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Thread: 5.56 in Iraq

  1. #1
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    Default 5.56 in Iraq

    PS - Speaking of weapons, John can you give me any info on how effective the 5.56 (.223) round is in combat? I've heard a lot of horror stories about having to shoot a BG 2-3 times to put him down. I am considering a rifle purchase and am leaning toward the AR-10 7.62 (.308) in an M-4 configuration. A little heavier, but maybe more economical with regard to ammo.
    I carry a Bushmaster M4. The only problems I have seen is in stopping vehicles with a 5.56. Engine hits need to get the radiator to do any real damage. Yes, it may take a few more rounds to put the BGs down, but shot placement is key as with all weapons. Most of our contacts are in urban environments, unless it is outside the main towns. We have SAWs, Negefs, and now PKMs for long range fire. At 300+ meters, I would like to have a 7.62.

    I know some soldiers do complain about the 5.5.6, but it is still my choice for my home. Oh, and the .458 SOCOM is an excellent choice as well. You can get just the upper and slap it on your M4 lower.

    I attended Paul Howe's pistol and carbine course recently, and he still picks the 5.56. He was in Delta, and highly featured in the book Black Hawk Down. He "serviced" many Bad Guys, and reports that at times, the green tips would pass right through and not even phase the guys. He teaches to target the spine, and his failure drill is 5 shots to the torso and then transition to 1 shot to the head.

    The AR10 is good, but the magazines can cause problems. HK is coming out with a AR10 clone next year, but only for LEO and gov I think. The HK 416 for the M4 (5.56) is excellent, and they should be for sale to LEO next year...maybe. The closed gas system makes a big difference. I have fired about a 1000 rounds through a HK 416. We see them with some of the Spec Ops folks over here. Regular civilians will probably never own these HK rifles, unless you were lucky enough to get one of the few that "slipped" through the system and onto the market.
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Default Ar-10

    John,

    Thanks for replying so quickly. I am a federal LEO so I could get the HK version, except that I am a federal LEO and don't make spit and HK is damn proud of the guns!

    I have a SF buddy (20th Group, AL NG) who swears by his AR-10. He was telling me you can get modified M-14 mags, but newer after-market mags are coming out now. He says he has never experienced a problem, and he does a lot "combat" firing courses with it (2-3 gun courses).

    I agree about shot placement. Most regular Army and Marine units don't place enough emphasis on marksmanship training any more. They are apparently using a lot of ACOG and AIMPOINT signts and forgetting how to use the iron sights.

    I have also recently heard that the US is going to a round that is almost a hollow point, but not quite (NATO and Geneva Convention). Have you heard this?

    I have a friend who is a detective with Dallas PD. She will be going to patrol rifle school with her Rock River Arms AR-15 (entry configuration). I envy her, any time I can put a bunch of someone elses rounds down range I go for it. Thats why I am frantically trying to reenlist in the USMCR before they close this war down.

    Shane
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    Shane Layton
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    John,
    I have a question also if I may.
    Your response is as to the round. I'm a big fan of the 5.56 and AR-15/M16 since boot camp. I also own a AR configured as M4 and also carry one on SWAT.

    I just completed an assault rifle instructors course here and the lead instructor showed me a (unofficial) report on the military opinions on certain weapons and the result was many were not happy with the M16's (and a few others) because of jamming caused by the fine snad getting into the action.

    Has this been your experince as well?

    Thanks in advance.
    Tony Urena

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    Shane,

    I have heard nothing about any new rounds for the Military. There is some talk among us contractors about the blended metal technology bullets. BTW, the LEO price for the Hk416 upper should be around $1100.

    Tony,

    I think one problem with the m16 / m4 rifles is the open gas system. That is why the HK and its closed system is doing well in testing. The only weapon I hear the soldiers complain about is their pistol. Part of that problem was bad mags, but they still want something better. I carry a Glock 17 and love it. The thing never fails to shoot and stands up great in the dirt and dust here. Oh, I have never seen any sand over here, just the brown dusty dirt. I used to be a m1911 fan, but not anymore.
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Thanks for your response John.
    Tony Urena

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    Thumbs up

    John-

    Re: Paul Howe's Failure Drill. We are being told here that the good ol' fashioned two to the body, one to the head is no longer considered sufficient. That it has basically become a "shoot him 'til he's down" approach. Regarding multiples, we are also being told experience in the sandbox is pointing the same way - taking your primary threat out first then transitioning to additional threats rather than putting a few rounds on each one. This dovetails with some other recent training from an experienced Israeli (also using M-4s and 9mm predominantly).

    Your opinions?

    Stay safe. Please write more when you can on how you are applying your budo study to your experiences over there. Please consider a book when you get back home for good.
    Kit Leblanc

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    Default

    What is being heard in Iraq about the 6.8SPC round? It was recently featured in the American Rifleman as being spearheaded by SF units in Afghanistan who were unhappy with the 5.56. The article also discussed HK's platform that is being considered for the new main battle rifle.

    Interesting reading, to say the least. I wish I could reference specifics, but a buddy of mine borrowed my copy of it, and that's the last I've seen of it!

    I can only speak from shooting experience in hunting situations, but it would seem that the 5.56 would have a hard time taking a human down quickly unless the central nervous system was impacted directly. A hit in the spine will stop them cold, no question. That's asking someone to hit a relatively small target, though, in a stressful situation. 5.56 rounds in FMJ would impart even less hydrostatic shock than expandable bullets, and would, I would THINK, have an even harder time putting the target down quickly.

    Again, there is no military experience behind these questions...just a lot of hunting and shooting for recreational purposes. When selecting suitable rounds for hunting, we are looking for sufficient kinetic energy at the terminal end alongside a bullet built to stay in one piece (though it needs to expand) as it passes through the target. My dad's uncle was in Europe during some the nastiest parts of WWII, and he swore by his M1 Garand. When made a sergeant and given an M1 Carbine, he promptly tossed it in a ditch and drew another Garand. He said everyone using the carbines was having issues getting the Germans down quickly, while the guys with the Garands knocked 'em flat. But the M1 Car. round is very diminuitive compared the the .30-06. And that little carbine round is, supposedly, the inspiration for the 5.56 round.

    Any insight would be great....as I've always wondered about such things.
    Tom DeAngelo
    "If you fall down seven times, get up eight."

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    Kit,

    Shoot em till they drop seems to be the standard here. For us PSD guys, our rear gunners do most of the shooting and we don't stay around very long. We shoot as we break contact. I just posted a few more messages in the Baghdad budo sub forum for you Kit .

    In regards to the 6.8, I doubt the Army will ever go for it, unless NATO changed too. Even if they wanted to do it right now, it would be a long time till it got over here. The soldiers just have to make due with the m16 systems for now.

    The 7.62 rocks! I have an FN FAL, but can't use it due to State Department rules. So, it stays at a friend's house, along with my other toys.

    Here is an interesting story. One of our teams was driving up to a Marine checkpoint. This was in a very hot area, and the team had special radios to let them know they were coming in. They drove slow, in a convoy, lights flashing, etc. Well, they got fired up by the Marines and turned around and left! Later, when the team leader investigated why they were shot at, he said the Marine captain was more interested in knowing why his 7.62 machine guns didn't stop the armored vehicles. He said he was going to get AP rounds for the guns! I guess he had a different view of the situation...
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Default Marines

    Thanks for the info. John. I work with a guy here who is ex-Army MP. He once told me that apparently the Marines were operating under a different set of ROE than the Army. He told me of a time a Marine unit was approaching his checkpoint looking like bunch of pirates. Apparently the ROE was, in effect, give the BG's half a chance (and only half) to surrender. If they don't, light'em up. He also told me that the Iraqi's knew who was operating in the area, and were way more guarded when they were in a Marine AO. Sounds to me like that captain's first concern was the welfare of his Marines, and having effective weapons. Sorry to hear it was a friendly element, though. I wonder what the mix-up was. Good thing they were using standard 240 rounds, instead calling in a Cobra. Would have been a really bad day, then.

    I am trying to get back into the Marine Reserves. The local unit was an arty. unit which was recently converted into a grunt unit, specifically for AT missions. I guess its like a reserve FAST company. They went to the sandbox for the initial push into Baghdad, and took one casualty. They are working up to go back. I hope I can get back in, in time to go. If not there is a grunt unit down in Montgomery and 3d Force Recon down in Mobile. Lots of options.

    Shane
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    Shane Layton
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    John i hear you about the FN FAL it saved my !!! enough times and i would sacrifice the more rounds and less recoil that the 5.56 gives you and choose a 7.62 round if i was over there with you (depending on OP). I would go for one of the newer russian AK's but it all depends on availability.
    As for a side arm i used to swear by the glock range but for the last 2 years i've switched to the FN FiveSeven www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm if you can get to the ammunition it's the best choise especially for the type of work your doing there. It's like carrying a mini carbine with you and a 20 round clip can never be a bad thing
    any way that's my European mentality for you and just my opinion . Stay safe
    Keep to the way of the warrior

    Mc'pherson Lee

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    Lee,

    I hear ya on the FN FiveSeven. Sweet pistol with little recoil. Never seen one over here, but I have seen the P90 carried by some Italian PSD teams. I am restricted by State Department regs on what I can carry when I duty.
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Mr. Lindsey,
    Have you seen or heard any After Action reports on the 5.7 in Iraq.
    I am curious as to their affectiveness.
    We have several P90's and pistols on the team.
    While I like the P90, though don't carry one, I'm not too keen on the pistol.
    Any intell that you can share would be greatly appreciated.
    Tony Urena

  13. #13
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    Tony,

    I understand your question, but I can't recall ever seeing any AAR on the 5.7 over here. Matter of fact, the only one I did see, was from Houston, TX I think. Might have been the HPD SWAT team. I will try and remember the ask the Italians if I see them again.

    I think a lot of people like you are wondering about this bullet and how good it works.

    Have you seen this forum: http://fivesevenforum.com/forums/index.php
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Oh great another forum to get hooked on.

    Seriously though, thanks for your response Mr. Lindsey.
    I look forward to hearing information from Italians, if any.
    Tony Urena

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    I had read an article in an issue of guns&ammo, if I'm not mistaken, written by a soldier who served in Afghanistan. His story was a great illustration of how well a job the .223 dosen't do. He had said after they thought they had dropped some guys they were moving through a house(I think it was) only to run into a few of the guys they shot just minutes earlier. One of the guys in this guy's squad got beat on, by one of the taliban that they shot, with a 2x4. I really think the state dept. should drop the crap about limiting what a soldier can carry over there. I know some of those rules are there for the saftey of the soldiers, but they really need to rethink some stuff. A FN FAL or one of those La France modified M-14s or anything that fired something bigger than the 5.56 would be welcomed by soldiers overseas with open arms. A more effective rifle won't win the war over there, but I'm sure it'll help a wee bit.
    Anthony Gutierrez
    "Semper Paratus"

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