Choice of weapons and ammunition for the fire mission

Choice of weapons and ammunition for the fire mission

The controversy still does not subside. What weapon, what ammunition is better? Even among professionals there is no consensus on this. Without going into theoretical explanations, we will try to formulate a final answer.


So, our answer — «the choice of weapons depends on the task», those. on the required or predicted degree of destruction of a specific object, the minimum amount of ammunition necessary for guaranteed destruction of an object, conditions of use of the weapon (distance to the target, method of delivering the weapon to the position, capabilities of the shooter to deliver it to the position, weight and size characteristics of the weapon, necessary secrecy of its use and t . e.), the degree of security of the target, the danger of hitting a shooting or stranger during ricochet or through penetration of the target and some other reasons.

Picking up weapons and ammunition, to perform the assigned (intended) combat mission, we offer to compare the available samples, at least according to the following parameters:

  • Effective range;
  • Guaranteed shooting accuracy;
  • The effectiveness of the ammunition at the target (stopping and penetrating effects of the bullet);
  • Weight and size characteristics of weapons and ammunition.

We explain some concepts:

  • Stopping action bullet – it is the ability of a bullet to strike, stopping (shocking) an object. It is equal to the energy of the bullet multiplied by its area.
  • Trampling bullet – This is the ability of a bullet to pierce an object. It is equal to the energy of the bullet divided by its area.

However, in order to avoid a distorted view of the effectiveness of ammunition, we should make a reservation that all the calculations listed below are given for non-expansive, i.e. not deformed, not tumbling, not exploding, etc. ammunition. For example: American ammunition 5.56×45 M855 (NATO SS109), despite its small caliber, due to its design features, has a high destructive effect.

The design features of the bullet cartridge M855 include:

  • The open bottom of the bullet;
  • The composite core, moreover, the steel core is located at the head of the bullet. It ends exactly opposite the longitudinal annular groove (groove). The lead core is located at the bottom of the bullet.
  • Longitudinal annular groove;

When a bullet hits a body, it produces a combined injury. As seen on the profile of the wound, the bullet travels a distance of about 12cm in the tissues with the head part forward. Then, it turns 90 ?, flattens and breaks in the area of ​​the annular groove. The head part (60% of the bullet weight), which has a steel core, penetrates deep into the fabric, causing damage, including and secondary injuring projectiles (bone fragments). The detached part of the bullet has a core of soft lead, so it is strongly deformed, breaks into many fragments, which, flying apart, penetrate into the fabric to a depth of 7 cm. Lead of the core, emerging from the bottom and the bullet breaks, splashes down and spreads. soft tissue. Punched tissues, for example, intestines, being exposed to a temporary cavity (vibrations from a bullet hit), are broken. The holes in them can reach 7 cm. Therefore, a bullet entering the abdominal cavity often causes death.

We analyzed about 300 types of ammunition for their effectiveness (this work was evaluated by a diploma from the St. Petersburg Mikhailovsky Artillery Academy), but we will focus on the most well-known.

Comparative table of muzzle energies and coefficients of stopping and penetrating action of rifle ammunition
NoAmmunitionMuzzle energy
The coefficient of the stopping action
J * m2 * 106
The coefficient of the stopping action
J / m2 * 106
one14.5 * 114 (KPVT)298824931181.1
212.7 * 108 («Cord»)162352054128.3
37.62 * 54R (SVD)3577.5 — 3807163.1 — 173.678.5 — 83.5
four7.62 * 39 (AKM)1950,888.942,8
five5.45 * 39 (AK-74)1373 — 157032 — 3758.9 — 67.4


Comparative table of the muzzle energies and the coefficients of the stopping and penetrating effects of special ammunition
NoAmmunitionMuzzle energy
The coefficient of the stopping action
J * m2 * 106
The coefficient of the stopping action
J / m2 * 106
one7.62 mm PZAM «Snake»894.41.8
27.62 mm SP-3894.41.8
37.62 mm SP-4200tenfour
four9 mm PM257173.8
five7.62 mm USD5442711.1
69 mm SP-56994710.4
79 mm SP-66994718.3

Choice of weapons and ammunition for the fire mission

Comparative table of portable ammunition of some types of small arms
NoType of weaponAmmunitionMass of one cartridge, grAmount of cartridges in ammunition, pcsTotal weight of ammunition, kg
oneAK-74 (AKS-74)5.45 * 3910.24504.59
2AKM (AKMS)7.62 * 3916.23004.86
3Svd7.62 * 54R21.81002.18
fourPC (PKM)7.62 * 54R21.8150032.7
fiveVSS «Vintorez»9 * 39 SP-5 (SP-6)261002.6


Analyzing the foreign publications and reports of the NRA (National Guns Association of America), we were able to establish the energy level of the bullet at the moment of impact, which is necessary for hitting an animal weighing up to 100 kg (deer, boar, wolf):

  • Minimum – 815J;
  • Enough – 1630J;
  • Desirable – 2030J.

Without data on the impact of a bullet on a person, we will risk using these figures.

Brief conclusions

  1. The bullet of the cartridge 5.45×39 is not inferior in the trajectory flatness (in accuracy) to the bullet of the cartridge 7.62x54R (up to 500m does not significantly exceed it) and exceeds the bullet of the cartridge 7.62×39. Those. having mounted an optical sight on the AKS-74 assault rifle (better than the RPKS-74 machine gun), we will in fact get a mobile sniper rifle.
  2. The bullet cartridge 5,45h39 for stopping action inferior to the bullet cartridge 7,62×39.
  3. At short (up to 30 m) distances, a kart shot from a smooth-bore gun is much more effective than an automatic shot, as in the stopping effect of a canister (approximately 50 times more than a bullet of 5.45×39; 20 times greater than a bullet of a cartridge 7.62×39; 10 times greater than a bullet 7,62x54R cartridge.All this is subject to hitting the target of the entire charge), and in terms of accuracy (the cartoons have a greater probability of hitting the target).
  4. Special ammunition does not have enough energy, especially 7.62mm ammunition bullets «Snake»; 7.62mm SP-3; (10 times less than the minimum required level), therefore, require the use of strictly «local» and not once.
  5. Special ammunition of the new generation 9mm SP-5 and 9mm SP-6 are comparable in effectiveness (at firing ranges up to 100m) with cartridges 5.45×39 and 7.62×39. They are far superior to the most powerful subsonic modification of the 9mm Luger cartridge (1.7 times in stopping effect and 2.7 times in penetrating action) used in the most common weapon of special forces MP-5SD. And have an undeniable advantage – noiseless.
  6. Legends of the Afghan War of the Fantastic Long-Range «Afghan drills» — groundless. No, assume the presence in Afghanistan of a certain number of long-range sniper rifles for a powerful cartridge type 300 Wea.Mag .; 338 A-Square; 7mm Rem.Mag. possible, but arming them with simple mojaheds – unlikely. In our opinion, the whole thing in sniper tactics. Namely. A well-disguised sniper is at a position 200-300 meters from the road. A diverting shooter from a well-protected position, for example, from a cave from a distance of 1000-1300m, defiantly fires a convoy of vehicles, the guarding of which begins to actively fire at it. BUT «on the sly» a sniper at close range shoots officers, sowing panic among enemies. Creates another myth about «super long rifles and high precision arrows».
  7. RPG-7d grenade launcher; RPO-A flamethrower – powerful tool «direct artillery support». Disposable grenade launchers type RPG-18; RPG-22; RPG-26; etc. easier, more convenient and allow you to create a greater density of fire.
  8. It is useful to have in service with special operations units:
    • Lightweight, more compact version of the RPO-A flamethrower with a firing range — up to 300m;
    • A varied range of shots to the GP-25 grenade launcher (GP-30), for example, caricature, thermite, smoke, lighting, etc. shots;
    • Advanced sniper rifle fleet:
      • For shooting at 200-300m – 9mm rifle WSS;
      • ATW short maneuverable rifle with a shooting accuracy of 1/3 MOA (angular minute), which is 100m — 9.7mm;
      • For shooting at 300-600m – 7.62mm rifle class SVD, but improved accuracy, not worse than 1/2 – 1/3 MOA.
      • For shooting at 600-1000m – 7.62-8.0mm rifle for a powerful cartridge type Wea.Mag, Win.Mag, Lapua Mag. Accurate shooting is no worse than 1/2 MOA;
      • For shooting over 1000m – 12.7mm rifle with shooting accuracy no worse than 1/2 MOA.
      • Compile 9mm BCC, 9mm speakers – more compact compared to «1PN73» laser target designator, compact sub-barrel lamp with a halogen lamp and a set of its mounting under the barrel of the weapon.
      • Create a 9mm MSS pistol with a more capacious (for example, two-row) magazine.


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