Bullets used by British soldiers ‘too small to defeat Taliban’
Bullets used by British soldiers are too small to defeat Taliban fighters, according to a report of a study of ammunition used on the front line.
Published: 7:23AM GMT 28 Oct 2009
By Alastair Jamieson
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.
It came as the wife of a British soldier who died in hospital weeks after being injured in a blast in Afghanistan paid tribute to her “best friend and wonderful husband”.
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”.
Taliban marksmen use powerful 7.62mm ammo for their AK47 machine guns, according to a report of the study in The Sun.
Mr Drummond told the newspaper that a British soldier couldn’t attack the Taliban “with any certainty that if he hits the enemy he will kill or incapacitate him.”
The study claims the ammunition is easily stopped by car doors. It added that Javelin anti-tank missiles, costing £100,000 each, are often fired at lone gunmen. Only one in four British, US and German troops has been issued with guns using 7.62mm ammunition.
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.
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.”
The article is thanks to the Brittish news article from the Telegraph. Original copy can be found at HERE
You know, I have issues with governments that pay no attention to the boots on the ground. The brass usually have earplugs in when it comes to the grunts. They always know better than those they send into harms way. NATO can deal with their own issues. I really don’t care what they do. I do, however, deeply care about the tools we give our servicemen to protect us with. It’s plain and simple to me. If the 5.56 sucks in all major engagements we are currently in then replace it with something that will work without several shots on a single target. I know they have more M14’s sitting in warehouses. Many have never been used. WHY ARE WE NOT ISSUING THEM TO THE GRUNTS??? That is one way to put more heavy hitting rounds where they need to be without buying new weapons. We just need to do the right thing.