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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a book titled "20th Century Guns." I've noticed that 5.56mm has become far more common than 7.62mm, and not just in assault rifles but light machine guns as well. Is 7.62mm (.308) being phased out by the military? Will it eventually become more of a hunting round, like .30-06?
 

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No. The weapons that use 7.62, such as the Mini-gun, M60 and various Squad Automatic Weapons, use a LOT of 7.62. It will be around in quantity for a long time.
 

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Other than some special op's folks I would agree that the 7.62 has been phased out at the squad level. The Squad Automatic Rifle (SAW) has all but replaced the M-60.

The 7.62 will however continue to see service as a crew served weapon at the platoon level for at least a while. You will also continue to see it mounted on and in vehicles and armour.

[This message has been edited by Patrickl (edited 08-05-2001).]
 

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The irony is that the U.S. for years harped on NATO to adopt the 7.62 as a standard round to alleviate the obvious logistical problems of fighting the Warsaw Pact with everyone using their own caliber (as the Brits still had the .303 early in NATO.) Then once they did adopt the 7.62, the U.S. goes and adopts the 5.56!

Hard to believe we've gone from the 45-70 to a souped up .22 in just a little over a hundred years.

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The M60 is being replaced widely with the M240. Which is the American equivalent of the FN GPMG that is widely used throughout the world.
 

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I think the only reason why this country or Germany is not using caseless ammo is because of our commitments overseas. If we had all of our troops home protecting the US's borders, we might be using HK G11 assault rifles.

Regardless, .223 is here to stay for a long time. My guess is that it will be around for at least another 20-30 years due to the costs involved with replacing it.

themao
 

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Originally posted by Kevan:
Hard to believe we've gone from the 45-70 to a souped up .22 in just a little over a hundred years.
It's the result of current military thinking. While a lot of old timers are disgusted at the concept of "spray and pray", the fact is it's an accepted practice. Both the US Army and the Soviets had conducted post-war studies on the effects of small arms fire during World War Two, and each of them had discovered that roughly 70% of soldiers wounded/killed by small arms fire in combat received hits by unaimed projectiles. In other words, the average bullet didn't have somebody's name on it, but instead was addressed to whoever it may concern. By standing up and being exposed you were less likely to have an enemy draw a bead on you as simply get hit by errant ordnance!

And so, in the current scheme of things the idea is to carry a LOT of ammo and send it all downrange, rather than make accurate hits with each shot. Besides, it's easier to teach recruits to close their eyes and yank the trigger, as long as the barrel is pointed the right way.




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D. Kamm
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I like your wording
Dsk.
I feel it is sad because the 7.62 is a far superior cartridge in every sense of the word over the 5.56


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Swatman,

I agree; I think it was a big mistake going to the 5.56. The number of rounds per casualty inflicted went from about 50,000 in Korea to about 200,000 in Vietnam. On the other hand, snipers in Vietnam ran something like 1.3 (or there abouts) rounds per casualty inflicted.

Funny, one of the "justifcations" for dumping .30 cal weapons was "weight". That bad joke called the "OICW" the hi-tech loonies want to foist on our military weighs about EIGHTEEN pounds loaded. I can just imagine how enthusiastic and effective the troopers in our "new army" are going to be lugging that thing around.
 

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The 5.56 is good when you need a CQB weapon, or when you need a heavy base of fire for short ranges. But for most battlefield work, a 7.62 is better. It is able to handle close up work as well as long distance shots.
 

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one of the trends in military thinking in this century has been towards using smaller lighter rounds because a wounded soldier requires a civilized enemy force to expend more resources in medical food supply etc to keep him alive, plus somone to take care of him, and his friends in the unit being demoralized by his screaming in pain over his wounds. a dead soldier just requires bagging and tagging. something to think about.
 

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As a CQB round I think the 5.56 MM is fine, how ever I love the 7.62 MM. One reason also the military switched is cost, weight(per soldier) females as well as some male soldiers can't shoot, especially when a little recoil and more muzzle flash is added. I taught Army Marksmanship for years and you would not believe people can't shoot. Soldiers do not take Marksmanship Training serious. They don't want to shoot, they have to clean them and they are a burden to carry around. Retiring in 1995 was due to the U.S. Social Welfare Agency we call the army. They drop standards to allow everyone to do it, hey we have 100% weapons qualification. In actuality we have 35% (as experienced in units I was stationed). So in the bottom line, it's cheaper, lighter, it doesn't scare or kick our young men and women so they can shoot it better. Thats just my HO, it may be more involved than that.
 

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Seems the army has been down this road before...many times. The one coming to mind being the army of 1939.

Funny how the army adopted the 5.56 as a weight consideration and now are looking towards the 14 pounds plus OICW at a price tag of $15,000+ per weapon. Ai, don't they ever learn?

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Remember, there's what the pros like to carry, then there's what you'd recommend to the average soldier. We'd all carry a 1911, except that the military dumped it so we could shoot a smaller, cheaper caliber like the rest of NATO. The 5.56 is an okay combat round (certainly better than the .30 Carbine!!!), but it would be my choice only because I am of small stature. If I was 30 pounds heavier I'd go M-14 or FN-FAL 7.62 all the way!

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Discussion Starter #16
Remember, there's what the pros like to carry, then there's what you'd recommend to the average soldier.
I believe that SEALS during Destert Storm were seen carrying M-14s, which would support your statement.
 

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Man call me crrazy, but I would much prefer the 223. Here's why:
weight
30rd mags
much better inherent accuracy
good case sizee to bullet size balance. This allows us to shoot the high BC rounds for 224 caliber. In 7.62 NATO, tthe bullets are usually too light for the caliber so BC's are usually bad.
cost
killing performancee is probably close
the M16
recoil
never flinch
easy to shoot all day long


Mind you the 223 is not a sniper round or a big gun round. It is a solder round for one person to carry a ton of.


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In the U.S. hunting arena, the .308 (7.62) is considered a good round for everything from 400 lb mule deer and black bear on down.

The .223 (5.56) is outlawed for 150 lb white tail deer in a lot of states and is considered a 250 yd varmint round.

This comparison should tell us something. You can carry more rounds, it has no recoil. But is shoots almost the same bullet weight as a .22LR This is not what I would pick to defend my life.

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Originally posted by GI-45:
I believe that SEALS during Destert Storm were seen carrying M-14s, which would support your statement.
Yes, but they also carried the Stoner 63A with mucho quantities of ammo in Vietnam. It was the preferred weapon then.
 
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