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Interesting article.............

Is Faulty Ammo Failing Troops?
Field Report, Government Tests Raise Questions About Bullet For M-16 Rifle

June 7, 2006

"I saw the tests that clearly showed how miserable the bullets really were
in performance."

Bruce Jones, mechanical engineer

(CBS) As American troop casualties in Iraq continue to mount, concern is
growing they may be outgunned. That includes new questions about the
stopping power of the ammunition that is used by the standard-issue M-16

Shortly after the U.N. headquarters was bombed in Baghdad in August 2003, a
Special Forces unit went to Ramadi to capture those responsible.

In a fierce exchange of gunfire, one insurgent was hit seven times by 5.56
mm bullets, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen
Keteyian. It took a shot to the head with a pistol to finally bring him
down. But before he died, he killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded seven

"The lack of the lethality of that bullet has caused United States soldiers
to die," says Maj. Anthony Milavic.

Milavic is a retired Marine major who saw three tours of duty in Vietnam. He
says the small-caliber 5.56, essentially a .22-caliber civilian bullet, is
far better suited for shooting squirrels than the enemy, and contends that
urban warfare in Iraq demands a bigger bullet. "A bullet that knocks the man
down with one shot," he says. "And keeps him down."

Milavic is not alone. In a confidential report to Congress last year, active
Marine commanders complained that: "5.56 was the most worthless round," "we
were shooting them five times or so," and "torso shots were not lethal."

In last week's Marine Corps Times, a squad leader said his Marines carried
and used "found" enemy AK-47s because that weapon's 7.62 mm bullets packed
"more stopping power."

Bruce Jones is a mechanical engineer who helped design artillery, rifles and
pistols for the Marines.

"I saw the tests that clearly showed how miserable the bullets really were
in performance," he says. "But that's what we're arming our troops with.
It's horrible, you know, it's unconscionable."

To demonstrate to CBS News, Jones fired the larger-caliber 7.62 bullet fired
by AK-47s used by insurgents in Iraq into a block of glycerin. The hole
cavity is 50 percent or more larger than that of the 5.56.

"You can't just go out and, you know, rig up a little block of Jello and
shoot at it and prove anything," says Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon
weapons expert.

Since the early days of the Vietnam War, Sprey has been a champion of the
5.56, and believes it both lethal and light.

"The brilliant thing about that bullet is that it allowed the infantrymen to
easily carry 300 rounds," Sprey says. "Whereas the old sharpshooter's heavy,
slow round - he could only carry 100."

In the chaos of war, the more bullets the better, he says, because bursts of
automatic fire beat one big bullet at a time.

"There is no such thing as a well-aimed shot in combat, because combat is
fought by scared 18-year-olds who haven't been trained enough and are in a
place they've never seen before," Sprey says.

Here at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, the government's own engineers
have done the most extensive testing on the 5.56 since 1990 and issued two
draft reports.

In the first, dated 2004, the 5.56 ranked last in lethality out of three
bullets tested.

A second draft, dated last month, confirmed that rating, ranking the 5.56
dead last in close-quarter combat.

The army issued a final report last week that concludes in essence that
those test results are wrong and misleading. It argues the 5.56 has the
"same potential effectiveness" of the 7.62 during the heat of battle.

Either way, there's no questions that if the Pentagon did have any questions
about this bullet, it would face some very expensive modifications to the

©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

208 Posts
Same basic complain that was voiced in Nam and every little war since. In fact as the years have rolled on the bullet has become less of a killer. Because they want it to shoot longer and longer distance and be more accurate. So they change weight and barrel twist Tinker Tinker thats what America does can't leave well enough along. rifle was so so in Nam now ?
What you going to do we have converted 1/2 the world to this round Change and tell the other countries Sorry you need to change also. We did this with the 7.62 when It was NATO round . We ditched and said 5.56 guys change. Don't really belive our allies want that again.

1,569 Posts
There is no such thing as a well-aimed shot in combat, because combat is
fought by scared 18-year-olds who haven't been trained enough and are in a
place they've never seen before," Sprey says.

End Quote.

Too bad the men at Normandy, The Bulge, Iwo Jima, The Iron Triangle or Pork Chop didn't know that, armed with only their M-1s.

And could only cary 100 rounds? Lets see, I had eight clips (84 rounds) in my cartridge belt, two bandoliers of ten clips each (160 more rounds)plus another eight or ten clips in my pockets. That's about 324 rounds right there.

And that stuff makes the 7.62 AK round look puny. We had the old .30 M! ammo. That shot through a sizable tree trunk and was still lethal on the other side.

Bob Wright

1,569 Posts
The M1 rifle remains one of the finest military rifles ever made. I had a chance to fire the forerunner of the M14 and liked it except for the detachable magazine. I much preferred the en-bloc clips of the M1. I never used the stripper clips for the M14 as they had not been developed at that time. Had the M14 had a ten round clip I believe it would have been better. The twenty round magazine made you stick your head up too far.

The old M1 is just like the Goodyear Bunny, just keeps on going, and going...........

Bob Wright

1,569 Posts
I will disagree with you there, Shipwreck. I don't believe hollow point stuff would have the penetration required for military ammunition. I cannot say about the .22 ammunition used now, but the .30 caliber M1 stuff used outside Continental US had a hardened steel core in a gilding metal jacket. It didn't expand, but it was no means a wimp.

Bob Wright

Shipwreck said:
to my knowledge in Irag, most of the baddies are not wearing armor like our troops are.
Yeah, they're wearing explosive vests. I say pop them while they are out in the middle of nowhere away from innocent people and let them see the 70 (or whatever it is) virgens.
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