The military looks at longer range cartridges

Litehiker

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Seems the military has found both their 5.56 and 7.62 cartridges are lacking in range lethality.

SO... General Dynamics has put forth their new reduced recoil medium machine gun (MMG) in - wait for it - .338 Norma mag. The norma mag seems to work better in belt fed guns than the .338 Lapua magnum. Plus now we have a huge overmatch for the Russian 7.62 x 54 MMG round that currently out distances our 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge.

As well the Big Army is very closely looking at some type of 6.5 cartridge for their new assault rifle, well once they figure out WHAT assault rifle they want. It won't be an AR type, that much is known.
BTW, The AR type rifle has served far longer than any other US military rifle, far longer. And problems of it failing to fire from overheating in extended fire fights have actually led to US casualties in Afghanistan. Time for better. Time for piston operated assault rifles.

We may see fully polymer Cased Telescoped (CT) ammo, which has worked very well in tests. OR we may see hybrid polymer brass cases with brass at both ends and polymer in the middle. That's more likely for the .338 Norma magnum MG ammo if it gets off the ground with the Army and NATO. Lighter ammo weight and lower cost being the goals with polymer cases.

Anyway, the next 4 to 5 years will be very interesting to watch in this area.
 

MudRunner2005

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The Army had piston operated... BAR, M1 Garand, M1A, M14, and even did some testing with LWRC M6 series piston AR's... But they stuck with their cheap old DGI setups that are susceptible to issues. Now they think the platform is outdated? No, just order a bunch of LWRC rifles chambered in 6.5 Grendel, and you won't have any issues. 14.5" or 16" for Infantry, 20" HBAR's for DMR/Sniper setups.

I have said for years the 5.56 sucks. At the very least they should entertain swapping them up to a 14.5" .300 BLK setup with 168gr supersonic loads for standard issue, and then for SF 220gr subs. That way Lake City can still use all those .30 cal projectiles and the .300 BLK brass they also already make. And the rifles don't need anything but a barrel swap.
 

FEENIX

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Seems the military has found both their 5.56 and 7.62 cartridges are lacking in range lethality.

SO... General Dynamics has put forth their new reduced recoil medium machine gun (MMG) in - wait for it - .338 Norma mag. The norma mag seems to work better in belt fed guns than the .338 Lapua magnum. Plus now we have a huge overmatch for the Russian 7.62 x 54 MMG round that currently out distances our 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge.

As well the Big Army is very closely looking at some type of 6.5 cartridge for their new assault rifle, well once they figure out WHAT assault rifle they want. It won't be an AR type, that much is known.
BTW, The AR type rifle has served far longer than any other US military rifle, far longer. And problems of it failing to fire from overheating in extended fire fights have actually led to US casualties in Afghanistan. Time for better. Time for piston operated assault rifles.

We may see fully polymer Cased Telescoped (CT) ammo, which has worked very well in tests. OR we may see hybrid polymer brass cases with brass at both ends and polymer in the middle. That's more likely for the .338 Norma magnum MG ammo if it gets off the ground with the Army and NATO. Lighter ammo weight and lower cost being the goals with polymer cases.

Anyway, the next 4 to 5 years will be very interesting to watch in this area.
I am no expert but based on my personal experience, when a solicitation goes out for a bid, the Performance Work Statement (PWS) does not state any specific type of weapon or cartridge, just specific requirements, i.e., the "weapon shall be fully auto capable", "shall be designed for close quarter combat", "shall not exceed XX pounds when battle ready", etc ., for contractors to bid on. This allows the contractors flexibility to innovate and present their proposals to the office of primary requestor of the requirement to decide on. I know this because I have been part of the Performance Work Statement or Agency Tender in my last 21 years of my current job.

More often than not, a change in mission requirement and the need for dynamic capabilities drives the change of existing resources to meet the projected mission requirement. Unfortunately, this can be a very length process. Your 4 to 5 years estimate is probably a pretty close assessment. Cheers!
 

just country

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morning, 50 cal. is used in the field combat for years. the sniper
rifle in 50cal has heavy ammo and weapon, but very efficient. to adopt
a round for the american solider, ammo and weapon, effective, accuracy,
availabality and very mobile. i used the M-14, ammo and weapon were heavy.
very effective. effective range, weight, versitility r issues with
combat weapons. the 260rem, 7-08, 300blackout r rounds to
b considered. the military contracts weapon makers on donations
and monies given buy contractor companies not on
effectiveness of the weapon. the 300win. magnum is a very
good sniper weapon. we can only guess about what is adopted.
seals get what they want. no questions asked. ASK THE MARINE
INFANTRYMEN WHAT THEY NEED TO WIN. the answer
will serve ALL gbot tum
 

jcervantes76

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When I served in the 60s, the M-14 was the rifle I trained with. The AR-15 was just coming into use. Never shot one. I never understood the use of a .224 round. One of the 308, the 260 or 7-08 would be a much needed upgrade.
 

Riflehunter1776

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I would take it over the .30 cal off the M1 30 carbine use during WWII through 1973 though. :D

Don't get me wrong, I like my M1 .30 cal carbine.
A nice heavy 69 or 75 gr OTM will put a smackdown on an enemy combatant out to 300 yards or so in a 5.56 M4, but that is due to their frangibility.

For a solid projectile in an infantry rifle, I'd take a piston M4 in 6.8 spc or the 6.5 grendel (not gonna happen - it's based on the Soviet M43). In fact, the grendel concept would be ideal if the 308 was replaced by the 6.5 CM.
 

Litehiker

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Interesting and informative replies.

Riflehunter has the money-saving concept down pat. The 6.5 Grendel means ONLY a barrel change to accommodate it. Same magazine and bolt face as used for the 5.56 NATO round.

The same goes for the 6.5 Creedmoor in the medium machine gun, only a barrel change needed.

But for a better "overmatch" to Russian ammo I very much like the 6.5 USA (or similar) for assault rifles and the .338 Norma mag for "medium" machine guns. Think of the ranges with these cartridges!

Once these changes are made and cased telescoped (CT) ammo is brought into the arsenal then we are going to see a few changes in tactics. For example "bounding overwatch" attack and retrograde movements will, given existing cover situations, begin to expand maneuver distances achievable with the greater distance of covering fire.

Yeah, this is a long way from hunting but, as in previous conflicts, our soldiers returning to civilian life will have better concepts base on experience, in this case experience regarding long range shooting.

Eric B.
 

MudRunner2005

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Interesting and informative replies.

Riflehunter has the money-saving concept down pat. The 6.5 Grendel means ONLY a barrel change to accommodate it. Same magazine and bolt face as used for the 5.56 NATO round.

The same goes for the 6.5 Creedmoor in the medium machine gun, only a barrel change needed.

But for a better "overmatch" to Russian ammo I very much like the 6.5 USA (or similar) for assault rifles and the .338 Norma mag for "medium" machine guns. Think of the ranges with these cartridges!

Once these changes are made and cased telescoped (CT) ammo is brought into the arsenal then we are going to see a few changes in tactics. For example "bounding overwatch" attack and retrograde movements will, given existing cover situations, begin to expand maneuver distances achievable with the greater distance of covering fire.

Yeah, this is a long way from hunting but, as in previous conflicts, our soldiers returning to civilian life will have better concepts base on experience, in this case experience regarding long range shooting.

Eric B.
Incorrect, the 6.5 Grendel uses a .445" bolt face with a .136" counterbore headspacing, so it requires a specific 6.5 Grendel bolt, and specific 6.5 Grendel magazines.

The .300 BLK is only a barrel swap.
 

TXAoudadKlr

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I saw something recently with SOCOM picking up the 6.5 creedmoor? If so it’s a step in the right direction.

Back in the day the 5.56 was great for controlling a full auto rifle but today most fighting is done in semi auto. A 6.5x45 might be something to look at with a 100-110gr bullet
 
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Litehiker

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7.62 x 51 does not have the lethality range or flat trajectory of, say the 6.5 USA.
Even the 6.5 Grendel runs down the 7.63 x 51 past 300 yards.

Mudrunner, you are likely correct on the Grendel bolt face difference but they WiLL run with 5.56 magazines. Several articles confirmed this.

Eric B.
 

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