Troops Complaining about the .223
I understand the frustration of both the American and British troops who are engaging in firefights in mountainous terrain. The problem is mountain warfare is a lot like the trench fighting of WWI. Long range marksmanship is essential and is something that our troops, with the exception of the US Marines have gotten away from. Most of their training over the last several years has been close combat. It does not matter what ammo they use if they can not hit what they are aiming at. I think the key here is to put them through more long range rifle training.
The British troops are also calling for a switch to something better than the 5.56x45mm NATO. The Telegraph reports
A survey of more than 50 servicemen who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan concluded that the 5.56mm calibre rounds used by British soldiers ‘tailed off’ after 300 metres yet half of all Helmand firefights are fought between 300 and 900 metres.
The study, co-written by Nicholas Drummond, a strategy consultant and ex-Welsh Guards officer, described British soldiers’ rifles as “not much more useful than a peashooter”.The Ministry of Defence told the newspaper the 5.56mm calibre rounds used by United States and other Nato allies are “proven to be both accurate and powerful.”