.280 British vs...
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    .280 British vs...

    It was discussed in one of the threads at AK Files that if NATO (namely the US) adopted the .280 British (7x43mm) or a .30 caliber version of it, we might not have the 5.56x45mm NATO (NATO rifle/LMG spec .223 Remington) and the Russians might not have ever also made the 5.45x39 Russian (necked down and less sharply tapered 7.62x39mm Russian by way of the .220 Russian sporting cartridge).

    I kinda look at it this way: Rounds like the .30-06 Springfield (7.62x63mm) or 7.62x54R Russian might have the lethality and stopping power to deal with a human sized target with one hit if the round lands in the right place, and can do it out to 1200+ yards/meters.

    Problem is that such rounds produce a lot of recoil and muzzle blast, and to tame that, especially in a semi-auto or select fire weapon, you'll end up with something about the size of a M1 Garand (a rifle that weighs damn near 10 lbs), or for an automatic rifle, something the size of a BAR (M1918 WWI variant weighed 16+ lbs).

    Also, the average soldier couldn't even see, especially with iron sights, to engage targets much beyond 300-400 yards/meters max. Hence, a lot of the potential of said cartridges is largely wasted.

    It should be noted that the .280 British actually out performed several full power rifle cartridges at long range, while having less than half the recoil and much reduced muzzle blast.

    That's not to say that the .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO wouldn't come about, but it'd be used primarily by snipers/marksmen and machine guns where its extra power and longer range would be useful.

    Also, when you look at the energy it produces, the .280 produces more than enough energy to have the desired stopping power. Remember, the 7.62x39 is equal in terms of stopping power and lethality to the .30-30 Winchester, which is a decent hunting rifle round. The .280 is even better than that, so it's got plenty of stopping power and killing power where needed.

    Of course, teaming a .30 version of the .280 with the bullet from the 7.62mm NATO M80A1 EPR round (basically a .308 version of the 5.56mm M855A1 EPR), you'd have a phenomenal round.

    Only problem if you look at it in context of modern AK/AR rifles. Both rifle families use rounds whose overall lengths are about 57mm. .280 is 65mm long, mostly because of the long bullet it uses. Shortening the bullet itself by 8mm would make it compatible with the magazine bodies of AK-47/AK-74 and AR-15 pattern mags.

    So, is the .280 one of the biggest lost opportunities in the world of firearms? Is there any modern rounds that are better?

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    The original Garand was chambered in 7x51. It was called the .276 Pedersen.

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    It's an interesting round but it was probably too middle of the road for it's time.

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    Also at the time the military had been using a 30 cal 308 round since 1894. It's part of the reason they wanted the Garand rechambered in 30-06.
    1.They have a ton of this ammo
    2. No retraining necessary
    3. One caliber for all weapons (Springfield 03, Garand, Browning 1919, BAR, Johnson rifle, Enfield 1917) easier for supply and logistics. Although there were some in other calibers



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    I think it was Ian Hogg that said that almost all countries that research and developer a new full power round comes up with a 7mm variant,,,,,,,,,,then a war comes along



    they then revert to the tried and true as expediant

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    The .280 British and the FAL was supposed to be the cartridge of the US and NATO but the US and our infinitely stupid wisdom conjured up the T44 B.S. cartridge aka the 7.62x51 NATO and the even worse M14 to cap off our bad idea.
    The .280 British cartridge was officially adopted by the US and NATO as the new cartridge but backdoor chicanery of the US basically told everyone else to pound sand and gave us an outdated cartridge before it was issued even after some NATO countries had tooled up to produce it.
    The FAL in .280 was agreed upon by the US and all NATO powers but chicanery by the US ordnance dept. and Springfield Armory led to their demise.
    If we had adopted the cartridge in the 1950's there is a good chance that it would probably be still in use to this day and would have been more than a match against the AK-47 since.
    In my collection of useless items of the past I have a verdegrised .280 British cartridge case that was found by a friend of mine at Poole range complex on Fort Benning in 1999 as a solemn reminder as to some of our bad decisions in the past when it came to ordnance.

    Just my Jaded .02 here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMFDM View Post
    The .280 British and the FAL was supposed to be the cartridge of the US and NATO but the US and our infinitely stupid wisdom conjured up the T44 B.S. cartridge aka the 7.62x51 NATO and the even worse M14 to cap off our bad idea.
    The .280 British cartridge was officially adopted by the US and NATO as the new cartridge but backdoor chicanery of the US basically told everyone else to pound sand and gave us an outdated cartridge before it was issued even after some NATO countries had tooled up to produce it.
    The FAL in .280 was agreed upon by the US and all NATO powers but chicanery by the US ordnance dept. and Springfield Armory led to their demise.
    If we had adopted the cartridge in the 1950's there is a good chance that it would probably be still in use to this day and would have been more than a match against the AK-47 since.
    In my collection of useless items of the past I have a verdegrised .280 British cartridge case that was found by a friend of mine at Poole range complex on Fort Benning in 1999 as a solemn reminder as to some of our bad decisions in the past when it came to ordnance.

    Just my Jaded .02 here.
    Spot on. This whole debacle is covered extensively in the FAL book by Blake Stevens. The really funny thing is, we are more or less experimenting with cartridges like this again. I don't know if these will ever be adopted or not, but it is very interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMFDM View Post
    but the US and our infinitely stupid wisdom conjured up the T44 B.S. cartridge aka the 7.62x51 NATO and the even worse M14 to cap off our bad idea.


    Just my Jaded .02 here.
    Please elaborate!!!! Not being sarcastic, genuinely interested. I know the basics but not the stories behind them. Why was the 7.62 NATO already outdated and why was it and the M14 a bad idea?

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    The FAL was generally agreed upon by the NATO members, with Canada taking the lead and ordering the first rifles. The original round for the FAL was a 7mm short, then several others to include the afore mentioned .280 that was introduced by the Brits. The US essentially bullied everyone into accepting the 7.62x51 as the standard rifle round because we were considering the FAL in the form of the T-48 with H&R making most of the examples.
    In the cold weather test in Alaska, the M14 prototype performed slightly better, and so the US went with that design. The problem with 7.62x51 in the FAL design is its almost too powerful for the weapon, and makes FA almost useless. Mr. Stevens does a much better job of laying this all out, but that is basically the long and short of it.
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    Pretty much what JoeMomma had to say. I will add some of the following also-
    The Key problems with the 7.62 NATO was it was too much cartridge for a weapon that is shoulder fired and expected to work in full auto. A lot of people like to cite the FG-42 as a workable example of a full auto battle rifle: What is not widely known in the US is that the weapon was not really liked by most of it's users- as excessive recoil and muzzle rise leading it to being not a very good rifle overall but a novel one none the less.

    To add too the FALs demise it was given to a third rate company to produce (H&R) not really known for quality guns-more than likely accidentally on purpose as a way to get the M14 to look good.

    The M14s issues are legion, it was a bad idea from the start-the first use in combat reports were less than sterling US troops when facing the AK in Viet-Nam were out gunned and out firepowered in many of the first firefights by the awesome close range ability of the AK-47 compared to the M14. It had multiple reliability issues-they brought John Garand in to try to fix the issues that the M14 and he walked away from it. The most and best history the rifle made was on the ranges at Camp Perry not in combat. some soldiers carried them in Viet-Nam after the M16 was issued but they were in the minority and still had plently of M16's to back them up. I used to support and repair M14's (standard, NM, M21/XM25 and EBR's) as late as 2008. I used think it was a good general issue military rifle- (I learned better) it wasn't and is still not suitable for that purpose. It needs a lot of love and extremely competent armorers and armament repairers to keep them in top shape.

    As for the alternate caliber cartridge realm when I was helping the design team for what ultimately became the 6.8 SPC- the key designer from the AMU side of the house told me if we adopt the 6.8 SPC the Brits should come over here and say "I told you so and kick our butts".
    Last edited by KMFDM; 02-17-2017 at 07:16 AM.
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    Strange to know that the M14 was more temperamental in terms of performance than the M1 Garand or the modern M1As are.

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    That was one of the reasons it was one of our most short lived military rifles.
    "odio vitae semper dissolubilis"

    "Ludo mentis sciem"

    "Senecta aetas viresque, atque perfidium expugnat"

    "sic semper purgamentus Yugo kalashnikov! Tempus orbem ad excoquam eorum et dimittetur eis!"

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    It appears the M14 demise was based on weight, ergonomics, uncontrolled full auto fire and cost of production. At the same time the production of general service infantry rifles being contracted out vs government facility production was in the works..
    Though there were trials and tests of various weapons., it seems that the time was not right for a non USA designed or fabricated firearm design to be adopted for the US military., and was not a likely success story.

    Within 10 years of the US adoption of the 5.56 round., the Russians/USSR determined a small caliber cartridge was adequate for general infantry carry. The Chinese have tested/used the 5.8x42 but not too much info there.

    US ordnance of every kind has a mix of legend, politics, money and military persuasion involved. Whether an aircraft carrier or a pistol. Many discussions and stories as well.

    For good or bad the M16/4 has been the longest serving general issue infantry firearm in US military history.

    It would have been interesting if the .280x43 round would have ever been put into service by a military.

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    Also, the M14's biggest issue was that it was supposed to replace about every WWII/Korean War firearm aside from the Colt M1911 pistol. The US Army tried to make a service rifle do too much, too fast. And with all those compromises, aside from being a marksmen's rifle and an old style semi auto battle rifle, it wasn't really a master at anything. Not to mention that one, long range shooting wasn't usually the order of the day, especially in Vietnam, and two, a M1 with a detachable mag could've done the job just as well probably.

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    We did not have any resident snipers in our Mechanized Infantry company in Vietnam. They came out to the field on the re-supply Chinook runs., and went out with us on 6 man walk-out ambush patrols from time to time.
    The snipers were attached to the headquarters at Battalion level.
    They used the fiberglass stocked M14 with a daytime magnified optic and a Starlight scope for night time., IIRC.

 

 
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