Thursday, December 21, 2006

Marines Are Looking For A Few Good Rounds

The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), Infantry Weapons Systems, Contract Group, Quantico, VA, is seeking sources that can provide a small arms projectile which is "Blind to Barriers". This RFI is specifically targeted to 5.56mm small arms ammunition but may be expanded to other calibers in the future. Marines in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom frequently have been required to engage enemy combatants in urban areas. As such, Marines often have to shoot thru various intervening barriers to include automobile glass, automobile doors and common dwelling walls. It has been observed that current issue 5.56x45mm munitions (M855 ball, M955 armor piercing and MK 262) are severely degraded when impacting these intervening barriers. This degradation has resulted in a diminished capability to stop the aggressive action of the threat or render him hors de combat. It is recognized that enemy combatants or other threats are the same physiologically no matter where they are. Therefore, the USMC desires a small arms projectile which is "Blind to Barriers".

Fat chance finding a 5.56 that'll do the job. We've been bitching about the 5.56 for going on 40 years and keep hearing that SHOT PLACEMENT is the single most important factor in causing an immediate cessation to hostile action, so stop whining and shoot straight.Can't begin to imagine the travesty using M-16 variants would be were we engaging an enemy with even a modicum of body armor.

Bottom Line: Varmint rounds will either penetrate deeply when in full metal jacket guise, or splatter when hollowpointed. Pinhole's do not generate sufficient permanent crush cavities, so the round that defeats barriers is unlikely to end a fight in a timely fashion, when, and this is paramount, the round in question is a glorified .22.

There's good reason why most states do not want deer taken with 5.56 or .223.

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