The link has a video.
The Army’s SAW and M4 replacements will both fire this more accurate and deadly round
The Army has selected 6.8mm as the new common round for both its Squad Automatic Weapon and M4 replacement.
A Prototype Opportunity Notice posted on the government website fbo.gov is going to give three companies the chance to submit their versions of the new individual service rifle, the Next Generation Squad Weapon, chambered in 6.8mm, the same round that developers are using for the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle program.
Until recently, officials would only say that developers were being encouraged to look at requirements in the intermediate caliber range, somewhere between the existing 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds common to individual, sniper and machine guns in the Army’s inventory.
Until recently, the goal was to first develop the NGSAR and then allow its advancements to inform the development of the M4 replacement, the NGSW-Rifle.
But, Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, who leads Program Executive Office Soldier, recently told Army Times that the new approach is to develop both along the same path, with the same round, so that designers can find the best fit for ammo in both weapons, much like existing M4s and Squad Automatic Weapons both fire the 5.56mm.
The NGSAR program selected five companies this summer to produce six prototypes. Those are expected for delivery by June, according to officials.
Those companies are:
• AAI Corporation Textron Systems.
• FN America LLC.
• General Dynamics-OTS Inc.
• PCP Tactical, LLC.
• Sig Sauer, Inc.
Each will submit one prototype for the NGSAR, except for FN, which has been allowed to submit two variants.
That program continues so far, but the new notice will mean the three companies selected will deliver both the rifle and machine gun in 6.8mm for testing and a potential contract.
This week’s posting expects about a 27-month period for development, meaning production could begin as soon as 2021.
And once that production begins, companies are expected to produce at least 200 weapons per month. Within six months of the award, they need to pump out 2,000 weapons a month within three years for a potential total order of 250,000 weapons systems, both NGSW-R and NGSAR, over a 10-year period.
That cashes out to $10 million the first year and an estimated $150 million a year for the higher production rate years.
During the coming two-plus years, companies will have to provide 50 NGSW-R weapons, 850,000 rounds of ammunition, spare parts and test barrels.
The ammunition will be a 6.8mm general purpose, or GP, round that’s not tailored to one specific shooting scenario but is instead an all-purpose round suitable to combat, limited training and basic qualification.
But they also must deliver both a High Pressure Test Round, loaded 20 percent higher than normal pressure. That is to stress the gun barrel and breech during firing.
For other functional tests such as weapon chambering, clearing and maintenance tasks, they must also include a Drilled Dummy Inert cartridge.
The companies will have to provide a testable prototype within a year for initial testing.
The prototype 6.8mm NGSW-R will include a sling, flash hider, suppressor, cleaning kit, flash hider/suppressor removal tool, and quantities of magazines required to provide a minimum of 210 stowed rounds.
The prototype 6.8mm NGSAR will include bi-pod, sling, flash hider, suppressor, cleaning kit, flash hider/suppressor removal tool, and quantities of magazines/drums/belts/other required to provide a minimum of 210 stowed rounds.
And, of course, both will need to have rails capable of mounting a variety of rifle optics, aiming lasers and the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual.
The FWS-I is an all-in-one optic under development by Army researchers that pairs a rifle-mounted camera with Night Vision Goggles and Heads Up Display to allow the weapon sight to be displayed in the optic through a range of obscurants.
Great news! Well maybe, if this means Uncle Sugar dumps all his 5.56 ammo at a ridiculously low price.
“Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”
– Barack Hussein Obama, January 23, 2009
I think not,they will pay some company's to do pull downs and scrap the components like they have been doing.
Neat. Another program where we can waste a ton of money and end up with nothing. ACR, OICW, XM8, etc...
"AND YEA THOUGH THE HINDUS SPEAK OF KARMA, I IMPLORE YOU...GIVE HER A BREAK, LORD". - Clark W. Griswald
|Not really from Vienna|
“The Army’s SAW and M4 replacements will both fire this more accurate and deadly round”
Yeah, sure. That’s it. That’s the ticket.
Thanks for that report; it’s good to keep up with these things.
And although cynicism is so satisfying, regardless of how many times a couple has tried to get her pregnant before without success—and perhaps never will—she definitely won’t ever get pregnant unless they keep trying.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
"The Army’s SAW and M4 replacements will both fire this more accurate and deadly round"
I have no issues with a new caliber and new ammo for the military. Certainly there are caliber designs which can be more effective than the 5.56, but yet without a whole lot of weight or other penalties in the tradeoff.
When one adds more boiler room to the round, the projectile has more kinetic energy. Nothing new here. Think 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, 22 Nosler, 224 Valkyrie. Plus some 6mm wildcat chamberings.
I find it tiring that new cartridges always seem to be "more accurate" than the 223. Sometimes there's no data to back up the accuracy claims. Or even flight and energy ballistics. When data is shown, it tends to be with the newest whiz-bang wonder bullet in the new chambering versus a 55 grain FMJ in 5.56.
AAC was notorious for this with the 300blk that "they invented". I've shot enough 300blk to know that yes it does put more energy on target at reasonable distances, but its accuracy is wanting.
I have less experience behind a 6.8 SPC, but I still don't see its accuracy even equal to that of a quality 5.56/223 rifle with good ammo. The 6.8 SPC in its current form is definitely not more accurate than its 5.56/223 counterpart. Maybe new developments will change that.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Army's tests.
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
I guess more Generals need post retirement jobs, time for another 'next generation rifle competition'...
|Gracie Allen is my |
Marketing fluff. Is it faster? Then it has a flatter trajectory and is more accurate. Is it heavier, and does it therefore retain momentum better? Then it's more stable in flight and at least notionally more accurate. All of this is purely theoretical, of course, because...it all depends on the relationship between the load and barrel.
OTOH, I'm kind of curious as to whether they've decided on the 6.8 SPC or they're inviting companies to come up with new a new .277" round.
I find this a bit confusing.
The problem isn't accuracy of the cartridge, it's the poor manufacturing that doesn't allow the full accuracy potential.
You can make very accurate 5.56. Likewise, my 6.8's are easily as accurate as my 5.56 rifles.
I think the point of this is: the 6.8 will kill better with more energy.
Disabled combat vet
a more deadly round? come on
everybody who has ever spent more than 5 mins at a gun show / gun shop KNOWS the real purpose of the round is to WOUND the enemy - not kill him
because it takes more men off the battlefield to carry their wounded comrade off to safety
even i know that
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
I can't speak for the accuracy of your rifles -- only those I've shot and been around.
I know some shooters have 6.8s that shoot around 1 MOA at 100 yards. In this day and age with decent ARs and good ammo, that's not all that difficult to accomplish. Building an AR that consistently shoots better than 1 MOA, at distance, is the challenge. I have three AR-15s that have produced a considerable number of 100 yard 5-round groups in the .5" to .7" range, with machine-like consistency in the .7" to .9" range. My best one has produced groups in the .3s. I don't know of shooters doing that with 6.8s.
But practical accuracy is more than just purdy little holes in paper at 100 yards. I compete in precision matches, where distances range from up close out to 700 yards. I've seen one 6.8 in such matches, in a team match last summer. I don't recall rifle's specifics, but it definitely was built for the task -- long-ish medium contour barrel, good components, quality zoom optics. The owner handloaded his ammo, and was using some type of HPBT bullet. I suspect it was SMK 115. It was not an LWRC Six8, as he showed me his mags.
This 6.8 shooter stated that the rifle did just fine in our shorter "assault stages" -- five-minute stages, generally with targets under 100 yards, but sometimes with one steel target at 200-300. He was not happy with the rifle's performance on our "field stages" -- sixty-minute stages, with steel targets generally from 250 to 700 yards. He stated the 6.8's bullet experienced more wind deflection than expected and didn't hold vertical elevation as well as expected. He stated he would not shoot the 6.8 in such a competition again.
These AR matches are so competitive that shooters are looking for every advantage possible. We've seen 6.5 Grendels for awhile now. Noslers and Valkyries are showing up. When AR-10 platforms are allowed, 6 and 6.5 Creedmoor guns are fairly common. Other AR-15 competitions sometimes have shooters with 6mm AR-15 variants. It's probably just a matter of time before I compete against a 6mm AR-15.
IMO it's tough to find a 6.8 bullet that's accurate, has a high ballistic coefficient, and can fit in an AR-15 magazine. Probably the best .277 bullet for this is the 115 SMK. But it only has a G1 BC of around .320. I use 73 and 75 grain Hornady .223 bullets with .398 and .395 BCs. A .320 BC bullet just can't compete with that, regardless of how tight of holes it punches at 100 yards.
That said, the 6.8 SPC -- or something like it -- may eventually end up being a more effective military cartridge than 5.56/223.
Thanks for those insights, fritz.
“I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.”
— The Wizard of Oz
Why constrain the round with an AR magwell if they are going with something new? As if this will be anything other than a giant waste of time.
|Drill Here, Drill Now|
What's the over/under on this getting cancelled? I seem to recall they do this every year or two.
Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity
DISCLAIMER: These are the author's own personal views and do not represent the views of the author's employer.
This all sounds vaguely familiar. Dating back to (insert the decade of your choice here).
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.
This is all well and good, but if we're going off-NATO anyway why not just just authorize 5.56 in expanding hollow-point? Even as a transition policy, this would let our warfighters keep their current M4/SAWs.
Same BS story I’ve been hearing since I enlisted 10 years ago.. let me know when the rifles are actually in the hands of soldiers and then I’ll be interested..
As heavily invested in 5.56 that everyone is, color me skeptical.
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|Gracie Allen is my |
Yeah, but that's an argument that may cut both ways eventually. The magwell of an M16 has been a defining parameter for a long time - I keep thinking that sooner or later someone is going to get sick of simply accepting it as a limitation on cartridge design. At some point it becomes easier to work with a slightly longer C.O.A.L. than a wider case.
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