The .223 military round

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Palmetto, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

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    I have always heard that the .223 military round is not designed to kill but wound the enemy soldiers in order to slow them down. Why have a round wound? Wounded enemy soldiers can still do a heck of a lot of damage. Why not just do the job the first time and be done with it.

    Or, is this not true about the .223 round.
  2. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The idea of a wounded soldier is to burden the enemy with having to take care of him.

    I can tell you that the 223 is quite capable of killing.
  3. rcairflr

    rcairflr Active Member

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    Surely a 62 grain piece of lead with a muzzle velocity of approx. 3200 fps couldn't possibly be designed to kill someone.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    That is, pardon the expression, a crock of crud. No nation ever adopted a military cartridge designed to wound the enemy or (another common myth) ordered its troops to shoot to wound.

    I think most of that silliness came out of WWI, when the battle sights of the U.S. Springfield rifle were set to 550 yards. Troops were told to aim low at attacking soldiers so the bullet would strike in the torso. (If they aimed at center-mass, the bullet could go over the enemy soldier's head.)

    So the story grew that doughboys were ordered to fire at the enemy's legs to wound him so "it would take two more to carry him off". Then came the second silliness, that military full jacket bullets were not intended to kill (like hunting bullets) but only to wound. All nonsense in 1918 with the .30-'06, and nonsense now with the 5.56mm.

    Jim
  5. rcairflr

    rcairflr Active Member

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    It makes me wonder how someone can think that a piece of lead flying at a high rate of speed can think that it wasn't designed to kill. I would venture to guess that there are tens or hundreds of thousand of dead people around the world who have been killed by the 5.56 military round.
  6. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    The intent of the 5.56 was to make it easier to carry 3x the ammo.
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I thought the intent of the 556 nato was to give all the mall ninjas something to spout off about?

    How the 556 and the 223 are TOTALLY different cartridges. The not kill anyone junk. what else is there.
  8. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    +1 for cycloneman. Please realize that the "concept of war" that this round was adopted for was modeled for close combat, such as Vietnam. The idea of a fight at 500 yards was just not considered practical by the top brass.
    If a enemy is wounded it takes 2 men to remove him from the field, yes; but that is a side effect and not the intent for the small caliber round. The (world) military has looked at smaller than 30 cal munitions for 100 years and is interested in arming a soldier with as much as he can carry and still fight; simply one can carry more 5.56 ammo than 30 cal.
  9. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

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    Thanks, I thought it was a crock. Who would design a combat weapon to just wound? I am amazed that this misconception is still out there and people that I respect still spout it from time to time.

    I am sure they decided on the smallest round that would do the job without the weight to lug around.
  10. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Anybody that has seen the damage that round has done to human bodies, will strongly disagree with the "designed to wound" BS.
  11. user

    user New Member

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    FMJ's are more likely to simply punch holes, and thus to wound or maim, and not as likely to kill, and that's what the rules of engagement currently require, pursuant to treaty. In the days of Joshua and the Philistines, the rules of engagement were, "it's every man, dog, woman, and child of us against every man, dog, woman and child of them." God had given strict orders not only to kill every human, but their animals as well. But the Hebrews were "humane", which was why, two thousand years later, David was still fighting them dam' Philistines. I think there's a lesson in that, somewhere.
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I don't know if David used an expanding stone in his sling, but the idea that a FMJ bullet just punches a hole is very un-Biblical baloney. A high speed FMJ bullet has a devastating impact on the human body causing a huge wound cavity from hydrostatic shock. (Fire a 5.56 bullet into a gallon can full of water and tell me how it just punches a hole.)

    The reason for the 5.56mm round was not much to do with the round itself or its capability, but with the fact that the U.S. needed a service rifle that would be controllable in full auto fire to compete with the Communist bloc. They had found out that the 7.62x51 caliber M14 was not controllable (few were issued as selective fire rifles) and wanted something that was. Since simply adopting the AK-47 was not, well, poliltically acceptable (can you imagine the Congressional hearings?), they took the best that was on offer at the time, the AR-15, and spent a lot of money to make it reasonably reliable almost in spite of itself.

    Jim
  13. zant

    zant Member

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    Having fired G3s and FALs on full auto-I agree start at ground and end up hitting airplanes:)...Although I think the 5.56 is a poodleshooter round and never(and still don't)understand why military did'nt further develop the 7.62x39...I reload using all American componets and 1 of my old Kalashnikovs will group 1.5 with it,the others 2-2.5...good enough for gov't work...and you can pick up spare ammo virtually anywhere in the world.
  14. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    Nothing personal Palmetto, it's just a silly topic we have all hashed over for a lot of years and yet some one new to the sport hears or reads a Mall Ninja report about the tumbling bullet and it takes x number of enemy away from the fight to care for their comrade.

    The gun and caliber was a political decision pushed by an Air Force General and a Secretary of Defense who had ties to the manufacturer of the gun. I will stop there before I start foaming dribbling and raving but look it up, it's a fascinating history. Stoners original concept was for a .308, they should have let him finish his development work. Okay mini-rant off
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  15. vytoland

    vytoland New Member

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    once your dead thats the end of you...if youre just wounded you need care and attention, extra staff and equipment also needed.
  16. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Again, a failure to understand the military. When a soldier is wounded, his friends do not stop to take care of him. That happens only in the movies where a actor can take 20 minutes "dying" while making an Oscar-winning speech about the horrors of war.

    In the real world, the mission has to be carried out. Wounded are left for the medics whose job it is to aid them; combat troops continue to carry out the mission.

    Reportedly, Soviet and Red Chinese wounded were not even tended by medics - there weren't any. If a wounded soldier could make his own way to an aid station or treat his own wounds, fine; otherwise, he died. If the political officer decided his wounds were not serious enough for him to have left the front, he was executed on the spot.

    Jim
  17. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    The only time I saw troops in a fire fight move to the wounded was to retrieve them from an exposed position and move them back under cover where a medic could tend to them. Battle field triage is a bitch.
    I've seen the nice "neat" little entrance wounds made by the 5.56 - the exit wounds, when present) generally (at jungle distances while the projectiles were still in high velocity) were horrendous and the position was unpredictable - they seldom came out of the body in a straight line from the entrance wound. Never "autopsied" one of the dead to see what was happening inside, but it couldn't have been good. Also saw pieces of meat blasted off of bodies, flesh "flapped", arms and legs nearly severed - probably from unstable rounds. The 7.62x51 M60 FMJ rounds had a tendency to drill neater holes as did the 7.62x39. I've got a couple buddies who have scars showing the AK round's tendency to stay together and drive straight through at close range.
    The Soviets "adopted" the idea for their AK74 5.45x39mm platform and used it pretty successfully in Afganistan. Those projectiles were designed to swap ends at least once, in soft tissue - making a nasty internal mess.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  18. user

    user New Member

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    Aside from the legalities of treaties purportedly attempting to make war "humane": No question ball ammo will kill; but I suspect that a good deer or varmint hunting "ballistic tip" round would work just as well at full auto and would do a better job eliminating "enemy combatants". On the other hand, there is the primary principle of public contracts: "low bid".
  19. rcairflr

    rcairflr Active Member

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    The Hague convention prohibits the use of small arms ammunition that easily flattens or expands in the body.
  20. Turbo565

    Turbo565 New Member

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    OK, I personally would never shoot a deer with a .223 so naturally,I would not shoot a human with it either. I just finished reading four books on Iraq and Afghanistan war. Our guys are having to shoot these Jihads with at least 12 rounds from .223 and up to 30 rounds to put them down! Unless they get lucky with a head shot. Granted the Jihads are drugged but come on. One shot from their AK puts our guys down?!?! Many or our soldiers are using AK's and M14's just to get even results. Luckily, our guys can carry more ammo but they need it! I am no expert but the truth is in the books. >223 is for Jihad groundhogs. 7.62 or .308 for full size humans.
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