5.56: Enough stopping power?

Army Times is looking for stories about the stopping power (or lack therof) of the 5.56 NATO round:

Send us your stories at armylet@armytimes.com. Please include your name, rank and contact information.


  1. Well SOCOM has had plenty of time to consider getting a new caliber with their new rifle and decided 5.56 is good enough. It would be an easy switch for them. They can pretty much do whatever they want. They use their own load of 5.56, mk262. So the argument that they rely on Army stockpiles is moot.

  2. Ty: You’re correct about that, but don’t forget that the SCAR is going to come in both light (5.56) and heavy (7.62×51) flavors. Also, the Marines are looking at the SCAR and are testing samples in 6.8 SPC. (I’ve been unable to find a source for the Marine 6.8 SPC news, but I was told so by an FN-USA rep at last spring’s SHOT Show.) SCAR is built to be easily modular, so changes can be made relatively easily if needed.

  3. The Mk262 is a relativly heavy, 77gr Open-tip match based on the sierra matchking. the JAG and SOCOM have both ruled on the 7.62 versions, but have never mentioned wether this new one meets agreements. Yeah, yeah, hauge doesn’t bar hollowpoints, we never signed it, and it isn’t applied to CT operations, which socom defines the entire afhgan war. Its meant specifcly for the Mk12 SPR, not for line rifles, as the main round. So, that’s not that much of an argument.

  4. I have heard stories from buddies in Iraq pumping 2 or 3 rounds into Iraqi’s and they still get up and run away… The 5.56 was designed to wound an enemy not to kill them out right. I think that 6.8 from what I have read is a good intermediate round not a beast like 762 but not puny like 556. Sorta like .40 S&W between 9mm and .45 a good balance.

  5. I wonder if they will accept stories from grunts that fought long ago and far away with the M16? Naw, they would just think that those stories were the rambling of an old bitter man who didn’t really remember what happened or how. But I would like to tell them of all the times we filled the enemy with lead and they kept coming and shooting and screaming. They told us back then that we were just bad shots and didn’t know how to keep our weapons clean. I don’t think that they have changed their tune since. Papa Ray West Texas USA

  6. It’s illegal in most of the 50 states to hunt deer with a wimpy .22. It is considered inhumane. If you can’t reliably knock down a 150 lb deer with a round, why should you think you’re going to knock down a 180 lb man with the same? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we have, on average, one of the heaviest populations on the face of the Earth. Why are we not using that to our advantage in war? Our guys should be shooting magnum rounds instead of wimpy pop-guns. Oh, no we can’t do that. Think of all the collateral damage they might do. Let’s face it, the message is, ‘our guys are expendable’. Collateral damage, indeed! We should be doing a lot more collateral damage. If we had any leadership at all in this country we would redefine the whole concept of what the ‘horrors of war’ really is. Until then we will send our finest young men into battle with McNamara’s gun – because they’re expendable.

  7. Said it once, and I will say it again, they should look at the 6.5 Grendel. Hits like the 6.8 SPC, but with the range of the 7.62 NATO, and better penetration than the 5.56 AP ammo.

  8. anyone see the new HK417 the big brother to the HK416, looks very badass hehe. I think the Military should look at adopting these 2 rifles as a team for a rifle squad. Have one designated marksman with the 417 and everyone else with the 416 would make a great duo and have alot of interchangable parts. Check it out the pics are cool. http://hkpro.com/hk417.htm

  9. I agree that the 5.56 is a wimpy round,I also agree that the military should use at least the 6.5 cal.but one thing we have to keep in mind is the bigger the round the more weight to carry around with our soldiers.I mean yea it does not seem like much but go to your local sporting goods store or for you soldiers out there the armory and pick up 6 or 7 boxes of 5.56nato rounds and the same in 7.62 and feel the weight.But with that said If I were going to be able to choose a round to carry hands down it would be the 7.62,because even the best shooters in the heat of battle make bad shots and the 7.62 would do more damage to a man even with a bad hit.