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   Gun Control Debates
     AR15
       and the .223

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The .223 round is not a high powered round.  The .223 is nothing more than a varmint cartridge.  It measures 5.45mm x 45mm; the first number refers to the bullet diameter and the second is the cartridge length.  Both numbers are on the metric scale.  
The bullet is the same width as all other .22 caliber bullets - 224/1000 of an inch, interestingly enough.  That number, naturally, is on the American scale.
The AR15 rifle is a target rifle design dating from the late 1940s!  Even though the design was modified and adopted for military use as the M16, there are some important differences.  For the M16, the capability for fully automatic fire was added, as was a three pronged flash hider (later changed to a birdcage type), and a bayonet lug.  The reason for the AR15's adoption for military service was not that it has any great killing power.  The main reason was that the ammo the AR15 shoots takes up a lot less room and weighs a lot less.  This means that the amount of ammo that can be carried by the average soldier was doubled, or tripled.
The AR15 still functions much as any other autoloading rifle.  If the school of thought of "lighter, smaller" in the military had not been in control of rifle procurement at the time, the AR15 would be just another target rifle, instead of the example that most people think of as "assault weapon".  In fact, given it's early problems, it would be only an obscure target rifle, not known to the majority of people outside the target shooting sport.
As far as the designation of "assault rifle", that refers to a weapon which has modes of fire, the ability to fire single shot and a burst mode (or fully automatic).  The ownership of these weapons is controlled by the National Firearms Act of 1934.  "Assault Weapons", on the other hand, are generally thought to be chambered in what is known as an intermediate cartridge, which means a small caliber, higher velocity cartridge.  I do not believe either of these nicknames is codified by law.  Thus, they mean whatever anybody desires them to mean, and applies to any firearm they wish to cast in a negative light.
The .223inch/5.56mm round is half as powerful as that the round fired by most hunting rifles, the .308.  It is less than half as powerful as the .30-06.  In fact, most places ban the usage of it as a deer hunting cartridge.
.223 is a varmint cartridge, and the AR15 fires a varmint cartridge.  It just happened to get adopted by the military because it was smaller and lighter.  
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 9:08 PM on October 14, 2002 | IP
tsmith2771

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I have a 30-06 and I know its power, man does it kick.


-------
"I have no interest in making blacks equal to whites, they are of a lesser quality and this I am sure of." -Abraham Lincoln
"You don't win a war by dying for your country, you win a war by making the other person die for theirs." -General George Patton
 


Posts: 372 | Posted: 10:32 PM on October 14, 2002 | IP
    
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