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the theory behind FMJ rounds was they were never meant to expand, fragment, or come apart, they were designed to penetrate, create a hole, and ultimately, exit an enemy. the purpose of FMJ rounds was to NOT leave undue damage and destruction to the target.......nice neat hole in, nice neat hole out. they were developed to slow down or stop the enemy, and THEN take them off the battlefield to the nearest trauma/ER center.
with a "theorized" FMJ injury, a soldier would not suffer unduly, and could be fixed up and returned to the battlefield in a short period of time (taken with a grain of salt)......."live to fight another day."
NOW, compare that to a SP or HP round, these rounds basically mutilate and destroy whatever is in their path..........nice entry hole, 1 1/2 - 3 times the exit hole, with carnage in-between. you cannot compare the three rounds.
here is a brief on the .223/5.56 argument, from Wiki, but non-the-less, an "account" of the arguments summed up.
As for SSGN_Doc's comment on the Mk262 OTM rounds, it is addressed in the below. BUT, to sum it up, the M855 (62 grain FMJ) rounds weren't reaching maximum ballistic performance because of the shortened rifle lengths.......the M855 rounds were created around a 20-inch barrel (and to a lesser degree "functioned" OK, in a 16-inch barrel). with the shortenin of barrels for the military M4's, the velocity of the projectiles was lost, thus decreasin the ballistic performance of the rounds @ yard. a new round was created around the M4 barrel lengths, and the ballistic performance was regained..........somewhat.
There has been much criticism of the poor performance of the bullet on target, especially the first-shot kill rate when the muzzle velocity of the firearms used and the downrange bullet deceleration do not achieve the minimally required terminal velocity at the target to cause fragmentation. This wounding problem has been cited in incidents beginning in the first Gulf war, Somalia, and in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent lab testing of M855, it has been shown that the bullets do not fragment reliably or consistently from round-to-round, displaying widely variable performance. In several cases, yawing did not begin until 7–10 in of penetration. This was with all rounds coming from the same manufacturer. This lack of wounding capacity typically becomes an increasingly significant issue as range increases (e.g., ranges over 50 m when using an M4 or 200 m when using an M16) or when penetrating heavy clothing, but this problem is compounded in shorter-barreled weapons. The 14.5 inches (37 cm) barrel of the U.S. military's M4 carbine generates considerably less initial velocity than the longer 20" barrel found on the M16, and terminal performance can be a particular problem with the M4.
Combat operations the past few months have again highlighted terminal performance deficiencies with 5.56×45mm 62 gr. M855 FMJ. These problems have primarily been manifested as inadequate incapacitation of enemy forces despite them being hit multiple times by M855 bullets. These failures appear to be associated with the bullets exiting the body of the enemy soldier without yawing or fragmenting.
This failure to yaw and fragment can be caused by reduced impact velocities as when fired from short barrel weapons or when the range increases. It can also occur when the bullets pass through only minimal tissue, such as a limb or the torso of a thin, small statured individual, as the bullet may exit the body before it has a chance to yaw and fragment. In addition, bullets of the SS109/M855 type are manufactured by many countries in numerous production plants.
Although all SS109/M855 types must be 62 gr. FMJ bullets constructed with a steel penetrator in the nose, the composition, thickness, and relative weights of the jackets, penetrators, and cores are quite variable, as are the types and position of the cannelures. Because of the significant differences in construction between bullets within the SS109/M855 category, terminal performance is quite variable—with differences noted in yaw, fragmentation, and penetration depths. Luke Haag's papers in the AFTE Journal (33(1):11–28, Winter 2001) also describes this problem.
Despite complaints that the 5.56 round lacks stopping power, others contend that animal studies of the wounding effects of the 5.56×45mm round versus the 7.62×39mm have found that the 5.56 mm round is more damaging, due to the post-impact behavior of the 5.56 mm projectile resulting in greater cavitation of soft tissues. The US Army contended in 2003 that the lack of close range lethality of the 5.56×45mm was more a matter of perception than fact. With controlled pairs and good shot placement to the head and chest, the target was usually defeated without issue. The majority of failures were the result of hitting the target in non-vital areas such as extremities. However, a minority of failures occurred in spite of multiple hits to the chest.
Recently, advances have been made in 5.56 mm ammunition. The US military has adopted for limited issue a 77-grain (5.0 g) "Match" bullet, type classified as the Mk 262. The heavy, lightly constructed bullet fragments more violently at short range and also has a longer fragmentation range. Originally designed for use in the Mk 12 SPR, the ammunition has found favor with special forces units who were seeking a more effective cartridge to fire from their M4A1 carbines. Commercially available loadings using these heavier (and longer) bullets can be prohibitively expensive and cost much more than military surplus ammunition. Additionally, these heavy-for-caliber loadings sacrifice even more penetrative ability than the M855 round (which has a steel penetrator tip). Performance of 5.56×45mm military ammunition can generally be categorized as almost entirely dependent upon velocity in order to wound effectively. Heavy OTM bullets enhance soft tissue wounding ability at the expense of hard-target/barrier penetration.
For general issue, the U.S. military adopted the M855A1 round in 2010 to replace the M855. The primary reason was pressure to use non-lead bullets. The bullet is made of a copper alloy slug with a steel penetrator, reducing lead contamination to the environment. The M855A1 offers several improvements other than being lead-free. It is slightly more accurate and has an increased penetrating capability. The round can better penetrate brick, concrete, and masonry walls, as well as body armor and sheet metal. The propellant burns faster which decreases the muzzle flash, an important feature when fired from a short barreled M4 Carbine. Though the M855A1 is more expensive to produce, its increased performance compensates. One possible danger is that it generates more pressure in the chamber when fired, slightly increasing the risk of catostrophic failure of the weapon, though this has yet to occur. From fielding in June 2010 to September 2012, Alliant Techsystems has delivered over 350 million M855A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds.
If the 5.56mm bullet is moving too slowly to reliably fragment on impact, the wound size and potential to incapacitate a person is greatly reduced. There have been numerous attempts to create an intermediate cartridge that addresses the complaints of 5.56 NATO's lack of stopping power along with lack of controllability seen in rifles firing 7.62 NATO in full auto. Other cartridges focused on superior short-range performance by sacrificing long-distance performance due to relatively short engagement distances typically observed in modern warfare. As of late 2009, none of those cartridges gained any significant traction beyond special forces and sport shooting communities. Examples include, but are not limited to, the 6.8mm Remington SPC and 6.5mm Grendel.
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Last edited by USEBOTHHANDS; 10-03-2012 at 12:22 AM.