Intermediate cartridge 5,56x45 mm against rifle 7,62x51 mm


Cartridges mm 7,62x51


In 1954, the main rifle cartridge of NATO became the American ammunition 7,62x51 mm. It was planned to be used with rifles and machine guns, and soon a wide range of compatible weapons. However, after only a few years, the United States decided to abandon the rifles under this cartridge and replace it with a more advanced one. The result of the following work was the adoption of 5,56x45 mm ammunition.

New cartridge


The development of the T65 cartridge, the future 7,62x51 mm NATO, began at the turn of the forties and fifties on the initiative of the US Army. Existing .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge, showing high performance, proved to be excessively powerful for advanced automatic rifles, and was also quite large and heavy. The army needed a more compact and lightweight, as well as a less powerful cartridge with close ballistics.

With the participation of several enterprises and organizations, a line of experimental T65 cartridges was created with different bullets and capabilities. After all the necessary tests, the ammunition was adopted by the United States, and then sold as a standard for NATO.


Machine-gun belts with cartridges of 7,62x51 mm

The T65 cartridge was shorter (71 mm versus 85 mm) and lighter than the existing .30-06 Springfield - 25 g versus 27-30 g. The use of modern grades of gunpowder with higher characteristics was proposed, due to which the muzzle velocity of a standard bullet was at the same level. within 790-830 m / s, and muzzle energy reached 2550-2600 J.

Weapon for the cartridge


The army ordered the development of new weapons under the cartridge of 7,62x51 mm - an automatic rifle and machine gun. The result of subsequent work was the adoption of the U.S. rifle M14 and machine gun M60. In addition, several countries developed the same munitions for foreign countries.

Even at the stage of work on the future M14, disputes began about the feasibility of using a rifle cartridge. From previous experiments it was known that a full-sized rifle cartridge is excessively powerful for hand-held automatic weapons and limits the accuracy and accuracy of fire. Nevertheless, such a cartridge at the same time gave certain advantages.


Marine with rifle M14. It is unlikely that he should shoot bursts

In 1959, the M14 rifle entered service. Its strengths were considered low weight and acceptable dimensions. The rifle cartridge gave a high effective fire range and had a good damaging effect. At the same time, the rifle could not shoot accurately in bursts: excessive recoil made it difficult to hold it, which led to increased dispersion. Also the problem was the capacity of the store (only 20 rounds) and the excess weight of the ammunition. An equipped store weighed 750 g. Accordingly, 13 stores with 260 rounds of ammunition weighed almost 10 kg.

In the early sixties, a complex in the form of an M14 rifle and a 7,62x51 mm cartridge hit Vietnam, where it showed its advantages and - even brighter - its disadvantages. As a result, the army stepped up work to create new weapons that fully meet modern requirements.

Intermediate cartridge


Since the late fifties, several arms companies have developed promising rifle systems based on an intermediate cartridge. The essence of the new concept was the use of small-caliber ammunition with increased bullet speed; It was also required to increase the rate of fire. The resulting automatic rifle in theory could show characteristics at the level of existing samples.

Intermediate cartridge 5,56x45 mm against rifle 7,62x51 mm
Cartridges 5,56x45 mm modifications M193

Together with others, ArmaLite and Remington Arms participated in the program. The first was developing a new rifle, and the second was attracted to develop a new cartridge. Later, their AR-15 rifle and .223 Remington cartridge showed advantages over competitors, won the competition and were recommended for adoption. In 1964-65 The U.S. Army began rearmament - new models were designated as M16 and M193.

The new .223 Rem cartridge (5,56x45 mm) had a length of only 57,4 mm and weighed less than 12 g. The initial velocity of the bullet reached 900-950 m / s, energy - at least 1750-1800 J. The combat characteristics were at an acceptable level and provided a confident defeat of manpower.

Tests have shown that the new M16 rifle under the M193 cartridge shows the required accuracy and accuracy when firing in bursts and does not face the problem of excessive recoil. In addition, a smaller cartridge made it possible to optimize the dimensions and ergonomics of the weapon. There was a gain in the context of the ammunition: a magazine with 20 rounds weighed only 320 g. Thus, 10 magazines - 31 rounds - entered 620 kg.


Photo: Justin Connaher
Stores for M16 rifles with 5,56x45 mm cartridges

Thus, for all the main parameters, the 5,56x45 mm cartridge and weapons for it, at least, were not inferior to previous samples of a larger caliber. All this led to understandable results. In 1964-65 The U.S. Army began rearmament with the M14 rifle to the newer and more successful M16, while replacing the cartridge. Ammunition 7,62x51 mm NATO was now planned to be used only with machine guns, but not with rifles.

Subsequently, the M193 cartridge was widely used in NATO countries. Initially, it was only about procurement or licensed production of ammunition. Then third countries began developing their own versions of the cartridge with one or another difference.

New generations


In the late seventies, NATO countries led by the United States conducted an extensive study comparing existing versions and modifications of the 5,56x45 mm cartridge. The winner of the competition was the Belgian version of the cartridge with a weighted bullet under the designation SS109. Soon, he was officially made the standard NATO ammunition. In the US Army, this product received the designation M885.


Photo: americanspecialops.com
M16A4 Riflemen

Over the following decades, the SS109 / M885 cartridge managed to become the basis for new munitions developed in several countries. A number of such products entered service, others went to the commercial market.

Objective reasons


In the middle of the last century, all the leading countries headed for the improvement of infantry small arms by creating fundamentally new intermediate cartridges. However, in the United States this process was delayed, since the army first decided to rearm with a less powerful rifle cartridge. Soon, the disadvantages of such a solution became clear, which led to the intensification of work on intermediate cartridges.

The first version of the 5,56x45 mm ammunition was adopted more than half a century ago, later it was replaced by new modifications with improved characteristics. 5,56x45 mm NATO is still the main rifle cartridge of the United States and the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, although there are already some prerequisites for its replacement.

In recent years, work is underway to create new intermediate cartridges capable of replacing the good old M193 / M885 in the future. However, the real results of such programs are not yet clear, and hypothetical rearmament remains a matter of the distant future. The 5,56x45 mm NATO cartridge remains in the US and other countries and continues to demonstrate its potential half a century ago.
Author:
Photos used:
US Department of Defense, Surplusammo.com
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  1. ssergey1978 27 January 2020 19: 17 New
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    Error 7.62x51 has an energy of about 3500 J. The cartridge is not bad. 5.56x45 matron interesting I even wanted to buy a weapon for him but changed my mind. The best cartridge of all time won, the most versatile and most gentle barrel 7.62x39. IMHO
    1. Pessimist22 27 January 2020 20: 16 New
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      5,45x39 is better.
      1. Catfish 27 January 2020 22: 08 New
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        7,62x39 is even better. soldier
        1. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 02: 13 New
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          9 x 39 mm is even better! Who is bigger ?
          1. Catfish 28 January 2020 03: 26 New
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            No more, Vladimir hi . Already this cartridge more than 20 pieces can not be shoved into the store without violating the acceptable dimensions. So 7,62x39 is ours, if not all, then this one. wink
            1. Vladimir_2U 28 January 2020 05: 04 New
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              Quote: Sea Cat
              Already this cartridge more than 20 pieces can not be shoved into the store without violating acceptable dimensions
              Which is strange, because there is only one sleeve on the diameter of the bottom. Yes, and stores for 30 rounds of ammunition are available for this caliber, and they have a completely Kalashnikovsky size.

              http://zonwar.ru/avtomat/SP-3_Vixr.html
              I think the matter is rather not in size, but in the weight of the cartridge, because the bullet is about 10 grams. heavier and this is plus 300 gr. And another consideration, a cartridge for weapons for specialists, and they have control over the "flow" is much tougher.
              1. Catfish 28 January 2020 10: 24 New
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                I’m reading about a 30-cartridge magazine for the first time, thanks for the information. It is also true that the matter is in the weight of such a store, and in its dimensions, if that - you have to stick out too much.
          2. Dmitry V. 29 January 2020 10: 01 New
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            At 9x39 there is no speed - getting into the running task is not trivial :))
            1. Nikolaevich I 29 January 2020 11: 21 New
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              At 9x39, there is not any speed, but subsonic is so conceived ...
  2. Strashila 27 January 2020 19: 30 New
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    Judging by the desire to change the cartridge, the priorities of the war changed again.
    The idea of ​​high-pulse cartridges was, if there is no way to kill the protected, so cripple it as much as possible. Not a tricky war economy. inflict maximum economic damage to the enemy.
    They return to the original, kill the enemy as quickly as possible.
    1. Octopus 28 January 2020 06: 19 New
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      Some kind of fairy tales.

      1. The idea of ​​an intermediate cartridge was to exchange the range of destruction of the rifle cartridge, which the draftee still would not provide on an open sight, for fire density.
      2. The idea of ​​5.56 high-speed cartridge was to increase flatness (facilitate aiming) and the growth of wearable CD.
      3. The idea of ​​returning to the rifle cartridge was again to increase the distance of fire contact (complex sights, better trained professional soldiers) and the need to break through the NIB.
      1. dokusib 30 January 2020 00: 29 New
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        There was, there was such a concept that it was more profitable not to kill an enemy soldier but to seriously injure him. Then, for the first time, 1-2 soldiers are eliminated for the evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield, and secondly, economic damage is inflicted on the enemy in the form of expenses for the treatment and rehabilitation of the wounded. This was one of the main arguments on par with the reduction in the weight of the ammunition. I read about it in the ZVO in an article on the standardization of the Belgian cartridge as the main one for NATO. It also said that it was happening with great difficulty, the Americans resisted this as they could. But the lighter bullet of the SS109 cartridge, as I understood from the article, was somehow completely nonexistent. But the saturation of the rifle parts with optical sights, which made it possible to realize the high flatness of the cartridge at that time, was not high, mainly among specialists. The British just finished their L85A1 with full-time optics.
        1. Octopus 30 January 2020 01: 22 New
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          The story of the wounded dates back to the beginning of the century. As for 5,56, falling into the hand he could tear it to hell. So there were precisely such considerations on the table. About the Belgian patron, conversations about humanity may have been conducted by journalists, but the main topic at that time was the need to increase penetration, respectively, another bullet, otherwise stabilized, other rifling, NNA.
          Quote: dokusib
          But the lighter bullet of the SS109 cartridge, as I understood from the article, was somehow completely none

          Just in SS109, the Belgian cartridge, the bullet is heavier, it better pierces the helmet, but it is much better stabilized, less inclined to tumble in the carcass than in the early American M193. In this regard, there was talk that it is even better, but the goal was precisely breaking, and not cunning plan.
          Quote: dokusib
          the saturation of rifle parts with optical sights, which made it possible to realize high flatness of the cartridge at that time was not high

          Optics has nothing to do with it. It's about working the same 300 meters. Aiming from AK-74 is much easier than from AK-47, just a poorly trained soldier.

          Despite the prevailing opinion, no assault rifle with a gross sniper cartridge is not, including the M16. To realize the range of the 5,56 cartridge (not determined by flatness, but by the nearly twice as long supersonic speed of the bullet relative to 7,62x39), unusual cartridges, weapons and a shooter are needed. Yes, it’s much easier to finish a rifle from an M16 rifle for accurate shooting than a Kalash, but still finish it. Accuracy of 3-4 minutes, EMNIP, is considered normal in the standard; at 500 meters you will only hit the chest target by accident.
          1. dokusib 30 January 2020 04: 37 New
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            Sorry, at the expense of SS109 and M193 he got them mixed up. I will not argue about everything else.
  3. Zaurbek 27 January 2020 19: 40 New
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    It’s better to write an article about comparing 5,45, 5, 56 and 7,62x39
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 02: 27 New
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      No matter how you praise or scold the 5,56 x 45 mm cartridge, and attempts to "further reduce" did not stop even during the "heyday" of the 5,56 mm weapon! The British made a 4,85-mm assault rifle and light machine gun, and the Germans fumbled with calibers of 4,3 - 4,5 - 4,7 mm ... Even the Americans at one time experienced a 4,5-mm “smooth” rifle shooting arrow-shaped "bullets"!
  4. Free wind 27 January 2020 20: 10 New
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    Not imperfect, but too powerful cartridge 7,62x51 mm. And what kind of patch, on the right sleeve at Gavrik, that pulls its vile little hands by the horn? Although most likely he equips the horns.
    1. Pessimist22 27 January 2020 20: 18 New
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      Horns and legs smile the store is called.
      1. Free wind 27 January 2020 20: 41 New
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        As my comrades used to say: to the store, you'll run after vodka after the demobilization. How many people have so many opinions, of course, it’s now customary to say the store. Interestingly, the M-16 clips to the troops are already equipped, or they are already directly equipped in the unit, although there will probably be too much waste directly in the units, and machine guns need to be loaded for Rimba too, he asked the question and answered .
        1. Bad_gr 27 January 2020 21: 16 New
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          Quote: Free Wind
          As my comrades used to say: to the store, you'll run for vodka after the demobilization.



          1. Droid 28 January 2020 10: 43 New
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            In the photo in the article, just cartridges in clips and adapters for them to equip stores. Therefore, it should be clarified what the author of the comment meant.
        2. saygon66 27 January 2020 22: 09 New
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          - Fully equipped ... The clips are packed in such long plastic tapes from which you can tear off individual packages if necessary ... The tapes are also delivered already equipped, and since they are loose, it makes little sense to equip them in place ..
        3. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 02: 17 New
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          Quote: Free Wind
          As my comrades used to say: to the store, you'll run for vodka after the demobilization. How many people have so many opinions

          And let's in English - "cartridge"!
          1. Foul skeptic 28 January 2020 12: 03 New
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            cartridge is a cartridge, isn't it?
            1. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 12: 49 New
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              Quote: A vile skeptic
              cartridge is a cartridge, isn't it?

              Cartridge cartridge, sleeve, charge (in cap), cassette, clip ...
        4. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 02: 30 New
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          Quote: Free Wind
          As my comrades used to say: to the store, you'll run for vodka after the demobilization.

          Have you also rushed to the store for rifles? And where did the "store rifle" come from ?!
          1. Free wind 28 January 2020 06: 21 New
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            PPSh was supplied to the troops with one drum-type magazine and with two box-type ones. And now the situation, the roll call of who is alive and who has what is left, well, let's say Ivanov has one store left for the PCA. How will he respond to the commander? One box-type store, or one horn? The situation with pistols is similar, as it were, the pistol magazine is correct, but they also say the pistol holder. And then someone has diarrhea, and someone has diarrhea.
            1. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 07: 15 New
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              Quote: Free Wind
              One box-type store, or one horn?

              Duc ... in the war there was no time to talk about it! There were "disks" and "" horns "... recourse
          2. Vladimir_2U 28 January 2020 08: 14 New
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            Magazine - a device for storing and feeding (feeder spring or other solutions, they are but rare) of cartridges for the delivery line (into the chamber), magazines can be detachable (Kalash) and non-detachable (Mosya, SKS).
        5. About 2 28 January 2020 02: 43 New
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          The store has been called the store since its appearance on small arms at the end of the 19th century. And the clip is how often amateurs call the store, this device was originally used to equip non-removable rifle and pistol magazines with cartridges. At the moment there are clips for outfitting AK 74M stores with an adapter, it is called a loading accelerator.
          1. Maki Avellevich 28 January 2020 07: 32 New
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            Cartridge holder (weapon) - a device that combines several cartridges together and serves to facilitate and accelerate loading [1] of small arms and small-caliber guns.
        6. Vladimir_2U 28 January 2020 05: 07 New
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          Quote: Free Wind
          As my comrades used to say: to the store, you'll run after vodka after demobilization
          He was still not aware of the packs. laughing
    2. saygon66 27 January 2020 22: 03 New
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      - The American flag ... Below should be the patch of the unit (division, brigade)
  5. saygon66 27 January 2020 22: 34 New
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    - The guy with the M14 rifle has never been a Marine .... There is only a cap from the Marines ... wink
    - This is a naval ... Michman (Petty officer 1hird class). And even then - young ... M. cadet.
    1. Undecim 27 January 2020 23: 03 New
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      Caption for this photo: "GUNNER's Mate (GUNs) Third Class Michael Nitto, assigned to First Naval Support Activity security, aims his M14 rifle during quarterly qualifications"
      Assistant third-class shooter Michael Nitto.
      1. saygon66 27 January 2020 23: 10 New
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        - The NSA is a service for the protection of US naval bases ... For example, in New Orleans and Bahrain ...
        1. Undecim 27 January 2020 23: 12 New
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          Judging by the fact that the place of the photo is Naples, this is the Sixth Fleet.
          1. saygon66 27 January 2020 23: 14 New
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            - Quite ... A snapshot somewhere around the 80s?
            1. Undecim 27 January 2020 23: 15 New
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              September 1989 of the year.
              1. saygon66 27 January 2020 23: 19 New
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                - Now these guys look like this:
  6. Korax71 27 January 2020 23: 25 New
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    Thanks to the author for the article, but I would like to express one wish. Is it possible to cover in more detail the nomenclature of manufactured ammunition 7.62x51 and 5.56x45 with development prospects. repeat It would be much more informative. hi
  7. dgonni 27 January 2020 23: 49 New
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    A feeling of sadness gnaws at me. Indeed, in the original version, our intermediary was 7.62 * 43. And zababahali in a 39mm sleeve. But in 43mm and 7.62 and 5.45 and even the type of perspective 6.5 / 6.8 would turn out to be very tasty and without drastic changes in production. Although on my meager thought, 7.62 would be enough with my head. But unfortunately history does not tolerate the subjunctive mood.
    1. Nikolaevich I 28 January 2020 02: 36 New
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      Quote: dgonni
      Indeed, in the original version, our intermediary was 7.62 * 43.

      After the 2MV, the Czechs managed to get a cartridge of 7,62 x 45 mm and some specimens of the “rifleman” got into trouble, but they had to give up for the sake of “unified arming of the Warsaw Pact countries” ...
  8. shinobi 28 January 2020 03: 43 New
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    In vain, we abandoned the caliber 7,62. He takes a protected target better, ricochets less.
    1. Glory1974 28 January 2020 09: 31 New
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      In vain, we abandoned the caliber of 7,62

      So it seems they have not refused. Both the AK-545 and the AK-762 were adopted. Priorities are differently arranged, but if necessary, they can be changed.
    2. Droid 28 January 2020 10: 40 New
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      And here the storytellers pulled themselves up ...
      1. psiho117 28 January 2020 16: 08 New
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        Witnesses Sect 7,62 Still Alive wassat
        1. shinobi 30 January 2020 19: 24 New
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          My dear, 7,62 caliber arose not just like that. And all the highest quality rifles were between 7 and 8 mm caliber. The optimum combination of shape to mass at initial speed. The fruits of engineering and scientific research of the whole generation of gunsmiths.
          1. psiho117 30 January 2020 21: 09 New
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            We actually talked about the 7,62x39 intermediate ... and its "supposedly" advantage over 5,45.
            Quote: shinobi
            7,62 caliber arose for a reason

            That's it - that "just like that" - by a wave of the left heel. No research or anything else - just cut the caliber "three lines", and said - it's good. There is not even 7,62 in fact, but 7,91.
            1. shinobi 31 January 2020 00: 39 New
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              “By the wave of the left heel”, it’s more about you and your knowledge. You seem like my sweetheart, you live according to the principle “what I don’t know, that doesn’t exist.” The Germans, it turns out your way, creating an intermediate cartridge for your Sturmgever also thought left heel?
          2. Droid 31 January 2020 19: 56 New
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            What kind of quality are these? The “optimality” is to shoot horses or an enemy battalion 2000 steps in one gulp of a battalion.
    3. Dmitry V. 29 January 2020 11: 44 New
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      Quote: shinobi
      In vain, we abandoned the caliber 7,62. He takes a protected target better, ricochets less.


      5.45x39 the initial speed is higher - the trajectory is more flat, the accuracy is better, but the lethal force, relatively 7,62x39 quickly loses.
      Ballistics would be corrected, as in 5,45x39.
      For example 6,8x43 - a kind of intermediate between intermediate :))
      1. shinobi 30 January 2020 19: 15 New
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        I watched a YouTube video from the Yankees on YouTube. There was no translation, but it’s clear what was going on. The Vietnam War veteran, sergeant marine, compared the M-16 and the AK-47. In general, the 5,56 cartridge smoked quietly aside.
        1. Droid 31 January 2020 19: 53 New
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          He smoked so much that soon everyone who could afford switched to 5+ mm.
          1. shinobi 31 January 2020 19: 58 New
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            Do not confuse round with soft. Switching to 5,56 is more an economic solution than the characteristics of a cartridge. Yanks in general do not hide this.
            1. Droid 31 January 2020 20: 12 New
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              Instead of telling stories, you would read the appropriate literature. For example, Dvoryaninov. An increase in ammunition with the same weight by 2 times, an improvement in the accuracy of automatic fire due to a decrease in the recoil momentum, a decrease in the weight of the weapon, the ability to conduct a longer automatic fire ... are all these economic reasons? Or is your economy bad too? Undoubtedly, the Americans should give birth to another cartridge, weapons for it and having a two-cartridge system in the compartment instead of a single-cartridge is very economically feasible (no) ...
              1. shinobi 4 February 2020 04: 12 New
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                In this "literature" every sandpiper praises its swamp. Who should I believe?
                1. Droid 5 February 2020 19: 27 New
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                  You are not able to compare the weight of the cartridges and make a conclusion about the CD? You can not compare recoil impulses and the energy of ammunition and make a conclusion about automatic fire? Is it difficult for you to understand that the two-cartridge separation system is economically and logistically losing the one-cartridge?
                  1. shinobi 7 February 2020 13: 09 New
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                    You yourself understand what you write about?
                    1. Droid 7 February 2020 18: 14 New
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                      I understand perfectly. Especially the fact that the transition to 5,56 is caused not by economic reasons.
                      1. shinobi 8 February 2020 00: 30 New
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                        Yes? Then I recommend that you carefully read the article on cartridges with a composite sleeve and the reasons for the experiments with it. I was here at VO not so long ago. Find it.
                      2. Droid 9 February 2020 06: 12 New
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                        I recommend that you read the textbooks of logic and the Russian language. By learning to read Russian, you will find out that in 1964 no experiments were made with composite sleeves. And having studied the basics of logic, you will find out that it is impossible to influence the past and today's experiments with composite sleeves do not affect the transition to 5,56 more than half a century ago. You can familiarize yourself with economics and logistics at the same time and find out that a single-cartridge separation system is economically and logically more profitable than a two-cartridge system and therefore the adoption of 5,56 and M16 cannot be economically profitable.
                      3. shinobi 10 February 2020 11: 43 New
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                        Experiments with composite sleeves, completely combustible sleeves, sleeveless ammunition, liquid "gunpowder" that didn’t include a sleeve at all, were conducted long before the war. After the war, almost the entire 20th century. If you don’t know something, this does not mean that this was not the case. small-caliber low-pulse rifle cartridge, I emphasize the rifle, pursued the goal of unifying all infantry weapons under it. Is this not an economic factor. Already at the stage of test runs it became clear that the undertaking was unsuccessful, and the military was tested In Vietnam, the Lich confirmed this. As a result, the Yankees came up with two cartridge versions. In fact, NATO has a standard rifle cartridge, intermediate ones are accepted and all this is talk about nothing. Naturally, the rifle cartridges have better ballistics, although the cartridge comparison is 5,56x45 with 5,45x39, they didn’t show much difference between each other; for cartridges of 7,62 caliber versus small-caliber cartridges, the killing and stopping power is higher. Dancing around 6,5 mm will lead to the return of the Arisaki cartridge as a compromise between 7,62 and 5,5. And the story again will turn on a new one. A single cartridge, a new weapon Ie, crazy money under contracts. The economy in its purest form under the pretext of increasing the firepower of a soldier, increasing portable ammunition and saving materials in production.