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"The Army just got closer to ditching the M4 and SAW for a ‘next-generation’ weapon" Login/Join 
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
I understand the skepticism and cynicism, but a couple of things.

First, all predictions are by definition about the future. We don’t “pre say” anything about the past or even the present.

Second, most advancements in weapons, and almost everything else for that matter, are based on predictions. When someone comes up with a new idea about something that he’ll be able to sell or will do a job, such as defeating the enemy, better than what’s available now, that’s a prediction. As I recall, all the American aircraft used in World War II were being planned before the war started. But even if they weren’t, at some point someone recognized the fact that aircraft like the Brewster Buffalo weren’t going to be very effective in defeating the Germans and Japanese in the air. That recognition was a prediction.

It’s unfortunate indeed that our government leaders aren’t recruiting all the small arms experts from Internet forums like this, and therefore whatever happens won’t be the best, most efficient, and least expensive. As usual, when all is said and done, much more will be said than done.

I am, however, pleased that the possibility of improving our fighters’ small arms is at least being considered. There were those who thought that abandoning the 45-70 Government in favor of a “small bore” .30 caliber rifle cartridge was sheer folly. My father, who enlisted in the Army before Pearl Harbor, was always skeptical of the Garand concept and whenever he could lay hands on one preferred to rely on a 1903 Springfield during the war. And the only reason I can think of why we no longer hear the constant drumbeat of how the 45 ACP is superior to any other possible handgun cartridge is because its adherents are either dead or in assisted living facilities where they’re not allowed access to firearms sites.

It is good that at least some people in decision-making positions are predicting that not all future enemies will be trained and equipped at the level of our current ones. Do they know exactly who those enemies will be and how they will be trained and equipped to fight us? Of course not: no more than any Internet pundit does. It’s a dead certainty, however, that those enemies won’t always be the same as they are today.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by LDD:
quote:
Originally posted by Strambo:
If not now...when?


When we get in a shooting war with China and their 5.8 DB10 (6mm class) ammunition proves to be more effective on the battlefield than our 5.56.

Frown

That when implies an "if" too.

The issue is bullets and rifles aren't sexy, like jet fighters and new ships. Thus it's hard to fund something that doesn't have the kind of publicity garnering gravitas as a new line of aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, or air superiority fighters.

There might be a household analogy--most people would rather buy a new car than buy a new vacuum cleaner, even if the old vacuum is losing suction and getting squeaky. And even if a new car costs way more than a new vacuum cleaner.

Small arms development often takes place in small evolutionary steps. A whole new caliber and rifle, depending on how different the weapon system is, might constitute a different evolutionary branch. Development tends to be forced by the retrospective realities of a wartime theater (for example: M16 v. M14 in Vietnam) rather forward anticipation of the next conflict.

It's hard to think of many weapons systems that are still in use, but older than the M16.

The B52 and C-130 come to mind, both entered service in 1954, about a decade before the M16.

Other iconic systems like the M1 Abrams and Phalanx CWIS entered service in the 80s.

It's really easy for the brass to say "Russia has X fighter" or "China has Y missile system." Those are big items that we need to keep up with. Small arms tends to suck hind teet because it's a lot harder to make comparisons that justify changing over entire weapons systems. Our fighters have to be better than the other guy's fighters. Our rifles just have to keep shooting the same bullets they've always shot. It's kind of myopic, but that's the mentality nonetheless.

TheM2 fifty is still with us in great numbers, some of those we deployed with had WW2 production dates.
 
Posts: 2468 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
posted Hide Post
Seems to me that "next generation" implies something other than slinging lead with chemical combustion the same way we have been for quite a while now.

If it's just another cartridge change, or lighter cases, I don't see the point.
 
Posts: 6186 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NRA Life Member
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If they developed a system that mitigated the recoil impulse and weight of a main battle rifle in 7.62 NATO, they probably could get the same results at less cost. However whenever the Pentagon gets a president, like Reagan or Trump, who gives them a blank check to do whatever they want, they run the tab.
I really don't blame them to much for this behavior because a president like that happens once in a generation. Then it's another twenty years without any new equipment
 
Posts: 2265 | Location: Houston, Texas, USA | Registered: November 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gracie Allen is my
personal savior!
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by LDD:
When we get in a shooting war with China and their 5.8 DB10 (6mm class) ammunition proves to be more effective on the battlefield than our 5.56.

Eh, 23 caliber vs 22 caliber - the Chinese had to have their own rifle system (currently being superceded, IIUC) and their own cartridge to go with it. After all, we have the 5.56 and the Russians have the 5.45, right? But I'm not sure any evidence has surfaced that there's anything inherently better about it than the NATO or Russian rounds except that its performance was, at least initially, heavily weighted towards penetration - as in, at the utter and total expense of upset.
 
Posts: 23363 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
An announcement by SIG Sauer just now.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Old Air Cavalryman
Picture of ARMT Guy
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
An announcement by SIG Sauer just now.


So.. who here has stock in SIG? Eek




"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying who shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here am I, send me."




 
Posts: 7177 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ARMT Guy:
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
An announcement by SIG Sauer just now.


So.. who here has stock in SIG? Eek
They gotta win the contract first...
 
Posts: 42998 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gracie Allen is my
personal savior!
posted Hide Post
And what exactly in tarnation is the vaunted "6.8 hybrid" (note the small "h")? Was it's momma a .308 and it's daddy a 5.56 that had to stand on a stool?

ETA: Well, apparently perhaps so. Per soldiersystems.net:

"As part of the program, SIG has also introduced a new three piece construction hybrid ammunition. It features a brass case, steel base and an internal clip to connect the two. So far, they have manufactured 40,000 of their 6.8x51 cartridges at their plant in Arkansas and are working on an additional 60,000. Due to its construction, the hybrid ammo offers increased velocities over standard ammunition in the same caliber and can be used in all current weapon systems, unlike some next generation ammunition proposals....

Editor's note: This new cartridge is not the 6.8 SPC looked at by USSOCOM a decade ago, but rather something completely new, with performance close to .270 Win. Short Mag."

Original text at http://soldiersystems.net/2019...t-gen-squad-weapons/

So if the cartridge survives and thrives, does this mean that we the punters in the civilian world will be able to simply neck down 7.62x51 cases and handload to get ammunition? Or is there supposed to be something magical about putting a steel base and clip on a brass case body?
 
Posts: 23363 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
posted Hide Post
Closer to this would be nice

 
Posts: 6186 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
Without more information about the cartridge I can only speculate like the rest of us, but I can conceive of two advantages to the “hybrid” case described.

First would be a reduction in the amount of brass required; steel is much less expensive.
Second is that a steel case head might permit the ammunition to be safely loaded to higher chamber pressures. That might account for the claimed velocity increase.

I would, however, be very interested in knowing how a two piece case would be as strong as the current design. I suppose they wouldn’t do it if that wasn’t possible, but the details would be interesting. There is, of course, no free lunch in ballistics. Higher velocities mean more recoil, shorter barrel life (usually), and generally greater wear and tear on the weapon.

And to do a little predicting myself, if this new cartridge or something similar is adopted for the individual rifleman’s weapon, people will immediately start bitching about the greater recoil—and probably the other effects as well.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Il Cattivo:
Editor's note: This new cartridge is not the 6.8 SPC looked at by USSOCOM a decade ago, but rather something completely new, with performance close to .270 Win. Short Mag."

I saw that, too, and decided some muzzle energy comparisons were in order.

7mm-08, which is pretty close to the dimensions of the new 6.8
- Most factory ammo has muzzle energy ("ME") of 2400-2500 foot pounds

308 Win, a similar case, but with a larger bore -- which produces more ME
- Most factory ammo has ME of 2600-2800 foot pounds. Really hot ammo can push this up another 150 foot pounds.

270 Win, pretty much the same bore & bullet, but with a bigger case
- Most factory ammo has ME of 2700-2800 foot pounds

270 WSSM, pretty much the same bore, but with a much bigger case
- Most factory ammo has ME of 3000-3200 foot pounds

For comparison, 300WM is around 3500 foot pounds.

Much depends on what the writer's definition of "close" is. I see real problems with the new 6.8 ammo and the rifles if they are trying to get at least, say, 2900 foot pounds of ME.
 
Posts: 6103 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of RichardC
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General Milley called me for advice.

I recommended the .276 Pedersen; he is forwarding the Wikipedia link to General Dynamics.

Expect good things. Smile

BTW, is Sig pirating individual rifle rifle magazine engineering ideas from HK?



_____________________

 
Posts: 10769 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
So IF the military adopts a new weapon and caliber, will that no longer make the AR-15 and its variants a "weapon of war" and thus no longer ban-able?
 
Posts: 108 | Location: Pa | Registered: September 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by RichardC:
BTW, is Sig pirating individual rifle rifle magazine engineering ideas from HK?


Shit, all of their RDS optics are knockoff / Aimpoint wannabees (although they aren't alone in doing that - Vortex and others also are in on that game).
 
Posts: 42998 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
posted Hide Post
The 45 degree sights on SIG's LMG suggests that an optic will be the primary sighting system.
 
Posts: 23285 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of nhracecraft
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by RichardC:
BTW, is Sig pirating individual rifle rifle magazine engineering ideas from HK?


Nice Catch! Big Grin


____________________________________________________________

If Some is Good, and More is Better.....then Too Much, is Just Enough !!
 
Posts: 3351 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: October 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
This has several photos, including the cased telescoped
cartridges, that I cannot insert. It looks...unusual.

https://breakingdefense.com/20...Early%20Bird%20Brief

Textron Preps For Mass Production Of New Army Rifle

Textron is not just betting it will win the Next Generation Squad Weapons contract: It’s betting the Army will want to start buying in bulk ASAP. That’s not a bad bet.

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.
on September 03, 2019 at 8:18 PM

WASHINGTON: Textron has partnered with global gun-maker Heckler & Koch to mass-produce new rifles for the Army and with ammunition giant Olin Winchester to churn out the high-powered yet lightweight 6.8 millimeter rounds.

Textron still has to beat both General Dynamics and Sig Sauer for the right to build the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NSGW). All three companies won awards last Thursday to build prototypes for troops to test, starting this coming spring and continuing through late 2021. No follow-on production contract is guaranteed. But Textron is watching the Army’s urgent push to modernize across the force, from assault rifles to hypersonic missiles and wants to be ready to sprint to mass production if it wins.

Textron could do everything in house, senior VP Wayne Prender said. But, he told reporters this morning, by working with Olin Winchester and H&K, which are experienced with largescale manufacture of ammo and weapons respectively, “we are preparing ourselves for a high rate of production.”

The Army wants to start fielding two variants of NGSW to tens of thousands of close combat troops — infantry, scouts, special operators, and so on — in 2022. Support troops and vehicle crews will stick with the current M4 carbine for the indefinite future. But frontline ground combatants will get more than just a gun.

Linked wirelessly with electronics all over the soldier’s body, including Microsoft HoloLens-derived targeting goggles called IVAS, the Next Generation Squad Weapon is meant to be just one lethal component of a larger, high-tech system. It’s like the Hellfire missiles on an Apache helicopter or the 120 mm Rheinmetall smoothbore cannon on an M1 tank, except this “weapons platform” moves on foot. This approach is part of a wider push, begun by former Defense Secretary (and Marine Corps rifleman) Jim Mattis, to improve the Close Combat Lethality of the military’s most exposed members.

The American grunt has accumulated more and more high tech over the last two decades. Designing a new weapon from scratch is a chance to streamline the scopes, cables, batteries, and other impedimenta festooning modern foot troops.

“All of those are now part of an integrated weapon system, versus a rifle that then has something else strapped onto it with wires hanging off,” Prender told reporters. “We can make some smart decisions early in the design process that enable it to be cleaner.” That should make the new weapon easier to use, lighter, and even better balanced, since the center of gravity is now calculated with installing add-ons in mind.

Three Contenders, 27 Months

While troops will test the first prototypes this spring, each contender has 27 months to deliver a total of 53 NGSW assault rifles — potential replacements for the M16/M4 family in service since Vietnam — and 43 automatic rifles — replacing the M249 SAW — along with 850,000 rounds of 6.8 mm ammunition.

Like the M16, M4, and M249 with the 5.56 mm cartridge, the new NGSW family will all share a common 6.8 mm round, which is supposed to deliver longer range and greater body-armor-penetrating power without increasing weight much. Each competitor has their own spin on how to deliver the new rifle bullet.

Sig Sauer, which already builds the Army’s standard 9mm pistol and a host of other limited-issue weapons, has taken what seems to be the most conservative approach. It offers what the company calls a “hybrid” cartridge, which is still made of metal like traditional brass casings, but significantly lighter.

General Dynamics’s Ordnance & Tactical Systems (OTS) division has partnered with a Texan firm, True Velocity, to build “composite” rounds out of polymers. In layman’s words, the bullet is packaged, not in brass, but rugged plastic. Again, the goal is to save weight.

Textron’s approach is arguably the most radical, to the point it doesn’t even look like a bullet, just a cylinder that’s equally blunt on both ends. That’s because it’s a cased telescoped round, sheathing the entire bullet in a polymer shell, surrounded by its propellant instead of sitting on top of it. (The resulting case looks like a folded-up telescope, hence the name). Textron says this method cuts weight per shot by 40 percent, a potential boon for overburdened foot troops.

The Army’s new modernization strategy — after decades of cancelled programs and incremental changes to aging weapons — is to try such great leaps forward but then test prototypes ASAP with real troops in the field.

The service has been “opening the doors of the Army to the contractors to get that feedback early and often,” Prender said approvingly. Each round of user feedback is meant to help the contractors improve their product, and the military to refine their specifications, until the service can confidently choose a refined design.

Now, the Army isn’t locking itself in. Whoever does best in testing, the Army hasn’t promised the winner a production contract. But Textron is betting they can convince an eagerly modernizing Army that their product is not only superior but ready to field without further R&D.

“Whether [to] move right into an initial Low-Rate Initial Production, followed by fielding and first unit equipped, or [to do] additional prototyping and maturation of the weapon system… all that will be determined by the Army,” Prender told reporters. “We have high confidence that our weapon system will meet all of the requirements that the Army has laid out… so we’re looking forward to at the end of those 27 months to move into production.”
 
Posts: 13926 | Location: Eastern Iowa | Registered: May 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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H&K's marketing folks gotta love a new polymer & telescoped case round. In the event the round is loaded backwards in the mag for a photo op....fewer people will notice....

[ba-dum-ching]
 
Posts: 6103 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
It will be interesting to see if this project finally results in a durable and reliable caseless cartridge. Textron seems pretty confident at this point, but they’re not the first to have made the attempt.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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