Saturday, October 31, 2009

British bullets too small to fell 'high' Taliban

The bullets used by British forces to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan has been dubbed too small, because soldiers claim that it requires at least five direct hits to bring down the militants who are high on opium.

According to a report, British soldiers in Afghanistan use small 5.56mm calibre rounds also tail off after 300 metres and can easily be blown off the target. Half of all fire fights in Helmand are fought between 300 and 900 metres.

Meanwhile, Taliban marksmen use powerful 7.62mm ammunition for their AK47 machine guns, the Sun reports.The report calls for guns that take larger ammunition to replace all standard-issue SA80 rifles — which many believe were exposed as inadequate in Iraq in 2003.

Report co-author Nicholas Drummond, a strategy consultant and ex-Welsh Guards officer, secretly questioned more than 50 soldiers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“A British soldier’s rifle is not much more useful than a peashooter. He can’t attack with any certainty that if he hits the enemy he will kill or incapacitate him,” he said.

One soldier in 2nd Battalion, the Rifles in Helmand, shot a Taliban fighter five times and he still got up to dive for cover, researchers were told.

The study claims car doors easily stop the ammunition. It added that Javelin anti-tank missiles — at £100,000 apiece are often fired at lone gunmen. Just one in four British, US and German troops has been issued with guns using 7.62mm ammo.


The 5.56mm round is meant for close range fighting while the 7.62mm nato is used for long range fights,hence 7.62mm nato is used in machine guns, it was only on 1970's that the world(most of it ) started shifting to 5.56 mm,the americans fighting in vietnam were not very pleased with 5.56mm round, they were the one's who invented it and most importantly first to use in combat.and many american soldiers still prefer 7.62mm nato for rifles and it has come back to then in the form of fn scar(5.56/7.62mm).The 7.62mm x 39 used in AKM is not powerful nor has it much range(400m),its a heavy bullet with a low velocity.

Generally speaking there seems to be much agreement about the deficits of the 5,56 mm-round. There is just as much agreement that the old 7,62x51 is not the solution sought either. The latter is still around, being used for the DMRs such as the G-3 battle rifles used by the Germans. Anyone who has actually ever used it, me included, will concur, that its not the easy allround solution.

So either there is an adequate mix of both variants, based on the situation, or a new round in the range of 6,8 mm replaces the 5,56 mm, as has been discussed for a couple of years now. I dont think that the SCAR or the HK 416/417 families will be an ultimate solution either, though they both greatly improve on earlier rifles.

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