The Huffington Post’s deadbeat “Gun Guy” has proven time and again that he is far more interested in pushing a left-wing political agenda than he is telling HuffPo’s readers the truth about firearms and gun laws.
This is disgustingly evident in his most recent post, as he lies, poorly, in defense of the ATF’s proposed M855 ammunition ban.
The AR-15 sold in the United States can actually take two rounds: the 5.56×45 NATO cartridge with a 62-grain bullet, and the .223 Remington cartridge, normally loaded with a 55-grain shell. The 5.56 is also loaded with a 55-grain bullet, but the difference is that the heavier 5.56×45 penetrates more deeply, is significantly more lethal, but tends at long distances to be a bit less accurate than the 223.
We’ll let his calling a bullet a “shell” pass in order to focus on Weisser’s laughably false claim that the M855 “is significantly more lethal,” than the 55-grain M193 cartridge and the .223 Remington analogue. This is simply an abject falsehood, no doubt designed to cater to the fears and poor education of the average reader of the Huffington Post.
As we noted in detail yesterday, the 55-grain M193 load (fully-jacketed lead core bullet) causes far more damage at nearly every barrel length and velocity when compared against the M855. The U.S. military actually adopted the M855 in the 1970s because NATO allies were complaining that the M193 round did too much damage to enemy soldiers, and they didn’t want to be held responsible for “war crimes” under the Hague Convention agreements.
The Battle of Mogadishu in 1993 saw how much of a spectacular failure the M855 round was when fired out of short-barreled weapons, particularly the CAR-15 carbines with
10.5″ 14.5″* barrels used by Delta Force soldiers. During the battle Somali militiamen took multiple M855 rounds with little effect, as the bullets simply bored in side and out the other with narrow “icepick” type wounds which were easy to ignore in the heat of combat.
The M855 was a spectacular failure in Mogadishu and our later conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (after the M4 carbine with a 14.5″ barrel was widely adopted). An example of a typical “failure to stop” with the M4 carbine firing M855 ammunition was evidenced in Michael Yon’s riveting Iraq War dispatch, Gates Of Fire.
Prosser shot the man at least four times with his M4 rifle. But the American M4 rifles are weak – after Prosser landed three nearly point blank shots in the man’s abdomen, splattering a testicle with a fourth, the man just staggered back, regrouped and tried to shoot Prosser.
CSM Prosser eventually had to beat the insurgent into submission with his hands. The insurgent survived being shot four times with M855 ammunition.
After the early documented failures of M855 to stop fights at ranges both near and far, our military’s preeminent ground forces all entered a frantic race to design a better bullet to work with the M4 carbines and even shorter CAR-15-style carbines used by special operations forces. The Army created the M855A1 (a radically different bullet with a similar name), SOCOM adopted the MK262, and the Marines adopted the MK318.
The M855 that Weisser falsely claim “is significantly more lethal” is now primarily used for the same thing in the military that it is in the civilian world: inexpensive mid-range target practice on steel and paper targets, where, by the way, it is quite accurate (another Weisser falsehood).
We don’t expect the “gun guy” for the Huffington Post to share the same opinions as Americans who actually appreciate the Second Amendment, but we will hold him accountable, and demand that he use the same facts.
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In yet another blow to the Obama assault on AR-15s and the proposed M855 ban, the Fraternal Order of Police has downplayed the “threat” of M855 ammuntion as a non-issue.
A top police representative on Tuesday said that there is no history of criminals using a round popular among AR-15 rifle shooters against officers, undermining the Obama administration’s argument for banning the 5.56 M855 “lightgreen tip.”
“Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members.
He told Secrets that the round used mostly for target practice “is not typically used against law enforcement.”
While he said that he is “not finding fault” with the surprise move last month by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to classify the round as “armor piercing” and then ban it, Pasco added, “While this round will penetrate soft body armor, it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement.”
CORRECTION: Based upon accounts of the battled I’d read, I claimed that Delta Force used CAR-15s with 10.5″ barrels and M855 ammunition in the Battle of Mogadishu.
SGM (retired) Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics informs me that they used CAR-15s with 14.5″ barrels in the Battle of Mogadishu. He would know, as he was one of the Delta operators on that mission. He also said that the M855 worked in Somalia “if you hit them in the vitals.”