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Subject: Calibre issues raised by NATO forces in Afghanistan
Volkodav    11/25/2009 7:16:17 AM
There has been debate for some time in the US about the effectiveness of the 5.56X45mm round in combat, now a number of European militaries are having similar debates. The proposed solution seems to be slightly larger diameter projectiles, i.e. 6.5 and 6.8mm to rechamber the current 5.56mm assault rifles, cabines and LSW / SAW. I can't help but wonder if this is the wrong way to go and that what is really needed is specific CQB weapons for MOUT and close country (MP-7 & shotguns?), and longer range, higher power (7.62x51mm) weapons for open country and supporting fire, while the 5.56mm weapons are retired.
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Volkodav       11/29/2009 7:02:54 AM
My thinking is a family of 7.62mm weapons, based on the HK 417 or SCAR H,
- rifle,
- carbine,
- AR and
- designated marksman rifle
This would be effective out to 600m i.e. able not only hit but kill a man with a centre of mass hit or incapacitate with an  extremity hit at that range. (something 5.56mm, especially when fired from a carbine, would have difficulty doing). 
This would be supplemented by a, normally holstered, HK MP7 for CQB / building entry.  This would serve as a secondary weapon for most troops and a primary for vehicle and weapon crews. 
The Minimi and some MAG 58 would be replaced with the AR and the Mk 48 mod 0, (basically a 7.62mm calibre Minimi)
There would be a .338 sniper capability at platoon / troop level, that can be dispersed lower as required, providing a 1500m precision engagement capability.
The idea is to provide our troops with the best of both worlds, the ability to effectively engage the enemy at range (600m) as well as a handy close quarters weapon for use out to 200m.  The provision of the MP7, with its compact size, light weight and light ammunition, would allow the load out of 7.62 to be reduced, in turn partially offsetting the weight of the extra weapon.
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