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Old February 1, 2019, 09:52 AM   #1
ed308
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Army's new 6.8 cartridge: 135 gr with velocity of 3000 fps?

More info on the the 6.8 round leaked at Shot Show. 135 gr 6.8 bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...ons-prototypes
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Old February 1, 2019, 10:49 AM   #2
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OK, 270 Winchester ballistics, but in a light weight poly cartridge that gives those speeds in a shorter barrel. No doubt the round will be lethal. A 94 year long track record of those ballistics is beyond argument.

Sounds very interesting, but I want to see how the new rifle will deal with the heat of such power and pressure.

I remember seeing a report on a new barrel steel that was used to fire a string of uninterrupted fire from an M-60 of just under 1000 round in one pull of the trigger, and the barrel was not harmed.

Maybe that is the direction they are going?

To me, the technology is interesting. 3100 FPS cannot be achieved with 135 grain bullets in short barrels without some heat being generated, so where is that heat going to go?
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Old February 1, 2019, 12:24 PM   #3
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Cool specs, but honestly I will be surprised if this ever becomes a thing. It feels a lot like the Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) program to replace the M-16 that was cancelled back in 1990.
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Old February 1, 2019, 12:58 PM   #4
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A 135 gr bullet @ 3000 fps will exceed 308 recoil. That load was a 150 gr @ 2800 fps That was a big reason why the military went 556 over 308 50 years ago.
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Old February 1, 2019, 01:48 PM   #5
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I will be surprised if this ever becomes a thing.
It will happen and is happening.
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Old February 1, 2019, 03:46 PM   #6
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Happens to be happening just like every other attempt at this happened. And the next attempt and the next attempt.
I say just return the money to the public. We don’t need any new weapons.
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Old February 1, 2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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It will happen and is happening.
It may be happening, but may never happen. They are still trying to get their act together. They don't have the ammo. They don't have the weapons. Right now, all they have are wishes on a spec sheet and are hoping the gun fairy will make it materialize.
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Old February 1, 2019, 05:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rickyrick
Happens to be happening just like every other attempt at this happened.
Like you I'll believe it when it happens. The Army isn't going to adopt a new cartridge without getting all the other branches and NATO on board. It just keeps the logistics simple.

Now that isn't saying SOCOM units might get to actually use the new 6.8 round, they're already looking into the 6.5 Creedmoor. Usually what happens is some of the stuff tested goes into improving the M4 or other platforms. I could see the polymer case for 5.56 and 7.62 ammo might get adopted. I read that a soldier's basic load can be increased to 300 rounds without increasing weight from 210 rounds currently used in 5.56.
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Old February 1, 2019, 05:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by taylorce1 View Post
Like you I'll believe it when it happens. The Army isn't going to adopt a new cartridge without getting all the other branches and NATO on board. It just keeps the logistics simple.

Now that isn't saying SOCOM units might get to actually use the new 6.8 round, they're already looking into the 6.5 Creedmoor. Usually what happens is some of the stuff tested goes into improving the M4 or other platforms. I could see the polymer case for 5.56 and 7.62 ammo might get adopted. I read that a soldier's basic load can be increased to 300 rounds without increasing weight from 210 rounds currently used in 5.56.
I agree. This is more likely than a whole new platform.
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Old February 1, 2019, 10:42 PM   #10
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I read on another forum that PCP displayed their polymer cased 6.8 cartridge for the NGSW at Shot Show. Supposedly it was the size of a .270 WSM.

Last edited by ed308; February 2, 2019 at 12:37 AM.
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Old February 1, 2019, 11:32 PM   #11
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The Army isn't going to adopt a new cartridge without getting all the other branches and NATO on board.
Absolutely they will adopt the cartridge they want and desperately need without NATO or any other branch of services approval.

The US Army drives the train. NATO and the other services will follow lead with whatever the US Army picks. That is just the way the world works.
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Old February 1, 2019, 11:38 PM   #12
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We don’t need any new weapons.
Spoken like a man who has never shot someone with 5.56mm only to have them stand there attempting to shoot you back until you end up putting 8 rounds to put them down.

Easy to say when you have no skin in the game. They guys pulling triggers at the tip of the spear disagree. That is why we are getting a new cartridge after an exhaustive search that went on way to long hoping for a wonder bullet to arise. Hope dies last. That is the tragedy in this story, the fact 5.56mm has lingered for far too long.
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Old February 2, 2019, 12:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by davidsog
Absolutely they will adopt the cartridge they want and desperately need without NATO or any other branch of services approval.

The US Army drives the train. NATO and the other services will follow lead with whatever the US Army picks. That is just the way the world works.
You keep telling yourself that, because it has never been an Airforce General who basically decided what the Army would carry for the last 55 years. Plus you can't forget the United States will basically have to pay all the NATO countries to change over. If I learned one thing in 21 years of service in the Army is things don't change all that rapidly, and if they were they would have changed during the early days of OIF/OEF just like body armor and up-armor vehicles did.

I'm not saying you're wrong about the Army changing small arms cartridges and weapons systems, I'm just saying it probably isn't happening as fast as you think.
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Old February 2, 2019, 01:47 AM   #14
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Spoken like a man who has never shot someone with 5.56mm only to have them stand there attempting to shoot you back until you end up putting 8 rounds to put them down.
No, I’m saying that all the wars that the m16/m4 have been used in should have never happened. None of them.
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Old February 2, 2019, 04:08 AM   #15
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Funny if anything i would have thought if the Army and NATO(eventually) was going to switch to a 6.8mm cartridge it would be the 6.8 SPC II.
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Old February 2, 2019, 12:03 PM   #16
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Im all for progress and i agree with reaching outside the box to make gains. We would have never set foot on the moon without pushing the envelope.

Without some SERIOUS leaps in technology, i dont see 135gn @ 3000fps possible without some large tradeoffs.

Recoil, mag capacity, weapon size and weight, ammo loadout. All these play against the “wish list” the Mil has put forward.

DARPA has looked into some pretty advanced (almost outlandish) projects and we have seen improvements in fielded equip as a result.

So, reach for the stars and if you only make it to the moon, thats a good step
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Old February 2, 2019, 01:34 PM   #17
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The cartridge proposed was the Remington 6.8mm SPC. That may have changed.

i reloaded 6.8mm SPC cartridges for a friends Remington 700 rifle. Maximum velocity we obtained with the 115 grain bullet was 2,550 fps.

https://load-data.nosler.com/load-da...remington-spc/

Last edited by thallub; February 2, 2019 at 01:50 PM.
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Old February 2, 2019, 01:51 PM   #18
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Back in October Jane’s reported that the new projectile has a weight of 135 grains while at their SHOT Show range day Sig Sauer told Military.com that “both the AR and carbine prototypes for the NGSW effort will have to be able to produce a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second.” While this gives us some insight into the kind of round the army are looking for it has not been confirmed.
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...ons-prototypes

If you actually delve into the US Army requirements and look at the answers to the vendor questions.....

The only requirement US Army has is the cartridge must be 6.8mm. The vendor is free to use whatever other parameters they wish including their own cartridge design. SIG has been leading the pack but vendors must be aware that secondary/tertiary effects of that cartridge design to be considered by the US Army for its impact on the logistical structure.

You guys are locking onto a piece of hearsay propagating it as fact. CNN much, LOL?

What is a fact is that the US Army will change cartridges and is dumping the 5.56mm as ineffective.
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Old February 2, 2019, 02:11 PM   #19
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What is a fact is that the US Army will change cartridges and is dumping the 5.56mm as ineffective.
It seems to me the US Mil is looking for a MORE effective round for future battlespaces against armored first world troops. We have never used the 556 in that role.

Vietnam, GWOT, small conflicts against mostly unarmored personnel has been its use to date.

Now we are looking to the future and see China, N. Korea, Russia, and a host of others that field real armies with real tech behind them.

The 556 will never have the ability to defeat hard armor at any kind of range. So, the Army is looking at a possible replacement. Lots of R&D still ahead. Not happening anytime soon. I would bet the 556 stays in the hands of the avg troops for another decade at least.
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Old February 2, 2019, 02:23 PM   #20
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It seems to me
Ok, thanks.
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Old February 2, 2019, 02:52 PM   #21
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It will be some time before this even happens since the weapon and cartridge doesn’t even exist yet.
The popular hunting .270 performance in a smaller package. It’s what everyone has been chasing but not yet achieved. I agree that the research into this will yield benefits to all. Still just a magic unicorn
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Old February 2, 2019, 04:24 PM   #22
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The cartridge proposed was the Remington 6.8mm SPC. That may have changed. I reloaded 6.8mm SPC cartridges for a friends Remington 700 rifle. Maximum velocity we obtained with the 115 grain bullet was 2,550 fps.

The 6.8 SPC (and SPCII ) was not the proposed cartridge. It was tested as was 6.5 Grendel and some other cartridges. But they were quickly dismissed. This cartridge is much more powerful.

BTW, you can safely push the 6.8 SPCII past the SAAMI pressures. I've push to 2800+ fps.
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Old February 2, 2019, 04:42 PM   #23
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Pelosi and crew will never appropriate the funds for a service wide replacement.

Too many (vote getting) social programs they'd rather fund.
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Old February 2, 2019, 05:39 PM   #24
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Pelosi and crew will never appropriate the funds for a service wide replacement.
You guys do realize that re-equipping the small arms of the entire US Army is super cheap compared to funding submarines, the latest fighter jets, and many of the much larger much more expensive weapon programs.

It will cost much less to requip the entire US Army than it will to build ONE Virginia Class submarine which the Navy just ordered 10 more and are fully funded.

The US Army adopting 6.8 mm is nothing in terms of DoD budgets....

Last edited by davidsog; February 2, 2019 at 05:45 PM.
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Old February 2, 2019, 06:39 PM   #25
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Having worked at writing a portion of a few DoD contracts and RFPs, yes I know the scale, unfortunately it's easier to convince the Armed Services committees the need for a new submarine than for a new rifle, ammunition, spare parts and magazines.

It hasn't ever been a significant expense in relation to the total budget, yet funding has not been readily available in any of these past decades either. Not as easy to hide the funds in "overhead" or toilet seat expenses as some of the other projects I worked on either.
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