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In yesterday’s press conference announcing SIG SAUER’s victory in the Next Generation Squad Weapon competition, Army officials said America’s likely future adversaries were a key factor in the final choice. The XM5 (a variant of the SIG MCX) and the XM250 machine gun run the recently-developed 277 SIG FURY hybrid steel/brass cartridge. It’s some spicy stuff.

The round’s 80,000 psi pressure can push a 135-grain bullet to velocities of 3,000 feet per second. Hunters and long-range aficionados using magnum ammo won’t find that velocity number inconceivable, but it’s a lot more impressive when you consider that it’s coming from a 16-inch barrel and the cartridges fit into a standard AR-10 magazine. Plus, the ammunition weighs less than .308 Winchester rounds, allowing soldiers to carry more of it than they could if they were using a traditional magnum rifle.

On top of that, there’s the new XM157 self-adjusting optic the Army chose to go with the XM5 rifles. The Vortex product can send and receive data both with a soldier’s augmented reality (IVAS) system and with other soldiers’s gear and even military aircraft. But, why is the military going for such a big upgrade now?

Near Peer Threats

During the press briefing, Brigadier General Larry Q. Burris, the Army’s Soldier Lethality Cross-Team Director, said their goal was to achieve a “clear, decisive, and sustainable overmatch against our near-peer adversaries.” He said that’s “more urgent and relevant today than at any time in recent history.”

Let’s unpack that. For those unfamiliar with the term, a “near peer” adversary is a country with a large industrial base and military capabilities close(ish) to that of the United States. In other words, we’re not talking about fighting insurgents and goat herders. We’re talking about China.

Before their poor performance was exposed for all the world to see in Ukraine, we would have been talking more seriously about Russia in the same way. Still, while they’ve shown how poorly trained and equipped they are, they may yet learn lessons, improve, and become a significant threat again in coming years.

Even against poor insurgents, though, the M4 rifle was starting to show its limitations. Improved rounds helped make the M4 and other 5.56x45mm weapons more capable, but the military found they had bascially reached the physical limitations of the platform. To wring more performance out of it would require changes to the laws of physics, and as we know those laws aren’t easily amended.

With big adversaries and small insurgent forces both outperforming it, the M4 was definitely overdue for replacement.

What Are Near-Peer Forces Using? Will The New Round Have An Advantage?

Russia hasn’t made any significant changes to their rifle systems since 1974, but China is a different story. They moved from 7.62x39mm to their own proprietary 5.8x42mm round, which has a numbers edge over 5.56. They adopted a bullpup rifle design that looked very sci-fi, but they’ve more recently started moving to something more conventional, the QBZ-191.

Russia’s 5.45x39mm round doesn’t have an advantage over the 5.56. It was Russia’s attempt to follow what other countries were doing, and produce similar outcomes with only minor differences. Moving to the new 6.8×51 round will put the U.S. significantly ahead of Russian troops in terms of both effective range, energy on target, and the ability to aim more quickly. Russia doesn’t have money for a major upgrade program, and they don’t have a mature and vibrant civilian firearms market to lean on the way the U.S. Army does, so this isn’t likely to change any time soon.

China’s round has advantages over the 5.56x45mm. Ballistic numbers are hard to come by, and knowing whether those ballistic numbers are accurate or communist party propaganda is even harder, so take this with a grain of salt.

What we do know from doing the math, though, is that Chinese rifles fire a heavier bullet at greater energies than older 55 grain U.S. 5.56 designs. The best 5.56 rounds (hotter 62 grain rounds and 77 grain rounds) close the gap and are probably of similar performance. The Chinese rounds could have a slight edge in energy on target advantage at longer ranges than U.S. 77 grain rounds if they’ve managed to get some more pressure out of the latest versions of the cartridge.

Moving away from 5.56 to the 6.8×51 completely changes all of that. With weights almost double and speeds a little better than the Chinese rounds, there’s no question who will have greater range and more energy on target at longer ranges. Unlike Russia, China has more financial might and could conceivably come up with an improved rifle in the coming years to stay competitive.

But, like the Russians, they don’t have the ability to ask companies already selling a broad variety of firearms to civilians to come up with new designs and compete for the business the way the U.S. did. Their state bureaucracies probably can’t make the changes necessary for short development cycles. At best, they’re five years out from being where the U.S. is today, and at worst, over a decade.

Allies Need To Get On Board

American allies in Europe and Asia are facing the same potential enemies the United States was thinking about when they started this process. The EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia all have money, but effectively destroyed their civilian firearms markets during the last century and can’t come up with new rifles they way we did. There’s no reason, however, that they can’t give SIG a call and get U.S. help in joining the effort.

Having rifles that give them a decisive advantage over Russia and China would be particularly important for Taiwan, as they face the highest probability of needing to use them against mainland forces in asymmetric warfare. As we learned from the press conference announcing the XM5, though, the United States can’t supply the guns or any ammunition until we’ve got our own troops equipped and supplied with ammunition. That means it won’t happen any time soon.

Like everyone else, Taiwan could decide to buy in now to get their own ammunition production going and get a good reserve of ammunition built up. That’s a move they’ll want to give some serious consideration.

The time for U.S. allies to make the leap along with us is now, not years from now.

 

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84 COMMENTS

  1. The EU, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia all have money, but effectively destroyed their civilian firearms markets during the last century and can’t come up with new rifles they way we did

    Some of the world’s top firearms manufacturers – including the parent company of SIG, which won the XM5 competition – are in those areas.

    • Innovation by definition comes from the FREEDOM to experiment in your field of endeavor without interference by deranged governments. The US is one of the last major societies that can innovate weapons privately because of the Second Amendment, primarily. God Bless America and keep it that way.

      • It’s important for shiphandlers to look out the window – constantly comparing computed solutions from the GPS and radar with what’s actually going on in the world around them. The same concept is applicable to life in general: the most skillfully constructed, oratorically brilliant, and emotionally moving deduction from principles is useless if it bears zero resemblance to real-world facts.

        One of the world’s three best GP / medium MGs was designed in social-democratic / no-2A Belgium; the other two in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Free America’s M-60 and M73 are widely regarded as terrible. The world’s best SMG is a German derivative of ideas developed under the same unfree regime that built the first assault rifle. I love our firearms freedoms, but (unsurprisingly) it turns out that unfree and even “deranged” governments encourage their engineers to develop things that benefit their own power.

  2. I’d like to see more articles and info on this cartridge, as well as any test runs on related guns, if possible.

    I don’t imagine I’ll have access to 6.8×51 any time soon (or longer, since I’m in CA), but I’m curious nonetheless.

      • The ballistics sound like an old school .270 win (with a shorter and lighter case, that fits an AR10 magwell). 👍 Nice

        I don’t think there is a chance in hell that the US military will really adopt this in significant numbers (though it does sound awesome). The USA is a dying, bankrupt, and collapsing empire. The USA as we know it probably won’t exist in another decade (something will be here, but it won’t be the same).

        It looks like WW3 has already started, and the politically correct and corruption ridden US DOD military complex will be doing well just holding things together.

        Taiwan may well not exist a year from now. Our weak European allies aren’t any better off than we are, and their economies are imploding worse than ours.

        I do like the idea of a battle rifle like this. I just don’t see our termite ridden State moving there.

  3. I remember something about China able to steal F22 Raptor secrets from Australia…so yeah…Australia…yeah…

      • And a few hundred thousand chicom (PLA officers) “students” we allow to infest our colleges. Stealing everything that is/is not bolted down.

        The damn PLA today is built with the industrial base created to supply mil type equipment to moronic US gun owner and outdoorsmen. Fron optics to tents.

  4. the chinese and russians are very good at reverse engineering/copying/out right stealing the plans for any weapons. if they want a copy of ours they’ll get it, and it won’t take them 5 years to implement.

      • Unless something changed in the last decade they usually use a Russian engine in whatever copied airframe they put together if they want it to fly……… which had its own issues.

    • Well, the Russians could copy it yes, but they’ll only be able to make about 7 of them. And they’ll be used by some “elite” guard unit in Moscow while the frontline troops are using bare bones 74s mixed in with Mosins and water cooled Maxims.

  5. The US pushed Nato to adopt the 7.62×51 and then promptly picked the 5.56 to replace it for their own rifles.

    If I were an ally I’d let a few years go by first to see what shakes out.

      • Safe
        Yes the original NATO round was .280 with 140 grain projectile.

        Joint design by FN and the British after extensive interviews and combat reviews of all WW2 infantry weapons.

        Changed to .308 by a group of US officers who had not served overseas in WW2.

        Made the full auto feature of the FAL too hard to use effectively.

  6. Taiwan will be a Chinese Province before the end of Biden’s term. Australia will be too, and maybe even Japan before 2040. Europe will be Islamic Sharia States by then and it’s doubtful the USA will still be in one piece.
    The military should do a better job of making realistic plans.

        • So is basically everyone else but there is also the factor of how adaptable each country is in it’s economy. While we are not great we are the best of the worst (basically everyone else relevant). With that said the string of accidental (or arson) fires at various meat processing plants over the last few months is concerning.

        • Let’s just declare bankruptcy and start over after we kick the robber tyrants out. Then we go back to the gold standard and live within our means. Fk the bankers.

  7. 80,000 PSI… that sounds like somebody went utterly berserk with the theory of efficiency.

    You shoot it, I’ll watch through a set of binoculars.

    • What I’m seeing here, is a .270 wildcat load. Factory ammo gives you ~65,000 psi, load your own, you can easily achieve 80,000. No, I wouldn’t risk shoving this ammo into an old .270, none of the dimensions are exactly the same. But, basically, that’s what this is.

      .270 ammo is not significantly lighter than .308, or even 30-06. But this 6.8 ammo is supposed to be lighter, because “composite case”.
      https://soldiersystems.net/2021/01/27/sig-ammunition-produced-rounds-of-6-8x51mm/

      I don’t suppose there will be much empty space inside the cartridge. The brass has a smaller diameter, and will have more powder, so it will probably be as “full” as a .308 conventional casing.

      • Bonus: this .270 round with even higher pressure than .270 Winchester will accelerate throat and barrel erosion over .270 Winchester.

        For all the down sides to 7.62x51mm NATO (what are the down sides again?), throats and barrels last a LONG time.

        If the U.S. military adopts this round, I sure hope they order two spare barrels for every complete firearm. Of course that will cost a LOT more money–which explains why the U.S. military chose this platform.

        (For the uninitiated: the United States military industrial complex places a high priority on enriching the vendors who supply all the equipment to our defense forces.)

        • US military has ALWAYS short changed spending on the #1 area where it REALLY matters. Properly equipping the pointy tip of the spear (the grunts).

          The weight of this rifle/optic/coms “system” is concerning but the Army is stepping up. Now can they find/buyt/issue a decent boot.

  8. Guessing its been asked before, I don’t remember reading it, and I’m too busy/lazy to look it up but what is the barrel life going to be with sending ‘candy kisses’ at 80,000 psi?

  9. Considering the Army isn’t completely phasing out 5.56 and 7.62; I don’t see the rush. Asking US allies to jump to an unproven system is a stretch. We don’t even the logistics in place to support the weapon system ourselves yet.

  10. What a waste of taxpayer $. 80,000 psi is just going to break guns & wear them out faster. NASCAR engines last barely 500 miles while your car in your driveway can go 150-200k. While I’m fortunate to never been in the position to shoot someone with a M4 or M16 The 5.56/223 round is very effective at killing small game. I have harvested thousands of varmints. Yes the .308 is better but so is the 30-06. I couldn’t imaging jumping into Normandy or hitting the beach at Iwo with only a 80rd combat load. Something to be said about being able to carry 400 rounds that this new caliber just means less chance at hitting your targets cause you’re carrying less ammo.

    • “80,000 psi is just going to break guns & wear them out faster.”

      …and?

      Since when has the military complained about a weapon system with a short service life? The barrel will just be a consumable to stock, like ammunition…

      • Unless something changed in the “war on terror” the Army was never big on replacing worn out barrels on M16s. WAY more were worn out with “cleaning” than on firing.

  11. This whole thing just strikes me as 7.62 NATO redux.

    The need for “overmatch”, whatever the hell that is, has yet to be actually demonstrated. I have not once heard of an actual case where the enemy’s body armor meant much in the way of actual operational effect. Nothing that’s been documented, at least…

    The other problem here is that this is yet another iteration of the fallacious idea of “one cartridge to rule them all”. You cannot cover the spectrum of needs from individual weapon for close combat to support weapon for long-range troop and material destruction with one cartridge. The needs are too broad; you wind up either biasing towards something you can kinda-sorta control on full-auto for the individual weapon, or you bias towards the MG support role, and give up on full-auto for the rifleman. This is yet another case where they’re biasing towards the rifleman, like the 7.62 NATO, and still trying to do the support MG role with the same cartridge. You wind up with a neither-nor situation; it’s too heavy for effective use on full automatic in an individual weapon, and too light to be really effective at long range when engaging troops or material targets.

    There’s a reason that the tactical “desire path” has been towards a dual-caliber solution, even down in the squads; the “one caliber” solutions have never worked. Not the Germans with the 7.92X33 kurz, not the Soviets with the 7.62X39, not the US with the 7.62X51 or the 5.56X45. Every time, they’ve wound up having to either bring back the older heavier cartridge, or discovered that their new uber-cartridge was too damn big for the individual weapon role.

    I’m no particular fan of the 5.56X45, but this new abortion just strikes me as a higher-pressure reiteration of the same flawed thinking that brought us the 7.62X52 NATO cartridge and rifle.

    I’ll lay you long odds that this NGSW thing never gets much past this trials stage, because the real-world exposure it gets will likely show that it doesn’t get anywhere near enough performance improvement to justify the expense. I’ll also cynically note that if it does succeed, then it’ll be the first all-new US small arms program to do so in several generations…

    • Remember the M14 in 7.62 was supposed to not only replace the M1 Garand and the M1918 BAR, but also the M1/M2 carbine and Thompson and M3 SMGs too.

    • I think you are right, although I do kinda like the idea of a 6.5 Grendel as a fighting cartridge (though I stick with 5.56 due to cost).

    • Heard of Ukraine War? Both sides are largely wearing body armor. The FIRST such war. Though some of the ruski seen is really old and shit (as 1960s US flak jacket quality).

      • neiowa,

        As I understand it, penetrating “body armor” is a primarily a function of bullet impact velocity and secondarily of bullet material.

        Of course there is a wide range of body armor type/material. At the low end you have bullet resistant vests (designed to stop handgun bullets) and flak vests. At the high end you have steel plates and ultimately ceramic plates. In terms of a firearm platform that general infantry typically carries, I am not aware of any combination of available bullet velocity and bullet material that will penetrate quality steel and ceramic plates. In that regard it doesn’t matter what caliber the U.S. military chooses for their infantry.

        Having said that, if the U.S. military was looking to maximize the range at which a rifle bullet will still have enough velocity to penetrate the equivalent of Level IIA ballistic vests, there very well could be a caliber/platform which outperforms the current standard NATO rounds. Whether or not the new .270 caliber achieves that I have no idea.

      • You’ll notice that neither the Ukrainians or the Russians feel the need to “upgrade” their weapons because of the body armor issue.

        I honestly think it’s a false premise, one that does not actually make a damn bit of difference. You get hit in the plate with 5.45X39 or 7.62X39/51R, you’re more than likely going to be out of the fight for long enough to make a difference. The bruising alone does enough damage that you’re probably only thinking about getting out of the fight for treatment, not to mention the spalling and fragments in any exposed flesh. Guy I knew from Iraq took a hit direct to his plate in Afghanistan a few years later. He was temporarily blinded from fragments, and left disoriented enough that he was nearly unable to keep up with his unit during a withdrawal.

        You may not be dead after a hit on your armor, but you also won’t likely be interested in doing much more fighting that day. Maybe for a week or two.

        This “overmatch” bullshit is mostly about jobs for defense contractors and nice little retirement packages for the officers that get them those jobs. Watch where Milley winds up, after he’s done at the Pentagon. May not be working for SIG direct, but someone in the Mil-Ind complex will take care of him.

        Meanwhile, Joe is gonna be humping a lot more rifle and less ammo than he needs out on the line, while the MGs still won’t be able to do their jobs.

        My take on the cartridge deal is that it’s an automatic no-brainer: You need two of them. One, with slightly more “oomph” than 5.56 for the individual weapon, and another that is somewhere between the 7.62 NATO and the .338 in terms of weight and “throwing power” downrange.

        That’s an opinion, only. Unlike the NGSW proponents, I’ll willingly admit that I don’t have the actual data to say for sure, because ain’t nobody ever bothered to actually collect it from downrange on the two-way live fire we just conducted…

  12. The next place we invade and leave with zero planning will love these! Maybe we should ask if this is the exact model they want since they won’t be in the US arsenal for long. Sniff sniff Joe.

  13. This article felt like a giant ad for Sig. The weight and recoil alone make the Spear a poor choice for anything but a DMR. Also pushing 85,000 psi out of a 13in barrel doesn’t sound like it will have a long life. The Sig AR makes sense but the Spear and ammo don’t.

  14. “Army officials said America’s likely future adversaries were a key factor in the final choice. The XM5 (a variant of the SIG MCX) and the XM250 machine gun run the recently-developed 277 SIG FURY hybrid steel/brass cartridge. ”

    The Truth: The Dems figure it’ll give them the big advantage when they come for We The People.

    • How? Most of us have .308 rifles and beyond and several lighter calibers. I think the US civilians have a better choice in heavy or lightweight caliber rifles in their gun safes right now than the military.

  15. The Russian’s did not arm or equip any soldier so far during the Ukraine Invasion with any of its proposed soldier and equipment modernization. No enhanced body armor, no AK-12s, no red dot sights on AKs, and more. The Russian’s are still using AK-74s and AK-47s during the Ukraine Invasion. Looks like it was a big smoke screen that the Russian’s were blowing to get us to look for a new round instead of a new rifle. The 6.8×43mm cartridge and HK 416 rifle that the SOF community at the SF 5th Group at Ft. Campbell, KY produced in the mid to late 2010s was a better fit for what the infantry really needed without producing a brand new cartridge and rifle system. Just a new barrel or upper was needed to use the cartridge. DoD did not like it when the SF created this better cartridge and rifle, they just got rid of it all together and forgot about it. Remington took create for creating the SF cartridge, which is dead wrong.
    This new 6.8×51mm cartridge was developed solely to defeat new body armor and engage at distance the Russian and Chinese military. How much we have forgotten from mid temperate wars of the past and to the last 20 years fighting in the deserts and mountains where we needed longer range weapons to engage the enemy. Remember most fighting is done within 300m. The deserts and mountains were different for us over the last 20 years. This next war between Ukraine and Russia is a wake up call, that what we produce as a weapon system now is not going to be available for our troops for about 10 years. We should have made the 6.8×43mm cartridge standard for the infantry and we could have been using it these past 15 years. Something easy to do for the military, became nothing. I think the SF guy that invented the 6.8×43mm cartridge was Steve Holland from the 5th Group SF. What a waste of time and money. I do think the polymer case cartridge is the future, but more like the near future in 25 years.

  16. This is the Walter Middy’s in the Pentagon picking a fighting rifle. This will be an abject failure and will end up getting US troops killed. The weapon is heavier than the current weapon and contrary to what they say the ammo is also. This will mean less rounds carried and less ability to achieve fire superiority in the field. Also this glorified hyper pressure .270 will wear out parts and barrels faster and cause reliability issues. The Squad auto rifle is a bigger joke as there was a reason we quit using the M14 in that role as it was uncontrollable in that role. Plus there will be less accuracy despite the super duper high tech sights as simple physics says troops are going to be slammed around shooting this monster.

    • “…Walter Middy’s in the Pentagon picking a fighting rifle…”

      Yep, just as the then ‘Ordinance Department’ gave the 7th Cav Trapdoor Springfield’s.

      • The problem was not the Trapdoor action. Which by 1873 was actually pretty damned good for its time. It was the folded head copper cased ammo which due to the lack of spring back in the case would stick in the chamber. The extractor would then tear a groove in the thin folded rim. Look it up. With solid head brass cartridges cases, which were only adopted at or near the end of the “Indian Wars” its perfectly reliable.
        But the M5 and 80k pressure ammo? I think this is a huge waste of money.

    • I have been reading all of these fantastic comments and analyses about the new ammo and rifles and I have a few comments/ideas:
      1.) If this new, over-pressured rifle cartridge is to be useful and not wasteful of barrels, then why is it not possible to change the design to include a pressed-in chamber insert made of material that is nearly impervious to throat erosion? Alternatively, the insert could be pinned in or threaded in.
      2.) The weight of the rifle could be reduced by the use of carbon fiber or graphene components. Get busy and design some.
      3.) Use of a reciprocating handguard or sliding balancing weight to reduce muzzle rise.
      4.) You are pretty much screwed on the weight of the current ammo. If it is close to the weight of .308 ammo then just stick with .308 for major support weapons.
      5.) Probably should have adopted the 6.5 Creedmoor with improvements above for heavy support.
      6,) Probably should have adopted the 6.5 Grendel for Light Machine gun and infantry weapons due to ammo weight and rifle weight. They could be loaded hot if necessary and given improved barrel throats as mentioned above.
      7.) Put tuned silencers on everything to increase accuracy and confuse the enemy by silence.

  17. the m5
    with that round
    and that optic
    is going to allow your little sister
    – whos never even shot a rifle before –
    with just 15 minutes of instruction
    to punch holes in 3/8 inch thick 10 inch diameter steel plate
    at 500 yards
    and look like a seasoned pro while doing it
    shes going to look like she invented the thing

  18. The SIG 6.8 ammo is barely less in weight than a 100% brass case.
    The function of the steel lower is to survive the elevated chamber pressure needed to drive the 130 grain bullet at 3,000 fps from a 13″ barrel. Bonkers.
    SIG uses a 80 kspi chamber pressure, Ouch.
    The only reason why 277 SIG Fury is any better than 7.62 NATO is the more sleek ogive.
    The Army bullet is a .227 version of the same weight 7.62 EPR bullet construction that could not defeat Level IV body armor.
    What is seldom if ever mentioned is the dramatic decrease in magazine count for the same ammo load out.
    Arguably a fundamental flaw.
    20 rounds of 6.8 NGSW versus 30 for the M4.
    If you include magazine tare weight … 200 rounds of 762 NATO or 6.8 NGSW will be 10 magazines, weigh more and occupy more bulk on the soldier than seven magazines of 5.56 which carries 210 rounds with less total weight and less bulk.
    A primary goal of NGSW was weight reduction.
    That goal has not been met. FAIL.
    The recoil problem with the SIG and True Velocity rounds cannot be over stated.
    The failure of the M14 as an infantry man’s weapons has been replicated.
    The belt fed AR/light machine gun version of the SIG weapon has a moving barrel action with an admitted accuracy of 8 MOA … from the lips of the female SIG engineer who worked on the weapon. Might as well shoot a shotgun beyond 100 yards.

    • Excellent points.

      The Amy is always, as the saying goes, “preparing to fight the previous war.” This time, they’re preparing to fight in the mountains of Afghanistan, even though I doubt we’re going back again after spending 20 years in a useless war in the country known as “the graveyard of empires.”

      Adopting an alleged “one-size-fits-all” round like the .277 Fury (6.8 x 51 mm) has many problems. For a standard infantry rifle, the cartridge is too big (can’t carry as many rounds), too heavy (can’t carry as many rounds), and too much recoil (can’t shoot accurately in full-automatic mode). With its 80,000 psi pressure (some say 85,000 psi), it will cause excessive wear and tear on all components of the rifle, not just the barrel, chamber, and throat. The weight of the cartridge, as well as the recoil, will cause excessive wear and tear on the troops who have to carry 200 rounds of it and shoot it. The new rifles will be expensive, the ammo will be expensive (and heavy, and big), and the new Vortex optics for it cost $10,000 apiece (just for the optics!) even when bought in bulk, if you calculate the cost per unit that the Army is paying.

      Did everyone notice how when they discuss the weight of the cartridge, the Army only says that it’s lighter than 7.62 x 51? They never point out that it’s much heavier than the 5.56 x 45 round it’s supposed to be replacing, as well as much bulkier.

      Sig (and the Army) may CLAIM it has “manageable recoil” or “long barrel life,” but as Star Trek’s Commander Scotty often pointed out, “You cannot change the laws of physics,” so I’d be very skeptical about Sig’s (and the Army’s) claims about recoil or barrel life!

      Instead of trying for a “one-size-fits-all” cartridge and ending up with something with the same recoil as 7.62 x 51 and nearly the same weight, the Army should have gone with the following:
      1) 6.5 Grendel to replace 5.56 x 45.
      2) 6.5 Creedmoor to replace 7.62 x 51

      Instead, the Army, in its infinite wisdom , is going to make every infantryman carry a rifle with heavy, bulky ammo and high recoil.

      The good points about 6.8 x 51 (.277 Fury) are that has even greater power than 7.62 x 51 or 6.5 Creedmoor and even greater range than 6.5 Creedmoor, so probably at least 1,200 yards effective range. But everything has a tradeoff! The tradeoff for getting greater power than 7.62 x 51 and greater range than 6.5 Creedmoor is that it will have heavy recoil — yet they expect every infantry soldier (which these days includes women) to do CQB at 50 yards with a rifle that has a range of 1,200 yards but has that has heavy recoil and such heavy, bulky ammo that they can’t carry much of it

      • DAT,
        I like the way you think. I think a one-cartridge solution might be feasible if they “fudge” a little.

        As you probably know, ammo boxed for rifles and belted for MGs is ordered under separate NALCs / DODICs, even when it is the same cartridge. One could take advantage of this (while still benefiting from a lot of commonality / economies of scale) by using the same case, with the rifle using a short, light, low-recoiling projectile, and the longer one using a VLD loaded long. This would still allow the MG to use rifle ammo in a pinch.

        6.5 Grendel or 6mm ARC are obvious off-the-shelf candidates. An alternative might be to feed back some of the NGSW advances to develop a 6x45mm polymer-hybrid cartridge with the same weight and recoil as 5.56.

  19. Can’t wait for our new Woke Transgendered Pregnant Soldiers in High Heels to field this MIC Boondoogle.

    Seems like another 40 SW excursion when everyone dumped 9mm and left it for dead all to come back to it because having higher capacity and getting more rounds down range makes all the difference.

    Rounds on Target and Fire Superiority are Paramount to a bigger and heavier round.

  20. 6.5 grendel already exists.
    the m16 requires a simple, inexpensive mod.
    barrel and magne swap.
    and out performs 7.62 nato.
    quit wasting time with ridiculous cartridges.

  21. As I have said before I like the military industrial complex. I’m glad the United States has a reliable, viable, Organic weapons Industrial production base. They supply weapons for civilian and military. But it is very curious that this government and ammunition Factory is being brought back online???

    Especially since the United States is no longer at War. That according to the Libertarians Liberals and the Left who wanted to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq. But there are ways to withdraw from those countries and not make things worse. Which is exactly what Obama and Biden did.

    So now the so-called “anti-war party the Democrats” are bringing mothballed ammunition factories back online???

    But not to worry. The Democrats will ensure that your “Breads and circuses” will continue. You’ll get your legalized weed. And your legalized sexual liberation. And the democrats/Leftists are working on getting that “grooming action” going on.

    And it’s interesting that the first mention that I found about the reactivation of this ammunition Factory, is from a Firearms Christian website. And not on the atheist Reason magazine.
    Or some other so-called anti-war atheist publication.

    “US Army Bringing WW2 Ammo Plants Back To Ramp Up Production : The Question Is WHY!?” video 4 min long

  22. I for one think that all of the TacticoolFools who just love the 5.56mm and the .300 Blackout should be restricted from having a rifle that can penetrate the ballistic protection of America’s likely adversaries as well as the police.

  23. This ammo, and rifles chambered for it, with whizzy new optical sights, won’t change the US military’s outcomes one jot. They’re still going to lose every engagement where they show up.

    The US military is now a very expensive grift on the US taxpayer. They accomplish nothing of lasting value for the US, and they’re stuffed to the rafters with career idiots who are just looking to make it to flag level before they retire on the US taxpayer’s dime.

    We haven’t won a war since 1945. We’re not about to start winning wars because of this ammo, the XM5 or anything else. We no longer win wars because the US military is now a large jobs program – for both the suppliers and for the uniformed services themselves. They’re not an actual fighting military. Look at Tokyo or Dresden by May 1945. That’s what an actual fighting military’s accomplishments looks like.

    Today, we have the USAF and USN worrying about maternity flight suits and the DOD supplying transgender health coverage. Yep, that’ll win wars:

    https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/features/2016/0616_policy/DoDTGHandbook_093016.pdf

    • Maybe a bit overly pessimistic, but I get your frustration.

      We won Iraq after we lost it, after we won it, no? The punctuation was taking out Solimani there and the ISIS caliphate.

      And we also won Afghanistan until Biden surrendered it. So despicable.

  24. Russia is only a near peer power in one way. Nuclear weapons.

    In all other ways they are practically a 3rd world country. They are a 3rd rate economic power with a GDP roughly ONE TENTH of ours. So their ability to produce weapons during a war is very very limited.

    Their population is less than 1/2 of ours. In short, their ability actually wage war is more comparable to Turkey’s than the United States.

    In contrast, China has a population roughly FOUR TIMES ours. Their GDP is roughly 80% of the size of ours with much more of a focus on manufacturing. Their ability to produce weapons during a war to replace those lost in battle is most likely far greater than ours.

    China is the worry. Russia is a 3rd rate power with nuclear weapons.

    DJI has 80% of the drone market. They are a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese government. They made 450,000 drones in 2015. So its reasonable to believe that they are making far more than 1,000,000 last year.

    Imagine 20,000 drones attacking an aircraft carrier.

    • “Imagine 20,000 drones attacking an aircraft carrier.”
      I imagine it would be similar to 20,000 mosquitoes attacking an elephant: annoying, but manageable and unlikely to cause any serious damage.

      Of course, it depends on their size and armament, but unless they’re enormous drones carrying anti-ship missiles, even 20,000 drones would only be a nuisance, a distraction — which, however, could distract the aircraft carrier enough to leave it more vulnerable to an attack from real anti-ship missiles such as the one(s) that sunk the Moskva. But a US aircraft carrier isn’t nearly as easy to sink as the Russian cruiser Moskva, which reportedly didn’t even have watertight doors between compartments!

  25. Hmm. This new round isn’t going to be significantly lighter than the venerable 7.62×51 NATO. While it’s significantly better ballistically, it’s going to be subject to the same loadout issues, which is one of the main reasons the 5.56×45 NATO round replaced it in the first place. Designated marksman/sniper tool? Heavy machine guns? One suspects recoil, muzzle blast and barrel life will be, um, interesting. That said, one can’t help but wonder what might result from the same steel-based case technology being applied to the 5.56×45 NATO round, i.e., 77 gr. projectiles + 80K psi case pressures. That might encroach on .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer territory. 😉

  26. .308 Win is a “magnum” cartridge?

    Defeating body armor requires velocity. 3,000 FPS seems underwhelming for close range effectiveness given existing body armor capabilities. Do you reckon then that we’ll see additional cartridge alternatives: 1) higher velocity, reduced mass bullet to better defeat body armor, and
    2) longer, more aerodynamically efficient, increased mass bullet versions for truly long range sniper applications.

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