Modern Intermediate Calibers, Interlude: How, Why, and What for?

5.56mm (left) alongside some of its competitors.

5.56mm (left) alongside some of its competitors.

At this point we’ve looked at the data for seven intermediate calibers currently on the market, each of which is – one way or another – influencing the discussion around the question of what next generation military rifle caliber will be. Those rounds were: The 5.56mm NATO, the 7.62x39mm Soviet, the 6.8x43mm SPC, the 6.5x38mm Grendel, the .300 AAC Blackout, the 7.62×40 WT, and the .25-45 Sharps. Initially, I intended for this series to be limited to just these seven, and I picked them as a cross section of different concepts and schools of thought regarding the intermediate caliber problem. Now, however, I have decided to expand this discussion to other calibers, including the latest developments outside the West. I figure I’ll just handle the extra clunk this introduces by breaking up the final comparative discussion into segments, that way all the data is presented clearly, and there are more posts for my readers to chew on. Everyone is happy.

Speaking of data, I’d like to talk a little bit in this quick intermission about how I created the graphs in each post, what my methodology was, and how I determined what my inputs and outputs needed to be. As stated in each post, I use the excellent ballistic calculator available for free in your browser from JBM Ballistics. I’ve mentioned this before, but as far as calculators go, JBM’s is the best one that is readily available and which doesn’t take a degree to use. It allows both the most control over the inputs (by far) of any calculator I have used, and it gives the most accurate results. It properly accounts for a bullet’s transition from the supersonic to transonic and then subsonic regime, which many calculators do not do. However, it is not perfect! There are many complex things going on in a bullet’s flight that a browser calculator simply cannot account for, so I would tell my readers to accept the data I provide as a general guideline, not the final word on how these calibers actually perform! That can only be determined through empirical testing, which is far too expensive for Your Humble Blogger to do at all, much less properly.

With that out of the way, we can talk about what inputs I actually used for the JBM calculator. I use the stock inputs for the JBM – Trajectory calculator, except for the following:

  • Distance to Chronograph – set to “0” instead of “10”
  • Range Increment – set to “10” instead of “100”
  • Zero Range – set to “25” instead of “100”
  • “Energy Column” Formula – set o “Energy (Joules)”
  • Check the “Ranges in Meters” box

For each individual round, I enter the bullet’s weight in grains, its caliber, its muzzle velocity from the barrel length I am using, and the sight height – which for most was a value of 2.6″, representing an AR-15 or AR-10.

Although different calibers will have different optimum zeroing ranges to give the flattest trajectory, since my goal was to compare the different calibers’ performance, I kept a constant zero distance value of 25 meters. This is a common zeroing distance for military rifles, and allows an even comparison of the shape of the trajectories of the different rounds being considered. Likewise, even though wind speed and angle will vary in real life, I kept a constant value of 10 miles per hour moving at a 90 degree angle across the sight line.

Many American readers will likely raise an eyebrow at the use of the Joule as a unit of energy, instead of the Imperial foot-pound. I am not really a proponent of metrication, but I find the Joule much easier to work with than the foot-pound. It is in fact just as easy to convert Imperial values to metric and then from them calculate Joules than it is to use Imperial values to calculate foot-pounds. Mixed units are just a given for military small arms ballistics discussions, so I don’t worry too much about mixing the systems at this point.

Readers who have been following my Ballistics 101 series of posts know that it’s important to use the correct drag model (ballistic coefficient model) for a given bullet. So, rather than use a constant drag model (e.g., G7), I am using the models appropriate for the projectiles being considered – in other words, the model a given bullet most closely resembles physically. In practice, this basically means G7 for boattailed bullets and G8 for flat-based ones, as those are the two shapes in common use for military rifle projectiles today.

As for the outputs, I have them saved in spreadsheet files in a folder on my computer. I plan to release the raws to my readership at some point, although since at the moment I am away from home traveling I cannot do it now. Whatever I decide to do, whether that’s release them all at once in a downloadable folder in the final post or add each caliber’s data as a batch of files to their respective posts, by the time I am finished, you will all be able to see the actual data I used.

I’ve been long-winded so far, so I am going to wrap this up, but the last subject I wanted to cover here regards the reasons I have decided to do this series and the direction I would eventually like to take it, and how that fits in the wider discussion about military calibers. With these posts in general, I wanted to create an even, easily-referenced foundation of data for each of these calibers that could be referenced by myself and others when discussing them online. While data for almost all of these calibers exists and can be found on the Internet, one ballistic chart for one caliber may not be directly comparable to another for a different caliber, because it may not use the same units, the same firing platforms, or the correct drag model. My goal then is to give my readers a very clear idea of what each of these calibers can – in theory, at least – do compared with each other, and also to give my readership a solid foundation of reference material for the discussion when it evolves beyond just current military caliber hopefuls. That is why it is very important for me to not only get the data as right as possible, but also to make my methods and procedures transparent.

Anyway, we’re not done with Modern Intermediate Calibers yet, so stay tuned for next time when we tackle the Soviet 5.45x39mm!



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Pete – TFB Writer

    Looking forward to 5.45×39.

    • Major Tom

      Indeed. And can we get 5.8×40?

      • Tritro29

        It’s 5.8×42 actually and the round is very quirky.

        • DIR911911 .

          if by “quirky” you mean completely unavailable

          • Tritro29

            Nope I mean “quirky” in the sense it’s (meant to be) super accurate, super performant, super light and super super, but there’s a redesign each two years or so…because basically it’s not any of the above.

            It’s also one of the biggest complain in at least two of the platforms it has been fielded (T-88 DMR and T-88 LMG). Unavailable? I wouldn’t say so. Their DBP 03/10 is unobtainable but the DP-87 and 95 aren’t rarities in my neck of the woods. Most of the people who talk about it doesn’t see a difference from 5.45×39. So It’s probably not much different from 5.56.

    • Sermon 7.62

      Me too. And I hope all of these will be mentioned, including 7U1 subsonic and 7BT4 armor-piercing tracer cartridges.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Depending on N.F.’s level of poetry, I may have to invest in a 5.45 AK SBR. I’m looking for a reason.

        • James Young

          Me too

        • Kivaari

          A friend has a select fire Krink. It is beautiful. Yes, he has a SOT.

        • I shoot 5.45, but I am too Fudd for SBRs.

  • PK

    So… I hope that, at some point, you compile all of this and your other entry-level articles into a PDF or, far better, a print book as an overview and primer on the subject of the why behind arms and ammunition. It would fit handily in public libraries across the country.

  • Giolli Joker

    .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer or GTFO. 😛

    • gunsandrockets

      ? Okay I had to go look that up. Huh. Interesting, but technically the .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer wouldn’t qualify as an intermediate cartridge.

      But how about the .204 Ruger instead? Even more than the 5.56mm the .204 Ruger seems to embody the idea of the SCHV concept, and it would be doable with nothing more than a barrel change for an AR.

      • Giolli Joker

        Is your sarcasm on a level I can’t reach or did you really believe my “suggestion” was serious? 🙂

        On a serious note, the criteria of choice here is not entirely clear, or it kinda was until underdogs like 7.62x40WT and .25-45 Sharps popped up… there are plenty of options of semi-obscure wildcats/proprietary cartridges that might fit and surely some of us would like to see here, I just read and see where Nathaniel wants to take us.
        (I still vote for .338 Spectre, though) 🙂

        • Jared Vynn

          Smaller than .308 win larger than .30 carbine in case/cartridge (not caliber) size seems good way to place intermediate cartridges.

          • Giolli Joker

            My doubt was not on the dimensional criteria, rather on the caliber purpose.
            .300BLK, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel have all somehow been promoted as potential military cartridges capable of replacing 5.56×45 (and of course 7.62×39 is already a successful military round)… 7.62x40WT and 25-45 Sharps seem to me like narcissistic attempts to jump on the bandwagon with no clear purpose nor merits.
            Just my opinion, though.

          • Kivaari

            .300 Blackout as a replacement for the 5.56mm? Seriously, no one is suggesting the adoption of a poor performing round that gives us less than the poor performing 7.62x39mm.

          • Giolli Joker

            Not as a complete replacement, but in some defined applications, yes.
            Maybe I did not phrase properly.

          • Kivaari

            Supplement makes sense. I prefer dendicated rifles. For special suppressed use, it has a place.

          • Sermon 7.62

            7.62 is the best performing caliber in 200 m range. It surpasses 5.45 in some important aspects, and most shootings happen inside 200 m range.

          • Kivaari

            No!!!! The 7.62x39mm (it out performs the 300 BLK) in a combat load, does not perform better than the 5.56mm. REAL wounds from real combat have shown the AK round to be inferior. That gets backed up by lab studies as well. Shoot live hogs or gelatin and the 7.62x39mm is a poor performing round. If anything, the 200m range is where the 5.56mm shows its most damaging wounding effects. It is at those velcoities where the bullets tumble, FRACTURE and tear tissue apart. The 7.62mm usually makes a bi-lobed tumble, rotating one and one-half times, coming to rest butt forward, with the bullet intact. The 5.56mm even in the old M193 turns 90 degrees and comes apart.
            I recommend you read the actual studies of how those rounds perform.

          • Sermon 7.62

            AK is not for shooting hogs or gelatin. Human bodies are composed of bones, vessels, internal organs. There is not much of a chance for a bullet to hit a man and miss some of these vital parts, and pass through not causing serious harm.

          • Kivaari

            REAL combat wound treatment. The hogs are used to show real wounds, and to have combat surgeons actually treating the wounds under field conditions. The physiques of pigs and long pigs (that’s us) are nearly identical. It is why we use pig parts to repair human hearts. Gelatin give a consistent and repeatable (anywhere on earth) simulation of human tissue. It mimics the performance of bullets quite closely. When I refer to shots to intestines v. livers that’s based on actual gun shot wound treatment. The 7.62x39mm and .300 BLK are poor performers with ball ammunition. Both work better with SP, but we don’t see those used much in the military world. We could see them in civilian surroundings. Using BALL ammunition shows the 5.56mm is superior to the small .30 caliber rounds.

          • Sermon 7.62

            No.
            Pigs are fat.

          • Kivaari

            Seriously, or are you just trolling? If you think that, you have missed out on too much factual data to be commenting.

          • Sermon 7.62
          • Kivaari

            That is why pigs are used, they are so close. You really don’t know about how these tests are done and how similar the anatomy is . It is why we cal pigs pig and people “long pig”. Long pig is cannibal speak.
            When pig tissues can be used in humans, and the size of organs are pretty much the same in weight to weight uses, that’s similar.
            Stretch a pig out and an equal weight pig is about the same length as a man.
            YOU should read the actual studies. Start with the Swedish ACTA Surgica reports. a good 2 inches of reading. You state library/mediacal college should have the material available. It’s where I got mine along with dozens of military studies from the USA, Yugoslavia, China in addiition to the Swedish. Then look for IWBA’s “Wound Ballistics Review” and even Army Times.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Still don’t get it?

            If 7.62 hits a man, the man is done. And that’s enough. There are some special rounds like API that can do more harm, but the standard round is enough and that’s proven by experience. Put some armor plates into the equation and do the math. The 5.56 fragments, so it’s not a good round.

          • Kivaari

            You don’t get it. The man is hurt with any bullet strike. The key is if non-vital organs are hit the 7.62x39mm leaves a non-significant wound. Like a muscle hit. Hit bone with anything and its a mess. Hit liquid filled organs, like livers or full stomachs and you have a sick person. Hit empty bowel, lung without bone impact upon entry, and the wound is treatable. Under 200 m the 7.62 is less wounding than 5.56mm. Proven fact of life. NO GSW is a good thing. It is easier to hit at 300m with a 5.56mm than it is a 7.62x39mm. You can’t deny that the large dispersion with AKs creates hit and miss issues. It IS why the Soviets went to the 5.45mm. FACTs.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Like I said, 7.62 is superior in 200 m range. I didn’t argue that for longer distances 5.45, or 5.56 is better. I said that most shootings happen inside 200 m.

          • Kivaari

            BUT, why limit yourself to a 200 m gun when you can have a 500 m gun? Flat trajectory and better sights allow an expanded range. If you only use it under 200 that’s fine, but what battlefield can you always have your choice of 200 m targets. If you have a 500 m shot, and your M16A2/3 has a 4x ACOG on top you can take the shot.
            Still, you fail to accept that under 200m, the 5.56mm leaves a dramatic wound in tissue. A 7.62×39 often, most often, if no bone is hit, leaves a less dramatic wound. That is a medical and physical fact that no mater what you think just wont change.
            I suspect I’ve actually fired more 7.62x39mm ammunition than the average Russian or Soviet soldier. You may have a few career soldier that get near the number I’ve shot. So, I am no rookie when it comes to the round. I LIKE the AK rifles, just not the sights. Finally, American scope mount makers have created mounts that allow superior glass to be used on the AK. Until just recently there were no good Russian glass. NOW the Russians are catching up. Like the use of M1913 rails. Copying Swedish, Israeli and American optics or British concepts took the Russians a decade or two longer. They make a great package, especially in the AK74 series where the ammunition is superior in combat. During the Afghanistan invasion the use of crude scopes on DMR-type rifles showed the Russians that optics make a difference on standard infantry rifles. Today you see more Russians with advanced glass. Good for them. Bad for the Ukrainians.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Russians are not looking for “dramatic wounds”, but for some special situations there is a special ammo, like explosive armor-piercing rounds (57-B3-231).

            This comment is too stupid to respond to, I see a hater that is inexperienced and ill-mannered, attempting to drag me into an argument by making idiotic claims, that he must be hoping I’ll take the time to refute.

          • Kivaari

            Explosive rounds for anti-personnel are unlawful, they are anti-material rounds. Yes, they get used on people. The ball ammo is least destructive in tissue. It has been Russian bullet makers that chooses heavy jackets and steel core. Both have a function the offers improvements.
            ave carried this too far. Your insults are adequate to stop any further comment. I suggest you do more research.

          • Kivaari

            I also answered your above question about how to zero the AK. I invented the popular C-type sight adjusting tool now sold by Tapco and Red Star (Red Star stole our graphics). I’ve zeroed more AK and SKS carbine than most Americans. I also am responsible for tens of thousands of those little tools floating around the gun stores and gun shows.

          • Kivaari

            Where is the pig anatomy?

          • Kivaari

            HOG are shot with wounds that do not bring immediate death. The idea is to wound the pig, then combat medics treat the pig, then it is transported to a field hospital (MASH-type) treated to save the life and watched as if it were a human. After the designated time, where it is obvious a “patient” will live or die, it is euthanized. They are not fattened up hogs ready for market. They are raised to have body fat consistent with humans. It is as close to humans as can be had.
            I am amazed that you are not aware of such testing. Perhaps they don’t do so in the Russian Federation.

          • valorius

            I agree.

          • glenn cheney

            We pork the pig at 600 plus with the Meenie Greenie….When I read the whiz kids recently ran the 6.5 bullet flag up the pole, I grabbed a “few” parallel throated type II’s .264 LBC’s…..20″…..Clearing out half of 7.62×39’s and all of 300 AAC.
            My wheel chair is not geared properly for 5 gun, and the 3 gun guys say I’m cheatin’ and won’t let me run….ok, I took off the dual 7.62X51 SBR’s, one under each armrest…guess it was the Budweiser can that irritated them…
            Anyway, St. Pete will have a contingent of Vets in battery powered wheel chairs in the upcoming parades….a Company….We’re trying to “activate” our Armored Div. and muster out all the golf carts we can….Command has contacted The Villages, they say they can spare half a dozen…Sun City next stop……We were flatly turned down at Ocala’s VFW…The tank out front has a defective “clipper” and until Sweeney gets back (Aug. 9th, busy busy) there is no hope to activate the armor. (Ace wrench benders are getting exceedingly rare.)
            Anyway The Blue Hair Division, Fl. stands at the ready, we have your backs, we can’t reach our own anymore….
            BTW, Kilroy spotting was mentioned the other day. Squirrel activity has until recently, been muted,,,,,traffic monitored, will advise as conditions change. CARRY ON.

          • Kivaari

            Some would say the .30 carbine is our first intermediate cartridge. Even though it is hot pistol performance. I like those that hover around the 5.56 and 7.63 M43.

        • GearHeadTony

          I’m still waiting for 7mm Valkyrie to get worked out before I make a decision.

    • Paul White

      TIL there is *actually* a cartridge with that name. I thought you were pulling my leg till I looked it up on WIki

  • Sermon 7.62

    The Russian 5.45x39mm. The Russian.

    • No.

      • Sermon 7.62

        …Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by The Firearm Blog!

    • Kivaari

      Soviet

      • Sermon 7.62

        No.

        • FarmerB

          I’m with Kavaari on this. During the Cold War, the terms were mostly interchangeable. But we were frequently “reminded” (PC speak) by the illuminati that the Russian (people) weren’t the enemy, it was the Soviet (political) system. So in matters political and military, Soviet was preferred, although many in the street used Russian instead: “What if the Russians attack?” Or even “Russians invade Afghanistan!” Even the car country stickers at the time were “SU”. I also have sympathy for the argument that many of the products developed during these times were a collaboration across the SU and so were Soviet in conception, design and manufacture. I’m sure there is a lot of people in Russia today that talk about NATO fighters when the Eurofighter is “made” by the Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Except Russians didn’t invade Afganistan. Russians acted in response to a legal request for help. Russians didn’t attack no one, but US did. And Russians don’t call European guns NATO guns. Your mindset is a product of propaganda circa 1970’s.

  • Sermon 7.62

    And don’t forget about 9X39!

    • DIR911911 .

      cool , wonder what it could do loaded hotter than the standard subsonic

      • Giolli Joker

        Google .358 Gremlin, then. 😉

        • Sermon 7.62

          “The cartridge was inspired by the 9×39 Russian”. I am confused. It’s not supposed to be called Russian.
          Right, Nathaniel?

          • Kivaari

            “Soviet”?

          • If you want to get technical, they are called by their designations.

            I don’t have a problem with either “Soviet” or “Russian”, but being pedantic about either is silly.

            I tend to use “Soviet” for rounds designed in the former USSR.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Something related to politics might be defined as “Soviet”. For example, the Soviet propaganda posters. But things like firearms represent a non-interrupted tradition that is rooted in the heritage of the Russian people as a nation. So, it’s more appropriate to call it Russian.

          • toms

            Many of your “Russian” cartridges were designed outside of Russia. 5.45, 9×39 and 7.62×39 were designed in the Soviet Union by engineers from all over in factories/universities often times outside of Russia. The Soviet Union constituted more than just Russia. Trying to take credit for collaborative work is pretty crass.

          • Sermon 7.62

            The Soviet Union was the Russian Empire, restructured and renamed.

          • glenn cheney

            Lennin Lead…..A-political, I think….

      • Sermon 7.62

        Not much more than 7.62×39 does. Except for perhaps being extra accurate, but in the shorter point-blank range.

        • Jon

          As I understand the 9×39 has better stoping power and better AP capabilities.

          • Sermon 7.62

            There are 5 kinds of 9mm and 10 of 7.62, so a statement like this is not a reasonable one.

          • Jon

            I’m refering to equivalent type bullets, they are comparable.
            If you see my comment as not a reasonable one for the reason you have given, your own comment I was responding to would neither be a reasonable one…

          • Kivaari

            Isn’t it subsonic? Used in an integrally suppressed rifle? Since it is slower, why would it have better AP performance?

          • iksnilol

            Exposed steel core bullets maybe?

            Because that is the standard loading for it. Heavy bullet with exposed steel core. Quiet, AP magic.

          • Kivaari

            I assume it is for soft body armor. Or plates? I always think of AP as being like WW2 US .30-06 “black tip”. It poked holes in steel. We called them “universal keys”.

          • iksnilol

            Soft armor, plates, whatever you got. Was kinda made for that purpose.

            but could those universal keys open the door to my heart?

            [Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” starts playing]

          • Kivaari

            A “biting edge”.

          • Jon

            DIR was asking about hotter loaded 9×39’s, my comment was about it.

    • wetcorps

      They are so cute, like little crayons.

      • gunsandrockets

        Crayons of DOOM!

      • Isa Akhbar

        I wonder what’s up with the “stepped” boolits?

        • Marvin

          It’s for the steel magic inside.

        • Giolli Joker

          Look at the 12.7×55 STs-130VPS to see a very “stepped” bullet.
          1170grs of AP subsonic fury.

    • Isa Akhbar

      Ballistics lab in Michigan has developed a similar version based, I think, on the 5.56 called the “9mm NATO AR” (possibly 9X45mm?)…if anybody can make it work, this lab can. Wish I could find out more about the cartridge. It was presented to Big Army a couple years ago, IIRC. Haven’t heard what happened.

      • Sermon 7.62

        I think it is related rather to Colt 9mm SMG

  • Colin S

    Semi related question… What is the biggest diameter case that loads (and works reliably) in AR15 style magazines?

    • gunsandrockets

      Depends on what you mean by AR-15 style magazines. Do you mean a standard magazine for 5.56mm? Or any magazine designed to fit the magazine well of an AR-15?

      And then do you mean a single stack magazine? Or as double stack magazine? Or other?

      • Colin S

        Standard USGI, With double stacked rounds. Sorry for not being specific.

        • ostiariusalpha

          With an unaltered mag, the biggest would be the 5.56 case. For reals, that’s what the magazine is designed to work with. The 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel case diameters will still function with the standard feed lip curve & angle, and even stack somewhat in a semi-stagger pattern, but neither will be particularly reliable in the way that you would want; both will have failures to feed. Now, if you want to know which will have fewer FTFs, the smaller diameter of the 6.8 case head gives it an advantage. Seriously though, don’t try to save cash by stuffing 6.8 SPC into the standard contract mags, it’s not really worth it.

          • In my limited experience, 6.8 and 6.5 do not even stack properly in a GI mag, let alone function.

            I have seen 5.45 used in a GI magazine, but reliability left a lot to be desired.

    • Kivaari

      The 5.56x45mm case is ideal.

  • Thamuze Ulfrsson

    Or that ridiculous Enfield 4mm they wanted for the SA80.

  • gunsandrockets

    Next generation military caliber…

    When you dump all the important elements into the mix, it really does become an exercise in arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Sure, we might argue about what is “ideal”, but ideal all depends on what factors we insist are most important. As far as the militaries around the world are concerned, the most important factors for them today are that small arms aren’t very important and the existing calibers are pretty much good enough. So it is easy for them to conclude that the expense of changing to a different caliber would exceed any benefits gained.

    Of course private actors, police agencies, and special forces have different logistic and operational evaluations than professional armies so an ideal caliber is more relevant to them.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Right, in that sense, only a cartridge that saves crap tons of money on manufacturing and storage (like the LSAT polymer case) will ever be attractive enough to justify switching over. Even then, the new case is more likely than not going to be in the same caliber as the old, with the same bullet even. For more limited issue rounds, such as 7.62x51mm, there is a stronger argument to be made that a caliber change for a polymer case round would be minimally disruptive or expensive.

      • gunsandrockets

        Limited issue rounds?

        I bet the expense of 7.62x51mm is larger than for 5.56mm because of all the vehicle mounted use of machine-guns.

        • ostiariusalpha

          You’d be wrong. All those vehicles don’t even add up to the amount of 5.56mm expended just in training.

          • gunsandrockets

            Oh, I am wrong. But not as wrong as you.

            5.56mm does exceed expenditures for 7.62mm, but not by much.

            http://asafm.army.mil/Documents/OfficeDocuments/Budget/budgetmaterials/fy16/pforms/ammo.pdf

            FY 2016 US Army budget

            5.56mm all types = 43.5 million dollars

            7.62mm all types = 40.7 million dollars

            ammunition all types = 1.1 billion dollars

          • Interesting– I wonder how much they actually spend.

          • Kivaari

            Probably less. Training gets suspended when budgets get tight. We had to burrow 5 rounds of .45 for guard duty. That was 30 years ago, just a short time from the M9 gong into service. They didn’t think they could afford 5 rounds for security in case they needed to actually shoot it.

          • Sounds like almost every police department in the nation. I guarantee we’d see a lot fewer of the headline-grabbing police shooting incidents if as much money was being spent on proper training and range time as is spent on unneeded “tactical” garbage and the decorating budget for administrators’ offices.

            I’d really like to see some comparison breakdowns on the difference between how much it would cost to equip a medium sized force with body cameras vs. enough practical incident response training and basic firearm training to make the body cams unnecessary.

          • Kivaari

            Cameras are cheap. Most agencies don’t train adequately. Every officer needs to learn tactical gun use training. Too many qualify by shooting 60 rounds/mo. and call it good. Buy cameras, buy good guns. buy training ammo, have an instructor with imagination.

    • I have no intention of coming out the other end of this holding high my choice for a “best” infantry rifle caliber – that choice depends on everything from equipment to doctrine.

      However, I think informing people of how these different rounds compare ballistically can only be a good thing.

  • gunsandrockets

    If you argue for the AR platform as the firearm for your ideal caliber, and if a carbine AR is your ideal form for that firearm, and if flexible reconfiguration is desired, and if you feel unbound by the hague restrictions on bullets, then an excellent case can be made for the .300 AAC as the ideal caliber.

    • ostiariusalpha

      “…flexible reconfiguration is desired,…”

      That amount of flexibility will never outweigh the superior recoil characteristics of the .224 bullet, not in a military context. Shootability comes in way higher on the totem pole over giving Private Primate the opportunity to mix up his subsonic and supersonic ammo.

      • gunsandrockets

        See this is where what you pin value on will effect the outcome of the evaluation. (And when I stated flexible configuration I thinking about so much more than just silencers, I was thinking about the popularity of the various sighting devices which festoon the modern carbine)

        How effective is 5.56mm from a 9 inch barrel? Not very. Is the tradeoff for a 14.5 inch barreled 5.56mm carbine worth the increase in size and weight over a 9 inch barreled .300 carbine? Depends on how much you want a shorter and lighter carbine.

        I think the 5.56mm is a fantastic cartridge. But a SCHV cartridge is better the longer barrel it has to work with. And the modern trend is towards shorter shoulder-arms.

        Arguable for a carbine length 5.56mm firearm, you would be better off with a 20 inch barreled AUG than a 14.5 inch barreled M4. But of course that depends on whether you value the AR platform more or less than the 5.56mm cartridge.

        • Somebody needs to get crackin’ on designing a bullpup lower that accepts standard AR uppers. Maybe partner with Geissele or Apex to make sure the trigger doesn’t suck.

    • Not Gersh Kuntzman

      “Hague Convention restrictions on bullets”

      The United States is not a signatory of Article IV, Section 3 of the Hague Convention of 1899 – which is the portion of the Hague Convention that prohibits the use of expanding bullets. As such, we are not bound by those restrictions.

      Furthermore, the Hague Convention applies only between signatories – it is not blanket restrictions on signatories against all potential enemies. As such, against al-Qaeda or ISIS – we would be allowed to use hollow point ammunition anyways, even if we were signatories of Article IV, Section 3.

      • gunsandrockets

        I think everybody here already knows that. But it never hurts to see it restated.

        • Not Gersh Kuntzman

          I don’t think enough people know that. I constantly see people talking about how the military is not allowed to use hollow point ammunition, or are startled to learn that the military had been using JHPs since the 1990s in limited roles. And then, they usually talk about how the Geneva Conventions ban their use – they don’t even get the Conventions right.

          • gunsandrockets

            Somebody was wrong on the internet? I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

            https://xkcd.com/386/

          • Not Gersh Kuntzman

            Its not a matter of someone merely being wrong – it is the level of misinformation and ignorance out there that is part of the problem.

            And if we don’t take steps to deal with the misinformation and ignorance, it will eventually become the “truth.”

          • CommonSense23

            I have had a JAG officer try to tell me that 50caliber rounds are illegal for anti personal use. Bad info becomes “fact” if its repeated long enough without challenge.

          • Ask them if they literally draw an outline around a dead body with a piece of chalk.

          • Someone should do a reliability torture test comparison between FMJ ball ammo and commercial JHPs when used for burst fire and sustained full auto in various military firearms, to illustrate one of the main reasons why hollowpoints aren’t that great an idea for general purpose military use.

          • CommonSense23

            Considering the JSOC elements have been using Hollowpoints for a while now, reliability isn’t a issue.

      • The US military has something of a sketchy history when it comes to honoring international treaties in the face of tactical realities anyway– so it’s not really much of a concern in an actual combat situation– but playing along with this sort of gentlemen’s agreement also has a poltical angle to it, given how often angry locals take to the streets in protest of the presence of American boots on their ground or planes in their air. It adds to the Navy’s logistical burden that nuclear powered vessels have to park outside at some ports because the locals refuse to allow scary atoms in their harbors, for one example.

        I mean, we’re still going violate the hell outta the airspace of sovereign nations both friendly and hostile in order to go smoke a no-longer-relevant terrorist leader right under the noses of his host country’s military high command if we really want to– and the rest of the world knows it– but it helps keep things calm if we at least pretend to be following the same arbitrary rules as everyone else.

    • Kivaari

      How? The .300 is a short range round. Try a 500 meter shoot, and you may as well have an under-powered 7.62x39mm. Why give up range and hit probability to get a slow and poor performing .30 caliber bullet? Seriously, the Soviets went to the 5.45mm to get a flatter trajectory and increase the hit probability by two-and-one-half-times greater than the 7.62x39mm. The only way to make a .30 caliber bullet effective at 500m and beyond is to stuff it into a 51mm or 63mm long case shoving the velocity up to 2800 fps.

      • gunsandrockets

        The .300 AAC should be able to outshoot the 7.62x39mm at 500 meters. The .300 AAC has more space to use bullets with a higher BC, more than making up the smaller powder capacity over 500 meters.

        • Sermon 7.62

          At 500m , no one can tell a man holding an umbrella from a man holding a carbine. That’s a sniper’s job.

          • Kivaari

            Wrong. EVERY Marine rifle has had a scope on top. With the ACOG 4x32mm glass they make hits at such ranges all the time. They actually have monocular with 10x that can be carried in a pocket.

          • Sermon 7.62

            It’s not a good setup for CQB

          • Kivaari

            I disagree. Marines disagree. You should try some good low power scopes at short range and both eyes open. An ACOG even at 4x works like a red dot sight. At CQB aiming inside a living room doesn’t take much glass. In heavy brush you use the scopes in the 1 to 4x range and it is like turning on stadium lights. It brightens up the target and is superior to iron sights. So far the Marines love the sights as they make 400m+ hits routinely whereas in the past they couldn’t. Remember mission specific sights can be snapped on and off in under 30 seconds. Many soldiers don’t even both with the dot on the sights, since inside a room if your target is in the window, they are dead meat. Much CQB can be done with a gun having no sights. Like in the Vietnam era where they trained with “Quick Kill” using BB guns without sights.

          • Sermon 7.62

            CQB is 150 m and less. Point-blank range of AK.

          • Kivaari

            So an M4 with twice the point blank range and a 4x scope isn’t any good?

          • Sermon 7.62

            M4 is the same as AK74, but the 5.45 round is better than 5.56

          • Kivaari

            You do know that in tissue, like empty intestines the 5.45mm only cuts holes the shape of the bullet as it is oriented. The heavy construction, steel jacket, stays together and doesn’t fragment. Fragmenting of the 5.56mm bullet is what makes the wounds so dramatic at ranges under 200 m. The 5.45 wounds less than either the 7.62×39 or 5,56mm. FACTS, based on real GSWs.
            There is more to the ability to get 2.5 times greater hits, not simply range, but hits goes to the AK74 over the AKM. The excellent muzzle brake on the 74 depresses the muzzle, whereas the AKM with a slant brake climbs. That feature, lower recoil and flatter trajectory gives the Russian soldier an easier to use rifle. Hits are better than misses.
            I can tell you are not fully up to date on wound ballistics (including treatment) nor why the 5.56mm makes messier wounds than the 7.62x39mm or 5.45x39mm. The 5.45 is a great round, and could be better if it were made with an easier to fracture jacket. It can be said the Russians wanted a bullet that did not fragment, simply because they used a heavy jacket.
            There is a difference between the US issue 7.62x51mm and the FN variant. The US uses a thicker jacket .08mm v. .05mm on the FN. The FN bullet upsets and fragments faster than the US load. The NATO round is a powerful round comparable to the 7.62x54mmR. The Russian round is an excellent round, and with the heavy 174 gr. load a very good long range cartridge.
            Now I suspect you will tell me I don’t know anything about those rounds either. I did collect Finn, Russian, Polish, Czech rifles as well. I do love those old Russian rifles. The Finn’s are the best.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Again, I have told you that Russians prefer penetration to fragmentation, and that’s the reason 5.45 is a better round: it shoots through stuff and doesn’t fragment, in pinches through steel plates.

          • Kivaari

            Have you used an AK off hand?

          • Sermon 7.62

            Have you read AK manual and ballistic tables? Do you know how to zero AK sights at all? Are you familiar with Russian shooting techniques?

          • Kivaari

            Why yes I am familiar with AKs and SKS carbines. I invented the popular and common C-type sight adjusting tool now sold by Tapco and Red Star (who stole our graphics).
            I’ve owned 25 AKs and a similar number of SKS carbines. I’ve zeroed more of them than almost anyone else in the USA. Most not even knowing how to do so, that’s why I invented the tool.
            I had the manuals for them. Even war trophies from Iraq.
            That said I zeroed them at 100. The battle sight gives a point blank to about 300m using the entire height of a man. A bullet at 2350 from an SKS and less from an AK has quite a bit of drop.
            The 125 gr. bullet having a steel core has a provile like our heavier 7,62x51mm 147 gr. Put them side by side and the slugs look alike. A good low drag bullet. The Yugo flat base bullet loses faster, but wounds more.
            I recommend you study REAL wound ballistics. Then research why the Soviets switched to the 5.45x39mm so their soldier can hit to ranges 2.5 times that practical for the 7.62x39mm. Soviets were unhappy with the arching trajectory of the 7.62. The wounding performance IS inferior to the 5.56mm, at ranges under 200m. The ability to hit eyond 200 m is why Soviets use the 5.45. We use the 5.56 because it is better than either Russkie rounds.
            The AR rifles are superior firearms to the AKs.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Please don’t be so arrogant and stop talking to me like I’m ignorant.

            Russians adopted 5.45 because of the amount of ammo that can be carried: 300 rounds instead of 200, to eliminate the advantage that NATO armies gained adopting the 5.56, and to increase the range, that’s true, but it’s not by 2.5 times. The point-blank of AK74 is 400 m vs 300 m for 47, that is for the standard Russian “torso” target, it’s the same as the NATO E-type Target (40″ height).

            In the recent times, and in European countries the point-blank range is calculated for the “chest” target, so European AK sight has the battle zero setting for 150 m, the Russian AK still use 300 m setting.

            As for the “superior” AR, that cheap piece of aluminum that is fragile and gets hot and is hard to clean, it has been the funniest part of our conversation so far.

          • Kivaari

            I answered twice but it didn’t show up. I invented the C-type sight toll you now see sold by Tapco and Red Star. I suspect I’ve zeroed more AKs and SKS carbines than most Americans have even held.

          • Sermon 7.62

            I didn’t ask you if you know how to adjust the sight, I am asking if you know how it’s supposed to be done. Have you read the AK manual, do you know how to zero AK sights as it is taught in the manual?

          • Kivaari

            Why yes I do. I also know I can do it easier by simply moving the sights the correct amount of thread turns on the tool. When it is zeroed to POI at 100m, the sights actually work. The rifle is not easily shot with a high degree of accuracy due to the poor sights. Add aperture sights like on the Valmet M62 or Galil and better accuracy results. The biggest failure of the AK and SKS is the use of overly crude sighting gear. I have had the manuals. My tool is easier to use than the Russian or Chinese bench mounted 10 pounds of iron.

          • Sermon 7.62

            No, you don’t. You can’t read Russian, so you don’t. You tried to zero the sight like a peep sight, and it won’t be accurate. You don’t know how to use the open sight, you don’t know how to shoot AK and that’s the reason you don’t get the results that the Russian and other shooters get from it.

            Aperture sight is just as old and crude as open sight. It’s more than 100 years old. And just because it is a preferred one in your part of the world doesn’t make it better. If the Russians wanted to use peep sights, they would have chosen peep sights, but they didn’t because open sights are much faster. If you think that you are smarter than Russian engineers than you should get into the firearms design, don’t waste your precious time inventing sight adjustment tools.

            And if you at some point decide to put your own opinions to a test than try to shoot at targets of irregular shape, and than see if your AR is more accurate with its peep sight. Especially, if you can shoot 1 shot in 1 second for each of 3 targets, like the Russians do. And you’ll be surprised.

          • Kivaari

            Funny stuff. Do you know they transliterated the AK manual and the sighting is essentially the same as the M91/30 manual that has been transliterated for decades. You might learn that we Americans transliterate many Russian language manuals for military use.
            The AK and M43 round is inferior to the M16 family and the 5.56mm round. FACT.
            Now look at optics. Until just recently the Russians issued junk glass in crude mounts and on awkward stocked rifles. Junk.
            No keep in mind I like Russian gear. I used to collect AKs. SKSs, M91 based rifles and M95 revolvers. Grand dad was in the Imperial Russian Army and I always liked the stuff. BUT, facts are facts and we have better rifles.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Kudos to your grand dad, but first of all it is “translate”, and you should be ashamed that I am telling you this.

            Second, I insist that you don’t know how to zero AK sights and that you don’t have the translated manual, and don’t know the proper techniques of shooting AK. Also, M43 round is made in 10 variants, so it shouldn’t be judged by the most basic one.

            Speaking of optics, don’t you know that Russian optics in the 1960’s were considered the best in the world? The PSO scope was the best in the world, one of its kind and now you have the ACOG scope that was modelled after it.

            Russian optics, the scopes, the red dots, night vision scopes, thermal sights are just as good or better than those made in the US, but except for making the same kinds of optics the Russians are making something that is unique: anti-sniper scopes.

            And in the meantime as all of you are so excited about AR finally getting a working piston courtesy of HK, the Russians are making the double-piston counter balance no-recoil rifles.

          • Kivaari

            Actually it is transliterate when converting the printed word and translate when doing actual voice translation.
            If I hit the zero, at 100 m, with the sight set to 100m, than I am “zeroed”. Once that is done, the sight responds to the calibrations.
            So if I set it to 200m it hits at 200m. If I set it on the rear most position, the battle setting, than it is set to point blank range and the soldier knows how or where to hold, to hit his intended target.
            It is silly to suggest I don’t know how to hit a target after adjusting the sights on AK-style rifles. If I am hitting at POA, the POI, is correctly set. So how does hitting the bullseye, amount to not knowing how to shoot? Knowing the battle setting holds, is somehow wrong, if I know where to hold. I did not use the battle setting, because shooting at known distances on paper or steel targets and hitting without guessing range and hold is somehow wrong, I like being wrong. You did know that the battle sight is not zeroed for 100m, didn’t you? I mean why use the battle sight if I am shooting at a known 100m or 300m. It takes out the guess work.
            Funny stuff about scopes. JUNK and inferior reticles and mounts.
            I don’t l, they are a joke to me. Even the big piston gun makers now are selling the better DI guns. Piston guns weigh more, have more moving parts and provide nothing, except a cleaner action when using a suppressor.
            The DI systems have been in used for a very long time now on very good rifles. So have pistons. They are un-needed on the AR family.
            The M43 load, in the PS form, is the most common load seen in combat. In US domestic use now flat based Serbian ammo and commercial ammo is more common. We can’t import the steel cored ammo anymore. The “Yugo” 125 grain flat based bullet out performs the PS load in tissue. The PS has better flight characteristics.
            Now transliterate this to Russian. Or if you call me translate it to English so I don’t need a translator.

          • Sermon 7.62

            You know that you have never used or even seen a real mil-spec Russian scope. You admitted that you have no experience or training, just as I suspected, of using AK in a combat scenario. I have told you that AK is not a rifle for sport, not for shooting static targets at known distances. You are not listening, friend.

          • Kivaari

            How many double piston rifles are in service. We’ve made a lot of proto-type rifles that get nowhere. Like the G11 three round burst that is so fast you can’t distinguish three shots from one. No recoil to speak of, and there aren’t any G11s in service anywhere either.

          • Sermon 7.62

            But in Russia balanced action A-545 has passed the trials and is being issued to Spetsnaz at the present time. AK107 in 5.45, AK108 in 5.56 and AK109 in 7.62 are being tested.

          • Kivaari

            It is “transliterate” when “translating” the written word. It is “translate” when doing the spoken word. “Literate” from the base word “literature”.

          • Sermon 7.62

            “Transliteration is the spelling of a word in one language with the alphabet of another language.”

          • Kivaari

            PSO, state of the art for 1935.

          • Sermon 7.62

            “The PSO-1 was, at the time of its introduction around 1964, the most technically advanced telescopic sight ever designed for a mass-production designated marksman or sniper rifle.”

            This is from the article that I suggest reading.

          • Kivaari

            If a rifle is zeroed for 100m, with POI being the same as POA, than I know how to sight in an AK. You seem to confuse the battle sight setting “N” with being zeroed. That is only of value after the rifle has been trully zeroed so it hits where aimed at known distance targets. The battle setting is point blank, and requires the shooter to know range and where to hold. It is like our old 1903 rifle, where the folded down sight is set for long range and the men were trained to hold at the correct spot, at the estimated range. Same with most military rifles of the WW!-2 era. Our first aperture sight rifles the M1917 showed our military the superior ability of the sight to hit with. All our rifles and British rifles after that era carry aperture sights. That is why the Valmet in 7.62mm performs better than an AKM. Sights make a difference. Now the Valmet has both an aperture sight and an open sight for poor light conditions. One of the greatest complaints about the AK is the crummy sights. Look at many of the latest Russian rifles, and you notice they have aperture sights.
            How again, is hitting the target at POA, not knowing how to shoot a rifle. Do I have to miss to know how to shoot?

          • Sermon 7.62

            Latest AK use aperture sight as a compromise. Because of the rail. To clear space for optics, the sight has to be put at the rear and that determines the choice of sight.

          • Kivaari

            Because aperture sights are better.

          • Kivaari

            TRANSLITERATE the written word, translate spoken words.

          • Sermon 7.62

            I can help translate “illiterate” into spoken language: dumb.

          • Kivaari

            Transliterate written words, translate spoken words.

          • Kivaari

            Funny stuff.

          • Kivaari

            I even had one in Arabic. A war trophy from the first Gulf War.

          • Kivaari

            When taking fire from a gorup of men at 500m, i’d shoot at any of them. Especially if I had a 4x32mm ACOG on top.

      • gunsandrockets

        “The only way to make a .30 caliber bullet effective at 500m and beyond is to stuff it into a 51mm or 63mm long case shoving the velocity up to 2800 fps.”

        Would you admit the 7.62mm M80a1 cartridge is effective at 1000 meters? Well stuff the same bullet into a .300 AAC case and you get the same terminal results at 430 meters less range. 1000 – 430 = 570.

        http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/07/12/extreme-fragmentation-range-from-m80a1-epr-300-blackout-test-from-the-wound-channel/

        • Kivaari

          My point was those promoting .300 BLK were asking it to do a job that is better left to the 7.62x51mm. The Whisper is intended for subsonic performance. Throwing a mortar like bullet at 300 AAC maximum velocity is like throwing a 7.62x39mm bullet at the same velocity. It wont get there with much. Remember, the ACTUAL wound performance of the 7.62x39mm is poor. Yes, throw the M80A1 slug an it will hurt more. BUT, it is still pushing an inferior trajectory upon soldiers. Given a 5,56mm rifle and the chances of hitting are far higher than any slower bullet. A hit counts, misses don’t. I’d just as soon see them issue a 16 inch carbine with a heavy .22 bullet.
          Keep the M240B for long range. Keep a DMR.

        • Kivaari

          Most 7.62mm NATO rounds go subsonic at a little over 900m. The bullets start to tumble. Them M80 did not perform well at 1000m. I don’t know if the M80A1 holds enough velocity to stay point on. Even the Sierra OTM MK goes unstable under 950m at full speed. BUt, the light weight and long M80A1 may have enough snoose.

  • GearHeadTony

    I’d like to see 6×45 (6mm/.223).

  • Bob

    Its amazing yet disappointing that all these knowledge people discuss details yet can’t use the terms caliber and cartridge correctly.

  • Kivaari

    Great job.

  • Fox Hunter

    Shorter range rounds like 300 BLK and 6.8 SPC III hold the most promise, better stopping power at closer ranges than 556. They are also more versatile, subsonic 300 BLK and 6.8 SPC III are much more useful compared to 556 subsonic. Few people can see human targets beyond 300 yards anyway, 7.62×39 is still useful for the AK and VZ platforms and the new mutant rifle. but for AR-15s it will be 300 BLK and 6.8 SPC III on top followed by 7.62×40 Wilson and .25-45 Sharps. 6.5 Grendel is a specialist round, if you need long range performance without going to .308 or other main battle rifle cartridges. 5.45×39 is again only useful for the AK platform, like the 7.62×39, basically a 556 clone for the AK platform. But none of these other rounds will replace 556 in an AR or 5.45 in an AK, too expensive. The only future for these other intermediate rounds whether 300BLK, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8SPCIII, .25-45Sharps, 7.62Wilson etc, is in the civilian market or law enforcement or special forces. Thank God for the free market.

  • Yes it was—–

    • Giolli Joker

      Did you upgrade the barrier to filter political terms? I see no links, pictures or anything inappropriate in Sermon’s comment. Just curious.

  • Jared Vynn

    Interesting sounding round. Wonder how many more 5.56/.223 derivatives we will see.

  • gunsandrockets

    Hmm… okay I can see your point. But you are at least a few decades too late to change common customs which use Soviet as a shorthand for the USSR.

    http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1943062100

    Perhaps Combloc would be a more accurate shorthand than Soviet.

    • Sermon 7.62

      The Russian school of firearms design is 3 centuries old. And refering to something Russian as “Soviet” is like refering to something Italian as “Fascist”, just because it happened to be made during a period of political turmoil.

      • Kivaari

        But for we older people anything made, adopted, issued by the Soviet Union has used “Soviet” as the descriptor. The Soviet ERA is ow we still refer to the commie era.

        • Sermon 7.62

          This is the mistake I’m pointing out at.

          • Kivaari

            Except, in the west, especially America, it is traditional use that has existed my entire life. In grade school in the 50s, the Russians were the Soviets and the enemy of mankind.

      • Kivaari

        Same as with Russian. The M1891 Italian rifles were Italian rifles.

  • Kivaari

    Except when the final bullet design is chosen, we will be using the 5.56x45mm for another 25 years or more. Over 50 years it has proven to fulfill the role of a combat rifle. 5% of our military are trigger pullers. 90% of them are well served with a 5.56mm rifle. The remaining 10% will continue to have specialty weapons that will include 7.62mm machineguns, snipers rifles, DMRs and a tiny fraction will need a super quiet rifle. Most of them will have a suppressor on everything being used.
    The job will be done well by existing designs and very minor improvements will show up enhancing the performance of what we have.
    Personally, I suspect the M855A1 round will not last long in service. I’d expect a better solid copper or a simpler 2-piece copper bullet will displace the hardened steel tip being used. We have loads that perform well within the reasonable ranges expected of a battle rifle-carbine.
    Why do people think going backwards to .300 black for 500m shooting is a wise thing. It just isn’t. The .300/220 was engineered to be the .300 Whisper and replace the .45ACP/230 in submachineguns for suppressed work. It can do that.
    It is not and was not engineered to match the 7.62x39mm except as an afterthought. What do you end up with? Well, a crappy 7.62x39mm that DOES work on an AR platform. Great. Why did the Soviets dump the 7.62mm? Well, their soldiers could not hit squat. The wounding performance is inferior to 5.56mm.
    Why did the Soviets adopt the 5.45mm? Well, to get better hits (by a factor of 2.5 times greater than the 7.62mm) and to get increasd wounding ability. BUT, that’s a big BUT, the 5.45 although better than the 7.62mm is not always better. In live tissue studies, shooting hogs, it is shown that the bullet only causes significant wounds in tissue such as liver or fluid filled guts. Clear intestines are perforated with unimpressive holes. No big tearing and ripping even at close range (highest velocity). The stories out of 1979-89 Afghanistan about the terrible new rifle were a result of hitting large bones. Than, any caliber bullet, even at 9mm velocities will break bone.
    Every cartridge suggested either doesn’t deliver better wounding, or better trajectory, or better hit probability. A round like the 6.5mm Gren. is quite good. But, is the expense of new rifles, magazines, parts reserve and all that supporting gear worth the change? Worth it when the existing rifle does the job?

    • gunsandrockets

      I doubt when the SCHV cartridge concept was being developed back in the 1950’s into the final form of the 5.56mm M193 cartridge that anyone would have guessed back then that the most desired shoulder arm to come out of the next war would have a barrel 10 inches long! The SCHV may have birthed the AR-15, but then the M16 birthed the XM177.

      From there it almost crazy how much effort has gone into making the 5.56mm and the XM177 more compatible with each other, despite how basically unsuited a SCHV cartridge is when mated with a short barrel. And we end up today with the 14.5 inch barreled M4a1 carbine and 62 grain bulleted M855a1 cartridge. And there things will stay, no doubt for the next 25 years like you suggested.

      But is that ideal?

      • Kivaari

        I am quite sure I read the SCHV reference in the early run up to what eventually became the 5.56mm. The USA is not as backwards as some make them out to be. They tested this stuff over 100 years ago. They even adopted a .236 caliber rifle in 1895, so small caliber HV is not a new concept in the US military.
        The XM177 as yoiu note was an X-gun. Experimental. It gave enough fits that it took a few years more to come up with the 14.5 inch barrel. Do you know why it is 14.5 inches? I suspect since they started with the carbine length gas system that someone took a ruler out and said, “How long does this need to be to fit a bayonet?”. That’s where knowing what I know todya, I’d suggest we have MID-LENGTH 16 inch barrels, and a bayonet still fits. AND I still believe they need a bayonet.

        • gunsandrockets

          The original Colt Commando had a 10 inch barrel length and collapsible stock. It worked more reliably the longer the barrel was, and by the time the Vietnam war ended the barrel had creeped up to 11.5 inches. Muzzle blast was also so ferocious it led to adaption of the long ‘moderator’ for the XM177e1.

          The M4 was first created as an expedient replacement for the dwindling stocks of the XM177e1. The M4 barrel length was established by the simple method of matching the overall length of the XM177e1, which seemed to make the M4 work as reliably as the older firearm.

          • Kivaari

            I’ll stick to my bayonet fitting feature. I have an M4 Commando. It can use a can.

  • RocketScientist

    You’re being pedantic, and (I suspect) intentionally obstinate to make a point. Your point would be PERFECTLY valid and a GREAT counter-argument against using the term “Soviet 5.45×39”, if anyone anywhere ever used that term to mean or imply or in any way signify that the 5.45×39 cartridge itself was possessed of political orientation, or was itself a member of a “soviet” (council). But NOONE EVER has used it as such, and you;d have to be a complete imbecile (or assume that the person speaking was) to think that is how they meant it. Instead, I’m sure you are aware that people use that term to refer to military hardware, uniforms, etc that was USED BY the Soviet Union. It is a shorthand. See, its a lot easier to say “the soviet uniforms” than “the uniforms that were used by the soviet union”. Ditto for “soviet tanks”, “soviet missiles”, “soviet 5.45” etc. Its exactly the same as people referring to “Nazi planes” or “Nazi headquarters”. No one is suggesting the planes or the building were themselves members of the National Socialist Party, as that is a totally asinine statement. Its obviously shorthand for “items used by the armed forces of Germany while under the rule of the National Socialist party” (a little cumbersome to say, isn’t it?).

    What you’re doing is arguing that an idiomatic turn-of-phrase is not technically correct, despite the fact that everyone uses it commonly to mean a certain thing. Youre not wrong, you’re just being an a**hole. Whats next, you preach to us how we’re all wrong for saying “french kissing” when in actually that practice isn;t native to France originally?

    • Kivaari

      Like the “CA” on the shoulder tabs or Soviet Army soldiers. Isn’t that what the “CA” stood for? WE always used Soviet to describe the whole Soviet Union, including all the occupied nations and than we used Warsaw Pact to describe the nations under the thumb of the Bear. Western use of Soviet and bear described things quite well for us. It might offend Soviet citizens, but that is a fact of life. We would be reminded to use Soviet if we said Russia, since it described so much more in western literature and education.

  • Justin Bailey

    What an excellent opportunity to provide a chart or graph.

  • Kivaari

    We always called it Russian since it was adopted in the Moisin-Nagant in 1891. That’s the rifle my grand father used.