ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS

ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 6th, 2006, 1:14 pm #1

MILINET: ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS Inbox

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More options 8:49 am (1 hour ago)

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS Source: Inside the Army

Inside the Army via NewsEdge Corporation :

The Army should continue equipping troops with its standard 5.56 mm rifle round because the ammo is well-suited for close-quarter firefights with insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to officials at the service's Picatinny Arsenal.

In a recently completed multiyear study, weapon testers at the New Jersey-based organization compared the round, dubbed "M855," with seven other military and commercial 5.56 mm variants, according to Army Col. Mark Rider, the project manager for small- and medium-caliber ammunition at Picatinny.

The assessment examined whether there is a more effective 5.56 mm round against unarmored enemies -- called "soft targets" in military jargon -- at ranges of up to 50 meters, he told sister publication Inside the Pentagon May 26.

The standard 5.56 mm round, used by NATO militaries and sometimes called "Green-Tip" because of its colored top, is widely used by U.S. units operating inside Iraq and Afghanistan. The round has a "grain" of 62.

The Army conducted its assessment in response to numerous reports from troops deployed overseas. Service members alleged that the standard 5.56 mm round is unable to stop the advance of attacking enemies at close ranges because the bullets penetrate their bodies, rather than rendering them unable to continue their charge.

Army testers compared the M855 with four commercial-off-the-shelf rounds, ranging in grain from 62 to 100, said Army Lt. Col. Matthew Butler, a member of the assessment team. They also tested three military versions: the 55-grain M193; the 77-grain Mk262; and the 52-grain armor-piercing M995, he said in the same May 26 interview.

During the experiments, testers fired bullets at gel blocks and used computer modeling and simulation techniques to study how the rounds behave under different conditions, according to briefing slides released by the Army.

The tests revealed that all variants of the 5.56 mm ammunition performed "comparably" when fired from the Army's M16 and M4 rifles. The experiments also showed that none of the alternative munitions would offer significant advantages over the standard M855, Rider said.

The recent experiments also provide an explanation for why some troops have reported literally shooting straight through the bodies of enemy fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan without stopping them, according to Butler.

The tests revealed to Picatinny officials that the reason lies in the angle at which a bullet hits its human target, he noted. While the M855 ammunition is designed to take a straight flight path, individual bullets may slightly drift up or down right before making impact, he said.

Those bullets that hit their targets straight on traveled up to 7 inches inside the gel blocks before they mushroomed, while those with a few degrees of yaw did so sooner, Butler said. Drifting bullets could pass completely through a slim person's body if its misses that individual's bones, he added.

"That really is the phenomenon that explains the through-and-throughs," Butler said.

The Army testers said knowing where to shoot an enemy is crucial.

"The only real guaranteed put-down [shot] is the central nervous system -- the head, the neck, the upper torso," according to Butler. "Other than that, even if you hit [an adversary] in the spine below that central area, the arms still work" -- and the motivation to attack remains, he added.

"What soldiers need is an off-button," Butler said.

The service should continue to "emphasize" live-fire training to exercise "proper shot placement," Rider said. Traditionally, troops are trained to aim at the center mass of the torso, according to Butler. At distances of 10 meters or less, however, troops should aim higher to increase the chance of "incapacitation," Rider said.

The concept of aiming higher at such short distances is "counterintuitive" and it "may be hard to train," according to the briefing slides.

Troops should use the "controlled pair" shooting technique -- two shots in rapid succession -- to increase accuracy, the officials said. "In the study itself, it showed that lethality is increased by [10 to 20 percent] percent if you use those controlled pair shots, vice just a single, well-aimed shot," Butler said.

In its assessment, the Army teamed up with the Marine Corps, special operations forces, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as military and civilian research institutions, according to the briefing slides.

The Army study comes after several warfighter reviews lobbed criticism at the NATO-wide 5.56 mm round. One of those was a May 17, 2005, report penned by the commanding officer of Company F (Fox), 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.

The Fox Company, whose experiences with the round are detailed in the 24-page assessment, is a Marine Reserve unit based in Milwaukee, WI. The outfit was deployed to Iraq from September 2004 to April 2005. The unit was positioned near Yusufiyah, a town located southwest of Baghdad, according to the report. The company was responsible for over 200 square kilometers, much of which was considered "hostile territory" and the home of "hostile tribes," according to the document.

"During engagements of less than 100 meters, [enemies] shot multiple times in the torso with 5.56 seemed to continue to function for a long period of time," the Fox Company assessment reads. "Head shots seemed to be the only way to kill someone quickly" with the Green-Tip bullet, it continues.

Meanwhile, Marine Corps officials are in the final stages of their own study of ammunition performance, according to Col. Clarke Lethin, the director of the fires and maneuver integration division at Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, VA. MCCDC hopes to wrap up that study by the end of June.

The Marine Corps' assessment is aimed identifying what type of ammunition is best-suited to penetrate barriers -- like vehicle doors or windshields -- while still achieving "desired effects," Lethin said May 30.

The study considers larger calibers than the 5.56 mm round, he said. For example, Marine testers are looking at 7.62 mm bullets, among others, he said.

Determining whether a larger-caliber round makes sense for deployed Marines will depend on a number of factors, Lethin said. For one, the weight of a new type of cartridge is an important criterion, he said. Also, the amount of ammunition a Marine can carry on the battlefield is another crucial factor, he added.

Finally, industry would have to be able to offer a rifle that can shoot the larger-caliber bullets, according to Lethin. "I can buy an elephant gun but can industry support that?" -- Sebastian Sprenger

<<Inside the Army -- 06/06/06>>

<< Copyright ©2006 Inside Washington Publishers >>



~~~~~~~~~~
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72
GyG's Globe and Anchor! --Sites & Forums
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 6th, 2006, 1:20 pm #2

MILINET: Resps (2) "ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS Inbox

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More options 10:10 am (8 minutes ago)
7 June

MILINET: Resp "ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS

=========================

This article requires careful reading. On the surface it appears that the 5.56mm "Green Tip" is the best round available for close combat. However, that is NOT what Picatinny Arsenal said in THEIR report. Read carefully:

<<The tests revealed that all variants of the 5.56 mm ammunition performed "comparably" when fired from the Army's M16 and M4 rifles. The experiments also showed that none of the alternative munitions would offer significant advantages over the standard M855, Rider said.>>

In other words, the 5.56mm "Green Tip" is NOT being judged against larger caliber bullets-- such as the 7.62mm round--in this statement: The 5.56mm "Green Tip" is ONLY being compared with other 5.56mm rounds. As stated and restated on MILINET, "The 5.56mm cartridge adopted on lies cannot be fixed in truth."

Semper One-Round Knockdown Power,

Anthony F. Milavic
Major USMC (Ret.)

------------------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE---------

So they only tested different varieties of 5.56 against each other?

And, is probably not much help in getting to the problem, is it?

JW

--------------------------------------END RESPONSES---------------



~~~~~~~~~~
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72
GyG's Globe and Anchor! --Sites & Forums
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/sites.html
GyG's Old Salt Marines Tavern ~Interactive~
http://network54.com/Forum/135069
Gunny G's Globe and Anchor Weblog
http://gunnyg.blogspot.com
~SITES/FORUMS FOR THE THINKING MARINE!~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 7th, 2006, 6:01 pm #3

MILINET: ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS Inbox

MAJUSMCRET@aol.com
to undisclosed-re.
More options 8:49 am (1 hour ago)

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS Source: Inside the Army

Inside the Army via NewsEdge Corporation :

The Army should continue equipping troops with its standard 5.56 mm rifle round because the ammo is well-suited for close-quarter firefights with insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to officials at the service's Picatinny Arsenal.

In a recently completed multiyear study, weapon testers at the New Jersey-based organization compared the round, dubbed "M855," with seven other military and commercial 5.56 mm variants, according to Army Col. Mark Rider, the project manager for small- and medium-caliber ammunition at Picatinny.

The assessment examined whether there is a more effective 5.56 mm round against unarmored enemies -- called "soft targets" in military jargon -- at ranges of up to 50 meters, he told sister publication Inside the Pentagon May 26.

The standard 5.56 mm round, used by NATO militaries and sometimes called "Green-Tip" because of its colored top, is widely used by U.S. units operating inside Iraq and Afghanistan. The round has a "grain" of 62.

The Army conducted its assessment in response to numerous reports from troops deployed overseas. Service members alleged that the standard 5.56 mm round is unable to stop the advance of attacking enemies at close ranges because the bullets penetrate their bodies, rather than rendering them unable to continue their charge.

Army testers compared the M855 with four commercial-off-the-shelf rounds, ranging in grain from 62 to 100, said Army Lt. Col. Matthew Butler, a member of the assessment team. They also tested three military versions: the 55-grain M193; the 77-grain Mk262; and the 52-grain armor-piercing M995, he said in the same May 26 interview.

During the experiments, testers fired bullets at gel blocks and used computer modeling and simulation techniques to study how the rounds behave under different conditions, according to briefing slides released by the Army.

The tests revealed that all variants of the 5.56 mm ammunition performed "comparably" when fired from the Army's M16 and M4 rifles. The experiments also showed that none of the alternative munitions would offer significant advantages over the standard M855, Rider said.

The recent experiments also provide an explanation for why some troops have reported literally shooting straight through the bodies of enemy fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan without stopping them, according to Butler.

The tests revealed to Picatinny officials that the reason lies in the angle at which a bullet hits its human target, he noted. While the M855 ammunition is designed to take a straight flight path, individual bullets may slightly drift up or down right before making impact, he said.

Those bullets that hit their targets straight on traveled up to 7 inches inside the gel blocks before they mushroomed, while those with a few degrees of yaw did so sooner, Butler said. Drifting bullets could pass completely through a slim person's body if its misses that individual's bones, he added.

"That really is the phenomenon that explains the through-and-throughs," Butler said.

The Army testers said knowing where to shoot an enemy is crucial.

"The only real guaranteed put-down [shot] is the central nervous system -- the head, the neck, the upper torso," according to Butler. "Other than that, even if you hit [an adversary] in the spine below that central area, the arms still work" -- and the motivation to attack remains, he added.

"What soldiers need is an off-button," Butler said.

The service should continue to "emphasize" live-fire training to exercise "proper shot placement," Rider said. Traditionally, troops are trained to aim at the center mass of the torso, according to Butler. At distances of 10 meters or less, however, troops should aim higher to increase the chance of "incapacitation," Rider said.

The concept of aiming higher at such short distances is "counterintuitive" and it "may be hard to train," according to the briefing slides.

Troops should use the "controlled pair" shooting technique -- two shots in rapid succession -- to increase accuracy, the officials said. "In the study itself, it showed that lethality is increased by [10 to 20 percent] percent if you use those controlled pair shots, vice just a single, well-aimed shot," Butler said.

In its assessment, the Army teamed up with the Marine Corps, special operations forces, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as military and civilian research institutions, according to the briefing slides.

The Army study comes after several warfighter reviews lobbed criticism at the NATO-wide 5.56 mm round. One of those was a May 17, 2005, report penned by the commanding officer of Company F (Fox), 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.

The Fox Company, whose experiences with the round are detailed in the 24-page assessment, is a Marine Reserve unit based in Milwaukee, WI. The outfit was deployed to Iraq from September 2004 to April 2005. The unit was positioned near Yusufiyah, a town located southwest of Baghdad, according to the report. The company was responsible for over 200 square kilometers, much of which was considered "hostile territory" and the home of "hostile tribes," according to the document.

"During engagements of less than 100 meters, [enemies] shot multiple times in the torso with 5.56 seemed to continue to function for a long period of time," the Fox Company assessment reads. "Head shots seemed to be the only way to kill someone quickly" with the Green-Tip bullet, it continues.

Meanwhile, Marine Corps officials are in the final stages of their own study of ammunition performance, according to Col. Clarke Lethin, the director of the fires and maneuver integration division at Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, VA. MCCDC hopes to wrap up that study by the end of June.

The Marine Corps' assessment is aimed identifying what type of ammunition is best-suited to penetrate barriers -- like vehicle doors or windshields -- while still achieving "desired effects," Lethin said May 30.

The study considers larger calibers than the 5.56 mm round, he said. For example, Marine testers are looking at 7.62 mm bullets, among others, he said.

Determining whether a larger-caliber round makes sense for deployed Marines will depend on a number of factors, Lethin said. For one, the weight of a new type of cartridge is an important criterion, he said. Also, the amount of ammunition a Marine can carry on the battlefield is another crucial factor, he added.

Finally, industry would have to be able to offer a rifle that can shoot the larger-caliber bullets, according to Lethin. "I can buy an elephant gun but can industry support that?" -- Sebastian Sprenger

<<Inside the Army -- 06/06/06>>

<< Copyright ©2006 Inside Washington Publishers >>



~~~~~~~~~~
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72
GyG's Globe and Anchor! --Sites & Forums
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/sites.html
GyG's Old Salt Marines Tavern ~Interactive~
http://network54.com/Forum/135069
Gunny G's Globe and Anchor Weblog
http://gunnyg.blogspot.com
~SITES/FORUMS FOR THE THINKING MARINE!~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MILINET: 2nd Resps (4) "ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS Inbox

MAJUSMCRET@aol.com
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More options 9:31 am (5 hours ago)
7 June

MILINET: 2nd Resps (3) "ARMY STUDY: 'STANDARD 5.56 MM ROUND FIT FOR CLOSE-RANGE FIREFIGHTS

=============================

i'm just a country doctor but that statement 'knowing where to shoot the enemy" and "use two rounds" sounds like someone who has never been in a firefight. There is a guaranteed knockdown round, 50 cal, if it hits you in the pinky your going down. well, maybe the arm, youre out.

LC

---------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-----

< Determining whether a larger-caliber round makes sense for deployed Marines will depend on a number of factors, Lethin said. For one, the weight of a new type of cartridge is an important criterion, he said. Also, the amount of ammunition a Marine can carry on the battlefield is another crucial factor, he added.>

If a Marine must carry and shoot as much as twice as many 5.55mm rounds for an ensured kill, then the weight or the amount of rounds is not a comparable criterion.

Al

--------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------------


Major,
I have not seen any comments (from your readers who really know about this stuff) about the M-14.

I agree with all that has been said about the M-1, and we had them in ITR. All of the stories about dragging them through the mud, giving them a couple of whacks on a tree and firing flawlessly are true. We also used them as ‘stair steps’ when launching guys through windows in Urban fighting training. A sturdy weapon.

The M-14, while not nearly so sturdy, was still a great weapon for rough conditions – plus a 20 round magazine. With each round a proven man-stopper.

We still had the M-14 for my first tour in Vietnam, but had switched to the M-16 by the time I went back. I never understood the switch and never agreed with it.

From a ballistics/weapons expert point of view, why is no one talking about bringing back the M-14?
Even a shortened version to accommodate space constraints in the various troop movers, would be a significant improvement over what we have.

Curious to hear what those who know have to say.

Semper Fi,
Vic Young

-------------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------


This is one of the most blatantly unconscionable things I have ever
read. This is so horrible it is enough to make me feel embarrassed to
have ever been a part of this system. This is our own government
unashamedly continuing to deliberately kill some of the best of our
young people and refusing to do anything about it. This is not a study;
it's a whitewash. I guess the Army expects the world to forget that one
earlier Army study was accidentally released showing conclusively that
the 5.56mm ammunition is woefully inadequate when compared to anything
else used in military rifles? In fact, I was nearly shocked to read that
first study as it seemed so blatantly honest in trying to find some truth.

But with this second "study" all they did was make a comparison of
existing 22 caliber ammunition packaged in the .223 Remington and then
stated none are better than the M855; which I do not believe on the face
of it. Second, they continue to parrot the same dodge that all you have
to do is be a perfect marksman and wait for the enemy to present himself
in a better target position to be killed in order for the ammunition to
work. All this is to cover up the decades of unnecessary deaths,
injuries and captures attributable to this infuriating, massive lie.
Can't anyone else find it exceedingly odd that no US Soldier or Marine
had to be told those things in the First or Second World Wars or Korea?
That is because they had far superior cartridges to protect themselves with.

I can understand the government wanting to perpetuate the lie. After
all, to admit the truth would mean DOD and, more politically
embarrassing, the Congress and every President since Kennedy, have been
participants in this carnage.

It appears from this article that the claim is made the Marine Corps is
doing yet another study, actually using other caliber bullets. It will
remain to be seen just how they are used and what is said about them. I
suspect yet another in a long line of cover-ups is in order.

--

Bruce L. Jones
The Mojave Desert - The Geographic Center of Nowhere

---------------------------END RESPONSES--------------


~~~~~~~~~~
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72
GyG's Globe and Anchor! --Sites & Forums
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/sites.html
GyG's Old Salt Marines Tavern ~Interactive~
http://network54.com/Forum/135069
Gunny G's Globe and Anchor Weblog
http://gunnyg.blogspot.com
~SITES/FORUMS FOR THE THINKING MARINE!~

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