Why Not The .243?

I was sucked into the Forgotten Weapons Matrix a little while ago, and during Ian McAllum’s dissertation on the Sig-Manhurin 542 rifle, my train of thought went off down a branch line — I’m an old guy, it happens — and I ended up wondering:  why was the .243 Win never adopted as a military cartridge?

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out here that I am a HUGE fan of the .243 Win, especially when loaded with a 90gr bullet.)

Run with me on this one.  The .243 Win is based on a necked-down .308 Win casing so that it can shoot a smaller 6mm (.243″) bullet. Here’s the side-by-side comparison:

That’s a lot of powder (assuming that it stays the same amount as in a .308 Win cartridge) to send a much-smaller bullet downrange, which means of course that there’s a lot of velocity involved — and, as a welcome side-benefit, because there’s less inertia to overcome to get a smaller bullet moving than a bigger one, less recoil.

The latter was given as being one of the reasons that the 5.56mm NATO was adopted, by the way (that and the reduced weight of the cartridges themselves), but it came at the expense of knockdown power.  Also of interest is that the 5.56 NATO generally uses a 55gr bullet — but, for that matter, the .243 can handle a 55gr bullet as well, and it really races out of the barrel.  Once again, a comparison:

The only problem with the 5.56 NATO is that if you try to increase the knockdown power of the poodleshooter by shooting a heavier bullet like (say) one of 90gr, that little casing can’t hold more powder to make up for the severe loss in velocity — whereas in a larger casing like the .308 Win, bullet weight could even be doubled to 110gr without too much effect on velocity, or recoil.

So just as an intellectual question, I ask myself:  why would the .dotmil settle for a hot .22 cartridge when a downloaded .308 would do the same job (at worst), and could easily do a lot more with only a modest increase in bullet weight (say, from 55gr to 75gr)?

If we accept the fact that the earlier .30-06/.308 Win battle cartridges were just Too Much Muscle (or required too much muscle) for our soldiers (as suggested by the military brass), and we ended up adopting a vastly inferior cartridge (the poodleshooter .223);  then why should we not have compromised and used instead a 6x52mm / .243 Win cartridge?  (Of course, I am still of the opinion that the British suggestion of a .276″/6.5mm chambering was the best of all, but let’s not revisit that old story.)

Frankly, I think we missed a good opportunity here, and I think that had we adopted the .243 Win chambering in something like the aforementioned SIG-Manhurin 542 (essentially, a higher-quality AK-47 design) as our mail battle rifle, we would have been a lot better off.

For that matter, the AR-10 (suitably barreled) would have been just as good a choice, if the thought of dumping Eugene Stoner’s rifle for Sergei Kalashnikov’s gives one the vapors.

Either way, the question is this:

Alternative

Over at Insty’s place, there’s a post linking to a thing about the Marxists and the military, also containing the story of Gurgle censoring a blogger by hiding his site when you search for an article he wrote (specifically:  “Under Obama, there came to be a cancer in the Pentagon” with the addition of his website: “site:bookwormroom.com” in the search string.

Under Gurgle, nada.  Using DuckDuckGo, however:

Yup, it’s #1.

I don’t think I’ve used Gurgle for over two years, for just this reason.

Missing Boolets

Reader JD sends me this little snippet:

Germany’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr, has confirmed it is missing more than 60,000 rounds of ammunition.

…or, about the same number of rounds we expended in a single afternoon at a Nation Of Riflemen shoot a dozen years ago.  But here’s the not-so fun part:

Another 48,000 rounds from an elite special unit with links to right-wing extremism are also unaccounted for.

Just so we’re all clear on what these media assholes are implying:  a study taken a while ago showed that a few members of Krautland’s G9 Special Forces group were — gasp! — of a conservative bent.  None were actually ever proven to be members of any right-wing extremist groups, it’s just that some of their opinions were the same as those of the BLM (Kraut wing — they’re a neo-Nazi crowd, not Commies like our version).

What DW  is implying, therefore, is not that their army and SF are careless with ammo, or that they’re not accounting for their ammo properly;  they’re hinting that some of their soldiers may be shipping ammo to neo-Nazi groups.

There’s fuck-all evidence that any of this is happening, of course:  it’s just part of the leftwing media agitprop.  As the Emperor Misha has so rightly stated:

Rope.  Tree.  Journalist.  Some assembly required.

Let’s Get Defunding

Seeing as how everyone’s getting all “defund this” and “defund that”, allow me to offer a few candidates out of this lot:

A U.S. Army email, sent after the Fourth of July to its military and civilian members, included a graphic which claimed saying the phrase “Make America Great Again” is evidence of “white supremacy.”
The graphic listed other behaviors it deemed evidence of white supremacy, including, “Celebration of Columbus Day,” the “Denial of White Privilege,” “Talking about ‘American Exceptionalism,’” and saying “There’s Only One Human Race.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL, duh) is all over this, and he:

…has sent a letter to U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, demanding an investigation.
Brooks asked McCarthy to answer the following:

1. Who within the Department of the Army is responsible for the creation of the email and document?

2. Who within the Department of the Army approved the email and document?

3. Pursuant to the creation and approval of the document, was there a violation of either the Hatch Act or DoD Directive 1344.10?

4. If a violation of the Hatch Act or DoD Directive 1344.10 is found to have occurred, will those responsible be held accountable for their actions?

5. If it is found that a violation occurred (which seems pretty obvious), how will those federal employees be held accountable for their illegal conduct?

The Army needs to stamp out this bullshit toot sweet, and defund the people responsible (every single one who falls into the above five questions), i.e. either by court-martial and dishonorable discharge, by RIF-ing their asses out of existence or (if some civilian asshole is involved) fire them with loss of all benefits and privileges.  (I leave it to my .dot-mil veteran Readers, e.g. Staff Martin, to offer the precise details in Comments.)

I’m not going to go overboard and throw the “treason” word around — it’s been used way too cavalierly just recently — but if we take on faith that the “MAGA” expression belongs to the C-in-C (and it does), what’s going on here is (at best) gross insubordination.

I’m being quite serious, here.  This nonsense does not belong in our Armed Forces;  their job is to help keep America great, but if they can’t be trusted to do that — and this is a prime indicator that they can’t — there needs to be some kind of ill wind that blows all the non-essential, and even the marginally-essential, REMFs  out into the fucking trash can.

ArmySec McCarthy needs to jump on this quickly, have answers for Brooks with 24 hours, or face termination himself.

Add Limp Wrists

I see that the USAF is replacing the steel M9 Beretta pistols with the Mattel SIG M18.

M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands.

Well, isn’t that special.  They’re catering to the metrosexuals, even.

It must be a better pistol:  18 is twice as good as 9, right?

I’m just surprised that the Zoomies kept that mega-macho 9mm Parabellum cartridge, instead of going for the lighter-still, gentle-recoil .22 LR option.  I mean, with the difference in weight, you can carry 500 rounds of .22 LR compared to just one hundred of the 9mm.

[eyecross]

D-Day

We’ve all seen the grainy black-and-white pictures of D-Day in June 1944.  Here are some more recent ones, in color.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
AP Photo/Claude Paris

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

 

We will remember them.