In 1976, the US armed forces had a problem. Their current machine guns were far too heavy to be manned by one person, and many of the soldiers had therefore been depending on basic rifles for sustained firepower, resulting in frequent overheating. They planned for a light and powerful firearm to be introduced, and adapted the FN Minimi to that purpose. Although it was exactly what they had been looking for, the M249 needed successive adaptations to be deemed completely suitable for use. Some soldiers from Afghanistan have reported that this weapon is susceptible to breaking, due to sand entering the system. It has since served in multiple recent wars, releasing the 5.56x45mm .223 Remington rounds at 915 m/s. Check out these bullets by following the link.

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.223 Remington

The .223 Remington was initially developed in the mid-sixties for the Armalite AR-15, which later became the US military's M16 rifle. It is just about identical to the 5.56x45mm NATO military cartridge, and only boffins with measuring equipment could really tell them apart. Or you could just look at the headstamp...... Military adoption has made this a hugely prevalent cartridge in both armed forces across the world and domestic markets due to its devastating performance and lightweight allowing higher capacity magazines and rates of fire. Some in the military feel...

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Modern Warfare

In recent decades, warfare has changed dramatically to suit the most recent technologies and tactics. But despite advances in technology and the ongoing arms race one  fact remains - guns are still the defacto means of arming soldiers, and that doesn't look set to change any time in the near future. Many firearms and cartridges can trace their lineage back over a hundred years which just goes to show that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Different countries will always have different views on how to arm their troops...

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