U.S. Uses Bullets Ill-Suited To New Ways Of War

U.S. Uses Bullets Ill-Suited To New Ways Of War

This is a discussion on U.S. Uses Bullets Ill-Suited To New Ways Of War within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Except for a few nomenclature errors, this is a good story from the AP: US uses bullets ill-suited for new ways of war -- -- ...

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Thread: U.S. Uses Bullets Ill-Suited To New Ways Of War

  1. #1
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    U.S. Uses Bullets Ill-Suited To New Ways Of War

    Except for a few nomenclature errors, this is a good story from the AP:

    US uses bullets ill-suited for new ways of war -- -- Newsday.com


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry


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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    What I could read of it was Great. Almost got a headache trying though. Thanks for posting.
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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    its the same old story that there is plenty of money to buy multi billion dollar planes, but the $88 million the army spent on bullets for the grunts are too much. Soon enough, they will ask them to collect the brass from the battle area and reload it.

    Whatever happened to some of the truly innovative weapon designs like the H&K G11 (HKPRO:* The G11). I remember seeing some soldiers in Europe with it in the 80s and it seemed to work ok, even though it looks UGLY.

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    Then of course there is the Geneva Convention which requires the use of FMJ. No hollow points allowed.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulJ View Post
    Whatever happened to some of the truly innovative weapon designs like the H&K G11 (HKPRO:* The G11). I remember seeing some soldiers in Europe with it in the 80s and it seemed to work ok, even though it looks UGLY.
    IIRC, highly variable results. Failures to Fire/Failures to Feed, as a result of the solid propellant reacting with environmental exposure and various chemicals. Neat idea; awaiting further advances.

    Personally, I would say a good A-max would blow a larger chunk out of someone than an M855.

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    In 2006, the Army asked a private research organization to survey 2,600 soldiers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly one-fifth of those who used the M4 and M16 rifles wanted larger caliber bullets.
    Since when have we considered 20% a majority?

    Other than that it seems like a pretty good article. Would have been much better with that paragraph deleted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puppy View Post
    Then of course there is the Geneva Convention which requires the use of FMJ. No hollow points allowed.
    This is a common mis-conception.

    Rules of war limit the type of ammunition conventional military units can shoot. The Hague Convention of 1899 bars hollow point bullets that expand in the body and cause injuries that someone is less likely to survive. The United States was not a party to that agreement. Yet, as most countries do, it adheres to the treaty, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    some of the issues with shooting from a short barreled M4 are being addressed. There is a newer round coming out

    ....."5.56 Optimized" and/or "Brown Tip", because the round has, appropriately, a brown tip.

    The "optimized" nomenclature apparently refers to the fact that the round is optimized for subcarbines/SBRs (Short Barreled Rifles) and carbines from 10.5-14.5 inches, in order to provide optimum terminal ballistics out of the shortened weapon platform. We don't know the maximum effective combat distance for the round out of a 10.3"-10.5" barrel, but we're guessing approx. 300-350 yards (unconfirmed/unverified).....
    ......Defense Review does not have all the facts about this ammo, yet, but we've been informed by one of our sources that the new round (the bullet, itself), rumored to be manufactured by [Redacted], is made of [Redacted] ([Redacted], all the way through) and weighs 70 grains, as opposed to the 62-grain M855 ball round. It's possible that the 5.56 Optimized/Brown-Tip bullet is a militarized offshoot of, and therefore benefits from, [Redacted] bullet a.k.a. [Redacted] bullet technology. However, we're not yet sure whether the 5.56 Optimized round is round nose a.k.a. solid point, open-tip, or hollow point. The limited information we have at present would lead us to believe that it's a solid-tip round, but we're not sure yet.
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    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    During the Vietnam War the media thought the M16 was an unnecessarily brutal weapon. The bullets tended to tumble and cause horrific wounds. The VC called them, "Black Death". The rounds used were pretty much what is still issued.

    Now the media wants to say we are not arming our forces properly when they are using the same basic weapon.

    This is just another media attempt to turn the public against our current leadership.

    Now having said that, I was trained with the M14 and carried one in Vietnam. Personally I'd rather be throwing 7.62mm rounds back at the BG, but the 5.56mm has more than proved itself.

    When did the media do a story on weapons that was not geared towards their anti-military, anti-firearms agenda?

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    This isn't news. It's the same old song and dance that has been going on for years. For close in urban fighting the .30 carbine may be just the ticket but then you get a situation where the troops are shooting across valleys (Afghanistan) or engaging bad guys out in the open desert at 300 yards and the press will be whining about the .30 carbines inadequacies. I guess what they want is for us to stockpile three different rifles and three different calibers of ammo for each soldier.
    No cartridge is perfect for every situation. Unless someone can tell me where and at what ranges our troops will be fighting five years from now, ten years from now etc. I can't see why they are wasting column inches on this stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalexplr View Post
    During the Vietnam War the media thought the M16 was an unnecessarily brutal weapon. The bullets tended to tumble and cause horrific wounds. The VC called them, "Black Death". The rounds used were pretty much what is still issued.

    Now the media wants to say we are not arming our forces properly when they are using the same basic weapon.

    This is just another media attempt to turn the public against our current leadership.

    Now having said that, I was trained with the M14 and carried one in Vietnam. Personally I'd rather be throwing 7.62mm rounds back at the BG, but the 5.56mm has more than proved itself.

    When did the media do a story on weapons that was not geared towards their anti-military, anti-firearms agenda?
    +1 There is nothing wrong with our ammo. There is something wrong with our generals and politicians for allowing the media to tell them how to fight this war. There has never been a war the United States Military could not win, handily.

    But there have been wars and 'police actions' that the media and the politicians will not allow us to win, or at least make it as hard as possible.

    Our ammo is fine...we just need to be a little more liberal in it's application.
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    5.56 is great. all we need is to get rid of that annoying burst limiter and train more.
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    I disagre...... our ammo is horrid, they should pull it from the ranks and sell it to me at .01 per 1000 rds. I'll be taking a loss but, it's for a good cause.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobcat35 View Post
    5.56 is great. all we need is to get rid of that annoying burst limiter and train more.
    Well, maybe put out an open-bid contract for barrier-blind ammo designed for the ranges our fighters engage enemies at most often and put M855 back into the 249s where they belong. That would help, too.

    Edit to add: Here's a good post on the subject we could learn from. First emphasis mine, second emphasis his.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocGKR
    5.56 mm NATO 62 gr SS-109/M855 FMJ was designed over 30 years ago as linked machine gun ammunition to be fired from the FN Minimi/M249 SAW while engaging enemy troops wearing light body armor during conventional infantry combat at distances of several hundred meters--while not a perfect solution, M855 does perform adequately in this role.

    Unfortunately, combat operations since late 2001 have again highlighted terminal performance problems, generally manifested as failures to rapidly incapacitate opponents, during combat engagements when M855 62 gr “Green Tip” FMJ is fired from 5.56 mm rifles and carbines. This is not surprising, since M855 was not originally intended for use in carbines or rifles, especially those with short barrels. In addition, most current issue 5.56 mm bullets are generally less effective when intermediate barriers, such as walls, glass, and vehicles shield opponents--this is a significant consideration in urban combat.

    As an interim solution to these problems, deployed SOF units have used 5.56 mm Mk262. The Black Hills produced Mk262 uses the 77 gr Sierra Match King (SMK) OTM and is built as premium quality ammunition intended for precise long-range semi-auto rifle shots from the Mk12 rifle. It is great for its intended purpose. Mk262 has demonstrated improved accuracy, greater effective range, and more consistent performance at all distances compared to M855 when fired from current M16, Mk12, M4, HK416, and Mk18 rifles and carbines. However, despite this substantially improved performance, Mk262 still manifests the problems of poor intermediate barrier penetration and somewhat variable terminal performance inherent with the SMK design.

    The disturbing failure of 5.56 mm to consistently offer adequate incapacitation has been known for nearly 15 years. Dr. Fackler’s seminal work at the Letterman Army Institute of Research Wound Ballistic Laboratory during the 1980’s illuminated the yaw and fragmentation mechanism by which 5.56 mm FMJ bullets create wounds in tissue. If 5.56 mm bullets fail to upset (yaw, fragment, or deform) within tissue, the results are relatively insignificant wounds, similar to those produced by .22 LR--this is true for ALL 5.56 mm bullets, including military FMJ , OTM, and AP, as well as JHP and JSP designs used in LE. This failure of 5.56 mm bullets to upset can be caused by reduced impact velocities when hitting targets at longer ranges, as well as by the decreased muzzle velocity when using short barrel carbines. Failure to upset can also occur when bullets pass through minimal tissue, such as a limb or the torso of a thin, small statured individual, as the bullet may exit the body before it has a chance to upset. Finally, bullet design and construction plays a major role in reliable bullet upset. Without consistent bullet upset, wounding effects are decreased, rapid incapacitation is unlikely, and enemy combatants may continue to pose a threat to friendly forces and innocent civilians.

    Angle-of-Attack (AOA) variations between different projectiles, even within the same lot of ammo, as well as Fleet Yaw variations between different rifles, were recently elucidated by the JSWB-IPT. These yaw issues were most noticeable at close ranges and were more prevalent with certain calibers and bullet styles—the most susceptible being 5.56 mm FMJ ammunition like M855 and M193. What this means is that two shooters firing the same lot of M855 from their M4’s with identical shot placement can have dramatically different terminal performance results: one shooter states that his M855 is working great and is effective at dropping bad guys, while the other complains his opponents are not being incapacitated because M855 is zipping right through the targets without upsetting. Both shooters are telling the truth…

    As articulated by combat AAR’s the last few years and demonstrated in recent military wound ballistic testing, improved combat ammunition that is specifically designed for rifle and carbine use, not machine guns, is urgently needed. New loads should offer:

    -- JAG approval
    -- Full reliability in diverse environmental extremes
    -- A thermally stable propellant
    -- Consistent lot-to-lot and shot-to-shot performance, even when fired from short barrel weapons
    -- Crimped and sealed primer
    -- Sealed case mouth
    -- Cannelure for functional reliability in adverse conditions
    -- Decreased muzzle flash
    -- Acceptable accuracy at 300-500m
    -- Good soft tissue terminal performance (early consistent bullet upset within 1 or 2 inches of initial tissue penetration)
    -- 12-18 inches of penetration coupled with maximized tissue damage during the first 10 to 12 inches of travel in tissue
    -- Designed to minimize AOA and fleet yaw issues
    -- Blind to Barriers

    It is critical that new combat ammunition be “Blind to Barriers” and not suffer from terminal performance degradation from intermediate barriers--especially automobile windshields & doors, and common structural walls. The 01 June 2006 Marine Corps RFI for “Barrier Blind” ammo yielded several good options from industry.

    Restricting M855 for what is was designed for--use in the SAW and simply adopting new 5.56 mm barrier blind combat loads that are optimized for carbines with shorter barrels, offer consistent early upset, along with adequate penetration, and minimal AOA/Fleet yaw issues may be the critical answer to many deficiencies noted with currently issued U.S. military 5.56 mm ammunition.

    -B

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    There was not a big problem so long as the rifle squad had an M60 machine gun. Then some junebug at the Pentagon decided that all squad weapons should use the same ammo-5.56mm. Then another junebug decided that the M16 barrel was too long.

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