Intermediate calibers for combat

This is a discussion on Intermediate calibers for combat within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So... this thread about hating a specific gun devolved into a caliber debate. Surprise surprise. However, I came across this little nugget. Originally Posted by ...

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Thread: Intermediate calibers for combat

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Intermediate calibers for combat

    So... this thread about hating a specific gun devolved into a caliber debate. Surprise surprise. However, I came across this little nugget.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    It isn't pure, purple poison, and a more thoughtful cartridge could arm our troops.
    It's interesting he mentioned this. The FN FAL was initially chambered for the intermediate caliber .280 (7mm, I believe) and allegedly performed quite well in British tests. The modern 6.5 Grendel has also been receiving quite a bit of attention as a successfully-tested intermediate caliber only slightly smaller than the .280 British round. And of course, folks with 6.5x55 Swedish Mausers and 7.5x55 K31's have been touting accuracy and capability for over half a century.

    I say all of this because it seems apparent that there is a lot of interest an intermediate round (between 6mm-7mm, or roughly .235-.285 caliber) as a combat caliber, and that after 70+ years that interest still remains and still produces desirable tests.

    To be honest, I have no personal experience with an intermediate caliber anything. There are a couple Mauser and Mosin Nagants in our house, and the 10/22. However, I know people who treasure their .270's as very accurate, very capable rifles for hunting deer, and more than a few people with Swedish Mausers that've been preaching their accuracy and ability for years. "Politics" aside, the 6.5 Grendel outperformed in most nearly every category both of the common US small arms rifle rounds (the 5.56x45 and 7.62x51), and is designed for an AR platform.

    The general conclusion appears to be that intermediate calibers are more efficient at moving through air than their larger and smaller counterparts and appear to lose energy less quickly than their larger and smaller counterparts, lending themselves to greater accuracy. Having seen the windy-day shooting of such intermediate calibers, I am also confident in saying they appear less effected by wind than lighter and larger rounds (which seem to be either easier to blow around or have more surface area to be blown around).

    So, politics aside, what says the community on intermediate calibers for small arms combat purposes? With interest nearing close to a century in age, and the successes of many tests and hunting scenarios, would it be reasonable to rate intermediate calibers as, generally-speaking, better than many (or most) others?


    -B

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    I'd say no. There are just so many varibles in ammo to take into account that I'd go nuts trying to justify making such a statement. Look at the .50 cal Barret rifle for long rang shooting, etc.
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    It seems they may certainly have a place. Change for the sake of change would be a HUGE waste of money, but if we can honestly come up with a cartridge that flies straighter, longer, packs more punch, and penetrates barriers better (while still being light, cheap, and easy to control in a relatively short, light weapon) then what's not to like?
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Here is ballistic information for the round as it compares to current NATO rounds.

    Just looking at the face of things, it appears to be a very good round on paper. As far as making a change, your talking about massive amounts of dollars for the US military to convert. It could be introduced over time but logistically things would be very difficult trying to keep ammo supplied to the troops using a different caliber.

    The intermediate calibers, .270, and .243, are very, very effective hunting calibers, along with some other good ones.

    http://www.65grendel.com/graphics/grendelballistics.pdf
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Hmmm. I read somewhere that the only caliber worth anything for combat and self defense is the .22 rimfire...
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    Well, the situation with our armed forces right now makes it impossible to make any caliber changes. Those types of changes MUST be done in "times of peace" or at the onset of a conflict when there is less contract-commitment (such as the M14's change to the M16). The state of our current armed forces is such that the best body armor and best gun in the best caliber in the world could come out today and they wouldn't be able to change anything. Bureaucracy's do nothing quickly, and the politics of/and massive contracts don't help either.

    One of the greatest problems now (as opposed to the 'Nam era) being posed to any caliber that isn't the norm is going to be what's on paper compared to proposed combat-effectiveness. The catch is the only way that can be measured, though, is by fielding the "new" round alongside the "existing" one and determining combat performance; nobody does this, however, and any other effective means of testing for terminal ballistics is correctly considered inhumane and immoral.

    Were I an officer of any standing in any armed forces, I'd feel obligated to do exactly as I described above for fielding new arms and new calibers. test new stuff alongside existing stuff, see who comes out more effective. But since that idea has no politics involved, it's awful hard to get Big Army or anyone else to agree to such tests.


    -B

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    I've always thought that something along the lines of the 6mm Remington (yeah, I said it) would be a great improvement over the 5.56 NATO. Here's a link for the 6mm as compared to the .223 and the 6.8 SPC that stoked curiosity not too long ago:
    http://www.remington.com/products/am...4*R223R3*R68R2
    The round is a little bigger than the 5.56, flatter shooting than the 6.8, and is not a heavy recoiler. It's caseneck design also allows more flexibility in loadings than the more popular .243.

    Jason

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    I tend to lend an ear every now and then to the current 'caliber hype'. Personally, I depend on the tried and true. To what extent one can pursue and see benefits with a new caliber or bullet technology-----they still require the test of time and certifiable terminal ballistics data for the intended application. Although I read about some of the "new and upcoming" rounds and ballistics charts, they all eventually get put aside until they make real headlines. I would however say that the newer .260 Remington is on my radar screen as two of my favorites (6.5x55, and the .308 cartridges) relate for forming cases and caliber since I have these items already available. It is not however a military round, and I'll question the newer creations pertaining to proposed military rounds as those manufacturers seeking government contracts and lining their pockets with taxpayer funds. Personally, I think the F-4 Phantom fighter was the best aircraft ever invented for the intended application. Maybe I am showing my age a bit, but put quite frankly----those were the days.

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    Yeah, it's a nugget all right but what kind of a nugget...

    I like the idea of the F-4 Phantom too. I even like the ballistics of the original .30-06 military load from 100 years ago...no wait... we still have the 7.62 NATO which does the same thing.

    It does seem that something in the .257 to .284 bore diameter range could be served up that would better accomplish the needs of our troops whether it be across the room or across the desert. To me the 7.62 NATO is great but I suppose the round is too heavy and also recoils too much to use in a light rifle.

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