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Old 11-29-2003, 05:23 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Time for realistic tests of new ammo

Issue Date: December 01, 2003

Editorial
Time for realistic tests of new ammo


Marines bound for peacekeeping duty in Iraq next spring, rest easy: The Pentagon is sending you back with pallets full of high-tech gadgetry meant to keep you alive.
From tiny, new unmanned aerial vehicles to observation balloons and remote booby-trap detonators, it?s all very cool and very cutting-edge.

Consider the red tape cut.

But in pushing the fast-forward button on all this snazzy equipment, the Defense Department is ignoring something the Marine grunt needs most: A bullet that does the job right the first time. A one-shot killer.

Too often, units coming back from Iraq, Afghanistan and other recent war zones tell tales of putting one or more 5.56mm rounds into an enemy trooper, only to have him pop back up and keep fighting.

The standard ammunition for the M16 rifle and M4 carbine lacks stopping power, they say. It?s a long-running argument, one that usually turns to whether the Corps should go back to the M14 rifle and its 7.62mm round. A bigger bullet equals more punch, or so the common wisdom goes.

But there?s a much cheaper and just-as-deadly solution right under DoD?s nose. It?s called a ?blended-metal-technology? round, and it already scored its first kill in Iraq.

There, a former Navy SEAL working as a civilian security consultant got himself out of a firefight with a shot from his M4 carbine, putting a 5.56mm round into a bad guy?s backside.

It?s a shot that wouldn?t kill a man if it were the standard 5.56mm round, but this was blended-metal ammo.

The results weren?t pretty. This was one enemy trooper who wasn?t going to get back up.

Considering the ammo?s effects, you?d think the Pentagon would be beating a path to the door of the ammo manufacturer, RBCD of San Antonio.

Congress attempted to make that happen by including just over $1 million in last year?s defense budget to test blended-metal ammo. Yet, 14 months after lawmakers appropriated those funds, not a dime has been spent.

Officially, at least, military officials say RBCD ammo is no more effective than other types in use and, under some conditions, doesn?t perform as well. That line flows from tests conducted a few years ago in which RBCD ammo?s effects were observed in ballistic ordnance gelatin, the standard means for ammo testing.

Stan Bulmer, president of sales and marketing for the company that distributes RBCD ammunition, Le Mas Ltd. of Little Rock, Ark., responded that standard tests in ballistic gelatin fail to demonstrate the performance of the new technology in RBCD ammo ? an RBCD bullet?s destructive capabilities are most apparent in living tissue.

Tests using live animals would show its unique effects clearly, Bulmer said. But despite his appeals and the funds for testing provided by Congress, the military refuses to retest the ammo in live tissue.

Some observers are convinced that U.S. Special Operations Command officials? refusals to test RBCD ammo stem from work that?s well underway at that command. For some time, the special-operations community has been conducting work on a new 6.8mm round to replace the 5.56mm. If a 5.56mm round proved to be as effective as larger 6.8mm ammo, why develop a new weapon at all?

Regardless, that new weapon is a long way off.

Today, thousands of ground troops remain locked in combat with guerrilla forces in Iraq, dying in ones and twos in small daily skirmishes. They need ammunition that does the job in one shot ? and they need it now.

The former SEAL?s experience with RBCD ammo should be reason enough for Pentagon officials to insist that Special Operations Command immediately begin realistic testing of the blended-metal ammunition.

Further foot-dragging by the command should trigger a congressional inquiry.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/sto...PER-2417710.php


Sempers,

Roger
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Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............

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  #2  
Old 11-29-2003, 06:12 AM
the humper the humper is offline
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Your cutting and pasting date is two (2) days from now. Man, you are fast!!!!!!
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Old 11-29-2003, 06:19 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Always try to keep up with things....

I'm a member so I get it before it hits the stands.....

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Roger
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IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY HUSBAND
SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
1961-1977
68/69
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............

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