View Poll Results: What matters the most?

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  • Pistol caliber is more important than rifle caliber

    2 14.29%
  • Rifle caliber is more important than pistol caliber

    0 0%
  • Realistically, they should both be larger calibers

    3 21.43%
  • Shot placement is the only thing that matters

    9 64.29%
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Thread: Shot placement

  1. #1
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    So I find that there are two polar opposites when it comes to caliber wars.

    In pistol caliber comparisons, there is a big 9mm vs. 45acp arguement.

    In rifle caliber comparisons, there is a big 7.62x54 vs. 5.56/.223 arguement.

    Now this has been known for a long time, and the arguement is always the same... shot placement.

    But what really confuses me is that the same people that are in support of the .45acp 1911 areoften also in support of the .223 AR15 varients. The same can be said of the 9mm and the 7.62x54 AK47/AKM varients.

    So when the arguement comes to the pistol calibers, the 1911/ar15 people are saying that the 45 has better stopping power, while the 9mm/AKM people are proponents of shot placement. But when the coin is flipped to rifles, it seems that the same people take the oposite stance.

    So I guess what I want to know is this:

    Does caliber matter more in handguns than it does in rifles?

    Does shot placement matter more in handguns than it does in rifles?

  2. #2
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    I can't vote, because I think caliber and shot placement are both important. Actually, I really don't think "caliber" is what matters, but rather ballistics. I've always believed that for handguns, a larger caliber is more effective because the velocities required to make a smaller caliber as effective are not attainable with the short barrel.

    If you double the size of a moving object, you double the energy.

    If you double the speed of a moving object, you quadruple the energy.

    The .223 round takes advantage of this by propelling a slightly smaller projectile MUCH faster, so the impact is as hard, if not harder than larger riflecalibers.

  3. #3
    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter what you're shooting; if you don't hit the vitals, it aint goin down. Shot placement is critical with any weapon. I carry .45 ACP 90% of the time (10% .40 just to justify my handle) and shoot .223 with my rifle, but that's because I have an affinity for militaria. I don't think they are the "end all, be all" calibers that will just do as I command. I need to practice regularly in order to make sure that shot placement will be where it needs to be.

  4. #4
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    DreQo wrote:
    I can't vote, because I think caliber and shot placement are both important. Actually, I really don't think "caliber" is what matters, but rather ballistics. I've always believed that for handguns, a larger caliber is more effective because the velocities required to make a smaller caliber as effective are not attainable with the short barrel.

    If you double the size of a moving object, you double the energy.

    If you double the speed of a moving object, you quadruple the energy.

    The .223 round takes advantage of this by propelling a slightly smaller projectile MUCH faster, so the impact is as hard, if not harder than larger riflecalibers.
    It is even more complicated than DreQo indicates. You have to figure in momentum.

    Momentum is more important in hand guns than is velocity, and more important in hand guns than in long guns, BUT without shot placement, you cannot make scientific evaluations.

    In hand guns, with the same shot placement, big will do more damage than small.

    In long guns, with the same shot placement, this is mostly true, but velocity is such a wild card that is is not always true.

    Long - short. When stopping a bad guy, shot placement is the best critical factor. A .22 LR in the heart is better than a .50 SW in the toe.

  5. #5
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    I will take a shot at this.

    I feel that the argument stems from energy displacement, if that is the correct term. Meaning, that more energy is displaced in the object or person who is shot with a slow heavy .45 than a faster 9mm. In the rifle the larger does have more energy displaced if it hit something hard like bone butwith soft tissue it will tend to completely pass through where the high speed of the .223 when it hits soft tissue due to the shape of the bullet the front of the small bullet starts to slow down while the mass at the back of the bullet trying to maintain the speed causes the bullet to tumble and fragment dissplacing more of the energy in the object it hits.

    This is the explination that they gave on a military weapons show that I watched.

    Don't know if it is true but sounds like a good theory.:celebrate

    Oh, I want to add, shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. However, if you shoot me in the toe with a .22 you will piss me off, but if you shoot me in the toe with a .44 mag, I am going down

  6. #6
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    Shot placement is sometimes not an option. For self defense situations, it should be, but in a military situation sometimes you're shooting at something that you can't see. Sometimes you're shooting at a group of people, and don't have time to line up the sights. You hope to hit them somewhere, and that is when the ballistics of the round you're firing comes into play.

    If you hit them in the shoulder, lets say, some common rifle rounds will put a nice clean hole through their flesh and bone, and allow the enemy to continue to fire, and receive medical attention and get completely back into the fight in a short period of time. Other common rounds, instead of punching a clean hole in one side and out the other, will tumble after striking bone, and cause severe internal trauma. The enemy will feel more pain, lose blood much faster, and that round, entering in through the shoulder, could even strike a lung or the heart. And then there's something like the .50 cal, which could very easily remove his arm all together.

    Proper shot placement makes almost any caliber effective, but proper shot placement is not always attainable.

  7. #7
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    DreQo wrote:
    ...If you hit them in the shoulder, lets say, some common rifle rounds will put a nice clean hole through their flesh and bone, and allow the enemy to continue to fire, and receive medical attention and get completely back into the fight in a short period of time. Other common rounds, instead of punching a clean hole in one side and out the other, will tumble after striking bone, and cause severe internal trauma. The enemy will feel more pain, lose blood much faster, and that round, entering in through the shoulder, could even strike a lung or the heart. ...
    You're implying that a .223 is a more effective round than a 7.62x39 in situations that shot placement is not attainable. I have to disagree with you. Your arguement that being shot in the shoulder by a 30 caliber bullet (that packs a lot more mass than a 22 caliber bullet) is less effective than being shot in the shoulder by a 22 caliber bullet is laughable at best, and very poor planning at worst. I would love to see some kind of research that would show .223 rounds reliably causing more trauma to extremities than 7.62x39.

    I think the fact that a 7.62x39 round will go through thicker dense pine and brick is a good indication of which round would be better for shooting at real world targets.

  8. #8
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    Walther wrote:
    .....if you shoot me in the toe with a .22 you will piss me off, but if you shoot me in the toe with a .44 mag, I am going down
    BINGO

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    there has been some rather extensive discussion on this board regarding muzzle energy, the definition thereof, etc...

    Standard 7.62x39mm rounds are in the 1600+ ft lb range.

    5.56mm (.223) rounds are in the 1300+ ft lb range.

    IMHO, I would elect to be hit by neither....





  10. #10
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    BTW EXPVideo, stay away from AR15.com. It leads to nothing but spending money!

  11. #11
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    expvideo wrote:
    DreQo wrote:
    ...If you hit them in the shoulder, lets say, some common rifle rounds will put a nice clean hole through their flesh and bone, and allow the enemy to continue to fire, and receive medical attention and get completely back into the fight in a short period of time. Other common rounds, instead of punching a clean hole in one side and out the other, will tumble after striking bone, and cause severe internal trauma. The enemy will feel more pain, lose blood much faster, and that round, entering in through the shoulder, could even strike a lung or the heart. ...
    You're implying that a .223 is a more effective round than a 7.62x39 in situations that shot placement is not attainable. I have to disagree with you. Your arguement that being shot in the shoulder by a 30 caliber bullet (that packs a lot more mass than a 22 caliber bullet) is less effective than being shot in the shoulder by a 22 caliber bullet is laughable at best, and very poor planning at worst. I would love to see some kind of research that would show .223 rounds reliably causing more trauma to extremities than 7.62x39.

    I think the fact that a 7.62x39 round will go through thicker dense pine and brick is a good indication of which round would be better for shooting at real world targets.
    First off, both the .223 (5.56mm) and the 7.62x39 rounds are rather low powered in the general scheme of things. The press likes to play both of these loads up and call them "assault weapon" ammo (which they certainly can be used in) and therefore "high powered" ammunition. But this is not true.

    Compare either one of these loads to a .30-06, which is a very common hunting caliber, or a 7mm Magnum, a .338 Winchester, or a number of other common and popular hunting rifle cartridges and it will be immediately clear that they pale in comparison.

    Yet they are not meant for hunting as their primary reason for being. Their design is directed towards use in offensive shoulder arms. And they do quite well in that capacity.

    As for being shot in the shoulder by either one of these loads.. well, let's just say, that shoulder would suffer trememdous damage. I saw someone who was shot buy a 7.62x39 round in the area of his ankle and the destruction was impressive to say the least. Both of these calibers serve their intended purposes in life very well. I would say the edge has to go with the .30 caliber load.. I have a rifle for each.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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  12. #12
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    Shot placement and the motivation of your attacker are what matter most.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
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    I've read that very generally speaking, the survival/death rate from pistols is 80/20 and from rifles it is 20/80. Because of the greater velocity of rifle rounds, greater size of temporary and permanent wound cavity sizes and other ballistic issues, yes, IMO, caliber is more important in pistol rounds than in rifle rounds. Even if you overpenetrate with a rifle round, the velocity is so great that the temporary wound cavity is still significant, whereas with a small, fast pistol round that over penetrates, there is basically just a little hole. If you don't hit a vital organ or vessel with that little pistol bullet, you won't have done much damage. Generally big and slow, or big and slightly fast, has more propensity for doing damage than small and fast. Modern bullet design has mitigated this some, but still best small and fast self-defense vs best big and moderately fast, I'll go for the bigger within reason. But all that being said, I have been carrying my 9mm lately because of carpal tunnel symptoms because at the moment, I am more accurate with it than I am with the .45, and I would rather place an a few accurate 9mm rounds than pull followup .45 rounds.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Another reason for the 9mm/7.62x39mm and .45/5.56x45mm combintions is that these are the respective handgun/rifle cartridges often used by each "side" of things. The US used the .45 ACP cartridges for 70+ years in mainline service and still does in limited capacity and is thinking about going back to it. We've been using the M16 with it's 5.56x45mm "poodle shooter" cartridges since the mid 60s, quite a while. The Russians have been using small and fast pistol cartridges, as in the .30 TT (7.62x25mm) and 9x18mm (Makarov) for decades as well, though the latter is debatable s to being small and fast but it's better than .380 ACP. The 7.62xx39mm cartridges was adopted in 1943. Part of the reason was because they already had all of the production tooing to make .30 bullets all the way from the 7.62x54mm rimmed Mosin-Nagant cartridges down to the .30 TT Tokarev pistol cartridge. So why not? Good, common, sense. The other reason was that the Germans and Russians found out that a heavier bullet with a nice point to it will penetrate heavy winter clothing and loaded magazines (carried in a vest on the chest) with better results on the other side than tiny high velocity cartridges.

    The American military insisted on keeping a heavy cartridge as well in the shortened .30-06 known as the .308 Win./7.62x51mm NATO keeping the same power but in a compact action allowing for greater receiver stiffness and lower cycle time. The only reason it switched to 5.56x45mm was because of political shenanigans wherein the military was told, essentially, that "This looks good on paper. It's lighter, penetrates, plate better, and is more accurate. Oh, and it hapens to be cheaper. We have the numbers, you have the men, you're going to use this." And so we did. Thankfully, as it turns out, the .223 had a habit of fragmenting after hitting soft tissue once it started its tumble. Why? Because of a case crimping cannelure they pressed into the slug so there wouldn't be horrendous setback cycling in an automatic weapon. It also had the unintended side affect of weakening the bullet and presto: fragments.

    As far as pistols go, the US military and many European militaries have always viewed pistols in very different ways. From the American viewpoint, pistols have always been a principal fighting weapon, or a strong secondary, for some branches of the service. Particularly the Navy and Cavalry. The M1911 was designed and adopted with a .45 caliber cartridge equal in power to the older .45 Colt because it was found that the rather anemic .38 Long Colt adopted shortly before the turn of the century wasn't doing the job. The M1911, in every way, was the last cavalry pistol designed for the US military but it turned out to be great all around: The button magazine release allows for quick and easy magazine changes. The external slide catch makes reloading even faster. A grip safety so that it can't be accidentally dropped or fired without a firm grip on your shooting iron. A large and positive manual safety for cocked and locked carry in a flap holster. On the other hand, the Europeans have always seen the pistol as a backup weapon only and as a badge of rank. Many European military pistols have been blowback designs so they're cheap and easy to make but requiring a lower powered cartridge be used. Many have a heel magazine catch that must be operated with the opposite hand, a magazine safety, and the magazine must be pulled free of the well. The earlier you look, however, are the exceptions to this: The 1908 Luger in 9x19mm Parabellum, the 1896 Mauser in .30 Mauser (developed into .30 Tokarev), and the Steyr-Hahn M1912 in 9x23mm Steyr. All locked breech firearms firing fairly powerful cartridges. Of these, only the Luger really made a mark on the military scene with the Mauser coming in a hot second. This was due more to marketing and how small the design is than battle worthiness. If not for its magazine system of charger loading, the M1912 Steyr-Hahn would have made a superb combat pistol in terms of accuracy, reliaibility, and a more powerful 9mm cartridge. As a wise ass once said, a pistol doesn't have to perform very well if its main job is shooting prisoners and deserters in the back. :?


    I was going to write a bit about assault rifle accuracy and different tactical doctrines influencing rifle choices but it's getting late here and I must be off for bed. I'll finish it out tomorrow, if anyone is interested. - Schofield


  15. #15
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    Yes, please continue. It's been a fascinating read so far.

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    The American military has a tradition of fine marksmanship which is all well and good. It goes directly against the stated purpose of the assault rifle. That's the problem. That's why the military was forced to adopt a second rate rifle in an intermediate cartridge by the politicos. One shot, one kill. The Germans had the best hunting rifle, the Americans the best target rifle, and the British the best battle rifle, as the saying goes. For the American military, this started with the Model 1892 Krag-Jorgensen rifle in .30-40 Krag (.30 Army) which had, and retrains, a reputation as a superbly accurate rifle for its type and one of the smoothest bolt actions to be had. The phrase "Civilize 'em with a Krag!" is no joke, the rifle showed good service in the years preceding the the Spanish-American War of 1898. The issue encountered there was the reloading time compared to the charger fed Mauser designs employed by the Spanish: The Krag uses a gate on the right side of the receiver you open and place cartridges into the magazine singly closing the gate back. The Mauser used a five round charger that simply needed the bolt opened and a quick downward shove. This might not seem like much difference but when you're fumbling for individual cartridges in combat and dumping them into a magazine, you tend to drop them whereas cartridges on a charger are much easier to handle and load.

    A side corollary was the ordering of some 10,000 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifles in .30-40 Krag for the immediate use by the Army to supplement the Krags in service. This was the Browning-designed Winchester that had an integral box magazine capable of taking full rifle cartridges with spitzer (pointed) bullets and a robust locking mechanism to contain the inherent pressures and while it didn't have charger loading unlike the Russian M1895 variant, it was quicker to top off by hand in combat. Unfortunately it seems the only one to make it to Cuba before war's end was that in the personal possession of one Theodore Roosevelt.

    As things went, and things progressed, the Army decided to retire the Krag to National Guard service while adopting the M1903 Springfield along with the .30-03 (later .30-06) cartridge, both of which were unsurprisingly based on Mauser designs. The M1917 Enfield came along as a substitute standard based on the P14 Enfield in .303 that was being produced for the British during WWI and meant as a replacement for the Lee-Enfield. The British found the Lee-Enfield quite adequate for their service needs and kept on with it, the Americans found the M1917 in .30-06 was a wonderfully accurate and robust design being the child of both Mauser and Lee parentage: Frontal locking lugs of a Mauser and cock-on-closing action of the Lee-Enfield making for a rifle both strong and quick to operate with the bolt handle close at hand to the rear. The M1917 armed most Americans soldiers in WWI and was well on its way to becoming the official replacement for the Springfield but production of the M1903 Springfield, at the federal armory, had caught up with demand by this point and the eventual development and adoption of the M1 Garand negated the need.

    It should be noted that the Garand originally intended to be adopted in the .276 Pedersen cartridge with a detachable box magazine. The .276 Pedersen was a superb 7mm cartridge showing good stopping power and a very flat shooting profile leading to accurate shot placement with little lead at range. The box magazine has obvious advantages well proven by the Lee-Enfield's original 10 round magazine. Charger loading through the top or multiple magazines of varying sizes could be carried. Why didn't either design aspect make it? Money and logistics, pure and simple. Some historians will say that the looming war in Europe caused the Army to rethink adoption of a new cartridge but this was the early to mid-1930s when things were still relatively quiet and the Army saw no reason not to adopt a completely new rifle of a new type with requisite retraining, replacement parts manufacture for our outposts the world over, and all while keeping on the M1903 Springfield and continuing production. No, it would have simply cost too much money to tool up for a new cartridge while converting existing arms to .276 or running two different rifle cartridge lines at the same time and the logistic nightmare that could cause. A detachable magazine was discarded, again, because of money and logistics. Many militaries have rightfully had a paranoid mindset of soldiers expending ammunition from a magazine rifle at a prodigious rate in the first few moments of battle. That's why many bolt action rifles had a magazine cut off to use them as single shot rifles and why the Garand ended up with an en bloc clip. Soldiers would expend all of their cartridges and simply toss a valuable magazine away causing the Army to lose battles and the government to produce more magazines and bullets. Money and logistics. We couldn't have that! So we had a sheet metal clip that only held 8 rounds, could not be topped off, and was a PITA to load and unload.

    The only real difference between the Garand and Springfield, in practical terms, was the semi-automatic operation and en bloc clip loading of 8 cartridges allowing for quicker follow up shots. Regular accuracy on the battlefield remained much the same for both rifles and the tradition of marksmanship had only been developed and further instilled by this series of finely accurate rifles. Then came the M14, a modified Garand (finally) using a box magazine and a shorter cartridge allowing for a higher rate of fire at less cost to the government for ammunition production while maintaining accuracy. A higher rate of fire, though? Doesn't that go directly against the idea behind the Garand's en bloc clip system or the magazine cut off of yore? Yep! The Army wasn't entirely oblivious and realized in WWII and Korea that at ranges under 200 yards or so, a moderately trained man armed with a submachinegun or similar weapon is going to beat out a rifleman even if he is well trained. Especially in groups. Ammunition might be expensive but pistol cartridges are cheaper than men and so are SMGs like the Sten, MP 40, and M3 "Greasegun". The reason I mention this is that the M14 had, you guessed it, a fire selector to begin with. Only meant to be used in
    ambush or for covering fire when a machinegun was not available the automatic mode ended up being used quite a lot of the time for the perceived effectiveness it had on the enemy. Unfortunately, the .308 cartridge's rather stout recoil meant that most shots went completely wild unless the rifleman was very well trained and he was until...

    The war in Vietnam. First came the war and then came the draft. Suddenly you had kids from the big city handed the first gun in their life and it happened to be a selective fire, gas operated, air cooled, machinegun fed from a detachable "high capacity" box magazine fired from the shoulder in the standing position. It's no wonder accuracy suffered horribly and whatever made the most noise was the mode of the day. The Army persevered and was determined to provide the best training possible in the short time before draftees were shipped over to the claustrophobic jungle with their full powered rifles. By this point, it was realized automatic fire on the M14 was nigh on useless and many had their selectors removed or disabled in some fashion. So what we ended up with was the same basic rifle adopted in the 1930s only using a shortened (but unreduced power) cartridge and box magazine. What was the problem? The problem was the SKS-45 and AK-47.

    The Russians had not sat idle during the second world war. Even before, they had been developing numerous weapons to increase the firepower of their soldiers in the field. the AVS-36 was a selective fire full powered battle rifle much like the later M14 but firing the rimmed 7.62x54mm cartridge. Due to a complex mechanism, the rifle was very prone to jamming and was shortly replaced with the much more reliable SVT-38 and the improved SVT-40. These, however, were late comers to the Russian smallarms arsenal: The Fedorov Avtomat, the world's first real assault rifle, had appeared in a working form as early as 1913 and was adopted in 1916 by the Russian military out of the need for a lightweight automatic weapon. The Fedorov fed from a detachable 25 round box magazine and fired the Japanese 6.5x50mm cartridge which, at the time, was an intermediate round and abundant having been bought along with Japanese rifles from Britain for war use. The only thing that stopped the wholesale adoption of the Fedorov was the ongoing war and the Russian revolution. The Fedorov continued to be produced until 1924 and examples were used by both the Red and White armies against one another and later in the Winter War with some elite Soviet units.

    As stated before, the M43 7.62x39mm cartridge was developed by the Russians for adequate performance from a short barreled automatic rifle while retaining the .30 dimensions to ease production. The first rifle to employ the round was the Simonov SKS-45 which, in a prototype form, saw very limited use at the end of the war proving both cartridge and rifle. During this time the Kalashnikov was under development and soon adopted As the Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947 - AK-47. Extremely durable, reliable, and hard hitting with a high capacity and ability to fire on automatic, the AK-47 was the perfect weapon for the Red Army. Doctrine called for each rifleman to work within his squad together and using massed concentration of fire to overwhelm any enemy. Did the rifle have to be that accurate to do this? Nope. Did the ammunition have to be that high quality to do this? Nope. Did the rifle need target peep sights to do this? Nope. Did it need to keep functioning no matter what abuses it received from peasants or possible wartime production issues? Yep. And it did, in grand style if not exactly beautiful. Mass concentrated firepower was the rule and it was one hard to break.

    Jump forward twenty years and the AK-47 is going stronger than ever in more numbers than ever. Its high capacity magazine, controllable automatic, and heavy slug throwing abilities are showing themselves to be extremely useful in the close quarters jungle fighting encountered in Vietnam, especially against men who have never been to a jungle armed with insufficient training and a high powered rifle. The Americans are fighting a battle better suited to the shotguns and submachineguns in their arsenal than a rifle. What to do? A man named Eugene stoner had been hired by the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation to head their ArmaLite firearms division and produce a modern lightweight longarm for adoption by the Army using the latest materials and technologies. The result was the AR-10: A beautifully ingenious and seemingly simple design. The bolt design from the M1941 Johnson semi-automatic rifle, the direct gas system from the Swedish Ljungman AG-42 rifle, and the receiver design from the German StG 44. The direct gas system wasn't an issue since the type of powder used in 7.62x51mm was fairly clean burning and had enough oomph behind it to cycle through fouling buildup within the receiver. The AR-10 arrived too late to participate in the original trials that chose the M14 and was of too unorthodox design for the Army to rethink its decision on the M14. I have a video presenting the AR-10 by Stoner... And needless to say, it's very convincing as to the superiority of design. The year is 1957 and the AR-15/M16 is about to be born.

    Based on earlier research during Project SALVO, the Department of Defense requests that ArmaLite develop a lightweight rifle firing a high velocity .22 caliber cartridge. ArmaLite in conjunction with Remington develops the .223 Remington cartridge from the slightly shorter .222 Remington varmint round using a faster burning powder charge. The AR-10 is scaled down by Stoner to take the new cartridge, and given only a few tweaks to the design, presented to the Army for testing. The results and rather poor and Fairchild, having grown disappointed with the whole AR-10/AR-15 project, sells it to Colt Manufacturing Company. Stoner soon follows after to work for Colt. A few more refinements are made to the rifle and Colt, using cunning political maneuvering, convinces the Airforce to purchase a number of the rifles for their base security guards in Vietnam who are mostly of local origin who find the M14 cumbersome and recoil too heavy for their lighter frames. Glowing reports return of standing sentry and shooting at things going bump in the night at the perimeter, no real issues turn up. The Government saw this and saw the reports of the ineffectiveness of the M14 in jungle fighting, looked at the numbers, and saw something they liked in the AR-15.

    The Government adopted the AR-15, designated the M16, for the US armed forces as an interim, cheap, solution until the ongoing Special Purpose Individual Weapon program concluded and would supposedly give the US military the ultimate in smallarms development. Well, that never happened. Like many American Gee Whiz projects, it fell through and the military was stuck with the M16 and they better like it because after Vietnam, they weren't getting money thrown at them. And so they made the best of it. The rifle was light, controllable on automatic, fed from first 20 and then 30 round magazines. It was accurate and penetrated metal very well for such a light rifle.

    So we come to the reason for all of this: Why is the M16 so favored by the the US military over a heavier rifle? It goes back to tradition of "one shot, one kill". With the M16, you needed to make your shots count. Shot placement counts for body count. The inherent accuracy of the cartridge, not the rifle, really shone in this aspect. Raygun accurate is one way to put it, it generally shoots where you point it without needing to correct for windage or drop over normal combat ranges. In effect, the M16 was being used more like a marksman's rifle rather than its intended role as an assault rifle, like the AK-47 and most other newer rifle designs. Unfortunately this means that if training suffers, so does your rifle's effectiveness. No peasants here, please.

    The argument for a heavier rifle cartridge is the same as that for a heavier handgun round: Shot placement matters but it matters less. Thankfully, in a rifle, you can have a longer barrel and attain higher velocities with smaller rounds. .30 is small by pistol standards, after all, but heavy by rifle standards. The most recent trend has been to chop down rifle barrels to shorter and shorter lengths much to the detriment of cartridge performance. That high velocity round needs a longer barrel to fully burn otherwise you get a lower velocity, bigger muzzle blast, and loss of stopping power. The M4 Carbine sure is nifty and all but that short barrel turns it into what's essentially a .22 submachinegun which works fine at short ranges within a city. And yes, you can still hit targets at longer ranges with an M4 but the velocity imparted to the slug is less and when it hits the target, its much less likely to fragment properly and causing the much beloved wounding properties of .223/5.56x45mm

    Do I think we should replace the cartridge and rifle? Yes, we really should. The M16 was only meant as an interim solution 40+ years ago and has only been kept around because of constant budget constraints. There have been multiple attempts to replace it with something more effective. Do I think the .223 is a fine civilian rifle cartridge? Sure, most civilians get more practice than military personnel and tend to care more about each shot since they're paying for it. Personally, if I were to use it, I'd buy an AR-18 any day over an AR-15 clone. In the meantime I'll stick with my AKM firing heavier slugs and my .45 putting large holes in things because I am paying for each shot and don't have a huge logistics network to resupply me. - Schofield



  17. #17
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    Shot placement isn't the only thing that matters... but in the interest of efficiency, the most effective weapon is the most powerful one which the user can be accurate with. Beyond that, it's a crapshoot, and one would be wise to have plenty of ammo to fall back on.

    I don't feel comfortable planning only to be able to deal with the most likely scenario (otherwise I'd never carry more than a 5-shot snubnose)... the real issue is the situations which are the worst likely to occur, and surviving those will depend on alot more than just the caliber of your weapon and your accuracy with it. Know when and how to use cover, for instance.

    Stopping the BG is one thing... staying alive while attempting to do so, is another.

    I got off on a bit of a tangent... but comparing a large-bore handgun to a small-bore rifle is apples and oranges. They are meant for 2 different roles, but the bottom line for both is for them to be sufficiently powerful to stop a determined human... oftentimes the quality of the ammunition itself is a greater factor than a few hundredths of an inch in projectile diameter.

  18. #18
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    Very well written. I learned a lot. Thank you, Shofield.

  19. #19
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Well done Schofield.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  20. #20
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    expvideo wrote:
    Very well written. I learned a lot. Thank you, Shofield.
    +1

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