Why .223/5.56 Nato and 7.62x39 will disappear.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by TrueNorth, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Now that I have your attention!

    This .223 debate started on another thread and I nearly got hunted down by men carrying pitchforks and torches - so I figured I'd make more friends by ticking off the 7.62x39 crowd at the same time as the .223 crowd!

    Please read it all before you attempt to lambaste me! This did start on antoher thread, so I already answer some responses in here!

    Start:
    Both of these rounds will lose their popularity and potentially fade away if the militaries that use them switch to a new round.

    Here's my reasoning:
    Both rounds were first designed as purpose-built, new generation, military rounds. Designed for select fire guns, and for military use.

    They were both successful!
    Why? Because, they were both controllable and allowed the user to fire on full auto controllably, unlike previous "battle rifle" select fire ammo.

    BUT! Go on any Ak vs Ar debate and you will hear supporters of either side point out the successes AND failures of each round.

    .223 is easy to obtain, relatively cheap, accurate, easy to control, easy to carry ammo... BUT it lacks power at long range, is not found outside of N.America, cannot penetrate cover.

    7.62x39 is similar - designed for the same purpose as .223, it is powerful, also pretty easy to carry, controllable. It is Not as accurate, and does not perform well at long range, but it penetrates cover quite well.

    BOTH rounds are successful military rounds, but have deficiencies. They were first generation, purpose built rounds, and so, as technology improves they can be replaced!

    WHAT MIGHT REPLACE THEM?
    Currently the 6.8spc and 5.45x39 are both under development as potential replacements. They solve the issues of the former rounds and reflect the new needs of the military.

    If the militaries adopt those new rounds, or any other the support for the original .223/7.62x39 will drop off.

    The older ammo will become less available/more expensive. People in th emilitary will be trained on new platforms - and so buy accordingly, folk that refused to buy the old rounds may see the new ones as a good compromise, and they will likely function better than the older ones that they replaced - otherwise why would the military adopt them!?

    And so, when the military drops them, only the civilian market will buy those rounds. But why would they? .223 has some use as a varmint/deer round, but there are many competitors for that. 7.62x39 could be used for hunting, or as a carbine, but again - is it really better than other civilian ammo for that?


    BUT WAIT! what about older military rounds that got replaced and still exist?
    To those who say that .308 still exists, or .303 brit, 30.06, 30-30, etc, I remind you that those munitions were made at a time when hunting rounds and military rounds were one and the same! Older military guns were just converted hunting guns, and had ammo to match! When the military use of those rounds ceased, they reverted back to hunting use without a problem!

    Animals have not evolved much in the last 200 years, and so what was an effective hunting round then, is still effective today!
    .223 and 7.62x39 were never built on hunting/civilian use - they were designed for military use only - and so as the newer second gen military rounds come out, they will likely replace the older ones, which have no civilian use fallback.

    END
    SO! To sum up, the popularity of .223/7.62x39 is backed by military use.
    As new rounds are developed for military use, these will get replaced.
    The civilian market has little use for these rounds besides hunting (which is also supplied by other hunting rounds).
    Over time, platforms will be made only for the new rounds, and so the older ones will slowly die off, as they become more expensive, but less useful. This will not happen overnight - it will take years, possibly 100 years or more, but in time it may come to pass that we'll live in a world with no .223 or 7.62x39.

    Like how .22lr replaced .22 long - lr started out more expensive, but was the better round. As time passed people switched to .22lr, .22 long become rare - platforms stopped coming out in .22long - and it is on the verge of extinction.

    PS- I love and own both rounds! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: Please be gentle!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  2. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    BLAH BLAH BLAH !!!!! Not found outside of North America ? where do you think all these Russian made rounds magically come from Uranus, You think all the AR's and Aks are just going to disappear . Another grand day by a know it all on another forum :D
     

  3. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    Honestly, he's Canadian. You're from Illinois.

    Its like you're both foreigners!



    Neither is going anywhere. 223x45 is the staple of the USA. Unarguably.


    7.62x39 is only inaccurate in worn out barrels on stamped steel guns.


    Both are perfectly capable in short-mid range targets. We don't need every soldier packing a 1000 yard gun.
     
  4. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Good point - to push it further though, go onto a shtf thread, and one thing people say is not to buy the russian guns because the ammo will become scarce more quickly. The supply of ammo affects the use of the gun. If a major competitor comes into play these rounds will ahve to compete.

    Also of course AK's/AR will not disappear - the fact that so many exist today shows how good those rounds/guns were to begin with, and why it will take lots of time (as I said at the end of my post) perhaps over a hundred years for them to fully drop out of favour.

    Companies will make what they can sell - as long as there are a million Ar's you'll find .223. But if that number drops... :)

    Keep going - I love to stir up debates!
     
  5. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Well, the old surplus ammo for my cz52, 7.62x25mm is just now becoming less available here, though the round first came onto the scene around 1930 or so. The commercial ammo is still available. I can't think of any non-surplus, non-commie firearm that is designed to use this round. I would think that firearms in 7.62x39mm outnumber those in 7.62x25mm by at least 1000:1 if not 10,000:1 or more. So, how much longer will it take for my cz-52 to run out of feed, commercial and surplus? I have to think it would take MUCH longer for my SKS to starve out given the IMMENSE worldwide population of 7.62x39mm-eating firearms out there, particularly in Africa where firearms probably aren't "phased out" as quickly and where there will probably always be some sort of uncivil war going on.

    1930 to 2012 is about 82 years. I'd give the 7.62x39mm at least double that, just to run out the surplus ammo deals, barring political embargoes and other such stupidity from the morons alleged to be in control of this country and the various countries with surplus stockpiles to sell.

    .223 i couldn't give a runny crap less about.
     
  6. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Sorry, TrueNorth. I have to apologize for this counter-rant. This is what can happen from south of your borders. It used to be called lobotomy. Now it is somewhat indigenous to the internet forums.
     
  7. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    You are right, Will, about no need for long-range accuracy by the core of the infantry. That is why the Pentagon brass got rid of the .30-06 M-1.

    And the problem with the .308 M-14 was with cook-offs in the magazine when firing fully auto. Although a very good, accurate semi-auto rifle when fired as such, it did not work well for CQB. Too big, too heavy, too slow.

    I believe a shorter .308 was the solution that was needed, but at the same time somebody lobbied and got their .223 varmint calibre adopted, and I think that was a mistake, for all the reasons that TrueNorth points out. And then the AR-15/M16A1 design for the platform just made things worse as far as jamming and clearing goes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  8. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    The AK's are actually very good at what they do. Asia and Eastern Europe love these guns. I think they will be around forever.

    .223 I could not give a runny crap less about, LOL !
     
  9. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The 223 has established itself as a varmint round so it will be around in that form. The 7.62x39 is quite accurate in a good rifle and is a popular hunting round in parts of Europe. It would be more popular for hunting here if there were some decent bolt actions available. My Mini is starting to look like 2-3 MOA with Russian ammo. I am sure it would do better with hand loads. If the military platforms are changed, it will do away with the shoot for fun action but it will take a long time as there will be a lot of surplus and a lot of weapons out there. Witness the Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R, the 98 Mauser and a host of other rifles. The 5.45x39 is not replacing the 7.62x39 in any great numbers. It has not been a popular round and there is a lot of cheap ammo out there because of its lack of popularity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  10. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Nice analysis, TrueNorth. Most people don't realize how easy it is to lobby for something that is inferior. Money talks, especially kickback money. When the .223 caliber in the Colt platform was officially adopted, someone must have been paid off nicely to ramrod this down through the Pentagon. It was a decision that later cost a lot of lives on the battlefields of Southease Asia.

    Today, the M-4 platform has solved a lot of the initial inherent problems of the M-16A1, but the fundament issue which you correctly point out is that the calibre itself is still inferior to many other available choices.

    I think the USA is stuck with the M-4 now though, and with the .223/5.56. If they did a cost study to determine what it would cost to replace it, the cost would be prohibitive alone. The DOD will be hard pressed alone, in the future, to skimp their allocated tax monies on other things.
     
  11. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    No need to apologize for me , When you bring crazy stuff like this to the table you better know how to back it 110% . Everyone wants a piece of the pie so they design new stuff out there and hope that that will be the new rage that will make big waves with the military and they will make their get rich millions off of it .
    Again not every troop out there needs to carry a rifle capable of 1000 yard shots when you may be in close range battle .
    Will it go away ? potentially it could after being replaced by plutonium powered laser rifles :eek: , but probably not in my lifetime or my kids lifetime either
     
  12. Georgiahunter

    Georgiahunter New Member

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    True north did make some good points, all valid (except for the .223 only in NA, .556x45 can be found all around the world.) I don't really see them fading away much, at least not in 100 years. Just like the .30-30 and .308, they have some deep roots in civilian arms. Besides the fact people will continue to buy ammo for their current guns, the .223 is a good round for varmint and coyote. Truenorth has some valid points, but I'll quote something I heard on this site "I don't see the .223 losing popularity until we invent ray guns and phasers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  13. spack762

    spack762 New Member

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    Any ine hear about the "new" round that Wilson Combat (i think) is mase? Its a 7.62x40. What is the frackin point??
     
  14. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    http://www.gunblog.com/wilson-combat-7-62x40mm/

    Seems like the point would be to have a reliable-feeding 30 cal for the AR crowd. For some reason the x39mm doesn't seem feed-friendly from current magazines, or so i have been told.

    Just another case of people with AR's trying to bring them into the same class as the venerable SKS's and AK's. :D
     
  15. Georgiahunter

    Georgiahunter New Member

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    Y'all are missing the point of the .223/ 556x45. The ak platform is popular cause it's cheap and reliable and can get the job done. The .223 was originally and still is used for the purpose of taking three men out of the battle. The idea was to incapacitate one man with a possibly fatal shot forcing 2 men to carry him off the battlefield, unlike the .308, .30-06, and the other rounds that would drop one man and kill him, taking only one man out of the fight. The .223 is very good at what it does and always will be.
     
  16. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Just because a Military quits using a round doesnt really matter..... Theres always somebody shooting "obsolete" calibers.. The .223 and 7.62x39 I dont see going anywhere.. with all the AR's, AK's, SKS's, Ruger Mini's (14/30) and all the other guns that shoot those calibers, Are all those guns gonna disappear... Theres many more obscure guns that you can still get ammo for...
    As far as I know the only gun to shoot 7.7x58 is a Type 99 Arisaka, it was only used from 1937 to 1945 but you can still get ammo for it.. Or the Krag it hasnt been a military cartridge for over 100 years but one of my most shot calibers, and again you can still get ammo for it.....

    Hard to find?.. Maybe... "Obsolete"?.. I dont think so....
     
  17. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=270333260
    Trez, howsabout the daisy ammo there. I don't think that was a big-selling rifle either (maybe 20,000), but you can still get caseless .22 ammo from 1960's.

    (yet another case of the Feds over-reaching their mandate and quashing American innovation)
     
  18. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    Shoob - thanks for the support, I like to hear all sides of a discussion, but try to keep it more neutral. Some people might take things offensively and that's not what I'm about here.

    PureHavoc/others - don't worry about a thing - the point of the discussion here is exactly that - to have a discussion. I hope everyone realizes that this is just for fun to get people thinking. I'm not trying to offend, and I'm not taking offense from peoples ideas/opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  19. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

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    As far as companies dreaming up new rounds that do nothing better but try to get a "piece of the pie" that may hold some truth. Many rounds are made each year that don't really solve any issues or make any advances. But does this mean that we have reached the peak of firearms technology?

    Candles, once lit each home, bows and arrows then muskets were the peak of military technology. At one time sails, and coal powered ships made up every commercial and naval fleet. But as times and needs change, new technology replaces older ones. but now we have incandescent bulbs - and even those are in competition with LED/efficient bulbs, obviously bows have mostly been replaced by firearms, muzzleloaders with cartridge guns, and ships with newer fuel sources.

    And we have seen other rounds go extinct before havn't we?

    In between now and when lasers are made, is it possible that we will create a better battle round?

    I think yes. Now will .223 and 7.62x39 totally disappear? As some poeple have pointed out from hunters/less developed countries (Africa) that use older tech for longer and the fact that so many ak's/ar's currently exist - (fair points), there would still be a market for a LONG time for those calibres, but I think that eventually they will become less and less available.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  20. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    They're both here to stay, plain and simple. If the world's militaries abandon them, their popularity will decline a bit and they will fall into being one of the most popular niche cartridges in history, but neither will ever go away unless something is developed and becomes so obscenely popular and incredibly cheap/easy to obtain in large quantities that shooters pretty much would have no choice except to abandon it.

    I think that will happen some day. The day that phasers, laser blasters, and light sabers hit the market. And no, I'm not being sarcastic.