This is not a repeat of 1830 or 1980

tellner

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Vintage Enfields and bolt-action Mausers work just fine at long range. The chopped down version of what Mr. Stoner called the worst mistake he ever made, not so much.

US Rifles Not Suited for Warfare in Afghan Hills


The U.S. military's workhorse rifle — used in battle for the last 40 years — is proving less effective in Afghanistan against the Taliban's more primitive but longer range weapons.


As a result, the U.S. is reevaluating the performance of its standard M-4 rifle and considering a switch to weapons that fire a larger round largely discarded in the 1960s.


...


The heavier bullets enable Taliban militants to shoot at U.S. and NATO soldiers from positions well beyond the effective range of the coalition's rifles.


To counter these tactics, the U.S. military is designating nine soldiers in each infantry company to serve as sharpshooters, according to Maj. Thomas Ehrhart, who wrote the Army study. They are equipped with the new M-110 sniper rifle, which fires a larger 7.62 mm round and is accurate to at least 2,500 feet (800 meters).
 

Sukerkin

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Horses for courses, as ever.

It amazes me that the glacial 'machine' of command has taken so long to realise this ... then again ...
 
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tellner

tellner

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Brown Bess vs. Jezzail and AK-47 vs. the same bolt guns the US is up against today. I know Command Decisions take time. But 150 years? That's a long learning curve even for the Army.

Then again, after almost 3000 years they still don't understand conquering Afghanistan is easy. Occupying it is impossible.
 

thardey

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Brown Bess vs. Jezzail and AK-47 vs. the same bolt guns the US is up against today. I know Command Decisions take time. But 150 years? That's a long learning curve even for the Army.

Then again, after almost 3000 years they still don't understand conquering Afghanistan is easy. Occupying it is impossible.

That's why my AR-platform buddies, and .300 magnum buddies don't understand why I hang on to my grandpa's old 6.5 x55 Swede.

The right tool for the right application.

Semi's and Auto's with light bullets for short, intense fights.
Heavier bullets for long range -- with a smooth bolt-action you can reload as fast as you need to. (Unless you've got skills that are out of this world.)

If I'm not mistaken, though, bolt actions with heavier rounds have been the norm for snipers since the original Sharp's. It sound like the difference is in training and embedding more sharpshooters in each company.

BTW, for those who would split the hairs, is there a difference in the military between "Sharpshooters" and "Snipers?"
 

Archangel M

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The designated marksman concept mentioned here (sprinkle some 30 caliber rifles throughout the company) has been around far longer than our current stint in Afghanistan.

The M4-M16 is fine for the application it was designed for. IMO we need two service rifles, one for Jungle/MOUT intensive conflicts and another for long range environments. The AR platform is ideal for this..all you need to do is switch uppers and magazines. 5.56 and 7.62 ammo is plentiful. I'd go with operating rod systems personally.
 
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Archangel M

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BTW, for those who would split the hairs, is there a difference in the military between "Sharpshooters" and "Snipers?"

In an oversimplified nutshell:

Snipers sneak around in 2 man teams to observe targets and/or eliminate specific targets.

Sharpshooters/Designated Marksman are typically Infantrymen with heavier caliber weapons than the rest of their buddies. It basically started out as "Hey Pvt. Smith! You qualified expert...take this rifle."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_marksman
 

Bill Mattocks

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The M16 and its variants were never well-suited for desert type environments, IMHO. The forward-assist should be proof of that - if the thing needs a heel smash to seat the bolt from time to time, the design blows.

We have literally millions of surplus M1 Garands in storage right now, ready to issue. Perfect weapon for this sort of terrain and distance, the classic 30-06 is a great long-range round. Failing that, the M14 can be brought out of storage as well; .308 also known as 7.62 NATO.

And by the way, for those interested, US citizens can get a genuine US Army surplus M1 Garand direct from the US Army storage facilities via the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a little-known organization established by Congress to arm civilians (yes!). It's been under the radar for decades; the Democrats have never seriously tried to shut it down; but you might want to get your M1 before they do.

http://www.odcmp.com/

By the way, for those of you who *do* know about the CMP, the requirements and such have changed a lot over the past decade or so. It's now much easier to get a weapon, you can get more than just one, and you can get (although it might be a long wait) other military surplus weapons. I've heard people criticize that you can just go to a gun shop and buy one for less money or in better condition. Dunno, could be true. But I helped my dad get his M1 Garand before he passed, and it was one of the things that he really remembered as a bright spot in his last few years on this earth. I was glad to have done it. So check it out if you're that way inclined.
 

elder999

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And by the way, for those interested, US citizens can get a genuine US Army surplus M1 Garand direct from the US Army storage facilities via the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a little-known organization established by Congress to arm civilians (yes!). It's been under the radar for decades; the Democrats have never seriously tried to shut it down; but you might want to get your M1 before they do.
.

Goddammit, Bill! Hush!

(Demands gone up, prices have gone up-got mine for $350, once upon a short time ago.....)
 

Archangel M

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Semi's and Auto's with light bullets for short, intense fights.
Heavier bullets for long range -- with a smooth bolt-action you can reload as fast as you need to. (Unless you've got skills that are out of this world.)

The problem arises when you are fighting a war where you or your enemy starts out at long ranges but maneuver or assault into close range. Or you wind up fighting in an urban environment. When they are charging your foxholes those long range bolt guns would willing be ditched for an Auto. Thats where the M1 shone in WWII. Its disadvantage being the size, weight, en-clip operation and amount of ammo you could hump. The AR attempted to solve the size/weight/capacity issue at the sacrifice of the 30cal round. The AR has killed plenty of our enemy...you are never going to find "perfect" out there. The biggest advantage of the AR platform is it's modularity. You could solve many problems without having to redesign the entire platform. Larger caliber uppers...re-engineered bolts and operating systems (My Bushmaster doesn't even have a forward assist and I haven't even noticed a difference)...etc.
 
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Sukerkin

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This is one of those threads that really makes me envy you, my friends across the Atlantic :(.

It's been far too long since I was able to practise my marksmanship and I doubt I'll ever get the opportunity again. I was once good enough to be on my university rifle team but that was before my accident 'altered' my right arm forever {you never know what will destroy your aim and my arm is no longer as straight or as strong as it once was}.
 

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Keep in mind the M-16 was first developed as a base defense rifle for the Air Force (thanks Gen. LeMay.. thanks a bunch.)

It was then used in jungles where short range was the rule and not the exception. It was actually a very nasty weapon with the original 55gr slug.

Well fast forward to today. Afghanistan is long range country. And the .223/5.56 is not a long range round. Yes I know it is used in 600m competition (I've shot in leg matches and I know all about that.) But hitting a piece of paper at 600 meters and putting a hole in it is not the same things is disabling someone.

The SS109/M885, while having better penetration at longer ranges does NOT, especially in the short M4 barrel, have the ability to do great damage past 150 yards. And that is the problem. Afghanistan has LOTS of places way way past 150 yards!

The newest sniper rifle, a version of the M24, uses the .300 Winchester Magnum. Wise idea! Easily good past 1000 yards. But the M4 is not a good Afghan gun! What is needed for general issue is the M16A1, but maybe in 6.8mm. But since that isn’t in the cards, we need the M16A1 with a thinner 22 inch barrel to get as much velocity as we can get for the SS109/M885 round. And if necessary, issue true JHP/SP ammo!

Oh, one more way to get some extral oomph out of the 5.56. The new Hornady Superperformace powder. It would mean rebarreling all the rifles as the gas port must be smaller but it adds 200 fps to the 5.56 round. That might, from the M16A1, bring the MV well past 3300 fps for the 63gr SS109/M558 slug! Rebarreling is alot cheaper than a new rifle or totaly new round!

Deaf
 
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tellner

tellner

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Good points, but these mods to the M16 seem a bit like using a lathe as a can opener. You can do it with a lot of modifications and jiggery-pokery. But you might just be better off using a can opener. Or a bolt rifle as the case may be.
 

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You will never see a bolt action weapon issued as a main battle rifle. Nice to toss around "what if's" but it just ain't gonna happen. Likewise with taking WWII or Korean vintage M1's or M14's out of mothballs. The most realistic scenario (which still probably wont happen) is either the issuance of 6.8 or 7.62 uppered M16's or an entirely new design that will still look like an M16.
 

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Geneva Convention says no. Ball ammo only, FMJ.


The Hague Convention of 1899 covered prohibited weapons. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/dec99-03.asp

Geneva covered how people were treated. POW's, wounded, shipwrecked, etc.

Vietnam actually used their refusal to sign the Geneva Convention as justification for the torture of US POW's. I don't think Afghan actually signed it either, so I think we (the US) could use that as justification for not following it. We'd get crucified by the world's media though.
 

Stick Dummy

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The M-4 is MOUT operation based and the entire military is aware of its shortcomings.
Carry an M-1 or M-14 and compare ammo payloads for weight.
For the intended area of operation a .300 Win Mag with the 190 DODIC load,or a .338 make more sense.
Of course so does using a Armed Predator drone or close air support......

Let the military fight a war without political intervention or media interferance and it will be won.

Oh and a President with guts would not hurt either.
 

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The Hague Convention of 1899 covered prohibited weapons. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/dec99-03.asp

Geneva covered how people were treated. POW's, wounded, shipwrecked, etc.

Vietnam actually used their refusal to sign the Geneva Convention as justification for the torture of US POW's. I don't think Afghan actually signed it either, so I think we (the US) could use that as justification for not following it. We'd get crucified by the world's media though.

I stand corrected; Hague Convention and not Geneva. In any case, I think we're bound by it, regardless of whether or not others are signatories.
 
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tellner

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Let the military fight a war without political intervention or media interferance and it will be won.

Oh and a President with guts would not hurt either.

Stop guzzling the Kool Aid for a moment. Obama is carrying out Bush's policies to the letter with the same SoD and the same Pentagon Brass. He's escalated right on schedule, decided that expanding the invasion into Pakistan is just fine and has even set up a few new no-tell Black prisons and torture centers. That should give an erection to all of the Unending War crowd.

Political intervention? War is entirely political. It always has been. The problem is that when your Leader started waving his little saber around he had no clue what he wanted to do except for one political end. He wanted the slavish devotion and abject fear of the American sheeple. So he made all of you terrified enough to go along with a pair of stupid quagmires with no goals, no exit strategy, no plan other than "kill a lot of people in time for the next elections".

Media interference? I suppose criminals, cowards and cockroaches love the dark. But in a free society where the government is supposed to be responsible to the people there needs to be accountability. And the people need to know the truth. This war was and still is stage-managed by the Pentagon. The atrocities have all been carefully hidden. The myth of the Glorious Crusade has been blasted at us unceasingly by politically reliable "embedded" journalists, carefully censored and without a shred of independence. Anything which reflects less than Kim Jong-il like religious devotion on the whole sordid mess is shouted down.
 

Stick Dummy

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#1 I don't drink cool aid.

#2 I thought the USA was attacked by TERRORISTS based in Afghanistan not a foreign military?

#3 Barack Obama said we were leaving Afghanistan, oops did he lie (again)

#4 why is it when the USA really starts to destroy an enemy who has killed innocent US citizens on their own soil, the hand wringers at State or Ex-office "order" the military to stop??

#5 What does your rant have to do with rifle calibers?? Anything meaningful to say about this TOPIC without having to hurl direct insults?


All for now off to drink a nice cup of Sumatran coffee and order somebody so PROZAC!
 
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