Quantcast

Back to the future--Army considering 6.8 mm again for new squad auto

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by boom boom, May 8, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,547
    Location:
    GA
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    4,387
    Location:
    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    Ugh, now watch, they will play with the chamber dimensions JUST enough that commercial 6.8 ammo and rifles won't be compatible.........223/5.56 all over again.:barf:
     
  3. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    12,974
    Location:
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    I feel I should say yet again, that the Army Times does not speak for the actual army. They have a new prototype and/or rumor of something or other every month. I hesitate to say that they are sometimes right, but rather that they are not always wrong. ;)
     
  4. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    If it works, the real Army motto! But in the real world it's the $, and who gets the contract...
     
  5. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    East Africa
    Let's see... Lighter than a 7.62/.308 round, more whack than a 5.56, good long range ballistics, high SD for penetration, good accuracy, this is all new under the sun. Calls for unprecedented developments, multi-million $$$ R&D. Maybe they could try something in 6.5, 140gr to 160gr, in a... 55mm case? Dunno, that could have some military application, the only strange thing being that nobody thought of it before...

    And when they're done, they can devote their time to improve terrestrial transportation. I could see a device that would ease the way we push or pull things around... Perhaps a circular shape? With a hole in the center... Mmm... I may be onto something, here.
     
  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    4,930
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    Most of these "good idea fairy" projects go nowhere. The reason for streamlining all squad systems to either 5.56 or 7.62 NATO in the first place was and is for a more efficient logistics at the end-user level, as well as for contracts- not to mention SDZ's for training ranges, etc. SOF approached this issue by adopting the MK48 MG as a 7.62 LMG to bridge the gap between the M249 SAW and the M240- so its basically a SAW in 7.62. Look at the ammunition requirements in a WW2 squad/section/platoon- 45 ACP for thompson/M3 SMG, 30 carbine, 30-06 for service rifle, BAR, and 1919 series MG's.
     
    GRIZ22, entropy, mljdeckard and 2 others like this.
  7. Poper

    Poper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    Approximately N33°18' / W111°48'
    Mmmmmmmm!
    Donuts!
     
  8. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Flyover Country
    The army times is the Army equivalent of a supermarket tabloid. Look at the number of stories on supposed APFT changes over the past decade ( probably a new article every 3 months) and we still have the exact same APFT. I wouldnt put too much stake in it.
     
    mljdeckard, Madcap_Magician and FL-NC like this.
  9. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    3,122
    Location:
    Where they tell me to go
    As others have said, if you laid all the Army Times out on a table from the last 10yrs you will see that they are pretty much the same cover stories again and again.

    I see little gain in this aside from spending a LOT of money which may get a new cartridge but more than likely will simply be money wasted.
     
  10. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    4,930
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    Just prior to retirement, I worked in a section in a SOF unit that handled a significant amount of R&D for weapons systems, optics, etc., among other things we did. I always found it entertaining to read the lifer's times to see what our new "whatever" was going to be, which had already been tested, approved, and so on. Sometimes it was for an item that we had already rejected months or years before, sometimes it was some gizmo we never even heard of.
     
    mljdeckard likes this.
  11. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,258
    Location:
    TX
    The armed forces would be better off spending some money on trying to find cheaper ammo for the Zumwalts. How many times do we see this caliber/Army/Marine blather?

    223 and 9 mm until we have ray guns.
     
    NIGHTLORD40K likes this.
  12. Jerseykris

    Jerseykris Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I remember when I was in the Army around the time the switch was being made from the 1911 to the M9, the Army was, prior to the decision to make the switch, looking at new cartridge development for a replacement/adaptation of the .45, which would have been an R&D money grab.

    One of the reasons, among many others beyond the ballistic specs, they decided to go with the 9mm was logistics in accordance with the NATO Standardization Agreement.

    In so much as ballistics will play a key factor in the final selection of a 6.8mm round and whatever weapon platform is built around it, I suspect compatibility with or adoption by other NATO members will be the ultimate factor whether it's adopted system wide. Granted, we can adopt the round just for our own uses, but it will become more of a novelty or mission specific weapon rather than a standard issue for infantry/forward units. Just speculation on my part.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    10,130
    Location:
    Alabama
    Agree. While cartridge choice and the type of rifle/sidearm are an consuming interest for the civilian community, it is very hard to get the Army to change. The last, best round, was the 276 Pedersen, which would have made a great service round, and yet, the Army leadership made the excuse that the stockpiles of 30-06 were so vast, they must stay with the caliber.

    See the memo here in this thread:

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/30-06-caliber-for-the-m1-garand.350271/#post-4325851

    This, even though the WW1ammunition had been rapid deteriorating.

    from: THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT: PLANNING MUNITIONS FOR WAR

    The Army had to spend a lot of time and effort on Capital Hill convincing Congress to appropriate money to replace deteriorating WW1 ammunition, and yet, when it came to replacing the 30-06, the leadership were telling the world, that it was too costly to replace the 30-06 stockpile. That stockpile was rapidly going bad, but just as today, people assume gunpowder lasts forever. It does not. Army leadership won their "no change" argument, even if it was economical with the truth. The real reason, is that that Army is extremely resistant to change. The like what they have, they want something better, but only a little different, and they totally reject revolutionary change. The 7.62 Nato is really a "30-06 light". It was obvious after WW2 that the 30-06 needed to be replaced, for one reason, it was too long. At the same time the Soviets are adopting the 7.62 X39, the US is replacing the 30-06 with the 7.62 Nato, which was ballistically identical to the 30-06! While I like the 308 Win, I am just as out of touch with the future as was the US Army. The Army was very committed to the 7.62 and would have kept it if the Secretary of Defense had not mandated a change to the 223.

    It will take an act of Congress, or direction from SecDef, to force Big Army to change calibers and cartridges. Until then, all these "new and improved" cartridges will become historical curiosities, just as the 276 Pedersen:

    tqELLsU.jpg

    KMp8zlZ.jpg
     
  14. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Somewhere in WA.
    Whatever the military decides they need is fine with me, I'll shoot it.

    I sell the range brass I pick up to support my shooting habit.

    5.56 and 9 mm brass cases are free for the taking at my range. I can't believe people leave as much brass as they do. A good day gets me 100 cases of 5.56 and a hundred cases of 9 mm. 7.62 and 45 ACP isn't as common but I still find it in good numbers.

    So do I need to buy a 6.8 mm or should I wait awhile?
     
  15. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,839
    Location:
    SW MO
    6.8 was specifically designed to put 50% more power downrange from a 14" barrel than 5.56. If you need that, go for it. Works just fine from 16". I have an AR for deer season just for that.

    For hosing lots of rounds thru paper into dirt, however, an issue cartridge with lots of support and surplus makes for cheap shooting.

    As for the Army Times, meh. They are not an official publication, just a niche interest group tabloid.
     
  16. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,435
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    Same-old same-old.
    The 7mm Mauser of the 1890s scared us away from the .30 Krag, but not enough to adopt its clone - the .276 Peterson - even after 40 years of development time.
    Now, three-quarters of a century after turning down the .276, the generals and bean-counters are still dithering about any and all improvements in the shoulder arms and side arms of our military.
     
    CoalTrain49 and boom boom like this.
  17. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,701
    Location:
    Frisco, TX
    Actually, they never stopped.

    The Army has been researching a replacement for the 5.56 for years.

    When I was a graduate student, I was part of a team doing some computations work for one of the many projects. We were working around a 6.5mm bullet. Some years later, I mentioned this to a colleague and he had been on a similar project in another part of the country at the same time doing computational work on a 5.56 case necked up to 6mm.

    Some level of research to replace what currently exists in everything from rifles to armored vehicles to MREs to flashlights is constantly ongoing. And procurement of evaluation units is almost constant. None of it means anything because the next SAW won't be selected until it is selected.
     
    boom boom likes this.
  18. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5,450
    Location:
    Denham Springs LA
    The Army 6.8x???. They never said what it is really going to be. But if they plan to upgrade the SAW to the new caliber there are a few 6.8 cartridges that can’t be used that are already on the market.
    If I had to guess it would be 6.8x39mm. This cartridge was developed for the AR market for hunters that wanted a heavier bullet that was capable of taking deer and hogs out to 250 yds. This cartridge is still a wildcat but has a large following. Want to guess what it’s called?
     
  19. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    Warship design is a meleé of compromises. Sadly, they built "buck rogers" into the design fabric of the DDX class. Which ran them smack into a different wall--the "why should we spend $$$$$$$$$ on Buck Rogers stuff" wall. So, the pencil drivers sroted out a financial compromise involving building something like 20 DDX. Which did not work out, as the order is down to 5, and 3 & 4 may get canceled before keel laying. Which means all of the economy-of-scale financial numbers just turned into yesterday's clouds.

    The DDX design team also had no idea that railgun tech would mature as rapidly as it did (not that it's a drop-in ready system yet). But, they can't replace the custom main armament with off-the-shelf weapon systems; they aren't stealthy enough.

    So, we have these cruiser-sized "destroyers" with a limited missile load out, and the only working firearms aboard are the M2 HBs for anti-sampan use.

    Such is life.
     
  20. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    It will be interesting to see if Army decides the Squad Automatic Weapon (M249) ought use a caliber not organic to the squad.

    For a bit of history, when the Brits were developing the rifle for after the L1A1 (FAL), one of the things they wanted was a single platform to be rifle, subgun, and squad automatic. They ran into problems trying to get the .280NATO (7x43), an intermediate round, to be effective at the ranges a squad automatic needed to work out to. NATO went with 5.56nato, and the brits got the L85 for their sins. The squad auto role was assigned to the FN MAG in 7.62nato.

    This same argument is also what doomed the .276pedersen (7x57); it just was not enough cartridge loaded into M1919 machine guns. And the Army was unwilling, then, to field two different ammo at the same time (the billiards of .30-06 also influenced the decision).

    The Puzzle Palace might just pull something like this, though. So the MG would be the M-240 in 7.62nato; the M-249 in 6.8something; and grunts with 5.56nato. The Marines would grumble along, crunch the numbers, and probably just field rifles and squad autos in the 6.8something caliber. DeptArmy would then go "No Fair!" and decide on something else entirely. (While wishing they could get pulse rifles in the 60W range.)
     
  21. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Flyover Country
    6.8 would be good, but won’t make much difference either way and I doubt we will change. A lot more comes into play in warfigting than just the terminal performance of a round for the saw or even individual weapons. Don’t forget about the M2 .50 cal, 240b, mk19, mortars, artillery, and air support. Also, Just like every hunting thread I read, caliber doesn’t matter with good shot placement.

    Shot placement is still critical when shooting at the enemy too, not just shooting at deer or hogs. On a pop up range, targets fall with a hit anywhere on the green target. Real life doesn’t work that way. Strange things happen.

    I’m still hoping for the phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.:evil:
     
  22. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Somewhere in WA.
    What else are they going to do?

    Most generals have enough staff to do the administrative stuff. Golf anyone?

    My SIL used to work for an Army general as a civilian adm assistant. She still says fifteen hundred for 3 o'clock.
     
  23. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Somewhere in WA.
    An I still say it's a dead watt.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice