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  1. #1
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    US Army going 6.8mm Polymer Case

    I heard this mentioned in private at the Fort Benning conference last fall, but I didn't want to say anything until it was released publicly, which is now has been:

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/y...-lot-deadlier/

    Most of you know the background of 5.56mm vs 7.62mm, in that in a system of systems including machineguns and artillery, more people can hit and kill more targets with 5.56 than with 7.62 (less recoil, more ammo, etc). Make all the arguments you want about "stopping power" at the individual level and I'll agree with you, but in a group, more people kill more targets with 5.56.

    The problem this still causes is that you still end up with two calibres at the platoon level, which isn't the end of the world but is still sub-optimal. Many countries have been dropping their light machineguns recently as well, as they were not really that accurate, and were used more often than not as automatic rifles than true machineguns. As Sharpshooters with 7.62 came into favour, they ended up having a lot more effect than LMGs, so that brings us up to this point.

    The US Army is going with a 6.8mm round so they will have one calibre at the platoon level (both rifles and general purpose machineguns), which is easier on the supply system. But the big news is that they will likely go with a polymer case instead of brass, and their goal is to create a 6.8 cartridge that weighs the same as a 5.56 cartridge.

    I raised the question at the time about NATO having standardized calibres for a reason, and was politely told that 5.56 and 7.62 will still be in the supply system for decades to come as they phase it out and transition everyone over. The end result will likely just be that their new 6.8mm polymer round will just become a new NATO standard and other countries can buy on if they want.

    Interesting times ahead for the Canadian Army supply system.
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  2. #2
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    Canada wont do it for another 50 years

    How is that pistol replacement going?

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  4. #3
    Senior Member RangeBob's Avatar
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    Why 6.8? Why not 6.6 or 6.7?

    AVERAGE (5.56, 7.62) = 6.6.
    SQR(AVERAGE(5.56^2, 7.62^2)) = 6.7

  5. #4
    Resident Combine Pilot JustBen's Avatar
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    Isn’t this what all the hype over the 6.8 SPC was a few years back?

  6. #5
    Canadian ForcesMember srdiver's Avatar
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    I doubt it - first the have to deal with the M17 scandal before trying a whole rifle platform.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustBen View Post
    Isn’t this what all the hype over the 6.8 SPC was a few years back?
    It will not be the same cartridge as the 6.8 SPC.

    In order to meet the weight and velocity requirements, it’s going to be a brand new cartridge.

    The only thing remaining from 6.8 SPC is that the Army was very happy with that weight of bullet, so the bullet will be similar, but not the cartridge.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Grimlock's Avatar
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    I wonder if the British will remind them that they proposed a 7 mm cartridge as the first NATO standard, and the US went bigger then smaller before finally seeing things their way?

    Canada's idea of an upgrade is green plastic on old rifles.

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  10. #8
    Senior Member Grimlock's Avatar
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    For amusement:
    6.8 SPC 115 gr ball 2575 fps (2002)
    .280 British 139 gr ball 2545 fps (1945) but about 1/4" too long for an AR mag. This is almost all in the bullet, though. Case length is very close.

  11. #9
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    If you read through the websites, the actual requirements are classified, but it’s a safe bet that we’re looking at 125-ish grains at 2850-ish FPS.

    I think the aim is more about the ends than the means, if I read between the lines. They want a soldier’s effective range to get to 500m, not just 300m.
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  12. #10
    Senior Member Grimlock's Avatar
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    That would make it quite a useful cartridge.

    I have seen pictures of belted 6.5 CM, though. It would only take a rebarrel of the C6. 500 m danger space. More gooder penetration.

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