5.56mm - Does It Work? Or Is It Just 7.62mm Set On "Stun"?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Stayangry, Sep 13, 2006.

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  1. I'm a target shooter and hunter rather than a soldier, but I like to keep an eye on what is happening on the military side.

    (This presumably, qualifies me as a bit of a Walt, but bear with me).

    The latest thing that all the shooting mags are talking about (especially those from the US) is the new super-duper calibres developed to replace 5.56mm NATO.

    These include the 6.8mm SPC and the 6.5mm Grendel. Both fit within the M16 platform but are supposed to deliver superior stopping power.

    They were developed in response to reports that 5.56mm lacks stopping power, especially when fired from short-barrelled weapons (eg: M16 M4).

    I wanted to ask - has anyone from the British Army used 5.56mm in anger and been disappointed by the results?

    Is a lack of stopping power a real issue? Or is this just another case of the Yanks trying to use technology to make up for poor shooting?



    PS: Consider this - in England and Wales, 5.56mm would be illegal for use in shooting even muntjac...
  2. Don't forget that the domestic hunting rules are all about achieving death from a single round impacting the thighs, body, neck, or head of the animal. Humans are laid out slightly differently and in any case I'm not sure that "clean kill with minimum reduction in the meat yield" is anywhere on the DPA's requirements for small arms ammunition.

    Guns & Ammo or Walts.com is probably a better forum for this discussion.

  3. My Journo alert alarm is going off here :)

    ...I'll give a piece of string answer to your piece of string question. It depends what your hitting, at what range and what's in between you and the target. A .22 air pistol pellet will kill under the right conditions.

    So if you've got a guy behind a concrete wall in body armour... the chances are you want a little light 30mm to vittle him up first!... or get onto the blower and call for an angel with 500lb'ers.... or a .50cal with a DU round.

    If you've got a guy out in the open in fatigues... he should go down.

    You have to remember the oft touted theory was that you could carry more 5.56 than 7.62 and that it would take 2 men to carry the 1 wounded off the field of battle...

    I've also heard quoted on a number of ocassions that 70% of all headshot victims survive.... but an equal percentage with wounds to the groin area die...
  4. the old .308 buffolo gun used to drop bastards on the spot, the .223 lacks the impact.

    the .223 is designed to produce large surface wounds with high velocity, low mass bullets that tumble, cavitate it has a comparative low KE 207ft-lbs at around 500 yards nearing the limit of the round the MV drops by less than half over 500 yds from around 2700 fps to 1300fps.

    where as .308 or greater would have a larger mass bullet to penetrate a greater depth to kill a with a High KE at a distance, 904 ft-lbs at 500 yards the mv 2750 fps to 1650 fps .

    remember that the .223 was supposed to align NATO into a single calibre force to allow easy amalgamation and effectiveness and solve Log probs between the member states, look at the minimi being the SW, it was supposed to allow the individual to carry more, plus it was designed inpart for use in the european theatre, short Engagement Distances.

    nothing like the LE of WW1, 25 meters apart, with a round that kills at a mile!

    personally i like the .338 Lapua.

    I thought 6mm PPC was coming to the fore in BR?
  5. in theory everyone on our side is a steely eyed dealer of death and only needs one shot one kill :evil:
    realisticly in a fire fight getting rounds on target is rather harder than the walts would like to imply. its hard enough on a field firing ex let alone with the added problem of incoming rounds :oops:
    7.62 fine if your a steelyeyed dealer of death but in the real world being able to carry more rounds and having less recoil equals more chance of a hit.
    spams mostly talk garbage about stopping power anyway
  6. A comon misconception is that rounds are for killing people, they're not, they are for incapacitating the enemy, a 5.56mm roud is very capable of doing that, the big criticism is that it isn't too successful in shooting through walls with has its advantages, especially in an urban environment, but also its disadvantages, not too great an idea for PSO type ops.

    The best thing about 5.56mm is its lighter and that means the average soldier can carry more (in theory) and put more rounds down the two way range. You could argue that would result in a lot of indecriminate and unnesscessary fire, true but training and discipline should counter that.
  7. The .338 Lapua is not a round I would want to fire on a regular, daily basis. Much greater recoil evergy imparted to the man behind the trigger than a 7.62mm.
  8. i've just noticed this and never answered it in my 1st post!

    based on my interp of course I beg to differ, even though a muntjac is classed as a deer and therefore a .243 is defined as the minimum cal. i've seen bigger foxes! and my .223 rem has ripped through a few of them! even though the deer has a higher density a .223 would make him a nice steak!

    you being a hunter! would know this. so where do you shoot BR and what do you hunt ? apart from features for the tabloids
  9. The Government are proposing to allow the use of .22 centrefires on Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer. I wouldn't want to use a .223 on Roe - I find a .243 or a 6.5x55mm much more effective for high volume deer culling.
  10. Not so any longer, I'm afraid.

    Unlike the 'original' Gene Stoner round of the 60s/70s, The SS109 NATO 5.56mm round introduced in the '80s has a different ogive (that means shape), and a titanium tip, calling for a different twist in the rifling. All of these things contribute to greater stability, range, accuracy and penetration.

    The SS109 design significantly reduces - perhaps even eliminates - the tendency of the round to tumble and surrender kinetic energy thereby causing large cavities.

    Fire one round of each, from their associated weapons (M16 A1 and A2 respectively), into sealed 1 gallon plastic containers of water and you should see the difference.

    I'm not going to hold my breath while I wait for the current generation of operational users to join this thread - more pressing matters at hand, I'm guessing.
  11. yep, as an inf round it's obsurd, but round for round comparison, it's 250gr high 3000fps and flat trajectory means that the user with average skill can hit out to 1200 meters. the biggest problem is getting Match grade ammo. but thats going to far.

    remember the British came up with a far superior round when NATO did trials for the standard Cal. the .280 or 7mm, this was developed with the EM-2 IW, the predecessor to the L85. The round surpassed the .223 in all aspects, but due to the US already producing the M16 on a large enough scale and already taking contract to supply the forces the Brit round got dropped!
  12. The right to bear arms should be counter-balanced by the right to arm bears.
  13. Hi Admag,

    I'm not so sure that allowing use of the .223 / 5.56mm for smaller deer is such a great idea.

    I know that it's lawful for roe in Scotland, but research from the BDS suggests that roe shot with .223 are much more likely to need a follow up shot.

    .243 seems pretty marginal too. I've shot muntjac perfectly through the chest with .308 soft points and watched them sprint off, lungs shredded.