Friday, September 22, 2006

How About that 6.8mm Round?

There's been discussion about the efficacy of the 5.56mm Nato (.223) cartridge--specifically, whether it's fatal enough in dealing with today's warfare environment.

In brief, the 5.56 Nato was designed for 200-300 yard encounters (the Cold War/Euro-battle environment) whereas today's engagements are often at greater distances (300-500+ yards--think Afghanistan, or non-urban Iraq.)

Plenty of noise has been made by the folks who want to return to the 7.62mm (.30 cal), (M-1, M-14 cartridge) but the Army and Marines just don't like the idea.

NOW we find noises being made about the 6.8mm (.270), which may be an interesting compromise. The most recent edition of Guns and Ammo (my wife's subscription, wink-wink) has a long article about the virtues of the .270 as a hunting cartridge--and one of the virtues includes relatively long-distance (400 yard) accuracy and hitting-power.


More here, HT Arms and the Law

I am among those who maintain that the .30 (whether 30-06 or .308) is the single most potent and flexible round available. But you need a lot of rifle-weight to counter the kick from the '-06, which has an effect on ground-pounders.


Brother James said...

I think you hit it on the head in the final graf. It's hard enough humping an extra hundred pounds of gear without adding a heavier rifle, with heavier rounds. Keeping a .308/7.62 chambered rifle steady in automatic fire must be a challenge.

I wouldn't complain if Springfield Armory chambered a SOCOM model for 6.8 mm. It'd be a bit easier for the kids to control as well, recoil and weapon weight considered, over a 7.62 mm.

Anonymous said...

another option what about adopting the 7.62x39mm round the AK uses more pop than the 5.56 but still smaller than a standard .30 cal round

just a thought

Fidei Defensor said...

I wounder why the millitary is so relucatant to go back to the 7.62 round (and the heavier rifles requried to fire it.)

Might it have something to do with the fact that it is a lot harder for women to handle?

The whole shoot-to wound philosophy behind the .223 cartridge might make sense fighting warsaw bloc nations, but when you are fighting Jihad Warriors bent on death, yours or theirs, you need a rifle that is going to bring a man down in one shot.

Brother James said...

Wounding power is not just in the bullet diameter, but in how it tumbles through the target, and how wide the wound path is resulting. You want a bullet that will tumble optimally through human flesh, causing as much damage as possible. Skinny and long is just as effective in this regard.

Sounds pretty bad for someone who proclaims Christ to be a connaisseur of injury causing implements, eh? Do unto others...

Penetration power is key as well when facing enemy forces equipped with body armor, or in light to medium cover (such as in a hut, interior walled space, or civilian vehical). While the asymetrical warfare scenario seldom involves body armor, there are lots of targets in various degrees of cover.

Dad29 said...

..and there is no question about the "penetrating power" of the .30-06 round.

There is no body armor made which will stop one of those rounds.

Fidei Defensor said...

that reminds me, I don't know how true this is, but I had heard that there was a movement in the anti-gun crowd to ban all rounds capable of piercing body armor, or atleast put a huge tax on them.

Dad29 said...

True fact--but very old.

That idea is dead as a doornail, largely because there is zero Congressional interest in banning .30-cal bullets.