Marines slow to field new ammo

The Marine command has been slow to field the new and improved SOST ammunition. Marine Times reports

Marine Times reports

“I got mine from a [military policeman] attached to the company, but I haven’t shot them yet,” said a lance corporal who serves as a fire team leader for India Company 3/6. He is one of the few Marines interviewed by Marine Corps Times in Afghanistan who was in possession of the ammunition, and he had only 20 rounds.

Initial studies conducted by 1/6’s gunner, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Harris, showed that Taliban insurgents hit by the new round suffered larger exit wounds, but information has been limited, Smith said. Attempts to reach Harris were unsuccessful.

Smith said Taliban tactics play a role in the limited amount of information the Marines have been able to collect.

“The Taliban usually doesn’t leave behind bodies or wounded,” he said.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me 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.


  • SpudGun

    ‘He is one of the few Marines interviewed by Marine Corps Times in Afghanistan who was in possession of the ammunition, and he had only 20 rounds.’

    Before we all go on a freak out about the scarcity of ammunition, I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and possibly suggest that the new rounds have gone to where they were needed most – to troops actively engaged in combat patrols or more specialized USMC units.

    My comment is based on pure speculation as I don’t know what India Company 3/6 do on a daily basis and for all I know, they could be the Company that needs them the most.

    Of course, it would be fantastic if every Marine on the ground got the new rounds, but if there were a scarcity, then I wouldn’t just hand them out to any Fobbet who came walking by.

  • Josh

    I’ve been trying to figure this out but no one will come put and say it. It seams to me that this rounds acts like a hollow or soft point on human tissue. But isn’t in fact eather.

  • Lance

    They dont mean to do a fast transformation. The men with M-16A4s and A2s dont need the new ammo as much as men who do have M-4s. It seems mechine gunners wont use the ammo for now.

    They claim the round is more accurate at long range. Why dosnt the Army adopt the round and solve any long range problems with this and ACOGs on alll M-4s.

  • jdun1911

    Lake City is at 100% capacity so it is expected that any new ammo will be limited. It going to be a very slow transformation.

  • A Marine

    3/6 is one of the most combat deployed infantry battalions in the USMC. The ammo is going to them because they are locating, closing with, and destroying the enemy by fire and maneuver.

    Those “specialized USMC units” operate under a separate budget and command and have had these or similar rounds (MK262) for months.

    Its “Fobbit”, not “Fobbet”.

  • The SOST bullet isn’t designed to expand – that’s why it’s legal.

    The US Army is supposed to start fielding the new lead-free M855A1 EPR (Enhanced Performance Round) in June. The bullet is said to deliver far more consistent terminal effects as well as having better penetration.

    Interestingly, this means that once the changeovers are complete, no US infantry will be using the NATO-standard SS109/M855 ammo.

    US joint forces will also be carrying out a study of intermediate calibres, including 6.5mm, 6.8mm and 7mm.

    All of this from NDIA Dallas the week before last.

  • jason

    Ive just come from working alongside the US marines in helmand with the british forces. Sooner the M4 is dropped the better, its performance with current ammo is awful over 250metres and most of the marines expressed this. The brits with the L85A2 fared better, but still hampered by the 5.56 rounds. NATO needs to stop faffinf bout and finally get a better round in service. Its been going on since the 60’s. The british wanted to use a 6mm round, but it was dropped in the face of US pressure to adpot the 5.56. Wether its a cased or caseles round, we need a replacement. Id prefer to go back to 7.62, heavy…but it stops the combatant in thier tracks and not tickled with the 5.56.

  • charles222

    So….SOCOM is wrong when they chose to stick with 5.56mm weapons for the indefinite future by retaining M4A1 alongside the SCAR 17?

    Oh, and SAS, and, you know, every country in NATO, most of Latin America, the vast majority of police departments who issue rifles to their patrolmen, the USMC Marksmanship Team…need I go on?

  • Lance

    Good point Charles 222.