The New Military Round....

bluegrassDan

6 pointer
Dec 17, 2008
140
Valid point for sure. I dont think soldiers will be carrying extra weight, they will be carrying less rounds.
I don't think so. A standard basic load is 210 rounds and we ALWAYS carried far more because we knew it would be used pretty quick and resupply is usually either not possible or took way to long to reach us. Even the 240 gunners, bitching non stop by the way, would hump as much ammo as they could carry and still move. The SAW gunners did the same. Now, the government seems to think the Soldiers and Marines these days are pack mules, but a lot of that is pushed out by local commanders and Sergeants Major with their standardized "packing list"- the bane of every foot soldier in history. The new ammo will be heavy, but it just means that PT gets that much harder. The standard test for my unit going to Afghanistan was when the company could run 5-6 miles in full gear- body armor, weapons, ammo, water, MRE's, commo gear, helmets, everything we carried. If you could do that and everyone made it, you could reasonably assume that you were not going to die trying to climb those steep ass mountains with all your gear- the Taliban may kill you, but the patrol most likely will not.
 

grinder

12 pointer
Oct 28, 2003
2,092
harrodsburg, ky, USA.
It's a 2 piece now, and I just heard the cases can be loaded up to about 120,000 PSI giving the ammo lots of room for development. They are currently around 80,000. I wouldn't want to be the first shooting 120,000 psi.
Your missing the point of millitary calibers. You dont want to kill the enemy you want to wound the enemy. Wounding one usually takes 3 soldiers at least, out of the fight, killing one just takes one. Dead soldiers are cheaper and easier to tend to. Sounds cruel, but thats they way they analyzed it when they went from 30-06 and .308 down to 5.56. That and you can carry like 3 x the ammo.
When the lead starts flying, very little of it connects. I read somewhere that during ww2 something like 20,000 rounds were expended for every casulty.
Another plus of 5.56, anybody can shoot it, women, smaller statured soldiers. Someone getting pummelled shoots very poorly. My kids start out shooting an AR15 at 6 years old. I would not put them behind a .308 at 6 and ruin them.
Bottom line by wounding an enemy soldier you cause more complication to your adversary than killing one.
I think they got it right when they changed to 5.56
 

reivertom

12 pointer
Dec 17, 2007
6,956
Greenup Co.
Your missing the point of millitary calibers. You dont want to kill the enemy you want to wound the enemy. Wounding one usually takes 3 soldiers at least, out of the fight, killing one just takes one. Dead soldiers are cheaper and easier to tend to. Sounds cruel, but thats they way they analyzed it when they went from 30-06 and .308 down to 5.56. That and you can carry like 3 x the ammo.
When the lead starts flying, very little of it connects. I read somewhere that during ww2 something like 20,000 rounds were expended for every casulty.
Another plus of 5.56, anybody can shoot it, women, smaller statured soldiers. Someone getting pummelled shoots very poorly. My kids start out shooting an AR15 at 6 years old. I would not put them behind a .308 at 6 and ruin them.
Bottom line by wounding an enemy soldier you cause more complication to your adversary than killing one.
I think they got it right when they changed to 5.56
I'm not missing anything, I just gave the facts I found about the new rounds, with no opinion. To wound or to kill is a topic that folks have been debating quite a while.
 

carnivore

12 pointer
Nov 17, 2007
10,379
Ky
I don't think so. A standard basic load is 210 rounds and we ALWAYS carried far more because we knew it would be used pretty quick and resupply is usually either not possible or took way to long to reach us. Even the 240 gunners, bitching non stop by the way, would hump as much ammo as they could carry and still move. The SAW gunners did the same. Now, the government seems to think the Soldiers and Marines these days are pack mules, but a lot of that is pushed out by local commanders and Sergeants Major with their standardized "packing list"- the bane of every foot soldier in history. The new ammo will be heavy, but it just means that PT gets that much harder. The standard test for my unit going to Afghanistan was when the company could run 5-6 miles in full gear- body armor, weapons, ammo, water, MRE's, commo gear, helmets, everything we carried. If you could do that and everyone made it, you could reasonably assume that you were not going to die trying to climb those steep ass mountains with all your gear- the Taliban may kill you, but the patrol most likely will not.
Thank you for sharing your first hand experience with your reply, and thank you for serving.
 

bluegrassDan

6 pointer
Dec 17, 2008
140
Your missing the point of millitary calibers. You dont want to kill the enemy you want to wound the enemy. Wounding one usually takes 3 soldiers at least, out of the fight, killing one just takes one. Dead soldiers are cheaper and easier to tend to. Sounds cruel, but thats they way they analyzed it when they went from 30-06 and .308 down to 5.56. That and you can carry like 3 x the ammo.
When the lead starts flying, very little of it connects. I read somewhere that during ww2 something like 20,000 rounds were expended for every casulty.
Another plus of 5.56, anybody can shoot it, women, smaller statured soldiers. Someone getting pummelled shoots very poorly. My kids start out shooting an AR15 at 6 years old. I would not put them behind a .308 at 6 and ruin them.
Bottom line by wounding an enemy soldier you cause more complication to your adversary than killing one.
I think they got it right when they changed to 5.56
I would have to disagree with this statement. The 5.56mm round was and is, borderline effective in combat- thats been proven too many times to count. No, you're not trying to wound the other guy. That is some BS public relations statement, nothing more. The reduction of weight sought when trading off the 7.62x51 (308) was also to increase maneuverability in close confine jungles where a standard length battle rifle was more of a hindrance than a help- so the change to the M16. This is 1960's tech/thought process we are talking here. There were no plate carriers with ballistic plates, the Nam issue flak jacket was just about worthless against bullets, it was for shrapnel protection and then was borderline. Standard Army and Marine doctrine is you aim center mass- to kill, not wound. With the advent of mass produced body armor, insurgents all hopped up on drugs, the 5.56mm just does not do the job- trust me been there done that. Remember, that statement about removing wounded from the battlefield and reducing the combat effectiveness of the enemy was created when the standing doctrine was based on a set piece battlefield, that really no longer exists. We have not fought a uniformed, standing military since parts of the Viet Nam war, but really since Korea- so say 50 years ago. Why do you think the Rangers asked the ARL/MTU to come up with a better round after the battle for Mogadishu? The skinny's would not go down and stay down because they were all jacked up on kat. That request became the 458 SOCOM- it puts them down, right there and they tend not to keep fighting or living. Everyone has been asking for a heavier round for decades. Just because the USA bullied NATO into adopting the 5.56mm does not mean it was the best for the job. Nobody but the US wanted that round because they saw it's problems. The US got that round because of strong lobbyists and the good ol boys club in the DOD procurement office, then shoved it down NATO's throat- hell NATO did not really want the 7.62x51. Even the Army's own research labs were on the fence over how effective it was. But again, 1960's tech with 1960's powder, bullets, manufacturing processes- cutting edge for the times but antiquated in today's capabilities.

This new round may not be the best idea, but it sure beats the hell out of the weak 5.56mm and if you ask any line soldier who has actually been in combat if they want to keep a less effective caliber because it weighs less or recoils less, I will bet to a person they all say hell no- give me the biggest thing you have.

Don't mean to rant, but this is one of the things I pushed and pushed for when I was in uniform and while I was a contractor. I want the best weapons and equipment we can get to keep my people safe and get them home in one piece.
 

JR in KY

12 pointer
Jan 25, 2006
5,792
The Occupied South
My 2 Army sons say exactly the same thing @bluegrassDan They both say you need multiple hits to really Stop the Enemy DRT.
I always complained about AR 15s for Coyote hunting because the short Barrel AR 15 doesn't usually get a "clean kill." I used a .22BR for many years until I could no longer carry that heavy rifle.
I think they should have stayed with the 7.62 x 51 or .308, but I ain't the boss.
 

reivertom

12 pointer
Dec 17, 2007
6,956
Greenup Co.
I wonder why the Army didn't use the same high pressure technology on a round like the 6x45mm, which is a necked up .223? They could easily get more power than the 5.56 with a 90+gr bullet, and have more down range energy. The 6x45 can get a 90gr. to 2800fps with standard brass, and with the new high pressure brass, they could get quite a bit more, and it would weight less than the 6.8x51. They needed to call me first! :^)
 

bluegrassDan

6 pointer
Dec 17, 2008
140
It seems to me it would have been a LOT cheaper just to go with the .308 again. A whole new platform and new round that is so similar is just crazy.
Part of what drove that decision was the ballistics aspect. The 308 is a good round, but ballistically its not as good as the smaller rounds with a higher BC. If you have shot F class or any 1000 yard shooting, you know that only certain bullet weights in a 308 (NOT the 168BTHP) will get decent results that are repeatable. This is due to the instability through the trans sonic zone as the bullet slows down. This is far beyond the normal "Max Effective Range" for a battle rifle for sure, but it does play a roll in the decision to issue a given caliber round. No, 1000 yards is not normal, but shots (more suppressing fire than pin point) across a valley at 600 meters is a lot more common than anticipated. The new round should be able to handle that pretty easy and fight the wind much better than a 308 will. This is true based on the current as issued twist rate- usually 1-10 for rifles chambered in .308, and the fact that the issue .308 ammo is only 147gr and has a really crappy BC. The M118 special Ball with the 175gr BTHP is only issued to snipers with rifles built to shoot the longer, heavier bullet.
 

Little FR

12 pointer
Nov 10, 2021
2,574
West Kentucky
I would rather see them change barrels and twist rates to optimize a SMK in .308 and use a 77gr MK262 in M4 platforms.

Ive shot deer, groundhogs and coyotes with the MK262 for years… they do what needs done.

If the military needs better technology and a new round for new types of warfare, I’m all for it. Why now though? Why make a drastic shift for the unproven hoping for a possibly marginal improvement on the cusp of what could become the biggest conflict in world history.
 

bluegrassDan

6 pointer
Dec 17, 2008
140
I would rather see them change barrels and twist rates to optimize a SMK in .308 and use a 77gr MK262 in M4 platforms.

Ive shot deer, groundhogs and coyotes with the MK262 for years… they do what needs done.

If the military needs better technology and a new round for new types of warfare, I’m all for it. Why now though? Why make a drastic shift for the unproven hoping for a possibly marginal improvement on the cusp of what could become the biggest conflict in world history.
LOL...you must not have ever dealt with US government acquisition programs. This is not a "now" decision by any stretch. This has been in the works for years and has been through many many changes in the requirements statements and the solicitation documents. I worked for Marine Corps Systems Command, Land Systems Program Office, conducting testing for the counter sniper program from 2007-2011. It was painful how slow the process worked, so we had to create an exception to policy memorandum for "Rapid Deployment/Equipping" to get stuff to the battle field to be used now. The normal acquisition cycle is usually about 6-10 years by the time its all said and done.
 

Semp

10 pointer
Feb 4, 2008
1,560
Kaintukee
Part of what drove that decision was the ballistics aspect. The 308 is a good round, but ballistically its not as good as the smaller rounds with a higher BC. If you have shot F class or any 1000 yard shooting, you know that only certain bullet weights in a 308 (NOT the 168BTHP) will get decent results that are repeatable. This is due to the instability through the trans sonic zone as the bullet slows down. This is far beyond the normal "Max Effective Range" for a battle rifle for sure, but it does play a roll in the decision to issue a given caliber round. No, 1000 yards is not normal, but shots (more suppressing fire than pin point) across a valley at 600 meters is a lot more common than anticipated. The new round should be able to handle that pretty easy and fight the wind much better than a 308 will. This is true based on the current as issued twist rate- usually 1-10 for rifles chambered in .308, and the fact that the issue .308 ammo is only 147gr and has a really crappy BC. The M118 special Ball with the 175gr BTHP is only issued to snipers with rifles built to shoot the longer, heavier bullet.
I can see that you know a lot more about this subject than I do. What I don't understand is why not improve the .308 by going to the M118 as standard issue. Change barrel twist if needed. That has to be cheaper than billions on a whole new system. I trained with the M14 back in the day so I am somewhat biased I'll admit.
 

riverboss

12 pointer
Jan 26, 2009
7,480
northern ky
I think they want a new round so people can't get ammo like they could for the 308 and 223!
Is this new round going to be reloadable by the public?
 

bluegrassDan

6 pointer
Dec 17, 2008
140
I can see that you know a lot more about this subject than I do. What I don't understand is why not improve the .308 by going to the M118 as standard issue. Change barrel twist if needed. That has to be cheaper than billions on a whole new system. I trained with the M14 back in the day so I am somewhat biased I'll admit.
The M118 only performs in barrel lengths that will burn the available powder charge, so 20" or longer. When they decided to change the issue rifle to a more carbine length barrel, 13-16", it took that option out of the equation. Now that most troops arrive on the battlefield via some type of up armored vehicle, getting in and out of those things is a giant pain in the ass with body armor, chest rigs, radios and standard rifles and more so with long barreled rifles. This is why everyone hates having to hump the M107 Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle- it's like carrying a telephone pole and you stick out like a sore thumb to anyone observing you not to mention since you look different it means you must be important and thus a primary target.
 


Latest posts

Top