An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

ArmenT
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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby ArmenT » 06 Jul 2009 18:04

Rien wrote:Even though I supplied the link, I guess clicking a mouse may be too much trouble for you. Any larger caliber rifle can fire a smaller caliber round. Not very well, but they can.

Only in the ball and black powder days, not with cartridges. I'll list the reasons below.

Rien wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBZ-95

QBZ-97 (5.56 mm Assault Rifle)

The Chinese have constructed an export version, the QBZ-97, which is similar to the QBZ-95 in all respects except that it is chambered for 5.56 mm NATO instead of the original Chinese 5.8 mm cartridge and has a deep magazine well designed to accept STANAG magazines. This weapon is the only QBZ-95 variant to have seen commercial success and military use outside of China; QBZ-97 are in use by 911 Special Forces of Cambodia Special Operations personnel.

You stick the barrel of the 97 on the 95, and you have a gun that can fire 5.56. It is that simple! There is also the DRDO's effort to create a system that can fire 7.62, 5.56, and 6.8. The Special forces have a rifle that can fire both Russian and NATO 7.62 full size round. Simply put:

In the last two paras, the second last one is from the wiki article and the last para is your own comments/assumptions. I have bolded a key word in the Wiki article ("Chambered"). That is the biggie here. What it says is that the whole mechanism is scaled to fire 5.56 NATO rather than Chinese 5.8mm. It is not just a simple barrel change. This means that magazine, barrel, receiver and firing chamber mechanism are ALL modified to fit a NATO round.

Quite a few manufacturers build families of weapons based on the same mechanism. For instance, you'll see that the Glock 21 is basically a Glock 17, chambered to fire a 45 ACP round. What this means is basically the mechanism is the same principle, but key parts are modified to accomodate a different round. You cannot just change a barrel and expect the rest to work. The firing chamber is built to tight tolerances for a reason. Same with the magazine and extraction mechanism.

Note that cartridges all come in different shapes and lengths, which is key. A cartridge isn't just a cylindrical shape, it has a taper or two. So even if you have a smaller caliber round, depending on where the taper starts, the chamber may not be able to close properly. If your chamber cannot be closed, you're risking damage to yourself when you fire the round. Even if your chamber can be closed, you're assuming that the extraction mechanism will work with a smaller caliber round. If it doesn't extract, you'll have a jamming issue after your first shot. On top of that, you'd better be sure that the firing pin on the weapon can hit the cap on the cartridge properly or it will never fire. This is why you can't fire an AK round out of a rifle made to fire NATO rounds and vice-versa (and they're not even different calibers!).

By the way, no soldier is going to go into a battle zone carrying extra barrels in different calibers. They have enough weight to carry as it is. The only people carrying extra barrels are LMG and MMG operators who need to change barrels if one gets too hot. Changing a rifle to fire a different caliber is a job for the armorer in the rear and is not a simple job in most cases.

There are rifles around that can fire different calibers by just interchanging the barrels, but they take advantage of the fact that some cartridges of different calibers have the same outer dimensions. This is why you can get away with changing the barrel without changing the receiver. Sako is one such manufacturer that I know of and their rifle can fire 17MachII, 17HMR, .22LR and .22Magnum. It comes with 4 different barrels and two different magazines to accommodate the four rounds and is a bolt-action weapon. Incidentally this is a sporting rifle, not a military weapon by any means.
Last edited by ArmenT on 06 Jul 2009 18:06, edited 1 time in total.

RayC
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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 06 Jul 2009 18:06

How can ammunition be sabotaged?

If the enemy flees, he will booby trap the bunker where the ammunition is, or the ammunition boxes. But how would be change the structure of the ammmunition?

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby ArmenT » 06 Jul 2009 18:21

^^^^
Sir, please see the details of Project Eldest Son

According to this link, the idea is actually quite old. Brits used this in Waziristan in the 1930s and in 1897 in the Second Matabele war.

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Lethal Range

Postby Rien » 06 Jul 2009 18:54

shiv wrote:I have some experience in shooting at targets with various things because I used to love doing that.
These physical constraints remain true for every human being no matter what weapon he carries and what ammunition he carries. The chances of a man hitting a target under such conditions are not improved by changing your weapon or ammunition.


Snipers consistently shoot people dead at ranges of over a 1000 meters. How can they do this? You said the chances of hitting a target under such conditions are not improved by changing your weapon or ammunition. Why, if this is true, are there any long range weapons on the battlefield? The United States and Israel give out more accurate versions of the Tavor/M16 out to designated marksmen. These are just the best shot in the section. These guys are expected to shoot at 600 meters, with the only improvement being a bipod and better sights.

shiv wrote:At 600m, an individual is but a speck.

That is not an argument in favor of 6 mm ammunition. Let us stick to hard, verifiable facts and not vague anxieties about who is doing what.


I would answer the same. The US Marine corps trains its riflemen to shoot at ranges of 500 meters. This is for each and everyone of them. And this when the m16 simply cannot kill at that range. The only difference between that and 6/6.5 mm is that yes, it is possible to kill at that range with those cartridges. If you read those statistics, then you would know that. The two things you need to kill at range, accuracy and enough energy to hurt when it gets there.

Take a look through a telescopic sight. This is technology that has only been around since WW2. You have also written some very irresponsible statements. Cold hard facts. Do you have any proof that 5.56 mm is "just as lethal" as heavier calibers at any range?
A cold hard fact is that you clearly know nothing about ballistics. At any range, a small caliber round will be less lethal than a bigger round. That is cold hard fact!

What is the lethality of NATO 5.56 mm at under 10 meters?
100?
200?
300?
You can totally forget about 400 meters.Here's a hint, it's all on page 1! Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56mm Performance in Close Quarters Battle by Major Glenn Dean and Major David LaFontaine.
Last edited by Rien on 06 Jul 2009 19:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lethal Range

Postby shiv » 06 Jul 2009 19:00

Rien wrote:Snipers consistently shoot people dead at ranges of over a 1000 meters. How can they do this? You said the chances of hitting a target under such conditions are not improved by changing your weapon or ammunition. Why, if this is true, are there any long range weapons on the battlefield?


Absolutely true. Which actually makes your pitch for 6 mm ammunition even more incredible.

Surely, if snipers are killing people at 1000 meters, and the 6mm round is effective at 600 meters - why are the Chinese and Pakistani armies, or for that matter, the US army not re-equipping all their infantrymen with sniper rifles?

Surely if the 5.56 is bad, the 6 mm can't be much better. Its sniper rifles we want for infantrymen.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Rien » 06 Jul 2009 19:17

RayC wrote:There is only one aspect I would like to mention.

If one has the same ammunition as the adversary, then it helps when one captures the adversay's post and uses his ammunition in the interim.

Exotic ammunition size deprives one of this advantage.

7.62 and 5.56 is the most popular amongst most countries.


This is why the whole sorry saga of 5.8 mm and 6 mm being compatible was discussed. I pointed out that 5.56 ammunition is not compatible with either Pakistan's 7.62 or China's 5.8. But, the Chinese have an export version of their 5.8mm gun in NATO 5.56. Only the Chinese can use Indian ammunition against Indians. The reverse cannot happen. And honestly, how heavy do you think a barrel and related components are? 2kg at most. I do not find it plausible that 2 kg is all that heavy, even in the mountains.

They do not have to carry them with them, they can just leave it in base, or have it airlifted in if they run out of ammo and only have captured Indian stocks on hand. The SCAR H rifle shows what can be done along these lines. You can keep 90% of the components the same, and still fire two different calibers. And frankly, like I said: I'm not recommending an existing cartridge, you can easily design the rifle to be compatible with the Chinese ammo the same way the SCAR H does two such different cartridges like 5.56 and 7.62. The SCAR H can change barrels in the field without an armourer. Whether the Chinese bullpup does or does not I do not know, do you?

So the exotic 6 mm means neither the Chinese nor Pakistanis can make use of Indian ammunition. You can make a dual caliber 6 mm rifle that, just like the SCAR H, can easily switch if it is necessary.

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Re: Lethal Range

Postby Rien » 06 Jul 2009 19:29

shiv wrote:Absolutely true. Which actually makes your pitch for 6 mm ammunition even more incredible.

Surely, if snipers are killing people at 1000 meters, and the 6mm round is effective at 600 meters - why are the Chinese and Pakistani armies, or for that matter, the US army not re-equipping all their infantrymen with sniper rifles?

Surely if the 5.56 is bad, the 6 mm can't be much better. Its sniper rifles we want for infantrymen.


What is the lethality of NATO 5.56 mm at under 10 meters?
100?
200?
300?

You have a mania for cold hard facts. I think all the rest of us would love to hear you back up what you just said about 5.56 being "just as lethal" as a heavier caliber at 150 meters. I'm still waiting. If you post in this thread, and don't answer this question, I'll keep asking.

And just as an aside: The US is equipping all of its troops with longer range ammunition now, and they now put in every squad two Light Machine guns, and a Designated Marksmen, all of whose job, in a 9 man section, is to shoot at 600 meters or more. In the Indian army or Soviet army that guy would be called a sniper. The Chinese are changing over to 5.8 mm, which is the exact same ammunition they do fire out of their sniper rifle/machine gun.

And where do you get the idea that we need a sniper rifle? I have never mentioned any kind of rifle in the argument at all, this is about a cartridge, which can be fired out of any gun you please. The snipers have the most demanding requirement of a cartridge, so if you want to select the best cartridge, you optimize for the sniper/machine gunner. That way everyone in the same section can have the same ammunition. This assumes, of course, that the sniper and machine gunners are the ones doing the killing. Otherwise, you can instead optimize for the assault rifles. That will decide 6 or 6.5.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 06 Jul 2009 19:35

Rien wrote:This is why the whole sorry saga of 5.8 mm and 6 mm being compatible was discussed. I pointed out that 5.56 ammunition is not compatible with either Pakistan's 7.62 or China's 5.8. But, the Chinese have an export version of their 5.8mm gun in NATO 5.56. Only the Chinese can use Indian ammunition against Indians. The reverse cannot happen. And honestly, how heavy do you think a barrel and related components are? 2kg at most. I do not find it plausible that 2 kg is all that heavy, even in the mountains.

They do not have to carry them with them, they can just leave it in base, or have it airlifted in if they run out of ammo and only have captured Indian stocks on hand. The SCAR H rifle shows what can be done along these lines. You can keep 90% of the components the same, and still fire two different calibers. And frankly, like I said: I'm not recommending an existing cartridge, you can easily design the rifle to be compatible with the Chinese ammo the same way the SCAR H does two such different cartridges like 5.56 and 7.62. The SCAR H can change barrels in the field without an armourer. Whether the Chinese bullpup does or does not I do not know, do you?

So the exotic 6 mm means neither the Chinese nor Pakistanis can make use of Indian ammunition. You can make a dual caliber 6 mm rifle that, just like the SCAR H, can easily switch if it is necessary.


Chinese can use the Indian ammunition only if they have the barrel compatible for 5.56.

Their standard, as per you, is 5.8.

Obviously, the barrel of 5.8 cannot fire 5.56.

Therefore, your suggestion that Chinese can fire Indian ammunition and not the other way around means that the Chinese would be carrying both the barrels and both type of magazines!

It is easy to say that the Chinese can airlift the barrels and the magazines. Airlift depends on various factors. The main being a helipad available and the air situation. Easier said than done.

2 kgs is a big deal everywhere, more so in the mountains and is a horror in the HAA. After all, as all know, the infantry soldier is not just carrying his rifle. He is carrying the other paraphernelia associated with a soldier's equipment and ordnance.

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Re: Lethal Range

Postby RayC » 06 Jul 2009 19:46

Rien wrote:"shiv"

What is the lethality of NATO 5.56 mm at under 10 meters?
100?
200?
300?




It will not richochette off the soldier.

I have seen terrorists die with INSAS fire.

You have a mania for cold hard facts. I think all the rest of us would love to hear you back up what you just said about 5.56 being "just as lethal" as a heavier caliber at 150 meters. I'm still waiting. If you post in this thread, and don't answer this question, I'll keep asking.


Shiv likes cold facts and of that there is no doubt.

I presume by Lethal, he means kill.

An example - A 50lb bomb from an aircraft would be as lethal as a 20KT nuke since at the end of the day, the person would not be on earth to analyse what hit him.


And just as an aside: The US is equipping all of its troops with longer range ammunition now, and they now put in every squad two Light Machine guns, and a Designated Marksmen, all of whose job, in a 9 man section, is to shoot at 600 meters or more. In the Indian army or Soviet army that guy would be called a sniper. The Chinese are changing over to 5.8 mm, which is the exact same ammunition they do fire out of their sniper rifle/machine gun.


I gave a link that states that the US is replacing M 16 with Tavors which are 5.56. If you have the latest, do let us know. It will be an update.

Our LMGs and the Sniper continues to have 7.62. Therefore, nothing different from the US having a more 'lethal' calibre.

And where do you get the idea that we need a sniper rifle? I have never mentioned any kind of rifle in the argument at all, this is about a cartridge, which can be fired out of any gun you please. The snipers have the most demanding requirement of a cartridge, so if you want to select the best cartridge, you optimize for the sniper/machine gunner. That way everyone in the same section can have the same ammunition. This assumes, of course, that the sniper and machine gunners are the ones doing the killing. Otherwise, you can instead optimize for the assault rifles. That will decide 6 or 6.5.


Sniper is a specialist. He does not have to fire ammunition at random. Therefore, he would not require ammunition in the quantity that others require. And if he does, the others will carry it as the carry the extra magazines for the LMG.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Surya » 06 Jul 2009 19:53

2kg at most. I do not find it plausible that 2 kg is all that heavy, even in the mountains.



At this point armchair generals become an embarrassment.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 06 Jul 2009 19:59

It is right that the US prefers to engage at 600m and more.

In fact, I was reading that in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are engaging at even 1000m.

Their concepts are different.

For instance, in CI, they fire first and then they talk and check.

We asccertain if indeed the person is a terrorist and then we fire!

We have human rights after our blood. They don't care a damn!

Notwithstanding, yes, the higher calibre ammunition would surely be better but then one just can't keep changing the calibre of the weapon every now and then, more so, when the current weapon is meeting the requirement.

Re-tooling and setting up new assemply lines every now and then is a hobby that only the US can afford. I think it is called Waste Economy.

The comparison of 5.56 with other calibre has been going on for a long time.

How about caseless ammunition?

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Re: Lethal Range

Postby shiv » 06 Jul 2009 20:09

Rien wrote:
What is the lethality of NATO 5.56 mm at under 10 meters?
100?
200?
300?
.


Sorry. I don't understand this question. I will attempt an answer if you can explain what it means.

But at 10 meters even my air rifle can be lethal if I fired it into an eyeball, or into the temple (side of the head) just behind and above the outer corner of the eye.

In the meantime, you have doggedly refused to address an extremely important point.

No matter how lethal a bullet is at 1000 or 600 meters - a soldier is more likely to miss a target at longer ranges. Shooting at very long ranges is bad practice for an infantrymen unless he is a sniper trained and equipped for that job.

Note that I am agreeing with your argument that the 6 MM is more lethal at longer ranges. That does not make it any better in practice. Well trained soldiers (such as those of the Indian army) have found the 5.56 as effective as the 7.62 because they do not fire off their ammunition at long ranges and they wait till they can shoot to kill. I am not sure that this is the policy followed by other armies. if it is - you will have to tell me.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 06 Jul 2009 20:30

Surya wrote:
2kg at most. I do not find it plausible that 2 kg is all that heavy, even in the mountains.



At this point armchair generals become an embarrassment.


I have a great book of significant battles in modern warfare - and I have posted the following story before on BR. The particular story I am referring to was a battle in Vietnam which the Americans "won" in terms of body counts and "slanteyes" killed, but eventually ended up losing the battle.

Several points were made about this. One was that the average American soldier was much heavier than the Vietnamese and required a lot more food to keep him going. As a result - in long patrols the soldier would start off burdened and as he got more and more exhausted he would start discarding "unnecessary" things - eventually even his water bottle would be discarded as extra weight while he held on to his rifle. Factors such as these led to the soldier being less effective in battle. So much for 2 kg being a small weight...

But RayC has mentioned SLA "Slam" Marshall's book - "Men Against Fire" in which Marshall interviewed hundreds of WW2 veterans only to find that a huge proportion were not actually firing their weapons in combat at all or were firing them ineffectively. There appeared to be a deep reluctance to "shoot to kill"

This led to revised training techniques in the US in which the soldiers was indoctrinated into consiering his enemy sub-human. This and other measures made the US soldier an effective killing machine in later wars. US soldiers always end up creating far bigger "body counts" among their enemies than what thy suffer.

On a slighty off topic note I suspect that the US political leaders (war makers) and the US army have frequently got into disagreements unwinnable wars. The political leader gets them into the war and blames the armed force for not winning. The armed forces (of the US) for their part make sure that they are continuously winning battles. They always come out of battles with few casualties and a high body count on the enemy's side. So the US army has its "ass covered" so to speak - in that they are "doing their job" and winning battles, and the a strategy for winning the war has to come from the political leaders.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Drevin » 06 Jul 2009 20:52

So a sniper rifle would have,

-longer barrel
-have enough lethality to kill with one shot unlike an assault rifle where you need multiple hit
-better optics and related electronics for covering longer ranges
-stabilization problems at extended ranges if hand-held. Needs external support for extremely long ranges :?:
-quite useless at short range because rate of fire is very slow and the rifle is bulky compared to say a regular assault rifle :?:

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby negi » 07 Jul 2009 00:12

This topic has been dealt with and pages filled in umpteen oracle forums on the 'www'.The argument that 6mm is better then 5.56mm sounds good only when viewed academically . The basic principle of law of conservation of momentum i.e. 'M*V' still remain unchanged i.e. the preference for the 5.56 mm vis avis 7.62 mm is also due to the fact that one can carry more ammo for a given weight 'x' as well as the 'GUN' itself can be lighter for a designed value of 'RECOIL' which is an important factor to consider when designing an assault rifle for in auto mode a high recoil would mean one would end up spraying and wasting ammo; an unmanageable recoil was the major complaint against the AK-47 family and even the full auto version of the legendary FN-FAL .

EVEN the modern MINIMI uses the 5.56*45m round when carried and used as a assault rifle .Unless the BP jackets and vests become a standard issue across world armies and the 5.56mm rendered useless I don't see the need for a investment in a new round for infantry purposes.
Last edited by negi on 07 Jul 2009 06:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby svinayak » 07 Jul 2009 02:12

shiv wrote:
On a slighty off topic note I suspect that the US political leaders (war makers) and the US army have frequently got into disagreements unwinnable wars. The political leader gets them into the war and blames the armed force for not winning.
The armed forces (of the US) for their part make sure that they are continuously winning battles. They always come out of battles with few casualties and a high body count on the enemy's side. So the US army has its "ass covered" so to speak - in that they are "doing their job" and winning battles, and the a strategy for winning the war has to come from the political leaders.

This is a separate topic but this needs BR discussion. US military is another wing of the govt just as the legal, executive and the legislature. Exe and the legislature are supposed to keep the military under check but the military taking 10% of the GDP is too powerful. To tame it sometimes wars are created.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby ParGha » 07 Jul 2009 04:49

RayC wrote:The comparison of 5.56 with other calibre has been going on for a long time. How about caseless ammunition?


Caseless and semi-caseless R&D goes on for now with the LSAT and similar programs. Initial difficulties (both technical and market problems) with this technology is well documented with the history of H&K G11. Meanwhile the 5.56x45mm will be here for many more years until some truly evolutionary progress is made - caseless is just one of the possible directions it may come from.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 07 Jul 2009 06:19

Some interesting issues from the web:

Same rifle that can use different caliber bullets? Different cartridge? Self loader? without barrel change? Not offhand for all conditions. For a single shot I have seen the old BSA Martini Cadet shoot 32-20, M1carbine, .32 pistol cartridge. Bolt action K98 Mausers report in african wars to have been loaded and fired 7.62 NATO, 7mm Mauser, 7.65 mauser ammo these cartridges had same base diameter and roughly same case diameter, fireing the small bullets from 8mm barrel wasn't accurate but the troops were not good shots to begin with, they got a bullet traveling somewhere close to opposition to make him duck. Selfloaders- M14s and FN-FALs sometimes known to single fir .300 Savage, M16s also fired .222- turns them into single shots. Interchangeing barrels can give a receiver/trigger group another caliber. AR15/M16 lowers sometimes get a different upper assemble and barrel, the variations include 9mm pistol, .222, a 6mm PPC, 6.8mm . these cartridges have same basic case base diameter. Another interchange barrel is a Mauser model 66-not sure of model number- refers to commercial 1960s design as a takedown model- was sold in some countries with extra barrels, legal situation in market country restricted number of guns allowed, receiver and action was counted as gun and extra barrels included didn't count as extra gun. Similar situation exists for a h&K pistol with .22 barrel /.32 barrel or the 9mm and extra barrel in 7.62x23 Legally same gun but capable of firing different ammo with barrel change. Rheinmetal had a G3/HK94 type with quick change barrels available 9mm, 5.56x45 and 7.62x39. This also had magazine adapter and bolt buffer mass for different cartridges. M3 submachine gun had 9mm kit for basic receiver/trigger group- was a 9mm barrel, bolt, and magazine adapter with couple other small parts. Vietnamese made a kit to convert French Hotchkiss submachine gun from 9mm to 7.62 depending on ammo supply anticipated.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 336AAsxWkD

Interchangeable barrel system for rifles
Patent ID: US7451564
Issue Date: November 18, 2008
Abstract:

A system for use with firearms which permits the ready exchange of barrels on a single action and stock assembly. The barrels may be quickly and easily exchanged under field conditions using a single simple tool and without removing the action and receiver from the firearm stock. Barrels of different calibers may be used on a single firearm leading to greater versatility. The system relies on a pinch lug or clamp attached to the receiver which will draw all barrels onto the receiver and into invariable coaxial alignment with the receiver and action thus insuring the bullet will always have the same trajectory.

http://www.patents.com/Interchangeable- ... 564/en-US/

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 07 Jul 2009 08:05

There seem to be two separate issues here

1) Replacement of a barrel to take a different caliber of ammunition
2) firing off smaller rounds from a bigger barrel - eg 5.56 from a 5.8, or a 7.62 from an 8 mm

Fine - I accept that this is possible.

But then a lot of the assumptions about momentum and stopping power that were made at the beginning of this thread cannot be taken for granted.

It is one thing to fire a 5.56 from a 5.56 mm barrel. It is another matter altogether to fire a 5.56 from a 6 mm barrel when you start talking about muzzle velocity and accuracy. Ultimately all talk of killing at a greater distance are intimately related to the energy of the round and the ability of the round to hit a target that it is pointed at.

IIRC the amount of propellant in the ammunition casing is calculated to burn uniformly to produce gases that fill the available space behind the shell and accelerate it uniformly down the barrel until it exits. If the amount of propellant is too low this cannot occur optimally. If the amount of propellant is too large, a lot of explosive gas will just get vented into the atmosphere behind the shell. If the size of barrel is too large, this venting will occur around the shell even before it exits the barrel dissipating some of the energy. In addition a shell that is too small for the barrel will not engage the rifling in the bore and is unlikely to be imparted the spin required for accuracy. This IMO would make the practice of firing off smaller munitions in a larger barrel less effective than it would seem in theory. It would have to be proven to be significantly more effective to be useful. Being equally effective would be pointless.

Replacing a barrel to take a larger or smaller caliber sounds good in theory. But imagine what you would tell a soldier who has been tasked to climb 10,000 feet up a mountain slope: "Here take these two barrels with you. Keep one in your pocket in case you come across some 7.62 ammunition on your way up." For a man tasked to go up you would well replace the order with "Here's some tea and sugar. Keep some in your pocket in case you come across a kettle of water on your way up"

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 07 Jul 2009 09:47

Valid points.

Just appended those to get views since the issue is quite interesting thanks to Rein and Armen.

Armament designs and hows of issues are most interesting.

When I was doing a course at the Institute of Armament Technology, we were shown a German WW II weapon in which by changing the direction of the breech block, the weapon, which was a single shot LMG became automatic! This was done so as to fool Allied inspectors since Germany was not allowed to have automatic weapons!

Same is the case with the pocket battleships like the Graf Spee!

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Why accuracy matters

Postby Rien » 07 Jul 2009 13:02

The lethality of a gun is defined by its range, the energy it has at that range, and how accurate the bullet is. If you can put a bullet in the brain stem, then you need less energy to kill a human being than what is needed if your bullet is only in the chest. The gun with more accuracy can be more lethal than a gun with more energy.

One shot in the human Central Nervous System, and particularly the brain stem, will kill a human being instantly. The other thing accuracy effects is your ability to hit the target at all. So more accuracy has a multiplying effect. Even a 5% increase in accuracy, can mean a much bigger increase in lethality! If out of every ten shots, only one hits, a switch to a more accurate cartridge, doesn't just mean, out of every 9 shots, one hits, but that hit will be in a more vital spot!

6 and 6.5 mm hold every world record for accuracy under 1000 meters. It is not possible to do better than either cartridge at this range, and they outperform even the heavier cartridges, because they have only moderate recoil. This means full automatic fire, is possible, unlike 7.62. You also cannot compare combat records, based on far less accurate rounds like 7.62,5.56, to what combat would be like with a far more accurate round. A lot of the current misses would be hits, and a lot of the current hits would be one shot kills!

The typical roof top in Fallujah consists of a wall approximately 4 feet high. During operations in April 2004 the Marines learned to sand bag roof tops to build them up for snipers and mortars. Sniper use was heavy, especially, as FOs and covering the long axis of the roads. They became the main element once the Marines got into a static situation. The typical Marine sniper had 31 kills (one kill every 3-4 hours).


Even in urban combat, which is supposedly short range, it is possible to put a man up high, and use his long range rifle to kill enemies armed with AK-47's(Pakistan) and 5.56 ammunition. This is far more possible in Siachen, Kargil, any mountainous terrain, and the desert. Only jungle combat is short ranged, and there is not much chance of that with either China or Pakistan.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... sniper.htm

Image

6mm and 6.5mm are being compared here with 7.62. 5.56 cannot even compare in range, accuracy, or lethality.

Image

But noticeably, even the lower caliber 6mm can keep its energy quite well. Since 7.62 NATO has been proven to kill out to a 1000 meters, any energy level comparable to that is enough to kill well. The table only specifies up to 800 meters, so we select the energy level of .308 Winchester, which is the parent cartridge from which 7.62 NATO was made. As an aside, the US military states that 550 foot pounds is the minimum amount of energy for effective killing at range. That translates out to 770 joules, which if accepted means 6 mm is more lethal than my estimation below.

859 Joules at 800 meters for NATO 7.62. For 6 mm, that lies between 600-800 meters, around 700 meters. It seems I underestimated the lethal range of 6mm. Surprisingly, at any range above 300 meters, 6.5 mm is far better than 7.62, actually beating that powerful cartridge in terms of energy. And all this for something that is only 30% heavier than 5.56. 6mm is only 10% heavier, and the difference is even more marginal with the newest, heaviest 5.56 mm round.

5.56 NATO M262

100 meters 1412 Joules
200 1 126
300 888
400 692
425 677

That is absolute destruction of NATO 5.56. At any range, it takes far more shots of NATO. How can NATO 5.56 be "just as lethal" as a higher caliber round, when it is less accurate, has less range, and has far less energy. Even being compared to the least lethal cartridge, 6mm, at 600 meters, when it has 996 joules, is the same lethality as NATO 5.56 at 250 meters.

That is over 200% difference! This huge difference between NATO rounds of 5.56 and 7.62, and the intermediate rounds of 6 or 6.5mm, is due to the much higher Ballistic Coefficient of the 6/6.5mm rounds. At combat ranges of 300 meters or under, 6 mm has more energy than NATO 5.56 at 100 meters! Level III/IV body armour can defeat NATO 5.56 mm rounds, even at ranges of 100 meters. This is not a round for the future. Ballistic Coefficient means not only greater accuracy but more energy at range as well! You get both desirable qualities. Small arms cartridge technology has gotten better since the 1940s for 7.62, and the 1960's for 5.56. These are both obsolete.

It is possible, like the Chinese did with 5.8 mm, to replace the bewildering array of rounds that India fields. They standardized on one round, 5.8 mm, for their sniper rifle, their machine guns and their assault rifle. India has three different kinds of 7.62 cartridges alone, (7.62 x 39, NATO 7.62, Russian 7.62x54R), NATO 5.56(and a 5.56 x30), and three different kinds of ammunition for the Zittara. This is by no means an actual list of all the different ammo types, does anyone know the full list?

It simplifies logistics, production, and saves a great deal of money, to have one, and just one cartridge. And that cartridge can be either 6mm or 6.5 mm. While 6mm is a great manstopper, that is all it is. It doesn't have the sheer raw brute force of 7.62, which smashes through engine car blocks, steel, wood, brick and at ranges of a 1000 meters. But on the other hand, do you need that raw force? You get so many more rounds of 6mm. 6.5 mm compromises differently, giving the same power as 7.62, still controllable recoil, still great accuracy, and just as much brute force to shoot your enemies *through* walls. However, you get less rounds as vs 6mm, but still more rounds than 7.62.

I still have no data to help make the selection between 6 and 6.5 mm any easier. NATO 5.56 is the worst out of all 4 rounds, it has far less range, and far less manstopping power, and it cannot be the standard round because snipers would be unable to shoot at 1000 meters with it. NATO 7.62 is powerful enough, but actually less so than 6.5, and is uncontrollable in full auto, and is the heaviest!

An intermediate round between these two extremes is the best with current technology.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 07 Jul 2009 19:24

The Indian Army snipers have a 7.62mm sniper rifle.

As far as the assault rifle is concerned, this is what the IA wants:

http://indianarmy.nic.in/rfi/rfi050209.pdf

Those interested, there is an interesting debate at this link:
http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/small- ... 6nato.html

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 07 Jul 2009 19:32

SOF Combat Assault Rifle [SCAR]
MK16 SCAR-L / MK17 SCAR-H

Initially, SOCOM supported the development of the XM8 together with the Army, but decided to purchase its own rifle. The Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle [SCAR] gives the SOF Operator a Weapon that is Specifically Designed for SOF By SOF. SCAR will improve mission performance of SOF by providing them with a reliable and accurate rifle. This will be a weapon of maximized lethality, superior to the M4A1 through versatility, fire control and target acquisition both day and night during CQB and to ranges of 800M.


USSOCOM's SCAR Program is providing the first, truly modular, and reliable assault rifle designed and built from the ground up for the finest fighting forces in the world. It is intended to be reliable and accurate, and use a variety of calibers, interchangeable components [the threshold is 5.56mm NATO standard]. Initially it will be acquired in two configurations – SCAR-L and SCAR-H with evolutionary variants (Sniper) and (CQB). SCAR replaces the MK11 (SR-25 7.62 sniper rifle), the MK12 (SPR), the CQBR (10-inch upper from SOPMOD), the M4A1 Carbine and the M14 (in use at WARCOM).

The SOF Combat Assault Rifle Light (SCAR L), 5.56x45mm assault rifle will serve as the baseline weapon from which a SCAR Family of Weapons will be developed. It is the intent of the SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) Program to procure for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) the most reliable, rugged, accurate, safe and ergonomic weapons available. The SCAR Family of Weapons will share ergonomic commonality and the highest degree of parts commonality possible.

The SCAR Light [SCAR L] is a 5.56x45mm semi-automatic and full-automatic shoulder fired weapon. SCAR L will be the first increment of the SCAR Program’s Spiral Development process. It is not required that the SCAR L be modular for variation in caliber, rather the SCAR L be optimized for the 5.56x45mm variants. The SCAR L will have the ability to interchange different barrel configurations to form three variants: Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Standard (S), and Sniper Version (SV).

The SCAR L will be adaptable to three separate barrel lengths for varying mission requirements (T). The standard barrel will have the length necessary to accurately engage targets to 500 meters while maximizing terminal effects (T). The CQC barrel will have the length necessary to accurately engage targets to 200 meters while maximizing terminal effects (T). The Sniper Variant (SV) will have a barrel length optimized to accurately engage targets to 800 meters and beyond while maximizing terminal effects (T).

The SCAR Heavy [SCAR H] will possess the ability for caliber modularity (open architecture platform), while still designed around the baseline caliber of 7.62x51mm (alternate calibers are known to be 7.62x39mm). Future enhanced calibers will also be considered.
SCAR Requirements

Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) requirements include MRBS (Mean Rounds between Stoppage) - 2000(T) and 8000(O); MRBF (Mean Rounds between Failure) – 15,000(T) and 50,000(O); Service Life (Weapon): 15,000 (T) and 90,000 (O); and Service Life (Barrel): 10,000 (T) and 50,000 (O). Modular System: SCAR-L 5.56mm (T) and SCAR-H 7.62mm (T). Additional barrel for each variant will allow current and future ammunition (O). Accuracy: SCAR-L: 70% hit ratio on 500m point target – 600m area target (T) and 600m point target - 800m area target (O) SCAR-H: 70% hit ratio on 600m point target – 800m area target (T) and 800m point target – 1000m area target (O). The SCAR-L and SCAR-H will not add more than 1 MOA (minute of angle) @ 300m (T) and not more than .25 MOA @ 300m (O).

The SCAR will be developed in two threshold configurations, a SCAR-Light (SCAR-L, 5.56x45mm) and a SCAR-Heavy (SCAR-H, 7.62x51mm) with the SCAR-L being the priority. Both the SCAR-L and H will possess the capability for barrel modularity and thus will be available in the following variants: Standard (S), Close Quarters Combat (CQC) and Sniper Variant (SV). The SV can be a modular enhancement or a separate weapon. The barrel modularity can be accomplished via complete upper receiver changes or just the barrel. The SCAR-L will be optimized for 5.56x45mm and thus will use an enhanced 5.56mm magazine. The SCAR-H will provide an open architecture design to accommodate changing calibers from the standard 7.62x51mm. The initial caliber change is projected as the 7.62x39mm. The ergonomic and parts commonality between the SCAR-L and H will be maximized to create a family of SCAR weapons. This commonality is essential for training time reduction, enhancing mission effectiveness, and improving the SOF operator?s ingrained operational and emergency procedure autonomic responses that are critical during high stress situations.

The SCAR system will be rugged, highly reliable, controllable in full automatic fire, have no unsafe failure modes, be highly ergonomic, corrosion proof (objective)/resistant (threshold), capable of lube-less firing (objective)/minimal lube firing (threshold), and capable of being operated and maintained by a single man.

The SCAR-L with stock collapsed or folded will not exceed lengths of 29.9in/33.6in extended with standard barrel. The SCAR-L will weigh no more than 7.25 lbs unloaded. The SCAR-H will be collapsible or foldable to lengths not greater than similar configurations of currently available 7.62mm battle rifles (30.3 in folded / 40.2 in extended with standard barrel). The SCAR-H will weigh no more than 9 lbs.

The following are the Key Performance Parameters for the SCAR: Adaptability, Modular/Family of Weapons, Reliability and Accuracy. The SCAR barrels/caliber will be readily exchanged at operator level, without head space/timing adjustments, within 20 minutes, threshold (T), 5 minutes objective (O).

The SCAR-L and H, in threshold caliber configurations (5.56mm NATO and 7.62mm NATO) with M855 and M80 ball ammunition respectively (T), spirally developed/alternate caliber configurations (O), will have a Mean Round Between Stoppages (MRBS) of 2,000 rounds (T), 8,000 rounds (O).

The SCAR-L and H, in threshold caliber configurations (T), spirally developed/ alternate caliber configurations (O), will have a Mean Round Between Failure (MRBF) of 15,000 rounds (T), 35,000 rounds (O).

The SCAR-L and H, in threshold caliber configuration/ball ammunition (T), spirally developed/alternate caliber configurations (O), will have a fully functional service life without overhaul for a minimum of 15,000 rounds (T), 90,000 rounds (O) for the weapon and 15,000 rounds (T), 35,000 rounds (O) for the barrel.

The SCAR, in threshold configuration (T) and all caliber/barrel configurations (O), will not add more than 1.0 MOA at 300 meters (T), .25 MOA at 300 meters (O) to baseline (M855, MK262, M80, M118) ammunition performance

The SCAR will also be compatible with the SOPMOD Accessory Kit components via MIL-STD 1913 rails. It is envisioned that the SCAR weapons will be available with a sling, bipod, forward handgrip, blank firing capability and an operator's manual. The SCAR will have a rigid MIL-STD-1913 rail at the 12:00 position running continuously from the rear sight to the front sight, which may be mounted to the upper receiver or integral to the weapon (T). The 12:00 rail will number the slots in alternate even numbers running the extent of the rail from back sight to front (T). The SCAR will also have additional MIL-STD 1913 rails at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 in the fore-arm/hand guard area (T). All rails will be capable of maintaining the bore sight alignment (T). The MIL-STD 1913 rails will be mounted to the weapon to maximize; rigidity (no loss of zero due to rough handling), independence from the barrel (no interference with the natural harmonic vibrations of the barrel during firing), and provision for mounting future 6:00 subsystems more closely to the gun barrel (decrease in offset between the 6:00 subsystems and the axis of the bore) (T). SOPMOD/MWS items mounted on rail system will not be blocked or interfered with by other SCAR components/features (T). The SCAR L will be compatible with the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) (T). SCAR in any barrel length configuration will mount the EGLM 40mm grenade launcher on 6:00 position (T). The rail interface will be capable of withstanding the recoil forces generated by firing the 40mm grenade launchers with a cartridge producing a pressure of 230 bar (T). The SCAR rails will exhibit no detectable shift in zero, when the EGLM 40mm weapon is fitted to the SCAR L, and during firing of the EGLM (T).
SCAR Contract Award

The SCAR program was conducted in a full and open competition -- operator envisioned, tested, and chosen with full operator involvement . It was developed to provide the flexibility to match the way SOF operations are conducted -- with an increased need for modularity and reliability that reduces maintenance, improves effectiveness, and maximizes the efficiency of weight carried by Operators

On on 5 November 2004 USSOCOM announced that the winner for the initial SCAR contracts was FN USA, the US-based subsidiary of the famous Belgian company Fabrique Nationale Herstal. FN Manufacturing LLC, located in Columbia, SC, is a precision machining manufacturer specializing in the production of small arms. Products include M16 and M240 machine guns, M249 SAW, and the FNP Polymer 49 pistol for military and law enforcement markets. The FN SCAR rifles are not based on any previous weapons but designed from scratch. The SCAR will be built at the FN Manufacturing LLC, plant in Columbia, South Carolina, which employs approximately 500 people. FN Manufacturing LLC, is a precision machining manufacturer specializing in the production of small arms. Their products include the M16 rifle, M240 machine gun, M249 SAW, and the FNP Polymer 49 pistol for military and law enforcement markets.

The program originally had four increments which have been condensed based on early demonstrations of the SCAR-H prototypes. The condensed increments allow the production and fielding of the SCAR-H concurrently with the SCAR-L. The increments are:

1. Increment #1: Development of SCAR-L with integrated EGLM and development of SCAR-H
2. Increment #2: Ensuring EGLM Compatibility
3. Increment #3: Production of the SCAR in Enhanced Calibers as Directed by USSOCOM and the Integrated Product Team. Development of the EGLM and 40mm ammunition enhancements
4. Increment #4: Continue Development of SCAR and EGLM Capabilities

Feature SCAR L SCAR H
Caliber 5.56x45 NATO 7.62x51 NATO
7.62x39 M43
others
Overall length 850 mm (open)
/ 620mm (min) 997mm (open)
/ 770mm (min)
Empty Weight 3.5 kg 3.86 kg
Rate of fire 600 RPM 600 RPM
Magazine capacity 30 20 (7.62x51)
/ 30 (7.62x39)

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... d/scar.htm

Comments please.

It is 5.56mm

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 07 Jul 2009 19:48

History of the Assault Rifle and Ammuniion.
http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Assault.htm

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby RayC » 07 Jul 2009 20:01

Marine Corps Times Article
April 16, 2007
By Kimberly Johnson


Commandant: It's not the round, it's the shooter

Close with. Destroy. Repeat. The basic recipe for the perfect Marine infantryman is usually a simple mixture. Toss in a little kill, capture or repel, sprinkle in some fire and maneuver, then separate into four-man teams and bake under the hot sun.

Easy as pie, usually, except the Corps' top officer says there's something wrong in the kitchen.

He's been getting complaints from the field about "stopping power." Grunts say they have to pump handfuls of rounds into insurgents before the bad guys hit the dirt, and some still manage to keep coming.

Some say the rounds need to be bigger if they're really going to wreck the enemy's day.

Commandant Gen. James Conway has a different view: Put a round in the right place, and you'll stop the bad guy, no matter the size of the bullet and how fast he's moving.

So prepare to adjust fire, because Conway's new weapons training initiative puts a premium on hitting moving targets and shot placement, and reminds infantrymen that they are the predators and not the prey.

In other words: teach the grunt to hunt.

Stopping power

Ask leathernecks with combat experience if their M16 gives them enough stopping power, and you'll get a mixed response. Battlefield lore says some Marines picked up AK47s during the battle of Fallujah because they weren't confident their own rifles and 5.56mm rounds would be potent enough in stopping the enemy.

One temporary fix is to give out heavier rounds, and Corps officials have received requests for just that.

"Based on the specific threats encountered, the Marine Corps determined there was a requirement to provide commanders with a heavier-grain 5.56mm round, the M-262, to be employed as required," said Corps spokesman 1st Lt. Brian Donnelly, speaking for Marine Corps Systems Command.

Conway has heard these complaints, but says a bigger round isn't necessarily the answer to increasing Marine lethality during combat. Special operations forces, however, use weapons that fire 7.62mm rounds, the commander has noted. "We're going to take a hard look at that and see if it's something that we need in this day and age in terms of a heavier caliber," he said.

While the Corps is researching whether that's worth doing, turning away from the M16 to a new rifle is not a priority right now, Conway said.

To change that, Conway has directed officials at Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based I Marine Expeditionary Force to take the lead in developing a weapons training course that will instill what he called the "hunter" mentality.

"[I MEF commanders] believe that if we create a mentality in our Marines that they are hunters and they take on some of those skills, then we'll be able to increase our combat effectiveness," Conway told Marine Corps Times on March 1.

"A hunter can hit a moving target with a great deal of frequency," he said. "Maybe we start with shotguns and build a level of confidence in hitting a moving target, skeet or trap, and we go from there to rifle shots."

Conway is looking for quick results, and wants I MEF to push leathernecks through the new training before they head back into their next rotation in Iraq this time next year, Conway said.

"Sooner is better," he said. "I'd like to see people act on that pretty quickly."

Taking it up a notch

While Marines are "legendary" for marksmanship skills, the threat in Iraq means they have to take it up a notch, said a Corps official in Washington, D.C., who is familiar with planning for the initiative, but asked not to be named.

"The exact form that that improvement to training will take is in a nascent stage of development," he said. "The aim of the 'combat hunter' concept is to build on a Marine's proven ability to successfully find and engage the enemy hidden among the people. And by incorporating training that will enhance our ability to hunt and find the enemy and then hit fleeing and moving targets, we will ensure our Marines will remain the hunters of this war."

I MEF has teamed up with Marine Corps Training Command, the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and marksmanship experts, the official said. "I expect they'll soon have identified skills we can improve and facilitate future training improvements for all Marines."

The Corps hopes to tap into skills certain Marines may already have learned growing up in rural hunting areas and in urban areas, such as inner cities, said Col. Clarke Lethin, I MEF's chief of staff.

Once they define and understand what those skills are, then the Corps will determine what it can teach and if it should institutionalize it, he said.

I MEF, under Conway's direction, is in the midst of limited training experiments with squad- and platoon-sized groups of leathernecks who already have battlefield experience. "The best experts are young Marines, those who have been out in combat on a number of tours," Lethin said.

It is still unclear at this early stage, however, how the combat hunter initiative will be used in future weapons training.

Lethin would not go into detail about specific issues that have emerged in combat with Marines, saying it was classified information.

He did, however, say combat scenarios can be a real challenge for Marines, especially "in the heat of battle and in that moment of decision of engaging the target, especially in close quarters. We may be firing and thinking we're hitting the target," only to later discover they may not have been, he said.
Mentality
"We identified a need to ensure our Marines were being the hunters and not the hunted. How do you find your target before it finds you?" he said. "We're always in an offensive posture, but with the enemy mingled among civilians, we have to be discreet." Combat hunter training would employ increased emphasis on observation skills, he said.

"Hunting is more than just the shooting. It's finding your game," Lethin said.

Shot placement is becoming a higher priority in weapons training. In late March, the Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship Program instituted a point system on fixed field targets, with plans to count the point system toward a Marine's annual rifle qualification later this year.

Instilling this hunter mind-set into Marines is not entirely new for the Corps. The service's martial arts program is also tapping into such training for close-range moving and shooting, said Hunter Armstrong, director of the Sedona, Ariz.-based International Hoplology Society and Corps martial arts adviser.

Armstrong's organization focuses on the study of human combative behavior. "We are a hunting mammal, and like all hunting mammals, show two types of aggression," emotional and predatory, he said.

Emotional aggression occurs when the primary aim is to keep group cohesion and to display dominance, he explained, giving the example of two male cats. "When they face each other, there's a lot of noise," until one backs down, he said.

Things change, however, when the cat goes after a mouse.

"Humans have that same type of aggression as well," Armstrong said. "When we're hunting, we show a different type of aggression than two guys duking it out over a girl."

Predatory behavior is controlled, unemotional and tied to cool-minded behavior. The posture is neutral. "Look at Marines going through a town on patrol," Armstrong said. "You'll see that same stalking posture."

But other lessons have been learned in Iraq. "What we're seeing while clearing buildings in Fallujah is that they don't have time to take a site picture and shoot," he said. "We're so consumed by the weapon itself, we pay more attention to it than the man behind it," Armstrong said.

Armstrong teaches MCMAP instructors how to move toward an opponent and shoot, looking at the target, not their front post, he said.

Historically, early man survived by forming small hunting bands, or groups, of about 20 people. And as in inner-city gang conflicts today, they demonstrated aggressive behavior in order to hold territory, Armstrong explained. "We have an ability to look at other groups as dehuman."

But the types of aggression aren't always clear-cut. "Sometimes when we should be calm, we will blend both," he said. "It's something you see, unfortunately, with young Marines in stressful situations," he said alluding to current allegations against Marines for battlefield misconduct.

"We can ameliorate that problem the more we train them as hunters," he said. Relying on standard training, which employs elements of the hunting mode, makes it too easy for emotion to come into play, he said.

"I'm all for General Conway's concept," he said. "It's a huge step in the right direction."

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Hitesh » 07 Jul 2009 20:17

One problem with the "hunter" mentality thing in an urban combat scene is that you don't have the time to carefully place a shot in the right position. You may get a arm or torso or legs sticking out or the guy may be popping up and down in different ways and you just don't have time to aim and place it on the right spot.

Moreover, at longer distances, it gets harder to do so because atmospheric conditions change and you cannot take in account of that.

Only snipers can do that. Grunts can't do that because they are in reactionary mode most of the time.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby negi » 07 Jul 2009 20:31

Rien; just look at your sheet extreme right 'column' , check out the barrel length for those guns :shock: :lol: . Even the good old 'SLR' (FN FAL) has a 533mm long barrel (the length of the barrel has a direct bearing on the velocity achieved by the round due to the cartridge; other factors being constant) .And whoever did that experiment made the playing field uneven by using the shortest 'barrel' for the win .308 round (which btw is the heaviest and powerful of the lot :roll: ).

And despite such anomalies the energy at 800 mtrs for win .308 =859 J vs 713 J for a 6mm fired from a rifle with longer barrel. And btw what grade of ammo was used for win .308 ? for it is pretty common round while this 6mm variety you talk about is definitely not widely manufactured hence I would be more interested if the one uses a 'match grade' win .308 round the results will be even more pro win .308.

Btw those high energy figures not withstanding no one is gonna lug an assault rifle with a 650+ mm barrel . :shock: . The barrel lengths around or above 600+ mm are in sniper rifle category , I guess the discussion was about 5.56 Nato std ammo vs 5.8/6mm ammo .

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 08 Jul 2009 08:09

There are no medical definitions for "lethality" which is a convenient fudge being used to support an unsupportable argument that fails to address its own weaknesses.

If one really wants to be serious about taking comparable and useful statistics (those inconvenient hard facts) one can take a leaf from pharmaceutical/toxicology studies in which "lethality" is defined as LD50 - i.e the minimum dose of a drug/agent (measured in milligrams per kilogram body weight) that causes deaths of 50% of test animals. Vaguely defined "lethality" with the odd fancy medical term is meaningless. A knitting needle going though the brainstem is 100% lethal while a 7.62 mm round is non lethal when it rips off an earlobe.

It is easy to use real measurable parameters to conduct a fair comparison, unless one is not interested in doing such a comparison.

If you take a group of 100 soldiers in a simulated battle situation and give them 100 rounds apiece and offer them realistic targets you can figure out some statistics about the average number of bullets it takes per man to create one injury/hit on a target.

Here is the sort of target that can be used for this

Image

The same test can be repeated with "targets" at 1000 meters, 600 meters, 400 meters, 200 meters and 100 meters. If you measure the "number of hits per 100 round fired" you will find that the statistic gets better and better the closer you get.

I am not even talking about deaths and "lethality" here. I am only referring to the possibility of actually hitting someone, earlobe, knee or brainstem. The unfortunate statistic is that whether a soldier uses 7.62, 6.8 or 5.56 he is likely to have fired off more rounds than the number of hits he has achieved.

Some important facts emerge from this which are not being addressed at all by the dogged insistence that the 6 point something round is best

1) For a given target size the greater the range, the fewer the hits
2) For a given target size The greater the number of rounds fired, the greater the possibility of hits
3) The larger the target, the greater your chance of hitting at any given range

This means that more bullets fired at shorter ranges lead to he greatest likelihood of hits.

Next we come to the "lethality" of hits.

I accept the argument that the 6 or 6.8 mm round is more likely to penetrate at longer ranges. But go back to point 1 above. One is also more likely to miss a target at longer ranges. So the penetrating power at longer ranges is offset by:

a) The lower likelihood of hitting at longer ranges
b) The likely smaller number/load of (heavier) bullets that a man can carry into battle

The chances that a bullet injury will be fatal depend on the injury caused and not the type of round that causes the injury. Penetration power and death are two different things as I will explain below.

Let us now go on to the topic of "lethality" of a round. The lethality of a round depends on
1) penetration/energy
2) anatomic location of a hit.

Take a look at this somewhat idealized picture of a human - which is a rough guide used by surgeons to estimate skin area damaged by burns. It indicates the surface area of the human body that is visible from the front or back. In a real battle scene the actual area visible will be much less (but I will come to that later)

Image

Penetrating injuries (by bullets, shrapnel or knives) re most likely to cause death when they hit in the front of the head/face/neck/chest/abdomen and upper thigh.

This constitutes about 60% of what is visible from the front. These are also the areas that are frequently hidden or shielded. A man crawling on the ground offers only a very small target that constitutes about 10% of that exposed by a man walking towards you. In other words a man crawling face down might offer the same size of target at 100 meters as a man walking towards you at 1000 meters. A crouching man at 500 meters is a more difficult target to hit than a man walking upright.

Your bullet may be more lethal at 1000 meters, but it is non lethal if it does not hit its target. And it may well be non lethal even at 100 meters because it is as difficult even at 100 meters to hit a target that appears as small as a man walking 1000 meters away.

Even if it hits the target, the "lethality" is hardly the criterion unless you are hunting game. A non lethal would on the forehead stops a man from fighting because his face is full of blood. A non lethal would on the knee stops the man from walking, after which he gradually bleeds and becomes less and less effective over a span of 10 minutes.

"Lethality" of a munition at 600 meters is hardly the only criterion that is important. Penetration at 400 meters or less is more important, and since a soldier can carry more ammunition if it is lighter, the toss up is between penetrating power at distance versus more ammunition.

If a soldier can achieve even 2 hits out of every hundred rounds in battle then we can do some interesting calculations. Of the 4000 Pakis who died in Kargil, if we assume 2 lethal hits per 100 rounds, - then the Indian army must have used at least 200,000 rounds. If you assume that half the Paki deaths were artillery deaths, then the Indian army must have used merely 100,000 rounds. If 10,000 Indian army personnel were employed it means they fired a mere 10 rounds apiece in the entire Kargil conflict.

This is obviously a ridiculous underestimate. But if you assume that they fired more than 10 rounds each - it means that the lethality of each round was less than 2 per 100 rounds.

I am scouring my sources for information, I am sure statistics exist - but I will merely guess that in any battle - one enemy soldier will die of bullet wounds for every 1000 or more rounds fired. This only means that if you give a soldier more ammunition, he will have a greater chance of hitting someone.

Now where does this conclusion take us in the toss up between 5.56, 6.8 and 7.62?

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby andy B » 08 Jul 2009 08:18

Okay so I m a dehati when it comes to bullet ballistics ityadi....however I wanted to ask a question, What if we look at improved propellants with more efficient bullet and gun design with better mettalurgy ityadi to keep the 5.56 in service but make it more lethal at longer ranges. Surely if they could build more efficient 5.56 rounds that would solve ze problem to some extent atleast :?:

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 08 Jul 2009 08:24

andy B wrote:Okay so I m a dehati when it comes to bullet ballistics ityadi....however I wanted to ask a question, What if we look at improved propellants with more efficient bullet and gun design with better mettalurgy ityadi to keep the 5.56 in service but make it more lethal at longer ranges. Surely if they could build more efficient 5.56 rounds that would solve ze problem to some extent atleast :?:


It would still not make the targets any bigger and easier to hit. If you have a 1% chance of actually hitting someone at 1000 meters you have to fire off 100 rounds to get him.

Once he comes up close or offers a "hittable target" the so called "problem" of penetration at long ranges does not exist. So where is "ze problem"?

It is worth looking at ze real problems as well.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby andy B » 08 Jul 2009 08:37

^^^ Shiv ji, my point was about getting the 5.56 to go faster and hence maybe carry bit more energy beyond the typics 300/400m ranges, given that I really have no detailed idea or knowledge about this stuff I will close this discussion on my part here.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Drevin » 08 Jul 2009 09:32

<ot>It seems there are tens of points on the human body (other than the head) that will lead to death ranging from seconds to minutes. Even a hit to the liver/kidneys will pretty much lead to death in minutes (even if it misses the spine at the back) from internal bleeding/shock. Also if I am not mistaken on the arms and legs there are millions of pain receptor cells under the skin. A hit to these parts will incapacitate the enemy's brain with pain long enough for a follow-on shot. However on a positive note body armor tech seems to be improving significantly. Face armor is probably lagging behind.</ot>

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby ArmenT » 08 Jul 2009 09:34

It is possible to increase the propellant strength by changing its composition, but they have to make sure that they don't increase it to the point where they need to replace the barrel and bolt for all the existing weapons. Too high a chamber pressure and you could actually jam a weapon.

Incidentally, this reminds me of an interesting story about the M-16. Seems that when Colt first designed the weapon in the 1960s, they had designed it using a smokeless powder ammo (Dupont IMR) that burned clean and left almost no recidue. Army guys were still using ball powder at that time and as the story goes, quite a bit of their ammo supplies came from this one factory that was down the road from some of the guys in the Army Procurement division. So they tried everything they could to disqualify the M16 and then found something. The Army Requirement was that the weapon should fire > 3000 ft/sec in anywhere between arctic and desert conditions. With the smokeless powder that Colt originally used, it fired at around 2950 ft/sec in Alaskan winter temperatures. However with the ball powder, it could still fire > 3000 ft/sec in the cold. So the procurement folks recommended ball powder ammo to be used, which would keep their friends in the ammo factory happy. Using ball powder had two big issues though: 1. It left limestone deposits in the barrel, which could cause jamming and 2. It produced a higher chamber pressure, which meant that the gun would fire at 1100 rounds/min or so (instead of 750 rounds/min that Colt designed it for). As a result, the spring and extractor couldn't work fast enough and it would jam. Colt had actually sent a report earlier in writing to the Army saying that ball powder could cause issues with the rifle and the Army's reply was to do the testing with whatever ammo they felt like. So Colt tested it with the Dupont IMR smokeless powder they'd designed for and passed it. Then the Army shipped the rifles to Vietnam with the ball powder ammo and sure enough, they started to jam. Ultimately there was a congressional investigation and people started pointing fingers at the procurement folks. The Army still kept the ball powder, but changed the composition to use less calcium, chrome-lined the chamber, bolt and barrel and changed the spring and bolt to be a bit stronger and thereby reduced the rate to around 750 rounds/min. They also issued cleaning kits with the weapons.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 08 Jul 2009 10:09

Drevin wrote:<ot>It seems there are tens of points on the human body (other than the head) that will lead to death ranging from seconds to minutes. Even a hit to the liver/kidneys will pretty much lead to death in minutes (even if it misses the spine at the back) from internal bleeding/shock. Also if I am not mistaken on the arms and legs there are millions of pain receptor cells under the skin. A hit to these parts will incapacitate the enemy's brain with pain long enough for a follow-on shot. However on a positive note body armor tech seems to be improving significantly. Face armor is probably lagging behind.</ot>


The opposite is also true. There are tens of points that do not lead to death even when hit by a 12 mm shell - or for that matter a half Kg of explosive in a landmine. So the assumption that a bigger round is more likely to lead to death ("lethality') is not correct. Like I said - if you hit the right spot - even a knitting needle is 100% lethal. Young healthy adult males survive having an arm or leg blown off but to a soldier who is in the opposite camp his opponent's survival is less important than his being rendered ineffective for the duration of that battle.

I don't want to belabor the point too far. I do accept that a 6.8 mm round may have things going for it - but one also needs to look at what goes against it.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby pgbhat » 09 Jul 2009 15:37

Thought this was a relevant video for this thread

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Surya » 09 Jul 2009 17:50

proves some of the views here that marketing hype and military industrial complex can produce a new need :)


Good video however.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 09 Jul 2009 18:19

Surya wrote:proves some of the views here that marketing hype and military industrial complex can produce a new need :)


The article linked by RayC has useful info on this, including infor about teh 6.8 mm round shown in the video.

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Assault.htm

However the video is funny because once again it talks of "lethality" and "proves" lethality by knocking down a man shaped steel plate. But first check why the sudden resurgence of interest in 6.8 mm. It's because of Afghanistan. :D

The British Army has also been finding the 5.56mm weapons to have insufficient range in the open spaces of Afghanistan, where foot patrols are engaged by small groups of Taleban, using 7.62x54R rifles and LMGs, at ranges of up to 900m.


Patrols are being ambushed and the Brit/US troops don't seem to be able to cope using their current tactics.

About the 6.8 mm round

One is the 6.8x43 Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge) which fires a 115 grain bullet at 2,650 fps from a 16.5 inch barrel (7.45g at 808 m/s = 2,430J); very similar to the 'ideal' 6.85mm listed above. The cartridge case is based on the old .30 Remington commercial round, with a diameter of 10.5mm, intermediate between the 5.56x45 (9.5mm) and the 7.62x51 (12.0mm). Overall length is kept within the 57mm limit to fit in the M16 action, which limits the length of the bullets which can be loaded. Even so, this round develops 55% more muzzle energy than the 62 grain SS109/M855 loading at the muzzle, rising to 84% better at 550m due to its superior ballistic coefficient (the SD is 0.214). The trajectory matches that of the 7.62x51 M80 ball out to 500m, and is only 10cm low at 600m. The development of this round was sponsored from within the US SOCOM (Special Operations Command) who were looking for a more powerful cartridge than the 5.56mm, and it has reportedly been successfully tested in action.

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby KiranM » 09 Jul 2009 21:55

^^^ Shiv ji, IMHO it is 'cribbing' by Territorial/ greenhorn British units. Taliban must have opened from 900m spraying bullets and hoping to hit a Brit. From what I see in BBC, Brits return the same.

(Can't think of any reporter covering with hostiles firing away under 200-300 m)

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Kiran

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby Rahul M » 09 Jul 2009 23:05

an image from the para regiment site. the gun appears to be INSAS. Image

if it is indeed INSAS, then that is quite intriguing in the context of the discussions of this thread !

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Re: An alternative to NATO 5.56mm cartridges

Postby shiv » 10 Jul 2009 08:42

KiranM wrote:^^^ Shiv ji, IMHO it is 'cribbing' by Territorial/ greenhorn British units. Taliban must have opened from 900m spraying bullets and hoping to hit a Brit. From what I see in BBC, Brits return the same.


Exactly.

But just think what the Indian army would do in the same situation? They would return fire with an AK 47 and check if the Talebunnies manage to keep their heads up as the Indian troops got closer. But there may be an izzat problem with the Brits and Yanquis. So they want to design and use "6.8"

But this begs the question "Why don't they just call for air power?" - which is what seems to happen depending on which program I watch on Discovery channel.


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