan tradition of marksmanship and who posses the right equipment to follow that tradition.

    Let’s turn your question around. If American small arms are so superior to the Taliban’s at long range, why do the Taliban seem to prefer to engage at long range? Why don’t the Taliban use the old NVA tactic of ‘grabbing the enemy by the belt’ and prefer to engage at point blank range?

  • El Duderino

    jdun1911, the G3 is plenty accurate, and the PSG1s and MSG90s built on the platform are some of the most accurate semiauto rifles in the world. With that said, I’m not sure the license made Iranian and Pakistani ones that have been beaten to heck by untrained Afghani fighters are accurate though. It was the blanket “very bad in the accuracy department” statement that bugs me.

  • subby

    Actually now that I think about it. The assertion by some that 5.56mm was chosen as the nato calibre because it largely wounded soldiers not caused large bleeding holes that killed them. This makes sense when fighting an equivalent modern army, whereby wounding a soldier is arguably is as effective as straight out killing him, due to the costs associated with taking care of the wounded.

    This ‘wounding not killing’ aspect is completely irrelevant when fighting an enemy like the Taliban, who essentially will never run out and have no medical support services whatsoever.

    So in this sense, the British are completely correct. Their bullets may wound the Taliban but that doesn’t stop them. If anything it may encourage them to be even more effective since they know that they will most certainly die.

    An Ak round on the other hand no matter where it hits will do serious damage. But in anycase, with the training Taliban/Alqueda now have in IED’s, they will be the biggest killer and maimer of this war, not direct firefights.

  • jdun1911

    El Duderino,

    You’re serious about the accuracy of the G3? The PSG1 cost over $12k and get 1MOA @ 100 yards (match ammo). A typical $1k AR15 with free floating tube will get you .75 MOA @ 100 yards (match ammo) and that’s without match parts.

    The PSG1 might be good in video games but real life it is completely different.

    —-

    This will be my last post on the subject. Before I start, in no way am I marginalize the ultimate sacrifice that our troops have made.

    Since Obama was elected my liberal newspaper stop posting Iraq and Afghanistan war casualties. I had to google it finds out.

    Icasualties.org listed from 2001 to 2009 the total US troop deaths at 911. I assume this include non-combat related deaths, ie accidents. A lot of the deaths in Afghanistan is caused by IED (2009: total deaths 281, 242 was cause by IED) and not small arms. Eight year, 911 US deaths in Afghanistan and not all of are related to combat deaths.

    What can we assumed by this? The Taliban are piss poor shooters with piss poor rifles. Hits only counts the rest is BS. So if we’re out gun and the Taliban are excellent marksmen shouldn’t the US death toll be much much higher? Shouldn’t the Taliban suffer fewer casualties? Ever time they send 400 of their kids fighting a platoon size (around 40) of ours kids, the Taliban end up losing half of their numbers. What does that tell us?

    The 7.62x51NATO is superior to the 5.56 in range, hitting power, and accuracy but at the high cost of weight. Three times as much. US troops are carrying like SeanN said over 70lbs on their back. Getting kills over 1k takes a lot of skills and luck. Being top rated marksman take years to learn. It makes no sense to force them to carry more weight and less ammo on long patrols in the hope that they score those 800+ yards kills.

    Around 9 people in America die from drowning each day. That’s over 3000 a year. Over 4,000 Americans die from car related accidents a month. Over 40,000 Americans die from the common flu each year. Chicago homicide 2008 is over 500.

    http://www.icasualties.org/OEF/

  • Brad

    In my humble opinion, Allied leg infantry would lose nothing by switching from selective-fire 5.56mm rifles to 7.62mm semi-auto rifles. The real automatic firepower of infantry companies and squads is provided by honest to god bipod or tripod mounted machineguns, not handheld 5.56mm glorified sub-machineguns. With today’s emphasis on aimed fire and acceptance of optical sights, the very purpose of 5.56mm assault rifles has been lost.

    Despite after the fact rationalizations by some writers, the switch from 7.62mm to 5.56mm was always about improved control of hand held full-auto fire and not about reduced ammunition weight. Ammunition for rifles, regardless of caliber, has never been the primary or even secondary weight burden borne by leg infantry. The primary weight burden of infantry is from carriage of organic supporting arms and ammunition, such as machine guns, mortars, and rocket launchers.

    If infantry combat was on a known distance target range, then no doubt 5.56mm rifles would be perfectly adequate as far out as 1000 meters. Instead the rifleman has to deal with a speeding car approaching a checkpoint, or a jihadi taking pot shots from behind a mud wall 500 meters away while gusting mountain winds roar. In the chaos and cover of combat, a reasonably accurate .30 caliber semi-auto rifle with a low magnification telescopic sight would serve the modern rifleman better than what he has now.

  • prodromos

    I will have to agree with jdun 1911 .

    I asked my CO once , (we were in the mountains) , how we were suppose to engage enemies if they were in the next hill (+-800yards), with m4 carbines , m16s , and just one m16a3/acog per squad and he laughed .

    He said to me that only the FN-MAG(M240) , that we had in our squad was the weapon for these ranges . He also said , that soldiers were not sharpshooters . If we spotted enemies in ranges more than 300yards , we were to call immediately fire support .

    Now the weight factor plays a very big role for the soldier , but i think that in open areas , were there might be long range visibility or in areas were enemies might be in higher elevation , the squad MGs should change to 7,62X51 . That could increase the overall weight that a squad has to carry(assuming everybody carries an amount of 7,62AMMO) , but increases the squads capabilities.

    Groot i would like to see or just reed how The 20mm round performs against (single-double) ceramic brick walls , and if it can reach the enemy behind . I saw a video of the NTW against a pole . THANX

  • Groot Mamba

    Sorry about that comment Prodromos. The link clithched and I think it went through un edited and incomplete. I will reply once I see what has happened to it.

    Just in case
    A new video is on its way from PMP(manufacturers of the ammo).
    They will shoot brick walls,car doors etc

    Talk later
    GM

  • Richard Lahan

    I do know that the British have had to “load down” their 5.56mm ammunition in order for it to perform properly in their fragile SA80 rifles. The full-power NATO and US M855 rounds were proving to be too hot for them, and were causing lots of wear and tear. Maybe since H&K has taken over production of the SA80, the rifles will prove to be sturdy enough to handle full-power ammunition.

  • AK™

    Give them the M14..at today’s market prices from Springfield Armory.

  • El Duderino

    “Give them the M14..at today’s market prices from Springfield Armory.”

    There was a post a couple days ago about the Brits buying AR-10s. Much more versatile.

  • Valhalla

    I don’t know if anyone else suggested it, but here goes:

    There are mods for the M-16/AR-15 that trade it from 5.56 to 50 Bewulf in a matter of seconds, I know that those two are both 45mm long, but couldn’t something like that be done with the 7.62 NATO?

    Or you have a DM in your squad with an accurized rifle (and a point man with shotgun… but I’m getting off topic) and someone to hump a few more mags of high caliber. Maybe have every member of the squad carry 1 mag of whatever the sniper/DM has.

    Problem is grunts can’t see the logistics problems and the fact that if politics play out wrong they’ll be eating cotton candy instead of MREs, and politicians can’t see what friggin’ idiots they are.

  • Zeus

    For starters how about issuing some decent ammo and a new barrel with 1-7 twist. A 77gr Sierra Match King bullet will have much better performance than the 55 and 62gr until they can come up with a 7.62 alternative. Hell let everyone have a new 7.62 upper for their Ar and they can swap as they choose :)