AR15/M16 The rest of the story...

by bj @, Saturday, September 12, 2020, 21:10 (72 days ago) @ Byron

I remember a story in a gun magazine a long time ago. Of course back then everybody was prejudiced against .223 as a military weapon because it was primarily used on woodchucks and prairie dogs. This magazine did a series of tests of .223 vs. .308 which at the time was the standard NATO caliber. I don't recall much of the story but test 1 was to shoot through a standard GI steel helmet- the .308 went through, the .223 didn't. In hindsight I find this unusual because the high velocity .223 has a reputation for damaging steel targets. The second test involved shooting through an array of wooden dowels, to mimic shooting through forest cover. Of course the .308 went through but the .223 fragmented. The last test involved shooting at a large canvas target at 1000 yards, since older battles were sometimes fought at similar ranges. What they found was that the small .223 projectiles wouldn't penetrate the canvas target at 1000 yards. Of course the writers had a lot of fun with this one. I know a lot of highpower ranges won't let you shoot standard weight bullets for the longer distances (up to 600 yards) because they won't maintain supersonic and they apparently can deviate quite a bit when they transition to subsonic. If they become subsonic before 600 yards, they wouldn't be very effective as a military weapon at those ranges.

I've fired an A1 pattern rifle a lot in high power competition. I find them accurate and easy to shoot. They seem to be very reliable but they can be picky about being kept clean. I've never shot anything more than a heavy paper target with one so I don't know about effectiveness on other targets.

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