Bullet Size vs. Shot Placement Still Rages

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,901
Location
Not Afghanistan
My title, not that of the actual article. The article's tone is that the M855 round is inferior. Shot placement is briefly discussed, but the article is lobbying for a larger round. Quotes include Paul Howe, of Delta fame.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080527/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/battling_over_bullets_3

I did laugh over this quote because it is so true:

The arguments over larger calibers, Radcliffe says, are normal in military circles where emotions over guns and bullets can run high.

"One of the things I've discovered in guns is that damned near everyone is an expert," he says. "And they all have opinions."
 

Cabbage Head

SSSO I, II, III, IV & V
Verified SWAT
Joined
May 23, 2007
Messages
737
Location
Illinois, SW of Chicago
Interesting article.

I have seen the ballistic tests of 5.56 in gelatin where depending on barrel length the same round does completely different things.

The slower the round exits the less the termanal ballistics it has and the greater the penetration.

Our rounds at work are jacketed soft points. Expand very nice.

We have some Hornady TAP in 55gr that knocked the shit out of a coyote the other day. What you give up with this round is penetration. I saw the unofficial pic's of what it did to the internal organs. Ripped it all up....

For combat use in an urban environment, I would think that you would need something that has both. Good penetration (velocity) that when striking the target offers expansion/fragmentation to cause incopacitation.

I would like to think that the argument of proper placement of the round is sound but, I have never seen the person who would stand still enough to let me do that (granted this is only in Sim's training).

Having never been there, this is the best opinion I have on the subject matter.:2c:
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
6,798
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
I could not disagree more with this article, the information is wrong in many places. (i.e. why the M855 was designed and how it performs) To me this looks like an article based on an already determined opinion with a lack of proper research. As for Paul Howe’s comment:

“Paul Howe was part of a U.S. military task force 15 years ago in Mogadishu, Somalia's slum-choked capital, when he saw a Somali fighter hit in the back from about a dozen feet away with an M855 round "I saw it poof out the other side through his shirt," says Howe, a retired master sergeant and a former member of the Army's elite Delta Force. "The guy just spun around and looked at where the round came from. He got shot a couple more times, but the first round didn't faze him."

Paul Howe is one of the better instructors in the TX area, and his training is spot on. However, I disagree with his opinion in this matter. The same goes for deer hunters; they will always tell you a 30-30 or 270 are the only way to go when killing deer. But my NM AR15 shooting M193 works just fine and I have been doing that for the last 5 years…

Why is the article not mentioning the fact that the Somali’s were drugged up (khat leaves the equivalent to heroin or LSD) during this battle, it would not be unusual for a person to not go down after one shot? Also why is weight issues not being discussed in this article (weight of ammo and weapon difference) witch makes a lot of difference to the current conventional soldier? There are a lot more issues then BIGGER = BETTER…

I believe in Shot placement over round size, while at home I carry a G19 9mm pistol. Everyone knows a 45 ACP makes a bigger hole and causes more damage, but I still trust my life with a 9mm. why? Because I am not going to shoot just once, and I will more then likely shoot the threat in the head! I train my self all the time, so that if the time comes for me to do so. I will be able too….

:2c:
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
Shot placement is vital when talking about a kill etc... but it is often impractical to expect people in combat to take well aimed shots, the shot placement argument forgets too about shooting through concealment etc...

The 5.56 is a good little round for certain situations but it was never the general purpose combat round that it's been used as or talked up to be, the Brits decided the 7mm
(.280) was the ideal general purpose round way back in the late '40s, something that has been reborn with the advent of the 6.8mm round.

The 6.8mm needs to be adopted as the standard round and the troops need more training IMO.

:2c:
 
W

WillBrink

Guest
My title, not that of the actual article. The article's tone is that the M855 round is inferior. Shot placement is briefly discussed, but the article is lobbying for a larger round. Quotes include Paul Howe, of Delta fame.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080527/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/battling_over_bullets_3

I did laugh over this quote because it is so true:

BTW, from the research I have done, I think the money quote is below, and the topic is given too little space. God knows, the guy who made the quote knows a thing or two about terminal ballistics....

"Dr. Martin Fackler, a former combat surgeon and a leading authority on bullet injuries, said the problem is the gun, not the bullet. The M4 rifle has a 14.5 inch barrel — too short to create the velocity needed for an M855 bullet to do maximum damage to the body."

Doing the velocity it was intended to do out of an M16, the M855 makes an impressive wound channel. No doubt, it has it's trade offs as everything does, but the M855 was designed to be lethal in a different gun.
 

Titus Pullo

Disgruntled Grunt
Verified Military
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
58
Location
The Aventine
I remember the AAR's we were getting back from Somalia about the less lethal effects of the 5.56 ball rounds and how many of the guys were getting 4-5 hits center mass on a target and the target would just keep coming at them. Worse is that in many third world countries, like Somalia, the locals practice "religions" that have them ingesting substances like Khat, which is a narcotic, amongst other drugs such as heroin, before heading into battle. Many of them believing that the effects of the drugs will protect them from bullets. Sadly for some of our men and women that is almost a truth. While the drug does not obviously stop bullets it is difficult to put someone down with a round like the 855 when they are stoned to the gills.
 

Hitman2/3

Raider
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
308
Location
Texas
I'm all for shot placement and it holds true when you have a visible target that your shooting at. However, my problem with the 5.56 comes when you have to engage a target that is behind concealment or even lite cover.

There was a video I saw once that I'm sure some of you guys have seen. This guy basically shot a lot of different guns and a lot of different ammo to show the effects that rounds had on certain materials and the effect that certain materials had on the round. Anyway, this guy shot an M-16, loaded with the M855 round through a stand with leaves and twigs on it with a target just 1 foot behind it. The guy shot three rounds from a pretty short distance aiming at the center of the stand, the bullets were deflected so much that one of them barely even hit the target and the other two were off center buy almost 9 inches. The same test was preformed with a 7.62, and while the rounds were slightly off they were all more or less on target.

Similar test were preformed to show the effects the round had on cinder blocks, solid wood, and bricks. Each time the 7.62 out performed the 5.56. To me that is a factor that is very important when your talking about MOUT or even working in a jungle or wooded environment. It would really suck if you know there is a guy behind a thick bush, or a guy that you know is right next to a window but you can't nail his ass because your bullet either won't penetrate or is deflected to far to have effects on target.

Don't get me wrong, obviously the 5.56 is a lethal round; however, like Paradus said the 5.56 is not the ideal all purpose round that it is cracked up to be. Also as far as shot placement goes its all well and good at 25 or 30 yards. However, in a combat situation using iron sights with a target 100 to 150 yards away, your heart pumping, sweat and dirt in your eyes and the other guy shooting back hitting him or her in the heart or in the upper center of the face is easier said than done. I'd like to see a round that will put someone on their ass rather you hit them in the stomach or dead center in their chest, and will do it with one shot not three four or five. Personally I believe that the 6.8 is worth the military taking a real close look at. Just my :2c:
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
6,798
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
Personally I am waiting on my new intergalactic death ray, so that when I assume command over all ground forces of Operation Mars Freedom (OMF) we will be well prepared for those green bastards! :)

I agree that M855 is not the best round; all I am saying is that I am 100% comfortable with M855 and it’s performance in combat…
 
M

Minuteman1636

Guest
I agree that M855 is not the best round; all I am saying is that I am 100% comfortable with M855 and it’s performance in combat…

+1

In my 20 years of service the debate has raged about what round is best. I was never a big fan of M193 (55gr used in M16A1's for you young guys). I do like the M855. I have never felt "inadequate":eek: with M855.

However, my personal preference would be a return to 7.62/.308 based rifle.
 

jordan

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 10, 2006
Messages
652
Location
West Coast
What kind of .223 round do you prefer for just going out to the range? Why?

I am talking civilian market. ie, remington, winchester etc.
 

JBS

Leatherneck
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
2,150
Location
USA
Weight is a factor:



556 M855: 4.0 grams per round,

7.62 NATO = 9.5 grams per round



So if you want 20lbs of 7.62, you could theoretically carry 955 rounds.

As compared to 20lbs of 556 it would be 2,268 rounds of M855.

That's theoretical because the links (assuming the ammo is belted) would throw off the math, and probably make it even less favorable for 7.62.


So pretty much capacity in terms of total volume of ammunition that can be carried would technically be cut in half.

That's definitely a consideration at least.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
Weight is a factor:



556 M855: 4.0 grams per round,

7.62 NATO = 9.5 grams per round



So if you want 20lbs of 7.62, you could theoretically carry 955 rounds.

As compared to 20lbs of 556 it would be 2,268 rounds of M855.

That's theoretical because the links (assuming the ammo is belted) would throw off the math, and probably make it even less favorable for 7.62.


So pretty much capacity in terms of total volume of ammunition that can be carried would technically be cut in half.

That's definitely a consideration at least.

Thats true but the 7.62 can do more with less shots too. Enough to make up the loss of quantity? I don't know but I know I'd rather be using a round I know will more easily shoot through a wall/door etc... and take out a bad guy on the other side. :2c:
 

HOLLiS

Verified Military
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
1,509
Location
Where it is wet, wet, and more wet
Thats true but the 7.62 can do more with less shots too. Enough to make up the loss of quantity? I don't know but I know I'd rather be using a round I know will more easily shoot through a wall/door etc... and take out a bad guy on the other side. :2c:

Good summation. Problem with any bullet it is design to do something, that can easily mean it will not do something else. Sierra has a good discussion of bullets in, probably, any of their reloading manuals.

Penetrating bullets are not soft tissue bullets and the converse is true. We had a expression, "To kill 'em dead". If I had to pick a round, I think a 8 inch arty round would be great, one shot, one big splatter, end of discussion. I have never been man enough to hump a 8 inch around. So there will always be trade offs.


So the question will always linger, "Enough to make up the loss of quantity?"
 

Pete031

Leave....
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
260
I've used 77 grain. That shit fly's. It really impressed me overseas, compared to our standard 62 grain.
 

JBS

Leatherneck
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
2,150
Location
USA
Something doesn't seem right with those numbers, though.

I am pretty sure that it sounds like too much ammo for the weight.

Originally Posted by JoeBlackSpade
Weight is a factor:



556 M855: 4.0 grams per round,

7.62 NATO = 9.5 grams per round



So if you want 20lbs of 7.62, you could theoretically carry 955 rounds.

As compared to 20lbs of 556 it would be 2,268 rounds of M855.

That's theoretical because the links (assuming the ammo is belted) would throw off the math, and probably make it even less favorable for 7.62.


So pretty much capacity in terms of total volume of ammunition that can be carried would technically be cut in half.

That's definitely a consideration at least.
Something is askew. 20lbs of ammo, there's no way that's 2,000 + rounds, take an Ammo can for example. What does that weigh? Close to 20lbs at least, and far less than 2,000 rounds.




Edit: The weights I used were for the PROJECTILE, not for the cartridge.


Corrected weights:


5.56 M855


Projectile (only) / Cartridge
62 grain / 190 grain
4.02 grams / 12.31 grams

lbs-per-1000pc.
27.14 lbs






7.62 M80 Ball


Projectile (only) / Cartridge
146 grain / 392 grain
9.46 grams / 25.4 grams

lbs-per-1000pc. 56.0 lbs

My apologies for the screwed up math. ***
 

Rabid Badger

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
3,173
Location
The 'Ville
All well and good and well said for weights / penetration / velocity.

One item I see that's not being addressed is bad marksmanship with lotso rounds still equals bad marksmanship and less hits - less dead bad guys and you'll need lot's of rounds.

Good MMS with less rounds + hit what you're aiming at = more targets down with less rounds AND the ability to engage more as need be.

Crawl - Walk - Run MMS = more dead bad guys no matter the weights.

Ah.......the basics....

:2c:
 

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
4,467
Location
Kentucky
All well and good and well said for weights / penetration / velocity.

One item I see that's not being addressed is bad marksmanship with lotso rounds still equals bad marksmanship and less hits - less dead bad guys and you'll need lot's of rounds.

Good MMS with less rounds + hit what you're aiming at = more targets down with less rounds AND the ability to engage more as need be.

Crawl - Walk - Run MMS = more dead bad guys no matter the weights.

Ah.......the basics....

:2c:


Well said, it is cheaper to retrain someone (Dime/Washer)then send them to the range 10 times to try and qualify
 
8

8'Duece

Guest
Caliber debates are endless, especially in a gun shop. Rumors run wild like little girls in grade school and most of the gun shop employee's, non military of course, alway's know more than we do about the weapons we are purchasing. :rolleyes:

Ask the next gunshop employee if the gas key is staked properly on that Bushmaster M4 flat top and he'll look at you like you just asked him to repeat the law's of physics in a non gravitational atmosphere.

Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement !
 
Top