Originally Posted by Quentin
AR or AK? If talking AR then why did the Soviet Union switch from the 7.62x39 to a knockoff of our 5.56x45, which is a very effective military round. Destructive power, whatever you mean by that ... actually effectiveness, isn't determined by lining up plastic bottles.
In fact everything you said is open to debate.
Um, because they like carrying more rounds per kilo of weight just like anybody else that would choose 5.56/223 over 7.62/30 caliber.
The 5.56 quickly loses it's power to punch through vegetation, body armour, walls and even "distance" compared to the 7.62. And we're talking practicality here, not shooting matches or ballistics test into gelatin at 30 yards. The 5.56 might exhibit better cavitation properties into the gelatin but lets throw some foilage, thick clothes or body armour, maybe some khat and light cover in there. You'd drop the AR in a hurry and pick up the nearest AK as did some of our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If the 5.56 is so great and all-sufficient, how come our own military elite are switching to the M-14/M1A in droves if and when given the choice? It's comparing apples and oranges in a sense with respect to the x39, x51, I understand, but the simple answer to your question is this: the 5.56 has it's place, purpose, advantages in specific areas. It is not by any means the end-all super-round that you would like to portray it as.
In handguns, the. 45acp has much more foot pounds of power than say the 9mm, but I carry a 9mm because I can carry twice the amount of ammo. That doesn't make the 9mm round a superior round. Spraying and praying is often the norm in handgun encounters and 9mm makes more sense in that situation.
Anybody that would argue the superiority of the 5.56 over the 7.62 when it comes to brute-force power obviously has an unrealisic and narrow perspective. And the example I gave with the plastic bottles exhibited my points perfectly.
The 5.56 works great on soft-tissue at close distances. In fact the "underpoweredness" of the round can be considered an attibute in urban combat where penetration isn't necessarily desirable. But when it comes to rifles, I would rather send the most power downrange and through obstscles, not spray and pray with lighter projectiles that rapidly loose their kinetic energy when they hit just about anything other than soft tissue. And for me, the 7.62x39 does just that.