AR-15/M4/M4A1 Carbine’s 5.56x45mm NATO Ammo (Ammunition) Versus Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM Rifle/Carbine’s 7.62x39mm Russian Ammo: America Wins Again

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

Photo(s) Credit: TacMed Australia

November 20, 2015
Last updated on 11/22/15.

DefenseReview (DR) received an email heads-up yesterday from one of our professional/industry contacts about an interesting article published on November 18, 2015 by TacMed Australia provocatively titled Why I’d Rather be Shot with an AK47 than an M4. The article includes a detailed discussion of permanent wound cavitation and temporary wound cavitation, and why the tissue and bone destruction of the tactical AR-15/M4/M4A1 Carbine’s 5.56mm NATO (5.56x45mm NATO) round is so much more devastating versus the Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM’s 7.62x39mm Russian round at various distances, along with some graphic photos to illustrate the author’s point(s).

DR’s professional contact noted how the article simply discusses the devastating wounding capacity of generic 5.56x45mm ammo, which we assume means the M855 Green Tip round, not the newer and even more destructive M855A1 “Green Ammo” that US military infantry and Special Operations Forces (SOF) are now using. It would actually be interesting to compare the permanent and temporary wound cavitation profiles of M855, M855A1, Black Hills MK 262 MOD 1, Black Hills or Silver State Armory SSA 5.56mm 70 Grain Barnes TSX Ammunition “Optimized”/”Brown Tip” solid copper round, ATK/Federal MK318 MOD 0 SOST (Special Operations Science and Technology) 62gr OTM round with Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet, the Liberty Ammunition National Defense 5.56x45mm AP (Armor-Piercing/Armor-Penetrating) round, and Le Mas (also written LeMas) 5.56mm AP BMT round on human simulation targets, government-approved live animals, or enemy combatants at various distances out of different barrel lengths (20″, 16″, 14.5″, 12.5″, 11.5″, 10.3/10.5″ and 7.5″). We’d also like to see those 5.56mm NATO rounds tested against the latest and greatest 5.45x39mm Russian rounds available out there, as the 5.45mm’s one nasty little cartridge that’s also easy to shoot well.

The Barnes TSX (Triple Shock X) 70gr solid copper bullet is supposed to be particularly terrific on soft tissue and heavy bone, but DR’s never tested it ourselves. Defense Review would also very much like to test the Liberty Ammo National Defense 5.56x45mm AP round on human simulation targets inside vehicles (shot through windshields and doors) and find out more about the actual combat performance of the MK318 SOST round down range, if possible.

In the meantime, take a look at the piece.

Company Contact Info:

TacMed Australia
Coffs Harbour, NSW, 2450
Phone: +61 1300 862 633

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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