Donald Sensing has an interesting post up at Winds of Change about a new study which finds—surprise surprise—that 5.56mm rounds are just a wee bit underpowered. Just a bit. But of course, you check Winds of Change every day, so you already knew that ;)
I’ll play devil’s advocate here a little and say that there are still good reasons to use the round. More rounds means more chances to hit, even if you need several hits to bring the target down. It’s better to fire off a few smaller rounds and hit with one than fire a couple of bigger rounds and miss entirely. Plus, the poor troops that have to hump all the bullets have a bit of an easier time, although if you asked them I’m sure many wouldn’t mind the extra weight if they could have 6.5mm or 7.62mm ammunition and a heavier rifle. The lower recoil also makes aiming and shooting-on-the-move less difficult.
I think what’s really needed is a good compromise like 6.5mm and I really don’t understand why it’s so hard to just buy some off-the-shelf rifles and ammo, give ’em to the soldiers, and see how they go. Not all of them mind, just some, in case there are problems and their buddies have to rescue them after a jam or some such. But it really ought to be properly investigated and progress seems agonizingly slow on this front. I know that logistics is harder when you have more different types of ammunition to issue, but I suspect the ideal situation would really be to have all three rounds be common within a given squad or platoon. The scouts will probably be better off with 5.56mm, as well those for whom shooting a rifle is a secondary task. But the riflemen themselves would surely benefit from having a larger set of tools from which to choose, to better suit a given situation. Come on guys, it can’t be all that hard to make some serious progress on this issue.
—posted by Nicholas.
P.S. new GWoT allies post will be up tomorrow morning US EST.
P.P.S. Murdoc Online and Nicholas would like to make it clear that we in no way advocate actually shooting poodles. We love dogs. Seriously, resist the temptation, even if they’re French poodles.