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M4, M16 and 5.56 NATO- A national disgrace?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by e28rusty, May 13, 2010.

  1. e28rusty

    e28rusty Newberg Member

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    My dad sent me this after I sent him the link to the insurgent snipers video, has anyone seen this?

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ar_disgrace.htm

    I think he makes some good points, but I'm sure many of you will disagree:p
     
  2. NoAim

    NoAim Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    The author glosses over some differences in things (the SOF fires a LOT more rounds through their rifles than regular Army so their needs are slightly different).

    Beyond that, it is what it is. As with all cold war guns, it's was originally designed as a lightweight iron sighted carbine that could put a 3-round burst into a man sized target at 300 yards.

    War and tactics have evolved since then. There is now a need to strap optics, night vision, IR illuminators on. We generally have smaller forces and thus fireing rates per gun go up. They've tried to evolve the M4 into what it needs. Like anything with a 50 year history some things don't translate well, and some problems/tactics have only just been learned. Note that the author mentions that the AK-74 is more reliable, but then it does not have the capabilities as a modern fighting M4. And shoots similar ammo.

    Then, let's get to the ammo. The author mentions the ineffectiveness of the 5.56mm. Let's assume that's true. But then compares it to the 7.62x39 and 5.45x39, which both have their short comings. Note that even if the US adopted those alternate calibers, they still would not be effective in Afghanistan.

    And the current 6.5G and 6.8 are hampered as is. They are good calibers than have been "detuned" so they'll fit in a AR-15 sized receiver. What is needed is something "intermediate" between the 5.56x45 and 7.62x51. This will dictate a new weapon system.

    In short, the author is all over the place, making comparisons and conclusions that are valid in only certain circumstances, but would still fail in others.
     
  3. fred c. dobbs

    fred c. dobbs salem Active Member

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    US Gov. stopped caring about wining wars in 1962 with the intro of the M-16 , 223, piece of junk, which replaced the 308 M-14. with the history of the 30-06 used in wwII and 308 in early part of Viet Nam, the debate is over, 223 is useless, in real world battle conditions,

    Rusty, ask your dad if he remembers the Eisenhower speach on the military industrial complex , they run the pentagon, 223 provides more profits, that is the reason for it's introduction, there is no money made in peace time, that is why we will be at war forever from now on,

    223 , 3 short burst, at (300 yards, what a JOKE) or one shot with 30-06 or 308, is there any reason to waiste more oxygen on such a pointless debate, you can thank Robert Macnamara, a real traitor to our country for this travesty. As well as his part in the USS Liberty cover - up. thats another discution all together.

    all the best.

    fred c. dobbs
     
  4. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    Nothing beats my Starwars Blaster! It Rokz!

    But on another more serious note. Someone with more knowlege than me has pointed out in previous disscussions about round vs round. Bullets only kill (quickly) in 2 ways. First massive trama to the nervious system (head or spine). Second bleeding out. Any round can do either in one shot... Also keep in mind 80% of all gunshot wounds are NOT fatal.

    Point being the most important factor in a gun fight is shot placement, not caliber.
     
  5. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This is more of a political discussion than it is about the technical merits of a weapon system. In my opinion based on actual experience, the M4 is if fine for most soldiers and as a semi auto civilian rifle is one of my personal weapons.
     
  6. Celtic Armory

    Celtic Armory Port Orchard, WA Member

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    The 5.56 is a very lethal round when shot placement is accurate. Hitting someone in a non vital area with anything smaller than a 50 BMG is going to be a wounding hit, whether it's a 5.56 or a 7.61x51. But a precise hit, even with a 5.56 is a definite kill. I saw a video on LiveLeak a few days ago where some protester got popped in the head by an M16 somewhere in S.E. Asia. His head was split open like a melon and sprayed gray matter across the road. Part of the problem with the lack of success in the M4/M16 with our military comes in the type of training they get. With the M1 and M14 soldiers were taught to conserve their ammo and make their shots accurate. With the M16 they have been taught that they have enough ammo and to fire away. Superb accuracy has been set aside.

    Any firearm can be equally lethal, when the shot placement is accurate.
     
  7. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    Itis obvious that the M-16/.556 is a shortrange weapon, highly dependent on many factors to be worth a darn, time to move on. I love the standard talk about, keep it clean and well lubed, what are you supposd to do in the middle of a firefight, sand or snow storm, hold up the time out sign? Spad
     
  8. e28rusty

    e28rusty Newberg Member

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    I disagree, I think a .308 in a non vital area is more likely to cause serious injury than 5.56. Unless the 5.56 tumbles, it will pass through the body without causing much damage. It also doesn't penetrate obstacles and armor as well, especially at longer ranges.
    I do agree that training has a lot to do with it. But I think the weapons our troops carry should have more knockdown power at longer ranges, AND be trained to lay accurate fire down at longer ranges.
     
  9. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    Stop using FMJ's.

    Problem solved.
     
  10. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    :thumbup:
     
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Jefferson County, Wa Member

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    Todays 62 grain armor piercer is a problem compared to yesteryears 55 grain lead core. A rifle bullet entering a body needs to deform and do crazy stuff inside a body on the way through, not keep it's shape and trajectory.

    Bruce.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The 55 gr FMJ is well known for tumbling and/or breaking and changing direction on impact and doing far more damage than it would appear "on paper."

    Military members have to qualify with the 5.56 NATO at 500 yards and the round is good to at least 600. The mil spec .308 is actually the 7.62x51 NATO which is less powerful than the .308. I'll give the .308 credit for being a longer range round than the 5.56 NATO, but not the 7.62 NATO.

    The 5.56 rifles are lighter and easier to carry than the 7.62 as is the ammo. The 5.56 is sweeeet shooting - accurate, little kick, quick on target... I'll take it.

    $.02
     
  13. AIRASSAULT18B

    AIRASSAULT18B Permanent Vacation Member

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    A national disgrace. I would not call the highest kill to death ratio for our military against all other country's a disgrace. We have the best Snipers & Rifleman bar none. For the longer ranges the US SF have been using 77gr BTHP to great affect in M4s & SCARs. There is also groups using 90gr rounds. Yes in the 5.56 Which in both rounds lethality is unquestionable. More & more units will have access to this ammo as time goes on. Its like all equipment the SF gets it first then when it is available on a larger scale it will go down to the line units.

    Also the Doctrine of US Warfare is to injure the enemy not kill him. Reasoning is to take one injured & two more to help him off the battlefield. So it takes three combatants out of the fight.

    There is no magic bullet or weapon system made or coming in the near future that guarantees death or instant death 100% of the time.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  14. e28rusty

    e28rusty Newberg Member

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    So assuming the 5.56 round is still useful, what about the platform? When will the 416 (or something) trickle down to our troops on the line? And whatever happened to the xm8? I haven't heard anything about it in a while.
     
  15. AIRASSAULT18B

    AIRASSAULT18B Permanent Vacation Member

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    No plans for the xm8. It died like the pistol trials did. M4s are here to stay for awhile. SCARS will slowly trickle down with the heaver weight bullets in 5.56 & SCAR-H in 7.62x51. There are no plans in the near future for replacement calibers for our battle rifles. Even if there was just think how hard it would be to convert weapons & calibers to all of our units deployed world wide.TheMarines just put in a massive order for updated M16s. They say they are comitted to the M16 & are not interested in the M4 or the SCAR. The trickling down to line units will be like when optics came down the line. Do you have the titanium vests yet? I am retired now but still have some friends in & can keep up a little with whats going on.
     
  16. e28rusty

    e28rusty Newberg Member

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    I understand it would be very difficult to change calibers, especially when so many troops are deployed. Trying to phase in a new caliber would require replacing all weapons and all ammunition simultaneously, and that isn't gonna happen. Heavier bullets make sense, but the reliability issues associated with the m16 make me wonder why we would buy more when there are better options available.
     
  17. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    True but there are alot better bullets out there then the 5.56 Nato BS.

    I don't mean to bad mouth the AR here or the round but I wouldn't go into battle with one. The platform and caliber is a kick in the pants to shoot but so is a ruger 10/22. I'm a fan of a heavier hard hitting 308 caliber at a minimum, though there are now alot of tween options out there that are a very good compromise between the big bad 308 and the 5.56

    that being said I do understand not having the 308 as a one size fits all battle rifle because they are heavy and have plenty of recoil. Infact some would argue to much recoil in full auto. I have to agree with Chuck Hawks here. A more reliable tween caliber chambered weapon would be far better in all catagories.
     
  18. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Did the qualification distance and maximum effective range change with the adoption of the 62 grain bullet? When I qualified with the M16A1 rifle (Army and 55 grain bullets) our farthest shot was 350 meters. As I write this, I am referring to my old Infantry Leaders Reference Card and it shows the M16 maximum effective range as 460 meters. Kind of tough to keep up with what the military is doing after being completely seperated for over 30 years :)

    I still prefer the M14 but that's easy to say when I don't have to worry about toting one anymore.
     
  19. NoAim

    NoAim Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    FYI, the next rev of the SCAR is supposed to have FNH's magwell spacer in it. Thus, all MK16s will essentially be able to convert to a MK17. It also makes any future caliber with an OAL between very easy to accommodate. It'd take a new mag, bolt, and barrel assembly.
     
  20. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Well, I apologize. Time flies when you get old, LOL. My son had to qualify at 500 yards in the NG at Fort Benning, but that was, gasp, ten years ago. Proud papa here wants you to know he qualified expert with both pistol and rifle. He had a good teacher, LOL. :)

    I actually can't make that claim of 500 yards today because it may have changed. Sorry.