Ammunition: Congress Demands Army and Marine Corps Standardize Rounds

A lineup of 5.56mm rounds. The two on the right are Mk. 318 (second from right), and M855A1 (far right).

The issue of ammunition standardization between the United States Army and the Marine Corps has come to a head: Congress has delivered an ultimatum in the final version of the FY 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act forΒ the two services to kiss and make up. Military.com reports:

The final joint version of the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act, released Wednesday, includes a provision requiring the secretary of defense to submit a report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees explaining why the two services are using different types of 5.56 mm ammunition for their M16A4 and M4 rifles.

According to the provision, the report must be submitted within 180 days after the bill, which includes the entire defense budget for the coming year, is enacted.

If the secretary of defense does not determine that an β€œemergency” requires the Army and Marine Corps to use the two different types of rifle ammo, they must begin using one standard kind within a year after the bill is passed, it states.

Since the beginning of the 20th Century, infantry small arms ammunition has been unified across the three (then four) services, but this came to an end in the late 2000s with the introduction of the USMC’s Mk. 318 SOST round, soon followed by the US Army’s M855A1 EPR round. Both of these rounds were standardized by their respective services, and rejected by the other service, resulting in a divide, for the first time in over a hundred years, in the standard ammunition of the Army and Marine Corps. Even though the two rounds are inter-compatible with all weapons in the 5.56mm chambering, this situation presented obvious logistical problems, and by mid-2015 Congress had begun to question the use of two different rounds by the services.

Now, it seems that the situation will be resolved one way or another. Once the Secretary of Defense’s report is published, the decision to keep both rounds or standardize on one will come down to whether the Secretary determines an “emergency” requires the use of two different rounds.





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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


Advertisement

  • Bill

    Next: commonality in camo patterns.

    I’ve hit my head.

    • Jacob

      I would go with a single style of uniform, so pockets, name tapes, rank, all in the same position and then a single solid color for each branch of service. This would be the garrison uniform. Then when you deploy you get camo specific uniforms. I know everyone used to wear BDUs, but I’m willing to allow for some distinction. but everyone doesn’t need their own camo.

      • marine6680

        The Army doesn’t like to admit when the Marines get something right, before they do. MarPat is an excellent camo pattern.

        Which lead to the situation with the Army’s new universal uniform pattern, and needing to getting a replacement, and they did not want to use anything like MarPat… So now they have something new…

        • Uniform223

          Ah, this phalic object measuring contest begins.

        • CommonSense23

          You are kinda forgetting the part where the Marines won’t let them use their camo. And went out of there way to prevent the navy from issuing their new superior camo to some sailors due to its similar appearance to Marpat.

          • Uniform223

            AOR patterns?

          • CommonSense23

            Yep.

          • n0truscotsman

            Wow.

            /shakes head/

          • Ron

            But Army and Navy have worn it before in theater and Navy Assigned to Marine units wear it regularly. The issues was when operating separately or in the eyes of the American people the Marine Corps leadership did not want non-Marine units looking like Marine units. Like it or not there are 4 (5 by law) separate services with their own service identities and cultures, if you are in the Army or Navy not part of the Marine unit than why would you want to look like a Marine and vice versa?

          • CommonSense23

            I am referring to AOR pattern the NSW developed and the Seabees asked to wear. Which NSW had no issue with but apparently the Marines had a issue with sailors wearing a Navy developed pattern.
            And I and plenty of others could care less whose pattern I am wearing. I’m going to wear the pattern that works best.

          • marine6680

            True, there is some in fighting. The biggest contention is that MarPat incorporates an EGA into the pattern, so it can not be worn as is by other services.

            But a variation on MarPat could be used.

          • CommonSense23

            It has nothing to do with the EGA. Again the Marines won’t let other services use their pattern. They even blocked certain sailors from wearing the new navy designed pattern.

          • Ron

            It is and was issued to all sailors actually assigned to Marine units, they even make a version without the embodied EGA just for sailors

          • Uniform223

            Sailors also wear ACUs πŸ™‚

          • Ron

            I remember in Al Qiam when the ODA was wearing MCCUUs and stop because all the SNCO told them if they were going to wear them, at least shave and get an hair cut

          • CommonSense23

            I’m referring to the AOR pattern the navy developed.

          • roguetechie

            Honestly it’s been a hard decade for the non air wing members of the corps…

            I can almost see why they’d push back on the camp thing since I’ve heard more than a few say they feel L like the corps is losing it’s identity etc.

            It’s still wrong and they should just let the uniform thing go, but it’s understandable.

        • roguetechie

          Hear hear MARPAT for the win!

      • valorius

        Sounds like an enormous waste of money. When i was in we all used BDU’s and they served us all very well.

        • Jacob

          Yes, and I’m sure you walked up hill both ways to school, and all the things that older generations like to mention too.
          But the reality is we have 3 different styles of uniforms (four maybe, I can’t recall the Navy). The Air Force remained traditional, with rank and name tapes when compared to BDUs. The Army chose to add Velcro everywhere, with the rank center for all ranks, shoulder pockets, and slanted chest pockets that open from the side. Marines chose to slant their chest pockets, but keep them top opening. and then slanted the name tapes. And then whatever the Navy did. Talk about a waste of money.
          So I say simplify. Choose a style for all services. If every branch has to have some sense of identity, then let it be a single solid color (long before your precious BDUs, uniforms were that nice OD green). And then if you deploy to the desert, you get a desert pattern. Jungle, something appropriate for that. Safe spaces, a snowflake uniform. Whatever the situation calls for. Or make a single garrison camo uniform. Bring back the BDUs! I don’t really care. you’re still going to wear something different when you go overseas.

          • valorius

            The Army and all branches spent over FIVE BILLION DOLLARS to replace BDU’s, for marginal gain at most. Like i said…total waste of money.

            Also, i have seen how effective BDU’s are in the field. You can walk up within 10 feet of a camouflaged BDU clad soldier hiding in the bushes and never even see him.

          • roguetechie

            What’s really frustrating is that there really were major and ground breaking things they should have used that money to develop when it comes to uniforms and equipment.

            There’s all sorts of really amazing things that they could have done to revolutionize gear, uniforms, equipment etc that would have done much to push the state of the art, reduce injuries and deaths, and give our service members a true edge versus our enemies.

            Unfortunately most of these things basically require a client as large as DOD to bring their stuff from bespoke and expensive to mass produced and ubiquitous..

            Hopefully next time the money spigots are opened by congress the DOD will actually use the funds to push the state of the art and make soldiers lives better.

          • valorius

            I have (probably very foolishly) great hope for the SOCOM iron man suits to work well. I see that as the future of the US Army infantry, maybe 20-30 years down the road.

          • roguetechie

            Hah.. You’ve just hit my favorite subject!!!

            Unfortunately, they’ve committed the dual mortal sins of technological overreach AND been lead astray by the false god of battery power!!!

            Either one of these was enough to doom the program by itself… Combining both, let’s just say even the F35 program officers are laughing at how bad the stench of fail is coming from the Talos program office!

            1. Batteries are NOT following Moore’s law!
            2. By their very nature, if they were it would only make them that much better at being one bad hit from exploding…. Coincidentally they will just make bigger and better bombs the more actual energy density by weight or volume increases… Incidentally it would likely also make the crap they blow everywhere upon detonation even more caustic toxic horrifically destructive to life and etc…

            3. Compared to hydrocarbon fuel etc batteries, even if they were following Moore’s law, wouldn’t be nearly energy dense enough for decades to do what they need while being much more likely to catastrophically detonate spectacularly from a much more minor hit… But wait, it’s even worse than it seems because the much more volatile batteries will ALWAYS be nowhere near as well protected because of the much larger cubic volume you need to store a given amount of energy sufficient to power the suit for x hours!

            3 recap… The way more volatile and explosive and because they’ll take up more space they’ll be less protected thus even more likely to have hits get through which will CAUSE DETONATION!

          • valorius

            For the life of me i don’t know why we don’t have full body lvl IIIA armor suits for our mechanized infantry or direct action SPECOPS forces, with lvl IV torso protection.

            The LA Bank Robbers had such suits back in 1997, and they made them themselves.

          • roguetechie

            They were also handily out maneuvered flanked separated herded away from trapped civvies and taken down essentially at the leisure of the TAC officers etc…

            The massively overwhelming fire superiority, initial invulnerability, and their fairly well coordinated initial fire and movement they had were completely negated by their very slow and ponderous movement, reduced situational awareness, and complete inability to break out of the tightening noose of police reinforcements…

            So, in a way, the north Hollywood bank robbery itself explains why these suits aren’t made / employed.

          • valorius

            Taken down at leisure after they wreaked havoc and proved completely unstoppable as they rampaged across a major US city. They were not actually ‘taken down at leisure.’ One commited suicide when his rifle malfunctioned, and the other confronted a squad of LAPD SWAT cops that drove up on him in a patrol car and engaged him at point blank range with AR-15s.

            Slow and ponderous…sounds like a fully equipped modern Infantryman in MOPP4. We’re obviously in complete disagreement in this particular subject.

            Me personally, i’m allergic to gunfire.

          • valorius

            I’d like to point out that we need to keep in mind that in a military context, the no.1 cause of casualties, by far, are fragments. Be they shell splinters, grenade casings, RPG shrapnel, or even high velocity rock or tree bark fragments. You could probably even go as low as level IIA (which is super light and thin with modern armor materials), and still stop the overwhelming majority of such fragments.

          • roguetechie

            Interestingly the more recent mil standard frag certification(s) are VERY demanding and many 2a vests won’t come close to passing from what I understand…

            Then again there’s also the well known fact that FRAG vests are not in any way rated for even pistol bullets … Especially surplus and often expired pasgt etc!

            Truthfully, you’re dangerously incorrect in drawing any sort of equivalence between things like nij2a vests and frag certification!

            The standards, testing methods, velocities and masses of the respective projectiles specified to be used in testing… Hell, even the specified vectors from which each type must be tested against and even the pass fail criteria are completely different !

            Long story short …. If frag is your major threat vector… Get a frag rated one! If crappy weak pistol rounds are your threat class… Stop working the night shift at the liquor and pornography depot.. Shave your damn 3 day graveyard goblin scruff and at least apply at a car audio and rim shop that also installs discreet high value cargo hides for the discriminating and security minded truffle and exotic fungus hunter…

            Yes fungus and truffles… Definitely not Peruvian pixie dust and small bill bundles you count by weighing them..

          • valorius

            PASGT tests perform anywhere from II to IIIA standards in about a gillion online tests i’ve seen, depending on their age.

            As for the rest, LMFAO, very entertaining dialogue my friend. πŸ˜€

          • roguetechie

            On the subject of frag specific helmets and armor I wound up with this knowledge because I decided at the time that a then brand new ballistic helmet with actual NIJ 3A rating was much too expensive for my actual needs. (Several years ago when even a new PASGT was selling for $400+ at the cheapest reputable vendors)

            After some research I decided that a CVC would be more than sufficient, but a almost instantly found that there are multiple CVC helmets with wildly varying specs and features just in current issue alone!

            After much more research cross comparisons and very much reading about frag ratings, liner types, and several other variables to complicate things even within the same model…

            Have I mentioned that the DOD should be killed with fire for it’s uncanny ability to turn a supply system supposedly designed to make all this simpler and eliminate unnecessary redundancy and bloat into the HMS F*** my life en route to Denver by sea?

            After cursing juggling tabs and lots of agonizing I finally settled on a CVC setup used by the naval riverine warfare guys which was more expensive but had a bump and excellent frag rating as well as being water and even submersion tolerant plus the comm / ear pro setup I really wanted…

            Purchased one new in package for myself and another for the wife.

            Great rigs to be sure which we still use, though they’ve both been upgraded, customized, and the suspension systems etc tailored to each of us.

            It was a torturous and enlightening journey, but I’m very glad I did it.

            (No I’m not a devgru wannabe BTW, we live in northwest Oregon, ride ATV’s, boat, and etc… People occasionally look at us strange on the bike trail wearing our CVC helmets, but at least my noggin is shrapnel, impact, and water protected hah)

          • valorius

            If they’re going to make a powered armored body suit with exoskeleton, it seems that perhaps a 2 stroke diesel lawn-mower sized engine with self sealing fuel tank might be the most practical solution.

          • roguetechie

            Eh… Yes and no lol… You’d definitely want hydrocarbons as fuel and something along the lines of but more refined than mower motors.

            But, really to do something like this right the first thing you gotta figure out is what you’re going to do with all the EXCESS ENERGY from actuators, inertia, etc that will be ever present and quite a bit more likely to harm or kill the wearer than any enemy…

            I’ll just leave the above statement for you to ponder for awhile

            Combat Exoskeletons are probably only just barely doable without being mind breakingly costly, un mass producible, and likely more deleterious to the users military than their opponents

          • valorius

            Obviously i don’t literally mean a mower motor, i mean a motor of the approximate size and dimension of a mower motor, but with say double the power output, and 1/2 the weight. With today’s tech, that should be very easy to do. The power to weight ratio of today’s engines is truly astounding.

            Extra energy could certainly be stored in capacitors outside the armored shell, in a “blow out” compartment, similar to those in modern main battle tanks. At least in theory…

            I do agree 100% that whatever the DoD comes up with will be massively expensive, suffer from massive mission creep, and will be totally infeasible as a mass produced weapon- especially after congress is done with it.

          • roguetechie

            Dude… You pretty much NAILED the diesel engine description right down to ultracap integration in a battery less hybrid type implementation!!! Especially since you can roll your own graphene ultracap packs in any shape etc you need basically at your kitchen table…

            Huge advantage to the ultracap packs in conjunction with the engine design you specifically described because with some ingenuity and smart design you could easily DRASTICALLY improve the output band for which you get the best efficiency !

            With the ultracaps etc you could also spin up and down the power plants very gently and with little to no fear about engine life etc.

            Said engines already exist and even in a pretty diverse variety… However, just like the chair farce screwed pretty much everyone including themselves by hoarding the tomahawk turbine…

            Unfortunately, once again, they have somehow secured dominion over key technologies which they’ll likely guard so jealously and buy so few of that they kill the entire nascent technology and the industries it could have built or revitalized!!!

            Because we all know the one thing the air force hates more than the other branches, anything able to be operated from a location without a golf course, most of it’s actual mission sets which are not sexy enough… The American people, Free Enterprise that doesn’t involve the exclusion of anyone who isn’t already in their club…

            Oh and they hate how everyone knows that the air force is definitely one post VJ day load that definitely shoulda been swallowed

          • valorius

            Chair force πŸ˜€

          • roguetechie

            I have strong feelings about this subject lol…

            But then again I naively believe in the philosophy that building and equipping our military with the best gear we can overrides bureaucratic pissing contests, shareholder dividends, and congressional earmarks…

            I’m working on the stuff I do because I see a need for it…

            Not because I see it as a gateway to getting rich…

            If I ever do create the new killer app for applied killing… I’d appreciate compensation, but I’ll take less money so they can get my widget for more dudes that need it any day.

          • roguetechie

            FWIW… we could have them entering service by 2020 if they halted the current effort, restructured, sh**can the battery buttfu**ery inform the chair farce that we’re not doing another tomahawk turbine tantrum redux so share your god damn toys or get defunded!!

            Then call up berzerkly on the horn FIRE THEM

            Call MIT… Apologize, rehire them

            make sure GOOHOLE turned over every bit of data from Boston dynamics to DOD…

            Restart from clean sheet, assume EVERYTHING done so far by old team is the worst possible way to do it….

            Salvage the usable bits brainstorm and spend 6 months working subsystems design and etc so you really KNOW what kinda power etc you need… 3 month v1.0 proof of principle core system fab of stationary system integration test article and a second basic core power system and motive trials… Run this one until it breaks fix in field or redesign the broken part so it can get field repaired in a pinch…

            Do 3 rounds of this … Invite in Bubba the rock breaker … Make Bubba resistant… Freeze design build 150 give platoon to raiders platoon to seals platoon to rangers…

            Keep improving crap they break until the parts stop breaking…

            Declare it complete give it NSN codes and official designation…

            Build 50,000

          • valorius

            Sounds like a good way to spend a cool $1 bn just to have a mindless politician cancel it on the eve of production πŸ˜€

          • Big Daddy

            Not because of the BDU though. It’s all about breaking up the lines. You can wear a simple OD Green and Khaki uniform like they did in WWII and it would be fine if you break up your sight lines and know how to stay still. That’s how you camo yourself.

          • valorius

            The BDU uniform worked extremely well in that capacity, was perfectly functional, and very comfortable. It also had the side benefit of looking cool.

            That 5bn spent by all the branches replacing it (twice in the army’s case) was a complete and total waste of tax payers money.

          • n0truscotsman

            Youre absolutely correct. Im glad somebody gets it.

            Its not so much the pattern on the fabric that matters, but the base color and the fieldcraft of the wearer to utilize shadows and sight lines to their advantage.

            In our technocratic modern military, we tend to forget such things πŸ˜‰

            M1943 uniform FTW

          • valorius

            BTW, you only need a different overseas camo uniform than BDU’s if you’re going to a desert or arctic environment.

      • 11b

        But then I can’t be a special snowflake in my special uniform.

        • Jacob

          Sure you can. When you deploy to Safespaceastan. Otherwise, you’ll just have to contend your self with a giant safety pin somewhere on your uniform.

      • n0truscotsman

        If I had it my way, everybody would go back to a modernized, type 3 OG107s with new coyote brown boots and patrol caps.

        No combat patch nonsense either. Just skill/combat badges and thats it.

    • William Nelson

      We truly will be in the end times if DoD comes down on the side of a common uniform between all branches. I applaud the idea, but am certain that those that be wish to keep their precious branch identities – to include camo and the like.

      • andrey kireev

        You know we used to have a common service uniforms in just two patterns … woodland BDU and desert DCU which were used by both services for the longest time, not that long ago.
        We are the same military, why not use same uniform ? Just let branches do their own thing with Shevrons and unit patches, so they have some identity between them.

        • Minuteman

          Does identity make you a better soldier? I have zero use for ‘tradition’, ‘identity’, ‘unit patches’ and other paradomania. It doesn’t make me a better soldier. What makes us better as professional soldiers is good equipment, technical and tactical competence, skill development and stair-stepped training. I don’t have time for all this ‘Hooah’ bullshit.

          • Uniform223

            I think you misunderstood his comment…

          • andrey kireev

            Yeah, neither does supply chain. It will greatly simplify logistics. Good supply chain makes for a better equipped soldier. It took me over a month to get my replacement uniform on primarily army camp, that had all kinds of ACUs, that I wasn’t authorized to wear, and it’s absolutely stupid.

          • roguetechie

            Then you are the exception to the rule…

            Identity, cohesiveness, and even similar appearance of others in a group under stress ALL helps to keep the group from becoming a mob of individuals each out for themselves…

            BTW, I never said being an exception to the rule was a good thing. It generally indicates a lack of empathy and a fair bit of arrogance, selfishness, and lack of loyalty.

          • Minuteman

            Tier one folks might wholeheartedly disagree with you. They simply transend rank and tend to stick to themselves, keep quiet and maintain strong loyalties among their own. No need for any outward display either. True soldiers despise war and aren’t at all show pony’s…

          • roguetechie

            Actually…

            Screw it, not worth the effort…

            You ain’t musashi kid

          • roguetechie

            Except of course… That they don’t…

            Then again you said tier one totally seriously…

            There’s a reason why they call seals and other socom type units TEAMS…

            Also, show pony no glory in war… Blah blah blah seriously?

            Where are you getting this crap from?

            You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried!

            Honestly, with the attitude, arrogance, and utterly unwarranted confidence / idea that you know more than everyone when you don’t know even the very basics…

            I pity you if you do enlist… You will hate every second of it and you WILL wash out before AIT!

            Seriously the DI’s will bury you under your own arrogance ignorance and your affectations of intelligence and experience…

            Learn some humility, try out for a couple sports teams, and spend lots of time on reading comprehension and research…

            And for the love of God, realize that whoever convinced you that you were special etc didn’t do you any favors. You can’t go through life mile wide and inch deep thinking you’re gonna fake it until you make it…

          • Evil_Bonsai

            Found the mer….”contractor.”

          • George Dean

            I’d surmise that you were who they had in mind when the Army began using the slogan An Army of One.

          • Minuteman

            No, I’m just stone cold serious, don’t care for any jive and prefer to stick to the point. All that machismo, whining about ‘identity’, paradomania and other outward display don’t make you a better soldier. Stair-stepped training, studying, developing and perfecting skills, and constantly evolving do.

          • George Dean

            Sorry, I served nine years on active duty and I disagree with you on the subject. It isn’t about machismo, it is about morale, pride and unit cohesion. It is about brotherhood. You are entitled to your opinion and perspective. From where I’m sitting it appears to be a huge case of hubris.

          • Minuteman

            In this country there is freedom of speech. We have the constitutional right and God given freedom to disagree. ‘Pride’ is of no importance or issue to me (so there is no case of hubris at all). You didn’t get my point. Brotherhood on the other hand, is a whole other matter! I will fight for the men and women next to me and that is good enough ‘morale’ for me. I don’t need a whole other lot of motivation, I can make due with very little for that matter. But I’m just plain not fuzzy about ‘pride’ or any unit whatsoever. That’s all just hot air to me man. I have other loyalties and simply do not care about anything not related to the core business of soldiering (the technicality and sheer skill part of it. I like -or better said: am intruiged by the surgical coldness and precision of combat, getting the job expertly done and going home. No heroics, no display. Nothing but utmost cool and quiet professionalism. I don’t crave bravura man, I just don’t). Your mileage may -and does indeed- vary. That’s perfectly okay.

          • The Brigadier

            You might not, but unit identity creates esprit de corps and its important in every service.

        • William Nelson

          I recall the BDUs and DCUs easily (came in in ’96), but my thought is that those days are long gone as way too many interests know that the camo game is lucrative. Keep the branches looking for their “perfect pattern,” and those guys will be happily rake in the cash as the whole stupid process repeats over and over again.

        • roguetechie

          Agree, make uniforms for climate, terrain, and seasonal patterns as necessary.

          I started to argue mentally that a navy crewman in tropical littorals or etc might need special uniform, but then I realized wouldn’t every vehicle and small craft crewman benefit from some positive buoyancy additions designed to help keep you face up and at least counter the drag of your soaked uniform?

          This could genuinely be much more logical, cheaper, and result in better kit bought in massive amounts thus cheaper.

          Oh also… If you’re around water .. NO BLUE CAMO

      • The Brigadier

        I still laugh about the Air Force who required for nearly a decade to have their troops wear blue camo. As if they strapped the airmen to the wings of planes so they could blend in with the sky and clouds. Hee hee.

    • valorius

      I still don’t know what was wrong with the woodland camo patterns we used.

      • iksnilol

        I agree, they should’a just digitzed the woodland camo and be done with it.

        • roguetechie

          That’s exactly what marpat digital is, except with the cool diagonal pockets… Aaanndd the loudest F***ing Velcro ever!!

          Seriously opening your utility pockets is like an mg-42 burst.

          • User

            Made my day haha!

          • roguetechie

            To think that people used to 100mph tape buckles and etc on their gear to avoid the clinks and clanks….

            Now we just make the Velcro sound like an SS division opening fire at point blank range…

            Enemy: OH SH*** *DIVES FOR COVER*

            enemy 2: WHERE ARE THEY!!!

            enemy: I don’t know but where’d they find mg-42’s in Tacoma!!!

          • User

            Supression fire! *Velcro open and closing* BRRRRRRRRRTSCH

          • int19h

            Pretty sure MARPAT isn’t just digitized M81. The browns on M81 were way darker than MARPAT coyote brown.

          • Uniform223
      • 11b

        Black is not present in nature so it makes the pattern less effective. Multicam is far better in my experience, but its a shame we had to go through that grandma’s sofa-flage in between.

        • Major Tom

          Re: black not in nature

          I take it you’ve never come across volcanic rock/sand or the remains of a wildfire or certain types of mud and forest debris or the color the leaves on the quaking aspen turn to when you bring in a hard freeze too early.

          They are all black or various shades of gray or brown close to black.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Soil is often black, shadows are black, etc., etc. …
            Black patches are really good for breaking up the outline of the wearer, regardless of “Nature” anyway. There’s nothing about a tiger that says “I’m just a harmless fern, carry on.” But those stripes work excellent to disrupt visual lock-on.

          • Major Tom

            Speaking of tigers I had forgotten about black cats big and small. Like the jaguar or panther both have black varieties in very green environments.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Weirdly enough, all-black cats like panthers actually have a harder time hunting than their patchy brothers because their outline isn’t broken up.

          • Major Tom

            My experience with black cats tends to favor the theory that black cats are more night hunters anyways. They suck at daylight hunting but once the Sun goes down….

          • jonp

            They are night hunters and don’t have a harder time. Where did you get that from?

          • ostiariusalpha

            Your objection is irrelevant, a solid black is more visible than dappled patterns even at night. This is fact has been well understood by camouflage designers for decades.

          • jonp

            I am aware of the differences between P. onca and P. pardus. As a wildlife biologist I do not have much experience with the big cats especially those found outside of the US although I did do some work on the Mountain Lion in AZ. If you want to have an intelligent discussion on this subject the first thing you should know is that there is no sub species or species of “black panther” they are a melanistic variant of the species and the jaguar and panther are distinct species. Why would I listen to a jaguar expert on matters related to a panther?

          • ostiariusalpha

            Where did I refer to panthers as a separate species? From the context of my comments, it should be clear to any reasonably intelligent person that I meant the melanistic variants of jaguars. Which might be a good reason to listen to a jaguar expert, since they are knowledgeable on all the variants habits. I’m not really interested in an “intelligent discussion” of the panther variant of leopards, they have pretty much the same issues as melanistic jaguars.

          • jonp

            If I pointed it out then it was not apparent that you were pointing to the melanistic variants.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The part where I mentioned “black jaguars” might have been your first clue. I’m sorry, but it just seems like you are really poor at parsing a sentence if you can’t manage that one.

          • valorius

            You’ll need to explain this theory to the Vietcong.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Those pajamas didn’t really do much to keep their casualties down; solid black is better than a solid light color, but that’s about it.

          • valorius

            If you can find a Vietnam veteran that says, “Boy those Vietcong sure were easy to see in the jungle,” please have that veteran post here. My 2nd platoon Sgt was an ex SF Vietnam Veteran, and he had nothing but respect for the prowess and fighting spirit of “Sir Charles.”

          • The Brigadier

            They hunt mostly at night.

          • Joshua

            Black stands out like a spot light in NV.

          • ostiariusalpha

            It stands out like a spotlight in IV, not NV. If they’re using IV, your going to stand out anyway, because you’re a big tub of heated meat.

          • Squirreltakular

            +1

          • valorius

            Depends on the material.

          • MadMonkey

            “Black doesn’t occur in nature” is usually in reference to living nature, plants and animals. Black animals aren’t literally a neutral black, they’re just dark shades of other colors.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Soil is living nature, and as someone who has seen plenty of pelts, those black markings and feathers are close enough to neutral black to pass muster as that color.

          • Dotcoman

            That’s BS. Shave a polar bear.
            Black Angus cows are black, black labs, black dog noses black cats, black birds. Those ain’t shades of gray, it’s black as coal.

          • roguetechie

            Marpat woodland is still super badass though!

            Idk why, but I put on Mar pat woodland and women want to bear my children while men quake in terror at the awesomeness I exude in waves… Haha

            Seriously though, it’s like putting on my badass suit… It just makes me feel better about being me.

            I could be a little bit crazy though

          • valorius

            LMFAO πŸ˜€

        • iksnilol

          bullcrap, you ever seen a raven? Those look pretty black to me. Or a black cat or dog. Same thing.

          • Uniform223

            Black stands out through NODs.

          • iksnilol

            Then wear a lighter shade of black.

          • Uniform223

            That’s what the “urban grey” was for in UCP.

          • JustAHologram

            Yeah slightly darker black isn’t very practical

          • valorius

            That is a function of the material, not the color. Some materials stand out big time regardless of color.

          • Uniform223

            Material definitely has an effect but not as much as color and pattern (FROM MY UNDERSTANDING).

            Take for example ACU in UCP compared to BDU Woodland or Desert. Also this somewhat obscure camouflage pattern called desert night camouflage…

            https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/5a/0d/f1/5a0df164c8c02c780e8d367558b2b7f2.jpg

            http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/JKinnaird/Reference%20Pictures/US%20Army%20SF%20and%20CAG/MayflowerCAGwithnightcamoparkainIra.jpg

            From my understanding BDU and ACU are made of the same material but ACU in UCP when it first came out was always stated that it provided more concealment through NODs than the BDU.

          • Dougscamo

            Pssst….don’t forget to tell him about bears……

          • iksnilol

            Oh right, I mean it is literally in the name: Black bear.

            Yeah, Imma be honest. I believed that “black ain’t natural” thang as well, then I remembered I like ravens…. boy, did I feel stupid.

        • Kivaari

          Try living in mountain country where black rocks, like in hard rock mining, takes place. Or coal country where nature has exposed coal. Then try rain forests where forests are full of black objects and shadows. Do it during a heavy rain and tell me if you cant find black.

        • Danny Emerson

          Umm, shadows are always black. Google steered you wrong…

        • Dotcoman

          Actually that’s a damned lie and oft repeated ignorant myth. Probably told to morons by the guys trying to sell the AF and Army ACU.

          Open your eyes. Plenty of black in nature. From black labs to black angus to black bugs.
          Coal is black, shadows appear black. The center of your eyes are black. Parts of tree bark and trees themselves and the forest are black or certainly appear black at distance. The black on the Woodland camo is not trying to represent an object but rather the lack there of.

          So that right there blows that lie all to hell.

        • jonp

          Awfully dark at night or in the shadows.

      • marine6680

        While “black isn’t in nature” isn’t accurate…

        Black is not the best choice for use in a camp pattern, not in large splotches anyway.

        It works better to use something slightly lighter, slightly blueish instead.

        • valorius

          I can tell you from first hand experience that a camouflaged infantryman in BDU’s just 10 feet away is totally invisible to the naked eye as long as he has at least tall grass to hide in.

          In deserts or arctic conditions, certainly it’s not effective, but for what it was designed for, it’s really great.

          • marine6680

            Without high grass, the MarPat is excellent.

            I have seen the old BDU and MarPat side by side walking in a field, from about 50-75 ft away, and the difference in how well the MarPat blended in was striking.

      • Shayne

        Very simple, some brainchild in Admin/procurement wanted one camouflage pattern that does it all instead of the old style in the 90’s were you were issued BDU that matched where you were going. One camouflage pattern will never work but they wont stop trying

        • The Brigadier

          They even have two different color patterns of multi-cam that Crye stated was the end all.

      • demophilus

        Nothing at all.

        • valorius

          Is the multicam army pattern digital? I

          • Uniform223

            Yes, despite some thinking the original Scorpion pattern, Multi-Cam, and the new U.S. Army OCP are digital patterns. Most people associate digital patterns with pixels and fractals. Another example is the Kryptek patterns like their Highlander pattern. Modern computer assisted camoflauge creates better color blending, pigments, shading, hues, and patterns that analog patterns like the old M81 woodland. Notice how the M81 woodland pattern was a mix of single solid colors. Than look at Multi-Cam at how the colors and shapes blend together and create a foreground and background effect.

          • valorius

            Multicam reminds me of worn/faded woodland pattern.

      • majorrod

        Woodland doesn’t do as well under NVG’s.

        While black does exist in nature, the eye also picks up the movement of black best. It really stands out.

        • valorius

          Are you speaking theory, or first hand experience? Cause that’s not really been my experience as far as NVG’s.

          All patterns are largely ineffective when you’re moving. The human eye keys on movement.

          • majorrod

            Neither. My position is based on the results of government evaluation. Woodland was a base pattern.

            Yes all patterns are less effective when moving but black catches the eye quickest of all colors.

          • valorius

            Quicker than hot pink?

            “I don’t understand camouflage. I say if you have to be in the jungle, clash!”
            -Robin Williams, Good Morning Vietnam

            πŸ˜€

        • valorius

          BTW, most people aren’t aware, but BDU’s even had a thermal suppression chemical in them. It was the reason we were not allowed to have them starched (pressed only). So do US military flight suits. (And im assuming all the new unis do too).

        • iksnilol

          Eeeh, eye is made to pick up movement. No matter the camo but moving is gonna get you spotted.

          • majorrod

            There’s a whole spectrum to “movement”.

            Sure if one is out running in an open field it really doesn’t matter what one is wearing. Shifting around in a stationary position or moving slowly through brush are a different matter. In those cases color especially black make a big difference.

      • Dotcoman

        Nothing. Note: nearly every army around the world adopted a version of it at one time. Brits to Russians have versions that are damn near indistinguishable (at first glance) from the US pattern.

        If you are in a forest environment it’s ok, but if you transition out to the prairie you got problems. That’s where the Multicam and the A-TACs

        • valorius

          One of the nice things about BDU’s is that when you wash them they fade. A set of nice faded BDU’s is pretty similar to multicam in color. No digital though.

    • Badwolf

      Camo patterns, not politics???

  • Forest Stranger

    And they have spent the last 15 years trying to find a 5.56 round that is lethal enough for combat. Maybe it is time to try something else.

    • iksnilol

      300 blackout, y’all.

      • Dougscamo

        LMAO…..we all really like seeing the KABOOMS….you sly as usual…..

        • iksnilol

          Okaaaay. Got me there.

          What about necking out 5.56 to 9mm? I tihnk that’s the biggest bullet you could fit in the case. Just blow out the neck completely to match the rest of the case.

          Think about the TKO factor and the stopping power.

          • Graham2

            Why not go the whole hog and neck it out to 12mm and produce the strangest round of ammo ever!

          • iksnilol

            Because I am not sure how that would work, the round would then have like negative taper.

          • Graham2

            Joking!

          • iksnilol

            No, don’t get me wrong, it’s ridiculous enough that somebody could support it for real. So we gotta work out the physics to get this trollwagon rolling.

            .47 TrollMeister (shortened to TRL, tactical range load) could be real, and people would unironically support it.

          • Graham2

            Oh well, looks like my post didn’t meet approval- I guess the moderators don’t appreciate my humour!

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            A straight-walled case as general issue? What century is this???

          • iksnilol

            Stopping power, you poddle shooter fellows wouldn’t understand that.

          • AC97

            But, but, muh ballistic coefficient…

            That seriously would have a bad BC though.

          • iksnilol

            Whaaat? No way, just make it superlong to get that optimal shape.

            You would also save on logistics since you wouldn’t need magazines or mag pouches + you’d get a better hit ratio, saving money on ammo.

      • Minuteman

        At around $0.70 and upwards a pop (for hollow points, which is what you want)…

    • Steven White

      The military standard is that the round penetrate a steel helmet at 600 yards. That, for a small round, requires a tough bullet that does not segment in flesh or bone. Perhaps it’s not the size of the round but the composition of it that needs changing, although it’s difficult to do that and stay within the guidelines of the GV Rule 70. Several changes have already been made to 5.56 ammunition since combat in Afghanistan and Iraq showed poor performance of the 5.56 standard ball round. The problem gets even more convoluted because NATO allies also use the 5.56 but produce their own ammunition for it. I believe the solution lies in the answer found during WWII. Each squad is composed of specialized weapons…In WWII a squad generally had a BAR and many officers and NCO carried the .45 Thompson. Perhaps Army and Marine squads should each have an M240 7.62 team attached. There is also the possibility of the addition of the Textron 6.5 LSAT.

      • jack

        m855a1epr is a green, Obama friendly, inaccurate round. It was made lead free so not to pollute our enemies environment, but it’s three parts make it inaccurate. (As if ied don’t pollute.) It is no wonder that the Marines decided to develop their own round. Let both services have their own rounds . Maybe the army will realize their mistake.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          Odd. The story I heard was that they wanted a new round to make up for deficiencies in the M855 ammo. Changing the core material accomplished some of that and they spun it to the higher-ups as “environmentally friendly” so they would increase funding. Kind of like saying bacon is gluten-free.

        • iksnilol

          You do know that lead free is important so you don’t mess up your own environment? I mean, plenty of US troops train… SURPRISE! in the US. Multiple generations of soldiers even.

          • Squirreltakular

            “But lead comes out of the ground! How could putting it back in the ground be bad?! Hurrr durrrr.”

          • Johannes von’ Strauch

            Copper is sicnificantly better for smaking the EPR penetrator trough stuff (steel/ other barriers)! People seem to not get that…. Lead spreads like water and waist all the energy!

        • Joshua

          No.

          Did you know Barnes TSX is also a “green round”.

          Solid copper is far superior to lead core.

          Also M855A1 has a general accuracy of 1.5-2moa out of the M4A1.

          USAMU was pushing .9-1.2moa out of M4A1s with FF DD rails and Geissele match triggers just fyi.

        • AC97

          You really didn’t do any research, did you?

        • Uniform223

          I will excuse your ignorance because you are not up-to-date with CURRENT FACTS.

    • William Nelson

      6.5 of some sort.

    • Joshua

      Both m855A1 and SOST perform exceptional against soft targets.

    • J.T.

      The main problem they are trying to address is performance at long ranges, which the 5.56 was never intended to do. One of the key reasons for the switch was that it was found that most combat happened within 300 meters, so the military decided that sacrificing range for increased ammunition load and lower recoil was worth it. Then Afghanistan came along and we had to fight at long ranges again.

      • QuadGMoto

        That’s military brass for you; always trying to fight the last war.

      • Uniform223

        We’re not getting into this avian are we?

  • Vitor Roma

    Both perform quite well, but the Mk has the advantage of having a lower pressure.

    • Joshua

      M855A1 current loading has pressures at 54,800psi.

      That’s slightly below M855.

      • Vitor Roma

        That’s nice to hear. I remember reading that the A1 was set at 63k psi compared to 58k of the M855.

        • Yes, but the two aren’t directly comparable because they use different propellants. In particular, the A1 propellant – SMP-842 – produces much less extreme pressure excursions in hot chambers.

          So, yes, you’d see more wear and tear if you were lazily shooting the two rounds one at a time on a temperate day, but if you’re mostly shooting rapid fire and getting your chambers nice and hot, M855A1 is actually safer, even the early higher pressure stuff.

          My understanding is that they lowered the pressure limit on M855A1 (with a corresponding velocity loss of approx 50 ft/s, I am given to understand, from 2,970 ft/s to 2,920 ft/s nominal, 14.5″ BBL) to make the Marine Corps happier.

          • Vitor Roma

            With this reduced pressure, it must be very soft shooting out or a rifle length gas tube.

          • So, I hadn’t heard the 54,800 figure before; AFAIK second spiral M855A1 produces about 59,000 PSI max. I think maybe these two figures are different standards within the same spec.

          • User

            Yes 54800psi cant be, long baring surface and unusual high speed even from carbines. 59000 is propably what it runs now, about the early versions ive heard theyr even did run 62k.

  • gordon

    The barrel lengths are very different, so the ammunition should be too, IMO.

    • Both the USMC and US Army use 14.5″ barrels now.

  • Will

    I will not comment because anything I say would be HIGHLY derogatory and dispariaging of the pentagon chair warmers.

  • nadnerbus

    Hmmmm. If Matis is confirmed, there may be some institutional bias on his part in choosing a round.

    Either round seems like a really effective solution, though. Armed services will be ok whichever way they go.

    If they go Marine, though, it will be amusing and stupid to see all that money Army spent on developing/copying/liscencing the M855A1 go down the drain.

    • valorius

      M855A1 is clearly superior for armor penetration.

      • Minuteman

        No it is not. 308 and .50 are. AT missiles and rockets are even better. There is no one size fits all solution. That’s why there are different tools for different jobs.

        • Squirreltakular

          He meant it’s superior to Mk318.

          • Minuteman

            I know, but that statement is flawed, because 5.56 inherently isn’t suitable for that task. It was never designed to reliably penetrate armor in the first place. There are other much more effective tools for that job.

          • ostiariusalpha

            It was designed to penetrate Soviet helmets, so you are wrong there.

          • roguetechie

            And even M193 is disturbingly good at penetrating pretty significant armor in certain situations…

            It’s pretty obvious that they’re not anywhere near as knowledgeable as they believe that they are…

            Painfully obvious really

          • Uniform223

            No the M855A1 isn’t a dedicated AP round. Yet for a general purpose round to fully penetrate and defeat lvl 3 body armor and a 3/4 inch steel plate at distances beyond 200 meters is impressive.

          • Minuteman

            Still I rather have SOST. Flat shooting and very very good expansion.

          • SOST produces exactly the same muzzle velocity and has a slightly lower ballistic coefficient than M855A1, so how is it “flat shooting” in comparison?

            Mk. 318 also does not expand, it fragments. If it expanded, that would clearly violate the Hague convention, so it’s designed not to do that.

            It’s not like I don’t like Mk. 318, either, it’s what I keep my AR loaded with. However, as a standard battle round, M855A1 is simply better.

          • andrey kireev

            I almost wonder if it’s worth loading my AR with Hornady ballistic tip hunting rounds for home protection…. Meanwhile I’ll just stick with my Mossy 500 loaded with #4 buck….

          • Big Daddy

            I bought some MK318 and it was not accurate in my ARs. I shot them all. For home defense I use Gold Dots or Hornady TAP. Judging by the gel tests the M80 A1 looks devastating and the M855A1 is an improvement over the MK318 but how accurate is it?

          • roguetechie

            Lol wit…

            Somebody should tell the Belgians this…

            Also somebody should tell NIJ and all the body armor makers out there too since even now you can find stand alone Level 3 plates multi hit rated for 7.62 NATO but that specifically warn that they’re not rated to stop M193 or even m193/m855!!

            In the past it was even more common to see plates rated for even a single M2 AP round but not 193/855

          • Minuteman

            Look in to AMI TAC3S plates.

          • roguetechie

            I have better, likely paid less, and honestly… You obviously have extremely little knowledge about body armor, thus no business telling anyone else to check out or research x or y.

        • Joshua

          Actually M855A1 defeats barriers better than M80.

          • Minuteman

            And M61 is better than M885A1. It was specifically designed and is used for that task.

          • Joshua

            Please let me know when we have the capability to haul around a 248lb weapon system without feed system.

            Until then it’s a moot point.

          • Minuteman

            The M61 is the standard military 7.62mmx51 armor piercing round.

        • roguetechie

          If congress was asking them to pick between mk318 and the Carl Gustav you’d have a point…

  • marathag

    Hopefully a third unified design will be chosen, so the buying public can get the existing stocks at surplus pricing.

    • valorius

      Hopefully they stop blowing money on totally unnecessary nonsense.

      • roguetechie

        Both mk318 and M855a1 were very necessary though, and they’re far from nonsense!

        They addressed key issues with lethality, getting accurate 500+ meter performance from 14.5 inch barrels, enhanced barrier blindness, and etc…

        These were all very very necessary things to fix / improve!

        Whether you or I agree with the 14.5 inch barrel thing is immaterial in this situation. Further, because of the way rifles are configured currently created a weight penalty which had to be addressed. Considering the situations our troops face in Iraq and Afghanistan both, as well as the limitations they have to work within, makes the choice they made the best one IMO.

        They were faced with a lack of heavy weapons support and patrolling on foot or in vehicles and basically forced to let the enemy engage on his terms etc. Because of this and their heavy iba and equipment loads choosing to use the technological force multipliers and cut barrel length did make sense. That 5.5 inches of barrel isn’t going to let you engage the pkm crew 50 meters above you and 1000 meters distant!

        But the PEQ’s etc WILL let you successfully engage the second group who open up from across the ditch and 300 meters away because they think you’re pinned!

        These two rounds were absolutely necessary and very much more than worth developing considering the way they performed and the capabilities they Gave to soldiers who desperately needed them!

        • valorius

          The 14.5″ barrel is what made M855 and Mk318 ‘necessary’ to begin with. Mk318 is an excellent round until it has to defeat armor, so M855A1 wins by default IMO. It should be the standard round of all US Forces.

          • Fleet yaw is what made them necessary, actually.

          • valorius

            Correct me if i’m wrong, but bullets upset much faster and have a shorter wound neck at higher velocity, no?

            The M16 in vietnam using M193 was legendary for the severity of it’s wounds. (though even M193 had less pronounced fleet yaw issues, according to fackler).

          • User

            … from any barrel lenght you can get fleet yaw, this also seems to be slightly increased by 1-7″ barrels (for the long m856 tracer), but overall its just a question of at what angle the bullet nose and movement direction is to the tissue. If its too straight even a fast bullet will take too long to yaw, thats just a FACT, no matter what you want, physic wont change. Also M855 with its bs milled steel insert has not just less penetration overall, but also the lead base gets spread out like water, waisting all its energy. M855A1 has instant fragmentation even from short barrels, long fragmentation range, higher penetration and the copper slug directly smacks the penetrater tough stuff. As a side effect of the longer bullet the stabilisation from a 1-7 barrel beeing slightly less which actually is good, because a too much stable bullet will have a really bad angle of attack at higher range and get aerodynamic problems.
            Sure 20″ barrels are nice, but you cant expect soliders to use way too long Rifles in urban combat. And even tough i liked m193 back in the day, ive seen it from a long barrel only tumble after passing more than half the gel block. Also its bc is bullshit.

          • valorius

            I agree ballistically with your points, but i’m still under the impression from what i’ve read that if you use 2 identical projectiles the faster one will destabilize faster on impact and self destruct more violently.

            We fought WWII with 24″ garands, in cities all across Europe. I just absolutely reject that a long barrel is unsuitable for MOUT.

          • int19h

            It was fought against opponents that were using similar firearms (and their rifles were bolt-action at that).

            Also, infantry was usually on foot those days. Today, it’s much more likely to be crammed into some vehicle, where space is at a premium.

          • valorius

            I was mechanized. Spent time in M113s, M2s and M106s. We all had 20″ m16s, it wasn’t an issue.

          • int19h

            So all those people inventing folding stocks and such are just fools with too much time on their hands, and other people who adopted them in service are idiots? In all the numerous countries that did so?

          • valorius

            The US Army issued full stock M14s and M16s to mechanized forces from 1957 to 2006. And the Marines until 2016. Were they idiots? How on earth did we operate effectively in over a half a dozen major wars and engagements with full length rifles?

            The CAR-15 design has been around since the late 1960s, yet the M4 was not adopted until about 2006.

            I’ve carried an M16 in all the US Army’s major infantry fighting vehicles with the exception of the Stryker, and i never once found my M16 to be too long.

          • int19h

            You have dodged the question. If everything is a-ok with 20+” rifles and long fixed stocks, then why did collapsible and folding stocks became a thing at all? What was the incentive motivating their development?

            And it’s not just about USA. AK-74 got a folding stock along the base model, and was immediately widely adopted (indeed, it’s still the standard model used by some ex-Soviet states, like, say, Ukraine). From 1991 on, *all* Russian standard-issue AKs have a folding stock.

            Yugoslavia had been issuing *all* its troops rifles with a folding stock since 1970.

            Stgw 90 had a folding stock from the get go.

            Not to mention all the countries that have gone for bullpups as the main infantry rifle…

            All of this for the sole purpose of shortening the weapon. Are you claiming that all these people and countries don’t know what they’re doing? That there’s no objective reason for all of it, and it’s all just someone’s fancy?

          • valorius

            I answered the question: The collapsible stock CAR-15 was around from the late 1960’s on, and was not a “thing” until the M4 was adopted.

            Collapseable stocks became a “thing” because of airborne forces, where they make sense.

            Yugoslavian forces were riding in extremely cramped BMP-1s with tiny rear exit hatches, so for them, it may have made more sense. The M-113, the-2 and the Stryker all have large rear exit ramps. No folding stock required.

            Bullpups were a trend that seem to have gone the way of the doo-doo bird in the West.

          • majorrod

            The Army started issuing the M4 in the mid 90’s.

            I’d disagree about the need for a shorter stock. I would have liked one starting in the mid 80’s and having been in Bradleys, yes use there would have been welcome also.

          • valorius

            They started issuing the M4 to -some- vehicle crewmen and officers in the 1990s. It did not become the standard infantry weapon until about 2006.

            As far as the shorter stock, i outlined an M16A5 design that would have one, but still have the superior ballistics of the M16 rifle. I like an adj. stock for length of pull adjustments, which is very nice with body armor, not for compactness.

          • majorrod

            “Almost everyone in OIF outside of SPECOPS had M16’s,” That’s far from accurate. By 2001 all light infantry units were issued M4’s. You can check the historical record. Even the 10th Mountain had M4’s. Issuing divisions worth of M4’s took years. It started in the mid 90’s. The 82nd had them in ’97 when I was training with them.

            After OEF the Army saw the value of issuing infantry M4’s and started the process of issuing M4’s. As OIF started the process was in action. The 101st, 82nd and 187th had M4’s as well as the third brigade of the 3rd Infantry Div.. Check the historical record. There are plenty of pictures out there.

            As for the superior ballistics. We don’t train soldiers to engage beyond 300m and the Marines shoot only 20% of their qual at 500m (with a minute per round). Historically the overwhelming majority of engagements happen inside 250m. Shooting long distance makes sense for a well trained designated marksman (and we issue them appropriate rifles).

            It’s overkill to issue all troops rifles with 20″ barrels and the Marines selection of the M4 is pretty good evidence of that.

          • valorius

            No light infantry units fought in OIF bro. 10th Mountain did not fight in OIF.

            I see no value in the M4 over the M16. I see the exact opposite. It is a net negative.

          • majorrod

            Please reread what I wrote and not what you think I said.

            I didn’t say the 10th fought in OIF but hey were sporting them from the early days of Afghanistan 2001.

            “No light infantry units fought in OIF bro.”

            Actually the 101st and 82nd fought in the initial invasion of Iraq, See the Battle of Najaf and Samawah respectively. (There’s more just google it.) Further they dropped the 187th Airborne Brigade into northern Iraq. You really need to revisit the historical record and not rely on memory.

          • valorius

            I seem to recall them inserting a heavy mechanized force into Northern Iraq, via C17 when the 4th ID was denied entry into Iraq.

            Elements of 10th Mountain did not deploy to Astan until mid december 2001.

            “The division headquarters arrived at Karshi-Khanabad, under Major General Hagenbeck, on 12 December 2001 to function as the Combined Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) (Forward)”

            I stand corrected on the Airborne forces in Iraq though. I done stone cold forgot they were there. Fortunately for me, I was not. πŸ™‚

            I read your post word for word, btw.

          • majorrod

            “Elements of 10th Mountain did not deploy to Astan until mid december 2001.”

            No, the 10th Mountain had troops on the ground in Afghanistan starting 26 Nov. They were the first conventional troops to be in contact. They were the QRF for the Qala-i-Jangi prison uprising where Mike Spann was killed. Immediately afterwards the remaining elements of that BN were airlifted into Bagram and started securing the airfield. Div HQ arrived a couple of weeks later.

          • valorius

            I think the first conventional troops to be in contact in A-stan were the 75th Rangers.

            As for the 10th, I don’t exactly see a need to quibble over six weeks time difference. The sources i looked up said mid dec, but it’s splitting hairs.

          • majorrod

            The Ranger Regiment isn’t considered conventional anymore. They actually work for SOCOM. Their equipment and organizational structure is unique as well as a lot of their doctrine. At heart they are the most elite light infantry but they are as conventional as TF160.

            Six weeks makes quite a bit of difference. The initial invasion of Iraq where you originally thought the 101st and 82nd weren’t involved was less than six weeks. Seemed important then.

          • valorius

            The Rangers are light infantry raiders, i know they’re part of SOCOM, but it’s really a technicality.

            Any luck on finding an official army wide (or even infantry wide) adoption date for the M4 yet? As i linked, as recently as 2009 it was still not an Army wide weapon.

          • majorrod

            It’s much more than a technicality. I’m a 20 year Infantryman and readily recognize the difference. Selection, level of training and spectrum of missions definitely differentiate them from conventional infantry far beyond a technicality. What Army Infantry unit has EVERY member of the Infantry squad cross trained not only in all the squads’ weapons but also have organic breaching/training capability? What conventional infantry units has every individual soldier fire thousands of rounds before before EVERY deployment? What infantry unit has every squad trained in hostage rescue? Heck, even their squads are differently sized and equipped. The Ranger Regiment today is not the Regiment of the 80’s or even the 90’s.

            Don’t know about the document that issued M4’s to all Infantry. We understood it as the state of affairs at my last assignment in the Infantry’s Battle Lab (the organization that produces the analytic underpinnings on how we equip our infantry). I don’t see the relevance of Army wide issue of M4’s. It does say an awful lot that he Army’s primary trigger pullers are issued an M4. The issuing of an M16A2 to a fuel handler really doesn’t say much about he utility of that weapon over the M4.

          • valorius

            Im ex infantry too. How exactly is today’s ranger rgt different than the ranger regiment of somalia?

            To me the only reason the M4 is the standard issue weapon is because FN beat colt for exclusive production rights for the M16. Yep. I blame politics.

          • majorrod

            I already explained how the Ranger Regiment is different. I bet you aren’t even aware that Ranger squads are not organized like conventional Infantry squads. What Delta was doing in Somalia are things that Rangers in the regiment routinely train on today. That was not so over two decades ago. Here’s a hint. Look at an individual Ranger’s load out and compare it to a conventional grunt and then realize that the Ranger is extensively trained on every bit of his kit. Hmmm, why is every Ranger issued a radio and pistol??? I personally know legacy Rangers as well as man from the current crop. It’s not the same.

            I really am not trying to change your mind on how and why the M4 is being issued. I’ve already wasted a lot of time informing you. I just don’t want the casual reader to be confused by opinion vs. the factual historical record. BTW, the switch over by the Infantry to the M4 was completed way before the FN deal. So much for “politics” explaining it.

            Thanks for the opportunity to sharpen my writing skills. Have a good one. I need to move on to other things.

          • valorius

            No, i said how are they different than the 90s. In the 90s, it was the same. Had a platoon sgt that was a Grenada Ranger. I know a little sum sum about them.

          • valorius

            BTW, your condescension is not only not well founded, but it’s also un-befitting someone who claims to have your background. You sure you weren’t a truck driver?

          • majorrod

            You may want to go back and look at all the corrections I made to what you thought the reality was and reassess who was the truck driver…

          • valorius

            Just a simple 11B/11C here. I think in many cases you’re mistaking your opinion for corrections, btw.

          • valorius

            For what it’s worth, to me the perfect infantry rifle is an M16″A5″ with an MOE style collapsible butt stock, 20″ 1:8 barrel, lightweight composite quad rail and ACOG.

        • valorius

          I would be very interested in seeing what % of US Army and USMC troops qualify expert with the M4 vs the M16A4, and how the average total qualifying scores have been affected- one way or another.

  • Cal S.

    So, it appears even the military suffers from the caliber debate.

    Please choose the M855A1. I want cheap surplus.

    • Joshua

      It’s not a caliber debate, it’s a we made it vs we made it.

      Marines helped develop the SOST so they want it…Army helped develop M855A1 so they want it.

      • Minuteman

        I’m fully aware both branches invested their entire egos in their respective rounds, but I don’t care for all that ‘Rangerism’. I believe in looking at the facts and in steer stepped training. All that ‘Hooah’ horse poop, bravura and ‘we made it so it’s better’ makes no sense and it certainly doesn’t get the job done or make you a better riflemen.

        • roguetechie

          Except all that tradition and pride and etc isn’t what makes M855a1 better… Physics and the sense to avoid arming to refight the last war versus the next war is what makes M855a1 better.

          Mk318 is a great round in so many ways that part is undeniable. However, it’s optimized for combat against unarmored personnel using thin skinned civilian trucks not armored and armed milspec vehicles…

          Whether it’s a hilux or a muj in pyjamas at 550 meters it performs great.

          Now what happens when BRDM’s and surplus Russian body armor etc are the lightest opponents you face?

          Gee, suddenly that OTM lead cored round may be making hits but guys aren’t going down!!!

          All it takes is some browsing archives of combat photos etc from Syria where you see almost UNIVERSAL 3A vests and at least PASGT quality helmets etc. Pay close attention to pics of Hezbollah units though and you’re going to see genuine LEVEL 3 multihit armor and ACH MICH etc type helmets that protect much better than pasgt!

          M855a1 is just as good at long range and in some cases may wound even better than 318.

          It’s also equally barrier blind.

          It’s comparably capable of wounding and not dependent on velocity based fragmentation.

          It’s MUCH better at penetrating things like body armor etc.

          It’s equally capable even beyond 500 meters.

          Finally it doesn’t have the stigma of the JAG arbitrary declaration of it being OK by international law of war standards even though our closest allies and the rest of the western militaries and governments vehemently disagree with the declaration!

          The last two points make 318 a nonstarter.

          If you respond to say you don’t GAF about the laws of war blah blah…

          To be honest neither do I care that much, however since we have another option which is realistically a better GI round choice anyway… Why burn political capital and harm our image when it’s completely unnecessary?

          What? Do you really think all this stuff happens in a vacuum?

          Yesterday’s allies could be tomorrow’s enemies, especially if we piss people off just for kicks.

          Reversing our self imposed ban on employment of DPICM would be much more useful, and infinitely more likely to significantly impact our ability to fight and win future battles.

          • Cal S.

            When in doubt, always choose the one that goes through more stuff.

      • Cal S.

        Huh, makes sense. Well, as a taxpayer I basically pay their salaries, so…M855A1 now pls.

    • Bal256

      Aren’t you going to have to buy all new mags then for the feeding angle?

      • Cal S.

        I am unaware of this. I must do some digging…

        Perhaps a new follower will do. Living in CO, it would be unfeasible to replace my entire stock of grandfathered magazines.

      • No. The wear on the feed ramps happens over a very long period of time.

  • Trey

    This type of thinking from Congress was one of the main ideas from the movie/ documentary “The Fog of War” Featuring former Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara in 2003. The idea that the same uniforms, boots, weapons, etc. be use across all branches. I know that it is a budget/ economic issue, but the specific services need what suits them and their missions.

    • Dougscamo

      Yep…the ballistics experts….CONGRESS…LMAO….

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      While I agree that different uses require different solutions, I do not know enough about what the Army and Marines do so differently that they actually benefit from having different ammo.

      Can anyone enlighten me?

      • Minuteman

        Basically it breaks down like this: Marines kick doors, Armies win wars…

        • gordon

          I always thought it was that the Marines found, fixed and finished their opponents while the Army infantrymen found, fixed, and then used the radio to finish up.

      • gordon

        Marines shoot M16A4s with 20″ barrels and the Army shoots M4s with 14.5″ barrels. In my experience it seems that the Marines emphasize marksmanship more than the Army (I was an Army Infantryman for 8 years so I am not just being a Marine fanboy with that estimate.)

        • Squirreltakular

          The Marines actually just switched to the M4.

          • Ron

            Only infantry and infantry like units have switched, the A4 is still used in the Marine Divisions

          • Squirreltakular

            So it’s effectively not used anymore.

          • Ron

            The A4 will still be in wide usage just not with the infantry.

          • Squirreltakular

            Read: effectively. Not trying to be a douche, but it doesn’t really matter what non-combat MOSs are carrying.

          • Ron

            Significant number of combat arms guys will still have A4s, to include artillery (in the GWOT they were normally used as provisional infantry or In lieu of security), armor and combat engineers. Not to mention all the combat enablers that are attached to the infantry units while forming either BLTs or the Battalions of a RCT

          • Squirreltakular

            Considering how widespread M4s already are in those positions, I was under the impression that they would be phasing out the A4 as well. Those are “combat MOSs.”

          • Ron

            Not sure if you are in the Marines or not, but in non-infantry formations within the divisions. The M4s only replaced the M9s, so in a 150 or so many company/battery that normally amount to only 30 M4s.

          • Squirreltakular

            I got out a few years ago. Are you talking about the first widespread adoption of the M4 that happened years ago, or the very recent announcement that the A4 will be phased out? I may be out of the loop, but most stories I’ve read have said that full adoption is in the works.

          • Ron

            It’s only for infantry units and infantry like units. There will still be tons of A4 on the battlefield.

          • Squirreltakular

            Right, but the stories I’ve read have said infantry and “supporting troops” by which I take to mean combat engineers, arty, and tanks. Besides them, no one is on the “battlefield” except motor-T. EOD and all the specialized jobs that are attached at the company level were already exclusively using M4s, in my experience. I just want to know where you’re getting this info. I’d like the actual story.

          • FulMetlJakit

            So, embrace carbine for reduced length and weight, and then…
            Do not issue to Armor and engineers.
            That’s solid brass logic right there.

          • roguetechie

            They TOOK THEM BACK from those guys to give to infantry lol…

          • gordon

            Oops, okay, nevermind. I am old.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          TFB reported that the Marines were replacing their M16A4s with M4 rifles, due to be finished by Q4 2016. Would this change the situation any?

        • roguetechie

          Marine combat troops are m4 equipped now with the support and etc units getting A4’s until enough M4’s are available …

          HAHA… No joke this is what has happened

    • majorrod

      Not when branches select things just to be different. E.G. camo patterns are a tool of war and we’ve shared them for over half a century.

  • valorius

    This is no big deal, now that the M855A1 is finally operational and effective. It’s clearly superior to the Mk318 for armor penetration.

    • Minuteman

      The 5.56mm general purpose round is meant for use against soft targets aka dismounted enemy troops, not for shooting at armor, cover and what have you not. So what you want is expansion, not [armor] penetration.

      • iksnilol

        What if that dismounted troop hides behind a wall? Safer to shoot him through it than wait for him to pop out.

        • Minuteman

          Machine guns, frags, grenade launchers, mortars, rockets, joint effects…

          • iksnilol

            Or just shoot the wall with 7.62×39 or M855A1.

            Think simple.

          • Minuteman

            Think overwhelming fire superiority. That’s how the West has fought succesfully since the 1600s.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, every rifle being capable of shooting through walls does seem to be superior fire to me.

            And also, what if your MG guy get’s hit? No more wall shooting for you.

          • Minuteman

            What if, might have, could have, should have… What if my entire Platoon gets mortared and RPG’d away? Training man… But any guy can shoot a machinegun at prepared/covered position located 200 meters away.

          • iksnilol

            What I am saying is that m855A1 doesn’t remove capability while adding it. It’s a win win trade.

          • Minuteman

            Sure, the EPR is in fact an impromevemt over M855, it’s just a capbility we don’t need from a general purpose round. Rifles first and foremost are weapon systems designed to kill or incapacitate dismounted personnel. The best round for that task is a boat tail hollow point/open tip match round because it does the greatest damage by means of expansion. SOST offers the enhanced benefit of being barrier blind, which is a major plus in built up areas and during specops. Mk318 Mod1 is the round of choice and the best -next to 77gr SMK- ever developed for the AR platform or other similarly chambered rifle.

          • roguetechie

            Except a1 is barrier blind also..

            It’s also not unilaterally declared legal by a hand wave from JAG, yet considered by even our closest allies to be blatantly illegal.

            Also, since body armor and… Military vehicles etc are all common targets a soldier will engage… They definitely DO need said capabilities!!

            Assuming that we will never fight anyone but illiterate goat herders in hi lux trucks is STUPID…

            especially since even a passing glance at photos etc coming out of Syria shows nearly ubiquitous body armor etc…

            There’s other reasons too but since one of these answers shows that you’re just plain wrong about what threats soldiers need to be able to engage…

            AND

            Since the rest of the civilized world highly dislikes and in fact considers our use of the round you want to be illegal and violation of the laws of conflict…

            Honestly either of those would be enough for anyone with real sense to see the 318 is the wrong choice!

          • Ron

            It is slightly more nuanced than that, The MK318 was superior through auto glass with deeper penetration and large fragments remaining on shot line. The M855A1 had a significant advantage against 3/16 inch mild steel. Both rounds are effective against auto doors and Level III A vest with neither having a significant advantage.. The M855A1 also showed a tendency for inconsistent terminal effects due to late upset initiation while shot through some materials that did not effect Mk318 additionally M855A1 showed higher rate of malfunctions in both M16 family of weapons and the M27 IAR

          • Squirreltakular

            … aren’t carried by the average soldier, with the exception of frags, which aren’t useful if your enemy is more than 15m away…

          • Minuteman

            Yes they are. Just not cluster f*cked at the Squad level.

          • Squirreltakular

            Wait, what? I’m not familiar with how the Army squad is organized, but a Marine squad has zero 7.62 or HE assets organic to it, besides 203s and frags.

          • roguetechie

            Lol… I mockingly commented above that you probably think that the soldier should just wait for “the proper weapon” can engage…

            Bwahaha!!!!

            Apparently I have my answer ROFLMFAOOMGWTFBBQ

      • roguetechie

        If China, magazine pouches, btr’s brdm’s and etc didn’t exist…

        You’d maybe have a point.

        But body armor is cheap and rapidly approaching the point where everyone everywhere wears at least 3a minimalist vests…

        Level 3 level 3 standalone are both extremely affordable and WIDELY available!

        Plus, like I said… Ever heard of a brdm? A btr? A pandur? A LAV3?

        Oh wait… In your world is only the guy with AT-4 allowed to engage enemy vehicles etc?

        Heck, even more shocking than the armor thing… Have you ever shot a combat harness full of loaded Ak mags? …

        • Ron

          Both Mk318 and M855A1 had similar performance on tested IIIA vests
          Other than hillbilly armored vics, the M855A1’s does not provide significant increase in capability against LAV type vehicles, it cannot reliably penetrate the frontal arc of those vehicles. Additionally, only against steel targets did M855A1 have a significantly better penetration over Mk318, so fighting positions made of earthen construction will still provide cover and not only concealment

          • roguetechie

            And if you attack a LAV with a rifle frontally…

            Honestly if you are that stupid you deserve to die anyway!

            That said… What’s your point in bringing it up?

            Secondly, since I’m unaware of any military who routinely operate ADOBE FIGHTING VEHICLES… so… Again, your point is?

            Also, are you thinking that I was unaware of your second… Umm point I guess

            P.S: just FYI AFV is an acronym for Armored Fighting Vehicle. Many AFV and IFV of yesteryear or most nation’s second tier forces even now used armor steel monolithic hulls constructed with welds and or casting.

            This is why common ATGM RPG rounds etc state a penetration figure in millimeters of Rolled Homogeneous Armor or RHA for short. This is often seen as odd to casual readers since even the most cursory article about a new missile etc will mention that modern and even half century old vehicles in service still either don’t use RHA at all or employ RHA in conjunction with other stuff!

            Even more confusing is that most vehicles with armor packages containing steel never use rolled homogenous armor itself … Instead you will find armor protection stats cited as a number of millimeters and the abbreviation RHAe…

            This is the acronym for Rolled Homogenous Armor equivalent…

            Why RHAe you ask?

            Because armor technology is expensive and takes years to develop…. Don’t ask how your hot dogs are made and never look an alpha dog straight in the eyes…

            And tomorrow kids, we go to the zoo

          • Ron

            You are on the one who brought up “Plus, like I said… Ever heard of a brdm? A btr? A pandur? A LAV3?” It is absurd to believe either or for that matter any 5.56 to include purpose built AP M955 as an anti-armor munition. I would probably fire any of my officers or SNCOs that put forward 5.56 as a reasonable weapon to attack armor.

            No they are not making abode armored vehicles, but most of the targets we shoot at in the middle east don’t hide behind armor, but instead mud bricks, so if you want to test a true medium that the current and future threat will be behind you need to construct adobe brick walls, but you will find no small arms is effective.

          • roguetechie

            …. There are many legacy vehicles which can be penetrated from the sides rear top etc…

            Your anecdote about frontal armor was asinine for THAT reason.

            And your blithe certainty regarding mud huts … LOL ok then.

            Your quips about M995…. OK you sit in a 113 and I’ll shoot it’s sides and rear up… don’t worry… You’re sure m995 won’t pen…

            Again… You’ve said nothing ground breaking or even all that accurate.

            You can feel free to pretend you’re right or that you’ve said anything which refutes my original post if you want…

            You’re not though.

            And your arguments this time are even worse while your counterpoints are pretty much outright fiction.

            Then again you have apparently decided that anything which doesn’t fit your world view must be wrong … You should alert the joint chiefs that they wasted all that cash developing M995 to do the job it was meant for because it can’t possibly penetrate the frontal protection of an IFV

          • Ron

            The first T34 killed by US forces during the Korea war was destroyed by a 50 cal that was able to get rounds into the open commanders’ hatch and set it on fire following its overrunning of the 105mm Battery that was part of Task Force Smith; but using a 50 cal to kill tanks is never planned for nor advised. Similarly what is asinine is you introduce APCs into the discussion into one of the justifications for one 5.56 round or another and than getting all hurt feeling like when someone points that is not a valid argument

          • roguetechie

            Oh yeah…

            Wait that’s right…

            I never said m995 was an anti armor munition… You just assume that I did because …

            Probably because you’re too stupid to know the difference between anti armor munitions and armor piercing small arms ammunition…

            As I said the first time.

            … Honestly, the scary part is that you really believe the bullshit you’re spewing…

          • Ron

            you mentioned APCs in a discussion about 5.56 round and get butt hurt when someone calls you on your bullshit?

          • roguetechie

            I mentioned M995 rounds and said vehicles together because the M995 was in fact developed very specifically in an attempt to give our units ststioned in Europe whose jobs were to buy time with their lives should Ivan appear in the fulda gap…

            Obviously using a rifle on a frontal glacis etc is stupid and therefore has ZERO relevance to what I said and why I said it…

            Silly me I figured people who talk about this would automatically understand or quickly research it and f

    • Uniform223

      I don’t know if the M855A1 is superior to the Mk318 but the FACT that it is barrier blind and not reliant on yawning or fragmentation is a huge plus in my book.

      • valorius

        M855A1 will defeat lvl III hard steel plate armor (there are videos on you tube). Mk318 definitely will not.

        • Squirreltakular

          I’m going to put on my tin foil helmet and roleplay as Conspiracy Theory Carl for a second:

          Widespread adoption of M855A1 would be a good idea if you were anticipating going up against a militia/military that frequently uses steel body armor.

          *Helmet off*

          I definitely don’t believe that, but it’s food for thought when considering different equipment that potential opponents may use.

          • valorius

            Objectively militarily speaking, there’s really nothing that Mk318 does better than M855A1, that i am aware of. But M855A1 is much better vs armor and barriers.

          • Ron

            It’s better on steel, but Mk318 was better on other barrier materials

        • roguetechie

          Valorious,

          Wanna know something interesting?

          Even up to a few years ago many NIJ level 3 armor offerings specifically stated that they were not rated to consistently stop M193 and sometimes M855 too!!

          Mind you, said plates etc were rated for 6+7.62×39 rounds and even M2 AP hits…

          But M193 … Nope not rated for this!

          FWIW This is why I prefer 18-20 inch bbl AR’s if at all possible… The V in SCHV is the secret sauce that makes rounds like 5.56×45 so powerful for their size!

          Since I can’t afford to shoot black hills 77 grain and buy M855a1 15 rounds at a time from gunbroker I accept the extra barrel length rather than give up the capabilities.

          Lucky for the DOD…they’re not limited like we are both in budget and what we can even buy…

          While I wouldn’t buy a 14.5 inch AR … I absolutely understand and heartily agree with their decision to go this route!

          Especially since they have multiple technological enablers to cover almost any situation which more than makes up for the 5.5 inches of bbl they sacrificed to get it…

          As an all volunteer professional military who is always in expeditionary combat zones, usually at the end of a long logistics chain, outnumbered, unlikely to be able to pass as a local, and usually forced by ROE ETC into allowing the enemy to choose time, place, and etc of initial contact before he can fight back….

          This suite of lights lasers unmagnified reflex sight magnified optic foregrip etc etc etc gives him the ability to quickly assess the situation and attempt to take back some of the initiative. It also allows squads to routinely take on complex ambushes and take fire from heavy weapons they sometimes can’t engage back…

          Yet they more often than not inflict heavy losses on the ambushers and force them to run rather than face defeat.

          That says something man,

          You may not like the choices they’ve made but honestly… You can’t really argue with the results they get…

          • n0truscotsman

            I’ve heard plenty of anecdotes about AR500 plates being penetrated by M193 55gr traveling in excess of 3,000 fps, but Id have to do more digging to get more specifics. Maybe I need to take a set out and do my own experiment.

            IIRC, given sufficient velocity, M193 can penetrate more steel than M855. 5.56 benefits greatly from velocity.

          • roguetechie

            FWIW… it’s a big part of why I’m a fan of fast bullets that hang onto velocity well…

            Regardless of other factors a shorter time of flight from muzzle to target makes the target more likely to be hit before it can move…

            Combine that with the armor thing EPR construction and etc and you should wind up with a decent round.

          • int19h

            It’s not just anecdotes. You can easily find plenty of videos demonstrating just that on YouTube, simply by searching “M193 AR500”. Usually happens at distances under 25 yards – depends on barrel length (= velocity).

            On the other hand, the steel penetrator in M855 does better against UHMWPE plates (which do stop M193 reliably).

            So if you want level 3 armor that can reliably stop both rounds, you need ceramic or hybrid ceramic/UHMWPE.

          • valorius

            Thumbs up for the thoughtfulness of your post.

  • Minuteman

    ….And this is our concern as civies because?….??

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      …because guns. If you don’t care, don’t read and don’t comment.

      • Minuteman

        It’s about an ammo war between Marines and Army Sunshine. And we can’t get either of these rounds on the commercial market, can we now? You’re missing my entire point.

        • john huscio

          I’ve seen mk318 from a few sites in 20 round boxes and 500 round cases.

          • Minuteman

            Mind sharing that intell? I check with Ammoseek everyday and never see it listed. Last time I did actually see it was about 2 or 3 years ago. Then it seemed to have vanished into thin air.

          • Just google “T556TNB1 for sale”.

  • AC97

    Why wouldn’t you take the M855A1 over the Mk. 318 for general use?

    • Minuteman

      There’s zero use for an ‘enhanced penetration’ round to begin with because 5.56 sucks for that purpose anyway. What DoD needs to do is standardize on Mk318 Mod1, use 77gr OTM whenever that is more suitable, and dump everything else.

      • AC97

        Enhanced penetration is useless? What? Also, it stands for “Enhanced Performance Round.”

        I’d go for the M855A1 on the basis that it’s versatile in that it has good terminal ballistics and enhanced penetration.

        Specialization is for insects, after all.

        • Minuteman

          the performance issue was related to penetration, hence my statement. I’d opt for SOST because I’m shooting at people, not at armored vehicles. So what I need is a flat shooting round with good expansion.

          • AC97

            But the M855A1 has great terminal ballistics too, why would you need an open tip bullet? Especially when it’s less versatile?

          • Minuteman

            Because EPR is inconsistent and SOST delivers very reliable expansion.

          • andrey kireev

            inB4 facing a modern military that uses a body armor. We shouldn’t bet on fighting just insurgents the entire time, you know.

          • Squirreltakular

            We would issue black tip is that was the case. M855A1 will get through AR500, but I doubt it would defeat level IV ceramic plates.

            I’m not even sure black tip would get through, come to think of it.

          • Minuteman

            Level IV is hardly desirable because it will make you survive only 1 hit (ONE). They need X-ray scans as well and given their inherent brittleness will deteriorate over time. Hardly a desirable item to have in the inventory from a durability perspective. Level 3A steel with spalling, albeit heavy-ish, is still the most effective and most durable body armor.

          • CommonSense23

            Where do you get that insane idea from?

          • Minuteman

            It’s not at all insane an idea. The carbides are actually very brittle material and do not lend themselves to be laminated and matrixed very well, hence the low kinetic impact survivability rate before loss of stuctural integrity as well as deterioration over time (hence the need for x-ray scans). Steel has a much higher density and is still the material of choice for making plates from both longevity and cost perspective.

          • Squirreltakular

            From a prepper or SHTF perspective, steel probably makes more sense, but if you have the cash, there are special threat multi-impact polymer hybrid plates that are just as effective.

            Most troops on today’s battlefields aren’t getting shot multiple times and having rounds go through their armor. If they are hit, their supply chain replaces the damaged plate. As it stands, AP ammo isn’t able to defeat ceramic reliably, but if steel plates were adopted, everyone would carry AP and the armor would be useless…

          • Minuteman

            Well it also makes sense if you’re an agency on a budget.
            You mean polymer hybrids such as Dyneema etc? MAC did a cool vid on all kinds of plates a couple of years back.

          • roguetechie

            I have a set of positive buoyancy level 3 standalone multi hit plates for both myself and my wife… (They were on sale… LOL)

            I also bought a smaller sample plate from the same lot… I put 1 each of m193 m855 7n6 and steel core x39 into it from under 50 feet with no full penetrations….

            It cost under $1000 for 2 sets of compound curve shooter cut front and back plates

          • demophilus

            Steel reflects a lot of the EM spectrum in a way carbides, etc. do not. That makes a difference in near peer scenarios. There is also a weight penalty, and (by some accounts), steel plates more readily turn impacts into shrap. The carbides are designed to absorb and disseminate an impact. That’s my understanding, but maybe I’m misinformed.

          • Minuteman

            Either way, I’d really rather do without. Speed, agression and surprise kill. You want to keep everything simple and basic, with lots of firepower. I rather bring along the extra rocket launchers and grenades instead of wearing all that armor garbage. It’s all about movement, agility and firepower. I prefer the booney hat and chest rig model. YMMV

          • demophilus

            Which assumes you’re not on the defensive, maybe fighting from a prepared position, or they don’t know you’re coming, or there isn’t UXO and/or IEDs all over the AO, or you’re not dismounting from a vehicle.

            You seem to be fixated on other scenarios. I’ll give you this — if I wanted to be able to blend back into gen pop, I might go with a chest rig, etc. Assuming I couldn’t find armor that was also LBE, and didn’t fit over my native garb.

            Otherwise, I’d wear armor on a battlefield, just like I’d wear a condom in a cathouse.

          • roguetechie

            Cough.. Wiki cough…

            Just because you can copypasta or even memorize a paragraph doesn’t mean you COMPREHEND it…

            BTW he’s calling you insane because you pretty much showed you know nothing about body armor in the first 10 words and confirmed it beyond doubt throughout the rest of the shitshow that was your post.

          • Squirreltakular

            And yet ceramic is what is being used by every branch of the U.S. military, and by every modern military that I’m aware of that actually uses body armor.

          • Minuteman

            Which just doesn’t make sense to me at all. Because it’s not nearly as durable as steel. I’d rather not ware any kind of body armor nor helmet at all. It slows and wears you down. Booney hat and chest rig are fine. I like speed and agility. Being able to move quickly from one spot to another is very important to me. Read up ‘Donkeys led by Lions’ in ‘British Army Review’ and you’ll understand what I mean.

          • Squirreltakular

            That argument deserves an entire comment section on its own, but suffice to say that there are times that you want armor and times you might not.

            We’re kind of circling on our logic here, because if steel armor was widely adopted, then the M855A1 would definitely be a good choice.

            Also, it’s a complete myth that ceramic plates only survive one hit and need to be constantly x-rayed. Although NIJ level IV is only rated for one round of AP .30-06, any independent testing you find shows plates stopping multiple small rounds, and at least a couple battle-rifle caliber rounds, provided that they don’t land directly on top of one another.

          • Minuteman

            Remember you need to factor in cost as well. X-rays aside, ceramic is very expensive but hardly a goid investment from a sheer durability perspective. Besides, only sapi and alike plates will eventually succumb to EPR. AMI TAC3S plates most definitely will not. Those are near indestructable man. Tough as nails!

          • Uniform223

            Obviously you’ve never seen how soldiers and marines treat their body armor…

          • roguetechie

            Or the DTIC report about M193 and armor grade steel heh.

          • roguetechie

            Level 3a or better is rapidly becoming the defacto base standard even among non state actors in the middle East…

            Groups like Hezbollah have a substantial amount of people with level 3 or better…

            Also the NIJ standards required to meet a given protection level are usually exceeded by a pretty amazing amount by even bargain body armor companies.

            Also, it’s not like 10 years ago where body armor tech was almost exclusively American and euro companies selling to American and euro customers…

            China Russia and others make and widely issue very decent armor now.

            More importantly China makes it by the container ship load… And if you buy in bulk they sell CHEAP!

            It’s also high quality and meets the specs they advertise if you buy through the right source.

            (Obey all US customs and other laws if you buy from China… They’ll send it to you whether legal or not where you are… It’s you who will go to prison etc though…)

          • Gary Kirk

            So.. You’re Carlos Hathcock reincarne.. Have good luck my invisible friend..

          • n0truscotsman

            It makes perfect sense.

            Military forces have a higher budget per soldier/fighter than a prepper, which permits the former to be fitted with more expensive ceramic plates.

            That and the weight reduction in a force already overburdened is a necessity rather than nice to have.

            Ive been running Ar500 in my plate carriers for a couple years now. Theyre a viable defense option, although their inexpensive price comes at its own costs, namely, in weight in comparison to the alternatives.

          • roguetechie

            Hint: a pair of most ceramic plates weighs about what a single steel plate weighs… And many times a pair of ceramic plates that weigh the same as single steel plate are also one or more levels higher in protection.

            Then there’s things like compound curvature and other ergonomically optimized shapes etc you can get in ceramics and not steel…

            There’s also spalling, ricochet, fragments, blunt force trauma, and etc…

            Is steel more than satisfactory for most civilian preppers? ABSOLUTELY!!

            Is there a reason any military or even police officer should use it?
            Only if it’s this or nothing.

          • I think you really need to read up on these subjects more.

          • roguetechie

            ROFL wrong wrong wrong…

            You’re talking out your ass again!!

            It’s very obvious that you don’t even have wiki grade knowledge of body armor NIJ ratings etc…

          • Minuteman

            And you think insurgents don’t use body armor? Trust me, they have everything that you and I can get from Amazon. NVG’s, optics, everything. And it’s all about thos placement…

          • andrey kireev

            so, I guess we need a good penetrator round after all.

          • Minuteman

            Nyet Andrusha, it’s all about shot placement and immediate incapacitation.

          • andrey kireev

            It would make more sense to run these rounds directly against each other to determine which one fits both roles better. And I would prefer if you didn’t use that name, as it’s reserved to only be used by my mother and grandmother lol

          • Minuteman

            That has already been done. SOST is superior to EPR in terms of being barrier blind, accuracy, trajectory and expansion. The only thing the EPR does a little better is penetrate but that’s about it. As a general purpose round SOST is a vastly more consistent round and superior in each and every way. There is a reason why both the Marines AND USSOCOM use it.
            No problem, I genuinly meant it in a friendly/brotherly way. Sorry you seem to have taken offense.

          • Barrier Blind: Mk. 318 and M855A1 both uses penetrating slugs, but M855 has a penetrator in the tip. So naw, I don’t think so.

            Accuracy: Both are very accurate. I even think their accuracy standards are similar. They were both designed around the same accuracy requirements, I do know that.

            Trajectory: Mk. 318 has the same muzzle velocity as M855A1 (second spiral), and a slightly lower BC, so you’re wrong again on this one.

            Expansion: Mk. 318 doesn’t expand, it fragments. So does M855A1.

            Not sure where you’re getting that Mk. 318 is so much more consistent than M855A1. Both rounds failed to be as consistent as Mk. 262, which is why the latter round is still in use.

          • Ron

            Actual procurement requirementa are
            M855A1
            Both average vertical standard deviation and the average horizontal standard deviation shall either not exceed 6.8 inches at 600 yards or 1.8 inches at 200 yards, which equates to

            Mk318
            The extreme spread of any individual ten shot (10-shot) group shall not exceed 6.0 inches at 200 yards. The average extreme spread of all ten 10-shot groups shall not exceed 4.75 inch ES at 200 yards

            Which equates to M855A1 requirement of 5 MOA at 200 and the MK318 cartridge no more than 2.5 MOA. However, all lots so far produced of both M855A1 and Mk318 are significantly more accurate

          • Thank you for the standards. I had M855A1’s, but not Mk. 318’s. Correct me if I’m wrong (I haven’t checked my records, as I am on a new PC and they are still in a little disarray), but isn’t the standard for M855A1 like 30 shots, not 10?

          • Gary Kirk

            “Accurate”.. I think both are only held to around a 2 MOA lot average, correct me if I am wrong please?

          • That’s approximately correct. Also, that’s very good for mass produced military ammunition.

          • Gary Kirk

            Didn’t say it wasn’t, was just saying that they were about equal on that front..

          • Gary Kirk

            It also beats the Hell outta 855.. I’ve had lots that were about there, and some that you’d be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn from inside said barn..

          • User

            In therms of terminal consistancy ive seen serval tests where Mk262 opend up only after the half of the block, M855A1 EPR fragments absolut instanly even from really short barrels every single time.
            Sure mk262 has a bit better bc but is also slow, and velocity of both only seem to meet at around ~700m.

          • andrey kireev

            Not at all offended.. hence the “lol”

          • Minuteman

            (Y)

          • andrey kireev

            Being tied to a maintenance unit for two years, tends to push requirements to be offended into stratosphere…. Embrace the suck !

          • roguetechie

            Shot placement… Bwahaha good luck with that.

          • Uniform223

            Strange…
            I never encountered AQ, Taliban, or insurgents with body armor or NODs. Sure they would have some old harness or even the occasional tac-vest but nothing you described.

          • Minuteman

            Try Daesh.

          • Uniform223

            I don’t have to deal with them but all the unclassified footage and pictures that I’ve seen points to the contrary.

          • andrey kireev

            Thing about that conflict is that you have people from different backgrounds using wide range of equipment… You have some people using somewhat exotic rifles and equipment that they purchased on their own dime but majority of them just have somewhat basic weapons they gave to them. Body armor is a rare sight there.

          • andrey kireev

            Them Chi-Coms chest rigs can stop .50 cal rounds you know πŸ˜‰

          • Gary Kirk

            But every true mallninj knows all LBEs are armor..

          • Uniform223

            Allah provides them with protection and when they get slammed by jdam, 50 cal, 30 cal, 5.56, or anything else we have in our inventor then it’s inshallah.

          • Gary Kirk

            That’s when they get their 72 virgins, only to realize that it was the 72 idiots that blew themselves up before them..

          • roguetechie

            Apparently the body armor fairy visits Syria regularly though…

            Check out Hezbollah units especially…

          • CommonSense23

            We recovered two guys who had plates. One of the units in our AO in Afghanistan was regularly engaged by someone who had some sort of night vision device. And one of my team leads had killed two guys who had standalone plates, pvs 18s, and peqs on their rifle on a previous deployment. Its not common. But it’s getting less and less rare to see insurgents/TB with better gear these days.

          • You’re talking out your ass. Mk. 318 doesn’t expand, it fragments.

            Also, who says M855A1 is inconsistent? The whole program was designed to improve the consistency of terminal effects, that’s the whole point of making something yaw independent.

          • Minuteman

            Will you mind? Please!

          • Mind what? I’m minding pretty well the numerous errors you’ve made in this thread so far.

          • Minuteman

            Your language. Citing one’s buttocks in the event of being misguided -which I do concede- isn’t exacty an act of gentlemanship and sets a bad example. You’re TFB staff, for Pete’s sake.

          • If that bugs you, then I hope you never have to speak with me in person.

          • Kivaari

            Relax, it’s all in good humor.

          • Minuteman

            Not to me it isn’t. I prefer to adhere to Netiquette. He’s been pretty firm in his words.

          • lol

            Try hard comment kid getting BTFO hahaha hahaha way to stick on him nat! M855a1 is way over saami spec and might lower the lifespan of components. I say this is a good thing as the fed is forced to look at improving the m4. Makes for more aftermarket goodies. Like hopefully aluminum mags using feed lip and presentation angles of magpul pmags πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

          • andrey kireev

            Lancer 5 mags…. just saying.

          • Squirreltakular

            M855a1 wouldn’t get through any armored vehicle out there, except for maybe a garage-built technical (which are actually a more common threat now, if the conflicts with Daesh are any indicator.) However, it should be able to punch through steel body armor, so that could be something being considered by the big wigs.

            We’re talking about penetrating intermediate barriers, ie. common cover that people hide behind on the battlefield. I know 318 is supposed to be “variety blind,” but AFAIK there hasn’t been a head to head comparison on penetration between the two rounds.

          • Ron

            A head to head was done by MARCORSYSCOM In 2012

          • Squirreltakular

            Nice. Was anything published on it and do you have a link?

          • Ron

            I am not sure if it were every published to non-DoD entities

          • Squirreltakular

            I’ll try to find it. Maybe it was circulated within the services.

          • Joshua

            However powder charge and price have changed drastically since 2012.

            Both have come down.

          • Ron

            The issues seen in the head to head were not powder or price related, but instead projectile based.

          • Joshua

            Damage from the penetrator can be negated through the use of Pmags and increased bore fouling is sadly just a byproduct of a solid copper projectile.

            I believe SMP-842 now has a de-coppering agent added, similar issues were noted from the use of brown tip.

            Unless there was more found in the head to head than that.

          • Ron

            The EPR mags did not fix the M27 issue, I was told but
            never seen actual testing that the Mag Pull M3 does correct the problem. I requested the copies of the investigation “M4A1 Gun Fouling. Part 1 – Effect of Deterrent, Flash Suppressant, and Nitroglycerine Level part 1 and 2” to see it the coppering issue has been
            solved.

          • Joshua

            Does the m27 damage relate to the OTB chamber face? Does the m27 even have that?

            If that’s it, I doubt Pmags would fix that.

            I do know Pmags remove the increased wear the M4 was receiving to the feed ramps from M855A1 though, however the M4 also doesn’t have such a flat chamber face.

          • Ron

            The M27 has the lack of chamfer on the barrel extension to support OTB operations. From the report I read, the issue with the M855A1 hitting the barrel extension was caused by the ogive angle

          • Joshua

            Yeah, no way to fix that except to increase the chamfer to match that of the M16/M4, which would hinder the OTB aspects of the rifle.

            Pmags just remove the damage the M4 was receiving to the feed ramp cuts in the upper.

          • Joshua

            Could have sworn I replied to this…

            Anyways feed ramp damage can be negated by using the new GI mags or Pmags, and I believe SMP-842 now has a de-coppering agent added to the powder that will help reduce some of the accuracy degredation from a solid copper projectile leading to copper build up in the bore, however similar issues were seen with brown tip being solid copper as well.

      • There’s zero use for an enhanced penetration round? OK, tell that to anyone who has to shoot at cars, cinder blocks, walls, timber, light armor, etc.

      • Gary Kirk

        Mk318 is technically an enhanced penetration round.. Kind of the HEDP of the 5.56 world..

        • Mk.318 is “barrier blind” which is sort of code for “doesn’t dust itself when hitting common non-armor materials”.

          So yes, it beats Mk. 262 in this regard, but I personally wouldn’t liken it to HEDP.

          • Gary Kirk

            Very, very vague reference there my friend..

          • I get what you were going for, but I feel like HEDP implies some kind of light armor capability, which Mk. 318 doesn’t really have.

            Arguing about it isn’t terribly productive, though, so I’ll leave it there.

          • Gary Kirk

            No argument provoked.. Though I’m sure someone will..

          • Gary Kirk

            In regards that it’s a dual purpose round.. It does fragment, and has a somewhat solid base to continue with the penetration..

        • Minuteman

          We have no need for a penetrator round for the 5.56. It really has not done anything substantial to justify its development and use. Despite claims, EPR still acts like a normal FMJ and thus, sucks for terminal ballistics. Using the penetrator to chew up cover is not a legit reason either, because the 5.56 sucks for that purpose anyways. You use enough rounds, even a non-penetrator will get through. Also, plate body armor has advanced to the point where it can reliably stop multiple hits of M855/SS109. I know guys who run plates in their duty body armor that is rated for multi-hit M855. We should entirely replace it with the Mk318 SOST round and be done with it. Same weight, same exterior ballistics, but terminal ballistics are far better, and it performs better through vehicles.

  • Minuteman

    Just get Mk318 Mod 1 out on the commercial market at consumer friendly prices already….

    • Squirreltakular

      $0.86 a round right now. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

  • roguetechie

    Holy crap it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a comments section so full of information…

    Unfortunately, 99% of it is wrong.

    Y’all go ahead and keep arguing with each other over whose information sucks the least without me.

    BTW, M855a1 isn’t inaccurate, 5.56 is actually almost freakishly amazing at penetrating armor of various types, both 855a1 and 318 make it less velocity dependent and more barrier blind, and finally the 5.56 works quite well as compared to 7.62×39 5.45×39 & 5.8×42 so quit complaining!

    Notice that 5.56 while being called “bad at wounding” etc is still better than the other 3 options out there by varying degrees.

    And NO you can’t have 7.62 NATO back!!

    That’s a stupid idea, and if you don’t know why you probably can’t be helped anyway.

    • Squirreltakular

      I don’t really have a dog in the fight; I just want the best round to win.

      But damn if these caliber/bullet debates aren’t entertaining to watch.

      • roguetechie

        I like the EPR personally, but the mk318 is also pretty awesome for fighting goat herders in hi lux trucks.

        However, real war appears to be inevitable at this point somewhere on the globe so I’d prefer to see 855a1 win.

    • iksnilol

      Y’all should go back to .45/70, less wear on guns due to less pressure and increased stopping power.

    • Just say’n

      The EPR round tears up M4 feed ramps. True story.

      • AC97

        And they made new mags with better feed lips and followers to fix that. True story.

      • Uniform223

        New magazines issued… true story.

        • Dougscamo

          Okay….note to self: …..never….say….true….story…in….comments. Got it! Thanks!….

      • roguetechie

        The new follower fixes this

        • And reduces MRBF by 300%.

          • roguetechie

            Right, overall even though you’re getting accelerated parts wear a few places with 855a1 it’s a very small price to pay to essentially get performance at least as good as the A1 / A2 with 5.5 inches less barrel!

            Especially since you’ve got much better barrier penetration performance and a much less velocity dependent one at that.

            Personally there’s a few other little tweaks I’d love to see the guns get, and a few other things I’d like to test as far as the rifles go.

            But for my money I’d like to see 855a1 picked as the new standard round AND the Army and Marine brass to push for mk318 to stay in inventory as an OOTW / LIC substitute standard.

          • I’m interested in the idea that M855A1 wouldn’t work so well in the M27. I’d like to see a long-term test of the M27 with HRMs and M855A1, to see if there were any issues.

          • roguetechie

            I am too, just how self adjusting is that gas system?

            Personally, I dislike that the USMC bought them at all. Especially since they finally got them just as the baseline AR got really good.

            Truthfully, I think that as amazing as the system is now there’s still potential for it to get better. Really, it’s still got some growth potential.

            More importantly though, the improvements that I believe could be made also happen to be in areas most relevant to future war fighters.

            Funny thing is I’m gritting my teeth writing this…

            You have no idea how bad I want to see something finally appear to dethrone it! Especially if this gun were a bullpup!

            This said though, it’s an almost phenomenally good gun as it is and I can genuinely see it becoming even better!

          • Quest

            M855A2 and A3 would solve even more problems.

          • roguetechie

            ALL THE PROBLEMZ!!

          • int19h

            Oh wow, seriously? Is there some study on that?

      • Joshua

        New GI mags and Pmags….True story.

    • Paul Labrador

      Part of the misconception about M855A1 being inaccurate was back during the initial R&D when they were considering using tungsten alloy for the penetrator. Those batches had accuracy issues, and why the USMC decided to pass on it and adopt the Mk318. Once the Army changed the penetrator to steel, the accuracy issues went away…..but the Corps was already committed to their own round. IMHO, Congress is correct. We don’t need 2 different rounds. Pick one and go with it.

      • roguetechie

        After giving it some serious thought, and really trying to take an honest look at who what where when why and HOW we’d have to fight them….

        I’ve come to the conclusion that 855a1 absolutely needs to be the GP standard, but just like m995 and etc the mk318 round should be kept in the system and prepositioned at key CONUS logistics nodes as well as in unit sets OCONUS that are likely to face situations where it would be a better choice.

        Most importantly though it should stay in the manuals and occasional drill / refresher course drop ins where each soldier must rezero etc for 318

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Given how many millions of rounds that each branch goes through in a given year, even in peacetime, is it REALLY messing up logistics and supply chains to have two different cartridges for two different branches?

    • andrey kireev

      Defense Logistics Agencies would have to keep both rounds on hand, instead of larger quantity of one. Additionally It creates problems in supply, because these rounds have different National Stock numbers. Having one standard would make resupply missions easier in joint deployed environment.

  • I suppose it’s too much hubris to hope for cheap surplus of the losing cartridge…

    • Joshua

      Yes. However if M855A1 becomes standard, it will eventually replace M855 in surplus.

      Currently it is costing the Army just a few cents over M855.

  • adverse4

    Fashion shows, and who has got the biggest weenie.

  • Ed

    Military. Com just had a posting today. Both services are not going along with congress. I agree withe the USMC’s rejection of M-855A1 not due to its bullet but by its issues with over pressure and its new powder makes the weapon much dirtier than other round still in use.

    • Squirreltakular

      I’m fairly certain they solved those issues. M855A1 is now loaded to the same pressure as M855.

  • Ron

    The Marine Corps stated position at the Army Marine Corps Board in the 2011 time frame was we would adopt the M855A1 once the problems were worked out, however this was before the IAR was adopted and subsequent testing of the M27.

    Hence some of the development on the Mk318 Mod 1 but in the end I have a feeling as the executive agent for small arms ammo may make an eventual fielding of a M855A1 variant inevitable

    Interesting point though, this has more to do with theater provided ammunition than it has to do with service provide ammunition used for training. All the Depts have their independent ammo purchasing authority, so the Marines in theory could buy and train with one type of ammo and get in country and use theater provided ammo that is not a ballistic match for their sights and in the in the case of the current M855A1 may be less than reliable in the fireteams’ automatic rifle or repeat its unusual step of providing service specific ammunition, as it did in AFG.

  • Scott Connors

    I’m in favor of letting the next Secretary of Defense decide which round to use… πŸ˜‰

  • NewMan

    Would be a dumb idea to standardize the M855A1 considering the it is destroying the M4 left and right with its excessively high pressure. The M855A1 is eating the M4’s barrel throat and bolt for lunch like it’s a cool thing to do.

    • Uniform223

      Hey look who showed up everyone!

      Finally a real expert with multiple awards, and combat missions… in CoD and Battlefield.

      Finally we can get some real answers based on personal an professional experience.

    • Squirreltakular

      So, I think they fixed the pressure issue and created new magazines to solve the feed ramp problems.

      • AC97

        They did make new magazines and fix the pressure problem, in fact, I believe that there’s a TFB article on this.

        Good luck getting that through to this obstinate piece of work though…

    • n0truscotsman

      Read more and post less. Your “concerns” have already been addressed on this thread.

  • Blake

    I think they should use whichever one Nathaniel F says they should use πŸ™‚

    • Hah! That would be M855A1, although it’s worth noting I like Mk. 318 to load my AR with it.

      • int19h

        I would hope that they’d do another round of testing, specifically comparing one against the other, and choose the winner based on the results.

        While we’re at it, do it for ALL duplicated systems. Camo and uniforms, AT weaponry, rifles etc. If there’s more than one choice, and they all do the same thing, it follows that one of them is better than the other. If we want the troops in all military branches to have the best (and why wouldn’t we), it’s imperative to pick the best, and use it consistently.

  • lowell houser

    Honestly, this committee should be very glad that I’m not attending. It would go something like this “Okay USELESS POLITICIAN, try to keep up, I’ve seen the ballistic vids on M855A!, and I am TOTALLY a fan. I would switch us in a heartbeat. But here’s the problem, the Marine Corps has like third of the personnel of the Army and a fifth of the budget, and we still have to be the most flexible branch of service that also manages to be the only branch the GAO says consistently manages to actually do it’s job. SO instead of surplusing our M855 for pennies on the dollar like the Army, we’re just gonna shoot it all up. And the MK318 is much cheaper in so many ways, not just for the rounds, but the Army has already found a problem with the hardened steel tip gouging the upper receivers until the rifle won’t feed reliably ever. To fix this problem they had to design a brand new magazine. So in addition to the more expensive ammo, are you gonna send an appropriations bill to cover the cost of replacing all of our magazines, too? Oh, and then there’s this other potential issue. My beloved Corps started fielding a supplement to the M249 made by HK that we are looking to adopt as the next standard rifle for the Corps, and no one has tested it with these magazines and we know that the rifle is finicky about them, in that it only really likes standard stanag mags. So yeah, Mr. Useless politician, until we can get all of that sorted, we’re just gonna keep issuing the ammo we already have paid for that already works in all of our equipment. KTHXBYE.”

    • Ron

      The testing with EPR magazine and the IAR was done in Nov 2014,Operating group characteristics (cycle time/rate of fire/peak operating group velocity), barrel design geometry (barrel face chamfer), and projectile shape were all identified as critical factors that may have significant impact on M27 reliability.

  • Frank Grimes

    65gr BTSPs

    Also everybody in Tiger Stripe.

  • Edeco

    Use Hornady 75 gr BTHP so I can get it cheap. It’s totally good at, erm, ballistic and woundings.

  • Gary Kirk

    K, I’m fine with it.. Soon as the army can do everything the marines can.. Then we’ll worry about it.. Two different branches, two different missions.. In theatre shared operations, where shared logistics are key, by all means use one or the other. But as far as making them share.. It’s like saying naval guns and army artillery need to share common ammo..

    Everyone settle down and just let us grunts do our damned job.. We’ll take it, the army can hold it..

    πŸ˜‰

  • Uniform223

    The comments over At military.com about this subject are terrible enough to give someone a brain tumor…

  • John

    “Mister President! We have an emergency!”

    “What is it, Mister Defense Secretary?”

    “The Army and the Marines can’t decide on a common bullet! Each side has threatened to endlessly terrorize our accountants until they give in!”

    “Great Scott! What do we do?”

    “There’s only one thing we can do, Mister President. We have to negotiate with them.”

    “With the terrorists?”

    “EXACTLY.”

  • Gary Kirk

    Ok, second time mentioning this.. Here’s to all the fallen, from all branches, on this “day of infamy”.. Let’s all forego our differences, and honor those before us.. Today is not a day for division of service, but a day to honor all.

    75 years…

  • Bal256

    Does M855A1 still mess up barrel extensions and require special mags or is that just a precaution/rumor?

  • gunsandrockets

    “… this situation presented obvious logistical problems…”

    Not really.

  • gunsandrockets

    The military.com article says the USMC still uses M855.

  • User

    The M855A1 EPR has higher fragmenting range, more early reaction in tissue, FAR better penetration, propably higher BC (no open tip which decreases aerodynamics), etc.
    Dont get why they arent using it already.

  • roguetechie

    Exactly tradition, esprit de corps, identifying as WE instead of me, and all that other stuff he’s waving off are what keeps a unit cohesive and effective when everything else fails.

  • valorius

    I have a 7.5″ AR for home defense, loaded with 53 grain black hills TSX ammo. But the maximum range in my house is maybe 20 yards. (It’s paired with a nice set of electronic ear muffs)

    For outdoors use i have a 16″ Ruger AR556 (which i love, btw- 1:8 for the win!), but again, where i live, the max shot i’m ever taking is 200 meters. M193 is what i usually shoot out of that, because it’s so cheap and with a 16″ barrel has plenty of terminal effect.

    For long range work, i like a nice long barrel and a flat shooting high velocity projectile. I don’t own one though, cause there is just no shooting like that round my parts.

    • roguetechie

      My long range guns are a set of 7.5×55 swiss straight pulls one carbine one rifle and enough gp11 ammunition to last the rest of my life if I shot long range 8x as much as I normally used to, AND became a reclusive subsistence hunter… TWICE

      heh

      Because I live in a major left coast metro area so no eleventh seventeen clipazines per murdered child HD guns for me…

      Just my motley menagerie of misfit milsurp pistols bought cheap and usually two at a time, and the “ugly” Leo trade in 870 I bought for $169 including a replacement polymer forearm because the wood original was missing a big chunk and cracked from end to end and the stock had a visible repaired crack…

      I only remember this because it was the third gun I bought after turning 18 out of 4 I bought within the month after my birthday…

      1. 10/22 new on my birthday
      2. M1 carbine the next Friday
      3. 870 the next Friday
      4. Romanian under folder the last Friday…

      The gun bug bit me early and hard, but I regret none of it…

      • valorius

        I’m surprised they allow you an M-1 carbine out there in leftopia.

  • Minuteman

    Of course [inward] esprit de corps is important, but there’s no need for any outward display and paradomania. I have nothing against military tradition -that’s fine for people who like it- but I just have no use for it, and that fanatical crap “scares” me. I prefer to let it boil down to strong bonds of friendship, brotherhood, family loyalty. You dig? I don’t care about unit pride, badges, patches, medals and what have you not. The outside world doesn’t need to know. It’s just about getting the job done with the people you trust most. I’m a technical-soldiery kind of guy. I believe in sheer skill, competence, no-nonsense training, and skipping close order drill and other useless hot air. For ‘parade ground discipline’ or machismo or whatever you might want to call it doesn’t make you a better soldier. I believe in quiet professionalism, the closeness of a tight knit small group that doesn’t get any media coverage. That’s why I have a tremendous amount of very VERY deep respect for special forces types. SEALs, Delta, MFR (until they got gutted), ParaRescue, Green Berets etc.

    • The Brigadier

      You are asking men to face withering rifle and artillery fire and they need something to fix on besides their very reasonable fear. If that scares you then pick another profession.

      • Minuteman

        You and I aren’t that different in our thinking. I will wholeheartedly fight for my kin, my clan, my country -in a just war that is, not in yet another cops and robbers mission in some Medieval crap hole where nothing’s really at stake. That’s plenty enough motivation for me. War is in my DNA as well as in my family history.

  • n0truscotsman

    a search brings up a couple. Which one were you referring to?

    • roguetechie

      … Ummm it’s in my DTIC I’m not smart enough to add a word or two to the ada#.PDF file names sometimes so….

      Apologies… I’m told I suck at life and people hate me.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Congress orders military to buy all ammo from suppliers of which members of Congress are on payroll.

    FTFY

  • valorius

    M855A3 or A4 are not animals i am familiar with.

    What’s the scale on that chart in, inches?

    • User

      Use paint, copy the bullet and put them in a row to the bubble, for measuring bullet lenght – copy the diameter of the bullet, rotate it and copy it from the tail to the nose, than you find out if its M855 or M193, than calculate 5,7mm x calibers, than calculate bullet row x bullet lenght.

      Than you have the icepicking depth tough fleet yaw, but this always whill be diffrent depending on the angle and tissue.

      But… i quess its inches (M855 is slightly shorter than M855A1, M855A1 seems around 4,4cal long x5,7mm its ~25mm which is close to 1 inch/ 25,4mm.

  • cwolf

    The Congressional question is cost. Many assume that 2 separate line items are more expensive than one line item. At the huge volume of ammunition production, likely not more expensive per se. Congress could equally question why there are different types of ammunition. Few Congressional folks have any military experience, subject matter expertise, or manufacturing knowledge.

    Standardizing on one thing simply based on cost without considering performance would be counter-productive. I’d even debate why we give the same gun to everybody. Give the Infantry the best rifle/sight/ranges possible, then give the support folks a basic rifle.

    So, nobody has mentioned the cost of the Mk318 and the M855A1. It may be that each has construction/material specs that vary the cost.

    Plus there is value in each Service competing in a sense with the others (to a degree). It stimulates development and provides a degree of oversight.

    Although irrelevant to this ammunition discussion, the same is true of uniforms. It’s not inherently more expensive for each service to have different uniforms. The larger issue and cost was the leadership folks changing the basic service-wide uniforms so often for no substantial or functional reason (berets vs patrol caps). The reality is that each using environment requires different camouflage (winter, desert, forest, jungle, etc.). The pale green digital camo was supposed to reflect a new high tech look…… it had no functional camouflage role in any real world environment.

    And so it goes. πŸ™‚

  • MikeSmith13807

    Regardless of the ammo selected, in my ignorant opinion (based only on battlefield video viewed on the Internet) the real problem is # of rounds fired per kill. Accurate shooting at long range is my preferred method of dealing with the enemy. If it was up to me I’d be trying to get more Designated Marksmen deployed.

    • georgesteele

      Misleading statistic; the “rounds per kill” implies that all rounds fired were intended to kill an adversary, and fired with that intent. The implication of the large number often cited is that the soldiers are horrible shots, and that rarely does a round find its mark. It completely ignores the battlefield reality of suppressive fire, which is not intended to kill – in fact, just the opposite. It is intended to keep enemy heads down in self defense against a hail of bullets so that teams can maneuver without exposure to return fire. There is NO statistic that accurately reflects battlefield accuracy and actual “rounds per kill” when a firefight/counterfire action is under way. None.

    • n0truscotsman

      I was always of the opinion of deploying more designated marksman, according to the conditions encountered in the operational environment of course, coupled with more small arms training emphasizing combat marksmanship and stress shooting.

      Im not even sure it would ameliorate the overall ’rounds per kill’ number (idk what it is now), or if that that number is necessarily a problem.

  • The Brigadier

    Its about time.

  • majorrod

    You know, if the rounds were reversed and developed by the other branch there would be a significant group promoting the Marine round because “it’s the Marines”.

    (Just like they badmouthed the short M4 barrel until the Corps decided to adopt it across infantry formations…)

  • Too bad they couldn’t just use the Swiss GP Pat 90
    match grade accuracy 63 gr…

  • Mark Farris

    Without a doubt the Mk 318 is the better choice for the armed forces being that it functions similarly to a true hollow point without breaking Geneva conventions. While the M855A1 is better than the old 855 it is not very good for warfare and gets troops killed by going through terrorists opposed to stopping them. A few armies adopt any body armor so the need for hollow point performance is much more badly needed over penetration. The 30 cal will always take care of that issue.