Military.com sister site HM Forces has an interesting story today on the debate raging across the pond over effective calibers for long range engagements in Afghanistan.
It looks as if the UK MOD has issued what the US calls a “designated marksman” rifle for its forces there.
The Ministry of Defence has spent £1.6million on 440 semi-automatic rifles, which use 7.62mm ammunition.
The order from U.S based company Law Enforcement International followed concern that UK forces’ 5.56mm rounds were unsuitable for battle in Afghanistan.
Because the 5.56mm bullets – used in the standard-issue SA80A2 assault rifle – are smaller and lighter, they are less effective from 300 yards or further away.
It means insurgents – who use 7.62mm ammunition for their AK47s – back off and shoot at British troops from greater distances. Half of all battles in Helmand are fought between 300 and 900 yards.
Now the MoD has splashed out on the gas-operated LM7 semi– automatic rifles – renamed the L129A1 – which can hit targets up to a mile away. Defense Tech