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.30 Carbine vs 5.56x45mm

The .30 Carbine and 5.56x45mm NATO (commonly known as 5.56) are two different rifle cartridges with distinct characteristics and purposes. Here's a comparison between the two:

  1. Caliber and Cartridge Dimensions: The .30 Carbine has a caliber of .30 inches (7.62mm) and utilizes a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge case. In contrast, the 5.56x45mm NATO has a caliber of .224 inches (5.56mm) and also employs a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge case. The overall dimensions of the two cartridges are different.

  2. Bullet Weight and Velocity: The .30 Carbine typically fires 110-grain (7.1 grams) bullets at muzzle velocities of around 1,900 to 2,000 feet per second (580 to 610 meters per second). On the other hand, the 5.56x45mm NATO commonly fires 55-grain (3.56 grams) to 62-grain (4 grams) bullets at higher velocities ranging from approximately 3,000 to 3,200 feet per second (910 to 980 meters per second).

  3. Ballistic Performance: The .30 Carbine offers intermediate-level power with moderate recoil and effective range limitations of around 200 yards (183 meters) due to its lighter bullet and lower muzzle velocity. The 5.56x45mm NATO, designed for military use, has a flatter trajectory and longer effective range, reaching out to approximately 600 yards (550 meters) with accuracy.

  4. Purpose and Applications: The .30 Carbine was initially developed for the M1 Carbine, intended for non-frontline troops and for use in a compact, lightweight rifle. It is suitable for close to moderate-range engagements and is popular among civilian shooters for recreational shooting and hunting small game. The 5.56x45mm NATO is a military cartridge extensively used in rifles such as the M16 and M4. It offers better penetration, fragmentation, and long-range performance, making it suitable for combat situations.

When comparing the .30 Carbine and 5.56, it's important to consider their intended uses. 

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