Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-09-2018, 04:26 AM   #11
Ji ji
 
Ji ji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

I have read many times about soldiers squarely hit by one 5.56x45 without any effect.
Weight per ammo is not really a good performance indicator. Weight per stopped enemy is much more relevant. Of course, if you need 3 cartridges of 12 grams each to have the job of a single 24 done, your weight performance is worse.
Ji ji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 05:24 AM   #12
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
I have read many times about soldiers squarely hit by one 5.56x45 without any effect..

While I have no doubt that there has been examples or anecdotes of people hit by 5.56x45 and not being impaired enough to stop being a threat. However "without effect" I doubt though unless we're talking about being stopped by armour or talking about grazes and not squarely hit.

A few points:

What's "many", more over what's "many" in comparison to other rounds?

There is no round (fired out of a hand held weapon) that gives a 100% guaranteed end of threat effect. The question is relative effects. So yes a 7.62x51mm likely hits with more energy than a 5.56x45mm, but is that abstract increase enough to make a significant difference to the chances of getting the end result you want.

Terminal ballistics and effect on the target is massively complicated, there are many variables here.

Which 5.56x45?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
Weight per ammo is not really a good performance indicator.
It's not very important when looking at individual terminal ballistics once you hit your target, but it's very important in the wider context of people firing guns at people. Without getting into a whole bit on load outs, it doesn't matter how good the terminal ballistics of your round is if you fired the last one you had 5 minutes ago. Similarly if you are having to fire your gun when conserving ammunition is a greater concern than it might otherwise be, that will also likely effect your ability to effect potential targets as you'll have to prioritise more carefully. 7.62mm M80 is twice the weight of a 5.56mm M855 (this leaves aside knock on issues that most like for like guns for 7.62mm also weigh more than for 5.56mm so you have a double bubble effect here).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
Weight per stopped enemy is much more relevant. Of course, if you need 3 cartridges of 12 grams each to have the job of a single 24 done, your weight performance is worse.
Leaving aside this assumes you are hitting with each round*, what is your evidence that the 5.56x45 needs 3** rounds in your target to equal the effects of what ever round you are thinking of in comparison?

EDIT: just quickly there is a rule for reducing the effects of 5.56 and the like out of short barrels past a certain range to pi- in TS ("my carbine sucks/rocks"). Could it be the times your referring to could be largely in that context? Not sure I'd call that no effect though.



*and that could work each way here, if say you relying on quick SA (or even FA) fire a powerful round might be harder to control reducing your follow on hit chances, so your 'hits per round fired' percentage (but this depends on lots of things outside the round as well)

**or since that was really just a abstract comparison what ever multiplier you think it needs to equal the effect.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-12-2018 at 12:52 AM.
Tomsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 06:44 AM   #13
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
More seriously, here is the beginnings of my take on an alternate .276 timeline.
That's interesting. Could you post here when it gets going again?
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 07:14 AM   #14
Rupert
 
Rupert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wellington, NZ
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
I have read many times about soldiers squarely hit by one 5.56x45 without any effect.
Weight per ammo is not really a good performance indicator. Weight per stopped enemy is much more relevant. Of course, if you need 3 cartridges of 12 grams each to have the job of a single 24 done, your weight performance is worse.
Actual studies from the Vietnam War showed that the 5.56x45mm round performed perfectly adequately at killing/injuring people. It is inferior to 7.62x51mm in penetrating brush, but a 6-7mm intermediate cartridge would be too.

Some of the bullets designed to the later NATO spec had poor wounding characteristics, not least because that spec required good penetration at 600m from an assault rifle (showing that those composing the requirements didn't really believe in assault rifles). Current bullets are designed to yaw quickly when hitting a dense object (like a person), giving good wounding. However, the recent shift to carbines has lowed velocities to the point where they don't perform outside of 50-100m, resulting in some of the complaints from recent wars. I understand that the US has moved/is moving to a new bullet matched to the shorter carbine barrels, which should fix most of the issue (it still leaves low muzzle velocity and energy, which will matter when facing opponents in armour).
__________________
Rupert Boleyn

"A pessimist is an optimist with a sense of history."
Rupert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 07:56 AM   #15
Ji ji
 
Ji ji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
While I have no doubt that there has been examples or anecdotes of people hit by 5.56x45 and not being impaired enough to stop being a threat. However "without effect" I doubt though unless we're talking about being stopped by armour or talking about grazes and not squarely hit.

A few points:

What's "many", more over what's "many" in comparison to other rounds?

There is no round (fired out of a hand held weapon) that gives a 100% guaranteed end of threat effect. The question is relative effects. So yes a 7.62x51mm likely hits with more energy than a 5.56x45mm, but is that abstract increase enough to make a significant difference to the chances of getting the end result you want.

Terminal ballistics and effect on the target is massively complicated, there are many variables here.

Which 5.56x45?




It's not very important when looking at individual terminal ballistics once you hit your target, but it's very important in the wider context of people firing guns at people. Without getting into a whole bit on load outs, it doesn't matter how good the terminal ballistics of your round is if you fired the last one you had 5 minutes ago. Similarly if you are having to fire you gun when conserving ammunition is a greater concern than it might otherwise be, that will also likely effect you ability to effect potential targets as you'll have to prioritise more carefully. 7.62mm M80 is twice the weight of a 5.56mm M855 (this leaves aside knock on issues that most like for like guns for 7.62mm also weigh more than for 5.56mm so you have a double bubble effect here.



Leaving aside this assumes you are hitting with each round*, what is your evidence that the 5.56x45 needs 3** rounds in your target to equal the effects of what ever round you are thinking of in comparison?

EDIT: just quickly there is a rule for reducing the effects of 5.56 and the like out of short barrels past a certain range to pi- in TS ("my carbine sucks/rocks"). Could it be the times your referring to could be largely in that context? Not sure I'd call that no effect though.



*and that could work each way here, if say you relying on quick SA (or even FA) fire a powerful round might be harder to control reducing your follow on hit chances, so your 'hits per round fired' percentage (but this depends on lots of things outside the round as well)

**or since that was really just a abstract comparison what ever multiplier you think it needs to equal the effect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Actual studies from the Vietnam War showed that the 5.56x45mm round performed perfectly adequately at killing/injuring people. It is inferior to 7.62x51mm in penetrating brush, but a 6-7mm intermediate cartridge would be too.

Some of the bullets designed to the later NATO spec had poor wounding characteristics, not least because that spec required good penetration at 600m from an assault rifle (showing that those composing the requirements didn't really believe in assault rifles). Current bullets are designed to yaw quickly when hitting a dense object (like a person), giving good wounding. However, the recent shift to carbines has lowed velocities to the point where they don't perform outside of 50-100m, resulting in some of the complaints from recent wars. I understand that the US has moved/is moving to a new bullet matched to the shorter carbine barrels, which should fix most of the issue (it still leaves low muzzle velocity and energy, which will matter when facing opponents in armour).
Very sound points. Let me clarify that I am proposing questions and not giving statements, as I am not a professional of weapon industry. I am wondering if there is a problem of performance assesment here because I usually read two polarized positions:
- people asserting the goodness of 5.56 on the basis of hard data
- people asserting the badness of 5.56 on the basis of actual experience

Usually field- and experimental-research beats aneddoctes. Yet in my area (organisational performance management) we need to use an assumption: when there is widespread conflict between research data and field reports, it’s time to discuss the assesment system. There are many different problems: maybe we are using performance indicators that are inadequate/not representative, maybe there is a perception or analysis bias somewhere, maybe (too often) people are messing with data because they want to get a specific result.

My attention is catch by the fact that I have read a lot of internet comments of soldiers about inadequate stopping power of 5.56, and the counterarguments are always by people talking about research and never by people satisfied by their experience of 5.56 in the Balkans, Afghanistan, or Iraq.

So I wonder: maybe somebody pushed 5.56 because had a prejudice that an ammo with low weight and low recoil was the right choice, and overlooked other important performance indicators. If, as I was hypotising, a lighter ammo is ineffective, the weight advantage becomes a disadvantage in a large picture - it’s an example.

Consider the requirements for a new weapon, for example. People discuss about the right requirements and in the end we get some bullet points that are a compromise coming from endless discussion. Maybe very good and productive discussions, but there is always room for improvement. One official report means little, and ten official reports too.
Ji ji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 08:32 AM   #16
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
Very sound points. Let me clarify that I am proposing questions and not giving statements, as I am not a professional of weapon industry. I am wondering if there is a problem of performance assesment here because I usually read two polarized positions:
- people asserting the goodness of 5.56 on the basis of hard data
- people asserting the badness of 5.56 on the basis of actual experience

Usually field- and experimental-research beats aneddoctes. Yet in my area (organisational performance management) we need to use an assumption: when there is widespread conflict between research data and field reports, it’s time to discuss the assesment system. There are many different problems: maybe we are using performance indicators that are inadequate/not representative, maybe there is a perception or analysis bias somewhere, maybe (too often) people are messing with data because they want to get a specific result.

My attention is catch by the fact that I have read a lot of internet comments of soldiers about inadequate stopping power of 5.56, and the counterarguments are always by people talking about research and never by people satisfied by their experience of 5.56 in the Balkans, Afghanistan, or Iraq.

So I wonder: maybe somebody pushed 5.56 because had a prejudice that an ammo with low weight and low recoil was the right choice, and overlooked other important performance indicators. If, as I was hypotising, a lighter ammo is ineffective, the weight advantage becomes a disadvantage in a large picture - it’s an example.

Consider the requirements for a new weapon, for example. People discuss about the right requirements and in the end we get some bullet points that are a compromise coming from endless discussion. Maybe very good and productive discussions, but there is always room for improvement. One official report means little, and ten official reports too.
TBH I think its not really a matter of two conflicting camps, but rather a mismatch in experience and expectation over what is a very complicated question where there is a lot of compromise and conflicting variables, There are basically lots of steps between "I fired my rifle at that chap" and "my bullet was powerful enough to stop the chap / wasn't powerful enough to stop the chap".

But ultimately you have to look at what's being claimed and what may have caused such claims to come about.

Ultimately the questions you raise in abstract are valid, its just this is topic that has been discussed a lot (not just here).

However that all said even looking at your original point in isolation it was:

"I have read many times about soldiers squarely hit by one 5.56x45 without any effect".

Honestly what do you think are the chances of getting hit squarely by a bullet (albeit at muzzle) of 1700-1900j and there not being any effect? EDIT: ah sorry that's coming of as horribly passive aggressive, it an honest question not a rhetorial one!

a couple of points in comparison:

that is 3-4x as powerful at 9x19mm

same ballpark s .44 Magnum (although these vary by circumstance a lot)


But not all hits are instant fight enders, and as you move away from optimal scenarios for each weapon the less likely the optimal end result occurs. There's also the point that sometimes it's hard to know exactly what is happening in a fire fight, let alone hard and fast causes and effects. There is also a middle ground between Instant fight ender and no effect.

Now I'm certainly not an expert but Acrosome may want to comment on the premise of 5.56mm and similar rounds hitting squarely for no effect as a general starting position even as an abstract starting point in a wider conversation


My suggestion is before you start questioning the data, look at the underpinnings of the anecdotes, because there are lots of variables here. I take your point about questioning the assessment, but such questioning has to be itself supported by reasonable underpinnings.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-09-2018 at 10:05 AM.
Tomsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 08:50 AM   #17
Rupert
 
Rupert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wellington, NZ
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
My attention is catch by the fact that I have read a lot of internet comments of soldiers about inadequate stopping power of 5.56, and the counterarguments are always by people talking about research and never by people satisfied by their experience of 5.56 in the Balkans, Afghanistan, or Iraq.
The people who were satisfied mostly just got on with their lives, I expect.

One thing to consider is that when people complain about lack of stopping power in 'small' or 'low powered' rounds, they are implicitly assuming that a bigger, more powerful round would do better. This is often, within a given class of weapon, not really so. Assuming good bullet choice, 9x19mm is not noticeably less effective than .45 ACP,m and 5.56x45mm is at least comparable to the 7.62x51mm ball the US uses (and often better than 7.62x39mm, which has a standard bullet that tends to drill neat holes in people and not yaw or break up) assuming sensible bullet choices.

Thus, while the people complaining may even be right about the poor performance of their weapon, they may well be comparing it against an unrealistic standard. Aside from the odd perfect hit, where there is an actual instant kill, bullet wounds only incapacitate by pain and shock, so if the victim isn't noticing the pain and shock (fairly common if they're in combat and pumped on adrenaline) they'll be only slightly impaired by being shot - until they fall over from blood loss. This is true for 5.56x45mm, 75.45x39mm, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x51mm wounds, along with most other military small arms. The only reliable way to improve the odds of dropping someone immediately with a small arm via hardware (as opposed to by getting better shot placement through better shooting) is to use expansive bullets, and they are banned for military use. The best we can manage is bullets designed to yaw quickly, and deform or break up in a way that is somehow 'not designed to deform' (a pile of BS, but hey).
__________________
Rupert Boleyn

"A pessimist is an optimist with a sense of history."
Rupert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 09:06 AM   #18
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The people who were satisfied mostly just got on with their lives, I expect.

One thing to consider is that when people complain about lack of stopping power in 'small' or 'low powered' rounds, they are implicitly assuming that a bigger, more powerful round would do better. This is often, within a given class of weapon, not really so. Assuming good bullet choice, 9x19mm is not noticeably less effective than .45 ACP,m and 5.56x45mm is at least comparable to the 7.62x51mm ball the US uses (and often better than 7.62x39mm, which has a standard bullet that tends to drill neat holes in people and not yaw or break up) assuming sensible bullet choices.

Thus, while the people complaining may even be right about the poor performance of their weapon, they may well be comparing it against an unrealistic standard. Aside from the odd perfect hit, where there is an actual instant kill, bullet wounds only incapacitate by pain and shock, so if the victim isn't noticing the pain and shock (fairly common if they're in combat and pumped on adrenaline) they'll be only slightly impaired by being shot - until they fall over from blood loss. This is true for 5.56x45mm, 75.45x39mm, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x51mm wounds, along with most other military small arms. The only reliable way to improve the odds of dropping someone immediately with a small arm via hardware (as opposed to by getting better shot placement through better shooting) is to use expansive bullets, and they are banned for military use. The best we can manage is bullets designed to yaw quickly, and deform or break up in a way that is somehow 'not designed to deform' (a pile of BS, but hey).
yep, "I shot my rifle at some chap and he didn't instantly fall over" ≠ the 5.56mm is no good, or even "he would have if it had been X instead"
Tomsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 03:20 PM   #19
Ji ji
 
Ji ji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
TBH I think its not really a matter of two conflicting camps, but rather a mismatch in experience and expectation over what is a very complicated question where there is a lot of compromise and conflicting variables, There are basically lots of steps between "I fired my rifle at that chap" and "my bullet was powerful enough to stop the chap / wasn't powerful enough to stop the chap".

But ultimately you have to look at what's being claimed and what may have caused such claims to come about.

Ultimately the questions you raise in abstract are valid, its just this is topic that has been discussed a lot (not just here).

However that all said even looking at your original point in isolation it was:

"I have read many times about soldiers squarely hit by one 5.56x45 without any effect".

Honestly what do you think are the chances of getting hit squarely by a bullet (albeit at muzzle) of 1700-1900j and there not being any effect? EDIT: ah sorry that's coming of as horribly passive aggressive, it an honest question not a rhetorial one!

a couple of points in comparison:

that is 3-4x as powerful at 9x19mm

same ballpark s .44 Magnum (although these vary by circumstance a lot)


But not all hits are instant fight enders, and as you move away from optimal scenarios for each weapon the less likely the optimal end result occurs. There's also the point that sometimes it's hard to know exactly what is happening in a fire fight, let alone hard and fast causes and effects. There is also a middle ground between Instant fight ender and no effect.

Now I'm certainly not an expert but Acrosome may want to comment on the premise of 5.56mm and similar rounds hitting squarely for no effect as a general starting position even as an abstract starting point in a wider conversation


My suggestion is before you start questioning the data, look at the underpinnings of the anecdotes, because there are lots of variables here. I take your point about questioning the assessment, but such questioning has to be itself supported by reasonable underpinnings.
“Without any effect” means that the subject keeps on fighting without noticeable loss of performance for several minutes. I expect that this same subject will be less than happy to be punched through and bleeding and so on, in a longer timeframe - even just fifteen minutes. A lot of effect for sure, but not relevant to the expected performance. It’s like an affliction with plenty of effect any 5 minutes onset limitation: very useful in many situation, potentially useless in a combat one.
Of course, I am debating assuming that these multiple reports are dependable, but I don’t know if they truly are.

How probable is that a 1500-2000 joule (at muzzle) is so ineffective? Well, bullet energy is a function of mass and velocity; energy transfer from the bullet to the target depends on many other factors and the cross-section is very important. I think that the alleged problem of 5.56 is in low efficiency of energy transfer due to the small cross section and the lack of deformation. If so, the resulting shock could be minimal.
By the way, I know of a single report about a man shot by a .454 Casull, and it was a devastating wound. This is hardly surprising: such cartridge has some more energy than a 5.56 but way less penetration, so it is much more efficient at transferring energy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The people who were satisfied mostly just got on with their lives, I expect.

One thing to consider is that when people complain about lack of stopping power in 'small' or 'low powered' rounds, they are implicitly assuming that a bigger, more powerful round would do better. This is often, within a given class of weapon, not really so. Assuming good bullet choice, 9x19mm is not noticeably less effective than .45 ACP,m and 5.56x45mm is at least comparable to the 7.62x51mm ball the US uses (and often better than 7.62x39mm, which has a standard bullet that tends to drill neat holes in people and not yaw or break up) assuming sensible bullet choices.

Thus, while the people complaining may even be right about the poor performance of their weapon, they may well be comparing it against an unrealistic standard. Aside from the odd perfect hit, where there is an actual instant kill, bullet wounds only incapacitate by pain and shock, so if the victim isn't noticing the pain and shock (fairly common if they're in combat and pumped on adrenaline) they'll be only slightly impaired by being shot - until they fall over from blood loss. This is true for 5.56x45mm, 75.45x39mm, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x51mm wounds, along with most other military small arms. The only reliable way to improve the odds of dropping someone immediately with a small arm via hardware (as opposed to by getting better shot placement through better shooting) is to use expansive bullets, and they are banned for military use. The best we can manage is bullets designed to yaw quickly, and deform or break up in a way that is somehow 'not designed to deform' (a pile of BS, but hey).
To my knowledge the terminal performance of 7.62x51 ball is much better than 5.56x45 ball at short distance and hugely better at long.
I have my good share of biases and maybe I am overestimating some data over some other. I would like to explain this in a historical-industrial-political frame.
After WWII, NATO developed a new cartridge for personal weapons. UK proposed some design like .280 British, USA preferred to stick to the 7.62 caliber. In the end, the 7.62x51 was adopted. Allegedly, there was some very American attitude in this choice, the “big is better” that makes lot of sense in the wide north American scapes and some less in other environments.
Then, fifteen years after the brand new cartridge proved less-than-optimal in a very different scenario. The Army was (relatively) swift to develop and adopt a new cartridge, which is not really so new but a revamped hunting cartridge (intended for varmints, I believe). This makes sense from an industrial POV. Yet I wonder if there is some other force here. The military management deemed a 7mm cartridge as inadequate just fifteen years prior, and pushed and alliance of many states to adopt its 7.62 wonder-cartridge instead; coming back to the 7mm 2500 j idea would be very bad marketing. So you choose a smaller cartridge, full of merits in its own, but not necessarily the best option.
It maybe becomes a true example of mismanagement in the aftermath; if, for example, the inadequate 5.56 caliber undergoes neverending R&D trying to make it fit for a role it just cannot have. So we end up with sophisticate designs like tumbling bullets and so on. Very good development that makes our 5.56 caliber almost good as a straight, simple 6.5 or 7mm with 2500 joules.

Is this a true tale? Probably not. But it could have been true, and it says me: beware of hard data wide industrial standards. As an informed guess, I think there is a robust dose of doping in 40% of it.
Ji ji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 04:15 PM   #20
Rupert
 
Rupert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wellington, NZ
Default Re: .280 British Stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ji ji View Post
To my knowledge the terminal performance of 7.62x51 ball is much better than 5.56x45 ball at short distance and hugely better at long.
I have my good share of biases and maybe I am overestimating some data over some other. I would like to explain this in a historical-industrial-political frame.
The standard 7.62x51mm bullet used by the US tends to just zip right through a person, and yaws well after leaving their body - it makes fairly straight 7.62mm holes in people unless it hits bone (and hitting bone and breaking up/scattering bones fragments is something all rifle bullets in the range we're discussing do). Some other countries' rounds used bullets that yawed or broke up more readily, but by and large the 7.62x51mm NATO's advantage over 5.56x45mm NATO is one of retained energy at long ranges and of penetration, not wounding ability.

As for the development, at the time the European members of NATO had reached the same conclusion that the Soviets and, and that the Germans had in WWII (and which was actually known before WWII) - that the average rifleman had no need to engage target over 300-400m, and if their unit did it was the machinegun(s) that did the work. Thus cartridges designed in the late 19th century for effective aimed fire at 600-800m and volley fire out to over a mile were massive over-powered and much heavier and more punishing to fire than they needed to be.

The US' thinking, however, was dominated by what some call 'the cult of the rifleman', and held that long ranges were necessary and useful (and that if your soldiers couldn't shoot that far they needed better training). It turns out that this is simply wrong, and not just in the jungles of Vietnam. So they muscled everyone else into accepting a new round that had the same ballistics as the old .30-06 load that was used in the M1 Garand (because newer, longer ranged loads proved problematic in it) and M1903 Springfield. It was, and is, a little more accurate and a little shorter (and slightly less versatile as a hunting round), but is really just another late 19th century full-bore battle rifle round.
Quote:
Then, fifteen years after the brand new cartridge proved less-than-optimal in a very different scenario. The Army was (relatively) swift to develop and adopt a new cartridge, which is not really so new but a revamped hunting cartridge (intended for varmints, I believe).
The 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington (which were effectively the same back then, but aren't quite the same now) could well have not been used and the .222 Remington magnum used, yes. The .222 Remington was probably a little underpowered, and the .220 Swift stupidly over-bored for a military round.
Quote:
This makes sense from an industrial POV. Yet I wonder if there is some other force here. The military management deemed a 7mm cartridge as inadequate just fifteen years prior, and pushed and alliance of many states to adopt its 7.62 wonder-cartridge instead; coming back to the 7mm 2500 j idea would be very bad marketing. So you choose a smaller cartridge, full of merits in its own, but not necessarily the best option.
The AR-15 was originally taken up by the USAF as a light-weight rifle for aircrews. It was not intended as a general-issue assault rifle. It was adopted by the US ground forces because they needed something other than the M14 now, and it was in service and proved to work (of course they then messed it up in all kinds of ways).

As for the bullet - the 5.56x45mm rounds of the time were carefully designed with a bullet that was barely stable (early weapons had rifling slow enough that the bullets were actually unstable in arctic conditions and the twist had to be tightened a little), so it yawed quickly on hitting anything, and at short ranges broke up.

Clever design like this was nothing new - the British .303 Mark VII had a bullet that was made longer (helping long range ballistics) by inserting a small cone of peat into the nose, which also made the bullet rear-heavy (and thus less stable) so it yawed quickly on hitting flesh. As those bullets had exposed lead bases (because of the manufacturing process) the rear flattened when they yawed, giving them a shape like a pine-seed's 'wing' and making them spin and tumble wildly. Note that this was a 'side-effect' of the ballistics and manufacturing, and therefore not illegal (and if you believe it was an accident, I have some soon-to-be-underwater beach to sell you).

If the US hadn't been fixated on having a full-power round in the late 40s, it's possible that NATO would've ended up with something in the 6.5-7mm range, of intermediate power, and would've been a lot happier about their cartridge choice for the past 60-70 years. OTOH, when the Soviets re-examined their choice of 7.62x39mm in light of NATOs adoption of the 5.56x45mm they found the light weight of the smaller round compelling and went to a similar round, rather than to something like the 6mm PPC. Note that the 5.45x39mm also has a carefully designed bullet that 'just happens' to yaw easily, and there were complaints about it being a 'dum-dum' bullet when it was deployed in Afghanistan in the 80s - it was 'too good' at wounding (note that it's actually a little less powerful than the 5.56x45mm).
__________________
Rupert Boleyn

"A pessimist is an optimist with a sense of history."

Last edited by Rupert; 04-10-2018 at 08:29 AM.
Rupert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.