Infantry: April 9, 2002


Once more, there are complaints from the front about inadequate infantry weapons. Every American war seems to have problems like this. In the Spanish American War it was underpowered pistols. World War I it was the CSRG automatic rifle. In World War II there were several dubious weapons and in Vietnam it was the early models of the M-16 rifle. In Afghanistan there have been problems with the stopping power of the 5.56mm fired from the M-4 rifle. The M-4 is basically an M-16 with a shorter barrel. This means a slower bullet. This is made worse by the lightweight (62 grain) bullet. Not only is the M-4 bullet less likely to knock down enemy troops (especially determined ones), but it would not go through many barriers (like stout doors or thin walls). Some troops have tried to get a 77 grain bullet with a larger propellant load whenever they can. While this is not much better a hurting enemy troops, it does a better job of going through barriers. The new 9mm pistol (that replaced the century old .45, or 11mm, design) has proved unreliable and it's bullet much less effective in knocking down (and keeping down) enemy troops. This is the first combat workout for both these weapons. While the 9mm round has been in combat for nearly a century, it pales in comparison to the old Army .45 caliber pistol. The "45" was first introduced a century ago to stop Moslem fanatics in the Philippines.


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