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I meet some of the nicest, and most interesting, people at the gun range. Yesterday afternoon there were two young men (late 20s – early 30s) on the 100 yd rifle line when I got there. At one point, when the range was cold, we were chatting as we walked out to check our targets. One guy made a comment about my PTR 91 and I replied with one of my pat answers: “Grandma Jeffery always said ‘don’t send a boy if you’ve got a man.’” (She used the phrase in the specific context of playing Spades. Translation: lead with your highest card. However, I give it a broader, more general, application.)

Anyway, turns out that both of these guys had been active-duty Marines. One had done two tours in Iraq, including at least one of the battles for Fallujah. The other had served a tour in Afghanistan’s Korengal/Korangal valley and maybe one in Iraq also. My point is, they had really “been there, done that” and even though both of their duty weapons had been chambered in 5.56, they readily sang the praises of the 7.62 round in a combat situation.

They both talked about watching enemy combatants continue to fight even after absorbing multiple hits of 5.56. But, on the other hand, one well-placed round of 7.62 was incredibly lethal. One fellow said “Heck! Even if you just hit him in the arm, he’s going down to the ground.” His buddy nodded in agreement. And, they both talked about the round’s effectiveness at penetrating barriers also. I think the comment was “and it didn’t matter what they tried to hide behind either.” In fact, even though they both had, and shot, AR-15s while they were at the range, one of the men was also trying out his new SOCOM M1a that he’d wanted for so long and had finally saved up enough money to buy.

Now, I’m really not trying to stir up the never-ending “this round is a better choice than that round because of blab, blab, and blab” debate. I just wanted to relay the personal observations of two combat veterans that I had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with recently.
 

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The main problem with mil-spec 5.56 is its lack of expansion. Civilian 5.56 and .223 with quality soft tips or hollow points will perform just fine on flesh. Check out Gizmo's experiment in the ammo section on this web site.
 

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Penetration

Somewhere on the Internet there's a video a documentary where people shoot 5.56 mm military weapons add brick walls concrete block walls and poured concrete walls then they do the same thing with a 762 NATO round then they do the same thing with a 50 caliber M2 machine gun.

The 7.62 x 51 has a much much better performance than the 5.56 when it comes to penetrating hard barriers made out of building materials .

Of course both of them pale in comparison to the Fifty.

I couldn't find that video, but here's an article that appears to be very well researched about 7.62 NATO penetration :

http://benandbawbsblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-762x51mm-nato-turning-cover-into.html?m=1
 

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I meet some of the nicest, and most interesting, people at the gun range. Yesterday afternoon there were two young men (late 20s - early 30s) on the 100 yd rifle line when I got there. At one point, when the range was cold, we were chatting as we walked out to check our targets. One guy made a comment about my PTR 91 and I replied with one of my pat answers: "Grandma Jeffery always said 'don't send a boy if you've got a man.'" (She used the phrase in the specific context of playing Spades. Translation: lead with your highest card. However, I give it a broader, more general, application.)

Anyway, turns out that both of these guys had been active-duty Marines. One had done two tours in Iraq, including at least one of the battles for Fallujah. The other had served a tour in Afghanistan's Korengal/Korangal valley and maybe one in Iraq also. My point is, they had really "been there, done that" and even though both of their duty weapons had been chambered in 5.56, they readily sang the praises of the 7.62 round in a combat situation.

They both talked about watching enemy combatants continue to fight even after absorbing multiple hits of 5.56. But, on the other hand, one well-placed round of 7.62 was incredibly lethal. One fellow said "Heck! Even if you just hit him in the arm, he's going down to the ground." His buddy nodded in agreement. And, they both talked about the round's effectiveness at penetrating barriers also. I think the comment was "and it didn't matter what they tried to hide behind either." In fact, even though they both had, and shot, AR-15s while they were at the range, one of the men was also trying out his new SOCOM M1a that he'd wanted for so long and had finally saved up enough money to buy.

Now, I'm really not trying to stir up the never-ending "this round is a better choice than that round because of blab, blab, and blab" debate. I just wanted to relay the personal observations of two combat veterans that I had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with recently.
The Army uses the M4, which has a 14" barrel. This cuts down the effectiveness of 5.56 at range. The bullet turns into a 22lr if it drops below about 2600FPS. Over 2600FPS, 5.56 is devastating. The problem is long distance shooting coupled with short barrels. It's a recipe for failure if you are engaging targets over 125yds.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/12/03/testing-ar-barrel-length-though-scientific-methods/

 

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We non-mil types aren't limited in ammo selection like our military, for the most part, is. For punching flesh instead of paper, bullet type, as mentioned, is important.

So is shot placement. Shooting someone in the foot will get a different response than shooting them in a vital area.

And neither 5.56mm nor 7.62mm will reliably kill anything at or above 1,000 yards. Time to up your caliber to .300 WM or .338 Lapua.

The IDF has killed people with .22LR rifles.
 

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That kind of makes me want to get the old design, with a 20 inch barrel.
 

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I thought spec was 3200 fps? The max on that chart does not even get to 3,000?
 

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55 grain out of 18.5 inch barrel (it's the 55 grain version of what I posted in post #10)
 

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9" barrel, 55 gr FMJ, 10 yards away gel
It was his test of worst case scenario: Bad, cheap ammo, short barrel
 

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And here are back to back comparisons of cheap 62 gr ammo comparing:

20 inch

11.5 inch

 

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55 grain out of 18.5 inch barrel (it's the 55 grain version of what I posted in post #10)
55gr .223 =/= 55gr 5.56.

5.56 is hotter and faster, usually by 200-300 FPS.
 

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I think we're talking about two different things. The magic 2600 FPS number is to help cause FMJ 5.56 to destabilize, rotate and explode inside a target. They call it 'bullet yaw'. This phenomenon is responsible for an enormous 5.56 wound channel, one far in excess of what would be expected for such a small round. When FMJ 5.56 travels too slowly (less than 2600 FPS), it fails to yaw inside the target, essentially creating a straight, 22lr type wound. That is the issue soldiers shooting 62gr M855 FMJ out of 14" barrels encounter on the battlefield and why 5.56 gets a bad rap. 62gr 5.56 FMJ loses much of its lethality beyond about 125 yards out of a 14" barrel because it slows to less than 2600 FPS and fails to yaw inside targets. Hollow points don't rely on bullet yaw and are not as sensitive to hitting a certain minimum velocity in order to be lethal.
 

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Yeah, it all goes back to the FMJ restrictions placed on our bros. Don't we all wish they could rock'n'roll with 45gr or 55gr JHPs and such. I doubt most of the bad guys in the sandbox right now are wearing vests

The shortening of the original M-16 into the M-4 carbine only makes things worse on the velocity side, and then inherently on range & lethality.

Makes one think that there would be some happy .mil medium between 5.56 and 7.62, eh?
:drink:
 
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