SAS Want Ammo Upgrade

Ravage

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http://www.eliteukforces.info/uk-military-news/220313-UKSF-Want-Ammo-Upgrade.php

British Special Forces are about to get an upgrade in firepower, it has been reported(1). Unsatisfied with the range and stopping power of 5.56mm x 45mm ammunition, the Special Air Service is looking to adopt personal weapons that fire heavier 7.62mm x 51mm NATO rounds.

British forces switched from the 7.62mm L1A1 rifle to the 5.56mm L85a1 in the mid-eighties. One of the reasons for the switch to 5.56mm was that, due to its size and weight, more bullets could be carried per man than the heavier 7.62mm rounds. Weapons chambered in 5.56 tend to have a bigger magazine capacity also - 30 as apposed to 20, as is the norm with 7.62-chambered rifles. Special forces had ditched the L1A1 in favour of M16s long before the rest of the army. When operating far from the front line, the ability to carry more ammunition was deemed more important that any failings that the lighter round may have. The Regiment still fielded 7.62mm rifles when deemed necessary. During the Troubles in Northern Irelans, for example, various incarnations of the Heckler and Koch G3 were used by 22 SAS and the SAS-trained 14th Intelligence Company (The 'Det').

Experience in Afghanistan, however, has shown that the 5.56 rounds fired from the C8 SFW carbine, the Regiment's standard rifle, come up lacking in that theatre. It can sometimes take multiple hits to put down an enemy fighter. Developed to fight more conventional forces, one of the expected consequences of the 5.56 round was to result in a wounded enemy soldier, thereby taking them out of the fight and requiring several comrades to treat him on the field, and more men and resources to continue treatment off the field. This strategy is not so suited against fanatical, irregular forces. Insurgents in battles in Afghanistan have been able to keep on fighting after being hit by 5.56 rounds. Special Forces engagements tend to be quick and decisive, requiring a round with one-shot, one-kill characteristics, like 7.62 NATO.

Another issue with the current caliber round is range. Taliban insurgents are typically armed with AK-47 rifles or PKM machine guns, which fire 7.62mm rounds and can engage out to longer ranges than troops armed with 5.56mm caliber weapons. Knowing this, the Taliban will often try and exploit this advantage and engage in fire fights from beyond their targets' effective assault rifle range. The MOD has introduced the L129a1 Sharpshooter rifle into infantry squads in order to enable British forces to lay down accurate return fire in long range engagements.

The Daily Mail reports that the SAS is trialing several 7.62mm x 51mm caliber rifles as replacements for the C8 SFW:

The SCAR-H, a modular weapon system that can be configured as a carbine, assault rifle and sniper rifle, is reportedly being considered by the SAS. The SCAR-H is used by U.S. Special Operations Forces, including the Navy SEALs.

seals-mk17-mod-0.jpg

A U.S. Navy SEAL armed with a SCAR-H (MK 17 Mod 0). The SCAR-H can be fitted with a 13, 16 or 20 inch barrel. It features rails for mounting accessories such as scopes, laser pointers, grenade launchers and fore grips. The weapon is fed from a 20-round box magazine.
U.S. DoD photo

Although not mentioned in the Daily Mail report, another likely contender is the Heckler and Koch HK 417. Like the SCAR-H, the HK 417 comes in a range of flavours - short-barreled carbine, assault rifle or sniper rifle. The HK 417 is thought to already be in limited use in the by the SAS(2) and SFSG(3).

hk-417.jpg

2 versions of the HK 417 on display - the assault rifle, with 16 inch barrel (top) and a version with a 12 inch barrel, designed for close quarters combat (bottom). The HK 417 is used by Delta Force, the U.S. Army Special Ops unit modelled on 22 SAS.
 

Marauder06

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AK-47 rifles or PKM machine guns, which fire 7.62mm rounds and can engage out to longer ranges than troops armed with 5.56mm caliber weapons

I thought max effective range for an AK-47 was something like 400m, and for an M-16 was 550m or so?
 

AWP

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I thought max effective range for an AK-47 was something like 400m, and for an M-16 was 550m or so?

There's range and then there's accuracy at a certain distance and I think (I'm not 100% certain and no sarcasm is involved) that's a contributing factor to "point" vs. "area" and effective ranges for various weapons. A stock AK isn't as accurate as a stock AR, so I could see a decreased max effective range in the AK platform.
 

surgicalcric

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I thought max effective range for an AK-47 was something like 400m, and for an M-16 was 550m or so?

The sights are adjustable out to 800m but the max effective range is only 400m and the PKM an effective range of approx 1300 meters.

The M16 has a max effective range of 550m for point targets and 800m for area targets. However the retained energy in M855 ball at 800m is barely enough to dent a pair of oakleys...
 

amlove21

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I thought max effective range for an AK-47 was something like 400m, and for an M-16 was 550m or so?
With a long barrel (16 in) and a good scope and shooter, you can jog a lethal 7.62mm shot very far, actually. The shorter the barrel, the crappier the round, the shorter the point effective range is. We carry two rifles able to accurately engage point targets at 700m-1K, depending on the shooter.
There's range and then there's accuracy at a certain distance and I think (I'm not 100% certain and no sarcasm is involved) that's a contributing factor to "point" vs. "area" and effective ranges for various weapons. A stock AK isn't as accurate as a stock AR, so I could see a decreased max effective range in the AK platform.
Yup. We won't accept an M4 past our tolerance (1-4 minute of angle per weapon). Tons of AK's are machined from equipment that is decades old, and are way out of that tolerance. So yea, although the round holds the ballistics to travel that far, it's a question of actually hitting what you're aiming at and at how far can you repeat that.
 

amlove21

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Oh, and PS? That H&K 417 is the HEAT. I fell in love with that weapon over one of my deployments. I have fired the CAR-H and the long range MK-20 rifle from the same manufacturer- and holy crap, what a great platform. I just wish we (ACC) would go to the CAR and Glock already.
 

0699

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The sights are adjustable out to 800m but the max effective range is only 400m and the PKM an effective range of approx 1300 meters.

The M16 has a max effective range of 550m for point targets and 800m for area targets. However the retained energy in M855 ball at 800m is barely enough to dent a pair of oakleys...

Whoa. Boot camp flashbacks.
 

AWP

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I just wish (ACC) would go to the CAR and Glock already.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ACC spending money on you guys AND going with something that isn't "standard?" That's funny. My sides hurt and I soiled myself from laughing and the Fluor chow.

ACC is the devil.
 

amlove21

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BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ACC spending money on you guys AND going with something that isn't "standard?" That's funny. My sides hurt and I soiled myself from laughing and the Fluor chow.

ACC is the devil.
Don't even get me started. I am the WEPTAC NCOIC at my shop- I spend all day, everyday, on the phone with people saying, "THIS ISN'T A NEW THING. AFSOC FIRES THESE WEAPONS RIGHT NOW. IT'S A BETTER PLATFORM. THE BERETTA IS A 10 LB PIECE OF CRAP. The 5.56mm round we shoot from a 20 year old M4 isn't stopping anything. We need a more lethal platform for what we do, specific to what we do, and we don't have it. We aren't aircrew with a 'break in case of emergency' weapon on a helicopter. You do know we engage in close combat, close and kill with the enemy, right?" All day. I just wanna grab them by their stupid faces and shake them.

It's the most maddening thing ever to sit in a meeting and hear, "So, let's talk about a new long range platform, the EBR just isn't what we need." So I say, "How about the MK 20? Half of our units already use it, its support program is spotless, they'll send reps out to teach the course on the new weapon AND deploy guys downrange for service on the weapon. 4 variants, able to be changed out without a gunsmith. Everything on the rifle is adjustable to a specific shooter, yet able to change between shooters in less than 10 minutes if the other shooter knows his setup. It's everything we need, and it's not re-inventing the wheel."

"Well, this isn't AFSOC...." :wall::wall::wall::wall::wall::dead:
 

Crusader74

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Why did JSOC remove the HK 416/417 from Service in certain Units if it is more effective than the M4? Considering the Soldiers would have asked to keep said weapon in service..
 

amlove21

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Why did JSOC remove the HK 416/417 from Service in certain Units if it is more effective than the M4? Considering the Soldiers would have asked to keep said weapon in service..
Not sure I follow. The 416/417 (and the CAR) are used in units all over USSOF. And I am not aware of anyone going to the 416/417 and then shelving them for a standard colt M4.
 

Crusader74

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Not sure I follow. The 416/417 (and the CAR) are used in units all over USSOF. And I am not aware of anyone going to the 416/417 and then shelving them for a standard colt M4.

Did an SMU not field it and then told to stop in favor of the M4..(political reasons IIRC) Nearly sure the article was published here.. 3-4 years ago.
 

AWP

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Did an SMU not field it and then told to stop in favor of the M4..(political reasons IIRC) Nearly sure the article was published here.. 3-4 years ago.

I believe the AWG fielded it and then had to turn it in. They are a SMU, but I don't think they are a SOCOM entity (I'll let everyone wrap their brains around that), reporting instead to TRADOC or FORSCOM or something.
 

Marauder06

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Did an SMU not field it and then told to stop in favor of the M4..(political reasons IIRC) Nearly sure the article was published here.. 3-4 years ago.

That was the Assymetric Warfare Group. They are technically an "SMU," but they are not SOF. It's kind of strange.
 

Mac_NZ

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The HK-417 was simply awesome. We had a trial one at work as a DMR but it came with 3 different length barrels. With the 10.5" on it and an aimpoint it was an absolute beast. We ended up with the LMT so the pipe dream of being able to justify a TOE increase went out the window :(
 

Ravage

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Our guys are still in the process of fieloding a 7.62 DMR - all based on experiances from Afghanistan. NSW had a few M-14 left from the Navy (when we took in some of your ships) but that's all. Curently only one unit has some SRs, and they don't like to share - bastards.
 

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I believe the AWG fielded it and then had to turn it in. They are a SMU, but I don't think they are a SOCOM entity (I'll let everyone wrap their brains around that), reporting instead to TRADOC or FORSCOM or something.

Yup. As I recall, it was something along the lines of, "You can't be effective advisors and force multipliers if you show up with stuff that Joe doesn't have/can't get."
 
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