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 Questions about roles of 5.56 vs 6.8SPC vs 308?
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2603 Posts

Posted - July 30 2013 :  02:02:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am asking about for LEO & Defensive rifle/carbine uses, military is entirely different set of circumstances (range & ability to penetrate light cover matter more I think in military context).

It seems clear to me that 5.56 class of calibers very good choice for Home Defense, and for much SWAT type entry work, since it's limited barrier penetration with most loads would a good thing generally in that context.

While a 308/30-06 class cartridge certainly would make a lot of sense if you anticipated having to deal with vehicles or large animals.

The 7.62x39 is somewhere between IMHO, as are the 6.8 SPC & 6.5 Grendel, though the Western calibers have much better trajectories, not sure that really matters for much.

Personally only reason I might pick 6.8 SPC over 7.62x39 is because I believe it is a better match to AR, or similar, platform.

I think the 7.62x39 is at it's best in CZ 527, SKS, or AK, in that order of personal preference.

I feel that the 5.56 is good for many situations, but think it is much better paired with a 306/30-06 or gauge.

Guess I am wondering if others would tend to agree?

Also wondering if the 6.8 SPC class of cartridges might be a bit more flexible if limited to single long arm than 5.56 or 308 class Carbine/Rifle?

I don't have personal experience with 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel, though do have fair bit with 308 and 7.62x39, there is a lot I like about the 7.62x39 though it is a long ways from a target round IMHO.

Edited to add: I'm not sure on parameters of patrol rifle, I can see argument for barrier blind loads & more penetration than other common LEO or defensive situations.


Edited by - Dov on July 31 2013 12:15:49 PM

Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - July 30 2013 :  10:12:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Generally speaking I don't lean toward the middle ground a lot (that said everything we do as far as equipment selection, how we train, etc. is a trade off, so that must be kept in mind).

I certainly agree with the points made in your question. I don't think I would be without a 5.56 (both an AR and a Bolt action) and I probably would not be without a 7.62X39 for ammo availability. And I certainly will not be without a .308 because of both ammo availability and effectiveness.

That may seem to some to make the 6.8 (or the 6.5 Grendel) superfluous, but I find that the 6.8 will do several things well. I don't have a 6.5 Grendel but I am big fan of the 6.5 bore size and I think it would do a similarly good job.

A 6.8 SPC carbine is effectively 80% of a .308 ballistically in about any way you choose to figure it. It is probably not as good past 300 as the 6.5 Grendel but then my requirements for a 300 yard + rifle are limited and better filled by some other caliber.

I've shot deer with the 5.56, the 6.8 and the .308.... I could definitely tell the difference between the 5.56 and the 6.8. Not a lot of difference in the 6.8 and the .308.

Between the 6.8 and the 6.5 I'm not going to quibble. I chose the 6.8 because of ammo availability, if one handloads or has ready access to the 6.5 Grendel ammo (I think even Wolf makes it) then I wouldn't hesitate to say it is a good choice.

Why the 6.8 over the .308? Because the large format ARs are simply not as handy.... I like my AR-10 so far, and it is not really heavy but I certainly would not want it to get any heavier!

My 6.8s don't weight any more than my 5.56s

Jim H.




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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - July 30 2013 :  11:30:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Given the role parameters you laid out I could not argue against the 5.56mm. It's usefulness beyond 300 yards is limited, but then so would be your use requirements in that regard.

Availability of ammunition is a big + for the 5.56/.223. For home defense a polymer-tipped 50 -60 grain projectile (.223 varmint loads) would seem to be ideal. 3000 fps, explosive fragmentation, and not much more of an overpenetration risk than a 9mm +P JHP.I've shot a lot of coyotes with those, and they collapse with a heart/lung hit. The lungs turn to jelly. I can only imagine what that would do to a home invader at 20 feet. The limited risk of overpenetration is also a + in urban LE.

Add a 28 round mag, minimal recoil, excellent controllability, and things get even better.

For 'harder targets' there are 'harder' 5.56 loads.

A lot of the horror stories about 5.56 stopping failures occur with military/Hague Convention mandated ammunition. The civilian .223 offerings do quite well in a personal defense role. IMHO




Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on July 30 2013 11:32:15 AM
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Barnacle Bill
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USA
1252 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  10:23:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it would be extremely rare for a non-LEO civilian to be in circumstances where the requirements for a legally justified shooting would be satisfied by a bad guy outside the terminal effectiveness range of good 5.56mm ammo, even from a 14.5" barrel (with permanently attached extended flash suppressor bringing it to a non-NFA 16", of course). I think the same is probably true for LE other than snipers. Your average infantryman needs to shoot bad guys at a rather longer disance, though, and M855 clearly doesn't cut it at military ranges against enemies who don't stop shooting & start looking for a medic if they get a non-disabling wound.

You know what they say about opinions, but I think that from the above civilian perspective all these mid-bore AR cartridges are solutions in search of a problem, or for the "problem" that some people just don't trust rifle bullets under .30 or handgun bullets under .40.

7.62x39 is different, because the AK & SKS were designed for it so if either of those meets your need/want then that's the right cartridge. Having either chambered for 5.56mm (you used to be able to get new AK's that way, don't know if you still can) seems like just giving up the main attraction (aside from the .30 thing) - cheap mags and bulk ammo. I don't see much point to a 7.62mm AR, though, and for most civilian applications I think an M4gery in 5.56mm is a better choice than an AK in 7.62x39 (unless you need something that will still go bang if you never clean or lube it and plan to run over it with a semi and dip it in mud before pulling the trigger - then I'd want the AK).

Edited by - Barnacle Bill on July 31 2013 10:27:27 AM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  10:35:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It sort of depends on one's idea of "terminal effectiveness" (and that may depend on as much luck of the draw as ballistics - but I find the bigger gun I carry the luckier I get).

I know two fellows, one a world class shot and one both a world class shot *and* a world class Rifle Instructor, who both had to shoot a subject 12 and 14 times respectively with .223 (expanding bullets) to get the subject to stop what he was doing.

Both had a hard time explaining the number of hits thought both were police officers in the line of duty. One was formally charged with murder though the charges were later dropped.

The range was short in both cases.

Just something to think about... .223 works fine most of the time, but it is a good thing they hold a lot of bullets.

Jim H.

PS, hope this doesn't sound like boasting - I've no reason to boast - but I personally know a LOT of people who have shot people with M-855 ball at ranges under 25 yards - normally it takes a few hits for them to get the message - though I don't consider that to be "ineffective"....our "team" didn't lose many gunfights.

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Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on July 31 2013 10:41:22 AM
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RandyB45
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2413 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  11:25:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How long did it take them to shoot that number of rounds? I can put 12 rounds in someone in less time than it takes them to fall down. Therein lies some of the stopping power horror stories we hear so much about.
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  11:26:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jim, just for info's sake I would be interested in learning the exact .223 expanding loads those two gentlemen used. There is probably a wider variety of bullet types/loads available for the 5.56/.223 than any other cartridge in existance... and all may not be the best personal defense choices when compared to others.

Chris Christian
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2603 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  12:08:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
+1 to Randy's question about how long it would take for those officers to shoot that number of rounds?

A skilled person can shoot 223/5.56 AR very fast, and in real fights you often don't have ideal target angles, which can prevent CNS hits.

Did those officers ever setup that shooting and shoot it vs clock to see what times they got?

Understanding that it might be traumatic to do so.

I also wouldn't be surprised for a high skilled person to perform a bit faster in stress of real situation than vs clock.


Edited by - Dov on July 31 2013 12:12:32 PM
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Barnacle Bill
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USA
1252 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  12:15:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recall reading a first hand account of a burgler shot at across the room distance with .45 ACP 230gr Hydrashok and the bad guy just went out the kitchen window he'd come in through. IIRC, that was the top performing auto handgun load in Evan's books, but nothing in the book was 100%.

In support of Randy's point, while I've never been in a gunfight I have been in situations where I thought I was about to meet my maker. Times passes real slow and I can envision going "OH NO HE DIDN'T STOP" - Bang!, multiple times and feeling subjectively like the few seconds of actual elapsed time was half an hour.

By "terminal effectiveness", I guess I mean wound profile. Most of the military 5.56mm loads fragment & make a big mess out to a certain distance, but act like .22LR past that distance. The distance where it is going to make like .22LR is, in most combinations of rifle & load, going to be out past the point that any civilan besides a LE sniper is likely to be legally justified in shooting. However, IIRC one of the bad guys in that big FBI shootout in Miami back in the 80's killed several good guys after taking a "non-survivable wound". So, I'd imagine that one would commonly need multiple hits even with good ammo within its optimum range, regardless of caliber.
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Chris Christian
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USA
2717 Posts

Posted - July 31 2013 :  12:23:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, unfortunately, he did kill several agents after being hit with what was later called a 'non-survivable wound".

He did it with a Ruger Mini-14 model shooting .223.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - August 01 2013 :  08:57:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm certainly not trying to be argumentative here, I know the shootout you mention very well and teach it as part of our instructors course.

He killed 2 agents. Speculation is probably unwaranted but I think I can make the case that had he had a .308 he would have likely killed 6 agents... McNeil would almost be a certainty - he was hit in the neck with the bullet bouncing off the spine into his chest cavity - I think it a fair estimate to say a 150gr FMJ or JSP would have severed the spine. He also took a hit to his hand in front of his face - can't say about the track of that bullet but the .223 did not go through the hand.

Hanlon's hand was in front of his abdomen when he was hit, that bullet also did not penetrate to the body - of course a .308 to the lower torso might not have been fatal.

Mireles' arm deflected the bullet - lots of damage to the arm but it was, by his testimony, right in front of his chest and the arm probably saved his life.

Manauzi barely escaped serious injury at very close range most likely because the 55gr FMJs broke up on the glass and body work (I think he was shot at like 12-14 times).

.223s have their good points. As someone mentioned above - they are great for SWAT teams *because* of their limited penetration and because most people just give up when they are shot (or if you shoot really good you can disable them with a CNS hit).

They also have their limitations (as does about everything else).

Jim

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Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on August 01 2013 08:59:47 AM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - August 01 2013 :  09:13:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On another note...as usual you folks have cost me money! (that's not all a bad thing ).

Looking at Dov's original question, I've always thought that an AR in 7.62 X 39 would be a neat idea but I've examined and shot several and found that they were unreliable. I do like the controls on the AR much better than the AK.

So...coincidentally (or maybe it is fate!)...I get a call from up the road....they all start the same way "Jim, I've got something here you might be interested in".

I'd save money by hiring a full time secretary who is told to just hang up on that line!

Anyway, It is an AR (16" M-"forgery" type) that fits in a Doxil *handgun* case!

It is also chambered in 7.62 X39!

It also takes unmodified* AK 47 magazines!!!!!

You can also change calibers *and* magazine styles in about 30 seconds!

It can be a 5.56 or 6.8 or .300 Blackout with M-16 type mags (appropriate for the caliber) or it can be configured in the same time to be a .308 and take an AR-10 upper!

Now, I'm not easily impressed and I'm not quite there yet. But it sure seems to have potential.

It is an MGI I think it's called a MARCK and lately they have given it the name HYDRA. The above only scratches the surface, you can also convert it to .45 to take Grease gun Mags (I happen to have about 50 of those!!!!), and you can convert it to a belt fed .308 if you are Class III dealer or L.E.

But I'm really only intersted at the moment in the AK mags and the 7.62X39. Haven't shot it yet...just handling it I see a few bugs to work out. More to follow.

Jim
*most unmodifed AK mags seem to fit but not all function...I found so far I can hit the tab on the magazine with a file for about 20 seconds and they work much better (and still work in the AK).

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Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on August 01 2013 09:21:32 AM
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2603 Posts

Posted - August 01 2013 :  11:45:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jim, I have a friend that has one of those Hydra's, it is used for discrete long gun transportation, since it works like a take down gun.

No complaints about it that I recall, thought not sure if it has been through carbine course, I suspect it has.

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RandyB45
Advanced Member

2413 Posts

Posted - August 01 2013 :  12:22:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That sounds cool.

A buddy has an M4gery in 7.62x39. It took a lot of tweaking to get it reliable. How durable it will be remains to be seen but, with him, I should know shortly. He could tear the horn off an anvil and has access to loads of ammo.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
4838 Posts

Posted - August 01 2013 :  3:19:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, Jim, if this new MG1 turns out to be the bee's knees, how soon will you be passing out your collection of rifles it will replace? And have I sent you my address yet? Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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SD Handgunner
New Member

USA
61 Posts

Posted - August 01 2013 :  10:09:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lots of very good information in this topic. Personally in a role for LE or SD under but the most extreme circumstances I would also opt for the 5.56 / .223 for a lot of the same reasons outlined above. I too would agree for the typical LE or SD application I would think the 5.56 / .223 would have all the range necessary for the task at hand.

Larry
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - August 02 2013 :  1:08:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

So, Jim, if this new MG1 turns out to be the bee's knees, how soon will you be passing out your collection of rifles it will replace? And have I sent you my address yet? Ace



I wouldn't hold my breath

For my purposes I'd still throw a Winchester 94 in the car...but I have to do this "for the sake of the children". It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it

Jim

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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3692 Posts

Posted - August 02 2013 :  1:32:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RandyB45

That sounds cool.

A buddy has an M4gery in 7.62x39. It took a lot of tweaking to get it reliable. How durable it will be remains to be seen but, with him, I should know shortly. He could tear the horn off an anvil and has access to loads of ammo.



I'm sure we all know the mag issues that AR have with the X39 round. That 3" straight up and down mag well on the AR just doesn't mesh well with the angled X39 case.

IIRC Rock River makes an AR that takes AK mags. I hear it does well.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - August 02 2013 :  2:56:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

Jim, just for info's sake I would be interested in learning the exact .223 expanding loads those two gentlemen used. There is probably a wider variety of bullet types/loads available for the 5.56/.223 than any other cartridge in existance... and all may not be the best personal defense choices when compared to others.



The earlier one (back around 1981 or 2) was Federal 55gr JSP, most of them expanded but went through. It wasn't the tactical load, which I am not sure was even available then.

I'll try to find out the other, if I can still contact the guy, learned of it back in 2006.

Jim

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9252 Posts

Posted - August 02 2013 :  3:04:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RandyB45

How long did it take them to shoot that number of rounds? I can put 12 rounds in someone in less time than it takes them to fall down. Therein lies some of the stopping power horror stories we hear so much about.



Randy, I'm sorry I missed this earlier. An excellent observation and one of the reasons I tell folks that nobody actually *knows* this stuff (most emphatically not me!).

One of our validation standards is to put 3 rounds in a hand-sized group in 1 second with the M-4 at 10 meters. So 3-5 rounds can easily only take 1 to 1.5 seconds.

OTOH, we have situations like the young Marine (I won't mention his name here but you can email me) who shot just two people with a full magazine of M855 from a full length M-16. The second one shot him while he was reloading.

Those cases, in which there is verifiable proof of a failure to stop, are few and far between (Thank God!) but they do give us a picture.

It's just like the case in our county seat in which 3 officers shot a subject armed with a rifle 14 times center mass (center enough that he died the next day) but they quit shooting because the guy ran out of ammo...he was not "stopped" by the bullets though he did slowly expire. They had to wrestle the gun out of his hands!

These days, those are about the only cases I pay any attention to...most people just quit when they are shot (with anything).

Just ramblin'

Jim

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RandyB45
Advanced Member

2413 Posts

Posted - August 02 2013 :  4:50:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I saw something similar with 7.62x54. Dude was running across a roof and was hit above the point of his right hip, bullet angled upwards (I checked him later.) and exited under his left armpit. Kept right on running until he didn't. 'bout 30 feet. Nothing you hold in your hands is guaranteed, unless it's the nuclear football. Keep shooting until they quit squirming, then reload.

IIRC, it was Hatcher who postulated it would take a minimum of 37 mm round to guarantee a one shot stop. As related elsewhere, I center punched a guy with a round of 40mm. The jihad immediately left him. I will not be giving encores. I'm quite content to be the guy who validated that. Then again, it makes me want to hang one of those 37mm launchers under my M4 and load it with cast iron end caps.
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David Armstrong
Senior Member

USA
778 Posts

Posted - August 02 2013 :  9:35:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the problems with M855 IIRC is that it was designed to be less capable of fragmentation than the older M193 round. The M193 wasn't much good going through barriers but it was devastating on soft targets IMO. I made it a point to nab a couple of bandoleers of the stuff long ago to put away for serious social encounters. I keep M855 around for light barriers, but still prefer to get M193 for general use.

"You should plan for your training to reflect reality instead of hoping reality will reflect your training."
http://thinkinggunfighter.blogspot.com/

Edited by - David Armstrong on August 02 2013 9:47:22 PM
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2603 Posts

Posted - April 18 2017 :  2:38:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Higginbotham

quote:
Originally posted by RandyB45

How long did it take them to shoot that number of rounds? I can put 12 rounds in someone in less time than it takes them to fall down. Therein lies some of the stopping power horror stories we hear so much about.



Randy, I'm sorry I missed this earlier. An excellent observation and one of the reasons I tell folks that nobody actually *knows* this stuff (most emphatically not me!).

One of our validation standards is to put 3 rounds in a hand-sized group in 1 second with the M-4 at 10 meters. So 3-5 rounds can easily only take 1 to 1.5 seconds.

OTOH, we have situations like the young Marine (I won't mention his name here but you can email me) who shot just two people with a full magazine of M855 from a full length M-16. The second one shot him while he was reloading.

Those cases, in which there is verifiable proof of a failure to stop, are few and far between (Thank God!) but they do give us a picture.

It's just like the case in our county seat in which 3 officers shot a subject armed with a rifle 14 times center mass (center enough that he died the next day) but they quit shooting because the guy ran out of ammo...he was not "stopped" by the bullets though he did slowly expire. They had to wrestle the gun out of his hands!

These days, those are about the only cases I pay any attention to...most people just quit when they are shot (with anything).

Just ramblin'

Jim



I've seen some stuff from former California cop on another forum about this type of issue with handguns in that litigious state.

His department, or perhaps region, developed a modified version of Mozambique drill of two rapid chest shots with just enough slower pace to ensure hit to head for 3rd and subsequent shots.

Unlike original drill they don't teach a pause to access, rather just change in pace & focus needed for head shot.

It reminds me a lot of Keith Jones comments about fight of gun fight, this seems like a boxing combination instead of a series of individual punches.

Something I learned the hard way first hand in college when a Golden Gloves boxer joined my Tae Kwan Do class.

Also reminds me of what Evan says about bullet placement, as well as some of Cirillo's experiences with headshots.

Also based on this CA Dept experience the headshot often drops suspect quickly, sounds like a knockout punch effect more than wounding effect often, so they want a more deliberate though still quick cadence to mitigate followup shot where head was moment ago.

As part of instruction course for this drill they include a short time window of rapid shots to chest, followed by two chest shots followed by single shot to head in same time as the multiple shots to the chest.

With those two targets side by side, one with a bunch of holes vs one with three holes delivered in same time frame, they make note of how the two targets would appear to a jury. A jury that doesn't know much about realities of guns or lethal force encounters.

I don't think this a perfect or complete solution by any means, but have thought about it a lot since first coming across it.
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