I'd go for a6.5x39 (erm....Grendel). It's the first round that could do everything from assault/CQB through Support weapon and sniper activity. Not sure how the bullet performs at short range though. I believe it does not stabilize inside 100yards or so and that might actually help short range lethality by initiating a tumble in tissue.
The 6.8SPC is kind of nice but doesn't really offer much beyond a 77 grain .223 and after 400 yards it really starts to loose velocity and perform poorly. A compromised design for a compromised objective.
7.62x39 is a nice idea but magazines are likely to be an issue. Those ultra reliable banana mags are reliable for a reason. The ammo is relatively cheap though as surplus, not so great a choice for reloading though.
5.45x39 would be an interesting option, shooting the 70grain FMJ/HP tips. The round has reasonable accuracy and does a lot of damage on impact, plenty of Afghans will attest to that as will a bunch of ex-soviet soldiers. No idea if Alex is planning on one of these though.
To be honest, going into a life or death situation with a semi-auto rifle, I would rather have a bigg caliber so the 7.62x51 does it for me. An L1A1 was my first issued rifle and trust me, one shot is all you need with that baby. The Grendel (sorry Alex, 6.5x39) comes very close in a smaller AR/XCR chassis and that's a good thing. I don't like the 6.8 because I don't like the idea that someone can engage me form outside my weapons effective range and a 77grain .223 is actually better at longer range than 6.8....go figure.
I this from a different point of view. You have two different classes of rounds. Rounds like the 762x39, 556 NATO, 6.8SPC, 6.5x39, & 5.45x39 are intermediate/assault rifle rounds. Were as rounds like the 762 NATO, 762x54R, 30-06, 8mm Mauser are Battle rifle cartridges. And when you compare battle rifle to intermediate/assault rifle cartridges, the battle rifle will almost always win. In terms of range and ballistics. But when it comes to SHTF situation I would believe that an assault rifle round would be better because of the quantity issue.
So this is how I would answer this question. For the calibers that are being talked about for the XCR.
From the intermediate/assault rifle round category --- 762x39 & 6.8SPC
From the Battle rifle category --- 762 NATO
If I could get an XCR in ANY caliber in the battle rifle cartridge, mags not being and issue. I would say 30-06. But the 303 British & 8mm Mauser would be close seconds though.
I disagree, partly, because with a 7.62 you don't need a burst to knock someone down. The only reason we use burt fire in CQB is because one round usually won't do it. There was a story in Northen Ireland where a provo shot a brithsh soldier using an AR18, .223, the British soldier went down, then promptly got up and shot the provo back with an L1A1. Quantity doesn't mean a thing if the targets you hit don't go down.
I agree that 5.56, 6.8SPC etc.. are classed as a light weapon rounds, 7.62 as medium and .50 cal as heavy. 6.5 offers a merger of light and medium and as a result you don't have to choose between one or the other, which seams to be an ideal scenario.
If I had to go into battle tomorrow with a semi-auto only weapon, I'd take 7.62, but that's just my opinion. I've used both in combat and still prefer 7.62.
Another factor is that full auto fire makes for lazy marksmanship, and beyond 50-100 yuards is basically just a waste of ammo anyway. Discussions with fellow instructors and my own experience shows that most people prefered the 7.62, even in single shot for CQB, the real benefit of the L85 was short length and cut down L1A1s were just as popular when used as an experiment.
Here's another benefit, awhile back I had a tango hide behind a wall next to a window, so I shot him through the wall. Caliber 7.62. On breaching the lower floor we heard tangos above us, so our gunner took the gimpy (M240) and sprayed them throught the ceiling, caliber 7.62. The way I used to discuss this when instrucing courses was the following, decide which bullet you would rather be hit by, and then carry the other one. After the engagement when heasrding enemy wounded, most were hit with 5.56, fery few of the 7.62 strikes resulted in walking wounded.
The 77 grain .223/5.56 is nice but a 147 grain 7.62 hurts more. As an option 6.8 is nice to 400, but 6.5 is nice to 1200 and a little heavier also.
You make a couple of good points. And I think we can agree that the 556 NATO is weak. I would carry the 762x39 into battle. Just me. But that is why I am so eagerly waiting the XCR-M in 762 NATO. Because of the options that it can have. Perhaps one day my mind will change.
I can see your point because I prefer the 45ACP to anything else in a semi auto handgun. Because while I may not be Mil/LE, I am a student of history. And the 45ACP has a proven history. :2cents:
my personal opinion is that there is no "best" caliber, simply just one that may do well across a certain spectrum of circumstances. I believe that the 6.8 might be that caliber for antipersonnel assault rifle class weapon.
Given that the special forces have switched their reviews to 6.5, I'm not sure the wounding potential is in doubt. See below;
The prototype 123gr SMK impacted at 2385 ft/sec and penetrated 2" before yawing and fragmenting. (The 123 SMK is not currently a Sierra catalog offering.) The block was placed at a distance of 50 yards from the muzzle.
Maximum penetration of the 123 SMK was 16.2", maximum permanent cavity diameter was more than 6" with lesions running to block exterior surfaces. Depth to the maximum permanent cavity was 7". Bullet fragmented into multiple small fragments with jacket pieces visible at 11” and 13”. Small core fragment was visible at maximum depth of 16.2".
That looks pretty effective to me. The problem with 6.8 is that there is lots of biased support because it's development was instigated by the military with a specific set of requirements aimed at shorter range combat. Look at the crap about body armor where people prefer Dragon skin including the designer of the current issue kit, but politics means soldiers get the politically favored gear, and not necessarily the best.
Either way choice makes all this pointless as each of us is entitled to our own opinion.
I'm fine with 5.56. I know you guys call it a "mouse caliber", but you really don't need anything bigger if you're just using it at the ranges. And I would probably never use it for hunting or defense... For defense, I'd rather have a pistol. Something small. Although walking through NYC carrying an XCR would be pretty awesome... haha.
Like one other stated here, I carried the 7.62 NATO and the 5.56 NATO in combat.
I was using the M14 and the M16 as platforms. I will try to keep this to a caliber discussion.
Frankly inside 125-150 yards, I did not see any difference with the "stopping" power of the 7.62 NATO ball or 5.56 NATO 55gr Ball. AS one got to shooting down range, the 7.62 rapidly dominated in dropping NVA. I did most of my time with the M14/7.62. Never jammed, if the first round didn't drop them, the second did.
I didn't have any problems with the 5.56NATO 55gr. either. The problem was reliability of the platform.
The M14 in a year and a half was perfect, the last 6 months was mostly good with some exciting jams in the M16.
But as to stopping power. It seems we created a new problem with the "new and improved" 62 Gr 5.56NATO which gave us penetration at the price of "stopping power".
I frankly don't believe the jello murderers when it comes to stopping power as it applies to rifle calibers. I ain't real convinced about handgun calibers either but that is another discussion.
Calibers/bullets I know work well, often doesn't look real good when one chooses to murder a block of jello with it. Yet other calibers/bullets that I know do not work as well seem to work wonders when murdering Jello. Very confusing. Just remember much of this is relative.
As sweet Terra stated, I really don't mind the 5.56 NATO within it's limitations, which in my book is about 150 yards maximum and in.
I have plenty of choices, in almost every major combat caliber to apply for any given situation. Today if I had to leave base/home, I would take my XCR in NATO 5.56 with 55gr cannelured bullets. I live in a suburban environment on the edge of a desert. I consider probable scenarios, not possible ones. If you play the what if game, YOU ALWAYS LOSE.
So as to the question of conversion calibers. I am looking forward to the 7.62X39 ComBloc. Mainly for access to cheap ammo for my XCR. It still works well in my SKS which I really like. I got rid of the AK. I have never been comfortable running AK. Even in Vietnam, the AK was never really comfortable for me to run. Very subjective.
If I have to reach out and touch someone, my model 7 Remington, Cryo'd barrel, custom trigger yada yada will get it done. Oh that would be in 308 Winchester by the way.
I will park my ramblings for now.
Katie Couric, while interviewing a Marine sniper, asked: "What do you feel when you shoot a terrorist?" The Marine shrugged and replied: "Recoil."
“For those who fight for it,freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”
--on a Marine Flak Jacket, Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam 1968
Well, you can't very well carry a rifle around with you in public. A small pistol can be kept on your person or in your car. If you're defending your home, yes, a rifle is much better. But if I'm out shopping on the shabby side of town... an AR or an AK chilling at my side might be a bit extreme.
ALTHOUGH.... If that kind of thing were allowed... :inlove:
I agree fully with Chieftain that 5.56 is fine at short range. With a 16" barrel to about 150 yards, and with a 20" a bit further. After that you're just wounding. It's a velocity thing, and stay away from the 62grain. They don't fragment half as well as the 55g.
Terra, you are absolutely right, for civillians it's all about a pistol. I like .45 but was trained with a 9mm and though I like the following phrase, "9mm can expand but .45s don't shrink". It's not so much about what you shoot but where you place the bullet. If you don't rain much, go with a bigger bullet and light recoil. If you know what you're doing and can shoot under stress, then go with what you are most accurate with. If you're in the home, a 12 guage pump.
For long range I shoot a .338 LM, medium is .308 and for practice and fun I have three 5.56 rifles. If the shit hit the fan, .308 FAL with an 18inch barrel.
Ultimately though, shoot what you want and what you are comfortable with. Just know the limitations. Engage a target at 300 with 5.56 and he/she is probably going to shoot back. Do it with a .308 and it's game over.
For a Battle Rifle I like the .308, for a handgun the .45ACP lead mortar fits the bill. However the APPLICATION may modify my choices. Trivia.... Mafiosa hitmen use the .22 Rimfire to the head. Win Dixie Market does not like their costomers carrying FAL's, M1A's or Colt 1911's through their stores. I will at these times carry the lowly .380 , 9mm or .40 Cal. The situation dictates the choice. If given no choice, I will place two in the chest and one to the head (chance of body armor). Practice this drill with both handgun, rifle, AND shotgun and you can't go wrong. For women use the whole magazine, you were excited and it looked like rape & murder to you.
Not only for women Sir, the thing to remember is that if you feel the "REQUIREMENT" to use deadly force, that you keep applying that force until "THE THREAT IS STOPPED".
As a LE Firearms Instructor I once had to defend a colleague from the higherachy because he shot one mag of 16, .40 caliber from his Glock model 22, followed by another volley of 4 rounds after he did a mag change. When asked why he shot so many rounds he stated he didn't realize that he had. When asked why he changed mags, he stated that he didn't realize that he had, but went on to say that it was probably because his weapon was empty!
I was asked by the Bosses: "What the hell was he thinking when he shot 16 rounds and then change mags to shoot some more"?
I said: "He was following his training. At the time of being engaged in battle, realizing his weapon was empty, I hope to God that he wasn't thinking that he needed to change mags. It should have been instinct!"
I also followed this by saying: "He was also following YOUR training policies and procedures when he continued to shoot until the threat was stopped".
Agreed with the shot placement, particulary the double tap to the chest as it makes a third to the head easier. My training was for two to the thorasic region, ideally both lungs and the heart, then the third through the mouth, least resistance to the medula and rarely protected. An inch low or high gives you the same effect.
The .22 is a classic for taking sentries out, the round has the power to enter the cranium but not enought to exit, so it flattens out and bounces around the cavity doing nice damage. If you're quick enought you can also place a large bandaid, the big square four sided jobs, over the entry hole to stop bloodflow and brain matter from oozing out of the hole due to the internal haemorage. Forget knives, too slow and too noisey and too Hollywood.
Aussie, nice call. Training should make everything happen like clockwork. something triggers the switch and instinct should take over and you shouldn't think. One active nuron is all it takes to press a detanator or pull and trigger.
As an aside it's nice that som many people have valid, if differing opinions. This is a really nice forum.