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The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

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On 5/9/2018 at 7:33 AM, Vicious_CB said:

notes on supression from the document

 

- lmg effective at supression in attack and defense and even gets better with range

 

- grenadier effective at area supression on the attack worse on the defense

 

- rifles effective at supression against short range point targets (my assumption with modern optics probably also at longer ones)

 

 

notes on squad organisation

 

- 5 men are easy to controll for most 7 hard

 

- squads ineffective below 5 men

 

- squads routinely operate at 80% strength average in ww2, korea, vietnam

 

- more support weapons dont mean a more effective squad

 

- 4 man fireteams are pointless since with any casualties they simply fall back to working as a whole large squad

 

 

 

so if we want to take this document for recomendation squads should be 9men with 1lmg and 1 grenadier as the most balanced squad

 

6 man squads with 1lmg and 1 grenaadier also wouldnt be bad compared to 9 man easier to control but less staying power

 

 

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On 3/8/2015 at 1:14 AM, Sturgeon said:

 

You would think they would be, but the document actually proves they make little difference. As long as your projectile is supersonic, it doesn't really matter.

 

Sound is definitely a factor, despite that paper cited in the OP.   

 

Wider bullets going just as fast as lighter bullets are going to be louder in that more air is being moved by them. Think difference between 5.56 vs 7.62 bullet snap is real, 5.56 vs .50 cal is more real, but a better example is the sound a standard artillery round flying overhead (at ballistic velocity) vs a 16" battleship or railgun round passing overhead. A very noticeable difference of sound, based on air being pushed out of the way by a supersonic projectile flying overhead.  

Suppression is largely a psychological event. For bullets, the louder the snap, the more potential it has to increase what one paper I read called the Perceived Probability of Incapacitation (psychological), versus the more straightforward Probability of Incapacitation (quantifiable). Louder means more danger, it means either closer shots (the enemy might have located your exact position), or it means deadlier incoming round.  

I read some small blurbs from Tony Williams about suppression distances by sound, by weapon, (though I have no idea where he sourced it from), but from my own personal experiences in Iraq, having been shot at with light weapons and heavy, it was rather easy to know which one was the DShK vs the AK, and that I feared the DShK incoming fire more than an AK. Not only on its abilities to hit me (iron sighted AK fire at long range with an Arab pulling the trigger wasn't exactly something scary), but knowing that a lot of what I might be using for cover against 14.5 HMG incoming AP round might only be turn my cover into concealment. Thus increasing fear factor to the point that the fire very well (and did) ground me, thereby suppressing me.

 

So I'd say the lesson is that sound matters, to get better sound, increase the lethality of the incoming round, make it close to the target (accuracy), and make it repeated (volume). Of course it would vary by situation, training, motivation, leadership, morale, but all things equal, the louder the snap, the closer it is, the more of them there are, the better the suppression effect. 

 

Here is a good article on the acoustics of small arms suppression. I don't know if I buy everything written, but some very interesting points are brought up. 

 

The Real Role of Small Arms in Combat

 

Also, since you appear to actually like this subject, here is a link for a Vietnam study on suppression done in the form of survey results to infantryman: 

 

The Identification of Objective Relationships Between Small Arms Fire Characteristics and Effectiveness of Suppressing Fire

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You're overstretching my statement, which was directly in reference to various small caliber rounds 7.62mm and below. I was not saying that there's no difference between a .50 caliber projectile and a 5.56mm projectile, or either of the same and an artillery shell.

 

Regardless, the shockwave produced by a bullet is related to several factors - size is one (yes larger bullets produce bigger sonic booms, but 7.62mm isn't larger enough to make a perceptible difference once all factors are accounted for), but shape is another. The specific argument I was talking about was made by Mr. Williams, which was that a low drag 6.5mm bullet would have a significantly bigger sonic boom and therefore be a more effective suppressing element. The problem with this concept is that the bullets being proposed have shapes which result in much lower wave drag - and as a consequence, a proportionally lower sonic boom for the projectile's size. Given that there's very little perceptible difference in magnitude at most combat ranges between projectiles between .22 and .30 caliber, a low drag 6.5mm bullet is highly unlikely to give any advantage vs. a .22 caliber one, unless it remains supersonic further (and in that case the only advantage is an increase in range of effective suppression beyond the distance at which almost all of infantry combat takes place).

 

As an example of how shape affects sonic boom is the NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, which tested a low drag/low boom vehicle that pioneered low supersonic signature concepts. What they validated was that longer area-ruled noses reduce the effects of sonic booms - just like the noses of low drag projectiles.

Now this doesn't make low drag projectiles bad, but it does indicate that chasing increased signature with a low drag Williams-style GPC is probably a fools' errand. With flight bodies as simple as bullets, the optimum drag shape is almost certainly also going to be a reduced signature one.

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10 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

You're overstretching my statement, which was directly in reference to various small caliber rounds 7.62mm and below. I was not saying that there's no difference between a .50 caliber projectile and a 5.56mm projectile, or either of the same and an artillery shell.

 

Regardless, the shockwave produced by a bullet is related to several factors - size is one (yes larger bullets produce bigger sonic booms, but 7.62mm isn't larger enough to make a perceptible difference once all factors are accounted for), but shape is another. The specific argument I was talking about was made by Mr. Williams, which was that a low drag 6.5mm bullet would have a significantly bigger sonic boom and therefore be a more effective suppressing element. The problem with this concept is that the bullets being proposed have shapes which result in much lower wave drag - and as a consequence, a proportionally lower sonic boom for the projectile's size. Given that there's very little perceptible difference in magnitude at most combat ranges between projectiles between .22 and .30 caliber, a low drag 6.5mm bullet is highly unlikely to give any advantage vs. a .22 caliber one, unless it remains supersonic further (and in that case the only advantage is an increase in range of effective suppression beyond the distance at which almost all of infantry combat takes place).

 

As an example of how shape affects sonic boom is the NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, which tested a low drag/low boom vehicle that pioneered low supersonic signature concepts. What they validated was that longer area-ruled noses reduce the effects of sonic booms - just like the noses of low drag projectiles.

Now this doesn't make low drag projectiles bad, but it does indicate that chasing increased signature with a low drag Williams-style GPC is probably a fools' errand. With flight bodies as simple as bullets, the optimum drag shape is almost certainly also going to be a reduced signature one.

 

I kind of walked into a debate where I have no idea what was said before. I'm not defending Williams, I'm completely unaware of anything he wrote besides the following, which I read somewhere else: 

 

"An interesting point: the BA noted that the Taliban were very good at concealment and most troops never saw them during fire-fights. The best they could usually do was to locate the general direction of incoming fire and use their small arms to suppress the enemy and fix them in place until artillery or air support could be called in. Much work had been done on analysing suppression, and it had been calculated from field trials that 40mm HV AGL fire could suppress people at miss distances of 59 metres, .50 BMG at 24m, 7.62mm at 6m and 5.56mm at 3m (in the case of the rifle/MG rounds, it was the volume of the supersonic 'crack' which made the difference, and that's directly linked to bullet energy)."

 

That's the some total of his concepts, and I have no idea where he sourced that, it seems quite anecdotal, and thus not exactly trustworthy. I know the British Army teaches 1 meter as the distance a shot needs to go, but that wasn't Williams, that was based on some Falkland War and training studies whose conclusions might be very wrong (it could be up to triple that distance, or more, according to this source, Tactical Psychology in Platoon Combat Experimentation). 

 

If there is an argument to rearm with rifle and machine guns whose bullets have better acoustic benefits to aid in suppression, that's outrageous. Making them deadlier, in that their ballistic performance, especially barrier penetration, would do better, but even better still is to use air bursting fragmentation, which is widely regarded as much more effective at not only suppressing, but casualty producing.

 

Though dated, this paper relates how and why HE air bursting fragmentation rounds are better: The Operational Effectiveness of Medium Caliber Airburst Munitions

 

With the Carl Gustaf and its FFV441 HE airbursting capable round, which has the explosive signature similar to an old fashioned 105mm HE artillery round, I can see that doing a hell of a lot better suppressing enemy, or killing them, then spraying and praying with a squad automatic weapon or LMG. 

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Yes, I'm quite curious how they were able to produce suppression numbers that precise for firefights where no one ever even saw the enemy.

 

The CG is a good addition to the platoon, certainly.

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1 hour ago, Sturgeon said:

Yes, I'm quite curious how they were able to produce suppression numbers that precise for firefights where no one ever even saw the enemy.

 

 

After further consideration, Williams' quoted suppression proximity distances might be relating info from some of the studies mentioned in the my previously mentioned Tactical Psychology in Platoon Combat Experimentation that I linked above in my last post, done by the British Army.

 

If so, my understanding is the field trials that data was gathered was the result of tests involving soldiers behind berms with various weapons being used to fire near them, and then questioning the soldiers after to see at what point they'd self identify themselves as suppressed. That one could not be based on anything more than sound, as there would be no threat of nearby fragmentation or a bullet plowing into dirt nearby or popping through cover. The problem with such experiment types are the safety protocols, test subjects know their lives are not in actual jeopardy besides an unforeseen accident, so shots need be closer before they feel anxiety or fear than might be the case in combat, where Mr Murphy reigns as king. If this is true, then the distances Williams cites could be even further away, much further in fact.   

 

But yes, actually putting fires next to an identified target is always better than firing randomly at an enemy who could be anywhere in the horizon. If that is the case, the problem isn't suppression and type of small arm to best carry it out, its lack of training in basic infantry skills of target identification/scanning and fire discipline/commands. Drones, ISR, magnified optics, thermals to find them, more comms to spread the word, more HE like the Carl G to kill or suppress them. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 

After further consideration, Williams' quoted suppression proximity distances might be relating info from some of the studies mentioned in the my previously mentioned Tactical Psychology in Platoon Combat Experimentation that I linked above in my last post, done by the British Army.

 

If so, my understanding is the field trials that data was gathered was the result of tests involving soldiers behind berms with various weapons being used to fire near them, and then questioning the soldiers after to see at what point they'd self identify themselves as suppressed. That one could not be based on anything more than sound, as there would be no threat of nearby fragmentation or a bullet plowing into dirt nearby or popping through cover. The problem with such experiment types are the safety protocols, test subjects know their lives are not in actual jeopardy besides an unforeseen accident, so shots need be closer before they feel anxiety or fear than might be the case in combat, where Mr Murphy reigns as king. If this is true, then the distances Williams cites could be even further away, much further in fact.   

 

But yes, actually putting fires next to an identified target is always better than firing randomly at an enemy who could be anywhere in the horizon. If that is the case, the problem isn't suppression and type of small arm to best carry it out, its lack of training in basic infantry skills of target identification/scanning and fire discipline/commands. Drones, ISR, magnified optics, thermals to find them, more comms to spread the word, more HE like the Carl G to kill or suppress them. 

 

 

I haven't read the whole Tactical Psychology report yet, but if Williams was relying on the data from the CDEC study for his 3/6 meter rule, then, uh...

kTDZ4nI.png

 

Yeah, that looks like great data that we can definitely draw firm conclusions from... :rolleyes:

 

This level of flagrant confirmation bias is one reason I find discussing small arms with Tony so frustrating.

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9 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

I haven't read the whole Tactical Psychology report yet, but if Williams was relying on the data from the CDEC study for his 3/6 meter rule, then, uh...

kTDZ4nI.png

 

Yeah, that looks like great data that we can definitely draw firm conclusions from... :rolleyes:

 

This level of flagrant confirmation bias is one reason I find discussing small arms with Tony so frustrating.

 

Do you have links to online discussions you've had with Tony regarding suppression? I'd like to see what he's written. 

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32 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 

Do you have links to online discussions you've had with Tony regarding suppression? I'd like to see what he's written. 

 

Given a little time, yeah I could.

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1 minute ago, Sturgeon said:

 

Given a little time, yeah I could.

 

Appreciated. I did just read something he wrote about a General Purpose Cartridge, and it seems he was the originator of much of "Overmatch" argument with small arm calibers others, including Jim Schatz, built upon to sell new calibers. 

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12 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Appreciated. I did just read something he wrote about a General Purpose Cartridge, and it seems he was the originator of much of "Overmatch" argument with small arm calibers others, including Jim Schatz, built upon to sell new calibers. 

 

He certainly was one of the first guys on that bandwagon, yeah.

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On 5/22/2018 at 8:03 AM, Sturgeon said:

Yes, I'm quite curious how they were able to produce suppression numbers that precise for firefights where no one ever even saw the enemy.

 

The CG is a good addition to the platoon, certainly.

 

Nail -> head.

 

Trying to apply numbers to what is basically a psychological event that will vary from person to person is an exercise in futility, its like trying to determine terminal effectiveness based on 1 shot stop data. If you had the chance to watch the podcast I posted earlier the former AWG member talks about how Taliban fighters refused to be suppressed by small arms fire, and the only thing that would suppress or make them quit was nearby explosions. That would definitely throw some outliers in his data. 

 

If we're seriously talking about increasing the suppressive effect of our small arms Im sure the engineers could come up with some kind of specialized suppression projectile that makes a 5.56 sound like a .50 cal. Its not like this is a new idea or anything...

 

5de27a9d6c545a044d4b01493756ba89.jpg

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On 5/22/2018 at 7:59 AM, Duncan said:

 

I kind of walked into a debate where I have no idea what was said before. I'm not defending Williams, I'm completely unaware of anything he wrote besides the following, which I read somewhere else: 

 

"An interesting point: the BA noted that the Taliban were very good at concealment and most troops never saw them during fire-fights. The best they could usually do was to locate the general direction of incoming fire and use their small arms to suppress the enemy and fix them in place until artillery or air support could be called in. Much work had been done on analysing suppression, and it had been calculated from field trials that 40mm HV AGL fire could suppress people at miss distances of 59 metres, .50 BMG at 24m, 7.62mm at 6m and 5.56mm at 3m (in the case of the rifle/MG rounds, it was the volume of the supersonic 'crack' which made the difference, and that's directly linked to bullet energy)."

 

That's the some total of his concepts, and I have no idea where he sourced that, it seems quite anecdotal, and thus not exactly trustworthy. I know the British Army teaches 1 meter as the distance a shot needs to go, but that wasn't Williams, that was based on some Falkland War and training studies whose conclusions might be very wrong (it could be up to triple that distance, or more, according to this source, Tactical Psychology in Platoon Combat Experimentation). 

 

If there is an argument to rearm with rifle and machine guns whose bullets have better acoustic benefits to aid in suppression, that's outrageous. Making them deadlier, in that their ballistic performance, especially barrier penetration, would do better, but even better still is to use air bursting fragmentation, which is widely regarded as much more effective at not only suppressing, but casualty producing.

 

Though dated, this paper relates how and why HE air bursting fragmentation rounds are better: The Operational Effectiveness of Medium Caliber Airburst Munitions

 

With the Carl Gustaf and its FFV441 HE airbursting capable round, which has the explosive signature similar to an old fashioned 105mm HE artillery round, I can see that doing a hell of a lot better suppressing enemy, or killing them, then spraying and praying with a squad automatic weapon or LMG. 

 

Then theoretically the XM25 is the ultimate suppression weapon. Give the grenadier an XM25, designate him as the base of fire and maybe we won't need an IAR/LMG. Why carry hundreds of rounds of ammo when you can have the same suppressive effect by lobbing a few rounds of ineffective HE over the enemies heads?

 

As of now the best way to suppress is still fire superiority.  

 

 

 

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On 5/28/2018 at 3:52 AM, Vicious_CB said:

 

Then theoretically the XM25 is the ultimate suppression weapon. Give the grenadier an XM25, designate him as the base of fire and maybe we won't need an IAR/LMG. Why carry hundreds of rounds of ammo when you can have the same suppressive effect by lobbing a few rounds of ineffective HE over the enemies heads?

 

As of now the best way to suppress is still fire superiority.  

 

 

 

 

One would still need small arms, not every situation involves infantry shooting something necessitates blowing something up, sometimes something just needs a bullet or two.

 

But the OICW was pushed because studies showed how effective, in theory, programmable air bursting fragmentation rounds would be. Unfortunately, the OICW was an overly heavy and complicated weapon, much too large. The stripped down version of the grenade launcher part, the XM25, not only were the 25mm rounds too expensive, but they had horrifically small kill radius, basically 1 meter or less. Not worth the money, not effective enough. 

 

But I think it points toward the future. The present incarnation is crap, but the concept works. 

 

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The key thing to keep in mind with Tony and small arms is that his only purpose in writing anything / posting data is to support his slow dumpy low drag gpc concept.

 

He quote mines worse than a young earth creationist with absolutely no hesitation.

 

As far as he's concerned the answer is his gpc and he will straight to your face tell you that only western militaries will ever issue body armor en masse, smart optics can make up for the ridiculously slow time of flight his solution imposes, smart optics will open up engagement ranges that will let a force armed with his gpc pick off the enemy at their leisure at greater than 800 meters regularly, and that full auto fire is all but dead for military individual weapon purposes.

 

Why will he tell you these things? 

Simple, because if even a single one of those things winds up not being the case his GPC basically becomes completely untenable. 

 

And yes, he has said every one of those things to multiple people more than once over the course of multiple years.

 

It's frustrating to watch to say the least, but I'm not writing this because he pisses me off. I'm writing it because it's important for people to know that they're getting pitched not just having a conversation.

 

 

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On 5/29/2018 at 7:50 AM, Duncan said:

 

One would still need small arms, not every situation involves infantry shooting something necessitates blowing something up, sometimes something just needs a bullet or two.

 

But the OICW was pushed because studies showed how effective, in theory, programmable air bursting fragmentation rounds would be. Unfortunately, the OICW was an overly heavy and complicated weapon, much too large. The stripped down version of the grenade launcher part, the XM25, not only were the 25mm rounds too expensive, but they had horrifically small kill radius, basically 1 meter or less. Not worth the money, not effective enough. 

 

But I think it points toward the future. The present incarnation is crap, but the concept works. 

 

 

That was a joke, hence my lobbing ineffective HE comment. The point Im trying to make is why we are placing such an emphasis on the suppressive effect of weapons in the first place? If suppressive effect is such a critical aspect of our weapons why don't we make special rounds for it or use XM25 like airburst weapons that have a theoretically better suppression value than small arms. 

 

This is why that aspect of Tony's argument fails, because the suppressive effect of caliber X vs Y doesnt even matter in the real world. 

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9 minutes ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

This is why that aspect of Tony's argument fails, because the suppressive effect of caliber X vs Y doesnt even matter in the real world. 

 

Correct. But that's not the thinking Tony & Co. have latched on to. In response to this, they will practically without fail repeat the mantra that "Taliban ignore 5.56mm, notice 7.62mm, and fear .50 caliber". It doesn't matter that this is practically apocryphal, not strongly correlated with actual experience and tests, and doesn't positively inform policy or equipment design, that to them is the end of the story.

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I don't want to throw Williams under the bus entirely, by the way. Some of his ideas are decent, and he is one of the first modern commenters who advocated for VLD bullets. That latter one is a big deal (though one could argue he was beaten by decades by the Soviet Union, but eh), and we will see positive changes in part due to his advocacy. The fielding of 6.5mm Creedmoor weapons on the part of SOCOM is going to be a major improvement IMO, and I think we can credit part of that to the general zeitgeist of which he was an early part. He is also one of the very few guys with which I feel like I can have an intelligent conversation about ballistics and small arms, even if I feel like he's prone to logical fallacies and confirmation bias.

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47 minutes ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

That was a joke, hence my lobbing ineffective HE comment. The point Im trying to make is why we are placing such an emphasis on the suppressive effect of weapons in the first place? If suppressive effect is such a critical aspect of our weapons why don't we make special rounds for it or use XM25 like airburst weapons that have a theoretically better suppression value than small arms. 

 

This is why that aspect of Tony's argument fails, because the suppressive effect of caliber X vs Y doesnt even matter in the real world. 

 

Suppression is definitely critical. Most infantry small arms fire is to suppress an enemy force. You're hitting them when you can, but most times its fire directed to either pin an enemy in place, or else to get them to stop shooting at you. 

 

And yes, caliber is a factor in suppression. .22 LR would be less suppressive than 5.56, which is less than 7.62 NATO, which is less than 338 Norma Mag, which is less than .50 Cal, etc. Penetrative abilities against cover, the accuracy potential of weapons, the fear of automatic weapons fire (volume), the knowledge that heavy weapons focused on your position means bad things, all are incentives to increase caliber to benefit suppression. 

 

But there is a con to that. Increasing round size in width and case length increases weight and bulk, the result is either carrying less or carrying same amount of lighter ammo at heavier cost. Another factor is recoil. Unless massively braked, Williams 7mm GPC is going to have much higher felt recoil and muzzle rise than something in 5.56, so its going to be harder to control on full auto. 

 

So play pro and con game. In the end, the reality is that 5.56 is good enough considering most bullets under 338 Norma Mag aren't really deadly or accurate enough to do a fantastic job at suppression. But like you wrote, HE does the best job. So the smart play is to add more HE deliverable weapons, large frag footprints, airbursting if possible. 

 

But even that has some major cons. The most obvious are ROE concerns where new infantry doctrine is to sling HE rounds everywhere, commanders are simply not going to like that. The fratricide issue will be a problem. Range time with HE is exponentially harder to do because of UXO problems and safety concerns. Cost is a huge dilemma, Carl Gustaf and other similar weapons, those rounds aren't cheap. 

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I think the big bullet crowd is looking for reasons why their pet projects should be more effective than SCHV (which is a pretty obviously efficient way to produce more casualties per pound). I've seen some pretty tortured math from them over the decade and a half or so that I've been following the conversation, including made up numbers for lethality, suppression, the whole nine yards.

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5 hours ago, Duncan said:

 

Suppression is definitely critical. Most infantry small arms fire is to suppress an enemy force. You're hitting them when you can, but most times its fire directed to either pin an enemy in place, or else to get them to stop shooting at you. 

 

And yes, caliber is a factor in suppression. .22 LR would be less suppressive than 5.56, which is less than 7.62 NATO, which is less than 338 Norma Mag, which is less than .50 Cal, etc. Penetrative abilities against cover, the accuracy potential of weapons, the fear of automatic weapons fire (volume), the knowledge that heavy weapons focused on your position means bad things, all are incentives to increase caliber to benefit suppression. 

 

But there is a con to that. Increasing round size in width and case length increases weight and bulk, the result is either carrying less or carrying same amount of lighter ammo at heavier cost. Another factor is recoil. Unless massively braked, Williams 7mm GPC is going to have much higher felt recoil and muzzle rise than something in 5.56, so its going to be harder to control on full auto. 

 

So play pro and con game. In the end, the reality is that 5.56 is good enough considering most bullets under 338 Norma Mag aren't really deadly or accurate enough to do a fantastic job at suppression. But like you wrote, HE does the best job. So the smart play is to add more HE deliverable weapons, large frag footprints, airbursting if possible. 

 

But even that has some major cons. The most obvious are ROE concerns where new infantry doctrine is to sling HE rounds everywhere, commanders are simply not going to like that. The fratricide issue will be a problem. Range time with HE is exponentially harder to do because of UXO problems and safety concerns. Cost is a huge dilemma, Carl Gustaf and other similar weapons, those rounds aren't cheap. 

 

To clarify suppression vs suppressive effect. Suppression(the ability to diminish or stop the enemy from participating in battle) is an absolutely critical aspect of small arms vs suppressive effect(the ability of a munition to scare the shit out of the enemy) which is nearly impossible to quantify as it varies from person to person.

However I am not convinced that there is a significant difference between the calibers of individual weapons 5.56 vs 6.5 vs 7.62 in their ability to have a suppressive effect.

 

My opinion is that you are better off carrying more ammo. And I think we are in agreement here.

 

More ammo = you can afford to keep up a higher volume of fire for longer. And when you can keep up a larger volume of fire for longer than the enemy can, you achieve fire superiority which is the best way to suppress in the first place which trumps the whole shooting less bullets with some larger radius sonic boom or however you want to quantify suppressive effect. 

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9 hours ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

To clarify suppression vs suppressive effect. Suppression(the ability to diminish or stop the enemy from participating in battle) is an absolutely critical aspect of small arms vs suppressive effect(the ability of a munition to scare the shit out of the enemy) which is nearly impossible to quantify as it varies from person to person.

However I am not convinced that there is a significant difference between the calibers of individual weapons 5.56 vs 6.5 vs 7.62 in their ability to have a suppressive effect.

 

My opinion is that you are better off carrying more ammo. And I think we are in agreement here.

 

More ammo = you can afford to keep up a higher volume of fire for longer. And when you can keep up a larger volume of fire for longer than the enemy can, you achieve fire superiority which is the best way to suppress in the first place which trumps the whole shooting less bullets with some larger radius sonic boom or however you want to quantify suppressive effect. 

 

I generally agree but there are some added suppression effects between 5.56 up to 7.62 NATO. First, the snap is different. Second, 6.5-7.62 will go transonic well past 5.56, so better long range performance. Third, the latter has much better barrier penetration abilities, there are things that are cover against 5.56 that wont stop 7.62 and people getting shot at start noticing this stuff. "Is what I'm using for cover actually going to stop the round they're shooting at me?"

 

Overall, I think the problems with suppression are more of not having a clue at all where the enemy is, and not knowing where to deliver any fire. So the solution isn't caliber, new weapons, its things like squad or platoon drones, thermal sights, magnified optics on every weapon with BDC reticle, more binos for leaders, better squad comms for better communication, greater emphasis on fire discipline and fire control measures that have seemingly been abandoned in the last couple decades. Software, not hardware. 

 

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3 hours ago, Duncan said:

Second, 6.5-7.62 will go transonic well past 5.56

 

7.62 has only got about 70 meters transonic range on 5.56mm (670 vs 600m). Not that significant.

 

3 hours ago, Duncan said:

Third, the latter has much better barrier penetration abilities, there are things that are cover against 5.56 that wont stop 7.62 and people getting shot at start noticing this stuff. "Is what I'm using for cover actually going to stop the round they're shooting at me?"

 

Depends on the load. M855A1 out penetrates M80 Ball through pretty much everything, including cinderblocks. Unless you're shooting AP, then 7.62mm is still within the normal bound for other rifle rounds (5.56, 5.45, 7.62x39, etc).

 

3 hours ago, Duncan said:

Overall, I think the problems with suppression are more of not having a clue at all where the enemy is, and not knowing where to deliver any fire. So the solution isn't caliber, new weapons, its things like squad or platoon drones, thermal sights, magnified optics on every weapon with BDC reticle, more binos for leaders, better squad comms for better communication, greater emphasis on fire discipline and fire control measures that have seemingly been abandoned in the last couple decades. Software, not hardware. 

 

That seems to be the route the more plugged in folks rend to recommend. Hard to argue with it.

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12 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

7.62 has only got about 70 meters transonic range on 5.56mm (670 vs 600m). Not that significant.

 

 

Depends on the load. M855A1 out penetrates M80 Ball through pretty much everything, including cinderblocks. Unless you're shooting AP, then 7.62mm is still within the normal bound for other rifle rounds (5.56, 5.45, 7.62x39, etc).

 

 

That seems to be the route the more plugged in folks rend to recommend. Hard to argue with it.

 

M855A1 definitely seems the game changer, much better than most what was previously issued. But new M80A1 does better at barrier penetration than M80  or M855A1. Not by much, but a little. I don't think enough to necessitate pulling a US Army move and trying to go straight 7.62 NATO for rifles and SAWs. 

 

Do you have external ballistics data for M855A1 showing velocities at longer ranges? What is BC and muzzle velocity for 14.5"?

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6 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 

M855A1 definitely seems the game changer, much better than most what was previously issued. But new M80A1 does better at barrier penetration than M80  or M855A1. Not by much, but a little. I don't think enough to necessitate pulling a US Army move and trying to go straight 7.62 NATO for rifles and SAWs. 

 

Do you have external ballistics data for M855A1 showing velocities at longer ranges? What is BC and muzzle velocity for 14.5"?

 

I don't know what the BC is, but I have it from third party sources that it's "higher than M855". Muzzle velocity seems to change virtually from spiral to spiral (they are iterating M855A1 steadily), but I have 3,090 ft/s (muzzle adjusted) confirmed for a spiral from early 2016, from a 14.5" barrel. So it's pretty toasty. Initial spirals supposedly ran almost 3,200 ft/s from a 14.5"! Evidently, they are running the machines as fast as they can lately, so current M855A1 has crappy accuracy, but that's not inherent to the design, just a side effect of the fact that we don't have enough ammo plants.

 

M80A1 seems pretty lame to me. Slug and penetrator sectional density is really low, bullet is really light and has a poopy BC. Doesn't seem worth it over M855A1 to me.

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