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combatshotgun

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The Army has been working on a new bullet that is bigger, bolder and harder hitting that will help make U.S. soldiers even more unstoppable.

When you combine this new generation of bullet with the new generation of weapons for soldiers – then they will be able to shoot farther – with accuracy – than any known military rifle on earth.

There’s been a lot of mystery, buzz and speculation about this new generation of bullets. The specifics are classified and limited to the companies selected to produce prototypes.

But there are some key details we can share. Here’s what you should know about the Army’s goals for this new generation of 6.8 mm rounds.

HARDER HITTING – SIZE MATTERS

The new 6.8 round is expected to replace the 5.56mm in the next generation rifle and SAW. The number refers to the diameter of the bullet so the new round will be more than a millimeter bigger in diameter.

File photo

File photo

The 5.56mm has been short on enough mass to defeat advanced body armor. The larger current option, the 7.62mm bullets, are short on propellant with too much mass.

The 6.8 round is the solution. When this new round strikes a target, it will do so with more energy than the 5.56. This translates into better threat stopping power for soldiers.

Longer supersonic velocity than the currently used bullets combined with less recoil and more stable shooting should deliver even greater accuracy.

This will be quite a radical change up for the Army, which has relied on the 5.56mm round for several decades, but one that could play a vital role in ensuring soldiers are armed to match future threats.

STOPPING POWER

Since these new bullets would be larger and harder hitting, they would be a better match for the threats soldiers will likely face in future conflicts.

The 6.8mm rounds are expected to be capable of penetrating currently available modern body armor as well as defeat future advances in body armor too.

If U.S. soldiers have to face forces from countries with well-equipped armies, then current bullets are not good enough. American ingenuity can do better and American soldiers deserve the best that can be provided.

ARMY SETS SIGHTS ON NEW CONCEALABLE MACHINE GUN

There are very justified concerns that the 5.56 round will not penetrate armor that has become increasingly available to adversaries, even at an organization level, such as ISIS.

If the bullets cannot penetrate enemy body armor, then those bullets are far less likely to stop a dangerous threat.

Equipping troops with more advanced bullets and weapons means that in these scenarios they will be safer and more effective with fewer rounds.

FARTHER THAN ANY KNOWN MILITARY RIFLE

There’s a third very crucial advantage these new bullets could provide soldiers in the battlespace – farther accurate range.

The goal is to create bullets that will help deliver enhanced accuracy and range.

When combined with the new generation of weapons the Army has underway, these bullets should be able to penetrate advanced enemy body armor even at distances of about 2,000 feet away.

HANDGUN DESIGNED FOR THE MILITARY NOW AVAILABLE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CIVILIANS

In fact, the Army seems determined to ensure their soldiers arrive to face an enemy with ammunition and rifles that shoot with accuracy farther than any known military rifle.

SO WHAT WEAPON WILL IT BE USED WITH?

The U.S. Army has selected a new round to replace those equipping its M4A1 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapons.

Earlier this Summer, five companies were chosen to produce prototype weapons in this new 6.8mm round. They are expected to develop two different ammunition cartridges utilizing 6.8mm projectiles.

The Next Generation Squad Weapon will replace the M4A1 carbine for individual infantrymen. The Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle will replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, the “SAW.”

The five companies chosen were: AAI/Textron Systems, FN America, General Dynamics, PCP Tactical, and Sig Sauer.

FN America was chosen to provide two different variants and the other four companies submitted one prototype of the M4A1 replacement and the M249 replacement.

In anticipation of threats soldiers may face in future conflicts, the weapons must also be able to perform in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, cyber and EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attacks.

They will be able to fire in semi-automatic and fully automatic modes with the same magazine.

In close battles at night, adversaries often aim at the sound of gunshots and the visual cues of muzzle flashes.

By incorporating removable sound suppressors and flash hiders to minimize muzzle blast, this should hopefully minimize these targeting aids for the enemy and help keep soldiers safe.

In addition to qualities you might expect, like performing in all environments and weather conditions and resistance to rust and scratches.

For mounting further enhancements like optics, soldiers can use the Picatinny rail.

PODCAST: VALOR BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY – HEAR THE EXTRAORDINARY WAR STORY BEHIND THIS MEDAL OF HONOR 

6.8MM FOR CIVILIAN PURPOSES LIKE HUNTING

Many hunters are familiar with this size of round for use with medium game.

Remington Arms with U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit designed the 6.8mm to replace the 5.56 NATO cartridge in AR/M-16 rifles. More than a decade ago they created this option between the bigger 7.62 NATO bullets and the smaller 5.56mm.

Popular purveyors like Nosler and Hornady offer 6.8mm options for civilians. There are variants for hunters to use with medium-sized game, for home and personal defense as well as shooting matches.

There have been many misrepresentations in media on this front. The Army will not be simply utilizing this commercially available 6.8 SPC cartridge. The current objective is a new generation of Army bullets that will be the same caliber, but with better range, lethality and many other qualities that remain classified.

NO LONGER COMPATIBLE WITH NATO ALLIES

One drawback to this shift could potentially be loss of compatibility with NATO allies who widely use the 5.56mm and will most likely lack resources and political will to upgrade their forces similarly.

It could also impact compatibility with other US forces who may not adopt this upgrade to bigger bullets. But neither of these are factors that outweigh the importance of putting the best possible capabilities in American soldiers’ hands.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Army leadership is committed to this initiative and reaffirmed this recently at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington D.C. last month. However, Congress has failed to provide approval for the Army to make the new SAW/NGSW and ammunition upgrade a reality for soldiers in the upcoming year.

U.S. soldiers may have to wait to be given the advantage of a new generation of weapons and bullets that will make them more accurate at distances far greater than any other known military rifle on Earth.


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Unobtanium

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Reply with quote  #2 
Or they could just invest more in training and gear that will matter. As a taxpayer, im tired of this.
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David Armstrong

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Reply with quote  #3 
Strong agreement with Uno on that.  We often see the military (and others) looking for a technological answer to a question that can be answered in other, less expensive, ways.  Will this make our soldiers more effective on the battlefield?  Perhaps.  Will it do that in the most cost-effective manner?  Doubtful.
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combatshotgun

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Cost effective and Government go together like water and oil.   I guess moving up to a larger caliber like the 6.8 is a good idea.   I am not up on the latest technology in ballistics so can't comment on that.   I am stuck in a time warp and my 7.62 X 51 is about all I will own along with the Mini-14's for my later years.  

I just hope the Military got all the available input from all corners and not just from the vendors.  I am curious why the 300 Blackout was not an option so if anyone has input on that I would love to hear it.

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Unobtanium

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by combatshotgun
Cost effective and Government go together like water and oil.   I guess moving up to a larger caliber like the 6.8 is a good idea.   I am not up on the latest technology in ballistics so can't comment on that.   I am stuck in a time warp and my 7.62 X 51 is about all I will own along with the Mini-14's for my later years.  

I just hope the Military got all the available input from all corners and not just from the vendors.  I am curious why the 300 Blackout was not an option so if anyone has input on that I would love to hear it.


Because changing barrels and ammo would be too cheap. They need to waste more taxpayer money "finding a new platform that is XXX% more XXX" and so forth. It will be a multi-million dollar fiasco and they will finally decide to adopt MK318 MOD 1 or stick with M855A1 or something and the M4 will get a better BCG coating out of the deal and they'll scrap the other entrants to the civilian market for the companies to recoup some R&D cost and we will reap yet another 6mm caliber to choose from.
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vl5150

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Reply with quote  #6 
There was that huge push a few years for the 6.8 spc and then **poof**  Looks like it's started up again.  I don't the AR really has the design strength overhead in the bolt to hog out for the larger case head as they break the locking lug next to the extractor. Newer 5.56 rifles like the SCAR 16s and Tavor have much more substantial material around the case head and larger lugs than the AR. So if they do it, it would most likely require a new platform.  Agree on the .300 blk- ingenious solution for certain.
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Unobtanium

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vl5150
There was that huge push a few years for the 6.8 spc and then **poof**  Looks like it's started up again.  I don't the AR really has the design strength overhead in the bolt to hog out for the larger case head as they break the locking lug next to the extractor. Newer 5.56 rifles like the SCAR 16s and Tavor have much more substantial material around the case head and larger lugs than the AR. So if they do it, it would most likely require a new platform.  Agree on the .300 blk- ingenious solution for certain.


Solution to what though? What is the 5.56 not doing?
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vl5150

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Reply with quote  #8 
Probably the lack of fragmentation issue and range out of the 14.5" barrel with the 62 grain XM855 has something to do with it.  Maybe the trend toward shorter barrels and suppressors has the 5.56 on it's heels in the eyes of the military.  At least we get to choose our loads and weapons to maximize the cartridge's effectiveness.  Or just go to 7.62NATO like JD said.
The 6.8 spc splits the difference between the 5.56 and 7.62 NATO so it's a bit more punch.



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Unobtanium

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vl5150
Probably the lack of fragmentation issue and range out of the 14.5" barrel with the 62 grain XM855 has something to do with it.  Maybe the trend toward shorter barrels and suppressors has the 5.56 on it's heels in the eyes of the military.  At least we get to choose our loads and weapons to maximize the cartridge's effectiveness.  Or just go to 7.62NATO like JD said.
The 6.8 spc splits the difference between the 5.56 and 7.62 NATO so it's a bit more punch.





M855a1 and mk318 have solved all of that.
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vl5150

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Reply with quote  #10 
Chris Bartucci makes a good point on that. Platform limitations of the AR-15 could be a possible cause.
http://smallarmssolutions.com/home/the-m855a1

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Unobtanium

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vl5150
Chris Bartucci makes a good point on that. Platform limitations of the AR-15 could be a possible cause.
http://smallarmssolutions.com/home/the-m855a1



M855A1 runs fine in my guns. From a 16" barrel I am clocking 3050fps on average. Look at the dates on those pressure tests...

M855A1 is running within a few hundred psi of M855 legacy at this point. The earlier stuff WAS hot. Currently it's toned down and running fine.  M3 PMAG's prevent meaningful chamber or feed ramp damage.

M855A1 is a massive whipping boy for many people with many special interests. 

That fluff piece you linked to is so full of ignorant BS that it would be comical if it wasn't leading people like you who mean well, astray. For example, that picture of the "severely damaged feed ramp"? Yeah. That was white-out placed on the feed-ramp by the end-user to see how the rifle was feeding the rounds. It's not scarred and cratered metal. Now that you know it's whiteout "paint", go look at the photo again and you'll "see it". It's absolute BS like this that people are being fed about M855A1 that makes me shake my head at awe of the obvious agendas playing out.

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Chainsaw76

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Reply with quote  #12 
I see no reason that the young fit soldiers of today couldn't pack around an M110 type weapon in 7.62 NATO. The round is accurate and effective, and the platform can easily be modified for the missions at hand as needed. Rifle, ammo, water, food and little else could be easily managed by our current soldiers. Throw all the extra crap on a truck or track and haul around as needed.

The Garand was successful and so would the modern equivalent be.

Jim
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #13 
Roger that Chainsaw.   Add the fact that are troops are very mechanized today and riding or flying into the fight.  So they are not marching 20 miles a day to get into combat.   SpecOps that are sneaking and peeking can choose lighter options.  During the height of the conflict in Afghanistan the Corps request a battle rifle for Mountain fighting with more range then the M4.  The Corps dug out the M14's and rebuilt them and sent them over and they were put back into service there.

My M1A Scout with 15 round magazines is a most deadly combat weapon.  The 20 round mags are just to long in my opinion but can be an option for that would want them.  Here is a picture of it below.  I love it and even love just looking at it.  In fact after I post this I am going to just sit and hold it for awhile before I put it back in the safe.
000_5749.jpg 


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David Armstrong

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Reply with quote  #14 
Heck, guys, they could pack around a Garand in 30-06 too.  But there is little reason to do so, just as there is little reason to go with something like the M14.  Do we sometimes need a bigger, heavier round like the 7.62?  Sure, but not that often.  The smaller stuff like the 5.56 has a pretty good history of success behind it in spite of all the stories.  Sort of like 9mm versus .45...lots of stories floating around, but the 9 seems to work just fine.  There is a reason the M16 family has become the longest lived general issue combat rifle in our military history.  Much like the vaunted AK, plenty of rifles do some things better, but it does a wide variety of things just fine.
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combatshotgun

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I agree to a point Dave.  I am not suggesting that every 0311 has one but a few in each squad would be very effective on many battlefields.   The Marines requested them in Afghanistan and may have in Irag as flat open land lends to the advantage of these rifles.  I did not have a combat MOS in the Corps but if I had being 5'5" and 128 at the time they would not have handed me a heavy weapon.   The BAR guys back in the day were your bigger guys so I think in Squad that was going to have four of these the bigger guys would have them.

The AR platform is here to stay and they are all over the place trying to improve or make it more versatile.  I have so little knowledge of it so I don't even know if the Piston model was a major improvement or not.  The variety of calibers in now comes in is making it even more versatile as a guy can have a lower that can accept uppers in various calibers.   So no doubting that a 60 year old gun is still the gun of the future.

I even kept one of the many I had.  I stocked up before the election as I was convinced a certain foul bitch was going to win.   It took me two years to sell them all at my dealer cost as I offered them to local departments.  I kept a Bushmaster Patrolman for only one reason and that is because the leftist in this country don't want me to have it.  I will add that as I continue to diminish in my physical abilities due to age my M1A Squad will become more of an object of love then a go to and my Mini-14 will take over that role.

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