The debate over the effectiveness of the 5.56 NATO cartridge has raged for decades, and the current war in Afghanistan hasn’t changed things. Critics of the 5.56 generally bemoan the lack of “stopping power” and poor long range performance as compared to other rounds like the 7.62×51 (aka .308 Win).
In a Marine Corps Times article (taken from the AP), the debate continues. The article highlights the superior performance of the 7.62 at long ranges in the Afghan mountains (300+ meters). In fact, the author talks about the Afghanis using .303 Enfields and old Mausers to whip the Soviets in the 80′s. I hope follow-up articles don’t suggest equipping out troops with Mosin-Nagant rifles to bridge the “surplus rifle gap.”